Özgür Özel, a deputy from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said at a provincial board meeting that “[early] elections will settle the scores of the injury that April 16 inflicted on the presidency and the democratic parliamentary system," referring to the 2017 presidential system referendum. The pro-Kurdish Democratic Peoples' Party (HDP) also said that they support early elections.
Four bus drivers in Vienna were laid off after getting caught signing the nationalist gesture "Grey Wolf" on surveillance footage. The sign, often associated with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), was banned by Austrian legislature in 2018 as part of an effort to "combat extremism."
The European Parliament's 16th International Conference on "The European Union, Turkey, the Middle East and the Kurds" will focus on Turkey's military operations in northern Syria, the migration crisis and the effect of these crises on the Kurds. Patrons of the conference include South African Archbishop Desmund Tutu, human rights activist Bianca Jagger and linguist and philosopher and political activist Noam Chomsky.
Amid years of intense pressure and persecution from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) is preparing to host their 4th extraordinary party congress on Feb. 23. “All of our organizations are quite clearly united in the idea of being a party of Turkey and doing Turkey-oriented politics. Rather than being squeezed in the geography of Kurdistan, on the contrary, we want to organize everywhere in Turkey and confront problems everywhere in Turkey," says HDP group deputy chairman Saruhan Oluç.
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli, who has been a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling AKP, has said that it's impossible for his party to back motions submitted to parliament by the main opposition CHP regardless of their content, as he commented on a recent motion that was submitted in order for Elazığ, which was hit by a deadly 6.8-magnitude earthquake on Jan. 24, to be declared a disaster area.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is reportedly considering returning to a parliamentary system and separating the posts of the presidency and party leadership, sources told Duvar. Erdoğan, both the president and the leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), may appoint Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also Erdoğan's son-in-law, to lead the AKP.
Turkey's Constitutional Court has ruled that sentencing two people for demanding the release of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and initiating a campaign for this was a violation of their right to freedom of expression. A Diyarbakır court in 2015 sentenced two people each to 10 months in jail on terrorism charges for distributing campaign forms with Öcalan's picture on them.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has pardoned Ahmet Turan Kılıç, who was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment over the Sivas Massacre, which took place when a mob set the Madımak Hotel in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas on fire on July 2, 1993, killing 33 intellectuals and two hotel personnel. Erdoğan lifted the 86-year-old man's sentence due to the health problems that he has been suffering from.
The Ensar Foundation, which is known with a major child sexual abuse scandal, released a statement regarding a donation it received through Turkish Red Crescent, saying that the 7,925,000 dollars in question was spent for the struggle against the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. "We know that the aim of these slanderers is to wear the Red Crescent out and to target the Ensar Foundation," it said.
A document detailing Başkent Gaz's donations to the infamous Ensar Foundation through Turkish Red Crescent has caused an uproar on social media. Because all donations made to Turkish Red Crescent are tax deductible, Başkent Gaz, which was purchased by Torunlar GYO - a company with close ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) - has reportedly made nearly 1.5 million dollars of tax advantage with the move.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has deployed additional troops and armed vehicles to Turkey's border with Syria. The deployment was carried out under tight security measures on Jan. 29.
Deputies from the ruling AKP and its ally MHP have voted against a motion submitted by the HDP asking the government to account for the funds collected under the name of “earthquake tax.” The HDP motion called for transparency over the collection and allocation of these funds, saying the public is “awaiting” to know how much the government has so far raised in these revenues and where they were channeled to.
Murat Yetkin writes: In the current economic, political and societal climate, we have to consider the possibility that Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) might enter a period of implosion, without being able to carry its own weight any longer.
The timeline for the establishment former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan's new political party remains uncertain, though one source pointed to the end of February. Repeated delays in the party's establishment that was scheduled for end of 2019 has left political circles questioning the formation and claims of an ideological rift among the founding members.
Lawmakers from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Justice and Development Party (AKP) recently debated on social media whether the 1999 earthquake was handled correctly. Former AKP deputy Şamil Tayyar tweeted Jan. 25, the day after the devastating 6.8-magnitude quake of Elazığ, that "The government collapsed during the earthquake of 1999 but it's standing now. Except a few provocateurs, the opposition and ruling side are united." However, MHP deputies took offense to this statement since the nationalist party was part of the 1999 government’s ruling coalition.