Society
Esengül Balcı, who researches Islamic sects in Turkey, says that 1 million children are in the hands of sects that target children from poor families who cannot afford education. They provide dormitory and scholarship to young people who come to big cities to study,” Balcı told the daily Cumhuriyet.
Hacı Bişkin reports: The southeastern districts of Şırnak, Cizre, Silopi, İdil and Roboski have witnessed some of the highest increases in drug use in Turkey in recent years, resulting from a combination of unemployment, regional conflict, insufficient education, and mental health issues. Roboski has the highest number of drug addicts per capita in the region.
Some 13 Istanbul residents were fined over the weekend for disrupting traffic during celebrations for a young man going off to military service. One participant was detained by police for firing blank cartridges out of a car.
A Turkish youth forum launched an interactive online map that revealed the age group's biggest issues during the COVID-19 pandemic to be access to education and to work. The right to health and shelter were referred as the second largest issues.
A recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed Turkey as the leading member country for the portion of youth who are both unemployed and out of school. This number was revealed to be 26.7 percent in February in data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).
Turkey's Atheism Association has filed a criminal complain against the Islamist, pro-government daily Yeni Akit on the grounds that it insulted atheists in an article it published earlier this year.
Serpil Kurtay reports: In a joint effort between Gökçeada mayor Ünal Çetin and bio-architect Merve Tekin Sezgin, a 'children's village' is planned to be established on the island, and will function as a place for children to take part in decision-making and creating infrastructure together.
Nuray Pehlivan reports: Turkey's coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the already difficult conditions for the country's refugees, many of whom are facing starvation and homelessness as a result. According to City Council Refugee Committee Chair Mete Hüsünbeyi, hundreds of thousands of refugees have lost their jobs as businesses have closed amid the pandemic.
The population of Istanbul's youth was revealed to be larger than the total populations of almost all of the country's provinces. The city's youth totaled some 2.3 million, surpassed only by the populations of Ankara, Izmir and Bursa.
An encyclopedia of Islam prepared by Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) does not consider it haram (forbidden) for a previously divorced woman to marry off her daughter to her new husband's father. The particular entry in the encyclopedia, which is published digitally on the Diyanet's website, lists which relatives can or cannot marry based on its interpretation of Islamic law.
Three fourths of the youth in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir would rather live outside of Turkey, a March 1 poll by the Sociopolitical Field Research Center revealed. The participants cited better living conditions, more job opportunities and increased liberties as reasons for their desire to live abroad.
Leaders of a local aşiret (tribe) in the southeastern province of Şırnak have agreed, in conjunction with local officials, to do away with the obligatory wedding dowry required for a couple to get married, citing rising costs that limiting the number of those able to do so. The decision, made by the Batuyan tribe, also limited the number of gold coins that can be bought for the bride and groom by guests at weddings.
The coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of people in China, is also a problem for Chinese nationals living outside of their country. Some living in Turkey have been marginalized and discriminated against following news of the virus.
A survey conducted in sixteen cities by the Sociopolitical Field Research Center revealed that while education and income levels rise among Kurdish speakers, their usage of Kurdish declines. Among those who said that they were unable to read or write, 76.2 pct said they spoke Kurdish at home while 19.8 pct spoke Turkish.
The thesis that cigarettes are haram (sinful) in Islam is based on the Maide and Araf sections of the Quran, said Ali Erbaş, the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet). President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is also a strong advocate of smoking cessation, calling the substance “haram” and explicitly urging his supporters to quit.
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duvar englis podcasts
Duvar English’s editor-in-chief Cansu Çamlıbel and pollster Can Selçuki discuss the underlying factors behind the recent moves of Turkey's ruling alliance which paves the way for further polarization in politics as the country enters the final months of 2020. They also analyze the effects of the sharp decline of the Turkish Lira against foreign currencies over public's perception.
Dinçer Demirkent writes: Interior Minister Soylu said that the head of the Constitutional Court would be unable to commute to work without his protection team. What he meant was that he was the Minister who assigned the security team to the judge, implying he might just remove them. By doing so, Süleyman Soylu openly violates the article 138 of the Turkish Constitution; basic principle for the independence of the judiciary.
Politics
The Kızılırmak Delta Wetland and Bird Sanctuary in the Black Sea province of Samsun has observed raging fires since the reversal of its "protected area" status. While a part of the delta was transferred to the property of the government, environmentalists suspect the fires were started intentionally.
Local medical device companies have warned the Turkish Health Ministry that if debts owed by the government hospitals remain unpaid, there could be a “disruption in the health services” starting as early as in October. The Turkish Medical Equipment and Devices Manufacturers Association (TÜDER) has said that local medical firms have been waiting for the last 16 months to get their payment which has reached to around $26 billion Turkish Liras ($3.4 billion) in total.
Turkish Justice Ministry has dismissed a parliamentary question on the release of a rapist soldier for being "offensive." Uca in her question asked Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül to reveal the reason for why former specialized sergeant Musa Orhan was released despite raping İpek Er. The ministry said that the question can be accepted if the terms found "crude and offensive" are removed.
Turkey reportedly didn't apprehend ISIS militant Yunus Durmaz responsible for deadly attacks in Turkey despite determining his location 19 times between April 29 and May 19, 2016. Durmaz, who was sought over the attacks in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, the Suruç district of the southeastern province of Urfa, the capital Ankara and Istanbul's Taksim, blew himself up during a police raid on an ISIS cell in 2016.
An 80-year-old inmate who was imprisoned for holding a Muslim memorial service in Kurdish died on Sept. 23, without being allowed to see his family, pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu said. The old man's conviction should have been delayed in the first place since he was ill, the deputy added.
Former Zaman daily columnist Mümtazer Türköne has been released from jail following Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli's call for his retrial. Türköne's lawyer Figen Çalıkuşu has said she believes the release came after the Court of Cassation overturned the sentence following an appeal.
Turkey will not make any concessions over its claims in the eastern Mediterranean, said a statement issued following the country's National Security Council (MGK) meeting. “It has been once again emphasized that Turkey will not make a concession with regards to its rights and interests on land, sea or in the air, as has been the case up until today,” the statement read.
A group of lawyers close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have submitted their application to the Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) to form a second bar association in Istanbul. The group has collected just over 2,000 signatures required to establish their own association as per a new legislation which was passed by Turkish parliament in July of this year.
The trial into the murder of a 12-year-old girl shot dead on Oct. 12, 2015 in Diyarbakır during a curfew, has been put on hold following the Interior Ministry's refusal to grant permission for the prosecution of the police officer in question.
The Ankara Medical Chamber has said that the number of healthcare staff who have contracted the COVID-19 in the city has increased by 61 in the last eight days, reaching to a total of 943.
The Turkish government is reportedly planning to hand prison sentences between two months and a year to those violating quarantine rules based on an article of the Turkish Penal Code, which regulates behavior in violation of the measures against contagious diseases. The country on Sept. 23 announced the death toll as 72 - its highest since the beginning of May.
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) police teams on Sept. 24 demolished some restaurants and cafes on Heybeliada on the grounds that they were unlicensed. Café owners slammed the İBB's move saying that they had already paid an "occupancy fee" to the local management to use the lands in question.
Turkey's Central Bank unexpectedly hiked interest rates on Sept. 24, triggering an improvement in the lira's value against the dollar. The Turkish Lira has sunk to record lows over the past month as Ankara's currency interventions proved futile.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş will carry the indictments into him as medals, as he commented on a recent visit by a chief public prosecutor to the presidential palace. "We know that there are prosecutors lined up in front of Erdoğan," the CHP leader said.
Construction on Turkey's first nuclear power plant is ongoing amid reports of unpaid wages, the general manager said on Sept. 23. While management said it was contract companies that were lagging behind on payments, they launched an investigation into the wages nonetheless.
U.S. Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield has said debts owed by Turkish government hospitals to American pharmaceutical companies had risen to around $2.3 billion, warning that there will be consequences for non-payment of debt or reductions in payment. "Companies will consider departing the Turkish market or will reduce exposure to Turkish market. This is not a direction which serves the interests of Turkey," he said on Sept. 23.
The Turkish Health Ministry is under scrutiny over the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases it announces daily. "This is not the exact number of positive cases. However, this is not the number of patients receiving treatment at hospitals only," the ministry reportedly told Prof. Mehmet Ceyhan, prompting confusion on what the numbers on the daily coronavirus chart mean.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has cautioned Turkey against further deployment of equipment from Chinese telecoms giant Huawei on its soil, saying it would complicate the military cooperation between the two NATO allies. The U.S. believes Huawei Technologies’ apparatus could be used for espionage.
CHP Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel has asked the government to reveal who received millions of dollars of bribe from shady Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab. "It's said that $80 million of this money was given to a single politician. Will the Financial Crime Investigation Board, Turkish Treasury, Court of Accounts and other auditors be mobilized?" Özel asked.
Turkey on Sept. 23 recorded more than 70 daily coronavirus deaths for the first time since May. Seventy two people died over the past 24 hours due to the COVID-19 in Turkey, while 1,767 new cases were diagnosed, according to the daily figures the Health Ministry announced on a COVID-19 dedicated website on Sept. 23.
Economy
Turkey's state-owned Halkbank has urged a judge to dismiss a U.S. indictment accusing the bank of helping Iran evade American sanctions. At a hearing in Manhattan federal court on Sept. 18, a lawyer for Halkbank said its status as a Turkish “instrumentality” shielded it from prosecution because of sovereign immunity.
U.S. tech giant Amazon offered up its speed-delivery subscription to Turkish consumers on Sept. 15. The monthly subscription fee was set for 7.99 Turkish Liras, about one dollar with the current exchange rates.
Turkey's unemployment rate rose to 13.4 percent. and participation edged up in the May-July period in which a coronavirus lockdown was lifted and a ban on layoffs remained in place, data showed on Sept. 10, painting a clearer picture of the pandemic's fallout.
Turkish Airlines (THY) observed a drop of almost 65 percent in the number of August travelers compared to the year before. Domestic flights saw a smaller drop of 47.1 percent, while international flights shrank by 75.4 percent, THY said.
Urban Beat
Istanbulites will select the new face of Taksim Square from among three projects as part of the Istanbul Municipality's plans to renovate the area. Şerif Süveydan, Bünyamin Derman and Kutlu İnanç Bal were the winners in the contest that was held by Istanbul Planning Agency and Istanbul Municipality's Department of Cultural Assets.
The Odunpazarı Modern Museum in western Eskişehir won the award for "international project of the year over £1m" at the London Museums+Heritage Awards. The museum opened its doors just over a year ago in the city's ancient Odunpazarı neighborhood.
The 48th Istanbul Music Festival will be held online, streaming pre-recorded performances in historical venues. Starting on Sept. 18, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) will make available the performances that honor composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
Heavy presence of the Asian tiger mosquito was detected in four Istanbul districts, concerning locals as the bug can carry malaria, the Zika virus and encephalitis. The invasive species have been increasing in population around Istanbul in the past decade, an Istanbul University veterinarian said.
Ali Demir writes: So the property of the local non-Muslims collapsed, and what happened? Nothing! The whole country is now composed of non-local foreigners. The greedy tailor apprentice that murdered his master could not sew a jacket, and will never be able to.