Ankara police on July 3 fired tear gas and used shields against bar association heads and lawyers attempting to stage a march in defiance of a government bill seeking to decentralize bar associations. On the same day, another group of bar associations continued their vigil outside parliament, demanding to partake in the Justice Commission's discussions concerning the new legislation. A journalist reporting on the gathering was detained.
Bar association heads waiting outside parliament, demanding to be included in gov’t bill discussions
Twenty bar association heads have been waiting outside the parliament building, demanding to partake in Justice Commission discussions over a draft bill seeking to decentralize bar associations. The police encircled the area where bar association heads are waiting with safety strips, confining them to an area of less than 20 square meters.
The HDP has officially nominated Istanbul lawmaker Erol Katırcıoğlu as parliament speaker, becoming the first party to notify its candidate's name to the parliamentary speaker's office. In June, the ruling AKP had announced that it would nominate incumbent Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop for the post for another term, whereas on July 1 the main opposition CHP said that it would nominate Haluk Koç.
Ankara governor’s office bans demonstrations ahead of bar associations’ planned ‘Great Defense Meeting’
The Ankara governor’s office on July 2 banned all demonstrations and protests in the province for two weeks, citing the fight against the novel coronavirus. The ban came just a day before lawyers' planned “Great Defense Meeting” in the province in defiance of the government's plan to decentralize bar associations.
Turkey's AKP government does not rule out the possibility of withdrawing from Istanbul Convention, an international initiative which was first approved by Ankara in 2012 and aims to combat domestic violence against women. "When our people has such an expectation, we cannot stay indifferent to this. As we have duly signed it, then it would be possible to duly withdraw from it," AKP deputy chair Numan Kurtulmuş said on July 2.
Turkey is remembering victims of the Sivas Massacre, which took place when a large group of radical Islamists set the Madımak Hotel in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas on fire on July 2, 1993, killing 33 intellectuals and two hotel personnel, on 27th anniversary. Also on July 2, a parliamentary inquiry to reveal the perpetrators of the Sivas Massacre was rejected by lawmakers of the AKP, MHP and the İYİ Party.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been working on regulations that would control social media following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's remarks on completely shutting the platforms or controlling them. A draft of the bill consisting of nine articles on the issue has been ready for a long time, sources told Duvar, adding that the examinations regarding international regulations are ongoing.
Opposition leaders respond to Erdoğan’s threat to block Netflix: Let me at least watch Dark’s last season
Turkey's opposition leaders have responded to President Erdoğan's threat to shut down "YouTube, Twitter and Netflix" with humorous posts. “I would be really hurt if you shut down Netflix without me watching the last season of Dark, Mr. Erdoğan,” İYİ Party chair Akşener wrote on Twitter, while HDP co-chair Buldan said: "We were waiting for the last season of La Casa De Papel."
Parliamentary commission declines lawyers’ demand to partake in discussions on bar associations bill
The Parliamentary Justice Commission has declined seven bar association presidents' demand to be included in discussions over a draft bill seeking to change the election system of bars' administrations and open the way to the establishment of alternative associations in each province. “They do not even want us there while the draft bill, which was prepared without even our opinions being consulted, is being discussed,” Kocaeli Bar Association President Bahar Gültekin said.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on July 1 urged the Turkish government to continue to maintain the status of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul as a museum. Pompeo’s statement comes just one day before Turkey’s Council of State -- the highest administrative court in the country -- will give a decision regarding the issue.
The wife of an inmate diagnosed with cancer and coronavirus has urged the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to release her husband. "This means he has been abandoned to die. I am calling upon the public, the Presidency, and the Ministry of Health: Release my husband right away. There are thousands of [coronavirus] patients in jail, their voices must be heard. People are coming face to face with death at the moment,” she said.
Turkish Deputy Parliament Speaker and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Levent Gök broke a world record on running the longest uninterrupted session in a national parliament with eight hours and 13 minutes.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that he seeks to shut social media platforms in Turkey, a day after his daughter Esra Albayrak was insulted on Twitter. "Such platforms don't suit this country and our people. That's why we want these social media platforms completely shut or controlled after bringing the issue to our parliament," he told members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
LGBTI people are still become the victims of honor killings in Turkey. Now that a narrative of hatred against LGBTI people is gaining traction in Turkish politics, harder days await members of the community.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, has said that if the Turkish government decides to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque, this move risks turning Christians against Muslims. Bartholomew's statements come two days before Turkey’s Council of State will give a decision regarding the issue.