Nobody in their right mind can think that being an opposition party in an autocratic environment is easy. However, one cannot learn how to swim without jumping in the water. Ali Babacan's party DEVA seems to be enjoying the dry land, not taking any risks, at a time when citizens are expecting brave and wise leadership.
Deputies from the ruling AKP and its ally MHP have voted against a motion submitted by the main opposition CHP demanding that a parliamentary discussion be undertaken regarding a law to protect medical staff in the face of increasing number of violence cases.
HDP deputy Garo Paylan has asked Health Minister Fahrettin Koca the reason for why only 500 tests were carried out in the past 27 days in Diyarbakır. "Is discrimination the case when distributing tests to Diyarbakır and other provinces in the region?" Paylan, who is a Diyarbakır lawmaker, said in his parliamentary question following reports on the issue.
Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop announced the cancellation of April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day celebrations over the coronavirus pandemic that killed over 600 people in the country. "We had to postpone the celebrations that people would gather on April 23. Let's sing the national anthem at 9 p.m. on April 23 in our homes," Şentop said on April 6.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has filed a complaint against journalist Fatih Portakal over lying and using statements that aim to manipulate people on social media. Following Erdoğan's remarks on a series of orders issued during Turkey's War of Independence, Portakal questioned whether money will be asked from those have deposits or savings, prompting Erdoğan to sue him.
Ayhan Sefer Üstün from the newly-founded Future Party likened the coronavirus process in Turkey to the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt in terms of the government's authoritarian tendencies. "The society is being tried to enter a new authoritarian environment via making coronavirus an excuse," Üstün, a former deputy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), told Duvar on April 7.
The CHP has called on the government to include political prisoners in a judicial reform bill that will lead to the release of thousands of convicts and prisoners. "Judges have been issuing arrest rulings under political pressure. This exterior pressure applies for the cases of prisoners of thought, political prisoners and some terror arrestees," the CHP said.
According to a poll submitted to main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, some 84 percent of the Turkish citizens reportedly support a curfew against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The participants were also asked about the problems that Turkey needs to solve urgently. The pandemic topped the list, with 46 percent saying that it's the most urgent issue.
Interior minister denies police were forced to donate money to Turkish gov’t campaign against COVID-19
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has refuted journalist Fatih Portakal's claims of police being forced to donate money to a government campaign against the coronavirus pandemic, saying that there are those who choose to donate. "The state has a legal campaign and there may be officers who want to support it. I won't meddle with that," Soylu told daily Sözcü on April 6.
An appointed official, in this case the interior minister, defies and elbows the elected mayor of a city, for example Istanbul with its 16 million inhabitants because he represents the state also known as the office of the presidency and also because he has a hunch that if these pernicious activities are allowed, then God forbid, HDP municipalities may follow suit and raise money for PKK!
The problem is what Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben calls 'the danger of transition into a continual state of exception' in which the exception is no longer the exception but the norm.
CHP deputy Ali Mahir Başarır criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for forbidding the CHP to collect donations, but allowing İsmailağa religious cult to do so. "It seems that the İsmailağa Association has the authority and permission to collect donations and share their bank account numbers," Başarır said amid a debate on collecting donations to be used in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that more than two million workers in Turkey have lost their jobs due to measures taken to contain the coronavirus outbreak. "They had to start a campaign to keep people home. This current campaign has only led to one thing: unemployment," he said. "They will get unemployment wages from the unemployment fund for a short time, but there are no guarantees after that," he added.
Abbas Karakaya writes: While Istanbul's Anatolian-side suburb of Çekmeköy may be adjacent to the city's northern forests, it is among the most lacking in active green areas out of all of Istanbul's 39 districts. Forests and parks in the district are seen as a means of creating tenders and generating wealth. One of the most typical examples of this approach by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)-led Çekmeköy municipality is the observation point project.
Former President Gül says early parole bill should include journalists, others jailed on ‘thought crimes’
Former President Abdullah Gül has said that prisoners who were jailed for their political views should also benefit from the government's early parole bill -- provided that these views have not been motivated by "hate, violence or terror."