Başak Demirtaş
Wife of former of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, Başak Demirtaş has announced that she quit her job as a teacher two weeks ago. Noting the difficulty of scheduling visits to her husband in Edirne Prison, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Demirtaş said that she couldn't have performed well at work under these circumstances.
Opposition politicians have continued to respond to former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş's remarks on unity among the opposition, with Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu leaving the door open for dialogue. "In principle, I find it appropriate to talk to anyone who believes in democracy and who distanced themselves from terror for the future of this country," Davutoğlu told daily Sözcü on Sept. 15.
Former HDP co-chair Demirtaş has dismissed the claims that he is planning to found a new party. “The HDP is not just a party for me. The HDP is my soul. We should laugh away such lies,” Demirtaş said in a message shared by his wife Başak Demirtaş.
Ruling AKP deputy Tamer Akkal on Sept. 2 tweeted an insulting message targeting former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and his two daughters, a day after the jailed Kurdish politician's wife said Demirtaş has not been allowed to see both of his children together since the outbreak of the COVID-19. After Akkal's tweet has received widespread criticism, he claimed that one of his advisers had published the content “accidentally” via his official account.
Former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş hasn't been allowed to see his daughters in prison since the start of the pandemic, his wife said on Sept. 1. The renowned politician was barred from meeting with his daughters under the pretense of pandemic precautions, despite all safety measures being in place, Başak Demirtaş said.
Former HDP co-chair Selahattin has said in a letter that neither Turkish nor Kurdish identity is something to brag about. "If you are to hang an identity around your neck, let it just read 'only human,'" read Demirtaş's letter, which was shared by his wife Başak Demirtaş.
More regulation has traditionally been in conflict with the basic principles of the freedom of speech in Turkey, and if the opposition is lured into supporting this new initiative, they will likely participate in the closure of a big part of the communication space, including its own.
Turkish authorities arrested one person and detained 11 others for insulting Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak's family through their social media posts, state-run Anadolu Agency said on July 1. The suspects face charges of "insulting a public official," the agency said.
Former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş's wife Başak Demirtaş has slammed the Turkish authorities for refusing to let the renowned politician to stand trial without arrest. A ruling issued by the prosecutors said that Demirtaş was a "flight risk" and evidence against him could not have been still gathered -- despite him being in jail for over three years now.
A man who threatened to sexually assault Başak Demirtaş on Twitter was released after being kept under arrest for just one day. Vedat M., who was arrested on June 16 in the northern province of Sakarya, was released after his lawyer objected to the decision. In his testimony, Vedat M. said that he made the threat while he was drunk and "in response to the insults against martyrs and their wives," referring to soldiers killed in the fight against the PKK.
Good Party (İYİ Parti) leader Meral Akşener said that the sexual harassment of Başak Demirtaş on social media, wife of former co-chair of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), was caused by the government's indifference toward such crimes. Noting that crimes of such nature wouldn't stop until the government took a clear stance against it, Akşener urged President Erdoğan to take action.
The ruling AKP government and social media platforms have a love-hate relationship. The AKP loves using social media tools to spread its own narrative and propaganda, but they are highly disturbed that opposition voices can be so loud on the very same platforms.
Turkish main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) filed complaints about social media trolls who made sexual assault threats to CHP Istanbul Chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu. The comments against Kaftancıoğlu came after she defended Başak Demirtaş, the wife of jailed former co-chair of pro-Kurdish Democratic People's Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş, who had just been the target of similar attacks.
A court has detained a man for sexually harassing former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş's wife Başak Demirtaş on social media. Thousands of Twitter users sent messages of support to Demirtaş with the hashtag, "We stand with Başak Demirtaş." Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül also condemned the incident.
The administration of the Edirne Prison has censored letters sent by former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, his wife Başak Demirtaş said in a tweet, while also sharing pictures of the censored letters. "What's next?" she asked the justice ministry.
Editor's Picks
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
A group led by forensic science expert and human rights defender Prof. Şebnem Korur Fincancı won the elections for the leadership of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB). Fincancı is now expected to be elected the leader of the association in the upcoming meeting.
A women's prison in southeast Turkey banned a book that was co-authored by the chairman of Turkey's Constitutional Court (AYM). The book that was found "suspicious" by the prison is about freedom of expression.
The New York Times reported on Sept. 28 that Trump Towers Istanbul has netted U.S. President Donald Trump $1 million in 2016 and 2017. Trump has long had business ties in and with Turkey, the most visible example being the Trump Towers Istanbul, which licenses the Trump name.
Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into Tele1 TV editor-in-chief Merdan Yanardağ over his reports that Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Yüksel Kocaman paid a visit to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan following his wedding ceremony. The court ruled for Yanardağ's release, but imposed judicial control measures involving regularly reporting at his local police station as well as overseas travel ban.
Halk TV, a broadcaster that's critical of the government, blacked out on Sept. 28 following a ruling from Turkey's Radio and Television High Council (RTÜK). The five-day blackout is a first in the council's history, as such harsh sanctions haven't been issued before.
The Turkish presidency has prepared a video and an anthem on the occasion of the anniversary of the Naval Battle of Preveza which took place near the port of Prevaza in northwestern Greece in 1538. The video is a historic recreation of the battle but also includes various shots of Turkish naval officers.
A one-year-old toddler has been tortured to death in Istanbul, daily Birgün reported on Sept. 28. The toddler named “Hayat” (which translates as “Life” in Turkish) was reported to have bruises and burn scars on the body. The police reportedly detained the father whereas the mother is currently missing.
A fake "scientific publication" robbed some 50 people, mostly academics, of a total one million liras in southeast Turkey. The fraud allegedly offered users publication, and created an online space by copying legitimate websites.
Deputies and officials of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) protested the detention of dozens of members last week, on charges related to the October 2014 Kobane protests. The HDP members are accused of inciting violence in the events that lead to the deaths of 37 people, as members of Turkish Hizbullah also took to the streets.
Turkey's first coronavirus vaccine was administered on Sept. 28 in Istanbul University. A 53-year-old health worker volunteered to receive the shot, and said that he hoped it would eliminate the pandemic soon.
Daily BirGün released video showing the crime scene of Nadira Kadirova's alleged suicide, revealing signs of a struggle in the suspicious death of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Şirin Ünal's help. Meanwhile, the daily released a video of Kadirova's mother at her grave, accusing the deputy of killing the young woman.
Kurdish singer Cesim Başboğa said that he was threatened by gendarmerie officials and MİT members to not sing in Kurdish in Bitlis' Tatvan district. According to Başboğa, a MİT official "banned" him to sing in Kurdish, saying, "I'm warning you for the last time. You'll be in trouble in the smallest mistake."
Turkish police have denied that three HDP politicians, including Mayor Ayhan Bilgen, were hospitalized over food poisoning while under detention. According to the police statement that was released after the HDP's claims on the issue, Bilgen was taken to a hospital over an infection in his body. Deputy Hüseyin Kaçmaz earlier on Sept. 28 said that Bilgen, İsmail Şengün and Can Memiş were taken to a hospital over food poisoning.
Turkish prosecutors have prepared a second indictment in connection with the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. The indictment against the six suspects, including two consulate workers and four other Saudi nationals, was sent to the court to be combined with the main case.
Turkey's Industry and Technology Ministry falsely advertised opening a factory in a mass opening event, only to be refuted by the facility's board who said they'd been in business for 45 years. It was later claimed that the name was erroneously added, and that some of the factories had merely been invested in, and not built from scratch.
Police in the southeastern province of Şırnak are refusing to release the numbers of arrests for selling and using drugs amid a surge in illegal substances in recent years. "It has been determined that such information cannot be accessed on an individual basis," police responded to an inquiry by Duvar.
The 39th Istanbul Film Festival will offer viewings both online and in-person, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) noted. While tickets will become available on Oct. 2, showings will start a week later and last for 10 days.
City water in a district of western Kütahya was revealed to contain levels of arsenic 350 times higher than the acceptable standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO). The water also reportedly contains 8,000 times the acceptable level of boron, and deaths from cancer in the Emet district are three times as high as the other districts of Kütahya.
The Turkish government's restrictions on card and board games are hurting business for old-fashioned coffee houses. Old-fashioned coffeehouses are an important part of social life, especially for retired and unemployed men in Turkey, and board and card games are among the primary activities.
Economy
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.
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.
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.