Ankara wants to play the “Leader of the Muslim world card” — but there is more to Hagia Sophia’s conversion than just that. Just like the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “West Bank annexation” policy, Ankara banks on the strategy of “creating an international problem to overshadow debating domestic grievances and making national politics dependent on the existing government through isolation” strategy.
A lawyer from Van Bar Association Migration and Asylum Commission said that the death toll in the migrant boat accident in Lake Van is unknown. "Unfortunately we don't have enough information about the boat that sank in Van Lake over the weekend. The Van Bar Association hasn't received a public defender request for the boat yet."
Turkey’s Interior Ministry has issued a circular announcing that the country has opened all land, sea and air borders for passenger traffic, except for the land border with Iran.
Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister said that "if there are no setbacks," domestic tourism will pick up around May 28 and travel bans will be lifted by the end of the month. Meanwhile, the ministry is anticipating foreign tourism to start back up mid-June.
An Istanbul-based civil rights organization warned that non-centralized relaxation of COVID-19 precautions would lead to a worsening of the pandemic in Turkey. The non-governmental organization urged a centralized and inclusive normalization to avoid fatalities and further strain on socioeconomic activity.
Turkey's Trade Ministry will be allowing freight drivers to work again, except to travel to Iran and Iraq. More than 1,000 truckers are stranded at Turkey's Iranian border since the country closed the gates in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Nuray Pehlivan reports: Thousands of migrants who remain at Turkey’s borders in hopes of crossing over to Europe are now being told to leave the area due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ankara’s recent instructions about the coronavirus directly contradict their Feb. 28 decision that allowed migrants crossings, leaving them once again in limbo.
Is the first casualty of the coronavirus the European Union itself? There are now more confirmed cases of coronavirus globally than there are in China, and Europe has been defined as the “epicenter of epidemic crisis” by the World Health Organization. And when it comes to facing the crisis, it’s almost as though the European Union does not exist as an institution.