Canan Kaftancıoğlu
A Turkish public prosecutor ruled sexual assault threats against journalist Nevşin Mengü, politician Canan Kaftancıoğlu, lawyer Feyza Altun and actress Berna Laçin were "harsh criticism." The court said they didn't have legal grounds to prosecute the defendant for making a threat.
It is no secret that Emine Erdoğan cherishes high end products, but to mention how much they cost or be critical of her taste is a no-no.   This has been the case for more than a decade, even before the Erdoğan family moved into the Palace. Back then, top management in mainstream papers strongly advised […]
The Istanbul Regional Courts of Justice has upheld the nine-year prison sentence handed to CHP's Istanbul chair Kaftancıoğlu. Kaftancıoğlu was last year sentenced to prison for old tweets that allegedly "spread terrorist propaganda and insult the President." The CHP says the conviction is politically motivated.
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.
Girls are always the topic of political discussion in this country. Since the parliament formed that notorious divorce commission in 2015, we have been discussing early marriages and abuse. Statistics have shown an increase in abuse. This is the consequence of a government that has been obsessed with pardoning abusers “despite the general view of the public.”
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has urged President Erdoğan to remove Defense Minister Hulusi Akar from duty if a coup is suspected to be underway, as he commented on recent coup speculations. "Who could do a coup? The army could. If a coup is in question, then he should replace Hulusi Akar with someone else and prevent a coup," he said.
Turkey’s media watchdog penalized a program on the opposition news broadcaster Halk TV with a five-time broadcast cancellation and a monetary fine over on-air comments of the main opposition CHP's Istanbul chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu. "In the upcoming period, I see a change of the ruling power with an early election or in another way, even a system change," Kaftancıoğlu had said on Halk TV's "Sözüm Var" program on April 30.
HDP deputy chairman Saruhan Oluç has said that rumors of a new coup attempt in Turkey are aimed to provide the ruling AKP with a story of victimization, questioning why Defense Minister Hulusi Akar is silent on the issue if there is really a threat of a coup attempt on the horizon. Main opposition CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on the other hand said that the AKP initiated the rumors to "cover up its inaptitude" in governing the country.
Future Party chair Davutoğlu, once a close ally to President Erdoğan, has said that the AKP is trying to justify its authoritarian policies by keeping the speculation of a new coup attempt alive and has asked why Erdoğan has not been to the capital Ankara for the last 45 days if he really believes a coup attempt is on its way.
The ruling AKP's Istanbul chair Şenocak has issued a thinly veiled threat to CHP's Istanbul head Kaftancıoğlu after she said that the AKP will no longer be the political party in power in the upcoming period as a result of an "early election or in another way.” "She should know that the Bosphorus [water] is cool this season and deep in the summer,” Şenocak wrote on Twitter.
CHP Istanbul chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu has questioned the accuracy of death certificates amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, saying that coronavirus deaths are reported as being caused by "infectious diseases." "It's known that 100 percent of those who died over infectious diseases in this period actually died of coronavirus," she said, while sharing a picture of the death certificate prepared for a doctor who died of coronavirus.
CHP Istanbul chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu was called to testify in the case into the taking pictures of Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun's house in Istanbul's Kuzguncuk. She was called on April 28 as part of the criminal complaint filed by Altun's lawyer Sezgin Tunç. She is accused of "praising a crime and a criminal," as well as "encouraging a crime."
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's aide Fahrettin Altun has filed a criminal complaint against CHP's Istanbul provincial chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu after she threw her support behind CHP Üsküdar district head Suat Özçağdaş who is accused of taking photographs of a property rented by Altun. The property in question is at the center of a public controversy after a report revealed that an illegal construction was undertaken on it.
Singer Şükriye Tutkun and art director Yudum Yontan, two neighbors of Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun and his wife Fatmanur Altun, has come to their defense over reports of his illegal construction in Istanbul's Kuzguncuk neighborhood. They said that the land that the construction was made was a dump where drug addicts were dwelling in, hence finding the construction a positive move for the neighborhood.
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Ankara's conflict-oriented foreign policy has received the public's support for military operations, but public opinion often fails to translate into votes. While Ankara's "enemy" in military conflict is ever-changing, the northern Syria conflict was revealed to be the only intervention that expanded the government's voter base.
Selahattin Demirtaş writes: You have re-arrested us after six years. You say we are the instigators of the Kobane massacres when we were actually the victims. Do you think you will be able to make us responsible for this through conspiracies based on secret witnesses and be saved from responsibility? You must genuinely believe that the fascism you rely on today will always exist.
Politics
Turkey's top medical association has said that 143,000 coronavirus patients are currently treated at their homes, whereas 460,000 others have been placed under mandatory home quarantine. The Turkish Medical Association made the remarks based on the results of a survey conducted with family physicians across the country.
A report penned by CHP lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu has said that 29 journalists, writers and publishers have received jail terms during January-September period of this year, 20 of whom have been arrested. "The animosity against journalists that is on the rise during the AKP rule is due to the government's stance against freedom of press,” Tanrıkulu said.
A group of university students and alumni are requesting that the Credit and Dormitories Agency (KYK) annul all loans. Currently, some five million Turkish university students are in debt to the state-run KYK, and 300,000 face prosecution for not being able to pay back the debt.
The lira sank to a record low to near 8 versus the dollar after Turkey’s central bank ignored investors' calls to raise its main interest rate. The decision to leave the rate unchanged prompted economists to question the central bank’s commitment to lowering inflation and its independence from the government.
Putin said on Oct. 22 Russia and Turkey disagree about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but emphasized strong ties between Moscow and Ankara. Erdoğan "might seem tough, but is a flexible politician and reliable partner for Russia," Putin said.
A 24-year-old woman was shot dead by her brother in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, news portal Jinnews reported on Oct. 21. Meanwhile, a local court discounted a femicide assailant's sentence on "good behavior," adding to the list of killers that Turkish courts are lenient toward.
Protesting miners from around Turkey were promised a solution within 10 days during an Oct. 21 meeting with Justice and Development Party (AKP) Group Deputy Chairwoman Özlem Zengin. Hundreds of miners started marching to the capital earlier this month, as survivors of the Soma Mining Disaster are yet to receive damages, and workers in Ermenek have 13 months of unpaid wages.
A newly passed legislation will allow ministries to veil their budget items as they submit their budget proposals to parliament. This means that they are no longer obliged to make it public how much is paid to private contractors for projects.
Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez said on Oct. 22 Turkey will operate the gas field which it recently discovered in the Black Sea on its own, but it may cooperate with foreign firms in terms of detailed work and equipment. The minister's comments came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 17 Turkey had raised the estimated reserves of the field to 405 billion cubic meters after finding an additional 85 bcm.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has confirmed that Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems were tested last week, as he also dismissed NATO allies' concerns on the issue. Akar also said that the S-400 won’t be integrated into NATO’s command-and-control infrastructure, but rather "used as a standalone system similar to the use of Russian-made S-300 weapons that exist within NATO."
Turkey's Health Ministry will regulate the administration of flu shots through the online government portal as supplies will fall short of soaring demand. Patients will need to obtain prescriptions from their family practitioner, report to a pharmacy with their prescription. Pharmacies will be supplied shots only after receipt of a prescription.
The AKP and its ally MHP on Oct. 21 rejected the HDP's demand to investigate what really unfolded during the 2014 Kobane protests for the 10th time. The HDP's demand came after dozens of its members, including co-mayors of the eastern province of Kars, were arrested over the protests six years later earlier this month.
A bus assistant in Turkey sexually harassed a 17-year-old passenger on a trip with Metro Turizm vehicle, notorious for sexual assault incidents. The company told an Instagram user who shared footage of the assault that the worker was uninsured, and asked them to remove the video.
Ankara said on Oct. 21 it extended the stay of its Oruç Reis survey vessel and two other ships in a disputed area of the eastern Mediterranean until Oct. 27. Ankara had withdrawn Oruç Reis from last month to "allow for diplomacy" before a European Union summit at which Cyprus sought sanctions against Turkey, but sent it back this month, prompting an angry rebuke from Greece, France and Germany.
Turkey's Constitutional Court has determined that teacher and author Tahir Baykuşak's rights were violated by police who assaulted him during an ID check in Istanbul in 2016. The court said that a proper investigation was not carried out and that the mistreatment of police violated the 17th Article of the constitution.
Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Oct. 21 condemned Turkey for "violating international law" during one-day regional summit. Turkish Foreign Ministry rejected the "baseless" allegations a day later, saying that Ankara will continue to protect "our rights and the Turkish Cypriots' rights with determination."
Turkey's southeastern city of Diyarbakır is nestled in Mesopotamia and has a deep legacy spanning millenniums and civilizations. A recent discovery on the 8000-year-old Amida Höyük archaeological site has unearthed an 1800-year-old heating system that was quite sophisticated for the time.
Turkish police on Oct. 22 detained 14 people in anti-ISIS operations in Istanbul. Police said that 13 of those apprehended are foreigners and their extradition processes began. Sources told state-run Anadolu Agency that some of the suspects were active in Syria.
Refugee children are isolated to a single school in the central Turkish province of Kırşehir, daily Evrensel reported. The school has reached enrollment figures of more than 1,000 elementary and middle school students, all of whom are refugees. Smaller numbers of refugee children coming from relatively well-to-do families were reportedly able to enroll in regular schools alongside Turkish students.
Economy
The Turkish government has said that it "laughs off" boycotts imposed on Turkish products in Saudi Arabia, Morocco and United Arab Emirates. "We laugh off some countries' boycotts against Turkey. They should first learn to stand as independent countries," AKP deputy leader Numan Kurtulmuş said on Oct. 18.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that income per capita in Turkey would drop to 2005 levels, an annual average of $7,720. The IMF also predicted a five percent contraction in the Turkish economy until the end of 2020, despite Ankara's 0.3 percent growth projection.
Turkey's net international investment deficit grew by $20 billion from the end of 2019 to reach a total $365.8 billion at the end of August. Turkey's international assets shrunk by 10.2 percent to reach $227.4 billion in the same period.
President Erdoğan on Oct. 17 announced the discovery of an additional 85 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the Black Sea, following a similar find in August. As a result of testing, analysis and detailed engineering work, another 85 billion cubic meters were added to the reserves we had discovered. The total amount of natural gas reserves in the TUNA-1 well of the Sakarya Gas Field reached 405 billion cubic meters," Erdoğan said.
Data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) revealed a dip in real estate sales vis-a-vis last year in September, dropping by 6.9 percent for some 136,744 residences sold. Meanwhile, the total volume of sales between January and September was larger than the number in 2019.
Urban Beat
Kurdish artist Zehra Doğan's work that she created during her two prison sentences between 2016 and 2019 are on display in Turkey for the first time. The artist was jailed on terrorism charges and gained international fame after finishing her second sentence and holding a show at London's Tate Modern.
Turkey's Presidential Symphony Orchestra will thrive thanks to the completion of its long-awaited music hall, Conductor Cemi'i Can Deliorman said. Having been in the works for 25 years, the music hall's large auditorium can seat more than two thousand viewers.
Alterations on Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia reportedly violated guidelines mandated under the site's "UNESCO World Heritage" status. Converted within two weeks of the legal ruling that allowed Muslim worship, the ancient structure's mosaics were unlawfully covered up, and any work on it was deemed practically impossible, architectural publication Mimarlık Magazine reported.