Turkey's Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan has been removed from his post by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Several social media users alleged that Turhan was removed from duty over criticism of the timing of a recently held tender related to the controversial Kanal Istanbul project.
Twenty two journalists were sent to jail, nine others were detained, while 20 journalists appeared before the courts in Turkey in March, according to a report prepared by CHP MP Utku Çakırözer. The deputy demanded that imprisoned politicians, prisoners and human rights activists are not excluded from the government's plan to release thousands of prisoners.
Turkey's High Election Board (YSK) has annulled the mandate of a mayor from the main opposition CHP on the grounds of his previous conviction of two offenses. Kadir Aydar said that the YSK had previously seen his criminal record while registering him as a mayor candidate and had not raised an objection to his application.
The Turkish government is going ahead with the controversial Kanal Istanbul project, despite widespread opposition and the current crisis stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. On March 26, it held a tender for the reconstruction of two bridges on the route of the project.
Only one in two people in Turkey are worried about Coronavirus, while close to 20 percent stated that they were “neither worried nor unworried”. More strikingly, despite the warnings only 48 percent do not shake hands while only 49 percent do not kiss when seeing someone.
Nine AKP and two CHP lawmakers are in self-imposed quarantine and are under close surveillance of Parliament Speaker's Office, sources told Duvar, adding that the office called the parties to ask lawmakers to not show up in parliament. "Our lawmaker friends have put themselves under quarantine in their houses for 14 days as necessitated by their responsibilities," Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop said on March 17.
Following demands from healthcare professionals due to coronavirus threat rising in Turkey, the Ministry of Health has began to prepare regulations that will limit the number of applications for emergency healthcare service and initiate an incentivized appointment-based system. Doctors warn that at the moment family health centers and their practices are not enough to respond to frustrated patients which might fuel violence against healthcare workers.
Six journalists, who were arrested last week over a report covering the funeral of a member of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) killed in Libya, are being kept in isolation, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Utku Çakırözer has said upon visiting them in Silivri Prison. "I call on the prison authorities and the Justice Ministry to end this practice," Çakırözer told Duvar on March 11.
Some 13 actors who were laid off from their jobs at the Istanbul Municipality City Theater were reinstated after three years and seven months. The actors were laid off during the state of emergency declared after the botched coup attempt of July 15, 2016 in an attempt to cleanse state institutions of supporters of U.S-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, Ankara's top suspect for the failed takeover.
Germany's leftwing political party Die Linke and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (RLS) have hosted a conference on the Kurdish issue in the German Bundestag on March 6, with the participants discussing "the current opportunities and perspectives" with regards to the solution of the Kurdish issue in the Middle East in several panels. From Turkey, CHP Istanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu and HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar attended the conference.
AKP officials ‘unhappy with being in defense’ following decision to hold weekly meetings after opposition
AKP officials are reportedly unhappy with the decision to hold weekly meetings a day after opposition parties, especially the main opposition CHP, saying that it puts the party in a "defensive position." According to daily Cumnhuriyet, the officials said that the meetings can be held on the same day with the opposition, since "Kılıçdaroğlu's remarks can be responded to on the same day."
Marmara province Yalova's town council elected a councilor from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to replace the elected mayor from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Mayor Vefa Salman was dismissed from his post within the scope of a corruption lawsuit he initiated after he reported an accountant employee's embezzlement of over one million Turkish Lira.
The Turkish Parliament has received 55 new summaries of proceedings against 28 opposition lawmakers from the CHP, HDP and DBP. If the Parliament votes to strip the deputies of their immunity from prosecution, they will be tried by Turkish courts.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) seeks to strip main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Engin Özkoç after branding his criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as insults. An investigation was launched into the lawmaker, which was followed by the submission of a motion to lift his parliamentary immunity.
A fistfight erupted between the ruling AKP and main opposition CHP deputies in the parliament on March 4 during a speech by CHP MP Engin Özkoç who earlier called President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “dishonorable, ignoble and traitor.” Özkoç had slammed Erdoğan during a pres conference for previously referring to a killed Turkish soldier as a "head" ("kelle" in Turkish).