Turkish President Erdoğan has ordered the country’s education watchdog YÖK to shut down the universities' distance education programs for psychology studies. The move came after Istanbul University’s plan to launch such a program received widespread criticism among psychologists.
A group of Greek Orthodox Istanbulites who live abroad slammed a video by the Presidential Communications Directorate that depicted minorities in Turkey living in comfort. The minority noted that the government hadn't taken any steps to permit their return to their ancestral hometown of Istanbul, where they were forced to leave because of political turmoil.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has visited Istanbul's Hagia Sophia ahead of its opening as a mosque on July 24. Erdoğan was accompanied by Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) head Ali Erbaş.
Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun has said that the conversion of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia into a mosque is the continuation of our revival during the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt. "This longing ended with the will of our president. The decision is the continuation of our July 15 revival," Altun told daily Hürriyet.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has prepared a video to mark the fourth anniversary of the thwarting of the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt. In the video, a student in a Western university describes how Turkish people poured to the streets to stop the coup bid.
LGBTI people are still become the victims of honor killings in Turkey. Now that a narrative of hatred against LGBTI people is gaining traction in Turkish politics, harder days await members of the community.
Turkey defended a homophobic tweet by the head of the Turkish Red Crescent, describing him as a victim of "LGBT propaganda." Fahrettin Altun, Turkish presidency's communications director, said on Twitter that "LGBT propaganda poses a grave threat to freedom of speech," adding that the IFRC "became complicit in that attack by targeting" Kerem Kınık.
Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said that a book by former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton had "misleading" and "manipulative presentations" of the conversations between President Erdoğan and U.S. President Trump. "It is clear that the goal of this mischaracterizations and falsehoods are driven by domestic political considerations as well as personal gain," Altun said.
Turkish daily Evrensel was issued a 45-day ban on all advertisements as a result of a May 5 column titled "No escape from ill fate." The opinion piece is also the topic of a criminal investigation launched by the presidency on the charges of "targeting the constitutional order through messaging about a coup d'état."
Turkey accuses Twitter of protecting ‘terrorists’ after company removes gov’t-linked propaganda accounts
Turkey has accused Twitter of trying to protect "terrorists" and "redesign Turkish politics" after the company took down accounts linked to the AKP for pushing propaganda, spreading misinformation and attacking critics of the government. "We would like to remind this company of the eventual fate of a number of organizations, which attempted to take similar steps in the past," Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said.
Turkey's Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun has claimed that the left-wing Antifa movement is "cooperating" with the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia. Altun's comment came after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he would declare the Antifa movement a terrorist organization over its role at protests and riots in the country.
The presidential communications director of Turkey, which is the country that ranks near bottom of various press freedom indexes and is the world's biggest jailer of journalists, condemned the wounding of TRT World journalists by police in the United States and urged press freedom. "Press freedom is the backbone of democracy," Fahrettin Altun tweeted late on June 1. "I will raise this issue with the relevant U.S. officials without delay," he also said.
Justice Ministry receives proposals seeking to lift immunity of CHP MPs over row with Erdoğan’s aide
Ankara prosecutors have submitted to the Justice Ministry summary of proceedings seeking to have legislative immunity lifted for two main opposition CHP lawmakers for their remarks criticizing Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun's controversial construction in Istanbul. If the CHP lawmakers' parliamentary immunity is lifted, then the legal proceedings will go through and the opposition lawmakers will face charges of “insulting a public officer.”
Turkish daily forced to publish 3 disclaimers over report on presidential aide’s controversial construction
Turkish daily Cumhuriyet was forced to publish three disclaimers over a report on Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun's controversial construction. It published three "reply and correction" disclaimers on its front page over its report that the Istanbul Municipality demolished a pergola and fireplace which were "illegally" constructed on a plot rented by Altun overlooking the Bosphorus in the Kuzguncuk district.
Turkey's Press Advertisment Agency (BİK) has imposed a 35-day ban on sending ads to the daily Cumhuriyet for reporting on an illegal construction facilitated by Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun on a patch of land that he rented in Istanbul. The Cumhuriyet article, which was used as the ground that the ban was justified, is currently inaccessible in Turkey without using a VPN.