Several members of the Saturday Mothers were detained on July 25 for wanting to mark the 800th week of their vigil at Istanbul's Galatasaray Square. During the gathering, police battered Hanife Yıldız, who last saw her only son, Murat, in 1995 -- when he was 19 and she handed him to Turkish police for questioning.
Istanbulites let go of COVID-19 precautions on the weekend as temperatures rose. Locals filled up the Caddebostan Beach and were seen without masks.
Mois Gabay writes: The Beyoğlu brands of our childhood no longer stand at their former venues. But just as the late Vitali Hakko once said, we ought to focus on whatever has remained from them, learn about them so that today’s Beyoğlu becomes meaningful for us.
Business in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet suffers post-COVID-19 while seaside neighborhood thrives
Business owners in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet district have been suffering from dramatically decreased business since re-opening on June 1 after months of COVID-19 closures. Meanwhile, a seaside neighborhood on the Anatolian side of Istanbul has returned to pre-isolation crowds.
Though some of the correspondences are superficial, the coincidence of the protests in the U.S. erupting just as people here are commemorating Gezi has lead to some soul searching about the similarities and differences in state violence and racism in both countries.
Yiğit O. Özdemir writes: Today, what we know of as Istanbul's Istiklal Avenue was originally called Grande Rue de Pera. It is where decisions are made, especially when it comes to how and with which tools will “urban plunder” be managed. Mechanisms of consent and resistance are formed here. The victories and defeats of campaigns about urban space happen here.
Turkish Health Minister warns on first day of reopening: Being too close will bring an early separation
Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca criticized consumers for flocking to shopping malls on the first day they would open after nearly two months of COVID-19 closures. While pointing to the lack of social distancing in a photograph that showed a queue outside one shopping mall Koca warned that "being too close will bring an early separation".
Surgical masks will now be mandatory on Istanbul's central Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue that leads to it, and a three-meters distance will be required between pedestrians. The district governor's office also said that the violation of both measures will be penalized by monetary fines.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has criticized citizens for flocking to Istanbul's İstiklal Avenue with complete disregard to social distancing amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "All pictures from daily life need to support the daily coronavirus chart," he said, referring to the ministry's daily chart that includes the number of new coronavirus cases and the death toll.
Last Friday, I went out alone to explore the usually-lively districts of Şişli, Beşiktaş, Kadıköy and Beyoğlu. It was a surreal and startling journey. While the three hours or so I spent outside were spooky and unsettling, it was comforting to know that the city is taking coronavirus seriously.
Istanbul turning into a ghost town as Turks resort to social distancing due to rise of coronavirus cases
As the number of coronavirus cases in Turkey continues to rise daily, it is nearly impossible to see people on some of Istanbul's most crowded streets. Every time someone coughs or sneezes they are looked upon with anger, and shops are closing their doors one by one. Duvar correspondents Filiz Gazi and Hacı Bişkin report.