İzmir
A landmark of the Aegean province, the Hilton Izmir will be closing on Oct. 16, the company said. A local paper reported that shareholders of the hotel, one of which is the Izmir Municipality, had been experiencing disagreements.
Main opposition İzmir Mayor Tunç Soyer on Aug. 30 led on his bike an open-top bus prepared for a Victory Day Parade. Soyer's move came after the governor's office barred him from touring the city on the bus and only allowed band members to ride it.
A fire that erupted on the side of a road to the beach devoured some 50 vehicles, stranding vacationers who had driven to İzmir's Ekmeksiz Beach on Aug. 24. Although the source remains unknown, the flames reportedly devoured some 10 hectares of land. "I don't know how we're going to get back. Our bags, money, cards. They all burned. I don't even have home keys. Everything burned," a beach-goer said.
İzmir Municipality halted a project to build escalators in a historic neighborhood after residents showed widespread protest. The project was designed for the historic neighborhood of Asansör where steep steps are the mode of transportation.
A white train car that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk used frequently was removed from its display in front of İzmir's train terminal. The car had been displayed there for 13 years, but the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) claimed that the artifact was badly affected by weather conditions.
Turkish authorities investigating the suspicious death of a 21-year-old woman in İzmir have arrested a man. Ceyda Yüksel's death has been reported to be caused due to cuts inflicted with broken glass. The man named Serkan Dindar, the only suspect in the case, claimed to not remember anything about the death of the young woman.
The ancient city of Kyme in the Aliağa district of İzmir faces the risk of destruction as changes in its protected status have enabled the encroachment of industrial port facilities. Experts have accused the İzmir No. 2 Conservation Board of failing to carry out their duties in neglecting to protect Kyme.
The administration of Izmir's Dokuz Eylül University has launched disciplinary investigations against healthcare workers who demonstrated in front of the university's hospital over its suspension of supplementary payments it owed to the workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Thousands of Turkish women on Aug. 5 held protests across the country to demand that the ruling AKP does not withdraw from the Istanbul Convention. During the protest in İzmir, police battered and detained several of the women. As some of the protesters resisted being detained, one of the police commanders was heard instructing his colleagues to “break their arms” should they defy the police.
Osman Özçalımlı, a Turkish soldier of Kurdish origin, was found dead while doing his compulsory military service in Turkey’s Aegean province of İzmir last week. In the face of authorities' contradictory statements, coupled with their son’s statement of having been threatened the day before, the family are now demanding to know what really happened.
Germany lifted a warning against travelling to four Turkish seaside provinces, Antalya, İzmir, Aydın and Muğla, as part of a deal to help revive tourism between the two countries, the foreign ministry in Berlin said on Aug. 4.
Turkish authorities on Aug. 3 ordered the closure of Çeşme's popular Momo Beach Club for 15 days as part of coronavirus measures after world-famous Ukrainian model Daria Kyryliuk said that she and her friends were attacked by the entertainment venue's security guards. Following Kyryliuk's statement, Turkish Culture Minister Nuri Ersoy had said that "no one will get away with this unacceptable hillbilly incident.”
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu was ranked the most successful mayor in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in a recent survey by private poller SONAR Research. Imamoğlu was followed by Izmir Mayor Tunç Soyer, also from main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the police intervention against a group of demonstrators who in 2015 called for a “secular and scientific education” amounted to a violation of their rights. The top court said that everyone has the right to hold unarmed and peaceful meetings and demonstration marches.
An association that aims to introduce the Aegean province of İzmir to Russian speakers recently launched its website. The Russian Speakers Friendship and Solidarity Association (RUSDER) website will provide information about local cultural events and archaeological sites in Russian, also bringing together the local Russian diaspora.
Editor's Picks
Ahmet Murat Aytaç writes: The recent inhumane attack against migrant workers that took place in the Mazıdağı district of Sakarya should be analyzed within the framework of economic oppression. No matter what triggered the assaults, the general tendency in Turkey right now is to deny the ethnic dimension of the conflict.
duvar englis podcasts
In this week's episode, Duvar English Editor-in-chief Cansu Çamlıbel hosts American political scientist Wendy Pearlman to talk about her latest book "We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria," which was recently published in Turkish. Pearlman spoke to hundreds of Syrian refugees, collecting human stories from one of recent history's biggest humanitarian crises.
Qu Dongyu writes: The food systems that must give daily sustenance to all humans on this planet are under threat by the COVID-19 pandemic. If we want to avoid what could be the worst food crisis in modern history, we need robust and strategic international cooperation at an extraordinary scale.
Politics
Turkey's Court of Cassation, the top appeals court, has found a male employee at fault for using the women's toilet at the store where he was working at. The court rejected the employee's demand for a compensation after he was fired from his job.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has determined that dozens of firms and restaurants in Turkey use fake ingredients in their products to cut down on costs. With the Turkish lira continuing to decline in value as the country experiences a serious economic downturn, some food producers and restaurants are cutting on costs and cutting corners, and deceiving their customers in the process.
Several Turkish citizens have sent petitions to the parliament, raising their concerns about the safety of 5G technology. The parliament's committee on petition has asked the issue to the Information Technologies and Communication Authority (BTK) and was told that Turkey was “working to produce the 5G infrastructure locally.”
Bursts of steam rising from Mount Nemrut have raised concern among locals, amid speculations that the dormant volcano can become active again if triggered by earthquakes. “There are many fault lines arund Mount Nemrut. If these fault lines are ruptured, theoretically a [volcanic] movement can occur in Mount Nemrut. This is always a possibility,” Prof. Dr. Aydın Büyük Saraç said.
Enis Berberoğlu's lawyer has called for the reinstatement of his client's deputy status after the Constitutional Court ruled that the former CHP lawmaker's rights were violated when he was dismissed from parliament earlier this year.
President Erdoğan has said that the government is preparing to introduce new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, since "people have not complied with the rules." The virus infections began increasing after Ankara loosened restrictions on public activity, starting in June. Critics have also accused the government of hypocrisy with regards to the measures, pointing out that social distancing measures were being overlooked in several occasions, such as the rallies of the AKP.
Islamic communities that are known to have close ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have recently speeded up efforts to establish their own foundations. On Sept. 17, two more such foundations have been established, one of which has close ties to the İsmailağa community, while the other has close ties to pro-government KİHMED.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 18 Turkey was saddened by news that Libya's internationally recognized Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj wants to quit next month. "A development like this, hearing such news, has been upsetting for us," Erdoğan told reporters in Istanbul, adding that Turkish delegations may hold talks with Sarraj's government in the coming week.
Various rights groups have said that human rights violations recorded in prisons have spiked during the COVID-19 outbreak. As a recent example of the rights violation, the groups said that authorities had confiscated several personal belongings of a group of inmates during their transfer to two newly opened Diyarbakır prisons.
The mother of a murder suspect was found dead with a single bullet to the back of her head on Sept. 17. Her son, a suspect in his girlfriend's death, her husband and the family's attorney blamed her death on TV host Müge Anlı because she had said the mother had "failed to raise a son."
A Turkish court has acquitted Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş of the charges of “misconduct” with regards to the collection of a $600,000 cheque in a legal dispute that began in 2009, when Yavaş was a practicing lawyer. The businessman named Necmettin Keskin was convicted of making false allegations against Yavaş.
Anyone who voluntarily violates COVID-19 isolation despite being infected is committing manslaughter, Diyarbakır Governor Münir Karaloğlu said. The governor's office made criminal complaints about anyone they found to be in violation.
Turkey's Social Security Institution (SGK) is demanding court rulings to pay for some patients' cancer treatment, going against precedent from the Constitutional Court. A main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy urged the SGK to adhere to include medication the court has ruled on in their default coverage.
DTK co-chair and former HDP deputy Leyla Güven was briefly detained on Sept. 17 in the southeastern province of Hakkari for attending an event a day earlier. She was taken to police headquarters after anti-terror police stopped her car and was referred to court after giving her testimony before being released.
Turkey's Environment and Urbanization Ministry will ban swimming in western Turkey's Lake Salda, often dubbed "Turkey's Maldives" for its white beaches. The lake has been the site of a controversial construction for a "people's garden" by the state.
Turkish Presidential Communications Directorate has set up a new department to tackle "misperception operations" against Turkey. Countering "psychological campaigns, propaganda and misperception operations against Turkey" after determining them were listed among the department's duties.
A man who was detained by Turkish police in the eastern province of Van was hospitalized and suffers from memory loss due to police torture, while another one remains in critical condition. According to hospital records, one of those detained was brought to the hospital for "falling from a high place," adding to the allegations that the two men were thrown from a helicopter.
The Istanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court has ruled that Can Dündar’s assets will be seized if the renowned journalist does not attend a trial against him within 15 days. Dündar fled to Germany after being convicted in 2016 on charges of revealing state secrets in a story about arms shipments to Syria.
A foresters' association slammed official data about Turkey's forest fires in 2020, noting that the Forestry General Directorate (OGM) had been known to underreport burned forestland in previous years. The OGM reported some 2,279 forest fires in the country this year.
Adverts offering COVID-19 testing that yields results in three hours have been circulating Turkish capital Ankara as the city observed a spike in daily diagnoses and deaths. Meanwhile, legitimate laboratories say that no such test exists.
Economy
Turkey's state-owned Halkbank has urged a judge to dismiss a U.S. indictment accusing the bank of helping Iran evade American sanctions. At a hearing in Manhattan federal court on Sept. 18, a lawyer for Halkbank said its status as a Turkish “instrumentality” shielded it from prosecution because of sovereign immunity.
Turkey's unemployment rate rose to 13.4 percent. and participation edged up in the May-July period in which a coronavirus lockdown was lifted and a ban on layoffs remained in place, data showed on Sept. 10, painting a clearer picture of the pandemic's fallout.
Turkish Airlines (THY) observed a drop of almost 65 percent in the number of August travelers compared to the year before. Domestic flights saw a smaller drop of 47.1 percent, while international flights shrank by 75.4 percent, THY said.
Urban Beat
The 48th Istanbul Music Festival will be held online, streaming pre-recorded performances in historical venues. Starting on Sept. 18, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) will make available the performances that honor composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
Ali Demir writes: So the property of the local non-Muslims collapsed, and what happened? Nothing! The whole country is now composed of non-local foreigners. The greedy tailor apprentice that murdered his master could not sew a jacket, and will never be able to.
The tomb and gold jewels of a woman dubbed the "Carian Princess" can now be seen in the Aegean province of Muğla's Bodrum Castle. Recovered in 1989, the body is thought to belong to a woman in her 40s.
Turkey's news agenda has focused on "renovations" that resulted in dramatic results, often adding incoherent elements. Most recently, footage of "renovation" in Istanbul's Galata Tower had shown workers drilling into original walls.