President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
President Erdoğan has said that the southeastern border province of Şırnak has the same advantages as the other 80 provinces. "What exists in Turkey's 80 other provinces in the name of democracy, rights and freedoms exists here. We serve on the basis of democracy and development for everyone. We have been doing in Şırnak whatever we have been doing for Turkey's development since we came to power," Erdoğan said.
Ankara-backed presidential candidate Ersin Tatar won the elections in Turkish Cyprus. In his victory speech, Tatar thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with whom he has strong relations. They will never tear the ties between us and Turkey," he said. "Yes, we are open to an agreement with Cyprus but the Turkish Cypriot people will accept the terms of this agreement with a free will," he added.
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.
Jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, who considers himself a political hostage of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has voiced his support for a democratic block to be established in opposition to the government. “I'm not a prisoner, I'm a political hostage. I clearly know that Erdoğan fears me, that is why he keeps me here," Demirtaş said.
From President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s passion for large roads to the sprightly octogenarians’ desire to “enlarge the balcony just a bit,” the Turks just love construction – even at the risk of bending local laws.
The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for antagonizing Chairwoman Şebnem Korur Fincancı. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) frequently target activists and human rights associations that are critical of the government, employing threatening language and branding them as terrorists and traitors of the nation.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 14 targeted the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), saying that they have links to "terrorism." Erdoğan said the TTB and other professional associations "are clearly acting in a way that is against the constitution" and the matter has "reached an unbearable level."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 14 he will announce the total size of gas reserves found in the country's largest-ever discovery. "On Oct. 17 we will go to the Fatih drill ship and announce the new reserve amount," Erdoğan said in a speech to his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers in parliament.
Feyyaz Öztürk, a man claiming to be an intelligence operative, has told Austrian police that he was ordered to kill Aygül Berivan Aslan, a former Green Party lawmaker of Kurdish descent and a vocal critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has since been detained by Austrian prosecutors, who are now investigating him on suspicion of working for a foreign military intelligence service.
Turkey showed the world how to protect a leader during the COVID-19 pandemic, presidential aide Ibrahim Kalın said on Oct. 13. Noting that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had been isolated in the Huber Mantion in Istanbul for 70 days, the aide said that the staff in Ankara's presidential palace get tested everyday.
The public tender and the tax incentive blatantly given to Kalyon Construction last week is the product of a cartelization that has created its own oligarchs. Turkey’s regime is the product of this blend in which a particular class has effortlessly seized a significant portion of the nation’s reserves, its accumulation, and in fact, its wealth.
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has said that Armenia has cancer and its chemotherapy includes enmity against Turkey and the Turks. "Armenia was the side that violated the ceasefire as expected. Negotiating with the killer returned as bullets and bombs. Nagorno-Karabakh should not be taken on the table [through diplomacy], but should be taken via hitting Armenia in the head," he said.
The elections in Northern Cyprus have turned into a referendum whether to unite with Turkey or reject unification. The “Unification of Northern Cyprus with Turkey” is an impossible idea: it is just as utopic as the unilateral opening of Varosha or turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Such possibilities seem “impossible” one day, but they are reality the next.
A report prepared by the CHP has put forward the changes in the stances of President Erdoğan and his AKP on China's treatment of the Uyghurs. While Erdoğan referred to China's treatment of the Uyghurs in 2009 as a genocide, the trade between the two countries nowadays has made the government fear from economic consequences if it takes a firm stance on the East Turkestan issue.
Tolga Şirin writes: We are witnessing a downfall of the ECHR in Turkish public opinion. The problematic conduct of formal relations with Ankara is not the only reason for that. This also has to do with some recent controversial judgements. One example is the Court's March 2020 judgement on the Altıntaş Case which had symbolic importance for the left-wing opposition in Turkey as it had to do with famous 1968 generation leader Mahir Çayan. The Court's judgement contradicted both its ongoing case-law and the reality of Turkish political fora.
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Duvar English’s editor-in-chief Cansu Çamlıbel and pollster Can Selçuki discuss whether the recent crackdown on the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) portends a possible closure case against the party. They attempt to analyze who in the Turkish political landscape would benefit from antagonizing Kurdish voters; President Erdoğan or his alliance partner Mr. Bahçeli or both?
Politics
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.
A committee of main opposition CHP politicians said that the construction of a visitors' center on southeast Turkey's iconic Mount Nemrut was a betrayal to nature. The CHP committee noted that the site was pending assignment as a UNESCO geopark and that the construction was putting it in jeopardy.
The NATO has criticized a possible test by Turkey of its Russian-made S-400 missile launcher and stepped up calls on Ankara to opt for a different defense system. “Any test of the S-400 air defense system by Turkey, if confirmed, would be regrettable. It is important Turkey continues to work with other allies to find alternative solutions," it said in a statement.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu sent congratulatory messages to HDP co-chairs Mithat Sancar and Pervin Buldan on the party's eighth foundation anniversary. "I underline once again that we will never give up on building peace and fraternity," İmamoğlu said.
Five health workers have died of COVID-19 in just one day, the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) said on Oct. 18, as it criticized the government for not being able to manage the pandemic properly. The names of the health workers were revealed as Dr. Salih Kanlı, Dr. Turan Yıldırım, Ferhat Gencer, Harun Dönmez and Yasemin Çolak. The number of health workers who died of COVID-19 in the past eight days rose to 13.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has cancelled his planned visit to Turkey after Ankara said it was restarting operations of a survey ship that it withdrew last month. Maas said that Ankara's renewed push "severely damaged" the atmosphere of trust and said that Turkey can't have any interest in the long-term continuation of the conflicts that it's involved in.
Denizli Governor Ali Fuat Atik has prompted fury for ordering a restaurant to be closed because a waiter working there didn't recognize him. Following criticism on social media, Atik apologized, saying that he was saddened by his approach to the man. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu also commented on the incident, saying that he found it appropriate for the governor to apologize.
Some 2,500 academics worldwide, including famed international scholars Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, Silvia Federici, Etienne Balibar and Enzo Traverso, have signed a petition for Turkey to release Cihan Erdal, a PhD candidate and researcher at Carleton University in Canada and an LGBT activist, who was detained in Istanbul on Sept. 25.
A show owner in Denizli has told the governor of the province that he wants to die because of the worsening economy when asked why he was not wearing a mask. "I've had enough. I want to die. Look at the economy. I gained 15 liras on Tuesday and 100 liras on Wednesday. What use does it have even if that 100 liras is all profit?" the shop owner said.
In the government's latest attempt to criminalize the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), summary of proceedings have been prepared against 18 of its deputies, bringing charges against them for attending demonstrations and for making statements including the word "Kurdistan."
Osman Kavala remains behind bars as one of Turkey's most high-profile political prisoners, while President Erdoğan appointed the prosecutor who prepared Kavala's indictment to the post of Deputy Justice Minister. The appointment came within seven days of the indictment's preparation, and removed the prior appointee by presidential decree.
Hale Gönültaş reports: Turkey's financial crimes unit has determined that Afghan criminals engaged in drug smuggling and in the funding of terror operations are exploiting Afghan refugees in Turkey via bank transfers. As migrants are unable to transport large sums of money and often cannot open bank accounts in Turkey, they rely on moneychangers who transfer cash for a fee, and this is usually the only option.
A missile was fired into the sky on Oct. 16 on Turkey's Black Sea coast where the military was expected to test its Russian-made S-400 defense systems, according to local video obtained by Reuters. "If confirmed, we would condemn in the strongest terms the S-400 test missile launch as incompatible with Turkey’s responsibilities as a NATO  Ally and strategic partner of the United States," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.
Health Ministry failed to deliver an Oct. 15 data release that was designed to offset the repercussions of the revelation that Ankara's official COVID-19 numbers had been excluding asymptomatic patients. The ministry said that Fahrettin Koca's promise to release all data starting on Oct. 15 had been "misunderstood," and that they would only share certain numbers with the WHO.
Former President Abdullah Gül said that he was "appalled" by the attacks on Turkey's Constitutional Court, the most recent of which accused a member of threatening a military coup. The coup debate closely followed discussions on overhauling the Constitutional Court, which many members of the governing bloc in Ankara voiced support for.
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.
Economy
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.
Turkish exporters are struggling with shrinking markets as Morocco appears to have joined the countries that are effectively boycotting all products made in Turkey. Sources from the Moroccan Ministry of Trade indicate that measures have been put in place to prevent unfair competition from Turkish textile producers who are dominating the local market.
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.
CHP deputy Mustafa Adıgüzel has found a lost letter penned by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkey's founding father, to a U.S. child called Curtis La France. "My advice to the intelligent and hardworking children of the U.S. is to not perceive everything they hear about Turks as true and attach importance to basing their opinions on scientific and sound examinations. I wish you success and happiness," Atatürk said in the letter.
The 39th Istanbul Film Festival will offer viewings both online and in-person, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) noted. While tickets will become available on Oct. 2, showings will start a week later and last for 10 days.