President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Turkey’s media watchdog head backtracks on earlier remarks, says death threats on TV are ‘unacceptable’
RTÜK head Ebubekir Şahin has backtracked from his earlier remarks on the unnecessity of fining a pro-government channel over an Islamist commentator's remarks on her family's “capability” to kill at least 50 people if a new coup attempt is undertaken in Turkey, saying that the remarks are "unacceptable." No one should doubt that the RTÜK will do what's necessary in line with its founding objectives," Şahin said on May 18 following backlash.
Chief of Staff of the Turkish Navy Rear Admiral Cihat Yaycı, who is known with his stance against the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, resigned on May 18, two days after he was demoted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Yaycı is also known as the architect of the maritime deal signed between Ankara and Tripoli.
Eren Yıldırım, the CHP's Yüreğir district youth branch head, was arrested over allegedly attacking a group of aid workers of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). "Yıldırım was arrested upon orders from the government. I condemn the judiciary for issuing rulings upon orders," CHP deputy leader Onursal Adıgüzel said.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that the government will change in the next elections since people will hand power to those advocating democracy. "The people are seeing that our beautiful country is not being governed properly and that we're heading downhill like a truck with no brakes. They also know that the only way to get rid of this course depends on their choice in the next elections," he said.
MHP steps in to reinforce parliamentary wall against new parties to cover AKP’s concerns on losing deputies
The MHP has stepped in to complicate the efforts of the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) and Future Party, both founded by former high-level AKP officials, to form parliamentary groups necessary for them to run in elections, in a bid to cover AKP's concerns on losing deputies. MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli called for making changes in the election law and parliamentary bylaws even though the two new parties would barely get deputies from the MHP.
Six members of Congress, including Ilhan Omar, penned a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging the government to engage with Ankara to secure the release of political prisoners in Turkey, requesting that the U.S. government discuss the equitable application of release policies, particularly in the context of U.S. financial or other material assistance to Turkey.
Turkey's media watchdog RTÜK head Ebubekir Şahin has refused to fine the pro-government Ülke TV channel over Islamist commentator Sevda Noyan's remarks on her family's “capability” to kill at least 50 people if a new coup attempt is undertaken in Turkey. "If a penalty will be given, it should not be one that makes coup lovers and praisers happy," Şahin said. "We're not in a position to sentence the statements made against those who praise a coup," he added.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has appealed to foreign allies in an urgent search for funding, three senior Turkish officials told Reuters. Treasury and Central Bank officials have held bilateral talks in recent days with counterparts from Japan and the United Kingdom on setting up currency swap lines, and with Qatar and China on expanding existing facilities
Education authority warns teachers for refusing to distribute COVID-19 aid bags with Erdoğan’s signature
The İzmit District Directorate of National Education has sent a warning to the teachers for refusing to distribute coronavirus (COVID-19) aid packages with President Erdoğan's signature, saying that necessary administrative action will be taken. The warning was slammed by the Education and Science Workers' Union.
Turkish leftist daily Evrensel's chief editor Fatih Polat was called to testify over a column penned by Ragıp Zarakolu in which he criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan via comparing him to former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, who was executed by hanging. "I and our news editor Görkem Kınacı were called to testify over Ragıp Zarakolu's column, which didn't have a single sentence that supports a coup," Polat said on Twitter.
A total of 50 bars have released a statement to protest President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's planned shift in the bars' internal election system, saying that the proposed changes are "antidemocratic." "Preparing a draft bill via excluding the lawyers and bars is not just, rightful and appropriate, when they should be the ones consulted on the issue," the statement released on May 10 read.
A politician who served among the AKP ranks for long years said that the AKP may go to snap polls to prevent further loss of votes, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is aware of the decrease in the level of support. The debate on early elections has been ongoing for months in the country, with the regular parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled to be held in 2023.
Istanbul municipality committee warns early ‘normalization’ could lead to a sudden surge in infections
The Istanbul Municipality's Science Committee warned against early relaxing of COVID-19 precautions as the country begins normalization. The municipality criticized the reopening of shopping malls, hair salons and barber shops, and the start of the national soccer league.
Second probe launched into former AKP MP over trying to prevent release of Iranian drug lord’s enemy
Former AKP deputy Burhan Kuzu faces fresh allegations of pressuring the judiciary, as an investigation was launched into him for trying to prevent the enemy of an Iranian drug lord, for whom Kuzu is already accused of pressuring the judges, from being released. The new probe was launched following the testimony of Orhan Ünğan, Naji Sharifi Zindashti's enemy.
Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş from the main opposition CHP is more successful in managing the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis than President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to a poll carried out by Metropoll which aimed to reveal people's perceptions on governance during the pandemic. Yavaş ranked third in the list, surpassing Erdoğan, who came in fourth.