Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry will be turning the iconic Galata Tower into a museum. The ministry will also launch a "culture route" that spans from the tower, along Istiklal Avenue and to Taksim Square. Minister Ersoy also said that the construction of the AKM would be completed within a month, ongoing since February 2019.
Three HDP deputies have slammed police over lining 13 people facing a wall for violating the curfew imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. "This is governing without a constitution and law. This is the ordinary fascism of the Presidential Palace's state, in which the people's wills are crushed daily," lawmaker Serpil Kemalbay said, while another deputy, Murat Sarısaç asked, "Are you apprehending prisoners of war?"
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.
The Republic Monument in Istanbul's central Taksim Square was vandalized when a suspect spray-painted their initials on it in bright red early April 27. The suspect was detained by police in a few hours and it was revealed that the person was intellectually disabled.
DİSK chair Arzu Çerkezoğlu said that Workers' Day will be celebrated on social media amid the coronavirus pandemic and a symbolic commemoration ceremony will be held in Taksim's Kazancı Hill to remember the victims of the 1977 attack. "For the first time in history, working class in the world won't be able to meet in the cities' most central squares in masses. However, despite these circumstances, world laborers will unite with the demands of jobs and income that fits human dignity, as well as social security," she said.
Istanbul's legendary Atlas and Rexx cinemas have been shut down amid financial difficulties. They were both popular meeting points of Istanbulites and one of the few movie theaters that were not parts of big chains.
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.
The Istanbul municipality is holding a design competition to reshape the city's iconic Taksim Square. The square at central Istanbul has lost its historic fabric after being turned into a concrete-covered place in recent years.
A contemporary amphitheater installed by Istanbul Municipality on the city's central Taksim Square is being taken down following a swift ruling by the regional conservation board. The Istanbul Second District Cultural Heritage Conservation Board ruled within two days of the installation of the structure that it be taken down, while it had allowed the Presidency's Communications Directorate to leave a tent up on the square for months.
Turkey's Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) will investigate three judges who acquitted Osman Kavala. The move comes a day after the Istanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court acquitted Kavala and eight others in the case into the Gezi Park protests. Also on Feb. 19, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the court "attempted" to acquit Kavala "with a maneuver."
Turkey is still divided by the Gezi protests. Some see the protests as a struggle for freedom that had never happened before in Turkey and remember it with pride, while others detest the memory of the protests. For Erdoğan’s 50 percent, when the state tells you not to do something, you ought not to do it.
An Istanbul court has ruled for the imprisonment of Osman Kavala once again, just hours after another one acquitted him in the 2013 Gezi Park case. Kavala's continued arrest stems from a separate case pertaining to his supposed involvement in the failed 2016 coup attempt.
Just two days after the installation of an exhibit in the central Taksim Square, a regional conservation board has ruled that the temporary “Meeting Point” structure erected by the main opposition Istanbul Municipality must be removed. The same cultural conservation board has ruled in favor of the construction of a mosque on the square, the demolition of the Atatürk Cultural Center, which is a cultural heritage site, and the opening up of parts of the central neighborhood to construction.