Court rules to hold trial into Gülenists’ summoning of Turkish intel chief to testify behind closed doors
Istanbul 23rd Heavy Penal Court on June 22 imposed a publication ban on the trial into the summoning of Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) chief Hakan Fidan to testify by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen on Feb. 7, 2012. The testimonies in the case were expected to reveal significant information regarding Turkey's recent history.
A Turkish court has blocked access to forum pages on First Lady Emine Erdoğan's Hermes handbag that created controversy in the country due to its high price. Another topic that the court blocked was on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son Bilal Erdoğan being confused during a telephone call that was leaked in 2013.
Turkish people tipped off prosecutors once in every three minutes last year, according to a report prepared by CHP deputy Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi, showing the extent that tipping off people have become in the country. According to the report, the increase in the numbers began when the country switched to an executive presidential system on July 9, 2018, replacing a 95-year-old parliamentary system.
Bar association heads have launched a sit-in after police prevented them from entering the capital Ankara to end their Defense March. According to Mehmet Baran Selanik from İzmir Bar, a police officer punched Antep Bar head Bektaş Şarklı. Police also tried to detain Ordu Bar head Haluk Murat Poyraz, but lawyers prevented police from doing so.
At least five people were killed in floods caused by heavy rains in the northwestern province of Bursa, officials said on June 22. The floods occurred in Kestel district, which has paralyzed life in the rural neighborhoods of Dudaklı, Narlıdere, Aksu and Kayacık.
Bar associations have begun marching to the capital Ankara to protest the government's increasing pressure on them. The move came after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) intensified its efforts to amend the law on changing bar associations' election systems in what critics say an effort to increase the number of pro-government figures in bars.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has once again targeted a journalist over a report revealing nepotism in the municipality in the Black Sea province of Trabzon that's run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Soylu, who on May 18 targeted journalist Müyesser Yıldız - who was arrested a short while later - on Twitter, praised the couple in the story, while slamming journalist Saygı Öztürk.
Kurdish issue-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has said that its Democracy March is a call to all powers seeking freedom. "This great will and belief will definitely reach its aim. We saw this great power everywhere," HDK co-spokesperson Sedat Şenoğlu said upon the march's arrival at the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
Former national security adviser John Bolton has claimed that U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to intervene in a federal investigation into Halkbank upon President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's request. Trump agreed to "take care of things" and said the prosecutors from the Southern District of New York were "Obama people, a problem that would be fixed when they were replaced by his people."
The Swedish telecommunications company Telia has announced that it is engaging in negotiations to sell its 47 percent stake in Turkey's major mobile operator Turkcell to the Turkey Wealth Fund (TVF). The stake is planned to be sold for $530 million. Turkcell Holding is owned by Telia and two other companies, and the holding controls 51 percent of Turkcell's shares.
A high-ranking Turkish delegation visited Tripoli on June 17, with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu as the head, accompanied by Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, Chief of Intelligence Hakan Fidan. Upon the Turkish delegation's arrival back in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu said that they discussed a lasting ceasefire and political solution in Libya, as well as energy cooperation, during their visit.
An explosion has hit the Turkey-Russia joint patrol in Syria's Idlib and no injuries were reported, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on June 16. . As a result of the explosion on the route of the convoy, one Russian armored personnel carrier has received minor damage," TASS cited the spokesman as saying.
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Pervin Buldan has deemed stripping deputies of their parliamentary statuses and sacking mayors from the HDP "a political coup." "This country has been struggling against coups for many years. Millions have stood against the coups. However, what the AKP does is a political coup. It's seizing people's wills," Buldan said.
Turkish officials have been offering conflicting statements on coronavirus deaths in prisons. There are indeed inmates who have died in jail after contracting the novel coronavirus, according to lawyer Şule Recepoğlu from the Human Rights Association prison commission.
Turkey is blocking the implementation of new defense plans for eastern Europe in NATO over the status of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), German Press Agency reported on June 15. Turkey wants the YPG and the PYD to be designated as terrorist organizations in exchange for its support.