Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has said that Turkey is waging a struggle for political and economic independence, as he commented on the economic situation of the country amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. According to the minister, Turkey is one of the countries that were the least affected by the pandemic in terms of employment and growth.
Turkish opposition parties have said that they would be willing to hold early elections, as they commented on the months-long rumors on snap polls that intensified following MHP leader Bahçeli's "urgent" call to amend political parties law for the continuation of the presidential system, although the main motive is to complicate new parties' efforts of running in elections. They also expect elections to be held in 2021.
Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu has claimed that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the Pelican group, which is said to be consisting of staunch supporters of Erdoğan who are influential in the pro-government media, in their residence. "The coup that was done against me in the party was carried out by Pelican. I saw that there were acts that were carried out upon orders behind it. Mr. President visited them in their residence," Davutoğlu said.
United Nations investigators have revealed a short-lived secret mission in Libya that aimed to prevent shipments of Turkish-supplied weapons from reaching the government in Tripoli by sea. According to the U.N., the plan was to create a marine strike force using speedboats and attack helicopters that would board and search merchant ships.
Turkish Health Ministry will reportedly use loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to construct a pandemic hospital in Istanbul. The ministry borrowed 200 million euros for the hospital, which is being constructed on the now-defunct Atatürk Airport by Rönesans Holding, daily Sözcü columnist Çiğdem Toker reported on May 27.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reportedly ordered officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to go out on the streets to listen to people's complaints. "You have to be the most careful ones on wearing masks and abiding by social distancing. You'll describe the normalization process to them and listen to their demands," Erdoğan reportedly told the party members.
Incidents of police brutality have been on the rise across Turkey during the curfews imposed against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with new footage showing police officers hitting or mistreating citizens surfacing on social media nearly everyday. However, the Interior Ministry released a statement on the increase, criticizing media outlets for reporting the incidents as "police brutality," adding that the aim of these videos is to harm the police force.
A municipal council member from the AKP has shot the car of a councilor from the CHP in the Kargı district of the northern province of Çorum. "I barely survived," Sonay Ergül said, adding that he managed to escape from the scene of the armed attack, but was caught again to be thrown rocks at.
DEVA leader Ali Babacan has claimed that AKP officials are in a race for gaining personal financial benefits. "The AKP is destroying what it built with its own hands. The reputation and the economy of the country is in ruins. The number of competent people have decreased in the ruling party. Decisions are being adopted without consultations and inside a family," he said.
Ahmet Altan ‘awaits coronavirus in jail’ as Turkish authorities keep political prisoners behind bars
Prominent novelist Ahmet Altan has penned a letter from Silivri Prison, saying that he awaits coronavirus (COVID-19) in his prison cell, as Turkish authorities continue to keep political prisoners behind bars. "I’m writing this as I await in a prison cell the fierce attack of a virus that kills people my age. I am not optimistic for myself, but for the humanity of which I am a part," the 70-year-old novelist said in his letter.
The ruling AKP has rejected the MHP's proposal to change the election law in an attempt to block parliamentary deputies' transfer to other parties. MHP leader Bahçeli last week suggested undertaking various measures that would make it harder for deputies to join newly formed opposition parties which pose an electoral threat to the AKP-MHP bloc.
The CHP is set to apply to the Constitutional Court to annul the "unconstitutional" articles of a recent prisoner release law. In its application, the CHP said that the bill created discrimination between the convicts and inmates, as well between the convicts themselves, adding that it's against a number of articles in the constitution, mainly on equality.
Turkish police have detained a number of Kurdish politicians in early morning raids as part of an ongoing investigation carried out in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on May 22. Those detained include politicians from the Rosa Women's Association, Free Women's Movement (TJA), the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and the Democratic Regions Party (DBP).
Turkey's presidential system blocks a possible solution to the years-long Kurdish issue, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Mithat Sancar said, adding that opposition parties need to bring democracy forward. "This system blocks a solution. The government makes bringing the discussions on the most basic subjects regarding the Kurdish issue to agenda impossible," Sancar said.
Felicity Party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu has accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of planning to rig the next elections. "I'm saying that they will rig the elections. Understand it as you please. They'll intervene in the number of votes, because they did so in the past. They killed people near ballot boxes," he said, referring to the killing of two Felicity Party members during March 31, 2019 local elections.