AKP Group Deputy Chair Özlem Zengin has said that "women had no name" before the AKP came to power, prompting surprise among the opposition. "Women had no name in this country until the AKP came to power. Women built the AKP and that's why we, as the women and men in the party and our President, try to make life easier for women with the works that we carry out," Zengin said in parliament.
Turkey's right-wing political party leaders Ali Babacan, Meral Akşener and Ahmet Davutoğlu have commemorated communist poet Nazım Hikmet on the 57th anniversary of his death. Hikmet is usually commemorated by leftists in Turkey and the commemoration tweets of right-wing leaders prompted surprise.
Ten new political parties were founded in Turkey in the past five months, increasing the total number to 91. Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), which was founded by former deputy prime minister Ali Babacan, is among the said parties. Former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu founded his Future Party earlier than the said time period, in late 2019.
AKP officials believe that DEVA leader Ali Babacan aims to make former president Abdullah Gül a presidential candidate. An AKP official also claimed that the new parties will form a right-wing alliance with İYİ (Good) Party and the Felicity Party to ensure that there's a second round, which would be the third alliance in the Turkish political scene.
Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) held an online meeting with main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), recently-founded offshoots of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Islamist Felicity Party (Saadet). Meeting in the context of Eid al-Fitr greetings, the deputies noted that the Turkish opposition must unite to establish a political environment with less polarization and more freedoms.
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.
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has warned against resuming medical tourism, saying that the move would result in a health disaster amid the ongoing pandemic. "We still don't know the consequences of reopening shopping malls and think that bringing patients from abroad on such an early date like May 20 into the hospitals here will be harmful to the health of society,” TTB chairman Sinan Adıyaman told Duvar.
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.
İYİ Party spokesperson Yavuz Ağıralioğlu said that his party didn't consult the HDP in the past, as he called on Sırrı Süreyya Önder to prove his claims. "We don't have anyone who can meet with the group that fails to acknowledge that the PKK are murderers. We didn't have any direct or indirect contact with the HDP. If someone from our party met with the HDP, Önder should name him," Ağıralioğlu said.
Friends of renowned businessman, philanthropist and human rights activist Osman Kavala has penned a letter to him. "We wanted to write to you from wherever we all are, on the street under the magical light of the full moon, near the sea, on the seaside, on the mountains on this May night, as a response to your April 19 letter. 'Despite all the pains, injustices and everything, thank you life, thank you Osman!'" they said.
İYİ Party deputy Aytun Çıray has asked Health Minister Fahrettin Koca to explain the reasons for why an unusual increase in the number of deaths took place in Istanbul this year compared to last year. "In 2019, the number of people who died in Istanbul between March 11 and April 15 is 7,710. The number is 10,317 in the same time period in 2020. It can be clearly seen that it's not an ordinary increase," he said.
Main opposition slams gov’t for sending coronavirus aid abroad ‘when Turkish people can’t get masks’
CHP spokesperson Faik Öztrak has slammed the government over sending coronavirus aid to a number of countries when Turkish people can't get masks. "They couldn't distribute five masks to people in the past month, but they sent planes full of masks to Britain, Spain and Italy to show off," Öztrak said, referring to the government's decision to distribute five masks free of charge to each citizen once in every 10 days.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has penned a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations with Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet's words, calling for the UN to declare March 11, which is the date that the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, as the "World Struggle and Solidarity Day Against Pandemic."
Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu has said that the heads of all the AKP provincial organizations wanted to resign when he quit his role as prime minister in 2016. "This is the first time I'm saying this. All the provincial groups said, 'Allow us to hand our resignations as well.' Selim Temurci, then AKP Istanbul provincial head, said, 'We approved your party leadership nine months ago. All the provincial heads will resign. We stand with you,'" he said.
Singer Şükriye Tutkun and art director Yudum Yontan, two neighbors of Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun and his wife Fatmanur Altun, has come to their defense over reports of his illegal construction in Istanbul's Kuzguncuk neighborhood. They said that the land that the construction was made was a dump where drug addicts were dwelling in, hence finding the construction a positive move for the neighborhood.