A pro-Taliban group has recorded a video at Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, days after the site was converted into a mosque by the Turkish government. The footage showed the group chanting Islamic slogans while holding the flag used by the Taliban.
CHP member and former presidential candidate Muharrem İnce is reportedly planning to found a new political party. "Our party will have individuals who are experts in their fields and their presence will excite everyone," İnce reportedly said.
A pro-government women's rights organization has voiced support to the Istanbul Convention, which aims to combat violence against women and from which the Turkish government seeks to withdraw. In its statement, KADEM responded to widely-known false facts about the convention, especially on it including "LGBT propaganda," saying that it doesn't promote homosexuality.
A brawl has erupted in parliament after Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Hüseyin Kaçmaz deemed the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) an "enemy of Kurds," citing the Turkish army's airstrikes in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Turkey's parliament passed a law regulating social media on July 29, that critics said will increase censorship and help authorities silence dissent. The law requires foreign social media sites that have more than 1 million daily visitors in Turkey to appoint Turkish-based representatives to address authorities' concerns over content and includes deadlines for removal of material they take exception to.
Turkey could pause energy-exploration operations in the Eastern Mediterranean for a while pending talks with Greece, Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said on July 28. Saying that there is a basis for dialogue between Ankara and Athens, Kalın noted, "We're ready to discuss all bilateral issues with Greece without pre-conditions upon the orders of our president."
Turkey and the United States are in a fresh row over Washington's call to release businessman, philanthropist and human rights activist Osman Kavala. Turkey's Foreign Ministry said the U.S. statement did not respect the principles of a state based on the rule of law. "No state or person can give orders to Turkish courts regarding judicial processes," it said.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has reelected Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as its leader for the seventh time during the party's congress on July 25. Aytuğ Atıcı, İlhan Cihaner and Tolga Yarman had announced their candidacy for party leadership, but failed to secure enough signatures to run for the post.
Thousands of people have called on Diyanet head Ali Erbaş to resign after his remarks that "damned" the country's founding father, Atatürk. Erbaş, whose Islamist statements often draw ire, on July 24 caused outrage for giving a sermon at Hagia Sophia that included apparent damning of Atatürk.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has recited Quran in Hagia Sophia, marking its opening as a mosque on July 24. An imam began the formal prayer service at 1.45 pm, after Erdoğan read out a Quranic recitation and the call to prayer rang out from the mosque's minarets.
A total of 101 intellectuals from different social and political backgrounds in Turkey have urged the country's opposition to unite in a joint statement. "The people who are in despair and undecided are seeking an alternative that they can trust. Absolute threats can only be gotten rid of by absolute objection. The solution is for all the opposition forces to unite in a democracy alliance," they said.
The Ankara Fourth Administrative Court has ruled for a stay of execution in the case into the blacking out of news broadcaster TELE 1 for five days, İlhan Taşçı, a RTÜK member from the main opposition CHP, said. The ruling was issued unanimously, he also said.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been seeking ways to amend the Istanbul Convention via sending a letter of intention that includes its objections. Women's rights groups continue to slam the debate on the convention and requested a meeting with President Erdoğan and AKP lawmakers.
A group of artists including actresses Müjde Ar and Meltem Cumbul, actors Rutkay Aziz and Levent Üzümcü, poet Ataol Behramoğlu, singer Edip Akbayram, in Turkey has released a joint statement to say that they're not afraid. While criticizing the government's actions on a number of issues, the artists also called on the opposition "to be more determined and brave."
Environmentalists are concerned that the expansion of a stone quarry in the Bergama district of the western province of İzmir will cause major destruction to the area’s lush Kozak highlands. “I'm calling upon [the quarry owner] to give the people the rights to breathe their air and drink their water. The Kozak highlands are slipping out of our hands,” said Bergama Environmental Platform spokesman Erol Engel.