CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has urged President Erdoğan to remove Defense Minister Hulusi Akar from duty if a coup is suspected to be underway, as he commented on recent coup speculations. "Who could do a coup? The army could. If a coup is in question, then he should replace Hulusi Akar with someone else and prevent a coup," he said.
Kars Mayor and former HDP spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen has said that the HDP has structural problems it needs to solve, as he commented on the resignation of Ahmet Şık from the party. "I think that he carried out productive works with both his identity as a journalist and a politician. I shared my sadness with our friends from the party and with himself," he said, adding that his personal choice is "to stay within the party to struggle and make a change."
A politician who served among the AKP ranks for long years said that the AKP may go to snap polls to prevent further loss of votes, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is aware of the decrease in the level of support. The debate on early elections has been ongoing for months in the country, with the regular parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled to be held in 2023.
According to an annual report on rights violations in the country prepared by the Human Rights Association (İHD), eight people were killed in unsolved murders in Turkey in 2019. "The last five years have become a period that the regime became increasingly authoritarian and the official ideology is being attempted to brought to life fully," the İHD said in the report released on May 5.
Businessman accused of illegal lobbying says he hired Flynn after failing to convince Turkish gov’t to do so
Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, who was accused of illegal lobbying, has said that he tried to convince the Turkish government to hire the Flynn Intel Group following the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, but stepped in himself after failing to do so. "I tried to convince the government and at some point I thought I convinced them, but it was a very busy time for them as well and it didn't push through soon enough. So that's when I stepped in and decided to do it myself and it was all very quick," he said.
A number of opposition parties told Duvar that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) can't risk holding early elections, since their support have decreased. According to a CHP official, Erdoğan wouldn't risk his possibility of serving eight more years starting from today.
MHP deputy Halil Öztürk has submitted a draft bill to parliament that suggests accessing social media with ID numbers. The draft bill added to the concerns in the country on censorship and the freedom of expression, with thousands of people being subjected to fines and jail sentences each year for criticizing the government on social media.
Gov’t plans to change bars’ election system amid rift over top religious official’s homophobic remarks
The ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) is planning to change the election system of bars amid a recent rift between the government and the bars over Diyanet head Ali Erbaş's homophobic remarks. One of the changes sought by the AKP is the election of bars' administration via proportional representation. The government also seeks to decrease the effectiveness of bars with a high number of lawyers, such as Ankara and Istanbul, in the Turkish Bar Associations elections.
Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan has deemed the expenses of municipalities run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) "trade secrets," upon a parliamentary question by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Alpay Antmen. Antmen, in return, said that he didn't ask about anybody's private trade relations. "It seems that there are financial relations that they want to cover up by calling them trade secrets," he added.
AKP mayor criticizes comparing opposition mayors to ‘terrorists,’ backpedals to avoid contradicting Erdoğan
Mayor Fatma Şahin has criticized likening CHP municipalities to "terrorist organizations," but backpedaled after learning that it was President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who did the comparison. "They are mayors elected with the votes of the people. Even if their methods are different, we can sit and talk, but I don't find such a comparison appropriate," Şahin said. Şahin then released a statement, saying that it's out of question for her to make statements that contradict the policies determined by Erdoğan.
A Mersin court has released all suspects involved in a smear campaign targeting Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu in a fake interview. The video in question concerns Istanbul Municipality's announcement last week that it would buy 100 tons of lemons from Mersin producers last week. The fake video shows a person, who claims to be a farmer, making the accusation that the Istanbul Municipality bought only from opposition-leaning stockists.
The influential businessman, philanthropist and civil society activist Osman Kavala has penned a letter from prison, where he is being kept for over 900 days, saying that he can't keep his optimism due to "the fact that the understanding that doesn't recognize universal legal norms as binding and that uses laws arbitrarily via stripping them of their legal basis has gained legitimacy in the judiciary."
Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu has criticized the ruling AKP over "being degenerate." "Turkey has degenerated in politics and shifted from its axis. What brought the AKP to power in 2002 was political degeneration. There is degeneration today as well," Davutoğlu said. Turning to the issue of the government's policies during the coronavirus pandemic, Davutoğlu said that it made grave mistakes.
Presidential spokesperson says it’s not possible to state when coronavirus measures will be lifted in Turkey
President Erdoğan's spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said that it's not possible to state when the measures imposed against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will be lifted. Kalın's statements are in contrast with the remarks of Health Minister Fahrettin Koca and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik, who said that gradual normalization may begin after Eid al-Fitr, which ends on May 26.
Millions of Turkish citizens are marking the April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day with a limited number of celebrations or events being held this year amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This year's official ceremonies were marked by social distancing and face masks. Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop urged citizens to mark the day in their homes.