An opposition deputy criticized Turkey's Trade Ministry's move to increase import taxes on Iranian watermelons by 300 percent. The lawmaker noted that the tax spike also applies to watermelons that are currently being transported, leaving merchants unable to pay for goods that they carried across borders.
Dubbed the world's largest museum for Urartu artifacts, the Van Museum in southeastern Turkey is preparing to host visitors after the COVID-19 pandemic. The museum director noted that they've made a plan for the sterilization of the building, along with disinfecting the visitors' hands and feet.
Despite a previous court decision that outlawed the construction of a hydroelectric power plant over the Zilan River in the eastern province of Van, work on the project resumed about two months ago. According to Fatih Şahin, the chair of the Van Mesopotamia Ecology Association, the project that is currently threatening the Zilan River is similar to what the Turkish government did in the historic town of Hasankeyf.
A mass wake gathering in the southeastern province of Van led to a jump in the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez said that the number of coronavirus cases jumped to 51 in the Ortanca neighborhood, while also urging Van residents to refrain from holding funeral ceremonies. "Report those doing so to police or the gendarmerie for your and social health," Bilmez said.
Sixteen Iranian truck drivers quarantined in Turkey's Zonguldak for suspected coronavirus have all tested negative, the provincial governor announced on Twitter. The drivers were put in isolation on Feb. 26 after one of them was determined to suffer from high fever.
Respiratory masks have become a street commodity in Turkey's southeastern province of Van, neighboring Iran where coronavirus has killed 15. Street vendors sell the masks at 10 times their original price, asking for 10 Turkish Liras for masks that used to be sold for 1TL, 20 TL for masks originally sold for 2 TL or 3 TL.
No tents were set up for victims of the 6.0-magnitude in Iran that killed nine people in the southeastern province of Van, a group of officials from Turkey's Human Rights Association said. No alternative shelter was provided for the survivors either, the group said, condemning families to spend the night in the freezing cold.
Nine people were killed in the eastern province of Van after an earthquake struck Turkey's border with Iran. The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said the quake had a depth of 5 km. Iranian officials said it had been felt in Iran but that there were no immediate reports of deaths.
Local administrators in the southeastern province of Van have decided to install thermal scanning systems at the nearby Kapıköy Border Gate to Iran, following two coronavirus-related deaths in the neighboring country. A health room will also be set up at the border gate, personnel will receive special training and pamphlets will be available in Turkish, English and Persian.
Turkey's Education Ministry (MEB) has reportedly asked teachers and school administrators in the southeastern province of Van to raise funds to buy fuel for the snowplows the ministry would send. While classes restarted on Feb. 17 following a 10-day snow break, the roads remain blocked in the southeastern province of Van that received snowfall of over a meter.
An area in the southeastern town of Van that features around 17,000 chimney rocks was declared a protected area on Feb. 12, the Governor of Van Mehmet Emin Bilmez said. The area is often dubbed "Vanadocia" as a play on the name Cappadocia, the picturesque region around Nevşehir known for its unique landscapes.
A report based on United Nations data from Turkey's 2020 Universal Periodic Review revealed that some 147 bans on demonstrations and protests have been implemented in 22 different locations across Turkey between Jan. 1, 2019 and Jan. 31, 2020. "In Turkey, the constitutional right to 'peaceful assembly and demonstration with no prior notice' has become a meaningless expression," said the report by the Turkey Human Rights Foundation (TIHV).