weekend curfew
Turkey’s Interior Ministry has declared a document circulating on social media claiming that a curfew would be imposed this weekend as fake news. Deputy Interior Minister İsmail Çataklı on Aug. 6 urged the people not to be misled by such “fake documents whose origins are unknown.”
Turkey will be imposing partial curfews on the days when the nationwide high school and university exams will be held on June 20, 27 and 28. The partial curfews will begin at 9 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. on June 20 and 27, whereas it will be in effect on June 28 between 9.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m., the Interior Ministry said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has decided to cancel a weekend lockdown announced late on June 4 after public backlash. In a series of tweets, Erdoğan said on June 5 the government had to impose the weekend lockdown after daily new COVID-19 cases rose from around 700 to nearly 1,000.
Turkey will impose a two-day curfew in 15 provinces beginning Friday midnight in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Interior Ministry said grocery shops will be allowed to operate until 11 p.m. on June 5 and they will be open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on June 6.
The southeastern province of Gaziantep once again received almost half of all fines issued nationwide for violating the weekend curfew. A total of 5,108 fines were issued to individuals during the curfew, while 16 businesses were fined for operating during the curfew.
Residents of Turkey's provinces under COVID-19 lockdowns flocked to streets, bus stations and even the beach after midnight. As businesses reopened and daily life returned to pre-coronavirus activity, traffic congestion in Istanbul rose to 26 percent by 7.30 a.m. on June 1.
A recent survey has found that 86 percent of Turks support the government's implementation of weekend lockdowns while 40 percent either do not leave their houses at all or are not accepting guests due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Istanbul Municipality’s COVID-19 consultation committee urged the government to implement an 11-day curfew, a week before and four days during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, beginning May 23. The committee noted that the end of Ramadan is a highly active time for family socialization and shopping, both of which require physical contact.
A video of a herd of sheep in the residential area of a Black Sea province was widely shared on social media in Turkey. The sheep can be heard blatting and the sounds of their bells are audible in the video, as the streets remain deserted by humans merely hours after the end of a three-day curfew that aimed to slow the spread of coronavirus.
A senior official from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) reportedly told BBC Turkish that a curfew would be implemented during the three-day Eid al-Fitr that celebrates the end of Ramadan. The official said that many families gather for the holiday, hug, and often kiss each other on the cheeks and hands, which risks spreading COVID-19.
Turkey will send medical gear including protective suits and masks to the United States to help its efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said. Erdoğan also said that Turkey will continue to implement weekend lockdowns in 31 provinces until after Eid al-Fitr in late May and the fresh lockdown this week will include the public holiday of May 1.
Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca denied that the rampage that preceded the 48-hour curfew on April 10 caused an increase in the spread rate of COVID-19. On the other hand, experts have pointed at the spike in the spread rate that measures more than half a percentage point and follows the crowded chaos of April 10 by exactly 10 days, as experts had predicted.
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The resignation attempt of Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 12 taking full responsibility for the chaos triggered by a disordered and late announcement of country's first weekend curfew shed light on the power struggle within the ruling party. Duvar English’s editor-in-chief Cansu Çamlıbel and pollster Can Selçuki analyze the motives behind Soylu's power play and President Erdoğan's reasons for not letting him go.
President Erdoğan in his last “address to the nation” which was duly broadcast via all available means defiantly stated that “our country will eradicate all (its’) media and politics viruses.”
Turkey has reimposed a 48-hour curfew in 31 major provinces beginning on April 17 night as part of measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. Ahead of the curfew, many people flocked into supermarkets to supply their needs, while long queues were seen in front of butcher's shops and bakeries.
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duvar englis podcasts
Ankara's conflict-oriented foreign policy has received the public's support for military operations, but public opinion often fails to translate into votes. While Ankara's "enemy" in military conflict is ever-changing, the northern Syria conflict was revealed to be the only intervention that expanded the government's voter base.
Selahattin Demirtaş writes: You have re-arrested us after six years. You say we are the instigators of the Kobane massacres when we were actually the victims. Do you think you will be able to make us responsible for this through conspiracies based on secret witnesses and be saved from responsibility? You must genuinely believe that the fascism you rely on today will always exist.
Politics
Turkey said it would not hesitate to send soldiers and provide military support for Azerbaijan if such a request were made by Baku. "There is already a military cooperation agreement between Turkey and Azerbaijan. If there is a need and Azerbaijan makes such a request, then Turkey would do it openly [provide military support]," Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Oct. 21.
Unidentified assailants have stabbed a 14-year-old Syrian child to death in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Konya. Vail El-Mansur was on his way to the tailor shop he was working at when he was murdered brutally.
Turkish authorities seized 220 kilograms of cocaine on a ship that arrived at a port in the country's southern coast from Brazil. Police in the coastal province of Mersin found the cocaine hidden in a container carrying packages of paper.
Istanbul University's Cerrahpaşa Medical School has been observing twice as many patients, the dean said on Oct. 20. Turkey's official numbers receded to early May levels on the same day, observing some 2,026 diagnoses. "There's almost a doubling of the number of cases and patients seeking help in Cerrahpaşa. The winter might be rough for all of us," the dean said.
Turkey will send some 110,000 tons of grains and flour to countries in need, primarily Syria, a presidential decree in the Official Gazette said on Oct. 21. While the grains will be handed out by Ankara's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Turkish Red Crescent, any wages related to the operation will be taken out of the Treasury's budget as well.
During a recession that has dealt a deep blow to agricultural producers across Turkey, potato farmers are struggling to get by while retailers purchase produce cheap and sell at high prices to consumers. "I don't like the AKP anymore,” said one 70-year-old farmer, who has grown potatoes in Niğde for 45 years.
A controversial social media legislation has enabled the Turkish government to swiftly block access to scores of news reports from critical newspapers and websites within the past month. "What we are facing is a heavy censorship mechanism,” cyber-rights expert Yaman Akdeniz told the daily Cumhuriyet.
The death of Serkan Tumay in a prison raised concerns on the prison conditions in Turkey once again. While Tumay's family says that he was tortured by prison guards repeatedly and died as a result in Kırıkkale F-Type Prison, opposition deputies Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu and Gülizar Biçer Karaca asked Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül to explain how he died.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has found Turkey guilty of violating the right to free speech of Prof. Baskın Oran and Prof. İbrahim Kaboğlu, who faced prosecution in 2005 for publishing a report on the country's minorities. The ECHR said that the legal proceedings against the two academics had “inevitably created pressure" on them leading to “self-censorship.”
The Coalition for Women in Journalism has launched a petition demanding that Turkey immediately drop charges against journalist Ayşegül Doğan, who prosecutors accuse of "being a member of an armed organization." "Today, Ayşegül Doğan has become the target of the government due to her journalism, which touches on social issues such as the struggle for peace, women's struggle and labor," read the petition.
Five years later after the killing of Kurdish lawyer Tahir Elçi, the case still remains unsolved, amid claims that the Turkish intelligence service's neglect played a role in the murder. Diyarbakır Bar Association and Tahir Elçi Human Rights Foundation have criticized the indictment in the murder case, saying that the inclusion of an alleged PKK member as a suspect in the case is inconsistent and is an attempt to divert the attention from the real perpetrators.
A HDP lawmaker has submitted two separate parliamentary questions inquiring about the whereabouts of Bahtiyar Fırat who went missing on Oct. 14 amid concerns that he might have been abducted by state agents. MP Sait Dede asked Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulahmit Gül if they will issue a statement with regards to the fate of Fırat considering that 17,000 people have been so far victims of enforced disappearances while under detention in Turkey.
Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, on Oct. 20 filed a lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a U.S. court, accusing the kingdom’s de facto ruler of ordering the journalist's killing.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that President Erdoğan's ideas are even more backward than those of the Middle Ages, adding that Turkey is more backward than a tribe at the moment. Do we have any traditions, constitution or justice left? No. I wish we were a tribe so that we could sit and discuss," Kılıçdaroğlu told his party members during a parliamentary group meeting on Oct. 20.
The İYİ Party is in disarray after deputy Ümit Özdağ claimed that the party's Istanbul chair, Buğra Kavuncu, is a Gülenist. While Kavuncu blasted the allegations and said that he will file a complaint against Özdağ, İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener said that the legal process gives the deputy the opportunity to prove his claims.
Greece has asked the European Commission to consider suspending a customs union agreement between Turkey and the European Union due to Ankara’s “continued provocations." Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said the Commission should consider the full suspension of the customs union “as a message of disapproval for Turkey's ongoing illegal behavior" against the EU.
A man has threatened his wife with two bullets, accusing her of cheating on him just because both her and a male colleague's coronavirus tests came out positive. The abusive husband's threats that lasted for days caused the woman to give early birth.
A summary of proceedings was prepared against CHP Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel for calling Erdoğan "a lame duck" in 2019, when in fact Erdoğan used the same for the CHP a day earlier. Özel said that the prosecutor who accuses him of insulting the president needs to launch an investigation into Erdoğan as well since he used the same phrase against the main opposition.
Economy
The Turkish government has said that it "laughs off" boycotts imposed on Turkish products in Saudi Arabia, Morocco and United Arab Emirates. "We laugh off some countries' boycotts against Turkey. They should first learn to stand as independent countries," AKP deputy leader Numan Kurtulmuş said on Oct. 18.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that income per capita in Turkey would drop to 2005 levels, an annual average of $7,720. The IMF also predicted a five percent contraction in the Turkish economy until the end of 2020, despite Ankara's 0.3 percent growth projection.
Turkey's net international investment deficit grew by $20 billion from the end of 2019 to reach a total $365.8 billion at the end of August. Turkey's international assets shrunk by 10.2 percent to reach $227.4 billion in the same period.
President Erdoğan on Oct. 17 announced the discovery of an additional 85 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the Black Sea, following a similar find in August. As a result of testing, analysis and detailed engineering work, another 85 billion cubic meters were added to the reserves we had discovered. The total amount of natural gas reserves in the TUNA-1 well of the Sakarya Gas Field reached 405 billion cubic meters," Erdoğan said.
Data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) revealed a dip in real estate sales vis-a-vis last year in September, dropping by 6.9 percent for some 136,744 residences sold. Meanwhile, the total volume of sales between January and September was larger than the number in 2019.
Urban Beat
Kurdish artist Zehra Doğan's work that she created during her two prison sentences between 2016 and 2019 are on display in Turkey for the first time. The artist was jailed on terrorism charges and gained international fame after finishing her second sentence and holding a show at London's Tate Modern.
Turkey's Presidential Symphony Orchestra will thrive thanks to the completion of its long-awaited music hall, Conductor Cemi'i Can Deliorman said. Having been in the works for 25 years, the music hall's large auditorium can seat more than two thousand viewers.
Alterations on Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia reportedly violated guidelines mandated under the site's "UNESCO World Heritage" status. Converted within two weeks of the legal ruling that allowed Muslim worship, the ancient structure's mosaics were unlawfully covered up, and any work on it was deemed practically impossible, architectural publication Mimarlık Magazine reported.