Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has unveiled the 143-page program for his newly-launched Future Party. The program vowed to recognize the legal status of cemevis, the worship house of the Alevis, a heterodox non-Sunni faith that accoutns for as much as a quarter of the country's population. Regarding the Kurds, the program vowed to fight against identity-based discrimination
Sadiye Demirtaş, the mother of imprisoned former co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), was recently injured in a car accident along with her husband, daughter, daughter-in-law and son-in-law on the way to Edirne to the prison. “Why is Selahattin in Edirne?” Sadiye asks, before answering her own question: “Because the only one that stood up to them was Selahattin. Due to the fact that they were scared of Selahattin they threw him in jail.”
Patriarch Sahak Maşalyan, the new leader of the Armenian Orthodox Christians in Turkey, has said that the population of Armenian community in the country is gradually decreasing. "As the loyal citizens of this country, we'll continue to contribute to Turkey. But, when we have problems, we cannot say that we don't have [them],” Maşalyan said during an interview to newspaper Milliyet published on Dec. 14.
A group of HDP deputies have filed a motion in parliament urging the establishment of an investigation commission to investigate human rights violations and the killing of civilians during curfews imposed in Şırnak between 2015-2016. The deputies said that 64,000 people had been “forcibly” displaced from their homes during these curfew periods.
Turkey's foreign ministry has summoned the U.S. ambassador in Ankara over a resolution passed by U.S. lawmakers recognizing the mass killings of Armenians a century ago as a genocide. The ministry has voiced Turkey's strong criticism of the resolution to David Satterfield.
The Turkish parliament on Dec. 13 condemned the U.S. Senate’s passing a resolution recognizing early 20th century killings of Armenians as “genocide.” People’s Democratic Party (HDP) did not join the condemnation.
Jailed painter Aynur Epli has been sending letters to her cousin incarcerated in an Erzurum prison. The Erzurum jail management has cut out Epli's drawings from the letters on the grounds of their being “obscene.”
The Istanbul police department has displayed 256 tons of counterfeit alcoholic beverages in the garden of the police headquarters located on Vatan Avenue. A total of 80 people have been so far detained, who had allegedly established the largest fake drink production network in the country.
Opposition right-wing Good Party (İP) leader Meral Akşener said that she would transfer 20 members of parliament from her party to the newly founded AKP breakaway parties if needed.
The European Union should spend more than the 6 billion euros already allotted to fund Syrian refugees in Turkey, and speed up the flow of that money, said Faruk Kaymakcı, the Turkish deputy minister for foreign affairs. “As long as the crisis is there we have to work together. The 6 billion euros will not solve the problem when it is finally all spent,” Kaymakcı told reporters in Istanbul on Dec. 14.
The German magazine Der Spiegel has published images that depict the Greek authorities illegally deporting migrants.The report indicated that this style of deportation is in both violation of EU human rights and the Geneva Convention. The Greek government has repeatedly denied the illegal deportation of migrants from its border back into Turkey.
The governor's office in the southern province of Adana has cited “terror threat” as the reason for cancelling an annual festival. The festival's name was previously changed from “World Rakı Festival” to “Adana Kebap and Şalgam Festival” due to complaints from Islamic groups, but the event continues to be known popularly by its original name.
A councillor for the main opposition CHP has likened the debt of the Istanbul municipality to that of the Ottoman Empire. “Young Turkish Republic had paid the Ottoman's debt. And we will be the ones who will pay the AKP's debts,” Tarık Balyalı said during city council budget discussions on Dec. 13. Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu had said in November that the city had a debt of 28 billion Turkish Liras ($4.81 billion).
Police shut down a dance protest by a feminist group in Ankara Thursday. The women wanted to perform the protest dance created by Chilean collective Las Tesis, but were moved away from the square. Some women were battered and dragged on the ground by police officers.
Istanbul's Şehir University, known for its close affiliation with former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu from the start, has recently became the subject of controversy. President Erdoğan accused Davutoğlu of illegally acquiring state-owned land for the university. Prior to Erdoğan's allegations, seizure procedures had began against the university based on the grounds that the school had not paid its loans to state-owned Halkbank.
The main cause of the world's greatest evils are people that do not believe in the afterlife, Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) President Ali Erbaş said while speaking at a conference at a Turkish mosque in the German capital of Berlin this week. "Someone who does not believe in the afterlife cannot be a Muslim," he claimed.
KONDA Research Company General Manager Bekir Ağırdır said that the efforts of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in raising a "pious generation" has failed to go beyond "political engineering," adding that the ratio of youth performing prayers and fasting during Ramadan decreased in years. Those who said that they're "modern" increased to 42 percent from 29 between 2008 and 2018.
A sexual assault victim in Ankara said that when she went to the police they defended the assailant. Upon meeting with a female prosecutor, Ç.B. said the prosecutor told her “I'm sitting here, I'm a woman and you're a woman. Why I am I not being raped yet you are?”
Former Turkish deputy prime minister Ali Babacan and his team have recently organized a workshop in the capital Ankara to determine how the new party will address Turkey's Kurdish issue. Babacan said the two-day workshop, which brought together 15 experts, discussed the current problems and solution proposals.
A mega yacht once belonging to the inventory of the Turkish navy has been restored and added to the inventory of the Presidency. Vice President Fuat Oktay told the yacht was transferred to the Presidency on March 16. It was previously used by the navy to transport personnel.
The installation process of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems is expected be completed by the spring of 2020, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said. Akar also said Turkey is in dialogue with its NATO allies, particularly the U.S., to work a solution to the matter.
A report published by the KAOS Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association details the experiences of 320 people that have been exposed to discrimination in Turkey. The problems LGBTIQ+ migrants face are not limited to their landlords and neighbors.
Some artifacts that belong to the Archeology Museum will be moved out of the Topkapı Palace mine building due to renovations, Vice President Fuat Oktay said. Oktay added that the destination for the ancient artifacts is not yet determined, but it will be a "suitable location." Topkapı Palace was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, but was transferred to the presidency in September.