Saturday, February 24

Turkey

Dozens Arrested in Turkey During Demonstrations During Gezi Protest Commemoration
News, Turkey

Dozens Arrested in Turkey During Demonstrations During Gezi Protest Commemoration

Dozens of people were arrested on Tuesday evening in demonstrations to mark the ninth anniversary of the Gezi protests in Turkey. In Istanbul alone, 169 people were detained by the police, lawyer Ezgi ├ľnalan said on Wednesday.   Four of them have not yet been released. She accuses the police of illegally acting and using tear gas against the protesters. The protests in 2013 revolved around the government's plans to develop a district around Taksim Square, in central Istanbul. This would mean that one of the last green spaces in the city, the Gezi Park, would disappear. Police violently dispersed a peaceful sit-in to protest the disappearance of Gezi Park, which sparked anti-government protests across the country. It was then the largest mobilization against the then Prime Minister...
Libya Government Concludes Military Agreement With Turkey and Qatar
Libya, News, Qatar, Turkey

Libya Government Concludes Military Agreement With Turkey and Qatar

The Libyan government says it has concluded an agreement with Qatar and Turkey.   The deal should overlay the way for the arrival of military advisers from the countries and help train Libyan troops. Ministers from Turkey and Qatar were in the capital Tripoli on Monday to discuss military cooperation. Among other things, it would have been agreed that Libyan soldiers would be trained in the military academies of the two countries. Libya has been in bedlam since the death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Powerful warlord Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive last year to seize Tripoli, but his forces have been pushed back after heavy fighting. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned during a visit to Tripoli that foreign powers are still arming their allies in Libya. The re...
Turkish President Erdogan Converts Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into A Mosque
News, Turkey

Turkish President Erdogan Converts Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into A Mosque

The Turkish government is allowed to redesign the old Byzantine basilica Hagia Sophia from the 6th century as an Islamic mosque.   That is the decision of the Turkish Supreme Court. President Tayyip Erdogan immediately confirmed this through a decree. The decision could lead to tensions with Greece and Russia. The issue has also divided the Turks and thus came before Turkey's highest court. The proponents of the mosque have now supported that. The court unlawfully declared ex-President Atat├╝rk's decree that the building was turned into a museum and overturned it. Current President Tayyip Erdogan immediately signed a proclamation officially making the building a mosque. Conservative Turks have long wanted to transform Hagia Sophia (or Aya Sophia in Turkish) into a mosque, as it us...
Erdogan Wants to Hurry With Censorship Law for Social Media
Aisa, News, Turkey

Erdogan Wants to Hurry With Censorship Law for Social Media

Turkey is going to introduce legislation that will empower the government to monitor and close social media platforms.   President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday to accelerate plans after he and his family were offended on social media. Finance Minister and son-in-law of Erdogan Berat Albayrak on Tuesday reported the birth of his fourth child. His wife Esra was subsequently insulted by some users of the platform, who were therefore arrested. While addressing members of his AK party, Erdogan repeatedly said he wants to introduce new rules to curb social media. According to Erdogan, there is an increase in "immoral behaviour", which he says is the result of a lack of rules. "Those platforms do not suit this country. We want to close them, check them by submitting a bil...
Erdogan Claims to Have Opened the Border With Europe for Migrants
Europe, News, Turkey

Erdogan Claims to Have Opened the Border With Europe for Migrants

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that from now on Turkey will allow migrants to cross the border with Europe without hindrance.   He says he does that because the European Union would not help enough to defuse the refugee crisis. According to Erdogan, as a result, 18,000 migrants were already crossing the border, a figure that is impossible to confirm. The Turkish President did not provide any evidence to support that claim. A day earlier, Turkish officials had already indicated that they would no longer stop refugees who want to go to Europe. Erdogan confirmed that change of course on Saturday and said that he would open the borders to Europe. "We're not going to close the doors," said Erdogan. He said to expect that between 25,000 and 30,000 migrants will...