March 2023

Turkey Weekly 27 – 31 March

Turkey Today – 31.03.2023
Yesterday the Turkish parliament has approved Finland’s application to join NATO after months of delays. 
Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections are considered among the most vulnerable in the world, Freedom House’s Election Vulnerability Index shows, scoring behind countries like Pakistan, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh.
23 people, including DBP and HDP district co-chairs, were detained in house raids in Suruç of Urfa district on March 27. Today the judgeship decided to arrest 23 people on the allegation of “being a member of a terrorist organization”. 
Stating that public officials are trying to cover up the crime with the release of 2 of the police officers who tortured Y.D in Lîce, Amed Bar Association President Nahit Eren said: “5 police officers are also responsible for torture.”
Prosecutors in Van have opened an investigation against journalist Ruşen Takva due to his comments about the election alliance led by the country’s ruling party. He described the ruling alliance as ‘racist, reactionary’. 
An unidentified person or persons launched an armed attack on the İYİ Party İstanbul’s provincial office building. One of the bullets struck a window. 
A court has released İsmail Cevher Kasımoğlu, who threatened the opposition figures in a street interview in Batman province by saying “we will behead them.” In the street interview, he stated that he is affiliated with Hizbullah. 

Turkey Today – 30.03.2023
7 people of the villagers who protested the closing of 11,000 decares of land in Urfa’s Viranşer district were detained and beaten by the police. 
It was stated that 72 percent disabled Şehmus Demir, who was brought to the Bismil Courthouse for a statement yesterday, was beaten by the police in front of the prosecutor’s room because he said he wanted to smoke.
Presidential candidate Kılıçdaroğlu visited Muharrem İnce, his party’s candidate in the previous election, amid concerns that İnce may take away crucial votes from him. İnce’s decision didn’t change. 
President Erdoğan has announced that the minimum wage will rise in July for a second time this year.
A press conference was held at the Human Rights Association İstanbul branch for the right of Ekim Polat, a seriously ill prisoner in Denizli, to get access to treatment. 
An investigation has been launched against four special operations police officers for battering a 16-year-old child and a 18-year-old youth who were wearing traditional Kurdish outfits in Mardin. 

Turkey Today – 29.03.2023
Despite the KCK’s decision of military inaction after the earthquake, Turkey continues its attacks on HPG areas in the Federated Kurdistan Region.
In Bolu Prison, the released of 12 prisoners were delayed 30 times over a year, on the grounds of “not using water economically”, “not leaving the organization”, “not making a petition of regret”, “not participating in spiritual activities”.
MHP chair Devlet Bahçeli rejected claims that his party will compete in the May 14 elections under the AKP lists. 
The İYİ Party has said that if the Supreme Election Council (YSK) rejects their appeal against Erdoğan’s presidential candidacy for the third time, they will file an application with the Constitutional Court.
Former Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroğlu, who currently serves as the head of the parliament’s Earthquake Research Commission, has admitted that his ministry had warned against the construction of Hatay Airport at its current location.

Turkey Today – 28.03.2023
The “Temporary Candidate List” for the elections to be held on May 14 has been published in the Official Gazette. The list included CHP Chairperson Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Homeland party chairperson Muharrem İnce , AKP President Tayyip Erdoğan and Sinan Oğan from Ata alliance. 
Two police officers for whom arrest warrants were issued in the torture investigation against 14-year-old Y.D. in Lice were released on condition of judicial control.
The second hearing of the case on the death of Yılmaz Ekinci who died on in Aydın prison was held in İstanbul. The court rejected the requests for the witnesses to be invited to give testimony, for exploration of the scene of the event, and for sending the file to the Medical Forensic Institute. Trial adjourned until June. 
The first hearing of the trial in which Yeniçağ daily’s chief editor Erdem Avşar faces “insult” and “libel” charges upon complaint by Turkuvaz Media Group CEO Serhat Albayrak was held in İstanbul. Accepting the intervention request of Albayrak’s lawyer, the judge decided to send the case file to the prosecutor so that he can prepare his final opinion as to the accusations. The trial is adjourned until 14 September 2023.
The Turkish Red Crescent’s head Kerem Kınık has argued that his resignation would create a “chaotic situation” within the organization. Kınık made the comments after opposition deputies of the parliament’s earthquake commission questioned him. 

Turkey Today – 27.03.2023
Asrın Law Office stated that they have not received any news from their client, PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan for the last two years and that they are worried about his life.
18 people, including HDP and DBP executives, were detained in Urfa’s Suruç district.
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has claimed that HÜDA-PAR has no links to Hizbullah, known for extrajudicial killings in the late 1980s and 1990s. Bahçeli’s remarks were refuted by former Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan.
6 villages of Cizre have been under a military blockade for 10 days on the grounds of “notification”. 
Banned for over a month now, Ekşi Sözlük, a popular social networking site in Turkey, has applied to the Constitutional Court.
About 60,000 refugees from Syria have returned to their countries since the earthquakes, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has announced. 
A foundation laid during the groundbreaking ceremony for a state hospital in the quake-hit province of Hatay, which was attended by President Erdoğan, was removed a day later. 

Turkey Weekly 20 – 26 March 2023

Turkey Today – 26.03.2023
Two earthquake survivors were severely hurt in a tent fire in Hatay’s İskenderun district. 
It was stated that in the villages and hamlets of Yüksekova, where the blockade continues, soldiers broke down the doors of the houses and cut down the fruit trees of the villagers.
Diyarbakir Governorate stated that 5 police officers were suspended from duty due to the torture of 14-year-old Y.D. in Lice district.
Homeland Party Chair Muharrem İnce has gathered 100,000 signatures, a requirement to be a presidential candidate for parties that have no group in the parliament. He became the third presidential candidate after Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu.
The AKP and its latest alliance partner New Welfare Party (YRP) have signed a protocol including subtle clauses to usurp the rights of women and LGBTI+ community.

Turkey Today – 25.03.2023
Labor and Freedom Alliance submitted the election alliance protocol to the Supreme Election Board.
President Erdoğan has thrown toys to earthquake victims from the bus in Hatay. 
Mehmet Beyazıt, who was released by a Turkish court after committing a racist attack on the HDP Istanbul provincial building in February, attacked the building on March 25 again. The assailant spray-painted the entrance and doors of the party building.
The Islamist New Welfare Party joined the ruling coalition People’s Alliance. Also, the radical Islamist Free Cause Party announced that they will run in the general elections under the AKP deputy list.

Turkey Today – 24.03.2023
Former chair of High Education Council Özcan has said that he was unable to find President Erdoğan’s university diploma during his time in office even though he contacted the administration of Marmara Uni from where the president is said to have graduated.
Foreign Affairs Commission of the Parliament of Turkey approved the protocol for Finland’s NATO membership yesterday while Finland’s president Sauli Niinisto signed the NATO legislation of his country in a ceremony the same day. 
JINHA reporter Medine Mamedoğlu, who went to the region for news follow-up after the earthquake in Maraş on February 6, was summoned to testify on the grounds of her news posts on social media.
The Culture Ministry spent 2,6 million liras for a book of which President Erdoğan’s wife Emine Erdoğan wrote the foreword. The spending was undertaken as part of the “Project for the Publication of Works of National Culture” and the book’s number of editions surpassed all other works under the project.
The account of the weekly Kurdish newspaper Xwebûn with 29 thousand 488 followers that was blocked on February 22 was restored by Twitter.

Turkey Today – 23.03.2023
The HDP will compete in the May elections under the Green Left Party, its co-leader Mithat Sancar has confirmed.
14-year-old Y.D. was unlawfully held by the police, tortured, and then left in a deserted area on March 21 in Diyarbakır’s Lice district. After the incident was reported in the media, the father and their lawyer were called to the prosecutor’s office to give their statements. 
HDP Bahçelievler Plateau Election Liaison Office was attacked by unidentified people last night.

The European Court of Human Rights has convicted Turkey for violating the rights of three of the academics who were dismissed and put on trial for signing a 2016 declaration criticizing the government over the conflict in the country’s Kurdish-majority regions. 

Turkey Today – 22.03.2023
The Constitutional Court rejected HDP’s application for the closure case to be postponed until after the election. 
Labor and Freedom Alliance stated that they will not nominate candidates in the Presidential elections, they will fulfill their historical responsibilities against the one-man regime and hold them accountable.
The media watchdog RTÜK has fined Halk TV for promoting jailed former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş’s story book Dad on the grounds of “praising criminals.” 
The Constitutional Court has founds rights violation in the murder case of Uğur Kurt who was killed by a police officer in 2014 as he was attending a funeral in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı Cemevi. The top court ruled for a retrial of the police officer in question.
A court has arrested the building inspector of Rönesans Rezidans, a luxury residence in Hatay that collapsed in the February earthquakes. Nearly 1,000 people died in the building. 
Muharrem İnce, former CHP Presidential candidate, insists on running for president as Kılıçdaroğlu wants to meet him. 

Turkey Today – 21.03.2023
Hundreds of thousands celebrated Newroz in Diyarbakır. A black stage was set up because the Newroz was dedicated to those who lost their lives in the February 6 earthquakes. 
Many people were detained in house raids in Antalya. 
The disaster management agency AFAD has announced that a fire broke out at one of their buildings where some documents are located in their headquarters and that it was brought under control shortly afterwards.
The Justice Ministry has suspended a civil servant from duty for writing on his Whatsapp status that he does not grant his “forgiveness” to the government over its inadequate earthquake response. 
Supermarket chain Migros detected large amounts of arsenic in Turkish Red Crescent’s (“Kızılay”) mineral water brand “Kızılay Maden Suyu” in 2019. 
The AKP and MHP jointly applied to the Supreme Election Council for Erdoğan’s presidential candidacy in the elections.
A judge has blocked access to the EngelliWeb platform, which monitors internet censorship in Turkey. 

Turkey Today – 20.03.2023
Presidential candidate of the Nation Alliance, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who visited HDP, stated that they will end the fight in this country and pointed to the Parliament for the solution of the Kurdish Question. 
HDP provincial co-chair in Bursa, Mehmet Dilek, was detained in a police raid on his home early today. 
The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency announced that the number of people who lost their lives in the earthquake increased to 50 thousand 96.
The head of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s Earthquake Risk Management and Urban Improvement Department, Özlem Tut, has said that 29,000 buildings have been so far inspected as part of a free scan program and that half of them are under high risk of collapse in case of a major earthquake.
A judge in İstanbul has blocked access to 47 news articles and social media posts about the Free Cause Party (HÜDA PAR), which recently announced support for President Erdoğan, as per a request from the party’s chair. Critics link HÜDA PAR to the Hizbullah, which perpetrated hundreds of targeted killings in the 1990s. 
224 people, including 46 children, who were detained by the police after Newroz in İstanbul yesterday, were released after their statements.

Turkey Weekly 13 – 19 March 2023

Turkey Today – 19.03.2023

Today hundreds of thousands of people celebrated Newroz across Turkey. 
Following the end of Newroz in Istanbul’s Yenikapı Square, the police attacked the crowd and detained approximately 200 people, including disabled children and lawyers.
Deutsche Welle’s (DW) Turkey office will be shut down at the end of March after the Industry and Technology Ministry refused to extend its operation license. 
In a new move targeting the opposition Halk TV, the head of Turkey’s media watchdog has argued that the TV channel was undertaking “provocative broadcasts” and announced a fresh investigation against it. 
On the 40th day of the earthquakes in the southern Hatay province, women residing in the Samandağ district have marched with incense burners and endemic plant leaves to commemorate those who lost their lives. 

Turkey Today – 18.03.2023
İbrahim Yıldız, who has been arrested for 5 years for killing Celal Şenyaşar from Şenyaşar family and injuring Adil Şenyaşar, died in the hospital where he was treated. 
A court has fined actress Farah Zeynep Abdullah to pay 1,300 liras in a case concerning her tweet about former sergeant Musa Orhan who sexually assaulted a young Kurdish woman and caused her death. Last year, actress Ezgi Mola had similarly received an administrative fine over the same charges. 
AKP group deputy chair Özlem Zengin has stated that she is being targeted and threatened for staunchly defending the Law No. 6284 to Protect Family and Prevent Violence Against Women and added that she is “tired of loneliness” for not getting enough support from her community.
President Erdoğan scolded Trade Minister Mehmet Muş and asked him to change his signature. 

Turkey Today – 17.03.2023
Turkey will ratify Finland’s NATO membership, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced today. 
The file regarding the lifting of the immunity of HDP members Hüda Kaya, Musa Piroğlu and TİP member Barış Atay has been submitted to the Presidency of the Assembly.
HDP Group Deputy Chairpersons Meral Danış Beştaş and Saruhan Oluç stated that there was a serious lack of coordination and planlessness in the disaster area after the earthquakes. They requested a Parliamentary Investigation Commission on the Red Crescent. 
Two journalists, including JINNEWS reporter Gülistan Dursun,  who followed the Şenyaşar family’s sit-in were detained.
Loss of life in the floods in Urfa and Adıyaman rose to 18.
Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirişci said that “the (arid) land got water” while talking about the floods. 
Labor Ministry did not give permission to an investigation against two chief inspectors over the death of 42 miners in the mine explosion in Amasra district. 

Turkey Today – 16.03.2023
Police raids were carried out on several houses in Van in the morning hours. 9 women including Green Left Party Van Co-spokesperson Gönül Uzunay and HDP İpekyolu Municipality Council member Özlem Tuci were detained during the raids. 
9 Socialist Party of the Oppressed, Socialist Youth Associations Federation (SGDF) and Socialist Women’s Council (SKM) members were arrested for their posts and negative statements on social media about those who lost their lives fighting against ISIS in Kobane.
At least 15 people were killed in the flash floods which have swept through the earthquake-hit Adıyaman and Urfa provinces. 
The AKP parliamentary group has taken a group decision to nominate Erdoğan as their presidential candidate in the May 14 elections. 
Syria’s President Bashar Assad has said they he will only meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan if Turkey withdraws its troops from Syria.

Turkey Today – 15.03.2023
The HDP has made a second application to the Constitutional Court, demanding the postponement of the closure case against it until after the elections.
Heavy rain fell on Urfa, Adıyaman, Malatya, and Maraş resulting in floods. Eleven people lost their lives in Urfa. One container was dragged and two people died in Adıyaman. Tents were flooded in Malatya and Maraş. 
20 members of ESP, SGDF and Leverage, who wanted to make a statement in front of the courthouse for their detained members, were beaten and detained. 
The police has raided the house of bianet Kurdî’s editor Aren Yıldırım early in the morning and taken the journalist into custody. According to his lawyer a restriction order has been imposed on the investigation file and Yıldırım will not be allowed to see his lawyers for 24 hours. 
The 2nd hearing of the trial in which journalists Firat Fistik and Ozan Buz face “illegally obtaining or giving data” charges upon complaint by the Boğaziçi University’s appointed rector Mehmet Naci İnci, was held in Istanbul. Trial adjourned until March 17. 
During his visit in Hatay CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has once again vowed to deport refugees to their homeland should the opposition bloc come to power. 
The Turkish Football Federation announced that the penalty for playing 9 matches without spectators against Bursaspor in the racist attack during the Amedspor match was reduced to 7 matches.

Turkey Today – 14.03.2023
Interior Minister Süleymen Soylu has asked citizens to donate breakfast food, tea, sugar, sweatpants, and slippers to the quake survivors and admitted that they cannot provide breakfast in some regions on the 33rd day of earthquakes.
Ferhat Aydoğan, the “press advisor” of mafia leader Alaattin Çakıcı, announced that he visited Gendarmerie General Commander General Arif Çetin in quake-hit Maraş on March 13.
The Spokesperson of the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources stated that they wanted Turkey to remove the barriers they put on the water coming to Iraq via the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and stated that Iraq needs 400 to 500 cubic meters of water per second.
Ferhat Çelik, grant holder of the Mezopotamya Agency, was detained today in İstanbul. Çelik has been released after his statement was taken.
Editor-in-Chief of the closed Özgür Gündem Newspaper, Reyhan Çapan, was fined 50 thousand TL for not publishing a correction for the newspaper’s article titled “Child killers”.
The 5th hearing of the trial in which journalists Doğan Ergün and Izel Sezer face multiple charges upon complaint by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s former lawyer Mustafa Doğan İnal was held in İstanbul. Giving additional time for the possible appeal against the rejection the trial was adjourned until June.
The number of arrests in relation to social media posts about last month’s earthquakes has risen to 43, the police announced today. 

Turkey Today – 13.03.2023
At least 13 people, including HDP executives and Mothers of Peace, were detained in house raids in İzmir. 
Prisoner Yusuf Erkek, who ended his hunger strike against rights violations in Afyon Prison due to earthquakes, drew attention to the statement of the 2nd director of the prison, “We know how to approach people like people, and terrorists like terrorists”, and said, “We will insist on our demands.”
The governor of the quake hit Hatay’s Kırıkhan district has instructed civil servants to attend a speech that President Erdoğan gave here on March 12. 
An administrative court has paved the way for four peace academics to be reinstated to their posts, six years after they were dismissed from Ankara University by government decrees. 
AKP has refuted reports of having accepted the Islamist New Welfare Party’s demand that the Law No. 6284 to Protect Family and Prevent Violence Against Women be annulled. 
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the opposition’s joint presidential candidate, has said that he will visit co-leaders of the HDP.

Turkey Weekly 6-12 March 2023

Turkey Today – 12.03.2023
HDP former Urfa MP Ibrahim Binici was arrested at his home and taken to the Çankaya District Police Department.
Tenders for the housing construction projects in the quake zone are being held secretly from the public despite experts’ warning against a hasty rebuild. Almost all of the tenders, worth around 30 billion liras, have been awarded to pro-gov’t companies.
Yunus Sezer, Chair of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, announced on Saturday that the death toll has risen to 47,975. The victims include 6,278 foreigners, he added.
An appeal court has sentenced Cemal Metin Avcı to aggravated life in prison over brutally killing Pınar Gültekin in 2020 and then burning her body, lifting the lower court’s ruling to reduce Avcı’s sentence to 23 years due to “unjust provocation.” 
Several houses in Adana, Ankara and İstanbul have been raided by the police. Nine people, including journalist Elif Bayburt, who works as a correspondent for the ETHA news agency, have been detained.
The Justice Watch carried out by the Şenyaşar family has reached 720. The family said: “Those who witness injustice and condone it are doomed to lose.”

Turkey Today – 11.03.2023
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli referred to the Constitutional Court as the “backyard of the separatist terrorist organization” while mentioning its ruling to lift the decision to freeze the HDP’s bank accounts. The current AYM “is not the court of the Turkish nation,” Bahçeli noted.
Supreme Election Board (YSK) Chairperson Ahmet Yener announced that the election date has been decided as 14 May. 
A drone attack was carried out against a vehicle in the Çemçemal district of Suleymani. As a result of the attack, one person was killed and two others were injured. 
Journalist Fırat Bulut has been detained for “spreading false information” after reporting from the earthquake-hit region for a month. 
Mehmet Şirin Acar, who is imprisoned in Erzincan Type T Prison, stated that they were subjected to strip search upon the instructions of the prison administration.

Turkey Today – 06.03.2023
Mayors of İstanbul and Ankara have visited İYİ Party’s Akşener, apparently to persuade her to return to the opposition alliance. She is now back in the alliance. 
The second hearing of the trial in which human rights defender and designer Aslı Saraç faces “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” charge was held in Ankara. The court decided to wait for the expert’s report. Trial adjourned until June.
Ceylan Şahinli, one of the nine Kurdish journalists who were arrested on October 29, has been indicted for “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.” 
A court has issued an arrest warrant Haşim Cemal E., who allegedly abused a child after she was pulled out of the rubble in Hatay after last month’s earthquakes. 
Women gathered in Istanbul ahead of International Women’s Day and called on the government to resign over the failure to prevent femicides and violence against women. 

Turkey Weekly 01 – 28 March 2023

Turkey Today – 05.03.2023
After İYİ Party chair Akşener’s signal to leave the main opposition Nation Alliance, former HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş said “Don’t worry, leaders only have one vote, just like you. Walk on the path you believe in, let the leaders follow you.”
Five opposition party leaders of the Nation Alliance have met without İYİ Party chair Meral Akşener after she signaled to leave the bloc. In a joint statement, the leaders said their aim is gaining a victory that has no loser.
Fans of Bursaspor football team shouted anti-Kurdish slogans and chants ahead of their team’s bout with Diyarbakir-based Amedspor. Players of Amedspor were also physically attacked. 
14 bar associations released a statement regarding the attacks on Amedspor demanding the perpetrators to be put on trial. 

Turkey Today – 04.03.2023
The military operation that started 3 days ago in Hakkari’s Yüksekova district continues.

Turkey bombed the villages east of Kobanê city in Northern and Eastern Syria with howitzers. 
Neriman Dönmez and Erkan Gül, who were detained in the house raids carried out by the police in Tunceli and beaten with a sack over their heads, were arrested.
Despite the earthquake, an investigation was opened in accordance with the “Censorship Law” about the Mothers of Peace in Şırnak, who pointed out the responsibility of the government. 
Mayors of Ankara and İstanbul have released statements supporting CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu’s presidential candidacy after İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener called the both to run for office.

Turkey Today – 03.03.2023
Rejecting CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s expected nomination for the presidency, İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener has called on CHP mayors of Istanbul and Ankara to take on the role. 
The Constitutional Court will hear an appeal by the HDP against its exclusion from state party funding next Thursday. 
Boğaziçi University has changed its regulations on dormitories, making it easier for the school management to expel protesting students from dormitories.
The government has been evicting quake-hit citizens living in tents set up by NGOs in parks, forcing them to reside at alternate camps set up by the governor’s offices. Members of People’s Houses protesting the evictions have been detained in Ankara.
A court once again blocks access to popular social network Ekşi Sözlük. 
The coastline of the Tigris River passing through the Hevsel Gardens, which is on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, is turned into agricultural areas by filling the islets and meanders. Authorities are content to watch the river bed being destroyed. 

Turkey Today – 02.03.2023
Responding to the criticism of the Turkish military’s absence from post-quake efforts, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said: “Who is going to protect the borders? Who is going to stay in Syria? Are we going to evacuate Syria, are we going to evacuate Iraq?
Turkey carried out an air strike to the east of Kobane.

The first hearing of the trial in which the Co-Chair of the Human Rights Association (İHD) Öztürk Türkdoğan faces “openly degrading the state of the Republic of Turkey” charge was held in Ankara. The prosecutor requested the case file to be sent to them so that they can prepare their final opinion as to the accusations. Trial adjourned until March.
The 1st hearing of the retrial of Taraf newspaper’s former administrators Ahmet Altan, Yasemin Çongar and Yıldıray Oğur, journalists Mehmet Baransu and Tuncay Opçin who face multiple charges was held in İstanbul. Trial adjourned until May. 
An access ban imposed on Ekşi Sözlük, one of the most popular websites in Turkey, has been lifted after nine days, the CEO of the platform has announced.

Turkey Today – 01.03.2023
An airstrike was carried out by Turkey against a vehicle in Shengal. It was reported that there were wounded in the attack. 
The Union of Turkish Bar Associations filed a criminal complaint against the Red Crescent officials to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. 
The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) announced that the number of people who lost their lives in the earthquakes increased to 45,089. 
Participating in the damage assessment studies in Maraş Mihail Atik, President of the Chamber of Civil Engineers Van Branch said: “If the buildings had been built according to the earthquake regulations, we would have experienced 3 or 4 percent of the destruction.”
Tents set up in Koşuyolu Park are being emptied as a result of pressure. The electricity of those who did not leave the tents was cut off even though they had disabled children and babies. 
8 people, including People’s House MP Chairperson Zeynep Çelik, who protested the decision to remove tents and containers set up in solidarity with earthquake victims in Sevgi Park, were beaten and detained.
President Erdoğan has once again signaled that presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on May 14, which is normally scheduled to be held in June.
The eighth hearing of the SLAPP brought against Evrensel daily columnist and academic Ceren Sözeri by the CEO of Turkuvaz Media Group Serhat Albayrak was held in İstanbul. The court decided to wait for the responses to the writs issued to Eyüpsultan and Kadıköy police. Trial adjourned until June. 
The third hearing of the trial in which popstar Gülşen faces “openly inciting the public to hatred and hostility” charge was held in İstanbul. The court decided to give additional time for Gülşen, her lawyers and the complainants to prepare their arguments against the final opinion. Trial adjourned until May.