From the Ground: Turkish COVID-19 fight

August 4, 2020
Turkey’s cities are back to their daily hurley-burley after most of the restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 were lifted. The return to the old normal, with crowds on the streets, packed public transport and traffic jams, happened so fast that the time when the cities appeared apocalyptically quiet and still during the curfews […]

Turkey Passes Controversial Social Media Law

July 31, 2020
The Turkish parliament approved a controversial law on Wednesday which gives authorities greater power in regulating social media (AP). The adoption of such a law raised the concern of growing censorship on dissenting voices on social media platforms (Reuters). The law requires foreign social media sites to appoint Turkish representatives to address authorities’ concerns over […]

Turkey Convicts Human Rights Activists on Terrorism Charges

July 13, 2020
On Friday, July 3rd, a Turkish court convicted four human rights activists on terrorism-related charges (NYT). Taner Kilic, former chairman of Amnesty International Turkey, was sentenced to over six years in prison for charges of being a member of a terrorist organization (NYT). Three other human rights activists were convicted of assisting a terrorist organization, […]

Erdogan’s Executive Presidency Fails the Coronavirus Test

April 17, 2020
Before Turkey’s executive presidency was inaugurated in 2018, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated a pledge he had made on the campaign trail to rally support behind his long-term vision of changing the country’s parliamentary system to a presidential one. He promised to speed up the functioning of the state and make it more efficient. The […]