Emergency workers battled to relieve flood-hit areas of Turkey’s Black Sea region on Friday, as the death toll rose to 27 in the second natural disaster to strike the country this month. The floods, among the worst Turkey has experienced, brought chaos to northern provinces just as authorities were declaring wildfires that raged through southern coastal regions for two weeks had been brought under control.
Turkey officially withdrew on Thursday from an international treaty to prevent violence against women, enacting a decision that drew condemnation from many Turks and Western allies when President Tayyip Erdogan announced it in March. The Istanbul Convention, negotiated in Turkey’s biggest city and signed in 2011, committed its signatories to prevent and prosecute domestic violence and promote equality.
Turkey is bracing itself for its first national coronavirus lockdown as infection rates continue to climb in the country, now the highest in Europe. The lockdown will begin on Thursday at 7 p.m. local time (12 p.m. ET) and will last through the remainder of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and over the Eid al Fitr holiday. It is scheduled to end at 5 a.m. local time on May 17.
Turkey has condemned Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi for accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of humiliating European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and calling him a “dictator”. Von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel met Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday. The Commission chief was clearly taken aback when the two men sat on the only two chairs prepared.
Turkey and Egypt have had their first diplomatic contact since breaking off relations in 2013, according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Ties between Egypt and Turkey deteriorated after a military coup spearheaded by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi removed the Ankara-backed President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Erdogan has repeatedly referred to el-Sisi as a “putschist president” he holds responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians.
Turkish journalist Can Dundar was sentenced in absentia to 27 years and six months in prison for espionage and aiding an armed terrorist organization, his lawyers said on Wednesday, calling the verdict politically motivated. Dundar, the former editor-in-chief of Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, and a colleague, Erdem Gul, were both sentenced in 2016 to five years in prison for publishing a video purporting to show Turkish intelligence trucking weapons into Syria.
Turkey will not reverse its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems and will take reciprocal steps after evaluating U.S. sanctions imposed over the acquisition, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday. President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday the sanctions were a “hostile attack” against Turkey’s defense industry, and were bound to fail. The United States says the S-400s pose a threat to its F-35 fighter jets.
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that U.S. sanctions imposed on Turkey over its purchase of Russian defense systems were an attack on Ankara’s sovereign rights aimed at deterring its defense industry. On Monday, Washington imposed the sanctions targeting NATO member Turkey’s Defence Industry Directorate (SSB), its chief Ismail Demir and three other employees over its acquisition of Russian S-400 missile defense systems.
A court in Turkey has given life sentences to 337 military officers and others, in one of the biggest trials linked to the 2016 coup attempt. Air force pilots and army commanders were among the nearly 500 defendants accused of trying to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They allegedly directed the plot from the Akinci air base near Ankara. Mr Erdogan says US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen masterminded the plot, which led to mass arrests.
The United States said on Wednesday that it was removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program, a move long threatened and expected after Ankara began accepting delivery of an advanced Russian missile defense system last week. Turkey makes more than 900 parts of the F-35, the supply chain would transition from Turkish to mainly U.S. factories as Turkish suppliers are removed.