In this issue, I have summarised Turkey's political agenda in 2022. In the year when political tensions were quite high; bans, corruption, and poverty were on the agenda again. Opposition parties, on the other hand, were trying to offer a way out to society.
We wish that the 100th anniversary of our Republic will bring democracy, justice, freedom, and development to Turkey.
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Turkey in 2022
Political events in Turkey, all year round.
· Enes Kara, a student at Elazığ Fırat University Faculty of Medicine, committed suicide due to the pressure he was subjected to in the sect dormitory where he was staying with the imposition of his family.
· Journalist Sedef Kabaş, was arrested on the charge of ‘insulting the President’ because of her statements that ‘When a cattle enters a palace, it does not become a king, that palace becomes a stable.’ Kabaş, who was detained for 49 days, was released on March 11.
·A criminal complaint was filed against Sezen Aksu for the lyrics ‘Say hi to those ignorant Adam and Eve’ in the song ‘Şahane Bir Şey Yaşamak’. President Erdoğan said, ‘No one's tongue can reach out to the Prophet Adam, peace be upon him. It is our duty to tear off those extended languages when necessary.’
· Minister of Justice Abdülhamit Gül resigned from his post. He was replaced by Bekir Bozdağ.
· TURKSTAT President Sait Erdal Dinçer's position was terminated and Erhan Çetinkaya, Vice President of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, was appointed in his place.
· Journalists Ferhat Çelik, Barış Pehlivan, Hülya Kılınç, Murat Ağırel, Aydın Keser, and Barış Terkoğlu were upheld in the ‘MIT member news’ case. Pehlivan, Ağırel, and Kılınç were arrested and later released on probation.
· After the increase in electricity tariffs by between 52% and 130%, shopkeepers protested their electricity bills with signs on the windows of their shops.
· Hotel and casino manager Halil Falyalı was killed in an armed attack in the TRNC. Sedat Peker, the leader of the organised crime group, claimed that Falyalı was at the centre of the drug money traffic in Cyprus.
· The family of Gülistan Doku, who has not been heard from in Tunceli for more than 780 days, was detained in front of the Ministry of Justice, where they had gone to request an appointment.
· The leaders of the CHP, IYI Party, Saadet Party, Demokrat Party, DEVA Party and Gelecek Party signed the 23-point Strengthened Parliamentary System text they agreed upon. The text of the memorandum was made public.
· On the occasion of March 8, International Women's Day, women who wanted to protest in Istanbul were intervened with tear gas. In Ankara, too, the police did not allow the women's march.
· The immunity of HDP Diyarbakır deputy Semra Güzel, whose photos with terrorist organisation PKK member Volkan Bora were revealed, was lifted. Güzel's parliamentary mandate was cancelled in December.
· With the amendments made to the election law, the election threshold was reduced to 7%.
· The case against 26 defendants for the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been transferred to Saudi Arabia.
· On April 17, the TSK launched a cross-border operation called ‘Claw-Lock’ against PKK targets in northern Iraq. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry sent a note to Turkey.
· In the Gezi Park case, which has been going on for nearly 3 years, Osman Kavala was sentenced on April 26 to aggravated life imprisonment for ‘attempting to overthrow the government.’ The other defendants, Mücella Yapıcı, Çiğdem Mater, Ali Hakan Altınay, Mine Özerden, Can Atalay, and Yiğit Ali Emekçi, were each sentenced to 18 years in prison for aiding and abetting the crime of ‘attempting to overthrow the government.’
· Due to the Gezi Park case, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has officially launched the infringement procedure against Turkey. The EU said the decision was ‘a rare tool and it reflects serious concerns’.
· The Ministry of Interior extended the music ban which started at 00:00, to 01:00.
· CHP Istanbul Provincial Chairperson Canan Kaftancıoğlu's sentence of 4 years, 11 months, and 20 days in prison on charges of ‘insulting a public official’, ‘publicly insulting the State of the Republic of Turkey’, and ‘insulting the President’ was upheld. A ‘political ban’ was imposed on Kaftancıoğlu.
· In the case of the lynch attempt against CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu; Osman Sarıgün, who punched Kılıçdaroğlu, was sentenced to 2 years and 1 month in prison for ‘simple wounding’ and the announcement of the verdict was postponed.
· The demolition of Atatürk Airport has begun.
· CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu was not allowed into the building during his visit to SADAT. Kılıçdaroğlu, who made a statement in front of the building, said, ‘Turkey will never be handed over to paramilitary organisations, institutions, and individuals.’
· Kılıçdaroğlu, the CHP leader, claimed that President Erdoğan's family transferred $60 million to a foundation in the US through the Ensar Foundation and TÜRGEV.
· In addition to AnadoluFest and FullFest, the concerts of Aynur Doğan, Metin-Kemal Kahraman, Matthaios Tsahouridis, Apolas Lermi, Mem Ararat, Niyazi Koyuncu, Melek Mosso, Ceza, and Ediz Hafızoğlu were banned or cancelled for various reasons.
· Regarding the cigarette and alcohol price hikes, President Erdoğan said, ‘We are constantly increasing them. They are very uncomfortable with this. We make increases for the watery (alcohol) and cigarettes. They walk around hungry and miserable, and they don’t hesitate to buy raki and beer.’ Regarding the Gezi Park protests, he said, ‘Imagine these bandits, these terrorists inside the Dolmabahçe Bezmialem Valide Sultan Mosque, almost filthing with beer bottles and beer cans. They are like this, they are rotten, they are bitches.’
· Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis, made a speech in the US Senate targeting Turkey. President Erdoğan said, ‘There is no such person as Mitsotakis for me anymore. Let him think about the next one himself.’ Turkey-Greece relations have been tense throughout the year.
· Austria's Ministry of Justice has decided to extradite imprisoned businessman Sezgin Baran Korkmaz, the owner of SBK Holding, to the US.
· Istanbul LGBTQ+ Pride Week activities, which are planned to be held for the 30th time, have been banned in order to ‘protect peace, security, and well-being’ and ‘prevent the commission of crimes’. 300 people, including journalists, were detained during the march in Cihangir.
· The Presidential Motion on the extension of the deadline for sending troops to Libya for another 18 months as of July 2, 2022 was adopted in the General Assembly of the Grand National Assembly.
· In the case of the murder of Pınar Gültekin, the defendant Cemal Metin Avcı was sentenced to 23 years in prison with a reduction in ‘unjust provocation’.
· It was revealed that the cyanide pipe of the ‘Anagold Mining’ company, which operates in the İliç district of Erzincan, leaked and 20 tons of cyanide flowed into the Euphrates River and the İliç Dam.
· Ekrem Karakaya, a cardiology specialist at Konya City Hospital, was killed by Hacı Mehmet Akçay. Upon the call of the Turkish Medical Association, health workers protested the murder.
· In Bakırköy, Istanbul, lawyer Servet Bakırtaş was killed by Abdullah Türkoğlu, who was engaged in a lawsuit with Bakırtaş's client. In many provinces, lawyers came together and organised a demonstration.
· Delegations from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and the UN met in Istanbul for grain corridor talks. Minister of National Defense, Hulusi Akar announced that it was agreed to establish a coordination centre in Istanbul and to carry out controls.
· 9 people were killed and 23 injured in the attack in the Zakho region of Dohuk province of the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). ‘This brutal attack has revealed that it ignored Turkey's persistent warnings to refrain from military violations against Iraqi soil and people.’ Iraqi Prime Minister Kazimi said of the attack. Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu said, ‘According to the information we received from the TSK, we did not have any attacks against civilians. This is an attack to thwart Turkey's anti-terror initiatives.’ The Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Mosul was also attacked.
· Council of State of the 10th chamber rejected the request for annulment of the Presidential Decree of 20 March 2021 on the termination of the Istanbul Convention.
· It turned out that the KPSS questions were the same as the trial exam questions previously published by Yediiklim Publications. The KPSS sessions held on July 31 were canceled. ÖSYM President Prof. Dr. Halil Aygün was dismissed.
· The Balıkesir Burhaniye District Governor's Office banned the Zeytinli Rock Festival on the grounds of ‘public safety and health, peace of the community, and protection of the environment’.
· Turkey and Israel decided to increase the level of diplomatic representation by appointing mutual ambassadors.
· Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoğlu said he had met with his counterpart from Syria ‘on the run’. Opposition groups in Syria protested against Turkey.
· Russia announced that the implementation of the supply of the S-400 air defense system to Turkey for the second batch has begun.
· Gülşen was arrested on charges of ‘inciting or humiliating the public to hatred and enmity’ after her joke against İmam Hatip students at a concert was revealed, and she was detained for three days.
· Organised crime group leader Sedat Peker, alleged that former Capital Markets Board Chairperson Ali Fuat Taşkesenlioğlu and his sister, AK Party Erzurum deputy, Zehra Taşkesenlioğlu asked for bribes for transactions at the CMB. Peker, who also published secret footage of Zehra Taşkesenlioğlu, claimed that Serkan Taranoğlu, Advisor to the President, and Salih Orakcı, a member of the Naval Assembly of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, were also in a ‘bribery network’. Opposition parties have filed criminal complaints about the allegations.
· The Social Freedom Party (TÖP), the Workers' Party of Turkey (TİP), the Labour Movement Party (EHP), the Federation of Socialist Assemblies (SMF) and the Labour Party (EMEP), which came together at the call of the HDP, announced the name of their alliance as the ‘Labour and Freedom Alliance’.
· The ‘Great Family Meeting’ organised by the Unity and Struggle Platform was held in Saraçhane Park in Istanbul. During the march against LGBTQ+, it was claimed that ‘the family institution is under attack’. The Istanbul Convention was also targeted at the rally.
· The CHP High Disciplinary Board imposed a 1-year temporary dismissal sentence on Bolu Mayor Tanju Özcan, who was asked for definitive dismissal due to his statements against a female council member.
· The CHP has submitted a proposal to the Turkish Grand National Assembly that provides legal guarantees for the headscarf. President Erdoğan said, ‘If you dare, let's take the headscarf issue to a referendum.’ The AK Party has drafted two constitutional amendments that provide constitutional guarantees for the headscarf and state that the family is ‘made up of men and women’.
· The disinformation law prepared by the AK Party and MHP was adopted. The amendment, also called the ‘censorship law’, paved the way for journalists and social media users to be sentenced to up to 3 years in prison and the trial to be held in pretrial detention for the crime of spreading misleading information to the public.
· President Erdoğan announced the establishment of the Alevi-Bektashi Culture and Cemevleri Presidency under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
· In the explosion that occurred in the mine belonging to the Turkish Hard Coal Authority in the Amasra district of Bartın, 41 people lost their lives and 11 people were injured.
· Turkish Medical Association (TTB) President Şebnem Korur Fincancı, was arrested on charges of ‘making propaganda for a terrorist organisation’. Fincancı claimed that the TSK used chemical weapons, and the claim was denied.
· Former HDP member of parliament Aysel Tuğluk, who was diagnosed with dementia, was released.
· An operation was carried out on the Ankara office of the Mezopotamya Agency and the homes of its employees. 10 journalists were detained.
· AK Party Group Deputy Chairperson Mahir Ünal resigned from his post after his criticism of the language revolution was targeted by MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli. He was replaced by Özlem Zengin.
· Kılıçdaroglu, the CHP leader, said the government has allowed money from drug trafficking to enter the country.
· Saadet Party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu was re-elected as chairperson in the election, in which he entered as the only candidate in his party's congress.
· A bomb attack was carried out on İstiklal Street in Istanbul. It was announced that the person who organised the terrorist attack, in which 6 people lost their lives and 81 people were injured, was Syrian national Ahlam Albashir. Albashir was captured and 50 people were detained. The police announced that the terrorist organisation PKK organised the attack. The PKK did not claim responsibility for the attack.
· 6 days after the terrorist attack on İstiklal Street, the TSK organised a ‘Claw-Sword Air Operation’ in Northern Iraq and Syria. The terrorist organisation YPG fired 5 rockets at Gaziantep Karkamış and 3 rockets at Kilis Öncüpınar. 3 people lost their lives.
· President Erdoğan greeted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at the opening of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. This greeting was the highest level of contact between Turkey and Egypt after 9 years.
· The Six Party Table shared the 84-article constitutional amendment package with the public with the slogan ‘Now is the Time for Democracy’.
· Demonstrations were held in Istanbul on the occasion of 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Following the press statement, police intervened against women's organisations that wanted to march to Taksim on the grounds that ‘unauthorised demonstrations were held’ and more than 200 people, including journalists, were detained.
· Two officials, who killed the dog they resorted to violence at the Konya Metropolitan Municipality Animal Rehabilitation Centre and who were investigated, were arrested.
· Journalist Timur Soykan revealed that Yusuf Ziya Gümüşel, the founder of the Hiranur Foundation, one of the branches of the İsmailağa Community, married off his daughter to a religious marriage when she was 6 years old, that the child was subjected to sexual abuse for years; that Kadir İstekli, her father Yusuf Ziya Gümüşel, whom she married, and her mother Fatma Gümüşel, were not punished after the child complained. Kılıçdaroğlu marched to the Ministry of Justice to protest against the lack of any steps taken by the authorities. Father Gümüşel and İstekli were arrested.
· IYI Party MP Hüseyin Örs, who was punched by AK Party MP Zafer Işık during a scuffle between IYI Party and AK Party deputies during budget negotiations in the Turkish Grand National Assembly, was taken to the hospital after becoming ill. Örs, whose heart stopped for a while, was treated in intensive care.
· CHP held the ‘Call to the Second Century’ event, where it introduced its economic vision based on high technology and prioritising production and employment.
· BİM Executive Board Member Galip Aykaç, resigned from his position as the President of the Food Retailers Association. Aykaç, who had been arguing with MHP leader Bahçeli, was threatened by Yakup Kürşad Yılmaz, who was released on ‘security’ grounds after being tried for the leadership of the criminal organisation.
· IMM Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, was sentenced to 2 years, 7 months, and 15 days in prison for allegedly insulting YSK (Supreme Electoral Council) members after he responded to Minister of Internal Affairs, Süleyman Soylu's 'idiot' statement about him in the local elections: ‘Those who cancelled the election on March 31 are fools.’ İmamoğlu, who will be politically banned if the decision is upheld, addressed IYI Party leader Akşener and called out to his supporters the same evening. The next day, a rally was held in Saraçhane, Istanbul with the participation of the leaders of the Six Party Table.
· In the ‘Montreux Declaration’ case, in which 103 retired admirals faced trials, all the defendants were acquitted.