Main opposition leader faces 'disinformation' charges under thenew law
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party(CHP), blamed the government in a video posted on Twitter on October31 for what he called a "methamphetamine pandemic" in the country. Heasserted that the AKP government led "drug barons" to the country toreduce the foreign exchange deficit, which led to a spike inmethamphetamine use and production.
The General Directorate of Security (EGM) has filed acriminal complaint against Kilicdaroglu and accused him of "spreadingdisinformation." The Directorate also claimed the charges of"insult," "slander," and "insulting the Turkish nationand state" in its complaint.
CHP leader visits London to have talks with fundorganizations
Kilicdaroglu revealed details of his meetings in London in avideo posted on November 4 on his Twitteraccount. "We had meetings this morning with 14 major fundcompanies that have invested 100 billion pounds in various parts of the world,"Kilicdaroglu said.
"By luring clean investments to our country, we will quickly eliminatethe economy of gangs, the mafia, and illicit money. Nobody needs to worry,"he added in his recording.
Ruling party delegation visits opposition parties to seek supportfor 'headscarf' amendment
Ruling AKP's delegation visited the oppositionparties in the parliament on October 2 to get support for the constitutional 'headscarf'amendment. The ruling party brought the proposal to the political agenda inreaction to the CHP's headscarf move. The draft also reportedly containsanti-LGBTI+ clauses "to safeguard the family."
IMF Staff Completes 2022 Article IVMission to Turkey
“An IMF staff team visited Ankara and Istanbul during October14–26, 2022 to conduct discussions for the 2022 Article IV consultation. Themission met a broad range of counterparts from the public and private sector.The discussions covered the performance of Turkey’s economy since the Covid-19pandemic and the policy challenges that lie ahead.
To address Turkey's challenges, the mission recommended earlypolicy rate hikes accompanied by moves to strengthen the central bank’sindependence. Such moves would help reduce inflation more durably and allowreserve buffers to be rebuilt over time. Tight fiscal policy would also help,given rising fiscal risks and high inflation, with provision made for targetedassistance to the vulnerable. If these policies were implemented and asdisinflation takes hold, macroprudential and regulatory measures, includingFX-protected deposits, should be phased out carefully, so that the state playsa smaller role in financial markets and in credit allocation."
Annual inflation records a new high in October
Official data announced on November 3 revealedthat Turkey's annual inflation increased to a 24-year high of 85.51% in Octoberafter the Turkish central bank lowered its policy rate despiteskyrocketing prices.
Transportation, including petrol prices, took the lead with a 117.15%annual increase. Food prices, furniture, and householdequipment followed transportation prices with 99.05% and 93.63%,respectively.
Turkey's Inflation Research Group (ENAG), created by a group ofindependent academics, reported an annualincrease of 185.34% in October, which is significantly higher than the officialdata.
Government writes off student loans and pandemic fines ahead ofelections
With a new law passed onNovember 3, the government wrote off 1.61 billion dollars worth of debt,including student loans, all COVID-19 epidemic fines, and unpaid utility billsunder 2,000 Turkish Lira (108 dollars) ahead of elections scheduled forJune next year. Student loans had been a major issue for years as thecountry's economic crisis worsened.
32 women murdered inOctober, and at least 70 women exposed to violence
At least 32 women and four children weremurdered by men in October, according to reports that Bianet compiled from localand national newspapers, news websites, and news agencies. Men also assaultedat least 70 women, abused at least 18 children, and harassed at least 13 women.
Men killed at least 280 women, harassed131 women, abused 205 children, inflicted violence on 675 women, and raped 25women in the first ten months of 2022.
The US Supreme Court rejects Turkey's appeal to haltlawsuits over the 2017 Washington protest
On October 31, the US Supreme Court rejected Turkey's bid to dismisstwo lawsuits brought by protesters seeking monetary damages for allegedinjuries caused by Turkish security forces during a 2017 demonstration inWashington that took place in conjunction with the visit of Turkish PresidentErdogan.
The court rejected Turkey's claim that the country wasexempted from such legal action in the United States by federal legislationknown as the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
Turkey endeavours to coax Russia to resume Un brokered grain deal
Turkey intensified its attempts to maintain a crucialdeal to export Ukrainian grains after Russia announced on October29 that it was halting its participation due to Ukrainian strikes on its warshipsin Crimea.
Russian and Ukrainian monitors have suspended the inspectionsmandated by the grain export deal. Moscow also argues that Kyiv unfairlybenefits from the deal and expects guarantees from Kyiv to resume thedeal.
During an address on October 31, Turkish President Erdogan promised to keepalive the deal even if Russia hesitates to resume. Turkish ForeignMinister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar also hold separatecalls with their counterparts to persuade the Russian side.
UN, NATO, and EU urged Moscow to resume the grain deal to preventa global food crisis.
However, on November 2, Russia declared its return tothe grain deal after intense diplomatic traffic between the sides, atleast relieving concerns about a food crisis until the deal expires in lateNovember. Russian Defense Ministry stated that the "writtenguarantees" given by the Ukrainian side for its participation in theagreement were "adequate".
“Bolsonaro lost elections in Brazil, but Bolsonarism won” by ImdatOner, Institute for Diplomacy and Economy
Another right-wing populist leader's loss of power with authoritariantendencies is undoubtedly hopeful for countries such as Turkey, where a similarleader is ruling.
But it should be noted that it would not be adequate to compareBolsonaro, who has been in power for four years, with Turkish President Erdogan,who won every election during his 20 year-rule, by liquidating institutions,and building a new regime in the country.
One of the most important lessons for the Turkish opposition to takefrom the elections in Brazil is to prepare for the elections with strongcandidates and policies that could give confidence to the public, not just relyon survey results and declining support for the government.
“The republic’s centennial and the Turkish quagmire” by YavuzBaydar, Ahval News
“In a nutshell, 99 years of the Turkish Republic have been markedwith inequalities, a brutal denial of the plurality of its social texture,refusal of devolution of power, neglect of universal values that mergerepublics with democracy, dysfunctional rule of law, and steady discontent.
Now, with an unprecedented single-party rule of Erdogan’s Justiceand Development Party (AKP), the crisis-shattered country prepares for ashowdown, under the disguise of elections in late spring of 2023.
Fear and hope were never as intertwined as they are now and thisis because the vote will define for good, through a yes or no, the ultimatecourse of the country.
The malady among Turkey’s opposition elite is amazing. After twodecades of rule, it continues to underestimate the skills, survival instinct,and brinkmanship Erdogan displays.
History teaches over and over again the same lesson: Leadersdefine the course of history. In Turkey, there is (was) one and he is inprison: Selahattin Demirtas. Thus, even if Erdogan loses (a highly unlikely outcomegiven the circumstances), if one considers the structures in the bureaucracy heformed, his successor may only be able to accomplish cosmetic changes and willbe unable to overcome the Herculean task of grappling with the country’smulti-dimensional crisis.”
"Israel-Lebanon Agreement and Lessons to be Taken byTurkey", by Mustafa Enes Esen, Institute for Diplomacy and Economy
The maritime border agreement between Israel and Lebanon can alsoset a precedent for Turkey. As Israel and Lebanon succeeded, the means ofdiplomacy must be prioritized to settle Turkey’s maritime problems in theEastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea.
Although the balance of power is in its favor, Israel sat downwith Lebanon and reached a settlement, and they made significant gains that theywould have not achieved with the use of force.
Lebanon does not even recognize Israel's right to exist. Yet, theywere able to negotiate a maritime border agreement. The fact that Turkey doesnot recognize Cyprus should not prevent energy negotiations in the region.
Instead of pursuing a unilateral and maximalist policy, partiesshould accept that the other side can also have legitimate interests.Aggressive maritime policies in the eastern Mediterranean create acounter-block against Turkey. Taking into account the demands of othercountries would reduce tensions and enable Turkey to exploit resources in theregion.
"Will Green Activism Save Turkey’s Democracy?" byFrancesco Siccardi, Carnegie Europe
“Turkey’s green movement has grown and strengthened over time. Itis becoming a notable vector of confrontation against authoritarian politicsbecause of the strong link between ecological degradation and the increasinglyauthoritarian rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). But while greenactivism has adopted innovative tactics, it suffers from the same repressiveattacks by those in power as other areas of civil society do. Direct climateaction and organizing is spreading but is not yet strong enough to have a majorimpact at the political level in Turkey.
In Turkey, green protests can go beyond environmental issues andinclude demands for more inclusive and transparent governance. But whileclimate activism can help keep the opposition alive, the country’s democraticfuture is still in question.
In Turkey’s creepingly authoritarian political context, greencivil society remains a vector of social unrest. This is despite theconstraints imposed by the government, showing that such activism is possiblein restrictive, polarized contexts.”
"TOGG: Is it really the 'people's car'?" by WouterMassink, BIA News
"While TOGG is billed as Turkey's first domesticallymanufactured electric car, the vehicle still largely depends on foreigncompanies for some of its essential parts. Although designed and assembled in Turkey,batteries, and engines are imported. Currently, 51 percent of the materials aredomestically produced.
Even though officials coin the car as the "people'scar," the TOGG will likely be too expensive for many people in Turkey.This might prevent the car from becoming the 'people's car'. DW reported thatthere are plans to sell the first model at 900,000 lira (~50,000 Euro),unaffordable for many in the country, where the minimum wage is only 5,500lira, less than 300 Euro.
Furthermore, Turkey is highly urbanized, problematizing theroll-out of public charging stations in dense residential areas. Most chargingpoints are currently found in parking garages of shopping centers or at luxuryhotels."