Turkey

Law
Journalist Can Dündar sentenced to 27 years in jail by Turkish court
Journalist Can Dündar  sentenced to 27 years in jail by Turkish court
Credit: Foto: © JCS' (Public Domain)

The journalist Can Dündar, who fled into exile in Germany, has been sentenced to more than 27 years in prison by a Turkish court. The court accused the Turkish newspaper journalist of obtaining state secrets for espionage purposes. It also convicted him of supporting terrorism.

Can Dündar's defenders stated that they think that the verdict against Dündar is political. Germany would therefore be unlikely to extradite the journalist.

Regional News • World
USA imposes sanctions on Turkey over purchase of Russian missile system
USA imposes sanctions on Turkey over purchase of Russian missile system
Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The U.S. is imposing sanctions on NATO ally Turkey over its deployment of Russia's S-400 missile defense system. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday in Washington that punitive measures would be imposed against the Defense Security Directorate (SSB). The directorate reports to the office of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The sanctions included a ban on all U.S. export licenses and permits for SSB, Pompeo announced.

Any assets of SSB chief Ismail Demir and other U.S. executives would be frozen. They would also be subject to entry restrictions. At the same time, Pompeo stressed that Turkey is a "valued ally" of the U.S. and an important security partner in the region, and that they would like to see continued cooperation in the defense sector.

Sports
Lewis Hamilton joined Michael Schumacher as a seven-time F1 champion
Lewis Hamilton joined Michael Schumacher as a seven-time F1 champion
Credit: LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton clinched a seventh World Championship and became the most successful racing driver ever with a masterful victory in the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday. Hamilton clinched the title with his 94th career win with a trademark wet-weather performance to win from sixth on the grid, one of the best drives of his illustrious career.

Behind Hamilton, a dramatic last-lap saw Sergio Perez overtaken by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for P2, only for Leclerc to overcook it at Turn 12, with Perez retaking second as Vettel made it through on his teammate to claim a first podium of the season.

Sports
Lance Stroll takes Turkish Grand Prix pole position after a chaotic qualifying session.
Lance Stroll takes Turkish Grand Prix pole position after a chaotic qualifying session.
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Racing Point's Lance Stroll beat Red Bull's Max Verstappen by 0.290 seconds and took the pole position for the Turkish Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton, on the verge of his seventh title, could manage only a sixth place.

Stroll's pole came completely out of the blue on a day when his Racing Point team clearly had their car set up just so to work the tyres effectively on a treacherously slippery track in challenging conditions.

Stroll's team-mate Sergio Perez was third ahead of Red Bull's Alexander Albon and Renault's Daniel Ricciardo.

Regional News • Middle East
Economic crisis hits Turkey's population hard
Economic crisis hits Turkey's population hard
Credit: unsplash.com / Osman Köycü

In Turkey, at least 38% percent of the households haven't a monthly income which is sufficient to buy enough food. The consume of red meat sunk by 30 % in the last twelve months, while noodles, one of the cheapest kinds of foods, is up by 25 %. The coalition partner of President Erdogan's AKP, the MHP set up a program to hand out free loaves of bread, which was criticised by the President himself for he claims that the situation isn't that bad.

Climate & Environment
Turkey, Greece: 7.0-magnitude earthquake hits Aegean Sea
Turkey, Greece: 7.0-magnitude earthquake hits Aegean Sea
Credit: ApChrKey, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

On Friday, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the Aegean Sea off the coast of Greece and Turkey. The earthquake caused buildings to crash and triggered a mini tsunami.

At least 27 people were killed – 25 in Turkey, 2 in Greece – and at least 804 people were injured. 470 aftershocks have been recorded.

Health
Fitness influencer Dmitriy Stuzhuk dies from Covid-19 after denying its existence
Fitness influencer Dmitriy Stuzhuk dies from Covid-19 after denying its existence
Credit: Courtesy of Instagram

Dmitriy Stuzhuk, a fitness influencer promoting healthy living, had contracted Covid-19 on a trip to Turkey. After his return to Ukraine, he had tested positive and subsequently been taken to a hospital. After eight days of treatment, he had been discharged but rushed back soon after due to heart complications.

His ex-wife has announced his death via Instagram stating that "only warm memories remain, three beautiful kids and valuable experience".

Regional News • Asia
Armenia accuses Turkey of shooting down its fighter jet
Turkish Air Force F-16
Turkish Air Force F-16 Credit: Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Armenia says a Turkish F-16 shot down one of its SU-25 fighter jets in a significant escalation of the conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Turkey, which openly backs Azerbaijan in the conflict, has denied the claim.

Regional News • Europe
Gas deposits dispute in the Mediterranean: Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus start military manoeuvres
Turkish Navy
Turkish Navy Credit: T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı

The NATO partners Greece and Turkey are in dispute over gas deposits in sea areas in the eastern Mediterranean Sea claimed by both countries, but also by Cyprus.

Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus are now launching a large-scale maneuver in the eastern Mediterranean. The joint exercise is to last until Friday. In addition to three Greek F-16 aircraft, three French Rafale jets are also taking part.

Sports
F1: Turkey, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi races added to 2020 schedule
F1: Turkey, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi races added to 2020 schedule
Credit: unsplash.com / Abed Ismail

Formula 1 has confirmed the addition of 4 races to the 2020 season: Turkey on November 15, Bahrain on November 29 and December 6, and finally Abu Dhabi on December 13.

"We can confirm that Turkey, Bahrain (hosting two races), and Abu Dhabi will be part of the revised season and want to express our thanks to the hard work of all our promoters and partners in making this 17-race season possible," stated the racing organization.

Within the statement, Formula 1 also announced that some of the remaining races of the year will be set to receive a limited number of spectators, with further details to be released at a later time.

Sports • Soccer
Istanbul Basaksehir claimed their first Turkish Super Lig title
Istanbul Basaksehir claimed their first Turkish Super Lig title
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

After a 1:0 win over Kayserispor, Istanbul Basaksehir celebrated their first Turkish Super Lig title and the first significant honour in the club's short history. The club was founded in 1990 as an amateur side but only got prominence after they were taken over in 2014 by a group of businessmen.

Galatasaray and Fenerbahce will not play European competitions during next season. Besiktas secured a Europa League place.

Regional News • Europe
The Journalist Deniz Yücel sentenced to two years and nine months in prison by the Turkish court
Deniz Yücel in Berlin, October 2011
Deniz Yücel in Berlin, October 2011 Credit: Schreibkraft (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

In today's trial, the journalist was sentenced to prison for propaganda for the PKK party, which is banned in turkey. His lawyer was acquitted of charges of propaganda for the Gülen movement and sedition. Yücel himself was not present at the trial. His lawyer, Vesel Ok, has already announced an appeal and says: "We do not accept this judgment." The verdict is not binding yet.

Yücel's case had a heavy impact on the German-Turkish relationship. He was held without charge in a high-security prison in Turkey from February 2017 to February 2018. For months he was in solitary confinement. In May 2019, it was announced that he was maltreated in prison.

Regional News • World
The German Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee calls the new UN agreement for aid to Syria as a "failure of the West all along the line"
Norbert Röttgen in 2021
Norbert Röttgen in 2021 Credit: Wolfgang Henry / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

On Saturday the UN Security Council agreed to continue the humanitarian aid to Syria only in a limited way. Due to the new regulation, only one border crossing for aid deliveries from Turkey to Northern Syria is planned, before there were two. According to aid organizations, this new regulation could endanger the care of millions of people in need.

Norbert Röttgen, the german chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, calls this decision a "failure of the West all along the line".

He further said to the newspaper "Die Welt": "This failure is due to the withdrawal of the United States and the subsequent vacuum that Russia was happy to fill. And it is the utter reluctance of Europeans not to represent their own interests in the region. The consequences of the displacement and killing of civilians by Assad and Putin, now with China's support in the UN Security Council, affect Europe. The displaced persons will seek protection from us through Turkey."

Regional News • Middle East
Erdogan signs decree converting Istanbul's Hagia Sophia into mosque
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia Credit: Igor Vita (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Turkey's top administrative court, the Council of State, ruled Friday that Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia could be converted into a mosque. After the decision President Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree handing control of Hagia Sophia to the country’s religious directorate and to reopen it for worship.

Hagia Sophia was the Byzantine Empire’s main cathedral until it was changed into a mosque following the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic, then turned the domed building into a museum that attracts millions of tourists each year.

Technology • Games
Users allegedly abusing VPNs cause Horizon Zero Dawn PC prices to skyrocket
Users allegedly abusing VPNs cause Horizon Zero Dawn PC prices to skyrocket
Credit: Guerrilla Games

Horizon Zero Dawn prices on PC have increased in some countries most likely as a result of people using VPNs to buy the game from a different country where the game was cheaper due to regional pricing.

Some example include Argentina, Turkey and Russia where the prices increased by 389%, 351% and 301%, respectively.

Law
Turkey charges seven people over escape Carlos Ghosn from Japan
Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn charges a Nissan Leaf
Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn charges a Nissan Leaf Credit: Nissan Motor Co. Ltd (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Turkish prosecutors have charged seven people, four pilots, an MNG Jet company official and two flight attendants for their alleged roles in former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan to Turkey and from there to Beirut, Lebanon.

Carlos Ghosn fled Japan in December after claims of financial misconduct, which he denies.

Regional News • Middle East
Turkey Deployed Over 2,800 Military Vehicles In Syria’s Greater Idlib

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed Turkish military has deployed 2,810 vehicles in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib since the ceasefire became active on March 5 and a total of 10,300 Turkish service members have been sent to the region since last February.