Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Regional News • Middle East
Turkey quits Istanbul Convention on violence against women
Turkey quits Istanbul Convention on violence against women
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has triggered protests for withdrawing the country from an international agreement to prevent violence against women. The decision comes amid increasing calls for Turkey to combat domestic violence as femicide rates rise.

"The guarantee of women's rights are the current regulations in our bylaws, primarily our Constitution. Our judicial system is dynamic and strong enough to implement new regulations as needed," Family, Labour and Social Policies Minister Zehra Zumrut Selcuk said on Twitter.

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.

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.

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.