Erdoğan attends İsmailaga Community leader’s funeral, Senior UK Ministers and İsraeli Prime Minister in Ankara, Policy interest rate stays the same, Council of State case over İstanbul Convention, Turkish public discuss on mini-documentary on sex workers… Here is what you need to know what is going on in Turkey Today:
1- Mahmut Ustaosmanoğlu, the leader of the Islamist İsmailaga Community, died at the age of 93. His funeral on June 24 in İstanbul Fatih Mosque was attended by a large crowd including high-profile politicians such as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Erdoğan also penned an obituary for the late leader published by many newspapers.
2- Senior UK Ministers were in Turkey to discuss Ankara’s block on Sweden and Finland’s NATO bid ahead of a critical NATO summit to be held on June 29-30, and to accelerate the UN-led efforts to get the grain waiting in Ukrainian ports out safely “ahead of the new harvest”.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace were in Ankara to have meetings with their counterparts on June 23 and 24. The visits came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on the phone on the Ukraine grain issue.
Apart from trade deals, NATO expansion and Ukrainian grains, representatives also discussed the current situation in Syria and Cyprus and the “energy supply issue” raised after the Russia-Ukraine war.
3- İsrael’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, soon to be Prime Minister, was in Ankara, a week after he issued a request for all Israeli citizens to leave Istanbul immediately over the Iranian threat and a day after the Saudi Crown Prince’s historic visit.
Foreign Minister Lapid hailed security cooperation with Turkey in helping foil an Iranian plot to kidnap or kill Israeli nationals in Istanbul. For more information on Israeli-İranian spy wars in Turkey read Murat Yetkin’s detailed op-ed here.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey and Israel have begun work on restoring their mutual diplomatic representation to the ambassador level as the two countries seek an end to more than a decade of strained ties.
The Israeli parliament will be dissolved and new elections will be called, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Monday. Bennett has agreed that Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will take over as prime minister in the meantime.
Meanwhile, Tehran accused Lapid of trying to ‘destroy relations’ between Iran and Turkey, the day after the Israeli foreign minister met his Turkish counterpart in Ankara.
4- The Monetary Policy Committee kept the policy interest rate stable at 14 percent amid rising inflation on June 23.
The Planning and Budget Commission approved the supplementary budget proposal to allocate 50 billion US Dollars worth budget to cover rising costs of tackling a currency slide amid soaring inflation while, Minister of Treasury and Finance Nurettin Nebati said that they are “determined to keep fighting against inflation”.
Wages of the civil servants and pensioners will be increased in July “at a rate above inflation” Minister of Labor and Social Security Vedat Bilgin said, adding that the negotiations about the minimum wage continue and will be announced next week.
5- The Council of State held the last hearing about the cases women associations filed against Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention. The prosecutor demanded the nullity of the Presidential decision and return to the Istanbul Convention.
6- DW Turkish Service’s mini-documentary about sex workers in İstanbul divided Turkish internet into two.
Minister of Family and Social Services Derya Yanık said that Deutsche Welle Turkish is committing the crime of promoting prostitution, and “they made necessary applications to the authorized institutions to prevent this content”.
7- Marmaris wildfire continues
8- Turkish judiciary is less independent than it was in 2016, and little action has been taken to curb corruption by politicians, the Council of Europe’s GRECO report states, underlining the continued lack of independence of the judiciary and the lack of progress in preventing corruption among members of parliament.