For a journalist, one day in Turkey equals to several weeks, if not months, in a "normal" country. Most of the developments may lead to resignations, firings or mass protests in "normal" countries, but not in Turkey.
I can't keep pace with all of them by myself, so I compiled the stories that broke out in the last 24 hours from various sources, especially popular Turkish forums that discuss these subjects:
- In the wake of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s controversial statements on abortion Turkey’s Minister of Health said that the state will take care of babies born because of incidents of rape. It is announced that a bill to ban abortions will be introduced to the parliament next month.
- A bill that would ban strikes in Turkish Airlines was introduced to the parliament. 305 employees of Turkish Airlines protested the bill with a slowdown strike. All of them have been fired and the bill has become law now.
- "1 Kadin, 1 Erkek" (One Man, One Woman) is a TV show about an unmarried couple. RTUK, the state watchdog for television and radio, "suggested" that the couple should be married. The producers of the show announced that they're preparing the wedding for the next episode.
- An innocent bystander had died after police used pepper spray during a clash, although he had warned them that he had asthma. His family protested the police in front of the hospital and the police used pepper spray again!
- It is announced that police will start using 65-centimeter-long steel batons, instead of the polyurethane ones that they have now.
- Ali Akel, a columnist of pro-government Yeni Safak, is fired after criticizing the government following the Uludere incident. "I had to part ways with the newspaper due to my last articles. In times like these, there is always a price for speaking and writing. And someone always pays it," he tweeted.
- Esra Arsan, a professor at Bilgi University, published a study on censor and self-censor in the Turkish media. She is fired.
- Almost 100 journalists are still in jail, pending trials. One of them is Fusun Erdogan from Ozgur Radio, who was arrested SIX YEARS ago. There was another hearing yesterday and Erdogan was not released again. The next hearing is on September 6th.
- Freedom of the press advocates in Turkey had initially have high hopes in the latest reforms proposed by the government, the so-called "Third Judicial Package." Eleven articles of the package were recently approved in a parliamentary committee, but there is little hope for the jailed journalists. Instead, the new laws will make it HARDER for defence lawyers to access the files at the hands of the prosecutors and the judges.
- A criminal investigation against 103 lawyers in the KCK case is opened.
- Prime Minister Erdogan announced the construction of a giant mosque on Istanbul's highest hill overlooking the Bosphorus. The government also revealed who is to build Istanbul’s third bridge over the Bosphorus, although there are serious environmental concerns.