“International media has lost attention but the turmoil in Turkey continues in the grimmest Kafkaesque fashion imaginable.
* This week, Yigit Bulut, a fierce critic-turned-ardent AKP supporter, pseudo-journalist, top demagogue and Turkey’s surrealist par excellence, has been named chief advisor to Erdogan. Bulut insists there is an international conspiracy to kill the prime minister via ‘telekinesis’.
* Construction on the controversial third Bosphorus bridge has been suspended when authorities ‘realised’ that it was being carried out at a ‘wrong’ location, unrelated to the plans at hand. Work will restart at the ‘correct’ location. Meanwhile, thousands of trees were mowed down at the ‘wrong’ location, which has probably lost its forestry status. Expect to hear about a 5-star hotel, shopping mall and luxury residence project soon.
* Two days ago, Ali Ismail Korkmaz, a 19 year old university student, brutally beaten by stick-wielding thugs while running away from police assault in the city of Eskisehir, died after a month in coma. He was denied immediate treatment at the hospital and told to report to the police, before he lost his consciousness due to brain damage. 18 minutes of vital CCTV footage has mysteriously disappeared, therefore there are no suspects.
* Yesterday Ali’s funeral was taken to his hometown of Antakya. This is the multi-ethnic, multi-religious province on the Syrian border that has faced extreme tensions since the outbreak of the Syrian war; it was here that Turkey’s worst terrorist attack killed 51 people only two months ago. Thousands gathered to protest after the funeral and were met with a ferocious police response, now a daily occurrence in this once peaceful province. At least 18 are reported injured with two people blinded and one undergoing brain surgery.
* Last night, a public forum in Fatih, a conservative neighbourhood of Istanbul, was attacked by knife and stick-wielding men, while commemorating the death of Ali Ismail.
* A man caught on video swinging a meat cleaver at unarmed protestors at an earlier incident in Istanbul was released from police custody. Public outrage forced the authorities to issue a new arrest warrant. Today, it emerged that the man had left Turkey and is now vacationing in Morocco.”