Here are the main developments of the year in Turkey month by month, and day by day:
– JANUARY –
– Turkish parliament ratifies motion authorizing government to send troops to assist UN-recognized government in war-torn Libya.
– National Geographic Traveler magazine adds ancient site of Gobeklitepe, believed to be the world’s oldest temple, to its “Best Trips 2020” list.
– In ceremony, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin start gas deliveries through TurkStream gas pipeline, which transmits Russian gas to Turkey and to Europe through Turkey.
– Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets in Istanbul with Faye al-Sarraj, the head of Libya’s UN-recognized government.
– Delivery ceremony held for Turkey’s first national aviation motor TEI-PD170 produced by TUSAS (TEI) to Turkish Aerospace Industry.
– Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) lifts ban on Wikipedia under verdict by Constitutional Court.
– Hilmi Balci, one of four Anadolu Agency employees detained after raid by Egyptian police at agency’s Cairo office, arrives back in Turkey.
– Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte gather in Berlin for summit to discuss ways to achieve lasting cease-fire and political solution to longstanding Libyan conflict. Erdogan and Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Fayez az-Sarraj have a bilateral meeting ahead of the conference.
– A 6.8-magnitude quake shakes eastern Elazig province, killing 41 people in Elazig and Malatya provinces.
– Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend opening ceremony of new campus of Turkish-German University in Istanbul.
– Turkey deports four terrorists of French nationality back to their home country.
– Political parties in parliament condemn US’ so-called peace plan for Middle East.
– Turkish Airlines cancels flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, and Xian, China until Feb. 9.
– Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board meets for the first time under Health Minister Fahrettin Koca’s leadership.
– FEBRUARY –
– Military aircraft from China’s Wuhan province, origin of the COVID-19 outbreak, brings 61 people to Turkish capital Ankara including 32 Turkish nationals, six Azerbaijanis, three Georgians, and one Albanian as well as the flight crew, technical team, and health professionals.
– A passenger plane carrying 183 people skids off the runway during landing and breaks into two at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, killing three people. The pilot is arrested for investigation.
– Turkey starts scanning all passengers coming from international flights with thermal cameras at airport as part of precautions against COVID-19.
– Turkey’s largest library, the Presidential Library, is opened with a ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
– A total of 1,709 regime elements are neutralized in 17 days in operations carried out in Idlib, northern Syria by Turkish Armed Forces.
– Ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Republican People’s Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and Good Party (IYI Party) issue joint declaration condemning Assad regime elements’ airstrike on Turkish troops in Idlib.
– Turkish Armed Forces neutralize 56 regime elements following attack on Turkish troops in Idlib province.
– Irregular migrants in Turkey come together at designated locations on the move to country’s western border after Ankara’s announcement that it will not stop migrants hoping to cross over to Europe.
– Greek security forces attack irregular migrants waiting between Turkey’s Pazarkule and Greece’s Kastanies border gates with pepper spray and sonic bombs, wounding three migrants, including a child, all of whom are hospitalized in Turkey’s northwestern Edirne province.
– Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu says number of migrants leaving Turkey via its northwestern border province of Edirne reached 36,776.
– MARCH –
– Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Greece’s decision to detain more than 450 people on a naval vessel and refuse to allow them to lodge asylum claims flagrantly violates international and European law.
– Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announces Turkey’s first confirmed case of COVID-19.
– As part of COVID-19 precautions, Turkey bans visits abroad, and visits from abroad are cancelled unless absolutely necessary until the end of April.
– Turkey closes border with Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
– Turkish National Defense Ministry announces first Turkish-Russian joint land patrol was carried out along M4 highway in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.
– Turkish state closes mosques to stem COVID-19 spread.
– President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announces 100 billion Turkish liras ($15.4 billion) relief package to limit economic fallout from coronavirus.
– Via video link, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan takes part in G20 leaders meeting focusing on COVID-19 pandemic.
– APRIL –
– Turkey sends medical supplies to Spain and Italy to combat coronavirus.
– 555 Turkish citizens from Algeria evacuated by Algerian Airlines to Samsun in Turkey’s Black Sea region.
– Turkey’s flagship Anadolu Agency celebrates its centennial, as it was founded on April 6, 1920 – 17 days before the Turkish Grand National Assembly convened for the first time on April 23, amid the Turkish War of Independence. Since its foundation, Anadolu Agency has worked to speedily disseminate factual news across the globe with confidence, impartiality, and professionalism.
It is seen as one of the world’s most prestigious news agencies, currently producing news in 13 languages and serving 6,000 subscribers in 93 countries with at least 3,000 employees stationed in 100 countries.
– Supporting fight against coronavirus, Turkey sends medical equipment to five Balkan countries at the instruction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
– Vice President Fuat Oktay states that Turkey started an operation to bring back 25,000 citizens from 59 countries for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and Eid celebrations.
– Turkey’s president sends letter to head of the Armenian Patriarchate, assuring equal treatment regardless of belief and identity.
– Turkish military cargo plane carrying second batch of medical supplies departs for US to deliver aid to its NATO ally to battle the coronavirus outbreak.
– MAY –
– Turkey sends shipment of medical supplies, including new Turkish-made ventilators, to Somalia to help Horn of Africa country combat coronavirus.
– Turkey evacuates 302 of its citizens from the Netherlands, including seven babies, in fight against the virus.
– Turkey’s president cuts the ribbon on Basaksehir Cam and Sakura City Hospital, featuring 456 intensive care beds, 2,682 regular patient beds, 725 polyclinic rooms, and 90 operation room desks.
– Turkey’s first drillship, the Fatih, sets sail from Istanbul for drill mission in the Black Sea.
– JUNE –
– Turkish mobile game developer Peak Games’ $1.8 billion acquisition by US-based entertainment giant Zynga is one of the biggest deals in Turkish history.
– Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines remains the country’s most valuable brand in 2020, according to a leading London-based independent branded business valuation and strategy consultancy firm, which says its brand value rose from $1.73 billion in 2019 to $1.98 billion in 2020.
– Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends 12th International Conference on Islamic Economics and Finance via video link.
– At his inauguration, newly elected Turkish UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir says that as president, he will serve all UN members and represent the UN’s membership as a whole.
– JULY –
– Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani hold trilateral summit on Syria under the Astana format via video link.
– Fireworks factory blasts in Hendek, Sakarya, northwestern Turkey kill seven people.
– Turkish parliament reelects Mustafa Sentop, a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmaker from the northwestern Tekirdag province, as speaker.
– Top Turkish court annuls 1934 Cabinet decree that made Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia into museum, opening way for its use as mosque.
– A presidential decree transferring the nearly 1,500-year-old architectural gem to the state Religious Affairs Directorate is published in the Official Gazette.
– Turkish President Erdogan announces that the country plans to open Hagia Sophia for worship for July 24 Friday prayer.
– In address to the nation marking July 15, Democracy and National Unity Day, President Erdogan says, “July 15  was without doubt an attempt to invade our country. The use of terrorists within our own army for this [coup] added a vile betrayal to the invasion attempt.”
– President Erdogan tells foreign countries that converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque is a matter of national sovereignty.
– Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and security forces arrest Daesh/ISIS terror suspect of French origin, wanted by Interpol with red notice, in a joint operation on Syria border.
– Thanks to persuasion efforts by Turkish security forces, the nephew of a former YPG/PKK terrorist ringleader surrenders in Turkey’s southern Mersin province.
– Historic Friday prayers in Turkey’s Hagia Sophia Mosque mark the first acts of worship there in 86 years. Thousands of people take part in the traditional Friday prayers both inside and outside the historic mosque in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest metropolis.
– Speaking after the prayers, President Erdogan says 350,000 people attended prayers in Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque and adds, “Now this place has returned to its roots, it was a mosque and became a mosque again. Now I hope it will continue to serve all believers forever as a mosque.”
– Over last month, Turkish Coast Guard rescued 929 asylum seekers who were pushed back by the Greek Coast Guard into Turkish territorial waters in the Aegean.
– Turkish president reopens the country’s historic Orthodox Christian Sumela Monastery in the Black Sea province of Trabzon via video link.
– Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew thanks Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the restoration of Sumela Monastery and its reopening.
– After 86 years, the first Eid prayer at Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque is done with the participation of thousands of citizens who filled the inside and outside of the mosque.
– AUGUST –
– Visiting Lebanese capital, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay says Turkey is ready to help rebuild buildings in wake of massive blast at the Port of Beirut. After meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Oktay tells Lebanon that it can use Turkey’s Mersin port until their port is rebuilt.
– Turkish President Erdogan receives the management of Anadolu Agency, the country’s most trusted news source, as part of its centenary celebrations.
– Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Prime Minister Ersin Tatar telephones Anadolu Agency Director-General Senol Kazanci in honor or the agency’s centenary.
– President Erdogan announces the discovery of the biggest natural gas reserves in the country’s history in the Black Sea, near the Turkish coast.
– In phone call, Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas congratulates Turkish President Erdogan on discovery of Black Sea gas reserves.
– Erdogan receives Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh and his delegation at Vahdettin Mansion in Istanbul.
– Eleven people, including soldiers, are killed and many houses and shops damaged in floods triggered by heavy rain in Turkey’s Black Sea province of Giresun.
– Turkey wards off six Greek F-16 jets as they approach the region in the Eastern Mediterranean where Turkey issued a maritime Navtex alert.
– SEPTEMBER –
– Nihat Turan, a senior Daesh/ISIS terrorist said to be in charge of its operations in the southeastern Diyarbakir province, is arrested by Turkish police. Turan was wanted by authorities and previously sentenced in absentia to over six years in jail.
– Trilateral meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Charles Michel, head of the European Council, to discuss Turkey-EU relations, as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
– In a phone call, the Turkish and French presidents discuss the Eastern Mediterranean, bilateral ties, and relations between Ankara and the EU. Turkey’s Erdogan tells France’s Macron that ignoring the legitimate rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in the region is the reason for the tension.
– Turkey’s mainstream political parties, including the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Good (IYI) Party, unanimously condemn Armenian attack on Azerbaijan.
– Turkish border guards nab Islom Saydalimov, who allegedly has links with al-Qaeda, in its southern Hatay province’s Altinozu district with his wife and three children.
– OCTOBER –
– A series of technical talks between Turkish and Greek military delegations are planned after a phone call between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Turkey’s National Defense Ministry announces that Turkish and Greek military delegations reach a “common understanding on general principles” on the Eastern Mediterranean.
– Second anniversary of the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a 15-person team from Saudi Arabia after he entered his country’s consulate in Istanbul. In a 101-page report prepared by the UN on the incident, Saudi Arabia is held responsible for the planned murder.
– The 9.3-kilometer Reyhanli Dam – Turkey’s largest – is inaugurated.
– Receiving Fayez al-Sarraj, head of Libya’s UN-recognized government, in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expresses Turkey’s continual, full solidarity with Libya and underlines Turkey’s efforts to reinforce relations with the Government of National Accord, Libya’s sole legitimate representative.
– President Recep Tayyip Erdogan receives NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
– Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and police, gendarme, and border guards arrested 25 Daesh/ISIS terror suspects of foreign origin, including Iraq and Finland.
– President Erdogan slams French president’s recent remarks, saying “[Emmanuel] Macron’s statement on ‘Islam is in crisis’ in a city where Muslims are the majority goes beyond disrespect and is a clear provocation.”
– On a visit to Kuwait and Qatar, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s new emir, and conveys condolences on the passing of his predecessor Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who recently died at age 91.
– European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejects several appeals filed by Fetullah Gulen, leader of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.
– Ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmaker Markar Esayan dies at age 51 of fatal stomach disease. President Erdogan and first lady Emine Erdogan came to the Kumkapi Mother Mary Armenian Church to pay their respects to the deceased deputy.
– Daesh terrorist Soumaya Raissi, wanted by France with a red notice, arrested in Turkey’s southern Adana province.
– Turkish president inspects drill ship Fatih in Black Sea, announces discovery of an additional 85 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
– Reactions pour in after Armenian army launches missile attack on Ganja and Mingachevir in Azerbaijan. Civilians killed as more than 40 others were injured in Armenia’s missile attack on Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, Ganja.
– President Erdogan congratulates Ersin Tatar over his win in the Northern Cyprus presidential runoff.
– Turkish parliament approves joint declaration strongly condemning Emmanuel Macron’s remarks against Islam.
– President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lodges a criminal complaint against Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders over an insulting tweet.
– President Erdogan files criminal complaint against French magazine Charlie Hebdo over magazine publishing “loathsome so-called cartoons” purportedly of him. Prosecutors in capital Ankara also launch criminal probe into French magazine over insulting content.
– Magnitude 6.6 earthquake jolts Turkey’s Izmir province’s Seferihisar district at 2.51 p.m. local time (1151GMT) at a depth of 16.54 kilometers (around 10 miles). During the earthquake, many were trapped under debris while buildings collapsed, damaged.
– Turkish President Erdogan visits quake-hit Aegean province Izmir to inspect earthquake zone, meet local authorities. Telling that 24 million Turkish liras has been allocated to the region, Erdogan said rental support will be given to those whose houses were damaged in the earthquake, construction will begin after debris is removed, and houses will be quickly rebuilt.
– NOVEMBER –
– After nearly 65 hours, wounded 3-year-old girl Elif Perincek rescued days after powerful earthquake in Aegean Izmir province, becoming 106th survivor.
– 3-year-old Ayda Gezgin pulled alive from rubble days after powerful earthquake in Aegean Izmir province, 91 hours after quake. Ayda, the 107th survivor to be rescued, became a symbol of the quake.
– President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks via video conferencing to Recep Tayyip Gultekin and Mikail Ozen, two young Turkish nationals who risked their lives to help survivors of a terror attack in Vienna, Austria and saved a police officer’s life.
– Turkish Central Bank Governor Murat Uysal replaced by former Finance Minister Naci Agbal via presidential decree. Ibrahim Senel, deputy head of the Strategy and Budget Presidency, also appointed new head of the agency.
– Turkish Communications Directorate issues statement saying that Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak’s request to step down was approved.
– President Recep Tayyip Erdogan conveys congratulatory message to US President-elect Joe Biden, saying he hopes the results benefit the “friendly and allied” people of the US.
– Under presidential decree, Lutfi Elvan appointed Turkey’s new treasury and finance minister, succeeding Berat Albayrak.
– Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accompanied by first lady Emine Erdogan and Devlet Bahceli, head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), arrived in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to mark its 37th anniversary.
– Turkey’s parliament ratifies government plan to deploy Turkish troops to Azerbaijan.
– Volunteers apply for Phase 3 trials of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, administered on high-risk healthcare workers and medium-risk volunteers.
– Pfizer/BioNTcech vaccine tested on volunteers; at least 40 individuals volunteer for vaccine trial in northwestern Sakarya province.
– Despite ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Turkey’s economy grew 6.7% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020, according to TurkStat agency.
– DECEMBER –
– First train carrying export goods from Turkey to China departs from Istanbul.
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