Headlines from the centennial! – A sequel (II)
Here we go with more headlines from the Istanbul press in the year 2023:
- Turkey’s Supreme Islamic Scientific Committee has announced that its scientists have successfully developed an Islamic bulb which refuses to switch on if it senses alcohol within 25 meters. The committee said the invention would be nominated for the Islamic Nobel prize in physics.
- A major in the Turkish Army has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights for having been expelled from service because his wife does not wear the Islamic headscarf. The court refused to examine the complaint on the grounds that Turkey had ceased to be a member of the European Council in 2019.
- A probe into the errant bombing of Diyarbakır by Turkish fighter jets which killed 348 locals in January found that the tragedy had happened because of an Israeli conspiracy. The Homeland Security Department said it had arrested 26 more Israeli spies over the past week in connection to the plot, including five wild geese, seven dolphins, three falcons and 11 bluefish. An official said: “All of the suspects carried special tags that read ‘Israeli spy.’”
- Turkey and the outlawed PKK announced that they decided to hold their 276th round of secret peace talks in Kingston, Jamaica. A joint statement read: “We had been quite weary of the cold and depressing weather in Nordic countries.”
- The Turkish Parliament released a communiqué threatening all 164 parliaments across the world that have recognized the Armenian genocide. It said: “We will have no alternative but to resort to fully using our global superpower capabilities in retaliation.” The only response came from Vanuatu’s Parliament, which said: “We are not afraid.”
- President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has praised the new democratic reform package in Saudi Arabia which allows women to drive if they are accompanied by at least four male members of their families.
- Islam, the Quran and the Life of Prophet Muhammad has been introduced as a compulsory course in all university departments. Some academics objected that the new regulations could hinder a scientific curriculum as a student of mechanical engineering would now have to study Islam for more hours per week than mathematics.
- After Mey Gida, an alcoholic beverages producer, applied to the tobacco and alcohol watchdog to obtain a license for its brand-new product, alcohol-free rakı, a food processor has applied to the authorities to win a license to produce pork-free bacon.
- Human rights organizations criticized the Turkish government for systematically abusing and intimidating female government employees who don’t wear the Islamic headscarf. A spokesman for the government replied that: “The accusations are totally baseless. On the contrary, we think we deserve praise for trying to help the non-pious employees find the right way and reach salvation.”
- The police have reported that during the holy month of Ramadan this year a total of 329 people across Turkey were caught red-handed while publicly chewing gum and smoking. The police said the suspects were arrested after having admitted guilt, although 326 of them said they were only visiting tourists from Britain, Russia, Japan, Italy, Spain, Canada and India. Two of the suspects were found to be Alevi Turks and one was an Azerbaijani national.
- Ankara has threatened to take retaliatory action unless Libya, Tunisia and Egypt agreed to take Turkey as a role model for democracy in their respective countries.
- The Supreme Board of Moral Values has decided to ban a new list of 26,450 books on the grounds that they could lead to a collapse of public order. The banned books include best-sellers like “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” “Gone with the Wind,” “1984,” “The Godfather,” “Jaws,” “Don Quixote,” “Tarzan,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” as well as Bill Wilson’s “Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book,” Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” “The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary” and Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”