Thursday, April 24, 2014

Theme: Turkey

  • At times, disobedience is not even deliberate—it is something that seems to happen to you, rather than something you choose. The youngest journalist ever prosecuted, Sami Menteş, was doing his job—interviewing leftist activists just after the Taksim resistance—and he ended up in prison, where he waited nearly nine months for his initial trial. Menteş was released after his first hearing and the only evidence against him was provided by a “secret witness.” Read more
  • Turkey is living through remarkable days which will be long remembered. Many thousands of people have taken to the streets of Istanbul, Ankara and other big cities, braving the teargas liberally sprayed by riot-police. Their cause: the future of Turkish politics and society. Read more
  • Award-winning investigative reporter Ahmet Sik is no stranger to danger. In 1998, he was hospitalized after a pro-police mob, furious about a murder conviction against several cops in a torture case, attacked the victim’s lawyers, the prosecutor, and journalists.Read more
  • The political upheavals of the Arab Spring and electoral victories of Islamist parties have brought a resurgence of talk about the ‘Turkish model’—a template that ‘effectively integrates Islam, democracy and vibrant economics’, according to a gushing New York Times article last year, which hailed Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as ‘perhaps the Middle East’s most influential figure’.Read more
  • In 2007, Kaos GL, a bimonthly publication of the Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association in Ankara, Turkey, devoted its November/December issue to “Turkiye’nin Gay Ikonlari” (Turkey’s Gay Icons). The magazine surveyed readers and published a list of the ten most popular gay icons in Turkey.Read more
  • Piri Reis (Hacı Ahmed Muhiddin Piri Reis) was an Ottoman sea captain (Kapudan-i Derya), geographer and cartographer who lived between 1465 or 1470, and 1554 or 1555.Read more
  • Against the backdrop of bloody upheaval in the Arab world, Turkey’s national election in June seemed a triumph of democracy. Read more
  • Nihat Erim, a former Turkish prime minister (1971-72), once said facetiously that Turkey couldn’t ever be run without the backing of the United States or Russia.Read more
  • In the lobby of the cinema in Istanbul's Nisantasi district, salon-tanned kids stretch out on sofas overlooking the lights of the city, before a blue-lit cocktail bar.Read more
  • The waiter who arrives with the summer at the seaside café barely earns eight to eight and a half a week. But what’s the harm? The café now belongs to him. He can work as he wants. At the day's end, after setting the chairs on top of the tables, he can smoke a cigarette while gazing at the sea, then call it a day—earlier on slow or rainy days—and lie down on his back, on the bed made with five chairs put together. He has no one meddling in his affairs, no one he can’t stand serving, and certainly no one whose services he doesn’t care to receive. Nor does he have to wonder why the customer who usually leaves a tip on the saucer didn’t leave any this time . . .Read more
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