Was Özal Poisoned?

…The exhumed body of Turkey’s late President Turgut Ozal, who led the country out of military rule in the 1980s, contained poison but the cause of death was unclear, local media reported an autopsy as showing on Wednesday. There have long been rumours that Ozal, who died of heart failure in 1993 aged 65, was […]

Congratulations! Tebrikler!

Aslı Çakır Alptekin won the 2012 Olympic gold medal and Gamze Bulut the silver medal for the 1500 meter race. An inside account of Turkey’s race strategy (click here) contains an interesting comment by the coach and by an athlete: …Coach Alptekin said that the emergence of Turkish women athletes at these Games is a […]

Happiness is Winging It On A Prayer

Hurriyet conducted an interview with the well-respected scholar Ersin Kalaycıoğlu about a new survey he conducted about health for the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) with Professor Ali Çarkoğlu. The survey discussed people’s attitudes toward health and health care, but also touched on a number of other issues. Some of his comments are quite thought-provoking. […]

No More Toasts to Afyonkarahisar

An inexplicably broad ban on alcohol has gone into effect in Afyonkarahisar. As always, these municipal alcohol restrictions are said to be for public health and safety purposes, not for reasons of conservative social engineering or for religious reasons. Yet this ban seems so all-encompassing that this rationale is patently not believable. No alcohol may […]

It’s a Dog’s Life in Istanbul

An essay by Bernd Brunner about Istanbul’s hundred thousand stray dogs. No, you’d rather not cuddle with them. They seem a little too unpredictable and unkempt for that. And it’s not tempting to project human characteristics on them either. But it is easy to feel sorry for some of them, who bear traces of injuries, […]

Birth Rate in Very Young Women Declines

There has been a dramatic decline over the past decade in very young women giving birth. (click here) The reasons aren’t give, but we can assume greater education, more prosperity, desire for upward mobility, perhaps greater access to and acceptance of birth control. (In a recent national poll (TESEV, by Carkoglu and Kalaycioglu, I believe), […]

The Real Snake Oil

In belated honor of May 14, Pharmacy Day (click here). Excerpt: The first pharmacies in Turkey were opened in hospitals established in Anatolia during the Seljuk era, but it was only in the middle of the 18th century that pharmacies, resembling those in Europe, opened. The oldest known pharmacy was opened by foreign graduates of […]

“Small” Earthquake in Van

Van registered a magnitude  4.7 earthquake today at 20:47. Nothing like Japan’s magnitude 9 Godzilla, of course. Still, having “sat” through smaller ones over the years in Ankara and Istanbul, it makes me nervous. In Istanbul, I think it was in 1998, I was on the fourth floor of a high-rise when it started swaying. No buildings […]

Profile of Turkey’s Youth

The Prime Ministry’s General Directorate for Family and Social Research has announced its findings from a longitudinal study of Turkish adolescents from 2008 to 2010 [“Adolescent Profile in Turkey”; the 2008 study is here (thanks, Emre). Click here for a news account]. Only 50.8 percent of survey respondents reported having friends of both sexes. The […]

Poverty Increases in Turkey

Poverty in Turkey increased in 2009 compared to the previous year, according to a recent report by the Turkish Statistics Institute, or TurkStat. (click here for a news account) The percentage of Turkey’s people living below the poverty line increased to 18.08 percent of society, or 12.75 million people, from 2008’s 17.79 percent. The proportion of […]