Safak Pavey’s Historic Speech

Last week Safak Pavey, MP for CHP, gave a speech in the Grand National Assembly on the occasion of the very first inclusion in parliament of four women wearing headscarves. Her speech captured the historical moment in all of its ambiguities and anguish.

Getting Around the Censors

China’s censors blocked searches for “big yellow duck” in an attempt to foil creative ways people have come up with to commemorate the 1989 crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square. The photo reimages the tanks facing down a man. The Wall Street Journal discusses other creative takes on Tiananmen on its anniversary, including an Angry […]

Coming Soon at a Bookstore Near You!

Publication date is early November. The excitement (well, my excitement) is mounting. Here’s the publisher’s website with a pdf of chapter 1.

Turkey To Show Holocaust Film

This post has been updated. The film has been shown. Here’s a new account. Turkish public television will show an epic French documentary about the Holocaust, the first broadcast of its kind by national media in a Muslim state… A spokesman for Turkish public television TRT said the 1985 film “Shoah” would be shown on one […]

Boot, Reboot: Turkey Boots Israeli Ambassador And Accepts NATO Missile Shield

As anyone who has set eyes on a newspaper already knows, Turkey has expelled the Israeli ambassador and halted joint military actions. Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times report: Turkey said Friday that it was downgrading its diplomatic and military ties with Israel and expelling its ambassador in a display of anger at Israel’s […]

State of the Nation: Happiness, Intolerance, Fear

This post was extensively updated. The results of a new study, The Turkey Values Survey, has caused a stir in Turkey. It shows a rise in conservative attitudes (though not a rise in religiosity), especially towards women (and by women), and high intolerance toward people with other beliefs and lifestyles (although ideological differences play little […]

Turkish Attitudes Toward Arabs (and everyone else)

SETA has issued a new report (click here for the full report in English) based on a study of Turkish attitudes toward Arabs and others. Pretty negative overall, with results varying somewhat between upper and lower income groups and men and women. Attitude towards Arabs: 39% negative, 34% positive. (Egypt is liked better than Oman; […]

Election Slate: Only Muslim Men Need Apply

This post has been updated: Here’s more on AKP’s candidate list. The parties have published their slates for the the June national elections. In AKP, Erdogan has consolidated his cadre, pushing out the remaining National View (Islamist) voices in favor of younger, educated men who have demonstrated their loyalty. Two of them are former heads of […]

Istanbul Love Story

The unlikely love story of a Jewish-Greek couple that met and married in Istanbul over fifty years ago. (Click here for the full article.) An excerpt: Fortuna was a teenager when she noticed Yani, five years her elder, a fishmonger working in the Grand Bazaar in the heart of old Istanbul. She was Jewish. He […]

A Jewish Turkish Family’s Story Told In Ladino

Film by Guler Orgun (taken from the very interesting Centropa Website) FILM LENGTH: 18min49 KEYWORDS: Istanbul, Sephardic Jews, Ladino, Turkey, Interreligious Marriage In the traditional Ladino language of her Sephardic Jewish ancestors, Güler Orgun tells us how her family found a new home in the Ottoman Empire after being expelled from Spain in the late 15th […]