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Archive for February, 2008

Feb. 28 rectors

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Feb. 28 rectors
The situation involving Turkish university rectors at this point is a clear indication of the sort of appointments made by the 10th Turkish president, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, and the former Higher Education Board (YÖK) chairmen. (more…)

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Whose hands really rose to vote in chaos

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Whose hands really rose to vote in chaos?
Tension continues between the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) over the headscarf question. (more…)

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The Constitutional Court’s justice test

Friday, February 29th, 2008

The Constitutional Court’s justice test
The Constitutional Court in Turkey has turned into a hierarchical authority over legislation. All eyes are on the Constitutional Court to see what its decision will be. (more…)

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Dark days

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Dark days!
The Feb. 28 period in Turkey did not resemble other coups Turkey had experienced in the past. It is often referred to as Turkey’s first post-modern coup. (more…)

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Those resisting freedom

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Those resisting freedom
It is almost as if there were two wars going on in the country. One is against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, and the other is being waged between those in favor of the ban on headscarves at universities and those in favor of freedom at universities. (more…)

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Would taking ‘service’ solve the Kurdish issue

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Would taking ‘service’ solve the Kurdish issue ?
The villager had no water or roads in the past, but today he has. There was no school, electricity or telephone line, but today they all are there; yet the improvement of such standards of living are of course not enough for him (the villager) to tolerate the pressures on his Kurdish identity. (more…)

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What if it is not a religious conviction ?

Friday, February 29th, 2008

What if it is not a religious conviction?
Some secular columnists discuss whether or not covering the head with a headscarf is a religious requirement. (more…)

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We should save the hearts from suffering!

Friday, February 29th, 2008

We should save the hearts from suffering!
The PKK should lay aside violence and bury their weapons. The state should seriously start implementing policies that are based on respect for the Kurds’ identity.

The government should use its political determination in this way. As it was stated in a letter signed by 100 intellectuals and submitted to President Gül, “The Kurdish problem is not only a problem of violence and security, but also a problem with social, political, cultural, psychological, humanitarian and economic sides.” Understanding how this problem emerged, why it has been continuing for years and why it cannot be solved despite all the military precautions put into effect is as equally important as Kurds and Turks understanding what they think and feel about each other. If we can empathize with the other side, then we can understand each other, get rid of our prejudgments and manage to see the truth as it is.

28.02.2008

HASAN CEMAL, M?LL?YET

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Iranian body reinstates more hopefuls for March vote

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

An Iranian hard-line watchdog body has reinstated another 200 candidates to run in a March parliamentary election, state television reported on Wednesday. (more…)

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Extreme left group leader to receive compensation for lengthy trial

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

A court in Ankara has ruled that Dursun Karata?, the fugitive leader of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), should obtain redress for a trial that lasted a total of 27 years. (more…)

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Germany’s Turkish community uneasy, warns Üskül

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Parliamentary Human Rights Investigation Commission head Zafer Üskül has stated that the Turkish community in Germany is “uneasy, concerned and worried” after a number of fires broke out in Turkish homes in different regions of Germany on and after Feb. 3, when a suspicious house fire killed nine Turks. (more…)

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No end to fires: Has Germany lost the chance to integrate its Turks?

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

 A total of 59.4 percent of Germans in 2006 either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with the statement that “too many” foreigners live in Germany. (more…)

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‘Turkish Patriarch’ detained, linked to Ergenekon

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Pa?a Ümit Erenerol, the self-declared head of the so-called Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate based in ?stanbul was detained yesterday in relation to his ties to the Ergenekon gang, a shadowy criminal organization, some of whose members were arrested in a recent police operation. (more…)

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Lavrov: Russian stance on Cyprus unchanged

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Foreign Minister Ali Babacan (L) is welcomed by his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, during their meeting in Moscow on Wednesday. (more…)

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TRT channel to launch Kurdish broadcast

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

?brahim Sahin
The state’s official radio and television station, TRT, is planning to set aside one of its five channels for broadcasts in non-Turkish languages used by Turkish citizens, most notably Kurdish, according to government officials. (more…)

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PM meets with newly appointed ambassadors at luncheon

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an gathered with newly appointed Turkish ambassadors at a luncheon at the Prime Ministry yesterday. (more…)

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Last part of minority rights law passed in Parliament

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

The last article of a bill returning property confiscated from non-Muslim minority foundations was adopted in Parliament on Wednesday amid opposition from nationalists, with neither minorities nor opponents of the bill left satisfied. (more…)

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Sarksyan torn between realities and maintaining the status quo

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sarksyan walks onstage to address his supporters during a pre-election rally in Yerevan last weekend. Sarksyan won a clear victory in Tuesday’s presidential election and is now expected to stick to policies of outgoing President Robert Kocharian. (more…)

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Supreme Court of Appeals head: Regime not in danger

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

 Supreme Court of Appeals President Hasan Gerçeker
The head of one of Turkey’s top courts said at a meeting with journalists on Wednesday that Turkey’s secular regime is well and sound, indicating that any discussion to the contrary was not timely. (more…)

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The gazpromization of European energy security

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

[ANALYSIS]
The gazpromization of European energy security
The term “energy security” in Europe has been hijacked to empower suppliers and weaken importers, implying a drastic reduction in competition, rising political vulnerability and the erosion of the rule of law. (more…)

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Turkish economist Birol chosen for ‘ SlimCity ‘ project

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

International Energy Agency (IEA) chief economist Fatih Birol has been elected to take part in the SlimCity Initiative, which aims to promote cooperation in dealing with energy and resource management at the level of municipal administrations and city governance. Several administrators, including the governors of Tokyo and the state of Mexico and the mayors of London, San Francisco and Milan, are also part of the project, which was initiated during the latest World Economic Forum’s Davos meeting. (more…)

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MHP parts ways with AK Party on headscarf

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which has backed a constitutional amendment package of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to put an end to a nearly two-decade old ban against the headscarf on university campuses, will not support further changes in headscarf-freedom related laws, party sources said on Wednesday. (more…)

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Headscarf debate as seen from the US

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

I have become pretty accustomed to the audience getting to the same issue sooner or later at every literature event I attend in the US. The recurring question is the famous one, i.e., the “headscarf debate in Turkey.” (more…)

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Is secularity on the way out ?

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

No, it cannot go! Why is it exactly that we can’t lose secularity? While searching for the answer to this question, let’s first look at the parameters of the issue. For example, at what point could we truly say that we have lost secularity? (more…)

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What do women say about this business?

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

What do those who actually wear headscarves say to this all? Are there any differences in perception when compared with before? (more…)

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Chance for peace

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Tassos Papadopoulos’ electoral loss along with the remaining two candidates who both express support for solutions for Cyprus means a historic chance for peace on this island. (more…)

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The Article 17 trap

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

The changes to Article 17 of the Higher Education Board (YÖK) Law that have been postponed by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are a complete trap.

The re-wording of the text in this article will do nothing to get rid of its inherent dangers. The greatest hope of those upholding the current ban against headscarves in Turkish universities lies in a deadlock over the changes being made to this article along with a decision from the Constitutional Court. Of course, the views espoused by the Constitutional Court may change along with changing conditions, although their stance is quite clear and well known on this subject. And so, the urging from the upholders of the headscarf ban to “hurry up, produce this new Article 17” are not for nothing. Both the AK Party and the MHP need to proceed very carefully. After bringing the headscarf problem this far, they need to avoid falling into a trap. The price for a misstep at this point would be very high.

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