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PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan again condemns the anti-government protests in Turkey, saying they do not constitute a Turkish Spring.
Many young citizens are accusing the Turkish government of becoming increasingly authoritarian and have taken to the streets as they fear that their secular society will follow more traditional Islamic values (just last week, the sale of alcohol was outlawed). Over 1,700 have been arrested in 67 cities in these protests in the last few days.
Tags: conflict, political, Turkey.
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As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey of Following Suit
Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds have been caught in other people's plans for what the states of the Middle East should look like and are the largest 'stateless nation' in the world. Divided between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, the Kurds have not been able to politically mobilize support for Kurdistan as they have been violently oppressed in these countries. The Kurds in Iraq have been able to gain political autonomy with the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, and the Syrian Kurds are hoping to do the same if and when the Assad regime crumbles at the end of the civil war. This make Turkey concerned that the Kurds in the southeastern part of Turkey will make renewed efforts to push for sovereignty.
UPDATE: This PBS feature explains the historic timeline of the important political events for the Kurds in Iraq.This article from the Economist focuses on the key reason that outside forces won't leave the Kurds alone: oil.
Tags: Syria, ethnic, conflict, political, Turkey, culture, devolution.
How to handle it?
After years of seeing their bid to join the EU stalled, Turks are trying not to show too much pleasure at the doom-laden economic news emanating from Europe. However, economists warn, Europe's debt crisis could easily spill in Turkey's direction.
In an ironic twist, Turkey might just be in the better financial situation by NOT being a part of the EU. Cultural and political tensions between Greece and Turkey run deep and the latest economic crisis is revealing. Listen or read the transcript by clicking on the title.
In the Caucasus, culinary nationalism is an extension of the region's long-simmering disputes.
"There is perhaps nothing more closely bound up with one's national identity than food. Specific local dishes are often seen as the embodiment of various cultures and many nations promote their food as a celebration of national identity. Sometimes, however, a country's cuisine can also be used to highlight national rivalries."
This opening paragraph nicely shows how cultural traditions from a similar cultural hearth may have much in common. However, since these groups are neighbors, the geopolitical relationship may be strained despite the cultural commonalities.
Tags: food, culture, unit 3 culture.
" "There is perhaps nothing more closely bound up with one's national identity than food. Specific local dishes are often seen as the embodiment of various cultures and many nations promote their food as a celebration of national identity. Sometimes, however, a country's cuisine can also be used to highlight national rivalries."
This opening paragraph nicely shows how cultural traditions from a similar cultural hearth may have much in common. However, since these groups are neighbors, the geopolitical relationship may be strained despite the cultural commonalities. "
This is a great addition to include for my World Food Problems course this semester.
A nations food is often used to celebrate their national identity but it can also be used to highlight national rivalries. For example the Czechs reffer to their Slovak cousins as Halusky after one of their traditonal dishes. Culinary flashpoints can also arise when nations claim the same dishes as their own.
Syrians by the thousands are fleeing the violence in their home country and seeking refuge in neighboring countries.
Demographics and Politics: This photo essay is a varied glimpse into the refugee camps that have emerged from the Syrian uprisings against the Assad regime. How are politics and migration connected? Can you think of other examples where we see similar patterns?
This is one of the more impressive cultural landmarks in the world, and an architectural marvel. Studying the cultural landscape reveals that multiple 'layers' are superimposed one upon another. This phenomenon, known as sequent occupance, is most plainly manifested in this site. The Haga Sophia has been both a Christian and Muslim holy site, depending which political empire has controlled the city of Istanbul.
Turkey is a very unique country. The land is spread among Europe, as well as Asia and the Middle East. Its people are among many religions such as Christian and Muslim, and they speak various languages which show how diverse the region is. Turkey acts almost like a bridge between the two continents and within its borders lie attributes that are hard to find anywhere else on earth. What is strange about this specific site being the Haga Sophia is that it has been both a Christian and Muslim landmark. In many other areas of the world, each religion holds authority to their respective traditions and structures. Though the holy site in Istanbul shows how truely diverse the nation is and has been for its people and especially religions.