News from Istanbul


Turkish Daily News January 25-27

A defining agreement was reached on Thursday between the ruling Justice and development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on a package of constitutional amendments to remove the headscarf ban in universities.

What seems to be an expansion of freedoms might rapidly turn into an Islamic sweep of education and many other areas of public life, warned jurists and sociologists who spoke […] about the ruling Justice and Development Party’s drive to amend the constitution to enable women to wear headscarves in universities.

[…]

Sociology professor Nilüfer Narli from Bahçesehir University disagreed and pointed to the “possibility” that pressure might be exerted upon university students who do not wear the Islamic head cover. “female students reaching puberty can demand to wear the headscarf too. If the headscarf is allowed in universities, it will surely spark crisis elsewhere,” she said.

Turkish Daily News Thur Jan31

WOMEN’S GROUPS BLAST SCARF MOVE

Women’s organizations are preparing to protest the alliance between the government and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party that aims to pave the way for women to wear the Islamic headscarf in state universities’.

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Despite the guarantees given, the implementation will not remain limited o universities [Deniz Baykal] said. “Who will stop it, these guys and their cohorts?”Baykal fiercely scolded at his rivals. The CHP leader was applauded passionately when he noted that the Republic of Turkey founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is being targeted by the understanding of a religious state with this Arab-Wahhabi uniform.”

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BÜYÜKANIT HINTS AT OPPOSING END OF BAN

Turkey’s top general signaled the military’s opposition to lifting the headscarf ban in universities yesterday, a day after the government and the opposition nationalist Movement Party jointly introduced a bill to Parliament.

[…]

The military views itself as the guarantor of the country’s secular order and often confronts the Islamic-oriented Justice and Development Party over the latter’s alleged plans to erode secularism in Turkey. The military failed last year to block to election of Abdullah Gül as president despite stiff warnings.

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The is clear evidence of “ethnic cleansing” in Kenya’s Rift Valley since a disputed Dec 27 election, but it does not amount to genocide, the top US diplomat for Africa said yesterday.

Turkish Daily News Jan 25-27

Two gendarmerie soldiers went on trial Tuesday accused of covering up intelligence about the plan to murder Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink months before it occurred, the Anatolia news agency reported

Today’s Zaman, Jan 31

It is time to get the number one in the Ergenkon operation. Critics are already sharing their guesses as to who this man could be who ordered countless brutal attacks and assassinations that have ruined families and damaged Turkey’s stability

Although dozens of arrests have been made in the recent investigations into a crime network accused of involvement in plans for a violent uprising against the government, including General Veli Kücük who seems to be the leader of the network, nobody is convinced that the actual boss of the neo-nationalist group is currently in the hands of the police.

Turkish Daily News Thur Jan 31

Two university students have been sentenced to 15 months in prison for “insulting Atatürk’s spiritual being” after hanging posters advertising the play “vagina Monologues” on a bust of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Anatolia Craft and Industrial high school. The students, Burak A., 21, and Ender Ü., 23 said: “We were drunk. We tore and threw the poster and it flew away and attached itself on Atatürk’s bust.”

Turkish Daily News Fri Jan 25

GREEK STUDENTS, PROFESSIONALS MAKE THEIR HOME IN TURKEY

In the last five years an increasing number of Greeks are choosing Turkey as a place to work and live. While a few decades ago this would seem strange, now thanks to a warming of Greek-Turkish ties and the geographical proximity, being a Greek living in Turkey makes sense.

Turkish Daily News Tue 29 Jan

GREEK ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS DIES

… the archbishop remained on the warpath for other perceived threats to Greece’s religious and national identity, including globalization, European Union edicts and Turkey’s candidacy to join the EU. “the barbarians cannot join the family of Christians because we cannot live together,” Christodoulos said of Turkey in a 2003 sermon.

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