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Turkish (Turkiye)

Bartholomew crucified, Erdoğan suffers from Hellish torture!(1)

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Orhan Kemal CENGİZ

Turkey is such a complex country. Its problems are so complex, so sophisticated and they all have historic roots. Turkey seems to have changed very quickly on the one hand, but if you focus on problematic areas you will see nothing is actually changing.

Look at this recent “crucifixion” discussion in Turkey. It tells us many things, if only we can decode the messages correctly. His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stated on CBS television that sometimes he feels crucified in Turkey. He also added that the Orthodox in Turkey feel themselves to be second-class citizens. “[The Turkish government] would be happy to see the patriarchate extinguished or moving abroad, but our belief is that it will never happen,” he said.

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Take off my what? Headscarves, hats and history (2)

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Hera HASHMI*

Whenever the headscarf ban is mentioned, it quickly spirals into a debate about secularism, which is another major justification for the ban.

But what makes headscarf-wearing women in Turkey such an obstacle to a secular government when women in many Western countries and democracies wear headscarves and are able to participate easily in the public sphere?

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Take off my what? Headscarves, hats and history (1)

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Hera HASHMI*

Does anyone stop to think what a woman feels like removing her headscarf?

Or have we become completely desensitized to this violation occurring all around us? I experienced for myself the shock, humiliation, frustration, embarrassment, anger and shame that come with the forced removal of an article of clothing. Ironically I was banned from a human rights conference occurring on a university campus unless I removed my headscarf in order to attend lectures on freedom and democracy. I was also banned from a university library and told by the guard to remove my headscarf to gain entrance.

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Presidency Statement on the closure of Democratic Society Party (DTP) in Turkey

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The Presidency of the European Union expresses its concern in relation to the decision by the Constitutional Court to close the Democratic Society Party (DTP) and ban a number of its democratically elected representatives from political activity. While strongly denouncing violence and terrorism, the Presidency recalls that the dissolution of political parties is an exceptional measure that should be used with utmost restraint.

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Presidency Statement on the terrorist attack in the Tokat province in Turkey

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The Presidency of the European Union condemns yesterday's terrorist attack on a military patrol in the Tokat province, which cost the lives of seven Turkish soldiers and injured several others.

The Presidency would like to express its sorrow at the loss of life and offers its condolences to the families of the deceased soldiers and to the Turkish people.

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On Erdoğan, genocide and being pro-AKP

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Orhan Kemal CENGİZ

Let me try to give you some hints about the psychology of democrats and liberals in Turkey. I know sometimes we look alike, we support the government and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan whatever the circumstances maybe.

I know this is how it appears but this is not true. We criticize them, of course, but maybe we prefer not to be so outspoken about their mistakes. I know you sense this attitude in us and I know some Western democrats sometimes have difficulty understanding us. If you were us you would do the same thing, I assure you.

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European Court of Human Rights: ARTICLE 19 Calls for High-Level Protection of Journalists

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ARTICLE 19 has submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of a Dutch magazine that was forced to disclose unpublished photographs to prosecutors or face being shut down. The brief calls on the Court to affirm high levels of protections of journalists.

The brief was submitted with three other media rights organisations: the Media Legal Defence Initiative; the Committee for the Protection of Journalists; and the Open Society Justice Initiative, along with the Guardian News and Media group. Over a dozen major newspapers and media organisations from around the world also endorsed a statement in support of the brief.

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Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

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GENEVA (3 December 2009) -- Estimates indicate that more than 10 percent of the world’s population – between 670 and 800 million people – have a disability themselves or have a close family member with one, and that in a quarter of all households there is someone with some sort of disability.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities provides an opportunity to take stock of the status of one of the world’s largest and most neglected groups, who – despite considerable progress in terms of international legislation over the past two years – still face colossal obstacles in their efforts to lead a meaningful life and benefit from the full range of human rights and development opportunities available to other members of their societies.

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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

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Sandra Barnes: ''I urge all territorial authorities to commit themselves to fighting violence against women”

Strasbourg, 24.11.2009 – “Domestic violence is the main cause of death for women between the ages of 19 and 44 all over the world, ahead of war, cancer and road accidents,” Sandra Barnes (United Kingdom, EPP/CD), Rapporteur on violence against women of the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, stated on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November.

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Would you dare to say this to Bartholomew and Dink?

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Orhan Kemal CENGİZ

Last Saturday, The New York Times published a news story titled “In Turkey, Trial Casts Wide Net of Mistrust.”

It was about the Ergenekon gang, our infamous “deep state,” and the case opened against it. Unfortunately, the story was a completely distorted account of what really is happening in Turkey.

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Fait accompli strategy against non-Muslims

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Orhan Kemal CENGİZ

Michel Foucault says you can understand a society from what it excludes. We generally tend to look at what a society includes, what they are willing to embrace.

But Foucault draws our attention to a different angle. I agree with him. When it comes to Turkey, I believe, not only what it excludes but also how it does this are important factors to look at in order to have a better understanding of this country.

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