A senior Turkish minister’s call to turn Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia from a museum back into a mosque is stoking a dispute between Turkey’s Islamist-rooted government and the country’s Orthodox Christian community.
Whether or not students of the opposite sex should live together is the latest controversy to envelop Turkish Prime Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But this time there’s a twist to the story: the prime minister is facing criticism from various corners, including from elements among his own conservative, pro-Islamic base.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proudly describes Istanbul’s newly opened Marmaray railway tunnel, linking Asia and Europe beneath the Bosphorus, as “the project of the century.” But as a series of increasingly larger and more expensive engineering feats are unveiled, observers are wondering whether Turkey can actually afford the price of progress?
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described his recent “democratization package” of reforms as an “historical moment” for Turkey. But his failure to revamp controversial anti-terror laws is complicating relations with the European Union.
In June, Turkey experienced the worst anti-government protests in decades over plans to redevelop Gezi Park in central Istanbul. Now, a historic church once used by Russian refugees fleeing the 1917 Bolshevik Coup is at the center of a fresh controversy over the city’s development ambitions.
With anti-government protests in Turkey showing no signs of subsiding, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is doubling down on tough talk. In addition to vowing to punish his domestic critics, the Turkish prime minister is picking a fight with the European Union.
Having tripled the size of its economy over the past decade, Turkey is invariably held up as an economic success story. But behind this outward tale of success lies a much darker backstory, one featuring a deepening income gap and crimped workers’ rights.