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.
After 26 years of frustration over its start-and-stop bid to join the European Union, would Turkey ever consider joining a rival regional bloc led by the Kremlin? Few observers believe it likely, but it’s not completely out of the question.
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?
In Iznik, a small town in western Anatolia, a deadly dispute involving three men prompted a mob to go on a rampage in the town’s Roma neighborhood. Experts are voicing concern that the incident is a sign of rising intolerance against the Roma community in Turkey.
Turkey’s new democratization reform package may mark a step forward for civil rights, but it does not go far enough to ease social tension and feelings of mistrust that are afflicting the country, analysts say.
After a fruitless haggle over a bottle of whisky, Cevdet Yavuz reflects glumly on his prospects as another customer slips through his fingers and walks out the door.
“I offered him that bottle for 130 lira ($75),” said Yavuz, 42, who runs a tekel, or liquor store, in Istanbul’s Kadıköy District. “I am selling things at the price I bought them because I have no money to replace my stock.”
Turkey's mysterious National Intelligence Organization has emerged as an important component in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s security policies. But some observers voice concern that the organization’s growing influence poses a potential threat to the country’s democratic system.
Turkish government officials and Kurdish militants are divided when it comes to Syria, with Ankara strongly supporting the prospect of American military strikes, and most Kurds opposing them. This difference could place great strain on the Kurdish peace process in Turkey, in the event the United States takes action in Syria.