Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Believers of all faiths celebrate Sufi poet Rumi in Turkey's Konya city | The National

Believers of all faiths celebrate Sufi poet

Dan Boylan

KONYA, Turkey // As conductor of 20 of the world’s most accomplished whirling dervishes, and 30 of the greatest Sufi musicians, Fahri Ozcakil holds one of the highest spiritual positions in Turkey.

More:Believers of all faiths celebrate Sufi poet Rumi in Turkey's Konya city | The National

What the Zaman Raid Means for Turkey’s Media - The New Yorker

What the Zaman Raid Means for Turkey’s Media
By Jenna Krajeski

Late last Saturday night, Celil Sağır left his home, in an Istanbul suburb, for the offices of the Turkish media group Zaman, where he works as the managing editor of the English-language daily Today’s Zaman. Earlier that week, an anonymous Twitter user, going by the name Fuat Avni, who claims to be part of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s inner circle, had warned that there would be a police operation against media outlets that were seen to be loyal to Fethullah Gülen, a Pennsylvania-based Turkish imam whose vast network of followers occupy influential roles across Turkish institutions, including government and media. On Saturday, Fuat Avni followed up with details, predicting that the raid would happen that weekend. Staff from Zaman, which operates a variety of media outlets, including a Turkish-language newspaper, flooded the office to prepare.

More:What the Zaman Raid Means for Turkey’s Media - The New Yorker

Global perception of Turkey worsened by corruption

Global perception of Turkey worsened by corruption

As Turkey commemorates the first anniversary of the massive corruption investigations that were revealed on Dec. 17 and 25 of last year, restrictions on media coverage of anything that would remind the public of the graft allegations are increasing and the image of the country has worsened, particularly in the Western world, due to the failure to conduct an open and free investigation process.

More:Global perception of Turkey worsened by corruption

International coalition succeeded in toppling Kemalists, what’s next? - BARÇIN YİNANÇ

International coalition succeeded in toppling Kemalists, what’s next?

The advent of Today’s Zaman was certainly good news for the Hürriyet Daily News. Developing a rival is always good for any establishment that enjoyed being the sole player for decades in a given sector.

More:International coalition succeeded in toppling Kemalists, what’s next? - BARÇIN YİNANÇ

Turkish journalist Hasan Cemal wins Harvard award - LOCAL

Turkish journalist Hasan Cemal wins Harvard award

ISTANBUL

Nieman Fellows in the class of 2015 at Harvard University have selected prominent Turkish journalist and writer Hasan Cemal as this year’s recipient of the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism.

More:Turkish journalist Hasan Cemal wins Harvard award - LOCAL

Intel agency’s warnings set off probe into Turkish al-Qaeda-affiliated group

Intel agency’s warnings set off probe into Turkish al-Qaeda-affiliated group

A Turkish daily revealed that Turkey's intel agency tipped off the police on activities of an al-Qaeda-affiliated group known as Tahşiyeciler (Annotators), whose leader's defamation complaint against journalists was the basis of a recent politically orchestrated crackdown on the media.

More:Intel agency’s warnings set off probe into Turkish al-Qaeda-affiliated group

One year on, graft probe revelations still fresh in Turks’ minds

One year on, graft probe revelations still fresh in Turks’ minds

People across Turkey today marked the first anniversary of the beginning of the worst corruption scandal in the history of the Turkish Republic, a scandal that implicated government ministers, their sons and the inner circle of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

More:One year on, graft probe revelations still fresh in Turks’ minds

Turkey and the European Union: Media freedom RIP? | The Economist

Turkey and the European Union
Media freedom RIP?
A fresh round of arrests takes relations with the European Union to a new low
Dec 20th 2014 | From the print edition

“WE HAVE no concern about what the EU might say, whether the EU accepts us as members or not.” The latest outburst from Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, sent the lira down by 4% against the dollar amid growing worries over the direction the country is taking.

More:Turkey and the European Union: Media freedom RIP? | The Economist

‘EU’s refusal to accept Turkey - obvious racism’ — RT Op-Edge

‘EU’s refusal to accept Turkey - obvious racism’

The fact that German and French governments have refused Turkey’s applications to join the EU because they are not white and are Muslim is essentially racism, political analyst Chris Bambery told RT.

More:‘EU’s refusal to accept Turkey - obvious racism’ — RT Op-Edge

Turkish PM in conversation, part 3: How do you create a fairer society? | openDemocracy

Turkish PM in conversation, part 3: How do you create a fairer society?
Ahmet Davutoğlu and Richard Falk 17 December 2014

Can Turkey talk about its concern for social welfare given its rapacious capitalist practises, lack of labour rights and persisting gender inequality? Prime Minister Davutoğlu elaborates on his 9-point programme.

More:Turkish PM in conversation, part 3: How do you create a fairer society? | openDemocracy

Turkey: Pope's visit fuels hopes for rise in faith tourism - Tourism - ANSAMed.it

Turkey: Pope's visit fuels hopes for rise in faith tourism

17 December, 12:15

(ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, DECEMBER 17 - Turkey has been unable to exploit its full faith tourism potential and the number of faith tourists visiting Turkey last year hit a 10-year low, Anadolu Agency reports quoting the latest report by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (Tursab). Sector representatives, however, are hopeful for a rise in the number of faith tourists in the near future after Pope Francis' visit to Turkey in November.

More:Turkey: Pope's visit fuels hopes for rise in faith tourism - Tourism - ANSAMed.it

Pluralism in Turkey: A Fairy Tale

Pluralism in Turkey: A Fairy Tale
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 06:11 By: Burak Bekdil

"We would view an insult or humiliation against an Alevi citizen or an adherent of any other religion as an insult against all of us, and won't accept it." The powerful line is from a speech by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Nov. 23. So nice. If only the reality were not worlds apart from the fairy tales Davutoglu keeps on telling.

More:Pluralism in Turkey: A Fairy Tale

Strained Thaw Between Uzbekistan And Turkey - Analysis - Eurasia Review

Strained Thaw Between Uzbekistan And Turkey – Analysis
December 17, 2014 Eurasia Review Leave a comment

By Eurasia Review

By Zabikhulla S. Saipov*

On July 10–12, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu paid an official visit to Uzbekistan—the first one by a Turkish foreign minister in 13 years—in the hopes of bringing about a détente to the two countries’ frozen relations (Daily Sabah, July 10). Turkey was among the first countries to recognize Uzbekistan’s independence; and diplomatic relations between them were established on March 4, 1992. However, over the years, bilateral and multilateral relations deteriorated to the point of “strategic failure” (mfa.gov.tr, accessed August 6; Hurriyet Daily News, July 10).

More:Strained Thaw Between Uzbekistan And Turkey - Analysis - Eurasia Review

Mystery Twitter Leaker Has Turkey Guessing: CIA Spy Or Domestic Stirrer?

Mystery Twitter Leaker Has Turkey Guessing: CIA Spy Or Domestic Stirrer?

ISTANBUL: He has access to top secret information, has been able to stay one step ahead of the authorities, and is nearly always right.

More:Mystery Twitter Leaker Has Turkey Guessing: CIA Spy Or Domestic Stirrer?

Who is Fuat Avni, Turkey's mystery Tweeter and leaker of raids?

Who is Fuat Avni, Turkey’s mystery Tweeter and leaker of raids?
By Agence France-Presse, 12:40 pm Tuesday, 16th December 2014

By Dilay Gundogan

He has access to top-secret information, has been able to stay one step ahead of the authorities and is nearly always right.

More:Who is Fuat Avni, Turkey's mystery Tweeter and leaker of raids?

JOOST LAGENDIJK - What to do and what not to do now

What to do and what not to do now

The latest wave of media arrests has shown, again, that there are no limits to the campaign of revenge waged by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his lackeys in the government, the judiciary and the media. All those who dare to stand up and protest against the suffocating authoritarianism of the current rulers are targeted. Last weekend, this newspaper and other media linked to the Hizmet movement were the victims. Today, Beşiktaş fans are in court, facing long prison sentences. Nobody knows who will be next.

More:JOOST LAGENDIJK - What to do and what not to do now

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Erdoğan shoots himself in foot on anniversary of graft probe - MURAT YETKİN

Erdoğan shoots himself in foot on anniversary of graft probe

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has been blasting European institutions, the EU and others over their criticism of media freedom, judicial independence and the general quality of democracy here.

More:Erdoğan shoots himself in foot on anniversary of graft probe - MURAT YETKİN

Critics Fear Symbolism of Turkey's Presidential Palace

Critics Fear Symbolism of Turkey's Presidential Palace

Jamie Dettmer

December 16, 2014 3:53 PM

When Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opened a $500 million, 1,000-room presidential palace in October, critics compared the grandiose Ankara residence to one being built by former Romanian communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu on the eve of his downfall. Commentators asked why Turkish presidents would need such an opulent palace when the office is largely ceremonial, restricted to approving legislation.

More:Critics Fear Symbolism of Turkey's Presidential Palace

Turkish refinery secures Canadian financing - Pennenergy

Turkish refinery secures Canadian financing
HOUSTON, Dec. 16
December 16, 2014
By OGJ editors

Export Development Canada (EDC) said it is participating as lead arranger in the $3.3 billion debt-financing consortium supporting STAR Rafineri AS’s planned 214,000-b/d SOCAR Turkey Aegean Refinery (Star) in Aliaga, Turkey (OGJ Online, Dec. 14, 2010).

More:Turkish refinery secures Canadian financing - Pennenergy

Erdogan showing his true, authoritarian colors - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Erdogan showing his true, authoritarian colors

Early on the morning of Dec. 14, while waiting at an Istanbul airport for my flight to Amsterdam, my phone rang. It was Hasan Cemal, a colleague and a prominent veteran of Turkish journalism. He said he was on his way from Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, where he had delivered a speech on the occasion of the Armenian edition of his book, “1915: Armenian Genocide.” He was on his way to Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, to catch a flight to Istanbul.

More:Erdogan showing his true, authoritarian colors - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

‘French Effect’ Hits Turkey as Jews Look to Future Outside of the Country | Jewish & Israel News Algemeiner.com

‘French Effect’ Hits Turkey as Jews Look to Future Outside of the Country
December 16, 2014 12:07 pm 2 comments

The “French effect” – increasing numbers of Jews leaving a country because of anti-Semitic harassment and hostility from the media and radical politicians – is now emerging in Turkey, where a Turkish-Jewish businessman has warned, in an oped for the Istanbul-based Jewish newspaper Şalom, that a growing number of community members are heading for the exit.

More:‘French Effect’ Hits Turkey as Jews Look to Future Outside of the Country | Jewish & Israel News Algemeiner.com

Chronicle of Arrest Foretold: Tweets Leak Erdogan’s Next Moves - Businessweek

Chronicle of Arrest Foretold: Tweets Leak Erdogan’s Next Moves
By Isobel Finkel December 16, 2014

On the day they were going to detain him, Turkish newspaper editor Ekrem Dumanli got up early in the morning to wait for the police to arrive.

More:Chronicle of Arrest Foretold: Tweets Leak Erdogan’s Next Moves - Businessweek

Turkish Lira Rebounds From Record Low as Central Bank Steps In - Bloomberg

Turkish Lira Rebounds From Record Low as Central Bank Steps In
By Selcuk Gokoluk Dec 16, 2014 9:42 AM ET

The Turkish lira rebounded from a record low after the central bank said it would act with the Treasury to help state-owned energy importers.

More:Turkish Lira Rebounds From Record Low as Central Bank Steps In - Bloomberg

Russo-Turkish ties grow closer as Erdogan and Putin look to national legacies - Global Times

Russo-Turkish ties grow closer as Erdogan and Putin look to national legacies
By George N. Tzogopoulos Source:Global Times Published: 2014-12-16 22:48:04

Relations between Russia and Turkey have seen a steady improvement in the last years. The recent visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Ankara and his meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan highlighted the possibility for closer bilateral collaboration in the future. In particular, his decision to abandon the construction of the South Stream project due to serious obstacles posed by the European Commission paves the way for a redirection of Russian gas to other regions.

More:Russo-Turkish ties grow closer as Erdogan and Putin look to national legacies - Global Times

Turkey's ultras at the forefront of resistance - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Turkey's ultras at the forefront of resistance

Football fans were at the forefront of the Gezi protests, now they are at the sharp end of the Turkish justice system.

More:Turkey's ultras at the forefront of resistance - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Andrew Duff call for Turkey’s EU accession negotiations to be suspended

Andrew Duff call for Turkey’s EU accession negotiations to be suspended

The Union of European Federalists (UEF) president Andrew Duff, calls for EU to halt ongoing accession talks with Turkey amidst anti-democratic detainments of journalists.

More:Andrew Duff call for Turkey’s EU accession negotiations to be suspended

Turkey’s Religious Schools Rise as Erdogan Exerts Sway - NYTimes.com

Turkey’s Religious Schools Rise as Erdogan Exerts Sway

ISTANBUL- When Semra dropped off her 13-year-old daughter for the first day of high school, she had to fight back tears as she entered the dimly lit basement classroom, brightened by the red of the girls’ head scarves and the walls emblazoned with Quranic verses written in Arabic script.

More:Turkey’s Religious Schools Rise as Erdogan Exerts Sway - NYTimes.com

Turkey's main opposition to challenge new police powers in top court - vagazette.com

Turkey's main opposition to challenge new police powers in top court

8:14 a.m. EST, December 16, 2014
Turkey's main opposition party said on Tuesday will launch a legal challenge against a government-sponsored law expanding police search powers, saying it violates the rights of individuals.

More:Turkey's main opposition to challenge new police powers in top court - vagazette.com

ISTANBUL: Turkish football fans on trial for 'coup' | World | News Democrat

Turkish football fans on trial for 'coup'

The Associated PressDecember 16, 2014 Updated 3 hours ago

ISTANBUL — Dozens of football fans are going on trial in Turkey accused of an attempted coup because they took part in last year's mass protests. The trial is seen as the latest example of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's crackdown on dissent.

More:ISTANBUL: Turkish football fans on trial for 'coup' | World | News Democrat

Turkish lira hits all-time low as Erdogan takes EU to task - FT.com

Turkish lira hits all-time low as Erdogan takes EU to task

Daniel Dombey in Istanbul and Christian Oliver in Brussels

The Turkish lira hit an all-time low against the dollar on Monday, after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan traded barbs with the EU over Turkey’s detention of high profile media figures.

More:Turkish lira hits all-time low as Erdogan takes EU to task - FT.com

Soap opera writers caught up in Turkish crackdown - FT.com

Soap opera writers caught up in Turkish crackdown

Daniel Dombey in Istanbul and Funja Guler in AnkaraAuthor alerts
Turkey raids©EPA

A battle that has shaken Turkish politics, financial markets and the rule of law has reached new levels of melodrama with the detention of not only police officers and media figures but soap opera scriptwriters as well.

More:Soap opera writers caught up in Turkish crackdown - FT.com