An identity that endangers their life
‘Could it be the work of one individual?’ That is the question that occupied my thoughts in recent days. Four elderly Armenian women have been brutally attacked in Istanbul. And whatever the outcome of the police investigation – if any – there is one thing I am sure of: it is not the work of an individual.
The facts: in early …
Esteemed by society
The Prime Minister of a country dealing with huge problems both inside and right on its border, who spends his energy criticizing a TV series. Funny as it seems, the way the ‘problem’ of this highly popular TV series, “Magnificent Century”, is being handled at the moment isn’t very funny at all. Far from it. The …
Armenian church gets a real place in Diyarbakir
I do remember the church from before the restoration. I remember feeling sad about an Armenian church in the middle of the old city of Diyarbakir being totally dilapidated. The people once attending mass there were murdered in 1915, the witnesses of their former presence in the city destroyed. So it was really good to see the church of Surp …
Mor Gabriel, Alevism and the ECHR
‘We will fight this decision all the way to the European Court for Human Rights’. It’s a sentence you hear often when injustice is done once again in a Turkish court, or when you talk to people who feel they have been treated unjustly by the state. Way more often than not, the ECHR rules in favour of the plaintiff …
Usually a handshake only becomes historic when a remarkable deal has been made between two sworn enemies. Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat. Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk. Reagan and Gorbachov. Not in Turkey. Here, it’s already historic when two political opponents, CHP leader Kilicdaroglu and Prime Minister Erdogan, finally shake hands and talk for an hour about the biggest …
The queen and the pioneer
President Gül paid an official visit to the Netherlands this week, to commemorate 400 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The Queen and the President both disappointed and surprised me.
You could say the visit was a bit overshadowed by our national clown and racist politician, Geert Wilders. He was against the visit to begin with, because of Gül …
BDP MP Gültan Kisanak: ‘AKP knows Kurds have the potential to cause big trouble’
‘Of course I am angry’, says Member of Parliament Gültan Kisanak. We are sitting in a room in the Istanbul head office of her party, the Peace and Democracy Party, BDP. Outside, the smell of tear gas can still be vaguely detected. Yesterday afternoon, the BDP tried to organize a protest against the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan on …
More democracy? Abolish the CHP!
Imagine, you don’t know too much about Turkey’s past and present, and you read this opinion article that opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu wrote yesterday in the Washington Post. He writes about how ‘the AKP is systematic and ruthless in its persecution of any opposition to its policies’, and uses the sentence: ‘Turkey today is a country where …
The conference on the history of the Diyarbakir region, held last November in Diyarbakir, came to an end. The final word would be for Rakel Dink, widow of Hrant. The Hrant Dink Foundation was one of the organizers of the conference. She came forward, and whereas everybody expected a speech, she started to sing. A Kurdish …
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Cemevi, and the freedom of religion
Good news this weekend from south-eastern Diyarbakir. The municipality joined with an Alevi organisation in a ceremony for the opening of a cemevi, a prayer house for Alevis (a liberal path in Islam). A brand new, multipurpose building where the (small) Alevi community of Diyarbakir can come together to celebrate their religion. Still, I have some reservations too. Because in …