İslam Özkan writes: Rather than calling for their total abolishment, one should ponder upon the sociological reasons behind the state’s inevitable ties with religious sects in Turkey. Were the gaps to be filled in another manner, the need for such sects would not arise.
As Turkey’s foreign policy gets more aggressive by the day, one might wonder what lies ahead. Every day, it becomes harder in Turkey to defend freedoms, human rights as well as peace and justice.
An American venture capitalist who runs Moderna Therapeutics company, Noubar Afeyan, announced earlier this week that his firm had inked a deal to provide 100 million coronavirus vaccine candidates to the United States.
Serdar Korucu writes: One of the topics that comes to mind when recalling the Ottoman legacy in Lebanon is the Armenian Genocide. Among the most important symbolic structures carrying the traces of 1915 in Lebanon is the Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia in Antelias.
Turkey’s top religious body head defends delivering sermon with a sword during prayers at Hagia Sophia
The head of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), Ali Erbaş, has defended delivering the Friday sermons at Hagia Sophia with a sword in hand, saying that it's a "widespread practice." "The fact that the sermon is delivered like is to announce that Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque and to give a message regarding conquest," he said.
Once-bustling Istanbul office of Turkey’s EU Affairs Ministry turns into a shisha cafe; thousands apply for an ad that seeks “gigolos for rich older women” and an online campaign #womenempoweringwomen turns to a “mirror mirror on the wall” contest.
Murat Yetkin writes: What Abdul Hamid II established, the Yıldız Intelligence Organization, was not a national institution but a personal intelligence organization. The leader who established the first national intelligence organization in Turkey was Atatürk, whom Erdoğan did not feel the need to mention.
Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) head Ali Erbaş delivered the Friday sermon at Hagia Sophia with a sword in hand, presenting an Ottoman tradition of conquest. Two green flags were also hung on the pulpit of the mosque as a symbol of conquest.
In recent years and increasingly so, Turkey’s near abroad policy can be described assertive and defiant at best, foolhardy and hazardous at worst. For some, it is just looking for trouble almost all the time, everywhere. The latest addition to the list is the Azerbaijan-Armenia border skirmishes.
Ankara wants to play the “Leader of the Muslim world card” — but there is more to Hagia Sophia’s conversion than just that. Just like the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “West Bank annexation” policy, Ankara banks on the strategy of “creating an international problem to overshadow debating domestic grievances and making national politics dependent on the existing government through isolation” strategy.
Patriarch Kirill, the leader of Russia's Orthodox Church, said on July 6 that calls to convert Istanbul's Hagia Sophia into a mosque posed a threat to Christianity. "A threat against Hagia Sophia is a threat to all of Christian civilization, meaning [a threat to] our spirituality and history," Patriarch Kirill said in a statement.
Since the day Ekrem İmamoğlu became the mayor of Istanbul in June 2019, I think the most elegant and meaningful thing he has done so far is buying the Mehmed the Conqueror portrait. The mayor and the team who developed and carried out this idea should be congratulated.
Turkey's media watchdog announced that they launched an investigation into an online news broadcaster for a host's comments about Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II's harsh policies toward the time's progressives. The TV host recalled the sultan's sentencing of a past counsel to death, and his policies toward contemporary authors.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu on June 25 announced that the municipality purchased a portrait of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II at a London auction. According to the London-based world-famous Christie's auction house, the municipality's winning bid amounted to £770,000 ($955,000) for the oil painting, which is believed to be the work of Italian painter Gentile Bellini in 1480.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reportedly ordered the establishment of an institution to develop strategies regarding the Armenian Genocide. According to Hürriyet, officials pointed to the fact that there aren't any institutions that deal with the subject and Erdoğan ordered works on it to be completed as soon as possible.