The Pigeon on the Bridge Is Shot

by Ayşe Kadıoğlu | published February 16, 2007

“Sometimes they ask me what it is like to be an Armenian. I tell them that it is a wonderful thing and I recommend it to everyone.” These were Hrant Dink’s opening remarks at a conference entitled “Ottoman Armenians During the Collapse of the Ottoman Empire,” held in Istanbul on September 24 and 25, 2005. Those of us lucky enough to hear the mischievous introductory lines received them with joyous laughter, but we also knew we were witnesses to a lecture of historic significance, a momentous step forward in the efforts of Armenians and Turks to come to terms with the horrors of the past.

The Ceasefire This Time

by Evren Balta-Paker | published August 31, 2005

“The aim of the Turkish armed forces is to ensure that the separatist terrorist organization bows down to the law and the mercy of the nation.” Thus did the Turkish chief of staff, Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, brusquely dismiss the one-month ceasefire announced on August 19, 2005 by the Kurdistan People’s Congress (or Kongra-Gel). Kongra-Gel is the name adopted in 2003 by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which had renewed its armed struggle with the Turkish state just over one year before proclaiming its latest truce.

In the Shadow of Kurdish

The Silence of Other Ethnolinguistic Minorities in Turkey

by Joan Smith/Kocamahhul
published in MER219

The arrest of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the militant Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), at the beginning of 1999 and the almost instantaneous wave of protest across Europe, in Australia and later within Turkey briefly increased the prominence of the Kurdish struggle for autonomy in Turkey. As one of the most important symbols of Kurdish identity, the Kurdish language has been subject to legislation that curbs its use. While attempts by Kurds to preserve their language in the face of stringent prohibitions have received significant media and academic attention, the fate of other linguistic minorities in Turkey under the same prohibitions has been almost entirely overlooked.

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Litmus Test

Turkey's Neo-Islamists Weigh War and Peace

by Koray Caliskan , Yuksel Taskin | published January 30, 2003

Turkey's Ecevit

Hopes and Worries Arrive in Washington

by Ertugrul Kurkcu | published January 15, 2002

When Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit arrives in Washington, DC this week to meet with President George W. Bush he will come bearing a symbolic gift: a replica of a 16th century Koran, beautifully embroidered and written with real gold lettering. The original of this Koran comes from the Topkapi Palace Museum, once the seat of the Ottoman Sultans who ruled the Muslim world for over four centuries.