“Prime Minister Erdoğan’s statement of condolence to the Armenians was a milestone in Turkey’s history.” This was the first sentence of my column in daily Hürriyet on April 26 last year. The then Prime Minister Erdoğan had made an unprecedented move in Turkish history by issuing an official statement offering condolences to Armenians on April 24, the 99th anniversary of the Armenian massacres. This year, however, April 24 arrives in Turkey in a totally different atmosphere. The declaration of Pope Francis last Sunday that “the Armenian Genocide is the first genocide of the 20th century” and the resolution adopted by the European Parliament last week urging Turkey to recognize the genocide have rekindled the longstanding genocide debate in the country.
How Unique Is Democracy?
Democracy currently enjoys almost unanimous consensus and is considered the only scrupulously legitimate political system. This consensus however entails a hidden danger since it presupposes that there is only one genuine form of democracy – allegedly the one developed by Western civilization. Is that true? Or is it possible to acknowledge a plurality of “cultures of democracy”, whose roots grow within diverse civilization and modernization processes?
The historic political framework agreement reached by Iran and the world powers last April 2 in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tehran's nuclear program has the potential of changing the entire landscape in the Middle East and beyond. Iran and the group called 5+1 (the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) have indeed found a formula that would reassure the international community on the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program, while terminating all unilateral and multilateral economic sanctions imposed on Tehran. If they succeed in developing a comprehensive deal by the end of June, as it is expected, it will certainly mark a major geopolitical shift, as it will probably open the way for cooperation between Iran and the United States well beyond the nuclear file, on other areas of common interest.
The centenary of the Armenian genocide will go down in history, if for no other reason that Pope Francis’ words will still echo powerfully over the days and years to come. Many things have been said and written about Jorge Bergoglio’s speech and there is no need to add anything. Here the issue of the genocide’s centenary starts from a different perspective, to be more specific from a location; Gallipoli.
After a hundred individuals were kept in arbitrary detention at the Karmooz Police station in Alexandria, Egypt, they began a hunger strike to bring international attention to their plight. But their last battle started in October 2014. The majority of the 74 refugees-detainees in Karmooz police station are part of a group of Syrian and Palestinian-Syrians that left from Turkey by boat on 23 October last year. They wanted to reach their family members in Europe, but they were arrested in early November 2014 by Egyptian coast guards, after becoming victims of the smuggler mafia.
Philosophical investigations in Delhi: about moral choices, intellectual honesty and political freedom
Delhi - In the weeks just before and after the new year, when the overall atmosphere of the capital was vitiated on account of the government’s attempts to override Christmas as a Christian observance and an official holiday, replacing it with a so-called “Good Governance Day” and the birth anniversaries of Madan Mohan Malaviya and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, brief visits by two eminent philosophers provided some relief. The visitors were the Bengali philosopher, Arindam Chakrabarti, who teaches at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, and the Iranian philosopher, Ramin Jahanbegloo, who teaches at York University in Canada. Both lectured at public fora, met with students and scholars, and brought to the denizens of beleaguered Delhi a much-needed reminder of the importance of philosophy as the core of humanistic intellectual inquiry and democratic dissent.
None of Youssef al-Qaradawy defenders are as vocal as Racep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, well-known for his strong opposition to the “new” Egyptian regime. After being one of the few leaders to define Morsi’s ouster as a “military coup”, Erdogan made it a habit to slam and belittle Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his government at every turn. The global mufti is fighting against Interpol. As soon as the agency issued a warrant for his arrest, Youssef Qaradawy sparked a verbal crossfire between his state and no-state opponents. Denying the charges moved against him by the “new” Egyptian authorities – which accused him of using his Facebook page to incite murder – Qaradawy is now triggering a region wide controversy.
Tunisia is known as the birthplace of the so-called Arab Spring. It was the country that witnessed the first popular uprising leading to the overthrow of an established government in the Middle East and North Africa in the 21st century. The Tunisian revolution was the spark that ignited and inspired other revolutions in the region. But Tunisia is also the country that has more or less succeeded in insuring a peaceful political transition.
After the tragic attack in Paris that killed twelve people and injured many others in the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, Reset-Dialogues is offering its readers op-eds by our authors followed by a selection of articles, interviews and videos published on this website in recent years and months. Ranging from 9/11 to the Danish cartoons affair, from the reactions inflamed by the offensive “Innocence of Muslims” film to very different events such as the Utoya killings and the Boko Haram kidnappings, these articles and their authors tackle fundamental questions and issues raised once again by a violent incident that troubles and questions democracies and liberal thought at the heart of their commitment to tolerance, freedom of speech and openness.
This article was published by the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa on November 12th, after the 4th edition of Reset-DoC’s Venice-Delhi seminars held in Italy on 6-8 November 2014.
What if Islamic State’s contemporary terrorism, so clever at using the communication devices of affluent societies, were nothing more than a variation – an atrocious one – of populism? And what if modern western societies, gripped by deviant nationalist egoisms and the xenophobic particularism of “small homelands” shared this kind of danger with the democratic reawakening partly affecting the Arab world?
The publication of a posthumous book has obliged us to once again address the case involving Jacques Dupuis, the Belgian Catholic theologian of religious pluralism, treated and “notified” as a heretic by the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger, all in 2000, the same year and days of the publication of the Declaration “Dominus Iesus”, the most criticised pontifical document of recent decades, acclaimed only by “devout atheists.”
Emma Bonino, Italy’s former minister of foreign affairs, has returned from Iran, where, with a group of European and Arab experts on Middle Eastern affairs organised by the European Council on Foreign Relations, she attended a two and a half hour long briefing with Foreign Minister Zarif. However, returning from the country from which, as Italy’s Foreign Minister, she was the first to sense a strong signal of political change when the reformists won, Emma Bonino has brought a warning: “Should negotiations on nuclear issues fail, the only real chance of beginning a stabilisation process for the entire region would be lost.”
The twenty-first century marks a crossroads. The ending of the confrontation between East and West ushered in the possibility of a ‘new international order’ based on the extension of democracy across the globe, and a new spirit of peace. However, the enthusiasm which accompanied the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Cold War seems now far away. The crises and cruelties in Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, Afghanistan and Iraq have brought many to the conclusion that the new world order is a new world disorder.
Studying the psychological and ethical relationship between homosexuality and nonviolence seems a very fruitful exercise in order to allow human diversity to increase its constructive and enriching overall value. It is an exercise in which individuals and the collectivity, the personal sphere and social dimension, interact and hybridize each other with far reaching potentialities.
The hypothesis of a stabilization of the Ukrainian crisis into a frozen conflict presents serious dangers. As mentioned, an unrecognized republic would come into existence on a fluid border that could be an ulterior cause of additional instability in the future. Like other unrecognised republics, it could transform itself into a hub of illegal trade, an aspect that is decidedly worrying seeing the potential size of Novorossija compared to the other small and isolated unrecognised republics. It would certify the West as impotent when faced with the revisionist designs of other powers in the international system, with subsequent effects on other geopolitical situations. And yet, the alternatives risk being less attractive than yet another frozen conflict.
International Roma Day is an opportunity to realize that the major source of hope for Roma in Europe is the Roma people themselves. Waiting for the EU and governments to solve the problems of our people is not an option. This sort of dependency contributes to a deep-seated sense of inferiority. Consequently, both Roma and non-Roma alike are convinced that we have always been mentally, physically, spiritually, and culturally inferior. Rebuilding dignity and pride, and developing confidence, competence, and self-reliance are the prime goals for our leadership in the 21st century. We have to look at ourselves, draw on strength from our predecessors, and grow through collective successes.