Roman Herzog, ex Presidente della Repubblica Federale Tedesca, è morto il 10 gennaio 2017. Membro del partito dell’Unione Cristiano-Democratica di Germania (CDU), Herzog è stato il primo presidente eletto dopo la riunificazione della Germania.
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.
Roman Herzog, former President of the Federal Republic of Germany, died on January 10th, 2017. A member of the Christian-Democratic Union party (CDU), Herzog was the first president elected after German reunification in 1990. He was also a member and president of the Federal Constitutional Court as well as minister for Culture and Education. During his mandate at the Constitutional Court, he intensely devoted his work to immigration and integration policies for minorities.
As the people of Israel were honoring the victims of the Holocaust (April 16) and in the rest of the world people were remembering the day in which the gates of Auschwitz were opened, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman chose to offend memory and narrative for mere political reasons. He, as other Israeli leaders including Yair Lapid of the centrist party Yesh Atid (“There is a future”) criticized the request by 16 European Union foreign ministers to label Israeli products made beyond the 1949 armistice line as “Made in the West Bank.” A legitimate attack (from the point of those that sustain the ongoing process of colonization of the Palestinian territories) if not for the idea offered by the man responsible for the foreign policy of that country.
“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.
SARAJEVO – Nowadays the body of the young man, who, a century ago, ended the lives of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia sparking an escalation that was to result in World War I, lies in Ciglane, a suburb in central Sarajevo. The body lies in a small chapel with no markings, and is not even shown in tourist guides. The words on the grave written in Cyrillic read: “blessed is he who lives forever as he was not born in vain.”
History says a lot about the relationships between Europe and the “broad Middle East,” to preliminarily use the term to mean the Islamic majority countries of North Africa and the Middle East (MENA), and a good part of Asia – from Morocco to Indonesia. The dichotomy of comparing a geographical entity, Europe, with a religious entity, Islam, bears a lot of historical-political tension, and simultaneously conveys the mindset that accepts comparing two entities on two different grounds. Such a “wrong” and “politicized” way of comparisons needs to change, seeing the changes taking place in the Mediterranean basin and world politics.
Several days following the September 28, 1982 massacre of Sabra and Shatila, the Israel Council of Ministers decided to establish an investigative inquiry commission to probe and to establish Israel’s responsibilities for the events in the Palestinian refugee camps of Beirut. The report of the Commission chaired by Yitzhak Kahan, former head of the Supreme Court, together with Aharon Barak, Supreme Court Justice, and General Yona Efrat, was complete on February 8, 1983. Thirty years later, the Israeli State archives have published the report in full.
In spite of its varied nature, there is one common characteristic shared by most Muslims in the Balkans. Nowadays, Islam is deeply entrenched in identity. In many cases there is a tangible link between adherence to Islam, belonging to an ethnic community and “faith” in a national cause. The explanation for this phenomenon lies in the conflicts of the nineties and, in a broader sense, in the process involving the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
Twenty years after the death of Yugoslavia, what is the situation in the various states that inherited its legacy? What are the prospects of European integration and how much of a burden are the memories of the wars? We posed these questions to Stefano Bianchini, professor of Eastern European History at Bologna University and president of the Institute for Central-Eastern Europe and the Balkans in Forlì.
The New York Times, The Economist, Time, Le Monde. The best and most authoritative newspapers in the world have entered the arena to reopen the great debate. Are Islam and democracy compatible? These are the analyses of the West’s most important opinion makers (from Friedman to Zakaria, from Benhabib to Dowd), also attempting to answer another question, Do the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions prove that George W. Bush was right?An article by Daniele Castellani Perelli
In Arab societies today, the reference model is not Khomeini’s Iran but instead the Iran of the young members of the Green Wave seen two years ago. I also believe that elites, especially Islamist ones, observe Erdogan’s Turkey with interest and admiration. The great challenges posed by the present consist in conciliating democracy and Islam, traditions and modernity, the past and the future.