France, and what it represents, appears in many respects to be a priority target for political Islam in general, and for its extremist avatars in particular. This not a coincidence, since France embodies a singular conception of freedom of expression inherent to laïcité, which it has historically elevated to the rank of a cardinal republican value. “France is an indivisible, laïque, democratic and social Republic. It ensures the equality before the law of all citizens without distinction of origin, race or religion. It respects all beliefs.” It is precisely this respect for all religious beliefs that has been called into question and manipulated for largely political purposes by neo-Ottoman Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid the controversy generated by the republication, on September 2, 2020, of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by the Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper.
- Though beloved by Sufis and sultans, Üsküdar was not spared the ground-shaking reforms of the 19th and 20th centuries. In the second half of our history, we look at how Istanbul’s ‘holy land’ has fared in its two-century tryst with modernity.
- Turkish intellectual Cengiz Aktar speaks to ResetDOC in the wake of Hagia Sophia’s conversion into a mosque by Erdogan’s government
- Hagia Sophia, which means “divine wisdom” in Greek, has been subjected to many worldly yearnings of power and symbolism. There is no doubt that altering the status of the great church has always meant domination through control of its symbolism. President Erdogan frequently uses the Ottoman conquest and the right of the sword as part of his symbolic political vocabulary. However, there is a world of difference between the Ottoman conquest and transformation of the Church and Erdogan’s reversal of Ataturk’s decision.
- At the crossroads between East and West, Turkey has always pursued border security as a key axis of its foreign policy. In recent years Erdogan even used frontiers as an adventurous geopolitical tool: not always as successfully as it may seem.
- The acquittal and immediate new arrest of the philantropist shows the determination of Erdogan to uproot any remain of rule of a law in Turkey
- Cold weather, inadequate healthcare and Daesh cells are all threatening the refugee camps where thousands of Kurds have been displaced after Turkey’s military offensive last October
- Riccardo Cristiano interviews for Reset DOC political scientist Cengiz Aktar on the Turkish nationalist-authoritarian shift. A 360 degrees picture of Turkish society and its relationship with politics, religion and the Kurdish question.
- With the US completely out of the scene, the military operation against the Kurds consolidates the two clear protagonists of the new Great Game: Turkey and Russia. The Kurdish question remains, once again, unanswered.