Even in antiquity, all roads east began in Üsküdar. In a sense, they still do. Given that nearly a quarter of the population of the Anatolian Peninsula lives in Istanbul’s vast sprawl, the Marmaray and M5 are but new and improved imperial roads leading to the high-rise doorstep of millions of residents of the Turkish republic. So long as its delicate balance is not severed, Üsküdar will remain to Istanbul—the confident, pious, and prosperous focal point of the urban Anatolian experience—what Turkey is to the world: proof that Islam, capitalism, and modernity, with a dash of democratic salt, is still a dish worth serving.
- The “success story” behind the first Covid-19 vaccine, the social and economic ascent of BioNTech co-founders Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, has resonated across German, Turkish and international media. Hiding some deeper, hard facts about migration and integration, in Germany and beyond.
- A long unresolved crisis explodes again. Russia’s (and the world’s) indifference hint to the most obvious result, at the expense of thousands of civilians.
- 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.
- Istanbul’s last surviving ‘Christian ghetto’ is a snapshot of religious freedom, sexual tolerance, and political pluralism, a place where minorities of every flavor go to be free.
- Turkey is one of the drafters of the Conventions which has helped shape the European liberal legal order. Ironically Turkey was and is an authoritarian state, treated as a liberal democracy by the European institutions.
- 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