May 29, 2015

Turkey’s banking watchdog seizes Bank Asya in politically-motivated move

Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) has seized the country’s largest Islamic lender Bank Asya on Friday evening as a result of a months-long unlawful government-orchestrated campaign targeting the bank.

Hizmet’s role in global peace, interfaith dialogue highlighted in African conference

The role of the Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement, has been highlighted during an international conference held in the Republic of Benin attended by African religious leaders and intellectuals.

Turkey’s journalists challenged by growing judicial, political pressure

It is an almost-daily occurrence in Turkey for journalists who have been critical of the government to appear before a judge, either on charges of insulting a state official or making terrorist propaganda, and Thursday was not an exception, as several journalists appeared in court while others were summoned to testify as suspects in ongoing investigations.

May 28, 2015

For Judges Who Defy Turkey’s Leaders, Short Road to Jail

Emma Sinclair-Webb*

Jailing journalists has been one of the hallmarks of Turkey’s poor human rights record, a kind of shorthand for describing the country’s authoritarian tendencies and flawed justice system. But in the run up to a highly contested general election in June, that treatment has been extended to judges and prosecutors who issue decisions the government doesn’t like.

May 27, 2015

Hizmet’s core teachings to undermine and negate extremism

Ozcan Keles and Ismail Mesut Sezgin

The challenge with linear, traditional government policies directly aimed at defeating violent extremist ideology is that by its nature the policy and the measures that flow from it are formulated in reaction to the problem. Reactionary policies are less inspiring. This matters, especially when community support is needed for its success. Such policies are also more likely to focus on the immediate and visible triggers of the problem over its deep-rooted and fundamental causes, since the former are more likely to be achieved within the lifespan of a parliamentary term. What is more, when a reactive policy is focused on a particular group, in this case Muslims, it can have the unintended consequence of turning them into ‘suspect communities’, or at least making them feel so, further undermining public support from the very people and communities whose involvement is needed most.

May 26, 2015

Turkish intellectuals warn social tensions rising, urge gov’t to provide election security

A group of intellectuals, academics and artists have issued an emergency declaration calling on both the president and prime minister to refrain from hate speech and polarizing narrative while ensuring free and fair election campaigning ahead of critical national election on June 7.

Penal court of peace bans access to four stories on Zaman daily’s website

In another example of government pressure on the media in Turkey, the Bakırköy 2nd Penal Court of Peace has blocked access to four stories on the Zaman daily's website after a complaint was submitted by pro-government businessman Abdullah Tivnikli on May 8.

May 25, 2015

Kimse Yok Mu, Philippines sign agreement to further aid cooperation

Turkish charity organization Kimse Yok Mu (KYM) has signed a landmark agreement with the Philippine government, paving way for close cooperation between the two entities to further aid, education and development efforts in the two countries.

Filipino student wins Turkish international schools contest

Patricia Dalde Linogao from the Philippines wins the International Language and Culture Festival’s song contest held in the Romanian capital Bucharest.

Africa, Albania and Erdogan’s campaign against Turkish schools

Ademu Sadik

Nations that are not under colonial rule should operate as sovereign states with the ability to make laws and take decisions that concern their citizens.

May 24, 2015

Biggest failing of the Republic of Turkey

Şahin Alpay

The measures taken by the government of Turkey, headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to not only cover up the greatest corruption probe in the history of the republic, which went public on Dec. 17, 2013, but to fully put an end to the separation of powers and to subjugate the judiciary, the media and civil society are building day by day.