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Trial of Israeli Attack on Freedom Flotilla Begins on November 6

[The following article was issued by IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation on 1 November 2012.]  The first hearing of the trial concerning an Israeli attack on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla and Mavi Marmara ship will be held at an İstanbul court on Nov.6. IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, which is one of the ...  Read More »

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HRW Calls on Turkey and Iraq to Open Borders to Syrian Refugees

[The following statement was issued by Human Rights Watch on 14 October 2012.]  The Iraqi and Turkish authorities should immediately re-open border crossings where more than 10,000 Syrians have been stranded for weeks and allow all those wishing to seek asylum to cross without delay, Human Rights Watch said ...  Read More »

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Turkish Fragments

Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence. Translated by Maureen Freely. New York: Knopf, 2009. Nurdan Gürbilek, The New Cultural Climate in Turkey: Living in a Shop Window. Translated by Victoria Holbrook. London: Zed Books, 2011. The year 2009 brought us an English translation of the Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Myriam Ababsa, Baudouin Dupret, and Eric Denis, Popular Housing and Urban Land Tenure in the Middle East

Myriam Ababsa, Baudouin Dupret and Eric Denis, editors. Popular Housing and Urban Land Tenure in the Middle East: Case Studies from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. Cairo and New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Myriam Ababsa (MA), Baudouin ...  Read More »

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September Culture

Jadaliyya's September culture bouquet is out with sumptuous fiction and art from Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt: * Shadow Sites: Recent Works by Jannane al-Ani by Maymanah Farhat * An Excerpt from Salam Ibrahim's "The Attic" translated by Ghada Mourad * An Excerpt from Bilge Karasu's "A Long day's ...  Read More »

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Call for Participants -- Mideast Wire's The Exchange: City-Focused Conferences in Beirut, Tunis, & Turkey

The Exchange is an effort by and its partners to promote understanding and academic enrichment through a variety of city-focused conferences in and around the Middle East. During their stay, typically lasting from one to two weeks, students and professionals from around the world engage directly ...  Read More »

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An Excerpt from Bilge Karasu's "A Long Day's Evening"

[Bilge Karasu (1930-1995) was born in Istanbul. Often referred to as "the sage of Turkish literature," during his lifetime he published collections of stories, novels, and two books of essay. Karasu is an influential reference point in the progress of Turkish fiction writing. A perfectionist, a philosopher, ...  Read More »

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 September)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention, and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to ...  Read More »

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Letter Concerning Turkish Minister of Interior's Comparison Between Writing in Support of Kurdish Rights and Terrorism

[The following letter was written by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA).] Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Office of the Prime Minister Başbakanlık 06573 Ankara, Turkey Via facsimile +90 312 417 0476 Dear Prime Minister Erdoğan: I write on behalf ...  Read More »

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The Love Affair with Erdogan (Part 2)

[The following is part two of a two-part piece on Tayyip Erdogan.  Part one was posted Monday, 27 August.] How, then, has Erdoğan managed to escape with his international reputation relatively unscathed, and his domestic popularity only marginally diminished? One might be tempted to argue that although his ...  Read More »

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The Love Affair with Erdogan (Part 1)

[The following is part one of a two-part piece on Tayyip Erdogan.  Part two will be posted Monday, 3 September.] Since his election to the helm of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2003, but even more so following the party’s reelections in 2007 and 2011, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ...  Read More »

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Exile and Memory in Contemporary Western Armenian Literature

A thick stack of black and white photographs flutters to the floor. A man stands over the jumbled pile and, looking past bent corners and nibbled edges, sees dozens of faces staring up at him. These faces are vaguely familiar—an old neighbor, a distant cousin, an aunt who used to spend summers with him. Some photos ...  Read More »

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Committee on Academic Freedom: Letter Concerning the Arrest and Detention of Muge Tuzcuoglu

[The following letter was written by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA).] Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Office of the Prime Minister Başbakanlık  Dear Prime Minister Erdoğan: I write on behalf of the Middle East Studies Association ...  Read More »

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Alliance for Kurdish Rights: Fire Isn't Turkey's Biggest Problem When It Comes to Prisons

[The following article was published by the Alliance for Kurdish Rights on 21 June 2012.]  Recent events in Turkey have shed a critical, if heated, light on the prison system in Turkey. On Saturday 16 June, several inmates of the Urfa prison set their bedding on fire in protest of the prison’s extreme ...  Read More »

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Surviving Massacre: Hagop Arsenian’s Armenian Journey to Jerusalem, 1915-1916

These pages are excerpted from Hagop Arsenian’s diary of his deportation from his native village of Ovajik in Turkey and his harrowing journey to Jerusalem (1915-1916). After months of hardship in Meskene, “one of the most infamous stations of the Armenian deportation,” where he and his family barely escape massacre, ...  Read More »

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Press Release: International Delegation to Attend Trial of Ayse Berktay (Hacimirzaoglu) in Turkey

[The following press release was issued in English on 25 June 2012 by members of an international delegation that will observe the trial of Ayse Berktay.] Press Release International Delegation to Attend Trial of Ayse Berktay (Hacimirzaoglu) in Turkey During the past three years, the Turkish state has imprisoned ...  Read More »

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Protests in Tahrir; Drones in Turkey's Skies

This week we talk to Egyptian journalist Ahmad Shokr about the political landscape in his country after the pivotal verdict on Hosni Mubarak and members of his regime announced on Saturday, 2 June 2012. We’ll also discuss Turkey’s plans to purchase US armed drones with University of Indiana researcher, Burhan ...  Read More »

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Petition Against Banning of Abortion in Turkey

[The following petition has been circulated in response to the recent development regarding abortion rights in Turkey. To sign the peition, click here.] TO THE POLICIES OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND THE GOVERNMENT THAT TARGET GENDER EQUALITY, WOMEN'S BODIES, REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS, AND SEXUALITY, OUR RESPONSE IS A ...  Read More »

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The Space Between

The Space Between: A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey. 27 April – 10 May 2012, Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York, NY. Introducing “The Space Between: A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey,” a major retrospective of Turkish cinema featuring twenty-nine films from 1958 to the present recently screened in New York City, ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Hilal Elver, The Headscarf Controversy: Secularism and Freedom of Religion

Hilal Elver, The Headscarf Controversy: Secularism and Freedom of Religion. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?  Hilal Elver (HE): My experience in Turkey in relation to the headscarf is the main reason for writing the book. Turkey is very much a ...  Read More »

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جدلية صعود أبو الفتوح وإمكانية استنساخ النموذج الأردوجاني

جاء الصعود السريع لحضور ودور أبو الفتوح في سباق الرئاسة المصرية ليعيد إلى الأذهان تجربة الصعود السياسي لأردوجان في تركيا في نهاية التسعينات وبداية القرن الحادي والعشرين. ولعل العودة إلى السنوات الخمس البارزة في تاريخ النظام السياسي التركي، خصوصا بين عامي 1997- 2002، تعين على فهم وتفسير عمليات وسياسات وسياقات صعود ...  Read More »

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عن ساحاتنا ومآلاتها

في عصر الديمقراطية الزاهي في اليونان القديمة، على ماتقول الروايات التاريخية والأدبيات المسرحية، لعبت الساحة أو الآغورا دوراً رئيساً في التعبير عن إرادة المواطنين، أو الرجال الأحرار منهم على أقل تقدير. فهم كانوا يجتمعون فيها لمناقشة مايستجد من أمورهم العامة واتخاذ قرار جماعي بشأنها. ويقفون كتفاً لكتف، عراةً أو شبه ...  Read More »

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Syrian Refugees in Turkey

[The following report was published in the Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter on 1 April 2012. It was prepared by by Oktay Durukan and Zaid Hydari of Helsinki Citizens Assembly-Regugee Advocacy and Support Program.] Update: Syrian Refugees in Turkey 16,000 and Counting … Since the Syrian conflict ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Nergis Ertürk, Grammatology and Literary Modernity in Turkey

Nergis Ertürk, Grammatology and Literary Modernity in Turkey. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Nergis Ertürk (NE): One of my motives was to try to deepen our understanding of the phoneticizing Turkish alphabet reform of 1928, which replaced a ...  Read More »

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A New Kind of Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation

In October 2011, the newly renovated Sourp Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church reopened in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakir. Among the hundreds gathered to celebrate its first mass in over ninety years were local men and women who had chosen the occasion to be baptized into the Armenian Apostolic Church. ...  Read More »

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Turkey's Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East: An Interview with Asli Bali (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a two-part interview in which Asli Bali discusses Turkey's foreign policy interests and objectives with regards to the Middle East. In this second part of the interview, Asli discusses Turkey’s foreign policy in the face of the Arab uprisings, with particular reference to Egypt, Libya, and ...  Read More »

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Turkey and Syria: A Breakup Bound to Happen

While Syria and Turkey have called it quits for now, a possible regime change in Syria could bring them even closer together. The sultans must be green with envy. At no time since the fall of the Ottoman Empire have Turks held such sway over the Middle East. In the context of Arab uprisings, Turkey has been able to ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Hakan Ozoglu, From Caliphate to Secular State

Hakan Özoğlu, From Caliphate to Secular State: Power Struggle in the Early Turkish Republic. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2011. Jadaliyya: What made you write this book? Hakan Özoğlu: Critical works on the early years of the Turkish Republic are quite rare, especially in Western scholarship. In the field of history, ...  Read More »

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"Operational Accidents": On the Turkish State and Kurdish Deaths

Reading the press release issued by the Turkish Armed Forces on Thursday, 29 December 2011, it is impossible to get the sense that during the previous night, its warplanes struck and killed thirty-five citizens of Turkey, many of them high school students and all of them civilians. When referring to the young Kurdish ...  Read More »

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My Lonely and Beautiful Country: Recent Work on the Cinema of Turkey (Part Two)

Gönül Dönmez-Colin, Turkish Cinema: Identity, Distance, and Belonging. London: Reaktion Books and Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008. Asuman Suner, New Turkish Cinema: Belonging, Identity, and Memory. London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2010. Deniz Bayrakdar, Aslı Kotaman, and Ahu Samav Uğursoy, editors, ...  Read More »

About Turkey Page

Jadaliyya’s Turkey Page features exclusive and in-depth coverage by contributors on the ground in Turkey as well as outside observers, from a wide range of perspectives. We aim to enrich the coverage of Turkey throughout the English-language media, to generate new critical conversations, and to translate work being published in Turkish for an English-language audience. We welcome submissions in both English and Turkish. If you wish to contribute to this page, send your material to or click below:




Turkey Map and Stats

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Population (2016 est.): 80,274,604
Government: Republican Parliamentary Democracy
Year of independence: 1923
GDP: $856.8 billion (2016 est.); $1.698 trillion (2016 est., purchasing power parity)
Unemployment: 10.9% (2016 est.); Youth Unemployment (ages 15-24): 24.5% (est. Jan 2017)
Internet Users: 53.7% - 42.681 million (July 2015 est.)
Exchange Rate: ~ 3.5 Turkish lira per US dollar (2016 est.)
GDP Growth Rate: 2.9% (2016 est.)
Military Expenditures: 1.69% of GDP (2016) (World Rank: 35)
Health Expenditures: 5.4% of GDP (2014) (World Rank: 103)
Population Growth Rate: 5.4% of GDP (2014)
Age Structure: 0-14 years: 25.08% (male 10,303,153/female 9,833,713); 15-24 years: 16.11% (male 6,605,634/female 6,329,921); 25-54 years: 43.15% (male 17,541,137/female 17,094,141); 55-64 years: 8.36% (male 3,335,021/female 3,374,965); 65 years and over: 7.3% (male 2,603,655/female 3,253,264) (2016 est.)
Literacy: 95% (Male: 98.4%; Female: 91.8% [2015 est.])
Religious Demographics: Sunni Muslim 80-85%; Alevi Muslim 15-20%; Christian (various denominations) 0.13%; Jewish 0.03%
Ethnic Demographics: Turks 80%, Kurds 18%, Arabs 1.4%, Armenians 0.1%, and other (Assyrian, Greek Orthodox, Georgian, Circassian) 0.5%
Languages: Turkish, Kurdish, Zaza, Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Albanian, Neo-Aramaic Laz, Ladino
Area: 301,159 square miles

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