Stories about turkey

In the US-China trade war, Pakistan and the global economy will be the casualties

The year 2017 ended on a positive note, with some major economies leading the “broadest synchronised global upsurge since 2010”, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Markets reacted positively to the improved global economic outlook, giving rise to a flare of optimism in the investor community. Halfway through 2018, however, and the global economic scenario now paints a different picture. China just lost its spot to Japan for the second largest stock market in the world, amid rising tension over the trade war concerns between the two major superpowers. Donald Trump seems to be on board to fulfil his promise ...

Read Full Post

How did the ECP manage to mess up the elections?

In the wake of the 2018 General Elections, parties from the opposition have raised a hue and cry over alleged electoral irregularities, which is not very uncommon in Pakistan. For decades, elections have been marred by rigging allegations, which are then merely used as rhetoric for political sloganeering. And hereby, the same manner was witnessed following these elections and its results. Rewinding a few months before the elections, political parties were complaining of favouritism for a single party. Fast forwarding to a few weeks before the polling day, it was observed by several onlookers that in fact, the colours being ...

Read Full Post

Why re-electing Erdogan will be fruitful for Turkey

For the first time in history, Turkey has transitioned to a presidential system of governance. Following last year’s narrowly-won referendum with 51% votes in favour, the prime minister’s office was abolished, the powers of the Parliament curtailed, while presidential powers were bolstered. Following the June 24th election results, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now back in the saddle with much more power in hand than ever before. He will now rule Turkey once again for the next crucial five years, which will define the fate of the country after a failed coup against his regime a couple of years back. What ...

Read Full Post

The Turkish Republic, as we know it, is dead

In perhaps the most important election of the past two decades, Turkey has given its verdict, electing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the president and also giving his party, Justice and Development Party (AKP), who fought the elections in coalition with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a majority in the Parliament. President Erdogan called an early election because he was expecting to win at this time, and therefore, wanted to use the opportunity to consolidate his presidency, which after last year’s referendum had become an extremely powerful post. Just to reiterate that presidency after the referendum is no longer a ceremonial post but gives ...

Read Full Post

With Donald Trump’s travel ban 3.0, is America any safer?

Today, the Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban to be fully enforced. This ban restricts visas from eight countries, including six Muslim-majority nations. The premise: ‘national security’. But does such a ban really make Americans safer? Here are five points all Americans need to understand. 1. Religious extremism, not Islam, is the real threat There is no denying the fact that religious extremists, and terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS), pose a grave threat to the United States. These groups pervert religion for ulterior geo-political agendas. Their violent rhetoric – advocating for the killing of homosexuals, ‘blasphemers’, apostates and anyone who disagrees with ...

Read Full Post

Lesvos: From a tourist heaven to the ‘refugee island’ of drowned boats and lifejackets

I recently had the chance to visit Lesvos, a tiny Greek island located a few kilometres from the Turkish Riviera. This picturesque island, which was once a tourist heaven, is now commonly referred to as the refugee island, given the high influx of refugees since 2014 following the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Whilst there as a volunteer, much of my time was spent realising how borders can sometimes prove fatal.  As I visited the shores of Skala, I could see Turkey through my binoculars. While many refugee boats arrive weekly from Turkey, at one point in 2015, an average total ...

Read Full Post

Wajood’s trailer fails at its one job – attraction

Trailers or previews are unarguably the most significant gizmo to lure and persuade filmgoers to anxiously wait for the upcoming movie. Thus, filmmakers put extra effort in releasing flawlessly edited and timely trailers for their films, in order to build the buzz and attract audiences to the theatres upon the film’s release. They concentrate on adding weighty scenes, salient dialogues and amalgamating different vistas in their trailers to heighten the buzz. The blockbuster trailer of the highly anticipated Bollywood film Veere Di Wedding is a textbook example of this. With lots of juicy and garish material, yet still not ...

Read Full Post

Konya: The city of legacies, spirituality and Rumi

As we returned home from our trip to Uzbekistan last year, we kept aside four days in Istanbul to break the journey. Since we had already travelled to Istanbul previously, we decided to spend some time in Konya, which is the burial place of celebrated scholar and Sufi poet, Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi. Situated in the heart of Turkey, Konya is very well connected to the world by road, high-speed rail, and air. We had made our reservations to reach Konya from Istanbul via Pegasus Airlines, one of the no-frills Turkish airlines where the return fare from Istanbul was $50 per person. The airline operates from ...

Read Full Post

The Syrian conflict approaches its seventh year, but the inhumanity is endless

“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded. Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed. Everybody knows that the war is over. Everybody knows that the good guys lost.” – Leonard Cohen, Everybody knows 1988 As Syria labels its latest escalation with Washington DC a ‘war crime’, an obscene irony in a civil war fast devolved into a brutal proxy war, on the threshold of its seven year anniversary, the world’s most violent proxy war is fast spinning out of orbit. The developments are dizzying. NATO’s two largest armies, in a tense face-off, now stand on opposite sides of the conflict. In the cross hairs aimed at one another, the Kurdish forces – the Pershmaga, astonishing ...

Read Full Post

Time-travelling through history and losing myself in the ruins of Ephesus, Turkey

I wanted to end 2017 by surprising my parents with a visit, all the way from California, US to Mansehra, Pakistan. Travelling for 28 hours straight and showing up at my ancestral home in Mansehra, it took my father around three minutes to recognise me as his eldest son. Those three minutes started to get awkward, as I began to wonder if he had excommunicated me from the family tree. Instead, it turned out that he was just channelling his surprise by confusing me for my brother’s friend. However, this little awkward reunion wasn’t the only part of my trip ...

Read Full Post