Stories about turkey

Hijrat: A step back for Pakistani cinema

Since Pakistan’s cinema industry began its journey towards improvement and development, directors began sharing unique stories through their movies. Where Na Maloom Afraad, Waar, Karachi Se Lahore, and Manto amongst others boosted the revival of Pakistani cinema, it also provided a platform for directors to display their immense talent. However, the recently released Hijrat, directed by Farooq Mengal, failed to make the same impact as it fell short in a number of areas. Simply put, the acting in Hijrat is plain, flat and mediocre. It felt as if the actors were reading the script without emotions, completely detached from their assigned characters. Moreover, the romantic scenes failed ...

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Are Muslim refugees destined for a life of sex slavery?

“Listen lady, if you don’t want to be whisked away to a brothel in Brussels and your three girls trafficked into pedophile rings or have their organs removed, please go back to Pakistan. Stop trying to make your way into Europe.” These were the words of British aid worker Sajad Shah to a Pakistani mother with three very young daughters. The woman was seeking asylum in Germany, along with thousands of Syrians and Iraqi refugees, after claiming she was being persecuted as a Christian in her home country. The founder of the charity Love for Humanity, Sajad Shah has been helping in ...

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How shrinking freedom of press in Turkey brought me closer to Pakistan

In Pakistan, during my second year as a news correspondent for Turkey, four of my Turkish friends and I decided to take a vacation to Istanbul, via Islamabad. The scorching Karachi sun could do nothing to subdue the excitement I was feeling since I was going back to my country after quite some time. Planning was underway and we converted all the money we owned to dollars, except for Rs1000 each, in case of an emergency. Since we had decided to travel by train, we booked a six person compartment on the Tezgam Express. The sixth person in our compartment was a ...

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A Syrian refugee’s message to the European Union

When we first got here we had money to buy a little food. Now it’s gone. We stand in line for hours for a sandwich. My husband told a journalist recently, “People are fed up. Maybe tomorrow they will break down the gate and flood across the border.” The journalist said, “How many weapons do you have?” If we knew how to carry weapons or wanted to carry weapons we would not have fled Syria. We want peace. We are sick of killing. We fled a war, and now the European Union is making war against us, a psychological war. When we hear rumours that we’ll be let ...

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Downing Street raises the Belgian flag and we tweet for Brussels – but where was this sympathy after Ankara?

Yet again Europe has been shaken by the impact of a terrorist attack – and, once again, it has responded in a way that we have come to see as tragically routine. On social media we have Facebook safety check-ins, Twitter hashtags and sharable cartoons. In real life the Belgian flag will be hoist or projected over the national monuments of neighbouring European countries. The responses have taken on the morbid ritual of a funeral. And arguably, they are important to help us process the inexplicable horror and to give us some tools with which to communicate defiance in the ...

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Prejudice towards languages and ethnicities other than Punjabi has to end

Textbooks play an important role in building the world view of students. In a country like Pakistan where the reading culture is non-existent, these books serve as primary sources of information for a huge chunk of society. Khursheed Kamal Aziz also known as K K Aziz began his book ‘The Murder of History in Pakistan’ with the following words, “In every country, the textbook is the primary implement of education at the school and pre-university stages of instruction. In Pakistan, it is the only instrument of imparting education on all levels, because the teacher and the lecturer don’t teach or ...

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Why can’t Pakistani women wear niqabs if they don’t want to be stared at?

Dear Express Tribune (ET), (or should I say Sexpress tribune?) Here I was, browsing the internet while feeling very offended that the government had passed a ‘Women Protection Bill’, when I came across your latest liberal agenda spewing blog, titled, ‘Why can’t Pakistani men stop staring at women?’ This article made me so angry. The last time I felt so upset was when I spent seven and a half hours on Sunday pouring over every image and video on Qandeel Baloch’s Facebook page. That day I was so livid, I left comment after comment on her posts, asking her to cover ...

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s despotic zeal: Shameful day for free press in Turkey

The virtual control he already has of a majority of Turkey’s newspapers and TV stations apparently isn’t enough for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On Friday, with the zeal of its despotic leader, his government seized my paper, Today’s Zaman, and its parent, the Turkish-language Zaman, which is the highest-circulating daily in the country. Together, these titles were two of the few remaining independent voices inside Turkey — and Today’s Zaman, in particular, was a reliable English-language news source for diplomats, academics and expatriates. On Friday, a government-controlled court appointed trustees to take over the newspapers in what amounts to a politically motivated assault. At midnight, protesters faced tear ...

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Should Turkey have abdicated its sovereign rights for the greater good?

The downing of the Russian plane that allegedly violated Turkey’s borders might go down in history as the event that led to something much grander in the global context. Or it could just be a news story that shocked and bemused its audience. For an amateur historian, this particular incident is a point of great interest because he knows that the worst of conflicts have erupted over much smaller bullets. Those conflicts have taken the lives of millions and have had the potential to wipe out all existence from the face of the earth. The fateful bullet that took the life of Austrio-Hungarian ...

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Why Pakistan should recognise Israel

Sometimes it becomes inexorable and practical to change the paradigms, let the past stay in the past and forget about historical incidents in order to open doors that lead to peace, prosperity and harmony. History documents that Pakistan and Israel are never directly involved in hostility or disputes with each other. However, in showing solidarity with Arab countries and in support of Palestine, Pakistan has categorically refused to recognise Israel as an independent state since its inception. Our history books and widespread stereotypes have played a major role in filling our hearts and minds with hatred against Israel. Considering the cost-benefit analysis and without ...

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