Turkey: 42% of women suffer abuse from husband or partner

Unofficial Turkish emblem (This is not the Tur...

Image via Wikipedia

Somedays ago, there was a poll saying that “60 percent, both male and female, think women should obey men, while 33 percent think women deserve to be beaten by their husbands if they do not obey – compared to 19 percent in 1996“. Here we see the results:

A study has found that 42 per cent of Turkish women suffer physical or sexual violence at the hands of their husband or partner, despite tough laws designed to protect them.But women’s advocate and researcher Gauri van Gulik says the laws are rarely enforced.
Our reporter Ashley Hall spoke to her from Berlin.
GAURI VAN GULIK: The main thing that I have to say about the abuse in Turkey is that the level is quite extreme. Now we see abuse everywhere we work but what we encountered in Turkey was really not just the daily beatings or just sexual abuse but also very severe kinds of abuse like poisoning, we encountered cases of stabbings, gunfights as well, horrible cases of abuse, very, very sickening frankly. And we encountered that throughout the country in different areas of the country.

via Nearly half of Turkey’s women suffer abuse « Dalit News from Kerala.

Turkey: Top Military chiefs resign

Actually, this is not surprising at all. And so, the last secular Turkish bastion falls and now Erdogan can appoint someone who is more supportive of his view of democracy (1, 2):

Kuleli Military High School

Turkey’s top military officer stepped down from his post Friday, a surprise move that exposed growing tensions between the country’s military and Islamic-leaning government.

Gen. Isik Kosaner, Turkey’s chief of the general staff, retired a year ahead of schedule. His decision came as a shock in Turkey and rattled its currency.

Security analysts widely saw the move as a confirmation that Turkey’s military—the second-largest in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after the U.S.’s, and long seen as the country’s dominant power—has had its wings clipped amid a lengthy power struggle with the ruling Justice and Development Party. Continue reading

Australia: Turkish Vandalism Forces Name Change in Assyrian Memorial Plaque

Bodies of Christians who perished during the A...

Bodies of Christians who perished during the Assyrian genocide. Image via Wikipedia

A controversial plaque commemorating Australian and Assyrian forces fighting side by side is set to be recast with a word change in an effort to quell ethnic tensions and constant vandalism.

The Assyrian Levies Association plaque in Fairfield Park, which was removed by vandals in March and splashed with paint last September, will be replaced next month with the word “Turkey” changed to “Ottoman” after a complaint was made to council.

Assyrian Levies Association president Gaby Kiwarkis said the Assyrian community were up in arms after the latest act of vandalism in March but wanted to keep the situation calm.

“They wanted to demonstrate,” he said. “I had to tell people to calm down and do it the right way.

“It’s not about politics when you are remembering the dead.”

Mr Kiwarkis, who helped negotiate the change, said the Turkish community originally asked for several changes but eventually agreed on the one.

via Turkish Vandalism Forces Name Change in Assyrian Memorial Plaque.

Turkey’s U-turn over Libya: a new Ottomanism?

Ankara’s weeks-long attempts to convince Gadhafi to accept a political solution did not bear any fruit. The dialogue with Tripoli was broken off once Turkey rallied behind the NATO-led military operation, while the hesitant approach toward Benghazi created huge frustration among the Libyan rebels.

In a U-turn triggered by concerns that it would be excluded from shaping a post-Gadhafi Libya, Turkey recognized Benghazi and said it would give $300 million in support for the National Transitional Council.

Turkish officials say the closer engagement with Benghazi aims at reaching peace and stability in Libya and that economic interest are only a secondary issue. Senior diplomat Selim Yenel dismisses claims that Turkey and some Western powers are competing on the future of the country and its economic resources.

“Turkey is pursuing a more active foreign policy. But it would be wrong to describe it as neo-Ottomanism. We never have had such a dream,” Ambassador Yenel told Deutsche Welle. “We are not in competition with anybody. We really want to see stability in Libya. What is important is the end of military conflict, Libya gaining stability and prosperity.”

via Turkey’s U-turn over Libya | World | Deutsche Welle | 14.07.2011.

Turkey: from honor killing to honor suicide

Burqa ban: Erdogan condemns France

Recep Tayyip Erdogan - World Economic Forum An...

Image by World Economic Forum via Flickr

Not surprising of course:

Council of Europe in Strasbourg, April 13, 2011/Vincent Kessler)

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused France of violating the freedom of religion on Wednesday after Paris began enforcing a law barring Muslim women from wearing full face veils in public. He told the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that Turkey was the only Muslim country that had copied the French law on secularism, or separating church and state.

“It’s quite ironic to see that secularism is today under debate in Europe and is undermining certain freedoms,” he said. “Today in France, there is no respect for individual religious freedom,” he said. The Strasbourg-based Council of Europe monitors human rights across the continent.

Although missionary work is legal in secular Turkey, the mistrust of missionaries has been expressed by state institutions. In 2001, a report prepared for Turkey’s National Security Council, which brings together generals, politicians and the president, said missionary activities constituted a threat to national unity as their ultimate aim was to “divide Turkey”.

“Missionary activity, the prime threat to Turkey, has nothing to do with freedom of religion,” Namik Kemal Zeybek, leader of the Democrat Party, or DP, a small right-wing group, said in a speech last week, according to press reports. “These missionary activities, called ‘Evangelical’ and supported by US dollars, are a threat for the whole of humanity.”

Islamic countries: Poll shows growing majority favor Sharia Law, more Islam in public life

A majority of Muslims around the world welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries’ political life, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, but have mixed feelings toward militant religious groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

According to the survey, majorities in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria would favor changing the current laws to allow stoning as a punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft and death for those who convert from Islam to another religion. About 85% of Pakistani Muslims said they would support a law segregating men and women in the workplace.

Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria and Jordan were among the most enthusiastic, with more than three-quarters of Muslims polled in those countries reporting positive views of Islam’s influence in politics: either that Islam had a large role in politics, and that was a good thing, or that it played a small role, and that was bad.

Turkish Muslims were the most conflicted, with just more than half reporting positive views of Islam’s influence in politics. Turkey has struggled in recent years to balance a secular political system with an increasingly fervent Muslim population.

Many Muslims described an ongoing struggle in their country between fundamentalists and modernizers, especially those who may have felt threatened by the rising tides of conservatism. Among those respondents who identified a struggle, most tended to side with the modernizers. This was especially true in Lebanon and Turkey, where 84% and 74%, respectively, identified themselves as modernizers as opposed to fundamentalists.

In Egypt and Nigeria, however, most people were pulling in the other direction. According to the poll, 59% in Egypt and 58% in Nigeria who said there was a struggle identified with the fundamentalists.

via MUSLIM WORLD: Poll shows majority want Islam in politics; feelings mixed on Hamas, Hezbollah | Babylon & Beyond | Los Angeles Times.