Tag Archives: Turkey

Turkish Men Show Their Balls by Wearing Miniskirts

TURKEY-WOMEN-RIGHTS-DEMO

Men throughout Turkey and neighboring Azerbaijan are tweeting images of themselves in miniskirts to protest the death of a young woman who was murdered after fighting off a sexual assault by a minibus driver.

The brutal death Ozgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old student who fought off an attempted rape before her body was burned and dumped in a riverbed, provoked a widespread reaction on social media and spurred Turks everywhere to protest violence against women.

On Wednesday, a group of men in Azerbaijan are believed to have started the hashtag #ozgecanicinminietekgiy, which translates to “wear a miniskirt for Ozgecan.” The hashtag went viral and thousands of men from Azerbaijan and Turkey have since tweeted out images of themselves wearing skirts in honor of women’s (and Scottish men’s?) rights.

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A Facebook page supporting the campaign explains, “If a miniskirt is responsible for everything, if [wearing] a miniskirt means immorality and unchastity, if a woman who wears a miniskirt is sending an invitation about what will happen to her, then we are also sending an invitation!”

On Saturday the protest went from the internet to the streets as hundreds gathered in dresses, skirts and miniskirts to march through Istanbul in solidarity with women who have been protesting violence against women since the recent murder of Ozgecan Aslan.

Miniskirts Protest

Prominent Turkish lawyer and activist Hulya Gulbahar said the skirt protest is “very effective” and the first time women’s rights have been so widely endorsed in Turkey.

“The women’s movement is trying to tell society, ‘My dress is not an excuse for your rape or sexual harassment.’ But society didn’t want to hear these voices. People try to find excuses for rapes and killing. But they didn’t find any in this case, because Aslan was very innocent, purely innocent. The protest shows that a short skirt is not an excuse for rape.”

Women’s rights in Turkey don’t exactly have a stellar rep. Reported sexual and physical violence against women in Turkey has risen 14-fold since 2002. Just last summer a Turkish court ruled that a woman who was attacked and wounded with a knife by her ex-husband had “provoked” him by wearing leggings. And President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hasn’t been much help tackling the issue, declaring last year that he doesn’t believe in men and women’s equality. So if Turkish men have to take to the streets dressed in miniskirts to drive the point home, then they might as well look good doing it:

Turkey Skirt

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Current Event Cat: Fallen Syrian Military Jet

Current Event Cat - Turkey Syrian Military Jet

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan apparently mistook a Syrian military jet for the Twitter Bird and allowed his country’s armed forces to shoot it down.

Twitter BirdArguing that the Syrian military jet/possible Twitter Bird sighting violated Turkey’s airspace, Turkish fighter jets took down the Syrian aircraft on Sunday in a move that definitely won’t ease any tensions between two countries already in disagreement over Syria’s civil war and their opinions of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

The jet takedown happened in an area where the Syrian government has been at war with rebel groups over control of a border crossing. The plane was hit by a missile from one of two Turkish F-16s flying an air patrol in the area while the Syrian military jet was pursuing gunmen near the border. Luckily the pilot safely ejected himself from the aircraft, and parachuted down to safety/a war zone.

A spokesman for Syria’s military confirmed the incident, denouncing it as a “blatant aggression,” but Erdogan told Syria “our response will be heavy if you violate our airspace.” Tough love.

Turkey denies any wrongdoing, saying the Syrian MiG-23 entered Turkey’s airspace after ignoring four warnings to turn back. And this isn’t the first time that the Turkish military has shot down a Syrian aircraft near the border. They took down a Syrian military helicopter back in September. Although to be fair, Syria shot down a Turkish military plane in 2012 – so they kind of had it coming.

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Erdogan Gives One Final Warning…

Final Warning

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has issued a “final warning” to protesters to leave Gezi Park in central Istanbul.

And what happens after this final warning? More water cannons and tear gas I guess. But this time Erdogan means business! He’s determined to remove the “lawbreakers”/protesters from Istanbul’s Taksim Square and end the two weeks of protests.

“Our patience is at an end. I am making my warning for the last time,” he said.

I can see why Erdogan is so eager to end this – the ongoing protests and clashes with police have put a less than flattering international spotlight on his Islamic-rooted government and its handling of the situation.

Erdogan made an attempt yesterday to quell the demonstrations by proposing a referendum over the development plan at Gezi Park, which originally ignited the protests. Apparently Erdogan was the only one who didn’t get the memo that the protest was no longer about saving a few trees but rather about his increasingly authoritarian rule.

So now it’s back to heated rhetoric, police brutality and final warnings for Erdogan. Rather than softening his stance, Erdogan seems to be getting more and more worked up. After making his final warning threat, he lashed out at rowdy demonstrators, whom he called “vagabonds” and “thugs”. As for the peaceful protesters, well, they shouldn’t complain about excessive police force because they put themselves in that place. You tell ‘em Erdogan! He also criticized the conditions of Gezi Park, where many protesters have been camping out.

“It stinks of pee. In fact, some of them even poo in there.

Erdogan also reacted angrily after the European Union passed a non-binding agreement that “deplores the reactions of the Turkish Government and of Prime Minister Erdogan, whose unwillingness to take steps towards reconciliation, to apologize or to understand the reactions of a segment of the Turkish population have only contributed to further polarization”.

“I won’t recognize the decision that the European Union parliament is going to take about us… Who do you think you are by taking such a decision?” Erdogan demanded.

Five people have died and thousands injured since the protests began on 31 May. It’s unclear what Erdogan’s mysterious final warning will entail, but he certainly shows no signs of backing down. In fact, he seems to be getting crazier by the day…

Via: CBC News

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Turkish Protests

Current Event Cat - Stop Protests

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded an end to the ongoing protests.

At Istanbul airport, Erdogan took a combative stance and told crowds of supporters who were welcoming him home from a four-day North Africa tour that the protests must stop.

“These protests that are bordering on illegality must come to an end as of now,” he told the 10,000 supporters as they cheered him on.

“I call for an immediate end to the demonstrations, which have lost their democratic credentials and turned into vandalism.”

Some of his supporters chanted: “Let us go, let’s crush Taksim!” but Erdogan decided that might be too much and urged them to go home peacefully.

Erdogan did attempt some kind of unity and togetherness message:

“They say I am the prime minister of only 50 per cent. It’s not true. We have served the whole of the 76 million from the east to the west,” he said, referring to his 2011 election win with 50% of the vote.

Together we are Turkey. Together we are brothers. We have never endeavored to break hearts. We are in favor of mending hearts.”

But at the end of the day, he just really hates those damn protesters.

Erdogan’s speech, delivered from atop an open-air bus outside the airport terminal, was the first major show of public support for Erdogan following a week of protests. But as he spoke, thousands of anti-government protesters were also rallying in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, calling for his resignation.

The protests, which started out as a small demonstration against the development of Istanbul’s Gezi park, have now spread nationwide. Protesters from all walks of life have occupied Taksim Square and its park, objecting to what they say is Erdogan’s increasingly autocratic rule.

Via: Current Event Cats & CBC News

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Turkey’s Erdogan

Current Event Cats - Protests in Turkey Erdogan

The trouble in Turkey continues – moving from tree-huggers trying to save a park to a large-scale rebellion against around Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan’s rule. That escalated quickly…

The demonstration, which started as a peaceful protest over the government’s decision to turn Gezi park into a shopping complex, has now created nationwide unrest, spreading to over 60 cities across Turkey.

Protesters say the Turkish government is becoming increasingly authoritarian, accusing the ruling AK Party of trying to impose conservative Islamic values on the officially secular country.

PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decided to play dumb, arguing that four days of anti-government protests do not constitute a Turkish Spring and the protests were organised by extremists. He accused the opposition of provoking “his citizens”:

 “There are those attending these events organised by extremists. This is not about Gezi Park anymore. These are organized events with affiliations both within Turkey and abroad.”

“The main opposition party CHP has provoked my innocent citizens. Those who make news [and] call these events the Turkish Spring do not know Turkey.”

But just to be safe, Erdogan sealed off the streets around his office and ordered police to fire tear gas into any approaching crowds.

Via: Current Event Cats & BBC News

Trouble in Istanbul… And Other News

Istanbul Riots

Trouble in Istanbul, Turkey – and surprisingly not because of Syria!

Turkish police are using tear gas and hoses to shoo 10,000 rioters away from Gezi Park in Istanbul. The demonstrators have been camped out since Monday in an attempt to stop police from demolishing the treasured park in the city’s center—which houses trees up to 75 years old. The literal tree huggers are angry at the decision to turn the Istanbul park into a shopping mall. But many are also unhappy with the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his increasingly authoritarian rule. Last week, Turkey’s parliament approved legislation restricting the sale and advertising of alcoholic drinks. Erdogan is apparently more into yogurt drinks. I guess I’d be pretty angry too – yogurt sucks. BBC News 

Red Cross JalalalalalabadIt wasn’t us! On Wedneday the Red Cross in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan was attacked when a suicide bomber blasted open the gates of the agency’s offices, killing a security guard and allowing two attackers to storm the building. After the attack, all eyes shifted towards the Taliban. But the Taliban is insisting it wasn’t them: “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wants to clarify to everyone that it was neither behind the May 29 attack on the I.C.R.C. office in Jalalabad city nor does it support such attacks,” said a statement read by a Taliban spokesman. The Taliban normally leaves the Red Cross alone, praising the group for its neutral stance in the conflict and instructing its fighters not to harm Red Cross workers. But if not the Taliban, then who? New York Times

Arvind Mahankali, 13, with his Scripps National Spelling Bee trophyWhen kids put the rest of us to shame: 13-year-old Arvind Mahankali from Queens, New York won the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The crowd went wild (well, as wild as a spelling bee crowd can get) when Arvind won with the word “knaidel,” a German-derived Yiddish word meaning “a small mass of leavened dough.” Arvind was one of 11 spellers to reach the final and beat out 280 other contestants to take home $30,000 in prize money. Huffington Post

Dengue FeverThey’ve got the fever! The dengue fever… Singapore is bracing for its worst ever dengue fever epidemic. Infections this year have already exceeded the total for all of 2012 AND while dengue usually hits the elderly and children the hardest, the first dengue fatality of the year was a 20-year-old man who died of dengue shock syndrome on Wednesday. “This is the first dengue death case this year and it highlights the urgency for greater community vigilance to stamp out possible mosquito breeding spots,” a government statement said late Thursday. Remember kids, if they breed, you WILL bleed. Internally. Raw Story 

Crime Scene PhotosGraphic photos of the infamous Oscar Pistorius crime scene have been leaked, including an image of the bloody bathroom where the South African double-amputee Olympian shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to death. Pistorius still denies any wrongdoing in the ‘Valentine’s Day gone wrong’ incident, claiming he mistook her for a nighttime intruder – which apparently are quite common in South Africa. Will he be found guilty? Well, the police investigation into the killing won’t be even be completed until August, so who knows. National Post

APTOPIX Severe WeatherWas the Moore tornado only the eye of the tornado? Is that even a thing? I don’t think it is… Ten days after a major tornado leveled the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, killing about two dozen people, three more (not Moore) tornados struck the unlucky in love state. A few others decided to pay Arizona a visit, injuring nine people along the way. It’s not over yet though: forecasters warned that large hail and more tornadoes could continue to strike parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri on Friday. Meanwhile in Toronto, it’s 30 degrees and sunny! Suckers. CBC News

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Turkey Says No to Alcohol, Yes to Yogurt!

No Alcohol, Just Yogurt

Turkey’s parliament has passed an anti-alcohol bill designed to restrict the consumption and advertising of alcohol.

The controversial measure, passed on Friday, bans the sale of alcoholic drinks between 10pm and 6am and bans producers from sponsoring events.

Also included in the law:

  • Alcohol sales will be prohibited within 100 metres of mosques and schools
  • Images of alcoholic drinks will have to be blurred on television – something that is already done for cigarettes
  • Venues where alcohol is sold and consumed can no longer openly display drinks.
  • There will be stricter penalties for drink-driving, with drunken drivers with a blood alcohol level above 0.1% facing up to two years’ imprisonment
  • All liquor bottles will have to display warning signs about the harm of alcohol

The banning of alcohol advertising and the increased restrictions on consumption has angered secularists (and alcoholics) who say the law tries to impose an Islamic agenda on a secular, though predominantly Muslim, country. They also argue that the legislation intrudes into private life.

But the Islamist-rooted ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) doesn’t really care. They say the law will protect society, particularly young people, from the harmful effects of alcohol.

President Abdullah Gul must still sign the law before it can come into effect, but given that he’s part of the AKP, he’s expected to do so quite soon.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (seen below chugging a pint of yogurt), is also fully onboard. Erdogan, who does not drink or smoke, has a solution for drinkers: switch to yogurt! Erdogan is encouraging youths to drink ayran, the Erdogan proclaimed “national drink” of the Turks.

Erdogan Loves Ayran

“For a healthy generation, my grandfather suggested me ayran as the national drink,” Erdogan said in a speech.

“Beer was unfortunately presented as a national drink. However, our national drink is ayran,” he said. “There is no way you can defend as a lifestyle the consumption of alcohol which has no benefit to society, but on the contrary inflicts harm.”

Ayran is a non-alcoholic cold beverage of yogurt mixed with cold water and sometimes salt. Sounds delish.

Via: Al-Jazeera

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Current Event Cat of the Day

Current Event Cat Suicide Bomb.001

Via: Current Event Cats