Posted inReligion

The God of the seismologists

Reading Time: 3 minutes Natural tragedies naturally elicit religious questions. If there is a God, what kind of God permits death by earthquake, as we have seen recently in such catastrophic proportions in Turkey and Syria, with 50,000 dead? This question on suffering and the good God is ancient, but the question on earthquakes and the good God arose […]

Posted inWar and Peace

Erdoğan uses smoke and mirrors in deadly strikes against Kurds

Reading Time: 11 minutes Although Turkey is a historically secular country, President Recep Erdoğan is an authoritarian leader who, not unlike Vladimir Putin, has curtailed freedom of speech and press to solidify his continued rule. And much like Putin (whom he still calls “dear friend”), he has unduly influenced the judiciary and the rule of law with systemic purges.

Erdogan has sought to undo Turkey’s secular tradition by appealing to religious conservatives in the rural heartlands. Such a movement away from the secular credentials instilled by Atatürk at the nation’s founding has worried both Western governments and secularists alike. Now, Erdoğan is flexing his muscles on both the international and domestic stages.

Posted inWar and Peace

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan: The other Eurasian wars

Reading Time: 2 minutes In the past week, the terms “border clash” and “dispute” have been used to describe two conflict zones in Eurasia easily overshadowed by Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, and recent news of Ukraine’s robust counterattacks. But such terms obscure the greater import of these situations: first in Armenia, where Azerbaijan advanced over four miles after […]

Posted inPolitics, The Secular

Erdogan’s Turkish Strategy: Using Religion for…Erdogan

Reading Time: 4 minutes I have reported several times before on Turkey and religiosity. See: Is Turkey, under Erdogan, Becoming More Atheistic? Is Turkey’s secular system in danger? Study: Turkish Students Increasingly Resistant to Religion The picture is at best confusing because the power of the religious right, and a rural/urban divide, isn’t necessarily reflective of general views throughout […]

Posted inThe Secular

Study: Turkish Students Increasingly Resistant to Religion

Reading Time: < 1 minute In other news: The president has trebled the number of religious İmam Hatip high schools in the country, steadily increased funding for Turkey’s religious affairs directorate and increased the powers of local muktars, or community leaders, who are usually pious men. Yet a study by Sakarya university and the ministry of education from earlier this year looking at religious […]

Posted inPolitics

Trump(‘s Letter to Erdogan) Is a Joke.

Reading Time: 2 minutes I know I am obsessed, but I’m obsessed with Trump because he is so unbelievably [insert adjective here that evokes exasperation]. I could bang on at length about any number of aspects of Trump’s last few weeks: his impending impeachment, the Ukraine debacle, Rudy Giuliani, his mental competence, that photo and meeting with Nancy Pelosi, […]

Posted inThe Secular

Young Turks Losing Their Religion

Reading Time: 3 minutes Recently, I posted about how Turkey is facing a move away from religion (“Is Turkey, under Erdogan, Becoming More Atheistic?“) even given the increasing politically enforced religionism in the country. From it, DW reported: According to a recent survey by the pollster Konda, a growing number of Turks identify as atheists. Konda reports that the number of […]

Posted inThe Secular

Is Turkey, under Erdogan, Becoming More Atheistic?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Turkey, over recent years, has become an increasingly worrying place. The secular framework and nature of the country have come under increasing strain as it has appeared to come under greater pressure from conservatives and Islamists, most notably their own President Erdogan. This arguably, has led to a rise in the number of atheists, or […]

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