“Fade to Black” video of “Maajooneh” released online 2 weeks ago and shared over and over. We talked to Farah and Amer from “Maajooneh” about their lives under the pressure of Asad regime and ISIS, their journey to Istanbul and plans for future.
Democratic People’s Party (HDP) carried the curfews to the Constitutional Court. In the application, it is demanded that an injunction is taken against the arbitrary curfews with no legal ground.
While the curfew in Sur ended today after nine days, the entire region, which is in the UNESCO World Heritage List, hangs by a major threat.
Working on the Christians in Turkey and Middle East, journalist and historian Sebastien de Courtois was in İstanbul to attend “Minorities in Middle East: A Tough Future” conference that was held in French Cultural Center on October 9. We talked to Courtois about the Shingal exile, refugees’ condition in France and the ancient minorities of Middle East.
2015 Hrant Dink Awards were presented last night at the ceremony that was held in Istanbul. Women rights activist Samar Badawi from Saudi Arabia and Kaos GL Collective that has been fighting for LGBT rights in Turkey for 20 years received the awards.
After the MA program in Syriac Language and Literature that Mardin Artuklu University has been offering for six years now, preparations for launching an undergraduate program in Syriac Language and Literature within the Faculty of Arts were started. The next step is to launch departments of Armenian Language and Literature and Hebrew Language and Literature.
In a recent article, Robert Fisk, the senior Middle East correspondent of the Independent compared Turkey to Pakistan in the 1980s and said that the recent air bombardment was no surprise given that all powers in the region have betrayed the Kurds. We spoke to Fisk both about the details of the matters he touches on in his article, and whether power balances have changed in the Middle East. Fisk comments that Turkey has become a market place and when seen from this perspective there are more important issues at stake besides whether or not Turkey will enter the war in Syria: “I believe that Syria has started penetrating Turkey. Suruç is an example of this. From this view, the Syrian War but not the Syrians have occupied Turkey. It is not the reverse.”
HDP Istanbul Member of Parliament Garo Paylan, speaking to Agos about the bomb attack in Suruç, reminded that the building that was targeted was a crisis centre for solidarity with Kobane, adding, “This solidarity was targeted today”.
Nvard Mafaryan, Pink Armenia Project Coordinator, travelled from Armenia to Istanbul to take part in the panel titled “LGBTI Struggle in Neighbouring Armenia” organized on the occasion of the 23rd LGBTI Pride Week, and spoke to AGOS about the LGBTI community in Armenia that is trying to protect its existence against the homophobia of the State and media, and the intersections between the rights’ struggles in Armenia and Turkey. The conversation then inevitably led to the continuing protests in Yerevan.
The tension in Diyarbakır has increased once again following first the bombings at a HDP rally, and then the murder of 4 people. Helsinki Citizens Assembly Member Nalan Erkem and Mazlumder Diyarbakır Board Member Reha Ruhavioğlu, who were in the commission that visited the city for observations, have recounted the situation in the city. According to eyewitnesses, a jihadist streak has become more prominent in the region for months, and although everyone including the police has been aware of this, no one has acted to prevent the events.