A group of young people staged a kiss-in protest on a bus on the Taksim-Sariyer route. They got on the bus at Taksim and all started kissing, then got off at the next stop to applause. They were responding to an incident last week when a couple was forced to get off a public bus on this route by the driver who objected to their kissing (some say they were just holding hands) by yelling at them that this wasn?t a ?sex bus?. He refused to drive further unless they got off. When another passenger intervened, the driver got off the bus and a physical altercation ensued. (Click here, in Turkish)
A new report by Human Rights Watch about violence against women in Turkey, ?He Loves You, He Beats You?: Family Violence in Turkey and Access to Protection. Click here for a link to the report.
SETA has issued a new report (click here for the full report in English) based on a study of Turkish attitudes toward Arabs and others. Pretty negative overall, with results varying somewhat between upper and lower income groups and men and women.
International Herald Tribune, Thursday, April 28, 2011, p. 501
By Susanne Güsten, Istanbul
As the town of Siverek cowered in dread of the next burst of gunfire in an ongoing war between local clans, a group of citizens ventured out into the spring sunshine to say, Stop!
Turkey is a land of many lands. A checkpoint, a bridge between the East and the West used by many cultures and civilizations across the history of humankind. In many ways, however, the country is not only divided by the classical dichotomy between Europe and Asia, as it is a nation made up of many different groups, clans and tribes. It is difficult to accept that those living in Bodrum along the Mediterranean beaches are from the same country as those living in the deserted Diyarbakir; and it would be hard to argue that those living in the orthodox Kayseri are the same culture as those in modern Istanbul. Colloquially one could say that Turkey suffers from an identity problem. This has been seen as an obstacle for the government, obsessed with standardizing religion so as to moderate extremist clans that have an unfavourable view in Europe. To unite people under the giant Turkish state, the government has spread the same flag over the whole country, trying to make it present in every village, town or major city. But far from making one single body of Anatolian citizens, the red fabric painted with a star and a moon all abroad the country only denounces the paradox of Turkish society in religious affairs.
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