The death of Sultan Mehmed VI appeared to mark a catastrophic rupture in Ottoman history. Yet, on the centenary of his departure, Ottoman imperial symbols remain alive, while the unresolved tensions between him and President Atatürk continue to define Turkish politics.
The neighborhood was filled with forced migrants: Anatolian Turks from Aksaray, Armenians from Crimea, Janissaries from the Balkans. Its bleaker side was ever-present, too. From its Roman execution square to an Ottoman female slave market, Aksaray has always dabbled in the darker side of human affairs.
Memorials in Turkey like the Amazon statue at Samsun or the Hamza Stone in Giresun commemorate history’s women warriors, bringing a mythical past to life. Increasingly, however, those memorials are also shown to have a basis in historical fact.
Throughout Xinjiang, thousands of Uyghurs have been detained by the Chinese government for reasons as spurious as communicating to relatives abroad, possessing Uyghur language books or growing a long beard. Now Uyghurs in Turkey are speaking out, unwilling to remain silent.
Upon risk of social death, there are three subjects that comedians shy away from in Turkey: Atatürk, religion and homosexuality. Everything else is fair game. The creators of “Gibi,” 33-year-old Feyyaz Yiğit and 41-year-old Aziz Kedi, seem to feel this in their bones.
It is gratifying to read about such courage and heroism under duress. Whatever the impetus, odes should be sung for it in celebration. The Turkish officer who protected Armenians from the Ottoman-era genocide is like Schindler, the personification of the better angels of our nature.
Aviculture is so popular in Diyarbakir that Bird Lovers' Street even has its own multistory hotel. Most of its guests are pigeons.