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Turkey

Reading Stories of Courage From a Century Ago

The Unsung Heroes of Humankind

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.

In Kurdish Turkey, the Birds Have a Hotel

Turkey’s Pigeon Hotel

Aviculture is so popular in Diyarbakir that Bird Lovers' Street even has its own multistory hotel. Most of its guests are pigeons.

A Schindler for the Armenians

A Schindler for the Armenians

Cemil Kunneh chose to not participate in this collective crime and not share complicity. He resisted group pressure, fear of ostracization and the imperative to obey authority and the orders of his superiors. His stand shows the complex social and political dynamics of the late Ottoman Empire.

Ümit Kurt
The Lost Armenians of Gaziantep

The Lost Armenians of Gaziantep

In Turkish, there is a saying: “Mal sahibi, mülk sahibi, hani bunun ilk sahibi?” Roughly translated, it reads, “Landlord, property owner, where is the original owner?” Armenians of Aintab were torn away from their homes, neighborhoods and the city where they were born and raised. Their material and spatial wealth changed hands and was transformed. The entire Armenian dispossession produced the homogeneous Turkish city where I grew up.

Ümit Kurt
The Urgency of Now

The Urgency of Now

Amidst rising authoritarianism, social atomization and looming climate change, award-winning journalist and novelist Ece Temelkuran speaks to New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai about how it got this bad — and why we cannot face it alone. They discuss watching democracy die in Turkey, why she’s not an “exile” — and why she refuses to lose her faith in humankind.

New Lines Podcast
‘The Club’: Netflix’s Sephardic Heroine Braves Turkey’s Troubled Past

‘The Club’: Netflix’s Sephardic Heroine Braves Turkey’s Troubled Past

“The Club” also offers a biting social critique. For the show is less about the arrival of cocktail modernity to Istanbul than about the Turkification of cocktail modernity, i.e., a pincer movement by Kemalist state and society to substitute good secular Muslim Turks for Istanbul’s Greeks, Jews and Armenians.

Evan Pheiffer
A Brief History of Bağcılar, Turkey’s Most Misunderstood Municipality

A Brief History of Bağcılar, Turkey’s Most Misunderstood Municipality

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in,” wrote Robert Frost. In this profile of Bağcılar, one of Istanbul’s most misunderstood districts, we look at the riveting history of Turkey’s self-styled “municipality to the world.”

Evan Pheiffer