Latest from Nick Ashdown
The murder of Sinan Ates in broad daylight in the center of Turkey’s capital exemplifies the violence, intimidation and impunity that have always lurked at the heart of Turkey’s ultranationalist movement. These malignant elements have worsened in recent years.
The collective trauma inflicted on Turkish society by the Marmara quake never disappeared. It’s too early to say what the repercussions of the Feb. 6 earthquakes will be, or if any lessons will be learned this time. If they are, substantive changes may be made. These must be radical and sweeping, which scares people and threatens powerful structures and entrenched interests.
Today, Turkish diaspora communities encompassing roughly 5.5 million people are spread across Europe, forming one of the continent’s largest migrant groups and the largest Muslim-majority community. But 60 years and at least four generations later, many people from the Turkish diaspora still feel like second-class citizens in Europe.
Demonstrating political affiliation is just one aspect of Turkish names. Names tell the whole story of the country’s complex society. When you look at Turkish names, it opens up all of the different dynamics of history, societal cleavages, understandings of class and gender, and political expectations.
The Hagia Sophia was never simply a place of worship for the Byzantines or the Ottomans. It was a symbol of imperial power and divine authority, and was at the center of what experts call a “religioscape” – a physical landscape of religious structures and paraphernalia.