Saturday, February 16, 2013

Current Events: Turkey

Update on American Embassy attack: The bomber at the US Embassy in Ankara was confirmed to be Alisan Sanli, an identified terrorist who had previously attacked two government facilities in Istanbul in the 1990s. He was imprisoned following these attacks, but was later released, at which time, he fled to Germany. Sanli returned to Turkey just days before the attack by illegally sneaking across the border on a boat from Greece. (February 2, 2013)

American tourist murdered near Istanbul. Sarai Sierra traveled to Istanbul alone to pursue the opportunity to capture once in a lifetime photos, a passion of hers. It was her first time overseas and although she stayed in contact with her family in New York City daily, they lost communication after two weeks on January 20th. Her husband then arrived in Turkey on January 28th to inquire about her disappearance, and discovered her body five days later with stab wounds and head trauma. There are still no leads on the investigation. Some of her pictures can be found on her Instagram: Sarai Sierra. (February 7, 2013)

Two exhibitions opened in Istanbul. Last week, two galleries have opened new sections that showcase the political violence in Turkey’s history. On display are many old newspapers, photographs, and stories of street fighting and demonstrations that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. This is somewhat controversial, as many citizens feel that it parallels current opposition forces in Turkey now. (February 8, 2013)

Cooperative meeting between Greece and Turkey. Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, and Greek Foreign Minister, Dimitris Avramopoulos recently met on February 15th to sign several agreements benefiting both countries. This should  increase cooperation of both countries, helping Turkey with its potential EU bid, as well as Greece with the financial crisis. It is also intended to serve as a model of peaceful relations for other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean states. (February 16, 2013)

New source of potential conflict between Turkey and Syria. Rebel forces have taken control of Syria’s largest Hydroelectric dam, the Tabqa Dam along Lake Assad. In the past, attacks along the Syrian border, including a minivan explosion and shots from a mortar shell, have killed and injured many Turkish citizens, prompting the Turkish government to threaten retaliation. The development over this dam further increases the sense of instability along the border as well as tensions between Turkey and Assad. (February 11, 2013)

New York Times
Hurriyet Daily News, Istanbul

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