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ethiopia past and present

Is Turkey moving East or leaning West? The country lies between traditionally Christian Europe and predominantly Muslim Middle East. Recently, it has been in the headlines due to its growing Islamic movement, its limbo status at the gates of the European Union and its increasingly strained relations with historical ally Israel.

Worldfocus explores the evolution of modern Turkish identity, which has experienced a tug of war between traditional religion and modern democracy. The values of moderate Islamists are challenging the country's secular nationalists. Critics have labeled the democratically-elected ruling party fundamentalist.

We examine how the country has struggled to carve out a place for historical minorities, including Kurds, Armenians and Greeks. We also follow female athletes who are pioneering places in the traditionally male-dominated sports of soccer and weightlifting.

"Turkey Between East and West" is a collection of signature videos, Q&As, an online radio show, reporter observations and blogger perspectives.

Turkey between East and West

Rising Islamist movements challenge secularism in Turkey

Signature Video

Rising Islamist movements challenge secularism in Turkey

Correspondent Gizem Yarbil and producer Bryan Myers report on how traditional religion and modern democracy are trying to coexist in Turkey, where growing religious groups are championing Islam's ethical and moral values. Secular critics are branding these religious groups as fundamentalist.

Posted: October 21, 2009 16:11   Comments: 28
Do Islamist groups pose a threat to democracy in Turkey?

Q&A

Do Islamist groups pose a threat to democracy in Turkey?

Dr. Ömer Taşpınar and Worldfocus producer Gizem Yarbil discuss the role of several important conservative religious groups in Turkey, including the Gulen movement, which is the largest, and the Mustazaflar-Der, which is influential in the predominantly Kurdish Southeast.

Posted: October 21, 2009 13:30   Comments: 7
Israel condemns Turkish TV drama for “incitement”

Gizem Yarbil (blog)

Israel condemns Turkish TV drama for “incitement”

The relationship between Israel and Turkey received yet another blow when a Turkish television drama airing on a state-owned channel depicted Israeli soldiers as brutal murderers. Worldfocus producer Gizem Yarbil, a native of Turkey, tackles the issue.

Posted: October 16, 2009 13:47   Comments: 18
Leveling the gender playing field in Turkey

In the Newsroom

Leveling the gender playing field in Turkey

Worldfocus correspondent Gizem Yarbil reported on female soccer players in Turkey and shares how women are pioneering a place in the traditionally male-dominated sports soccer and weightlifting.

Posted: September 11, 2009 13:51   Comments Off on Leveling the gender playing field in Turkey
Female soccer players shoot down Turkish taboos

Signature Video

Female soccer players shoot down Turkish taboos

In much of Turkey, playing soccer is something girls simply don't do. But despite religious and cultural resistance, some women players are challenging the norm and taking to the field.

Posted: September 10, 2009 12:49   Comments: 19
Ambitious Dane takes the reins at NATO

Perspectives

Ambitious Dane takes the reins at NATO

As NATO ushers in a new secretary general, the Taliban insurgency is raging in Afghanistan. A NATO resurgence will depend upon the diplomatic skills of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, writes Worldfocus contributor Ben Piven.

Posted: August 5, 2009 08:40   Comments: 0
Turkishness is not always delightful

Perspectives

Turkishness is not always delightful

In 2005, Turkish lawmakers made it a crime to insult "Turkish identity." Selma Şevkli, a freelance reporter in Turkey, describes how the country has struggled to carve out a place for minorities and to define its "Türküm," or Turkishness.

Posted: July 24, 2009 12:40   Comments: 7
Shrines, souvenirs pay tribute to Turkey’s founding founder

From the Field

Shrines, souvenirs pay tribute to Turkey’s founding founder

Worldfocus producer Bryan Myers is currently reporting from Turkey. He writes from Istanbul about the country's love for one of its most famed figures, Kemal Ataturk, who appears on everything from office buildings to lapel pins and souvenirs.

Posted: June 8, 2009 10:51   Comments: 1
In first 100 days, Obama changes tone toward Middle East

Perspectives

In first 100 days, Obama changes tone toward Middle East

Wednesday marks Barack Obama's 100th day in office. Worldfocus contributing blogger Juan Cole takes a look at how the president has fared in the Middle East, where Obama has attempted to change the tone of U.S. foreign policy -- but not necessarily the substance.

Posted: April 29, 2009 09:47   Comments: 0
Turkey, Armenia agree on road map to normalize ties

Blogwatch

Turkey, Armenia agree on road map to normalize ties

Turkey and Armenia have worked out a framework to normalize relations, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday. The announcement comes just before Armenia commemorates the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks between 1915-1917 -- a long source of tension between the neighboring countries.

Posted: April 23, 2009 16:05   Comments: 3
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