Human Rights crimes

Turkey’s ‘culture war’: Anger grows as string of events cancelled | Al Jazeera

It is the height of spring in Turkey, and with that comes a flurry of concerts and outdoor festivals to complement the pleasant weather.

But in recent weeks, a string of events have been cancelled by cities and districts run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), leading critics and analysts to accuse the government of attempting to wage a “culture war” in the run-up to next year’s general elections.

Iran, Turkey brace for face-off in Syria – Al-Monitor

Driven apart by clashing regional interests, Turkey and Iran appear headed for a face-off in Syria, with Tehran explicitly opposing Ankara’s plan for a fresh military operation against Kurdish-held areas, wary of risks to its own posture in the region.

Turkey has failed to get a green light from the United States to press ahead with the plan, while Russia appears to be stalling. The Iranians, meanwhile, have sent militia reinforcements to two Shiite settlements northwest of Aleppo, not far from a key area in Ankara’s crosshairs, while trying to talk Turkey out from making the move — apparently with little success thus far.

US-Backed Kurdish-Led Forces Say Ready to Coordinate With Syrian Army Against Turkey – VOA

Any Turkish operation would attack the Kurdish YPG militia, a key part of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that controls large parts of north Syria and is regarded by Washington as an important ally against Islamic State. Ankara sees it as a terrorist group and extension of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

A spokesman for the Turkey-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) said Russia was reinforcing positions near Tal Rifaat, Manbij, the southern outskirts of Kobani, and Ain Issa – all towns within 40 kilometers of the Turkish border.

“Since the announcement of the operation, the Syrian regime and its Iranian militias have mobilized and [are] sending reinforcements to the YPG,” Major Youssef Hammoud told Reuters.

Double Standards Haunt US And Europe In NATO Dispute With Turkey – Analysis – Eurasia Review

Kurdish rights hardly figure in the debates, and if they do, only as a prop for taking Turkey to task for its slide into authoritarianism.

An ethnic group spread across southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, northern Syria, and western Iran, Kurds are seen at best as assets in the fight against the Islamic State and at worst a threat to Turkish security and territorial integrity. Turkey’s estimated 16 million Kurds account for up to 20 per cent of the country’s population.

Cyprus to UN: Turkey seeks full control of breakaway north – ABC News

…the peace group United Cyprus Now says this deal compels Turkish Cypriots to introduce measures curbing freedom of speech, making it easier for Turkish citizens to buy up property and cedes more power to religious authorities.

“These measures constitute a direct threat to the will, identity, culture, way of life and heritage of Turkish Cypriots,” the group said.

The leader of the leftist opposition Republican Turkish Party Tufan Erhurman called the deal a “protocol for the abandonment of the will” of Turkish Cypriots to govern themselves.

Reality check: Seven ‘bad news’ for Turkey’s naive appeasers | Ahval

Above all, the regime in Ankara has violated the constitution and the existing domestic and international laws so many times that it does not have the luxury of losing the elections and simply handing power to its successor. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his proxies could face multiple life sentences.

Thus the regime has a multilayer strategy to win the elections.

2021 Report on International Religious Freedom: Turkey – United States Department of State

The government issues chip-enabled national identity cards that contain no visible section to identify religious affiliation.  The information on religious affiliation is recorded in the chip and remains visible to authorized public officials as “qualified personal data” and protected as private information.  Previously issued national identity cards, which continue in circulation, contain a space for religious identification with the option of leaving the space blank.  The new cards include the same options for religious identities as the older cards:  Muslim, Greek Orthodox, non-Orthodox Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist, “no religion,” or “other/unknown.”  Baha’i, Alevi, Yezidi, and other religious groups with known populations in the country were not options, requiring individuals of other religions or no religion to leave the category blank or to state “other/unknown.”