Christianity in Turkey and the Middle East | Opinion – Daily Sabah

Christian minorities living in the Middle East, the birthplace of the religion, aim to maintain their culture on the axis of the Muslim majority. With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, they attempted to obtain their social rights while being divided into scattered communities. Christians, who reside in various places from Turkey to Egypt, are …

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The irresistible rise of the civilisation-state – UnHerd

A spectre is haunting the liberal West: the rise of the “civilisation-state”. As America’s political power wanes and its moral authority collapses, the rising challengers of Eurasia have adopted the model of the civilisation-state to distinguish themselves from a paralysed liberal order, which lurches from crisis to crisis without ever quite dying nor yet birthing a …

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There is no justification for turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque – Spectator

It is official: Hagia Sophia, for a thousand years the world’s largest cathedral, and since 1934 a museum, is to be turned back into a mosque. Ever since I heard of the possibility, I have been praying it would not be so because of the impact it will have on Muslim-Christian relations in Turkey, the …

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How President Erdogan Is Turning Turkey Into Putin’s Russia – The Globalist

Erdogan’s policies are effectively closing the doors to that transformation, as money and the creative classes alike are fleeing the country.

At the same time, Erdogan can no longer rely on an inflow of international money or talent as substitutes. Nobody wants to live or do business in a country where YouTube and Twitter are periodically banned.

If Erdogan gets what he wants, he might be able to retain a Putin-like grip on power and win the June elections in a landslide. If that happens, he will have also stripped Turkey of its best and brightest. Then, his country will sadly mimic Russia in more ways than one.

The End of Turkey’s Jews? – Commentary Magazine

The Erdoğan years have been scary ones for Turkey’s Jews, with wild anti-Semitic conspiracy theories becoming increasingly commonplace. Many Jews have nonetheless remained hopeful that the repression and intolerance would pass. There were reasons for hope: Turkey was never a perfect democracy but, even after setbacks, its developmental trajectory was toward greater tolerance.

No longer. In many societies, Jews have been the canary in the coal mine. When a country loses its Jews, it is a sign that its democratic evolution has halted. Four years ago, some Turkish Jews began to leave. That trickle appears to be turning into a flood.

Before Jan Bohmermann Incident, Recep Tayyip Erdogan Was Jailed for a Poem – The Atlantic

“When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations,” John F. Kennedy once said. “When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” Maybe, but so much depends on the circumstances of the poet and the man in power. Sometimes the poet, not the man in power, is reminded of his limitations. And sometimes the poet is in Germany, while the man in power is in Turkey. What then?

Militant Leader in Rare Appearance in Iraq – New York Times

“I was placed as your caretaker, and I am not better than you,” he said, according to a translation by SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist activity online. “So if you found me to be right, then help me, and if you found me to be wrong, then advise me and make me right.”

“I do not promise you, as the kings and rulers promise their followers and congregation, luxury, security and relaxation; instead, I promise you what Allah promised his faithful worshipers,” he said.