Takeaways: Jamal Khashoggi

On Oct. 2, Jamal Khashoggi, a member of a notable Saudi family and a dissident of the regime, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. There’s no record of him coming out. Though it is unclear what exactly took place, one thing is clear: The Saudis have either killed or kidnapped the Washington Post contributor. The attack on Khashoggi has shattered […]

Looking Out: Snap

All of a sudden, the rug is pulled out from underneath us. Turkey is once again headed to the ballot box in exactly two months. Erdoğan made the decision to call snap elections to get ahead of the strengthening center-right and worsening economy. What is Turkey facing? The usual numbers: Erdoğan’s party in the mid-40s, the […]

Looking Out: Partly free

Less than a month ago, the 2018 edition of Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World report was released. It focuses on the political climate in every country and their civil and political rights. Mostly, there are no huge changes from year to year: most dictatorships remain repressive and democracies remain free, to some extent. […]

Tufts community members talk alternative music, queer visibility in Middle Eastern cities

In a scene from a 1980s Turkish “Yeşilçam” film, trans diva Bülent Ersoy walks down the street, sporting a grey fur coat and diamond earrings. A little boy in his school uniform points toward Ersoy and asks his mother “Is Bülent Ersoy a man or a woman?” The scene cuts into a close up of Ersoy, who […]

Looking out: 1938 — the end of history

How you are taught history shapes the way you understand the world. For most of us, there is no choice about how we learn history, like what is included in our curriculum and what is not. In Turkey, history education is part of the national curriculum that everyone needs to study, and there are very few modifications […]

Looking In: Order

This year has been a challenge to order. Whether you like the current order or not, at least it exists. We live in order, not in chaos. The existence of an order is not pre-ordained and there are places without it. A challenge to order can be a force for good when it is constructive […]

In Ginn Library, Wish Tree symbolizes hope, community

Fletcher students returned from spring break to find a blossoming tree in the entrance of the Edwin Ginn Library. With tassels of cloth hanging from its limbs, the tree rests in a corner across from the circulation desk bearing the inscribed wishes and dreams of students, faculty and passersby. The inspiration for what has become known as the “Wish […]

Looking In: Majority in dispute

Turkey held a referendum on a package of 18 proposed changes to its constitution on Sunday. These changes, taken together, will transform Turkey’s parliamentary system from one with the prime minister as the premier and a ceremonial presidency to a system with an executive presidency, empowered to dismiss parliament, pack courts and make other decisions detrimental to Turkey’s democracy. The […]

Looking In: Referendum (2)

Turkey is holding its referendum on constitutional changes legalizing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s authoritarian dictatorship. Voting is now over in consulates around the world, yet the actual election is still almost a week away and polls are very close. Looking ahead, what will Turkey face if it chooses Yes or if it chooses No? If […]

Looking In: Referendum

Turkey is having a referendum on Monday, April 16, and the question is a package of constitutional changes that empower the executive, neuter parliament and dispense with the independent judiciary. It is a referendum on whether to become a full dictatorship or continue with the status quo: dictatorship-lite. The executive who would achieve full dominance and concentrate […]