Reconciling History: Secularism, Faith and Allegiance after Turkey’s June 24th Elections

The decision to support or reject the opposition in its appeals to AKP voters is bound up with its identity as the representative of official secularism, a reputation that has proved difficult to shake. The memory of the divisive 1970s and the terror-filled aftermath of the 1980 coup remains a deeply impactful force conditioning voter behavior. An understanding of these traumatizing years, which left few segments of society untouched, contextualizes the steep odds against which the opposition was forced to contend.

Read more

It’s the Economy, Saftirik

A casual observer of Turkish politics would be forgiven for thinking that regional geopolitics, social issues, the Kurdish issue or the hosted refugees are the central points of the election. Not so. Somewhere in Turkey, a political strategist is hammering home to her client: “it’s the economy, saftirik (stupid).”

Read more

After ISIL: Justice and Protection for Children in Iraq

ISIL violated international, national, regional and tribal law when it recruited children to participate in its armed conflict.  With ISIL’s loss of territory in Iraq, the rush to enact justice against perpetrators of these abuses has overlooked the status of children and the need to tailor treatment specifically to child soldiers who survived a brutal occupation.

Read more

Listening to and involving refugees when providing aid

Standards for aid provision in humanitarian relief contexts have long overlooked directly engaging with aid recipients. Organizations which buck the trend and consider refugees’ input have found it greatly beneficial in identifying aid gaps. Working directly with aid recipients to address their needs also renders aid more respectful and culturally sensitive, restoring a sense of agency to people who depend on humanitarian aid.

Read more

Weekly Roundup: A teenage boy is killed by the IDF in Gaza, upcoming Lebanese elections, and Saudi Arabia screens “Black Panther”

A young teenage boy, Muhammad Ayoub, was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Friday, in Gaza. A Lebanese parliamentary candidate, Ali al-Amine, who will compete against Hezbollah in Lebanon’s elections on May 6th, was assaulted in his hometown of Bint Jbeil. Last week, Saudi Arabia opened a commercial movie theater for the first time in over 30 years for an invitation-only screening of the movie “Black Panther.”

Read more