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All our reports, articles and notes covering this part of the world.

11 September 2018
Asia, China

Inside a Cashless Society (almost)

In China, a pan, the energy bill or a kiwi from a street vendor are paid with the mobile phone. Over half a billion Chinese use the smartphone for their daily purchases.
Lola García-Ajofrín
10 September 2018
Asia, Turkey

Guilty as (not yet) charged: Civil society activist jailed without trial for over 300 days

Did he really commit a crime or was it simply, as most suspect, his turn to go to jail? Businessman Osman Kavala is known for his generous support to Turkey’s civil society and art world. Without his support, so many cultural initiatives would never have seen the light. But not everyone sees it that way. […]
Kültigin Kağan Akbulut
2 September 2018
Asia, Turkey

Queers in Istanbul are banned from marching, so they run

I grew up in a small town in Turkey. As a child, I loved playing football in the empty lots dotted around my neighbourhood. I was damn good at it too. But when I turned 11 or 12, my mother told me it would no longer be appropriate to play football with the boys. After […]
Seçil Epik
29 August 2018
Asia, Turkey

Saturday Mothers-Turkey’s most persistent dissidents

Noontime, on any given Saturday, in Galatasaray Square in the central Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, you will come across the same vigil of ageing women holding red carnations. They also hold up photographs – faded portraits, from the 1970s and 80s, and it is only time they break their silence to give commemorations that the […]
Sezin Öney
20 August 2018
Asia, Turkey

The Turkish Crisis: A Shakespearian Economic Tragedy

Unless you were abducted by aliens, and just returned to Earth after being their lab rat human for several months, you’d know that Turkey is going through a major economic crisis. The lira dollar exchange rate, which was 4 at the end of April, has “stabilised” around 6 after hitting 7 earlier last week. The […]
Emre Deliveli
10 August 2018
Asia, Turkey

Mesut Özil and Deniz Naki play a game of two halves

When asked what was more difficult, being a Turkish football player in Germany or a Kurdish player in Turkey, Deniz Naki didn’t hesitate. “Of course, being a Kurd and Alevi [a dissident branch of Islam whose members tend to social liberals] in Turkey,” said the footballer who played both for St Pauli in Hamburg and […]
Özgün Özçer
4 August 2018
Asia, Turkey

Will Turkey have its #MeToo moment?

Last June, a young costume dresser complained publicly that she had been sexually harassed by a much-lauded Turkish actor. Talat Bulut, 62, has had scores of leading roles in cinema and TV and was under the impression that his status would make him untouchable. For once, fame and notoriety were not enough to avoid being […]
Seçil Epik
27 July 2018
Asia, Turkey

In Turkey’s performing arts, the President takes centre stage

The final curtain has not fallen on Turkey’s state opera and ballet company or its national theatre but these venerable institutions face an uncertain future.
Özlem Altunok
14 July 2018
Asia, Turkey

The “Unaccountables”: Turkey’s new government revealed amidst deadly train disaster

The preparations were complete. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was about to be sworn as the country’s first president invested with super-executive powers. Erdoğan had triumphed over the chaos and mayhem of an aborted coup two years earlier to fulfil a career-long ambition. However like the protagonist of a Shakespeare play, this victory was to have a […]
Özgün Özçer
7 July 2018
Asia, Turkey

Erdoğan mulling to bring back death penalty, with God’s will

Regress is progress. This could be one of the doublethink slogans of Ingsoc omitted by George Orwell in his magnum opus 1984. But under Tayyip Erdoğan and his ultra-right allies who helped him be reelected for a second term, albeit this time with full presidential powers, doublethink is far from being fiction – and dystopia […]
Özgün Özçer