Turkey protests_CROP

In Turkey, sometimes it takes a hashtag to be heard

Last week, 20-year-old Özgecan Aslan was on her way from college to visit her parents in southern Turkey when she went missing. This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview. She was the last passenger on the bus home when her driver veered off the route to Aslan’s home, taking…

IMG_1234_zpsb451a13c

Controlling Religion in Secular Turkey

The founders of modern Turkey thought the best way to keep Islam from competing with government was to take it over. Now critics say the country’s president is using his power not to control religion, but to promote the religion of the majority: Sunni Islam. We begin with the story of ‘Fatma,’ an Alevi Muslim…

lub 16x9

The secret language of Turkey’s LGBT community

Sevval Kilic is a couple of inches shy of six feet. Her hair, various shades of light brown, rests at the middle of her back, and her eyes, outlined by long lashes, look like perfectly drawn almonds. She has one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen, and it’s infectious. She looks much younger than…

IMG_1384

Turks can’t read much of their own history, but the drive to change that isn’t popular with everyone

“Our children will learn Ottoman whether they like it or not!” Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, recently put students on notice with that declaration. It’s the latest in a long line of pronouncements that Erdogan’s critics say are evidence the president is becoming more and more anti-democratic — even authoritarian. But looking back to Ottoman rule could play well, as I discovered…