Letter from south-eastern Turkey

For the first time in months, you can walk freely across Seyh Said Meydani, a city square on the edge of the historic centre of Diyarbakir. Here, the leader of the first big Kurdish uprising in modern Turkish history was hanged in 1925. Until recently the square flanked a battleground: for more than eight months, Turkey has been conducting a brutal campaign in its south-eastern provinces, home to Diyarbakir’s basalt-walled Sur district, against militants linked with the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), declaring a military lockdown that led to open fighting in the streets.

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2016/04/why-turkeys-president-fears-kurdish-rebellion-east

April 8

In the ruins of Cizre

The smell of burned flesh permeated the basement, but inside there was little that could be identified as human at all. The walls were blackened by flames and only some small bone fragments remained; the smell was still thick, clinging to clothes and body alike.

http://www.dw.com/en/kurds-make-ends-meet-in-the-ruins-of-cizre/a-19115774

March 15, 2016

‘Erdogan wants to silence all opposition media’

Tom Stevenson talks to Can Dundar , the editor of Turkey’s Cumhuriyet newspaper held in solitary confinement for his revelation of arms smuggling into Syria.

http://www.dw.com/en/erdogan-wants-to-silence-all-opposition-media/a-19100896?maca=en-rss_top_news-13961-xml-mrss

March 8, 2016

The rise and falter of HDP

Tom Stevenson talks to Ertugrul Kurkcu, the former head of the HDP.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/rise-and-falter-turkeys-hdp-1149857874

February 16, 2016

“Winter offensive” in south-east Turkey

Thousands left Sur, the historic walled center of Diyarbakir, on Wednesday clutching suitcases and the few possessions they could carry. On their way out residents filed past groups of Turkish soldiers and the armoured vehicles they will soon use to bulldoze their way through streets and homes alike in their fight against Kurdish militants holed up in the city.

http://www.dw.com/en/death-and-destruction-in-diyarbakir/a-19009781

January 28, 2016

Human Remains 629667

For most of US history no one much cared that Latinos were entering the country and driving the economy of the south-west. In the 1920s the US introduced restrictive immigration laws but it didn’t have Latinos in mind: the perceived dangers were ‘inassimilable’ Italians and Eastern European Jews. During the Second World War the government laid on trains to bring thousands of Mexican labourers across the border to work on farms and ensure food security.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n22/tom-stevenson/diary

November 19

Egypt’s fig leaf elections keep business elite on side

The first round of Egypt’s much delayed parliamentary elections have ended. Local interest has been circumscribed, but the elections and indeed the parliament itself are still set to form a useful fig leaf for President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s regime while keeping the business community on side.

http://www.thisisafricaonline.com/News/Egypt-s-fig-leaf-elections-keep-business-elite-on-side?ct=true

October 28

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