Friday, July 18, 2008

Turkey 101

Before I left for Istanbul, but after I had made my plans known, one of my dear friends told me how she had pulled her car over to the side of the road one day to listen to an NPR report about Turkey. And other friends have passed along articles they've read, asking what I think. I love the idea that I'm bringing this strange country I love a little closer to the people I love. But the news developments here are admittedly hard to follow. (I'm racing to catch up myself.) If you've been hearing little snippets about headscarf bans, judicial coups, lawsuits against the government, falan, falan (etc., etc.), here's a handy little primer from the latest Economist*:

Flags, veils and sharia
Behind the court case against Turkey’s ruling party lies an existential question: how Islamist has the country become?
* Yes, I read the Economist now. I also cook, take my cell phone everywhere, and can carry on multiple IM conversations while texting. They say travel changes you, but somehow that's not quite what I had in mind...