Sunday, June 8, 2014

So, Just Who is Zhul-qarnayn?

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Zhul-qarnayn is a mysterious figure mentioned in the Qur’an whose identity has been a matter of contention and speculation to this day. Many differing theories were proposed on the identity of Zhul-qarnayn by Islamic scholars throughout the ages. This naturally has caused/been causing somewhat of a confusion. 

In this article, I am going to offer yet another opinion as to who this mysterious figure is. My goal, of course, is not to add to the confusion but rather to help eliminate it.

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Egypt's Farcical Elections, Turkey Protests and CNN Bias

Watching the spin and reaction the likes of CNN put on and display at Turkey protests, and their reporting of the recent farcical Egyptian "elections" in the wake of the brutal coup there, I am just appalled and disgusted.

Where is CNN's outrage and "critical journalism" at a dictator (El Sisi) running for President and "winning" 96% of the vote?

I guess a coup which resulted in the killings of thousands of people and which will hijack the future and fate of a whole country for decades to come is not as alarming (or should I say "beneficial"?!?) to CNN, BBC, and the Economist as the arguably justified response of the Turkish police at the unruly and violent protesters who in effect want to bring down a democratically elected and widely popular prime minister.

Regrettably, the reaction of the White House follows the same pattern.

For the relevant CNN article, click:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ivan Watson's "Critical Journalism"

Many in Turkey have been critical of the way some of the Western media, such as CNN, BBC, and the Economist, has been portraying the Turkish protests that started last year at Gezi Park in Istanbul. For one thing, the said media seems to overlook the widespread support for Prime Minister Erdogan's government.

The other point that is somehow overlooked is the fact that Turkey is a democratic country with fair and free elections and one that should not be confused with countries such as Egypt, Libya, or even Ukraine where people are not given any means of effecting change in the political sphere.

CNN in particular has been carrying itself on this topic in a manner that does not befit its stature. For example, it mostly ignores the level of the violence and vandalism of the protesters, and portrays the Turkish government and its police as the culprit.

Turkish people become necessarily skeptical and defensive when CNN broadcasts live from Taksim square, Istanbul, for hours on end, while not putting commensurate "journalistic weight" to the shameless coup in Egypt and the brutal killings by the Egyptian junta of the peaceful protestors by the hundreds.

Here are but a few examples to lousy and biased journalism of CNN on this topic:

In the days following the Gezi Park protests, Erdogan's Justice and Development Party had its own rallies which reportedly drew millions of people as opposed to the thousands who took to the streets to protest. CNN incompetently----or perhaps intentionally----ran a picture of millions of Erdogan supporters as if they were the protesters.

Below I embed the video of an interview that CNN conducted with their own Ivan Watson after Mr. Watson was "roughed up" by Turkish police live on air.

Mr. Watson describes what he is doing----and what the Turkish government apparently does not like----as "critical journalism." Three points Mr. Watson makes betray the quality of his journalism and his flagrant bias and/or lack of information about the country he is reporting from:

1- He says that "the (Turkish) government said that you are not allowed to protest against us."

Now that is an outright lie and misinformation committed by Mr. Watson on air. The Turkish government did not say that. Their position is that you cannot protest at "any place" you like; you have to respect certain rules of assembly. This is a standard practice in many Western democracies.  Otherwise, who gives you a right to disrupt the traffic and daily business of shop and business owners, especially if you vandalize and destroy public and private property?

2- Mr. Watson alleges that what he went through (half an hour of police checking his credentials must have been an ordeal for him) is a pattern that Turks are feeling the brunt of. Actually, if there is any "brunt," it is the negative impact the business and shop owners, their customers and tourists have suffered from these violent protestors who not only destroy the public and private property, but they also disrupt the business and tourism activities. Furthermore, and more important, the majority of the Turkish people who very recently went to the ballot box and awarded Mr. Erdogan's party yet another landslide victory suffer the "brunt" of the disrespect of the protesters and CNN of the democratic process, since it seems like their only goal is to bring down Mr. Erdogan from power, his elections victories notwithstanding.

3- Mr. Watson talks about the tear gas and batons of the police but fails to mention the Molotov cocktails and even makeshift bombs thrown by the protesters at the police and at the public and private property, and how violent the protesters really are. (A significant portion of these protestors are left-wing extremists who carry banners stating "Devrim," meaning "Revolution," the communist version, that is.)

I don't know about you, but this does not have the semblance of "critical journalism" as I understand it.

A Tribute to Turkey's Diverse Cultural Tapestry

"Biz Turkiye'yiz"----translated as "We are Turkey."

The film is sponsored by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's office in an effort to acknowledge the rich and colorful cultural and ethnic diversity of Turkey, and his government's decade-long efforts to recognize, bring to the fore, and be proud of what had before been unspoken, unrecognized and ignored.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What is Happening in Turkey?

What do the government protesters in Turkey want? What are they trying to achieve? Is Erdogan a "dictator"? Is Turkey like Libya and Egypt or even Iran?

If you have been following the likes of CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and the Economist, the answer you would get to the above questions would be one of damning judgment.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

From ‘Midnight Express’ to a Rising Economic and Democratic Hub

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In the latest local elections that took place this Sunday, March 30, 2014, the Turkish people awarded a landslide victory (around 46%, with the main opposition trailing far behind at around 29%), and this for the third time, to the recently embattled Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (JDP) sending a strong signal to the detractors of the man. The voter turnout was at a near-record rate of about 90%.

How does he do it? How does Erdogan pull off landslide victory after landslide victory?

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