turkey

December 30, 2015

The contemporary, increasingly international version of Christmas is less a religious festival than a celebration of affluence, modernity, and above all Westernness. [...] Without anyone willing it, Christmas has become part of a package of Western soft power.

Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu told Hurriyet newspaper that "the plane tree was the symbol of the Ottomans, and we are launching a planting campaign on the orders of our president in the town of Sogut, where the Ottoman state was founded." He says President Erdogan will plant the first sapling there next year, with another 100,000 to follow in Istanbul - which as Constantinople was the last Ottoman capital.

December 18, 2015

PD News headlines showcase the roles of art and cultural diplomacy around the word. 

In a statementent titled “Turkish Airlines tried to sponsor Racing to wash the image of the authoritarian government of Turkey,” Armenian Youth Federation of South America organization welcomed the decision. “For several years, Turkish Airlines became the main weapon of Turkish diplomacy around the world sponsoring important sports figures like Kobe Bryant or Lionel Messi. They exhibited their brand with recognized and admired figures to hide the reality of what is currently living the Turkish people,” said the Armenian youth organization.

Ambassador Tacan İldem, currently serving as the permanent representative of Turkey to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), is expected to be shortly appointed as NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, while international career diplomat Burcu San, has already been appointed as the director of the Operations Division of NATO’s International Secretariat.

Pakistan is participating in the 742nd commemoration ceremonies of the death of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi being held in Konya from 7-17 December 2015. Twenty paintings made by Pakistan’s renowned artist, Mr. Shafique Farooqi, representing Sufism as seen and depicted through the intellect of Mevlana Rumi are on display in the Mevlana Cultural Centre of Konya until 17 December.

The former British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan once commented that the most difficult thing about politics was "events, dear boy, events." Events can be helpful or unhelpful coincidences for statesmen. [...] The West needs to engage seriously with Turkey. 

World map from Golden Age of Dutch cartography

Shaun Riordan's look at the state of geopolitics.

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