Yup. Read the rest
Yup. Read the rest
Trump gave Erdogan green light, Putin nods in approval from Moscow. Read the rest
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (also known as the PKK,) has been taking pot shots at the Turkish government, in the name of Kurdish independence, since 1984. In 2013, Turkey's ruling high rollers, the Justice and Development (light on the former and regularly delivering on the latter) Party, managed to agree upon a delicate ceasefire, which lasted for around two years. Since the ceasefire's collapse in 2015, the Turkish government has been hot and horny over the thought of putting the PKK into the ground, permanently. Easier said than done, my son: PKK have proven resilient both in open combat and in less dynamic environments. It's hard to find their people, especially since much of the PKK's membership consists of supporters who provide financial and political support far from Turkey's borders. As a result, Turkey sent their intelligence operatives out across Europe, looking for ways to reign the PKK in. They started off in countries like Iran, Russia and China. But, it was soon found that the German state of Baden-Württemberg was where the out-of-nation action was hottest and heaviest. There's close to three million Turks living in Germany. 15% of that total can be found in Baden-Württemberg. There's no way that the Turkish intelligence community could possibly deploy enough assets to keep abreast of what all those former Turkish citizens were getting up to.
So, they did what the rest of the industrialized world has been doing: they developed a smartphone app that would allow the ex-pats to police themselves.
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Turkey’s spy agency has developed a smart phone application to enable pro-government Turks living in Germany inform on their compatriots who speak out against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
A cat stole the show at the recent Esmod International Fashion Show in Istanbul, Turkey by preening itself, playfully attacking models, and actually walking the catwalk. Read the rest
Wolf Intelligence is a German state surveillanceware company founded by Manish Kumar, selling tools that independent researchers described as "very shitty and it’s just copy paste from open source projects," used by governments to spy on their citizens. Read the rest
It’s been a while since we’ve heard a lot about the so-called Islamic State. Since the "defeat" of ISIS in Iraq and the majority of Syria, much of the focus in the war-torn regions of the Middle East has been on: the ongoing pissing match between the United States, Russia and Turkey in Syria, what will become of the civilians whose lives were shattered during the Syrian Civil War, hostilities between Iran and damn near everyone, Palestinian rights, and what the Israelis have cooking in regards to Gaza and the protection of their populace from a variety of aggressors.
Would you be surprised to learn that ISIS is still kind of a big deal? Because it sort of sounds like the United Nations was. According to the CBC, a report from U.N. Terrorism experts says that ISIS is still doing fine, thank you very much, boasting as many as 30,000 members stationed in Syria and Iraq. However, after multiple ass-kickings at the hands of professional and volunteer military forces across the Middle East, they’ve decided to tone things down a bit. That overt, "we're gonna build a freaking caliphate" look of theirs? SO last year. Currently, ISIS is playing it cool by conducting covert operations in its bases of operation while the terrorist group regroups and rebuilds.
From The CBC:
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While many ISIS fighters, planners and commanders have been killed in fighting, and many other fighters and supporters have left the immediate conflict zone, the experts said many still remain in the two countries — some engaged militarily, "and others hiding out in sympathetic communities and urban areas."
Here's a fact you can kill with alcohol or a head injury and never miss: Ikea doles out around 2 million of its Swedish meatballs, per day. Here's another: those Swedish meatballs? There's a very good chance that they're not actually Swedish.
According to the Hürriet Daily News, the recipe for Swedish meatballs is actually based on a recipe from Turkey. In a tweet that shook the meat-in-ball-form world, the Swedish government declared that “Swedish meatballs are actually based on a recipe King Charles XII brought home from Turkey in the early 18th century. Let’s stick to the facts!"
From the Hürriet Daily News:
Annie Mattson, a researcher at the literature department of Uppsala University, told Anadoly Agency that Sweden’s King Charles XII lost a battle against Russia and took shelter in Bender, then an Ottoman territory near Moldova.
Having spent a long time in Bender, apparently on a local food bender, Charles XII couldn't bear to leave behind the local cuisine. When he finally headed on home, he came packing the recipes for cabbage rolls, meatballs and, god love him, introduced Turkey's national love for strong, hot coffee to the Swedish people.
Earlier today, The Guardian got their meat hooks on this story and added to it. Apparently, feelings on the revelation, in Turkey are mixed.
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This week in Turkey’s meatball capital, Inegöl, a local chef, İbrahim Veysel, told the Dogan news agency it was an honor that the Turkish dish should have become “an example to different cuisines all over the world”.
Anna Campbell, from Lewes, England, has died fighting in the Kurdish Women's Protection Units ("YPJ") in Syria; she was likely killed by a Turkish airstrike. She was 26. Read the rest
A group of exiled Turkish human rights lawyers have published an in-depth history of how Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkish government has described Bylock, an encrypted messenging app, whose 1x1 analytics pixel was used as the basis for accusing tens -- if not hundreds -- of thousands of Turks of treason, with consequences ranging from loss of employment and ostracization to imprisonment, to torture, to suicide. Read the rest
When Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkish government took reprisals against hundreds of thousands of people suspected to have been involved in the failed coup of 2016, one of the criteria they used for whom to round up for indefinite detention as well as myriad human rights abuses (including torture) was whether people had a cookie on their computers set by a 1x1 tracking pixel served by Bylock, which the Erdogan regime says is evidence of support of exiled opposition leader Fethullah Gülen. Read the rest
In Ankara, Turkey, one person's trash is literally another's treasure. Garbage collectors started saving books once destined for the landfill and opened a public library.
For months, the garbage men gathered forsaken books. As word of the collection spread, residents also began donating books directly.
Initially, the books were only for employees and their families to borrow. But as the collection grew and interest spread throughout the community, the library was eventually opened to the public in September of last year...
Today, the library has over 6,000 books ranging from literature to nonfiction. There is also a popular kid's section with comic books and an entire section for scientific research. Books in English and French are also available for bilingual visitors.
The library is housed in a previously vacant brick factory at the sanitation department headquarters...
The collection grew so large the library now loans the salvaged books to schools, educational programs, and even prisons.
In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, London Business School organizational behavior scholars Niro Sivanathan and Hemant Kakkar used empirical methods to find the socioeconomic circumstances that predict when voters will elect "dominance-style" strongman leaders like "Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, Rodrigo Duterte, Nicolás Maduro and Recep Erdogan." Read the rest
Turkish purchasers of clothing from fast fashion brand Zara have discovered notes slipped into pockets of their clothes by workers begging for support in their struggle to get long-overdue wages. Read the rest