Vol. 13    Issue 4   01 - 31 July 2018
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Erdogan Wins Turkey’s Historic Election

Professor A. R. MOMIN

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s historic victory in the presidential election of June 24 marks a turning point in the history of modern Turkey. Erdogan won 52.59% of the vote while the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) won 42.56% of parliamentary seats. The AK Party and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party, together won 344 out of 600 (53.66%) seats in the Turkish parliament. The AK Party’s proposal for a constitutional amendment for replacing the existing parliamentary system with an executive presidency, approved in a national referendum in 2017, has now become a reality. The prime minister’s post has been done away with. Under the new system now in place, Erdogan becomes the Turkish Republic’s first executive president with wide-ranging powers. Under the new system, the president will appoint his council of ministers and will have the power to remove vice-presidents, ministers, senior judges and high-level officials, even without parliamentary approval. He also has the power to dissolve parliament and issue executive decrees. As promised by Erdogan in the election campaign, the state of emergency, imposed on 20 July 2016 in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in the same year, will be lifted by the end of July.   Read more



Professor A. R. MOMIN

The Balkans or the Balkan Peninsula, a vast region in southeastern Europe, has been of great geopolitical, historical, cultural and linguistic significance since ancient times. It has been a site of intersections between different ethnic groups, cultures and languages, including Greek, Slavic, Turkish and Persian. The word Balkan is derived from the old Turkish Balqan, which refers to a chain of wooded mountains. Ibn Khurdadhbih, a Persian historian and geographer who lived in the late 9th century, mentioned Balqan in his book Kitab al-masalik wal-mamalik.   Read more

Justice More Accessible

Sharia courts are an alternative dispute redressal mechanism that responds to the decline of the civil justice system and addresses the needs of the poor.

Faizan Mustafa and Mahendra Shukla

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s (AIMPLB) proposal to establish sharia courts all over the country could provide fodder to the Hindu right. But we need to ask: When were these courts originally established? Are they really parallel courts? Who goes to them and why? Do they amount to privatisation of justice? Is the death of civil courts a global trend?   Read more


Hindu group protests against Muslim teachers wearing abaya

When a new staff member wore the robe to a school in Sri Lanka's northeast, anti-Muslim violence and rallies followed.

by Lisa Fuller

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka - Fathima Rameez had been teaching at Shanmuga Hindu Ladies College for five years and never feared for her safety in Trincomalee, a port city on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka.

But that all changed on April 24. Early that morning, near the school, four men tried to attack another Muslim teacher with sticks. When Rameez arrived at work, 150 Hindu protesters were outside the school demanding five female Muslim teachers stop wearing their abaya robes. "Send the Muslim teachers away," they chanted, "wearing abayas destroys Hindu culture." Some yelled racial epithets at Rameez.   Read more

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