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Turkey

Turkey Rocks

In the 1920's Kemal Ataturk, modern Turkey's founder, forged the country in a strictly secular model, despite its largely Muslim population. Today traditional and Western influences vie for the hearts and minds of youth. Nowhere is this more apparent than in popular music here in Istanbul, the city that literally bridges Europe and Asia.

Produced by: Iason Athanasiadis and Sevin Turan

Videographer: Gokhan Acun

Editor: Seyfettin Tokmak

Gay in Istanbul

ISTANBUL — A gay peasant, a nymphomaniac and a lecherous imam all figure in a bawdy theatrical play about Turkey highlighting contemporary issues such as consumerism, emigration and the proliferation of a confessional talk-show culture. 

Three faces of Istanbul

Istanbul is an overpopulated metropolis whose estimated 14 million inhabitants are straining it at its seams. Centuries of events in arguably the world's most historical city have shaped an urban environment so varied that it regularly throws up baffling scene changes for the traveler caring to venture a little beyond the Sultanahmet-Taksim-Bebek triangle that delineates most foreign visitors' trips. The common denominator is a rush to build and modernize, often at the expense of the layers of history lying underneath or – often – right on the surface.

Forgotten Capital: Images and text

Whether Istanbul or Constantinople, this solitary city that straddles both Europe and Asia and was the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, has always exerted a splendor that bequeathed it its Greek epithet, the Vasilevousa (the Reigning/Majestic One).

Orientalist paintings take a tour of modern Middle East

A GAGGLE OF EMIRATI art curators clad head to toe in black hijab paused in front of "Odalisque," British painter Frederick Leighton's sensuous portrait of a partially exposed Oriental beauty gazing indulgently at a long-beaked swan.

Kristine Von Oehsen, the British Council exhibition curator guiding the group, tried to persuade the delegation there was little scandal in the discreet nudity, but the all-female group of Emiratis looked unconvinced.

Obama’s tepid Turkish welcome

Iason Athanasiadis, for the Pulitzer Center
Istanbul, Turkey

For president-elect Barack Obama, his arrival on the international scene has been one of near-universal acclaim. Around the world, he is seen as the man who can transform the perception of an ailing America and reclaim that country's ideal of being "the shining city upon a hill". Except in Turkey.

A Ramadan Controversy

Iason Athanasiadis, for the Pulitzer Center
Istanbul, Turkey

Millions of Muslim break their fast today (Tuesday 29 September) for one last time as the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end and a new moon appears in the skies. But in Turkey, where Ramadan is pronounced Ramazan, this year was not so much a time of reflection, self-denial and prayer as an extension of the political battlefield between secularists and the faithful over public and private behaviour during the holy month.