Turkey

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Putin scores victory in 'gameshow'-like vote; Myanmar mine collapse; Ethiopian singer's death sparks protests; Botswana's mysterious elephant die-off

Vladimir Putin scored an apparent victory in a week-long constitutional referendum that had the trappings of a gameshow. A large landslide struck the Hpakant jade mining site in Myanmar. The killing of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, an Ethiopian singer and activist, has sparked days of protest. A mysterious die-off of elephants in Botswana has stumped scientists. And, Amsterdam's red-light district is reopening after the coronavirus shutdown.

Religion

Whose Haghia Sophia? 

The Byzantines commissioned it as a Greek Orthodox cathedral. The Ottomans conquered it and turned it into an ornate mosque. Then, secular revolutionaries converted it into a monument to two faiths. Its ownership and usage have become a perennial political debate.

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Twitter purges state-backed disinformation accounts; US sanctions ICC staff, Syria

Twitter has purged more than 32,000 accounts linked to state-backed disinformation operations. The Trump administration has authorized sanctions and visa restrictions on International Criminal Court personnel, in an attempt to undermine investigations into possible US war crimes. In Lebanon, there are increased calls for the government to resign after the currency plunged 25% in two days.

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Workers' movements advocate for rights on May Day; Saudi activists allege man killed over megacity plans; Doctors wait hours as Venezuela faces fuel shortages

As May Day celebrations and rallies have been curtailed, workers around the world are pushing for their rights. Fuel shortages are making life harder for Venezuelans, especially essential workers. And even as Lebanon teeters on the edge of economic collapse, some Americans are choosing to ride out the pandemic there. Meanwhile, Sweden's gardeners have become real party poopers.

Top of The World

China raises coronavirus death toll; political shakeups in Brazil; restoring Notre Dame's soundscape

Chinese officials have revised their novel coronavirus fatality count, but insist there has been no coverup. And in the US, President Donald Trump tells governors they are responsible for opening up states' economies. Political shakeups in Brazil and Turkey point to questionable responses to the pandemic. In Bangladesh, coronavirus could put Rohingya refugee women in leadership roles. And rebuilding the Notre Dame de Paris is about more than the structure. Learn how acoustic research could help reconstruct the cathedral's unique soundscape.

Top of The World

Global markets reel and northern Italy shuts down amid COVID-19; Blasts in Kabul as rival inaugurations are held; Trial of MH17 downing begins in The Hague

Global markets are struggling to deal with the continued spread of COVID-19, and a cut to export oil prices adds another level of uncertainty. Meanwhile, northern Italy is on lockdown and schools have closed nationwide. Students rejoice, but parents worry. And, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani's inauguration was disrupted by blasts Monday, and rival Abdullah Abdullah held his own swearing in ceremony. Also, the crisis at the Greece-Turkey border continues to unfold. The World is following it on the ground in Greece.

Displacement

Refugees caught in the middle of Greek-Turkish political standoff

Even before Turkey opened its borders for refugees and asylum-seekers to leave for Europe, the Greek island of Chios was an epicenter of tension over EU policies that made several Greek islands de facto holding sites for some 42,000 refugees and migrants. Erdoğan’s move only exacerbated those tensions. And refugees are caught in the middle. 

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Global Politics

Turkey: Where politics and religion mix

Matthew Brunwasser reports on the funeral Tuesday of a former Turkish Prime Minister, now considered the father of political Islam in Turkey, one of the few countries in the Middle East region to successfully mix religion and politics.

The World - Episode 20071218 - Turkey goes after Kurdish rebels

Hundreds of Turkish troops reportedly crossed over into northern Iraq today to battle against Kurdish rebels. The incursion came as Secretary of State Condoleezza made a visit to Iraq. The conflict puts the United States in a diplomatic tight spot. Both Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds are U.S. allies. Anchor Lisa Mullins finds out more from Scott Peterson with the Christian Science Monitor.

Lifestyle & Belief

Scarves in Turkey

Turkey's parliament is expected to approve a bill this week that allows female university students to wear headscarves and that's upsetting secular Turks, as the BBC's Sarah Rainsford reports from Istanbul.

Turkish troops enter northern Iraq

Turkey has launched a cross-border military operation into Northern Iraq and Turkish military officials say they'll the continue until they eliminate the threat from Kurdish separatist rebels

Turkish troops in Northern Iraq

Anchor Lisa Mullins speaks with LA Times correspondent Borzou Daragahi in Iraq about Turkey's military incursion into Northern Iraq where Turkish troops are on a mission to destroy bases in Iraq used by Kurdish militants to launch attacks

Arts, Culture & Media

Global hit / Geo answer

The World's Alex Gallafent takes us to the Turkish city, Istanbul, to meet Selim Sesler. One British newspaper dubbed Sesler 'the Coltrane of the clarinet'. The answer to today's Geo Quiz is Norway -- the country with the highest female representation on corporate boards.