14 August, 2007

Gül 2.0 and Gaza E.R.

On Monday the ruling AKP resubmitted the name of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül as their candidate for President. Oddly, the NY Times refers to him as simply "an economist and practicing Muslim...a moderate politician," not bothering to note his current post. It was Gül's nomination earlier this year, seen by some members of the opposition and military as a threat to the country's constitutionally-entrenched secularism, which led to the massive protests and political upheavals resulting in the government calling early parliamentary elections last month. The AKP won overwhelmingly with 47% of the vote. We'll see how things go this time. We do not get much in-depth news from Turkey in the U.S., at least not on a regular basis. Many people I speak to here, sadly, yet not surprisingly, cannot find Turkey on a map. (sigh) At which point in our conversations I have to walk off, count to ten, and try not to kick something. As I noted to a Turkish friend, "for most people in the U.S. an Ottoman is something you put your feet on." Anyway, I remembered seeing Gül on Charlie Rose last fall (9/27/06) and thought it would be something worth sharing. And here's the BBC's quick review in translation of the response from the Turkish press.

I hope those of you who are able will tune into PBS tonight for Gaza E.R., a documentary airing on the program Wide Angle (check for your local listings at the PBS site). I haven't seen it, but I believe it should be worth checking out. Here's a brief review from the NY Times. You can go to this page to watch previous documentaries in their entirety, including ones about the first female graduates of a school for imams in Morocco, Turkey's changing society and the evolving Islamic identity, and Arabic satellite channel MBC's popular program Kalam Nawaem. The pages for each documentary also include lots of resources to learn more and, sometimes, to get engaged in the subject.


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