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Equality-Social Justice

In Memory of Suphi Nejat Agirnasli

[Nejat at a picnic with his friends from Boğaziçi. Photo by Mustafa Emin Büyükcoşkun.]

In Memory of Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı On 5 October 2014, we lost our friend, comrade, and colleague, the sociologist, translator, writer, and revolutionary Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı while he was fighting with the Marxist Leninist Communist Party/Turkey and North Kurdistan (MLKP) and People's Protection Units (YPG) in Kobane. Condolences to all, and may he rest in peace. Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı was born on 22 September 1984. From his early years on, he lived in Germany with his family, who were in political exile from Turkey. Despite having very high scores in the university entrance exams he took in Germany, he chose to pursue his university education in Turkey. He was placed ...

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Morocco's Mawazine Festival: Exposing Class Tensions and Social Unrest

[The front row at Muslim's Mawazine performance 2 June in Salé, Rabat's sister city across the Bouregreg. Image by Melissa Smyth]

The thirteenth annual Mawazine: Rhythms of the World festival concluded this summer after a ten-day run in Rabat. Mawazine is Morocco’s premiere music festival and the second largest music festival in the world, with a record-setting attendance of over 2.6 million attendees this year. Though the festival’s advertised objective is to promote a positive, modern image of Morocco and provide a platform for local musicians to get more international exposure, Mawazine has also highlighted the growing inequality and interclass tensions that are palpable throughout its urban centers. Mawazine’s website describes the festival as a “meeting point for music lovers and ...

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From Home to Real Estate: Urban Redevelopment on the Axis of Speculation in Istanbul

[Fikirtepe. Photo by Duygu Parmaksizoglu.]

A major urban redevelopment project in Fikirtepe had been going on for two years by the time I began my fieldwork in March 2013. During that time, three construction islands out of sixty had been entirely demolished, and many people, including many renters, had left the place. The streets were becoming more desolate every day. Looking back at my notes from those days, the one thing I kept hearing from my informants was the anxieties caused by uncertainty. The excitement that came with the introduction of the redevelopment project, the great interest of construction companies, and the promising news appearing in the mainstream media regarding the future of the project ...

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Turkey after Gezi: An Interview with Simten Cosar

[Simten Coşar. Image via the Red Quill Books website.]

As developments in Turkey continue to take shape in the aftermath of Gezi and Erdoğan’s Presidential election, Gülden Ozcan interviews Simten Coşar (co-editor with Gamze Yücesan-Özdemir of Silent Violence: Neoliberalism, Islamic Politics and the AKP Years in Turkey (Red Quill Books, 2012) about these turbulent times. Interest in the AKP and its integration of neoliberal and Islamic politics into continued electoral success has garnered increasing scrutiny both domestically and internationally. Silent Violence (Red Quill Books, 2012) was recently published in Turkish. Given recent developments, especially after Gezi, we thought it is time to revisit the current social ...

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Another Letter to Mr. Elie Wiesel

[Image via Shutterstock.com]

[The following letter was written as response to Elie Wiesel and his decision to author and publish an advertisement in August 2014 which ran in the New York Times and other major medial outlets. The ad claimed that “Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,000 years ago. Now it’s Hamas’ turn.”] Let me begin by saying that we have met, although you may not remember. In 1980, I was a young actor in a theatrical adaptation of your novel Dawn, produced by the Cambridge Ensemble of Cambridge, Mass., which opened in a small off-Broadway theater in New York City.  I played your character Gad, a Jewish terrorist charged with training Joshua, a young German-Jewish holocaust ...

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The Realm of the Ugly King

[Yılmaz Güney. Image via reubensilverman.wordpress.com]

On a September evening in 1974, Yılmaz Pütün was arrested for murdering a local judge at a seaside Turkish casino. An argument between Pütün’s table and the judge’s had quickly escalated to the point where Pütün had pulled out a gun and demanded everyone sit back down. When the judge confronted Pütün, demanding the gun, Pütün knocked him down. According to witnesses, the judge grabbed a chair and approached again. At this point Pütün shot him. Nearly two years later, when the trial finally concluded, Pütün was found guilty and sentenced to nineteen years in prison. Appearing in court, Pütün was often greeted by cheering crowds.[1] Few, if any, of these supporters were ...

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Message From Human Rights Defender Maryam al-Khawaja

[Maryam al-Khawaja. Image from Flickr/andycarvin]

[This statement of concern was published by the Bahrain Center for Human Right on 29 August, 2014, shortly after Maryam al-Khawaja was detained in Bahrain].  The Bahrain Center for Human rights expresses its grave concern over denying the human rights defender and co-director of the Gulf Center for Human rights, Maryam al-Khawaja, entry to her native country Bahrain. Maryam al-Khawaja decided to fly to Bahrain to visit her father, the detained human rights defender, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja who began an open hunger strike on 26 August, 2014. Al-Khawaja's health has been rapidly deteriorating. Upon arrival to Bahrain airport hours earlier, Maryam ...

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Support for Steven Salaita and the UIUC Boycott Continues to Grow

[Steven Salaita.]

On Friday, 22 August, officials at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) broke their silence regarding the firing of Steven Salaita (for more background on the case, see here). In a mass email to the university community, UIUC Chancellor Phyllis Wise claimed that Salaita’s firing “was not influenced in any way by his positions on the conflict in the Middle East nor his criticism of Israel.” Instead, the implication seemed to be that the case revolved around the question of “civility,” with the suggestion that somehow Salaita’s statements would affect his capacity as a teacher (in spite of published reports attesting to the excellence of Salaita’s previous ...

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Linking Violence In Solidarity: Ferguson, Gaza, and the US State

[Ferguson, Missouri, has turned into a

Following the police shooting of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown on 9 August 2014, images of Ferguson, Missouri conjure the atrocities suffered by those living under military occupation in war zones across the world. They depict Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams in battle helmets with guns trained on the foreheads and chests of black women and men; military tanks circling residents demanding to know why police had killed yet another young black man; and protestors doused with tear gas crying with the pain of a substance long banned as a chemical weapon by the Geneva Convention. Globally, people have responded to the use of military-like force on citizens with ...

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Statement from Free Speech and Constitutional Law Scholars in Support of Steven Salaita

[Steven Salaita.]

August 15, 2014 Dr. Phyllis M. Wise Chancellor University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Swanlund Administration Building 601 John Street Champaign, IL 61820 Dear Dr. Wise: As scholars of free speech and constitutional law, we write to express alarm at your decision to revoke a tenured offer of appointment to Professor Steven Salaita to join the American Indian Studies program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on account of his statements on social media criticizing Israel’s conduct of military operations in Gaza. In our view, the decision to withdraw an appointment to a prospective faculty member because of his statements on a matter of public ...

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Scholars Pledge to Boycott UIUC Over the Firing of Steven Salaita

[Steven Salaita.]

On 6 August, Inside Higher Ed reported that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) had rescinded a job offer to Steven G. Salaita, who was set to begin a tenured position in the American Indian Studies program this month. The article quoted “sources familiar with the university’s decision” as saying that the rescinding of Salaita’s job offer was due to the “tone” of comments that he had made on social media regarding Israel’s most recent attack on Gaza. The report also quoted UIUC English Professor Cary Nelson as attributing the decision to what he referred to as Salaita’s “venomous statements” and “foul-mouthed presence in social media,” ...

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Another Professor Punished for Anti-Israel Views

[Cover of Steven Salaita's book

Until two weeks ago, Steven Salaita was heading to a job at the University of Illinois as a professor of American Indian Studies. He had already resigned from his position at Virginia Tech; everything seemed sewn up. Now the chancellor of the University of Illinois has overturned Salaita’s appointment and rescinded the offer. Because of Israel. The sources familiar with the university’s decision say that concern grew over the tone of his comments on Twitter about Israel’s policies in Gaza…. For instance, there is this tweet: “At this point, if Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised? ...

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A Politics of Hope: A Tribute to Brief Lives at a Time of Perpetual Death

Sara Khatib died on 5 September. The last time I saw Sara, she was lying in a hospital bed, surrounded by a worried and loving grandmother, a selfless mother camouflaging her sense of helplessness with a comforting smile, and an older sister who was silently battling a feeling of impending tragedy. Sara had undergone surgery to remove a recurrent tumor in her arm. A post-operation infection had brought her back to the hospital where doctors were unable to diagnose the cause of infection.  Less than ...

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المهجرون السوريون ونظام اللجوء في تركيا

رغم أن تدفق اللاجئين السوريين إلى تركيا بدأ منذ نحو ثلاث سنوات ونصف، إلا إن وجودهم لم يصبح قضية عامة إلا بعد الهجمات التي تعرضوا لها في عينتاب ومرعش وأضنة واسطنبول. لقد هوجموا في الشوارع وفي منازلهم، وأحرقت أو حطمت سياراتهم، وصارت وسيلة السوريين لتجنب الاعتداءات في عينتاب وغيرها هي وضع العلم التركي على منازلهم ومحلاتهم، أي حجب أنفسهم وطمس هويتهم. مع ذلك، ليس هناك إلا القليل من المعلومات حول وضعهم القانوني وعددهم وشروط عيشهم وعملهم. مؤخرا أعلنت الأمم المتحدة أن العددد الإجملي لللاجئين السوريين ...

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Statement: Over 250 Anthropologists Join Call for a Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

[The following press release and statement announcing the endorsement by over 250 anthropoligists of the movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions were issued on 1 October 2014 by the below-identifed group of anthropologists. Since it was first published on Jadaliiya, the number of signatories of the statement has exceed 700 anthropologists.] For Immediate Release October 1, 2014 Over 250 Anthropologists Join the Call for a Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions More than 250 ...

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Evden Emlaga Fikirtepe: Rant ve Spekulasyon Ekseninde Kentsel Donusum

Evden Emlağa Fikirtepe: Rant ve Spekülasyon Ekseninde Kentsel Dönüşüm  Bir şehir antropoloğunun saha notları Saha çalışmasına başladığım 2013 yılının Mart ayında Fikirtepe bölgesi, kentsel dönüşüm macerasında iki yılı çoktan geride bırakmıştı. Çalışmalara başladığım sırada altmış yapı adasından oluşan bölgede üç ada tamamıyla yıkılmış, bazı adalarda da başta kiracılar olmak üzere bir çok insan evlerini boşaltıp gitmeye, sokaklar yavaş da olsa ıssızlaşmaya başlamıştı. O zamanki notlarıma dönüp ...

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Salaita Speaks Out: A Report-Back from the Press Conference

At a press conference this afternoon, Professor Steven Salaita spoke publicly for the first time since the termination of his employment. Nearly one year ago, Professor Steven Salaita accepted an offer from the interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to join the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as a professor with lifetime tenure. However, a number of wealthy donors pressured the UIUC Board of Trustees and chancellor to rescind Professor Salaita’s offer of employment, citing the ...

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حوار مع القيادية اليسارية المغربية نعيمة الكلاف

جدلية: مرحبا بك أستاذة نعيمة. شكراً على قبولك دعوتنا لهذا الحوار. هل يمكن أن تقدمي نفسك لقرائنا بشكل موجز؟ نعيمة: مرحبا شكراً على الاستضافة. اسمي نعيمة الكلاف. أنا محامية وفاعلة حقوقية وعضوة المكتب السياسي للحزب الاشتراكي الموحد. جدلية: سؤالي الأول يتعلق بالوضع الحقوقي بالمغرب بعد تمرير دستور سنة 2011 وتشكيل حكومة يتزعمها حزب العدالة والتنمية الذي فاز بأغلبية المقاعد في الانتخابات المباشرة. كيف هي وضعية حقوق الانسان والممارسة السياسية بالمغرب اليوم؟ ن.ك: بالنسبة للشق الأول من السؤال والمتعلق بالوضع ...

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Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Ahmed Seif al-Islam Dies

Ahmed Seif al-Islam, one of the leading human rights lawyers in Egypt died on Wednesday after slipping into a coma following open-heart surgery earlier this month, the family announced in a statement. Involved in political activism since his student days, Seif went into law and became a human rights defender. Seif was imprisoned for five years in 1983, during which time he was reportedly tortured. Seif leaves behind his wife, university professor and activist Laila Soueif, a son and two daughters ...

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New Texts Out Now: Anthony Alessandrini, Frantz Fanon and the Future of Cultural Politics

Anthony C. Alessandrini, Frantz Fanon and the Future of Cultural Politics: Finding Something Different. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Anthony Alessandrini (AA): This book started as a way to bring together and expand on a lot of pre-existing work I had been doing on the life and work of Frantz Fanon. As I worked on the book, though, I came to realize that the larger topic I was dealing with was the question of how to address the work of a political ...

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Egypt: Rab’a Killings Likely Crimes Against Humanity

No Justice a Year Later for Series of Deadly Mass Attacks on Protesters (Cairo) – The systematic and widespread killing of at least 1,150 demonstrators by Egyptian security forces in July and August 2013 probably amounts to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said today in a report based on a year-long investigation. In the 14 August dispersal of the Rab’a al-Adawiya sit-in alone, security forces, following a plan that envisioned several thousand deaths, killed a minimum of 817 ...

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UAE-Linked NGO Whitewashes Migrant Abuse

 [This Migrant Rights report sheds light on the response of Gulf regimes in general and the Geneva-based NGO International Gulf Organization (IGO) in particular to international criticism of migrant labor rights in the region.]  This past year, the crackdown that resulted in the deportation of over a million migrants from Saudi Arabia, the mistreatment of Saadiyat Island construction workers in the United Arab Emirates, and the spotlight on World Cup workers in Qatar has generated ...

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1,200 Spanish University Professors and Researchers Demand to Break Academic Relationships with Israel

[This statement was first published here on 6 August 2014.] More than one thousand professionals have signed a manifesto, released by the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) academic campaign for Palestine, demanding to end all institutional relations with the Israeli academic world, until it stops supporting occupation and apartheid in Palestine. The campaign, which started two years ago, asks for support from professionals from the academic and scientific field, and also from ...

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Home Surveillance and the Rights of Domestic Workers

[The following report was originally published by Migrant Rights on 25 July 2014 under the title "Home Surveillance Marketed Against Domestic Workers' Privacy Rights."] The alleged link between migrants and crime is a commonly regurgitated misconception in much of the migrant receiving world. In the Gulf States, local media particularly dramatize the ‘danger’ of migrant domestic workers to family privacy and child safety. Authorities further fuel these xenophobic narratives, regularly ...

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