TIME Turkey

Turkey’s Awkward Place in the Paris March

World leaders attend Unity March in Paris
Hakan Goktepe—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, center right, talks to French President Francois Hollande, center left, during the Unity March 'Marche Republicaine' in Paris, France on Jan. 11, 2014.

Not only does its president hate cartoonists, but a terror suspect passed through it to get to Syria last week

Prominent among the foreign leaders marching through downtown Paris on Sunday was Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, one more leader from a Muslim nation making a show of solidarity with the victims of Islamist extremism. In many ways it was a good fit: Turkey’s population is overwhelmingly Muslim, but its government is avowedly secular. The country was founded, in fact, on the principles of separation between church and state embedded in modern France, where its founding father studied. Turkey is also a member of NATO, and a long-standing applicant to the European Union.

But in other ways, the Turkish presence was incredibly awkward. Though the Paris march honored journalists killed in the attack on the monthly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Turkey currently has more reporters in jail, 40, than any other country, even Iran and China. And the country’s increasingly autocratic president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has a particular problem with editorial cartoons: He’s repeatedly sued Turkish cartoonists, claiming damages for being portrayed variously as a giraffe, a monkey, and an elephant. In 2011 the German ambassador to the country was summoned to the Foreign Ministry after a Berlin newspaper printed a panel showing Erdogan’s name on a doghouse.

But that wasn’t the only problem in Paris. It turns out that, mere days before Davutoglu traveled to France, a Parisian suspect in the terror attacks was making her way through Turkey. Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, said to be the accomplice of Amedy Coulibaly, who shot dead four people at a suburban kosher supermarket on Friday before police killed him, flew to Istanbul on Jan. 2. She was videotaped having her passport stamped at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, and crossed into Syria on Thursday, Jan. 8. She may have been on her way to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or ISIS, the extremist group Coulibaly claimed as his own.

Turkish officials point out that Boumeddinene entered Turkey well before the Charlie Hebdo attack, and that no government flagged her until after she had entered Syria. Davutoglu noted his government has deported more than 1,500 individuals suspected of using Turkey as a corridor to Syria, and placed restrictions on 7,000 more. “We support every kind of intelligence not to accept foreign fighters,” he said at a joint news conference on Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Still, the episode pointed up the treacherous ambiguities that linger around Turkey’s involvement in Syria. Though keen to avoid involving its own armed forces in the civil war, Turkey has long encouraged rebel groups opposed to Syrian president Bashar Assad, allowing them to establish rear guard headquarters in Turkish border towns, and turning a blind eye to illicit crossings to carry the fight to the regime.

Ankara says it has tightened up since the rebellion has become dominated by Islamist extremists, but some critics question its resolve and, in any event, Boumeddinene’s experience demonstrates the practical challenges of enforcing any policy. And while Davutoglu was in Europe making nice, Erdogan was back in Ankara, preparing to lash out. “The West’s hypocrisy is obvious,” Erdogan said on Monday while receiving Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who had traveled to Turkey after attending the Paris march. “Games are being played with the Islamic world, we need to be aware of this.”

All of this, and more, shadows Turkey’s stubborn effort to join the European Union, an increasingly unlikely development as Erdogan clamps down on press freedom and tightens judicial controls. But then, as Davutoglu pointed out in Berlin, some 3 million Turks already reside in Germany, many descended from guest workers recruited in the 1960s to fill labor shortages. Their presence may well present challenge enough for Europe, given the continent’s limited success in integrating immigrant populations. Just as Davutoglu proved in Sunday’s march, Turks in Europe often make for an uneasy fit.

TIME Turkey

Suicide Bomber Attacks Istanbul Police Station

Police officers stand guard at the scene of a bomb blast in Istanbul
Osman Orsal—Reuters Police officers stand guard at the scene of a bomb blast in Istanbul, Turkey on Jan. 6, 2015.

She injured two police officers

A female suicide bomber injured two police officers when she detonated herself inside a police station in Istanbul, Turkey on Tuesday.

The woman walked into the station in a tourist-friendly area of the city, told officers she had misplaced her wallet, then blew herself up, the BBC reports. She died following the explosion. One officer is in the hospital in critical condition while the other sustained only mild injuries.

So far officials have not identified any group as being responsible for the attack. It was the second attack against police within a week in the city. On New Year’s Day, a man lobbed grenades at officers in an attack near the prime minister’s office.

[BBC]

TIME World

These Are the Top 10 Geopolitical Risks of 2015

Protesters hold a banner as they march during a demonstration against the visit of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel on April 11, 2014 in Athens.
Milos Bicanski—Getty Images Protesters hold a banner as they march during a demonstration against the visit of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel on April 11, 2014 in Athens.

TIME foreign affairs columnist Ian Bremmer provides a guide to the global storylines of the year, beginning with an unstable Europe

International stories rise and fall so quickly in today’s media. On Monday, it’s civil conflict in Ukraine. On Tuesday, it’s the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). By Wednesday, the headlines are on to something else. Amid the global whiplash, it’s easy to lose sight of the larger picture. So as the new year begins, it’s useful to take a broader look at where these stories are headed—and to track the next wave of market-moving surprises in international politics.

Every January Eurasia Group, the political risk consultancy I founded and oversee today, publishes Top Risks, a roundup of the geopolitical trends we consider most likely to change our world in the coming year. This ranking reflects our forecast of which global storylines are most likely to play out over the next 12 months, which will have biggest impact on the markets and politics—and where we can expect surprises.

In 2015, political conflict among the world’s great powers is in play more than at any time since the end of the Cold War. U.S. relations with Russia are now fully broken. China’s powerful President Xi Jinping is creating a new economy, and the effects will be felt across East Asia and the rest of the world. Geopolitical uncertainty has Turkey, the Gulf Arab states, Brazil and India hedging their bets.

But the year’s top risk is found in once placid Europe, where an increasingly fractured political environment is generating new sources of conflict.

1. The politics of Europe

European economics aren’t as bad as they were at the height of the eurozone crisis in 2012, but the politics of the continent are now much worse. Within key countries like Britain and Germany, anti-EU political parties continue to gain popularity, undermining the ability of governments to deliver on painful but needed reforms. Friction is growing among European states, as peripheral governments come to increasingly resent the influence of a strong Germany unchecked by weak France or absent Britain. Finally, a resentful Russia and an aggressive ISIS will add to Europe’s security worries.

2. Russia

Sanctions and lower oil prices have weakened Russia enough to infuriate President Vladimir Putin, but not enough to restrain his actions. Moscow will continue to put pressure on Ukraine, and as a result, U.S. and European sanctions will tighten. As Russia’s economy sags, Putin’s approval ratings will depend increasingly on his willingness to confront the West. Western companies and investors are likely targets—on the ground and in cyberspace.

3. The effects of China slowdown

China’s economic growth will slow in 2015, but it’s all part of Xi’s plan. His historically ambitious economic reform efforts depend on transitioning his country to a consumer-driven economic model that will demand levels of growth that are lower, but more sustainable. The continuing slowdown should have little impact inside China. But countries like Brazil, Australia, Indonesia and Thailand, whose economies have come to depend on booming trade with a commodity-hungry China, will feel the pain.

4. The weaponization of finance

For the moment, the American public has had enough of wars and occupations, but the Obama administration still wants to exert significant influence around the globe. That’s why Washington is weaponizing finance on a new scale. The U.S. is using carrots (access to capital markets) and sticks (varied types of sanctions) as tools of coercive diplomacy. The advantages are considerable, but there is a risk that this strategy will damage U.S. companies caught in the crossfire between Washington and targeted states. Transatlantic relations could suffer for the same reason.

5. ISIS, beyond Iraq and Syria

ISIS faces military setbacks in Iraq and Syria, but its ideological reach will spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa in 2015. It will grow organically by setting up new units in Yemen, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, and it will inspire other jihadist organizations to join its ranks—Ansar Bayt al Maqdas in Egypt and Islamists in Libya have already pledged allegiance to ISIS. As the militant group’s influence grows, the risk to Sunni states like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt will rise.

6. Weak incumbents

Feeble political leaders, many of whom barely won reelection last year, will become a major theme in 2015. Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan will each face determined opposition and formidable obstacles as they try to enact their political agendas.

7. The rise of strategic sectors

Global businesses in 2015 will increasingly depend on risk-averse governments that are more focused on political stability than on economic growth, supporting companies that operate in harmony with their political goals and punishing those that don’t. We’ll see this trend in emerging markets, where the state already plays a more significant role in the economy, as well as in rogue states searching for weapons to fight more powerful governments. But we’ll also see it in the U.S., where national security priorities have inflated the military industrial complex, which now includes technology, telecommunications and financial companies.

8. Saudi Arabia vs Iran

The rivalry between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia is the engine of conflict in the Middle East. Given the growing reluctance of Washington and other outside powers to intervene in the region, increasingly complex domestic politics within these two countries and rising anxiety about the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, we can expect Tehran and Riyadh to use proxies to fuel trouble in more Middle Eastern countries than ever in 2015.

9. Taiwan/China

Relations between China and Taiwan will deteriorate sharply in 2015 following the opposition Democratic Progressive Party’s landslide victory over the ruling Nationalist Party in local elections this past November. If China decides that its strategy of economic engagement with Taiwan has failed to advance its ultimate goal of reunification, Beijing might well backtrack on existing trade and investment deals and significantly harden its rhetoric. The move would surely provoke public hostility in Taiwan and inject even more anti-mainland sentiment into the island’s politics. Any U.S. comment on relations between China and Taiwan would quickly increase resentment between Beijing and Washington.

10. Turkey

Lower oil prices have helped, but President Erdogan has used election victories in 2014 to try to sideline his political enemies—of which there are many—while remaking the country’s political system to tighten his hold on power. But he’s unlikely to win the authority he wants this year, creating more disputes with his prime minister, weakening policy coherence and worsening political unpredictability. Given the instability near Turkey’s borders, where the war against ISIS rages, that’s bad news. Refugees from Syria and Iraq are bringing more radicalism into the country and adding to economic hardship.

TIME portfolio

Bulent Kilic: TIME Picks the Best Wire Photographer of 2014

Amidst a turbulent year, Bulent Kilic's photographs have consistently grabbed the attention of editors and viewers around the world

Wire photographers often work in the shadows — their names frequently overlooked in favor of their agencies’ monikers, from Agence France-Presse to Associated Press, Getty Images to Reuters, and many others.

For the past five years, TIME has turned the spotlight on these men and women who put everything on the line to bring us the news, to document what might otherwise go unseen. Their images have adorned the front pages of newspapers and covers of magazines around the world. Among these photographers, a handful of names repeatedly emerge from the fray.

Getty’s John Moore proved, once again, that he remains one of the best wire photographers out there, producing some of the most heart-wrenching and iconic images of this year’s Ebola outbreak in West Africa, where about 7,000 people have died. Oliver Weiken of European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) made a name for himself as well, documenting, early on, the African refugee crisis in Israel. In the summer, he made the long walk into Gaza — his third visit since October 2012 — where he produced an impressive series of images depicting the scale of the destruction in the coastal enclave during the seven-week war between Palestinian militant groups and Israel’s defense forces.

There’s no doubt we’ll see more of Moore and Weiken in 2015, but, when it comes to 2014, the year without a doubt belonged to AFP photographer Bulent Kilic.

The 35-year-old Turkish photographer, who joined the agency in 2003, systematically found himself at the heart of the news in Ukraine and Turkey all year. His striking, vivid and memorable images have captured the attention of photo editors across the planet, especially in October when he caught the exact moment when militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) were the target of an air strike near the contested Syrian town of Kobani.

For the last two months, however, Kilic has kept a low profile, working in Istanbul on local stories. “I was exhausted,” he says. “When I was covering the clashes in Kobani on the Syrian border, I would be driving every day, leaving the hotel at 5 a.m. and only coming back late at night.” That’s not the most ideal situation for a married photographer of an infant boy. “When you go on an assignment for many weeks or even months at a time, you have to find time to stay at home,” says the married photographer, who became the father of a boy this year.

Kilic’s busy year started in Ukraine where the pro-European protests took a turn for the worse in January and February. “I was sitting at home with my family, watching the television when I saw all of this black smoke in Kiev,” he says. “The photos [coming out of Ukraine] looked incredible.”

He asked his editors in Paris to go. “When I arrived in Kiev, the demonstrations were in their third month. It was still ongoing. I expected the situation to take a long time to develop.” Just hours later, Independence Square (known as Euromaidan), which had been overtaken by protesters, was a war zone, with pro-government forces firing on the crowd.

Bulent Kilic TIME 2014 Wire Photographer of the Year
Yasin AkgulBulent Kilic (center), TIME’s 2014 Wire Photographer of the Year, in Turkey.

There’s no doubt in Kilic’s mind: his work in Ukraine stands out as one the best assignments he’s ever had. “You could just feel the emotions of thousands of people around you,” he says. “It felt good. The demonstrators were singing and chanting and I was there with them.”

But not everything went smoothly. Kilic had never been to Ukraine before, and he didn’t know how people would react to his work, especially when protesters started dying at the hand of pro-government snipers. “In the Arab world, people let you photograph people who have just been shot,” he says. “In Ukraine, I didn’t know what people would do.” So, he tried. “I saw this man die in front of me. I tried to photograph him, but his friends didn’t let me. They don’t like this kind of images.”

After a month in Ukraine, Kilic flew back to Istanbul, thinking he would be able to take a few days off. That’s when 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who had been in a coma after being hit by a gas canister in the June 2013 street protests, died. “I felt that I needed to shoot this situation,” he says. “It was my responsibility, and I didn’t ask for any time off and just went to photograph the boy’s funeral.”

Over the following months, his images were again on front pages worldwide when 301 people died in the explosion and resulting fire at the Soma coal mine in Manisa, Turkey. “This was one of the biggest tragedies in Turkish history,” says Kilic. “I was there before other media organizations, and that’s when I took this picture of a man [kissing his son] when he came out of the mine. This was a very important photograph for me.”

Working around the mine wasn’t easy, though. “Some miners and their families were attacking the press,” he says. “You have to understand, their children, their husbands were trapped in the mine.” Kilic was targeted twice, necessitating police intervention to calm the crowd. But the photographer was unfazed. “You have to find a way to continue working,” he says. “You have to control the situation, but you shouldn’t stop.”

And Kilic never stopped working. On Sept. 15, he was driving home after a soccer game when an unexpected message came on the radio. “I heard a call for all Kurdish people to go to the border with Syria to save Kobani. I thought it wasn’t normal, and I felt something unusual was going on.”

He called his editors, booked his plane ticket to the region and the next day, he was on a Turkish hill in Yumurtalik overlooking Kobani, offering a direct view of the fighting between Kurdish forces and ISIS. “I thought this was going to be a very big story.” He wasn’t wrong. On Oct. 23, as Kilic learned that militants had planted their flag atop another hill, he rushed to find a villager that would allow him on the roof of their houses. “It was getting dark, and that’s when the bomb dropped.” Using a 400mm lens with a 1.7 converter, Kilic captured a series of four frames that showed the jaw-dropping explosion. The image has since appeared in most media organizations’ selections of the best photos of the year – including TIME’s Top 100.

“A lot of people ask me if it was easy to see these people killed in front of me. They ask me if I felt something,” says Kilic. “It wasn’t easy. But this is war, and these people are also killing other people. Sometimes, you can’t really feel anything. Sometimes, you don’t want to talk about it.”

Speaking matter-of-factly, “this is my life,” he says. “I chose this many years ago, and I’m still [learning] and trying to find my style. I’m a student of Yuri Kozyrev, James Nachtwey, Josef Koudelka, Robert Capa and Larry Burrows. I’ve been watching their work for many years to get a stronger vision. I can’t say that I’ve found it, but it’s starting to feel right.”

And with the support of his family — “they know I like this life and this job, and they respect it,” — and from AFP, Kilic is looking forward to 2015. “I don’t know where I’ll be going next. Maybe I’ll be back in Ukraine. But one thing I’ve learned in this job is that you have to be ready at all times.”

Bulent Kilic is a photographer with Agence France-Presse. He is TIME’s Wire Photographer of 2014. Previous winners include Muhammed Muheisen in 2013, Marco Longari in 2012, Pete Muller in 2011, and Mauricio Lima in 2010.

Phil Bicker, who edited this photo essay, is a Senior Photo Editor at TIME.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

TIME Syria

U.N.: $8.4 Billion Needed for Syria and Neighbors Hosting Refugees

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Guterres gestures during a news conference for the Global Humanitarian appeal for 2015 in Geneva
Pierre Albouy—Reuters U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres gestures during a news conference to launch of the Global Humanitarian appeal for 2015 at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva Dec. 8, 2014

Nations hosting refugees to also benefit from improvements to infrastructure and services

The U.N. is seeking $8.4 billion to help the nearly 18 million victims of the Syrian conflict.

The money will go toward jobs, education, public health and public works, reports the New York Times. The request for development aid is an acknowledgement that the conflict may last for many years and that it has seriously disrupted the lives of the Syrian people.

Syria’s war is still escalating,” said António Guterres, the head of the U.N. refugee agency, in a statement Thursday. “And the humanitarian situation is becoming protracted.”

For the first time, this war chest includes aid for neighboring countries, which are feeling the strain of the flood of Syrian refugees.

More than 12 million Syrians are displaced inside the country while 3.2 million have fled to neighbors such as Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt and Jordan. The U.N. estimates that the number of Syrian refugees will rise to 4.3 million in 2015.

In addition to helping Syrian refugees, the U.N.’s financing plan includes estimates that 20.6 million people in host countries will benefit indirectly from improvements to infrastructure and services.

TIME

The Most Powerful Protest Photos of 2014

There wasn't a corner of the planet untouched by protest this year, from the tear-gassed streets of Ferguson to the student camps of Hong Kong

In 2011, TIME named the Protester as the Person of the Year, in recognition of the twin people-power earthquakes of the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. TIME named the Ebola Fighters as the 2014 Person of the Year, but you could have forgiven if we went back to the Protester. There wasn’t a corner of the planet untouched by protest this year, from the tear-gassed streets of Ferguson, Missouri, to the squares of Mexico City, to the impromptu student camps of Hong Kong. Many of the protests were remarkably peaceful, like Occupy Hong Kong, which was galvanized by public anger over the overreaction of the city’s police. Others turned bloody, like the Euromaidan protests in Kiev, Ukraine, which eventually brought down the government of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, in turn triggering a war that led to the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in May and the deaths of thousands of Ukrainians.

Not every protest was as effective as those that began the year in the cold of Kiev. Hong Kongers still don’t have full democratic rights, gay rights are on the retreat in much of east Africa and every day seems to bring news of another questionable police killing in the U.S. But the wave of social action that ended 2014 is unlikely to crest in 2015. The ubiquity of camera phones means no shortage of iconic photographs and videos from any protest, whether in Lima or Los Angeles, and social media gives everyone the means to broadcast. What follows are some of the most powerful images from the global streets in 2014.

TIME isis

The Fight Against ISIS on the Border Between Turkey and Syria

Here's what the conflict looks like from the border town of Kobani

In recent weeks, the town of Kobani in Syria has become a symbol of resistance against Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) militants.

A battle to control the border city has raged for over two months between ISIS and Kurdish fighters, as the town occupies a strategic position on the Turkish border that, if it were to fall, would allow ISIS to control much of the region.

Every day, groups of Kurdish men and women gather to watch the war from across the border in Turkey as their relatives fight the extremist organization. One Kurdish supporter, Hasan Kara, spoke with fear if Kobani were to fall in the hands of ISIS. “As a Kurd I can’t just wait here and watch. Actually as a human being… they shouldn’t expect anyone to stand here and do nothing.”

In recent weeks, coalition forces led by the U.S. have conducted a series of air strikes near the border city and have dropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies in the Kurdish held areas.

Turkey has resisted calls to help the Kurds in their offensive against the radical group, describing them as a terrorist group like the Kurdish militant group the PKK.

But with no clear victor in sight, and an estimated 1,400 killed during fighting according to the Syrian Observatory for Human rights, thousands of Syrian refugees have attempted to escape the war-torn town to reach refugee camps in neighboring Turkey.

 

 

 

 

TIME infectious diseases

Avian Flu Outbreak in British Columbia Spreads to Seven Farms

The virus has affected 155,000 birds in the past week

A sudden spike in avian influenza cases in British Columbia in the past week has now spread to seven farms and affected thousands of birds, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Some 155,000 birds have either died or will be euthanized, the Associated Press reports.

The outbreak originated in the Fraser Valley near Vancouver last week, where turkeys and chickens from two farms tested positive for the H5N2 strain of the virus.

Although the bug does not pose a major threat to humans as long as the meat from these birds is cooked properly, its sudden resurgence a huge blow to the region’s poultry industry.

[AP]

TIME portfolio

The Best Pictures of the Week: Nov. 28 – Dec. 5.

From ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s acquittal to protests over Eric Garner’s chokehold death verdict and the launch of NASA’s unmanned exploration spacecraft Orion to the White House’s Christmas decorations, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

TIME celebrities

Why Did Meryl Streep Borrow Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oven on Thanksgiving Day?

Streep had a “Thanksgiving disaster”

Next time you find yourself faced with some kind of holiday cooking snafu, just remind yourself: Even Meryl Streep has these moments. The difference between us and Streep? We don’t get to ask our neighbor Gwyneth Paltrow to help bail us out.

Streep appeared on Live with Kelly and Michael Wednesday morning to promote her upcoming film Into the Woods, and shared a peek at how a certain conscious uncoupler had her back on Thanksgiving Day.

Streep, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Nov. 24, had a “Thanksgiving disaster,” she tells host Kelly Ripa. “My oven didn’t work. I hate my oven, I hate it, and you never hate your oven more than on Thanksgiving day when it won’t cook the turkey.”

Streep goes on to explain that they “cooked it for about eleven hours on low heat” and that the white meat was done, but the rest had to be tossed. “But my brother was in charge of the cooking so I could blame it on him,” she adds. Of course, there was still a problem: How to prepare the sides, and that’s where Paltrow came in.

“In my building is Gwyneth Paltrow. She has the best oven I have ever seen in my life,” Streep says. “So I emailed her, and they weren’t there, so I went over and I did all the sides in her oven, and my brother was in charge of the turkey that would not cook.”

Streep says that “The sides were fantastic,” and when Ripa asks if she “walked through” the rest of the GOOP founder‘s home, her answer was no. “I didn’t. I brought one of my daughters, who was dying to. They had to draw lots for who went with me. It’s a beautiful, beautiful place.”

And in case you wondering, Streep doesn’t have a spare key to Paltrow’s place. “The doorman let us in,” she explains.

This article originally appeared on People.com

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