Portrait: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the field marshal, revolutionary statesman, author, and founder of the Republic of Turkey

26 June 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait, UNESCO World Heritage

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk during a coffee and smoking break (1936) © Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk during a coffee and smoking break (1936)
© Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a Turkish field marshal (Mareşal), revolutionary statesman, author, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938. Ideologically a secularist and nationalist, his policies and theories became known as Kemalism.   read more…

European Historic Thermal Towns Association

19 April 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General

Gellért Baths in Budapest © Joe Mabel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Gellért Baths in Budapest © Joe Mabel/cc-by-sa-3.0

The European Route of Historic Thermal Cities is a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. The route is supported by the European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA), founded in 2011, a nonprofit organization with currently 26 members in 11 European countries (including Turkey). In the spring of 2013 EHTTA was awarded the “Cultural Route of Europe” by the “European Institute of Cultural Routes”. The Press Office of the City of Baden-Baden calls the European Route of Historic Thermal Baths the European Bathing Route.   read more…

Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Centre

6 March 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Maurice07/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Maurice07/cc-by-sa-3.0

Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Centre, also known as Şişli Kültür ve Ticaret Merkezi (Şişli Culture and Trade Centre) is a modern shopping mall located on the Büyükdere Avenue in the Şişli district of Istanbul. Opened on 15 October 2005, Istanbul Cevahir was the largest shopping mall in Europe in terms of gross leasable area between 2005 and 2011, and is one of the largest in the world.   read more…

Union for the Mediterranean: Bon voyage!

12 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organization of 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 28 member states of the European Union and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Europe. It was created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as the Barcelona Process. The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region. It is a forum for discussing regional strategic issues, based on the principles of shared ownership, shared decision-making and shared responsibility between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Its main goal is to increase both North-South and South-South integration in the Mediterranean region, in order to support the countries’ socioeconomic development and ensure stability in the region. The actions of the organization fall under three, interrelated priorities—regional human development, regional integration and regional stability. To this end, it identifies and supports regional projects and initiatives of different sizes, to which it gives its label, following a consensual decision among the forty-three countries. The region has 756 million inhabitants and is scenic, architecturally and culturally very diverse. Cities, lakes, mountains, beaches and national parks offer everything that promises fun, recreation and perfect vacations. The cultural offers are numerous. In addition to many UNESCO World Heritage sites, there are numerous galleries, museums, theaters and opera houses. Of course, there are plenty of shopping and entertainment possibilities. However, holiday pleasure is not untroubled in all countries. At present, Syria and Libya in general, Mauritania (Sahara and Sahel) and Lebanon (North Lebanon and the border regions to Syria and Israel), Palestine (Gaza Strip) should be partly avoided. In all other countries of the Levant and North Africa, increased caution, vigilance and prudence are recommended. At the end of each country portrait is a link to the U.S. Department of State, in order to be able to find out about the current security situation on the ground.   read more…

Gaziantep in Southeastern Anatolia

23 November 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

View from Gaziantep Castle © flickr.com - Natalie Sayin/cc-by-2.0

View from Gaziantep Castle © flickr.com – Natalie Sayin/cc-by-2.0

Gaziantep, previously and still informally Antep, is a city in the western part of Turkey‘s Southeastern Anatolia Region, some 185 kilometres (115 mi) east of Adana and 97 kilometres (60 mi) north of Aleppo, Syria. The city has two urban districts under its administration, Şahinbey and Şehitkamil. It is the sixth-most populous city in Turkey and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.   read more…

Beyoğlu in Istanbul

16 November 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Monument of the Republic, to commemorate the founding of modern Turkey in 1923 © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Monument of the Republic, to commemorate the founding of modern Turkey in 1923 © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as Pera during the Middle Ages, and this name remained in common use until the mid-20th century and the ethnic cleansing of its large Greek population. The district encompasses other neighborhoods located north of the Golden Horn, including Galata (the medieval Genoese citadel from which Beyoğlu itself originated, which is today known as Karaköy), Tophane, Cihangir, Şişhane, Tepebaşı, Tarlabaşı, Dolapdere and Kasımpaşa, and is connected to the old city center across the Golden Horn through the Galata Bridge, Atatürk Bridge and Golden Horn Metro Bridge. Beyoğlu is the most active art, entertainment and nightlife centre of Istanbul.   read more…

Transatlantic relations

2 June 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General

Atlantic Ocean © NOAA - www.ngdc.noaa.gov

Atlantic Ocean © NOAA – www.ngdc.noaa.gov

(Latest update: 14 September 2019) Transatlantic relations refer to the historic, cultural, political, economic and social relations between countries on both side of the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes specifically those between the United States, Canada and the countries in Europe, although other meanings are possible. There are a number of issues over which the United States and Europe generally disagree. Some of these are cultural, such as the U.S. use of the death penalty, some are international issues such as the Middle East peace process where the United States is often seen as pro-Israel and where Europe is often seen as pro-Arab (Arab–Israeli conflict), and many others are trade related. The current U.S. policies are often described as being unilateral in nature, whereas the European Union and Canada are often said to take a more multilateral approach, relying more on the United Nations and other international institutions to help solve issues. There are many other issues upon which they agree. This article refers to the relations between the EU (Culture of Europe, Economy of the European Union, History of Europe, and Politics of the European Union) and the USA (Culture of the United States, Economy of the United States, History of the United States, and Politics of the United States).   read more…

Alanya on the Turkish Riviera

26 January 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© kallerna/cc-by-sa-3.0

© kallerna/cc-by-sa-3.0

Alanya, formerly Alaiye, is a beach resort city and a component district of Antalya Province on the southern coast of Turkey, on the Turkish Riviera, 138 kilometres (86 mi) east of the city of Antalya. Because of its natural strategic position on a small peninsula into the Mediterranean Sea below the Taurus Mountains, Alanya has been a local stronghold for many Mediterranean-based empires, including the Ptolemaic, Seleucid, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. Alanya’s greatest political importance came in the Middle Ages, with the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm under the rule of Alaeddin Kayqubad I, from whom the city derives its name. His building campaign resulted in many of the city’s landmarks, such as the Kızıl Kule (Red Tower), Tersane (Shipyard), and Alanya Castle.   read more…

Arab–Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflict

6 January 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Oncenawhile

© Oncenawhile

(Latest update: 14 September 2019) The Arab–Israeli conflict is the political tension, military conflicts and disputes between a number of Arab countries and Israel. The roots (European colonial period, Ottoman Empire, widespread Antisemitism in Europe, Jews in the Russian Empire, Baron Edmond James de Rothschild (Jewish land purchase in Palestine), Theodor Herzl, Jewish National Fund, timeline of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, World War I, Sykes–Picot Agreement (San Remo conference, Mandate for Palestine, UN Charter, Chapter XII – International Trusteeship System, Article 80 (commonly known as the “Palestine Article” used by both conflict parties, Israel and Palestine, to create the wildest interpretations, speculations and conspiracy theories to assert the respective alleged right to the total land area), McMahon–Hussein Correspondence), Balfour Declaration, World War II, The Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day), Évian Conference, Mandatory Palestine, Forced displacement, and United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine) of the modern Arab–Israeli conflict (or the history of collective failure) are bound in the rise of Zionism and Arab nationalism towards the end of the 19th century. Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland is also regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically and currently belonging to the Palestinians, and in the Pan-Islamic context, as Muslim lands. The sectarian conflict between Palestinian Jews and Arabs emerged in the early 20th century, peaking into a full-scale civil war in 1947 and transforming into the First Arab–Israeli War in May 1948 following the Israeli Declaration of Independence (Nakba). Large-scale hostilities mostly ended with the cease-fire agreements after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War. Peace agreements were signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979, resulting in Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and abolishment of the military governance system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in favor of Israeli Civil Administration and consequent unilateral, internationally not recognized, annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Even when the text is about 97 pages long, it is just a summary. The multitude of links point out that there is a lot more to learn in detail. At first, it is a timeline of the major developments in the region and it leads to today’s challenges. The starting point is the view of the international community, especially the European Union and North America, on the conflict, enriched with excursions into the ideas, convictions, believes, and thoughts of the direct and indirect involved parties to the conflict.   read more…

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