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Stories about Middle East & North Africa

In Turkey, first large anti-vaccine rally gets green light from the local government

The rally that took place at one of Istanbul neighborhoods, was approved by Istanbul Governor Office and was attended by well known vaccine opponents.

In Turkey, religious cleric joins calls to censor social media

Ali Erbas, the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate in Turkey suggests using Islamic jurisprudence to control social media platforms.

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party turns 20

Two decades into AK Party rule, its popularity is dwindling and its ties with western governments have deteriorated significantly as the country is facing an economic and democratic precipice. 

Turkey's struggle against natural disasters: wildfires, drought, floods, and a possible earthquake

In light of recent natural disasters and weak governmental response, many wonder whether the government is prepared to handle its worst disaster yet — a possible earthquake in Istanbul.

Kanal Istanbul, Turkey's Middle Corridor, and the Belt and Road Initiative

The Middle Corridor, formally known as the Trans-Caspian East-West-Middle Corridor Initiative, reflects Turkey’s dream of building links to China via the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Belly dancing class in Kuwaiti ladies gym stirs uproar, prompting government intervention

The gym, located in the northern city of Al-Jahra, infuriated its conservative and tribal residents who saw belly dancing classes as violating their traditions and values.

China’s wavering COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy in Turkey

Turkey procured vaccines from China in December 2020, but delivery delays and negative perceptions of China-made vaccines are now making other sources more attractive. 

In Turkey, a social media battle amid ongoing blazes

To counter the trending #HelpTurkey the government responded with its own hashtags #StrongTurkiye and #WeDontNeedHelp.

Are Turkish environmental groups alone in criticizing the Beijing-Ankara economic integration?

The Hunutlu coal-fired power plant is part of China's Belt and Road Initiative in Turkey, an economic and political cooperation program that Ankara joined in November 2015.

Lebanon's LGBTQ+ community dreads a bleak future amid harsh present

Amidst discrimination, oppression and intimidation for their sexual identity, LGBT members avoid expressing political views for fear of being picked on by authorities, security forces or militias.

Arab content creators use social media to talk about sex, sexuality and reproductive health

'If we continue to avoid these conversations and to treat sexual education like a taboo, we are, in fact, only harming those that we are trying to protect.'

In Turkey, continuing forest fires are destroying livelihoods

As the extent of the damage comes to light, the ruling Justice and Development Party has faced criticism and public outcry for the country's lack of safety measures and emergency plans.

Iranian state comes down hard on protests over ‘Thirsty Khuzestan’

Three years ago, protests broke out in Iran's richest province of Khuzestan against water shortages. Like today's, these were also met with force, as protesters blame government corruption and mismanagement.

Religious cleric criticizes Turkey's women's volleyball team for their appearance in Tokyo Olympics

Turkey's women's volleyball team, known as the "Sultans of the Net," beat China 3–0 during a Tokyo Olympics match on July 25.

Government announces new media regulations that could further constrain freedom of expression in Turkey

A number of government statements issued this week in Turkey signal a further decline on media freedom.

Thousands of flamingos found dead in Central Anatolia

Every year in March, thousands of flamingos migrate to the south of Lake Tuz, earning it the moniker “flamingo paradise.”

Government-appointed rector removed from office in an overnight decree

After six months of protests, government-appointed rector Melih Bulu was removed from office in a late-night presidential decree that was announced in the official gazette.

Turkey's spectacular city statues — a thing of beauty or an architectural failure?

Across the country one may find statues of garlic, a rooster, meatballs, local desserts, walnuts, pottery, and much more, symbolizing whatever that province is famous for.

A decade after the first siege, Assad's regime besieges Daraa, the cradle of the Syrian Revolution

Calls for solidarity and global pressure to end the blockade have risen worldwide, amidst silence from key regional and international players.

Nizar Banat: the voice of truth assassinated by the Palestinian Authority

Nizar posted a video criticizing the expired vaccine deal that was near finalizing between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Days later, he was beaten to death by Palestinian security forces.

About our Middle East & North Africa coverage

Dahlia Kholaif is the editor for the Middle East & North Africa. Email her story ideas or volunteer to write.


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