Archive for February, 2010

Published on the website of the international news program Worldfocus on PBS.

Gizem Yarbil, an associate producer at Worldfocus who grew up in Turkey, writes about the significance of the alleged military plot in that country.

Turkey has been rattled by the news this week that about 50 military commanders were detained for allegedly planning a coup to overthrow the democratically elected Islamic-leaning government.

The commanders are accused of “attempting to remove the government through force and violence” in a supposed plot codenamed “Sledgehammer.” Alleged tactics include planting bombs at mosques and shooting down a Turkish warplane, with the ultimate goal of causing so much chaos and disruption that the military would need to step in and take control.

The military denies all allegations.

The Turkish military, which is generally seen as a bastion of secularism, has overthrown governments four times in the past, most recently in 1997, when it ousted an Islamist Prime Minister. Still, the crackdown is unprecedented in a country in which the military is regarded by many as untouchable. Read the rest of the article on the Worldfocus website.

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Credits:
Host: Martin Savidge
Producer: Ben Piven
Assistant Producer: Gizem Yarbil

Listen here

The country formerly known as Burma — now called Myanmar — has found itself on President Barack Obama’s long list of countries deserving of direct diplomatic engagement.

Many international observers are hopeful that the Southeast Asian nation of 48 million people will not only respond to overtures by the U.S. — but will also hold a free and fair parliamentary election in fall 2010. Yet, the date has not been announced, and critics aren’t holding their breath.

Joshua of BurmaVJ and Suzanne DiMaggio join Martin Savidge  to explore these issues:

  • Junta background: military rule, media crackdown, & ethnic oppression
  • 2010 elections: fair vote, Constitution, & Aung Sang Suu Kyi
  • U.S. interests: high-level talks, economic engagement, & policy shift

Guests:

Joshua is a Thailand-based journalist for Democratic Voice of Burma. He is also the main character in Burma VJ, an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature this year.

Suzanne DiMaggio is Project Director of the Asia Society’s Task Force on U.S. Policy toward Myanmar. As the Director of Policy Studies, she oversees the Society’s task forces, working groups, & Track II initiatives.


Published on the website of the international news program Worldfocus on PBS.

Gizem Yarbil, an associate producer at Worldfocus who grew up in Turkey, argues Turkish immigrants may cling even more strongly to their customs– including honor killings– when faced with the difficulties of life in the West.

The first honor killing story I delved into as a journalist was of a Turkish girl from Germany.

Hatun Surucu was 23 years old when her youngest brother shot her at a bus stop in Berlin in 2005. She was training to be an electrician and she had a son.

She was born in Germany to Kurdish parents who had migrated to the country from Turkey. From the day she was born, she was confined to a secluded lifestyle under the strict scrutiny of her parents and her brothers. When Hatun was 16, she was married to her cousin in Turkey in an arranged marriage. She moved to a village in Turkey and had her son when she was 18. When Hatun decided to leave her marriage and moved back to Berlin, she knew she couldn’t return to her family home. She took refuge in a women’s shelter, got rid of her head scarf and started to rebuild her and her son’s life.

Hatun’s new western lifestyle was deemed dishonorable by her family. They decided she was bringing a bad name to the family so she had to be killed.

Read the rest of the article on the Worldfocus website.

Published on the website of the international news program Worldfocus on PBS.

Worldfocus producer Gizem Yarbil writes about an Oscar-nominated documentary which follows the undercover reporters of Burma who put their lives at risk to defy government censorship.

It is difficult to be a journalist in Burma. The country has one of the worst freedom of press records in the world. According to the latest worldwide index on press freedom provided by Reporters Without Borders, Burma ranks 171 out of 175 countries.

The latest news out of the country validates Burma’s horrendous press freedom record. Just last week a military court in Burma sentenced a journalist to 13 years in prison for working with Democratic Voice of Burma, a Norway-based media outlet that reports news from Burma.

Read the rest of the article on the Worldfocus website.