On the evening of March 4, heavily armed police forced their way into the headquarters of the Turkish daily Zaman. The hundreds of protesters that had gathered in front of the building in an Istanbul suburb in solidarity with their newspaper were violently dispersed.
Over the past weeks, thousands of people across Turkey have protested against the planned construction of a gold mine in Cerattepe, close to the town of Artvin in the northeast of the country. Protesters fear that the mine will cause irreparable damage to the unique natural environment of the region.
The latest footage to come out of Sur, the historical district in Diyarbakir that has been under total lock down by Turkish armed forces for the past sixty days, shows a level of devastation one would sooner expect in Syria. In more ways than one – empty streets lined with debris, bombed-out buildings, tanks and soldiers shooting at invisible assailants – the situation in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeastern regions resembles a war zone.
While the war in Syria continues to draw in more outside forces, the work towards finding a political solution to this five-year old conflict carries on. In the past week, no less than three separate conferences were organized by different clusters of opposition groups. Conferences were held in three places: Damascus, Dêrîk – a city in the Kurdish-controlled northern part of Syria – and Riyadh, the Saudi capital, respectively.
Days after the 1 November general elections in Turkey, Beyza Kural, a reporter with the independent press agency Bianet, rushed to Istanbul University to cover a stand-off between protesting students and the police.
Despite months of violence and unrest, spirits were high in Diyarbakir, Turkey's largest Kurdish town in the country's southeast, prior to Sunday's elections. In the previous weeks, multiple curfews had been declared in the city and in several towns in the region.
This Sunday, November 1, Turkey heads to the polls for the second time this year, to elect the 550 members of its Grand National Assembly. The snap elections were called for by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in late August when the different parties failed to form a coalition government after the June elections, in which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since its 13 years in power.