Culture & Society

Trial begins for murder of Turkish commando who stopped coup attempt

Turks are closely watching the trial of those accused of murdering special forces commando Omer Halisdemir, who was killed in the line of duty as he played a key role in stopping last summer’s coup attempt.
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 Barın Kayaoğlu for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 22

How a Moses cartoon killed a Turkish satirical magazine

A cartoon ridiculing Moses brought about the swift demise of a satirical magazine without a political or legal decision having been made.
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 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on February 22

Palestine's first vegan cafeteria opens

The Palestinian Animal League opened the first vegan cafeteria at Al-Quds University in the hope of raising awareness about animal welfare and providing healthy food options to the community.
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 Ahmad Melhem on February 22

Will Tunisia finally amend harsh cannabis law?

Tunisians, including government officials, have been in favor of amending a harsh law for possession and use of cannabis, but doing so has not been easy.
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 Sarah Souli for Al-Monitor on February 22

Egypt’s first-ever female governor marches to a different drummer

In a move that broke with a long-standing tradition of appointing retired military or police officers as governors, Nadia Abdu was named governor of Egypt's Beheira governorate.
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 Menna A. Farouk for Al-Monitor on February 22

Will new travel ban impede Iran-US athletic competition?

Champion American wrestler Jordan Burroughs says he feels nothing but love from Iranians but “obviously, Donald Trump sees Iran a little different than I see Iran.”
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 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on February 21

How 'Half of the World' is attracting tourists to Iran

Esfahan, or "Half of the World" as it is dubbed in Persian, is attracting ever more foreign tourists to Iran in the aftermath of the lifting of sanctions.
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 Maysam Bizaer for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 21

Refugee influx to Turkey sharply rises

In the past five months, 551,000 new refugees arrived in Turkey, raising the total number to 3.551 million and the monthly cost to host them to $590 million.
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 Mehmet Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 21

Why Israel's ultra-Orthodox are fighting fur ban

A move to ban the sale of fur in Israel is being blocked by ultra-Orthodox Jews, who are hanging on to the tradition of wearing expensive fur hats on the Sabbath and other holy days.
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 Mordechai Goldman on February 21

How this West Bank village became a writers' retreat

A Palestinian journalist living in Germany started a cultural retreat program in the West Bank village of Kafr Rumman where visitors, in exchange for educating and interacting with the area’s children, can stay for free.
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 Aziza Nofal on February 21

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