08. Sex, guru & News’n’Lol
1. More real than the news: Turkey’s satire magazine coats truth in humor. Nazlan Ertan, Al-Monitor
“I saw this headline in Zaytung barely hours after the first media bulletins on the sale, while other newspapers were probably pondering on the angle they’d use. Zaytung says what other papers dare not say, but in a funny, catchy way.”
2. Orgies, Blackmail and anti-Semitism: Inside the Islamic Cult Whose Leader Is Embraced by Israeli Figures. Asaf Ronel, Haaretz
There were times, Sedat recalls, when he felt “uncomfortable because of those terrible things I would do to women.” In those cases, he would “just walk away from them” and tell Oktar that it was the women who had left. But in most cases, “because I was brainwashed that this man is leading us to paradise and everyone out there will go to hell, I was thinking that with this, I was saving them from evil. I was forcing myself to think [like that].”
3. What Ottoman erotica teaches us about sexual pluralism. İrvin Cemil Schick, Aeon
Sources suggest that there are two distinct sexualities. But rather than a hetero/homosexual dichotomy, the two sexualities are defined by penetrating and being penetrated. For a man who penetrates, whom he penetrates was considered to be of little consequence and primarily a matter of personal taste.
4. Turkey’s “Idol” for prayer callers. Marian Brehmer, Qantar
The best voices in Turkey vie year after year for the title of the country’s most gifted muezzin.
Although the call to prayer rings out through the streets of Istanbul from nearly 3,000 mosques, the muezzins are practically invisible. People listen to them and everyone has his or her favourite voice, but hardly anyone has actually come face-to-face with one.
5. Will Istanbul’s Massive New Canal Be an Environmental Disaster? Umar Farooq, National Geographic
On a bluff overlooking the Sazlıdere Dam just west of Istanbul, a bust of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, modern Turkey’s founder, is accompanied by a quote: “The villager is the true master of the nation.” But the villagers here know little of what the government plans for them, except that they will not be around to see it.