TURKEY, September 4, 2016: Turkey says it has driven out IS fighters from their last remaining strongholds along a 100-kilometer stretch of the borderland with the help of Turkish-backed Syrian rebels under the banner of the Free Syrian Army.
Turkey’s direct military involvement in the push against IS began late last month when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — responding to a civilian massacre in Turkey’s southeast — sent warplanes, tanks, and artillery to crush terror threats on the border.
Sunday, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said border territory stretching from Azaz northeastward to Jarablus had been cleared.
Those claims were confirmed by monitors from the Britain-based London-based Observatory for Human Rights. An Observatory statement said “IS has lost contact with the outside world after losing the remaining border villages between the Sajur river and the village of al-Rai.”
Turkey, November 4, 2017 : President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has brought into force a new controversial legislation which will now allow state-approved Muftis to perform and register marriages that will be considered legal. The move is being seen as a blow to Turkey’s secular foundations.
The new law, which was proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, was passed in the Turkish parliament last month, signed by Erdogan on November 2, and was published in the Official Gazette on November 3, which denotes its official implementation.
Who is a Mufti?
The state religious affairs agency of Turkey is called Diyanet.
Diyanet employs Muftis; clerics who take care of all religious and worship across the nation.
What Is The New Legislation All About?
Turkey has a dominant Muslim population. However, the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, had formally established a secular state under a constitution in 1923.
Religiously observant couples often got married by local clerics. However, as per the previously applicable rule of law, it was mandatory for all couples, including the religiously observant couples, to be married by a state registrar from the local municipality, to legalize the marriage.
Now, the new law has accorded formal recognition to marriages performed by clerics.
Criticisms Of The Move
Erdogan has been repeatedly accused of eroding the secular nature of present-day Turkey.
Critics of the new law now fear the move,
May bear considerable impact on unregistered marriages and child marriages
May divide the society into two groups- Those who have marriages registered by clerics and those who do not.
May motivate members of other religious sect to demand for similar rights that might completely hamper Turkey’s secularism.
Increase In Unregistered Marriages
As per the previously operational trend, couples who got married by a mufti would go on to get their marriages registered by the municipality. However, by formally recognizing marriage-ceremonies conducted by clerics as a civil marriage, couples would now be able to forego with that practice.
Critics fear this new law will pave way for higher unregistered marriages, thereby breaching Turkey’s civil code.
Sezgin Tanrikulu, an MP with the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) hence believes the Erdogan’s law was “not an actual need”.
According to a report by AFP, Tanrikulu was quoted as saying “The AKP has taken another step that harms the state’s secular pillars and that moves people away from secularism.”
Affect On Child Marriages
According to UNICEF, Turkey tops the list of child marriages almost 15 per cent women married by 18.
Granting authority to religiously motivated clerics, who may have underlying contentious intentions, and who may or may not be knowledgeable or equipped enough to deal with larger issues of growth and population, may support underage or forced marriages that will harm Turkey’s secular stand.
However, the Erdogan government believes the new legislation will provide greater religious freedom to the people of Turkey. However, it will be too soon to say whether the new legislation will be successful or not.
White House, October 18:The White House is reacting furiously to a federal judge blocking President Donald Trump’s latest executive Travel Ban order that would have banned entry to travelers from several countries beginning Wednesday.
“Today’s dangerously flawed district court order undercuts the president’s efforts to keep the American people safe and enforce minimum security standards for entry into the United States,” said a White House statement issued Tuesday shortly after Judge Derrick Watson ruled against restrictions on travelers from six countries the Trump administration said could not provide enough information to meet U.S. security standards.
The travel ban order would have barred to various degrees travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
Watson’s temporary restraining order does not interfere with restrictions on North Korea and Venezuela.
Justice Department defends White House
The Justice Department “will vigorously defend the president’s lawful action,” the White House said, contending its proclamation restricting travel was issued after an extensive worldwide security review.
The Justice Department called the ruling incorrect and said it will appeal the decision “in an expeditious manner.”
Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke said: “While we will comply with any lawful judicial order, we look forward to prevailing in this matter upon appeal.”
No change for North Korea, Venezuela
The new travel order “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor: it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the United States,'” Judge Watson wrote in his opinion.
The White House argues that its restrictions “are vital to ensuring that foreign nations comply with the minimum security standards required for the integrity of our immigration system and the security of our nation.”
Officials in the White House are expressing confidence that further judicial review will uphold the president’s action.
Hawaii involved for third time
Consular officials have been told to resume “regular processing of visas” for people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, according to a State Department official.
The suit on which Judge Watson ruled on Tuesday was filed by the state of Hawaii, the Muslim Association of Hawaii and various individuals.
“This is the third time Hawaii has gone to court to stop President Trump from issuing a travel ban that discriminates against people based on their nation of origin or religion,” said Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin. “Today is another victory for the rule of law.”(VOA)