The Gulenists Are Everywhere!

A month after the Turkish army failed to overthrow the country’s democratically elected president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an enormous and unprecedented witch-hunt against all potential dissenters is overrunning the country. A general atmosphere of hysteria has seized the Turkish press where most recently accounts of shady secret witnesses -called “confessionists”- are flourishing.

In the past month since the coup attempt of July 15 against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, followed by a massive crackdown

Tulum: Expelled From Eden at the Point of a Baton

The New York Times dropped by the Mexican resort town of Tulum recently, to report on the pitiable story of a group of Western expatriates who were in June thrown out of the beach villas and private hotels they thought they owned by armed men. Tulum, baptized a kind of antediluvian Eden of healing centers and beachfront palapas in a recent Times feature, is on Mexico’s Yucatan coast.

Although the shell-shocked foreigners in the Times story, still stumbling around in their pajama bottoms months after their eviction tell him they are stunned at what has happened to them

A Listener on the Luminous Southern Icescape

For the scientists and researchers at Argentina’s Antarctic research station, the frozen continent is a strange and solitary dreamscape, writes Federico Bianchi in this affecting Anfibia profile of a day in the life of a researcher in one of the most isolated laboratories on the planet.

It is Monday February 17, 2014 at around 8:30 in the morning, and the biologist Emiliano Depino wakes up and does not remember what he has dreamed.

‘The Era of Brazil’s Soft Power Is Closing’

After a dozen years of stable left-wing government and apparent economic and institutional growth, this summer it all came crashing down once again in Brazil: a sea of demonstrators, counter-demonstrators, corruption scandals and the abrupt impeachment of President Dilma Roussef. Has the country lost all of the soft power it had accumulated in those good years, asks Celso Amorim, longtime minister of foreign affairs in the Roussef and Lula da Silva administrations?

How do you compare Brazil’s current political situation with what is happening in the rest of Latin America?

Techniques for Post-Mortem Punishment: an Israeli Guidebook

Israeli soldiers have shot to death dozens of young Palestinians in the occupied cities of the West Bank and Jerusalem in recent months, many of them after they tried to attack soldiers or settlers with knives. After they are killed, Majd Kayyal writes, the punishment continues for their families; the bodies are kept in Israeli freezers for ambiguous and unexplained months, until they are abruptly delivered: frozen, blackened blocks of ice, after midnight, often to graveyards far from home.

More than 200 Palestinians have been martyred since Oct 1 of last year, a quarter of them children not even in their teens.

In North Africa’s Forested Hills, Smugglers Rule

Smuggling is woven deeply into the social and economic fabric of the mountainous border region between Algeria and Tunisia, a reporter from El Watan finds as he accompanies local bootleggers on their treks. Bouzid Ichalalene travels back and forth across the border with a startling variety of people, from hip young men who buy and sell illegal assault rifles, to veiled women in taxicabs smuggling clothing; leaning out of pickup truck windows to greet peasant shepherds who are paid lookouts and urbane gendarmes on the take.

More than fifty pickup trucks are already parked here.

Traders in Tales of Woe

Among the worst enemies of Iraq’s Sunni people are the community’s own self-appointed leadership, and its media defenders around the Arab world. That is the assessment of Harith Hasan al-Qarawee, who writes that simplistic explanations for the rise of ISIS are dangerously accepted in Iraq and in the centers of power abroad.

Sunni victimhood: this is the narrative that we hear now, the story of how it all boils down to Iraq’s Sunni Arab population being oppressed.

11.2 Million Pages Later, a Novelist Finds the Fame He Sought

Fifteen years ago a prominent Panama lawyer sat down for lunch around a huge lobster with an Argentine writer and critic. Behind the veneer of a rich and successful financial lawyer, Ramon Fonseca had an uninspired and second rate novelist sleeping inside him, a novelist who yearned to one day become “Garcia Marquez,” as Christian Kupchick found. From Anfibia, Ramon Fonseca long before the Panama Papers leak made him famous:

In its infinite ebb and flow, reality never ceases to amaze.

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