The December 26 trial of arrested Turkish journalists Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener has pushed a shadowy organization known as the Gülen movement to the forefront of public attention in Turkey. The group’s influence has long been an open secret. Now, its weight is being felt at a time when the country’s democratic credentials are increasingly being called into question.
Facebook may be best known in Azerbaijan as a tool for mobilizing government critics, but a new generation of Azerbaijani civil society activists is relying on the social networking site for quite a different purpose -- promoting animal welfare.
In only six months, the Baku-based Helping Stray Animals group has grown from a few isolated animal activists to a group of thousands.
Like the Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia also suffers from poverty, corruption, heavy-handed governments, widespread unemployment, and scant opportunities for the young. All too aware of the similarities, governments there are already taking measures to prevent public upheaval of the kind that has shaken the Arab world.
Serzh Sarkisian on April 20 urged Armenia's law enforcement agencies to intensify their efforts to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the post-presidential election clashes in Yerevan on March 1-2, 2008 in which 10 people died . The clashes and the events that led up to them have been the subject of massive obfuscation.