Afghanistan: Turkey moves into the spotlight
05 September 2021 | 12:13 pm
The United States has withdrawn from Afghanistan. Turkey, in particular, is preparing to take over its role on the ground. However, many Turks have been angered by their president's overtures to the Taliban.
The Taliban have further curbed women's rights with their latest veil compulsion decree. Afghanistan's civil society faces an uphill task to challenge the group without adequate support from the international community.
The "Maghreb-Orient des livres" book festival takes place in Paris this weekend, focusing on literature from north Africa and the Middle East. One of those taking part is Jérémie Dres, the author of the graphic novel "The day I met bin Laden". It features the story of two young French men who travelled from France to Afghanistan in the spring of 2001, just months before the 9/11 terror attacks. The pair then found themselves trapped in Afghanistan and were later sent to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The author joined us for Perspective to tell us more.
Bombs and weapons used in Afghanistan by militants and US forces are making their way into India-administered Kashmir, raising fears that they could bolster an Islamist insurgency in the area.
The Taliban has made face veils mandatory for all Afghan women appearing in public, including those on television. This edict was ignored by presenters on Saturday, but they relented a day later.
Since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan last year, international aid for the country has dried up. The pandemic and the ongoing food crisis have complicated an already dire economic situation. Unicef says that as more families are pushed deeper into poverty, they are forced to make desperate choices, such as putting children to work and marrying girls off at a young age. Our France 2 colleagues report.
With record-high temperatures in Northern Africa and food security worries from Egypt to Morocco, agrivoltaic projects in the region are getting more and more attention.
Afghanistan is heading back to the pre-2001 dark days of the Taliban, and Western powers were naive if they ever thought this wouldn't be the case. That's the view of Heather Barr, associate women's rights director at Human Rights Watch. As women are told to cover their faces in public again and female television presenters are told to do the same, she spoke to us on Perspective about the how the Taliban are rolling back women's rights and what, if anything, the West can do about it. "Life has become a prison for most women and girls," she told us.
Human rights defenders won the case, and Turkey was asked to pay costs and damages for detaining the head of Amnesty International's chapter in the country.
A new bill, if approved, is expected to bring further restrictions on online freedom of expression and media freedom in Turkey.
According to the United Nations, some 23 million people are suffering from acute hunger n Afghanistan, including 10 million children who urgently need help in order to survive. Since the start of the year, humanitarian organisations have been able to help 8.2 million people by providing food assistance, including emergency food rations and supplements for breastfeeding mothers and their infants. But this aid is dwindling fast and the situation, which has continually worsened since the Taliban returned to power in August 2021, is reaching a critical stage. Our team reports from Herat, in north-western Afghanistan.
Inflation is a problem everywhere but in Turkey it is currently a staggering 73.5%, with no end in sight. Still, President Erdogan insists on maintaining low interest rates.
Two court rulings in Turkey regarding a femicide case, as well as the legality of the country's exit from a key accord against gender-based violence, are being closely watched by women's rights groups.
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