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The North Cyprus election's wide reverberations

ATHENS, Greece — It’s an election for the presidency of a country whose existence most of the world doesn’t even recognize. Yet the results of Sunday’s poll in the Turkish-controlled third of Cyprus will reverberate widely, and threaten to derail fragile efforts to reunite the divided island as well as Turkey’s bid to enter the European Union.

Diplomats for hire

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Brussels has one of the biggest concentrations of diplomats on the planet. Many nations keep three embassies here dealing with the European Union and NATO as well as the Kingdom of Belgium.  Among the historic palaces, modernist landmarks or bland office blocks hosting national delegations around the EU headquarters, is a one-room office that serves as a de facto legation for nations that don’t officially exist.                  

The view from Gobekli Tepe

Turkish ruins draw a fortunate few

SANLIURFA, Turkey — Each year, millions of tourists make the trek to see Egypt’s pyramids, and more than 800,000 crowd the monoliths of Stonehenge. By contrast, the stone circles of Gobekli Tepe — set against the backdrop of the Anatolian plateau, which unfurls in solitary elegance — are visited by a mere scattering of curious locals and the occasional wandering archaeologist.

A crime writer's guide to modern Turkey

ISTANBUL, Turkey — It begins with the image of a man placing a soft-boiled egg in his mouth. He sits without chewing, eyes lowered, until the egg is gone. “It was not until I was in my 20s that I understood. Anticipation is the brilliant goad to pleasure,” writes professor-turned-mystery-writer Jenny White in the “The Sultan's Seal.”

New face of Turkish construction?

A change for the greener in Turkey

ISTANBUL, Turkey — From the top suites in Istanbul’s newest development in Atasehir, one can see the city’s great waterways laid out, the churning waters of the Sea of Marmara devolving into the more docile Bosporus Strait. But it’s not the views that have cast a spotlight on this project, nor their attempt to transform this suburban hillside into Istanbul’s newest financial district and business center.

Making the move to Istanbul

ISTANBUL, Turkey — From the window of Stein-Gunnar Sommerset’s soon-to-be living room you can see the Bosporus sparkling in the distance ... and the cranes. With more than 400,000 people arriving each year to work or study, Istanbul is exploding. Set to be Europe's biggest city, it's fast becoming a real estate haven for expats and those looking for second homes.

Turkish photographers take on the world

ISTANBUL, Turkey — The entrance to their office is inauspicious, a dimly lit landing reminiscent of a New York tenement somehow misplaced halfway around the world. The greeting is anything but New York, however.  “Welcome!” booms a voice as the door opens and I am greeted by a flash of blinding light.

Earthquake strikes eastern Turkey

The earth, it seems, is literally shaking. I awoke this morning to news of a strong earthquake that has struck eastern Turkey, killing at least 57 people. The 6.0-magnitude quake, centered on the village of Basyurt in Elazig province, struck in the early morning, while most were still asleep in their beds. It has been followed by more than 30 aftershocks.
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