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Going The Distance: Loved-Up Storks Edition

Going The Distance: Loved-Up Storks Edition

While this may sound like something from a Disney film, we assure you that it is nothing less than true love: A male stork flies 13,500 kilometers every single year to be with his beloved.

This year, for the twelfth time, the male known as Klepetan has made the journey all the way from southern Africa to be with Malena, who can’t join him on the annual migration because one of her wings was damaged years ago by hunters, says French broadcaster TF1.

Everyone in the small Croatian village of Brodski Varos knows this extraordinary couple, especially Stjepan Vokic, a former primary school caretaker who adopted Malena 20 years ago. “He Klepetan arrived 12 hours early this year,” Vokic said. To the town’s delight, Klepetan has never forgotten about Malena, whose name means Little One in Croatian, and he comes back each spring.

When Klepetan and Malena have chicks, he teaches them to fly before leaving with them when winter comes. Meanwhile, Malena sits tight back in Brodski Varos, awaiting spring when her loved one returns.

Building their nest together — Photo: Screengrab via TF1

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Turkey: The Blind Spot Between Racial And Religious Discrimination

Before the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel war, a social media campaign in Turkey aimed to take on anti-Arab and anti-refugee sentiment. But the campaign ultimately just swapped one type of discrimination for another.

photo of inside Istanbul's Eminonu New Mosque

Muslims and tourists visiting Istanbul's Eminonu New Mosque.

Levent Gültekin


ISTANBUL — In late September, several pro-government journalists in Turkey promoted a social media campaign centered around a video against those in the country who are considered anti-Arab. The campaign was built around the idea of being “siblings in religion,” and the “union of the ummah,” or global Muslim community.

(In a very different context, such sentiments were repeated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the Israel-Hamas war erupted.)

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While the goal is understandable, these themes are highly disconnected from reality.

First, let's look at the goal of the campaign. Our country has a serious problem of irregular migrants and refugees, and the administration isn’t paying adequate attention to this. On the contrary, they encourage the flow of refugees with policies such as selling citizenship.

Worries about irregular migrants and refugees naturally create tension in the society. The anger that targets not the government but the refugees has come to a point which both threatens the social peace and brought the issue to hostility towards the Arabs, even the tourists. The actual goal of this campaign by the pro-government journalists is obvious if you consider how an anti-tourist movement would hurt Turkey’s economy.

However, as mentioned above, while the goal is understandable, the themes of the “union of the ummah” and “siblings in religion” are problematic. The campaign offers the idea of being siblings in religion as an argument against the rising racism towards irregular migrants and refugees; a different form of racism or discrimination.

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