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Spain's Rajoy Punched By Teen As Campaign Heats Up

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ABC, Dec.17, 2015

MADRID "We are moderate people, quiet, formal and serious." Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's calm words and bruised face were splashed on the front page of Madrid daily ABCon Thursday after the center-right leader was punched in the face by a 17 year-old during a campaign stop.

Rajoy, who is running for reelection on Sunday, was assaulted during a walkabout on Wednesday in the northwestern city of Pontevedra. The teenager, who reportedly approached Rajoy on the pretext of taking a selfie, was arrested. There have been conflicting reports as to whether the motive was explicitly political.

Prime minister since 2011 and leader of the People's Party since 2004, Rajoy is leading in the polls, though one in four voters is still undecided.

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Society

Tour Of Istanbul's Ancient Yedikule Gardens, At Risk With Urban Restoration

The six-hectare gardens in the center of Istanbul, which are more than 1,500 years old, have helped feed the city's residents over the centuries and are connected with its religious history. But current city management has a restoration project that could disrupt a unique urban ecosystem.

Photo of Muslims performing Friday prayer in the garden of Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul.

Last March, Muslims performing Friday prayer in the garden of Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul.

Tolga Ildun via ZUMA Press Wire
Canan Coşkun

ISTANBUL — The historic urban gardens of Yedikule in Istanbul are at risk of destruction once again. After damage in 2013 caused by the neighborhood municipality of Fatih, the gardens are now facing further disruption and possible damage as the greater Istanbul municipality plans more "restoration" work.

The six-hectare gardens are more than 1,500 years old, dating back to the city's Byzantine era. They were first farmed by Greeks and Albanians, then people from the northern city of Kastamonu, near the Black Sea. Now, a wide variety of seasonal produce grows in the garden, including herbs, varieties of lettuce and other greens, red turnip, green onion, cabbage, cauliflower, tomato, pepper, corn, mullberry, fig and pomegranate.

Yedikule is unique among urban gardens around the world, says Cemal Kafadar, a historian and professor of Turkish Studies at Harvard University.

“There are (urban gardens) that are older than Istanbul gardens, such as those in Rome, but there is no other that has maintained continuity all this time with its techniques and specific craft," Kafadar says. "What makes Yedikule unique is that it still provides crops. You might have eaten (from these gardens) with or without knowing about it."

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