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AL JAZEERA, BBC, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Worldcrunch

DAMASCUS -At least six people died and 20 others were wounded in a blast Monday targeting Syrian Prime Minister Wael Al-Halqi’s car in central Damascus.

The explosive device was planted under a parked car in a busy intersection, and then detonated as Al-Halqi’s car drove by, reports AP. The Prime Minister escaped unharmed.

The attack clearly appears the work of Syrian rebels aiming to cut off the head of the Syrian government, reports Al Jazeera reporter Rula Amin, saying this is a move to confirm their unwavering resolution.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but the main rebel group, the jihadists of al-Nusra, has orchestrated similar operations in the past, according to BBC News.

Over the past year, two other direct attacks targeted the government: the defence minister and his deputy (Bashar Al-Assad’s brother in law) were killed in July 2012 and Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar was badly injured in December in another car bomb, reports Al-Jazeera.

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Ideas

Alphabets & Politics: Reflections On The Modern Turkish Language

Nearly a century since the post-Ottoman reform of the Turkish alphabet, which replaced the Arabic letters with Latin based ones, the issues it evokes on both the personal and political level are still very much alive.

photo of a cat sleeping on boxes of books

In Istanbul, the bookseller's cat

Ali Yaycıoğlu

-Essay-

ISTANBUL — The modern alphabet reform of 1928, which replaced the Arabic letters with Latin based ones, was a dramatic event for Turkey — and it came at a certain cost as every big decision does. Nonetheless, the national literacy campaign progressed with this new alphabet.

For me, the best part of being Turkish is the language.

I loved the old Ottoman script. I have tried to learn the old script but I was not much of s success. Later, I started studying Arabic because I wanted to work on Middle Eastern politics at the university. However, I only mastered the old script and especially started to read archival resources and manuscripts in my postgraduate years with Halil İnalcık at Bilkent University.

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