To the British Museum, she is “probably Aphrodite,” the Greek goddess of love and beauty. To most Armenians, she is Anahit, an ancient Armenian goddess of fertility. Whoever is on the 1st century BC female bronze head with wavy hair and aquiline nose, it may serve as a political prop in Armenia’s looming parliamentary election campaign.
Thirty-seven-year-old Rusudan Gotsiridze is not a man with a beard, and never wears a skufia, a traditional Christian vestment. Nonetheless, she is an ordained bishop living in Georgia, a country where, for nearly 1,700 years, the priesthood was an exclusively male domain.
The imminent trial of Vladimir Farafonov, an ethnic Russian journalist charged with inciting racial hatred by penning a series of offensive online publications, is fueling debates about chauvinism, due process and press freedom in his native Kyrgyzstan.
At the northern edge of the vast Karachaganak gas condensate field sits a small village named Berezovka. Since 2002, residents have sought to be relocated, claiming that emissions from the field’s operations pose a health hazard.
Seven years ago, like thousands of other Armenians, 58-year-old Anahit opted to overlook the age-old hostility between Armenia and Turkey and move to Istanbul from her hometown of Gyumri. One simple factor guided her decision -- she needed a job, and Turkey offered the best place to find one.
A leading Russian political scientist asserts that the Kremlin’s influence in Central Asia is exaggerated and Moscow’s regional impact is likely to “become less and less,” despite President-elect Vladimir Putin’s desire to expand Russia’s role in Eurasia.
With the escalation of civil warfare in Syria, the flow of refugees heading across the border into Turkey is set to pick up. Some observers in southern Hatay Province, which is the destination for the bulk of the refugees, caution that the influx raises the specter of sectarian tension on the Turkish side of the border.
More than 40 years ago, Kirkor Çapan, an ethnic Armenian, and his father set up what today is one of the last Christian funeral homes still operating in Istanbul. But the funeral parlor is not a religious island unto itself. With so few Christians left in Turkey, the stonemasons and carpenters working with Çapan are Muslim Turks.
More than 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, women in many parts of Georgia have become more outspoken on gender issues. But in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge, a three-kilometer-wide, 30-kilometer-long valley that borders Russia, change is complicated.