* Not even Cindy Shehan would be that dumb..! Wandering around the Middle East unescorted dressed as a bride is equivalent to smearing yourself with honey and strapping yourself to an anthill.
An Italian woman artist who was hitch-hiking to the Middle East dressed as a bride to promote world peace has been found murdered in Turkey.
The naked body of Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo, 33, known as Pippa Bacca, was found in bushes near the northern city of Gebze on Friday.
She had said she wanted to show that she could put her trust in the kindness of local people.
Turkish police say they have detained a man in connection with the killing.
Reports say the man led the police to the body.
Ms di Marineo was hitch-hiking from Milan to Israel and the Palestinian Territories with a fellow artist on their “Brides on Tour” project.
Ms di Marineo’s sister, who had gone to Turkey to look for her, identified the body. An autopsy is being conducted in Istanbul.
“Her travels were for an artistic performance and to give a message of peace and of trust, but not everyone deserves trust,” another sister, Maria, told the Italian news agency, Ansa.
* Ya think?
* ‘Secular Turkey’: going fast…
Tens of thousands demonstrated in the Turkish capital on Saturday to defend the country’s secularist tradition amid simmering tensions over an attempt to ban the Islamist-rooted governing party.
Protesters arrived from various regions carrying Turkish flags and pictures of modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. They chanted: “We will defend the values of the republic.”
The protest lasted three hours and finished without incident.
Several demonstrations have been organised across Turkey against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over the past year. Opponents accuse it of aiming to advance its Islamist ambitions under the guise of improving religious freedoms.
Critics point in particular to the abolition of a ban on the Islamic headscarf in universities and the prohibition of alcohol in restaurants run by AKP municipalities.
The AKP is also currently the subject of a court case seeking to ban the party for allegedly undermining Turkey’s secular order in favour of an Islamist regime.
It rejects the charges, saying that it is committed to the separation of state and religion, but argues that a rigid interpretation of secularism in Turkey often violates freedom of conscience.
European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said during a visit to Turkey this week that bridging political rifts is crucial for the country’s EU membership bid.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn signalled last month that Turkey’s accession talks, which opened in 2005, could be derailed if the AKP is banned.
A website affiliated with the northern branch of Israel’s Islamic Movement warned its readers to avoid a brand of Thousand Island dressing produced by a well-known Israeli company. The warning was issued after a local Arab discovered that the dressing contains alcohol.
The Palestine 48 website called on its readers to stay away from the dressing after being approached by Majdi Khatib.
“In recent days, another product was added to the list of products forbidden to Muslims because they contain alcohol,” the website said. “Khatib discovered that the dressing contains alcohol and is sold naturally and inadvertently at Arab and Muslim shops.”