00:00:00 | 3:02:50




Sunday's parliamentary elections mean big change in Turkey — good news for Kurds, secularists and other minorities; bad news for President Erdoğan, his drive for personal power and his Islamist political party.  It also means new instability in a region awash in deadly violence.

Also, President Obama defends his Affordable Care Act ahead of the Supreme Court ruling. On today's Talking Point, the poetry of Jihad may help the West understand Islamic extremists.

Photo: Billboard of Turkish Presidential canditate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Istanbul. (Osman Orsal/VOA)

Obama Defends Healthcare Law ahead of SCOTUS Ruling 6 MIN, 30 SEC

The US Supreme Court will soon rule on the case of King v. Burwell, which challenges the validity of Obamacare subsidies for millions of people who don't get health insurance through an employer. Today, the President defended the Affordable Care Act against its opponents in a speech to the Catholic Health Association.

"It seems so cynical to want to take coverage away from millions of people, to take care away from people who need it the most, to punish millions with higher costs of care and unravel what's now been woven into the fabric of America."

Julie Rovner is senior correspondent of Kaiser Health News.

Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News (@jrovner)

A Political Upset in Turkey Means New Uncertainty in the Middle East 31 MIN, 50 SEC

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was not on the ballot, but Sunday's parliamentary election was widely seen as a referendum on his leadership and his ambition for more political power. His Muslim-oriented party won the most votes, but lost the parliamentary majority it's held since 2002. For the first time, a party including Kurds and other minorities won the right to participate in government. The conservative leader now faces a deadline to form a ruling coalition. But, what liberals call a win for democracy has led to drops in economic indicators, and political instability seems likely. What will that mean for the US, Turkey's other NATO allies and the fight against ISIS?

Soli Ozel, Kadir Has University (@soliozel2)
Ahu Sila Bayer, language translator and resident of Istanbul (@ahusilabayer)
Max Hoffman, Center for American Progress (@amprog)
Christian Caryl, Legatum Institute (@LegatumInst)
Marc Pierini, Carnegie Europe (@MarcPierini1)

Hoffman on rival parties, key issues in Turkey's election

Reading the Poems of ISIS 11 MIN, 30 SEC

If you want to understand ISIS and violent Muslim extremists… read their poetry.  That’s according to Robyn Creswell, poetry editor of the Paris Review, and Bernard Haykel, professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton.  They’ve co-authored an article headlined “Battle Lines” in this week’s New Yorker.

Westerners are familiar with brutal videos of beheadings and other displays of outlandish violence.  But ISIS propaganda for Arabic speakers is different. Chanting that forms the background for some ISIS videos illustrates the use of poetry for propaganda.  It’s an art form that’s as old as the Arabic language and the cultures of the Middle East and reading it is important to understanding the appeal of the Jihadi movement.

Robyn Creswell, Paris Review (@parisreview)
Bernard Haykel, Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University

Subscribe to the 5 Things To Do newsletter

Never miss the best of what to do with your free time.


More From To the Point



View All Events


Player Embed Code