Nov 25th, 2009
In Turkey, a law dating back to the 1920′s bans the use of the letters Q, W and X. The law was created for Turkey’s transition from the Arabic alphabet to the Latin one. But today, it’s used against Turkey’s ethnic Kurds. Matthew Brunwasser reports from Istanbul.
Nov 24th, 2009
Cover bands aren’t usually musical innovators. But Dolapdere Big Gang of Turkey might be the exception. Most of the group lives in Dolapdere, an Istanbul neighborhood with a rough reputation. This eight-piece band of young Roma musicians, plays Western pop hits in a traditional Turkish style. Matthew Brunwasser has the Global Hit.
Aug 19th, 2008
Reporter Matthew Brunwasser reports on one of the routes chosen by East Germans who wanted to escape their country during the Cold War. It went through Bulgaria, and held the promise of freedom. But many didn’t make it.
May 12th, 2008
Hans Breuer is one of a kind. He was born in Vienna, Austria…to a Jewish father and a Christian mother. He became a shepherd — a singing shepherd. In fact, he became a Yiddish-singing shepherd. Breuer sings to his sheep…and to his fellow Austrians. He says his songs make the sheep happy. But they make some Austrians uncomfortable. Breuer was featured in the book “Shlepping through the Alps,” by American Sam Apple. Matthew Brunwasser schlepped along with Breuer and his 900 sheep in the Austrian Alps.
Sep 26th, 2007
Quick — name a famous American accordionist. You might have a little trouble. The accordion has a bit of an image problem here in the U.S. But next month, it gets star billing at an International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, Texas. The festival is promoting a broad array of international performers. Recently, the festival director took a trip through the Balkans to scout for talent. Reporter Matthew Brunwasser caught up with her in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Jul 9th, 2007
Matthew Brunwasser reports on Poland’s “League of Polish Families.” The group is moving the Catholic country further to the right. That’s making many Europeans uncomfortable. But it’s also winning friends in the United States.
Feb 19th, 2007
Reporter Matthew Brunwasser profiles Bulgarian clarinet master Ivo Papasov. Papasov was probably the first to blend American jazz with Balkan folk music…but it took the fall of Communism for much of his homeland to be able to hear it.
Jan 15th, 2007
Correspondent Matthew Brunwasser reports on a new far-right political group that’s been formed in the European Parliament.
Dec 29th, 2006
Leprosy is now a curable infection and isolating the afflicted in leper colonies is fast becoming history. Correspondent Matthew Brunwasser takes us to Europe’s last leper colony in Tichilesti, Romania, which houses 20 people with the disease.
Oct 2nd, 2006
Correspondent Matthew Brunwasser reports on a small Bulgarian town where heavy metal still rules.