burqa An outer garment that covers the entire female body from head to toe, including the face; vision is maintained via a slit or mesh. The garment is loose-fitting so as not to betray any of the shape of the female body. It is worn in public by Muslim women, either by choice or, in some jurisdictions, by law. The burqa is the least revealing form of female Islamic dress and enforces the segregation of men and women in public and protects the modesty of women. Some notionally Islamic states such as Turkey do not require women by law to wear any form of veil. Politicians and pressure groups in some nations seek to ban the burqa in public as it is seen as oppressive and sexist and can hide the identity of citizens, with implications for crime and capture; however the counter-argument, that people in free societies should be able to dress however they choose, is compelling. Other female Islamic garments include the niqab, chador, khimar, shayla, amira and hijab.
Bursa A city in northwest Turkey which has historically been the subject of both Christian and Muslim conquests. It is the location of the great Ulu Cami mosque.
business A company set up to provide a product or service to consumers or other businesses. Also an abstract noun meaning the world of commerce, industry, construction, banking and so on.
business cycle A name given to the fluctuations in the economic growth and shrinkage of a nation’s economy over a given time. They are usually measured by using the growth rate of gross domestic product. The word ‘cycle’ is something of a misnomer, however, as the fluctuations observed in reality do not follow a predictable, regular pattern.
business-to-business A description of company that trades largely or exclusively with other businesses as opposed to consumers, or its specific services (see B2B).
business-to-consumer A description of a company that trades largely or exclusively with the general public as opposed to other businesses (see B2C).
business-to-customer Alternative interpretation of B2C, business–to-consumer.
Byzantine Empire Eastern, Greek-speaking part of the Roman Empire from 330 bce to 1453 ce At its height, the Byzantine Empire encompassed the Balkans, Greece, Anatolia, the Levant, and parts of North Africa. In 1204 the Fourth Crusade conquered Constantinople (Istanbul), and a severely weakened empire fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.