The four New York Times journalists, who had been captured by Libyan forces while covering the conflict there, pose with Turkey’s Ambassador to Libya Levent Sahinkaya (C) at the Turkish embassy in Tripoli in this undated handout released March 21, 2011. Libya released the four on Monday, nearly a week after they had been captured, although three journalists for other outlets remained missing. The journalists are reporter and videographer Stephen Farrell (L), photographers Tyler Hicks (2nd L) and Lynsey Addario and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Shadid (R). REUTERS/Turkish Foreign Ministry/Handout
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi?s insistence on clinging to power despite growing public demand in his country for him to step down and his use of violent force against the people of his country has led to the launch of an international military operation against Gaddafi forces over the weekend.
Almost 20 days ago Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, during a visit to Germany, ruled out any military intervention in Libya. NATO-member Turkey repeated its concern last Friday over military intervention, calling for an immediate cease-fire in Libya instead.
The international military intervention in Libya, which entered its fourth day today, continues to occupy columns in the Turkish media, as many columnists discuss the necessity of such an operation and the motives behind it.
My advice to those who still fail to worship at the Darwinian shrine of evolutionary theory, repent before it is too late. I refer you to a book by psychology professor Robert Kurzban entitled ?Why Everyone (Else) is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind.?
The longer the Libyan campaign goes on, the sooner the issue will have to be confronted: where is it leading?
George Bush assembled coalitions of the willing, a euphemism for his failure to get the UN to back his invasion of Iraq in 2003. Barack Obama has UN cover for a no-fly zone in Libya, but he has paradoxically produced a coalition of the unwilling to enforce it. US commanders expected that Nato would announce yesterday that it was taking over. That was blocked by Turkey, whose prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for immediate talks. Neither Germany nor eastern European members are keen on Nato heading an operation that has nothing to do with the defence of Europe. That might leave Britain or France carrying the can, “using Nato machinery”.
Update: The Japan Crisis Map team is now partnering with government officials. Government staff will be using iPads with the Ushahidi iPad app to report information from the field. Also, one of the Japanese cell phone operators has pledged to lend over 12,000 cell phones to volunteers.
All of us had really hoped that 2011 would be a quieter year for crisis mapping. The devastating earthquake that struck Haiti during the very first month of 2010 in many ways created a new generation of volunteer crisis mappers. This was followed rapidly by crisis mapping operations for the US, Chile, Pakistan, Russia and Colombia among other crises, which prompted the launch of the Standby Volunteer Task Force for Live Mapping in October 2010.
Live crisis maps tell stories, hopefully compelling stories the last chapters of which have yet to be written. To paraphrase my New York Times colleague Anand Giridharadas: They used to say that history is written by the victors. But today, before the victors win, if they win, there is a chance to scream out with a text message, a text message that will not vanish, a text message that will remain immortalized on a map for the world to bear witness. What would we know about what passed between Turks and Armenians, Germans and Jews, Hutus and Tutsis, if every one of them had had the chance, before the darkness, to declare for all time: ?I was here, and this is what happened to me??
EUROPE: European Diplomacy?s First Test It took eight years of political wrangling to create the EU?s new diplomatic service, but its fate ? and that of its chief, Catherine Ashton ? may well be decided over the next few weeks. The EU?s failure so far to respond adequately to the crisis engulfing the Arab world is sharpening knives in foreign ministries across Europe.
ROUBINI: The Economic Consequences of the Arab Revolt Unstable political transitions in the Middle East could lead to high levels of social disorder, organized violence, and/or civil war. And, given the current risk-sensitivity of oil prices, the economic pain could spread far beyond the region.
EUROPE: Imagining a New Mediterranean World Rising tensions in Europe over what has crystallized as ?the Muslim Question? has made it all too easy to forget that there was a time when Islam was fully a part of European life. The recent wave of pro-democracy protests sweeping the Middle East, one hopes, will make forgetting that history ? often a willful strategy by political leaders ? a bit harder.
March 15th marked the beginning of protests for unity between Palestinians and an elimination of the political divisions in Palestinian society; however, on that day, protesters were violently dispersed both in Ramallah and in Gaza.
Turkey?s policy on Libya so far has drawn criticism from many angles, most notably due to the growing dissonance between Ankara and the international community on the issue of pursuing coercive policies against the Gaddafi regime?s use of brutal force against its own people to crack down first on the peaceful demonstrations and later the uprising across the country.
Last week the European Parliament adopted its annual resolution on Turkey. The parliament traditionally focuses on the so-called Copenhagen criteria on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The statement was prepared by the Turkey rapporteur of the parliament, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, a Dutch Christian-Democrat who for the last five years has been extremely successful in producing evaluations that, despite all the differences between parties, have been considered by and large as balanced and fair by all major political groups in the parliament.
from Hurriyet Dailynews by ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey?s ruling party said it was not in power long enough to be able to make a sound decision on opening a northern front for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, according to the latest WikiLeaks published by daily Taraf.
Be it covering earthquake and radiation-hit Japan or the conflict-ridden Middle East and Maghreb, reporters have one of the toughest jobs. Each of these situations has its own peculiar risks, and it is in each such case that a tough call awaits editors.
from World news: Turkey | guardian.co.uk by Aylin Selçuk
The multiculturalism debate in Germany is ignoring the glaring flaws in our education system
‘If you don’t like it here, why don’t you go back to your own country? We Germans would love it, because we like you as much as a terminal illness.” I get emails like this nearly every day. The reason why is that I recently decided to take legal action against Thilo Sarrazin. Sarrazin is a former head of the Bundesbank, a Social Democrat, and the author of a bestselling book, Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab (“Germany is digging its own grave”), in which he claims that the poor intelligence of young German Muslims is dragging down the education system.
from World news: Turkey | guardian.co.uk by Ahmet Davutoglu
From Libya to Turkey the will of the people has revived a sense of common destiny. This is now our region
The wave of revolutions in the Arab world was spontaneous. But it also had to happen. They were necessary in order to restore the natural flow of history. In our region ? west Asia and the south Mediterranean ? there were two abnormalities in the last century: first, colonialism in the 1930s, 40s and 50s that divided the region into colonial entities, and severed the natural links between peoples and communities. For example, Syria was a French colony and Iraq a British one, so the historical and economic links between Damascus and Baghdad were cut. Erdogan accuses foreign press of “defamation campaign” against Turkey Southeast European Times
Speaking at the opening of the Leaders of Change Summit in Istanbul, Erdogan said this campaign was carried out through “unrealistic news and comments”. He urged foreign journalists to analyse events properly and reflect these analyses in their writing
from World news: Turkey | guardian.co.uk by Larry Elliott, Julia Kollewe
Wolfgang Schäuble enters multiculturalism row, saying problems of integrating Turkish guest workers have grown with third generation
Germany’s finance minister has waded into the country’s simmering row over multiculturalism, saying it had been a mistake to bring in so many Gastarbeiter, or guest workers, from Turkey during the economic boom years of the 1960s.
Geert Wilders is upset. He thinks while doing brain surgery on himself as shown in the picture and says to himself “YOU EAT SOMETHING, YOU DRINK SOMETHING, TAKE A HOLIDAY, LISTEN TO TARKAN AND OOPS YOU ARE TURKISH. Maybe Petra Kouwenberg truly went Dutch. Half and half. C’mon Geert, after giving up her Turkish passport she wont be half the woman she was before. It is not clear how Ms Kouwenberg – who has refused to comment on the situation – has obtained Turkish nationality.
Mavi Boncuk |
Freedom Party PVV leader Geert Wilders says he assumes a female PVV member recently elected to the Gelderland pronvincial council will get rid of her double nationality as soon as possible.
A change in legislation regarding limits on a continuous stay in Turkey without a residence permit was probably one of the most serious changes for foreigners living in Turkey. This change had a direct effect on the lives of people who stay in Turkey without a residence permit using the 90-day period granted by the regular tourist visa.
Turkey?s relations with the EU took another blow last week. The European Parliament is not known for its ?softly, softly? approach, and its recent resolution on Turkey bears witness to that. It has been at its harshest for years with even reasonably Turkey-friendly political groups, such as the Social Democrats, being more critical. Needless to say, Ankara was not impressed. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan?s immediate reaction was to lash out and label it unbalanced.
Who should we take more seriously in Turkey?s EU process? It is certainly ourselves, what we do and what we don?t do. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy oppose Turkey?s EU membership by presenting Turkey?s population, the religion of the majority in Turkey and Turkey?s geography as an excuse.
New tension recently erupted between the Turkish government and ?Europe.? The European Parliament?s Turkey report has received strong objections from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. However, overall, the report has pretty correct assessments and lists some recommendations, some of which will be readily accepted by the ruling AK Party and some of which are already being advocated by it.
Upset by Turkish procrastination over the offshore section of the South Stream pipeline, Russia is warning that it may give up on the project altogether. But experts said Moscow could not afford to lose face over what is seen as the biggest political pipeline project of modern times.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said there is now a Turkey that is progressing and that the EU will sooner or later invite it to join the club. I am also of that opinion, but the EU admitting Turkey will not be related to Turkey?s progress or its institutions.