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Posts Tagged ‘news general’

EFF Scoreboard for Obama’s NSA reform plan… An Americana roundup…

In Uncategorized on January 19, 2014 at 15:48

Earlier today, President Obama announced a series of reforms to address abuses by the National Security Agency. We were heartened to see Obama recognized that the NSA has gone too far in trampling the privacy rights of people worldwide. In his speech, the President ensured that National Security Letters would not come with perpetual gag orders, brought new levels of transparency and fairness to the FISA court, and ended bulk collection of telephone records by the NSA. However, there is still much more to be done.

 

When Barack Obama announced his reforms of National Security Agency surveillance programs today, few people were as interested as Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, Marissa Mayer, and Steve Ballmer.

Obama Announces Surveillance Reforms

In a speech today, U.S. President Barack Obama announced changes for the operations of the country’s intelligence agencies. He says the current program will end “as it currently exists,

President Obama’s remarks on the NSA and surveillance

Here is a PDF transcript of the president’s speech on surveillance and national security today. Here’s plaintext. Here’s the New York Times’ take on the speech. Here’s a document of the Presidential Policy Directive on Surveillance.

Below, selected commentary from activists, journalists, and lawmakers on Twitter.

Obama’s speech outlining NSA reforms never would’ve happened without Edward Snowden. The Espionage Act charges should be dropped immediately

U.S. Intel: Osama Bin Laden Avatar Could Recruit Terrorists Online for Centuries

When American and British spies were infiltrating virtual-world games like Second Life and World of Warcraft in a bid to detect real-world terrorists, U.S. intelligence warned that jihadists might create an Osama bin Laden avatar that could “preach and issue new fatwas for hundreds of years to come,” according to a “confidential” report disclosed today.

53% More Book Banning Incidents In US Schools This Year

vikingpower writes “Isabel Allende’s The House of The Spirits. Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man. What do these titles have in common? They are banned at a school in the U.S. Yes, in 2013. A project named The Kids’ Right to Read Project

Getting your head around the Pentagon’s titanic, enormous, unauditably large budget

A long, infographic-laden Mother Jones explainer tries to make sense of the US’s insanely gigantic military budget,

 

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EU supporters battle on in Ukraine… Empowering Europe’s Roma… Eurosphere roundup…

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2013 at 23:54

MAIN FOCUS: EU supporters battle on in Ukraine | 26/11/2013

Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko began a hunger strike on Monday in a bid to have theassociation agreement signed. Meanwhile tens of thousands continue to demonstrate for the country to strengthen its ties with the EU. The Ukrainians still believe in the European dream, commentators write, calling on the EU’s leaders to start a dialogue with Moscow.

EU ‘strongly’ disapproves Russian pressure on Ukraine, deal still open

The EU Monday sharply criticised Russian pressure on Ukraine to drop a landmark cooperation accord with the bloc, due to have been signed this week, and said the deal was still “on the table.”

Tymoshenko goes on hunger strike in support of pro-EU protests

Tymoshenko went on a hunger strike Tuesday in solidarity with thousands of pro-European protesters outraged with the ex-Soviet state’s shock decision to scrap a key EU pact.

Neo-Nazi wins local election in Slovakia

Marian Kotleba, a far-right politician notorious for his anti-Roma rhetoric and appearances in a Nazi-style uniform, has won the local election in the Banská Bystrica region of Slovakia by 55.5%, sending a shockwave to the political class ahead of the European elections.

Kotleba has a range of controversial views: he considers NATO a terrorist organisation; he has been arrested for hate speech against the country’s large and impoverished Roma minority; and he has in the past denied the Holocaust.

Leaked EU report on US spying: the excerpts

Demonstrators in Berlin protest against alleged US spying activities in July.

In today’s dead-tree edition of the FT, we report on a draft of a stinging report the European Commission will issue Wednesday which could send shock waves through the US tech industry: unless the Obama administration changes the way it handles online data of European citizens, American companies like Google and Facebook will have to find another way to do business in the EU.

Bringing the Iran Deal Back Home

The recent interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program has shown, once again, that the political space for any meaningful diplomatic agreement – both the desire for a deal and the room to achieve it – is created at home. And, for both America and Iran, the domestic space needed for further progress cannot be taken for granted.

Bad Metaphor Watch: Iranian Nuclear Deal Edition

In the war of words over the nuclear deal with Iran, any metaphor is fair game.

Skeptics of the agreement hashed out in Geneva see parallels between this deal and, well, just about every bad, no good, awful, catastrophic moment in international politics since 1914. Meanwhile, its defenders have run out of breathless adjectives with which to describe a deal that just, maybe, might, possibly be similar to President Nixon‘s opening to China

 

Empowering Europe’s Roma

There is a Roma problem in Europe, and it is getting worse. But both the problem and its worsening reflect a toxic combination of deep-seated hostility and persistent neglect that Europe can no longer afford.

An independent Scotland’s forthcoming EU negotiations

The SNP has today published its White Paper on an independent Scotland. Amongst its other analysis it sets out a strategy towards the EU. It has always been clear that if Scotland votes for independence there will need to be a negotiation with the rest of the UK on the terms for divorce, but it is now clear the SNP have an EU negotiating agenda too. Here are the main points:

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FP roundup: EU to move on easing sanctions after historic Iran deal… while Turkey dribbles…

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2013 at 11:10

Obama takes on critics of Iran deal, praises diplomacy

 President Barack Obama took on critics of a newly brokered nuclear deal with Iran Nov 25

EU to move on easing sanctions after historic Iran deal

France’s foreign ministe said the EU would likely lift some sanctions on Iran in December

Iran nuclear deal agreed at talks

bbc.co.uk – 11/23/13 – Iran and six world powers meeting in Geneva have reached a deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme, foreign ministers say. No details have been released about the agreement, which has been reached after five days of negotiations. Negotiators from the

Erdoğan’s stance on Egypt backfires

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan enjoys the admiration of his Islamist grassroots followers because of his unwavering support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and his harsh remarks about the coup that ousted democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi.

Barzani set to visit Ankara to seal deal

Turkey’s willingness to maintain strong relations with the Iraqi central government in Baghdad will be best reflected this week in two key visits

Is the White House so Scared of Turkey That it Won’t Even Hang a Rug?

In 1926, Vartoohi Galezian — a 15-year-old refugee from the genocide in Armenia — arrived at the White House to pay a visit to President Calvin Coolidge. She had come to view the rug she and 1,400 other orphans living in Ghazir — then part of mandate Syria, now in Lebanon — had woven as a gift to the United States in thanks for the humanitarian assistance provided to the refugees of the ethnic cleansing of Armenians during World War I. In June 1995, the Ghazir rug, a huge, beautiful work exemplary of the Middle East’s legendary weaving traditions, was shown once more to Galezian and her family, but it’s now been more than 17 years since the White House has displayed what has come to be known as the Armenian orphan rug. Now it is unclear when the rug will ever be shown again.

Syria: CW disarmament enters critical phase as hell breaks loose

 

If by any chance a rogue group gets hold of CW – even from an entirely different source – and uses them, we will be back to the prospect of missile strikes again. Knowing that to be the case, some rogue groups may well set out to provoke just that.

Iran deal overshadows Turkey-Egypt issues

 

P5+1 countries and Iranian foreign ministers might have announced in Geneva yesterday that they reached an agreement on control over Iran’s nuclear program, but the most important story regarding the Middle East will probably be something else.

Turkey, the West and the rest

I have never been an enthusiastic supporter of Turkey’s EU membership due to various reasons, but if I knew that we would one day end up striving to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), I would have changed my mind.

France et Turquie, une partition à contretemps

Le Monde (France), Analyses, samedi 23 novembre 2013, p. 17 Guillaume Perrier, Dans un calendrier présidentiel déjà chargé de dossiers casse-tête, François Hollande a ajouté une étape supplémentaire. Le président de la République se rendra en Turquie les 27 et 28 janvier 2014, pour une visite d’Etat, la première depuis 1993. Une éternité. Le dernier

The Turkey, Russia, Iran Nexus

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Nov 12, 2013 By Samuel J. Brannen * This report is the culmination of a two-year project examining the complex relations among Turkey, Russia, and Iran in an effort to better understand these countries’ perceptions in the post–Cold War world and the conditions and interests that cause international

Turkey, Its Allies Struggling, Tempers Ambitions to Lead Region

 

The New York Times (USA) Friday, November 22, 2013, p. A 10 By Tim Arango, Ankara (Turkey) As Egypt’s Islamist demonstrators faced an imminent confrontation with security forces in Cairo last summer, the advice they received from Turkish officials was adamant: Stand your ground. For Turkey, the counsel was as much about supporting its Islamist

Les richesses de la Turquie

 

L’Est Républicain (France) mercredi 20 novembre 2013, p. NCY5 Nancy La 21e édition du festival Automne aux couleurs de Turquie, organisé par l’association ATa Turquie, s’est ouverte hier salle Chepfer, à l’Hôtel de ville de Nancy, avec une exposition de Yurdagül Basarslan, professeur de dessin, femme de tempérament façonnée par les aléas de l’histoire de

Turkey mending ties with Shiite powers as regional clout wanes

Turkey’s ambitions to become a regional leader with a “zero problems” foreign policy have been left in tatters by the Syrian civil war, rising sectarian tensions and a fresh diplomatic fallout with Egypt. The predominantly Sunni Muslim NATO member state is now seeking to mend fences with Shiite powers Iraq and Iran to restore its waning clout in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab spring

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Eurosphere agenda: Iran nuclear deal… Ukraine abandons EU…

In Uncategorized on November 25, 2013 at 00:52

Did the United States Just Grant Iran the Right to Enrich Uranium?

For weeks, Western negotiators have huddled in a luxury hotel in Geneva with their Iranian counterparts to defuse tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program. In the early hours Sunday, the diplomats finally secured their long-sought prize: a deal that puts the breaks on Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.

MAIN FOCUS: Kiev abandons EU course | 22/11/2013

The Ukrainian government broke off the preparations for signing an association agreement with the EU on Thursday. At the same time it announced plans to strengthen economic ties with Russia. The pressure from Moscow was simply too much in the end, some commentators conclude. Others criticise the EU for putting too much emphasis on theTymoshenko issue prior to the signing of the agreement originally planned for next week.

Ukraine Suspends EU Deal, Protesters Fill Kyiv’s Independence Square

Ukrainians protest in support of EU integration in Kyiv, November 21, 2013. Photo by Instagram user zenantipop; used with permission.

 

Opposition leader: Yanukovych traded Ukraine’s EU future for $20 billion

Ukrainian opposition leader Arseny Yatsenyuk said that the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovich, had traded the country’s EU future against guarantees from Russia concerning his re-election in 2015, lower gas prices and $20 billion.

Yatsenyuk, leader of the Batkivschchyna party of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and a former minister of economy and of foreign affairs, also announced that he had started the collection of signatures for a no-confidence vote against the government of Mykolay Azarov, the current prime minister.

 

Greek presidency pledges to ‘connect’ the Western Balkans

Greece’s EU Presidency will contribute to the European integration of the Western Balkans and will promote the idea of connectivity in terms of infrastructure in transport and energy sectors, diplomats said. Belgrade expressed the hope that Athens will promote enlargement, realizing that this would not be one of its key priorities. EurActiv Greece and EurActiv Serbia report.

Greece’s EU presidency will contribute to the European integration of the Western Balkans, promoting transport and energy infrastructure. Belgrade has expressed hopes that Athens will not

Greece had always been a strong supporter of EU enlargement policy, especially in the Western Balkans, said Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas.

German Green Party enter into coalition talks with Merkel’s conservatives in Hesse

Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s neo-liberal conservative party in the state of Hesse are set to hold coalition talks with the Greens. The environmentalist party moved further to the right when it approved entering negotiations at a congress in Frankfurt.

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Egypt expels Turkish ambassador… Another low point in Turkey failing foreign policy attempts…

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2013 at 11:54

PM Erdoğan responds to Egypt by making ‘Rabaa’ gesture

PM Erdoğan flashed the ‘rabaa’ sign at a rally, hours after Egypt expulsed the Turkish envoy

Egypt expels Turkish ambassador

Egypt tells the Turkish ambassador to leave the country, after Turkey’s prime minister calls for the release of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

Egypt asks Turkish ambassador to leave over support for Muslim Brotherhood

Military government accuses Turkey of seeking to create instability by backing party of ousted president Mohamed Morsi

The Egyptian government has asked Turkey’s ambassador to leave in protest for its support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the party of the deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

 

PM Erdoğan says he won’t back down from stance that led to row with Egypt

The Turkish PM gave his first message to Egypt by flashing the ‘rabaa’ sign at a rally

 

Egypt, Turkey downgrade ties in row over Morsi

 

Egypt expelled Turkey’s ambassador on Saturday and Ankara downgraded relations in tit-for-tat moves, further fraying ties that soured after the July ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. The latest row between the two US allies came after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday renewed his criticism of the “coup” that ousted Morsi and Egypt’s continuing crackdown on his

 

Diplomatic Ties Fraying Between Egypt and Turkey

Cairo expelled the Turkish ambassador because of provocative criticisms, and Turkey said it planned “reciprocal steps.”

Syrian Kurdish leader says ‘ready’ for fresh dialogue with Turkey

The co-leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) Saleh Muslim said they have not held talks with Turkish officials in the recent period

Syria Seen as Most Dire Refugee Crisis in a Generation

Nearly three years of civil war in Syria have created what is being described as the most challenging refugee crisis in a generation — bigger than the one unleashed by the Rwandan genocide.

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Socialist International in Istanbul… Turkey refocuses on Northern Iraq… A FP roundup

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2013 at 18:41

 


World socialists discuss Gezi protests in Istanbul

The Socialist International has gathered in Istanbul to show its solidarity with the recent Gezi Park protests

Socialist International meets in today’s Turkey

Socialist International Council meets in Istanbul on November 11-13 hosted by Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party

Socialist International kicks off in Istanbul

The two-day Socialist International Council Meeting opened today in Istanbul with a special session

Energy still obstacle in Iraqi normalization

The energy issue will likely stand as one of the most important hurdles before full normalization in Turkey-Iraq ties

The sons feared lost to al-Qaida in Syria

Parents in Turkish town of Adiyaman tell of anguish of searching for offspring recruited for jihad in neighbouring country

Fatih Yildiz never thought that one day he would have to plead with al-Qaida commander for the lives of his two sons. After a frantic week of searching for them in the blasted ruins of northern Syria, the retired Turkish government official was at his wit’s end.

Turkish FM Davutoğlu in Iraq to push fresh start

Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoğlu landed in Baghdad Nov 10 for a slew of meetings with top Iraqi officials

Prime Minister Erdoğan to meet KRG President Barzani in Diyarbakır

Prime Minister Erdoğan is expected to meet KRG President Barzani this weekend in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır

Syrian opposition seek in Istanbul to heal deep divisons on peace conference

Syria’s fractured opposition meets in Istanbul to decide whether to attend a peace conference that world powers want to hold in Geneva

EU’s Füle assured of ‘balanced solution’ to co-ed housing

Turkish officials meeting with EU’s Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle assured that the government will find a ‘balanced solution’ to a recent debate on mixed-sex accommodation for students

Britain revives ties with Iran, two years after embassy attack

Britain said it had revived diplomatic relations with Iran and appointed a non-resident charge d’affaires

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FP Agenda- US, NATO clarify Chinese missile system not interoperable…Turkey, EU resume membership talks

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2013 at 12:38

 

Eu-turkey Eu-turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

US, NATO clarify Chinese missile system not interoperable

NATO and the US conveyed to Ankara that a Chinese missile defense system will not be interoperable with NATO systems

Turkey, EU resume membership talks

Turkey has resumed talks to gain entry into the European Union after a 40-month freeze in negotiations.

VIDEO: Turkey seen as not European enough

The European Union says it has agreed to resume membership talks with Turkey.

 Turkey One the Eve and in the Wake of the Arab Spring

Middle Eastern Analysis (ORSAM) Vol. 5, No 58, October 2013, pages 10-20 Prof. Dr. Tarık Oğuzlu * This short essay aims to take stock of Turkey’s regional and global outlook on the eve and in the wake of the Arab Spring. The main argument is that whereas Turkey’s international profile was extremely positive on the

Radicalisation in Syria poses growing threat to Europe, says Turkish leader

In exclusive interview, president Abdullah Gul says Syria risks becoming ‘Afghanistan on the shores of the Mediterranean

The Syrian nation is dying as an indifferent world looks on, and the territory it occupies risks becoming “Afghanistan on the shores of the Mediterranean”, Turkey’s president, Abdullah Gul, has said.

Iran, Turkey have ‘very, very good’ ties on intel: Envoy

Intelligence cooperation between Turkey and Iran is in a good state which disturbs Western powers and Israel, according to the Iranian ambassador

Füle to hold talks in Turkey

Stefan Fule, the EU commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood policy, will pay a visit to Turkey this week

 Arab Spring countries are following the model set by Iraq – and that’s bad news for them all

The National (UAE) November 5, 2013, p. 17 Ghassan Charbel As the “Arab Spring” began to unfold three years ago, some people in the Arab region were suddenly infatuated with the Turkish model, wrote Ghassan Charbel, the editor-in-chief of the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat. At the time, the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was

Turkey shows progress, says Armenian historian Raymond Kevorkian

Armenian-descent French historian Raymond Kevorkian says the conference held on Islamized Armenians is a result of Turkey’s positive progress in democrac

Turkey forges ahead with trade deals in Middle East

While Turkey eyes more commercial opportunities in other countries, it signs a trade deal with the Ras al Khaimah Free Trade Zone, the UAE’s one of the rising star that has over 6,000 companies

EU, Turkey in talks for membership

Turkey appears ready to breathe new life into its long-stalled European Union accession process

Turkish president: Syria becoming Afghanistan in the Med

The Guardian (UK) Monday, November 4, 2013, p. 1-2-16 Simon Tisdall The Syrian nation is dying as an indifferent world looks on, and the territory it occupies risks becoming “Afghanistan on the shores of the Mediterranean”, the Turkish president, Abdullah Gul, has said. Radicalisation of ordinary people by Islamist jihadist groups was spreading across Syria

Syria Kurds oust jihadists from Turkey border area

Kurdish militia in northern Syria have expelled Al-Qaeda-linked fighters from the majority Kurdish area
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In the mean time, now Turkey has a fresh tension with Turkey… A FP roundup…

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2013 at 21:45

Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci (R) and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, inspect an honour guard in Pristina's main airport in Slatina on Oct 23. AP Photo

 Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci (R) and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, inspect an honour guard in Pristina’s main airport in Slatina on Oct 23. AP Photo

Serb president wants Turkey’s apology on Kosovo

Serbia’s president says he won’t take part in a Balkan initiative with Turkey in protest over reported remarks by Turkey’s prime minister in Kosovo

PM Erdoğan’s words on Kosovo misunderstood by Serbia, says Turkish FM

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent words on Kosovo have been misunderstood, Turkey’s foreign minister says

Are Kurds the Solution to the Syrian Puzzle?

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/516984/20131025/syria-geneva-kurds-assad-al-qaida-puzzle.htm

While the world holds its breath awaiting the Geneva II peace talks, scheduled for 23 November, analysts are beginning to wonder whether a minor player may shed new light on the Syrian puzzle.

Spain, Portugal, Turkey: Spot the similarities

Madrid, Porto, Lisbon and the Iberian peninsula made me reconsider what Portugal and Spain have and do not have in common with Turkey

Turkey’s changing image has been hit by setbacks,’ German think tank head says

Had it not been for setbacks like the Gezi events, Turkey’s change in image would have been considered as dramatic according to the head of a German think tank

An independent or disappointed Turkey?

First, it was Turkey’s regional politics which seemed to have drifted away from the politics of its longtime Western allies

Progress Report: Pressure on the media continues

“There was a decidedly mixed picture in the area of fundamental rights,” said the European Union’s Turkey 2013 Progress Report

Turkish aid to 121 countries reached $3.5 billion in 2012

Turkey’s foreign aid for development projects, ranging from building schools to providing clean water in 121 countries, reached $3.4 billion in 2012

BDP leader to meet State Department’s Nuland in Washington

A senior State Department official and Turkey’s ambassador in Washington D.C. are among the figures with whom BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş will hold talks

EU releases 85 million euros in Syrian humanitarian aid

The European Commission on Monday said it would provide 85 million euros ($120 million) in humanitarian aid to help people caught up in Syria’s civil war.

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A busy FP roundup: “US seriously concerned over Turkey’s China decision….”EU to resume membership talks with Turkey

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2013 at 11:54

 

No strategic shift after Iran-West rapprochement, says President Gül

The argument that rapprochement between Iran and West will bring changes in strategic relations in the region is “being exaggerated,” according to Turkish President

US seriously concerned over Turkey’s China decision

The US is “seriously concerned” about Turkey’s decision to purchase a missile system from China, the US Ambassador to Turkey says

Turkish medical centre helps wounded Syrians

The Syrian Medical Centre is a long-term care facility for those wounded in the Syrian conflict.

 

Turkey Adrift

Ankara’s decision to buy a weapons system from a Chinese company signals that Turkey has lost its way on foreign policy.

 

Riyadh to shift away from US over Syria

Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief has said the kingdom will make a “major shift” in dealings with the United States

 

Syria meeting agrees Assad can have no role in future government: Hague

Western and Arab powers meeting with Syrian opposition leaders in London agreed Tuesday that President Bashar al-Assad could not be part of any future government

Israel distances itself from diplomatic confrontation with Turkey

An Israeli spokesperson stressed that the Washington Post story claiming that there were intense “spy wars”

NATO wants say in Turkey-China missile deal

NATO’s chief said Tuesday he hoped Turkey would keep in mind the military alliance’s views as it mulls a missile defence deal with China.

MAIN FOCUS: EU plans to resume talks with Turkey | 23/10/2013

The EU’s foreign ministers decided on Tuesday to open a new chapter in the accession negotiations with Turkey. Some commentators see this as a good time to resume the talks. Others doubt Turkey’s political readiness in view of the unresolved Kurdish problem and police brutality against the Gezi Park demonstrators in the summer.

EU to resume membership talks with Turkey

European Union governments agreed on Tuesday (22 October) to hold a new round of accession talks with Turkey on 5 November, after Germany dropped its opposition voiced after Ankara’s crackdown on anti-government protests earlier this year.

The launch of a new “chapter” of negotiations with the EU membership candidate comes after a three-year hiatus in Turkey’s bid during which no new areas of negotiations were opened.

Turkey’s Gradual Revolution

Throughout his tenure, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been condemned by the country’s secularists for pursuing too much reform, and by its minorities for doing too little. But Erdoğan has managed to navigate this difficult landscape deftly, bringing about significant democratic change in a single decade.

How Gezi protests ‘unmasked’ Turkey

Luckily, we have left behind the first eight tumultuous years of Turkish accession negotiations

The Progress Report’s economy criticisms

The European Union’s Turkey Progress Report was issued during the long holiday break

Jewish youth leaving Turkey due to political strain in bilateral relations

Turkey’s Jewish youth turn to leave the country behind due to the deteriorating relations with Israel and rising Anti-Semitism, says a community figure

Overwhelmed by Syrian Refugees, Bulgaria Seeks EU Aid

Bulgaria, as the closest EU country to Syria, is seeing more than its fair share of the average 5,000 refugees that are fleeing Syria every day. Unprepared and inexperienced in dealing with this influx of refugees seeking shelter, food and protection, Syria has requested assistance and financial aid from the European Union. Meanwhile, some Bulgarian ministers have allegedly proposed to use some of the new funding to put up a 30-kilometer barrier fence along the border with Turkey to prevent illegal entry.

Restrained reaction to EU report

There is a significant difference between official reactions from Ankara to the European Union’s Progress Report on Turkey this year and the report it issued last year.

Dutch journalist claims he will be banned from Turkey as of 2014

A Dutch journalist claimed he was blacklisted and told by the authorities that he will not be able to get a new press card as of 2014 due to security-related concerns

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FP blog explains: “What Makes a Sex Shop Halal?…………. A literati roundup…

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2013 at 11:08

 

What Makes a Sex Shop Halal?

Responding to apparent pent-up demand for tacky bachelorette parties, the 38-year old Turkish entrepreneur Haluk Murat Demirel has opened the country’s first halal (permissible in Islam) sex shop online. It’s not the first such enterprise in the world — successful predecessors can be found in such varied locales as Bahrain, the Netherlands, andAtlanta, Ga. — but the existence of such a market still raises some interesting questions. For instance, what makes a sex shop halal? And what’s behind their spread?

 

Why Anonymity is Important for Truth and Trustworthiness Online

Philosophy Professor, Karen Frost-Arnold, has just published a highly lucid analysis of the dangers that come with Internet accountability (PDF). While the anonymity provided by social media can facilitate the spread of lies, Karen rightly argues that preventing anonymity can undermine online communities by stifling communication and spreading ignorance, thus leading to a larger volume of untrustworthy information. Her insights are instructive for those interested in information forensics and digital humanitarian action.

Rights Groups Say Some U.S. Drone Strikes May Be War Crimes

Two prominent human rights groups today blasted America’s drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, painting a grim picture of massive civilian deaths and potentially grave violations of international law.

 

Zeynep Tufekci on protest movements and capacity problems

MIT’s Comparative Media Studies hosts a weekly colloquium, and this week’s featured speaker is sociologist and movement theorist, Zeynep Tufekci. Zeynep describes herself as a scholar of social movements and of surveillance, which means this has been an interesting and challenging year. The revelations about the NSA hit the same week as the Gezi protests in Turkey. She explains that it’s hard to do conceptual work in this space because events are changing every few months, making it very hard to extrapolate from years of experience.

How Philip K. Dick Disdained American Anti-Intellectualism and Found His Inspiration in Flaubert, Stendhal & Balzac

Despite some of the stranger circumstances of Philip K. Dick’s life, his reputation as a paranoid guru is far better deserved by other science fiction writers who lost touch with reality. Dick was a serious thinker and writer before pop culture made him a prophet. Jonathan Letham wrote of him, “Dick wasn’t a legend and he wasn’t mad. He lived among us and was a genius.”

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