Archive for 2018|Yearly archive page

“Inside the Istanbul’s giant $12 billion [and human costly] airport – in pictures…

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2018 at 07:44

Inside Istanbul’s giant $12 billion airport – in pictures

Billed as the world’s largest, construction continues around the clock on Turkey’s new $12 billion airport. The official opening of the first phase – two …
BBC News – Oct 4, 6:06 PM

Media player Media playback is unsupported on your device Many workers and union reps have been jailed, pending trial, after complaining about working conditions on Istanbul’s new airport project. At least 30 workers have died since construction


‘The airport resembles an open-air prison’

At least 30 workers have died constructing Istanbul’s new giant airport.

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#anthropology roundup: “Interview: John Postill on his new book The Rise of the Nerds….

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2018 at 01:04


I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. John Postill about his new book, The Rise of Nerd Politics (Pluto Press).

This new book, The Rise of Nerd Politics (Pluto Press), is analytically rich and wrestles with the problem of defining and categorizing this transnational field of politically-active technologists. You unify your techpol nerds in terms of the acronym “clamp” which includes those interested in the application of computing, law, art, media, politics. I think you go a great job of mixing the micro-cultural and the macro-universal in developing your theory. But what is the geographical limit of such a “field” based approach?

Thanks Adam, I’m glad you found it rich. My first attempt at finding a conceptual home for the transnational people I now call “techno-political nerds” (or “techpol nerds” for short), that is, those political actors who are passionately interested in the intersection between technology and politics, was the notion of a “space” of nerd politics subdivided into four main overlapping “fields”, namely digital rights, data activism, social protest and formal politics.

But then I found that calling them “fields” didn’t quite capture the alternation between dispersed (or unfocused) phases in their trajectories (which are better described as dispersed spaces) and phases that are focused around a given contention which I call, following the sociologists Fligstein and McAdam (2011), strategic action fields. Towards the end of the writing process, I found by chance a classic text by another sociologist, Anselm Strauss (1978) on “social worlds” which fitted very nicely with the nerd materials. So I ended up calling it the nerd politics world and subdividing it into four porous “spaces” of political action, with the understanding that those spaces can sometimes morph into dynamic action fields and then back to relatively quiet spaces. For instance, for a while the Snowden relevations of 2013 galvanised the whole space of digital rights around the issue of mass surveillance and privacy. Come to think of it, I wish I’d made this point about the alternation between space and field modes more clear in the book! (see Postill 2017).

While working through document collections in dozens of university and governmental archives, online FOIA document repositories, and through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, I have amassed a collection of letters from anthropologists and other scholars corresponding with the CIA. Sometimes scholars write asking for reports, maps, or other documents they hope can be released into the public domain, in other instances anthropologists write sharing information relating to their work or that of colleagues, or they write inquiring about employment possibilities. One example of this is this linked correspondence, in which CIA’s Director of Central Intelligence, Stansfield Turner, responds to correspondence and clippings sent along from anthropologist Felix Moos—a long time anthropologist-CIA interlocutor, and future architect of the post-9/11 PRISP initiative, connecting anthropologists and other academics with CIA.

Sokal Squared is Satire

It is a joke.

I agree that the Sokal Squared project is ambitious in its scope to the point of being mean-spirited. Their findings are easy fodder for alt-right assholes. One wonders about their stated beneficent motivation despite a report somewhere claiming that two of the three authors self-identify as the type of left-wing liberal who in other contexts would celebrate the identity politics challenged by the very project. They are trying for reform–they are from Portland for fucks sake–or maybe they are jerks. I don’t know. Or care. Its funny shit.

Anthropology in Norway – a potted history

Taking a few steps back, I used the invitation to write an essay about anthropology in Norway as a pretext for delving slightly more deeply into the beginnings – from Eilert Sundt to Gutorm Gjessing –  than what is usual. In many renderings of the history of Norwegian anthropology, the time before the mid 1950s

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Please don’t say Turkey but Turkish now (!): “Turkey to replace ‘Turkey’ with ‘Turkish’ in tourism campaigns

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2018 at 23:55

Turkey will replace the word “Turkey” with “Turkish” in its upcoming communication campaigns to boost tourism.

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Jamal Khashoggi murder updates- “Tech Backs Away From Saudis After Journalist’s Alleged Murder…. Khashoggi Wasn’t the First…

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2018 at 08:40

Silicon Valley executives suspended participation in a Saudi advisory committee and cancelled plans to attend a high-profile conference.

The story of Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and possible murder has riveted the world’s attention with its macabre, and mysterious, details. The soft-spoken but sharply critical Saudi journalist vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2. Theories about his fate include the horrifying possibility that Khashoggi was murdered — and perhaps even tortured and dismembered — at the hands of the Saudi state. (The Saudi government continues to vehemently deny these charges.) Should these allegations prove true, Khashoggi’s fate could have vast ramifications for the reputation of Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, known as MBS, who has until now sought to establish himself as a figure of modernization and reform. Already, Khashoggi’s case has elicited an unusually strong response from Western media and parts of the American government alike, casting Saudi Arabia’s geopolitical future in doubt.

Because of course they would. President Donald Trump’s son Don Jr., along with pro-Trump extreme right wing media, are exploiting Washington Post contributing journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s interviews with Osama bin Laden to imply that he supported Islamic terror, reports The Daily Beast. Khashoggi is reported to have been abducted, tortured, killed, and dismembered by agents of the Saudi government, inside their embassy in Istanbul.

Jamal Khashoggi case: sponsors urged to pull out of Saudi conference

Economist joins New York Times in withdrawing from ‘Davos in the Desert’ event

The sponsors of a major Saudi investor event to be held in Riyadh later this month are facing calls to end their involvement in the conference after allegations were made about the kingdom’s connection to the disappearance and possible death of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Jamal Khashoggi was a vocal critic of the Saudi government. Then he vanished in Turkey, and grim accounts began to emerge.
President Erdogan queries claim that no video exists from Saudi consulate on day Jamal Khashoggi vanished.
Such material, if made public, could transform the unfolding standoff between Turkey and Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

Is the Saudi Crown Prince Too Disruptive Even for Trump?

America used to count on Saudi Arabia to maintain some stability in the Middle East. What now?
The West’s approach to Saudi Arabia: ‘one step forward, two steps back’

Western powers are actively enabling the very human rights violations they seek to expose.

Foreign Minister of Saudi-Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir at a press conference after talks in the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin, Germany, 25 May 2016. Picture by Bernd von Jutrczenka/DPA/PA Images. All rights reserved. Saudi Arabia entered the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in a combative manner. The Kingdom’s delegation did not arrive as representatives of a reformed country, despite over a year of aggressive rebranding efforts. Instead, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and his colleagues took to the podium in the face of strained relationships with Germany and Canada, and a U.N. inquiry into war crimes in Yemen.

Saudi isolation grows over Khashoggi disappearance

Business elites withdraw from summit as Turkish officials claim to have consulate tapes

Saudi Arabia has found itself further isolated over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after the business world turned its back on a high-profile investment conference in the kingdom and US officials claimed audio and video recordings had captured the moment the journalist was murdered in Istanbul.

Donald Trump has made it clear that whatever the outcome of the inquiry into the disappearance of the journalist from the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, the US will not forgo lucrative arms deals with Riyadh. The president says the possibility of Saudi Arabia sourcing its arms from Russia or China instead is unacceptable

Khashoggi affair sets a high-stakes challenge for the Saudis’ allies

The journalist’s disappearance triggers big strategic questions and troubling memories in the west

Jamal Khashoggi’s fate is still unknown, but the repercussions of the Saudi journalist’s disappearance and reports of his killing are being felt around the Middle East, challenging US and western policy and fuelling regional tensions – while raising troubling questions about the future of the conservative kingdom.

How Jamal Khashoggi disappeared – visual guide

The prominent Saudi journalist was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

Two privately owned jets arrived at Istanbul’s Atatürk airport in the early hours of the morning.

Turkish news source says they include special forces officers and one is close to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
Turkey ‘has recording proving Saudi murder’

Audio and video evidence shows missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed, the BBC is told.

The Turkish government has told U.S. officials it has audio and video evidence that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered and then dismembered in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul earlier this month, the Washington Post reportedThursday. The development in the cryptic case of the regime critic’s disappearance, which had already snowballed into a full-fledged international incident, could have significant repercussions for new Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Riyadh is already facing a gathering storm of international pressure in response to the Istanbul-based journalist’s presumed death after entering the consulate and never returning.


Senators trigger act requiring Trump to determine if foreign person committed rights violations against the Saudi writer

President Trump is worried that the U.S. response to Saudi Arabia over the disappearance and possible murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi might crimp American arm sales to the kingdom, which could be jeopardized if Congress and the White House impose sanctions.


Recordings prove Jamal Khashoggi was killed, Turkish investigators claim

Sources say audio and video evidence show journalist died at Saudi consulate in Istanbul

Turkish investigators have claimed video and audio recordings exist that prove Jamal Khashoggi was killed, a sign that Ankara is willing to keep up the pressure on Riyadh to back up its claims it has nothing to do with the dissident journalist’s disappearance.


Khashoggi mystery puts Saudi ties with West at risk

The disappearance of a well-known journalist may threaten the reputation of the Saudi crown prince.
Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident, has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

The Prince and the President: Khashoggi Disappearance Raises Tensions

Turkey’s president and Saudi Arabia’s crown prince have not had the easiest relationship. A mysterious disappearance at a Saudi consulate has not helped.

From Wall Street to K Street, Companies Gauge the Risks of Doing Business With Saudi Arabia

A lobbying firm that represent the Saudi government dropped it as a client, as Saudi Arabia struggles with a backlash over allegations that it killed the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Four top United States senators triggered an investigation on Oct. 10 into the disappearance of a Saudi journalist under a U.S. law intended to hold human rights abusers to account.
The Washington Post – Shane Harris,, Souad Mekhennet, John Hudson, Anne Gearan – Oct 11, 4:36 PM

The Turkish government has told U.S. officials that it has audio and video recordings that prove Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul this month, according to U.S. and Turkish officials

The suspected murder of the journalist has led to unprecedented pressure on Riyadh. The west should not be tempted to return to business as usual

The Washington Post – Aaron Davis, Erin Cunningham – Oct 11, 5:40 PM

One of the 15 Saudis named by Turkish officials as being involved in the disappearance of a journalist last seen entering a diplomatic consulate in Istanbul is a forensic expert known for pioneering rapid and mobile autopsies, according to

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Turkish theatre of justice: “Key witnesses against Brunson backtrack in hearing and the court releases the US pastor!

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2018 at 02:45

A Turkish court has ruled for the release of an American pastor at the heart of a diplomatic dispute between Turkey and the United States after a hearing on Oct. 12 during which key witnesses flipped and the prosecution softened.
Three witnesses in the trial against an American pastor at the heart of a diplomatic dispute between Turkey and the United States have backtracked from their implicating testimonies.
U.S. President Donald Trump has puzzled his followers on Twitter by saying he is “working very hard” for pastor Andrew Brunson minutes after a court in Turkey ruled for his release.

Turkey Orders Release of U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson

The move ended a 24-month ordeal and signaled a truce of sorts in a heated diplomatic dispute between Ankara and Washington.

Andrew Brunson: Turkey releases US pastor after two years in prison

Turkish court ordered release of Brunson, who had been held on terrorism charges related to the failed 2016 military coup


NBC News – Oct 11, 5:30 PM

WASHINGTON — The White House expects North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson to be released by the Turkish government and return to the U.S. in coming days, two years after he was detained, according to two senior administration officials and


The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his remarks that the government would appoint a trustee to elected HDP mayors after March polls “if they are linked to terror” and suggested it was “blackmail to voters and harms confidence in democracy.”
Politicians have denounced President Erdoğan, who has signaled that trustees will be appointed to municipalities after the local elections in March: “It has been announced six months before the elections that the right to a free election does not exist in Turkey.”
Bienvenue sur le site de Reporter sans frontières | RSF – Oct 9, 6:09 AM

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its call for the Turkish authorities to dismiss the case against its Turkey representative and two other human rights defenders after an Istanbul court today adjourned their trial for the seventh time in

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I am late to share but I will never forget this massacre: “Those Who Lost Their Lives in October 10 Massacre Commemorated

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2018 at 00:15

Three years have passed since the Ankara Massacre on October 10, 2015, which claimed the lives of 103 people. The police has not allowed the commemoration to be held in Ankara and battered one person. Upon the reaction of people, the police has permitted entrance to the site of commemoration.
Three years have passed since the Ankara Massacre on October 10, 2015, which claimed the lives of 103 people and injured more than 500 others. The police has not allowed the commemoration to be held in Ankara and battered one person. Upon the reaction of people, the police has permitted entrance to the site of commemoration.
Thousands of people, including representatives from trade unions and political parties, commemorated on Oct. 10 the third anniversary of a deadly bombing that killed 103 civilians outside the main train station of the Turkish capital Ankara

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New photo from Facebook October 11, 2018 at 10:56AM

In Uncategorized on October 11, 2018 at 11:11

Ibirapuera, São Paulo şehir merkezindeki dünyanın halka açık en büyük parklarından biri… via Reddit. via Facebook Pages

Elif Shafak turns to Atatürk now. The Guardian piece on “how Atatürk lives on in modern Turkey – in pictures…

In Uncategorized on October 11, 2018 at 09:37

Someone to watch over me: how Atatürk lives on in modern Turkey – in pictures

It’s 75 years since Atatürk died, but he remains the poster boy of modern Turkey. Ersoy Emin photographs his ubiquitous presence while Elif Shafak reflects on the heroic portraits that have looked down on her since childhood




Conspiracy theories abound in TV channels…


Such a nice view from an Istanbul ferry…


Istanbul public transport alignment chart. via Reddit.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

Thanks to Saudi-Turkish political tensions, we can get leaks about the murdered journalist, Khashoggi….

In Uncategorized on October 11, 2018 at 01:42

Many of Turkey’s newspapers lead with what are thought to be the last picture of Mr Khashoggi in Istanbul, taken from security camera footage.
Security camera footage purports to throw light on the Saudi journalist’s disappearance.
State-directed kidnappings, abductions and killings are on the rise – having a quiet word with the perpetrators will not suffice

Missing Saudi journalist: What we know

The Saudi journalist was last seen entering the country’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

Turkey Names Saudi Operatives It Says Killed Dissident Journalist

Turkish officials have accused 15 Saudis, including a forensics expert, of killing Jamal Khashoggi inside the consulate in Istanbul and dismembering his body.

A Journalist’s Disappearance: Where Jamal Khashoggi Was Last Seen

Turkish investigators are looking into the case of Mr. Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and vanished.

The Guardian view on the killing of journalists: the truth in peril | Editorial

The murders of reporters in the EU and fears for a Saudi columnist highlight the growing threat to those in the media

Twenty-one years ago, the rising toll of attacks on journalists – and the fact that almost all of the crimes went unpunished – led Unesco to pass a resolution condemning violence against the media. It stressed that assassinations not only cut short individual lives, but attack freedom of expression, exacting a broader toll on society. Today, those concerns are more serious and widespread than ever. Nine in 10 of the more than 1,000 killingscondemned by Unesco between 2006 and 2017 remain unsolved. Almost all were local journalists rather than foreign correspondents. Some were killed by criminals, armed groups and terrorists; but others by or on behalf of politicians or parts of the state.


Khashoggi case: CCTV disappears from Saudi consulate in Turkey

Security footage removed and Turkish staff told to go home on day missing journalist visits

Security camera footage was removed from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and Turkish staff were abruptly told to take a holiday on the day the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared while inside the building, Turkish authorities have claimed.


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Economy updates: McKinsey seems to be left behind and a [unsubstantive] new plan against the rising inflation…

In Uncategorized on October 11, 2018 at 00:02

Unveiling a new set of measures to fight inflation, Turkey’s treasury and finance minister vowed an “all-out war” on inflation on Oct. 9.

President Erdoğan instructs Turkish ministers to not receive advice from US firm McKinsey

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Turkey will not receive advice from global consultancy firm McKinsey and Company.

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