Archive for August, 2018|Monthly archive page

Shame on you! Turkish police attack Saturday Mothers’ peaceful sit-in in its 700th (weekly) vigil

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2018 at 22:26

Some of Turkey’s authorities are full of hatred…

Police in Turkey Break Up Mothers’ Weekly Vigil

Officers used tear gas to stop a regular demonstration to remember people thought to have disappeared in police custody. Nearly 50 people were arrested.

Turkey police fire tear gas at mothers’ protest

Officials said the regular sit-in to remember disappeared sons was promoted by a banned group.

The police attempts to detain Hrant Dink’s son.


Turkish authorities have banned a protest vigil marking the forced disappearances of hundreds of people in the last decades.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

Happy belated birthday! “The Pirate Bay Turns 15 Years Old

In Uncategorized on August 23, 2018 at 23:42

The Pirate Bay Turns 15 Years Old

Todayish, The Pirate Bay turns 15 years old, which is quite an achievement considering the immense legal pressure it has faced over the years.

Wired – Andy Greenberg – Aug 22, 2:00 AM

It was a perfect sunny summer afternoon in Copenhagen when the world’s largest shipping conglomerate began to lose its mind. The headquarters of A.P. Møller-Maersk sits beside the breezy, cobblestoned esplanade of Copenhagen’s harbor.

Anonymous declares war on Qanon

Qanon is a person or group behind an unhinged right-wing conspiracy theory that is really too stupid to elucidate (you can listen to this Reply All if you’re really interested); it’s a kind of trumpian Pizzagate successor that includes great, unhealthy lashings of secret Democratic pedophile rings (because far-right assholes are more worried about imaginary children in nonexistent pizzeria basements than they are actual children in ICE cages).

In recent years Hollywood and other entertainment sources have focused their enforcement efforts on pirate streaming sites and services.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

Who could deceive Trump? It seems only Turkish leaders…

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2018 at 02:12

The US President Donald Trump has said, “I like Turkey. I like the people of Turkey very much. Until now, I had a very good relationship with President Erdoğan. But, it cannot be a one-way street.”
Announcement on expedited shipment comes amid a growing rift between Turkey and its NATO allies in the West.
A Turkish court has ruled that Mesale Tolu is free to leave the country while she awaits trial on terrorism-related charges.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

Boycott, Turkish Style…

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2018 at 22:00

Why has Turkey’s currency collapsed? – video

Turkey is on the verge of an economic crisis. The country’s currency hit a record low, dropping by more than 40%. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is pointing the finger at the US. Although US sanctions and tariffs contributed to the lira’s retreat, many economists believe Erdoğan’s authoritarian control over monetary policy has pushed Turkey’s economy towards danger

The New York Times – Peter S. Goodman – Aug 18, 1:02 PM

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then Turkey’s prime minister, in 2008. As Mr. Erdogan sought to secure a place for his country in the European Union, he presented himself as a moderate and modernizing Muslim leader.CreditLynsey Addario for The New York Times


The Washington Post – Steven A. Cook – Aug 17, 9:56 AM

In July, a deal to release an American minister jailed in Turkey came apart because, a White House official told The Washington Post, Turkey was changing the deal and “ upping the ante.” A few weeks later, President Trump tweeted that


Reuters – Reuters Editorial – Aug 17, 1:49 PM

The crisis between the United States and Turkey, a NATO ally and traditional bulwark of American policy in the Middle East, is serious. While the relationship between them has often been fraught, the two countries have generally managed to keep


US-Turkey row: Pastor a ‘pawn in personal feud’

The diplomatic row over detained US pastor Andrew Brunson has split two Nato allies, Tara McKelvey writes.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

In the meantime, “S&P, Moody’s lower Turkey’s ratings…

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2018 at 00:40

Two major global ratings agencies lowered Turkey’s ratings Aug. 17, saying they could be upgraded with certain economic improvements.
Emerging markets: who’s taking the biggest hits and why?

Trump trade tariffs and higher borrowing costs are causing problems from Turkey to China

Donald Trump’s trade tariffs are causing tremors in global markets. Emerging economies from Turkey to China are finding it more expensive to export to the US. Investors who put their money in safe havens after the 2012 Greek crisis are nervous again. The FTSE Emerging Index of stocks in the developing world tumbled last week, taking the decline in its value since the beginning of the year to more than 20%.


Several Turks have had their share of 15 minutes of fame this week when their videos showing their furious reaction to United States sanctions went viral, as they destroyed dollars and broke their iPhones.
Turkey’s president turns American actions against Turkey to his advantage, appealing to national pride and deflecting responsibility for the lira’s collapse.
Can Turkey rewrite the rulebook for crises in emerging markets?

By rejecting the conventional approach, Erdoğan risks greater trouble – and not just for Turkey

Whether by accident or design, Turkey is trying to rewrite the chapter on crisis management in the emerging-market playbook. Rather than opting for interest-rate hikes and an external funding anchor to support domestic policy adjustments, the government has adopted a mix of less direct and more partial measures – and this at a time when Turkey is in the midst of an escalating tariff tit-for-tat with the US, as well as operating in a more fluid global economy. How all this plays out is important not only for Turkey, but also for other emerging economies that already have had to cope with waves of financial contagion.


The lira’s plunge, exacerbated by a dispute with the U.S. over a detained pastor, has exposed growing economic pressures that some economists say could be near a breaking point.
A Turkish court has rejected an appeal for United States Christian pastor Andrew Brunson to be released from house arrest during his trial on terrorism charges.
The İzmir 3rd Heavy Penal Court has rejected the request of release submitted for the US Pastor Brunson, who has been placed under house arrest on charges of “committing crimes in the name of a terrorist organization” and “espionage.”

US threatens more action against Turkey unless pastor freed

The US is demanding that Turkey release a detained US pastor or face further economic measures.

Trump: We’re Cutting Back on Turkey

Referring to Pastor Brunson kept in house arrest, US President Trump has said, “We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey”.

Turkish lira weakens after US threatens more sanctions – as it happened

Turkish currency falls 5% at the end of a tumultuous week; European stocks drop after Turkish court rejects US pastor’s appeal for release

The Turkish lira has taken another battering today, falling 5% to 6.1 to the dollar (it lost nearly 7% at one stage) and the Turkish stock market is down 1%.

Albayrak Meets with Foreign Investors: We Have No Plan of IMF

The Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak has met with almost four thousand foreign investors via teleconference. Albayrak has said, “We will take every possible step to increase the confidence in the economy of Turkey.”

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

#Europe agenda: Switzerland vs. Sweden in handshaking rulings (!)

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2018 at 00:25

Officials cite a Muslim couple’s refusal to shake hands with the opposite sex in their interview.
An interpreting firm had cut short her job interview after she refused to shake hands with a man.
Portugal proves that austerity doesn’t work

Economists like Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna reshaped the world when their theories of “expansionary austerity” were put into effect after the 2008 crisis: the idea that governments could “increase taxes, cut spending, and grow strongly” was powerfully tempting to the world’s leaders, who saw in them a way to pull out of a recessionary spiral without limiting the number of yachts the oligarchs they depended on could afford.

Swedish citizens of Turkish decent have started to cast a ballot for Sweden’s upcoming elections in Turkey’s Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Kulu district.

Steve Bannon tries to sleaze his way into European far-right, they tell him to go home

Poor Sloppy Steve. After losing his Rasputian status with Trump and the Mercers, he tried to peddle his off-brand fascism with nationalist Europeans. But it turns out even these unsavory characters think the only thing Bannon is good at is making things worse.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

#Journalism agenda: “Hundreds of US newspapers denounce Trump’s attacks on the press…

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2018 at 03:31

More than 350 US news outlets join Boston Globe call to run editorials, addressing Trump’s ‘assault on the free press’.
The New York Times – The Editorial Board – Aug 15, 1:02 PM

In 1787, the year the Constitution was adopted, Thomas Jefferson famously wrote to a friend, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a

Following the lead of the Boston Globe, close to 350 newspapers across the country ran editorials today in defense of a free press after President Trump declared the media was the “enemy of the state.” This greatly displeased Emperor Trump, leading to a Twitter tirade this morning.

Trump’s escalating war with the media

President Donald J. Trump’s confrontational relationship with the press has grown steadily worse since he assumed office in January 2017, leading to him repeatedly refer to journalists as the “enemy of the people.” A

Someone still cares about unsigned newspaper editorials! More than 300 papers published editorials criticizing Donald Trump’s frequent attacks on the press Thursday and they elicited a series of responses from the president.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

In a good news, Taner Kılıç of Amnesty released, as Turkey approaches EU “to buy some time before day of IMF reckoning

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2018 at 00:21

After 14 months in prison on terrorism charges, human rights activist Taner Kilic will be released.
Turkey buys time before day of IMF reckoning

Main elements of crisis remain unaddressed, with eventual bailout most probable outcome

Until reports came on Thursday night that the US was preparing to impose more sanctions, the Turkish government had had a decent few days. The currency crisis, which threatened to become chaotic on Monday, had improved. The lira had almost returned to its level of a week ago. During that time, the country had increased liquidity in its banking system, unveiled $15bn (£11.8bn) of direct investment from Qatar, announced a clampdown on short-sellers and on Thursday its finance minister, Berat Albayrak, talked the language of fiscal discipline on a phone call with investors. There have been worse fightbacks.

Turkey’s diplomatic offensive against the sanctions imposed by the United States continued on Aug. 16 as it was engaged in more high level talks with Germany and France.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said talks with the EU over visa-free travel for Turkish nationals will be accelerated in the coming period, in a sign of improvement in Ankara-Brussels dialogue amid the former’s economic difficulties.
Turkish lira recovers as finance chief bids to calm investors

Currency rises from record low against US dollar but investors remain anxious at lack of interest rate rise

Turkey’s lira continued its recovery on Thursday, ahead of a crucial conference call between the country’s finance minister and international investors.

Amnesty International – Aug 15, 12:48 PM

Following a decision by a court in Istanbul to release the Honorary Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kilic after more than fourteen months behind bars, Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s new Secretary General said: “We are

Turkish internet service providers have blocked access to Periscope, the live streaming service owned by Twitter, Inc.  The measure is believed to be temporary, in compliance with a court order issued to prevent unlicensed broadcasts of the sporting events.

Turks Scramble as Lira Falls and Prices Soar

Some businesses have doubled prices on imported goods this year and are already feeling a fall off in sales, as economists warn of galloping inflation.

Why Inflation Is Bad for Populist Strongmen

Turkey’s president appears to be going down a perilous path traversed by the failed strongmen of Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Muslim-friendly resorts witness a surge in business as demand for getaways that comply with Islamic law rises.
The cost of flash floods caused by heavy rains in the Black Sea province of Ordu is estimated to be at 165 million Turkish Liras ($27.1 million), Enver Yılmaz, the mayor of the city, said on Aug. 14.

All the day’s economic and financial news, including the latest on the Turkish currency crisis that has spooked investors

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Aug. 16 Turkey fully understood and recognised all its domestic challenges and will come out of the current market volatility stronger.
‘She insulted my manhood’: Turkey faces fresh scrutiny on LGBT rights

In a country where violence against gay people is often excused on grounds of unjust provocation, the fatal shooting of a trans woman has caused renewed fear

Simge Avcı loved practical jokes, says her roommate Bahar, recalling how her friend would giggle after pretending to spill the contents of an empty teapot on her startled victims.

Bahar (not her real name), 25, had lived with Avcı for seven years in Samsun, a small, sleepy city on the Black Sea coast of Turkey.

A Chinese pop song with lyrics referring to “romantic Turkey” has almost doubled the number of tourists from China, Culture and Tourism Ministry data shows.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

#Europe agenda: “Boris Johnson burka row explained..”Heatwaves and more…

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2018 at 02:36

Boris Johnson burka row explained

Why the MP’s comments have sparked an internal Conservative Party investigation.
Hungary and the end of democracy

Hungary has taken its leave of democracy and has transformed itself into a dictatorship.

Gabor Vona, president of the Jobbik party, marks the 170th anniversary of the 1848 Hungarian revolution against the Austrian Empire, March, 2018. Attila Volgyi/Press Association. All rights reserved.

Since Viktor Orbán was returned to the office of Prime Minister of Hungary in May 2010, he and his party Fidesz – Magyar Polgári Szövetség (Fidesz-MPSZ; Hungarian Civic Alliance) have transformed the political system of Hungary in a sustained way.

Burned cars fuel Swedish election debate

Sweden’s first big party leader TV debate ahead of September elections was marked by the burning of dozen of cars in cities across the south-west of the country.
Nicola and Lisa Henton-Mitchell survived the bridge collapse with their two children in Genoa.

Sweden cars: 80 set on fire by gangs in several cities

Dozens of vehicles were set ablaze in multiple cities overnight, in an apparent coordinated action.
The great Greek wildfires

With incentives for property speculators being as high as ever and budgets shrunk to a bare minimum, the Greek fire brigade might not have faced its hardest test yet.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras pledges demolition of 3,200 illegal constructions in Attica region in wake of deadly wildfires, Lavrio, Aug. 7, 2018. Marios Lolos/Press Association. All rights reserved.

As the heatwave affecting Europe continues, forecasters say a respite can be expected in some areas.
Many European temperatures exceed the normal range, especially at night. And there’s more to come.
Forecasters expect temperatures of 46-47C in some parts of Portugal, as three die of heatstroke in Spain.
Soaring temperatures are taking their toll on everyone from sprout farmers to zoo animals.

Too hot? In 1858 London became a stinking sewer

Temperatures hit the 30s and there were no proper drains, bringing flies, disease and pa

Europe heatwave: Why are Spain and Portugal so hot?

With southern Europe baking in a heatwave the record temperature for the continent could be broken.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

Qatar comes to help, Turkey Rejects 2nd Appeal to Release U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson and Turkish leaders saves the day…

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2018 at 01:01

Of course, this seems to be a short period of saving face for Turkish leaders… 

The emir of wealthy Qatar flew to Turkey Wednesday to meet close ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an apparent show of support as Ankara grapples with a currency crisis.
Turkish lira rallies as Qatar invests $15bn, but markets slide – as it happened

All the day’s economy and financial news, as Ankara hikes the tariffs on US rice, spirits and cars..and gets a cash boost from Qatar

President Donald Trump is frustrated that Turkey has not released U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, according to the White House, which is ratcheting up pressure on Ankara to free him after two years of detention.
Berat Albayrak: the Jared Kushner of Turkey tackles its crisis

President Erdoğan gave his son-in-law wide powers as finance minister – and they will succeed or fail together

Consigliere for more than a decade and now Turkey’s second most powerful person, Berat Albayrak’s rise through the ranks has become one of the most consistent – and contentious – themes of the country’s recent history.

Ankara also sharply raised tariffs on American-made alcohol, cars and tobacco, ramping up the trade dispute between the countries.
Turkey’s disappointment regarding the Trump administration’s stance is much deeper because it has not taken into account its ally’s national security concerns, the Turkish government has said in response to a statement from a White House official that United States President Donald Trump is frustrated Turkey has not released pastor Andrew Brunson.
Turkey has engaged in a fresh diplomatic attack against the sanctions imposed by the United States with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in talks with prominent European and Gulf countries in a bid to seek more support as the Turkish Lira falls rapidly against the U.S. dollar.
A court in Turkey’s western province of İzmir rejected an appeal on Aug. 15 for United States Christian pastor Andrew Brunson to be released from house arrest during his trial on terrorism charges, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Turkey’s currency has rebounded on Aug. 15 to 5.9 against the U.S. dollar.

Turkey and the United States are currently embroiled in a bitter diplomatic spat over the detention of an American evangelical pastor. This has resulted in an economic war between the former allies, with the United States issuing sanctions on the country, and placing tarrifs on certain Turkish goods. A consequence of this is the value of the Turkish Lira has plummeted to its lowest level ever. In response, Turkey’s furious president Reycep Teyepp Erdogan has called for a boycott of US electronic goods, particularly the Apple iPhone. In a speech reported by CNBC, Erdogan said: “If they have iPhone, there
The country has unique challenges, but other emerging markets where big borrowing fueled rapid growth and strong returns could feel the pinch of a stronger dollar.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed bilateral ties and the situation in Syria during a phone call on Aug. 15, a presidential source said.
As President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey applies his strongman tactics to the economy, the country faces a crisis that could reverberate through global markets.
The fate of the world economy depends on how China negotiates a weakening currency and capital flight.
Speaking about the additional customs duties imposed on the US, the Minister of Commerce Ruhsar Pekcan has said, “We have doubled the tax rates of 22 items. We will give the necessary response.”
Ankara says the rises were ordered after “attacks on the Turkish economy” by the US.
Reuters – Reuters Editorial – Aug 14, 11:18 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is warning more economic pressures may be in store for Turkey if it refuses to release a jailed American pastor, a White House official said on Tuesday, in a dispute that has further strained relations


How Turkey’s Economic Problems Are Viewed In Istanbul

With Turkey’s currency volatile and an ongoing battle between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Trump, Turks are tense about

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary