Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Eurosphere agenda: Greeks say No #Grefenderum

In Uncategorized on July 6, 2015 at 00:07

Greek voters reject bailout offer

With almost all the votes from a crucial referendum counted, Greeks overwhelmingly reject bailout terms offered by international creditors.

No in Greek referendum marks profound change for Europe no matter what happens next

With a large majority of the votes counted the result seems to be a large win for the No in the Greek referendum. Open Europe’s Raoul Ruparel lays out the potential scenarios for Greece and Europe from here.

Siegfried Muresan, a member of the European Parliament discusses the economic crisis in Greece.

ATHENS, Greece — Greeks overwhelmingly rejected creditors’ demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans in a critical referendum Sunday, backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who insisted the vote would give him a stronger hand to reach a better deal.


Leaked letter by Tsipras obtained by UK newspaper says country will still insist on some changes to creditor terms.
Varoufakis attacks Greece‘s creditors

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis accuses Athens’ creditors of “terrorism”, the day before a referendum on an international bailout.
Greek referendum: voting for or against Europe?

Why does Syriza say that it wants to stay in the Euro while doing exactly the opposite of what is required to achieve it?, To Potami asks.

Alexis Tsipras addressing the Greek parliament, February 2015.AlexisTsipras addressing the Greek parliament, February 2015. Demotix/ . All rigths reserved.

Greece and immigration: the nadir of European integration

Significantly, centre-left governments also aligned themselves with the conservative majority, providing further evidence for the argument that European Social Democratic parties are incapable of an alternative European leadership.

Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaite.

From the Commission press room, President Jean-Claude Juncker turned directly to the Greek people today (29 June) in a dramatic message ahead of the 5 July referendum, calling on them to vote yes for Europe, irrespective of the question asked.

“We have already voted NO”

Personally it took me a while to feel more hopeful about this referendum and to overcome my own anxieties and fear. Doctors and hospital staff protest against closing hospitals and lay-offs, 2013. Demotix/Thanashs Kambyshs. All rights reserved.Various articles have been written in the last few days over why Greeks should vote No. The restoration of hope and dignity are of course topping the
Spain’s hologram protests

Millions of Spaniards have engaged in protests over the past four years. As of July 1 they can be subject to disproportionate fines and even jail for exercising their democratic rights to freedom of expression, assembly, protest and information. Interview.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has hinted that he will resign if the Greeks vote in favour of the creditors’ austerity demands. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have meanwhile spoken out against the lenders making a new offer. Both sides must return to the negotiating table to prevent a Grexit, some commentators urge. Others believe the euro should be scrapped entirely.

Greek no vote ‘would mean euro exit’

EU leaders warn Greeks that rejecting creditors’ proposals in a referendum on Sunday would mean leaving the euro, as fears of a default grow.

Greece was officially declared in default today (3 July), injecting even more urgency into a make-or-break weekend referendum that new polls suggested was too close to call.

There is at least one legal way to get your euros out of Greece these days, to guard against the prospect that they might be devalued into drachmas: convert them into bitcoin.

Game with no equilibrium

It’s worth reading Irish state broadcaster RTE’s full story on their astonishing interview with the Greek finance minister.

Greek PM: Say ‘No’ to ‘blackmail’

Greece PM Alexis Tsipras calls on voters to reject “blackmail” in Sunday’s bailout referendum, insisting that Greece can remain in the euro.
Greece, What is Left of Popular Sovereignty

What remains of the sovereignty of the people in next Sunday’s referendum in Greece? Something of course remains, something important. We are, however, far from what those words meant when nation-states defined with certainty the future of their political, economic, military and legal order. The Greeks will announce an apparently clear nai or oxi , a “yes” or a un “no”, addressed, however, at very different national, European and international orders of “sovereignty.”
Europe hit by soaring temperatures

Parts of Europe have been hit by temperatures above 40C, leading to concerns for the welfare of the young, elderly and vulnerable.

After the announcement by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that he will put the creditors’ reform requirements to a referendum, the Euro Group wants to end the bailout programme on Tuesday. Tsipras had no choice but to hold a referendum, some commentators believe. Others criticise that the vote will be democratic only on the surface.

Multi-faith encyclical celebration march, Rome June 2015. Photo credit: Hoda Baraka/

Multi-faith encyclical celebration march, Rome June 2015. Photo credit: Hoda Baraka/

Russia halts gas supplies to Ukraine

Russian gas firm Gazprom halts gas supplies to Ukraine after Kiev suspends energy purchases following a breakdown on pricing talks.

Swiss democracy guarantees stability in public finances by seeking public approval for every significant piece of public finance legislation. Greece could learn from this, writes Guido Cozzi.

VIDEO: France hit by extreme heatwave

A mass of hot air moving north from Africa drives up temperatures across Europe, with Paris seeing temperatures approaching 40C.
Tsipras takes one more step towards full capitulation

Tsipras takes one more step towards full capitulation

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is now prepared to accept the latest version of the creditors’ offer to Greece, with only a handful of tweaks. Will it be enough to clinch a deal? Our Southern Europe expert Vincenzo Scarpetta investigates.

Greece has failed to make a 1.55 billion euro payment to the IMF that was due at the end of June. Prior to this the Eurozone finance ministers rejected an appeal to extend the country’s bailout programme by a few days. The Eurozone has committed an inexcusable mistake by driving the country into insolvency, some commentators write. Others call for an end to indulgence for the debt-ridden country.

Migrant crisis: EU aid for Hungary

The European Commission is to send financial aid and experts to Hungary to help tackle an influx of migrants arriving via Serbia.

Greece will vote on its future in the eurozone on Sunday (5 July). If such a poll were to be conducted across the EU, it is far from certain that a majority would back further concessions to Athens as the price for keeping the Union intact. The EurActiv Network reports.


UK outlook ‘worsens’ on Greece crisis

The outlook for the UK’s financial stability has worsened in the light of events in Greece, Bank of England governor Mark Carney warns.

The system for distributing around 60,000 refugees among the EU states according to fixed quotas was rejected on Thursday. Above all Eastern European states opposed the plan at the EU summit in Brussels. Commentators criticise the Eastern Europeans’ stance, pointing out that they fled their countries in the past. Others show sympathy for their objections to the plan.

According to documents published on the Wikileaks website the NSA spied for years on French heads of state. President François Hollande has described this as “unacceptable”, while the US has not denied the allegations. The US is alienating all its allies with its spying activities, some commentators warn. Others say France’s cries of protest are hypocritical

The EU has extended its economic sanctions against Russia until the end of January 2016. As long as Moscow does not abide by the Minsk Peace Plan the sanctions will not be eased, the EU foreign ministers resolved on Monday in Luxembourg. The sanctions are missing their target, commentators write, fearing that the EU economy will suffer long-term damage.

Macedonia: the authoritarian challenge to Europe

Macedonia’s “hybrid regime” poses a serious threat to Europe, and the EU needs to act now before it’s too late.

Greece’s Great Fight for the Future

Image by psyberartist, September 11, 2013, Omonoia, Athens, Attica. CC 2.0.

Image by psyberartist, September 11, 2013, Omonoia, Athens, Attica. CC 2.0.

Greece is preparing to hold its first national referendum in more than 41 years. The last time the country came together to vote like this, it was 1974—the so-called Metapolitefsi—and Greece’s very transition to democracy was at stake. On June 27, in a national address that’s available online with subtitles in several different languages, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced the country’s new referendum, set to take place on July 5. The speech came after midnight, after a flurry of emergency meetings, surprising many throughout Greece and the rest of Europe.

The referendum will formally ask Greek citizens to accept or reject a plan submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund that would extend financial help to Greece but includes two new austerity measures: “reforms for the completion of the current program and beyond” and “preliminary debt sustainability analysis.” The debt-laden country received two bailout packages in 2010 and 2011, but that program expired this week.


UK Gets Ironic by Spying on Amnesty International

A British tribunal admitted on Wednesday that the U.K. government had spied on Amnesty International and illegally retained some of its communications. Sherif Elsayed-Ali, deputy director of global issues for Amnesty International in London, responds:

Just after 4 p.m. yesterday, Amnesty International received an email from the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which hears cases related to U.K. intelligence agencies. The message was brief: There had been a mistake in the tribunal’s judgment 10 days earlier in a case brought by 10 human rights organizations against the U.K.’s mass surveillance programs. Contrary to the finding in the original ruling, our communications at Amnesty International had, in fact, been under illegal surveillance by GCHQ, the U.K.’s signals intelligence agency.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

New photo from Facebook July 04, 2015 at 02:05PM

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2015 at 13:18
7 Temmuz’da Periscope’a bekleriz. #BurasıBilgi #BilgiPR @Bilgi_PR via Facebook Pages

Cyberculture agenda: “XKEYSCORE: NSA’s Google for the World’s Private Communications

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2015 at 12:50


Illustrations by Blue Delliquanti and David Axe for The Intercept

One of the National Security Agency’s most powerful tools of mass surveillance makes tracking someone’s Internet usage as easy as entering an email address, and provides no built-in technology to prevent abuse. Today, The Intercept is publishing 48 top-secret and other classified documents about XKEYSCORE dated up to 2013, which shed new light on the breadth, depth and functionality of this critical spy system — one of the largest releases yet of documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

A Look at the Inner Workings of NSA’s XKEYSCORE

Second in a series. Part 1 here. The sheer quantity of communications thatXKEYSCORE processes, filters and queries is stunning. Around the world, when a person gets online to do anything — write an email, post to a social network, browse the web or play a video game — there’s a decent chance that the Internet traffic her device sends and receives is getting collected and processed by one of XKEYSCORE’s hundreds of servers scattered across the globe. In order to make sen


How the NSA searches the world’s intercepted private communications

XKEYSCORE is a secret NSA program that indexes data slurped up from covert fiber-taps, hacked systems, and smartphones, including “full take” data and metadata. Read the res

The class-action suit filed against Facebook in Vienna by Austrian law studentMax Schrems and his Europe Versus Facebook group has hit a roadblock.

The Wall Street Journal reported that a court in Vienna rejected the lawsuit on the grounds that it had no jurisdiction over the case.

Social Networks and the Majority Illusion

MIT Technology Review has a summary of a fascinating recent study on the behavior of networks, and how they can lie to us, or at least make it seem like a majority of people believe something is common when it is not actually the case. The study, conducted by Kristina Lerman and others at the University of Southern California, also provides insight into how some things can go viral and spread like wildfire while similar content or ideas can’t seem to get off the ground.
See all your Google Contacts on a Google Map

Want to know where you friends and colleagues are? The all-new Map My Contacts app will help you quickly visualize the location of your Google contacts on a world map. It reads the postal addresses of people from your Google Contacts and puts them all in a Google Map using a simple Google script.

Google Contacts on a World Map
7 games you can play with Google Maps

UPDATE 06/30/2015: The hearing has been postponed and will proceed in October. Thanks to everyone who helped us raise awareness today.


PARIS — French authorities took two Uber managers into custody for questioning on Monday over “illicit activity” involving its low-cost service.


Screenshot 2015-06-29 09.35.45
The Allusionist is a great podcast about language and its latest episode is a must listen for anyone who loves or loathes emoji. We write about them a lot here but rarely explore their connection to cuneiform, the writing system developed by the ancient Sumerians, or medieval marginalia. Have you heard of the Luttrell Psalter, littered with bat and flower ’emoji’? The episode will only take up 16.54 minutes of your time and there’s an excellent list of further reading here. ➤ The Allusionist Read next: Emoji are not the future of language, they’re too small to contain our imaginations Image credit: The Luttrell Psalter: Psalm…
Google Earth turns 10 today

When Google Earth was first introduced 10 years ago, it immediately stole my heart. Beyond the freedom to fly anywhere in the world, I was captivated by the ability to paint and visualize geographic data on this incredible global canvas.Drawn to datasets backed by real human stories, I started making my own maps with KML a few weeks after Earth’s release in 2005. For my master’s degree, I used Google Earth to build a virtual representation of a high-tech biologicalresearch reserve. Vint Cerf saw my work, which eventually led to a job on theGoogle Earth Outreach team, turning my passion for telling stories with maps into a career.
Emotional Connection is the Key to Brand Loyalty

Ten years ago, the idea of emotionally connecting to a brand was something we did, but never thought about. The idea of connecting to a bank or insurance company was unheard of! Today? I was so moved by Chase’s commercial full of puppies that I had to tweet them immediately and tell them

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

New photo from Facebook July 04, 2015 at 12:47PM

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2015 at 11:58
Tjentište’da Taş anıt. (Tjentište is a village in the municipality of Foča, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.) via Facebook Pages

Document: MIPEX 2015 · International Press Release “Changes in government and far-right emergence: hard times for integration policies” and Final Results

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2015 at 11:02

English: A map showing European membership of ...

English: A map showing European membership of the EU and NATO. EU member only NATO member only Member of both Česky: Mapa zobrazující členství evropských států v EU a NATO. státy pouze v EU státy pouze v NATO státy v NATO a EU (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please find attached the final results of the MİPEX 2015 Survey (Integration Policies: Who Benefits? -MIPEX 2015) in which Bilgi’s European Institute and Kemerburgaz University have participed as partners from Turkey. These findings cover the immigration and integration policies in 38 countries and provide a ranking for each country including Turkey.


press release


“Changes in government and far-right emergence: hard times for integration policies”

The MIPEX 2015 reveals a difficult context for integration in which things are changing very slowly


June 30, 2015

According to the new Integration Policies: Who Benefits? (MIPEX 2015), a project led by the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) and the Migration Policy Group (MPG), several countries have lost positions due to restrictions and cuts: Greece on citizenship and voting rights, and the Netherlands and the United Kingdom on residence restrictions and targeted support cuts, both experiencing major drops in nearly all policy areas. With Sweden ranking 1st, Portugal continues to climb ahead on MIPEX despite the crisis and austerity, maintaining its investment in integration and working to increase its reach and effectiveness.

However, “political will may matter more than a country’s tradition of immigration, since more inclusive integration policies may both encourage more immigrants to settle permanently and the public to trust immigrants more” says Thomas Huddleston (MPG), co-director of the MIPEX 2015, who reminds us that integration policies differ significantly between Germany and Austria, Denmark and Sweden, or Portugal and Spain.


A demanding agenda at a time of major government changes and far-right emergence

According to the increasing number of EU residents, immigration should be a top item on the EU agenda, a demand that comes at a time of major government changes and close elections in several major destinations (between 2010 and 2014 in Australia, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Nordics).

In this context, far-right parties have never done better in recent European history, threatened mainstream parties and even entered into government positions, while public opinion on immigration is divergent across the EU and generally uninformed. This trend is reflected through a drop in the MIPEX score in those countries experiencing a rise in anti-immigrant attitudes and the success of far-right parties.

In this sense, Elena Sánchez-Montijano (CIDOB), co-director of the MIPEX 2015, emphasises the strong link between integration policies and public opinion, as they help the public to trust migrants and see benefits, while restrictive policies harden distrust and perceptions of threat.

In this particularly sensitive time for migration issues, the fourth edition of the MIPEX has focused on what governments are actually doing to promote the integration of migrants and whether their policies are effective in practice and who is benefiting from them. These are the main key findings on integration policies and their beneficiaries:

  • Non-EU families of all types are more likely to reunite in countries with inclusive family reunion policies, like Scandinavia, Spain and Portugal. However several countries are becoming more restrictive, given the influence of populist parties, and expecting transnational families to live up standards that many national families could not.
  • Policies largely determine whether immigrants are settling down permanently, becoming voters and equal citizens. Restricting permanent residence and citizenship (as it happens in Austria, Cyprus and Greece) leads to large numbers of ‘permanently temporary’ foreigners who are legally precarious and socially excluded. Facilitating permanent residence but restricting citizenship (which is the case for Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Estonia and Latvia) means most immigrants are secure in their status but treated like ‘second-class citizens’ in national politics and several areas of life.
  • Strong anti-discrimination laws have spread across Europe thanks to the EU but remain relatively new and under-resourced. Potential victims are often uninformed and poorly supported to access justice because equality policies, bodies and NGOs have few powers and little reach. The time has come for enforcement: most victims are not coming forward with complaints, so countries still have to take the 1st steps in the long path to justice.
  • Traditional countries of immigration and most Western European countries are increasingly investing in more effective general and targeted programmes related to labour market, but these may be too new or small to reach the many non-EU men and women in need, who rarely access trainings or unemployment benefits.
  • As countries become more diverse, schools and health services are slow to adapt to immigrants’ specific needs. Immigrants’ basic access to these services depends a lot on their legal status.

Within the EU, national policies are stronger in areas covered by EU law and weaker in areas of national policy

At a European level, the greatest areas of strength are that migrant workers, reunited families and permanent residents enjoy basic security, rights and protection from discrimination. On the other hand, the greatest obstacles are for foreign citizens to become citizens or politically active and for mainstream services to guarantee equal access and opportunities for immigrants (targeted employment, education and health support).

“Migration has become a highly contentious topic in Europe, with debates often grounded more in perceptions than in facts. The data published by MIPEX are very useful for all those who want to approach migration from a factual standpoint, and show that the integration of migrants is not only possible, but also beneficial for our society. This is recommended reading for all policy and decision makers.” Nils Muižnieks, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe and former Latvian Minister responsible for Integration

MIPEX 2015 delivers facts and inspiration from worst and best practice integration policies in EU member states and abroad. Moreover, MIPEX shows that immigrants in most of the countries are in danger to stay in legally precarious and socially excluded circumstances, being treated like second-class citizens in national politics and in daily life”. Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President and Member of the European Parliament, The Greens/EFA, Austria

“I believe that diversity is a huge asset to our continent, economically, socially and culturally. Immigration has helped to change our economy boosting productivity and supporting growth. Europe’s strength as a multicultural centre was driven by the acknowledgement that our continent was open to new ideas, to new people and to new products.” Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and former Italian Ministerresponsible for Integration

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

New photo from Facebook July 04, 2015 at 10:47AM

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2015 at 09:51
Bence kesmeli. via @cborderline via Facebook Pages

New photo from Facebook July 04, 2015 at 12:16AM

In Uncategorized on July 3, 2015 at 23:23
O zaman yürümüyorum. via @incicaps via Facebook Pages

You can visit Erdoğan’s Palace virtually

In Uncategorized on July 3, 2015 at 18:05

aksaray sanal tur
In addition to watching gigantic iftar dinners…
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s office has released a video on the making of the gigantic iftar dinner table, which was criticized over its gaudiness and excessive cost.

If you would like to visit Erdoğan’s Palace virtually, click here

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

For the record, E-commerce volume in Turkey reaches $7 billion…

In Uncategorized on July 3, 2015 at 17:20

Turkey’s online retail market is expected to double to 14 billion Turkish Liras ($5.2 billion) by 2020 from 7 billion liras ($2.6 billion) in 2015, according to a report from the Boston Consulting Group and Boomerang Commerce titled “Multichannel Pricing Strategy.”
The electronic commerce volume in Turkey increased by 35 percent in 2014 from the previous year, reaching 18.9 billion Turkish Liras ($7 billion), according to the Istanbul-based Informatics Industry Association (TÜBİSAD).

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

New photo from Facebook July 03, 2015 at 05:26PM

In Uncategorized on July 3, 2015 at 16:28
Larung Gar, Çin via Facebook Pages

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