Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New photo from Facebook March 19, 2018 at 01:55PM

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2018 at 14:04

Programlamaya nereden başlayalım diyenler için..via @hasanyasar via Facebook Pages

#Cyberculture agenda: “Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach…

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2018 at 10:52

The Guardian – Emma Graham-Harrison – Mar 17, 6:01 AM

The data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of Facebook profiles of US voters, in the tech giant’s biggest ever data breach, and used them to build a powerful software


New York Times – Matthew Rosenberg – Mar 17, 6:09 AM

LONDON — As the upstart voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica prepared to wade into the 2014 American midterm elections, it had a problem. The firm had secured a $15 million investment from Robert Mercer, the wealthy Republican donor


Facebook #SheMeansBusiness – Mar 16, 8:41 PM

By Paul Grewal, VP & Deputy General Counsel We are suspending Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), including their political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, from Facebook. Given the public prominence of this organization, we want

On the Sidewalk Labs website is a 200-page document explaining its vision for a smart neighborhood in Toronto. It’s packed with illustrations that show a warm, idyllic community full of grassy parks, modular buildings and underground tunnels with del..

Once a mere nuisance for Twitter, accounts created by software programs pretending to be human — “bots” — have become a major headache for the social network. In October, Twitter’s general counsel told a Senate committee investigating disinformation that Russian bots tweeted 1.4 million times during the run-up to the last presidential election, and such bots would later be implicated in hundreds of tweets that followed a school shooting in Florida. In January, the New York Times detailed how U.S. companies, executives, journalists, and celebrities often purchase bots as followers in an attempt to make themselves seem more popular.

In the age of online campaigns, you’d expect political parties which specialize in tech — like the Pirate Party — to have elections in the bag by employing some digital voodoo. However, it seems that the Amsterdam Pirate Party is going with a more old school approach to grabbing voters’ attention: nudity. According to Dutch news site FOK! the Pirate Party has hung up posters all over the city of Amsterdam featuring a naked photo of the city’s party leader, Jelle de Graaf, holding a banner saying “Nothing to hide.” The picture — which you can find a NSFW version…

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

It seems that after some behind-the-door deals, YPG retreats from Afrin silently this morning…

In Uncategorized on March 18, 2018 at 15:32

Things are so complicated in Middle East… once again proven during the Afrin operation…

Turkish army shares first video of Afrin town center since taking control

The Turkish military has shared its first video of Syria’s Afrin after taking complete control of the town center.

Erdoğan says Turkish forces have taken Kurdish-majority city in Syria after two-month offensive

Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) have entered Syria’s Afrin and taken control of several districts, Doğan News Agency Reported on March 18
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on March 17 that Turkey-backed troops had surrounded Afrin city center in northwestern Syria and were ready to enter at any moment.

Erdoğan slams European Parliament over draft calling on Turkey to withdraw from Syria’s Afrin

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed the European Parliament’s draft motion calling on Turkey to withdraw from Syria’s Afrin.
The European Parliament has approved the motion demanding that Turkey withdraw from Afrin. The motion has been approved by a majority vote with 371 votes in favor and 241 votes against.

Turkey claims to have encircled Afrin, besieging up to 200,000

Inhabitants of majority Kurdish Syrian city fear a blockade and bombardment are imminent

Turkey claims to have encircled Afrin in northern Syria, besieging up to 200,000 civilians, many of whom were attempting to flee what they fear will be an imminent blockade and bombardment of the majority Kurdish city.

The EU got “limited” effect for the €9bn it spent trying to modernise Turkey in recent years, auditors have said. Turkey has been “backsliding” on reforms since 2013 due to “lack of political will”, the European Court of Auditors found.
European Union funding to help Turkey’s stalled membership bid has “barely addressed” key problems with democracy and the media, the bloc’s spending watchdog has said.

Northern Syria’s Kurds are establishing direct democracy and a gender revolution. Why are we arming jihadist-linked Turkey?“It’s like Spain in 1936.” Those are the words of Alexander Norton, a charismatic 31-year-old railway worker from east London, as Turkish forces besiege the Kurdish city of Afrin. Following in the tradition of Britain’s courageous International Brigades eight decades earlier, Norton has risked his life to fight Isis alongside Kurdish freedom fighters in Kurdish Syria. As you read this, a secular democracy that celebrates women’s rights is under attack, including by Turkish-aligned troops who have sung al-Qaida songs and threatened to cut off the heads of their “atheist” victims. If you’re wondering why Kurds and their supporters occupied King’s Cross and Manchester Piccadilly stations last weekend: here’s why. The Conservative government is arming to the teeth a nation ruled by an authoritarian despot, whose regime is linked to extreme jihadist groups, and which is now attempting to liquidate one of the only islands of democracy in a sea of Middle Eastern despotism: and yet virtually no one is speaking out about it.

Afrin: Turkish forces ‘encircle’ Syrian Kurdish city

Turkey began an offensive aimed at driving Kurdish militia out of the border region in January.

Reuters – Mar 7, 5:40 AM

CAIRO (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has described Turkey as part of a ‘triangle of evil’ along with Iran and hardline Islamist groups, Egypt’s Al-Shorouk newspaper reported on Wednesday. The Saudi prince also

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary


“Turkey slips to 74th place in ‘world happiness’ ratings…. As Turkey’s current account gap.. slightly higher than estimates’

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2018 at 14:30

Turkey has slipped five places to 74th out of 156 countries in the “world happiness ratings,” while Finland tops the list, according to The World Happiness Report 2018, which is an annual publication of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Turkey came 69th in last year’s report.

Turkey’s current account gap ‘nearly $7.1 bln in January, slightly higher than estimates’

Turkey’s current account deficit has widened by $4.4 billion, year-on-year, to reach nearly $7.1 billion in January, the Turkish Central Bank said on March 12.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary


#Europe agenda: “Six Key Points from the EU High Level Group’s New Report on Disinformation…

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2018 at 12:30

By Clara Jiménez Cruz, Alexios Mantzarlis, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, and Claire Wardle*

Today the EU Commission released the final report from the High Level Expert Group on Fake News, entitled “A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Disinformation”. The report, a document supported by a number of different stakeholders, including the largest technology companies, journalists, fact-checkers, academics and representatives from civil society has a number of important attributes including: important definitional work rejecting the use of the phrase ‘fake news’; an emphasis on freedom of expression as a fundamental right; a clear rejection of any attempt to censor content; a call for efforts to counter interference in elections; a commitment by tech platforms to share data; calls for investment in media and information literacy and comprehensive evaluations of these efforts; as well as cross-border research into the scale and impact of disinformation.

Despite her defeat against Macron last year Marine Le Pen was re-elected leader of the Front National on Sunday. She announced that she wanted to rename the far-right party, proposing Rassemblement National, or “National Rally”. A sign of weakness or the start of the 2022 presidential race?

Recent years have proved that if you want to look for which countries are adopting innovative digital governing solutions, you don’t look at the usual tech suspects like the US or Japan. You look to Estonia. Estonia, being a country of approximately 1,3 million people has in recent years really set the agenda for how you govern a country digitally. Their ideas within e-governance, digital policies, and national cryptocurrencies have created headlines all over the world and shifted the lens of the media to pay close attention to what is buzzing in this small state in the Baltics. Estonia has…
New York Times – Jason Horowitz – Mar 9, 3:10 PM

MILAN — Stephen K. Bannon leaned back in an armchair opposite a copy of a painting by an Italian old master and explained his modest efforts to build a vast network of European populists to demolish the Continent’s political establishment.


[Ticker] CDU and SPD sign grand coalition agreement

German chancellor Angela Merkel, as leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), signed Monday the agreement for a coalition government with Horst Seehofer, the leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, and Olaf Scholz, the acting leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). The signing puts an end to a period of political uncertainty since last September’s elections. Merkel will be sworn in on Thursday.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary


Controversial election law passed…

In Uncategorized on March 16, 2018 at 12:45

A major law giving the green light to political parties to form pre-election alliances and overhauling electoral regulations before the 2019 elections has been approved at parliament after a marathon night-long session, which included a physical fight between ruling and opposition lawmakers.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed a controversial legislative package approved by parliament in the early hours of March 13, dubbing the package an “election fraud law.”

Erdoğan flirting with Turkish nationalism as he does the nationalist “wolf” hand sign.

Washington Post – Mar 11

IN TURKEY under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the tweet has been turned into a crime, and a troubled democracy is being turned into a dictatorship. Gradually but inexorably, a nation that once aspired to be an exemplar of enlightened moderation

Erdoğan flirting with Muslim Brotherhood as he does the “Rabia” hand sign.



Full coverage


I guess this hand sign is from the times of democratic alliance against Turkey’s military tutelage…


The application submitted by inmate Ebedin Abi, who has diabetes and heart disease, upon not being given food for his diet, has been concluded: The ECtHR sentenced Turkey to pay fine of 6 thousand and 150 euros.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary


The 2018 Turkey Regress Report by Marc Pierini

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2018 at 10:40


The European Commission is due to publish its next progress report on Turkey in April 2018. This standard procedure is meant to outline how candidate countries have advanced in aligning with the EU’s political and technical criteria for accession and to chart their paths forward. Yet, in Turkey’s case, a massive deterioration of the rule of law makes it impossible to acknowledge any progress. Instead, the commission’s forthcoming report is bound to illustrate a substantial regression.

In the past three and a half years, through a string of political decisions, two elections and a referendum, and repressive measures, Turkey has moved from a denial of liberal democracy to autocracy. Ankara has now clearly distanced itself from the EU principles of rule of law that it had subscribed to in 2004 when it won candidate status. In addition, Turkey’s leaders blatantly interfered in European politics in 2017, inducing a defensive attitude in several EU countries while others still hope for improvements.

The European Council is tasked with deciding the next steps in the EU’s relationship with Turkey; whatever its final decision is, Turkey’s future ties with Europe will inevitably face new hurdles. Relations with Turkey will and should develop in several areas to safeguard European interests, but Turkey’s accession to the EU as a structured political alliance is not in the cards anymore.

About the Author
Marc Pierini is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, where his research focuses on developments in the Middle East and Turkey from a European perspective. Follow him on Twitter @MarcPierini1.

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Conspiracy theories added to Über vs. Taxi drives battle in #Istanbul

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2018 at 16:58

Uber a Jewish conspiracy – Istanbul taxi drivers’ head

The president of the Chamber of Istanbul Taxi Businesses has accused Uber of being a targeted attack on his industry carried out by what he called “the Jewish lobby”, Turkish Jewish newspaper Şalom said . “The global thieving Jewish lobby is carrying out commercial taxi piracy in Turkey,” Eyüp Aksu

A group of taxi drivers gathered early on March 12 outside Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse to protest against Uber ahead of the second hearing of a lawsuit opened against the transport company by the United Taxi Drivers Association.

Angry Istanbul Taxi Drivers Seek To Block Uber

An Istanbul court on Monday began hearing a case against Uber brought by the city’s taxi drivers seeking to have the ride-hailing app blocked, as tensions mount in Turkey over its popularity. The suit brought by the main association representing taxi drivers for Istanbul is the latest legal headache for the …

Over 50000 Istanbul drivers fined after violations spotted by surveillance cameras

More than 50,000 drivers using Istanbul roads received fines within a month’s period between February and March after traffic violations were spotted by the Electronic Traffic Control System (EDS), which has recently been put into effect. Some 50,304 drivers were given a total penalty of 11,148,000

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Region by region, brief notes on academic job search

In Uncategorized on March 13, 2018 at 16:03

English: Biometric passport of Republic of Tur...

English: Biometric passport of Republic of Turkey Türkçe: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti biyometrik pasaportları (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As some of my careful readers already know, I have been looking jobs abroad for a while. I would say, this is not as intense as I had started at the moment. I did find a good solution for the next year- I will write about in another post- and I will see what happens in future and in the meantime, I stopped looking. Lack of intensity comes from the fact that I do like my current position, my current university. I guess I would not leave my university for another domestic university if the offer is not extraordinary. The reasons I want to go abroad… I guess some are already outlined here and I won’t go into more details.

As my job search has ended for the moment, I would like to offer my brief observations. I do not claim to find the truth. I might be mistaken, I accept. But these are the subjective finds I gradually accumulated:

A few general observations: If you do not have indexed publications OR if you did not have funded projects, YOU HAVE CHANCES. I would say getting funds may be more important than publications at the moment. I did regularly publish, and I am mostly satisfied with what I have done and I continuously have new research agendas but as long as these do not lead to indexed publications, they are not signs of any achievement. Besides, publications should be in English. I happened to miss the early project mentality and I see that this is not good, too. I am involved in many projects as expert or trainer but that is not enough and I believe project application process is a kind of art and expertise I seem to miss at the moment. Networking in academia is still vital. All these observations are made from a position of having only a regular Turkish passport.

Academic Positions in the UK

Maybe I am located in İstanbul, kind of in Europe, I see more job openings in European Universities with a focus on the UK one. This leads to many heartbreaks. One of my stronger aspects is teaching but UK has a certification system- as far as I understand- and without proper certification, it is hard to prove that you are good at teaching.

What is worse is the fact that if you are not a UK- EU etc citizen, basically if you are a Turkish citizen, those supposedly “progressive” academics will not bother with visa issues. I was told informally that they prefer not to deal with visa sponsorship issues. In two cases, when I was close to being employed, some colleagues with proper passports were preferred.

UK applications are detailed, sometimes excel-sheet based and in the end, you do not have much chance.

Academic Positions in Scandinavian countries

This is one of the regions I would love to spend the rest of my life. However, [Of course, there are exceptions!] applying for a position in this region might be one of the most hypocritical processes: In principle, this is the most transparent application process. A review committee is appointed- mostly from other universities- you are regularly notified about the process- and even after the appointment is done- and you- [you might have realized when I say “you” I mostly refer to myself] fail after a long wait. Under the guise of transparency, these universities maybe misleading naive applicants. I heard at least in two instances that before the process began, some candidates were ready to be recruited. I felt like despite massive differences between Turkey and Scandinavian counties, their academies are closest in recruitment processes.

Besides, potential to get funding is over-emphasized. I feel like the wealth of these nations are not shared with their academia.

Moreover, you are asked to promise that you will learn the native language in near future. Sort of understandable, but not necessarily a good thing in a supposedly cosmopolitan academic system.

Academic Positions in the US

This is huge and I do not exactly know what happens here. There is a relative financial crisis but the higher education system is bigger than any other regions. I assume there are might be several patterns. I guess next year I will have more to learn about the system. I feel like, from a distance, review committees prefer to invite those who are not abroad.  Indexed publications are particularly important and networking is also vital.

Academic Positions in the Gulf Region

What I have in my mind are the major American universities that are located in rich Gulf region countries. You live secluded lives with other expats like you. I believe this might be an easier way -but still not too easy- to be part of a major American university. And this might be good to save money for future. As far as I remember, I haven’t tried this yet. Besides, there are other regions of the world that US universities are investing in. Singapore is a rising star and I just hear UCSD has a campus in Georgia.

Academic Positions in (Northern) Cyprus

Here I mean the Turkish part. It is an isolated piece and under the dominion of Turkey. If you are looking for a political exit, this is definitely not the place. But if you like to work as if you are on a vacation, to save some money and to have a good time- local people are great as long as you do not act arrogant of being from Turkey, food and drinks are delicious and cheap- then this might be safe haven. However, I am not sure academically you will be better off.

Academic Positions in Germany

I have once sent an application package through postal mail. I have never received a reply. However, not all German universities are like that. I mean you can apply online. I find the application processes obstruse and instead of permanent positions, you find short-term fellowships relatively easy. I am glad that many peace academics could find opportunities here.  Otherwise, I find not chances here.

Academic Positions in France

I have absolutely no idea. But I know francophone friends/ colleagues can find opportunities. French shools are relatively well established and many graduates find ways to continue their academic careers there. But for me, as a more American-British based educated person, I see the country as blank.


Please feel free to comment, to send advises or refutations. I am open to suggestions and I believe this post is an ongoing one….

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary


New photo from Facebook March 12, 2018 at 12:21PM

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2018 at 12:24

Görsel Gürcistan’dan. Kaza anısı selfie’si (!) via Reddit. via Facebook Pages