Monday, August 18, 2014

Sociology of Islam Social Gathering (August 20th) at the Fourth World Congress for Middle East Studies” (WOCMES), METU, Ankara, Turkey

Dear all,

Some of you will be attending the Fourth World Congress for Middle East Studies” (WOCMES), METU, in Ankara, Turkey August 18-22, 2014. Please be advised that we, the Sociology of Islam Journal and mailing list will host a social gathering on Wednesday, AUGUST 20, 2014, in Ankara, Turkey. You are all invited to attend this social gathering. Please do not hesitate to bring your friends and colleagues.

DATE AND TIME:
Wednesday, AUGUST 20, 2014
7:30 PM – 10:00 PM

ADDRESS: 
Swiss Hotel
The Ambassador Cafe
Yildizevler Mahallesi, Jose Marti Caddesi No: 2 ▪ Ankara 06550 ▪ Turkey

Please do not forget to attend our panels : http://sociologyofturkey.blogspot.com.tr/2014/07/post-islamism-in-turkey-panels-at.html

If you have any questions, you can contact me directly by email or phone: 0533-607-8465

We hope to see you in Ankara at the conference.

Best to all,

--
Tugrul Keskin

Assistant Professor of International and Middle Eastern Studies
Affiliated Faculty of Black Studies
Sociology and Center for Turkish Studies
Middle East Studies Coordinator (INTL)
Portland State University

Editor of Sociology of Islam Journal (Brill)
Region Editor of Critical Sociology (Middle East and North Africa)
Book Review Editor of Societies Without Borders
.com/

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Long Winter: Turkish Politics After the Corruption Scandal

Mustafa Gurbuz

Rethink Institute, Washington DC
May 2014

On December 17, 2013, a major corruption investigation launched by Istanbul district prosecutors hit the news. The police raided the houses of fifty suspects who had been followed for more than a year, including the sons of three Turkish government cabinet ministers.
Mustafa Gurbuz argues that this event and its aftermath, coupled with a tense election campaign, ushered in a new era of politics in Turkey replete with unprecedented developments. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reframed the corruption scandal as a global plot to overthrow his government, orchestrated by “external” and “internal” enemies. The government tried to stop the corruption investigation and related leaks by resorting to controversial measures that subdued the judiciary, controlled the media, expanded the powers of the intelligence agency, limited internet access, banned social media, and suppressed opposition.
Despite the AKP’s comfortable win in local elections on March 30, 2014, Erdoğan maintained his confrontational style and went on to further controversial measures. This suggests that the political deterioration Turkey experienced after December 17 was not just election fever, but rather a more comprehensive transformation that will, apparently, mark Turkish politics for some time to come.

Download the report.......

Monday, August 4, 2014

Turkish people are naively proud of themselves, survey shows

Barçın Yinanç
ISTANBUL

Hurriyet Daily News - Monday,August 4 2014

The findings of a new survey suggest Turks are pround of their country’s achievements but don’t know exactly why. The survey conducted by two professors also shows that despite the country’s elite’s global aspirations, ordinary citizens have remained parochial. ‘Global identity is something strange to the Turkish mind,’ says Ali Çarkoğlu

Turks are proud of their country’s accomplishments even though there is no empirical evidence to justify this feeling, according to the findings of a new survey.  “Turks are proud but they don’t know why,” said Professor Ali Çarkoğlu of Koç University, who conducted the survey together with Professor Ersin Kalaycıoğlu of Sabancı University.

The findings of the survey, “Nationalism in Turkey and the World,” which was conducted as part of the International Social Survey Program, revealed that religion is the primary factor shaping Turks’ national identity.

The survey suggests Turks are rather self-centered and there is a lack of feeling of international solidarity. This seems contradictory when we look at the reaction in the public about the Gaza bombardment.
The ruling party elites have increasingly become globalized. In every part of the world, the AKP [Justice and Development Party] leadership promised and delivered on being active. However, when it come to the masses, first of all, foreign relations are extremely complicated; people find it extremely difficult to comprehend what is happening in the outside world unless the leader simplifies those relationships.

In addition, this is a country that is increasingly becoming more open to the outside world, but we are not yet like the Swedes or the Germans. Many Turks do not have any direct link with the outside world. A typical Turkish family citizen would not have had gone outside the country. The Turkish public at large is very parochial – parochial in a sense that life revolves around the family and the neighborhood, and that’s basically it. Beyond that first circle, there is not much going on in the Turkish public psyche; as such, politicians also use this in an almost official line of argument that “The Turk has no friend but the Turk.”

READ MORE.....

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Turks Divided on Erdogan and the Country’s Direction

About Half Support Gezi Park Protests

PEW Research - July 30, 2014

As Turkey prepares to vote for its first ever directly elected president, a new Pew Research Center survey finds the Turkish public is divided over the main contender for the office, current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan and his party, the moderately Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), have dominated Turkish politics for the last decade, overseeing considerable economic growth and an expanding role for Turkey in regional and world affairs. And most observers expect Erdogan to win the August 10 election.
But on a number of issues, Turks are almost evenly split between those who are happy with Erdogan’s leadership and the state of the nation, and those who believe the former Istanbul mayor is leading the country down the wrong path. Overall, 44% are satisfied with the country’s direction, while 51% are dissatisfied. Half say the economy is doing well, while 46% think it is in bad shape. Forty-eight percent say Erdogan is having a good influence on the country; the same percentage believes he is having a negative impact.

READ MORE.....

Friday, July 25, 2014

The stumbling emergence of social democracy in Turkey

By William ARMSTRONG

william.armstrong@hdn.com.tr

Hurriyet Daily News - Friday,July 25 2014

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is never happier than when he is slamming the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) as solely responsible for all the authoritarian ills of Turkey’s modern history. The point is hammered so effectively and relentlessly that it has become an uncontestable truth for many Turks, but like most tub-thumping political rhetoric from the bully pulpit it’s a gross oversimplification. In fact, the CHP has spent far more time out of power than in it throughout republican history, and the its traditional principles have had a far less tenacious hold on the Turkish state than many want to believe. Indeed, those principles have been robustly contested within the party itself.
This detailed study by Turkish academic Yunus Emre focuses on the emergence of the CHP’s social democratic wing in the 1950s and 1960s, examining the peculiar trajectory of a center-left outside of social democracy’s “native” Western Europe. To frame this emergence, Emre spends a long time sketching the party’s origins in the early years of the republic, when it was in charge as a single party government for 27 years. In many senses, this early CHP defined itself against the left: The existence of classes and class interests was flatly rejected by the Kemalist nation-builders, who emphasized the principle of a single corporatist nation undifferentiated by class struggle or division and suppressed the organized labor movement. The establishment of a national economy and a national bourgeoisie was prioritized; no class-based organizations were allowed until 1947 and socialism and socialist organizations were illegal until the 1960s (long after the single-party era had ended).

READ MORE....

Sunday, July 20, 2014

OECD Economic Surveys: Turkey 2014

OECD - 10 July 2014

OECD's 2014 Economic Survey of Turkey examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. The special chapter looks at structural change in the business sector.

READ THE REPORT ONLINE.....

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT......

Thursday, July 17, 2014

To Keep the Middle East Together, Don’t Let Iraq Split up

Ibrahim Kalin

Daily Sabah - June 20, 2014

The advance of ISIS and the miserable failure of the Maliki government to protect Iraqi citizens against it brought back the old discussions of splitting up of Iraq.

Given the rising tensions between Sunnis and Shias and the Kurdish aspiration for independence, some argue for a swift and pain-free division of the country. This, they claim, will create three states out of Iraq but keep the rest of the Middle East together.

Is this really the case? Or will the splitting up of Iraq be just the beginning of a reign of communal violence, terror, internecine wars and the socio-political disintegration of the entire Middle East?

Borders may change. There is nothing sacred about the current borders of the nation-state called Iraq. The question is how they change and under what circumstances. Dividing Iraq along ethnic and sectarian lines will be a disaster for all ethnic and sectarian relations in the region.

READ MORE.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Obituary for Andrew Mango (1926-2014)

ÖZDEM SANBERK

Hurriyet Daily News - July/08/2014

When a new ambassador arrives in a great city, it is always a slightly daunting experience. He or she has to slip into the scene as a central figure, even though most of the faces that he sees are new. For Turkish ambassadors arriving in London, however, there was always one face who they knew and who could be relied on to offer shrewd and authoritative opinions and advice to help them find their way. In Turkey and in Britain, Andrew Mango was for many years one of the staunchest friends of our country. What’s more, he knew far more about Turkey, its people and its history than many Turkish ambassadors, myself included. He had followed its news closely for decades at the BBC and afterward. His range of acquaintances stretched from the 1940s to the 21st century and he had a superb memory. He was also an exceptionally widely-read scholar. He could speak not just modern Turkish, but also the language of the late Ottoman Empire. He had completed a doctorate many years before on Persian poetry and his vocabulary was so wide that many Turkish professors of Ottoman language and literature marveled at it. He could talk about 19th century Ottoman history in detail and followed the range of books coming out on Turkey each year, writing a long review article covering them all for the Middle Eastern Studies journal.

READ MORE....

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A New Report: What happened in the Gezi Park Protests? (Turkish)

Analysis of Gezi Park From the Participants' Perspectives

Mensur Akgün, Burak Cop, Yunus Emre, Çağla Gül Yesevi

Global Political Trends Center, Kultur University
May 2014

CONTENTS
Introduction (Giris)
Reasons for Participation (Eylemlere Katılma Nedenleri)
Understanding the Gezi Park Protests (Gezi Ruhunu Anlama)
Instead of Conclusion (Sonuç Yerine)
Recommended Readings (Okuma Öneriler) 
Methodology (Metodoloji)
Chronology (Kronoloji)

Download the report......

Turkey Navigates Iraq in the New Middle East

Saban Kardas

The German Marshal Fund of the United States - July 11, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) gains have put the impending political crisis in Iraq on international agenda. Turkey has also found itself at the center of this rapidly unfolding story, once again highlighting its critical position in the region. In line with its search for deeper engagement and multi-dimensionality, two main pillars of its foreign policy, Turkey has so far eschewed a containment policy and sustained its proactive involvement in the region. Despite some isolationist calls for disengagement following the advance of ISIS, Turkey will most likely maintain a selective engagement policy.

READ MORE.....

University of Graz is now announcing a Post-Doc and also a paid PhD position on Turkey

With its 3,800 employees and 30,000 students, the University of Graz provides an exciting and varied work environment. Due to our research and teaching competence we are a central institution for Styria's position as centre of research and education.
The Centre for Southeast European Studies is seeking a
University Assistant with PhD
(equivalent to Post-Doc)

(40 hours a week; fixed-term employment for the period of 5 years; position to be filled as of September 1st 2014)

Job specification
• Independent research
• Contribution to collaborative, third-party research (application, project management and realisation)
• Teaching and teaching support
• Student supervision

Professional qualifications
• PhD in the humanities or social sciences
• Master education in history, cultural studies, anthropology, comparative politics or international relations
• Excellent area studies knowledge of Turkey
• Experience in comparative scholarly research (willingness to work with qualitative methods is required, a background in quantitative methodologies is welcome)
• Excellent command of Turkish and English, preferably also knowledge of an additional southeast European language
• A good record in academic publishing
• Expert skills of MS-Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), experience with visualisation methods used in the qualitative social sciences (gephi, word clouds)
• Good teaching record
• Please provide a two-page proposal for a potential research project

Personal profile
• Innovative thinking and commitment to independent academic work
• Openness towards new research questions and methods
• Excellent communications- and management skills
• Outstanding social skills and teamwork abilities

Classification
Salary scheme of the Universitäten-KV (University Collective Agreement): B1
Minimum salary

The minimum salary as stated in the collective agreement and according to the classification scheme is EUR 3483.30 gross/month. This minimum salary may be higher due to previous employment periods eligible for inclusion and other earnings and remunerations.

We offer you a job with a lot of responsibility and variety. You can expect a challenging work environment, flexible work hours and possibilities for further education and personal development. Take advantage of the chance to enter into a challenging work environment with team spirit and excellence.

Application Deadline: July 30th 2014Reference Number: MB/116/99 ex 2013/14

The University of Graz strives to increase the proportion of women in particular in management and faculty positions and therefore encourages qualified women to apply.
If you are interested, please submit your application documents within the stated deadline. Make sure to indicate the reference number on your application and please send your CV with photo, certificates and proposal to: bewerbung@uni-graz.at
Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Personalressort Universitätsplatz 3,
8010 Graz

For further information, please contact Dr. Kerem Öktem, kerem.oktem@sant.ox.ac.uk

https://online.uni-graz.at/kfu_online/wbMitteilungsblaetter.display?pNr=1417114

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Disavowing Kurdish independence, Turkey prepares for Kurdish energy future

By MICHA’EL TANCHUM

The Jerusalem Post - 07/08/2014

Turkey seems to have officially disavowed any support for the independence of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, despite AK Party deputy chairman Hüseyin Çelik’s June 28 comments to The Financial Times to the contrary. However, the KRG’s recent export of oil to Turkey’s Mediterranean oil port of Ceyhan, which after transshipment arrived in Israel’s Ashkelon port, highlighted the economic benefit to Turkey of a Kurdish political entity in Iraq with sufficient autonomy to market its energy independent of the constraints of the Iraqi central government in Baghdad.
Indeed, Ankara’s far-sighted effort to become a leading energy transportation hub includes a new oil refinery on Turkey’s Aegean coast and the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline that respectively can accommodate oil and natural gas from the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.
The new $5.6 billion STAR oil refinery is being built at the Petkim Petrochecmical Complex about 50 km north of the Turkish coastal city of Izmir. Petkim is the largest petrochemicals manufacturer in Turkey and currently accounts for approximately 30 percent of Turkey’s market share for refined petroleum products.

READ MORE....

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan’s Non-Apologies to the Armenians and Kurds

Fatma Müge Göçek

E-International Relations - Jul 7 2014

On 23 April 2014, one day before the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a message through the Internet, delivering his condolences to the grandchildren of the victims of the Armenian genocide. He stated that great pain was experienced during World War I, that understanding and sharing this pain was a duty of humanity, and that what was experienced in 1915 had to be investigated. [1] Was this an apology? If it was, it was certainly different in tone from his prior 23 November 2011 apology to the Kurds for the massacres they suffered. [2] In the latter context, he referred to the debate he had with the opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu over the Dersim massacres while delivering a speech to the city leaders of his party; he disclosed four official documents to demonstrate the opposition party’s culpability, and then concluded by stating that he apologized on behalf of the Turkish state since the opposition leader whose party was responsible failed to do so. This article briefly reviews the apology literature, articulates what a successful apology ought to contain, and then discusses the Armenian and Kurdish cases to argue that neither of the statements comprised an apology.

READ MORE.....

Monday, July 7, 2014

Post-Islamism in Turkey Panels at the Fourth World Congress for Middle East Studies” (WOCMES), METU, Ankara, Turkey August 18-22, 2014

Fourth World Congress for Middle East Studies” (WOCMES), METU, Ankara, Turkey August 18-22, 2014.

http://www.wocmes2014.org/?p=general_information

ORGANIZED BY ISABEL DAVID AND TUGRUL KESKIN

PANEL-1
POST-ISLAMISM IN TURKEY: A THEORETICAL APPROACH
Co-sponsored by Sociology of Islam Journal 
Moderator Tugrul Keskin 
1.Intellectual debate on Post-Islamism - Associate Professor Michelangelo Guida - Istanbul 29 Mayis University
2.“Respeaking the Ottoman Words, Reliving the Ottoman World: The Cultural Significance of Turkey’s Imperial Past and Its Political Significance for Turkish Islamism(s)” Professor Kemal Silay – Indiana University, Bloomington
3.Vakif as Intent and Practice: Charity and Poor Relief in Contemporary Turkey  - Assistant Professor Damla Isik - Regis University
4.Muslimism and Sites of Hybridity: Re-theorizing Contemporary Islam in Turkey - PhD. Neslihan Cevik – University of Virginia

PANEL-2
GULEN MOVEMENT AND POST-ISLAMISM
Co-sponsored by Center for Turkish Studies at Portland State University, Turkish and Ottoman Studies at Indiana University and Turkish Review
Moderator Kemal Silay 
1.Post-Islamism or Veering Toward Political Modernity? Ideology and Islam in the Gülen Movement - Post-Doctoral Research Fellow  - Fabio Vicini - 29 Mayıs University 
2.Becoming Muhacir, becoming Şakirde: A Case of Female University Students from Central Asia in the Gülen Movement in Turkey - MA Candidate - Marhabo Saparova - Sabanci University
3.Post-Islamist practices between Turkey and Tanzania: A perspective on teachers and businessmen inspired by Fethullah Gülen - Kristina Dohrn - Freie Universität
4. Emergent Actors, Emerging Narratives: Competing Representations of Islam and Turkey in North America - Oguz Alyanak PhD Student - Washington University in St. Louis Washington University St. Louis  

PANEL-3
JDP, POST-ISLAMISM AND NEOLIBERALISM
Co-sponsored by Critical Sociology
Moderator Isabel David   
1.AKP’s Shifts between Islamism and post-Islamism: What can the “December 17 Process” Tell Us? - Assistant Professor Beken Saatcioglu - MEF University
2.Beyond Takkiye vs. Liberalism?: Turkey’s “Post-Islamist” Foreign Policy - Assistant Professor  Nora Fisher Onar - Bahcesehir University
3.A Customized Neo-Liberalism with a Moral Call: An Assessment of the Growing JDP Connections in Turkish Businesses  - Reader, Gül Berna ÖZCAN University of London and Umut Gunduz Istanbul Technical University
4.Distilling the Problems of Post-Islamism through the case of Turkey’s AKP (or AKP through a glass darkly) PhD Bilge Azgin - University of Manchester

A New Book: Whose City Is That? Culture, Design, Spectacle and Capital in Istanbul

Editor(s): Dilek Özhan Koçak, Orhan Kemal Koçak

Cambridge Scholars Publishing - August 2014

Whose City is That? shows that Istanbul is produced not only by strong and systematic efforts, corporate influences and/or marketing activities, but also by individual contributions and coincidences. As such, the primary purpose of this book is to find the answer of to whom Istanbul does belong, presenting the reader with the richness of human experience and the practice of everyday life. The chapters in this book are therefore focused on the physical and economic dimensions, as well as the imaginary, fictional and hyper-real dimensions, expressing the concern of bringing the real and imaginary borders of the city together. The book provides an understanding that for each inhabitant there is another city, another Istanbul. Each person living in the city creates or lives in another city which is made of their own personal and particular experiences. In addition, the Istanbul the authors understand and describe turns into something different moment by moment, which cannot be defined or identified because of its very nature as a megacity. However, its flow is not aimless and non-directional, and each sign is not causeless or dateless. In this context, in order to make the possibilities of the city visible, the contributors to this volume ask: “Istanbul, whose city is it?” The title of the book enables different academics to ask the same question using different methodologies and subjects. The question “Whose City is That?” and the necessity of studying Istanbul using multidisciplinary perspectives brought many researchers from different fields together, because the city is larger than one approach and the constraints of one “unique” field. Gathering researchers and academics from various disciplines, such as communication studies, cultural studies, cinema/media studies, literature, the fine arts, city and regional planning, political science, social and economic geography, anthropology, and architecture enables each to think about the city alone and together, so as to create new forms of thought and discourse about Istanbul.

READ MORE.....

Friday, July 4, 2014

Kitap Elestirisi: Gazetecinin Olumu, Elcin Poyrazlar - Ithaki Yayinlari, Istanbul 2014



Bu kitabin elestirisi Tugrul Keskin tarafindan yapilmistir.

Post Modern Siyaset Sehrinde Dogruyu Aramak

20’inci yuzyilin ikinci yarisinin siyasi tarihine iyisi veya kotusu ile hic kuskusuz damgasini vuran Amerika Birlesik Devletlerinin baskentinde gazeteci olmak, eger DC’ye torpille atanmiyorsaniz, gercekten egitim, tecrube, enerji, bilgi birikimi, analiz yetenegi, ve iyi bir netvork gerektirir. Cunku Washington’da yasayanlarin tanimladigi gibi DC, sosyal, siyasi ve ekonomik aglar ile orulmus post modern bir sehirdir. Bu karmasik ve guclu aglar zincirinin, hayatin her alanini kapsadigi bir sehirde yasam gazeteciler icin bir hayli zordur. Iste bu baglamda DC’de uzun yillar gazetecilik yapmis olan Cumhuriyet gazetesinin Washington temsilcisi Elcin Poyrazlar’in yazdigi polisiye kurgu roman, Gazetecinin Olumu’nu okurken DC’yi bilenler ile bilmeyenler arasindaki farkin ayirdina vardim desem herhalde yalan olmaz. Hayatimin belli bir donemini gecirdigim bu sehirde edindigim tecrube ve bilgi, her ne kadar kurgu da olsa, Elcin Poyrazlar’in romaninda anlatmaya calistigi mekanlar, kisiler ve olaylar ile hafizami tazeledi.

Washington’da Turk-Amerikan iliskilerinin dalgali oldugu bir donemde bulunurken gece yarisi kendisine gelen bir telefonla hayati degisen bir Turk gazetecisi olan Selin Uygar’in, siyaset ve Washington’da ki aglar zincirindeki kisa bir kesitini anlatan bu romani daha iyi anlayabilmek icin Washington’u da iyi bilmeniz gerekiyor. Cunku kurgu kisiler, mekanlar ve olaylar sizin sadece roman okumak ile ilgili olan zevkinizi tatmin edebilir, fakat Washington’u taniyorsaniz bu kitaptan daha zevk alabilirsiniz. Washington’u tanimak sadece iki haftalik ziyaret ile ilgili degildir; insanlari, iliskileri, ve mekanlari da kendi semtiniz gibi bilmenizi gerektirir. Poyrazlar’in bunu her ne kadar hatalar da olsa Gazetecinin Olumu’nde basardigini dusunuyorum.

Romandaki Ulke gazetesinin Washington temsilcisi genc bir bayan olan Selin’in, yasamini bir kenara birakirken isini yani gazeteciligi bir yasam felsefesi olarak benimsemesini ve kendi celiskilerini anlatirken, basindan gecen olaylari polisiye kurgu bicimde yaziya dokmustur. Zaten bu celiskiyi, Elcin Poyrazlar, Gonul hanim ile Selin arasinda gecen konusmada da yansitmisa benziyor: “Haber, haber, haber. Hepiniz aynisiniz diye veryansin etti kadin, asktan, evlilikten, aileden once hep haber gelir degil mi?” (74). Bu roman, her ne kadar bazi abartmalar olsa da, Washington’da ki bir gazetecinin hayatindan kesittir. Bu kesit bize bulundugu sehirde ki diger gazeteciler, diplomatlar, casuslar ve normal insanlar ile iliskilerini yansitir. Bu iliskilerin bir kismi diplomatlar orneginde oldugu gibi cok yapmacik, az bir kismi ise, Selin’in Maryland’ta ki Gizli Bahce Oteli ve sahipleri gibi samimi guncel insanlari ve olaylari icerir. Zaten hayatin kendiside bu ince cizgiyi korumak degilmidir.

Romandaki olaylar zinciri, Selin’in aldigi isimsiz bir telefonda Vedat Oldu uyarisi ile baslar. Olen Vedat Yildirim, Washington’da uzun yillar gazetecilik yapan Yeni Donem gazetesinin Washington temsilcisidir. Onemli bir haberin pesindeyken kafasina kursun sikilarak oldurulmus ve cesedi Potomac nehrinin kiyisina atilmistir. Hem gazetecilik hem de insani bir duygu ile hareket eden Selin ise olayi cozmek icin ugras verirken kendisini Washington’un karanlik dehlizleri ve iliskiler agi icinde bulur. Bu hem tehlikeli hem de eglenceli bir surecide beraberinde getirir, her ne kadar Selin bunu tehlikeli de bulsa, her gercek gazeteci gibi haberin pesinden gitme durtusu onu cesitli olaylarin icine surukler. Kirli iliskiler agi icinde bazi Turk diplomatlarin samimiyetsiz davranislari, gazetecileri bilgi almada kullanmak istemeleri, tehdit etmeleri, veya bazi amerikalilarin onlari Turkiye’ye mesaj vermede kullanmalari, Washington’daki gazetecileri ince bir ipte oynayan cambaza benzetir. Bu acidan eger Washington’a torpille belli iliskiler agina takdim edilmek icin gelmediyseniz, isiniz bir hayli zordur. Cunku Selin gibi kendi iliskilerinizi kendiniz yaratmaniz gerekebilir, bagimsiz olmaniz demek, aslinda Washington’da yanliz olmaniz demektir. Yanlizligin ise bir bedeli vardir, bu bedel sizin haber kaynaklarinizin sinirlanmasi olarak sizi kisitlayabilir. O yuzden kendi haber kaynaklarinizi kendiniz yaratirken Selin gibi, tecrubeli Amerikali kaynaklar bulmaniz gerekir. Selin’in akil hocasi Matt Davis herhalde buna en iyi ornektir. Washington’u bilen eski kurt bir gazetecinin hem iliskileri gucludur hemde tecrubesi ile sizin yarariniza olabilecek tavsiyelerde bulunarak sizin onunuzu acabilir.      

Selin’in belitttigi gibi “Washington gizli veya acik herkesin ayni firinda ekmek yedigi kucuk bir koydu. O firinin tek urunu ise politikaydi.” (18) Iste bu yuzden her ne kadar Turk elcileri, Turk gazetecilere elciligin onlarin bir evi oldugunu soylesede bu hic bir zaman dogru degildir. Elciligin gazeteciler ile olan iliskileri her zaman karisik olmustur, zaten Selin bunu romanda, Vedat Yildirim’in Turk elciliginde basin atasesi Faruk ve Kultur atesesi Mehmet ile olan karmasik iliskilerinde butun acikligi ile gosterir (22). Diplomatlarin tehditkar tavirlari ile gazetecileri rahatsiz etmeleri gayet dogal olarak gozukebilir, cunku diplomat icin gazeteci bir dost degil, bir bilgi kaynagidir, ne kadar cok bilgi alirsa o kadar guzel kariyer yapabilir. Bilgiyi alirken, yanlis yonlendirme de yapan bu eski burokratlara en iyi ornek herhalde Henri Barkey’in yakin dostu eski Washington elcisi Namik Tan olsa gerektir. Tan Washington’da ki Turk gazetecileri yanlis bilgilendirme ve yonlendirmede ki ustaligi ve bunu amirlerine buyuk bir zevk ile anlatmasi bazi diplomatlarin psikolojisini anlamada bize yardimci olabilir. Cunku diplomatlarin amaci yukselmek elci olmaktir, gazetecinin ise haber yapmak ve isini devam ettirmek. Washington bu baglamda aslinda herkesin ekmegini pisirdigi firinidir. Bazilari vatan icin veya haber icin mucadele ederken bazilari da Elcin Poyrazlar’in romaninda betimledigi dusuk karakterli kariyer oyuncularidir.     
 
Selin sadece diplomatlardan degil, gazetecilerin cikara dayali kirli ve karmasik iliskiler aginida romaninda anlatir, belki de bunun en guzel ornegi Express gazetesinin temsilcisi Resat Kurtman’dir (26).  Romanda carpici baska bir ayrinti ise Selin’in Amerikalilara daha fazla guvenmesidir. Selin’in, Tyler Gordon taniminda (28) zaten bu acik bir sekilde belirtilirken bunun dogruluk payina katilmamak elde degildir.

Selin’in kendisine “Vedat Oldu” haberini telefonda bildirdigini zannetigimiz John Dike ile tanismasi, Washington’un taninmis semtleri ve mekanlarinda bulusmasi, bulusurken Dike’in O’na aslinda Vedat’a onerdigi haberi yapmasi icin yardim etmek istemesi bize DC’nin casusluk agi ornegini sergilerken, bu ilginc oldugu kadar tehlikeli, bir o kadar da eglenceli bir dunyaya bizi goturur. Iste bu asamada Selin’in Amerikali gazeteci dostu Davis ile bulustugu Kramer kafeye gitmesi, Dike ile Kongre Kutuphanesinde bulusmasi, Capital Hill’de oturmasi, Logan Circle’da yurumesi ve Georgetown’in yuzyila yaklasan evlerinden bahsederken sehrin aslinda bir yasayan olarak tasvirini yapmasi bizi sadece bir romana veya siyasi olaylar zincirine baglamaz, ayrica bu sehiri tanimamiza da yardimci olur.             

Vedat Yildirim’in cinayetini cozerken, Selin Uygar’in Ulke gazetesi icin yaptigi ABD Ile Anlasmali Kavga haberi aslinda Poyrazlar’in bizi sadece romana degil de yasanan siyasete de odaklanmamiz gerektigini vurguluyor gibi (77). Cunku Turk-Amerikan iliskileri son 12 yilda sanki farki bir boyuta girmis gibi gozukuyor. Romanin ilerleyen yerlerinde gazeteci Ali’nin MIT ajani olarak ozel bir gorevle Washington’a gelmesi aslinda kitabin casusluk, siyaset ve polisiye bir kurgu olmasini cok guzel ozetliyor denilebilir (90). 

Poyrazlar’in romaninda anlatmaya calistigi sanki bizi gercek olaylar zincirine goturmek istercesine kisa mesajlar verirken, Selin Uygar’in Ulke gazetesi (106) veya Matt Davis ile birlikte New York Times (106) icin yaptigi Turk-Amerikan iliskilerine dair haberler okurda acaba bunlar dogru olabilir mi sorusunu akla getiriyor. Acaba romanda bahsedien Turkiye Basbakani Cevat Koc ile ABD Baskan yardimcisi Dick Redford arasinda gecen konusma ve Turkiye’de konuslandirilmak istenen ABD ozel kuvvetlerinden bir ekibin ve Dick Redford’un Blackhawk adli silah sirketi ile olan iliskileri (162) bize aslinda DC’nin karanlik ve bir o kadar da heyecanli dunyasina goturuyor.     

DC gibi Post Modern bir siyaset sehrinde dogru yoktur; siyasi, ekonomik ve sosyal cikarlar uzerine kurulmus iliskiler agi mevcuttur, bu agda devlet, millet, vatan gibi kavramlar genelde Marks’in Kapital’in de bahsettigi piyasa ekonomisinde ki alinip satilan urunler olarak algilanir, bu baglamda bizim toplumumuzun anladigi dunya ya ters bir yapi oldugundan, bizim etik ve ahlaki kavramlarimiz ile tanimlanamaz. O’nu anlayabilmek icin, o surecin icine girmeniz gerekir; girdiginizde ise bambaska bir dunya ile karsilasirsiniz, sizi celbeder, cunku bu surec guc, para, hirs kavramlari uzerine kurulmus kapitalist yozlasmanin insandaki en ust noktasini teskil eder. Bu baglamda Elcin Poyrazlar’in belirttigi gibi, DC’de “bilgi cok tehlikeli bir silahtir, dogru kullanmazsaniz size oldurur” (36). Washington’dan hasbelkader gecmis bazi Turk gazetecilerin yaptigi abartmali kitaplarin aksine, bir Turk gazetecinin boyle bir calisma yapmasinin onemli oldugunu dusunuyorum.  Her ne kadar Elcin Poyrazlar, bu ilk romaninda Tom Clancy’nin amator bir versiyonu gibi gorunsede, bu polisiye kurgu romani, siyaset ile ilgilenen ve Washington’u anlamak isteyen herkese tavsiye ederim.            

[1] Tugrul Keskin Portland Devlet Universitesinde Uluslararasi Iliskiler, Sosyoloji ve Afrika Arastirmalari konularinda ders vermekte olup, ayni universitesinin Ortadogu Arastirmalari lisans programi direktorudur.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ekümenopolis: Ucu Olmayan Şehir | 2012 (English Subtitle)


Ottoman Nostalgia: A Proactive Turkey in the Middle East?

Joshua Walker

War on the Rocks - July 1, 2014

Istanbul, Turkey –  Nostalgia for the Ottoman Empire has been on the rise as of late. The Ottoman Sultan’s seal can be found on T-shirts, advertisements, and jewelry everywhere in its old imperial capital of Istanbul. More alarmingly, the jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are now proclaiming a new Islamic caliphate in former Ottoman provinces.  The shadows of history over the Middle East bring back images of 1916, when the current lines of the Middle East were drawn by the British and French empires in the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement. Four years later, the Treaty of Sevres was intended as the fait accompli, dismantling as it did what remained of the Ottoman Empire.  The effects of these nearly hundred-year old events are being felt and bitterly remembered in Turkey today. Yet it’s not just the ancient past, but more recent history that should trouble Ankara. With the fall of Mosul and the kidnapping of the Turkish Consul General and over 80 Turkish citizens, the painful shadows of Al-Qaeda’s attacks in Istanbul a decade ago hover over Ankara once again. In the 1920s, Mosul was claimed by the new Turkish Republic and was the subject of one of the League of Nation’s first major arbitrations, thereby assuring itself a special significance in Turkish historical memory.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Expats stranded in Turkey due to residence permit delays

By Samantha North 

The Telegraph - 01 Jul 2014

Expats in Turkey have experienced difficulties travelling abroad since the introduction of new residency permit regulations in April, with long delays in paperwork being processed.  The Istanbul foreigners’ department website has advised that expats waiting to apply for or to receive their residency permits (known as ikamet in Turkish) may be stopped at the airport if they attempt to leave or re-enter Turkey.  According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 40,000 British people currently live in Turkey. Foreigners wishing to apply for an ikamet have to book an appointment to visit the local police. But there are long delays for available appointments. The Istanbul police department website shows no available slots until October 2014.

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Econ 101 Is Bunk to Turkey's Erdogan in Debate on Interest Rates Role

By Onur Ant

Bloomberg - Jun 30, 2014

Your economics textbook got it all wrong. At least that’s what Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says.  The Turkish leader, 60, is emerging as a global pioneer of putting an untested theory of economics into action. While central bankers around the world, including Turkey’s, have made interest rate decisions based on the textbook assumption that higher rates will work to slow inflation, Erdogan and his administration argue the opposite.  “High interest rates are not the result of a high inflation rate, they’re its cause,” Yasin Aktay, head of the foreign relations committee of Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, said by phone from Ankara on June 7. “The premier is talking about the relationship between the two based on scientific facts,” he said, without explaining how Erdogan reached that conclusion.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

A Book Review (In Turkish): Uluslararası komplo hikâyelerini kim sevmez?

İPEK YEZDANİ

Radikal - 23.06.2014 

Gazetecinin Ölümü, siyasi bir polisiye. Elçin Poyrazlar Washington’daki politika, ticaret ve medya ilişkilerini de deşifre ediyor.


Uluslararası komplo hikâyelerini kim sevmez? Hele bir de işin içinde siyaset, polisiye, karmaşık bir uluslararası ilişkiler ağı ve bu ağın etrafında işlenen cinayeti çözmeye çalışan bir Türk gazeteci varsa!
Gazetelerin ve televizyonların yurtdışı temsilciliklerinden her geçen gün daha da kesintiye gittiği ve yurtdışı muhabirlerinin sayısının giderek azaldığı bir dönemde, yıllarca Brüksel’de ve Washington’da çalışmış deneyimli bir gazetecinin, Elçin Poyrazlar’ın Washington’da yazmaya başladığı romanı Gazetecinin Ölümü, yukarıda bahsettiklerimi barındıran sürükleyici bir polisiye.
Poyrazlar,temposunu yitirmeyen bir siyasi polisiye yazmış. Gazetecinin Ölümü, politika, ticaret ve medya ilişkilerini de deşifre ediyor. Öte yandan Poyrazlar’ın romanı her ne kadar kurgu da olsa Washington’da yaşamış ve çalışmış bir gazetecinin gerçek deneyimlerinden izler taşıyor.


GAZETECİNİN ÖLÜMÜ
Elçin Poyrazlar 
İthaki Yayınları 2014

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

"ÜNİVERSİTELERİNDE BİLİMSEL HIRSIZLIĞIN DOĞAL KARŞILANDIĞI BİR ÜLKENİN ELBETTE TÜM YAŞAM ALANLARI SOYULACAKTIR"

PLAGIARISM - JUNE 28, 2014

Dr Tansu KÜÇÜKÖNCÜ (*) - 60 yıllık Ege Üniversitesi'nin “% 100 ÇALINTI” doktora tezleri : danışman Turgut Öziş'e “KINAMA” cezası

“Yavuz hırsız, ev sahibini bastırır” misali, Ahmet Yıldırım, ilk kez Aralık 2010'da bir gazetede yaptırdığı “Doçent olmak için daha ne yapsın” başlıklı haberle “5 yılda 270 makale yazan akademisyen” olarak kendini gündeme getirdi. 2011'in son günü ABD'de karşılıksız TÜBİTAK bursuyla 1 yıllık bedava akademik tatildeyken, dikkatlerini çekmeyi başardığı akademik aktivistlerin tepkisiyle sosyal medyada gündem olunca, tiyatro çevirdi, senaristlik ve oyunculuk becerilerini sergiledi : internette “intihar mektubu” yayınladı, medyada gündem oldu. Ve ardından aniden ortadan kayboldu ! Bahar 2012'de Ege Üniversitesi'ndeki sayfası da kayboldu. 2013 sonuna kadar neredeyse haftada 1 SCI makale yayınlamaya devam etti.
Bahar 2013'te Hollanda'dan Leiden Üniversitesi'nin “Dünya Üniversiteler Sıralaması”na göre, Ege Üniversitesi, Ahmet Yıldırım'ın 4 yıldaki 110'dan fazla HİLELİ SCI makalesinin etkisiyle, '“Matematik – Bilgisayar” alanında dünyanın en iyi 2. üniversitesiydi !?... Rektör, sevinç haberleri yaptırdı. Sıralamayı yapan ekibin başındaki Hollandalı hoca ise, bunu öğrenince ve ulaşmaya çalıştığı rektörden cevap alamayınca üniversitesinin internet sitesindeki ekibinin sayfalarında Ege Üniversitesi'ne ve rektörüne ateş püsküren bir yazı yayınladı.

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Akademide bir koltuk – Gökçer Tahincioğlu (Milliyet)

Sendika - 29 Haziran 2014

Türkiye’de, akademiye girebilmenin ve orada kalabilmenin kuralları vardır.
Yabancı dil bilmek, ALES’ten yüksek puan almak, not ortalamasını yüksek tutmak, belli konu ve alanlarda uzmanlaşmak dışında kurallar.
Emek gerektirmeyen, şanslı doğup, şanslı bir çevrede büyümeyle elde edilebilecek şanslar.
Önce bir hoca tanıman gerekir misal.
Öğrencisi olup olmamak, usta-çırak ilişkisine girip girmemek değil sözü edilen.
Siz birilerine ömür boyu çıraklık etseniz de birilerinin sizden öncelikli olarak akademiye kabul edilmesine yönelik bir düzen.
O düzeni sürdüreceklerin koltukları işgal ettiği, hiçbir akademik çalışmaya imza atmadan ya da ezberlenmiş kabulleri tekrarlayarak diyelim, kuralları sürdürdüğü, bunları etik kodlarla süslediği bir makyajlı kirlilik.
Ya da hocaları tanıyan hatırlıların telefonu üzerine verilen öncelik.
Akademide yüksek unvanlarla oturulacak bir koltuğun da bedelleri vardır.
Birileri deli gibi çalışır, deli gibi anlatırken görünmez bir uzaklıkta, merkezde kalabilmenin kurallarına aileden vakıf olanlar, o koltuklarda oyunun kurallarını koyanlardır.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Turkey ready to accept Kurdish state in historic shift

By Daniel Dombey in Ankara

Financial Times - June 27, 2014

Turkey’s ruling party has signalled it is ready to accept an independent Kurdish state in what is now northern Iraq, marking a historic shift by one of the heavyweight powers of the Middle East.
“In the past an independent Kurdish state was a reason for war [for Turkey] but no one has the right to say this now,” Huseyin Celik, spokesman for the ruling AK party, told the Financial Times.

“In Turkey, even the word ‘Kurdistan’ makes people nervous, but their name is Kurdistan,” he added. “If Iraq is divided and it is inevitable, they are our brothers . . . Unfortunately, the situation in Iraq is not good and it looks like it is going to be divided.”
This week, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, also told John Kerry, the US secretary of state, that the creation of an independent Kurdish state was a foregone conclusion.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Turkish glass workers striking for better pay

INDUSTRIALL GLOBAL UNION - Jun 23, 2014   

Around 6,000 workers at Turkey’s biggest glass producer, Sisecam, went on strike at ten of the company’s factories after wage negotiations fell short of expectations.

After months of collective bargaining, IndustriALL Global Union’s Turkish affiliate Kristal-Is, representing Sisecam Company workers, called a strike on 20 June 2014.
The strike was announced in reply to the poor offer of the top glass producer of the world suggesting 11.79 per cent hike, barely reaching the half of 23.12 per cent increase demanded by the union.
Kristal-Is wants to improve wages for lower paid and newly employed workers. So far the company has refused to meet workers’ demands preferring to face a strike, which has already paralysed Sisecam production in six provinces of the country.

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A New Issue of INSIGHT TURKEY

INSIGHT TURKEY (Vol. 16, Number: 2; 2014) 

CONTENTS

Commentaries
A Quick Glance at the History of Elections in Turkey
IBRAHIM DALMIS

The AK Party: Dominant Party, New Turkey and Polarization 
E. FUAT KEYMAN

The Structural Causes of Political Crisis in Turkey
OSMAN CAN

Strengths and Constraints of Turkish Policy in the South Caucasus
BAYRAM BALCI

Elections in Iraq: What Does the Future Hold?
RAN JALAALDIN

Hezbollah and Syria: From Regime Proxy to Regime Savior
RANDA SLIM

The Impact of the "New" Zero Problems Policy and the Arab Spring on the Relations between Turkey and Lebanese Factions
MUSTAFA YETIM and BILAL HAMADE 

Articles
The Longest Year of Turkish Politics: 2014
TAHA OZHAN

One Down, Two More to Go: Electoral Trends in the Aftermath of the March 2014 Municipality Elections
ALI CARKOGLU

The 2014 Local Elections in Turkey: A Victory for Identity Politics
HATEM ETE

The Republican People's Party and the 2014 Local Elections in Turkey
MUSTAFA ALTUNOGLU

Syria: The Hope and Challenges of Mediation
MAHMOOD MONSHIPOURI and ERICH WIEGER

The Crimean Crisis in the Context of New Russian Geopolitics
OKAN YESILOT

Japan and Turkey: The Contours and Current Status of an Economic Partnership/Free Trade Agreement
SCOTT MORRISON

Book reviews

Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy: The Politics of the Turkish Nove
ERDAĞ GÖKNAR, REVIEWED BY MICHAEL MCGAHA, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 2 / 2014, p. 197

Ottoman Izmir: The Rise of a Cosmopolitan Port, 1840-1880
SIBEL ZANDI-SAYEK, REVIEWED BY ELENI BASTÉA, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 2 / 2014, p. 199

Sovereignty After Empire: Comparing the Middle East and Central Asia
SALLY CUMMINGS and RAYMOND HINNEBUSCH, REVIEWED BY GÜL BERNA ÖZCAN, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 2 / 2014, p. 201

Fathers and Sons: The Rise and Fall of Political Dynasty in the Middle East
M.E. MCMILLAN, REVIEWED BY ÖMER ASLAN, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 2 / 2014, p. 204

Revolution and Reform in Russia and Iran: Modernisation and Politics in Revolutionary States
GHONCHEH TAZMINI, REVIEWED BY DAVID RAMIN JALILVAND, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 2 / 2014, p. 206

Muslim Minorities and Citizenship: Authority, Communities and Islamic Law
SEAN OLIVE-DEE, REVIEWED BY ANNE SOFIE ROALD, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 2 / 2014, p. 209

Dynamics of Energy Governance in Europe and Russia
CAROLINE KUZMENKO, ANDREI V. BELYI, ANDREAS GOLDTHAU and MICHAEL F. KEATING, REVIEWED BY SREEMATI GANGULI, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 2 / 2014, p. 211

Picknick mit den Paschas: Aleppo und die levantinische Handelsfirma Fratelli Poche (1853-1880)
MAFALDA ADE, REVIEWED BY METIN ATMACA, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 2 / 2014, p. 213

The Story of Islamic Philosophy
SALMAN H. BASHIER, REVIEWED BY SAJJAD H. RIZVI, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 2 / 2014, p. 215

Principles of Islamic International Criminal Law: A Comparative Search
FARHAD MALEKIAN, REVIEWED BY AYŞEGÜL ÇIMEN, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 2 / 2014, p. 217

Filistin Politikamız: Camp David’den Mavi Marmara’ya
ERKAN ERTOSUN, REVIEWED BY SALIM ÇEVIK, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 2 / 2014, p. 219

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A New Documentary: Occupy Turkey: American Military Bases In Turkey

video

A New Book: Social Unrest and American Military Bases in Turkey and Germany since 1945

By  Amy Austin Holmes

Cambridge University Press, June 2014

Over the past century, the United States has created a global network of military bases. While the force structure offers protection to U.S. allies, it maintains the threat of violence toward others, both creating and undermining security. Amy Austin Holmes argues that the relationship between the U.S. military presence and the non-U.S. citizens under its security umbrella is inherently contradictory. She suggests that the while the host population may be fully enfranchised citizens of their own government, they are at the same time disenfranchised vis-à-vis the U.S. presence. This study introduces the concept of the “protectariat” as they are defined not by their relationship to the means of production, but rather by their relationship to the means of violence. Focusing on Germany and Turkey, Holmes finds remarkable parallels in the types of social protest that occurred in both countries, particularly non-violent civil disobedience, labor strikes of base workers, violent attacks and kidnappings, and opposition parties in the parliaments.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction: the global American military presence in comparative perspective
2. Social unrest and the American military presence in Turkey during the Cold War
3. Social unrest and the American military presence in Germany during the Cold War
4. From shield to sword: the end of the Cold War to the invasion of Iraq
5. Conclusion: losing ground.

TO PURCHASE THE BOOK......

When Yankees Don’t Go Home: Exploring the Effects of U.S. Military Presence in Germany and Turkey

BY Wendy Lawton 

WATSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES 

When sociologist Amy Austin Holmes was at the Free University of Berlin, getting a master’s degree in political science, the reminders of America’s occupation were everywhere. In West Berlin alone there was the John F. Kennedy School, and Checkpoint Charlie, and vintage signs that still ominously announced “YOU ARE LEAVING THE AMERICAN SECTOR.”
Right on campus, an old Army barracks had been converted into a dormitory. Her mind turned. Why did so much attention get paid to American military policy, but not the military’s physical presence on foreign soil? Where are U.S. troops stationed, and what impact do these soldiers have on the countries they’re meant to protect?
These questions led to her doctoral dissertation and, now, a book and a film produced by this Watson postdoctoral fellow.
Social Unrest and American Military Bases in Turkey and Germany since 1945 will be released this month from Cambridge University Press. Occupy Turkey: Resistance in Baseworld, a 67-minute documentary and a companion to the book, previewed at Watson in April, and will be screened throughout the Middle East this fall.

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fifth Annual Conference on Turkey, Middle East Institute, June 16, 2014

The Center for Turkish Studies at The Middle East Institute presents its Fifth Annual Conference on Turkey. This year the conference will assemble three exceptional panels to discuss the country's tumultuous domestic politics following recent elections, the future of democracy in the country, and Turkish foreign policy. The event will feature a keynote speech by Efkan Ala, Turkey's Minister of the Interior.

Location: National Press Club 529 14th Street, NW 13th Floor Washington District of Columbia 20 045

PROGRAM:

PANEL 1: The Future of Turkish Democracy
9:00 - 10:30am
  • Jim Zanotti, Congressional Research Service (Moderator)
  • Burhanettin Duran, General Coordinator of SETA Istanbul
  • Etyen Mahçupyan, Columnist
  • Omer Taspınar, National Defense University, Brookings
  • additional panelists pending
Keynote Speaker: Efkan Ala, Minister of the Interior, Turkey
10:45 - 11:30am
PANEL 2: Turkish Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty
11:45am - 1:15pm
  • Kim Ghattas, BBC (Moderator)
  • Amb. Robert Ford, The Middle East Institute
  • Ibrahim Kalın, Chief Advisor to Turkey's Prime Minister
  • Amb. Robert Pearson, former ambassador to Turkey
  • Judith Yaphe, Elliott School at George Washington University
Lunch 1:15 - 2:00pm
Keynote Speaker: Amanda Sloat, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Southern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean Affairs, U.S. State Department
2:00 - 2:30pm
PANEL 3: Turkey's Domestic Landscape: A Glance at the Kurdish Issue
3:00 - 4:30pm
  • Sirwan Kajjo, Middle East Research and Information Project (Moderator)
  • Yasin Aktay, AK Party Vice President for External Affairs
  • Gönül Tol, The Middle East Institute
  • Ali Murat Yel, Editor-in-Chief of Turkey Agenda
  • Mehmet Yüksel, Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party's DC Representative
TO REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT.....

Turkey's December 17 Process: A Timeline of the Graft Investigation and the Government's Response

Compiled by Hendrik Müller 

The Turkey Analyst - June 12, 2014

On December 17, 2013, an arrest wave targeted high officials in the Turkish government and their families. Fifty-two people were detained on accusations of accepting and facilitating bribes for state projects and receiving construction permits for protected areas in exchange for money. The accused included the sons of three cabinet members, businessmen, officials and the mayor of the Fatih district in Istanbul from the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The arrest wave is now known in Turkey as the “December 17 process”, marking the fact that this date formed a milestone, or watershed, in Turkish politics.   It has led to a bewildering series of events that defy common assumptions about Turkey. Indeed, following this watershed, Turkey’s primary political fault line is now within the Islamic conservative movement, pitting the Prime Minister against the Fethullah Gülen movement, whom Erdoğan blames for the arrest wave – and for the subsequent massive leaks of private communications, including the Prime Minister’s own phone conversations. And whereas the secularist main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) had long been at extremely critical of the Gülen movement, it now seemed to enter into a tactical alliance with the movement against Erdoğan’s AKP. As for Erdoğan, he had held up the domestication of the Turkish military as one of his main achievements in power. But in response to the perceived onslaught from the Gülen movement, Erdoğan now entered into a tactical alliance of his own with the top brass against the Gülen movement, and overturned the sentences of numerous officers jailed on coup-plotting charges.  But developments in the December 17 process have not only been byzantine; they have included serious changes to Turkey’s legal system. Not least, there have been important confrontations between the executive and the judiciary over a restrictive internet law, as well as on a law strengthening the powers of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).  Even seasoned Turkey watchers are at pains to follow the dizzying pace of events in Turkey. Therefore, the Joint Center resolved to provide a timeline of key events to facilitate understanding of the unfolding situation. This timeline will be updated periodically, and thus several versions of the document will be available. The current version was updated on June 13, 2014. Of course, the Joint Center welcomes suggestions on items we have omitted in the current timeline.

READ MORE AND DOWNLOAD THE REPORT.....

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Legal Alien: Working at State as a Turkish Diplomat

A Transatlantic Diplomatic Exchange Fellow from Ankara discovers more similarities than he expected when he spends a year in Foggy Bottom. 

BY ÖMER MURAT

American Foreign Service Association - June 2014

However long my career as a Turkish diplomat lasts, I will always cherish my year (2011-2012) at the U.S. Department of State with the Transatlantic Diplomatic Exchange Fellowship Program. This unique program allows diplomats from NATO and the European Union to work at State for a year. The Turkish Foreign Ministry highly values this opportunity for its diplomats to experience the U.S. foreign policymaking process from the inside, and to facilitate better relations between our two countries.
Excited as I was to be assigned to such an important program, I must confess that I had no real idea just how challenging—and rewarding—an experience it would be. It took longer than I expected to overcome a difficult-to-explain sense that I was some sort of impostor—a feeling exacerbated whenever I met someone who treated me as one of his or her “ordinary” American colleagues. In fact, many of my State Department colleagues were genuinely surprised to learn I am a Turkish diplomat, especially those who had never before met a Transatlantic Diplomatic Fellow.

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Turkey’s Political Islam and the West: The Evolving Nature of a Relationship

by Galip Dalay

The German Marshall Fund of the United States, 
On Turkey Series 
June 2, 2014

Summary: The approach to “the West” occupied a central place in Turkish Political Islam’s identity formulation and distinguished them from other “systemic” parties. Nevertheless, Turkish Political Islam’s stance on the “West” has not been static. Instead, the character of the relations has acquired new shapes and dynamism, particularly in the late 1990s and 2000s. For a better understanding of the evolution, it is necessary to divide the time-span from the Welfare Party to the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) into distinguishable periods. These periods can be described as going from rejection of political Islam of the West to its enthusiastic embrace, and from co-existence to uncertainty. Currently, opposing trends have been set in motion simultaneously, and ambiguity rules Turkey’s relations with the West.

READ THE FULL REPORT.....

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

WORKSHOP: INTRODUCTION TO TURKISH-AMERICAN STUDIES - JUNE 6-7, 2014 ISTANBUL

Introduction to Turkish­-American Studies
Boğaziçi University Alumni Association Building

 June 6­-7, 2014

Workshop Program

Introduction to Turkish­American Studies Boğaziçi University Alumni Association Building June 6­7, 2014

organized by the Cultural Studies Association of Turkey

Thursday, 5 June

18:00—Drinks at the Bebek Hotel Bar

Friday, 6 June

9:00 to 17:00—Workshop registration

10:00—Opening Remarks

Cash bar

Oya Başak (Boğaziçi University)
Gönül Pultar (Cultural Studies Association of Turkey) Louis Mazzari (Boğaziçi University)

5­minute break

10:35 to 11: 35—Keynote Speech I

Chair: Belma Baskett (International Society for Theatre and Literature) Justin McCarthy (University of Louisville), “The Turk in America”

11:35 to 11:50—Coffee break

11:50 to 13:20—Session I

“Turkish­American Relations”

Chair: Emine O. İncirlioğlu (Maltepe University)

Pınar Dost­Niyego (Atlantic Council Istanbul Office), “History of Turkish­American Relations”
Işıl Acehan (İpek University), “Impact of Ottoman Immigration on Turkish­American Relations”
Louis Mazzari (Boğaziçi University), “A Palazzo on the Bosphorus: The American Embassy in Beyoğlu”

13:20 to 14:30—Lunch hour

14:30 to 16:30—Session II

“The Ottoman Legacy”

Chair: Gönül Bakay (Bahçeşehir University)

Erin Hyde Nolan (Boston University), “Eyes Wide Shut: Images of Istanbul in Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad”

Bahar Gürsel (Middle East Technical University), “Letters from Abroad to Kindred at Home: Catherine Maria Sedgwick’s Ideas about the Old World and the Ottoman Empire”

Cafer Sarıkaya (Boğaziçi University), “Ottoman Participation in the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition”

Emrah Şahin (University of Florida), “‘Terrible Turk Beaten’: Fighting the Turkish Athletes during the Progressive Era”

16:30 to 16:45—Coffee break

16:45 to 17:45—Session III “Turkish­American Associations” Chair: Selhan Endres (Kadir Has University)

Zeynep Kılıç (University of Alaska) “Organizational Interpretations of Belonging and Identity ­ Politics of Incorporation among Turkish American Associations in New York”

Alice Leri (University of South Carolina), “A Study of ATAA (Assembly of Turkish American Associations)”

18:00 to 20:00—Cultural Studies Association Reception at Kennedy Lodge (Boğaziçi University)

Saturday, 7 June

9:00 to 17:00—Workshop registration

9:00 to 11:00—Keynote Speeches II

Chair: Louis Mazzari (Boğaziçi University)

Sabri Sayarı (Bahçeşehir University), “Turkish Studies in the USA”

Kemal Sılay (Indiana University), “Deconstructing Kemalism, Celebrating ‘Diversity’: American Academia’s Contributions to Islamist Dystopia in Turkey”

11:00 to 11:15—Coffee break

11:15 to 12:15—Session IV “Turkish Studies in the USA”page2image14608  page2image14768  page2image14928  page2image15088  page2image15248

Chair: Clifford Endres (Kadir Has University)
Tuğrul Keskin, “Orientalism to Neo­Orientalism in Modern Turkish Studies”
Brian T. Edwards, “What's in a Hyphen?: Between Turkish American Studies and Turkish­American Studies”

12:15 to 13:30—Lunch hour

13:30 to 15:30—Session V

“Immigration, Identity Formation, Diaspora”

Chair: Dilek Doltaş (Boğaziçi University)

Fazia Meberbeche (Abu Bakr Belkaid University of Tlemcen­Algeria), “The Turkish Diaspora in the United States: Immigration and Identity Formation”

Müzeyyen Güler (Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts), “The Second Generation of Turks who Migrated to America”

İlke Şanlıer Yüksel (Doğuş University), “We’re Still Living the Journey”: Media in the Daily Lives of Immigrants from Turkey”

Tahire Erman (Bilkent University), “Turkish Tailors Establishing Themselves in American Society: Experiences of ‘Lower Class’ Immigrants”

15:30 to 15:45—Coffee break

15:45 to 17:45—Session VI

“Turkish­American Art and Artists”

Chair: Oya Başak (Boğaziçi University)

Belma Baskett (International Society for Theatre and Literature), “A Brief Look at the Literature about the Turkish Immigration to the United States of America and the Hitherto Unrecorded Story of Osman and Timur”

Elena Furlanetto (Dortmund Technical University), “An Implausible Juncture? Locating Turkish Literature in an American Frame”

Elif Huntürk (Bilkent University), “Building up a New Identity through Music: The Case of Ahmet Ertegün”

H. Alper Maral (Yıldız University), “Bülent Arel and İlhan Mimaroğlu: Two Turkish Pioneers of Electronic Music Tuning the United States to the New World of Sounds”

17:45 to 18:00—Closing remarks / Wrap­up session

Chair: Gönül Pultar

19:30—Dinner at the Baltalimanı İstanbul University Faculty Restaurant

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The AKP’s working class support base explains why the Turkish government has managed to retain its popularity during the country’s protests

Erik R. Tillman – DePaul University

The London School of Economics and Political Science - May 29, 2014

A number of anti-government protests have taken place in Turkey over the past year. Erik R. Tillman assesses the dynamics underpinning support for the ruling AKP government and its main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), during the unrest. He notes that although AKP has parallels with mainstream centre-right parties in Europe, its support base is built on working-class voters. He argues that as the protests largely articulated concerns associated with middle class voters, this ‘ideological reversal’ has so far helped to protect the AKP electorally. Nevertheless, the dynamics of the most recent protests over the mining disaster in Soma could pose a threat to the governing party as they are closely associated with its core working class support base.
During the past year, the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has faced a series of protests over its increasingly authoritarian style of governance and a series of scandals regarding alleged high-level corruption. However, Erdoğan does not appear to have lost significant popular support. In municipal elections on 30 March, his Justice and Development Party (AKP) won a comfortable plurality of the national vote.
How has the Erdoğan government retained its popularity in the face of these protests? An examination of the nature of mass party support in Turkey shows a reversed relationship between the apparent ideology of each major party and the social base of its support. The Gezi Park protests and subsequent outrage over alleged corruption have largely reflected the middle-class concerns of opposition supporters and have thus failed to shift the attitudes of many government supporters. If public outrage over the recent Soma mine disaster lingers, it could provide a more credible threat to the government’s popularity by shifting the attitudes of a core group of AKP voters.
In contemporary Turkish politics, there is little congruence between the stated ideologies of the two largest parties and their actual bases of mass support. The governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) describes itself as a conservative democratic party and is affiliated with the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. Conversely, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) describes itself as a social democratic party and is affiliated with the Party of European Socialists. Normally, one would expect the AKP to have more support among middle class voters and the CHP to derive most of its support from working class voters. Virtually the opposite is true.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Turkish Onomastics and Migration Patterns

Comparative Perspectives and Continuities 30 May - 1 June 2014 | Regent's University London

Next week at Regent’s University Turkish Migration Conference (TMC2014, London), Elian Carsenat will present breakthrough data mining technology to apply onomastics (the recognition of personal names) to the discovery of new migration patterns.
As states struggle to provide timely and accurate data to international organizations (such as the OECD, IOM, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, …), these organizations can turn to the Big Data to identify and monitor new trends. What can Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, D&B, Thomson WoS … tell us about the changing migration patterns of highly educated professionals, entrepreneurs? We’ll present how applied onomastics and the Big Data can be a game changer in migration studies, with vast implications on how countries or even regions can engage their Diaspora (to attract FDI, remittances, to build networks of expertise, …)
We look forward to see you at Regent’s University Turkish Migration Conference (TMC2014, London). Full program here.

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From Gezi to Soma

By Alain Gabon

Turkey Agenda - May 22, 2014

As a descendant of three generations of French coal miners, the Soma tragedy hits particularly close to home. It is hard, and as a matter of fact not desirable or appropriate, to have a purely analytical discourse about this.  The first thing I immediately and spontaneously remembered, right there, literally the second I heard the horrible news, was my first descent at the bottom of the pit, as a child, for a “visit”, a guided tour so to speak with the miners as tour guides, of the place where both my father, my grand-father, and my great-grand-father had been (and in the case of my father, still was) working daily, as were almost all of the fathers and many brothers, cousins, etc. of my school friends in that small mining town we all loved. That was a nice town that had been able to prosper and even thrive both economically and culturally thanks to the coal mines around which the whole city and most of the others in that mining region had been built.  It is thanks to these coal mines but also to the truly generous social policies of the French welfare state and the private owners of the pits, who, while exploiting them, also lavished benefits on their workers including free housing in large, solid and comfortable houses built for them, free education for their children, free health care for the whole family, and a range of other social welfare benefits that are simply unthinkable in today’s economy—it is thanks to that that the entire coal miners’ working class of that region including my own family and those of, literally, all my friends and neighbors, were able to rise up to middle-class standards, give their kids a high school and for many a university education, thereby ensuring they would not have to do that kind of back-breaking and excessively dangerous work. And most kids including myself did not have to, though I sometimes regretted not having been part of what was then presented, in the paternalistic discourse of the state and the rich Catholic conservative bourgeois owners of the mines, as the “working-class aristocracy of the nation”—a title they were taking dead seriously, disputing it to the steel factory workers who were also being told by their bosses they were the real “working class aristocrats of the nation”.

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Did reforms stop in Turkey?

By Ibrahim Kalin

Turkey Agenda - May 20, 2014

Recently there has been a recurring claim that Turkey has stopped introducing new judicial and political reforms. Critics claim that the Turkish state has forsaken its reform agenda which it followed until the 2011 elections and wants to maintain the status quo that developed under its rule since 2002.

This is not true. Since 2010 the government has introduced a large number of new laws and regulations, all of which are either derived from the Copenhagen criteria or have been suggested by the EU since Turkey's accession talks began in 2005. These reforms have been supported by a large group of opinion makers, politicians and the public at large.

A cursory look at the list of reforms over the last three years reveals a steady trend. The referendum on Sept. 12, 2010 introduced the following changes:

-Children's rights were strengthened under the constitutional law
-The office of the Ombudsman gained constitutional status and began its work
-Members of Parliament were prevented from losing their status in the event their political party shuts down
-The right of individual application to the Constitutional Court was granted
-A Human Rights Committee was established to protect and improve human rights, prevent torture and maltreatment and train citizens and officials in the field of human rights


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Between Two Rationalities: The Possibility of an Alternative Politics in Turkey

By Bülent Küçük

Jadaliyya - May 23 2014 

How can the results of the recent municipal elections in Turkey be understood amidst the constantly changing political landscape: graft scandals, revolting judicial decisions, changing political alliances, and an ever-increasing polarization? It can be argued that only preliminary lessons can be drawn when analyzing an ongoing historical process for historical and structural clues. This is a state that cannot overcome a widening social opposition, which views elections as the only conduit for democracy (while tampering with these very conduits themselves), which is only able to use brute force against the voices expressed on the streets. It is a state that can only tell lies, since it can no longer (re)produce its own reality, turning ever more clearly into a security and police apparatus. In such a context, do the results of the local elections count for anything?
The question here is: when marginalized identities proliferate, when new sorrows and indignations amass, when a populist government manages to monopolize all branches of power under its thumb, what kind of democratic institutions and practices, what kind of struggle, can resist or even transform this kind of rule? How will it be possible to prevent this single-party, single-identity, single-family, one-man rule to drag society into bigger disasters after the collapse of expansionist foreign policies and nearly going to war with some of its neighbors? Amidst this climate of conflict, secret negotiations are supposedly ongoing with the Kurdish Liberation Movement; these are hardly likely to be conductive to a new constitutional arrangement that deepens democracy and brings peace to the conflict. What kind of mechanisms and forces can push this government towards more democratization and the consolidation of the peace process? And finally, how could such an opposition go beyond the simple strategy of exposing government corruption and lawlessness and become more encompassing in its opposition?

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The Failed Autocrat Despite Erdogan's Ruthlessness, Turkey's Democracy Is Still on Track

By Daron Acemoglu

Foreign Affairs - May 22, 2014

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was once the darling of the international community, but no more. He is still sometimes praised for stewarding Turkey through impressive economic growth, defanging a Turkish military establishment with a long history of meddling in national politics, and initiating a promising peace process with the country’s restive Kurdish population. But Erdogan’s achievements are now shadowed by his undeniable lurch toward autocracy. Over the last year, he has initiated a harsh crackdown against peaceful protesters, political opponents, and independent media outlets. (According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at one point, the number of journalists jailed in Turkey even exceeded the number in Iran and China.)

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Tragedy of the Soma Mine-Workers: A Crime of Peripheral Capitalism Unleashed.

Triple Crisis - May 15, 2014

By Erinc Yeldan 

One of the greatest work-crimes in mining industry occurred in Soma, a little mining village in Western Turkey. At noon-time on Tuesday, May 13, according to witnesses, an electrical fault triggered a transformer to explode causing a large fire in the mine, releasing carbon monoxide and gaseous fumes. (The official cause of the “accident” was still unknown, at this writing, after nearly 30 hours.) Around 800 miners were trapped 2 km underground and 4 km from the exit. At this point, the death toll has already reached 245, with reports of another 100 workers remaining in the mine, yet unreached.  Turkey has possibly the worst safety record in terms of mining accidents and explosions in Europe and the third worst in the world. Since the right-wing Justice and Development Party (AKP) assumed power in 2002, and up to 2011, a 40% increase in work-related accidents has been reported. The death toll from these accidents reached more than 11,000. Many analysts agree that what lies behind these tragic events is the unregulated and poorly supervised attempts of a corrupt ruling government to push through hasty privatizations and a forced informalization of labour. The Soma mine itself was privatized in 2005. In the heyday of an anti-public sector campaign, the new owners of the plant proudly declared a decline in production costs from the US$120-130 range under the public ownership of State Coal Inc. (TTK) to US$23.80. It was not very long before it became clear that what actually facilitated this ‘miraculous market success’ was the determined evasion of safety standards. On that front, the president of the private company Soma Inc., Mr. Gürkan, was heard boasting, “You can ask ‘what changed in the mine?’ The answer is ‘nothing.’ We simply introduced methods of the private sector only.”

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Why The Worst Is Still Ahead For Turkey's Bubble Economy

By Jesse Colombo

FORBES - MAY 21, 2014

The explosive rise of Turkey’s economy in the past decade is one of the most fascinating growth stories of all time. Since 2002, Turkey’s economy nearly quadrupled in size on the back of an epic boom in consumption and construction that led to the building of countless malls, skyscrapers, and ambitious infrastructure projects. Like many emerging economies in the past decade, Turkey’s economy continued to grow virtually unabated through the Global Financial Crisis, while most Western economies stagnated.  Unfortunately, like most emerging market nations, Turkey’s economic boom has devolved into a dangerous bubble that is similar to the bubbles that caused the downfall of Western economies just six years ago. Though Turkey has received significant attention after its currency and financial markets fell sharply in the past year, there is still very little awareness of the country’s economic bubble itself and its frightening implications.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

On Erdogan’s ‘Ordinary Things’: The Soma Massacre, the Spine Tower, and the Corporate-State’s Fitrat in Turkey

By Emrah Yildiz 

Jadaliyya - May 18 2014

On 14 May, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reached Soma, the site of the coal mine explosion that has so far killed 321 people—an already horrific number feared to surpass 350. In his first public appearance, twenty-four hours after the explosion, he seemed sultanically informed about the dates of previous coal mine explosions and their resultant deaths, not only in contemporary Turkey, but also across time and space. After having thanked the media “workers” for their “responsible” coverage of the calamity or catastrophe (facia in Turkish) as an unfortunate yet ordinary “work accident,” Erdoğan was ready to present some facts on the ground for all. Beginning with a warning against “marginal groups who are trying to make use of this accident” for their political ends, Erdoğan lectured on:
I want to share with you some numbers to put things in perspective here. Between 1942 and the end of 2010, friends, our total number of deaths in this type of accidents is around 900. 42, 47, 55, 83, 87, 90, 95, 2010. Among these the methane gas explosion experienced in Kozlu in 1992 has been recorded as the biggest accident that cost 263 workers their lives. This is what it is with coal…Let us remember the past in England: in 1866, 362 people were reported dead. Another explosion in England in 1894, 290. Let me move to France: 1906, the second deadliest mine accident ever recorded. Let me move to more recent periods: Japan in 1914, 687. China, in 1960 gas explosion in the mine, 684. And from Japan, again coal explosion again in 1963, 458. India, 375. In 1975, gas catches fire again, and the roof of the mine collapses and 372. At this point these kinds of accidents are ordinary and recurrent things in these mines…Take a look at America, with its technology and all, in 1907 361 people…These are recurrent and ordinary things. In literature they are referred to as work accidents.
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