· 29 Mar
On Turkey-EU relations and the future of the EU with Joschka Fischer
Former German Foreign Minister and Project Syndicate author Joschka Fischer spoke with Spektrum.
I live in London but I am from Milan in my heart . I miss Italian architecture and dolce vita AKA easy living. Given my mixed background —my parents are Albanian and past cities I've lived in Milan, Istanbul, and now London— I feel that I still need to find the place where I want to settle. So far, NYC and Barcelona are on the top. I have recently found inspiration at The Castel Cinema which is a beautifully crafted little cinema in Homerton. The bar makes you feel like you are in the 1920s (it opened in 1913!). Super retro cool vibe with a diverse movie selection, some of which are even played in 16mm format. After living 6 years in London, I have just discovered: that I love coffee! I was never into coffee back in Italy as it was too strong, usually, they only drink espresso, and only here I started drinking coffee thanks to latté, flat white, dirty chai, etc. I love walking around Victoria Park with Angela (my partner) and Cliff (our lovely dog). It's a wide and open space, with plenty of greenery, little ponds, and secret gardens. I mostly shop vintage. A sustainable shop I like to cruise around: Paper Dress Vintage . A Londoner you must meet is Lawrence from Hackney Bread Kitchen . He is a professor who bakes at the back of his house in Hackney out of passion. The best focaccia you'll ever eat in the whole UK (and I can say this because I'm Italian). Not only he's super friendly, and into movies (he reminds me of David Lynch), but the passion that he puts in what he bakes is truly inspiring and deserves all the credits for it! Only a true Londoner would know where to get good coffee on a rainy day and. One of my favourite local hangouts is: Dark Arts Coffee Shop. In this erratic city, I complain the most about passive-aggressiveness . It's still something I can't understand and don't tolerate, but besides that, even the weather is not that bad, so I try not to complain too much. When I want to escape big city life: I go to Margate, a half plus one hour's train ride from London . Seems a bit like a copy of East London but more chilled and less busy. Lots of unique vintage shops, antiques, great food, and cute coffee and you get an amazing view of cliffs and sea.
Democratic Weekend Nation of Broadway Market
Neighborhood: Hackney. Venue: Broadway Market. Local: Nivi Jasa . Words by: Hazal Yılmaz . Photos by: Alper Goldenberg . What makes a neighborhood a desired landscape to live in, a community to belong? What is the je-ne-sais quoi that makes one choose to live in a space defined by postcodes yet separated from the adjacent street with a hunch? Is it the proximity to the schools, parking lot, a 24/7 open shop or on the contrary the isolation, the silence, the tranquility, the non-sound? Is it the closeness to the sky versus the soil? To some, it would be the ecosystem that surrounds it. The susurration of waves hitting the shore, the wind howling on the cherry tree branches, a little egret looking for their next food alongside the lake. A ramp? Not the first choice unless the house, flat, or apartment in question is located all the way up, maybe looking down to a bewildering panorama. Fantom of the neighborhood For a common human being living within the peripheries of E8 (Between Hackney Downs Park on the north, Haggerston in the south, Dalston Junction defining east and Well Street west including London Fields, unfortunately excluding My Neighbours The Dumplings to those who are not familiar) this question mostly would be answered by the closeness to Broadway Market; on weekdays the intersection of morning people running, getting their coffee from Climpson & Sons; noon sightseers chasing a place in front of L'Eau à la Bouche, afternoon tourers settling down at Dove with an Annie Ernaux book published by Fitzcarraldo Editions, bought from The Broadway Bookstore, night comers having a little drink at Off Broadway before heading at home or a Wednesday jazz night at NT’s Loft and on weekends where Mali rhythms are heard while eating baklava accompanied by Vietnamese coffee, where the cultures, languages, traditions, affirmations, and exclamations intermingle to form a brand new, temporary Democratic Weekend Nation of Broadway Market. A sneak peek of the Democratic Weekend Nation of Broadway Market Broadway Market reminiscences For the last five decades, East London harbors many different cultures such as Gypsies passing through; Greek, Turkish, Caribbean and African communities. Once upon a time a Victorian street market called Trinovantum by "Brutus the Trojan", was a busy cart track road that help to bring food supplies to London around 3,000 years ago, as well as cattle from Essex and Epping Forest to slaughter. Part of the old "Porter's Path", a merchant's route between Hackney and Shoreditch, the street has existed since Roman times with changing uses. The historic pedestrian route; Broadway Market was not only a vital supply route for a rapidly growing settlement but also an important area for supplying Phoenician merchant ships moored in the ancient London Pool. Still known today as the "Porter's Way", it was used to transport supplies from the rich pasture and wheat fields along the Lea Valley. The market stretched from the Isle of Dogs (Welsh: Ynys Dociau) and Billingsgate (King Belin's Gate) to what is now London Bridge. Until the 1980s, the roads through Hackney were all chained and padlocked between Friday afternoon and Monday morning to prevent the passage of private vessels. Rumor has it that the river was opened to the public after a group of people wanted to swim there at the weekends, and gradually the streets we travel today began to form. The rallying place: Broadway Market After the 1979 financial collapse, a Victorian-themed carnival was organized by two shopkeepers to keep Broadway Market afloat, to which all residents were invited. In 2004, 25 years after the carnival, the roads were closed to traffic and the market was designed by the Broadway Market Residents and Traders Association (BMRTA) so that it would not affect neighboring markets. I am Nut Ok : A vegan addition to the market space Nivi and Angela start I am Nut Ok at the adjacent street which is the school courtyard on weekdays. “By then it was a vegan market,” Nivi says. On the contrary of regular arrangements in which you have to apply, and pass through an assessment period before being admitted as a permanent vendor at the main street, Broadway Market Residents and Traders Association (BMRTA) invites them. “We were creating something unique, artisan vegan cheese, and this was missing from the grand total,” he says. A taste, even for non-vegans, indistinguishable from what they were used to, made from cow, buffalo or goat milk. Give a few bites for this vegan cheesecake “I think London is really East-focused and diverse when it comes to vegan food. As soon as you move West, the options are fewer. The East offering is more diverse, from Nepalese to Ethiopian, Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine; West feels quite posh and (still good) but more classic; South has always been more Caribbean,” Nivi mentions, which makes me think about the effects of food on understanding culture(s) surrounding us, how through taste, smell and flavor we are more open-mindedly drawn. “Business-wise, I have to say that it has been an advantage having so many various traders around us, as it helped us grow faster and diversify our channels,” mentions Nivi about starting from a market stall before establishing a permanent place in Broadway Market. Broadway Market locals Photo: Hazal Yılmaz Third Culture : A plant-based deli on its permanent place I ask Nivi how the vegan scene from when they started at the Courtyard Market to today has changed. “A lot,” he says. In 2016, considered a dietary restriction, today a political statement, London’s, especially East London’s approach to veganism has changed a lot. It is easily noticed in daily life, through food. “Back in 2016 there were just a few vegan options and now you can basically enter almost every restaurant and find a broad selection. Because there is demand, chefs and tastemakers try to come up with new recipes, and taste palettes. Surprisingly, when we decided to open our deli in Broadway Market, there wasn't a single plant-based restaurant in the street, so we almost felt obliged. Third Culture Deli is an American-style diner combining Italian soul with plant-based recipes. The classic clam chowder soup is made from corn, to recreate another diner classic, the Reuben sandwich we use seitan. Every day either we transform non-vegan flavors and veganize them or we create new recipes,” he answers. Nivi in front of Third Culture I finish my Caprese sandwich made with Bluffalo notzarella and return to the open market area. Standing in front of the onigiri stall now, there is a distinct BBQ smell in the air. Once the last place for hungry farm animals to graze overnight, Broadway Market’s (culpable!) past is only visible through street and pub names nowadays. Sheep Lane, Lamb Lane and the Cat & Mutton Pub to name a few. Once the midpoint of animals proceeding to the slaughterhouse, today Broadway Market is the intersection and pioneer of an ever-changing culture. In three, five, or ten years, can we talk about a vegan Democratic Weekend Nation of Broadway Market? Probably, in my opinion.
BROADWAY MARKET VEGAN STOPS
Facing Heaven Cuisine: Reborn Sichuanese food concept from LA chef Julian Denis Influenced by Cantonese, Yunnan and Shaanxi cuisines, Facing Heaven is a vegan’s go-to place. Especially before and after a long night out. Garlic and sesame oil “spanked cucumber”, purple gong bao broccoli at the center, dan dan noodles in front, msg margarita or organic wine in the hand. What else could you ask for? Where: 1A Bayford Street E8 3SE Heads-up: It’s named after Sichuanese "facing heaven" pepper. This means hot, spicy food all over. Pocket’s Cuisine: Falafel aka Middle Eastern street food It’s pretty rare you can convince a hungry, hang-over Londoner to wait in queue for food for more than ten minutes. But that’s exactly what Pockets do on any given Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Starting cooking these delicacies at Oxford, followed by Chatsworth Road Market, they made (lucky for us) their way into Netil Market in November 2020. And since their debut, there is no single day or hour we can bypass the queue to attain the ultimate goal: falafel pita. It’s not just the falafel, it’s the union of fluffy pita bread, crunchy green falafels, the classified sauce we finally dared to ask and learned was mango-based, hummus, tahini, garnishing and the final touch: boiled, roasted, fried potato slice. Where: Netil Market, Thursday-Sunday from 11:00 a.m. Heads-up: It takes about 2 minutes to layer impeccably one falafel pita. Yes, we timed it! Be prepared to wait in line for about 40 minutes. OKKO Cuisine: Izakaya. Pacific Japanese plates from Hakata to Hawaii If you are lucky enough to find a table outside of OKKO on a sunny London afternoon. Just keep it and keep the food coming. Our suggestion is to start with mixed pickles (including daikon) followed by Crunchy vegan roll, homemade gyoza and ramen accompanied with a nice bottle of sake of course. The lunch would turn into dinner and before you know it you are ordering Yamazaki 12 years. Where: 10-12 Broadway Market Mews London E8 4TS Heads-up: Okko is open every day, between 12:00-10:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 12:00-9:00 p.m. on Sundays, non-stop. Third Culture Deli Cuisine: Italian American deli classics with a plant-based twist The only place where you can have Rueben made from seitan seasoned with Russian sauce and American style I am Nut Ok cheese; Caprese using Bluffalo Notzarella in focaccia seasoned with green pesto and you can also buy from the deli counter to keep company for your wine and dine nights in. Where: 29 Broadway Market, London E8 4PH Heads-up: If you time yourself well, you can have corn chowder soup and arancini balls with a cocktail. Mare Street Market Cuisine: Diner meets café meets tapas A hip, leafy market, co-work space with shared tables during the day, loud and dance music by night. To some, this is the ultimate weekday hang-out where you can listen to Stranger Than Paradise tunes, to others, a brunch spot with long-time not seen friends. One thing is certain: Order a chipotle black bean burger w/ white cabbage slaw, sriracha, and pickles accompanied by fries. Where: 117 Mare St, London E8 4RU Heads-up: If you are looking for quiet, I need to have a couple of meetings online or IRL kind of co-working place, Mare Street is not it. The volume of the music and conversation is always up here. İdeal for people who are looking for inspiration. Bonus: The Approach Tavern Cuisine: Pub We are no longer in the E8 zone but there is a valid reason for that. Burger, chips and a touch of culture. Situated about 10-12 minutes from Broadway Market, this is one of the neighborhood local pubs where you can meet people at the bar and chat. Beer battered artichokes, and vegan black bean burger w/ coconut cream, mint, salad, “brioche” bun & fries is our selection from the menu. Where: 47 Approach Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9LY Heads-up: The Approach Tavern has a gallery on the second floor. Check out the program.
Reconstruction of Cities
It was announced that in the earthquakes that occurred on February 6 and affected 11 provinces, approximately 165,000 buildings consisting of 520,000 independent units were destroyed or severely damaged. The need for the reconstruction of cities, especially Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, and Adıyaman, has emerged. For this reason, it is urgently necessary to provide temporary shelter for at least three million people, to plan their permanent resettlement, and to return the lives of earthquake victims to normal before it is too late. After the earthquake, the President declared a state of emergency for three months in the region covering 11 provinces and this decision was approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. In this context, the President has issued many Presidential Decrees of state of emergency. Presidential Decree No. 126 on Settlement and Construction Under the State of Emergency, published in the Official Gazette dated February 24, 2023, regulates how the temporary or final resettlement areas of those affected by the disaster will be determined and how the new settlements will be built. According to this Decree, temporary and final settlement areas can be determined directly by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change, without complying with the rules stipulated in the Settlement Law. If there is a pasture or forest in these areas, they can be opened to the settlement without complying with the restrictions in the relevant laws. Rights regarding mining and tourism management previously recognized in the identified areas will automatically expire, immovables belonging to public institutions will be registered directly in the name of the Ministry or TOKİ, and privately owned immovables will be expropriated immediately. The main issue that needs to be discussed here is whether a regulation regarding the determination and construction of permanent settlements can be made with a State of Emergency Presidential Decree (OHAL CBK). According to article 119/6 of the Constitution, a State of Emergency CBK may be issued "on matters necessitated by the state of emergency". However, it is not possible to say that the new city plan of a province such as Hatay, which was severely damaged in the earthquake, is a matter "necessitated by the state of emergency". This is because of the fact that OHAL CBKs cannot establish rules that exceed the duration of the state of emergency. In addition to the determination of where a city will be built, new construction efforts should be is an issue that needs to be decided through a democratic and participatory process. While a decision that will determine the future centuries of the city should be made at the end of intensive scientific examination and analysis, as well as discussion, and negotiation processes that take the demands and opinions of various actors and interest groups into consideration, it is clear that starting constructions in a hurry without the plans being announced to the public and without any demand or objection opportunity will have irreversible consequences. In addition, it is not possible to open forest and pasture areas for construction in violation of the Constitution. On the other hand, privately owned immovables will be expropriated immediately, and disputes over expropriation prices will take many years to resolve. Likewise, all previously granted rights in places designated as residential areas will automatically expire. All these regulations inevitably cause violations of property rights. However, Article 148 of the Constitution blocked the way to file an annulment action against the OHAL CBKs. While the Constitutional Court had previously ruled in the cases brought against the emergency decree laws in 1991 that it could audit whether a State of Emergency Decree was limited to the requirements of the state of emergency. Yet, in 2016 the Court reverted from this jurisprudence and decided that it could not in any way supervise the emergency decrees. The Constitutional Court will probably adhere to the same jurisprudence for the OHAL CBKs. In this case, CBKs can be subject to constitutional review only after they are approved by the parliament. According to the Constitution, the OHAL CBKs must be discussed in parliament within three months at the latest. It is not possible to predict how long the Constitutional Court will decide on cases to be filed after approval within this period. The lack of control of the state of emergency CBKs will cause serious human rights violations and irreversible social harm.
The Freedom Observer
The objections of the lawyers did not attract the necessary attention and the public seems to have focused on the elections. With the announcement of the election calendar, all parties started to seek various alliances and strategic negotiations within the alliance they were placed to achieve success in the elections. First of all, although the opposition voters, commented that the Table for Six would disintegrate because of the short-term crack in the Nation Alliance caused by İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener's opposition to Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's presidential candidacy, seemed to drift into pessimism for a moment, Akşener returned to the Table after intense negotiations. Although the presidential candidate issue has been resolved by consensus, the issue of whether Nation Alliance will enter the parliamentary election with a joint list, or whether the SAADET, GELECEK, and DEVA parties will enter with a separate list, as it has been discussed recently, and how the distribution between the parties will be in these lists has not been clarified. On the other hand, although the number of parties in the Nation Alliance has become clear, we observe that the People's Alliance is trying to include other parties in the alliance. The People's Alliance continues to negotiate with the Yeniden Refah and HUDA-PAR. The fact that these two political Islamist parties will shift the ideological average of the alliance to the right, especially the existence of HUDA-PAR, which is known to be close to Hezbollah, has become questioned by the public. Meanwhile, six parties, primarily HDP and TİP, announced that they would enter the elections as the Labor and Freedom Alliance (LFA), and it was agreed that each of the Alliance parties could enter the elections with their names and logos. It is said that in case the HDP is closed it will show its candidates from the Greens and Left Future Party in all cities. In addition, after some members of the Labor and Freedom Alliance announced that they will support Kılıçdaroğlu in the presidential election, the official statement of support of the LFA is expected soon. Finally, debates continue about whether the candidacy of Muharrem İnce, who announced his candidacy for Presidency, will reduce the probability of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu being elected. Meanwhile, it is expected that İnce could not stand the pressure from the public and would announce his support to Kılıçdaroğlu. The pace of interaction and negotiation between political parties is crucial for Turkish democracy. It is hoped that this will continue throughout the election process and, more importantly, that government or judicial institutions will not interfere with the democratic process during and after the election.
The Freedom Observer
Record Current Account Deficit and Central Bank Reserve
According to the data announced on March 12, the current account balance in January increased significantly compared to the same period of the previous year and reached 9 billion 849 million dollars, breaking a record monthly. In this way, the 12-month current account deficit rose to $51.7 billion. However, in January of last year, the current account deficit was 6 billion 889 million dollars. On the other hand, foreign trade data, which is the leading indicator for the current account deficit, shows that the foreign trade deficit will increase in February. This indicates that the annual current account deficit will increase even more. At this point, it should be emphasized that the criticisms made against the "Turkish economic model", which has been proved as a great failure, are justified. Because when this model was first announced, it was said that it would have a reducing effect on the foreign trade deficit, whereas the foreign trade deficit increased continuously. When we look at the reasons behind the failure of the model, we can clearly see that these are not economic but political reasons. Because the government thinks that it will lose votes if the necessary conditions are met for the proposed model to be successful. Let's take a brief look at these conditions: For the model to be successful, goods produced in Turkey must become cheaper for customers abroad. To this end, the Turkish Lira needs to lose value at least as much as inflation. Thus, it is hoped that exports will increase. However, the government is making great efforts to keep the USD/TRY exchange rate below 19 TL. This causes the Turkish Lira to become more valuable against other currencies due to the effect of inflation. Therefore, although exports increase, imports increase more than exports. In other words, the most fundamental pillar of the model is collapsing. So why doesn't the government want the dollar to increase in value? The value of the dollar significantly affects the economic voting behavior of the electorate. The dollar price has been seen as a harbinger of inflation for many years in Turkey. Because Turkey has been a country with a foreign trade deficit for a very long time. Since the increase in the dollar will increase the price of goods coming from abroad (especially electronic equipment and vehicles, which have symbolic importance in terms of consumption), the worry of inflation causes a negative view of the government as there will be a decrease in consumption amounts. Record Budget Deficit and Earthquake Tax Just a few days after the record current account deficit, the budget figures for February were announced. Turkey broke another record: Central government budget deficit amounted to 170.6 billion TL monthly. Thus, the 12-month budget deficit rose to 441.6 billion TL. The most striking point was about the interest rates. Excluding interest expenses, the budget, which gave a surplus of 113.4 billion TL in the same period of last year, gave a deficit of 136.3 billion TL in this period. In other words, the central government spent approximately 250 billion TL more than in the same period last year. As it is known, Turkey experienced a massively destructive earthquake. It would not be wrong to assume that some of these expenditures are the money spent due to the earthquake. But it is not possible to say that such a high expenditure was made to heal the wounds of the earthquake. As a matter of fact, when we look at the expenditure items, we see that most of the budget expenditures increase the current transfers and transfers to state economic enterprises. It would not be wrong to say that this deficit will increase even more due to the earthquake. On the other hand, we have not yet fully seen the effect of expenditures that can be considered election investments such as the early retirement law (EYT), the increase in civil servant-retirement salary increases above inflation, which will increase the budget deficit. In the period ahead, we will see the effects of these investments more clearly on the budget deficit. According to the figures given by the Minister of Treasury and Finance, Nurettin Nebati, the cost of expenditures such as EYT, minimum wage subsidies, and electricity-natural gas subsidies to the budget will reach one trillion TL this year. On top of that, the expenses that have to be made due to the earthquake will be added. In all this mess, the government removed some of the tax credits it provided to R&D companies This could be seen as yet another additional tax for these companies. Indeed, in such cases, imposing additional taxes is the primary choice of governments. It goes without a doubt that all citizens should take responsibility to heal the social wounds and eliminate the destruction caused by disasters. As a matter of fact, aid campaigns were also carried out in Turkey and a significant amount of money was collected to be transferred to the earthquake zone. But in an environment where the burden of the early retirement arrangement on the budget alone exceeds 250 billion TL, what is the meaning of the 100 billion TL income that will be provided by the additional tax brought! Unfortunately, Turkey prefers daily political benefits to long-term gains. The interests of the citizens and the government are diverging at an unprecedented pace. In addition, since the country has a fragile economy, the government goes through major rule changes in every disaster. For this reason, the country cannot attract international investments that it needs so much.
The Freedom Observer
Civil Society and Increasing Pressures After the Earthquake
In order to meet the needs of the disaster victims quickly and effectively, non-governmental organizations took relatively quick and effective initiatives to meet the government's inadequate search and rescue efforts and urgent basic needs. However, news from the region shows that the work of non-governmental organizations is systematically blocked and terminated because it goes against the government's interests, especially the Government's 'advertisements'.  However, non-governmental organizations continue to seek the rights of the victims and organize aid campaigns by organizing via WhatsApp and Twitter to continue defending the rights of the victims. In this process, with the end of the search and rescue efforts, non-governmental organizations started to work for the re-establishment of social life with the support they received from national and international sources.  After the earthquake, we witnessed that civil society acted in a strong and organized way. In this process, a detailed aid and solidarity campaign was launched. Indeed, there were some difficulties with the coordination of aid; however, there was a period of intense cooperation and organization by the non-governmental organizations specialized in different subjects, such as those divided into categories such as animals, women, LGBT+, the elderly, the disabled, and students, so that no segment of the society would be left behind.  With the onset of the election atmosphere, the number of political statements about whether we were prepared for an earthquake that might occur in Istanbul began to decrease. However, non-governmental organizations from Istanbul made a call by trying to keep their awareness on this issue high during the election process. The 27 non-governmental organizations called the Coordination of Neighborhood Associations and Solidarity Initiatives Against Disaster (AKİK) argued that "the current government and parliament do not show interest in the earthquake issue and the people of Istanbul are almost left to their fate". AKİK criticized the intellectuals and writers with the words, "Those who should lead the society, probably because they live in earthquake-proof houses, they were not 'out there' in the face of this great danger awaiting the people of Istanbul with an inexplicable selfishness." AKİK, stating that the Istanbul earthquake is approaching for three more years and people's desperation is increasing day by day, presented a list of suggestions for a solution to the earthquake.  Recently, the distrust of Kızılay and AFAD has been increasing and it has been openly expressed in public. There are frequent reports in the press that AFAD has moved other non-governmental organizations away from the earthquake zone to protect its own reputation. According to these reports, tent cities previously established by other non-governmental organizations were abolished on the grounds that AFAD would establish new tent cities, and the victims were once again evacuated from these tents and forced to move to AFAD's new tents. Law enforcement officers put pressure on the volunteers by making statements such as "No water can be distributed here outside of AFAD, outside the state". Due to the high amount of donations received after the earthquake, the AHBAP Association attracted the attention of government circles, and the association was criticized for not being transparent through social media trolls and tried to be discredited it with fake photos and news. Some of these criticisms need to be looked at closely. AHBAP is an organization that regularly collects large amounts of donations for different social problems and its last audit was carried out in 2018. Considering the information that AHBAP purchased tents and canned food from Kızılay after the earthquake, it can be discussed why AHBAP is not inspected more frequently. AHBAP obtained the materials for the aid with the donations it collects from a pro-government institution that has lost its capacity and its management has been largely corrupted, causing the donations to go to the government circles again.  Finally, if the AKP government wins in the upcoming elections, non-governmental organizations that collect donations and organize aid campaigns after the earthquake may be subject to a new wave of control under Law No. 7262. 1 https://www.mevzuat.gov.tr/mevzuat MevzuatNo=126&MevzuatTur=19&MevzuatTertip=5 2 https://www.evrensel.net/haber/484939/afad-iskenderunda-gonullulerin-kurdugu-cadirlari-kaldirdi-cadir-degil-konteyner-istiyoruz 3 https://siviltoplumdestek.org/desteklediklerimiz/desteklediklerimiz-2023/ https://twitter.com/gunesasik/status/1627594842099310593?s=20 4 https://www.sivilsayfalar.org/2023/02/20/sivil-toplum-gucu-ve-cesitliligiyle-deprem-bolgesinde/ 5 https://bianet.org/bianet/cevre/12468-27-sivil-toplum-kurulusunun-deprem-cagrisi 6 https://ahbap.org/bagimsiz-denetim-raporu https://www.diken.com.tr/ahbap-kizilay-cadirlari-icin-kdv-de-odemis/
The Freedom Observer
On Turkey-EU relations and the future of the EU with Joschka Fischer
We discussed Turkey-EU relations, Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the European Union's changing security policies with Joschka Fischer , who served as Germany's Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor between 1998 and 2005, and was the leader of the German Green Party for nearly 20 years. Enjoy your reading! If the pro-democratic opposition alliance wins the election on the 14th of May, what would be its effects on Turkey-European Union relations? Do you think that there will be a quick reparation? I don’t want to intervene in Turkish elections. I am a friend of Turkey and a democrat. I accept democratic free and fair elections. The rest is at the hands of Turkish political parties. The Turkish opposition is very decisive to revise the refugee deal between Turkey and the EU which was signed in 2016, and send back refugees because of increasing discontent. What would be the EU’s strategy about the migration problem between the two sides and how would the agreement be revised? We have to negotiate the deal if there is a need, and there is a need. Both sides are under a severe pressure, not only the Turkish side. Unfortunately, refugees is not an issue which is popular, in Turkey nor in Europe. I must say that Turkey has done a lot and we appreciate it. So if there is a need for a renegotiation, it should be done. It needs no imagination that the terrible consequences of the earthquake in both Turkey and Northern Syria will create new refugees. This humanitarian catastrophe may mean we have to act together. How do you evaluate Turkey's foreign policy strategy in the process that started with Russia's invasion of Ukraine? Do you think Turkey is pursuing a 'neutral' foreign policy as stated in official discourse? How should Turkey's stance and strategy be against Russia? Turkey was very helpful in procurement of the extremely important grain deal. This was very important especially for countries in Africa and the Middle East. I can't believe that Turkey is neutral. Knowing the Turkish history, invasion of Crimea by the Russian Empire was very close to the current situation. Turkey is a member of NATO and must have a clear position. I think the elections can only improve that. Turkey claims that its security concerns are not shared by some EU and NATO members. Do you agree with this claim? What should be the EU and NATO's stance about Turkey’s concerns? First of all, Turkey’s concerns about Northern Syria is a NATO issue. Secondly, I think in an alliance you can sit together and talk about everything. I don’t see that Turkey’s security interests are not accepted, I would reject it. Everybody understands the security concerns of Turkey, especially related to the Kurds. On the other side, you have to see the humanitarian disaster developing in Norhern Syria for a long time. Syria is a mess but nobody inside NATO or EU is in favor of an independent Kurdistan, nobody. I think the Turkish security interests, which are well understood, are questioned. But the humanitarian catastphory there is a serious challenge for all of us. It's highly complicated but this means you have sit down and talk. You said in your speech at the Izmır Economy Congress, that we have to focus on concrete areas of cooperation and disregard missed opportunities. What are the possible cooperation areas between Turkey and the EU? We have strong economic, scientific interests and cooperation. Look at this beautiful city, Izmir. You have a lot of foreign investment in here from Germany, EU and the US. It moves in a direction which is very promising. This is the way we have to continue to move on. There is an important debate inside of the EU about developing their own security capabilities and create their own security umbrella. France’s President Emmanuel Macron is a prominent figure in this debate. Furthermore, Germany decided to boost its security expenditures to 100 billions of dollars annually, and this policy change is seen as “The return of Germany as a geopolitical power”. What is your take on these debates, and how do you analyze Germany’s decision to boost its military expenditures? We have to increase our military expenditures, there is no question about that. I have been in favor of that for a long time. Because we could not defend ourselves and this must change. On the otherside, you have mentioned that "Should the EU have its own security umbrella?", wait and see. Almost all the EU members with the exception of Austria, Cyprus and Malta will be NATO members. I don’t understand Turkey’s position on blocking the entrance of Sweden to NATO. For me, this makes no sense from the Turkish point of interest. I would give the advice, welcome them. And all these EU members in NATO, I would turn the table around and tell the EU "look, we are the same security family including Turkey". We have some work to do. Turkey’s position is very short-sided. As for the German question, we didn’t want that change, it was imposed on us. In Germany, there was no serious political force who wanted to change it. But we must be able to defend ourselves. With the aggression of Putin against Ukraine, this ended definitely the post-WW2 period of Germany. And this will transform my country in a very substantial way because the Germans feel threatened by Russia. Germans think that we have to be able to defend ourselves. At that moment, we can't do that so we will turn around and will do that. Europe is facing a two-handed security threat. The first one is the security threat especially from Russia, and the other one is a more economic, trade-related threat from China? What is and should be the EU strategy to challenge these threats? These are different issues. We will try to differentiate with China because we should not make the same foolish mistakes as we did with Russia. The problem was not that we were trading with Russia, the mistake was our overdependency on energy supplies to Russia. We should not commit to the same mistakes twice. But this message has arrived in German business community and politics. So I see they are different situations and threats. There are lots of analyses on that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine can trigger China’s invasion of Taiwan. Do you agree with that? I am not a fan of Xi Jinping and I am not convinced with his wisdom but I think the Chinese Communist Party is too clever to not do that. If you look at the biggest, most advanced technology in computer chips you have in Taiwan, TSMC is the biggest chip company. What is the biggest market for TMSC, China. So, it makes no sense to invade Taiwan for China. By the way, the US will not sit idle and watch what is going on. It is about global world role of the US, you should not underestimate this factor, Chinese know that. So I don’t understand why all these war mongering rumors, they make no sense. Fischer's pieces on Aposto Joschka Fischer's articles published on Project Syndicate, an international media organization that provides commentary and analysis on global issues, are now available on Aposto. Below is the link to Fischer's articles we have published before: COVID and the Chinese Social Contract The Birth of a New International Order
On liberal democracy, elections, and Turkey with Francis Fukuyama
Political scientist Prof. Dr. Francis Fukuyama from Stanford University connected online to the Second Economic Congress of the Century in Izmir and gave a speech on the crisis of liberal democracies in the world and the opportunities that the 2023 elections could provide for Turkey. We interviewed Fukuyama, whose thesis 'The End of History and the Last Man' marked an era, immediately after his speech. Abdullah Esin Hello Prof. Fukuyama, thanks so much for talking to us, Aposto. I have just listened to your speech at Congress for Future’s Economy. You are one of the prominent figures of liberal democracy and mostly known by your historical book “The End of History”. As you have mentioned in your speech, liberal democracy is in crisis throughout the World. The number of autocracies is on the rise while liberal democracies are falling. How do you analyze the current struggle of liberal democracy? What are the main dynamics behind the crisis of democracy? What the democrats should do to restore the liberal democracy in the world? Well, there are several different threats to liberal democracy. There is a geopolitical threat right now that is exemplified by Russia and China. That has turned into a military threat with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So, I think that is important at a geopolitical level to show these countries that they can’t get away with attacking democracy using military force, to deter future attempts to use force in a similar way. I think the one people are worrying most is China attacking Taiwan in the same way Russia attacked Ukraine. But for other countries, in particular for Turkey, the struggle is internal, domestic one. The main issue is winning elections. I think there is an opportunity for Turkish democracy to make a comeback if the opposition can actually organize well enough to win the upcoming election. This is the same issue for us in the United States. The only way that we are going to defeat our form of populism is by winning elections. I think the election last November was good for the democracy in America, because a lot of the pro-Trump populist candidates lost their election bids. I think something like that needs to happen in every country where elections are still possible. Unfortunately, there are a lot of countries where authoritarianism has consolidated to the point that there really are not meaningful elections. In those cases, there are much longer-term struggle going on. I don’t think Turkey is there yet, so you got an opportunity to use the ballot box to reverse the kind of trends we have seen in the last decade. If the pro-democracy opposition in Turkey would win the election, what do you think about the challenges they might face? Will it be easy to restore democracy? It is going to be a huge challenge. The first challenge is going to be economic. Turkey has an incredibly high rate of inflation that brought on deliberately by Erdoğan’s crazy monetary policy. I think there is a budget deficit and it need to rein in the money supply. Those are all going to be very painful measures, because interest rates are going to have to go up. It is likely to trigger a recession. That is going to be very bad for the incoming government to have to deal with this legacy. Unfortunately to some extent, it can’t be avoided. Because, Turkey’s economy is heading in the wrong direction. Unless there is a big shift in the policy, it is going to continue to deteriorate. But there are other aspects of democratic governance that are important. What I said in my talk is that, what people want out of democracy is in a way very local and oriented towards service which governments are expected to provide. The failure to respond adequately to the earthquake was damaging to the current government. So a new government needs to make sure that it has the authority to actually build roads, make sure the electricity stays on and all of these relatively day to day activities that may not seem very dramatic but are really what in the end people want a democratically accountable government to provide for them. I would say that focus needs to be there. I want to ask a question about the election strategy of the opposition. In Turkey,, the pro-democracy opposition from very different ideologies is trying to defeat the authoritarian populist government by forming a wide alliance. Same election strategy failed in Hungary against Orban, but the same strategy worked in Israel against Netanyahu. However, in that case, we have seen the comeback of Netanyahu as a result of the internal disagreements in the coalition. Do you think forming a wide democratic alliance is a sustainable and successful option to defeat authoritarianism? There is no alternative. You are not going to restore democracy unless you gain political power. Right now, the only way of gaining political power is through winning an election. You are not going to win an election unless you got this kind of broad coalition. Just because it did not work in Hungary and in few other places does not mean it’s a failing strategy. Democratically inclined people in Turkey really have to concentrate on coalition building and coming up with the program that is actually going to be popular if they do succeed in coming to power. In your speech, you mentioned the importance of a common national identity to restore democracy. Nationalism and national identity have always been a conflict area in Turkey because of secularism debate and also because of the Kurdish issue. How do you think we can build a common national identity without falling to the trap of an ethnic or religious conflict? As I said, I don’t think that national identity in Turkey should be built around religion. That was one of Atatürk’s great contribution to redefine a Turkish nationalism that was not based in religion. You know the reasons for that, the religion is a very divisive issue. That is what divides many of the countries in the Middle East. Even if they are majority Muslim, there are huge splits within the world of Islam. In Turkey, you have a major split between religious people and secular people. So, if you base national identity on religion, you are going to inevitably have a huge internal social conflict. That’s really the reason that liberalism is created in the first place. Liberalism aroused in Europe in the middle of the 17 th century, after Europe’s wars of religion. Europeans spent 150 years killing each other over whether they are Protestant or Catholic. They were all Christians but they had this sectarian division. Liberalism was created in order to allow people to live in religiously diverse societies. I believe that is what Turkey needs to have. How do you see the current relations between Turkey and the European Union? Turkey’s EU membership ideal was a part of the democratization process. Do you think there will be another rounds of negotiations after the election if opposition wins? Or is it too late already after the years of destruction? Well I think that it is going to take a while before Europe is ready to consider Turkey again. First of all, assuming that the democratic forces win the election, there is still going to be a lot of uncertainty about how stable the coalition will be, whether there will be a return of Erdoğan and anti-democratic forces. Until it is clear that Turkey has returned to a stable democratic path, I think Europe is probably going to be reluctant. The other problem right now is that there is a lot of competition to get in to the EU, there are a lot Eastern European countries which have been waiting for years such as Ukraine and Moldova. A lot of existing member countries are reluctant to accept new members until they are more sure of what are the politics of the new members. Hungary is an important one, it was seen as a stable democracy and entered the EU. Since then it became an autocratic government and the EU hasn’t really got a mechanism to deal with that kind of backsliding. EU is going to be very careful about taking in any new members, not just Turkey. My last question is about the globe. I don’t know if you agree but in Global North, the rise of the right-wing populism is seen as the result of negative consequences of globalization. In the Global South, the reason is seen as the the rise of a neo-middle class. But the result is the same in both hemispheres of the globe. Why and how different consequences of globalization have produced the same result, as the rise of the right-wing populism? Actually, I think it is not just the difference between the Global South and North. There are many different varieties of populism. The classic form of populism was a left wing populism. You still see that in many places. In Latin America for instance, you have a number of populist presidents who have been elected, in Chile, Colombia, Peru. They are not like European populists. They are traditional people, worry about economic inequality. That is also true in many parts of the Global South. The other think is that there is resentment to western domination of the global economy. That is not necessarily ideological but it is the experience of colonialism and the past several decades of western policies. It made people unhappy that the west continues to dominate global institutions. All of those are separate reasons and I don’t think you are going to cure them with a single solution.
On rebuilding and food politics with Vandana Shiva
Sinem Uğurdağ Professor Dr. Vandana Shiva, an Indian eco-feminist, scientist, and environmental activist, is widely recognized for her leadership in the global food ecosystem and her advocacy for seed rights. Dr. Shiva has been instrumental in organizing popular movements aimed at preventing deforestation and the construction of large dams. In the 1960s, she spearheaded the establishment of seed banks across India, with the objective of preserving the country's agricultural heritage and promoting sustainable farming practices among farmers. Her advocacy work has centered on issues such as global trade agreements, corporate domination, and the privatization of water resources, all of which pose threats to biodiversity. Through her critical examination of these issues, Dr. Shiva has sought to promote realistic solutions to these pressing challenges. In recognition of her work, Dr. Shiva was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize," in 1993. She is the author of more than fifteen books and has published over 300 scientific articles. During the Izmir Economy Congress, we had the privilege of engaging Dr. Shiva in a conversation that touched on various subjects, including ecofeminism, post-earthquake reconstruction, and Turkey's food policies. In particular, we sought Dr. Shiva's insights on the policies that Turkey could implement to promote sustainable food practices and the methods that proponents of seed autonomy could employ to advance their cause. I read your Ecofeminism book six years ago, and it's actually been 30 years since you wrote the book with Maria. How do you see the ecofeminism movement evolving in response to the urgent ecological challenges? And what role do you see for ecofeminism in shaping a more sustainable future? Ecofeminism was evolved, i would say, in response to the roots of the multiple crises we faced. And of course the crises have become deeper now. We always saw eco feminism as the alternative to capitalist patriarchy, the convergence of an economics of greed with patriarchal power, because every structure of the greed economy is patriarchal and formed from the cooperation to the idea of competition rather than cooperation. So ecofeminism's relevance grows with the crisis, but also as another way of thinking and living in this world. That doesn't cause harm. As you said, disasters’ magnitudes have increased: earthquakes, some ecological crises like environmental crises… In Turkey, we had a horrific disaster last month, and how do you think that territory can promote, somehow sustainable agriculture development? Well, first, I offer my solidarity and my pain, shared pain for those who either lost their lives through the disaster or were suffering, the continued consequences. From what I have read, it's your new structures that collapsed, that villages survived. And that means two things, that first we have to rein in the unregulated cement suffocation of the mind. Because I have seen earthquakes in my own region, it is the cement that killed people. That was not the earthquake. And so we need to take much more respect to indigenous building systems, and more involvement in planning. And when you say, how do you rebuild agriculture, well, the Earth is still there, the Earth is still waiting to be taken care of. So ecological agriculture will always be relevant and even more relevant, because part of what has happened in the last 30 years since we wrote the book is globalization has pushed people off the villages by making agriculture unviable, pushed them into the cities and then you have this explosion. But that process cannot carry on wood because cities have a much bigger footprint than a village. But we need people in the countryside to regenerate the countryside. You know, people have hands, people have minds, people have hearts, and all that needs to be put to work to be able to have a renewal. I see your point. And I think that's actually the way to go, but because of this whole economic collapse and the comeback of the current situation. It would probably be hard to imagine, I suppose. And at the same time, the feminist movement, some sort of injecting this whole situation of feminist or eco feminist movement would be much harder, I think. And how did you see this same perspective in India? There are times when there's closure. And when I say closure, I mean, but the mental closure to not see that there are alternatives, but also political closure to not allow plurality of voices to emerge. But that's precisely the time when you need staying power. Because, for me, at least, my thinking and ecofeminist philosophy, or feminist movements are timeless. They are, they're the convergence of how nature works, and how women have sustained society through care. Even when, during the wars, how was food reaching the table? You know, the woman was still finding ways to put together something for the family to eat. So that economy of care and humility, in the context of nature, are even more important today. The fact that there is a closure for a short time, doesn't mean that we have to stop our thinking, we have to stop our speaking, we have to stop our mobilization, we have to continue. You have written extensively about the importance of preserving the traditional seeds, seed varieties, and promoting agroecological practices. How do you believe these approaches can empower women farmers and contribute to gender equality in terms of agriculture, especially in developing countries, such as India and Turkey? I knew when I started to save seeds, because I heard the corporation's talk about owning the seeds through patterns. And through genetic engineering, and having laws like the intellectual property laws of GATT and WTO. To make it impossible for farmers to save seeds, that's the day I decided I would save the seeds. I didn't do it with any idea other than the idea of freedom, that farmers' freedom to save and exchange should not should not be taken away. This has seeds of energy. This is the basis of agriculture. But now that we've done this since 87, that's when I started, we find that the old seeds have much more nutrition. So if you want food, you'd better use old seeds, because the new seeds have been bred for chemicals. Second, the old seeds are much more climate resilient. So we are living in times of climate change. We were just saving what we caught in the seeds we had saved for salt Aldrin seeds, and then the cyclone game in 1999. We could build back agriculture, tsunami came, we could build back agriculture. And the third most important part is nutrition is linked to taste and phytochemicals. So I have helped Indian farmers become seed savers. But when I went into the villages, at the end of the day, to the women who had the knowledge, they've always been seed savers, they've always been seed breeders. So women have a very important role right now to to change the idea that they do not have expertise. They are the ultimate experts on seed. The second is they're the ultimate experts on how to grow biodiversity and know the different uses of biodiversity. And that's the way we can feed the world, address climate change, and reverse biodiversity erosion. So women will be in the lead in this transition. I see but at the same time, because of the policy making regarding the seed situation, especially with the corporations and how they sell the seed and return it to the developing countries in a way trying to ameliorate the system but make it worse. What do you suggest to policymakers in this situation? Well, you know, I feel very grateful and very blessed that I was able to play a role in India, not just with the farmers and to create 150 Community seed banks. But with our policymakers, a Parliament, Parliament would invite me to talk about trade, Eurasian intellectual property rights patenting GMO, and ridotto law on battens, which says plants, animals and seeds are not human inventions, therefore, they cannot be patented. That's something Turkey should do. You know, this parliament should pass a law that plants, animals and seeds are not human inventions. Therefore they are not patentable. But the second was. We talked to our policymakers about how farmers have been the real breeders of every seed we use, you know 0.1001% work has been done by the corporations, most of it has been in but not by nature or traditional farmers. So I always say the farmers are the first breeders. So we managed to write a law and UPOV is the international law on Breeders' Rights, which is like patent rights. And I managed with the government to write a log on. The government invited me to be an expert in writing this law on plant variety protection of powers, right? So we have an article 39, which says farmers are breeders, the right to save, exchange, improve, sell seed can never be taken away. And that has meant that when Pepsi tried to sue Indian farmers for saving, put it, you know, they have faced chips. And they've sued Indian power for farmers for 40 million rupees. And when I read this in the newspaper, I immediately sent my book on intellectual property to the lawyers and the judges. I see, but they can't they can't sue the farmer because the writer is an alien. So article 39 of that law. That's something definitely parliamentarians and policymakers of Turkey, those both laws, you know, should with the farmers of this country be molded in appropriate context, for Turkey. I've just had a wonderful lunch, full of diversity. Breakfast, they laid out, I think, 20 kinds of olives. I've never seen 20 kinds of olives. I go to Italy all the time, green, olive, black, over 30 kinds of olive. You are so rich in biodiversity, and protecting your farmers rights to continue to evolve biodiversity is very important for the future sovereignty of Turkey. You've been a passionate advocate for sustainable agriculture, social justice, eco feminism, and all these amazing things. I'm really curious, in the last few years, have you ever experienced anything that changed your perspective that took you from one point to another, quite strictly? My perspective just got deepened. I took on the biggest giants, the Monsanto's of the world. And you don't like it because they set their mind on a monopoly, all seats will be theirs. And when I interfere in their project of total monopoly, of course, they're not happy. But every time they do horrible things, I learn a little more about how unjust, undemocratic Victorian dictatorial system works. So, then you learn how your principles don't change. But your strategies understand their mind deeper. Because we are dealing with an economics that is like mafia economics, you know. So, to stay true to your knowledge, and your values and your choices, in the context of market economics, of course, means that you just have to become more plural in your ways. I couldn't agree more. Finally, last but not least, what are the current projects that you're working on? What do you want to achieve in the upcoming years? You know, I don't really like to use the word achieve, because I work on important issues, irrelevant of what the outcome will be, because, you know, you have to do the right thing. Because you know, I have done my PhD in quantum theory. And there's always multiple parts, you know, it can be a particle, it can be a wave. But if you keep putting your weight behind the right action, then the right action becomes part of the outcome. So what am I, you know, I'm continuing to save seeds. It has so happened that women have been the most committed in this movement, even though I started the farmers as a whole but it's the women farmers who are really, totally committed to this. And we've just finished a celebration last week on 450 farm women, 400 farmers, and 50 women from around the world on the future issues and they've just done their manifesto. But what I can see is like seed was to be monopolized. They are those in Silicon Valley, who would like to take over our food and, and make lab food. So all the delicious tastes I had this afternoon, you know, would be totally gone. And you know, a Coca Cola is not like a fresh juice. It's not the same. It's still a drink, but it's not the same. So we know ultra processed food has already caused 75% of the chronic diseases we face. If all food is ultra ultra ultra processed in the lab, two things will happen, agriculture will become more monoculture to produce raw materials and commodities. And therefore biodiversity will go, energy use will increase So climate change will increase. And worse, food will lose its quality of taste, of diversity, of culture. Food is culture. Food is life, they lose life. So when I see Silicon Valley, putting money into fake milk, fake meat Impossible Burger patterns, 14 patents on Impossible Burger, you know, my work on seed, that ultimately food begins with seed. So the outer circle becomes real food and real farmers. So I'm just hoping that just like we were, our young children's health was destroyed with junk food, that our future will not be destroyed with thick food that for me, truth is absolutely non negotiable. And the truth in food is the very basis of the health of the planet. Thank you so much. A junkie can play a very big role by defending its real farmers and celebrating its amazing food. Thank you so much for answering my questions.
My friends call me Ayşe Anne . (“Mother Ayşe”) I am a restaurant manager and cook . If I hadn't done that, I would have wanted to take on hotel management , which I am already trained for. According to my friends, my specialty is cooking food . Hospitality , if you ask me. I live in Cankurtaran in Istanbul, but in my heart I am from Büyükdere . If I'm not at home in the neighborhood, I'm usually in Giritli, my restaurant . If I find a beloved neighbor in the community I live in, I feel like I belong there. In the neighborhood, I like walking on the shore the most because the seaside gives me peace with the smell of iodine and the southwester . In the morning, I start my day by drinking mint tea around 7-8 a.m. I don't end the day without a glass of wine . When I'm looking for a quick chitchat in the neighborhood, I go out the door . I speak with all the neighbors or the children of the neighborhood . Only a true Cankurtaran local, who is fond of their stomach, knows that Giritli is the hood tavern. You can find the songs that are currently playing at Giritli in this playlis t . This is mostly the ones I gathered during my travels to Greece.
The neighborhood where the tables reach out to the street
Neighborhood: Cankurtaran. Local: Ayşe Şensılay. Location: Giritli . Photos: Deniz Sabuncu . Surrounded by Sultanahmet and Cağaloğlu, Cankurtaran encompasses Topkapı Palace, Gülhane Park, the Archaeological Museum, Hagia Irene, and Hagia Sophia; it is almost the heart of the Old Peninsula. The neighborhood starts from Akbıyık Mosque on the way down from Sultanahmet and continues until Ahırkapı Lighthouse. The Sultanahmet community is a mixture of day-travelling crowds and tourists, while Cankurtaran has more settled and established inhabitants but also some tradesmen who depend economically on Sultanahmet’s visitors. A cosmopolitan structure is dominant in Cankurtaran. It’s almost like each apartment building represents a different city. Roman people in one building, people from Çorum in another, people from Adıyaman in the building opposite, the list goes on and on. Tables from Giritli Çilingir at the street, conversation on the doorstep In Cankurtaran, life is on the streets. At night, when the day trippers withdraw, the night of locals starts as we know it. The neighborhood is full of musicians; everyone, young and old alike, plays an instrument. The sound of an instrumentalist returning from work at 01:00 a.m. can warm you on a rainy night. Doorstep chats are famous here. If it is summer, children play outdoors in the evening. The jolly good fellows of our neighborhood set up their çilingir tables (tables with friends and drinks) on the street corner, chatting and clinking their glasses to better days. The presence of designed hotels and a few local restaurants add to the sweet vibrancy. Kandils (religious holy nights), funerals, and festivities are celebrated together in the neighborhood. Solidarity and cooperation are important values that are binding. This is also one of the fundemental principles of Giritli. We never honor a kandil without giving lokma (dessert with sherbet) and pide (flat bread with meat or cheese) away; offer the things served at weddings or festivities to our close neighbors; if someone has passed away in our neighborhood, their lokma and pide are always made at Giritli. Mother Ayşe looks at us from the window of her house, into Giritli's garden Meyhane for the regulars: Giritli So how did Giritli become a local hub of Cankurtaran? It’s thanks to Kasım, the owner of Armada Hotel, who is my childhood friend. I was working in Bodrum as a business manager when he invited me to Istanbul to see Giritli's location. The first memory I have is the reflection of the stained glass inside the building. It took me three months to gather things in Bodrum and open Giritli. Since that day, 18 years ago, Giritli has been here, with the same team, in the same place. Giritli was a restaurant called Alafranga before. The name came from the Levantines living in the neighborhood. With the region's revitalisation, Cankurtaran became a popular destination for foreign representatives. The restaurant dedicated to them didn't last long. This was an indicator of the changes the neighborhood had undergone and would experience further. In fact, one of the reasons why Giritli has been here for so many years is that it appeals to a wider audience. The fact that Cankurtaran is a quieter, calmer neighborhood makes Giritli not just a place to discover on the road, but also a place of regulars. Most nights, at least 5 tables know one another or are acquainted in some way. It's like a social club where locals, neighbors and visitors meet. Those who come to Giritli know the quality of food is constant, the service is gracious and the prices are set. The Michelin Bib Gourmand Award we received this year is an indicator of this sustainability, I believe. Yellow, blue, red A tradition connecting the neigborhood: Once upon a time, hıdırellez About 20 years ago, the first hıdırellez (traditional spring celebration) was organized for the neighborhood in the garage of the Armada Hotel. It was an urban festival, where all the locals would be in the streets alongside people from the surrounding neighborhoods. We would drink, eat the delicacies from Cankurtaran merchants, and accompany the songs of musicians from Macedonia. The festival had only one purpose: celebrating. It did not aim to make a profit, and those who took part in the festival knew that. Everyone in the neighborhood would work for the common joy enjoyed together, that's all. In Cankurtaran, kuru pilav is eaten on top of a taxi At one point, the event grew immensely that the municipality moved the festival to the shore stretching to Kumkapı, afterwards, it couldn't keep its spirit. All this work came about when Kasım said, "Let's organize a hıdırellez in this neighborhood." Looking back now, I can better see that the festival has a special place in the history of Cankurtaran, a Roman neighborhood. It was a collective process from beginning to end, precisely what made us feel at home. Locals of Cankurtaran Is it possible for neighborhoods to remain intact, as they are? In the crowded and lonely world, we live in today, people need human contact. Smaller and established neighborhoods serve better for this necessity. I grew up in a time when the streets were playgrounds for children, we would draw hopscotch rectangles on the concrete, play dodgeball, game of nine stones, jump hoops, and stay outdoors until our parents called for dinner. Rich or poor, I made my friends on the streets. Nobody, even our parents, questioned what kind of life they led because we lived in the same neigborhood. At the time I am talking about, the city’s population was 2 million, now the population has grown to 20. 3 2 1 pose! I seldom ask myself if it is possible for neighborhoods to remain intact, as they are. When you look at it, Cankurtaran is a bygone neighborhood, but its residents are not as bred-in-the-bone as they used to be. Since it is predominantly elderly, as the population changes, the upcoming generation does not embrace the neighborhood as much as the older ones. One of the reasons for this mobility is the fact that Cankurtaran and its adjacent neighborhoods are located in the touristic epidemic zone of Istanbul. Another culture, more ephemeral, short-lived, fleeting is taking shape but Cankurtaran to me is still the heart of old Istanbul: Giritli's house.
Neighborhood: Cankurtaran Location: Next to the Armada Hotel, on the back street of the shore, Muj Design . Narrator: Müjde Mısırlı Zoto Subject: To belong or not to belong to Cankurtaran 30 years ago, Kasım (my husband) was impressed by the vivacity of the neighborhood and wanted to open a hotel, and we have been here ever since. We lived in a wooden house at the end of the street for 15-16 years. Even though we've decided to move some time ago, we are still bonded to this neighborhood thanks to work. Cankurtaran is effervescent, with music coming from all the corners of the streets. Musicians keep you company on daily walks. In spring and summer, households take out dining tables on the sidewalk and dinners are eaten together on the street. Monday tangos The opening of Armada Hotel set off a significant change. The 10-15 years after the beginning of the Armada Hotel the neighborhood came to life, and the streets became crowded. Cankurtaran became a common destination for Istanbulites and tourists. For example, tango has been practiced at the hotel every Monday for 30 years, so the audience that follows this has met and embraced Cankurtaran. Not being a Cankurtaran local Over time, the hotel factor, which had been the driving force of the neighborhood, became the cause of Cankurtaran's demise as the neighborhood popularized. My neighbor of 15 years has to move in the upcoming days because their house was sold for the construction of a hotel. Nowadays instead of homes, you encounter colorful hostels every step of the way. A neighborhood is special because of the people who make it their home. When we force them to move, we erase its soul. Nevertheless, Cankurtaran has managed to preserve itself relatively well compared to other touristic places. I think the most important factor for this is that a place like Sultanahmet, which is visited by almost every tourist, is located below the neighborhood and therefore Cankurtaran does not attract as much attention.
Together with Kasım Zoto, the founder of the Armada Hotel , we are once again on his pleasure ferry, the so-called gentleman's boat, which he built in Cankurtaran. This time we watch the neighborhood from the sea, without docking at the shore and lighting the hıdırellez fire: Where is Cankurtaran? For me, Cankurtaran starts from Erol Taş Kahvesi, which is unfortunately closed now. This is an area predominantly inhabited by Roman people who migrated from northern Greece after 1945. Over time, real estate prices increased with tourism, so people sold their properties and left the neighborhood. Nowadays, the tourism-urban balance has changed due to the increasing number of hostels and hotels in the neighborhood. The neighborhood has taken on a structure where its inhabitants cannot stay long even if they settle. An established hotel and lit fire for the neighborhood Our being here was actually shaped by the story of the building we are in now. It all started with the restoration of the buildings built by Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha for the Levents on Ahırkapı Street. We have been a part of the neighborhood ever since. I think maintaining the culture of the place you are in depends on getting to know your neighbors and ensuring unity. For this reason, our priority has always been the relationship we have established. The Ahırkapı Hıdrellez Festivals we organize in the neighborhood are the best example of this bond. We wanted to remind Istanbulites of Cankurtaran again, and while doing this, the Roman residing in our neighborhood and the Ahırkapı Roman Orchestra became our biggest supporters. In the early days, the festival had 600 people. In 10 years it reached 100.000 people, but in 2010 we ended the festival for various but mainly security reasons. I would like the next route of hıdırellez to be Sultanahmet. These events that create an environment for sharing are very valuable in terms of connecting neighborhoods.
Freedom of Expression Under Attack
First, as search and rescue efforts continue on the third day of the earthquake and many people call for help via Twitter messages from under the rubble, the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK) has narrowed the bandwidth of TikTok and Twitter.  This measure, which could not be understood on which legal regulation it was based on, was lifted due to the harsh public reaction. Officials announced that constructive talks were held with Twitter management.  Secondly, those who shared about the earthquake on social media began to be detained from the first days. In this context, academic and journalist Özgün Emre Koç was taken into custody on 8 February and released after one night, after his statements about the late participation of soldiers in search and rescue efforts.  In the following period, many scientists, journalists, and ordinary citizens were detained after their earthquake posts were reflected in the media.  Thirdly, it was decided to block access/remove content about many internet domain names and URLs, especially Ekşi Sözlük. It was stated that access to the Ekşi Sözlük was blocked by the BTK at the request of the Presidency in accordance with Article 8/A of Law No. 5651.  While this decision was approved by the Ankara 4th Criminal Court of Peace, the concrete content that caused the platform to be blocked from the access was not disclosed. Again, upon the request of the General Directorate of Security, more than 300 URL addresses, as well as the website of Avesta Kitap, which publishes books in Kurdish, and the website of Rudaw TV, were blocked. It was reported that the access bans on Avesta and Rudaw were lifted upon later objections.  Fourth, many opposition television channels were given screen blackouts and fines by RTÜK due to earthquake broadcasts. It was stated that while Halk TV and Tele 1 television channels were fined 5% and suspended programs 5 times, Fox TV was fined 3% each for its Orta Sayfa program and Halk TV for its Halk Meydanı program.  Reasons behind these penalties were given as that some of the broadcasts incited the people to hatred and enmity, were against the indivisible integrity of the country, or prevented the public from forming an impartial opinion. Fifth, some football matches were offered to be played without spectators due to slogans calling for the government to resign on the grounds that the government failed to respond to the earthquake.  Many politicians, especially MHP leader Bahçeli, announced that they resigned from their club membership after the spectators of Fenerbahçe and then Beşiktaş chanted slogans demanding the resignation of the government.  On the other hand, it was stated that Fenerbahçe guest team spectators will not be allowed in the Kayserispor-Fenerbahçe match to be played on Saturday, March 4, in accordance with the Kayseri Provincial Security Decision.  In addition, it was learned that some people who chanted the slogan "the government should resign" were banned from watching the matches because they made "chants containing threats and insults" in accordance with Article 14 of Law No. 6222.  Finally, decisions regarding the confiscation of some books were published. In this context, it was first announced that a "dirty publication" decision was made about the book "Gender of Cherry", which has been on sale in Turkey since the 1990s.  Secondly, it was announced that the book titled 'Living Qur'an: Turkish Meal-Tesfir', written by the theologian writer İhsan Eliaçık, was confiscated, upon the request of the Presidency of Religious Affairs, on the grounds that 'it contains objectionable elements in terms of the basic characteristics of the Religion of Islam'.  Freedom of expression, which is an indispensable element of democracy, requires the free expression of all kinds of ideas and the public authorities’ tolerance against heavy criticism. Practices aimed at silencing the simplest criticisms are against basic constitutional principles and values such as human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
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