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Turkey

Mayan Believers: Coastal Turkish Town To Be Spared Doomsday, Ark Awaits

The Aegean town of Sirince has just 600 residents, but thousands are flocking there to survive supposed "end of the world" on Friday.

HURRIYET, ANATOLIAN NEWS AGENCY (Turkey)

Worldcrunch

SIRINCE - Thousands of believers in the "Doomsday" scenario based on an interpretation of the Mayan Calendar are flocking to this small Aegean town that some New Age groups say will survive Friday's supposed End of the World.

For Sirince, along with a village in the south of France, the predicted impending Apocalypse has been good business. The town of 600 residents, is normally popular in the summer tourist season thanks to its proximity to the Greek historic city of Ephesus, but is always quiet in December, with only a few rooms in guesthouses being occupied, notes the Istanbul-based daily Hurriyet.

This year, the town is far above capacity with more 60,000 visitors expected in the lead up to Friday's "duck the doomsday" event. An international organization called the Blue Energy Group, has spread the belief that Sirince and the French village of Bugarach will be the only two locations to survive Dec. 21.

Doomsday believers claim that Sirince has good energy and some Christians believe that it was the place where the Virgin Mary ascended to heaven. Some groups believe that a boat resembling Noah’s Ark, will arrive at the foot of the village and rescue believers.

Locals in Sirince are viewing the event as a business opportunity, with hotel owners bumping up their rates and local restaurants creating "doomsday" fixed menus and special cocktails.

"Thanks to this doomsday belief, the number of people visiting Sirince and (nearby) Selcuk has increased." Ä°zmir’s Culture and Tourism Director Abdülaziz Ediz told the Anatolian News Agency. "We can’t ignore people who believe in the end of the world, but at the same time, we cannot believe that the doomsday will actually occur."

Local villagers in Sirince are also happy to welcome "doomsday" tourists. "I wish this was a yearly occurrence, so more people would come to our village in the winter and bring more business," Sirince resident Ä°brahim Katac told Hurriyet.

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Local dwellers preparing "the end of the world" - source: featkae

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Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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