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Turkey

Vested Interests Leave Turkey Exposed To Earthquake Disaster Scenario

Op-Ed: Greedy landlords and shortsighted politicians are standing in the way of the passage of historic legislation that would better prepare Istanbul and the rest of the country for a major earthquake that experts say is likely to hit.

Istanbul would be devastated by a major quake (Tinou Bao)
Istanbul would be devastated by a major quake (Tinou Bao)
Mehmet Ali Birand

ISTANBUL - I've had it with petty politics. Turkey faces a very real risk in the coming years of a devastating earthquake, and yet vital measures for minimizing damage are being blocked in Parliament. Just when mobilizing our resources for the common good is more essential than ever, homeowners and slumlords are thinking only about personal profit, while local government officials are unable to focus on anything but votes.

I recently attended a press conference organized by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning. Returning from this conference I was more discouraged then ever. The experts agree that Turkey is heading for a train wreck, yet policymakers and interest groups can only focus on themselves. Even the Urban Development bill has been stalled in the legislature - incidentally, the bill's name could be part of the problem: it should more appropriately be called the "Earthquake bill."

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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