Ankara Attack, The Government Must Share The Blame

Saturday's bombings in Turkey's capital may be the worst in the nation's history, with a toll approaching 100 dead. Some point the finger at President Erdogan's ruling AKP party.

Oct. 11 commemoration walk for the victims of Saturday's bombings in Ankara
Oct. 11 commemoration walk for the victims of Saturday's bombings in Ankara
Ahmet Hakan


ANKARA â€" Of course the government did not organize the bloody attack in Ankara. You have to be insane to believe that the AKP government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would put suicide vests on two bombers and send them to Ankara's central train station.

And yet, this question does not end here. There is a "but" that we cannot ignore. So we say: No, the government is not guilty of organizing the deadly bombings, but …

  • The government is left without a single country in the region â€" or in the world â€" it can truly call a friend, thanks to its foreign policies of the last three years. We came close to war with at least eight countries. As a result, Turkey has turned into a training ground for terrorist organizations. On this count, the government is guilty.
  • The government has been practicing a policy of polarizing the people, causing hostility among the groups of society for the past five years, hoping that this was the right strategy to keep its majority vote in Parliament. Turkey is thus fertile ground for any kind of provocation. On this count, too, the government is guilty.
  • The intelligence operations of Turkey have failed. The government could not take the necessary precautions. The government could not guarantee the security of its citizens who wanted to practice their democratic right to assemble. In short, the government just watched as dozens of its citizens were slaughtered in the center of the capital. Here too, regardless of who carried out this crime, the government is guilty.
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How Facebook's Metaverse Could Undermine Europe's Tech Industry

Mark Zuckerberg boasted that his U.S. tech giant will begin a hiring spree in Europe to build his massive "Metaverse." Touted as an opportunity for Europe, the plans could poach precious tech talent from European tech companies.

Carl-Johan Karlsson

PARIS — Facebook's decision to recruit 10,000 people across the European Union might be branded as a vote of confidence in the strength of Europe's tech industry. But some European companies, which are already struggling to fill highly-skilled roles such as software developers and data scientists, are worried that the tech giant might make it even harder to find the workers that power their businesses.

Facebook's new European staff will work as part of its so-called "metaverse," the company's ambitious plan to venture beyond its current core business of connected social apps.

Shortage of French developers

Since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his more maximalist vision of Facebook in July, the concept of the metaverse has quickly become a buzzword in technology and business circles. Essentially a sci-fi inspired augmented reality world, the metaverse will allow people to interact through hardware like augmented reality (AR) glasses that Zuckerberg believes will eventually be as ubiquitous as smartphones.

The ambition to build what promoters claim will be the successor to the mobile internet comes with a significant investment, including multiplying the 10% of the company's 60,000-strong workforce currently based in Europe. The move has been welcomed by some as a potential booster for the continent's tech market.

Eight out of 10 French software companies say they can't find enough workers.

"In a number of regions in Europe there are clusters of pioneering technology companies. A stronger representation of Facebook can support this trend," German business daily Handelsblatt notes.

And yet the enthusiasm isn't shared by everyone. In France, company leaders worry that Facebook's five-year recruiting plan will dilute an already limited talent pool, with eight out of 10 French software companies already having difficulties finding staff, daily Les Echos reports.

The profile of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg displayed on a smartphone

Cris Faga / ZUMA

Teleworking changes the math

There is currently a shortage of nearly 10,000 computer engineers in France, with developers being the most sought-after, according to a recent study by Numéum, the main employers' consortium of the country's digital sector.

Facebook has said its recruiters will target nations including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands and Ireland, without mentioning specific numbers in any country. But the French software sector, which has so far managed to retain 59% of its workforce, fears that its highly skilled and relatively affordable young talent will be fertile recruiting grounds — especially since the pandemic has ushered in a new era of teleworking.

Facebook's plan to build its metaverse comes at a time when the nearly $1-trillion company faces its biggest scandal in years over damning internal documents leaked by a whistleblower, as well as mounting antitrust scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators. Still, as the sincerity of Zuckerberg's quest is underscored by news that the pivot might also come with a new company name, European software companies might want to start thinking about how to keep their talent in this universe.

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