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generation z

Ideas
Gaspard Koenig

Just Stop Art? 'Just Stop Oil' And Rousseau's Flawed Nature-Culture Divide

In the last few weeks, the Just Stop Oil protests have been catapulted to global attention by soiling art masterpieces in the name of environmental protection. But their choice of target says just as much about their view of art as their view of oil.

-OpEd-

PARIS — In a matter of weeks, tomato sauce splashed across Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, mashed potatoes covered Monet’s Haystacks, and human hands were firmly stuck on Picasso’s Massacre in Korea.

The climate activists who performed those striking actions are part of a global collective. "Just Stop Oil" is the name of their branch in the UK; "Letzsche Generation" in Germany; "Fireproof" in Australia; or "Dernière rénovation" in France. They object to their governments’ climate inaction and, more generally, society’s inaction.

Despite all my efforts, as a progressive and eco-anxious citizen, I still couldn’t come to celebrate their protests. Of course, it was all symbolic because the paintings were glass-covered and well protected. And yet why do I still find all of this objectionable?

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Ideas
Bekir Ağırdır*

How Turkey Can Bring Its Brain Drain Back Home

Turkey heads to the polls next year as it faces its worst economic crisis in decades. Disillusioned by corruption, many young people have already left. However, Turkey's disaffected young expats are still very attached to their country, and could offer the best hope for a new future for the country.

-Analysis-

ISTANBUL — Turkey goes to the polls next June in crucial national elections. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is up against several serious challenges, as a dissatisfied electorate faces the worst economic crisis of his two-decade rule. The opposition is polling well, but the traditional media landscape is in the hands of the government and its supporters.

But against this backdrop, many, especially the young, are disillusioned with the country and its entire political system.

Young or old, people from every demographic, cultural group and class who worry about the future of Turkey are looking for something new. Relationships and dialogues between people from different political traditions and backgrounds are increasing. We all constantly feel the country's declining quality of life and worry about the prevalence of crime and lawlessness.

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Turkey
Carolina Drüten

Why Gen Z Is A Real Threat To Erdogan's Grip On Power In Turkey

Erdogan has long sought to mould young Turks into a so-called 'pious generation' for his brand of Islamic political rule. Now it seems he has failed, as the younger generation longs for what that the president refuses to grant them. In next year’s elections, their votes may prove decisive.

ISTANBUL — The only Turkey that Zehra Denizoglu has ever known is the one governed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He became Prime Minister the year she was born, and shortly afterward was named “European of the Year”, having brought the inflation rate down to 9%. Now, 18 years later, it is more than five times that, and Erdogan has established a regime where he wields absolute power. Denizoglu is now an adult and has started studying at a university in Istanbul. Next year she will be one of around 6 million first-time voters in Turkey.

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Geopolitics
​Elahe Boghrat

Will Iran's Uprising Trigger An Islamic Reformation Across The Middle East?

The showdown between Iranian protesters and the clerical regime is another episode in a decades-long clash of theocracy and Western-style secular modernity. Its outcomes will reverberate across the entire Islamic world, so the West needs to pay attention.

-Analysis-

The Middle Ages returned to the Middle East in 1979, when Iran became an Islamic Republic. Like Europe in previous centuries, this regime, which succeeded a secular, Westernizing monarchy, turned religion into "a business”, as described by the 20th-century Iranian writer Ahmad Kasravi — who was himself murdered by a fanatic.

Islamists were present in the region before the ayatollahs took power in Tehran, but they had no government with which to impose their dogmas — excluding certain traditionalist countries such as Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

In Europe, modernity arose in reaction to the Catholic Church's oppression and crimes. But in the Middle East, the mosque became the response to an influx of Western modernity that made traditional, and mostly Muslim, societies face certain historical contradictions. Traditionalism and religion — and even superstitions and bigotry — were briefly hidden behind a thin, modernizing façade, the values of which were barely understood, let alone put to use for social progress.

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In The News
Worldcrunch

Le Weekend ➡️ Rescuing Twitter Memes, Mondrian Record, Sniffing Wildfires

November 19-20

  • Privileged Kremlin Kids
  • Live from Lusail, Qatar’s city built from scratch
  • Happy 80th to the world’s most famous conductor
  • A baby elephant having some TV elephun
  • … and much more.
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Turkey
Philipp Mattheis

On China's Leash: Why Erdogan Stays Silent On Muslim Uyghurs

Turkey is home to the largest Uyghur diaspora in the world. The Muslim minority group, which is persecuted in China, sees the Turks as “cousins”. But as the country’s economy grows increasingly dependent on Beijing, Erdogan is holding his tongue about human rights abuses — and he is not alone.

ISTANBUL — Omer Faruk is a serious-looking man. He stands very straight and speaks clearly. The 32-year-old Uyghur has laid out photos in front of him – his mother in her wheelchair and baby pictures of two of his daughters.

For a few years now, Faruk has run his own bookshop for Uyghur literature in Istanbul. In 2016, along with his wife and two older children, he fled oppression and violence in the Chinese region of Xinjiang.

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In The News

More Than An Icon: How Elizabeth II Carved A Permanent Place In Posterity

September 10-11

  • Ukraine war spilling into 2023
  • Turkey’s silence on Uyghurs
  • French soccer star laughs off climate change
  • … and much more.
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In The News
Anne-Sophie Goninet and Hannah Steinkopf-Frank

One Million Refugees, Kyiv Bracing, Paralympics Ban

👋 Kaixo!*

Welcome to Thursday, where a massive refugee crisis is arriving, with more than one million people having fled Ukraine as Russia’s assault continues. Also, the UN overwhelmingly votes to condemn Russia’s invasion, and Belarusian and Russian athletes are banned from the Beijing Winter Paralympics. Meanwhile, a piece by German daily Die Welt looks at how Turkey’s Generation Z, frustrated with the country’s politics, is turning its back on President Erdogan.

[*Basque]

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Society
Manuel Ligero

Orhan Pamuk On Pandemics, Press Freedom And An Eye On Erdogan's Defeat

Nights of Plague is the latest book by the Turkish Nobel Prize winner, a fictional rendering based on historical reality that draws parallels (political and health-wise) between the past and the present.

MADRID — Orhan Pamuk is a kind of Bosphorus Bridge of literature: He unites two continents, two cultures, two philosophical and religious visions that have, over the centuries, tenaciously turned their backs on each other.

In his country, as the authoritarian drift of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has deepened, the author and public intellectual has progressively become a thorn in the side of the government. However, his run-ins with the Islamo-nationalist regime have not made a dent in his cheerful and optimistic personality.

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Green
Gaspard Koenig

Grinch Or Green? It’s Time To Stop Buying Christmas Trees!

Each year, millions of trees are sacrificed for the sake of Christmas — an ecological disaster and a denial of what trees represent for humanity. There are, however, some green alternatives to buying (and killing) your own private tree each year.

-OpEd-

PARIS — In the street, on the sidewalks, the corpses pile up in the cold, stacked one above the other — victims of mutilation. Passers-by glance at them carelessly, sometimes fiddling with their broken limbs. The executioners stand guard around their victims, kicking them back into a pile.

The execution is recent: the bodies still wear their natural colors. But soon the last drops of life will recede. They will start to turn pale and decompose, leaving scorched flakes around them. A foul odor will take hold of the city.

This vision of horror is the Christmas spectacle, with its six million trees in France alone that are cut, sold, decorated for a few days and then discarded. In order to grasp the full extent of this massacre, we must first admit that trees are not simple pieces of wood, but individuals in their own right, who are leading unique lives.

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THE CONVERSATION
Rosalind Gill and Shani Orgad

What "Lean In" Leaves Out: Women Need Structural Change, Not Pep Talks

The so-called "Confidence Culture" is a trap that puts the emphasis on boosting women's self-confidence without addressing the real causes of gender inequality.

With Valentine’s Day here, advice about confidence is proliferating. British Vogue enjoins women to boost their sexual confidence with slogans like “feel good in your body” and say goodbye to negative talk. Meanwhile, Selfridges promises shoppers a sex and relationship “MOT”, in which “confidence coaching” for women comes as part of the package.

But (like dogs and Christmas), confidence is not just for Valentine’s Day. It is now a 24/7 obligation for women.

Inequality in the workplace? Women need to lean in and become more confident. Eating disorders and poor body image? Programmes promoting girls’ confidence and body positivity are the solution. Parenting problems? Let’s help make mums feel more confident so they can raise confident kids. Post-pandemic relationship sours? Well, confidence is, after all, “the new sexy”. Even the British Army now targets potential female recruits with the promise that joining the military will give young women confidence that “lasts a lifetime”.

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In The News
Cameron Manley, Shaun Lavelle, and Emma Albright

War In Ukraine, Day 275: Zelensky Says "No Schism," Trying To Keep West United At Key Juncture

Fears of European discord over energy prices, as Ukraine is facing what the UN calls "appalling conditions of life" amid Russia's onslaught timed with the arrival of winter.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky declared Friday that Europe remains unified in its support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. In a virtual address to “The Idea of Europe” conference in Lithuania, Zelensky said “There is no split. There is no schism among Europeans. We have to preserve this so this is our mission number one this year.”

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Zelensky made the case that both Europe and Ukraine are suffering from Russia’s military aggression and manipulation of energy markets.

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