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Terror in Europe

"Deradicalization" Center For Islamic Extremists Comes To Quaint French Town

In the scenic Loire Valley southwest of Paris, a town was designated to accommodate the first center of "deradicalization" of Islamic extremists in France. Since then, the community in Indre-et-Loire has been consumed by anger and fear.

Protest against the deradicalization center in Beaumont-en-Veron
Protest against the deradicalization center in Beaumont-en-Veron
Delphine de Mallevoüe

BEAUMONT-EN-VERON — This French town of 2,900 tucked in a quaint corner of the Loire Valley, known for its sprawling castles, has become a center of anger and anxiety over the past few months. It was last March when French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced that Beaumont-en-Véron would host the first "center of deradicalization" for those involved or linked with Islamic terrorist activities.

The first people to be brought to the new site arrived last week in Castle Pontourny. There were extra police officers on hand, but they were there to deal with upset locals. Michel Carrier, a retiree, has a house is in front of the Castle. "It's well-known, these residents are angels, there are no problems," he says, with bitter irony. "Everybody is very concerned about the security, and even more since the Nice terror attack."

A neighbor adds "We are told that the occupants will not not be registered as a national security risk (fiche "S") with French authorities — but the perpetrator of Nice terror attack wasn't registered either, it's just too frightening."

A "reckless" choice

Opponents, who came with banners saying "Deradicalization = smoke and mirrors" or "No external security guarantee for residents" have organized into an association Radicalement Digne de Pontourny, which counts about 100 members, and has already gathered some 700 signatures.

For Christian Matron, another Beaumont-en-Véron resident, the objective of the association is tomonitor this choice which he thinks was made "too quickly."

"It's even more a reckless choice given the fact that it is experimental and hardly anyone is able to provide sufficient guarantees or results. Half of the experts are against this idea and the other half support it," Matron says. "We don't know where this will wind up. There is nobody here who would disagree with the idea that we need to test solutions, but to experiment with so much improvisation, when the stakes and the risks are so high, it's just irresponsible."

Asto the argument in response to the mayor of Beaumont-en-Véron, Bernard Château, saying that "zero risk does not exist," Matron calls it "head-in-the-sand policy."

Beyondfears around security, residents are worried about the devaluation of their homes and the attractiveness of the area for the tourists. Some locals have already installed new safety systems for their homes, and want video surveillance to be expanded in the city.

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The Unsustainable Future Of Fish Farming — On Vivid Display In Turkish Waters

Currently, 60% of Turkey's fish currently comes from cultivation, also known as fish farming, compared to just 10% two decades ago. The short-sightedness of this shift risks eliminating fishing output from both the farms and the open seas along Turkey's 5,200 miles of coastline.

Photograph of two fishermen throwing a net into the Tigris river in Turkey.

Traditional fishermen on the Tigris river, Turkey.

Dûrzan Cîrano/Wikimeidia
İrfan Donat

ISTANBUL — Turkey's annual fish production includes 515,000 tons from cultivation and 335,000 tons came from fishing in open waters. In other words, 60% of Turkey's fish currently comes from cultivation, also known as fish farming.

It's a radical shift from just 20 years ago when some 600,000 tons, or 90% of the total output, came from fishing. Now, researchers are warning the current system dominated by fish farming is ultimately unsustainable in the country with 8,333 kilometers (5,177 miles) long.

Professor Mustafa Sarı from the Maritime Studies Faculty of Bandırma 17 Eylül University believes urgent action is needed: “Why were we getting 600,000 tons of fish from the seas in the 2000’s and only 300,000 now? Where did the other 300,000 tons of fish go?”

Professor Sarı is challenging the argument from certain sectors of the industry that cultivation is the more sustainable approach. “Now we are feeding the fish that we cultivate at the farms with the fish that we catch from nature," he explained. "The fish types that we cultivate at the farms are sea bass, sea bram, trout and salmon, which are fed with artificial feed produced at fish-feed factories. All of these fish-feeds must have a significant amount of fish flour and fish oil in them.”

That fish flour and fish oil inevitably must come from the sea. "We have to get them from natural sources. We need to catch 5.7 kilogram of fish from the seas in order to cultivate a sea bream of 1 kg," Sarı said. "Therefore, we are feeding the fish to the fish. We cannot cultivate fish at the farms if the fish in nature becomes extinct. The natural fish need to be protected. The consequences would be severe if the current policy is continued.”

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