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This Happened

This Happened — July 17: Execution Of The Romanov Family

Czar Nicholas II, along with his wife Alexandra and their five children, was executed on this day in 1918. The execution took place in the basement of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

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Why were Czar Nicholas II and his family executed?

The execution of the Russian royal family was carried out during the Russian Revolution and the subsequent rise of the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, viewed the czar and his family as a symbol of the old regime and a potential rallying point for counter-revolutionary forces. Their execution was seen as a way to eliminate any potential threats to the new Soviet government.

How were Czar Nicholas II and his family executed?

The execution was carried out by a firing squad of Bolshevik guards. The family, along with a few loyal servants who were with them, were awakened in the early hours of the morning and led to the basement of the Ipatiev House. They were told they were being moved for protection. They were lined up and executed at point-blank range.

Were the remains of Czar Nicholas II and his family identified after the execution?

After the execution, the bodies of the czar and his family were hastily buried in a mass grave in a nearby area called Ganina Yama. However, their remains were not immediately discovered, fuelling rumors of potential survivors. It was only in 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, that the remains were found and later identified through extensive forensic analysis.

How did the execution of Czar Nicholas II and his family impact Russian history?

The execution of the czar and his family had significant historical implications. It marked the end of the Romanov dynasty, which had ruled Russia for over 300 years. The event further fueled the Russian Civil War and intensified the conflict between the Bolsheviks and anti-Bolshevik forces. The execution also solidified the Bolsheviks' grip on power and had a profound impact on the subsequent development of the Soviet Union.

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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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