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This Happened

This Happened— December 11: A Royal Abdicates

After the death of his father, George V, on January 20, 1936, Edward VIII became the King of England at 42 years old, but shockingly announced his decision less than a year later to abdicate the throne on this day in history.

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Why did Edward VIII abdicate the throne?

Edward wanted to marry an American woman named Wallis Warfield Simpson, whom he loved and had known since 1931. He sought the approval to marry Simpson from his family, the Church of England, and the political establishment, but met with strong opposition as she had been married twice before and her second divorce was still pending.

Did Edward VIII regret his decision to abdicate the throne?

Faced with the idea of not being able to marry Simpson, Edward publicly announced his decision to abdicate the throne via radio to a worldwide audience, saying, “I have made this, the most serious decision of my life, only upon the single thought of what would, in the end, be best for all.” The two remained happily married, living in Paris, until his death in 1972.

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Ideas

Making It Political Already? Why Turkey's Earthquake Is Not Just A Natural Disaster

The government in Ankara doesn't want to question the cause of the high death toll in the earthquake that struck along the Turkey-Syria border. But one Turkish writer says it's time to assign responsibility right now.

photo of Erdogan at the earthquake site

President Erdogan surveys the damage on Wednesday

Office of the Turkish Presidency
Dağhan Irak

-OpEd-

ISTANBUL — We have a saying in Turkey: “don’t make it political” and I am having a hard time finding the right words to describe how evil that mindset is. It's as if politics is isolated from society, somehow not connected to how we live and the consequences of choices taken.

Allow me to translate for you the “don’t make it political” saying's real meaning: “we don’t want to be held accountable, hands off.”

It means preventing the public from looking after their interests and preserving the superiority of a certain type of individual, group and social class.

In order to understand the extent of the worst disaster in more than 20 years, we need to look back at that disaster: the İzmit-Düzce earthquakes of 1999.

Because we have before us a regime that does not care about anything but its own interests; has no plan but to save itself in times of danger; does not believe such planning is even necessary (even as it may tinker with the concept in case there is something to gain from it); gets more mafioso as it grows more partisan — and more deadly as it gets more mafioso.

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