Opinion

Turkey’s new presidential system and a changing west

Implications for Turkish foreign policy and Turkish-West relations Kemal Kirişci and Ilke Toygür Brookings Executive Summary In July 2018, having triumphed in the presidential elections the previous month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began to formally transform Turkey’s long-standing parliamentary system into a heavily centralized presidential one. The new system entrenched his one-man authoritarian rule at home and is having profound implications for the making and substance of Turkish foreign policy as well as Turkey’s relations with the West. This ... Read More »

European Parliament is failing on transparency

Voters have to be reassured MEPs are being held accountable. Heidi Hautala Politico When it comes to transparency, the European Parliament’s motto has become: Do as I say, not as I do. Members of the key European institution are fighting crucial reforms to ensure MEPs act by a shared set of public spending rules. As a relatively new member of the European Parliament Bureau — where decisions regarding the Parliament’s administration and budget are made — I have experienced first hand how ... Read More »

Erdogan’s $2 Billion Reason to Thank the Saudis

Turkey shrewdly took advantage of the spillover demand from Riyadh’s bond sale this week. Investors may well be underpricing the economic risks. Marcus Ashworth Bloomberg There are opportunistic financing deals, and then there’s Turkey. A $2 billion 10-year bond sale appeared out of nowhere for the country on Wednesday, with no roadshow and… But there was one big helping hand. Saudi Arabia had just launched $7.5 billion of new 10- and 30-year notes and had elected for tighter pricing rather ... Read More »

How Big Is Turkey’s Stick? #TurkeyUS

The strained relationship between Turkey and the U.S. appears unlikely to improve any time soon. Semih Idiz Sigma Insight Turkey There is simply too much of a backlog of unresolved issues for the situation to change for the better. The visit to Ankara by the high level delegation, headed by President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton, did little to ameliorate tensions between the two capitals. To the contrary, it seems to have aggravated the… The atmosphere was already ... Read More »

Rahaf and Hakeem: why has one refugee captured the world’s attention while another is left in jail?

When it comes to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun and Hakeem al-Araibi, the reasons are varied but likely include the age-old non-science of what makes news and what doesn’t Helen Davidson The Guardian Australia, Thailand and the Gulf states have been inextricably linked in two global news stories lately, when two young people faced being forcibly returned to the places and people they fled simply because they happened to step foot in Bangkok. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi woman, was on ... Read More »

Older, conservatives are the most likely to share fake news, study finds

People aged over 65 were more likely to share fake news on Facebook than younger people according to a new study. AFP – SBS Facebook users aged 65 plus and conservatives are more likely to share fake news on the platform than younger or more liberal counterparts, according to a new study published Wednesday. During the 2016 US presidential campaign, researchers from Princeton University and New York University surveyed over 2,711 Facebook users, of whom 49 percent agreed to share ... Read More »

Don’t Blame Everything on Erdogan

The Turkish government doesn’t have a soft spot for the Islamic State, and Ankara stands to lose more than anyone if the terrorist group makes a comeback. Selim Sazak FP Washington’s Turkey experts were left working overtime during the holidays when a routine conversation between Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan ended with the announcement that the… Trump’s maneuver had raised worries that a premature withdrawal risks reversing the gains that have been made against the Islamic State. Indeed, on ... Read More »

Why Australia should not have a public register of child sex offenders

To many, “sex offender” conjures a specific image: stranger abduction, child victim, sexual assault, murder. Danielle Harris Brisbane Times Such horrible things do happen but’s it extraordinarily rare. It’s so horrible that it makes the news. And it happens so rarely that it makes the news every time it happens, and when it happens it shakes us to our core. As a child, I was keenly aware of the fates of Sian Kingi and then of Ebony Simpson, and of ... Read More »

Girls are still missing school because of period poverty. There is an answer

Scotland has pledged free menstrual products in schools, why not England? Our campaign aims to force the government’s hand • Amika George is the founder of #FreePeriods Amika George The Guardian Just over a year ago, more than 2,000 people braved the December chill and stood together outside Downing Street to collectively shout for an end to period poverty in the UK. We dressed in red and waved huge banners with period slogans, calling time on the… A few months later, an ... Read More »

Progress is Slow in Measuring Social Impact

There is a disconnect between government and the social sector around measuring social impact, writes Australian Social Value Bank impact specialist Andrew Callaghan, who explains why both sides must commit to tackling fundamental issues in… Andrew Callaghan ProBono The measurement of social impact has grown and matured over the last decade. There is a growing body of resources, practitioners and approaches to measuring impact. But while this growth can be seen as a success, there is no doubt that it ... Read More »

How India will consume in 2030: 10 mega trends

Over the next decade, consumption in fast-growth consumer markets such as China, India and Southeast Asia will be reshaped by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and more than one billion first-time consumers. Authors: WEF The Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Markets, a project in collaboration with Bain & Company, focuses on the emerging markets that comprise more than 40% of the world’s population. After studying China in 2017, for 2018 it… India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. By 2030, ... Read More »

I know all the risks but I’m still going to take drugs at festivals

For many, the solution to drug related deaths is much simpler than pill-testing: just stop taking them. By Anonymous The Age Anyone who has been to a festival in the past few years would quickly realise that as long as this attitude continues, deaths will continue. There’s a large degree of truth to the old stereotype of young people believing they’re invincible. In my group of friends, almost all of whom regularly take drugs at festivals, news of another drug related ... Read More »

Ireland loves exactly what Britain hates about Europe

London and Dublin’s mental geographies have embarked on different trajectories Bobby McDonagh The Irish Times Although Ireland will be deeply affected by Brexit, we have to an extraordinary extent been unaffected by the Brexit debate. The main arguments and fears of the Brexiteers are essentially alien to us. We don’t share their wish to return to an imagined past. Unlike the UK today, we are confident about our ability to promote our interests in the modern interdependent world. Xenophobia in ... Read More »

Citizen Murdoch’s critical grip on democracy

This year will be an important year for three of the world’s oldest, continuing democracies – the United States, the UK and Australia. Kevin Rudd Brisbane Times The US will decide, post-Mueller, whether Trump’s presidency is terminal. The UK will decide whether to tear up a half a century of European integration. And Australia faces a general election. It will also be an important year for the Murdoch media where its power in these three democracies is formidable, and in ... Read More »

A Call to Arms at the Supreme Court

Conservative judges worry that the Second Amendment has become “a second-class right.” Linda Greenhouse The New York Times A specter is haunting the Supreme Court — disrespect for the Second Amendment. Perhaps you haven’t realized that the Supreme Court’s disinclination to expand on its landmark 2008 decision creating an individual right to gun ownership means that the justices are treating the… A “watered-down right.” A “disfavored right.” If you are unaware of these outlandish claims, then you haven’t tuned into the rising chorus of ... Read More »

Bernie Sanders Isn’t Just Another White Male Candidate. His Nomination Would Be Historic.

The 2020 Democratic primary will likely offer the most diverse field of candidates either party has ever put forward for the presidency. David Klion Forward At least four serious African-American contenders (Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Andrew Gillum, and Eric Holder) have been floated so far, as have at least four women (Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy… And then there are a large number of white men — the demographic that has accounted for all but one president to date — ... Read More »