Turkey keen on partnering with ASEAN

Peace and Freedom

onAUGUST 12, 2015

Recently there has been intense diplomatic traffic from Turkey to Southeast Asian capitals. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Jakarta, where, along with the signing of a number of agreements to cement the bilateral relationship with Indonesia, he uttered Turkey’s interest in building closer ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

 During his Indonesia visit, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed Turkey's interest in building closer ties with ASEAN

During his Indonesia visit, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed Turkey’s interest in building closer ties with ASEAN

“We aim to boost our relations with the region,” said Turkey’s president, “Indonesia, due to the size of its economy and its leading position in ASEAN, has a special place in our eyes. We, Turkey, would like to be a member of ASEAN, not a dialogue partner. I would like to express that we are ready for this.”

A few days after Erdoğan’s visit to Jakarta, Turkey’s Foreign…

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The Greek crisis and the dysfunctional European political space

london-brussels one-way or return

Igreek-crisis-16t has been sad to see the Greek crisis gathering pace, culminating in a Eurozone summit which, on condition of deep and intrusive reforms, allows Greece to remain in the Eurozone, and offers the perspective of another bailout.  But no one is under any illusions that the crisis is resolved.  It is clear that European integration has reached a very low point, judging by the acrimonious debates at all levels: official, media, and social media.

This post does not comment on substance but on process.  If there is a silver lining to the crisis it is, in my view, the birth of a European political space.  The long-living mantra that the EU suffers from a democratic deficit is well known.  It is coupled with a profound scepsis about the potential for ever narrowing, let alone removing, that deficit: there is no European demos, only demoi.  Democracy continues…

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Amy Winehouse Stories

the literate lens

Amy Winehouse doing what she did best. Photo by Yui Mok/PA Amy Winehouse doing what she did best. Photo by Yui Mok/PA

The death of singer Amy Winehouse in 2011, at the tragically young age of twenty-seven, was big news. I remember hearing about it and being shocked, and having a friend tell me about the “27 Club” to which Winehouse had the dubious honor of gaining entry. The name refers to the fact that many hugely talented musicians—including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain—also died at twenty-seven, an age at which many people are just getting their careers off the ground.

Four years later, Winehouse is having a cultural moment. A documentary about her life, simply called Amy, is on wide release and has been getting a lot of press. Meanwhile, an exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, Amy Winehouse: A Family Portraitopens an intimate album on Winehouse, allowing us to view…

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