Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Man Hands on Misery to Man, It Deepens Like a Coastal Shelf . . . .*

"Attackers on Wednesday slit the throats of three people, including a German citizen, at a publishing house in the eastern province of Malatya [Turkey] that distributed Bibles."

An account of this story in ZAMAN, a Turkish newspaper (English edition), may be found here. The Daily Telegraph and various other papers are also carrying this story. The victims were bound, gagged, and tortured for about three hours before having their throats slit.

I believe that Turkey's prospects of joining the EU - never very good to begin with - recede from month to month, if not day to day. There will soon be a presidential election here, which will in all likelihood result in both the President and the Prime Minister being affiliated with the Justice and Development (AK) party, though officially, the President is supposed to suspend or sever his party affiliation and represent only the nation.

The prospect of so-called "mildly Islamist" AK Party representatives gaining both of these high offices triggered last Saturday a protest of approximately 370,000 demonstrators in Ankara. The outgoing president, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, said in a farewell speech, "Turkey's secular regime is facing an unprecedented threat, and domestic and external forces are cooperating to undermine that regime."

The military is also issuing statements about the need for a secular president to preserve Turkey's secular constitution, and, to add to the excitement, Turkey has declared that if the U.S.. doesn't crack down on Kurdish (PKK) cross-border operations, then Turkey will send its soldiers into Northern Iraq.

Oh, and two hundred people were killed by bombs in Bahgdad yesterday, and then then there's the possibility of US/Israeli military action against Iran.

And it's not even summer yet.

*Get out as early as you can, and don't have any kids yourself.
-Phillip Larkin

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