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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Turks to European Union: No, Thanks | WSJ blog

The German/Turkish think tank Tavak (the Turkish European Foundation for Education and Scientific Studies) on Tuesday published the results of a poll on attitudes in Turkey toward EU membership. The poll was conducted in June. I knew that the numbers would be low, but I was surprised by how low.

According to the poll, 17% of Turks now support membership in the EU! That is down from 34% last year, which was already extremely low. And it is down from some 70% back before the negotiations begun.

Turks to European Union: No, Thanks - Emerging Europe Real Time - WSJ

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

English language 'originated in Turkey' | BBC News

OK, so it's not the Sun Language Theory but still!

Here's the abstract from Science:
There are two competing hypotheses for the origin of the Indo-European language family. The conventional view places the homeland in the Pontic steppes about 6000 years ago. An alternative hypothesis claims that the languages spread from Anatolia with the expansion of farming 8000 to 9500 years ago. We used Bayesian phylogeographic approaches, together with basic vocabulary data from 103 ancient and contemporary Indo-European languages, to explicitly model the expansion of the family and test these hypotheses. We found decisive support for an Anatolian origin over a steppe origin. Both the inferred timing and root location of the Indo-European language trees fit with an agricultural expansion from Anatolia beginning 8000 to 9500 years ago. These results highlight the critical role that phylogeographic inference can play in resolving debates about human prehistory.
BBC News - English language 'originated in Turkey'

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Turkish leaders appeal for unity after deadly car bomb | Reuters

It's been a busy summer with little time to post. I am currently on a brief trip to Istanbul and just came back from an interesting meeting at TESEV, the prominent Turkish think tank. Impressed by the range and urgency of the issues they cover.

Had a lovely lunch at a rooftop restaurant in Karaköy that we stumbled upon more or less by accident: Karaköyum. Definitely recommended, great view & good food.

And, just to give you more than gossip, here's a news update: Reuters reports on a car bomb in the Southern/Southeastern city of Gaziantep.
ISTANBUL, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Turkey's leaders called for unity on Wednesday following a car bomb attack which heightened fears that Kurdish militants are exploiting chaos in neighbouring Syria and stepping up their decades-old insurgency.
Turkish leaders appeal for unity after deadly car bomb | Reuters
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