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Thursday, 02 February 2017 09:00

Calling all Europeans

Written by
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Photo: Wesley Lelieveld (flickr); Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Dear Europeans. We, the editorial team of E&M, have an urgent matter to discuss with you.

E&M is an independent transnational media outlet that was created as a student project back in 2007/8 by a bunch of heady graduates that knew no boundaries in Europe. They were driven by a firm belief that an inclusive pan-European civil society, based on unbiased dialogue and freedom of expression, is possible. Over the last nine years we have been on the lookout for bits and pieces that can explain the European “psyche” through a more personal lense and we have largely succeeded. In recent months, however, we have been feeling increasingly overwhelmed by the incoming news, which have somehow stopped making sense. We are struggling with a persistent feeling of unease: at the direction Europe is taking, at the prevailing political wind globally, and with our seeming inability to find reasonable solutions. Please find below our thoughts, fears and a call for action, we would very much want you to take part in.

Good Reads sam
Photo: Jonathan Kim (flickr); Licence: CC BY-NC 2.0

Our editor Sam Volpe points you in the direction of a few articles guaranteed to make you ponder. Read about essays that will make you swoon, queerness and why we write and ought to read.

 Sam, Project Manager and Diaphragm editor

sam

I am bored of reading why 2016 has been the worst year. It has been difficult. It has been occasionally traumatic for those of us of a particular political persuasion. It has seen a number of wonderful celebrities and public figures die. Frankly, it has been a little bit shit, but you knew that by now.

Therefore, in this, your festive edition of Good Reads,  I have decided to make it my mission to pass on some writing that will, at the very least, distract you over the holidays.

Sit in a comfortable armchair and put your feet up. Imagine you're in a secluded library with a roaring fire. The world is not doomed, and here, in hyperlink form, are a few reasons why.

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Photo: European Parliament (flickr); Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

On the 4th of December 60 % of Italians voted against the constitutional reform package proposed by then PM Matteo Renzi, that resigned in line with his promise to step down if he did not win the referendum. On the same day green candidate Alexander Van der Bellen won the Austrian elections for President of the Republic, against extreme right wing Norbert Höfer. And it seems that in a post-Trump, post-Brexit Europe news can only be reported in binary mode, with reference to their effects on the European Union: in this case the Austrian victory stands as a positive result for Europe, while Italy’s results would be the next domino to fall in an extremely disheartening 2016, towards dissertation of our Union. Now, whilst I too fear for the great political uncertainty this referendum result presents for Italy, it is far too nuanced a situation to befit most of the polarised mediatic representations. So with the extreme parties on the rise around Europe and the world and increasingly divisive, hateful rhetoric permeating European mainstream discourse, what do the Italian referendum results mean for Italy, Europe and the world?

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 21:33

Why Turkey and Germany need each other

Written by
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Photo: World Humanitarian Summit (flickr); Licence: CC BY-ND 2.0

On July, 15th a group of military officials unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow the Islamic-conservative AKP-government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan which left 265 people dead. In the aftermath of these events, the Turkish government has declared a state of emergency and demands the extradition of the oppositional preacher Fetullah Gülen from the United States who is the alleged mastermind of the coup. Since then, the Turkish government has officially detained about 26,000 alleged Gülen-supporters. Moreover, several media channels lost their license, schools were shut down, and Erdoğan considered the reintroduction of the death penalty. 

In response to this suggestion, Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini ruled out the possibility of a country that reintroduces the death penalty to become a member of the Union. Afterwards, the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım distanced himself from this proposal. Nevertheless, the relationship between Turkey and the EU remains strained. Germany in particular has been struggling to find a coherent strategy to deal with the authoritarian developments in Turkey as the following analysis will show. Partly due to the German guest worker policy in the 1950s, there are now about three million people of Turkish descent living in Germany, which is the basis for a traditionally close alliance between both Germany and Turkey and which makes it worth taking a look at the current state of the German-Turkish relations.

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