Turkey in the news

A friend just asked, what many of you are probably wondering:

>There seem to a a lot of articles about civil strife in Turkey. Is it noticeable where you are?

Not that I have seen personally. However, some other people in the Marina say that there was a large, and extremely peaceful demonstration in Finike a few days ago. I am told that the Prime Minister has been in power for a long time and that many Turks do not usually have a problem with him, but, don’t like several of the recent decisions. And there have been people saying that some of the reforms or changes that he wants to implement could be achieved if he tried to do them more slowly.

One comment that seems to come from many people is that there is a rule that no alcohol can be served within a certain distance of a mosque. I think it is 200 meters, but I’m not sure. One of the proposals is to build a mosque on the park, which would remove the liquor license for hundreds of popular restaurants around the park. I was told that the Prime Minister has built new parks in many parts of Istanbul and perhaps Turkey in general. And that he presents that to say that you’ve got lots of new parks, you can give up a little bit of this one.

I’m certain that all would agree that I know zero about politics, but even I would know not to mess with a park that had been a popular icon for at least generations, if not hundreds of years. But, as I say, I know zero about politics and it could be that the Prime Minister is doing an excellent job if one looks at the big picture. On the face of it however, it seems like several very bad decisions. Clearly many Turks think that they are bad decisions.

I know zero about what is going on. So I have no idea how accurate any of what I have just said is. And it is extremely possible that I misunderstood. Many have pointed out that the Turkish lira is significantly down in value due to the turmoil and several are going to the ATMs and getting lots of Turkish lira while the price is good. Of course, not having a crystal ball, maybe the price is about to plummet. Turkey has been plagued in the past with runaway inflation. But during the time I have been here, the lira has been relatively stable.

The Turks as a group are an extremely nice people. I wish them well in all things. There is some small comfort in living on a boat that is at the edge of the country. And a peaceful edge at that. If I get nervous, it should be easy to move to a more peaceful country. I give that absolutely zero probability of happening, but it is nice to have the option.



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