Much has been written about Turkey’s populist isolationism, but it is a less known fact that this regression was underpinned by a rhetoric of imperial nostalgia. Years ago, after the publication of my novel The Architect’s Apprentice, I gave a talk in Pera, the most cosmopolitan quarter of Istanbul. A young man in the audience put up his hand and told me I had offended him by writing that there were prostitutes with the Ottoman army on their marches. I asked him whether he was questioning the validity of this historical fact. “Not at all,” he said. “I understand, there might have been such issues. But that’s not the point. The point is, why mention it? Why don’t you write about the glories of our empire instead? That’s what we want to hear.” … [Read more...] about It’s not just Europe – toxic imperial nostalgia has infected the world
Germany avoids recession
Two more major world economies are now at risk from the virus that has already caused chaos in China, with future indexes suggesting a decline of 2.7 percent for US stocks when trading begins on Wall Street. … [Read more...] about Coronavirus causes US futures market to plunge 600 POINTS as pandemic fears cause stocks to collapse around the world
“First, there is a pep talk – or you’re all told off,” Burgess remembered, “and then you get to shout out your figures. It shows on the screen where you are in the rankings. If you’ve done well, you’re buzzing. It’s one of the funnest parts of the week.” Successful employees are offered an elaborate sequence of bonuses. There are “trip targets” – sales attainments that earn company-funded skiing or Mediterranean holidays; and “car targets” – first a Mini, then a BMW, then a Mercedes. The slick Foxtons website shows packs of tanned, beaming, sometimes flirtatious staff holding beers, up mountains, playing beach volleyball. Burgess said that working at Foxtons sometimes feels “like being in a sports team, when you get a new kit. You all smell good. You feel you’re the dog’s bollocks.” Like you’re an elite? “No … a gang!” … [Read more...] about Is Foxtons the estate agent London deserves?
‘No camp! No camp!’ pleaded the new arrivals. Many refused to leave the train, barricading themselves in and refusing all offers of food and water as a stand-off continued into the evening. Bicske, like the other detention centres across Hungary, will be their prison for no more than a few days before they are released into a penniless limbo, living rough or finding a new route to somewhere else. … [Read more...] about A desperate father and a train ride with such grim echoes: ROBERT HARDMAN on the trains carting migrants off to detention camps in Hungary
Italy is at the centre of the coronavirus crisis in Europe, reporting its fourth death on Monday as the the number of cases in the country rose to to 152, the highest number outside Asia. The eurozone’s third-largest economy is already contracting and the rapid spread of the virus has sparked fears of a recession. Italian authorities have responded by locking down 12 cities in the north of the country, and the Venice carnival has also been cut short by two days. … [Read more...] about Stock markets slide amid fears coronavirus spread could hit growth