Back Again (after a sad Turkish spring)
Hello; I am back to Economonitor after a surreal three months.
I (kind of) chronicled (or at least alluded to) what I went through in my Hurriyet Daily News (HDN) columns, and so if you are a loyal reader, you will already know all this, but here’s a brief summary in case you are not, with the links to my HDN columns:
Soon after I had stopped blogging, Berkin Elvan, who had been shot in the head with a gas canister after leaving home to buy bread at the height of the Gezi protests, died on March 11. Although I had never met him, his death affected me (and millions) deeply, especially after former E.U. Minister Egemen Bagis called those who attended his funeral and cried for him necrophiles…
Soon after Berkin’s death I spent two weeks in South Africa in March. I didn’t feel like going, but I had organized it in December, and it was a well-deserved, much-needed vacation. I managed to squeeze in, as I always do, a couple of columns on the South African economy, such as the difference between South African and Turkish thieves.
A couple of days before I returned, Turkish Prime Minister RecepTayyip Erdogan emerged from the local elections victorious. There were claims of rigging, but I had argued soon after the graft scandal that Turkish voters were unlikely to punish him and his cronies for having pocketed billions of dollars as long as the economy was doing well. And they didn’t! In this respect, the victory was not really a victory!
Shortly after I returned, my friend (and official editor of my columns) Esther passed away tragically. This hit me much worse than Berkin: Whatever they tell you, death always hurts more when it is nearby and when it is untimely. I went to the States for the first time after nine years to attend her funeral, read Piketty’s Capital on my flight to D.C. (and reviewed it for HDN) and went to a few seminars and conferences to keep my mind busy during the few days I spent in D.C. after the funeral. Anyway, you are more than welcome to donate to the fund Esther’s friends set up for her and her 16-month old son.
Just as I was getting ready to return to blogging in May, at least 301 workers were killed in a mine in Turkey. As I explained in my HDN column, this was no accident: It was outright murder.
As you can see, I had a sad, sad spring. But now things are starting to get back on track, although I will never ever able to forget the spring of 2014, all those miners, my dear friend Esther and of course Berkin.
Since I have summarized the last 3 months, I can properly start blogging and will do so later today. There have been important developments in Turkish monetary policy in the last few days, which I already covered in my HDN column today, and so I will be starting with those.
Your friendly neighborhood economist…
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