Tragedy,  Transgender,  Turkey

Odds and Ends

We have all had our issues with Disqus disappearing our posts (and it seems to have started swallowing posters too as Anat hasn’t been able to log in) and this is my small revenge against Disqus for sending my comment about the Turkey/Syria earthquake to the spam filter. Here is my comment and some updates on other stories.

Turkey and Syria’s devastating earthquakes’ death toll nears 20 000 – and will probably surpass that. Rescue teams, donations and aid from all around the globe are flowing to Turkey as the plight of the survivors is heartrending. Videos of cries of Allahu Akbar as babies and toddlers are pulled alive from the rubble and rescue teams break down in tears have been very moving and one hopes as much help reaches these people as quickly as possible. Erdogan came to power in 2002 partly, on the back of another devastating earthquake in 1999 and the poor state response to it then. There have been many complaints of his government’s slow relief efforts and the Sultan has reacted by cutting off social media access sporadically.


From the Economist :


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey for two decades, faces an election in May that was already going to be tough for him, thanks to a floundering economy and an inflation rate driven to over 50% by his foolish monetary policies. Voters will note his response to the earthquake, and ask why his government did not do more to prepare for such a disaster after the tremor of 1999. He knows it: government prosecutors have already launched investigations into two journalists for criticising the state’s response.

There is a grim irony at work. Mr Erdogan came to power after an election in 2002. His new party, Justice and Development (AK), upended an establishment that had ineffectually governed Turkey since the restoration of democracy in 1983. The then government’s weak

response to the earthquake of 1999, followed by its mishandling of a financial crash in 2001, contributed to a sense that a clear-out was needed, and AK ended up with two-thirds of the seats in parliament. Now Mr Erdogan faces a similar set of circumstances; an economic crisis and a humanitarian one. Voters will judge him on his record in handling both.

The collapse of so many buildings in Turkey—nearly 6,000, according to the government—will invite scrutiny. Evidence will emerge that the advice of earthquake experts was ignored, and building codes were flouted while corrupt or incompetent supervisors looked the other way. One hallmark of the economic boom that made Mr Erdogan popular for his first decade in

power was a surge in construction, though most of the buildings that collapsed were built before he came to office. He has had two decades to prepare for a big earthquake; it is hardly a secret that Turkey sits on one of the world’s most active fault lines.


Erdogan faces an election in May this year and one wonders how he is going to pull it off. There are only so many imaginary coups the electorate will allow.


The Scottish Greens have suspended an individual that was featured in the Wings Over Scotland blog we crossposted recently.


(Beth) Douglas has been accused of using derogatory language on social media, supporting controversial protests against women, inflaming debate by calling feminists ‘fascists’ and posing with weapons for Twitter pictures that threaten “cis” people.

A well-known face in the Scottish trans activist movement, Douglas is a trans woman and has spoken at many demonstrations advocating for the Gender Recognition Reform Bill and the ideology.


Well, there are still the Libdem and Labour parties that Douglas can join.


We have noticed and complained about the pronouns used in the media for certain male persons charged with crime and this is due to editors following the Guidance on Sex and Gender Identity Reporting from the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). These guidelines were set following consultation from stakeholders, who in the recent past were simply activists.

We met a diverse range of stakeholders who held a variety of views on the reporting of sex and gender identity. However, IPSO was not able to meet with everyone and, to ensure this guidance is the best it can possibly be, we are running an open consultation to gain as much insight on the topic as possible from members of the public, journalists, academics, and anyone else who chooses to submit a response.


Following recent events, IPSO is  finally seeking input from the wider public and you can and should write in with your views. Click on this link to read  the draft guidance and give your views. If you are a member of any organisation, please get them involved too. Submissions are accepted until 10 march 2023.