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Topic: Covid ’vaccination persuasion’ teams reap rewards in Turkey

A coronavirus "vaccination persuasion" initiative is gearing up to be rolled out across Turkey after proving a resounding success in a district in the country’s south-east.


Since February, doctors and healthcare workers in the mainly Kurdish city of Adıyaman have been calling people in age groups already eligible for the vaccine to ask why they have not come to clinics for appointments.


Then, equipped with cooler boxes full of vaccine vials, they fan out across the rural area to visit patients who are still reluctant.


It is working, boosting the vaccine take-up rate among the 250,000 strong population scattered across the province’s central district by nearly 30%.

此舉確實發揮作用,將散佈該省中心地區約25萬人口的疫苗接種率,提高了將近30%。Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1452359;

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Topic: Prehistoric settlement in Turkey bears telltale signs of modern woes

Overcrowding. Violence. Infectious diseases. Environmental degradation. It may sound like the worst of modern mega-cities.


But people encountered these very same problems when the first large settlements were being established millennia ago as humans began to swap a nomadic hunter-gatherer existence for a lifestyle centered on farming, scientists said on June 17, based on findings from a prehistoric site in south-central Turkey.


The researchers examined 742 human skeletons unearthed at the prehistoric ruins of Catalhoyuk, inhabited from 9,100 to 7,950 years ago during a pivotal time in human evolution, for clues about what life was like at one of the earliest sizable settlements in the archeological record. At its peak, 3,500 to 8,000 people lived there, with the researchers calling it a “proto-city.”


The residents experienced a high rate of infections, as seen in their teeth and bones, probably caused by diseases spreading in crowded conditions amid challenges to proper hygiene, the researchers said. Overcrowding may have contributed to interpersonal violence. Many skulls bore evidence of healed fractures to the top or back of the cranium, some with multiple injuries.


The shape of these injuries indicates they may have been caused by hard clay balls found at Catalhoyuk that researchers suspect were used as projectiles from a sling weapon. “A key message that people will take from these findings is that our current behaviors have deep roots in the history of humankind,” said Ohio State University biological anthropologist Clark Spencer Larsen, who led the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


“The people living in this community faced challenges of life in settlements addressing fundamental issues: what to eat, who produces the food, how is the food distributed, what are the social norms for division of labor, the challenges of infection and infectious disease in settings where there is limited sanitation, the strategy of interpersonal relationships involving animosity in some instances,” Larsen added.


As the world emerged from the last Ice Age, with warmer conditions conducive to crop domestication, there was a shift from foraging to farming beginning 10,000 to 12,000 years ago among people in numerous places. The people grew crops including wheat, barley and rye and raised sheep, goats and eventually cattle. Some homes boasted wall murals, and other art included stone figurines of animals and corpulent women.


Catalhoyuk’s residents lived in clay brick structures akin to apartments, entering and exiting through ladders that connected the living areas of houses to the roofs. After death, residents were buried in pits dug into the floors of the homes.


Catalhoyuk, measuring about 13 hectares, was continuously occupied for 1,150 years and appears to have been a largely egalitarian community. It was eventually abandoned, perhaps because of environmental degradation caused by the human population and a drying climate that made farming there harder, the researchers said.


Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/07/07/2003718231/2

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Topic: Spurning Erdogan’s Vision, Turks Leave in Droves, Draining Money and Talent


For 17 years, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won elections by offering voters a vision of restoring the glories of Turkey’s Ottoman past. He extended his country’s influence with increased trade and military deployments, and he raised living standards with years of unbroken economic growth.


But after a failed 2016 coup, Erdogan embarked on a sweeping crackdown. Last year, the economy wobbled and the lira plunged soon after he won re-election with even greater powers. As cronyism and authoritarianism seep deeper into his administration, Turks are voting differently — this time with their feet.


They are leaving the country in droves and taking talent and capital with them in a way that indicates a broad and alarming loss of confidence in Erdogan’s vision, according to government statistics and analysts.


In the past two to three years, not only have students and academics fled the country, but also entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and thousands of wealthy individuals who are selling everything and moving their families and money abroad.


More than a quarter of a million Turks emigrated in 2017, according to the Turkish Institute of Statistics, an increase of 42 percent over 2016, when nearly 178,000 citizens left the country.


Turkey has seen waves of students and teachers leave before, but this exodus looks like a more permanent reordering of the society and threatens to set Turkey back decades, said Ibrahim Sirkeci, director of transnational studies at Regent’s University in London, and other analysts.


“The brain drain is real,” Sirkeci said.


The flight of people, talent and capital is being driven by a powerful combination of factors that have come to define life under Erdogan and that his opponents increasingly despair is here to stay.


They include fear of political persecution, terrorism, a deepening distrust of the judiciary and the arbitrariness of the rule of law, and a deteriorating business climate, accelerated by worries that Erdogan is unsoundly manipulating the economy to benefit himself and his inner circle.



The result is that, for the first time since the republic was founded nearly a century ago, many from the old moneyed class, in particular the secular elite who have dominated Turkey’s cultural and business life for decades, are moving away and the new rich close to Erdogan and his governing party are taking their place.

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/336081/web/#top



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