Sunday, December 12, 2010

Istanbul -- a Weimar city

The author of this piece, Claire Berlinski writes for City Journal, considered by many to be one of the finest commentary journals in the country.  She has lived in Istanbul for several years now and, as is obvious in her article, finds it an extremely fascinating city in flux.  The title suggests a comparison to the Weimar city of Berlin during the interregnum between WW I and II, when Berlin was in great cultural and economic ferment which of course ended badly with the rise of the Nazi.  Berlinski is careful to draw a distinction between Hitler and Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Istanbul, but there are some parallels that are worrisome.  Erdogan is an Islamist who has taken his country into a closer relationship with Iran and has been, on occasion, quite hostile toward Israel.  This is a long piece, most articles in the City Journal are, but for those of who have been to Istanbul and Turkey,  it is an interesting read.

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