I've been super-busy with freelance projects and my two new jobs: I'm now a (Senior!) fellow of the American Foreign Policy Council and a (Senior!) Fellow of the Gatestone Institute--where they both promised I could write as much about Turkey as I want and they'd never complain. So I haven't had as much time for Ricochet. But I'm always reading what you're up to, and I really miss our conversations. (They both lured me away from you with that "Senior" title. I love the way that sounds. I can't wait for Gatestone to put my name and title on the site.)
Anyway, if you've been wondering what I've been up to, here's a piece I just wrote about the World Economic Forum in Istanbul called Davos on Tour:
The arrival of the World Economic Forum in Istanbul this week was overshadowed in the Turkish media by the arrival of Madonna and her entourage, although there was a symmetry in events—massive security, caravans of expensive cars with tinted windows, snarled traffic and cab drivers cursing them all. Tagging behind the Material Girl was her twenty-four-year-old lover, Brahim Zaibat; tagging behind Turkey’s mercurial prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. In both cases, the pair looked every inch the happy couple. ...
I've also got a long piece about the Gülen movement coming up in City Journal. (Pity my editors: They asked for four thousand words and I sent them ten thousand. They're probably tearing their hair out right about now. But really, you can't sum that story up in four thousand words. In fact, you can't sum it up in ten thousand, but I figured they'd plotz if I sent them a 20-volume treatise, complete with footnotes and bibliography.)
My debut piece for Gatestone will be published on Monday--it's about the Turkish Supreme Court's war on porn, and the dilemma this poses for Turkish blackmailers. So stay tuned and watch this space.
Oh! And I finally got around to posting the English version of a piece about Margaret Thatcher that was published last March in the German Financial Times. At least, I think that's what was published--I don't read German very well, so I don't know if the translation was accurate.
Life is good here in Istanbul in the springtime, even though the world's a mess--my garden's in bloom, my cats are happy, and so am I. I hope you're all busy and thriving, too.
I'm often here, even if I don't have as much time to post anymore.
So mind your manners, because you never know when I might be reading.
PS: If you're really jonesing for my non-stop Turkey updates, you can always follow me on Twitter: @claireberlinski. Never a dull moment, I promise you.