Wednesday 26 October 2016

The world should condemn Turkey for its incursion into Syria

Published 27/08/2016 | 02:30

A boy looks on as Turkish tanks move toward the Syrian border, in Karkamis, Turkey on Thursday. Photo: AP/Halit Onur Sandal
A boy looks on as Turkish tanks move toward the Syrian border, in Karkamis, Turkey on Thursday. Photo: AP/Halit Onur Sandal

Turkey's President Erdogan has used the West's fear of Isil as an excuse to try to clear border areas of Kurdish occupation, knowing that our self-seeking acceptance of Kissinger Realpolitik to protect ourselves means that no one will object to another Turkish attempt to rid itself of yet another ethnic group.

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Allow me to ask your readership to reflect on these points and consider when we should make our voices heard and when our elected officials should make decisions based on moral issues, rather than short- term reactions to events that they do not seem, or do not have the capability, to understand.

  • Saddam Hussain's Iraq devastated Kurdish villages using mustard gas and the Iraqi army.
  • Turkey has taken every opportunity to bomb and destroy Kurdish villages.
  • Erdogan has jailed thousands of journalists, judges and teachers.
  • He has sacked over 60,000 judges, journalists and teachers.

This letter is not the place to discuss whether we in the West were the catalyst for the emergence of Isil; this can be commented on in further correspondence.

But we must draw a line on what can be done in our - perceived - interests.

The Irish NUJ representatives were disappointed with the results of its meetings with Turkish Embassy officials when they highlighted their concern over the Turkish government's abuse of emergency powers to justify the oppression of the media.

This is understandable and should be applauded to further bring the issue to the public's notice.

We must insist that our governments abide by our moral standards, not by misconceived concepts of political accommodation, to tell Turkey that we will not be a party to its insular and morally unacceptable ambitions.

Harry Charalambou

Mount Merrion, Co Dublin

Don't knock 'balanced journalism'

James M Burke (Letters, Irish Independent August 25) writes that Kim Bielenberg's article on Knock was sneering. By strange coincidence, I had emailed Kim Bielenberg congratulating him on his balanced journalism.

'Hi Kim,

Thank you for an enjoyable article on Knock. Nicely balanced journalism.

For me, what makes Knock special is not the apparition, rather it is the spirituality invoked by the millions who have visited and prayed there down the years. For example, Lough Derg, in Donegal, was a place of pilgrimage for people from all over Europe, long before St Patrick set foot in Ireland.

As the poet WB Yeats invoked his words for his poems, so do the visitors to Knock, invoke spirituality when they "pray earnestly".'

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia

eBay is a real wake-up call

eBay is sending us a very important message. Just as we congratulate ourselves on having more than two million in employment, eBay spoils the party by giving us a taste of the reality of employment in the 21st century.

Jobs are more insecure and transient than they have ever been because we refuse to acknowledge the reality that modern technology is eliminating dependence on human labour at a truly massive and accelerating pace.

We can no longer depend on 'work to be done' as satisfactory to fill our employment needs unless we drastically change our whole thinking on the notion of work and jobs.

More jobs from less work - or we are in real trouble.

Until this very time an enormous amount of work needed to be done by human beings, creating employment for practically everyone, or at least sufficient to sustain society and social order. Not any more.

Automation and robotics are usurping vast amounts of every type of work there is and the stark reality is that already there is insufficient work to provide adequate employment in the old-fashioned way. Employment must be recognised in an entirely different way; far more important for distribution of wealth than its creation.

Technology can create more than enough wealth for all but we must have a dignified secure method of spreading it around. Employment, coupled with entitlement to pension/income after retirement, is the only realistic method of achieving this end and keeping a lid on unrest and extreme politics.

Shorter hours, longer holidays and earlier retirement without reduction of income or entitlements may appear an impossibility under present employment ideology, but it is the only game in town. Fortunately, technology can produce sufficient wealth to make such a radical change feasible but it means a major rethink of the work/employment relationship.

Padraig Neary


Work and the minimum wage

There is no doubt two million people now working in this State is a good sign of things to come, as reported in the Irish Independent (August 24).

May I be so bold as to ask what proportion of these jobs are paying the minimum wage? And also, more importantly, how much is the State subsidising low-paid jobs by generous tax incentives?

Can these wages support a family of two adults and rear two children into adulthood?

Paul Doran

Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Russia's Olympian gift

Russian news agency Tass is reporting that their medallists will receive a gift from Vladimir Putin's government of top-of-the-range BMWs.

Russia's bantamweight boxer Vladimir Nikitin will soon be driving around in a BMW - if Putin took the time to watch a re-run of his fight with Michael Conlon he might downgrade him to a Lada.

Seamus McLoughlin

Keshcarrigan, Co Leitrim

Plenty of bottle

For so many years, how on earth did we stick the thirst at all? It is a rarity these times to see someone

not clutching a bottle of water as they go about the business of the day. Companies peddling the product have of course readily tapped into the market.

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont D9

Irish Independent

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