I like / I dislike
Week 15 [20230211-20230217]


Every Monday, the Research Trainees of the CERESE assess the news of the previous week. You can read their opinions below:


I like the news that the Turkish city of Erzin has not suffered any loss or damage from the recent catastrophic earthquake due to its mayors’ adherence to building code. As the current mayor, Okkes Elmasoglu states, neither he nor his predecessors allowed building contractors to cut corners. Turkey has seen a number of building amnesties — the last just before elections in 2018 — that allowed the owners of dangerous structures to pay a fine to avoid having to bring their buildings up to standard. The bypassing of aforementioned standards cost the lives of thousands during and after the earthquake. Critics point to the town of Erzin as an example of how properly implemented building laws can prevent deaths.



I like the news that the managers of the Formula 1 motor racing championship are considering cancelling races in countries where human rights are violated. This is a positive proposal because in recent years authoritarian regimes have used the organizing of sporting events as an alibi to improve their image or to access international funding. However, it will be a difficult decision, as the financial interests and profits are high, and the current championship programme still includes countries that have been accused of rights violations by international organizations.



I dislike the news that President Putin is planning new attacks against Ukraine, preparing for war instead of peace. The NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, reiterated at the NATO Defense Ministers’ meeting in Brussels that the Alliance must ensure that Ukraine receives the weapons it needs to win this war, as it is a war of attrition, therefore a battle of logistics. The Secretary General of NATO also referred to Ukraine’s needs for more weapons and talks about the possible supply of aircrafts to the war-torn country.



I dislike the news that many students in Russia are being forced to sign a declaration of responsibility agreeing to early enlistment in the army. The head of the organization for human rights, Alexei Tabalov, said that through various means of persuasion and even threats, many young Russians are forced to sign this declaration without knowing its legal ramifications. This tactic used by the recruitment offices has caused various reactions, due to its violating of human rights and showing once again Russia’s intention to encourage young people to join the army early. The desire of the Russians to promote the pro-war culture is once again clear but it is opposed by the international community.



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