Happenings in Turkey, no sillier than NSW mining policy 11/7/20
A friend has sent me this to illustrate how life is in Turkey these days under President Erdogan, who fancies himself the new Kemal Attaturk. Ataturk however was the victorious general at Gallipoli and the founder of the modern Turkish state on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire after WW1. He wanted a modern, democratic, secular state an instituted a new western-style alphabet.
Erdogan has undermined democracy and concentrated power in his own hands. He claims to be Muslim and been a very divisive figure, playing to the less educated eastern side of the country against the more educated secular western side. He had fantasies of leading the Muslim world while building the country with borrowed money, principally in real estate investment. The quality of these high-rise buildings in earthquake -prone Istanbul will no doubt be tested in time. The economy is not doing well, particularly in the COVID19 crisis. This little story about digging up a glacial lake is a micro illustration of his capricious rule, which has involved things like emptying the prisons and locking up journalists and academics who oppose him.
Such stupidity does not only occur in Turkey. If it is foolish to undermine a little lake and dig a hole that cannot be filled underneath it, how much sillier is it to allow long wall mining under the catchment of a large, growing capital city that is prone to drought. Cracks will go from the surface to the mine depth and then the water will run out to sea. We should ask ourselves why we tolerate the NSW government, and Peabody, a US owned mine.