Turkey scraps rallies in Germany before referendum as row rages



BERLIN // Turkey on Tuesday cancelled all future campaign appearances by its politicians in Germany ahead of April’s referendum on expanding president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers, amid a heated diplomatic row.

It came a day after Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Germany could issue a blanket ban against future campaign events by Turkish politicians unless Ankara halted its Nazi insults.

Such comments were “breaking every taboo, without consideration for the suffering of those who were persecuted and murdered” by the Nazis, she said.

The sudden decision by Ankara came after three weeks of furious exchanges between Turkey and the European Union over the pro-Erdogan rallies which were banned in some of the bloc’s member states.

“All future events that were planned have been cancelled. That is a decision that was made in Ankara,” said a Cologne-based spokeswoman for Mr Erdogan’s AKP party.

Turkish ministers eager to tap into 1.4 million voters in Germany have sought to campaign in Europe’s most populous country to whip up support for a “yes” vote in the April 16 referendum on scrapping the prime minister’s post and creating a executive presidency.

However, several were recently rebuffed when German local and state authorities blocked the rallies, citing logistical reasons.

After explicitly saying such campaign appearances were not welcome, The Netherlands refused to allow foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s plane landing rights and expelled another envoy who had travelled in by road.

Ankara reacted with fury, with Mr Erdogan accusing Germany and The Netherlands of “Nazi” practices, sparking uproar in Europe.

The European Union official overseeing the bloc’s expansion efforts said on Tuesday that Turkish membership will become “more and more unrealistic” unless Ankara changes course soon.

EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn told Germany's Bild daily that "with regard to the strict accession criteria, Turkey has been moving further and further away from the EU for some time".

“If it doesn’t change course quickly, membership will indeed become more and more unrealistic,” he warned.

On Tuesday, a senior ally of Mrs Merkel said Mr Erdogan has crossed a line by comparing Berlin’s government to the Nazis and is no longer welcome in Germany.

The rebuke from Volker Bouffier, vice chairman of the Chancellor’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, reflects growing exasperation over Mr Erdogan’s assertions that Germany and other European powers were using Nazi tactics by banning Turkish political rallies in their territories.

“Enough is enough,” said Mr Bouffier. “Mr Erdogan and his government are not welcome in our country, and that must be now be understood,” he said.

* Agence France-Presse and Reuters

UAE squad

Men's draw: Victor Scvortov and Khalifa Al Hosani, (both 73 kilograms), Sergiu Toma and Mihail Marchitan (90kg), Ivan Remarenco (100kg), Ahmed Al Naqbi (60kg), Musabah Al Shamsi and Ahmed Al Hosani (66kg)

Women’s draw: Maitha Al Neyadi (57kg)

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KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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What is THAAD?

It is considered to be the US's most superior missile defence system.

Production:

It was created in 2008.

Speed:

THAAD missiles can travel at over Mach 8, so fast that it is hypersonic.

Abilities:

THAAD is designed to take out  ballistic missiles as they are on their downward trajectory towards their target, otherwise known as the "terminal phase".

Purpose:

To protect high-value strategic sites, such as airfields or population centres.

Range:

THAAD can target projectiles inside and outside the Earth's atmosphere, at an altitude of 150 kilometres above the Earth's surface.

Creators:

Lockheed Martin was originally granted the contract to develop the system in 1992. Defence company Raytheon sub-contracts to develop other major parts of the system, such as ground-based radar.

UAE and THAAD:

In 2011, the UAE became the first country outside of the US to buy two THAAD missile defence systems. It then stationed them in 2016, becoming the first Gulf country to do so.

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Starring: Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Radhika Apte

Three-and-a-half stars

Sheikh Zayed's poem

When it is unveiled at Abu Dhabi Art, the Standing Tall exhibition will appear as an interplay of poetry and art. The 100 scarves are 100 fragments surrounding five, figurative, female sculptures, and both sculptures and scarves are hand-embroidered by a group of refugee women artisans, who used the Palestinian cross-stitch embroidery art of tatreez. Fragments of Sheikh Zayed’s poem Your Love is Ruling My Heart, written in Arabic as a love poem to his nation, are embroidered onto both the sculptures and the scarves. Here is the English translation.

Your love is ruling over my heart

Your love is ruling over my heart, even a mountain can’t bear all of it

Woe for my heart of such a love, if it befell it and made it its home

You came on me like a gleaming sun, you are the cure for my soul of its sickness

Be lenient on me, oh tender one, and have mercy on who because of you is in ruins

You are like the Ajeed Al-reem [leader of the gazelle herd] for my country, the source of all of its knowledge

You waddle even when you stand still, with feet white like the blooming of the dates of the palm

Oh, who wishes to deprive me of sleep, the night has ended and I still have not seen you

You are the cure for my sickness and my support, you dried my throat up let me go and damp it

Help me, oh children of mine, for in his love my life will pass me by. 

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Blockchain is a form of distributed ledger technology, a digital system in which data is recorded across multiple places at the same time. Unlike traditional databases, DLTs have no central administrator or centralised data storage. They are transparent because the data is visible and, because they are automatically replicated and impossible to be tampered with, they are secure.

The main difference between blockchain and other forms of DLT is the way data is stored as ‘blocks’ – new transactions are added to the existing ‘chain’ of past transactions, hence the name ‘blockchain’. It is impossible to delete or modify information on the chain due to the replication of blocks across various locations.

Blockchain is mostly associated with cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Due to the inability to tamper with transactions, advocates say this makes the currency more secure and safer than traditional systems. It is maintained by a network of people referred to as ‘miners’, who receive rewards for solving complex mathematical equations that enable transactions to go through.

However, one of the major problems that has come to light has been the presence of illicit material buried in the Bitcoin blockchain, linking it to the dark web.

Other blockchain platforms can offer things like smart contracts, which are automatically implemented when specific conditions from all interested parties are reached, cutting the time involved and the risk of mistakes. Another use could be storing medical records, as patients can be confident their information cannot be changed. The technology can also be used in supply chains, voting and has the potential to used for storing property records.

SHALASH THE IRAQI

Author: Shalash
Translator: Luke Leafgren
Pages: 352
Publisher: And Other Stories

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
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The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi’s Arabic Language Centre will mark International Women’s Day at the Bologna Children's Book Fair with the Abu Dhabi Translation Conference. Prolific Emirati author Noora Al Shammari, who has written eight books that feature in the Ministry of Education's curriculum, will appear in a session on Wednesday to discuss the challenges women face in getting their works translated.

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Company: Astra Tech
Started: March 2022
Based: Dubai
Founder: Abdallah Abu Sheikh
Industry: technology investment and development
Funding size: $500m

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The biog

Born: Kuwait in 1986
Family: She is the youngest of seven siblings
Time in the UAE: 10 years
Hobbies: audiobooks and fitness: she works out every day, enjoying kickboxing and basketball


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