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Troubled by the US Supreme Court’s upholding of Trump’s travel ban, Erdoğan’s reelection tilts toward authoritarianism, Why a stable Turkey is important, Ukraine has come a long way since Russia’s invasion, ‘Standard of living’ or ‘standard of life’?

A roundup of global commentary for the July 9, 2018 weekly magazine.

Michelle Edralin (second from right), and her sister Nicole Edralin, from New Jersey, react with immigration rights proponents outside the United States Supreme Court after the Court upheld President Trump's travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries, Washington, June 26, 2018.
Leah Millis/Reuters
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Deutsche Welle / Bonn, Germany

Troubled by the US Supreme Court’s upholding of Trump’s travel ban

“Ever since the Supreme Court ... allowed the third iteration of President Trump’s travel ban to go into effect last December it could be assumed that it would ultimately uphold the controversial move,” writes Michael Knigge. “That the court finally did so on [June 26] therefore does not come as a big surprise. That does not make the Supreme Court’s decision any less troubling. On a practical level it deals a serious blow to the residents of the countries affected by the ban. But more broadly and more importantly, it validates President Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim vision as accepted reality – albeit cloaked by national security arguments and the inclusion of two non-Muslim majority countries, North Korea and Venezuela.” 

The Guardian / Sydney, Australia

Erdoğan’s reelection tilts toward authoritarianism

“After winning landmark presidential and parliamentary elections, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has taken a giant step towards one-man rule in Turkey,” states an editorial. “This is an extremely worrying development in the largest Muslim Nato member state.... Mr Erdoğan ... will take up ... vast presidential powers.... He will now control a powerful system of government that abolishes the role of prime minister and shrinks the role of parliament. He can now legislate by decree. The new president and his party control the body that appoints the judiciary.... [Now he] faces incipient economic and diplomatic crises.... Mr Erdoğan has ascended to great heights but that would make a fall all the more dramatic.” 

The Hindu / Chennai, India

Why a stable, democratic, and pluralist Turkey is important

“Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s re-election as President of Turkey comes as no surprise,” states an editorial. “With this, his authoritarian grip will be further consolidated.... The elections were held in a state of emergency, imposed in July 2016 following a coup attempt.... The outcome, which was expected, is a big setback to the secularist Republican People’s Party, the main Opposition. Its candidate, Muharrem İnce, who ended up with 30.7% of the vote compared to Mr. Erdoğan’s 52.6%, had promised to bring back a system of checks and balances over presidential power.... A stable, democratic and pluralist Turkey is essential in a neighbourhood that continues to be blighted by ethnically driven civil wars. As things stand, Mr. Erdoğan’s victory signals another hyper-nationalist, authoritarian turn.” 

EUObserver / Brussels

Ukraine has come a long way since Russia’s invasion

“In 2014 ... a European country ... found itself caught in a make-believe zero-sum game, where outdated principles of spheres of influence and territorial claims incited the Kremlin to use military aggression against a neighboring country...,” write Lars Lokke Rasmussen and Volodymyr Groysman. “[F]our years later, Russian aggression against Ukraine is still ongoing.... Ukraine has come a long way since 2014, not least through the will of the Ukrainian people and its active civil society and with the firm backing of the international community. The government of Ukraine has undertaken remarkable reforms to ensure economic growth, provide effective governance, facilitate human capital development, implement the rule of law and fight corruption.... Ukrainian elections in 2019 will be critical for reforms to proceed.” 

The Jordan Times / Amman, Jordan

Distinguishing between ‘standard of living’ and ‘standard of life’?

“I was intrigued by a short note ... on the social media,” writes Jawad Anani. “The sender of the note emphasised the difference between the standard of living and the standard of life.... The American dream or way of suburban living became as popular in the world as the mighty dollar. Yet, it did not reflect a similarly good standard of life.... The stressful exercise of making household budgets meet monthly payments diminished the happiness, which families were supposed to be enjoying.... We have to bring back the spirit of work where we produce and enjoy things of value like culture, precision, community services and the blessing of voluntary work.... We have to respect life in all its redeeming values in order to live happier.” 

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