Boeing got a big hug this week from Kazakhstan. At the Dubai airshow, Air Astana’s chief planning officer Alma Aliguzhinov announced plans to order up to 50 737 Max jets worth $6bn, saying
“We are making flying affordable for the people of Kazakhstan.”
Here’s an article.
“Separately, another airline signed a firm order for 10 Boeing 737 Max 7 and 10 Boeing Max 10 jets, a person familiar with the matter said. The airline’s name was not disclosed,”
the article says. Add that to Turkey-based airline SunExpress, which added a firm order for 10 of the planes, worth $1.2 billion at list.
A fine week’s work
“for a plane whose dangerous defects triggered the largest crisis in the aviation industry in years.”
And may the real winner win. Live news in English at TRT News, although be aware that it is a state broadcaster run by the Turkish government.
Update from the Financial Times:
Mr Imamoglu (the opposition candidate) increased his lead in the city of 10.5m voters from less than 14,000 votes in the initial vote to more than 700,000. Those figures were based on almost 98 per cent of ballot boxes, Anadolu said.
385 more photos from all over Turkey here at EarthPhotos.com.
Municipal elections are coming up in Turkey. Don’t fret, the police are on your side and they’re here to help:
Police officers walk the beat in grocery stores to monitor prices. Inspectors have seized tons of onions from warehouses, fining the owners for hoarding, even though storing the bulbs is common practice to prevent rot.
From Grocery Stores Are at the Front Line of Turkey’s Latest Political Battle.
Nice to see Kapka Kassabova’s book Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe has won another award. She writes evocatively about three months of travel up and down the Bulgarian/Turkish/Greek border, an entirely underexplored corner of Europe. Check it out. Bet you’ll enjoy it.
Tuesday’s award joins previous accolades for Border. It was named Travel Book of the Year back in February.
A nice idea in Istanbul. While ghastly things take place across town, for people with normal lives
“The city is installing “reverse vending machines” at metro stations that allow passengers to add credit to their subway cards simply by inserting a plastic bottle or aluminum can into the machine.”
A 1.5-liter bottle will add 6 cents. Here’s the story.
“We are beginning to see echoes of the old practice of asking friends traveling abroad to bring back electronics, clothes and even books, as we did in the 1980s, when Turkey was yet to liberalize its economy and a pack of Marlboro Reds was considered a generous gift.”
– quoted in the New York Times
With inflation at 15.4% officially and expected to rise, Turkey is in a tough spot. President Erdogan is feuding with his NATO ally America and his currency is in free fall. In a more political post I’d suggest that having himself elected Super-Extra-Special Potentate means President Erdogan maybe should have been careful what he asked for.
But for visitors, Erdogan’s problems make it just about an ideal time to plan a trip to Istanbul, via the outstanding Turkish Airlines international network, while the Lira stands at fifteen American cents and struggling. So far foreigners haven’t been scapegoated and you can still get a beer in Karaköy and Beşiktaş. And Turkey, while civility prevails, is a fabulous destination.
See a larger version of the Istanbul photo above, and 385 other photos in the Turkey Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.
Reserve a little thought space for the upcoming Turkish elections. Both presidential and parliamentary elections are coming in nine days time, and by most accounts President Erdogan finds himself in a tightening race. An article in Bloomberg titled Why Erdogan’s Election Has Gone From Shoo-In to Nail-Biter writes about
“the prospect Erdogan wouldn’t work with a hung parliament and instead call an election do-over if the results were not to his liking.”
The president said Monday that
“he expects the next presidential and parliamentary elections to end in the first round, with little possibility of a second one.”
But a Reuters poll just out today shows Ergodan
“falling short of a first-round victory … with his support dipping 1.6 points in one week…. The poll also showed his ruling AK Party was forecast to lose its parliamentary majority in the June 24 vote.”
So, we may expect an excess of media riches on Sunday, 24 June: England vs. Panama, Japan vs. Senegal and Poland vs. Colombia in the World Cup, and Erdogan versus a more-than-usually-united opposition in the Turkish Election Sweepstakes.
Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey. Click to enlarge. 385 more photos from Turkey here.
Day labor. Eminönü, Istanbul, Turkey. Click to enlarge.