It's been a long time, but I am reanimating my Long-Dead Blog and giving it a new home. That's right, the endless podcast advertising has gotten to me, and my blog can now be found at johnwlast.squarespace.com.
I last used this blog regularly when I was reporting from Turkey on the fallout from the Gezi Protests, a "Turkish Summer" that showed up the Arab Spring by planting a socialist utopia in the heart of one of downtown Istanbul's last remaining green spaces. Unfortunately, to push the seasons metaphor altogether too far, this summer gave way to soon-to-be president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's triumphant autumn, which saw dissenters and critics fall from positions of public prominence like so many withering leaves.
Now it appears Turkey looks forward to more wintery climes, most notably Putin's Russia, for examples on what a real leader looks like. This has extended even to the construction of a magnificent (and illegal) TL1.37 billion* palace for Erdogan, allegedly containing a mysterious command-and-control bunker, C4I, containing CCTV feeds from every province in the nation. Spooky.
Enough of that upstart Ottoman claptrap, however, because there's some genuine colonial business to attend to. While I'll continue to use this blog to comment on news from Turkey, the Middle East, and abroad (now under the Turkey and MENA tags), I'll also be periodically updating on my work here in the Dominion of Canada's proud naval capital, Halifax, Nova Scotia. For an indication of what might be coming up during my time here, see my Projects page.
In Halifax, we have just survived the disastrous planning episodes of one of the worst winters on record and entered into the picturesque (and damp) rainy season. It's also the season when Halifax breaks ground on hundreds of new construction projects, including a record number of new condo developments.
Personally, I have finished the bulk of my burdensome education and am looking forward to posting here more regularly. While the next few months will be filled with desperate job applications and freelancing work, I hope to update here at least weekly, and curate a semi-regular selection of news and features from an eclectic mix of regions.
*That's north of US$500 million.