Jim Meyer's Borderlands
...making a run for the Turkic-Russian frontier
Jim Meyer's Borderlands

Will he or won't he? Putin and Eastern Ukraine

Saturday, April 12,2014  

That's the big question this weekend, isn't it? Will Russia attack eastern Ukraine, splitting off still more territory from that country?

For the Putin of ten years ago, I'd say no way. That Putin was much too smart to do something like this. For Putin 2014, however, I can't say I'm sure. As Angela Merkel seemed to imply in her account of her telephone discussion with Putin the weekend of the Crimea takeover, the Russian president may well be having his "I'm Keith Hernandez" moment...
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Busy Times in the Bozone

Saturday, April 5,2014  

A couple of weeks ago, I received a Ron LeFlore Montreal Expos jersey in the mail. I'd ordered it on the spur of the moment a week earlier, but had long been considering the move.

Why Ron LeFlore? Good question...
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Crimea and Eastern Ukraine: Things Can Always Get Worse

Thursday, March 6, 2014  

While things in the Crimea are bad, it could always get worse. Conflict between ethnic Russians and Ukrainians in eastern Ukraine would make the events taking place in the Crimea look relatively simple by comparison...
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Crimea: Tough Options

Wednesday, March 5, 2014  

One thing that I’ve been struck by with regard to the events relating to the Crimea is how little people in the US seem to care. I guess this shouldn’t be a big surprise—since when do Americans care much about foreign policy? Compared, say, to the ways...
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Russia and the Politics of Citizenship

Tuesday, March 4, 2014  

One less-noted aspect regarding the events taking place in the Crimea is the role that citizenship has played in the conflict. In the Washington Post this morning...
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The Crimea: More Than Just A War

Sunday, March 2, 2014  

These are pretty old, but I wanted to put up some photographs documenting what a special and beautiful place the Crimea is...
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More Thoughts on the Crimea

Saturday, March 1  

There's a piece I noticed yesterday in the Washington Post on the Crimea—it turns out that to 'understand' Crimea, you have to at least take a look at its history. It's nice to know that the Crimea is understandable, but it is kind of a bummer to think that I'd have to go through the trouble of 'taking a look at its history' first...
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Crimea on the Brink: What's Going On?

Friday, February 28  

Visitors to the Borderlands Lounge know that I have been linking to news events in the Crimea all week. And now, things seem to be getting much, much worse. ...
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First Day of School...

Tuesday, January 14  

Owing to a wrinkle in the schedule at Montana State University, I'm just beginning the Spring semester right now. This is because I'm only teaching one class this semester—a graduate class that meets only once a week. Because MSU started up last week...
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So whatcha want? Choices re Syria

Sunday, September 15  

Now that the US and Russia have reached an agreement to destroy Syria's chemical weapons stocks, the Obama administration needs to take this opportunity to figure out what it really wants in Syria...
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10 Questions Regarding Syria

Tuesday, September 3  

The following are some questions I hope Congressional leaders ask the Obama administration regarding Syria...
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New Article: Speaking Sharia to the State

Thursday, August 22  

Greetings from the friendly confines of the Borderlands Lodge! Montana is a bit smokey right now, with regional forest fires mucking up the otherwise pristine nature of Gallatin County. I wanted to mention that a new article of mine is now out in the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. The piece is called "Speaking Sharia to the State: Muslim Protesters, Tsarist Officials, and the Islamic Discourses of Late Imperial Russia"...
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Tear gas, public toilets, and a fight bigger than flowers

Monday, July 8  

Tonight I was working at my office in the Urban Bar in Galatasaray, next to the umumi tuvaletler, or public toilets, located on a little side-street next to Galatasaray high school. At a little after seven pm I heard two loud bangs and then about a half-dozen people ran down the street in front of the bar. It was happening again: gas in the city in this summer of anger.
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Visit the Borderlands Lounge

Sunday, July 7  

While it might seem hard to believe, there are other things that I am trying to accomplish in my life outside of my Borderland ramblings. Making posts like these is very time consuming, especially given the buggy template that I use, not to mention the numerous extras that I've added to it to maximize your Borderland experience...
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Chillin' in the B-lands

Thursday, July 4  

A month or so ago when I began this summer's trip in Istanbul I visited Kubbealti, king of the photocopy men, and bought the original Arabic-script version of Fatih Kerimi’s travelogue Istanbul Mektupları, first published in Orenburg, Russia, in 1913. The book details Kerimi’s four-month trip to Istanbul in 1912-1913, during which time he met up with his friend Yusuf Akçura, who was working as the Istanbul correspondent for Kerimi’s Vakit newspaper back in Russia...
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Other people's dissent

Sunday, June 30  

As everybody knows by now, the Gezi Park protests have slowed down considerably over the past couple of weeks, although there is still pots-n-pans clanging of the sort that lasted for six weeks or so after Susurluk* in the late 1990s. The genie, as I observed a couple of weeks ago, has been largely stuffed back into the bottle...
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Stuffing the genie back into the bottle

Friday, June 21  

It's been a busy week. Late Tuesday night I flew back to Turkey from Copenhagen, but frankly didn't feel great about it. All weekend long there had been protests, which appeared largely peaceful, but with protesters being attacked repeatedly with tear gas and water cannon...
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Three Questions re Turkey--"standing man"--where is Obama?

Tuesday, June 18 

Watching this past weekend's spectacle of still more police violence only made clearer my earlier sense—based upon what I saw with my own eyes during the first two weeks of protest and what I've been observing since then—that these are basically police riots inflicted upon peaceful protesters. Both within Gezi Park and since the dispersal of the occupiers last week, the protesters have, for the most part, gone out of their way to be non-violent...
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What's good for the goose..

Sunday, June 16 

What's good for the goose...
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Premature Evacuation

Saturday, June 15 

That low moan of relief you hear coming from Ankara is the sound of the end coming to an intense case of political blue-balls. Erdoğan has been gritting his teeth for three weeks...
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Photos from Istanbul

Friday, June 14 

I'm in Copenhagen this week attending a conference at the University of Copenhagen called "Growth: Critical Perspectives from Asia." It's quite awesome, to tell you the truth, and I'll probably put up some photos from here pretty soon...
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The Scene in Taksim

Monday, June 10 

I'm heading off to Copenhagen tomorrow, so after meeting up for drinks at my office in the Urban bar, a friend and I decided to head over to Gezi Park again. After all, After all, I'm heading off soon to the land of the Danes. Who knows what things will look like by the time I get back... Who knows what things will look like by the time I get back...
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New updates & an old problem

Saturday, June 8 

Things remain relatively quiet in Istanbul, but not elsewhere. Gezi Park continues to be filled with people, and there are no police to be seen anywhere in Taksim. At nine pm folks continue to bang their pots and pans as the Çapulcu phenomenon continues to grow. For now, lots of people seem to be having an incredibly fun time...
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Lesson from Last Weekend: Press Chill

Thursday, June 6 

One of the most chilling aspects of the events last weekend concerned press coverage. While battles were raging between protesters and police in Beşiktaş and Taksim, foreign news agencies and internet sources like FB were the only access that people in Turkey had to information. The television channels and newspapers in Turkey, on the other hand...
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More thoughts re the situation in Turkey

Wednesday, June 5 

Today things were again pretty calm. With Turkish PM Erdogan still in North Africa, the situation here has become considerably more relaxed. Tonight I met up with the Famous Mr. G, my first ever boss, the man who brought me to Turkey to work after college.
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An uneasy peace (with pictures): part I

Tuesday, June 4 

Today things were a little bit different. The morning began with a trip to the poğaça shop and the purchase of a couple of newspapers. The first thing I noticed was that the media censorship seems to be lifting. The newspapers had more coverage of events in cities outside of Istanbul, as did the television news later in the day. The fact that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan has left the country for a meeting in Morocco has helped a lot, I think. ...
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