OPINION

Culture, politics and Turkey

Acropolis opening hours

Extending the opening hours of the Acropolis and other museums is a great idea, although — with deep respect — more night sessions under lights would be sensational.

In my state here in Australia, the state government opened up the zoo to night jazz music sessions. Well, to cut a long story short, it was a smash hit and ticket sales are through the roof. The very same could be done at the Acropolis but only if the so-called guards, also known as Ministry of Culture employees, did not whine and abuse people who sit down or walk barefoot on the slippery paths.

Angelo Kenos

Bakoyiannis?s proposals

After meeting Prime Minister George Papandreou on Tuesday, Democratic Alliance party leader Dora Bakoyannis said her proposals to the premier had included a reduction in the number of MPs from 300 to 200 and the abolition of immunity from prosecution for MPs. I think we can all agree on this. Will the PM, whose slogan is ?I don?t care about the political cost Greece must change,? actually do something concerning the Siemens, Vatopedi and submarine scandals? We all know that no past or current Greek politician in Greece will ever do jail time. Who is Papandreou kidding regarding change?

George Salamouras

Union protests

Why is it that the unions fail to acknowledge their role in the bankruptcy of the Greek government?

Their members ritually strike and demonstrate each year for better wages and conditions and benefits.

Their actions have made life difficult for the citizens of Greece. Their refusals to negotiate and compromise have driven each government to give in.

The governments have had to borrow the money and incrementally increase the national debt.

If the unions and other political parties refuse to cooperate, then there will be no public facilities, no schools, no railways, no jobs at all. When that happens, Greece may well become the pioneer of a ?steady state economy? with no growth, local community economics and few jobs.

It does not matter to me because I am already retired from another country. Ever since I have been here I have been amazed by the lack of negotiation and compromise. What is important is to shout as loud as possible and refuse to give way, and assume that someone is going to pay up.

Kelvyn Richards

From Kemal to Erdogan

Erdogan?s era does have its particular contributions to the development of Turkey’s democracy, but as usual, the foreign press make him out to be a hero much more than he actually is.

The reforms and progress in the EU and economy departments are products of processes that began long before Erdogan came to power. You should recognize the efforts of Ismail Cem (Papandreou’s friend and ally) back in the late 1990s and the economic reforms of minister Kemal Dervis.

As for being the heir of Mustafa Kemal, sorry but they are leagues apart. Beside being the extraordinary genius of military strategy that he was (yes, we Turks are lucky to have had him), Mustafa Kemal had a philosophical and intellectual cultivation and capacity that enabled him to push Turkey into the modern ?Age of Enlightenment? through, yes, secularism, while Erdogan uses less sophisticated means.

Ataturk may have been authoritarian, but this should be put in the context of the post-war 1920s, which was an entirely different era from the Age of Democracy of the 2000s.

Erdogan’s paternalistic crushing of dissent really does not become what would be expected of a truly respectable leader of our time.

The fact that he rose to power using democracy’s means does not give him an excuse to turn against that very democracy now.

Ege Yildrim