From the Feuilletons


Die Welt 20.07.2007

As Turkey prepares to go to the polls on Sunday, writer Elif Shafak outlines the central role played by women in this election. The number of female political candidates has risen sharply, women have been in the frontlines at all major demonstrations and the image of the Turkish woman has become a political battlefield. Sixty percent of women wear the headscarf but only 11 percent of them do so for political reasons. "This complexity is not being overlooked only by Western observers but also by the Turkish elite. Now that ideological conflicts seem to concentrate on women's bodies and clothing, it might be about time to stop asking: 'How should the ideal Turkish woman look?' Instead, we should ask: 'Should there even be one ideal Turkish woman?' After all, pluralism is not only a political principle, but one which a free society applies to the individual."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 20.07.2007

The FAZ documents a letter from Annie Kraus, former private secretary to political theorist and Crown Jurist of the Third Reich Carl Schmitt, who as a Jew survived in hiding in Berlin and penned a homage to the silent helpers who supported her. This letter, addressed to the emigre lawyer Waldemar Gurian, was discovered by historians Andreas Mix and Reinhard Mehring. "I have personally experienced (that other Germany) at all levels of society: starting with the aristocracy, from my most esteemed Excellency Frau Hanna Solf and her daughter Countess Lagi Ballestrem, who were the first to hide me for six weeks, without ever having met me; to Count Albrecht Bernstorff und Geh; Legation Councillor Kunenzer, these splendid, noble people who after suffering appalling tortures in the concentration camp on the day of the Russian invasion were shot by the SS. From secular priests of both confessions, members of religious orders, to porters' wives, and last but not least people from Wedding [working class district in Berlin], who proved to be particularly wonderful and to whom I will be eternally grateful."

Süddeutsche Zeitung 20.07.2007

Following a series of blackouts and the explosion of a steam pipe dating from 1924 in New York City, Andrian Kreye and Petra Steinberger cite a study from the business consulting firm Booz Allen on urban infrastructure worldwide. Apparently 40 billion dollars are needed to bring things up to standard over the next quarter of a century – and particularly in New York. "The first gas pipelines were laid in 1823, the network of steam pipelines was built in 1882 and the water mains date from 1917 and 1936. And lurking somewhere under New York, with its 172,000 kilometres of electrical cables, there are even bamboo water conduits."

Die Tageszeitung

One day before the final Harry Potter book goes on sale, Isolde Charim illuminates the ideas of J.K. Rowling using the sociology of Max Weber. This "magical world is anything but irrational," she says. "It is actually a mixture of bureaucratic and traditional authority, a connection of rational, rule-based power with an everyday belief in traditions. So Harry Potter falls on the side of the good... His foil, Lord Voldemort, represents the third form of rule, the anarchistic, charismatic power."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Icann wants to introduce new Internet address domains, writes Monika Ermert on the media and information technology page. This would include addresses "with umlauts or non-Latin symbols. In particular, new geographical zones would be added to the existing national suffixes like .ch, .de or .at. There might even be a .zürich address." But it's an open question of whether there would be a .münchen or .berlin. "The preliminary rules for adding new address zones with Icann may require state approval, as is common with projects of this sort. The non-profit organisation .asia, has accomplished the feat of gaining backing from Asian governments from China to Iran. But not all states are so easily won over as those in Asia. The Berlin Senate basically told the pioneers from .berlin at a hearing that there is no eagerness at all to allow the introduction of .berlin. The state must remain neutral." - let's talk european