In an example perhaps of the accelerated times we live in, Turkey’s recent “Seven Days in May” ran its course in as many hours; but what has followed the Ides of July military coup wasn’t covered in John Frankenheimer’s classic 1964 film. Since the failed attempt to oust him, President Recep Erdogan has conducted a wide-ranging purge of civil and military institutions, and moved with great speed to strengthen and enhance relations with Turkey’s neighbours; neighbours like Russia, Iran, and Syria.
Ostensibly, yesterday’s meeting in St. Petersburg between Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin focused on repairing the rift caused by last Spring’s downing of a Russia warplane over Syria, but according to my first guest, there’s much more behind this link up.
John Helmer is a long-time, Moscow-based journalist, author, and essayist; the only one, his site, Dances with Bears informs “to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties.” He’s been working from the Russian capital since 1989, thus making him the “doyen of the foreign press corps in Russia.”
The Harvard educated Helmer is a former political science professor who has served as an advisor to the governments of Greece, the United States, and in Asia. He regularly lectures on Russian topics in China, Europe, and the US, and his book titles include: ‘Uncovering Russia,’ ‘Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival,’ ‘Bringing the War Home: The American Soldier in Vietnam and After,’ and ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression.’
John Helmer in the first half.
And; to assuage public concerns following the National Energy Board’s controversial greenlighting of energy giant, Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline expansion project, that would “twin” an existing pipeline, facilitating the transfer of Tar Sands bitumen from Alberta to Burnaby, the federal government struck a panel to conduct “public consultations” across British Columbia, where opposition to the plan is varied, organized, and vociferous. Now, the panel itself has become the focus of conflict of interest charges and protest.
Lynn Perrin is a Fraser Valley-based public policy analyst, environmental activist, and board member with the Pipe Up Network, an organization of “pro-information, pro-environment united people.” She got involved with the proposed Kinder Morgan expansion plan when KM contractors showed up to clearcut greenspace in her neighbourhood.
Lynn Perrin and bumps in the NEB’s plan to build public confidence in the TransMountain Pipeline Expansion environmental assessment process in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of good things planned in the coming week for the streets of our town, and beyond there too. But first, John Helmer and a New Byzantine Alliance on the Bosporus rocks a rollicking world order chess board.