FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail For the first time, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) will include some urban areas in the Agriculture census.According to Director of Censuses, Demography and Social Statistics, Valerie Nam, an important decision that the agency had to make was deciding on what areas of the island the census would cover, as previously only rural areas underwent this exercise.“Generally you don’t cover the urban centres, and that sometimes is a contentious issue as it relates to cost benefits, therefore we would cover mainly rural areas,” she revealed.Although the census will incorporate some urban areas the Director pointed out that town centre’s and parish capitals including Portmore and Montego Bay would be excluded. Among the urban areas to be included are Frankfield in Clarendon, and Bath, in St. Thomas.To identify the urban areas she said these districts must have a minimum population that has been identified by the organization, and have amenities and facilities that indicate modern living including a tax office, banks, and post offices.In explaining who the census would target, Mrs. Nam noted that the general criteria as described by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is that farms must have a holding of one square chain or a specific number of animals being reared.“What we would normally do is ask the questions and if farmers did not have the necessary number of animals or farm size we would not record the information, however what we are doing for 2007, which is different, is recording all information . now we will be able to identify all farmers whether large or small producers,” she explained.She noted that STATIN has identified two types of farmers: those who reared both animals and plant crops, as well as those who were referred to as ‘landless farmers’, who only rear crops. However she said that all farmers in the selected areas would still be captured in the census.The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands on February 20 launched its 2007 agricultural census, which will garner valuable data that will inform Government planning for the sector.The survey, which is conducted every 10 years, got underway in February under the theme, ‘Taking stock of Agriculture’.The process will involve some 477 personnel interviewing farmers across the island, with the aim of gathering data on the number of farms in each parish, the size of holdings, types of tenure, crops cultivated, and production output.Upon completion in July, the information will be used to foster agricultural policy planning, project implementation, and monitoring of the sector. RelatedUrban Areas to be Included in Agriculture Census Urban Areas to be Included in Agriculture Census UncategorizedMarch 10, 2007 RelatedUrban Areas to be Included in Agriculture Census RelatedUrban Areas to be Included in Agriculture Census Advertisements
Turkish-TV (which of the 5,432 channels does not matter; call it CNN-Turk if you want) is now declaring a 94.4 percent result, with the AKP at 49 percent, the CHP at 25.9 percent, the MHP at 12.2 percent and the HDP at 10.5 percent.The HDP leadership — call them “the Kurds” — are now on national TV, declaring their concern that their 10.5 percent will get reduced to under 10 percent, at which point they will get erased from Parliament and their percentage distributed to the other parties (mainly the AKP) according to the “post-rule” that stands as law in the constitution of the Republic of Turkey since 1982.Crunch all the numbers, but this is nuts.Dr. Hijran, my semi-estranged wife of 30 years, is screaming at the television again, and throwing shoes. That might be one of the reasons we are semi-estranged and usually live apart, with me in Montana and she in Istanbul. But I always stay in her tiny apartment in the New-Life gated community complex in Sarigazi whenever I pass through town. It is not convenient, but seems more appropriate than a hotel on the Bosporus. Life is complex, and then you die.But back to the elections at hand.* * * It is hard to get to, or perhaps better expressed, given the absence of road-signs, too easy to miss.More to the point, aside from the wild mixture of folks who live there — middle-class Turks, lots of Kurds and a healthy salting of generic “lefties” — walls are glued with posters of absolutely forgettable commie or quasi-communist parties whose sponsors died years ago — there is no good reason for anyone to visit Sarigazi in Asian Istanbul because, aside from yet another a la Turca concrete jungle of self-same apartment blocks and identical shopping joints, there is nothing of interest to see.Aside from my semi-estranged wife, that is — and that is how and why I have got to know Sarigazi, at least a little bit.* * *Her name is Hijran, she is a medical doctor at a private hospital and she is now throwing a shoe at the television as I write this because she was an official observer at the parliamentary elections at the Istanbul Sancaktepe Emek Mahalesi Peyami Safa Ilk ve Orta Okul voting center, meaning one of two local grade schools here in Sarigazi.“These bastards!” she snarls, as the horse-race style of voting totals rolls in on CNN-Turk from across this country of some 70 million people. “After so much blood has been shed, how can a responsible government look itself in the mirror?” But what about Dr Hijran, and Sarigazi — that place on no-one’s map?“It was an honor to be accepted as an official observer,” she hisses between her teeth. “Previously, I watched the Erdoğan people come in waves, like a herd of sheep. That did not happen this time, at least in Sarigazi…”* * *The official results of the Payami Sefa Grade School/Sarigazi, Istanbul Election Room 2044 (which I observed) included 377 registered voters, of whom 347 voted. No ballots were rejected. Of these ballots, 245 individuals voted for the “main-opposition” quasi-socialist (and certainly secular) Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP). Opposed to that, 48 individuals voted for Erdoğan’s (“Islamist”) Justice and Development Party (AKP), while the so-called ultra-nationalist “National Action Party” (MHP) culled 25 votes in room 2044. Oddly, for a Kurdish-place like Sarigazi, the so-called “Pro-Kurdish” Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), claiming the loyalty of not just Kurds but all minorities and even the gay and lesbian community, only received 18 votes.Meanwhile, rooms 2043, 2045, 2046, 2047 and 2048 on the third floor more or less mirrored the results of Hijran’s room 2044 — Sarigazi’s CHP trumped the AKP government party four or five to one in all rooms.What does it all mean, both for Turkey, the Middle East and the World? That is a rhetorical question, because she is referring to the “Kurdish Issue” in Turkey, which is as hot an issue in the discourse of the Turkish body-politic as an issue can get. That “issue” has been with the republic since its inception in 1923, when the rump-multinational Ottoman Empire declared itself to be “Turkey,” and a secular, “modern” nationalist state.The event was called the Treaty of Lausanne, and it resulted in the forced population exchange of hundreds of thousands of Turkish-speaking Christians and Greek-speaking Muslims who suddenly discovered that they were “Greeks” or “Turks,” respectively.Maybe this was a good thing; maybe it was not.The main and immediate point is this:My semi-estranged wife, Dr. Hijran, was born in a tiny town on the most western tip of Turkey, called Babakale near Assos, but raised in a place called Ayvalik, near Pergamon.The classical references to Aristotle (Assos) and the Attalid dynasty (Pergamon) have faded and are now being replaced by CNN-place-names where the Syrian boat-people launch their rubber crafts to get to the Greek island of Lesbos, all too many drowning on the way. SARIGAZI, Turkey — This place is difficult to find on the map.A “fringe” neighborhood of a mere 350,000 souls in Asian Istanbul, it is a mixture of middle-class folks who live in the rash of new gated communities that have sprung up around this greater city of some 17 million, and the extraordinarily ordinary settlements known as “gecekondus,” a word in Turkish that used to literally mean “built-at-night,” but which today just means “slum.”While “slum” may sound harsh, places like Sarigazi on the fringes of Sultan City are not the Istanbul venues where international tourists venture, know about or want to know about. * * *Dr. Hijran is shouting on the telephone to a friend in utter disgust as we watch the last results of the election roll in.Right now, the “opposition” leader of the social-democrat CHP is giving his “we f****d up”/ I concede speech. This is painful — particularly for Dr. Hijran, a Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) voter.Actually, I do not give a s**t about this. Were I a citizen of Turkey, I would have voted for the HDP — the Kurds/Outcasts/Others Party.Last blink, the KDP got over the 10 percent limit and remain the hope of the future; if tomorrow morning they rest at an official 9.56 percent, there will be war.There already is. We are up to circa 11 p.m. and we are up to 95.5 percent of the total vote and it appears that Erdoğan’s AK party (or former party, which everyone knows is not true) has achieved a stunning, crushing victory that will allow it to rule and change the constitution to Erdoğan’s liking, virtually making him a new Sultan.The percentages will remain more or less the same—AKP at 49 percent; CHP at 25.8 percent; MHP at 12.1 percent; HDP at 10.5 percent…Dr. Hijran throws a last shoe at the flat-screen TV, not even waiting for the final election results. She already knows they will deliver her beloved country into the hands of an unbalanced, authoritarian Islamist guy named Erdoğan who got in bed with the Americans to take down ISIL, but ended up attacking his peace-partners, the Kurds, instead.She trundles off to sleep while I stay up.By the dawn’s early light, those numbers more or less hold, the stock-market is soaring, and Dr. Hijran, the semi-estranged one, is rhetorically wondering what life would be like should she leave a Turkey she no longer recognizes.“I was, or am, a village girl,” she growls as she goes to her Sarigazi hospital while remembering Babakale and Ayvalik. “How can we be so stupid now?” Anyway, Dr. Hijran was the first female to leave the village and become a doctor; her older brother was the first from Babakale to become a lawyer. Their inspiration was their father, Huseyin — an up-from-the-bootstraps village sort of guy with a grade-school education who sold the family olive grove to invest in talc mining (stupidly), and lost everything aside from his belief that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of secular modern Turkey, was a hero — and not an anti-Islamic bastard, the way he is being portrayed by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AK-party crowd today.I would like to think that my father-in-law Huseyin Bey and I were pals on a certain, profound level.“If you can tolerate her…” he often said, referring to his daughter.That said, she was cut from his cloth.And while Huseyin Bey never declared himself an atheist — Dr. Hijran actively does — he clearly would not have been a supporter of Erdoğan or the process at play in his beloved “Atatürkist” Turkey on any terms at all.Huseyin Bey, a failed dreamer from tiny Babakale and then Ayvalik, was a believer in the Atatürk vision of Turkey. He must be turning over in his grave today. I just mean: more…But back to Sarigazi. Please note that the word is not part of the formula; the place was stripped of its status as a “county” and reduced to a mere “municipality” some years ago by the Greater Istanbul Municipality under the control of the current government, meaning President Tayyip Erdoğan, because Sarigazi was too leftie, Kurdish and middle-class — people like my semi-estranged wife Hijran.To evoke a term from that jejune thing called Political Science, Sarigazi got gerrymandered out of existence.Or almost.There are still a few road signs, and some taxi drivers know how to negotiate the one-hour (sometimes two) drive through the concrete valleys, tunnels and insane rush-hour traffic to get here from “Istanbul,” meaning areas many readers of this epistle can relate to: Sultan Ahmet, the Blue Mosque, the Covered Bazaar and, of course, the Bosporus.The losing leader (CHP) is now on television, and nearly crying about the Ankara Massacre of October 10, and other disappointments. The question, of course, is what Erdoğan will do with his new mandate. Hike taxes on alcohol, and thus almost banning it from the country? Fill the spare bedrooms in his 100-room palace in Ankara with dignitaries from across the Muslim world? The most likely thing, sadly, is to immediately expand the renewed war with the Kurds, which will include not only bombing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, but also the PKK’s partners and pals in Syria, such as the defenders of Kobani — “The Kurdish Stalingrad” — who just happen to be the prime partners and pals of the U.S. in that anti-ISIS quagmire, and who just opened a representative office in Moscow.Wow. The good news, I guess, is that the HDP have gotten the 10 percent needed to get the “Kurdish” party into the Turkish parliament, even if it is now a parliament where only one voice counts: Recip Tayyip Erdoğan, and he is not even a member.Does anyone out there know what I am talking about?Thomas Goltz, the author of “Azerbaijan Diary” (M.E. Sharpe, 1998/99) and “Chechnya Diary” (St. Martin’s Press/Tom Dunne, 2003), is an American commentator on Turkic politics and history.
Terry Richards led every time around the track in winning the Friday night United Rebel Sprint Series Summer Sizzler Week feature at Thomas County Speedway.COLBY, Kan. (July 7) – Terry Richards put in a dominating performance as he led every lap of night two of the Summer Sizzler Week for the United Rebel Sprint Series at Thomas County Speedway.The 25-lapper ran green to checkered. Jake Martens charged past Scott Rhoades for second at the halfway mark and began reeling in Richards but fell short of reaching his back bumper.The win was Richards’ URSS first. Zach Blurton made a late-race charge of his own to capture third, followed by Rhoades and Mark Walinder to complete the top five.Thirty-one cars vied.Feature results – 1. Terry Richards; 2. Jake Martens; 3. Zach Blurton; 4. Scott Rhoades; 5. Mark Walinder; 6. J.D. Johnson; 7. Patrick Bourke; 8. Nick Haygood; 9. Darren Berry; 10. Ty Williams; 11. Steven Richardson; 12. Todd Plemons; 13. Nate Berry; 14. Shane Sundquist; 15. Scott Cochran; 16. Buddy Tubbs; 17. Jed Werner; 18. Bob Schaeffer; 19. Coby Pearce; 20. Tracy Hill.