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The Daily: Twitter 1, Erdogan 0

The Daily: Twitter 1, Erdogan 0

March 24, 2014 6:39 am by: Category: The Daily Leave a comment A+ / A-

Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.

In the run up to elections, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blocked Twitter as a “protective measure.” The response has been a public diplomacy disaster, to say the least.

EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes tweeted that “The Twitter ban in #Turkey is groundless, pointless, cowardly. Turkish people and intl community will see this as censorship. It is.” And from Thursday evening onwards graffiti began appearing on buildings in Istanbul giving instruction about the new DNS settings that would circumvent the ban. Erdogan has become a laughing stock in less than a week. So: authoritarian ruler nil, internet 1? Maybe, but it’s really only a half-time score. It would be unwise to extrapolate too far from this little spat. Some commentators were quick to draw comparisons between Erdogan’s Twitter ban and Hosni Mubarak’s decision during the uprising against his rule to shut off Egypt’s access to the net. [The Guardian]



Curious to see what public diplomacy effects the strike by the Israeli Foreign Ministry will have.

The Foreign Ministry’s worker’s committee declared a full-fledge strike on Sunday, closing the ministry and all the country’s embassies and consulates around the world for the first time in the country’s history. The strike is the latest development in the nearly two-year old work dispute declared by the workers for improved salaries and work conditions. Seven months of mediation efforts exploded on March 4 when the workers rejected a Finance Ministry proposal. [The Jerusalem Post]





Strong public diplomacy efforts by both South Korea and Japan toward the U.S. aim to sway sympathies in the battle for historical revisionism and geographical rights.

The political and historical war of words between Japan and South Korea has found another battleground: the United States. One of the first volleys in the battle for America’s sympathies was played out in a park in New Jersey in 2010, where Korean-Americans in Palisades Park won the right to install a plaque memorializing “comfort women,” many of them Korean, who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War II. Since then, more Korean communities — sometimes backed by activists and even diplomats from South Korea — have begun their own campaigns either to acknowledge the suffering of the comfort women or, more recently, to win recognition for the country’s arguments that a nearby sea should not automatically be named after Japan, its onetime colonial ruler. [New York Times]



Michelle Obama, in the first day of her China trip, checked off a number of cultural diplomacy items on her list: calligraphy, ping-pong, The Forbidden Palace.


This recap of the 2013 Public Diplomacy Council Fall Forum is a bit late seeing as it is almost April, but the lessons learned from the USIA—the forum’s topic—are still very relevant a few months after the fact.

Many of the accomplishments of public diplomacy in the Cold War were quiet triumphs, with little public notice in the United States, yet significant impact abroad. In four decades-plus, USIA field personnel with support from Washington staff and USIA media conveyed American values of openness, individual rights and responsibilities, and social, economic and physical mobility. Varied exchange programs helped build an infrastructure of shared interests and mutual understanding. Broadcast media provided credible news, commentary and human interest features to curious audiences around the world. USIA used all the printed and broadcast media current at the time to provide information and share ideas with diverse publics abroad. The audiences were largely opinion leaders in government, politics, academe, the media, and other institutions. Programming sought out those who could be identified as leaders or potential leaders in various fields, depending on the culture and social and political institutions of each country. [PD Council]



Excellent briefing on economic diplomacy as a tactic.

This trend created a brave new world of inter-state and public-private diplomacy dubbed “economic diplomacy” by Raymond Saner, based upon a completely novel logic of economic-technological competitiveness, improved governance capabilities for multilateral decision-making and sophisticated forms of support for nationally- based entrepreneurs. The actors of this new diplomatic stage include international technocrats specializing in multilateral institutions such as the World Trade Organization, G-20, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, United Nations Development Programme and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. They are national delegations that develop policy-oriented expertise in these institutions. Leading MNCs often coalesce with their governments and academic-intellectual institutions which support the emerging system by creating instrumental discourses and justifications. [SETA]



The U.S. and UAE showed off their good relations by co-hosting Art Dubai as part of UAE’s Art Week.

Titled ‘A Night of Art’, the event was held at the US Consulate-General in Bur Dubai on Wednesday night. The consulate opened its doors to display the permanent pieces of art adorning the interiors. One of the dozens of artists on display was Professor of Photography at the American University in Dubai, Roberto Lopardo. His work ‘Mapping Dubai’, a time sequence that shows one photo taken per minute in a 24-hour cycle in Media City — an epic of 1440 photos — takes pride of place in the consulate’s waiting room. [Khaleej Times]



New Zealand is sending the All Blacks—the national rugby team—to China with the hopes of boosting relations with its biggest trading partner.

Those who cling to the notion that sports and politics should not mix must be having palpitations. The Prime Minister wants to send the All Blacks to China to further boost links with this country’s biggest trading partner. The All Blacks’ coach, Steve Hansen, seems ready to go along with this bit of sports diplomacy despite his team’s congested schedule. Clearly, we have come a long way since 1981 when the separation of sport and politics reached its apogee with the tumultuous Springbok tour. Yet there is reason to be just a little cautious about how far we should go. [The New Zealand Herald]


Finland plays the long game takes the soft power route in response to the Crimea situation by funding the Red Cross in Ukraine.

The Finnish Minister for International Development, Pekka Haavisto, decided to support the assistance mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Ukraine with EUR 500,000. Moreover, Finland will send up to 20 people to monitor the Crimea issues in Ukraine. Both of the actions are related to Finland’s new strategy in using soft power to understand the dynamics centered around the Crimea issue in Ukraine. The purpose of the assistance is to strengthen the Ukrainian Red Cross so that it is better equipped to meet the local needs for assistance. The Finnish government announced that its goal is to respond to both the existing and possible future humanitarian needs of the civilian population in Ukraine. [Finnbay]


Alec Ross All Blacks Art Dubai conflict kitchen Crimea Finland First Lady geographical rights Israeli Foreign Ministry Li Na Miami Heat Michelle Obama misconceptions Peng Liyuan Public Diplomacy Council Fall Forum Red Cross revisionism rugby strike tennis United Arab Emirates USIA water diplomacy World War II World Water Day
The Daily: Twitter 1, Erdogan 0 Reviewed by on . Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day. [divide] In the run up to elections, Turkish Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day. [divide] In the run up to elections, Turkish Rating: 0

About Michael Ardaiolo

Michael Ardaiolo is currently a student in Syracuse University's Public Diplomacy Master's Program: M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and M.S. in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. In addition, he is a recovering record slinger, a Criterion Collection addict, an NBA obsessor, and a struggling student of the Korean language.

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