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Cancel the debt
By Abdul Turay
Published Postimees 28 January 2010

I was going to write about something else. In fact I'd already written it and was about to hit the send button, then I read this from American journalist Amy Goodman, who has just come back from Haiti, on her Democracy Now broadcast.

“We sat and watched as doctors came from Denver Children’s Hospital performed this amputation that, in most cases, would have been unnecessary if the patient had received care at the beginning. The number of amputations without anaesthesia—now, let’s remember that it’s not only amputations, but it’s all operations.”

Reading about people getting their arms and legs hacked off without any anaesthetic makes the subtle manoeuvres of Estonian politicians seem kind of trivial.
Estonian politicians are angels compared to another group of people, international bankers.

This destroyed nation owes international banks about a billion U.S. dollars. Most of it to the Inter-American Development Bank, the…
Who's in charge here?
By Abdul Turay
Published Postimees 23 December 2009

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is an eccentric chap. He is from an aristocratic background, earns the equivalent of 2,500,000 kroon a year, is wealthy anyway, but he likes to get about by public transport. As mayor he holds sway over millions of people. He is charge of a budget that runs into billions of pounds, he makes decisions for one of the world's three financial hubs, he's a powerful man.

The mayor of Tallinn you all know. He is runs a city of about 400,000 people with a budget of 700 million kroon. He is by some measure more powerful. In fact even the mayor of a small town like Haapsalu, a man by the name of Urmas Sukles, is more powerful than Boris Johnson. How so? To understand this we have to look at the way local government is run in Estonia

On paper there is nothing usual about local government. By the standards of many countries, Estonia has a remarkably simple system. Many countries…
Pyrrhic victory
By Abdul Turay
Published Postimees 23 October 2009

Tallinn let out a collective howl of anguish this Sunday night. Everybody knew what the results of the local elections would be, yet still people didn't want to believe it was true.

It was a resounding victory, an absolute triumph for the Centre party, or so it seems. They got an absolute majority in Tallinn, 53.5 per cent of the votes, better than last time round.

Overall they did better than even recent polls have predicted. The Centre party won 31.1 percent of the popular vote. If this result was reflected in a general election it would make the Centre Party the large single party in Riigikogu.

At least as far as Tallinn is concerned I was wrong about one thing. Savisaar is not “almost” the champion of the silent majority. He is simply the champion of the silent majority

Tallinn is the big prize and as mayor Edgar Savisaar will continue to be a major player in national affairs. In a highly centralised country like Esto…
Abdul Turay: The man who annoys Estonians
Interview by Priit Pullerits
Published Postimees 14 November 2009

He came here like a breath of fresh air. Some say he is showing us how the world sees us. Others question how he dare say something about us.
A year ago, a black man shocked Estonia when he wrote a couple of sentences in Postimees which enraged the nation.

“Suppose in three or four years, Russia decided to try its luck and attack Narva. We can be certain the United States and the whole West will condemn it publicly. But don't rule out the possibility that the United States and NATO are actually doing nothing, because the President's wife is privately thinking:
'Ah... Estonia, isn't that the little small-minded white country, to hell with them.'”

Curiously this do not lead to Turay becoming a pariah, quite the opposite. Through his work he has become an opinion leader (though he himself does not agree with the title). His opinion pieces have become eagerly anticipate…
Black men, Estonian women: the truth
By Abdul Turay
Published Postimees 11 November 2009
Well that got your attention; the headline I mean. Any story on this subject, the technical term is miscegenation, is bound to get punters. The yellow media, women's magazines and reality TV shows are obsessed with the subject. Not a month goes by without some publication writing about it. Anne and Style, for example, recently ran a long feature about mixed couples.
Most of these stories are muddle-headed and wrong. There's paranoia in this country that there is an army of dark-skinned men form Turkey, the tropics, some place south, who are going to make off with the nation's women. It's never going to happen. I'll explain why in a minute.
Seriously, I think there are more important things to think about and worry about. I worry about feeding my family. I worry about other people being able to feed their families, so I write about politics and economics.
But the press won't leave…
Black man flies solo
By Mart Zirnask
Published Eesti Ekspress 2 October 2009
Political observer Abdul Turay columns' are causing politician to line up, publicly to churn out replies. What lies behind this phenomenon?

One day, Abdul Turay was walking through a small birch-edged Tallinn parking lot
Suddenly a young gentleman, driving a car shouted out: “Hey nigger, you fucking nigger! Get the fuck out of my country!!”

For fun Turay answered him in French (which he learned in his native country of Great Britain). The other person was silently surprised for a moment and then carried on shouting abuse.......also in French.
“Totally unbelievable,” Turay said rolling with laughter. “Then I thought for a moment that this is indeed an odd country.”
Turay didn't say there is large scale racism in Estonia. He did say he has had more positive experiences than negative ones. But he wouldn't permit the paper to name the cafe where we rested for a chat. (Ed note: because it's near where I liv…