The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 21 September 2015

Image: Livemercial

Turkey takes flight

Turkey is to build its first regional jet aircraft by 2023 – the centenary of the Republic. However, many are questioning just how Turkish the craft will be. TRJet will build updated prop and jet versions of the Dornier 328 and develop another variant jet and a 60- to 70-seat turboprop based on the 628. But with reports that core components will be manufactured in Germany and the US, is Turkey just the assembly line? “You can think of it as similar to a VIP-jet customisation, so I think it’s a bit far-fetched to call it a pure Turkish jet,” says Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at Strategic Aero Research. “What it will do is create jobs and harvest experience for those involved. While it’s commendable that Turkey is diversifying its industrial base, to do so on an old jet and try a quick revamp leaves much to be desired.”

Image: David Bloggs

Canadian campaign

With Canada’s general election campaign edging towards the home stretch, this year’s vote on 19 October could be decided by an unlikely segment of the electorate. Canada’s First Nations communities historically turn out to vote in numbers lower than the national average. Many view national polls as “foreign elections” with their allegiance pledged only to the Crown. But this year’s vote is being viewed differently: tensions are high over both resource extraction in indigenous territories and funding cuts to social services. One First Nation community in northeastern Ontario is even allowing federal voting booths to be set up on its territory for the first time in years. The indigenous vote will certainly be charged come election day and could prove crucial.

Seen it all before?

First it was Paris, then it was Helsinki and now we brace ourselves for London Design Festival (until 27 September) after its phone directory-sized programme landed on editors' desks with a thud last week. But with a saturation of design weeks from New York to Istanbul, are all these weeks really worth the schlep? The sheer diversity on show is a measure of a design week’s strength, according to Kari Korkman, CEO and founder of Helsinki Design Week: “Innovation lies in between the disciplines,” he says. London shows off its design acumen via hundreds of events, insight into dozens of design districts and the odd art installation (take Alex Chinneck’s upside-down electricity pylon), making for an exciting if slightly disconcerting diary.

Image: Philippe Servent

If the shoe fits

Over the course of eight decades, shoe-polish company Famaco has built a reputation as an expert in shoe and leather care and today has a client base that includes shoe shops, cobblers, the French army and the fire brigade. Its ambitious owners are already eyeing distant markets but a commitment to the family business’s heritage is also built into the plan. “We offer a greater variety of colour than any other company in the world,” says Bruno Pfirter, who co-runs the France-based business with his sister Audrey. “Although trends change, we never remove a shade from our range, even if demand is really limited.” Read our report in the new issue of Monocle, on newsstands now.

From Monocle 24

Print media: Jocks & Nerds

On the latest edition of The Stack, our take on the world of print media, we check in with the editor of Jocks & Nerds.

From Monocle Films

Burma’s national broadcaster: MRTV

Burma’s national broadcaster, MRTV, was once a government mouthpiece. As the country slowly turns to democracy, Monocle films goes behind the scenes to see if the service can change with the times.

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