Thursday, December 28, 2006

A tale about Christmas and being the Perfect Stranger

This article is published in Turkish Weekly of December 27, 2006

Being raised up in the seventies, in the Netherlands in a village with not more than 16.000 people, I started to understand the world from a simple point of view: economy was booming, no inter cultural tensions, the communist were our enemy and, Christianity was divided in Protestants, Calvinists and Catholics. According to these lines we were dating each other. And Amsterdam was not far away, 30 km, but scared us since it was a worldly city with different perceptions and perspectives than we were used to handling.

Christmas was, by that time, a time of reflection. But became later more a time of only holiday, which we needed badly after all the rush and stress we put on our lives. And that time of reflection became more a time to tell ourselves how good we had it; it was a time of consumption, so we baptized our country into the consumption society.

Read the full article here

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ms. Banu Avar

There is a way in Turkey how to handle Turkey's their critics; counter attacking.
Like what the 'journalist' Ms. Banu Avar did two weeks ago when Orhan Pamuk, the first Turk who won a Nobel Price (for literature). She linked this prestigious price with a 'documentary' she created with the name Beyond Borders, about the 'genocide' the Swedish committed against the Laps in the Northern part of Scandinavia. Broadcasted on Turkish 'state' television TRT.
Sahin Alpay, a columnist for Zaman newspaper in Turkey watched this piece of art on TV and ironically concluded that Banu Avar was trying to convince her fellow country men the following:

  • Sweden was a country exporting weapons and war to the rest of the world
  • Sweden lacks freedom of expression.
  • Women were subject to intense violence.
  • Swedish people suffer from alcoholism and mental illnesses.
  • Racism prevailed and the Sami/Lappish minority was deprived of all rights and were subject to genocide in the country.
  • The Nobel Prize and similar international awards serve U.S. “global cultural imperialism.”
  • Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk was awarded this prize for this very reason.
  • The Swedes did not know anything about the Nobel prize nor about Pamuk...

A shocking piece of journalism.

And Ms. Avar: you disgraced journalism and you disgraced Turkey.