Saturday, June 30, 2007

This can happen to you too...))



My first job as a copywriter was to make a campaign for Post-it memos for the Netherlands.
Click on the picture to enlarge it. As you see, this kind of memo is still doing well..))

A blog about the Netherlands

Today I came across an interesting blog of an American woman, who moved with husband and kids to the Netherlands. In fact only for 1 year, but decided at the end to stay longer.
It's good and funny to see your country through the eyes of a foreigner.
How she describes the Dutchies and the 'Dutch way', is worth reading.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Cross cultural communication

Can you deal with other business cultures without knowing their language(s)?
Yes, and no. Yes, if you have a language which both of you can speak, and no, when the business cultures are too different and both of you are too prejudiced.

But how to manage business people acting globally? Simple, adapting to the business culture in the country you want to do business with. And for the sake of mankind, leave all your prejudices at home.
Dutch people like me tend to be critical. Not to put someone else down, or to let someone to loose his face. No, I am critical because I want to learn and listen to others, and don't want to take everything for granted. So, being critical means, I am interested.

The Netherlands is a small but, business-wise, important country. We were invaded by the Scandinavians, the French, Italians, Spanish and the Germans. But we are still there. And know how to trade. In fact the first multinational was the VOC.

At the same time, the Dutch speaks 3.6 (average) foreign languages. Basically, always English, German and French. But you will find easily Dutch people speaking 5 or more languages.

About cross cultural communication, which has also to do with dealing with other cultures and habits, two Dutch people became famous about this subject. Fons Trompenaars, with his books: Riding the Waves of Culture, Seven Cultures of Capitalism, Building Cross-Cultural Competence and 21 Leaders for the 21st Century, and Geert Hofstede, check out his site: http://www.geerthofstede.nl/

No discrimination anymore


Plasters are now available in all kinds of colors...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The world upside down



May I introduce you to Düzgün Yıldırım. According to wikipedia a Dutch citizen, born in 'Turkish Kurdistan'. In September 1980, at the age of 17, he came to the Netherlands as a political refugee. Today, Turkish Daily News, put an article with the catchy but also suggestive heading on their front page 'Holland’s new problem child: Yıldırım'.
Now, I can tell you, he is not our Dutch problem child. There are more important issues to solve. But since the Turkish media are following their 'citizens' closely in West Europe, here are some facts.
In 1994 Mr. Yirdirim was elected in the city council of Zwolle, for the moderate socialist party the PVDA. Not nice for him but the PVDA, put him on a lower place for the city elections of 2002. Which made him change his opinion: he moved to the real left socialist SP. But he didn't succeed to be elected. But he came back in the city council in 2003.
For the national parliament elections of 2006, several districts pushed the SP to put him on higher places. Although the SP gained a lot of seats, he was not one of them on their list.
But during the 'Senate' elections (the First Chamber) he gained some preferential votes (One of these votes was of himself). But his party, like all other parties in the Netherlands, have their own programme and rules. For the SP are preferential votes not valid, which he agreed upon and which is embedded in their party structure.
He was put on place 18, but only 12 seats were available.
Now we get the difficult part: the election council recognize the preferential votes, but his party not, which is their legal right. And he knows this, when the PVDA put him on an unelected place in 2002, and he made the switch to SP... sounds opportunistic to me.
Te SP congress voted him away with 993 against 38 away yesterday.

Another important note: his voting area (Zwolle, Hengelo, and Arnhem), are in the east of the Netherlands, and was a battlefield for PKK supporters and the Wolves (MHP) in the nineties. The first party is illegal and is 'declared' a terrorist organization. The second, the Grey Wolves, of the MHP, are considered as patriots in Turkey but not in the Netherlands. Fascism is not allowed.

Overall: It is a sad story for Mr. Yildirim, who 2 years ago told, live on Dutch Television, that he has two university degrees, and two of a college. In the end, he has one open university degree: management and organization.

And the sage goes on...
And do we threat our brothers in Europe well? Yes, we do...
But it is up to them which way we have to go, now...it's their turn...

Don't be sheepish



...ladies and gentlemen, stay ahead of the flock..))

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

America falls in Love with Africa



Yes, the Banana Republic...keep on shopping.

Freaking Hot!



It's so freaking warm in Turkey, that even the flowers are starting to sweat...
Istanbul today, 38 degrees, no wind, and a forecast which only says: no rain in the next 10 days...
Maybe a voodoo-do-do witch can make some rain...

Since when...

...is Turkey defining who is the head of the Greek Orthodox Church? Read it here.
It's obvious, that the so many called reforms and law implementations, after 1923 became anachronistic. The Constitutional Court in Ankara say simply that all religions fall under the rules of Religious (Islamic) Directorate of Turkey.
Athens came today with a clear and logical answer, read it here.

Media rows



While there is some kind of row between Turkey and Germany about 'teen Marco', a more serious row started with the publication of Merkel breastfeeding the twin brothers Kaczynski (one is president and the other PM of Poland) in Polish magazine Wprost. All about the fact that Poland, since they became member of the EU, demands more and more of the EU. Already the biggest beneficiary of the EU, they want more 'a have to say'. In contrary, Poland became within the EU increasingly unpopular. Their human rights record is terrible, especially regarding homosexuals, gypsies, Jews etc. But Germany still feels a 'guilt' against Poland since they invaded that country in 1939. And the far right populist twin brothers know this very well. Read here more about this dispute.

Maybe Ali Babacan must play a different card from now. Which one? Will tell you after he made his call to me..))

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A poem of Dylan Thomas

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

Just arrived



Good to know this place before arriving at Gatwick airport in London.

Cem Uzan and Turkish Imperialisme



Yesterday evening there was an interesting TV special: Cem Uzan almost the whole evening in discussion. What he told sounds reasonable, especially regarding SE Turkey (it's an economical problem) and the EU (not a good match).

Although the guy has a notorious past, wanted by Interpol, and Nokia and Motorola are not happy with him, at least to say...he made a good impression.

Personally, I think that he will get a lot of protest votes. Turkish politics will be interesting again...more elections, and more reforms which will be delayed. And yes, of course this is because of the 'imperialistic' EU. Friends in Latin America are wondering when they will be enlisted as 'imperialistic enemies of Turkey' now as well, and what about African countries, countries in the Far East....

And is it not strange that Turkish people are saying that the Ottoman Empire (pure imperialism, only that they never left..) is an example for world history? They know at least how to deal with religions...etc.

I really get annoyed by comments like this, mainly made by anonymous people on forums, but now on blogs as well. You can criticize everybody, calling Europeans killers, but the sensitivity of the Turks are out of proportions when it comes to their history....

Monday, June 25, 2007

The curse of Turan


The Curse of Turan (Hungarian: Turáni átok) is a popular belief that Hungarians have been under the influence of a malicious spell for many centuries. The "curse" manifests itself as inner strife, pessimism, misfortune and several historic catastrophes. The first disaster was the invasion by the Mongols, and the second the invasion by the Ottomans, Battle of Mohács in 1526.
I heard about this from a Hungarian friend. There is also an expression in Hungary: 'What are the 4 worst things you can face: the Death, no house, no food and a Turk'. But never could verify this expression...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Kurdistan


Although I sympathize with the Kurds regarding their culture, language and tradition (please: no honor killing, which sounds more like horror killing), I don't sympathize with a guerrilla group as the PKK. In fact, Europe suffered a lot in the seventies and eighties of the last century because of these kind of organizations (RAF, Beider Meinhoff Gruppe, Rote Army etc.)
I came across an article which shows the 'New Kurdistan', which is outrageous.
Both Armenians and Kurds are claiming the same land. Also, Syria, Iran, Turkey and Iraq will lose territory.
Their map is ridiculous. And as long as Europe doesn't want to see the intentions of the PKK, their goals will be alive. Yes, the PKK is still alive and kicking.

Holland European Champion football under 21 year


Holland brushed aside Serbia to retain the European Under-21 Championship title with a convincing victory.
Last year the Dutch became European champion under 21, in Portugal. This year again, but now playing in the Netherlands.

Interesting ads



These ads are made by Lara Sao Paulo.



Friday, June 22, 2007

Should we stay or should we go now?




Meetings and meetings. Announcements, warnings, threats, statements, counter threats and counter warnings. And so on. Is Turkey going into Iraq or not? I thought that a regular army can not win a war if the enemy are guerrillas. Take a look at Baghdad. 100.000 USA troops and still everyday suicide bombings etc. Will Turkey make the same mistake?

Kunta Kinte, 'Armenian Seed', the Denial of Racism!





This is Orhan Kemal Cengiz. A columnist for Turkish Daily News. And who writes every week on Friday a column. I must say, his columns are really newsworthy and excellently written, and for sure, lots of Turks don't like what he writes. I think, when written in Turkish and in an ordinary daily such as Sabah or Hurriyet, the nationalists will lynch him. The hunt is already started in Turkey by some people. Since the (ultra) nationalists most of the time don't understand another language than Turkish, it's safer for him to publish his comments in Turkish Daily.

Here is the start of the article, further reading link below the article.

Friday, June 22, 2007
By Orhan Kemal Cengiz

ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News

If you asked a man in the street in Turkey what racism means, you would probably receive a vague answer and some random examples rather than a conceptual definition. These examples most probably would refer to other countries, like the United States and European countries, but not Turkey at all!
For us, racism is what the white man did to the black man. Racism is just an image for us haunting our memories from the film “Roots”. It is the picture of the white man who was whipping a black guy: “Say your name nigger”, “My name is Kunta Kinte”, “Your name is Toby boy”, until at last, after hours of lashing, Kunta Kinte gives in and says “my name is Toby sir!” This is the only form of racism we know.
I have never come across any Turkish person who considers himself a racist. However, racist remarks are just flying in the air in the daily conversations in this country. Our language is full of racist remarks. For example, Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, is called an “Armenian seed” (Ermeni Dölü). If you consider how much Öcalan is hated in this country then you can imagine how “flattering” being an “Armenian seed” may be. “Jews are cowards!” “Arabs are back stabbing people”! Not to mention very offensive vocabulary about the Roma people!


Continue reading here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

ING and Oyak, be Happy


The ING group bought yesterday Turkish Oyak bank. A Turkish friend of mine challenged me by saying: ING is German. Holy Cow, the Orange lion is our national symbol. Some other people were saying that this is bad for the Turkish national interest. I don't think ING won't sell it back to Turkish investors if they get some good net profits. But are there any?

These pictures are of ING headquarters in Amsterdam. Yes, the Netherlands is well-known for its architects, only of course among other architects and project developers around the world...


We call this organic architecture. Lots of space for the employees, green, light and water.


This building replaced the old headquarters in 2002. There are 120.000 people working for ING worldwide.



The entrance already gives a good impression of the interior, it looks friendly.


An open garden 'inside' the building!


The Berlage meeting room, where they planned the 'coup' in Turkey..)) The interior, in contrast with the exterior, is 'antique'.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Retirement

On the left the house I want to buy...hehehe..))

Doing PR for free...

Just added some people to my blog. Of course my Super Hero in Istanbul.
But also Derya, a Turkish woman in Dubai, and Bertus from the Netherlands (you have to learn Dutch - easy language if you understand English).
And a friend from India, on duty to get his MBA in Canada: Great blog Priyank.
And then the Turkish invader in Moscow... Bad, bad, they are Slavic, Christian Orthodox... and we Dutch invaded already Russia..)) But at least, it's fun to read your blog. And in case you don't know it: I invaded Istanbul...can you stop me..))

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hamas in action...


Hamas took over control in Gaza. After opening the prisons and by setting rapist, thieves and killers free, they first started looting and destroying Christian churches and schools. Then they looted the house of former president Arafat. Disgraced all of his work, awards e.g. the Nobel Price for Peace. The next step they took was the announcement that Christians can only continue living safely in the Gaza Strip if they accept Islamic law, including a ban on alcohol and on women roaming publicly without proper head coverings. Including teaching of Islam law and religion at Christian schools. Read it here.
Not that long ago Hamas was on an official visit in Ankara. On invitation by R. Erdogan. Do you think they still have contact?

A shot from Beirut



I could not resist to upload this picture here. It's made in Beirut, Lebanon, yesterday. This image is priceless. Although there is some kind of civil war going on, these people look feeling confident.

Good ads


These ads are made by DDB London. Good ones. Turkish advertisement lacks creativity, although its level is increasing.


I can tell you that it takes weeks to produce these pictures.


Click on the images to enlarge them.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Women in Iran


I got some shocking pictures of Iran. The most disgusting was a woman hanged on the street. This picture was taken 2 months ago. Between the time this picture was taken and my putting it on my blog are 2 months. Since then, 67 people have been executed. 17 on the street...
Do you want to see more? Interested in how women are beaten up? Or do you want to hear the stories in the Gaza strip, where women are now 'protected' by men?....

What I don't like

is another question...
The winner takes it all, was and still is the case in Turkish politics.
AK party got 31% of the votes and ruled the country 'regens a terra per propositum'.
The winner takes it all. Compromize and learn what consensus means, if you want to enter the EU. Dictating is a no donner (kebab)....

I love AK party

Yesterday, some people accused me that I love AK party.
Do I? No, I don't love them, but I agree with them.
Tried to explain why, and then, the same rhetoric as ever: 'You Europeans like AK party since they want to use the EU to get their Islamic agenda through'. I replied: 'Which agenda'? And: 'Who is your informant there?'. The last question was a little bit too much for them, since they don't know how to handle these kind of questions. Merely, the answer is like this: 'Uh, I read it...somewhere'. Come on guys (and girls), use your senses: who benefited the most of the last five years of reforms? Yes, you...
And five years ago you considered EU citizens as holy, now I am a piece of shit...
Do I love AK party, no, I only agree with them...that's all. And for your information, I don't tell you 'shit'. Capite?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Real men don't cover their faces


These are Hamas 'free fighters', looting the Gaza strip with the help of their clans, notorious about their drugs trade, slavery, women trafficking and everything Moses once forbids. And, they opened all the prisons as a sign of good governance. Well, ladies, don't go on the streets uncovered, and without at least 5 male body guards. Don't think that it's about religion there, it's all about the tribes and clans.

Women can not show their faces anymore under Sharia law, but are men now subject to these laws as well? Looks like the first group are 'friendly' forced and the second group doesn't want to be recognized...Maybe they forget to shave themselves? Or do they have something really to hide...their identity? Or is it simply macho behavior?

Speculations and rumors

Came across an article today about Turkish decision makers and the Hudson Institute in Washington DC. You can read it here. Do we have to take this seriously? We call this time of the year in the Netherlands 'komkommertijd', which means, journalists don't have anything to write about - because of the summer season - so they write stories. Always good to read nonsense on the beach, on holiday, or lazy at work.

Anyway, now Turkey will go to the polls on July 22, still no interesting news about their programs, since the political parties in Turkey are fighting with each other more than planing an appropriate Campaign. None of my business, but since EU biasing is Turkey's favorite sport, I am here, standing strong.

The USA, country where investigation journalism has a good history and reputation - think about Watergate, Iran gate, Abu Ghraib prison, Guantanamo bay, is still setting the benchmark worldwide. Al Jazeera is challenging them, but only with horrible pictures and shootings.

The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal, Washington Post and many more are covering world affairs more sincerely than in Turkey, which is drowning itself in Capitals, Colors and screaming headlines. In EU countries, and merely the USA journalists, conduct ethics and how to interpret news these days. And they separate facts from fiction. Here is a good site about that. And I recommend each Turkish journalist to read this book. The Elements of Journalism. Also Le Monde and El Pais are worth reading.

In general, bloggers are considered as more reliable than newspapers. Many journalists have their own blogs these days. Since they have to follow their newspapers' policies, blogging became another outlet for them. I found an interesting blog about the Middle East, where people from Palestine, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq etc. are talking like good neighbors. Please, visit that blog. You will get the latest updates about what is going on over there, in particular: Gaza strip and on the West Bank.

And Turkey, yes, there is a boom in blogs. Some interesting, some informative, some give a different perspective than main stream media, and some are boring. But what bothers me is the level of news: too often I see articles starting with: When, If, Why, Where...exactly that leaves too much room for speculations. And besides this, most journalists are badly informed. Especially about world affairs since they are monolingual.

Amsterdam Airport


Don't get married in Vegas, get married at Schiphol Airport...

And take off for Vegas, to get divorced...a new business line created by Hans A.H.C. de Wit..

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is voted as the best European Airport.
Yes, they are doing a good job.
Please let KLM follow this trend, especially after their merger with Air France...!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Teach your children well

I am always surprised how quick foreign media are reacting about developings in Turkey; their Turkish counterparts can learn a lesson from them. Even Al Jazeera is quicker. There is no 24-hrs up to date web site based newsletter, only Zaman is doing okay with a quick update.

Erkan, on his blog already made us aware that President Sezer of 'valede des republica of Turkey' vetoed the new package of elections reforms the current government proposed. And Sezer will bring this package to the public, which means: are the people of Turkey intelligent enough to vote for their president or a bunch of fist fighting deputies? Maybe an intelligent test for wannabee's politicians would help? Just an idea...))

The current government is an legal elected one, but some people in the opposition have the arrogance that people, who voted for AK Party are stupid and ignorant, that they even don't deserve to vote. Right, they are poor, but what have that to do with democracy? Okay, everybody must follow the military and their imposed military doctrine (started at pre-elementary schools, and ends the last year at one of the non top 500 universities in the world). Auw...

Would love you to show trembling children at the age of 9, who on 'Children's day (a day for Children not for the military) who are reciting Ataturk his words. Poor confused kids. Looking to their moms and dads if they fail 'Ataturks test'. Ataturk would be worried by so much idiotery. Child, be child and don't take too much crab for granted.

Ha, therefore, a lot of Turkish students get educated abroad. Molding is an important process in students life: be critical, find your own way, and think freely. Not in Turkey. Get your grades and leave the rest to Father State. So Turkey is still holding up with North Korea and Myanmar. Bravo!

Now, I am waiting until the Turkish mobs, or Turkish 'Gestapo' picks me up...just missed (on invitation) the high level security and democracy seminar in Istanbul. At least, I feel some protection by the NPD...

Like father, like son...?


Yesterday, the Sisli court in Istanbul, found several journalists of Agos, Armenian/Turkish daily, not guilty of trying to create undue influence on the judiciary for articles criticizing the conviction of former editor-in-chief of the paper, Hrant Dink.
In the meanwhile, Hrant Dink's son, Arat Dink, will be prosecuted for insulting under penalty code 301, 'Turkishness'. Arat republished an interview of his father, where he talked about the Armenian Democide...exactly the reason why he was killed...
Will he follow his father? During the funeral of Hrant Dink, while passing the MHP party building, there were sounds of Cat calls coming out these 'nationalists' buildings...Yes, wolfs playing for cats...

Turkish NGO's active in Europe - part 1

Yes, this will be a long story how Erbakan's Milli Gurus just ripped off 20.000 Turkish people of their savings, how the fascistic MHP likes to play for police agent in the Ruhr area, Hamburg, East of the Netherlands by selling women, fraud, provocations and intimations, and last but not least, how the Turkish government tries to influence the Dutch, Belgium, French and German politics. This will be an unheard story. Hope to silence all the 'followers' of the main stream Turkish press (looks like high school newspapers - but I have a special taste).
Than, only than, after you see what is going on, you can comment and call me a bastard, imperialist, asshole, colonialist etc. Enfin, the usual words I get...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wanted


This is Vedat, a good friend of mine...and wanted by many men and women, for different reasons. Anyhow, he is for sale now..)) And I have 24 hrs. to collect some money out of this. He is a Dental surgeon, speaks fluent English and German, and of course Turkish, 38 years already, no kids, no history of broken marriages...
Please contact me if you are interested. You have exactly 24 hrs...time is ticking...))

Women rights in Turkey


Last week, my blog friend Erkan and I had a tough discussion with a pretty well educated Turkish girl, staunch Kemalist. According to her, women got less rights in Turkey under the current government. We argued that the opposite was true, and she became furious. If we both men were supporting the Sharia?! In the end, we put some facts of the European Stability Initiative (ESI) report on the table: Sex And Power In Turkey: Feminism, Islam and The Maturing of Turkish Democracy. Read it here.

Today, Mustafa Aykol, an Islamist Capitalist writer - see picture above, and a person I met a couple of times, wrote an excellent story about the myths of Kemalism. Read it here.

It's always a pleasure to read his stories. For sure one of the few independent thinking columnists in Turkey. Another one is Orhan Kemal CENGIZ.

Fly Pink


Always thought that pink was the color of gays. But the new airline Fly Pink also hijacked this color for them (read: women).
What happened. An English airline is offering tailor made 'shopping breaks' (yes, you can not shop in the plane, only drink pink champagne and get your pink nails manicured) from John Lennon Airport Liverpool to Paris: for women - or girls, depends how you describe yourself - only. Shopping, shopping, shopping...and who is paying for this..))
Good, it's now waiting on a carrier which flies men only. That would be fun...A nice Boeing 747, in Black and Yellow colors. And the stewardesses, they can be female...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What I missed in the Turkish press


The hero of Turkey, the new elected French President, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, had a meeting last week at the G-9 with the President of Russia, Putin. Sarkozy arrived too late at the press conference, forgot to put in his ear the device for translation, and was significantly in a good mood. For sure, he didn't drink water, but some strong liquor. Nothing bad about that, but it was all over the news in Europe, except not in Turkey, where the guy is considered as a hero..))

Fun stuff



This picture is for all the lonely Turkish men. Made in a suburb of Rio! What can you find then downtown...up to your imagination guys...



Stole this picture from a blog of SA, yes, Turkish people have to laugh more. Therefore I put this one here. What can a banana do to your soul?

Two Gentlemen


You see, they look serious, as they both met at so many occasions. And I bet you, Jaap rather talks with politicians than with generals. And Gul is right that in the NATO-EU conferences, Turkey can not be left out.
What bothers me are the senseless accusations by Turkish generals, that European countries are financing and helping the PKK.
And last but not the least, Cyprus can never be a member of the NATO as long as there is no settlement. It would paralyze the NATO completely. Enough problems already within the EU.
And Jaap knows this...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Blogger's Code of Conduct

The Blogger's Code of Conduct is a proposal by Tim O'Reilly for bloggers to enforce civility on their bloggers by being civil themselves and moderating comments on their blog. The code was proposed due to threats made to blogger Kathy Sierra[1]. The idea of the code was first reported by BBC News, who quoted O'Reilly saying, "I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behaviour, I would hope that it doesn't come through any kind of regulation it would come through self-regulation."
O'Reilly and others came up with a list of seven proposed ideas:

.Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.
.Label your tolerance level for abusive comments.
.Consider eliminating anonymous comments.
.Ignore the trolls.
.Take the conversation offline, and talk directly, or find an intermediary who can do so.
.If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.
.Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person.

In later comments, O'Reilly gave a tacit endorsement of Jon Garfunkle's Comment Management Proposal: "Jon, your post at Comment Management Responsibility: A Proposal is very detailed and thought provoking, as well as way more comprehensive than anything I'd thought so far."

Two old 'friends'...


This is 'Jaap', Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. A Dutch and the Secretary General of the NATO since December 2003. Until then he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. In December 2002 at an EU conference he met Abdullah Gül, by then Prime Minister of Turkey. I remember a meeting they both had. Jaap came out that meeting and had 'red ears'. The only thing he wanted to say about his meeting with PM Gül was that in his whole career he never heard such a 'language' . That's all he wanted to say. Now Jaap is the boss of the NATO and Abdullah Minister of Foreign affairs of Turkey. And they met today. Jaap urged Turkey not to interfere in Iraq. We will see...

Last year they met in Sofia at the NATO summit, and it looks like that they can smile about what happened in 2002.


The same occasion: The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn and Abdullah Gül.


Here with The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Eduard Kukan, and you see, Gül can make jokes...

Presenting...


The son of my oldest brother...Joeri...a model for Prada and many other
fashion brands. Doing shows in Paris, New York and Milan.
Don't think that the whole family looks like him...
Btw, he is still a kid!

Monday, June 11, 2007

A beach in Athens: Glyfada


As I wrote in my post of 14 April, I had a nice, free of business break in Athens and Thessaloniki.
Ten days away from the craziness of Istanbul. Spent some time with friends in Thessaloniki and drove from there to Glyfada, Athens; a suburb with many water sport accommodations of the Summer Olympics 2004.

Exactly there on the beach was my hotel: nice sunrise and sunset every day. Weather was great: 21 - 23 degrees.


The road from Salonika to Athens is beautiful, only an area of 50 km, where the EU sponsored project of 600 million Euros, reconstructing the road, leaves the driver stuck in massive traffic jams. But the view, when you are waiting and waiting, is spectacular. Not the Amalfi coast but there is a lot to see and watch.


And yes, the Greeks know how to put their country on the agenda. Turkey is still doing bad regarding PR and advertisement. The last attempt was almost copy paste of the Greek commercial. The only difference: the Greek commercial is still running and the Turkish one is out the air, for 2 months now. Turkey gets enough attention I guess, so why bother about some good promos? The answer 'lies' in the mouth of the Turkish bureaucrats...