Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Wall

While some Turkish people are still glorifying being a conqueror of parts of Central Asia and South East and Central Europe, the same people neglect what they inherited.
I was clear in my column of March the 15th 2007 about this.

When the Ottoman Empire was at its peak, the Ming Dynasty was that as well. The Great Wall is still standing. And the Japanese were building their own Empire which lasted until 1945, and the Dutch were ruling the seas in the 16/17th century for more than 100 years.
The Great Wall, being built against intruders, and the Delta Works of the Netherlands, are still the only sites, built by mankind, which you can see from the Moon.


Fake ad of Sisley (Benetton).
Read here their statement.

Paying for your residency

When you are staying longer than 3 months in Turkey, without traveling abroad, you need a residence permit. I used my residence book only in 2004/2005. Since I traveled a lot, it was easier for me to buy a visa every three months. Costs: 10 Euros.
A residence permit costs a Dutch 220 Euros for 6 months. For 5 years: 1.100 Euros.
An Italian can buy one for 60 Euros, valid for 5 years. A big difference.
Next to me there was a guy from Greece, he didn't know this. I am curious what he had to pay.
It's not always easy for Turks to get a visa for Europe, but at least you don't pay.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Praying for Rain

This is the famous Blue Mosque.
Today, the Directorate of Religious Affairs told reporters that this Friday prayers will be dedicated to people who are suffering of the drought. People have to pray for rain...
I am sure that when 10.000 people pray for rain in the Blue Mosque, Turkey will be saved...
A country which pretend to be an energy hub, but which can not even provide its own citizens with water and I am not going into details about electricity...has to think twice before making bold statements about their power in the energy trade..
Each country needs its dreams and fantasies, like we Dutch have St. Nikolas....

This looks great for me..))

Not wise

Before even the new Turkish Parliament is installed, the Turkish army made a new threat.
In my opinion: not wise.
If now someone else than Gül will be candidate, then everybody will think: 'because of the army'.
Anyway lets see. In my opinion a strict neutral person must be president. I don't like the principle of 'the winner takes it all'.

Here the statement:

Top general: President must be secular -- Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt renewed Monday evening his call for the next president to be a committed secularist, reviving a debate with the Islamist-rooted ruling party over their candidate. “The views of the Turkish Armed Forces do not vary from day to day,” General Büyükanıt told reporters at a reception marking the Turkish Cypriot Armed Forces Day. “We are fully behind what we said on April 12,” he added, referring to a keynote address in which he said the next president must “adhere in earnest, and not just in words, to... the ideal of a secular, democratic state.” “We said what we said with conviction,” the top general told reporters when asked whether he stood behind his comments on April 12 insisting that the next president have genuine secular credentials.

Debate or making statements

Today I read Ali KÜLEBİ's column. And as usual, he did it again: a pathetic, whining and full of accusations column, in the 'good old Stalinist style'. Even the Russians don't fall in this trap anymore. But it worries me that he speaks about foreigners as enemies of Turkey...
A new witch hunt?

More surprising was the announcement that the EUD European Universities Debating Championships will be hosted by Turkey's Koç University Istanbul. Surprised because there is no debate culture in Turkey; all communication is top-down as I stated here once.

You can read the article about the five-day event here.

I try to attend a session. This is good for Turkey in general and Turkey's educational system in particular.

Hitting the road...

It is vacation time here in Italy and me and my family will also follow the trend. Tomorrow we will pack our car with our luggage, baby's diapers, kids' toys, refrigerating bag full of baby food and cold water and leave... This year our destination is France, mainly Provence. We have no particular plan for the travel when it comes to the locations to visit, hotels to stay at, the length of travel etc. We will just go with the wind ;-) This means that I won't be able to post anything here until September. The main problem is, however, that I won't be able to edit the posts of Hans. So let me apologize on behalf of him for any grammatical mistakes, formatting errors and typos that he might (and most probably will) make during my absence.. :-) I promise to take care of all of these when I am back.

Wishing you all a beautiful August wherever you are..

Showing Love

Every match must start with a European Kiss..))
Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I met a lot of people of Iran in the Netherlands, and one my best friends is from Iran actually. But I don't get it that Turkey created 'warm relations' with this regime which is, more or less, the same as the Nazi regime of Germany between 1933-1945.
But we, the world, are more civilized these days, or not? For sure Iran is not.
Below you will find a link on how in Iran they are 'hanging' their own people. Often without a decent trial.
It's a shocking clip, be aware!!

But Turkey is maybe the only country which can have influence on this 'Mullah' regime.
And are we calling the last 28 years of the Iranian 'top down' revolution genocide? Yes.
I watched this clip with tears in my eyes. But the crowd had fun, as you can hear. And it reminds me of the cheers when Devlet Bahçeli threw a rope during an election rally in the crowd, to hang the PKK leader Ocalan. So here we go:
Here...but be aware, it's shocking.

Among the believers, an Islamic journey

During the Cold war which ended de facto in 1985, everybody was focused on the clash between American capitalism and Russian communism. But in 1981, V.S. Naipaul (Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul) published his book 'Among the Believers, an Islamic Journey'.

I was quite surprised reading his book and since then I am convinced that fundamentalist Islam is the real threat to world peace, as we can see today. Naipaul's writings deal with the cultural confusion of the Third World and the problem of an outsider, a feature of his own experience as an Indian in the West Indies, a West Indian in England, and a nomadic intellectual in a post colonial world.

"Islam sanctified rage - rage about the faith, political rage: one could be like the other. And more than once on this journey I had met sensitive men who were ready to contemplate great convulsions", is a quote from his book.

In 1998 he published Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions among the Converted peoples (the link is a must-read for CHP and AKP fans))

This second travel book brought him (like in Among the Believers) to the non-Arab Islamic countries of Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia.

"There probably has been no imperialism like that of Islam and the Arabs," he writes. In Iran he meets war veterans, who express their disillusionment and their sense of being manipulated by the mullahs, and in Indonesia he meets his former friend, who opposed the Suharto regime, and later became an establishment figure, an advocate of an Islamistic future.

In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Price for Literature. To everybody interested in Turkey and Islam, I would recommend these books.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

One step too much?

If you look at the mainstream and dominant parties in Turkey's politics, the secularists became a minority.
The Third way, an independent movement didn't get ground in Turkey yet. Not only the old fashion socialists' way of thinking is over, but also that of the conservative liberals.
In Turkey there is a social liberal party. A party with an interesting point of view.
I am fine with the current AKP, but I don't think they can control their 'mullahs' on local level.
Knowing the Turks, who were forced to convert to Islam, I only hope that they can resist this threat. But as long as the Turkish macro economy is doing well, there are no points to make for the opposition. Especially not under D. Baykal's rigid regime.
Exciting times in Turkey!

My Candidates for the Turkish Presidency..)

...more coming soon...

Friday, July 27, 2007

More paintings by Iman Maleki

A touchy painting!

The reality these days for so many people.

Women, always women...

This billboard caused a public outcry in the Netherlands. Not because of religious reasons, but for Dutch, this kind of advertisement is an insult to our national IQ and how we see women. And keep in mind, the Netherlands is the only country in the world which has a Union for Prostitutes...so beware, you can be sued by them for various reasons...)) To keep them as friends, make a donation through their web site..))
Lately there was a similar outcry in Turkey about billboards with women in bikini. And that the AK party wants to introduce sharia in Turkey...
Now you see that we Dutch are far more conservative than the Turks..))

Anyway, below some well dressed women on billboards...in Lebanon, made by a fellow Dutch blogger over there.

I go for the Blue car...

She....she scares me..))

No time to look carefully, since it's put near a highway...

A different view at the latest Turkish elections

While surfing in blogosphere I came across an interesting article written by a Dutch journalist stationed in Beirut, Lebanon, Harald Doornbos. He is trying to draw a parallel between the outcome of the Turkish elections and the birth rate observed in secular and Islamist families in Turkey. Since I believe in looking at different aspects of every happening I would like to take your attention to his post:


So it is official now - Over 46 percent of Turks voted for the Islamists. Call it a farewell to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - the greatest Turk ever. The end of Secularism. The beginning of the end. Death to the president, long live the sultan!

Turkey might have been an example for millions of oppressed progressive Muslims in Islamic countries - but no longer. One of the few truly secular Muslim countries (together with Bosnia and Albania) chooses - voluntarily - for mixing politics with God. Give me one example of a successful country where politics and religion aren't separated? Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Pakistan, The Sudan, Lebanon? Good luck Turkey.

And isn't democracy a great system?!

Especially if it works like this:

Progressive secular Turkish families (Mostly city people) all have one or two children. Logically - because if you are progressive, not terribly religious and you care about a future for yourself and your children, it is rather obvious that you don't want 20 children.

Now here comes the countryside: Schooling is wanky, future not that rosy, conservative village mentality, religion very important and the result of this all is: Large families.

You can read the whole article
here. See for yourself if he is convincing enough in his theory ;-)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Turkish journalism

My friend Erkan put today some interesting facts about Turkish journalism on his blog. I agree with what is written. Especially in Today's Zaman.
But being in PR for a long time now, I see how Turkish journalists are struggling. And are being underpaid or overpaid, which makes them not independent at all. And the latter is in the end not in their or their readers' benefit.
Also, the self censorship is still more common than an exception...
I prefer Radikal, Dünya and Turkish Daily News.

Water management

In an interview with Willem Alexander (Dutch Crown Prince) in 1996, while having a life as a bachelor, the interviewer asked him what his major interest was. His answer was straight: 'water management'. People asked themselves: 'What the heck he is talking about?' For your information, the Dutch are fighting with water for ages. We don't have a shortage of that (neither of natural gas, read: Slochteren).

Two years later he was appointed as honorary member of the World Commission on Water for the 21st Century and patron of the Global Water Partnership, a body established by the World Bank, the UN, and the Swedish Ministry of Development. And he was appointed as the Chairperson of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation on December 12th, 2006.
As of today, we see flooding in the UK and shortage of water in SE Europe. And what about Africa, Central Asia and the Far East?
Water is precious. And I must say, no water-cuts lately in Istanbul. Turkey is doing a good job.
I think he gave, in his various unofficial and official visits to Turkey, some good advice to some responsible people ..)) He loves Turkey!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More paintings of Imam Maleki



Memory of that house

You can find more about Imam Maleki and his work here.

AKP party and Turkish future

Derya, who was 2 weeks ago in Istanbul (and who I was supposed to meet but due to not feeling well, could not meet her) put on her blog today an interesting story about the future of Turkey. You can read the article here.
Derya lives in Dubai, with her husband Martin, and is well travelled.

The Iranian way of dressing and oppressing...

In my post of July 23, I mentioned that the rules how to dress (read: how women have to dress themselves) in the country of the Mullahs - who rule it like a state prison - became more restricted, whilst it's already restricted. Also, police like to beat up women as you can see above. Look at the hate in the faces of these two 'officers'.

Here an interesting article, which is published by Turkish Daily news of today.

Is this what the AK party in Turkey wants? I don't think so.

For the Ones we once Loved...

A different message from a different religion, or different perception about Life and Death?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Since Turkey has intense relations....

...with Iran. I ask them politely to use their influence to stop the cruelty against their citizens. The photo above is about the stoning of Jafar Kiana on the 5th of July 2007. Not on the 4th of July, the National Holiday of their 'imaginary' Satan: the USA.

This is the top of a giant iceberg. As I see how both secularist Turkey (proud about the planned Nabucco pipeline) and the current Turkish government are selling themselves out for money to restore an 'Empire', believe me: this will never happen again.
As Turkey applied for the EU membership, the EU asked them to take human rights as their guideline. But that is interfering in Turkish internal affairs. Or not? A joke! Now one word pops up: hypocrites. Especially the AK party and CHP.

Explanation: While Russia proposed the Blue Stream pipeline (both the
Nabucco project and Blue Stream pipeline are in interest of Turkey, with the difference that the first includes Turkish 'brothers' in notorious states as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iran - please do not blog from there - you will be jailed and the guards will treat you like a flee, if you are still alive...) Turkey wants to get into this deal as soon as possible.
Right wing think tanks as
USAK/ISRO, staunch secularists, want to open the trade with Iran without any conditions. Hypocrite or not?
Fighting against moderate liberal Muslim party as the AK party and at the same time dealing with maybe the most cruel and theocratic regime on earth, the Iranian Islam Republic, makes me sick.
Take a look at the picture above...this is sadistic torture. If this is not enough for you, please look
at this.
The only Turkish 'body' who protested was Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But others are
not like that.
Make up your mind. And if you cannot, take a deep breath and a
look here.
This weekend dinner with Iranian friends. Who fled the country 30 years ago.

How to cool your dog during a heat wave...

Caliphate and Patriarchate

I find the article by Dr. Angelos Syrigos, a lecturer of International Law and Diplomatic History at Paqnteion University in Athens and Director of the International Olympic Truce Centre, in yesterday's Turkish Daily news, a refreshing approach.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Showing maturity

Did I miss something? It is normal when a party wins an election the other party leaders send their congratulations to the leader of the winning party, or not? I didn't have seen such a move from neither Baykal nor Bahçeli. Showing respect for the winner? When I watched this evening a program a CHP guy simply said that the AKP didn't win the election. Maybe I can not count but 47% of the votes is a landslide victory. And, it looks like Deniz Baykal will stay. He looks like a gentleman but he doesn't behave accordingly.
Erdogan, yesterday evening, spoke words of reconciliation... thanking everybody.
Did Mr. Baykal thank his voters? No. What an arrogance. He is a shame for the Socialist Internationale.
Note: Today Deniz Baykal thanked his voters and congratulated his opponent (a little late in my opinion). But no resign or stepping back.

Stoning in Iran

Two and a half weeks ago Jafar Kiani is reported to have been executed by stoning outside the city of Takestan in Iran on 5th of July. Mr. Kiani was sentenced to death for having an extramarital affair with Mokarrameh Ebrahimi.
The EU is concerned that Mokarrameh Ebrahimi, the mother of the couple’s two children, will suffer the same fate. Women are buried until their breast in the ground before the killing can be started, as you can see in the picture. More info here. Or here.
In the meanwhile all kinds of business circles in Turkey and the government are making all kinds of business deals with the Mullahs in Tehran. Also, starting today, the 'religious police' will control more if women and men are dressed appropriately and if their hair is cut according to Islamic standards, whatever that means.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Turkish election Blues

It's interesting to see how Turkey voted.
It seems that there are two winners, AK party (rules the current one party government) and the Ultra Nationalists MHP. And one big loser, the CHP.
The 10% threshold, established by the secularist in the early eighties of the last century are now working against them. Cynical or not?
In my columns of March 1, 2007 and February 28, 2007, I wrote about three important issues regarding how a head of state, in the Netherlands our Queen Beatrix, has to deal with the constitution.
The first one is that in the Netherlands a one-party government can not rule the country. Second is that always one member of the Royal family is in fact in charge of the army, so a Coup d'etat is impossible. And third, our head of state must take care about minorities. All written down in our constitution. And all these important issues are not guaranteed in the Turkish Constitution.
Also, in the Netherlands we have a popular vote system. Which is neither in Turkey, nor in the USA and UK.
If only the last can be introduced in Turkey, in my opinion, the next generation of politicians will be able to solve and handle the current polarized Turkish political environment.
Anyway, I hope that the AK party will reach out for consensus and compromise politics.


As we are dealing the last years in the Netherlands still with more intolerance from all sides, yesterday night some lunatics threw a Molotov cocktail to a Mosque, in the city of Haarlem. In the end, no damage. At the same time when Jews, especially in Amsterdam, are more and more subjects of personal attacks by Moroccan Muslim immigrants, we can make the conclusion that all integration policies have failed so far.
And it doesn't matter who governs the country...
And a pity to read that today in Sason (East Turkey), Diyarbakir (South East Turkey) and in Antalya, people of different parties were fighting with each other on election day...
We definitely need more cross cultural communication knowledge.

Alcohol ban

Looks like there is an alcohol ban today, on Turkish election day. No alcohol served and sold in supermarkets. This changes completely my view about this current government: CHP is now my party..)

I tried to manipulate Idil this morning to vote for my man, Cem Uzan, but she didn't listen..)

Only if Cem promised free ice cream every Sunday during summertime...or free raki after Friday prayers...)

In West Europe you always see close to a Roman Catholic church, bars. So after Sunday mass, people go straight there to drink Jenever in the Good Old Days...

Anyway, the local shops here sell my favorite beer Efes Extra. So I will watch this evening with some nice cold beer the results of these important elections.

The weather

Looks like the UK gets more rain than needed. And we, here in South East Europe, are suffering. Since June the 10th it's at least 28 degrees. Today 32, later this week up to 38 in Istanbul.
Lived for 2 full years in Miami where it is summer from mid February until mid December (other two months are considered as 'spring'). In the mid of the Summer, June until October, the temperature was never higher than 32 degrees. But I had the ocean in front of me, and of course a huge swimming pool. (...)

Early Expansion of Christianity and Islam

This is a neutral point of view how both Islam and Christianity developed in the early centuries.
It's worth reading without making a point about today's situation.

Here is the link: hyperhistory.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Once upon a time in München

Five years ago, when I moved to Turkey, I became International Communication and Relations manager of a Turkish company which wanted to expand their business services to West-Europe.

After 5 months of preparations, we planned a one week visit to the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The first 4 days were fun in the Netherlands and we, the President of the company, the business developer and I, were treated well. All the companies and NGO's we visited, were really pleased with the thought of a possible cooperation in the near future.

On Saturday we left our base (Maastricht) for a tour to Dusseldorf, Eindhoven, Brussels and back to Maastricht, down in the south of the Netherlands. On Sunday we drove to München where meetings were planned for Monday. The first meeting was the most important one, with a German state-owned investment company. We, three men, in a meeting room with five German women. Wow! We handed over our business cards, and the game could begin. They looked surprised that three Turkish men from Istanbul, well-dressed, fluent in English, came over to Germany for investments. In particular, they looked at me (I am almost 2 meters tall, blond hair, blue eyes etc.) with curiosity: is he a Turk or not. Obviously, they were confused. While the meeting went on, sometimes they consulted each other in German, a language which I understand. So, one time I interrupted, and told them that I was Dutch and understand the German language (...). Anyway, during the break my two Turkish friends left the meeting room. Immediately the nice women (or girls, not one of them was older than 35) asked me: 'Are you Dutch, why are you living in Turkey?'. I replied to them: 'Why are you living in München?'. Now they were really astonished. They told me: 'But Turkey is a backwards country', 'Why on earth a person with your background would like to live there?'. I replied: 'Yesterday, we drove all the way from the Netherlands to München'.
'We arrived at 6 pm and after checking in, we want to have a nice dinner in your city, but everything was closed'. 'How come?', I asked them?. They were looking for an answer but could not find one. I told them that Turkey, and especially Istanbul was and is a developing country, and not that backwards as they thought. And that bars and nightclubs were open until pre-dawn. That there are a lot of interesting things going on in Turkey etc.
Then, I got a reply: 'These fine well-dressed colleagues of yours, are they representative for Turkey?'. I said: 'Yes, but the five of you are not representative for Germany'. They were shocked now. I told them an anecdote: the evening before, while looking for a decent restaurant, we finally ended up in some kind of 'GastHaus'.
Overcrowded restaurant with tons of beer and a lot of pork meat. Since I don't eat pork, from a hygienic point of view, I ordered a steak while my two Turkish colleagues wanted to eat pork. In the end, they switched it somehow, and I was eating pork, and one of my two colleagues was eating my steak.

During that meeting on Monday morning with this German investment company, my stomach became disturbed. The German pork in my stomach made me aware of how often people don't want to understand other cultures. And Love goes through the stomach, or not?

The Last Great Romantic Poster

By Jack Vettriano.

Friday, July 20, 2007

'Foreign votes'

Today's Turkish Daily News run a column of a Turkish-Finn, or Finnish-Turk; Reeta Cevik.
What she writes is interesting and can be said for most N.W. Europeans, as for other Europeans as well. Turkey is still a young and a fragile democracy but it is maturing quickly.
Emre already wrote about her on his blog. Here is the integral one:

Turkish elections through a Finnish lens

Friday, July 20, 2007


Differences and similarities

Observing Turkish politics from a Finnish perspective is always an adventure. In Finland, consensus and compromise are the rules of the political game. Finnish politicians consider it inappropriate to blame their rivals or to focus on irreconcilable ideological differences. In Turkey, on the other hand, political parties tend to give prominence to negative criticism, sometimes at the expense of developing and explaining their own positive policies.
The second difference is the role of women in politics. In Turkey, women comprise a rather small minority in Parliament, despite having won full political rights before their sisters in many other European countries. In Finland, women hold 42 percent of the seats. The consequences are clear. Policies created by both genders find a deeper resonance in society as a whole, whereas policies created solely by one gender are often unsuccessful. Such policies simply lack the complementary wisdom and insight that only the female half of the population could contribute.
The third difference is in the use of rhetoric.Agitated and aggressive gestures are considered uncivilized in Finnish political etiquette. The shouting matches (and worse) that occasionally echo in the Turkish Parliament could not even be imagined in Finland.
However, despite all these differences, Turkey and Finland also share a wealth of common experiences and common values.

reading here.

No Debate?

In a column of July 9, 2007, I stated that Turkish political communication atmosphere is top-down. No real discussion possible. Why is there no live-debate between the main party leaders? Are they afraid to lose their temper as some months ago...

The person down on the right, Deniz Baykal, celebrates today his birthday, for your information.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Election predictions II

My friend Erkan put on his blog an interesting poll.
Still, I am convinced that people will change their minds at the last moment and a lot of protest votes will come out: votes for anti-establishment parties.
And still I think that the CHP will do worse than the opinion polls show.

In the last weeks I spoke with many people who normally would vote for the CHP. Now they are looking at other parties. Some say: GP, some choose to vote for an independent candidate, some admit that - unlike AK party roots from political Islam - they will vote for them. Of the 15 people who used to vote for CHP, only one will vote for them again. And one of the other 14 will vote for MHP.

I am still pondering my head while the 'Turkish Diaspora' (6 million people) are only able to vote when they come over to Turkey as Yasemin stated in her post. Are the Turkish diplomats able to vote abroad?

There was a small poll in the Netherlands among the 500.000 Turkish people living there. Most of them support the AK party and only some would vote for independent candidates of the DTP if they were able to vote in the Netherlands. MHP was the third party. It was strange to see that there is almost no support for the CHP in Hollanda...

First Dutch sweet shop opened in Istanbul

This month a shop opened in Bagdat Caddesi: a Dutch sweet shop. I don't think that many people know that the Dutch are famous for their cookies, candies, chocolates, cakes and licorice (see picture above). In fact, I got all kinds of funny jokes about the Dutch cuisine, but may I remind my Turkish, Italian and Greek friends that after the USA and France, the Netherlands is the third largest producer of food in the world..)) With only 600.000 people working in agriculture...

Here are some chocolate samples of Droste.

Although not sweets, below a picture of some of the hundreds of different cheeses the Netherlands produces. Dutch cheese, together with Indo-Dutch food and Mustard sauce, I miss the most since I left the Netherlands 8 years ago. Beer? In Czech republic you have pretty good beer, the USA is Heineken and Amstel minded, and Turkey has its Efes Extra, which beats even Belgian beer..)

Election time

Comparing the Dutch elections with the Turkish one is comparing like the Kentucky Derby, the 2 most exciting minutes in sports, with a turtle race.
Dutch elections are dull, and it's all about 'intellectual stuff', whilst the Turkish elections are overheated once in a while, but for sure full of surprises. And I have to admit: 'I love it'...
For a turtle race you can go to Costa Rica, where they organize such a race from there to the Galapagos Islands. Or to a restaurant in Key West, Florida. That is a nice place to stay for a week or so.

Turkey attacks Kurdish positions in N. Iraq

As I have witnessed over and over again, in general, Turkish media are slow.
When T. Erdogan made the statement that he will not return as the leader of Ak Party if he fails to establish a single party government, it was all over the news in Europe.
It took 36 hours for Turkish journalists to announce that what he said was true.

Yesterday a bomb attack in front of an AK office, and more interestingly:

'Turkish Army' bombed several cities in 'Northern Iraq'. I asked my Turkish wife to check all the news channels, but since there is censorship, they can not broadcast it. Only if there is some kind of 'victory'.
Read your newspapers on Friday, then you will read more...))

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Paintings of Iman Maleki of Iran - Exhibition in Catalonia




Secret meeting: making music

Girl by the window

More information about Iman Maleki soon.

FIFA ranking by July the 18th 2007..

Where is Turkey..)) Where are England and Greece, the European Champions of Euro 2004?
But there is still the Netherlands..)

1. Brazil
2. Argentina
3. Italy
4. France
5. Germany
6. The Netherlands
7. Croatia
8. Portugal
9. Spain
10. Mexico

The insignificant citizens of Turkey

Who are they? Of course us, the ones that live in other countries. We are many, I guess, but we cannot vote in the coming elections unless we travel to Turkey between 25th of June and 22nd of July. Many countries let their citizens vote by post or at their embassies/consulates, but we, the Turkish citizens, are not given this right. Why??

Al-Qaeda and the USA

According to the National Intelligence Estimate, the group of all 16 'intelligence' agencies such as the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc., Al-Qaeda-Iraq, established after the USA-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, became more and more a threat to their Homeland = USA.
So the second goal of the invasion is also a disaster...it took them 4 years to come to this conclusion. Is this a joke?

First post from Florence

Hello all. Hans has been kind enough to introduce me. I should correct just one thing: I am not that fluent in German; although I have studied it for 6 years as my second foreign language I have never practiced it. I use it only in my occasional trips to Germany to talk to waiters at the cafes and restaurants, and for communicating with shop assistants. Yet, I should admit that it was great help in learning Norwegian since their grammars are alike and there are quite a few similar words.

I don't think I will be posting as often as Hans, I don't even manage posting to my own blog very often, but I will definitely continue editing his posts and helping him technically whenever he needs my help.

An excellent polemic

Burak Bekdil wrote today an excellent column as a reply to Mustafa Akyol's column of last week. This is an excellent polemic, where the journalists are not insulting, not becoming personal but give their opinions from their points of view, and share them with their audience of TDN.
Now it's waiting on a reply of Mustafa. Excellent writing by the both of them.

Here is the column of Burak:

The sum of all secular fears – a reply
Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Last week, my ‘column neighbor’ Mustafa Akyol drew a very realistic typology: The secular Turk. That typology is so real, but does not explain Turkey as a whole. Hoping to make the picture more complete, I shall draw my typology: The Islamist/pragmatist Turk.

My “column neighbor” Mustafa Akyol wrote an excellent article titled, “The sum of all secular fears,” (Turkish Daily News, July 12, 2007) that was witty yet realistic; perfectly describing, in one virtual character that was the “secular Turk” coming home from a trip to “the West” with his girlfriend with fake blond hair, the superficiality of the “white Turk.” Mr. Akyol's account of the “secular Turk” in stylish jeans and t-shirt could not possibly be more accurate.
Allow me to remind you of Mr. Akyol's hero, the secular Turk, who takes a vacation to visit some place in Europe or North America: He is the boyfriend of the elegant girl with fake blond hair; he gets offended when the “indigenous westerner” he chats with during the flight believes all Turks wear fez or turbans; he believes in the Kemalist revolution “which worked really hard to wipe off anything Oriental from Turkish society;” he comes across terribly unpleasant scenes at Istanbul's Ataturk airport upon his return from the days of pilgrimage to the temples of modernity: Men with beards who prefer mosques to nightclubs and women with headscarves who as their role model take Prophet Mohammed's daughters and not Britney Spears; he calls these devout Muslims “cockroaches.”

reading here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Made same changes on my blog:
The most important one is that Yasemin Yalcinkaya will be a co-author of this blog.
She is Turkish and speaks several foreign languages fluently: English, Norwegian, German, Italian and of course her native language Turkish. No, she doesn't speak Dutch and French, I do...but together we can be a news wire..))
For the past 17 years she is studying, living and working abroad e.g. Norway and Italy. Married to an Italian, and now living happily ever after near Florence with her husband and two children.
She has a PhD. in computer science, and can talk and write about the interesting developments in both Turkey and Europe.
Hey, what do you want more: a really inter cultural multi-lingual blog?!
She is looking for a job now, in Italy, Italia, Firenze preferibile, signori, but she feels comfortable to be my unpaid editor for the time being...help her!

Carnaval in Fatih, Istanbul

As some of you already know, my favorite district of Istanbul is Fatih. Not because of the 'modern Islamistic dressed women' (...) but because it's the place where my friends of the Foreign police have their headquarters and where I can buy a residency. The trip is always exciting, especially when my wife drives me and she drives from Macka to Mecidiyekoy to Fatih...quite a longer way than direct from Macka to Taksim and so into Fatih. Enfin: it was again a freaky hot day, and when you wear a suite like me, you will not be unseen in this area.

But my mood became cheerful seeing all the flags. Even some in our Dutch national color Orange...thousands and thousands there in Fatih. Looks like they are ready for carnival a la Rio instead of elections. I think they how know to party, in a different way than I used to do, but a la, everybody has his or her taste. As you can see in the picture below, one girl made her (although completely unrecognized) entry and danced on the street as we do in Rio..)

The way back was an interesting tour as well. As my wife (Call her O. or I. but I think her surname is more important..)) still doesn't know the ways in Istanbul although born and raised here and lived here all her life (with the exception of wasting 6 years abroad...) this time - the shortest in her opinion - was first 20 km in the direction of Edirne, from there a turn around to Ataturk airport, and then finally back to Macka. Quite an interesting tour. If she was a taxi driver I was already with her in a police station..))

And do I have my papers now? No, one more trip to Fatih, this time by taxi tomorrow, which takes 10 minutes one way, instead of twice 1 hour...
Pictures I made out of a shaking car..))

You have to keep in mind, my O. or I. sometimes stops on the highway when she has to make an decision: shall I take this Exit or not? Even for the Turkish drivers she is a pain in the ass. For me, I don't know better: she is only not allowed to drive when we are on holiday...

For more info call the Hot line of Turkish suicide drivers..)) It starts with an 9...