Thursday, March 01, 2007

My queen visits my country

This article is published in Turkish Daily of March 1, 2007.

As a Dutch man living in Turkey, the visit of my queen here is highly symbolic. First I should drop a note to other Dutch men and women who will be accompanying Her Majesty and thus visiting Turkey soon: Don't fear the taxi drivers. They are my best friends in Istanbul. They don't act like the "Taliban" – the common nickname for the taxi drivers in Amsterdam – instead they treat you with respect. Yesterday I took a cab; it cost me just 4 YTL and before I left the car, the driver told me to wait. Then he suddenly walked around to open my door. Yes, before my queen arrived in Istanbul, I was treated like royalty here.

Read the full article by clicking here.

‘My Queen’ and ‘My Country’

Published on February the 28th 2007 in Turkish Weekly.

Are you Dutch? Or are you from the Netherlands or Holland? And what kind of language do you speak over 'there': "German", "Allamagne", "Dutch"?
And why are you dressed up like Orange monkey’s when your national football team plays a football match?
And yes, we Turks know that your Dutch football teams: AZ, PSV and again AZ kicked our Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Kayserispor etc. out the European league this year. Thank you!
And why is the color Orange so special for you? Why not a simple tricolor: Red, White and Blue? Because the French once occupied the Low Lands: the Netherlands?
And why are the Dutch always so tall? And, yes, you Love Heineken? What about Raki, our national Liquor? No thank you.

Read the full article by clicking here.