Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wordpress and a taxi driver

The ban on Wordpress is still there, after 5 weeks.
Some people found a way to get access to wordpress blogs by replacing the word 'wordpress' by 'wordprexy'.
Now we face the same problem again: no access available to this domain name as it is now blocked as well.

I know that Turks want to hear 'nice stories', beautiful stories. But I can tell you, talk with the Turkish taxi drivers. They are the most honest and they give me always a good time. But in business life...that's another story.

Today I took a taxi from Macka to Etiler, and waiting by the stopping lights a little girl asked me for money, trying to sell some water. Everybody was threated this child (Roman) as trash, chasing her away. I told the taxi driver to stop and I gave her some money. The taxi driver, confused, got suddenly tears in his eyes and give her a note of 20 YTL. She was so thankful, almost crying. We both know that this is nothing for one day: she can buy some food for her family...but what then? I gave her some coins as well, and I think she cashed that moment more money than the whole day, since in general Turkish people consider beggars as trash.
Anyway, we reached our destination, and the taxi driver's meter was still one. I wanted to pay him but he refused. In broken English he said: you paid already. Thank you.

On the way to Silk Road Bukhara and Samarkand

The armies of many of the great conquerors of the ancient and medieval world passed through these oasis cities: Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Timur (sometimes called Tamerlane). Transoxiana, as it was known, the land beyond the Oxus River, was the crossroads of the world. Its cities — Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, and others, also my name Abu Derya River located within Uzbekistan — have been ruled and fought over by Sogdians, Zoroastrian Turks, Arabs, Samanids, and Mongols.

Me On the way to Silk Road

Merchants and travelers following the Silk Road between the Mediterranean, China, and India in the first millennium also sought food, water, and shelter in Transoxiana.


Timur's capital of Samarkand, which he intended to be the capital of the world, was built on the labor of tens of thousands of captured architects and craftsmen. The majolica-tiled mosques and schools they built, and the later buildings modeled on them, are among the most gloriously decorated buildings ever constructed.

The Guest House that we stayed in, Bukhara

Timur's immediate descendants, the Timurid rulers, were also enthusiastic builders. His grandson especially, the learned scientist-ruler Ulugh Beg, undertook many extravagant urban projects, building mosques, madrasas (seminaries), caravansaries, and khanagas (guest houses) in Samarkand, Bukhara, and elsewhere.

Turquoise Domes, Samarkand

When you admire the famed turquoise domes, the elaborately constructed minarets, the madrases blooming with stars and edged with Kufic inscriptions, give a thought to the resilience of these ancient cities. Among those nurtured here were the philosopher- scientist Ibn Sina and the poets Firdausi and Rudaki - figures with stature in the Persian Islamic world that, for example, Newton or Shakespeare enjoyed in the West .

Registan, Bukhara

The majority of sights lie scattered around the old town (shakhristan) and are thus most easily reached on foot. The following itinerary starts at Registan and proceeds through the heart of the old bazaar quarter to the area around the Lyazi Hauz square .

The Kalyan Minaret, Bukhara

The dominant feature in Bukhara is the Great Minaret. It was a beacon to the caravans. It dates back 800 years. The Bolsheviks, stupidly, bombed it in 1920 when they came into Bukhara. It was fixed a few years later with stone of a color which didn't exactly match.

This is a view of the Bukhara old town. If you look closely, you may be able to see Prince Charles; he was visiting Bukhara the same day as us! It is being said, that he is an expert in Islamic architecture.

Decision by European Court of Justice has been misinterpreted

Let me first say that I completely agree with President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu in this.
Some restrictions both in Europe and Turkey are discriminatory. And both sides have to work closely to overcome some problems.
When TDN published their article it was mainly based upon a telephone conversation between one of their journalists and the lawyer of the Turkish businessmen.
Again, when Turkish business people have true intentions to do business in Europe, a visa will be granted easily.

By this, today's article:

ECJ ruling not an answer to visa restrictions for travelling Turkish citizens

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


A decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last Friday granting two Turkish citizens residence permits in the United Kingdom has been misinterpreted, stirring debate among the Turkish public on whether Turkish entrepreneurs would be exempted from visa obligations while travelling to countries within the European Union (EU).
President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, referred to ECJ's ruling while speaking about visa restrictions applied to Turkish businessmen, at the ''Window to Turkey'' conference in Brussels. Hisarcıklıoğlu said TOBB was not able to bring all of its harmonisation committee members for a visiting program in Brussels last week since the delegation was not granted a visa by the Belgian embassy in Turkey. Addressing EU officials Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “We need your support to solve this visa issue. Turkey should not be treated like Russia or the Ukraine in the visa negotiations. Turkey's association relations have the necessary legal background to solve this visa issue.” Hisarcıklıoğlu urged EU member states to take the recent court decision seriously.
Continue reading here.

UAE Upholds Press Freedom

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE
and Ruler of Dubai.

Abu Dhabi/Dubai: In a victory for freedom of the press in the UAE, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday issued instructions that journalists in the country will not be jailed for doing their work.

The announcement was made by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister and Chairman of the National Media Council (NMC). For rest of news.

Well rest story is open to discussions. We do not really hear any bad crimes/burglary here in UAE. We are sure; there are lots of things that are going on but we don't hear about them. Time will tell whether UAE law will be practiced or not. Still can't talk bad about the country in the public, we do not know what we will be faced to.

Not too much to talk about or scare of anyway, as His Highness Shaikh Maktoum can walk around the Shopping Malls without security bodyguard, or just pop in to my husband's hotel for a lunch :)