Saturday, October 20, 2007

I want a a Hummer!

Just back from shopping. As you know, I live in MaƧka, and next to that area is Nisantasi. And from there you go to Fulya. Maybe if you walk it, it will take 15 minutes. But by car 45 minutes, for 1 mile! The problem: too many cars and too many people who think that they can drive. And too many people who think the bigger their lousy German car is the more rights they have..)
Now, I can tell you that I am patient..)) And always tell my Turkish friends that in the Netherlands only pimps and taxi drivers have a Mercedes and the 'nouveau riche' drive BMW.
But people like me, Scandinavian cars! But now I need a Hummer, I want to make my way through Istanbul traffic. I prefer a black one, armored!

The academic side of the issue

Earlier this week an excellent article appeared on Inside Higher Ed. It focuses on the area where the Turkish side would like to see the debate about whether there actually was an Armenian genocide move to, namely that of historians and academic scholars, not that of parliaments and politicians. The "problem" is, that among scholars there is no longer really a discussion about whether it actually was a genocide:

So many experts in the field say that the debate over genocide is settled, and that credible arguments against the idea of a genocide just don't much exist. The problem, many say, is that the evidence the Turks say doesn't exist does exist, so people have moved on.[...]What's happening now [Andras Riedlmayer, a librarian of Ottoman history at Harvard University] said, outside of those trying to deny what took place, "isn't that the discussion has diminished, but that the discussion is more mature." He said that there is more research going on about how and why the killings took place, and the historical context of the time. He also said that he thought there would be more research in the works on one of "the great undiscussed issues of why successive Turkish governments over recent decades have found it worthwhile to invest so much political capital and energy into promoting that historical narrative," in which it had been "fudging" what really happened."

The full article can be found here.

Turkish-Syrian Ties Get a Fillip

By Marwan Kabalan, Special to Gulf News Published: October 18, 2007, 23:33
Last Tuesday, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad paid his second visit to the capital of Turkey in less than four years. The visit signals mutual interests to further improve relations between two neighbours facing serious regional challenges and bad relations with the US. It came after the mysterious Israeli raid inside Syria; during which Israeli warplanes, many believe, may have used Turkish aerospace to reach deep inside the Syrian desert. The visit was also planed amidst rising tension between Damascus and Washington. Syria, under pressure from the US concerning Lebanon, Iraq and the Arab-Israeli conflict and calls for domestic reform, is looking for allies beyond the Arab world to alleviate its security dilemma and improve its economic ties with increasingly prosperous Turkey. To continue.

Day opening - October 20

Somewhere in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam by night.