Friday, September 12, 2008

Runners beware!

A quite forest walk is almost impossible these days. The woods, parks and even the streets are crowded with runners who are trying to keep up with today’s fashion that requires a 16-years-old body. Of course I didn’t run today to follow this fashion, I’m the exception that enjoys it to beat myself up.

Somewhere on the road I stopped to regain breath, do some stretching and enjoy the beautiful forest that I was missing. (To maintain the pace, it’s important to focus on one point and forget about everything that’s around you. When you start looking around, you’ll find yourself stepping into a pool of mud, hitting a tree or walking, realising that you’ve lost the nice running flow that’s so important to loose all that impossible body fat.)

Reality knocked on my head, literally: autumn has arrived and I realised it too late. A bunch of oak trees gave it’s fruit, right on top of my head. After that it became even more official. A wind came in, blowing away the first yellow leaves from the beech trees. The nice sun of this morning disappeared and the clouds that were the cause of it started to rain. So for those (at least here in Holland) who like to keep in shape in mother nature’s gym: be warned. Because if it’s not an acorn or a chestnut falling on your head it’s very likely a rain shower will make you aware of autumn’s arrival.

A Tashnak man hugs a Turkish girl

Friday, September 12, 2008

It was an extremely interesting experience for me, as an Armenian young woman who was born in Turkey, and as a journalist as well, to follow the Turkey-Armenia football game in the Armenian capital, Yerevan. A few meters away from me Turkish President Abdullah Gül was sitting next to his Armenian counterpart Serge Sarkisian behind a window. In front of me, right beneath the sky, the holy Mount Ararat rose in all its grandeur.

For the first time in my life, I was getting prepared to watch a football match in a stadium. My journalist friends who already know that I am Armenian-Turkish were, in a joking way, asking which team I would support. But it was indeed a difficult question to answer. As an Armenian from Istanbul, in Armenia I was a “stranger” and on top of that I was representing the Turkish press. Warm people of the country I was born in were on one side of me and a society that my roots belong to was on the other side. I belong to whom?… I felt alone in a stadium filled with thousands of people and I was facing a dilemma.

I experienced perhaps, the most difficult time of my life at the Hırazdan Stadium. After the match, my colleagues from Hürriyet daily approached me and said: “We have seat on the plane. If you wish, we could go to your hotel to pick up your bag and could return to Turkey together…” These words were echoing in my mind. I could either go back home to Istanbul or I could spend a few days in Yerevan.

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Some pictures and Erkan's iftar.)

All these pictures are made at night and of bad quality. I am better in taking pictures with a camera instead of with my GSM..) Picture about is of Erkan's iftar this week Monday at our house. Erkan is a smart guy: he sleeps during the day, have breakfast 'iftar time' - with beer.) - lunch at night and diner early in the morning. During the day sleeping...)

Ilker a friend during our housewarming party 2 weeks ago.

Our terrace before they replaced the windshields with took them 2 weeks.

Looking over the valley with thousands of lights.

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Day Opening - September 12