Thursday, December 31, 2009

5 Years of Internation Musing Blog!

It is already 5 years ago that I started this blog with the help of an English BBC journalist in the Netherlands: Jonathan. He was here in Istanbul to attend and speak on a conference about social media and online interactions. Much changed in these five years.While this blog was first only handled by me on my own, after 2 years other people joined the the group of co-authors and some left for different reasons, mostly 'lack of time'. But also feeling 'not so secure' after being trapped in threatening online discussions.

In the meanwhile, this blog has been quoted by Turkish journalists and columnists, American newspapers and TV stations such as CNN, ABC, CBS and European newspapers as the Dutch 'Het Vrije Volk, Telegraaf, German Newspaper Bild, France Newspapers Le Figaro et Le Monde, Spanish El Pais  and many other news forums for the original approach and diversity of news and cultural items this non-commercial site offered and will continue to serve.
Many thanks to the co-authors of this communication platform and readers in particulary
May all your dreams become true in 2010!

We wish you all a happy and healthy 2010!

ps. here the first post.

Day Opening - December 31


More PK than the new Mercedes

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Arab slave trade and its history

You hear daily in the Arab world how evil the Jews, Europeans and Americans etc. are. Especially regarding colonialism. Below you will find a link with a 5 min during 'presentation' how the Arab slave trade predates the Europeans one, with one difference, it started in 600 until now. No, and it is not propaganda from right wing groups but from a radical left Muslim group in the USA called Black Educator. And I can tell you that this put everything in a different perspective. They didn't take into account 700 years of plundering the Far East where estimated 20 million people have been killed by Arab imperialists to spread their religion. Neither the numerous attacks on Europe by the Moors in Spain, Arabs in Sicily and Ottomans into the Balkans up north.  

Here's a brief summation of the history of Arab enslavement of African Peoples. It is important to know this history in order to understand both the evolution of Western capitalism's slave trade and the current atrocities against Africans (by Africans) unfolding in the name of Islam and/or "Arab Civilization."
And here is the link.

Day Opening - December 30


Camello! North Africa.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

St. Nicolas, Santa Claus and Turkey’s shameful hypocrisy

Saint Nicholas (270 - 6 December 346) is the canonical and most popular name for Nicholas of Myra, a saint and Greek Bishop of Myra (Demre, in Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey). He was born when Lycia was part of the Roman province of Asia and was Hellenistic in its culture and outlook. When Myra was overtaken by the Islamic invaders, the Sjesluk Turks, sailors from Bari, Italy seized the remains of the saint and brought the remains with them and cared for them. There are numerous variations of this account. The most popular is that they are said to have taken them in response to a vision wherein Saint Nicholas himself appeared and commanded that his relics be moved in order to preserve them from the impending Muslim conquest.


Santa Claus, whose English name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, was the mixture of Saint Nicolas and the Santa Claus from Lapland. The historical St. Nicolas was model of the contemporary Santa Claus which is celebrated over the world with Christmas, 24 and 25 of December. So in fact, Saint Nicolas is still a Christian saint and Santa Claus the ‘secular’ and popular variant. And both are celebrated on different days because St. Nicolas is a traditional Winter holiday figure in the Netherlands, Belgium, Aruba, Suriname and Netherlands Antilles, celebrated every year on Saint Nicholas' eve (5 December) or, in Belgium, on the morning of 6 December. The feast celebrates the birth day (actually his name day, a Greek tradition until this very nice day in December) It is also celebrated in the traditionally Germanic parts of France (North, Alsace, Lorraine), as well as in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and in the town of Trieste and in Eastern Friuli in Italy. Additionally, many Roman Catholics of Alsatian and Lotharingian descent in Cincinnati, Ohio, celebrate "Saint Nicholas Day" on the morning of 6 December.

Now, the Turkish minister of Culture, who probably never in his live celebrated Christmas or St. Nicolaes Eve or morning, in all his pious Muslim devotedness, decided to bring back the remains of St. Nicolaes back to Turkey…where it belongs in his opinion. Of course his arguments are pure 100% commercial and not based upon Cultural heritage (What is Turkish and Muslim about both St. Nicolaes and Santa Claus?). So, the remains of St. Nicolaes can stay in Bari where they are safe. Because when the remains would be send back to Myra/Demre, the Greek Orthodox Church there would be turned into a museum and the remains would be exploited for commercial and propagandist reasons. It was not long ago that in Van, Turkey, the Armenian 7th century Cathedral Church of the Holy Cross of Aghtama was restored and turned into a museum, going on with the Cultural Genocide in contemporary Turkey.
And im my opinion you cannot demand something back what was never yours! This is usurpationism!

Day Opening - December 29


BORGO A MOZZANO, Tuscany.
Winter in Italy

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day Opening - December 28



Russian Orthodox Church by Aleksandr Alekseev

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Statement #27

Each person in your life is there for a reason, and that reason always has something to do with love.

Day Opening - December 27


Purity!

You Are Invited To Witness An Execution


Blogger Madyar reacts to an ad, published in an Iranian newspaper, that calls on people to attend the executions of alleged thieves in Khuzestan Province.


Since I saw this picture, I have been in a state of shock and cannot help but wonder about the reasons behind such an act. It’s not possible to imagine such blatant disregard for all the protests against so many executions in the country. The Judiciary, besides not changing its attitude in the face of all these protests over death sentences and executions, has also made the enactment of these inhuman verdicts public and is inviting the people to witness it.

The death sentence is a violent and inhuman verdict, and carrying out the execution is also an inhuman act, but inviting people to watch the execution is tantamount to spreading violence and institutionalizing it in the minds of the members of the society. Through such an act, the Judiciary has clearly indulged in spreading violence.

No ticket is issued for the violent act and it is not even carried out indoors. Some children and or young people, with their parents or alone, may go to witness the scene. What an impact it would leave on their minds! Witnessing the death of a person at the hand of another person cannot be justified by any moral, human, or legal norms. And what positive outcome could it possibly have for the viewers? The purpose is nothing but to create intimidation and fear and to further violence and oppression in society. What they want to say openly is that they will deal in this way with criminals, and even with their opponents.

According to the figures available to me, at least 33 political prisoners in Iran are languishing in prison awaiting execution. Ehsan Fattahian [a Kurdish activist who was hanged] was one of the examples of violent executions of political prisoners carried out last month.

Who is the one to decide whether someone has fought against God, on the basis of which death sentences are awarded? Who says that you are God's representative on Earth and can act on His behalf and take someone's life, which God has given to him? In which countries is carrying out executions publicized on billboards? It only happens in Iran.
more hereeeeeeeee

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Al-Qaeda link tried to blow up airline between Amsterdam and Detroit

A Nigerian reported to have links to al-Qaeda is being questioned after an attempted act of terrorism on a plane arriving in the US, officials say.

They say the 23-year-old man was trying to ignite some kind of explosive device as the airliner approached Detroit.
The flight from Europe landed safely after the man was overpowered by passengers and crew.
Witnesses said he burnt his leg but no-one else was hurt among the 278 passengers and 11 crew on board.
Officials have described the device as a mixture of powder and liquid which failed to go off properly.
More hereeee
Happy Christmas boy, hope you will spend the rest of your life in jail...

Day Opening - December 26


A Merry Christmas from Canada

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snow crime stories

There was a lot of snow in the Netherlands and a flurry of snow crime stories. On its front page of a Dutch daily, it alerts to the fact that groups of youths in Gouda (a city in the West of Holland) are forcing cyclists to stop by building blockades out of snow. Once stationary, they are robbed. The police have nabbed five teenagers for the scam.
A similar racket but on a larger scale is reported from The Hague, where gangs of youths have been building snow roadblocks and robbing motorists caught in the traps.
Another newspapers provides their readers with a happy ending of a third story which begins with a father leaving his five-month-old baby on the back seat of his car. While he nipped off to check on whether the trains were running, the vehicle was stolen. The thief decided stealing a baby was a bit more than he bargained for and dropped the infant off at a supermarket. Staff smelt a rat, took the car's registration number and phoned the police. The thief couldn't get far in the snow and was picked up shortly afterwards. The father was reunited with his baby. Well, it's a happy ending if you're not the thief. Happy Christmas!

Day Opening - December 24


Christmas in Bruggen, Belgium

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Swiss referendum

The Swiss people recently ratified a referendum that forbids the construction of Muslim mosques with minarets attached, and now Swiss People’s Party proposed the organizing of a new referendum that will deport from Switzerland all immigrants who committed a crime.


This new referendum could enter in a conflict with the 1951 Geneva Convention about immigrants status. The convention says that no immigrant should be deported if he faces inhuman treatment, racial, political or religious discrimination in his own country of origin.

However the Geneva Convention was clearly made to protect fellow Europeans from Communist tyranny but today the convention is highly outdated as no one really faces such discriminations anywhere on the planet. The convention has also been misinterpreted many times and used for wrong purposes. Today it serves as a gateway for Muslims exremists, who are prosecuted in their counties of origins such as Syria, Somalia, Turkey, Egypt etc. to enter freely into Switzerland, according the SPP.

The legal situation in Switzerland seems set to change following the vigorous campaign for a referendum on deportation of foreign criminals launched by the anti-immigration SVP, which is a key element in the ruling coalition. It was in the run-up to the 2007 general election that the SVP launched its campaign to raise the 100,000 signatures necessary to force a referendum in order to introduce into the penal code measures that would allow for the deportation of the entire family of a convicted criminal under the age of eighteen, which is of course ridiculous.. There was consternation in parliament, as critics pointed out that if the law was passed, it would be the first such law in Europe since the Nazi practice of Sippenhaft, although there is of course a huge difference between being deported to the concentration camps and being expelled for serious crimes to their countries of origin or other European countries.

By February 2009, the SVP had already collected 210,000 signatures, more than double compared to what the law requires, and in response to the pressure from the SVP a new Aliens Bill was introduced into parliament that aims to establish precise criteria as to when a residence permit could be withdrawn from a foreign offender. Under the proposed legislation, foreigners sentenced to two years imprisonment or more, or having accumulated the equivalent prison sentences over a period of ten years, would have their residence permit rescinded and therefore be liable for deportation and they will also be banned from entering Switzerland from 5 to 15 years. In less serious cases, the draft Bill allows the authorities to judge for themselves whether to withdraw the residence permit of the person concerned.

This referendum is only a soft version of the original project that was supposed to deport all immigrants who asked for asylum in Switzerland. In fact,  this bill is simular to regulations in the USA, where an 'alien' after having comited a third crime automatically will be expelled.



The State Council, (superior chamber of the Swiss parliament), decided on December 10, 2009 to resend the proposal of SVP to the special commissions who will have to decide at the beginning of 2010 if the new referendum is compatible with the Geneva Convention and with the Swiss Constitution.

Day Opening - December 23


A violin repair shop.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow brings high-tech Dutch to their knees

Traffic in the Netherlands, and many other European countries, has been severly affected by the wintry conditions; much of the Netherlands is covered with a 10 centimetre-thick blanket of snow.


The Dutch cyclists' union has received scores of calls from short-distance commuters complaining that local authorities are making every effort to clear the roads but are ignoring the dedicated cycle tracks.

Public transport cannot provide an alternative for the private car, because trains are running a skeleton service having dropped direct intercity connections. The Dutch rail network is one of the most intensively used in the world, and delays quickly cause disruptions to the entire network.

Buses were unable to leave garages at the start of the day. Bus company Connexxion told the press that although the roads were passable, many bus stops and stations were frozen over, making conditions for passengers hazardous. People have been urged to avoid travelling.And work from home!

The morning rush-hour saw a whopping 250 kilometres of traffic jams on the motorways, which is considered far above the average on a normal day but even more so today because schools and many businesses are closed for the Christmas holidays.

Air traffic is being affected as well, and flights to Europe and North America are subject to delays and cancellations.

Meteorologists are warning that a new weatherfront passing over the Netherlands on Monday will dump a fresh load of snow on the country.
source: RNW

Day Opening - December 21


An old DC3 in the air

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ethics, Moral Relativism and Islam

Below a philosophical text of I. Kahn, a philosopher who, according the law of logic, made a short analysis of Islam and Ethics. If you take the web site Islam Today you will find the following excerpt of an article: The differences between Islam and secularism are substantial. The issue at hand is none other than the difference between monotheism and polytheism. They say that the mosque is for Allah and everything else is for “Caesar”. The schools are for Caesar. The media is for other than Allah. They restrict Islam to the mosque and the prayer room. Everything else is to be governed without resort to Islamic Law. This is outright polytheism. This issue is not open for debate. Islam, as the final religion, has supremacy over all faiths and over every aspect of life. There is no place for secularism in the lands of Islam or among the Muslims. yeeeeehhhhhhh


In the meantime a group of European intellectuals are preparing a process against the Islam, nobody will be accused only the religion Islam has to defend itself in court against complains such as: promoting segregation of man and women, separation of state and religion, predicting hate against everything which is Western, predicting everything against which is non-Muslim etc.

Enfin, below the excellent article of I. Kahn:

Ethics, Moral Relativism and Islam

By I Kahn

Many Muslims in justification of the deeds of Muhammad propose that we view his life with a sense of moral relativism. Succinctly put; do not juxtapose the standard of morality practiced in today’s West dominated society to the rituals and life styles of 1400 years ago. This can only be construed as an admission that moral values of today are incongruous with those followed at the time of Muhammad. The assumption is that many if not most moral values have evolved, transformed even revolutionised themselves in to a framework unrecognisable from the time when they were practiced over a millennia ago. Hence his marriage and its subsequent consummation (3 years later) with a 6 year old, his violent looting of passing booty laden caravans, his bloody conquests of non-Muslim tribes, his aggressive (rarely defensive) policy of imperialist Islamic expansionism, his penchant to acquire slaves and regard women as spoils of war etc. must be viewed within a context of Arabia at the time. This as far as justifications go is fair enough. Life then mostly was barbaric and brutish and Muhammad, fair play to him, was a product of his time. It certainly does facilitate the absolution of Muhammad from many of his “misdemeanours”.

The problem however is that this leaves Muhammad in a very precarious position. As a “perfect” human being and faultless messenger of a supreme being delivering the final and absolute word on the subject of morality and ethics to be practiced on Earth he puts himself on a pedestal as the epitome of what is righteous and virtuous. So far so good. The issue however gets trickier when the acceptance of the finality and absoluteness of his message is made a pre-requisite for all Muslims if they are to qualify themselves in to the realm of Islam. Not only is a Muslim expected to follow the written letter of the Quran to its logical conclusion (whatever that may be), he is also necessitated to glorify the life of Muhammad by imitating and replicating his behaviour and lifestyle to its very last detail. Muslims take pride in attempting to mirror Muhammad’s mannerisms and are filled with a fetishistic desire to be as close to “perfection” as Muhammad himself supposedly was.
Continue reading herreeeee

Day Opening - December 20


Posing..

Arash's World: Blame it all on Pandora: Holding onto Hope in a World of Pain and Suffering#links

Arash's World: Blame it all on Pandora: Holding onto Hope in a World of Pain and Suffering#links

Saturday, December 19, 2009

#Statement 27

Hafith al-Barghuthi in Palestinian AL-HAYAT AL-JADIDAH


I am not frightened when Switzerland or any other country forbids the construction of minarets. However, I become afraid when I see Islamist groups destroying minarets and mosques over the heads of worshipers in Arab and Islamic countries.

Day Opening - December 19


Turkish architecture

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy X-mas and New Year!

Hello Everyone,

I wish you happy holidays to you all. I hope 2010 is going to be a great year with loads of joy, success and health.

P.S: I will try to write more in the coming year Hans :) I am lost lately I know.

Seda

Dictators in Copenhagen



Islam Karimov







Robert Mugabe

It was fun and at the same time cynical to see this week notorious dictators and butchers as Islam Karimow and Robert Mugabe attending the Climate summit in Copenhagen. If these people have the slightest interest to talk about Climate Change problems, then they must be welcomed. But I think that this kind of events are for them only a possibility, to show for a world audience, that they are still in charge in their countries. Yes, Ahmadinejad, attended as well. The only missing person was al-Bashir from Sudan...but who cares? His friends in the OIC?


The Danish newspaper Politiken published an editorial this week which is an interesting read:

Copenhagen is having to welcome several members of the global Chamber of Horrors. In the same way that Politiken today presents the views of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, discussions about global climate have to include dictators.

Among the first to arrive was Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe who is barred from entering the European Union. But since the summit is under the United Nations umbrella, Mugabe has access to Denmark, despite the horrors he is responsible for in his country.

We would like to have warmly welcomed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. But he has remained in Zimbabwe to save money. Mugabe is here with a delegation of 59 people!

We also have to let in Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov, despite the fact that human rights organisations say that he has the habit of boiling his opponents to death . And he let his troops kill almost 1,000 people who demonstrated against horrible living conditions in Andijan in 2005.

It remains unclear whether President Gurbangulij Berdimuhamedov from the dictatorship in Turkmenistan will be coming, or whether Burma’s Than Shwe will be arriving. Nor can we dismiss the possibility that the Summit can hopefully provide an opportunity to put pressure on them to improve conditions in their home countries.

One scoundrel who is expected to stay away is Sudan’s President Hassan al-Bashir. As head of state he would enjoy immunity, but as he is being sought for genocide, Denmark would also be duty bound to hand him over to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague that has issued an arrest warrant for his detention.

It is possible to prevent dictators from travelling freely to United Nations meetings by opening a case against them at the ICJ. That does not happen when crimes are ‘only’ those of electoral fraud and conduct resulting in bloodshed – conduct that many others than those named here are guilty of – including Russia’s leaders.

Genocide is a different issue, and one which Ahmadinejad, for example, cannot be accused of. Unlike al-Bashir. The definition of genocide under international law is the attempt to exterminate a people. While minorities are persecuted in Iran, there is no basis for calling activities attempts at a systematic extermination of national groups.

Ahmadinejad tells Politiken that he will be using the Climate Summit to put forward an extra argument for his controversial nuclear programme. He will stress the fact that nuclear power is beneficial to the climate. And here is a point in which America’s Obama and other Western leaders agree with him.



Day Opening - December 18


All we need is love.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Update - Happy Holidays

It’s a long time ago that I didn’t post for 5 days on a row. However, some unexpected and unwanted changes took and still takes all my energy and attention. And my planned 2 weeks holiday starting this week…farewell to it. Will be probably even busier the next weeks than the last months. One thing is good, business is really good.


While the last years Bayram was always around and within the month of December now all is already passed and looks like that Turkey is busier than ever. I left all the social unrest here in Turkey behind me and focus me on some serious possibilities and opportunities. And if you are in town and want to celebrate Christmas with a nice Christmas Party, you are welcome the 26th of December from 18.00, Just write me.

I will post some entries to coming days about events and historical events I find interesting.

And about the whole fuss of the minaret ban in Switzerland, I never so so many Christmas trees and decorations as this year in Istanbul...

Day Opening - December 17

Magic of Christmas?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day Opening - December 14


Boutique de Noel, Quebec City by Jean-Francois Noel

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Human Right Watch about Closing down the DTP

I am waiting what Mr Riza Türmen , a former judge of the ECHR will say about the closing down the Kurdish DTP party, but here a statement made by Human Right Watch:

What does human rights law have to say about closing down political parties?

Freedom of expression and freedom of association are protected under the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Turkey is party. Those rights can be limited on the grounds of public order, but any restriction must be prescribed by law, only be done for a legitimate aim, and be necessary in a democratic society (i.e. be the least restrictive measure possible to meet the legitimate aim). Speech that incites violence can be legitimately restricted, but the restrictions must also comply with international human rights law. However, the speeches and statements presented as evidence in the case do not openly promote or praise violence.

While Turkey's present laws provide for the prosecution of individuals for the kind of statements listed in the indictment, Turkey's prosecution of non-violent speech has been repeatedly criticized by the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and domestic and international human rights groups.

While many of the party's officials are currently facing criminal prosecution for their speech, the majority of these prosecutions appear to be wholly unjustified. What is more, no evidence has been presented in the indictment that would warrant a decision in the case before the court to dissolve their political party.

The European Court of Human Rights, which assesses state compliance with the convention, has heard nine cases against Turkey concerning political party bans by Turkey's Constitutional Court. In all but one case, the European Court has ruled against the decision to ban, finding Turkey in violation of articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention (freedom of expression and freedom of association.)

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, an expert body that advises on law reform consistent with human rights standards, has developed guidelines on closing parties. The guidelines, approved in 1999, state:

Prohibition or enforced dissolution of political parties may only be justified in the case of parties which advocate the use of violence or use violence as a political means to overthrow the democratic constitutional order, thereby undermining the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. The fact alone that a party advocates a peaceful change of the Constitution should not be sufficient for its prohibition or dissolution.

In response to the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution on June 26, 2008 (PACE Resolution 1622 [2008] ) on "The functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey: recent developments" stating that:

14. The current proceedings against the AK Party, regardless of their outcome, spark a renewed debate about the legal basis for the closure of political parties in the country and show that, despite ... reforms, the issue of dissolution of political parties in Turkey is not closed. The Assembly notes that it becomes clear that further constitutional and legislative reforms in this respect are necessary.

Similarly, the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe adopted a legal opinion on Turkey's frequent actions to close down political parties, ("Opinion on the constitutional and legal provisions relevant tothe prohibition of political parties in Turkey": CDL-AD [2009] 006) in March 2009, concluding that:

106. ... the provisions in Article 68 and 69 of the Constitution and the relevant provisions of the Law on political parties together form a system which as a whole is incompatible with Article 11 of the ECHR as interpreted by the ECtHR and the criteria adopted in 1999 by the Venice Commission and since endorsed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

107. The basic problem with the present Turkish rules on party closure is that the general threshold is too low, both for initiating procedures for and for prohibiting or dissolving parties. This is in itself in abstracto deviating from common European democratic standards, and it leads too easily to action that will be in breach of the ECHR, as demonstrated in the many Turkish cases before the European Court of Human Rights.

108. Because the substantial and procedural threshold for applying the Turkish rules on party prohibition or dissolution is so low, what should be an exceptional measure functions in fact as a regular one. This reduces the arena for democratic politics and widens the scope for constitutional adjudication on political issues.

The article can be read herreeee

Day Opening - December 12

Picture made by Iranian protestors of their president
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Turks, Kurds and Turkey; a new Ban


The Turkey’s Constitutional Court late Friday delivered a landmark ruling, banning the pro-Kurdish (or let me say: representing the majority of the 17 million Kurds in Turkey who faced for 80 years forced assimilation and de facto annihilation) for alleged links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. The decision to close down the Democratic Society Party the DTP under Articles 68 and 69 of the Constitution and the Political Parties Law given that actions and statements made by the party became a focal point for terrorism against the indivisible integrity of the state, which is on itself discussable and arbiter; who is the state and who represent the state?


The hard line denialists in the current Turkish establishment, those of the CHP, the MHP or AKP, are simple not ready to face an ugly past and resume their mythical stories about a Turkey which sit on ancient civilizations without using that history. In front of a world wide audience Turkey stands up and say clearly the same words as Mussolini said:  All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. But Europe moved forward..
And Turkey proved today that its stuck in the cold war and its own history

Day Opening - December 11


my favorites

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

YouTube ban in Turkey - More idiotry

Sometimes I cannot believe my eyes when I hear the Turkish government speaking about for me simple and rational issues. I know that they take each and every time the discussion ‘hostage’ with throwing the words ‘our sensitivities’ on the table, but today I heard the most lame excuse for the YouTube ban in Turkey: The Turkish Minister of Transport, Yıldırım said the main problem with YouTube was not the videos but the owners’ refusal to open an office and pay taxes in Turkey. The minister said that if YouTube offers a service in Turkey, it should also have a representative in the country.“If you refuse to do that, there is nothing this country can do for you,” he said. Yıldırım said his ministry, the courts and the tax administration all demanded a legal addressee for YouTube in Turkey, but it refuses, stating that it is a global company that is not considering opening an office in Turkey. “This is no different than an ordinary company that opens up shop without dropping by the tax administration,” Yıldırım said.

Okay, we know that Facebook, Google, LinkedIN, eBay, blogger sites, Yahoo, MySpace, CouchSurfing, Flickr, Plaxo, Orkut, Twitter, Wikipedia etc. don’t have an Office in Turkey either, since in general these are social media sites and that means you don’t pay for their services. So, is the Minister Of Transport in Turkey, responsible for Internet and thus social media, up-to-date what’s going on Internet? I don’t think so. And of course this guy is uproarious, dumb, and completely out of touch with the reality. A child of 10 knows that YouTube is a FREE video-sharing site. But I think that this minister wants that the Turkish citizens, in Turkey and abroad, are going to pay for these sites and that the Turkish government then can tax the users….are you kidding me?

And then you have Tayfun Acarer, president of the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, or ICTA, who said there were 32 court orders regarding YouTube. “Atatürk is a sensitive [matter] for Turkey,” he said. “Not only people who live in Turkey but ones who do business in Turkey have to be sensitive about this matter.” Acarer said he could not understand why YouTube’s lack of sensitivity was not being questioned by people who criticize the ban. “I believe that no commercial foundation is above Turkey’s sensitivities,” Acarer said.
Now mister Acarer, I am highly sensitive and allergic fot idiotry...does that counts as well?

Is a Christmas tree offensive?

It was the 13th day before Christmas and all was quiet in the Netherlands… except at The Hague University (THU), where a board decision not to put up a Christmas tree has sparked a “national outrage”.

De Telegraaf, the equivalent of the Turkish Hürriyet, in its never-ending quest to pander to the lowest common denominator, writes that “ the THU’s decision not to put up the traditional Christmas tree this year because of the large number of non-Western students has spread dismay across the nation”.

According to the paper, students, council members, parliament and no less than 1,000 De Telegraaf readers have expressed their outrage at THU’s yuletide blasphemy. One of the more subtle reader comments suggested the school board should be “covered in tar and Christmas decorations”, clearly a more festive variant on the time-honoured corporal punishment of tarring and feathering.

Another newspaper in a slightly more nuanced commentary, writes that Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, in its unrelenting campaign to prove that Western traditions are perishing under an Islamic onslaught, “hardly could have wished for a better Christmas present, particularly as the party is about take part in local elections in the Hague for the first time. Btw, lots of Christmas trees here in Turkey and two years ago, when we were in Dubai during Christmas, also there Christmas trees in the shopping malls...

And the our hero, the local politician Abdu Khoulani of the Islam Democrats says: “This is so inept, there have been no signals whatsoever from our supporters suggesting that a Christmas tree would be considered offensive”. hurray!!!

And what about the THU? Communications Director Annelies van Rosmalen says in reality the decision was a little less politically inspired: “The decision was all mine. I hated that tree and thought to myself ‘let’s go for something different this year’. However, with my phone ringing off the hook, I can tell you that right now I would love nothing better than to see that fake tree standing here”.

Be that as it may, it does not answer the question why the THU in an internal memo said the decision was taken “To emphasise the international character and diversity of the student body”. Smacks of backtracking on the part of Ms van Rosmalen...

source: rnw

6 Belges sur 10 contre les minarets

Une enquête réalisée par iVOX pour « Le Soir Magazine » à paraître mercredi montre que 59,3 % des Belges interrogés sont favorables à l’interdiction de la construction des minarets. Les Suisses, eux, s’étaient prononcés à hauteur de 57,5 % pour cette interdiction.


38 % des Belges interrogés se sont déclarés tout à fait favorables à l’interdiction de la construction de minarets. Parmi ces 38 %, les Wallons sont les plus favorables (44 %), devant les Bruxellois (40,3 %) et les Flamands (34,3 %).

Si l’on prend le critère de l’âge, le groupe des plus de 50 ans est bien plus favorable (47,9 %) à l’interdiction que le groupe des 30-49 ans (32,8 %) et des moins de 29 ans (29,9 %). Les hommes sont plus favorables à l’interdiction que les femmes, avec 41,8 % contre 34,2 %.

Les Belges ne seraient pas seulement opposés à la construction des minarets, ces tours extérieures d’où traditionnellement les muezzins appellent les fidèles à la prière, mais également à la construction de mosquées. Le sondage montre que 56,7 % des personnes interrogées sont opposées à l’édification de mosquées en Belgique et 61 % ne veulent pas qu’une mosquée soit édifiée dans leur quartier.

Ces résultats sont issus d’une enquête en ligne réalisée par iVOX du 3 au 5 décembre 2009 auprès de 1.050 personnes, avec un indice d’erreur de 3 %.


Sarkozy ne dit pas non aux minarets, mais à l’ostentation

Day Opening - December 9


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Flower design by Fatih Can


Fatih Can SARIÖZ is an industrial designer from Istanbul, Turkey who has generated a number of innovative and interesting designs; not the least of these is his ‘Flower’ design. The designer’s sculptural piece looks a bit like a mutant green tulip, but it opens to a delightful table with attached seating. Remember the tulip plays an important roled in both the Turkish and Dutch culture.


This would be a great piece for commercial establishments that want compactable tables and seating, or for individuals that want something a little different in their homes, perhaps as a poolside dining area.
Flower is a table for taking a snack or to drink coffee/tea with your working friends in breaks. It is suitable for offices, studios, or home offices. Green petals of the flower are actually chairs that eclipse the centre table. When not in use, it would wrap up and stand tall as an attraction.
Istanbul becomes slowly more important in the world of fashion and design, although still undervalued in Turkey.

Day Opening - December 8


European charme...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Students Day in Tehran

Iranian authorities have deployed hundreds of policemen at Tehran University as students call for mass protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to mark the annual Students Day.


Each year on 7 December, Tehran students commemorate the 1953 killing of three students by the Shah's security forces just months after a US-backed coup toppled the then prime minister Mohammad Mossadeq.

Since the Iranian presidential elections last June, which resulted in a disputed victory for President Ahmadinejad, hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Tehran, accusing the president of "stealing their votes". Thousands have been arrested and dozens killed.

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi did not call on the students directly to take part in today's protest march at the university but has challenged the authorities as they moved to prevent them. On his website Kaleme.com, Mr Mousavi has posted a statement condemning the arrests of dozens of students in the past few days. Warning the Revolutionary Guards that arrests will not resolve Iran's political unrest, he said the authorities are "fighting with shadows in the streets".

Elsewhere in Iran, there are reports of clashes between the police and demonstrators. Tear gas has allegedly been used to quash marching students. Aside from banning foreign media from covering Monday's events, the authorities have also cut Internet and mobile phone connections and blocked access to several opposition sites.
source: RNW

Day Opening - December 7



Looking at YOU...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

An ode to the big city - The Big Apple

 For the dreamers in this world who liked the movie 'Paris, je t'aime', you will love the 2009 version 'New York, I love you'.

The same concept: several stories about the love between two people. Though the New York version is a bit lighter than the one about Paris, all stories are made with the familiar surprising touch. Mixtured feelings of stunning, hidden tears, disgust or comfort. There must be a story you feel connected with.


(picture: trailertracker.wordpress.com)

Day Opening - December 6

Magic Blue - a View from Space

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Culture relativism and culture imperialism in Islam

The Swiss ban on building minarets triggered in the secular republic of Turkey some heavy loaded attacks on the West. Is Switzerland representing the West or let me say the Non-Muslim world as a whole? I don’t think so. It is this generalization which is the real base for racism. The Accusations in the Turkish press varied from ‘those racists, xenofobists, imperialists, islamphobia’ to ‘those people there in the West doesn’t know the blessings of Islam…

Blessings? No, I don’t know the blessings of Islam. What I know is that it has all the seeds of a dangerous ideology which is based upon culture imperialism and culture relativism. Let’s take the latter for example. Some weeks ago I had the pleasure to get in touch with a person, a married woman, who was converted to Christianity. Not a big deal for me since I know people who converted from Christianity to being a Muslim. But the problem with this highly educated woman was that her husband even don’t know that she is converted. And her family, which are communistic in the Turkish way, underlined one dogma regarding religion: Mohammed was the last prophet, so he has to be followed. She told me that she is afraid to tell her relatives, since she fear the worst in the secular Republic of Turkey where every form of criticism (being a Turk and being a Sunni Muslim) is offensive. And taking in account that only in 2009 more than 950 women are killed in Turkey by relatives I share her concern. And this same Turkey is steering up the mood and want to create a 'global' crisis because this ban of minarets in Switzerland.

That European and American people always say that Islam has to be modernized and that it will undergo a Renaissance as well. I have bad news for them: the intrinsic cultural and political movement of the Islam don’t allow changes. Their system is based upon ‘laws by custom’ while neither of the two main sources of Muslim law, the Koran and the Sunnah, mention the practice of for example female genital mutilation, and most Islamic scholars agree that it is not an Islamic religious rite, the practice has become important to Islam because it is associated with Islam purity. Imagine how many enemies this pure Islam have: homosexuals, Jews, Hindus, Christians, which makes up 5 billion people. You only have to watch Memri TV their clips how widespread the hatred for ‘these others’, the infidels, women, atheists, deists goes. Talking about culture relativism? No thanks.

And regarding culture imperialism. I made my words in my comments of my friend Mustafa Akyol his contribution of Hurriyet Daily News of today. Yabanci means foreigner…must be clear who said what.
Here Mustafa his article and below my reaction:

Again, Mustafa, you fail to come up with some sentences based upon logical thinking. And again you try to cover up, on purpose, the real reasons which led to this ban and that is culture imperialism. You can read all the European newspapers of the last years and you will see than one after the other Islam group, most of the time financial supported by countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE etc., are trying to build the highest minaret. I shall spare you the details but take a look at the raids on the Milli Gorus offices last week because this Turkish Muslim group is involved in a huge fraud. They were the frontrunners to build the highest minarets in Amsterdam Cologne etc. First) Since when is Islam a race? Therefore you using the term ‘racism’ is senseless. What real racism is this: The Jewish race are not allowed to enter the ‘Holy’ country of Saudi Arabia. That would be the same as all Arabs for example are not allowed to enter Vatican City. That is racism. Second) You write down here that this ban is violation of religious freedom. Can you explain who’s religion is restricted in Europe by this ban? I am pretty sure that the ECHR will not overturn this. Third) Yes, democracy together with freedom of speech (remember the first amendment in the USA), human and women rights and justice are the highest values. Not the values set by self declared religious bigots who act as Übermensch to create a caliphate. Can you find me one Muslim country which have the above mentioned high values in their constitution and practices it? No, you cannot. Fourth) You complete ignore where all those fears for Islamization comes from…ask homosexuals, all the women in women shelters, people who left their religion the Islam behind them, ask artists, journalists, writers, comedians etc. in Europe who feel like many ordinary citizens who feel threatened day by day by the demonstrative and provocative presence of the Islam. They feel abandoned by their governments while they tried to build up a multi cultural and multi ethnic society. They know the answer! Fifth) That your PM cited a poem written 90 years ago is the best example that he still think that way now 10 years later. And last but not least, stop playing the victim. The world turns on and there is no global crisis as your Minister of Foreign Affairs stated. But take one lesson, only secularism and humanisme can safe this world, not religion, not from most variants from Islam neither from some reli-Christian fundamentalists in the USA. Kind regards

How To Be A Secular Humanist In Two Steps | Discovering Secular Humanism#links#links

How To Be A Secular Humanist In Two Steps Discovering Secular Humanism#links#links

Watching Big Brother


It is true, you have been recently inundated with increasingly intrusive video recorders, a lot of which are hidden from your view. So let’s say you are paranoid enough to do something about it, go get yourself a camera detector.

Using a two pronged approach to finding any hidden devices, the camera detector starts with a view through the detectors lens, as it bathes the room in IR light, at which time any hidden lenses should sppear. Next a the WiFi detector is activated, and you can determine just where the camera signal was being sent to.

Invented in China...
Check Chinavasion!

Day Opening - December 5

Waiting for Love..

Friday, December 4, 2009

Statement #25

My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife, you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher.
Socrates

A missed opportunity for Turkey

Dutch members of parliament have cancelled a scheduled visit to Turkey after the Turkish government refused to meet with the delegation if anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders was part of it.
When the matter was put to a vote in Dutch parliament on Wednesday, all parties opted to cancel the visit, which was scheduled for January, even though Turkish members of parliament and local social organisations had said they would meet with the delegation regardless.
"This was a unanimous decision. We deeply regret the fact that this will make an effective dialogue impossible, but if the Turkish government refuses to meet with us, the most essential parts of our schedule will not be able to go ahead," Harm Evert Waalkens (Labor Party), leader of the parliamentary delegation, said on Wednesday. One of the main reasons for the visit was Turkey's accession to the European Union.
A representative of the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs called the Dutch parliament's decision "unilateral."
What the Turkish government failed to see is that they cannot decide which members of their EU countries counterparts will be welcomed and who not. The Dutch government earlier this year granted without hesitation the pure racist and facistoide Turkish party leader of the notorious MHP gang a visa. Here some facts about them. They are well known for their hate for Kurds and their Grey Wolves activities.
Also, the Turkish government failed to understand that all Dutch parties including the left and far left don't accept Turkish stance.
This is a missed opportunity for Turkey to counter attack Wilders....

Day Opening - December 4

Just say 'cheese'...
By Dmitry Melentev

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Don't smile, go back to work and continue shopping!

An investigation by the BBC learned that most Europeans aren't happy with the system of capitalism. There are several groups that stand up against the current society.

It's not only a subject preached by famous documentary maker Michael Moore, but also reverent Billy Talen whom I follow on Twitter likes to preach against the 'money lurching monsters'. Recently two men became active in England. Charley and Danny let the citizens of London know that everything is ok!

Promise me: don't laugh, go back to work and continue shopping.

Mass hysteria in Turkey: Soon ‘For Muslims only’

The troika, Turkish President Gül, Prime Minister Erdogan and Chief EU negotiater Egemen Bağiş all used the Swiss vote to ban minarets for their own dark and dubious purposes. The Turkish PM Erdogan called Europe fascist (although he resemble all the physical trade marks, appearance with a dogmatic style a la Goebbels), the Turkish president talked about those Swiss racists (although he even cannot solve the problem with his 20 million Alevi and Kurdish ‘minority’) and the Turkish chief EU negotiator Egemen Bağis urged his fellow Muslim people around the world to transfer their money from Swiss banks to Turkish banks, since Turkish banks are Muslims banks. Wrong! More than 60% of the Turkish banks could and can still not stand on their own feet and are bought by Greeks (Finansbank) Dutch (Oyak Bank) Americans (AK bank) Belgium/Dutch (Disbank) and so more. Only Ataturks bank the Isbank and 2 small banks, Ziraat Bank and Halk Bank are Turkish owned. Another populistic lie by this idiot  of E. Bağiş.

The point here is that the ruling AK party and their cronies are trying to gain political and economical advantage about the Swiss vote to ban the ‘imperialist’ minarets.
More saddening is that two friends of mine felt into a trap and show some hysterical behavior in their columns of today: Mustafa Aykol and Orhan Kemal Cengiz. It reminds me about what Jung once said; Show me one sane man and I will cure him.

Here a short reaction of mine. And I hope that the Islam world can take of that sign and image of ‘For Muslims Only’ ..one day.

Mustafa,  your interpretation of this ban of minarets (In Islamite countries seen as the dominant factor of their religion in their society) has all to do with fear. Logically, when people felt trapped and threatened in their own culture and heritage and fear that one day Islam will create parallel societies in their countries, take for example the UK with its 80 Sharia courts which threat the lives of Muslim women in this country. And especially when your PM Erdogan once cited: Our minarets are our bayonets. Your compared Nazi Germany with contemporary Europe where Muslims have more rights than in their countries of birth. About fascism, while Europe was suffering under the rule of the inhuman Nazi’s, the Arab world embraced Nazism. Fascism is a cult and rejects all religions, but Nazi Germany had warm relations with the Arab world. Khomeiny, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Arab leaders such as Sayyid Qutb of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, as well as the Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Husseini admired Hitler. Sami al-Joundi, one of the founders of the ruling Syrian Ba’ath Party, recalls: “We were racists. We admired the Nazis. We were immersed in reading Nazi literature and books… We were the first who thought of a translation of Mein Kampf. Anyone who lived in Damascus at that time was witness to the Arab Inclination toward Nazism, like the “Hisb-el-qaumi-el-suri” (PPS) or Social Nationalist Party in Syria. The first Syrian Baath leader, Anton Sa’ada, styled himself the Führer of the Syrian nation, and Hitler became known as “Abu Ali” (In Egypt his name was “Muhammed Haidar”). The banner of the PPS displayed the swastika on a black-white background, until today, even in Lebanon. Until this very nice day in December, fascism flourish in the Arab world. Now you know why there are only one single parties in that part of the world with the big exception of Israel. I recommend you to watch the six hour documentary ‘Nazis, a warning from history’ before make such ridiculous claims about what happened in the 30ties in Germany and these days in Europe. In fact you incite hatred towards non-Muslims.



Day Opening - December 2



Yesterday morning, Ramses Shaffy, the Dutch7French singer and actor died aged 76. Most of them plump for recent ones showing him as an old man worn down by drink, but we can also see "the Netherlands' only chansonnier" as a young icon of the popular cultural scene, a striking flower-power figure in the 1960s.



One Dutch newspaper devotes a whole inside page to what it calls the dismay caused by the flamboyant Amsterdammer's death. Under the headline, "Addicted to life", the paper prints a quote from 1995: "It's a wonder I'm still sitting here, with all the cigarettes, drink and I don't know what else".
The paper says he lived life to the full, giving us another quote: "The blood that pumps though my body screams out for adventure!" Under the headline, "Ramses last glass", it tells us of his last visit to his favourite restaurant, just a short stroll from the Amsterdam nursing home where he ended his days. "He came in around 5 or 6 [...] and sometimes stayed till very late. He drank red wine or sambuca. And also ate something," the restaurant owner fills us in.

It's not only other celebrities who are mourning the star's demise: fans are to hold a vigil at the place where Shaffy moored his houseboat in the heady days of the 1970s. The organiser recalls that Shaffy started out life in Amsterdam as a foster child: "I want to make the statement that all kids, even those who don't look like they have many chances, can grow into monumental people".
He was one of my heroes...why? The guy was pure and had not one ounce of aggression in him...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Twitter Snail mail


Sure many dedicated social media gurus were waiting for the day when they could start sending packages using their social networking IDs. That day has arrived, with UK-based SendSocial, a company that makes the most of your social networking tag. SendSocial allows users to send mail using a recipient’s Twitter ID or email address.

After SendSocial is informed of the recipient’s Twitter ID or email address from a sender, it gets an approval from the recipient to accept the delivery. After they have accepted, SendSocial requests their physical address details (but keeps it from the sender) and proceeds with the mailing request.
İf you want to follow me without receiving sanil mail, I am herrreeeee....

Day Opening - December 1


World Aids day, December 1 - 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Jazz Hypnosis with Sex

Imagine a light, hypnotic jazz combo performing what sounds like the intro to The Doors' 'Riders On The Storm.'

For those people with a decent internet connection and who spend too much time behind the computer some background music to come along with...

Enjoy!

Reactions on anti-minaret ban in Switzerland.

Dutch MP Geert Wilders' Freedom Party has said it wants a referendum on the building of minarets similar to the one held in Switzerland on Sunday . Mr Wilders expects the Dutch to ban new minarets just like a 57.5 percent majority of Swiss did.
The referendum result is hailed as a breakthrough by the opposition MP. "It's the first time that people in Europe have stood up to a form of Islamisation."

Other xenophobic nationalist parties in Europe are taking a similar line to the Netherlands' Freedom Party. Mario Borghezio, a Euro-MP for Italy's Northern League (Lega Nord) called for a referendum in Italy, saying "The flag of a courageous Switzerland which wants to remain Christian is flying over a near-Islamised Europe."

Switzerland is home to 6 million Christians and 400,000 Muslims. There are currently 200 mosques in the Alpine country, but only four minarets.

International reactions to the Swiss vote have been negative and critical. Islamic countries, and Muslims in Switzerland itself, say that banning the building of new minarets puts limits on freedom of religion. "It's an insult to all Muslims," Egypt's Great Mufti Ali Gomaa said. (This person really has to shut up with his hate for Jews and Christians, Kopts - is he also critical of this Egyptian cleric?

Speaking for the joint Islamic Organisations in Switzerland, the group's head Farhad Afshar said,
"The most painful for us is not the minaret ban, but the symbol sent by this vote. Muslims do not feel accepted as a religious community."

The Swiss government is obliged by law to implement the ban following the popular vote in favour, but the measure is likely to be found in contravention of international agreements, to which Switzerland is bound, such as the European Human Rights Convention and United Nations agreements on human rights.

The Vatican called the ban 'an attack of freedom of religion'.

EU critical

Current EU chair Sweden said that the Swiss ban flouts freedom of expression. "I don't think we can build a Europe without that freedom," Swedish Justice Minister Beatrice Ask said in Brussels. Her colleague from the Swedish Immigration Department added, "How peculiar that such things are determined by referendum in Switzerland. In my country, they are decided on by local town planners."

Other European politicians added their voices. "It's a manifestation of intolerance," French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a reaction.
source: RNW.nl

What Is Genocide?

What Is Genocide?

Day Opening - November 30



Just kiss me...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Statements of the weekend (or of the year)

Yaşar Yakış, the Turkish chairman of Parliament’s EU harmonization commission, a former diplomat and the ruling Turkish AKP’s first foreign minister, spoke of the impracticability of using more Italian or Scandinavian models for women’s emancipation and infuriated some women present at the forum when he said: “Even if Turkey becomes an EU member one day, a difference will always remain there due to Islamic culture. We will always see that difference in mentality, which is the result of the centuries-old influence of Islam.”
He made this statement during the sixth Turkish–Italian forum in Istanbul


The leader of the Turkish opposition National Movement Party, or MHP (an ultra nationalist fascistoide party), has introduced existential doubt into the swine flu debate in Turkey.
“I do not believe in the swine flu (Mexican flu),” said MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli on Saturday.
“We have not taken any measures (against the H1N1 virus commonly known as swine flu). Everything is up to God’s will,” said Bahçeli, Anatolia news agency reported.

Some tips to make the best out of a rainy day


The last week was one after the other a wet and windy day in the Netherlands. So a Dutch newspaper presented a whole page of tips to “beat the autumn blues”. No less than 1.2 million Dutch folk claim to suffer from what the paper calls “an autumn dip” and it calls on the services of eight “experts” to let in a little ray of sunshine.


Unfortunately most of these specialists seem to be more interested in their own bank balance than the well-being of the nation. There’s the sauna owner who suggests you go for a sauna, the travel agent who recommends an exotic autumn break and the clean-up stylist – whatever that might be – who declares that domestic chores are the ideal way to generate “physical and mental energy”. Refreshingly there’s also a fashion guru who warns us all not to go shopping because “it just gets you down … everything you like is either too expensive or doesn’t fit … and you end up with sore feet, feeling fat”. Tell it like it is, sister!

While we’re on the subject of retail therapy the newspaper front page features the story that Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst is allowing shops to impose a ban on customers wearing hoods as a measure to prevent hold-ups. The paper’s cartoonist hits back with a picture of a hooded shopper in the pouring rain saying “That’s all well and good … but could you ask the man upstairs for better weather first?”

Day Opening - November 29


Unusual transport

Armenian Love - by Fréderike Geerdink, a Dutch journalist in Turkey

The Armenian community in Turkey consists of about fifty thousand souls. It’s not easy to keep such a small community alive. Especially not for Armenians who live outside the strong Armenian community in Istanbul. A special report.

Cemil and Gülestan have been married now for twenty one years. But when you see them sitting together with their sons in their house in the village of Sason in eastern Turkey, it looks more as if grandfather is visiting: Cemil is 71, Gülestan 35. The problem was that there were not too many prospective husbands for Gülestan, and when widower Cemil asked Gülestan’s father for her hand, the deal was quickly done. Gülestan: ‘My father thought Cemil would be a good husband, but it was also important that he has the same roots as my family. There are not many like that in our region.’

The same roots, by that she means: Cemil’s family was once, like Gülestan’s, Christian and Armenian. Right after the mass killings of Armenians in the last days of the Ottoman Empire, their ancestors converted to Islam out of necessity and chose a Turkish name. They integrated into Turkish and Islamic life, but never forgot their former identity, and also never lost touch with families who were hit by the same fate. They married among each other, and they still do.

read more herreeee

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Statement #24

Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.
Oscar Wilde

Amazing giga pics of this years Hajj and observance of Eid al-Adha

Click on this link from Boston.com for some amazing pictures of this years Hajj and the obsevance of Eid al-Adha. No pictures of brutal slaughtering of animals. You will find here an interesting story about that.
Here the link with pictures, 38 in total.

Will Turkey be happy with Stefan Fuele as new Commissioner for Enlargement?


Štefan FÜLE from Czech Republic will be the next European commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy.
I am not sure if Turkey must be happy with his nomination since he made it very quick clear that Turkey is not ready for the EU. He will succeed Olli Rehn who supported Turkish bid. Stefan Fuele (English spelling) only conditionally support the admission of Turkey to the European Union

Day Opening - November 28 - Bayram


Bayramlar, insanlar arasındaki karşılıklı sevgi ve saygının perçinlendiği günlerdir. Bayramlar, insanların birbirleriyle olan dargınlıklarını unuttukları, barıştıkları, kardeşçe kucaklaştıkları günlerdir. Bayramlar,milli ve dini duyguların, inançların, örf ve adetlerin uygulanıp sergilendiği günlerdir . Hep bir arada, nice bayramlar geçirmek dileğiyle, Kurban Bayramınız kutlu olsun!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Some Turkish opinion makers will welcome Wilders in Turkey.

The Dutch journalist Bram Vermeulen, based in Istanbul Turkey, wrote an excellent piece for the centre-liberal Dutch newspaper NRC which is well known for its quality and investigation journalism. Here he shows that both secularists and moderate Islamists will welcome the controversial visit of Geert Wilders, the anti-Islam party leader of the PVV, scheduled for the 4th of January 2010 to Turkey.

It’s interesting to see how two totally different persons are looking forward to the visit of this controversial populist. Here two excerpts:

Leyla Tavsanoglu is a columnist for the republican newspaper Cumhurriyet, which has campaigned against political Islam ever since it was founded in 1924. "Geert Wilders is a very interesting man. Do you think he would have half an hour for me when he is here?" she asked eagerly.

"I fear political Islam as much as he does", she said. "Because more and more villages in Anatolia banned alcohol, because my phone is being tapped, because my 80-year-old boss has been arrested, because someone trew a bomb over the fence here 18 months ago. But," she paused, "Wilders solution is wrong. It is precisely because of these fears that we should admit Turkey into the European Union. Or we will lose this country to radical Islam and Europe will have a second Iran at its border. Surely that's not what he wants."

How different speaks Mustafa Akyol, a columnist and deputy editor of the Hürriyet Daily News and a practising Muslim. "Wilders forgets that Ataturk in his time [the 1920 and 30s] turned Turkey's face to the West, but that the West wasn't a very pleasant place at the time. Many of the European fascist and nationalist ideologies of the time, like that of authoritarian one-party state, were thus imported to Turkey and the secular Turks have held onto them until now.''

When Akyol saw Wilders' film Fitna in 2008, he invited the Dutch politician for a Turkish coffee to explain why he should not fear Turkish Islam. Given the chance, he would tell Wilders the ruling AK party, with its roots in political Islam, has done more for democracy in Turkey than any of its predecessors. The government has continued its overtures to the Kurds and neighbouring Christian Armenia, despite opinion polls showing many Turks oppose them.

"The Islamic movement in Turkey has changed radically since the 1990s. The anger against the West originated from the anger against authoritarian secularism. This disappeared as soon as people realised European democracy would actually give them more rights as Muslims. Muslims are the West's biggest fans here. Wilders has nothing to fear. I would like to explain that to him."

Here the article.

Personally I think that a debate between Wilders and these two opinion makers will Turkey do more good than harm. But by refusing Wilders entrance toTurkey, the anti-Turkish segments in the European society will only grow. In the end you can ask your self why Turkey host, on a friendly way, Hamas, branded by the USA and EU as a terrorist organization and roll out the red carpet for people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, notorious for the slaughter of many of his own fellow men and Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, the President of Sudan (wanted by the ICC in the Hague). Because both are Muslims?
If Wilders will be refused entry to Turkey as an elected member of the Dutch parliament, I am afraid that Rasmussen, the Secr. General of the Nato will be next. And who knows Sarkozy and Merkel and some 250 other EU MP's who oppose Turkey's EU bid.
Turkey have a lot to loose these days.

Day Opening - November 27


Eternity of the Moment by Jure Kravanja

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day Opening - November 26


Wish all Americans a beautiful Thanksgiving!
I have good memories about this day when I lived in the USA.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just My Two Cents: Republicans Calling For "Purity Test" For Candidates

Just My Two Cents: Republicans Calling For "Purity Test" For Candidates

Turkey say NO to Wilders


Turkey has announced that a Dutch parliamentary delegation will not be welcome if it includes Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders. Turkish ministers and MPs will refuse to meet the entire delegation if Wilders is among them. A spokesperson for the Turkish foreign ministry says: “This man has racist ideas. We fear his presence would overshadow the visit”. The popular Turkish daily Aksam was the first to report the news on yesterday: “Tension over Mozart”, the paper’s headline read, apparently referring to the Freedom Party leader’s exotic hairdo.


Turkish government is embarrassed by the situation and already felt in the trap of Wilders in my opinion They realize that refusing to meet Wilders will allow the controversial politician to accuse Turkey of being undemocratic and unable to take criticism. However, the government fears a media hype would stir up the emotions of its Islamist supporters. Islamists many secularists in Turkey and Wilders are fighting against, how ironically…

The Dutch parliament is looking for a way out of the threatening dispute with Turkey. The parliamentary European Affairs Commission says it will cancel the visit - scheduled for the Christmas recess – if not all members of the delegation can be received by the Turkish authorities. Delegation leader and Labour Party MP Harm Evert Waalkens says he will refuse to make cuts to the agreed program.

In fact Wilders is back in his favorite role again. After his announcement last week that he would join a parliamentary delegation on a visit to Turkey, it was only a matter of time before a row broke out. And there we go now Turkey is unlikely to change its mind. ”Mr Wilders’ refusal (to cancel his intended visit, ed.) is a choice opportunity for the ruling AK Party, which has roots in political Islam, to show it cannot be trifled with. Wilders in turn will see his ideas confirmed. ‘The country is showing its true face, and it’s a dirty face. Turkey is an autocratic country which cannot even spell the word democracy… ” Instead of accusing Turkey he better could accuse the ruling AKP party..

In my opinion: If the mask falls the real face becomes visible. In other words if a holy book, The Qur’an in reality is used as political leaflet, is that not nice for those which are unmasked as a result; the AKP. Their strategy no longer works. A better complement cannot be made by the Turkish government to Geert Wilders.

Day Opening - November 25


Childhood, by Natalia Campbell.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Everybody must get stoned...

Two cannabis-selling coffee shops in the Amsterdam problem district de Baarsjes have launched an initiative to clean up the area and improve security. The coffee shops Boerenjongens (Country Lads) and Bij (Bee) hired a local security firm to prevent all kinds of trouble in the area.


Each day between 1600 and 0130 two or three employees of local security firm BG Groep keep an eye on a 250-metre radius around the two coffee shops. They address people who park their cars illegally, throw litter on the street or make a lot of noise. Each day they also mop down the doorways of the coffee shops’ neighbours, pick up cigarette buts and empty cans.

A spokesperson for the Amsterdam police says: It has improved the quality of life in the neighbourhood, our local police officer has nothing but praise for the initiative”. Even the manager of the local day care centre is enthusiastic: It’s never been this clean before here in the playground. We have a fingerprint reader for parents which was always being demolished by problem youths, but there hasn’t been a single incident since the boys from the coffee shop arrived”.

The general improvement in the area is also the result of BG Groep’s special approach to problem youths. Owner Martin Jansen says: You can put some Hell’s Angels or bouncers out on the street, but that won’t work. It’s all about approaching boys the right way, it’s about saying hi and having a chat. These days people are afraid to talk to somebody or they go about it the wrong way around. You need to take it easy, like ‘Hey bud, could you please go stand somewhere else, there’s kids here trying to get some sleep’, and then you’ll get a normal answer”.

Yep everybody must get stoned.)!

Day Opening - November 24


This morning in Friesland, the Netherlands.