Thursday, February 18, 2010


Last year March, freshly arrived in Turkey at the beginning of my big adventure, I got in the middle of the turmoil of local elections. One year later, I'm faced again with local elections, this time in Holland. Time to compare the differences and similarities between my father- and motherland.
The weeks prior to E-day on the 29th of March 2009 could best be described as silly season. I temporarily set camp at the summer house of my parents about 50 km east of Antalya in order to find an apartment in the city soon. Imagine a tatil köy at the beginning of spring season, chilly, deserted, with only a couple of houses occupied by oldtimers who fled the icy winter of Ankara. So all in all, there were about 50 people in the neighbourhood. The next village is about 5 kilometres away from this remote area. Still, every day, enthusiasts from the village were driving up and down the streets with minibuses, pickup trucks and sometimes tour buses, covered with flags and with huge speakers mounted on the roofs, spreading the word that their candidate was the right choice, accompanied with music from tapes that barely survived the 80s. I was not able to have a proper conversation on the phone when such a vehicle passed by, so I wondered whether these guys were seriously bored to drive around uselessly or that they just wanted to piss me off so much that I wouldn't vote for their candidate, because the campaign was too much in my face...
I was relieved that all this frenzy was over on the 30th of March.

Now it's about a year later and the same kind of circus is making its way to achieve great electoral success on the 3rd of March in The Netherlands. This time it's another kind of ridiculous campaigning. Reading the news paper, watching the television; not one moment goes by without being remembered of how important it is to vote for this or that local party.

Fortunately (what's in a word?) no mobile discos driving around, but media taking the advantage of mocking the parties, because that's the only news value these elections seem to have.
Let me give you some examples; our great peroxide haired saviour is only represented in two cities in Holland, of which The Hague coincidentally is one, so a bunch of retarded copycats in other cities and villages took the opportunity and copied his election program (which is basically "kick out all Islamic foreigners") and used the name of his party, of which he, morally correct as he is, dissociates himself from.

Another one is the utter humiliation of Mariëtte Hamer, front woman of the national Labour Party (PvdA) in the Parliament, by party leader and Vice PM Wouter Bos. He chose to represent his party at the latest television debate, while all other parties, including the party of the Prime Minister, sent their front Member of Parliament.

The last example is in my opinion the most hilarious of them all; the local division of the Liberal Party in one of the northern provinces duplicated a nude picture of Carla Bruni (correct, that's Mrs. Sarkozy) to use on their campaign poster!!! Although the party denies it, the resemblance is quite obvious... And they declare that they're not worried of any legal actions from France (they surely don't follow the press!).
Completely irrelevant matters dominate the media these days, parties draw attention in a way people with a decent amount of brains dislike most (which could mean that the mass has a lack of brains of course). I conclude that the 'e' in election stands for 'entertaining'.
Hear Hear! The Roman kind of democracy is back, bread and games for the people, this time in the modern e-ra. Mediacrity with a capital M.

I'm looking forward to the deafening silence of the 4th of March.

Day Opening - February 18

Just for fun.

First Rijkaard now Hiddink; maybe Turkey needs our Queen too?

Dutch Guus Hiddink will take over as coach of the Turkish national team by August 1, the Turkish football federation said in a statement on Wednesday. Hiddink, who previously coached the Netherlands, South Korea and Australia, stepped down as Russia's manager last week. Hiddinks is one of the most respected managers in world football and had been in charge of Russia since 2006, taking them to the semi-finals at Euro 2008 but failing to qualifying for this year's World Cup finals in South Africa.
There was talk of Hiddink going to South Africa with either North Korea, Nigeria or Ivory Coast. All those countries vied for his hand as soon as he announced he would leave Russia. But Hiddink met with Turkish football federation officials in Amsterdam on Tuesday and signed a two-year contract with an option of extending it for another two. The 63-year-old, who spent a short while in Turkey in 1990 coaching Fenerbahce, replaces Fatih Terim who stepped down last October. Dutch former footballer Pierre van Hooijdonk, who played for Fenerbahce between 2003 and 2005, has offered to be as Hiddink's assistant.
Good, the Dutch will take control first of their soccer teams...the rest folllows....)