Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dutch election and the Turkey factor

The Dutch tax department is allowed to send information in Turkish and many other languages, politicians may only use Dutch. And that has to stay so!
Can you distribute brochures in Turkish asking voters to elect a candidate of Turkish descent to the town council? Former Dutch minister for Integration van der Laan says it is not permissible because it goes against the principle that immigrants should become part of Dutch society. Some ethnic candidates disagree, saying their message will not reach many citizens.
Turkish and Chinese-language election campaign literature for the Dutch municipal elections tomorrow has sparked controversy in the Netherlands. As a result, a number of parties have banned further distribution of the flyers two weeks ago. Demissionair Minister Van der Laan says they sent “the wrong signal”. He says Turkish-language flyers contradict the process of integration and that the campaign should be conducted in Dutch only.
The Christian Democrat candidate of Turkish descent, Mahmut Yazici, distributed a bilingual flyer in Deventer, where some 3,000 first-generation Turks speak little or no Dutch after 40 years. The Christian Democrats have always distributed literature in both Dutch and Turkish according him.
"I always distribute bilingual folders with the same information in Dutch and Turkish. Otherwise, the older generation will have no idea of what I am saying. I want to get people to vote. I do it in Turkish so that my message is understood.”
He forget here to mention that candidates like him often tell a different story in Turks than in Dutch. And more important, he is manipulating potential voters…other parties don’t have flyers in Turkish so these potential voters don’t understand where they are voting for.
But H. Entzinger, a professor of migration and integration studies at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University, finds the commotion lately about the flyers ambiguous and contradictory. Political parties make a lot of effort to get the immigrant vote. Four years ago, the Labour Party owed much of its success in Rotterdam to voters from the immigrant community. However two weeks ago the same party removed election posters praising a candidate in Turkish.
"Many times the vote of the immigrant community has been the decisive factor. And in spite of all the efforts made to integrate immigrants, there are still many older people who do not speak and understand Dutch that well,” says Professor Entzinger. “That is something we have inherited (from past and current policies) and with which we will have to live for a while. Recognise this. And don’t be so childish about it.”
Christian Democrat, Mahmut Yazici (a Muslim himself) pointed two weeks ago out that government authorities in the Netherlands use bilingual flyers. There are flyers from the tax authorities, against household violence and brochures from municipalities. Mr Yazici thinks the discussion has become absurd:
''During meetings of the town council I hear politicians use English words all the time. Even the alderman. They should stop doing this. For them English is not a problem, but Turkish is. If we are going to be fair, then everyone should speak correct Dutch.”
This is of course absurd. First of all the Dutch government don’t provide bilingual but multi lingual information on local and government level. Even in Portuguese, Chinese and Greek. Not only English. Secondly, the Dutch language is full of Anglicism, Germanic and Franco words, probably he is not aware of this. And btw the Turkish language is full of French words as well. And thirdly, Mr. Yazici is not representing a party but a group according ethnic lines, that of him. And lastly, the voters, all of them have the right to know what candidates are promising and Turkish is not a common language in the Netherlands neither in the world while in the world regarding knowledge of foreign language Holland scores with 3.6 foreign languages average no. 1). And there are more than 160 different nationalities living in the Netherlands. More than 10% of the citizens in Amsterdam are speaking English as their native language. And not one word of discomfort from them!
Shall we talk now about the annihilation and assimilation policies of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish republic of the last 400 years? Talking how Jews, Christians, Armenians, Greek Orthodox etc. are marginalized in their homelands? Ripped off their languages, cultural traditions, their possessions, their identities? No. I take a break.

Quotes on Amsterdam

“You don't love Amsterdam... Amsterdam loves you.”
~ Jesus on Amsterdam

“I went to Amsterdam and all I remember are Red Lights.”
~ Barack Obama on Amsterdam

“I had sex in Amsterdam”
~ Bill Gates on Amsterdam

“Amsterdam is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
~ Benjamin Franklin on Amsterdam

“I don't know what he was smoking when he said that, but it must have come from Amsterdam.”
~ Oscar Wilde on Benjamin Franklin

Day Opening - March 2

Tea house of Zeist Castle, Zeist, the Netherlands

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tea Party prominent Tom Tancredo : Palin not presidential!

An interesting interview with Tom Tancredo.

Former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo was the opening speaker at the recent Tea Party conference with Sarah Palin. In an interview with the Dutch newspaperNRC Handelsblad, he spoke his mind about Palin. "I really don’t have this feeling about her as being presidential.’’ He referred to John McCain as a “nasty, mean’’ and “peculiarly unstable’’ man. Moreover, Tancredo pointed to a possible personal embarrassment: if Tea Party activists would find out he actually voted for the bailout of the financial sector in 2008, he concedes he would loose his credibility.
As a Republican congressman from Colorado, Tom Tancredo became well-known for his hard-line opposition to illegal immigration. Last year, the 65-year-old retired from the House of Representatives after a decade. Meanwhile, the country shifted to the left during his prospectless bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Moderate John McCain won the primaries, Barack Obama became president and there seemed to be no place left for Tancredo in national politics. But now he has made his way back into the limelight as one of the faces of the Tea Party movement.

More herreeeee

National Compliment Day celebrated in the Netherlands

"Don't be stingy, pat a colleague on the back, its National Compliment Day," headlines of a daily Dutch newspaper to highlight the eighth edition of compliment day and Hans Poortvliet tells: "I started it because "the Dutch are rather sparing with compliments". Exactly!
Mr Poortvliet, who also has a website full of handy tips and advice for the folks who don’t know how to pay a compliment, stated that it is part of the Dutch nature and culture not to show one's appreciation but "sometimes it's really nice to hear that you're doing a good job".
He warns, "watch out, a compliment only works if it's meant," adding, "the manager who suddenly pops up and start paying random compliments shouldn't be surprised if people regard him with suspicion or amazement". And isn't that sad...
Welcome to the Netherlands!
(on the picture Hans Poortviet - blue shirt, without tie - opens the Dutch stock exchange this morning and waits for a compliment)

Day Opening - March 1

Parc, Madrid, at night.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Turkey kicked out of Euro soccer

Turkey's top soccer teams are the mobs of Fenerbahçe and the Gentlemen of Galatasaray. However, it is known by the fans of Galatasaray that all Turks are born Galatasaray fans and die Fenerbahçe fans; it is sometimes due to mental problems that they suddenly start supporting one of the other teams. During the past few years, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray have alternated between the top two spots in the Turkish soccer league. However, there is a conspiracy that a third team, supported by male truck drivers with big-mustaches, exists as well. This team, known to these people as Beşiktaş, has shaken the the overall ranks of the Turkish soccer league. A common example of a Beşiktaş player is Rüştü, the man who proved himself incapable of saving goals and proved himself able to drag the Turkish national soccer team to defeat in Euro 2008. On the other hand, back when Rüştü was part of Fenerbahçe in 2002, his mastery of saving goals made many consider him the main reason for the 3rd place Turkish victory.
However, since both Fenerbahce and Galatasaray are now under control by foreigners, they might have a chance to dig in deep shit in their opponents of EURO 2012  - somewhere in the rural areas of a former colony Ukraine - Germany and Austria are planning to kick Turkey out of Europe forever.
And of course, the yabanchi's in Istanbul will be blamed for that. Take notice about this posting Bey's!
See Ya in 2012!

Fenerbahce, here we come!

A typical Fenerbahce fan!

#Statement 32

It’s easier to mix races than to blend religions.

Day Opening - February 28

Rumelin (Greek) Castle, Istanbul, Turkey

Friday, February 26, 2010

Quirky Clowntography

From Istanbul, Turkey, Yigit Gunel is a
professional photographer who also specializes in photographic manipulation. Creating a freak show world, Clowns just got a little freakier with Yigit Gunel’s interesting photography portfolio. Taking advantage of technology, he has manipulated his images in a unique and quirky way.Check out his images and click on them to enlarge them.I’m sure you’ll find them as entertaining as I did.
source: trendhunter

Day Opening - February 26

Adana, landscape, Turkey

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dutch wants to kick Greece out the Euro zone

A majority of Dutch people want Greece to withdraw (simple Kick Out) from the eurozone according to an opinion poll conducted by regional newspapers. The poll found that 55 percent of respondents agreed that if the size of a country's debt was to endanger the value of the euro, then that country should be forced to withdraw from the eurozone.The poll says the vast majority of respondents were happy with the euro; just 35 percent said they wanted to return to the guilder. When the euro was introduced in 2002, most people wanted to keep the guilder.
No solidarity?!

Day Opening - February 25

The region of Cappadocia (Capadokya) in central Turkey

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You thing this is bad? This ain't so bad

It's that cosmic time in the universe again, boys and girls, ladies and gentleman, Tuesday after lunch, and your mission, should you choose to ignore other less important tasks in your meaningless lives, is to leave a comment here or at Internation Musings with your list of the ten most important things that 9/11 changed from among all the millions and billions of things that changed everything implies.

What??? You don't think that 9/11 changed everything? What are you, terrorists?

And you don't get credit for suggesting that everyone now knows that the CIA assassinated the father of famed Chilean novelist Isabel Allende on that day in 1973, inspiring generations of freedom fighters around the world to conduct and accomplish missions on that date to commemorate one father of South American literature.

Oh, when will we have a day to remember Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Whoever the fuck he is. Sounds like some dipshit needs to be subjected to extreme interrogation methods, if you ask me. Depending on where you live, you can quote me on that. Or not.

Read the rest of the story here...

Day Opening - February 24

Galata Tower, Istanbul

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Answer on religion

I am more than only stardust, I am from the stars and can see myself reflected in the overwhelming love the eternity we're living in.

Amsterdam, the International city

Amsterdam had the honour of welcoming over 100 foreign companies last year, according to the Amsterdam city authorties. Eighteen of these businesses have even made the Dutch capital their European headquarters. The newly arrived enterprises, 105 in total, have created 12,055 jobs.

The city is now home to 19,000 international firms, and nearly 17 percent of all workers in the Amsterdam area are employed by an international company.
Most new companies are technology firms. Other sectors well represented amongst the newcomers are creative enterprises and business service companies.
More than 10% of the citizens of Amsterdam are native English speaking people.
(no election posters in English yet in la Hollanda)

Day Opening - February 23


Monday, February 22, 2010

Escaped convict Saban B. caught

The convicted criminal Şaban Baran has been caught by the police in Antalya on the 22nd of February. Baran, who escaped last year in The Netherlands during a leave to visit his newly born child, fled to Antalya, where he was discovered to run a nightclub.
There's little chance he will be extradited, because Turkey doesn't turn out its own citizens.
In Turkey Baran is suspected of extortion. He will probably be also accused of money laundering, money earned by human trafficking.

Luckily he's caught before the summer season has started, so he won't be able to recruit new victims for his criminal activities.

Day Opening - February 22

Installation by Doris Salcedo in Istanbul
Click on picture to enlarge.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Holland; time for a new government!

Today we had, several Dutchies in Istanbul, a discussion about what happened last night in the Netherlands; the collapse of the Dutch government. Personally I think this is the right choice since many people are unhappy how the Netherlands is governed under Balkenende. And yes new elections means probably also a new government aka a new coalition. Some here in Turkey opted for a strong left wing government, others for a right wing one. My opinion? Simple, get rid of the Christian Democrats since religion must stay out of politics. That’s the first move to make and the second one is to minimalize – not to small since we need them - the PvdA (Labor Party) since they are not a Labor party anymore. They like to create 1000 and 1 little polit buro’s and love to spent money what other people earn. So, I opted for a D66 (social liberals - my party since 1977), VVD (conservative liberals) and the PvdA. With D66 and PvdA you don’t alienate yourself from large groups of the society and with the VVD you can satisfy the other part of the society and guarantees you that the street terrorists of mainly Moroc origin get busted (and I don’t give a dam shit if they are Muslims or not). And with the VVD you keep the right wing PVV out the government and maybe in the near future no reason to exist anymore. These three parties worked perfectly together between 1994 – 2002. Why not now?

Day Opening - February 20

All and all the dry worlds lever,
Stage of the ice, the solid ocean,
All from the oil, the pound of lava.

All of the flesh, the dry worlds lever.

-Dylan Thomas

Friday, February 19, 2010

God is not so great

I have been remiss in my duties as a co-blogger at Internation Musings, where it is my job to explain to roughly 95% of the idiots on this planet why the less than 5% of which I am an integral part by an accident of birth are still number one. How can that be? Because there is no justice, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Everything that anyone in position of authorities says is horse exhaust.

I had fully intended to post every week on Tuesday, shortly after lunch, but I haven't worn a watch since the mid-sixties and all the electronic gadgets in the house are always blinking 12:00, and if it wasn't for Hans occasionally sending e-mails asking whether I'm dead yet, I probably wouldn't be writing this post.

Read the rest of this sorry state of affairs here...

Day Opening - February 19

Karpathos, Greece

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....)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fear Rules; Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

According this message of Radio the Netherlands worldwide, fear rules;

A conference centre in The Hague has cancelled the launch of a book criticising Islam. The book launch was scheduled for Thursday at The World Forum, but was cancelled because the director of the venue does not believe he can guarantee the safety of his guests (and the guests are by invitation only). The book in question is Islamofobie? (Islamophobia?), written by Islam critic and PVV supporter Frans Groenendijk. The PVV, or Freedom Party is an anti-Islamic opposition party led by Geert Wilders. Green Left party member Tofik Dibi (a Muslim himself), who was to receive the first book at the launch, says he regrets that the conference centre acted out of fear. The venue says it has not received any threats but acted obvious out of fear.

But lets talks now about the difference between Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and I want to make that statement: 'Where Anti-Semitism is completely institutionalized these days in countries of the Middle East and is pure based upon hate of Jews, Islamophobia sets no preconception of hatred feeling, but it is the fear for Islam, which is not motivated exactly the way as the fear for nature crashes, but by perception. It are the pictures of 9/11, of Madrid, London and Bali. It are the speeches of ayatollah Khomeiny and the actions of Mahmoud Ahmadinezjad, the programs of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Moslem brotherhood, the video of the perpetrators of suicide attacks, the lapidating of women and the hanging of homosexuals. It are the horrible human, women, children rights records in all of the 51 nations of the Organization of Islamic States. It is the fatwa against Salman Rushdie and it are the protests against the Mohammed cartoons, it is the statement that Islam is peace and that Jihad means ‘inner effort’, whereas the Qur’an proves the opposite and so do the Jihadists. Islamofobia have therefore to do with experiences and perception. Thereby plays no role that only a minority of the Moslems brings the Islam in disparagement as long as the peaceful majority is not able the silence the minority by actions such as fatwa’s against all above. Maybe the majority is frightened for the impact of a polemic when doings so and that also means practicing Islamohobia!

Day Opening - February 16


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Turkey's nationalism

True secularism does not mean just any secularism. It means secularism that protects individual freedoms and rights, not the ultra-nationalist kind that breeds an environment in which Adolf Hitler's “Mein Kampf” is a bestseller, the Armenian 'genocide' is denied and minorities are persecuted. Hrant Dink, the Armenian editor, was murdered by such a nationalist. It is this mix of virulent nationalism and predatory Islam in Turkey that makes the challenge for Turkish secular liberals greater than for any other liberal movement today!
Take notice!

Day Opening - February 14

Opening Vancouver 2010.

One of the songs played of my all time favorites: Leonard Cohen:

His song: Hallelujah;

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this

The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah


Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch

Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard

The holy or the broken Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The world according Soner Çağaptay - Part 2

Yesterday I wrote something about Mr. Soner his idiotry. Today I will go in detail. Part 2 of the Love story between Mr. Soner and Hans Bey.

MR. Soner: European secularism, or laïcité, practiced in France and other European countries, is distinct from American secularism. While the United States is secular, providing for freedom of religion in education and politics, European societies are laïque, providing for freedom from religion in education and politics.

Hans Bey: Two faults Herr Soner and one very disturbing conclusion. Laïcité is only practiced in France, Brazil and someway, somehow in Belgium. It’s not written down in any constitution of one of the European states. That’s the first mistake. The second one is that America is secular. That’s not true. You will find God’s word on every USA coin, banknote and in every USA institution you can find: ‘In God we Trust!’ And that’s not Allah. And that doesn’t sound laiscism to me. Your conclusion that Europeans are laique is because your bad understand of the  French language. Laïque means: no interference of the state in religion and no interference of religion in state affairs and that happens in most European states. And each country to a certain degree are facilitators, not providers of religion in education and politics. I think that you simple missed the Greco-Roman tradition (always asking why, how, what) of the European educational system with your egocentric statistic Turkish vision of the world. You project your view on 500 million of people if they are idiots. I think you are.

MR Soner: Secularism, however, is not a standardized concept and varies from country to country. Turkey presents an example of such secular variation within Europe. Today, as European countries struggle to delineate the boundaries between Islam, education and politics, Turkey’s distinct brand of secularism is attracting a lot of attention. In fact, it is fast becoming Turkey’s newest export to Europe.

Hans Bey:  the State of Turkey interferes in religious education and the Turkish religion (Muslim) interferes in Turkish politics. How can you explain why Turkey holds the seat of Secretary General of The OIC, the Organization of Islamic countries? And based its foreign policy upon the ‘brotherhood’ between those members such as Iran, Sudan, RSA and other notorious violators of the human rights? Turkey’s concept of secularism, or rather Your concept of Turkish secularism is not wanted in Europe: the Diyanet is not wanted since it’s a Turkish state institution which wants to control each and every citizen in Europe which has 1% Turkish blood in their veins to secure that they will be good Muslims. I call this religious racism Mr. Soner!

Tomorrow more.

#Statement 31

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love. --Washington Irving

Day Opening - February 13

Carnival in Venice

Friday, February 12, 2010

The world according Soner Çağaptay

Some of you may understand by now that I cannot keep my mouth shut, especially when people are Talking Nonsense and get away with their deliberations. One of them is Herr Soner Çağaptay; a guy who is able to rationalize his hallucinations and wet dreams to become the first President of the incorporated Turco-Europe, with the accent on’Turkco’.
For you to find the (at least) 10 historical mistakes of the evangelical thoughts of this twisted Kemalist mind in his last epistel. Hallelujah.
My nephew of 17 came to 11 faults.
Go ahead Der Schöne Lieden!

World Press Photo 2009

The results of the 53rd annual World Press Photo Contest were announced on Friday during a press conference at Amsterdam City Hall.

The international jury has selected a photo by the Italian photographer Pietro Masturzo as the World Press Photo of the Year 2009. The picture depicts women shouting in protest from a rooftop in Tehran on 24 June.
The winning photograph is part of a story depicting the nights following the contested presidential elections in Iran, when people shouted their dissent from roofs and balconies, after daytime protests in the streets. The story as a whole was awarded first prize in the category People in the News.
The first exhibition with the award-winning images will be open to the public at the Oude Kerk, Oudekerksplein in Amsterdam on Friday, 23 April 2010. This exhibition will be on show until 20 June 2010 and will subsequently travel to some 100 cities in 45 different countries around the world, including Istanbul.

Day Opening - February 12

The Binnenhof (Dutch, literally "inner court"), is a complex of buildings in The Hague. It has been the location of meetings of the Staten-Generaal, the Dutch parliament, since 1446, and has been the centre of Dutch politics for many centuries.
The grounds on which the Binnenhof now stands were purchased by Count Floris IV of Holland in 1229, where he built his mansion, next to the little lake that has been called Hofvijver or 'Court Pond' since the 13th century. More buildings were constructed around the court, several of which are well known in their own right, such as the Ridderzaal (Great hall; literally Knight's Hall), where the queen holds her annual speech at Prinsjesdag.
The Hague is also the de facto judicial capital of the United Nations, being the location of its primary judicial institutions

Thursday, February 11, 2010


After the well introduced Dr. Faust, who will gets his Picture framed here on the sidebar, another new co-blogger will join Internations: Mr. Osman. A Dutch of Turkish descent; Turkish-Dutch or Dutch-Turkish? I don’t know where he’s born but soon you will find out. My favorite word of 2009 is the word ‘husbanned’, created by Osman and now included in the Urban Dictionary here. I love his irony and he loves my Dutch grammar since he’s correcting it all the time and offered me an ‘inburgering course (how to adapt to Dutch society) to the Dutch social order’. No Thanks.

I also included two other blogs to the blogroll of Internations: a Nomadic View – and Expat in Izmir Turkey whose blog I know for years but forgot always to put on the blogroll here and Orangesplaash, of an Indian expat in the Netherlands. Enjoy!

Pictures of Dr. Faust and Mr. Osman on the side bar...

I was passed out drunk...

I know, I know. I made a commitment to post weekly Tuesday after lunch, and I should live up to that commitment, but sometimes I just can't.

When I was a teenager I never expected to live to 20. At 20, 25 seemed totally improbable, and here I am heading toward 64 with nothing between me and my death except you. Well, aren't you special?

I went to see Crazy Heart yesterday with Mrs. Faustroll after physical therapy to get my leg back to where I can kick at arresting officers to provoke them to do the kinds of things my tax dollar pay for, and for the first 10 minutes or so, I was enchanted. There were lots of inside jokes and when Bad put his cigarette out in the shot glass, I really was pulling to see something worth wasting 90 minutes of my ludicrous life on.

The rest of the film sucked. Bridges was great. Maggie was great (in five or six different roles that were supposed to be a single character), the kid was great, Colin Farrell was great, the photography was great, and Robert Duvall was as bad as he has been since Tender Mercies, but that's not what I'm writing about.

Nothing that I write about is ever what I am writing about, but you already know that. Tonight I am farting and huge noxious brown clouds of philosophy are blotting out the sun, and you really should appreciate that you are not here, while I am thinking about how retards should henceforth be considered intellectually challenged.

Read my whole post here.

Day Opening - February 11

Fog in the mountains of Rize, Turkey - by Ahmet Naci

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The state of Freedom of Expression in Turkey

At least 9 newspapers were banned based on the Anti-Terror Act, 23 people were sentenced to 58 years imprisonment and fines summing up to 9,740 TL; 101 people were convicted of "attacks on personal rights", received prison sentence of 98 years in total and were sued for compensation claims of 1,408,680 TL. Journalist Cihan Hayırsevener was killed due to the state's indifference to violence.

47 people, 22 of them journalists, were prosecuted in 2009 under charges of "publishing pronouncements of terror organizations", "spreading propaganda for an illegal organization" or "revealing people struggling against terrorism as targets". 23 people were sentenced to 58 years imprisonment and monetary fines of 9,749 Turkish Lira (TL) (€ 4,640). However, this is a small number compared to 44 convicts and thus twice as many convictions under the TMY in 2008.
34 journalists among 101 Turkish citizens were sentenced to 98 years and five days imprisonment and compensation claims summing up to TL 1,408,680 (€ 670,800) under charges of "attacks on personal rights". Local courts in 2009 decreed for a total of nine years, three months and 6 days imprisonment and monetary fines of TL 41,290 (€ 19,660). In the previous year, 74 people received prison sentences of 77 years and faced compensation claims of TL 1,885,500.
21 people, six of them journalists, stood trial for "incitement to hatred and hostility"; 13 defendants were convicted, among them three journalists. They received a total of 16 years and seven months imprisonment.
cases were dismissed by the Ministry of Justice. The trial of author Temel Demirer is still pending. Ten activists from Eskişehir and radio journalist Sabri Ejder Öziç were acquitted. The Ministry of Justice has still not decided whether to pursue or dismiss the prosecutions of another 20 people.

The trials of 54 mayors of Democratic Society Party (DTP), which was closed down by the Constitutional Court in mid December, including four journalists, are pending under charges of "praising criminals".
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) convicted Turkey to a total fine of TL 472,392 (€ 225,000) in compensation. In the previous year, this amount added up to TL 183,801 (€ 87,525). 11,100 complaint files concerned with Turkey are currently waiting to be dealt with at the ECHR.
The following new applications were made to the ECHR in 2009: the Hrant Dink murder, publication bans imposed to Özgür Mezopotamya, Özgür Görüş, Rojev, Siyasi Alternatif and Süreç newspapers, Internet Technology Association (INETD) in regard to the ban of youtube.com, Birecik'in Sesi newspaper official Şevket Demir, Siirt Mücadele newspaper owner Cumhur Kılıççıoğlu, Cumhuriyet newspaper journalist Alper Turgut, Cevat Düşün from Alternatif newspaper, Vakit newspaper writer Abdurrahman Dilipak and Taraf newspaper journalist Orhan Miroğlu. (EÖ/VK)
More hereeee

On and off screen, drama in Turkish foreign relations (By Bram Vermeulen)

An episode of a popular Turkish soap opera has sparked diplomatic conflict with Israel.

By Bram Vermeulen in Istanbul for NRC.nl

Bahadir Özdener has never met the prime minister of Turkey. The screenwriter has never got a letter of gratitude from the governing AK party. Quite to the contrary: the government has censored one of his scenarios. Özdener swears the Turkish powers that be have nothing to do with the TV-series he is responsible for.

Nonetheless, Israel has shifted from being Turkey’s friend to being its enemy, both in the prime minister’s speeches and in the popular TV-series Kurtlar Vadesi or Valley of the Wolves simultaneously. Perhaps the two drew on the same “popular sentiment”, Özdener ventured. He has been the centre of attention since a single scene propelled the soap opera into the worldwide limelight a few days ago.

A recent episode featured a spy working for the Israeli secret service Mossad took a mother and her child hostage. The show’s hero, Turkish police officer Polat Alemdar saved the day by freeing the mother from brutish hands with a single shot. Blood gushing from the Mossad officer’s wounds dripped down, soiling the Star of David. An intentional reference to last year's Gaza war that caused a rift in the decades-old alliance between Turkey and Israel, the screenwriter confirmed.

A product of modern Turkey

Sitting in his office in the heart of the upscale Istanbul neighbourhood Nisantasi, Bahadir Özdener is surely a product of secular Turkey. He was dressed in a college sweater, flaunting a goatee and a distrustful and proud attitude towards the outside world. As a student, he attended lectures given by the current minister of foreign affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu, who taught international relations at the Marmara University in the 1990s. He said he ascribed to Davutoglu’s vision of a Turkey seeking closer ties with its neighbouring countries, from Armenia to Iran.
continue reading herreee

Day Opening - February 10

Even Fish do kiss

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

About Sharia and Honour killings in Turkey

It was because of Mustafa A. That I started publishing my opinion stories in Turkish Daily News, now Hürriyet Daily News. Yes, I already wrote for Turkish Weekly and thought that my second article, which was all about Perception of Turkey, was good enough to be published in Turkish Daily. And it was. You can read all those columns here.

Ö and I met with Mustafa since then several times. And I follow him about his writings. I must say, he’s still one of the few Turkish columnists with an original view. Not my view, but he is not so predictable as many other writers/columnists. Sometimes I agree, sometimes not. But at least, he’s open for discussion.

But lately, his columns became more ‘political Islam’ motivated! I know that he takes his religion serious, but on the other hand he describes himself as a free-lance Muslim; he’s not that devote at all in the orthodox sense but rather naïve about the impact of his writings these days.

His last column is all about the cruel killing of a 16 years young girl in SE Turkey. This took the attention of the international press. Instead of totally condemning this terrible happening, I read excuses between the lines of his article. Here my critic and I point to several statements:

1) MA: A 16-year-old girl was buried alive by her relatives simply for befriending boys. Forensic experts found soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that the poor kid was conscious while being buried into the ground. May God have mercy on her soul. And may her killers face punishment in this world and the next..

I don’t think that we must vent our anger about a person who commit a crime by saying; ‘I hope you get the punishment in this life and alter-life’. This reminds me about the Calvinistic and of so inhumane punishments of the middle Ages.

2) The problem is the topography of historical Kurdistan. It is a very mountainous region, which is inhospitable to trade routes, railways and highways. Hence its inhabitants have lived almost isolated from the outside world for centuries and have remained largely untouched by modernity. The same is also true for the ill-famed “tribal areas” of Pakistan, which is, again, very mountainous.

The problem is not topography but culture relativism. Do we see honor crimes in the Himalaya. By the Buddhist monks? In the inlands of Cambodia or Brazil? Do we see these honor crimes in remote areas of Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden?

3) Let me explain. Of course, Islam, like other Abraham religions, has laws and punishments about sexual morality. The Koran, for example, criminalizes adultery, and thus Islamic law, or the shariah, has developed a system of regulating how it will be penalized.

No, only Islam has a set of laws and punishments for these crimes. Only Islam has set of laws, neither Christianity nor Judaism. There are no set of books, like in Islam, how to punish people when they don’t obey religious rules. Only Islam and its Sharia.

4) Dr. Stefanie Eileen Nanes, another academic who studied honor killings in Jordan, agrees. “In fact, this practice predates Islam,” she notes, “and young men who commit these murders have been quoted as saying that in these cases, despite what Islam says, tradition is stronger than religion.” And if they don’t find themselves willing to do that, they should question whether they are, too, under the influence of the patriarchal codes of male-domination, rather than the Islamic norms of justice.

Islam preserved and inherits aged old and barbarian traditions very well, as the only religion, until today, the year 2010. And what shall we do now about people who ‘left Islam’, ‘who are gays’, ‘women who are suffering because genital mutilation’? Where are the fatwa’s against those crimes? Sharia deals with many things, including politics, economics, banking, business, contracts, family, sexuality, hygiene, and social issues.
In fact with my private life. In fact it deals how 'infidels' such as me must be treated. How arrogant!

Dear Mustafa, as long as you don’t stand up against these crimes against humanity, and I don’t hear a single woman calling for Sharia law, you will be my target of fair criticism. Sharia is non discussible. It's mediaval.

Day Opening - February 7

Picking up a friend for a walk.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

In spite of numbers, Dutch Muslim are political non-entity by By Brian van der Bol and Mark Hoogstad

Several Muslim parties will participate in Dutch municipal elections on March 3. But in spite of a sizable Muslim electorate, they have so far been unable to garner many votes.

By Brian van der Bol and Mark Hoogstad

The Islam Democrats (ID), represented by a single delegate in The Hague’s city council since 2006, wanted desperately to avoid a swift implosion, as has been the fate of some other young Dutch political parties in recent memory. They failed. The party fell prey to infighting and is now divided into two feuding camps. The party’s plans to participate in the upcoming municipal elections in Rotterdam, Utrecht, and other Dutch cities, have been put on hold.

Mohammed Rabbae, a former member of parliament for the Green party and currently chair of national organisation representing Moroccan interests, expressed his regrets over the schism. “More unity would be good,” he said. Two years ago, Rabbae still believed the ID would blossom into a stable, national political force representing Muslims. “These are people who operate within the limits of Dutch law, but are also able to give a voice to the Islamic community’s grievances. They have done well challenging the dominant stereotypes of Muslims,” Rabbae said.
The power struggle within the ID’s ranks came as no surprise to Rabbae however. “Sectarian and personal interests are often paramount in Islamic movements,” Rabbae said, citing the lack of a “uniting leader” and an established base as contributing factors.

The Netherlands is home to some 825,000 Muslims, according to government statistics, accounting for five percent of the population. In cities like The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, approximately one in ten residents adhere to the Muslim faith. This makes the electoral potential for Islamic parties significant. But while populist Geert Wilders gathers much of his support by scolding Muslims in the Netherlands, parties that want to unite them are yet to find their constituency.

Rabbae said the Dutch Muslim Party (NMP), led by Henny Kreeft, a former member of the assassinated Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn’s political party, suffered the same problems as the ID. The NMP will participate in seven municipal elections in March, including those in Rotterdam and The Hague. The party will try to appeal to the same narrow slice of the electorate the ID hopes to sway. Talks between the NMP and ID last year yielded no results however. Both parties cannot even agree on why the talks failed.

In The Hague, a city of almost 500,000, a grand total of three Muslim parties will now be participate in local elections. Still, NMP leader Kreeft denies his community is divided. The Netherlands is also home to a multitude of Christian parties, he pointed out. “Would you ask them the same question?” Kreeft wondered. In Rotterdam, with 600,000 people including approximately 30,000 Muslims who can vote, Kreeft’s NMP will be the only Muslim party to partake in the March 3 elections.

‘No Turk will vote for a Morrocan’
Theo Coskun, who leads the Socialist Party in the Rotterdam city council, thinks little of the electoral threat posed by the NMP. “No Turks will vote for a Moroccan. The opposite is even less likely,” he said. Coskun used to go by the typically Dutch surname of Cornelissen, until he married a Turkish-Dutch woman 14 months ago and adopted her last name. Coskun knows Rotterdam’s Muslim community well – a sizable one in a town where 48 percent of the population is of foreign descent. He thinks the NMP will meet the same fate as another Muslim party, the Islamic Party Netherlands, that participated in the last municipal elections and failed to gain even a single seat. In 2006, the IPN got a measly 626 votes, 0.2 percent of all ballots cast.

Coskun likes to put the potential voting figures into what he feels is proper perspective. “A lot of people who call themselves ‘Muslim’ are very secular,” he said. According to Rabbae, himself still a member of the Green party, most Muslims prefer established political parties.

Muslim reluctance to support Islamic parties is often explained by the poor track record Muslim parties have in their countries of origin. Rabbae understands fears that some Muslim immigrants may have, but also referred to the Turkish AK party "that operates well within the limits of established law” he said.
Even though Muslim parties have drawn little support so far, their members believe they can address legitimate political concerns. NMP-founder Henny Kreeft, for instance, feels that Muslim interests are not sufficiently spoken for within existing parties. Muslim politicians needed to “confirm to political profiles” within established parties, he Kreeft said.
Alaattin Erdal, who will lead the Christian democratic CDA in one of Rotterdam's boroughs said Muslims voters like casting their ballots for established parties candidates. They do, however , prefer choosing candidates of shared ethnicity. “Their vote carries more weight that way. Muslims are not looking to be marginalised politically by voting for marginal parties,” Erdal said.

Disappointed by the establishment

Some politicians are on the fence. Abdelhafid Bouzidi, for instance, who led a national committee last year in support of the controversial Muslim philosopher Tariq Ramadan. Both the Green party and left-wing liberal D66 have offered him a prospective seat on their Rotterdam delegations since. Bouzidi (31) did not take them up on the offer. He is still uncertain what type of political party he should join. “In essence, I fit in well with existing parties. But I have been somewhat disappointed by them. And I am not the only one,” he said.

Bouzidi felt most offended by Ramadan’s dismissal. Ramadan served the local government in an advisory capacity but was fired after his involvement in an Iranian government-funded TV-programme became public. Parties across the political spectrum, including Labour, Greens and Christian democrats, came out in favour of Ramadan’s dismissal. “Still, my gut says the time is not yet ripe for a Muslim party,” Bouzidi said. Ironically, Ramadan has come out saying he doesn't feel Muslim's should isolate themselves in separate political parties.
Still, Rabbae feels a a political party based on Islam would do much to enrich the Dutch political landscape. “Muslims are still feared in the Netherlands, and these feelings are stoked by people like Wilders. It would not hurt if Muslims went on the offensive and demonstrated that it is possible to be both a democrat and a Muslim,” he said.

Statement #31

The birth of a child is an ordinairy Miracle

Day Opening - February 6

Pure Love

Friday, February 5, 2010

Religious tolerance in the Netherlands...

The Netherlands is still living up to its age-old reputation for religious tolerance. A protestant church in Zeeland has ruled that one of its ministers, Klaas Hendrikse, can continue to preach even though he’s been labelled “an atheist”. An internal inquiry was ordered after conservative church members balked at the minister’s publication of a book entitled Believing in a God that doesn’t exist in which he argued that God does not exist but “happens”.

Tension mounted within the church, with the minister refusing to defend himself at a local session because he no longer wished to be branded “a suspect”. The church has now concluded that the minister’s words do not damage the foundation of the church and “can be seen as part of the theological debate”. It looks as if they haven’t entirely succeeded in papering over the cracks, however. The offending minister himself responds by saying “If my view is allowed, then there’s something wrong with the foundations of the church.”

#Statement 30

The apocalypse means: 'Lifting the Veil'!

Day Opening - February 5

Just another castle in Europe: by Gennadi Jurshevich