Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Q1

90 days, 13 weeks, 3 months, 1 quarter...
Common in companies with shareholders, less at blogs, let's reflect on the results of the first quarter of 2010, you're invited to share your news facts of the last three month period.

Is it Obama and his Public Health Assurance Act? Is it the shameful history of the Catholic Church which was revealed internationally, including claims that the old guy in the Vatican was involved, which led to some strange clerical reactions.

Is it the mad winter in Holland as well as in Istanbul with a long period of snow? Or a natural disaster of a totally different league: the earthquake Haiti?

Is it Canada winning most medals at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, including the prestigious hockey gold medal? Or the blunder of the Dutch speed skating coach that messed up the golden race for his protege Sven Kramer at the 10k race?

And before you think "Hey, where's the most important and entertaining thing in this world? Politics", is the most important news coming from Kopenhagen, The Hague or Paris? Environmental failure, political tragedy or the loss of credibility of Sarkozy?

I could go on and on, but I'll leave it to you all.
Personal opinions are welcome.

The Dutch variant of Big Brother

"Toilet camera surveillance is taking things too far", was the heading of a Dutch newspaper and asks a number of academics what they think of the news that Dutch Railways and Amsterdam's public transport service have been using security cameras to monitor behaviour in their toilets. Dutch Railways has installed cameras to find ways of improving toilet hygiene, while in Amsterdam, cameras have been used to track down a public transport worker who was writing death threats on the walls of the staff toilet. Professors at Tilburg University slam the measures as "the most far-reaching form of camera surveillance imaginable", "unacceptably naive" and "out of all proportion". They muster some sympathy for the use of cameras to catch the malicious vandal in Amsterdam, but even then they warn the case would not hold up “if it went to the European Court of Human Rights".
All’s well that ends well. In the end, the public transport service has now removed its surveillance. It seems the cameras were causing greater unrest among the personnel than the death threats...understandable?:)!

Day Opening - March 31

Forgotten Jobs of Turkey: the Copper Master

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

add on add-ons for firefox

A while ago I gave you some add-on tips for Firefox. Some might be handy, others for a bit more security and privacy.

One I recently discovered is ghostry. This add-on shows which web sites are watching you. A blue little ghost on the bottom right of your browser alerts you about web bugs, ad networks and widgets. A box in the top right of your screen tells you which websites register your visit.

On Internations are four websites that note your visit. AddThis, Feedjit, Google Analytics and TwitterCounter.

Day Opening - March 30

Enamorado de la Luna
by LuisBeltrán

Monday, March 29, 2010

Some interesting facts about Azerbaijan

It is an emerging democracy with a benevolent and poetic leader Nezami Ganjavi who has ruled the country since independence in 1991. He speaks and writes in Persian but all Azeris still understand him.
Let's face it, no one knows anything about Azerbaijan other than that they love their minorities, especially the Azerbaijanis.
You see, at first Azerbaijan belonged to Iran. But then a few Azerbaijanis pissed off some Turkic tribes and they were all like "oh hell no bitch." So the Turkic tribes conquered Azerbaijan, forced their language on them and today the Azerdumbassbaijanis believe they are all real Turks from East Asia. Even today Azerbaijanis are all like "Wooo Turkish pride, our ancestors were killed and raped by the Turks but we love them all woooo!" Then some shit happened in the 19th century when Azerbaijan was ass-raped by the Russians and then again by the Soviets until 1918 when Azerbaijan's asshole was so widely gaped the Soviets were like "Screw this shit, it's like putting it in a exhaust pipe." So they gave them some fake country by the name of Azerbaijan. Note: at one point in time, Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, India, and America were all a part of Azerbaijani Turk land, but due to Persian fascism, this is now not the case. Did you know Julius Caesar, Nikola Telsa, Alexander of Macedon, Lenin and Einstein were all Azerbaijani tUuRkz?
Azerbaijanis are the most newest people of the world. They came to Azerbaijan in 1918, 5000 years after the great Armenians came. Azerbaijan has not forgotten the crimes of Armenians from Dinosaurs to organizing separatist lectures at Harvard, and has promised to slap every single Armenian on their ass before they die prompting Paris Hilton, to become Paris Hiltonian and move to Azerbaijan by 2015.
Azerbaijan is a country never heard before 1918. due to a forgery by Armenian terrorists who have censored Xenophon's book about his travelings in Azerbaijan.
While the silkworm industry was important in the colourful past during the construction of the Silk Road, petroleum is the country's future with petro-dollars flowing like lava into the country. Dubbed the new Saudi Arabia by the Dubai Post newspaper, Azerbaijan is preparing to amend its constitution so that Ganjavi will become the country's King to emulate his Saudi counterpart.
Azerbaijan is the most tolerant state in the world, and often uses its army to plant potatoes in alleged Armenian cemeteries. The potatoes are to prevent the Armenian dead from separatist claims, which president Nezami Ganjavi thinks is the best way to find solution for a conflict between Glendale and Azerbaijanaijan.
Premium-quality tents are being ordered from the West so that its nomadic peoples can have luxurious housing thanks to the petro-dollars. For the city dwellers, urban planners from Belarus are being brought in so that Baku and the country's other major cities can rival the lovely post-Soviet architectural splendour of Minsk. For the managerial and political classes, comfortable villas are being built with the expertise of architects from California. Thus, Azerbaijan will be sharing its wealth with its population, in accordance with their true needs.
These are good times ahead for the people of Azerbaijan. However, Azerbaijan has the dubious honour of having the highest rate of evil geniuses per 100,000 residents, in the world. In fact it has twelve times as many evil geniuses per 100,000 people than any other country. The next highest being the Federated States of Micronesia.
Azerbaijan is quite a sucessful country, and is used in famous culture. For example, there's a book based on this country, Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azerbaijan.
Source: uncyclopedia

Day Opening - March 29

First day of Spring in Denmark.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earth Hour

Earth Hour, Yesterday:
Via: thewestistheverybest

In need of new notions by CENGİZ AKTAR

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made the following statement March 19 regarding the polemic he himself started following his United Kingdom visit: “The words I uttered in London that I could deport people from Armenia [working] in my country and my remarks that we could consider this, were, and still are, exploited by both national and international circles malevolently; they removed the word ‘illegal.’”

Then while receiving artists, he repeated himself in detail.

These words clearly reveal the prime minister’s state of mind on such grave matters. First of all, illegal or not, if the issue is Armenians in Turkey, one must be very careful about the language as the matter is extremely sensitive and amply painful. Armenians were in Anatolia even before Turks, but now they are not. No matter how you name it, this is not normal. It is not an issue to be underestimated, not at all.

The prime minister’s words and explanations show that the he has no sensitivity on the subject matter. Millions in Turkey, including the prime minister, have been subjected to a 90-year-old denialist curriculum at schools on the annihilation of Anatolian Armenians. So if nobody knows anything today, it is in a way understandable, however unacceptable. But if the person refusing to hear different perspectives on the subject, face harsh facts or bully around is the prime minister of Turkey, then this is a very serious matter.
Continue reading herrreeee

Day Opening - March 28

true love

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Statement #33

''If Google is blocked, we will see nothing but darkness''
Chinese scientist Ma Yuance, on how Google's pullout from China will affects his research.

Day Opening - March 27

Easy Rider

Friday, March 26, 2010

Some thoughts about the child abuse by Catholic clergy

The historian Maarten van den Bos of the University of Amsterdam argues that celibacy is not the only explanation for child sex abuse at Roman Catholic boarding schools and seminaries in the 1950s and 1960s. "The finger is often pointed at celibacy as the determining factor, but that is too easy. Of course, celibacy will have played a role, but much more important is the under-reported fact that nearly all the accusations relate to boarding schools. The then prevalent power structures, the closed nature of these schools and the frequent contact between teachers and students are much stronger factors than celibacy. Abuse was also common at British boarding schools and in Scouting." Mr Van den Bos also points to the changing attitudes toward sexuality among Catholics in the 1950s. Extensive debates on sexuality were initiated in Catholic magazines, often arguing for a healthy sex life as part of the 'loving encounter' between spouses. "The changing mindset among Dutch Catholics in the 1950s had its effect on the value attached to priestly celibacy". The large number of men leaving the priesthood in the 1960s is believed to have been the result of changing social attitudes. Mr Van den Bos writes that the priests and monks in the Netherlands would have been aware of these developments, and argues for an examination of the role they played in the abuse scandal.

Former minister Wim Deetman, who was appointed by the Dutch bishops to chair a commission to investigate the abuse, has announced he will present a plan of inquiry. According to Mr Van den Bos, he would do well to choose a broad approach which would place the abuse in the wider context of how Dutch Catholics dealt with sexuality. "Such an approach would place the abuse at boarding schools in perspective and avoid the all-too-easy image of celibate men of God indulging their sexual urges on innocent children".

In my opinion this inquiry must extend to the systematically abuse of women and children by teachers, imams and other Muslem leaders in the Netherlands, for example the imam of the Hague Islamic cleric, whos radical views are even in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE unacceptable. Here an interview with the guy.

DUTCH INTERVIEW OF ISLAMIC CLERIC FAWAZ JNEID

Day Opening - March 26

La Flores, Argentina

Thursday, March 25, 2010

'It's time for Turkey to Snap out its Self-delusion'

An interesting article in Der Spiegel On line about Merkel upcoming visit to Turkey.
You can read it herrreeee

Day Opening - March 25

The eternal flames of the Chimaira (Turkey) - Olympos

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some interesting facts about Turkish Dutch in the Netherlands and more...

One interesting finding is that almost 60% of Turks think there are too many foreigners in the Netherlands.

Non-Western immigrants (mainly Turkish, Morocs) who live in 'black' neighborhoods, have less contact with ethnic Dutch than immigration who live in 'white' neighborhoods. That is the conclusion of the study 'Maakt de buurt verschil?'(Does the neighborhood make the difference?) by the Dutch Social and Cultural Planning Bureau (SCP). The report was presented today. The study was prepared for the Ministry of Housing and Integration.

According to the researchers, mixing ethnic Dutch and immigrations increases the chances for contact. The report also shows that education, language, employment and generation are important explanations for the existence of mutual contact.
More facts:
-The more non-Western immigrants the neighborhood has, the less contact immigrant residents have with ethnic Dutch. Ethnic Dutch in a 'black' neighborhood associate more with immigrants than ethnic Dutch who live in a 'white' neighborhood.
-The researchers say that 52% of ethnic Dutch never associate with non-Western immigrants for leisure activities. 35% of Turkish-Dutch, 29% of Moroccan-Dutch, 17% of Antillian-Dutch and 14% of Surinamese-Dutch never associate with ethnic Dutch out of work.

About 40% of the respondents of Turkish, Moroccan and Antillean origin and 33% of Surinamese-Dutch personally experienced discrimination (or feel excluded)
But also, about 40% of Turkish-Dutch and 35% of Moroccan-Dutch would oppose it if their children would choose an ethnic Dutch spouse. Surinamese and Antilleans don't think it's as bad, respectively 5% and 3% would make a point of it. 22% of the ethnic Dutch weren't charmed by the idea that their children would choose an immigrant partner.
Ethnic Dutch were least positive about Moroccan and Antillean Dutch [ed: both groups appear quite often in the news regarding crime]. On a scale of 0-100, Moroccans got 45 points, Antilleans 48, Turks 55 and Surinamese 58. Non-Western immigrants were in general more positive about ethnic Dutch.

58% of the Turks think that the Netherlands is full and should not accept more immigrants, compared to 44% of ethnic Dutch and about 33% of Moroccan, Surinamese and Antilleans who think there's too many foreigners.

On a study of 2 years ago:

The Hague: Too many foreigners

About 60% of city residents, regardless of ethnic background, think that the number of foreigners in the city is too high.

By Turks this feeling is greatest: 73% of Turks think that the number of foreigners in the city is too big. By Dutch 58% think so and by Moroccans and Surinamese 53%.
This according to a yearly survey of city residents by the municipality. The surveyors also checked how people felt about their own neighborhoods.

My question: who is simple dissatisfied or who is xenophop?
All sources are Dutch ones. Therefore no links.

Bodrum architecture

Gokhan Avcioglu is the architect behind this inventive house which can be found in Bodrum, Turkey. Featuring pools on top of the house, the design of the ‘Exploded House’ definitely stands out, but somehow appears like it fits perfectly among its surrounding environment.


Rainwater is collected and stored in the pool on the roof. The water then cascades from the roof onto another and is then circulated. This creates a natural cooling system for the hot climate in which the house is located.
Kudos to Ali Bekman and Ozlem Avcioglu for taking the amazing photographs of the domestic design wonder known as the ‘Exploded House.’

Through: trendhunter

Day Opening - March 24

Lake Van, Turkey

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The mark of McCain

As hard as it may seem to most of the world, last night the United States of the NOMF™ took its first little baby steps toward hunting down and rounding up terrorists in the insurance industry who are the direct descendants of trickle down necronomics, where the motto was "Don't worry. Urine, all the way." Or maybe it was "Don't worry. We're happy." Not that it matters.

Poor feeble-minded John, as opposed to bald-headed John from that classic Zappa tune, Dong Work for Yuda. Apparently, our living mush-headed hero McCain is suffering from post dramatic sleaze disorder, in which doomed Republicans gather together in cramped basement media entertainment centers to stroke each other's insignificant penises while dreaming of Olympia Snow and listening to the soundtrack from Lemmings.

I guess John is having second thoughts about having let Karl Rove talk him into putting Sairhead Sirhan Palin on the ticket to ensure that another spineless Democrat — who also conveniently happened to be shamelessly non-white — would be doomed to failure and humiliation as the result of inheriting eight years of fiscal, domestic, and foreign policy incompetence. Gee, I wonder what Sairhead is thinking about. She looks like her panty shield is leaking.


You can read the entire screed here.

Day Opening - March 23

De Keukenhof, the Netherlands, yesterday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ayaab Hirsi Ali wins prize

Ayaan Hirsi Ali wins orthodox Christian prize
Former Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali accepted an award in front of a spray-painted graffiti slogan reading “Say what you think”. Her audience wasn’t a hip-hop convention, but the youth wing of the Dutch ultra-orthodox protestant SGP party. And the prize they were awarding her was for “a person who is notably positive about Christianity”.

Ms Hirsi Ali is currently in the Netherlands promoting her new book Nomad, on a visit from the US, where she now lives in exile. “It’s odd that as a woman I should be receiving this prize,” she joked – the SGP famously bans women in their ranks from holding office. “What’s more, I’m an atheist!” she added.

However, the young Christians have read her book and reckon it shows she’s “realised that not all religions are the same”. Which presumably means they think she’s stopped having a go at religion in general and is now sticking to knocking Islam in particular. But Ms Hirsi Ali wasn’t going to be won over so easily, she took the young Christians to task for their party’s discrimination against women, gays and lesbians. Pronto!

Day Opening - March 22

Bergamo, Lonbardy, Italy

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gayrites in Turkey, but no Gay rights

When one senior member of PM Erdogan his government told the press that homosexuality was a disease; his PM didn't stopped her. Nope, they found a cure against 'gayrites'. And that means 'no human rights'. The PM of Turkey in all his wisdom,  knows how to deal with these 'pigs'. Not bad for an under educated streetfighter.
Alah Akbar your whollyyy Master!
I am sure you know how to deal with Jews, Budhhists, Hindus and at the end....with me.

Arash's World: Truth as a beautiful many-splendored Thing and the Importance of Being and Embodiment#links

Arash's World: Truth as a beautiful many-splendored Thing and the Importance of Being and Embodiment#links

Day Opening - March 21

Breakfast: bashful Walrus!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Online Islamic sex-shop opens for business in the Netherlands

This is a fun read - never heard about 'halal sex', enjoy:

The sex products Dutch Muslims used to bring back from the Middle East are now available online.


Abdelaziz Aouragh is a Muslim, lives in Amsterdam, and deals in sex articles. His webshop El Asira, which is for Muslims, will soon be selling Pure Power capsules which "heighten male performance, desire and pleasure", Desire capsules for women, sensual stimulators for him and her and lubricants based on cocoa butter, water or silicon. El Asira calls itself "the first Islamic online webshop for sex articles and care products". Its webshop should be open for business starting this weekend.

Continue reading herrreeee

Day Opening - March 20

Spring!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Confronting Genocide - Armenian Democide

About the Turkish Armenian Reconcilation Commission go here, its members here.

A note from one of its members last week:

''They, the members were chosen by the Turkish government and were in constant communication with the authorities in Ankara. They pushed for the independent study and when the study was concluded and they did not receive the answer they wanted, they disbanded TARC. Source: "Unsilencing the past: track two diplomacy and Turkish-Armenian reconciliation" By David L. Phillips
For the Turkish readers and others who repeatedly call for independent inquiry; well there was one down during TARC at the behest of Gunduz Aktan and the other Turkish members. They, the Turkisg governement, did not like the outcome and dissolved TARC. So basically Turkey will continually ask for new forums when they do not like the result. An independent inquiry has been done. "Turks and Armenians participating in the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission, requested a legal analysis on “the applicability of the Genocide Convention to Events during the early Twentieth Century.” The legal analysis employed a far more rigorous definition than Norman Stone who simply defines genocide as “the sort of thing Hitler did.” The crime of genocide has four elements — 1, The perpetrator killed one or more persons. 2, Such person or persons belonged to a particular national, racial or religious group. 3, The perpetrator intended to destroy in whole or in part that group, as such, and 4, The conduct took place as part of a manifest pattern of conduct. Since some Ottoman leaders knew that the deportation of Armenians from eastern Anatolia would result in many deaths, the legal analysis concluded that the perpetrators possessed the requisite genocidal intent and thus the events include all the elements of the crime of genocide as defined by the Genocide Convention. The legal analysis also concluded that the Genocide Convention contains no provision mandating its retroactive application. It was, in fact, intended to impose prospective obligations to its signatories. Therefore, no legal, financial or territorial claims arising out of the events could successfully be made under the convention. The outcome was a win-win. It validated the suffering of Armenians as genocide and freed Turkey from liability. Opponents of genocide recognition may muddy the facts, but they should not distort the legal definition of genocide embodied in the convention."

An aricle by good friend Orhan Kemal Gendiz: Confronting Genocide

Have you ever tried to tell someone directly what his problem is? This person, for example, may have a deep inferiority complex, and this may be very obvious to you.

Do you think it would be helpful to say this to him upfront? “Hey, you have an inferiority complex, be aware of your problem and correct yourself!” If this kind of “help” worked, millions of people would not spend years seeing psychiatrists and psychoanalysts.
Let us assume you even know what the root cause of his problem is. You know his childhood, and you know what kind of specific traumas in his childhood caused his problems today. Would it help to tell him this root cause? “Your father used to beat you up a lot, and therefore, this caused you to have very low self-esteem.” Would this work? I do not think so. You cannot reach his subconscious self by simply saying the “truth.” The logical “content” does not make what is subconscious conscious.
Continue reading herrreeeeee

And another article by Orhan:

When I sat down to write this article, I was interrupted by a television program in which the Armenian question was being discussed. One of the most popular television channels in Turkey held an open discussion on the events of 1915 in Turkey.


There were two historians in the studio, and one was joining in from the US via satellite. The two in the studio were just repeating the “official Turkish history” thesis, but the academici from the US was fighting quite passionately against the official narrative of 1915. He is Turkish historian Taner Akçam.
Akçam has been fighting against official Turkish history for quite some time. To ultranationalist Turks, he is a “traitor.” For me, he represents the conscience of Turkey. Many people in Turkey are not aware of this, but Akçam is the figure who showed Armenians that, like the ones who saved the lives of Armenians in 1915 despite the threat of execution, there are indeed “good Turks.” Akçam may be the only Turk some diaspora Armenians have ever seen in their lifetimes, and he changed the image of “Turks” in their minds forever. Akçam is quite an intelligent man. He is very cultured. I deeply admire his analysis of Turkey. But he is also a man who speaks from the bottom of his heart, like Hrant Dink. To me, he represents the future of Turkey, which will have no taboos and will be free from the burden of the past.
Continue reading herrrreeeee

If you have read everything, you are able to reach your own conclusion. All written here is written down by Turks, not Armenians, French, Americans or Swedish etc.

Day Opening - March 19

Steam Railway, Lake Brienz, Switzerland (click on picture to enlarge)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Turkish government shameles interference in foreign politics.


In a shameless speech in Turkey for 1.500 politicians of Turkish descent from all over the world, the Turkish PM minister Erdogan, well known for his double standards, racism, kamikaze politics spoke the following words: ''Turks living abroad sould not integrate but be more active representing Turkey''.

You can read the article here. Good to know that some Turkish-German politicians were outraged. Anyway, Erdogan became a clown, a dangerous clown who makes every day headlines all over Europe. And it's time that Milli Gürus and the Grey Wolves active in the Netherlands are prosecuted for money laundering, drugs and women trafficing and a lot more crimes.

Is Amsterdam ready for a new metro?

Amsterdammers are bracing themselves as the drilling of the metro tunnel in soft sandy layers under the historical heart of the city is due to begin today. At the flip of a switch the head of the drill will begin to turn and the first centimetres of earth will be removed, reports nrc.next. But don’t worry, as a precaution the ground above the first 90 metres has been frozen.
In the 1970s when the first metro line was laid in the Dutch capital, it was all much easier. The town council just demolished all the buildings above the line. They had to put up with a few riots first, mind you. Since then any plans to modernise the metropolitan’s transport system underground were put on hold. That was until a “magic drill” built metro lines in Japan and Germany. In the 1990s, the North-South line found its way back onto the municipal agenda and Amsterdammers voted in favour of the project in a referendum.
But it all went horribly wrong in 2008 when subsidence damaged a number of listed buildings close to the construction site. As a result, public confidence in the project is low. In the last local elections, anti-metro party Save Amsterdam won a seat on the local council. Residents along some parts of the line will be put up in hotels during construction work. Amsterdam’s best known department store De Bijenkorf tried to postpone the drilling until more research could be done.
However, in spite of all the risks and misgivings, drilling is going ahead. The builders of the North-South Line say they are confident nothing will go wrong. But just in case, they have had the drill blessed and a statue of Saint Barbara, patron saint of miners and tunnel diggers, guards the entrance to the tunnel shaft. So fingers crossed then! Not while biking!!!

Day Opening - March 18

Khor Virap monastery and Mount Ararat - Armenia/Turkey

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Game of Death

Shortly after lunch today — it being Tuesday — I posted a story I wrote seven years ago that appears now like actual reportage that no professional journalist had the nads to submit to the liberal media.

And when I was waiting for that to post, I came across a story about a game show in France that picked up on some psychological tests conducted in the home of the brave, land of the free, fifty years ago that let me to write this:

I'm so tired of the French taking advantage of the best the NOMF has to offer, from Jerry Lewis to recycled British game and reality shows. Now they have embraced the entire soul and inspiration of American culture with The Game of Death, inspired by Ivy League experiments at Yale in the sixties that were designed to determine whether the Nazi contagion had jumped to the offspring of the Greatest Generation.

For those of you who missed the results, yes, Americans in the Yale experiments proved perfectly willing to commit torture and mass murder when convinced by authority figures that it's the right thing to do. I remember after getting drafted being told to look at my service as a wonderful way to travel the world, see new places, meet interesting people, and kill them.


You can read the rest of the post here.

Day Opening - March 17

Pamukkale, Turkey

Monday, March 15, 2010

InterNations - the Expat Community!

A couple of weeks ago I received a very friendly email of Philipp, the founder and Managing director of InterNations, an expat forum/web site. He found our blog Internation Musing interesting and wanted to exchange logo’s. I know InterNations since I was invited to become a member one year ago, and to be honest, I didn’t know that much of them only that they have an excellent website and are connected all around the world through more than 200 expat communities. But I made some great connections here in Istanbul. And promised myself to attend once their monthly meeting down here in Istanbul. Philipp and I had some interesting email exchange and since then, their Istanbul logo, is on the right screen of this website, tough still not well displayed.
Tomorrow evening, finally, I will have my ‘maiden entrance’ at their monthly Istanbul expat get-together of this great off-line/on line organization and I encourage you to do the same in the more than 200 places where InterNations have their monthly get-togethers
Below you will find a description of InterNations:

The online community InterNations attracts thousands of members in search of new contacts abroad every month. InterNations is the international social networking service for expats and global minds worldwide. The members are diplomats, managers and employees of multinational companies, IGOs and NGOs, foreign correspondents as well as their families. They actively discuss both local and global issues and also meet up in over 235 communities on a regular basis. In Turkey InterNations has five communities at the moment in Ankara and Istanbul.

After celebrating its second anniversary in late 2009, the German start-up recently hit the 150,000 members mark. InterNations was founded by three young entrepreneurs and has been online since September 2007. They came up with an web-based solution for the ‚real-life‘ problems of the expat community – and their business concept was promptly awarded the “Land der Ideen” award by the German government and the Federation of German Industries.

Due to the members huge interest in real-life networking, the site is no longer imaginable without the casual InterNations get-togethers. Hosted by so-called Ambassadors, they serve as a valuable addition to the site’s online services. The biggest communities, like New York, Munich, London or Madrid have 300 to 500 attendees at their monthly Events. In total, there are worldwide around 100 InterNations Events and Get-togethers every month. Istanbul is a growing community and already has more than 200 attendees at its monthly InterNations Events.

An interesting fact mentioned worth is; our co-blogger on this forum, Seda, is establishing at the moment a chapter of InterNations in Thessaloniki. (Seda is also in charge to modernize our blog, but that’s another point..later)

Day Opening - March 15

Pamukkale, Denizli, Turkey

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jenny White's latest book: the Winter Thief

In life you meet many people. Jenny is to me the classic example of leaving a footprint in very positive sustain. We met for the first time in the summer of 2008, when Ö and I just moved from the busy area of Macka to the suburbs of Istanbul, Tarabya. I picked her up with my small Lancia to meet another anthropologist and friend, Erkan Saka. She didn’t stop talking and I didn’t stopped listening! We had a nice encounter the three of us and met on several social occasions later before she moved back to Boston the end of 2008. But we stayed in touch!


Last week she announced that her last book ‘The Winter Thief’ was released. Her fourth in a series of Kamil Pasha’s: The Winter Thief


About the Winter Thief;
January 1888. Vera Arti carries The Communist Manifesto in Armenian through Istanbul’s streets, unaware of the men following her. When the police discover a shipload of guns and the Imperial Ottoman Bank is blown up, suspicion falls on a socialist commune Arti’s friends organized in the eastern mountains. Special Prosecutor Kamil Pasha is called in to investigate. He soon encounters his most ruthless adversary to date: Vahid, head of a special branch of the secret police, who has convinced the sultan that the commune is leading a secessionist movement and should be destroyed—along with surrounding villages. Kamil must stop the massacre, but he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, framed for murder and accused of treason, his family and the woman he loves threatened.
More about Jenny White here and here.

Besides writing fiction, Jenny is an Associat Professor teaching social anthropology at Boston University . She has published two scholarly books on contemporary Turkey: Money Makes Us Relatives, a description of women’s labor in urban Turkey in the 1980s, was published in 1994 and Islamist Mobilization in Turkey was published in 2002. It explains the rise of Islamic politics in Turkey in the 1990s and won the 2003 Douglass Prize for best book in Europeanist anthropology. At the moment she finalize her study about Turkish nationalism.

Turkey: A Nation of Conspiracies

Below an article by Claire Berlinski, an American novelist, freelance journalist, travel writer and biographer who lives amid a menagerie of adopted stray animals in Istanbul.
If you live in Turkey for a while you know exactly were she's talking about; the conspiracies, paranoia behavior, corruption and fear. It took me some years to understand what really was going on around me; Turkish people always warned me for the other Turkish person and always told me: 'don't trust anyone'. Later I discovered that people who warned me the most, were also less reliable than others. Enfin, enjoy this perfect article published in the Wall Street Journal of yesterday: A Nation of Conspiracies; Coup plots and growing extremism. Why the West can't ignore Turkey's paranoia.

Last fall, having observed that few women in Istanbul took martial-arts classes, I conceived the idea to work with local instructors on creating a women's self-defense initiative. My project met with initial enthusiasm, particularly among women concerned with the high rate of domestic violence in Turkey. But other martial arts instructors in the city grew uneasy, sensing a plot to swindle them out of their small pieces of the martial-arts pie. Istanbul quickened with lunatic rumors that the initiative was a conspiracy to disparage the other instructors' martial prowess and steal their students. Martial-arts cliques consumed themselves with plotting and counter-plotting. Secret tribunals were held, covert alliances formed, poison-pen letters sent, friends betrayed. I gave up in disgust.
And there is moreeee herrreeee

Day Opening - March 14

Andalucia, Spain (will be here in a couple of weeks)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

#Statement 34

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all

Emily Dickinson

Spotted in Amsterdam

Now Job Cohen is the new leader of the Dutch labour party, some supporters addapted very quick...

Day Opening - March 13

Notre Dame Basilique, Paris.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good to know: Sex is not healthcare, Dutch union says


While the USA are still discussing a new healthcare system the Dutch have another problem: is sex covered by healthcare...
A Dutch healthcare union has kicked off a campaign to brace nurses and other caretakers against sexual requests made by patients. Its motto: “I draw the line here”.The campaign instigated by the union named Nu’91 comes as a reaction to a recent incident between a 42-year old man and his new 24-year-old home caretaker. A muscle disorder has left the man unable to move anything but his mouth and eyes. The man asked his new caretaker, a student, to relief him of his natural urges, saying that his other seven caretakers did the same for him. The young women saw two of her colleagues do so indeed. When she refused, her patient called her unfit for healthcare...
The union was most shocked by the reaction of a care dependents interest group, Per Saldo. When the incident became public last weekend, Aline Saers, the group’s managing director, expressed sympathy for the man. “They are free to ask,” she said. “You are free to refuse.”
Saers has since said she had not meant to condone the man’s request. “Sexual services are not part of a caretaker's tasks,” she explained.
A client can discuss his sexual needs with a caretaking agency, Saers said, so that it can call upon a specialised escort agency – legal in the Nehterlands - for instance. “Sexual help can be so soothing. Some municipalities arrange it,” Saers added. Good to know!.)

Day Opening - March 12

I don't have hero's. But he, Hans van Mierlo, was and is an inspiration for all the Dutch who love freedom, humanism secularism, and respect and dignity for all human mankind.
Religion has no place in politics.
Rest in Peace my friend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Trouble in the Netherlands - election fraud?!

The main story in the Dutch newspapers is the announcement of an official investigation into allegations of electoral fraud during last week’s local elections; the Public Prosecutors’ Office has launched an “Investigation into the hunt for proxy votes”. A councillor for the local party Leefbaar Rotterdam (Liveable Rotterdam) violated electoral laws when he called on party candidates to solicit proxy votes. Earlier, it became clear there had been numerous incidents in which two people went into voting booths together. There were also reports of officials at polling stations who helped voters fill in proxy voting forms. Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has decided to hold a full recount, bearing in mind that the difference between the two main parties Leefbaar Rottterdam and Labour is just a few hundred votes.
The Rotterdam based newspaper AD reports that “Electoral chaos is widespread”. The paper writes that after the initial reports on irregularities in Rotterdam, there were an increasing number of  incidents reported elsewhere in the Netherlands, mostly involving more than one person entering voting booths at the same time.
According to AD, the electoral commotion in Rotterdam may even lead to a second ballot. A political science professor says: “The discussion has been politicised to such an extent that nobody will be able to end it. The question is whether this should lead to a second ballot. That is a quite a step to take.”

The recount currently taking place in Rotterdam is a rare occurrence, but is the only solution now that serious doubts have arisen about the elections. The events in Rotterdam do not immediately justify comparisons with Kabul or Harare, but make a serious investigation into the incidents no less necessary. A second ballot would be a far-reaching decision because the results will never be identical to the first, but regrettable as this may be, it can never be an argument to leave open to doubt the results of the 3 March elections. It would not only undermine the council’s legitimacy, but also damage the standing of politics in general.

Day Opening - March 11

Rome...eternal!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jihad and slavery in the West (slightly different than you expect)

Paul Fregosi in his book Jihad in the West: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries calls Islamic Jihad “the most unrecorded and disregarded major event of history. It has, in fact, been largely ignored,” although it has been a fact of life in Europe, Asia and Africa for almost 1400 years. As Fregosi says, “Western colonization of nearby Muslim lands lasted 130 years, from the 1830s to the 1960s. Muslim colonization of nearby European lands lasted 1300 years, from the 600s to the mid-1960s. Yet, strangely, it is the Muslims…who are the most bitter about colonialism and the humiliations to which they have been subjected; and it is the Europeans who harbor the shame and the guilt. It should be the other way around.”


Atttacks by pirates from the Arab countries first and later the Ottoman Turks were the rule in many regions of Eurasia, not just in Europe. Indian historian K. S. Lal states that wherever Jihadists conquered a territory, “there developed a system of slavery peculiar to the clime, terrain, and populace of the place.” When Muslim armies invaded India, “its people began to be enslaved in droves to be sold in foreign lands or employed in various capacities on menial and not-so-menial jobs within the country.”

While the Arabs dominated during the early centuries of the Islamic era, the Turks soon converted and surpassed them as a force. As they steadily conquered more and more of Anatolia, the Turks reduced many Greeks and other non-Muslims there to slave status: “They enslaved men, women, and children from all major urban centers and from the countryside.” Turkish attacks on nearby European lands lasted well into the modern era.

As Murray Gordon writes in his book Slavery in the Arab World , the sexual aspects of slavery were disproportionate important in the Islamic world. “Eunuchs commanded the highest prices among slaves, followed by young and pretty white women.” Usually, the high cost of white female slaves made them a luxury which only rich Muslims could afford:

“White women were almost always in greater demand than Africans, and Arabs were prepared to pay much higher prices for Circassian and Georgian women from the Caucasus and from Circassian colonies in Asia Minor. After the Russians seized Georgia and Circassia in the early part of the nineteenth century and, as a result of the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829 under which they obtained the fortresses dominating the road into Turkey from Circassia, the traffic in Circassian women came to a virtual halt. This caused the price of Circassian women to shoot up in the slave markets of Constantinople and Cairo. The situation was almost completely reversed in the early 1840s when the Russians, in exchange for a Turkish pledge to cease their attacks on their forts on the eastern side of the Black Sea, quietly agreed not to interfere in the slave traffic. This unrestricted trade brought on a glut in the Constantinople and Cairo markets, where prices for Circassian women brought them in reach of many ordinary Turks and Egyptians.”

Unlike the West, there never was a Muslim abolitionist movement since slavery is permitted according to sharia, Islamic religious law, and remains so to this day. When the open practice of slavery was finally abolished in most of the Islamic world, this was only due to external Western pressure, ranging from the American war against the barbarian pirates of North Africa to the naval power of the British Empire. Slavery was taken for granted throughout Islamic history and lasted longer than did the Western slave trade. Robert Spencer elaborates in his book A Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t:

No European peoples suffered more from Islamic colonialism than those in the Balkans. Sir Jadunath Sarkar, the pre-eminent historian of Mughal India, wrote this about dhimmitude, the humiliating apartheid system imposed upon non-Muslims under Islamic rule: “The conversion of the entire population to Islam and the extinction of every form of dissent is the ideal of the Muslim State. If any infidel is suffered to exist in the community, it is as a necessary evil, and for a transitional period only.…A non-Muslim therefore cannot be a citizen of the State; he is a member of a depressed class; his status is a modified form of slavery. He lives under a contract (dhimma) with the State.…In short, his continued existence in the State after the conquest of his country by the Muslims is conditional upon his person and property made subservient to the cause of Islam.”

This “modified form of slavery” is now frequently referred to as the pinnacle of “tolerance.” If the semi-slaves rebel against this system and desire equal rights and self-determination, Jihad resumes. This happened with the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire, who were repressed with massacres,

Source: Fjordman is a noted Norwegian blogger who has written for many conservative web sites. He used to have his own Fjordman Blog in the past, but it is no longer active.

Day Opening - March 10

Why waiting? For a good jump?