Thursday, July 31, 2008

On line again

Six full days not on line was a welcome peace for my mind.
You will read more later about my adventures moving within Turkey.
More later!

Day Opening - July 31

"Red Door" by Henry Asencio.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Let these be your desires

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself
But if your love and must needs have desires,
Let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook
That sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart
And give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer
For the beloved in your heart
And a song of praise upon your lips.

"Let these be your desires" by Khalil Gibran.

World Press Photo

World Press Photo of the year 2007.

Day Opening - July 29

"Meadow Dance" by Shirley Novak.

Monday, July 28, 2008

THE baby world

Being pregnant means being very very busy! Busy while you are pregnant means explore THE (sometimes weird) baby world.
And this baby world is huge!

The couple weeks I was very very very very very busy to explore this new world for me. An eye-opener it was!

I met, saw, bought and read new things.

Magazines about parenthood; breast feeding,delivery, fashion for babies and fashion for pregnant women.
Courses about (again) breast feeding and delivery. Yoga and gym for pregnant women and their partners.

Shops with lots of baby clothes.
Shops with fashion for pregnant women.

Baby superstores with stuff like; baby-carriages,baby phones, baby bath-tubs,baby bath thermometers,car seats,baby-chairs,baby beds,baby-soaps,baby lotions,baby oils,thermos in different baby colors,baby brushes,diapers and diaper bags, bottles,dummies and MORE!

While exploring I had to arrange a monthly nurse, buy childproof locks and try to be a fashionable pregnant women. Yes,I bought maternity clothes.

Suddenly..... I realized that in India or Africa pregnant women do not buy these “additional” baby stuff-things.
They just give their love, pay attention and feed their child. Because that’s what babies need.

And THAT is exactly what I’m going to give to my little darling. I put my fashionable maternity clothes away and get back to the real world.
The real world where I live and in the future with my family. We don’t need stuff to feel happy, we need each other’s love.

Now and always.

Day Opening - July 28

"Northern Reflections - Loons" by Don Li Leger.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Stop anti-Turkey propaganda!

‘Renounce anti-Turkey propaganda'

Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisyan called on his country's youth to renounce propaganda directed against Turkey, private NTV television reported yesterday. “Such propaganda is dangerous for Armenians, because it limits our horizons,” he said, adding that there was a difference of opinion between Yerevan and the Armenian diaspora on Turkey.

ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News

Day Opening - July 27


Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Islamist branch of Ergenekon?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Would you believe that militant Kemalism can be reconciled with radical Islamism? If you say no, then think again. And read the monthy Milli Çözüm

Mustafa AKYOL

The investigation into the shadowy group called Ergenekon has been perceived in the foreign press as yet another round in the war between Turkey's “Islamists” and “secularists.” After the arrest of 24 alleged Ergenekonists, including two retired top generals, a headline simply read, “Islamist government cracking down on secularists.” If you know nothing about Turkey, what you would infer from that sentence could be that a Taliban-like administration is attacking lighthearted liberals.

But that is not the case at all. The common ideology of the Ergenekon folks is apparently a very fierce nationalism that borders on fascism. What has driven them mad is that the “Islamist” yet EU-friendly AKP (Justice and Development Party) government has implemented reforms which they see as “treason.” Their main focus seems to be “saving Cyprus from the Greek yoke,” and keeping Turkey as militarist as possible. The secularism they aspire to is a one that goes hand-in-hand with this militant nationalism.

and this....

The real gem is the content of Milli Çözüm. It is a very curious blend of anti-Western radical Islamism and Kemalist militarism. The cover of its current July issue presents a must-see cartoon: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a donkey and the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is riding him. There is also a quote from Olmert, who is called "the arch-terrorist of Zionist Israel". "I am thankful to Erdoğan,” Olmert reportedly said, “He helps me a lot."

Continue reading herrreee...

And Ergenekon indictment accepted.

Enjoy the weekend...

Day Opening - July 26

"CityLights500" by Cao Yong.

Friday, July 25, 2008

About the 1020th Anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus

Taras comments at his blog about Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople visit in Kyiv to celebrate the 1020th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus.

The visit came amid tensions stirred by the Russian Orthodox Church, which considers Ukraine its canonical territory, even though the baptism of Kyivan Rus predates the founding of Moscow.

Patriarch Bartholomew I, accompanied by President Yushchenko, who supports the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, laid wreaths at the monuments to Princess Olha and St. Volodymyr.

It is the first time a Constantinople Patriarch visits Kyiv since 1648, and while Constantinople does not yet recognize the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, President Yushchenko sees the visit as a positive signal.

Off line

From this afternoon until next week I will be off line, since we are moving tomorrow to our new apartment. Don't know how long it will take to reconnect me again, but for sure it will take some days, in contrary with Bea, who is waiting for almost 2 weeks now. She will be on line by the 28th of July, probably I some days later, but you never know in Turkey, it can be quicker than expected.

Obama Feste in Berlin

Munchen has its October Feste, since yesterday Berlin its Obama Feste...
I have high expectations of Obama these days. You can say what you want but he is the perfect orator. At least 200,000 people heard the Democratic Party candidate make the only public speech of his world tour. Next stops are Paris and London. Curious if he will make a speech there as well since people there are already heating up.

Day Opening - July 25

A tram in Amsterdam!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Einsteins letter to Gandhi

Respected Mr. Gandhi !
I use the presence of your friend in our home to send you these lines. You have shown through your works, that it is possible to succeed without violence even with those who have not discarded the method of violence. We may hope that your example will spread beyond the borders of your country, and will help to establish an international authority, respected by all, that will take decisions and replace war conflicts.
With sincere admiration,
Yours A. Einstein.
I hope that I will be able to meet you face to face some day.

America by county ancestry....

Click here to enlarge....
Conclusion: America is German..))

Day Opening - July 24

"Wealthy-beauties" by Jaline Pol.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Conversion to Zoroastrianism....

Conversion to Zoroastrianism & Sedreh Pushi (Navjote)
July 20, 2008 by Plateau of Iran

Some say conversion to Zoroastrianism is not permitted without considerable thought, soul searching, practical knowledge and contemplation. I only agree with the mentioned qualifications.

Many Traditional & Conservative Zoroastrians - especially Parsi “Mobeds” (Zoroastrian “Priests”) in India - are not in favor of conversion, nor allow it. Iranian-Zoroastrian Mobeds are more receptive, but with caution & for good reasons.

Although, centuries ago, before Arab-Islam invasion of Iran (7th century CE) conversion was allowed, on occasions even sought, thereafter, was discontinued due to a number of reasons. One reason is said to have stemmed from an Islamic, particularly, Shia Muslim practice called Al Taqiyah (dissimulation).

A non-Zoroastrian, particularly from Iranian origins, according to Iranian-Zoroastrian Mobeds (Priests), is often welcomed to join in Zoroastrian gatherings and celebrations, as “friends” of the faith. More so as most Iranians, by the virtue of their forefathers and mothers were in fact Zoroastrians. It is important to explore, and become familiar with one’s original identity, faith and religion. Let’s also remember that Zoroastrians, unlike certain other religions, did not forcefully convert others, nor destroyed other peoples’ religions, culture, nor holy places in the name of Zoroastrianism or conversion.

Continue reading hereeeeee...

Day Opening - July 23

"Via Dei Navigante" by Steven Quartly.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

... As this night is still young....

... The sunset right outside my house, only a few moments ago...

Fish Bowl

If your fish is your best friend, take him with you!
Designer : Michal Shabtiali

Turkish organisations ( Fethullah Gülen) under scrutiny

The racist, neo fascistic and ultra nationalist MHP gives a party in the Netherlands.

Pictures are made in March of this year in party centre Alladin, Beverwijk, the Netherlands.

The controversy around the Turkish Muslim leader Fethullah Gülen has also reached the Netherlands. The city council of the second largest city of the Netherlands, Rotterdam, announced an inquiry in the movement of Fethullah Gülen and other Turkish organizations whom receives money to help Turkish people integrate in the Netherlands. People are suspicious about the intentions of Gülen's movement. The city council didn't question the integrity of all these organizations but wants to have proof that the money they donate for integration purpose are also indeed spent for that goal.
In the meanwhile, the ultra nationalistic and racist branch of the MHP in the Netherlands - while it is illegal under Turkish law for Turkish political parties to have a branch organization outside Turkey - receives millions of subsidies by local and county level administrative bodies in the Netherlands. Also, they are (like their counter part the PKK) involved in organized crime.
For more information about their hatefully activities here hundreds of links....
Their culture is not one suited to a pluralistic, open and socially reciprocal life where people pay tax in order to pay for benefits..their attitude is to get something for nothing for spreading hatred against alevi's, Kurds, Turkish liberals, Jews, Turkish leftist etc.
And why are Turkish ultra nationalist political active and living outside Turkey?

Karadzic arrested, finally!

And what's the reward for Serbia? EU membership?


Day Opening - July 22

"Slide" by Pamela Sukhum.

Monday, July 21, 2008


My nephew Joerie spotted during Milano's Fashion week 2008...
He has the time of his life..))

Dutch design: the Senz umbrella

The Senz umbrella, designed by yourn Dutch designers won another international price: the American Gold International Design Excellence award.
The umbrella is windproof up to windforce 10!
Excellent for a place like Miami, Schotland, China (?) and other windy and rainly places...

Day Opening - July 21

Chesma Shahi garden, Kashmir.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Picnic Table Pyramids

While most of the information I could find on this exhibition was in Dutch, I thought it was still worth posting. This massive triangular stack of wooden picnic tables is an art project titled ‘Rest’ by Miguel Brugman and Martijn Engelbregt in Wageningen, Netherlands.

The project represents an, “air restaurant where food, social cohesion and the care nature and environment meet each other”.

It seems as though ‘Rest’ may actually have been an actual ‘diner’ of sorts for a short time, however they are apparently ‘no longer taking reservations’. Fine by me, I get shaky just seeing those people sitting under a huge mountain of stacked tables.

Another interesting development in Wageningen, herrrreee

German hostages freed in Turkey

Three German climbers taken hostage by Kurdish armed rebel group the PKK have been freed and are in the hands of the Turkish government, officials say.
The tourists were seized from their camp on Mount Ararat in Turkey's eastern Agri province on 9 July.
The PKK vowed not to release them unless Germany renounced its crackdown on the group, defined as a terrorist organisation by the US, EU and Turkey.
The Germans were part of a 13-member climbing team that had set up camp at 3,200m (10,500ft) on the mountain, the highest in Turkey and a popular tourist destination.
The PKK seeks autonomy for Kurds in south-eastern Turkey. More than 30,000 people have been killed since the group began its armed campaign in 1984.
Source: BBCnews.

Day opening - July 20

Old Town Square, Prague

By night

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Dutch radical at work - Michael van der Galien

One year ago an article of Michael van der Galien was published in Turkish Daily News.
He is a Dutch, so I congratulated him with his article and love affair with the daughter of a Turkish colonel. We had some contact but MvdG became suddenly a radical person (maybe to impress his future father-in-law? who knows). Here his last master piece....
His rantings about Turks who don't share his point of view in general and Armenians in particular are the highlights of his blog. And I disagree.
I left some comments out there and automatically 'banned' because of 'insulting the author'.

Today, an acquaintance called me that she was in a bitter but oh so sweet discussion on this MvdG blog, but she was banned as well. Together with so many other people likewise.

I never saw a blog which banned all the time readers, commenter's etc.
And MvdG blog is full of insults towards all kind of minorities in Turkey as in the Netherlands as well.

In fact, MvdG, wrote that Turkey must stop listening to the EU, Europe and the world.
He, as a student, must be ashamed by venting his racists comments.
Good for Turkey that it follow its own course: Turkey supports the new Cyprus situation, wants better ties with Armenia, its relations with Greece improved day-by-day etc.
Yes, Turkey doesn't need advise from a guy who spends maybe a couple of months in Turkey, spreading hatred only to get attention. Which we call sensationalism.

In the Netherlands we call MvdG a NSB'er.

Attention Stupid Terrorists! Now Accepting Grant Proposals

Attention Stupid Terrorists! Now Accepting Grant Proposals

By carpetblogger. Enjoy.

Is Turkey a 'mistaken republic?'

Is Turkey a 'mistaken republic?'

By Mustafa Aykol

Saturday, July 19, 2008

According to Sevan Nişanyan, Turks need to face and question their history. 'Unlike Portugal or Spain,' he says, 'Turkey has not come to terms with its totalitarian past'.

You should meet Sevan Nişanyan. A Turkish citizen of Armenian decent, he studied philosophy at Yale, political science at Columbia, and now teaches Turkish language and history at Istanbul’s Bilgi University. In the past he has written several books about tourism in Turkey that were all well received by everyone who read them, but his recent title made him a public enemy in the eyes of Turkey's staunch Kemalists. Mr. Nişanyan, with all his boldness, argues that Kemalism is, in essence, what we commonly know as fascism.

The book I am speaking about is titled "Yanlış Cumhuriyet: Atatürk ve Kemalizm Hakkında 51 Soru" (The Mistaken Republic: 51 Questions about Atatürk and Kemalism). Throughout its 440 pages, Mr. Nişanyan deconstructs and refutes many commonly accepted and hardly unquestioned maxims in Turkey. At the very core of his historical revisionism lies the shivering argument that Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, willingly established a dictatorship and never aimed at building a democracy. The Republic of Turkey, in other words, was a “mistaken” one right from the very beginning.

“I have read all the speeches and interviews Atatürk gave after establishing his power,” Mr. Nişanyan notes, “in those thousands of pages, democracy is mentioned only six times: two are in his statements to foreigners and others are ‘democracy is good, but…’ type of comments.”
But was Turkey ready for democracy at that time? Wasn’t the nation an ignorant, backward, “unenlightened” one that needed an autocratic modernizer? Wouldn’t Turkey be something like Afghanistan had it not been “saved” by the Kemalist revolution?

Of course, Atatürk aimed at and pushed for further modernization, but some of the steps he took, according to Mr. Nişanyan, were wrong. The “language revolution,” for example, impoverished Turkish culture. The Ottoman language, thanks to its imports from Arabic and Persian into nomadic Turkish, was very sophisticated and complex. The Kemalist effort to “cleanse” the language from these “foreign” elements soon led to the shrinking of vocabulary – and thus the shrinking of minds.

Mr. Nişanyan also criticizes the despotic nature of the self-styled secularism that Atatürk and his followers established in Turkey. He thinks that in one sense it is similar to the Soviet model because it uprooted all religious institutions. But the Kemalists also wanted to use religion for the state’s purposes; therefore they enacted a state-controlled religion. “The real purpose was not secularity,” Mr. Nişanyan argues, “It was the achievement and consolidation of absolute political power.”

Alas, if the republic was really a “mistaken” one, then one could well say that its “children” are on the “correct” track. They just live up to their father’s legacy.

read the full article here

Day opening - July 19

Sunset in Peru.

Friday, July 18, 2008

'Don't ban AKP' rapporteur tells top court

Friday, July 18, 2008

The rapporteur for the Constitutional Court recommended not banning the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, in a report submitted to the court's president late Wednesday.

Constitutional Court President Haşim Kılıç said the report is being distributed to court members and he will consult the other judges before setting a date for the verdict.

Rapporteur Osman Can asked the court not to ban the AKP from political activity, arguing that charges of anti-secular activity that fall under freedom of expression cannot be grounds for closure. According to Turkish media reports, the rapporteur reminded the court that in Western democracies only committing violence is considered a solid basis for party closure. The AKP, in its defense, has rejected all the charges, describing them as "fictional" and politically motivated.

It was further noted in the report that according to the Venice Commission criteria, a set of guidelines for party closure in Europe, blaming the AKP for Parliament's constitutional amendment lifting the ban on the Islamic headscarf in universities which was later scraped by the top court would be considered unjust.
The rapporteur also argued that since conditions for closure are not met, the 71 party officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül, cannot be barred from party politics for five years.

The conclusion of the report raised expectations in Ankara for an early August verdict. Political observers argue that the verdict will be announced just after the Supreme Military Council, or YAŞ, completes its annual Aug. 1-4 meeting. However, the president of the court denied claims that they will wait for the end of the YAŞ meeting and said, “We make arrangements only according to our own procedures and program.”

Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalçınkaya launched proceedings in March, arguing that the AKP had become a "focal point" of anti-secular activity aimed at installing an Islamist regime. He also asked the court to bar 71 AKP officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül, from party politics for five years.Most political analysts expect the party to be outlawed and some members, including Erdoğan, banned from belonging to a party for five years. AK Party representatives suggest a ruling is unlikely before August.The European Union has criticised the case and a move against a democratically elected party could hurt Turkey's accession process.

If the AKP is closed and Erdoğan removed from power analysts expect an early parliamentary election will follow.

Day opening - July 18

Destroyed Buddha by Taliban, 2004.

Afghanistan's puritanical Taliban Islamic militia demolishing statues across the country including two towering ancient stone Buddhas.
Former Taliban Minister of Information and Culture Qudratullah Jamal told AFP the destruction of scores of pre-Islamic figures, designed to stop the worshipping of "false idols," had begun throughout the country.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Its obvious Summertime for people in Europe and the USA. While Southern America and Oceania have their winter, life goes on, but the bloggers here are all busy or away: Bea is moving from Des Moines, Iowa to Cary, North Carolina, Hans, will move the next two weeks to a nice suburb of Istanbul called Tarabya. Christos is travelling in Greece, Sandra is pregnant and busy with so many things, Seda is running for a job, finally, in Greece, and Vassili escaped the heat of Athens. And last but not least, Eva is somewhere in the Himalaya!
But we will continue here.
More co bloggers will join.

At the same time, several weeks ago I was approached by a world wide business channel (6,5 million viewers a day) to be their expert on Turkey. Yesterday we had finally a long conversation, although the line London - Istanbul is not always clear. I will contribute to them with some info about Southern Europe and you will find for free here soon some interesting info from business leaders in the world including the CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi but also me, Hans.

Untranslatable (Dutch) words

Translation is an inexact science, so its sometimes difficult to translate words such as the Portuguese or rather Brazilian word 'saudade' into English. You can translate it into homesick, but the Brazilian connotation of the word doesn't cover 'homesickness'. Its more something like 'yearning'.

There are several Dutch words which simple don't need to be translated like 'Apartheid'.
And what about 'Kraken' (not a seamonster), 'Gedogen', 'Gedoogzone', 'krikken' etc.

Some Dutch out there to help me out? I simple don't know how to explain these words, only the last one is easy but doesn't really cover the word/meaning....

Day opening - July 17

Te future of Dubai.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bones for Bodies: Israel - Lebanon

Israel received the human remains, 'which were captive' by Lebanese militant group Hezbollah as part of a prisoner swap two of its soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser who were seized in 2006. Until now there had been no confirmation of their deaths. A flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention. (Hezbollah withheld any information about when the soldiers had died and never released pictures of them in captivity, leaving it unclear whether they had been killed in the original raid.)

Their capture sparked a month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah which could have be easily prevented if these crazy Islamists, who are called 'martyrs' now in Lebanon while celebrating their resistance fighters - which led to some kind of instant mass psychose -, were released earlier or confirmed to be dead.
Israel has handed over five Lebanese prisoners, including a man convicted of killing bare hands two children....this all of the bones of two young soldiers.

And tomorrow this 'National Wedding' in Lebanon is over, and they will fight their ugly civilian war again, blaming everybody but them selves....oh so innocent.

Europe announced 3 days ago that their 440 million of aid for the Palestinians were gone, so did the USA, having spent 400 million of USD in the Gaza strip. Sarcastically they asked what the 'brothers' of the Palestinians did, regarding 'talk help'...pas du tout. Nothing, niente, not one cent.
"They sacrificed over 700 of their best warriors and all their economy, and what they get for what they did is a murderer, a bloody murderer of a three-and-a-half-year-old girl and her father - and for this they are making all this glory, for this they sacrificed so much. So I feel only pity for them."

Its up to the bArbar'ians now....
At least in Israel the bones of a soldier get respects. Can we compare that with the 'honor' of a 'alive' killer in Lebanon. Not so strange since pedophilia is still not illegal in Arab countries.
Google your self this time...I am sad and angry about all this 'dhimmitude' and ignorance...

Creating Value for All...

After the phone conversation I had with Hans the other day, I tried some internet research (in relevant to our dialogue that among others, referred to the economical crisis that continues to grow globally and multiplies problems especially to those who are less “lucky”) and I came up to the recently published report by UN Development Program, on how bussinesses might include the global poor as potential customers; further more, how poor could get some benefit from collaborating more closely with businesses.

Check it out. I think you will find it very useful and probably might help you create more ideas if you are planning to invest in someplace...

Not something to be proud of...

Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Şahin has stated that 32 individuals were convicted under the infamous Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) in the first three months of this year.

In response to a parliamentary query made yesterday by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Aydın deputy Recep Taner, Şahin said: “In the first three months of 2008 there were 103 court cases regarding 301. Thirty-two individuals were convicted, and the court ruled for the acquittal of 74 people. Eight of the 32 convicted were sentenced to jail terms, 11 were given fines. Four received both jail sentences and fines. Among the eight given jail sentences, the sentences of five were commuted to fines and the sentences of the other three were suspended.”

A recent amendment to the infamous article has improved matters. One of the changes to Article 301, which previously criminalized “insulting Turkishness” and has long been seen as an obstacle to freedom of speech in Turkey, made it obligatory for prosecutors to secure approval from the Justice Ministry before launching cases on 301-related charges. The amendment was adopted in May of this year. In the past, the article in question had been repeatedly challenged, particularly with respect to the charges filed against Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk and Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was assassinated after he was brought before the court.

Day opening - July 16

Red Island by Elcin Unal

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rental bikes of IKEA

Ikea is going green in Denmark with a new program that loans bikes with trailers to customers to take home their purchases. The bikes are built in the classic Ikea design and sturdy enough to handle a good load.
There’s no charge, but the store requires a small deposit.
After Ikea discovered that 20% of their customers rode a bike to the store—even though most live outside the city center—they were inspired to try the program. Of course, the bright blue and gold brands the bikes as Ikea, even if the logo is obscured.
Soon you will find these bikers on the highways of Istanbul...

A divided Belgium, Belgie or Belgique

Looks like that the home of European integration, Belgium, became itself ungovernable.

Day opening - July 15

Coral Coast, Fiji.

Monday, July 14, 2008

86 people allegedly involved in coup plots in Turkey.

A top Turkish prosecutor, Aykut Cengiz Engin, has brought charges against 86 people allegedly involved in a coup plot. Of the 86 people 48 are already in custody, so another 38 arrests, who's next?

"The indictment covers crimes such as forming an armed terror group... and attempting to overthrow the government by force," Mr Engin said.

China's reputation in Africa

The prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of the International Crime Court (ICC) in La Hague wants to prosecute the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
At the same time the Chinese state is doing good business with Sudan and Zimbabwe, and they voted last week Friday a resolution of the UN security council for more sanctions against Mugabe and its gang away.
It shows China its mentality: an a-moral attitude. Not a successful Olympic games can take that negative image away.
Update: The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has filed genocide charges against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for a five-year campaign of violence in Darfur.
The U.N. estimates 2.5 million have been forced from their homes in Darfur.
They include masterminding attempts to wipe out African tribes in the war-torn region with a campaign of murder, rape and deportation.
ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo presented his evidence against al-Bashir to the judges at the Hague in the Netherlands on Monday.

Day opening - July 14

The French have at least one thing in common with the Turks: they love military parades...14th of July is National Holiday in France.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Living hell - news from Bagdad

By Dr. Mohammed.
The stress and anger reached its maximum levels with me…this can't be, I'm going nuts…something must be done and sadly I believe my words or anybody else can't change anything otherwise I would write continuously for a week.
We are living in a real hell now; for the past 3 days till now there is a sever sand storm, the sky is red and the air is suffocating added to that the heat is unbearable it reaches 60s and 70s C° in the sun and high 40s in the shade and since we have a sand storm then we can't open the windows and you can imagine how nice the weather is in a closed room in these temperatures…well, I bet you are thinking with your selves what is the problem? Just turn on the air conditioner or the air cooler!! Well, those are electrical devices and they need something really rare to operate; it's the holy electricity…yes, believe me in Iraq electricity is holy…
I think soon enough there will be a group of people that warships electricity…why not? People used to warship fire, and electricity is more important than fire!! I'm not crazy or getting close to be but read till the end and you would know what the situation is.It has been 5 days and there is no fuel in the gas stations! Yes 5 days without a single drop of fuel, that means I can't operate my home generator and once the fuel in the car is finished I'll have to stay at home and screw working, the queue for the gas station is about 6 km long with two rows and that means everything in Iraq will stop working pretty soon, even food will disappear from the markets if this continues ….it has been 4 days without electricity!! Well, we had it for 2 hours during the past 100 hours. You might ask your self "how are you able to use the computer and internet?" thanks to the neighborhood generator guy who is smart and have saved a good amount of diesel fuel to operate his generator for 8 hours a day and my laptop needs 1.5 hour to charge for 2 hours.There are other methods to fight the unbearable heat; the heat that is not designed for humans at all, many machines wouldn't work in such temperatures…I can have a shower to refresh and cool my self a bit, right? So I went to the shower and I found that there is no water in the tub! It has been more than a week and the water is so scarce, it either drips or there is no water at all…I think that's great, we only have two big rivers and bunch of river branches with many lakes, we are so lucky to have dripping water once and a while !!!….OK, no need to take a shower I already took one with my sweat and keep in mind there is a sand storm out there!…I'll go to the fridge and drink something cold…Ooops, did I say cold? Sorry for that the fridge is hot and there is nothing cool in it and all foods have rotten and they need to be thrown away, isn't that just great?
Continue reading hereeeeee
Note: One year ago I had for a short time direct contact with Mohammed, the author of this blog. Two days ago he wrote to me that he will be in Istanbul for holidays during the month of August. So we are in contact again and I hope to find him a descent place to stay, where he and his wife can rest for a month. I admire his courageous and overall attitude, and looking forward to meet him on many occasions in Istanbul. I and Ozlem will be his guide during his stay in Turkey.

Making Mediterranean waves

Today is the inaugural conference in Paris of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). French President Nicholas Sarkozy, father of the idea, originally proposed a body independent of the EU, linking together all the states bordering the Mediterranean sea. He also proposed that the new Union take a lead in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, since it would include both Israel and Arab states.... read the whole article here:

useful links:

A Turkish bath?

Got this picture of the aunt of my wife.
Two in one: cleaning and washing...
Picture makes me sad but this is Turkey, and part of Europe as well..
A Tukish bath...

Day Opening - July 13

"Sahara Desert Sand Dune" by Declan McCullagh.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Iranian countdown for dummies

This video shows why Iranians can not count: after praising Allah (fsih) they started the countdown 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and FIRE.....but nothing happened. Then some bla bla, and the countdown goes on, reverse: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8...and suddenly the racket goes away...
'What goes up must goes down', anyone seen the racket?

I never had so much faith in Flying Carpets of Persia, do we have to be scared for their unguided missiles....)

An example - French State council refuses woman French nationality

For the first time, the French State council refused to give a person of Morroc descent, French citizen ship, based upon the fact that 'religious matters interfere'; Pour la première fois en France, le Conseil d'Etat a pris en compte le niveau de pratique religieuse pour se prononcer sur la capacité d'assimilation d'une personne étrangère.

Eight years ago she moved from Morocco to France where she married another Morroc immigrant. He ordered her to wear a burqa, and she didn't resist and refused to integrate in the French society.
The French State council ruled that her lifestyle contradicts the French republic norms and values: "une pratique radicale de la religion incompatible avec les valeurs essentielles de la communauté française".

Their two children have the French nationality, she not. Appeal is not possible: bravo!
But in fact she is a ticking time bomb. And that's scary.

Day Opening - July 12

"Autumn Pond" by Gerhard Nesvadba.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Playing the voyeur, the counters on this blog

There are 5 counters on this blog which monitor the moves of you readers carefully..))
Don't worry, most of these counters can not count precisely (Like the Iranians who shot 3 instead 4 missiles into orbit yesterday, but photo shop did a pretty good job).
The first counter is a free one: it counts visitors, page hits and so on. The second, third and fourth counters are more precisely (paid for these ones): they count unique visitors by day, by city and current readers - click on mother earth to see who your co-voyeurs are.
But the last one only show bloggers who hit - on purpose or by accident - this blog. And it has an interesting feature; where are people looking for. And I tell you, that many people are looking for things they dont talk in live about: sex, hookers, prostitueus in Athens, Patras, Amsterdam, Istanbul etc....))
Here an example of today:

Houston, Texas arrived from on "Internation Musing: Istanbul, Athens, Amsterdam, Patra, Utrecht, Thessaloniki and Des Moines: Islamic Republic of Hookers and Drugs Addicts" by searching for hookers in istanbul.

Lovely picture...

...of our future King and Queen, Alexander and Maxima...
Don't think that they everybody bikes in the Netherlands, but it looks so cozy...
The guy is 10 years younger than me, but he has already 3 daughters, but must be some kind of ordeal for him....)