Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Some Dutch prisons serve only Halal food

In significant Dutch prisons, the inmates get Islamic food, whether they are Muslim or not. For cost cutting reasons the Dutch Justice Ministry signed contracts where the suppliers only deliver Halal food (for example: meat of ritually slaughtered animals. And having two different meals, one for Muslims and one for Non-Muslims (what about vegetarians...) was found too expensive. So in the end, prisoners who are non-Muslims (atheists, Christians, Hindus etc.) had to bow for the demand of their fellow Muslim detainees since pork was completely removed from the menu since these animals are considered impure by Islam.
This issue came to light in a court case by the Dutch lawyer S. van Bergen Henegouwe who on behalf on his client, a prisoner in Sittard, complained that he was forced to eat halal. He sees this as an extra punishment and he don’t want to have a religion inflicted on him; he simple wants to eat Dutch meatballs (kofte)!
He demands 25 euro in damages for every halal meal he has to eat, and he’s right. I simple don’t have words for people who don’t act ‘halal’ and therefore ends up in a prison and there they demand to eat halal…

The Dutch Ministry of Justice announced, last week Friday, after ‘a day of intensive study’, that pork will soon be served in Sittard again. The Justice Ministry will check whether there are more prison which are only served halal food. According to a spokesperson last Saturday, the starting point must be that the choice of menu is not specified by religious fellow prisoners. .According to the justice ministry the menu in the prison was limited to halal food since it was more practical, and they lost sight that religious prisoners should not be deciding the menu for other prisoners. This does not mean that halal food will disappear from the menu since a prisoner has a right to be able to follow his religious prescriptions…and so for…maybe Water and Bread only is the solution. Interesting fact is that around 40% of the prisoners are of Muslim origin whereas the population of the Netherlands consists of only 6% Muslims.

#21 Statement

‘Blood doesn’t know any nationality’

Day Opening - June 30

This is not Holland....

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bye, bye Sarah P

This is me (in the car) with our dog Sarah P.
Last year we wanted a dog and got one from the animal asylum. I’m not that quick emotional but what I saw there was horrifying: all kind of dogs, from young puppies to old dogs and many traumatized. Some were raped, other tortured, and other completely neglected. But we found a little puppy: a cute one. We took here straight to a vet. She got for weeks injections and we tried to train here. Unfortunately, after 10 months we came to the conclusion that she’s better off in a farm or a place where she can run freely the whole day. We life in the upper apartment/penthouse of a 5 floor building surrounded by a garden of around 400 sq meters. But we could not leave here there for hrs alone. Saturday we brought her to her new owner, a fireman, who will take care of her and other firemen on their work place a little outside central Istanbul. Enough green fields for her to run whenever she wants and enough attention of people who are there 24/7/365. The vet told us last week that when he first saw Sarah she was in a terrible condition and now she is healthy and happy dog. I will miss here when driving; she loves to hang out the window and flirt with the people. And she got a lot of attention since taking your dog in your car is not common here in Turkey.

Day Opening - June 29

The Hermitage dependency in Amsterdam opened its doors last Friday, June 19. Dutch queen Beatrix and Russian president Medvedev were the guests of the opening ceremony.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

'Will US ever face ICC over allegations of war crimes in Iraq?'

Nothing the US did in Iraq could ever constitute a war crime that could be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.
This is the view of Richard Goldstone, a former chief international war crimes prosecutor and international law expert.

"I don't believe that any allegation that I have read or heard against the United States leaders comes anywhere near the sorts of crimes that the ICC has been set up to investigate. Genocide, crimes against humanity, serious war crimes - it just doesn't measure up."

Richard Goldstone - chief prosecutor at the war crimes tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda from 1994-1996 and currently head of a UN fact-finding team on international law violations - made his remarks during a Radio Netherlands Worldwide debate in The Hague.

Asked by a member of the audience if former President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, could ever see themselves on trial at the International Criminal Court for their role in the US-led invasion of Iraq - Judge Goldstone was unequivocal in his answer.

"Let me say I don't believe, while there are allegations of torture - and errors made in bombing of Kosovo during the Clinton administration - or some civilians being killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, I don't believe that any allegation that I have read or heard against the United States leaders comes anywhere near the sorts of crimes that the ICC has been set up to investigate. Genocide, crimes against humanity, serious war crimes - it just doesn't measure up, that's point one. I don't think it's a fair comparison."

The US has never ratified the treaty setting up the ICC and, as such, does not fall under its jurisdiction. American citizens can in theory be put on trial at the ICC if they commit a war crime, or other crime serious enough to warrant a case, in a country that has signed up to the ICC, but then only if the US courts themselves don't take action.

Richard Goldstone said this is unlikely to happen as democracies like the US are always willing to demonstrate capable legal systems.


Under President Bush the US actively worked against the International Criminal Court putting a bill on the statute books, which became known unofficially as The Hague Invasion Act.
The American Service Members Protection Act, its real name, actually threatens American lawyers with legal action should they ever work on a case which could lead to a US citizen being put before the ICC. And it ultimately would allow US troops to come and free anyone on trial in The Hague, hence the unofficial name.
Judge Goldstone was also straight talking when it came to this point, saying the legislation should be scrapped as soon as possible.

"I think it is a blot on the ethics and the morality of the US Congress that there is an act that makes it a criminal offence for government officials to assist the ICC. This was an inheritance from John Bolton's days and I would hope sooner rather than later the now democratic majority in the Senate and the House will repeal those acts. There is talk of it happening and I'm sure it will happen. My attitude on it is very simple, get rid of it."

I agree here with Goldstone that it will be very difficult to make a case against Bush and Co., who are responsible for other crimes than the above mentioned: plundering of Iraq (outsourcing) and pushing the world into a polarized zone. But, in my opinion, Americans should be subject to the same agreements, the same rules, the same standards that anyone else is subject to and this legislation (Haque Invasion act) is as flawed and outrageous as the Helms-Burton Act. On the other hand, just take a look around you, there is so much knee-jerk, blind hatred, illogical and irrational anti-Americanism that it's no wonder people doubt whether you can even find a fair trial.
But get rid of the unethical The Haque Invasion Act which can lead (in theorie) to the bombing and invasion of The Hague in the Netherlands since the ICC is based there.

(Richard Goldstone has been back in the Netherlands for the last three months as The Hague Peace Philosopher - an initiative resulting from the new Spinoza Fellowship, a partnership between the City of The Hague, the Netherlands Institute for Advance Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS), Radio Netherlands Worldwide and the University of Leiden's Campus The Hague.)

Day Opening - June 28

Öxarárfoss in Iceland - Aurora Borealis taken by Arnar Valdimarsson.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Micky Mouse in Saudi Arabia and Chess in Iraq

It’s unlikely a Disneyland will make its way to Saudi any time soon. A leading Saudi cleric says Mickey Mouse must die for the good of Islam. The sheik says the mice are the agents of Satan and that all mice, from house mouses to Mickey Mouses, must be exterminated.

The same sheik also said last year that the Beijing Olympics should have been titled ‘the bikini Olympics’ and denounced the outfits worn by athletes as well as issuing a fatwa against the games.
Al-Munajid’s aversion to sports is not new. In 2005 he denounced soccer, saying the short pants worn by players “reveal nakedness.” He called for a ban on women’s sports and public exercise as to do so would require them to don “tight fitting, short” tunics that were offensive to Muslim decorum.
Chess in Iraq.
Christianity and Islam long disputed if the chess game is okay to play. Judaism never prohibited it (therefore so many world champions Chess are Jewish).
While Christianity already long time ago allowed their followers to play the game; within Islam it’s still highly disputed, is it Halal?
Iraq’s most important grand ayatollah Ali Al-Hoessein al-Sistani denounced the game: its forbidden to play.
The Dutch writer and former professional chess player Tim Krabbe wanted to know more: he sent Al-Sistani an email with the question: ‘It's not allowed to play chess. But is it allowed to compose chess problems and solve them?’
Within a couple of days he got his answer: ‘Indeed, playing chess is not allowed according the Most Highly ‘but compose and solve chess problems are considered haram by the Urf (habits) since it’s not a game’...confused? I am.

Revolutionary Road...: Latest News & Videos From Tehran!#links#links#links#links

Revolutionary Road...: Latest News & Videos From Tehran!#links#links#links#links

Day Opening - June 27

Friday, June 26, 2009

Evren's emotional blackmail

General Kenan Evren, 92, who headed the 1980 coup and served as president between 1892-1989, threatened everyone that he will commit suicide if he must stand trial over his role in the 1980 coup. These kind of remarks are childish, unethical and emotional blackmail. If he thinks that he had the moral right to stage a coup in 1980, why not defend yourself in court, now?

Day Opening - June 26

anybody home?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

whohoa, the Belgiums are coming...

This is great and funny news: Belgium's Leopold II wanted to conquer the Netherlands.
Okay, for some background info about the Netherlands and Belgium one sentence: the Dutch are making jokes about the ‘dim-witted’ Belgium’s like the American make jokes about the ‘stupidity’ of the Polish as the Spanish make jokes about those ‘Idiot gypsies of Portugal'…

In return, the Belgium’s make jokes about the Dutch. Especially about, in their opinion, the miserlily and arrogantly behavior of the Dutch. But I could not suppress an evil grin while reading the following:

King Leopold II of Belgium wanted to invade the Netherlands around 1854, when he was still only crown prince, according to documents discovered in the Royal Archives in Brussels by the Flemish historian and journalist Kris Clerckx. Napoleon III probably prevented the invasion.

Clerckx describes Leopold's plans, which he made when he was 19-years-old and still only the crown prince, in a new book about the former Belgian king, Dutch daily Nederlands Dagblad reported on yesterday.
Leopold II, who lived from 1835 until 1909 and succeeded his father Leopold I in 1865, was the second king of Belgium after it seceded from the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1830. He is said to have been jealous of the Dutch overseas colonies, which was a reason to aspire to ruling that country as well. He later ventured on a personal colonial adventure and claimed his own personal fiefdom in Africa he called Congo Free State (now the Democratic Republic of Congo).

Leopold's plans to invade the neighbouring country, were fairly advanced, the documents show. The corwn prince sent spies to the Netherlands to investigate its military strength. He drafted a plan of attack and dispatched a high-ranking diplomat to seek permission from France, the big European power at the time.
The plan was for a surprise attack by the Belgian army which was supposed to take the country in a matter of days "in order to make sure that the news of the attack and the news of the [Dutch] surrender will get out simultaneously," the Nederlands Dagblad reports from Cleckx findings.

The spy mission into the Netherlands in 1854 showed that the troop strength would not pose a problem for Belgium. Belgium's war coffers far exceeded those of the Netherlands, which furthermore leaned heavily on its navy - a worthless asset in the case of an attack by Belgium.
Colonel Chauchet, the highest-officer military involved in the mission did warn about strength of the Dutch water-based defences and surrounding fortifications, the so-called Dutch Waterline. Chauchet also said Dutch patriotism could entice strong resistance. Leopold, however, counted on support from the Roman Catholics in the protestant-ruled Netherlands to support his invasion.
But the attack never took place, probably because of interference by the French emperor Napoleon III. After his diplomatic mission to France failed, Leopold spoke to Napoleon himself. After that consultation, Leopold felt forced to shelve his plans. Clerckx could not find the specific motivations to abandon the plan.

Now, is this dim-witted or not?. Are we right in our (Dutch) assesments that Belgiums have better beer but less brains?.)! The Dutch Navy was superior by then; we could have taken La Belgique in less than 12 hrs.)

Day Opening - June 25

Kiss me...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Revolutionary Road...: Live from Baharestan Sq...

Revolutionary Road...: Live from Baharestan Sq...

Follow the developments in Tehran Life through a Iranian blogger!!
Refresh the page all the time if you want to see what happens.


Neda Salehi Agha Soltan, a girl who, according her fiancee 'only wanted freedom'.
On the right side of this screen you see a petition. You can sign in and sign the petition. Aim is to get 1.000.000 signatures.
Here you will find how the different embassies in Tehran help, or doesn't, the injured protesters. While neighboring country Armenia tries to help, the Turkish Embassy in Tehran doesn't.

Day Opening - June 24

A stunning picture of Grande Madre di Dio in Torino, Italy

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Patronizing the Iranian people: Turkish FM talking

Turkey was one of the first countries to congratulate President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in Iran’s general election of June 12 and it is been tight-lipped since the beginning of the demonstrations in Iran, where at least 19 protesters have died. Turkish Foreign Minister, Davutoğlu, stated yesterday that "Iran is of utmost importance to us. It is one of our most important neighbors with which we share ‘common history’ (from his neo-Ottoman point of view, not from Persian point of view!) and we believe that Iran will solve its problems within itself in the framework of healthy consultation and one-on-one negotiations. Iran's stability is vital for the entire region's stability etc. Blah, blah, blah.

And this sounds pretty euphemistic to me. No words about the use of disproportionate force against protesters! While almost the whole world condems what happens in Iran, reflected in the words of the Secr. General of the UN Ban Ki-moon, who called for an immediate end to arrests and the threat and use of violence by authorities in Iran and who urged Iran to respect fundamental civil rights, especially the freedom of assembly and expression, Turkey looks the other way.

The Turkish foreign minister’s statement reveals that Turkey’s sole interest is in maintaining regional stability through favoring the status quo in Iran. For the Turkish government, Turkey’s current foreign policy does not prefer a change of regime in Iran for strategic purposes!
And this sounds pretty patronizing of the Iranian people to me. Of course religion plays the dominant factor here. Is that what the current leaders of Iran and Turkey have in common, repressing opponents? Do they still believe that Islam is as a source for a civil society, directed and protected by law and common sense? If I was a Turk I would be very concerned by these developments demonstrated by the Turkish government.

Day Opening - June 23

It's quiet there at Norway’s cliff Prekestolen (also known as Preacher’s Pulpit).

Revolutionary Road...: Bloody saturday in tehran!

Revolutionary Road...: Bloody saturday in tehran!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Danish Foreign minister warns for Iranian Kiss of Death

The outside world should be extremely wary of giving support to those demonstrating against the regime in Iran for fear of giving ‘the kiss of death’ to developments, according to Denmark’s Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller.

Møller’s statements come following heavy criticism from the Socialist People’s Party, which has accused the government of being much too passive and reserved in its reactions against Iran. “If we make the demonstrators’ issues our own, the regime will say that they are foreign agents. The more we embrace them, the more difficult we make it for them – and the easier it becomes for the regime to crack down on them – including having the understanding of the Iranian population,” Per Stig Møller tells Ritzau. “One will give them the kiss of death in adopting their issues as our own, because then it suddenly becomes Iran against the Western world,” Stig Møller says.

The Danish Socialist People’s Party Political Spokesman Holger K. Nielsen says he understands the argument. “But one should be careful not to use this as a moral pretext for inaction. The foreign minister has been very passive in his communication,” Nielsen says. Former Social Liberal Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen says he understands the government position. “It is important to be cautious about political comments. We must not give the regime any excuse to crack down even more on demonstrators,” Helveg Petersen says.

Revolutionary Road...: Live blogging!

Revolutionary Road...: Live blogging!

Day Opening - June 22

With Love such as...
Photography: unknown

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Revolutionary Road...: All we want is a better world!

Revolutionary Road...: All we want is a better world!

Is lawful Islamism by or itself a threat for the West?

You can ask yourself if the slogan "radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution" is an answer to some of the Islamist organizations in Europe. Then the slogan, which currently dominate the debate: 'Is there a rampant Islamophobia in Europe, or only an attempt at gradual Islamization' is a fair assesment.

I heard to often that there is an anti-Muslim bias in European society, which makes any discussion impossible. But I'm sure about one thing, many European institutions fails to distinguish between the socio-economic concerns of Muslim immigrants in Europe and the well-funded, ideological organizations that purport to speak for them. Often from Saudie Arabia and Iran. But also from Turkey: the National View of Erbakan is doing pretty well in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

While people in Turkey (still) are discussing if a woman can wear a heads carve at Universities (no), the Netherlands face more interesting strange and unsuited behavior of Muslims.

You have in the Netherlands Muslim leaders (imams) with the Dutch nationality who rejects to shake hands with women even if it is the Dutch Minister for Integration.

You have female Muslims who don’t want to be treated by male doctors; they simple demand a male doctor even if it is in a critical situation.

There are certain places where women and men are separated for information (municipalities). A modern theater in the city of Rotterdam did an experiment with special rows of seats reserved for women only.
And there are Moslem apothecary who simple refuse to give the morning after pill or condoms to anyone. There are Moslem doctors who refuses to treat AIDS patients and Muslim medicine students who refuse to do a part of the curriculum because that is in fight with their belief…
As it’s almost impossible to be critical of Islam, you will be threatened as a result of your critical mind, hence Islam requires submission which is completely contrary to the Greco-Roman way of thinking of the European world.
We also have municipality civil servants who simple refuse to shake hands with the opposite sex.

Ans a lawyer who refuse to stand up for a judge when he/she enters the courtroom with the simple motive that 'before Allah everybody is equal, so why shall I stand up?'

There are female teachers and other government civil servants, who, during their work represent Islam by carrying their headscarves.
And museums who take away paintings and photographs of the partition, which can be ‘offensive’ for Muslims, only out of fear for the response of Moslems.
And the Netherland become a country where posters of traditional nudes can no longer hang in the underground railway stations. Yes. That’s all happening in the Netherlands.
Today a Dutch newspaper made us aware how far the creepy Islamization; a girl wanted a female photographer to take her picture. Is this ‘religious apartheid’?

I think if only a small portion of the above mentioned happened in Turkey, the army will stage a coup.

Don’t think that it’s the Dutch political party the PVV of G. Widers who makes the Dutch aware about the above mentioned trend. No, it’s the liberal Dutch feminist Muslim of Egyptian origin, Nahed Salim, who describes the creepy İslamization in Europe.
She once stated: 'there is no moderate Islam, but there are moderated Muslims'!

Day Opening - June 21

...pure beauty...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Revolutionary Road...: Minute by minute with Revolution! IRAN UPDATE

Revolutionary Road...: Minute by minute with Revolution!

Follow the link above for an update every couple of minutes. Refresh the pages all the time!

Australian, Finnish, German, British, Dutch, Norway, Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Portugal Embassies are taken wounded people in.

Wounded people im hospıtals are taken away by police forces.
Picture above of Basij thugs (Iranian SS - soldıers without honor!)

Day Opening - June 20

Ramses II, Luxor, Egypt

Friday, June 19, 2009

#20 statement

The status of the mind is like water; if you don't disturb it, it becomes clear.

-Old Tıbetian verb

Public shaming for men behaving badly in Turkey

A reality TV show is introducing Turkish viewers to a new concept: that of the loving husband.

By Bram Vermeulen in Istanbul

Candidates on the TV show Kocam size emanet learn to dance using yellow mops as imaginary dance partners.
There are many ways to get a Turkish man to show his love for his wife.
You can force him to stand in Istanbul's Taksim Square with a sign saying: "I cheated and I'm sorry." You can make him declare his love for his wife through a megaphone, on a boat, in front of a packed yacht harbour. Or you can simply make him get on his knees and say: "Honey, I love you."
All three cases were recorded by four TV cameras and broadcast to millions of Turkish viewers, enabling them to witness at first hand what a good Turkish husband looks like.

And there is more herrreeeee

Day Opening - June 19

...a way of biking...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The situation in Iran (cartoon)

from iranian.com

E-readiness high in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has risen to third place on the e-readiness rankings for 2009. US is the global e-readiness leader and Switzerland is the European leader.
This is reflected in the annual list of the Economist Intelligence Unit and IBM, which was published Wednesday.
Last year the Netherlands was at the seventh place of international competitive positions in the ICT field. The research shows a clear upward trend of the Dutch competitive position since 2001.

E-Readiness is the ability to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to develop one’s economy and to foster one’s welfare.
Each year, in cooperation with the IBM Institute for Business Value, the Economist Intelligence Unit produces a ranking of e-readiness across countries, based on six pillars of e-readiness: connectivity & technology infrastructure, business environment, social & cultural environment, legal environment, government policy & vision and consumer & business adoption.

Netherlands is doing very well in the field of connectivity and technology infrastructure. Its associated with Switzerland in the first place. The Netherlands is second in terms of legal issues and our country scores well on ICT use by consumers and businesses.
E-readiness continues to advance across the globe. Indeed, the average e-readiness score of the 70 countries in this year’s rankings improved for the fifth year in a row.
The USA ranks together with Switzerland 1. Sweden ranks 2, the Netherlands 3, HongKong 4, Turkey ranks 31

Day Opening - June 17

On their way to Brussels...

Hans gave me a kick

Busy as a bee. Shouldn't be an excuse.

Something interesting to tell you people? Guess so.

You can't have missed the crisis. It's everywhere and though it seems to be used as an excuse (car insurances have increased with ten percent this year in Holland) it's also kicking some good asses. Many small companies with their own identity have to close their doors because of lack of costumers. One of these businesses is close to me. A store I've know for my whole life, the store of my father. He's owned a shop on the Overtoom in Amsterdam since my birth. Fortunately he continues making things.

I think of all those people who find themselves in financial problems because of this weird thing happening in our society.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Transnational Middle-East Observer: Neorealist: EU should support Turkish military

Transnational Middle-East Observer: Neorealist: EU should support Turkish military

The best and worst airports in the world.

The Budget Traveller'sGuide to Sleeping in Airports
For travellers who are REALLY on a budget and are looking for a way to skim a few bucks off their travel expenses, why not consider sleeping in an airport?
Here a lıst of the best and worst airports:
Not a bad place to stay overnight or in transit.
The best:
1. Singapore Changi
2. Seoul Incheon
3. Amsterdam Schiphol
4. Oslo Gardermoen
5. Hong Kong
6. Dubai
7. Frankfurt International
8. Munich
9. Vancouver
10. Denver
The worst:
Read why on these pages:
1. Paris Charles de Gaulle * a must read *
2. Moscow Sheremetyevo
3. New York JFK
4. Los Angeles
5. Delhi
9. Rome Fiumicino
10. London Heathrow
And here a list of the best airports world wide in general
Agree of Disagree

Day Opening - June 16

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Abramavich's new yacht

Some people change once in the 5 year their car for a new one.
Roman Abramovich change his yacht.
Above the 'old' Pelores which is only 115 meters tall.
Below his new toy the 'eclipse'..."which is a 170 meters yacht (557.6 foot) featuring 2 heli- pads, 20 water jets, a pool with large Havana bars surrounding it, a cinema, library, restaurant, private garden, 5,000 square feet large master suite, a private submarine boarding from the bottom of the yacht for a secret escape, and a missile-detection system to abort pirates attack safely. The 9-deck megayacht has at least 5 possible exits which literally makes it the safest yacht ever built." (for another picture click hier .)

Obama's speech Cairo - Andrew Bostom - Nazism and more

Andrew Bostom is a well-know author on antisemitism and Associate Professor of Medicines at Brown University. The first time I heard of him was on FoxNews, not my favorite TV channel, in the USA.
When 10 days ago Obama delivered his speech in Cairo it looked like the whole world was applauding him. Not me; you don't give a speech to 'address Muslims all over the world' from the Al Azhar University (and its mosque, whereof its leader supports suicide bombings) which represent the pinnacle of Islamic religious education. De facto, extreme Islamic religious education. I made my point clear on Emre's Istanbulian blog clear: his speech was full of platitudes, generalizations and simplifications. And someone directed me to Andrew Bostom's blog and comment on Obama' speech which made a lot clear. I often diasagree with him but this time he makes sense:

''When the US President Barack Obama address this past Thursday (June 4, 2009) in Cairo he first thanked as his one of his primary sponsors Al Azhar University, in the Manchild’s words, “a beacon of Islamic learning,” for over a millennium.
Indeed, for over a thousand years, since its founding in 792 C.E., Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, has served as the academic shrine—much as Mecca is the religious shrine—of the global Muslim community. Al Azhar University (and its mosque) represent the pinnacle of Islamic religious education.
John Roy Carlson traveled to the Middle East shortly after WWII to pursue his investigative reporting on Fascist/Nazi movements—he had gone undercover in the US to expose domestic Nazism during the war, and the trail lead him overseas following the war. Egypt became a major sanctuary for Nazis by the mid-1950s under Nasser, but almost a decade earlier Carlson documented widespread Nazi sympathy coupled to Islamic religious fanaticism at Al Azhar itself. Carlson provided this apt description of Al Azhar’s “tradition”—“Every year Al Azhar graduated hundreds of missionaries who preached its fanatic doctrine throughout Asia, Africa, and the islands of the Pacific…” He goes on to comment, “…though Muhammad [the Muslim prophet] died in 632, I found that Al Azhar his preachments were considered fresh and applicable today—with absolutely no modifications.” Carlson then describes his meeting with rector of Al Azhar University Sheikh Shinawi, who preached Jihad—Holy War—against Zionism, and was a friend of the Jihadist, Nazi collaborating ex-Mufti of Jerusalem and Godfather of the Palestinian movement, Hajj Amin el-Husseini, who also found sanctuary in Cairo after WWII.
Fast forward to the current era, and hear the plea (published July 10, 2004) of an gyptian sociologist Sayyed al-Qimnilamenting the fact that classical Islamic jurisprudence—jihad war and the brutal subjugation of infidels under dehumanizing Shari’a, Islamic law—is still being taught at Al Azhar. “What kind of thinking are we teaching our next generation, that it has the right to attack other countries in order to convert them to Islam?…And we wonder where terror comes from?” Continue this Article here

Day Opening - June 14

The car with the coolest 'car plate' in the Netherlands: xx-zz69...
Picture: GeenStijl.nl

Saturday, June 13, 2009

World Blog Surf Day - Turkey - June

My cooking skills were developed when I was a child; my parents used to host every Saturday and Sunday family and friends over for late afternoon Tea and Dinner parties. And as the youngest of the family I was forced/privileged to make the cakes, often with too much whip cream. I can still hear the complaints of my aunts…’we are on diet but you make it impossible for us’. So started my career as a cook! And you understand that since then I never comprehend the people anymore.

Then I got my fist girl friend; she tried to explain me how to boil an egg, as I was an idiot. And explained how organic eggs needs a little bit more time than an average Dutch egg. That was the end of the affair…and I still don’t regret that.

When I turned 27, and already given up by friends and family, that I ever would succeed a life with a female partner (after countless affairs with women in and outside the kitchen) H. showed up; A blend of Dutch, Chinese, Indonesian and some French blood.

She was a great cook and we ended up who was the best cook…and appointed her large family as the judge. I won! My firs victory was sealed! And since then I seduced many women with my skills in the kitchen which was the private domain place for women, once, but now I’m there!
Now, living in Turkey with O., for almost 7 good years, I only can tell you that; never date a man who is superior in cooking, and regarding the Turkish kitchen; come over and try…..it’s fabulous…like my own kitchen.)

For more info, check …….Sher her web site, she is the organizer of the WBSD and please go to Jen her blog for more info about Turkey and food…..enjoy! And Anastasia follow and report us through here twitter

Day Opening - June 13

Friday, June 12, 2009

Main difference between Europe and USA; Americans pay more tax and their women looks different

More than two weeks ago The New York Times runs an article with the heading: ‘Going Dutch’. When I was reading the article, I remembered a conversation with a Dutch CFO of a Dutch multinational in Miami in 2002. He was in the process of getting a green card and I in the process of getting a work permit, which was granted within 3 weeks. Thank you America, unfortunately, I never made use of it since I moved, after having obtained the work permit, to my current home, Istanbul.
Anyway, this CFO and friend of my, tried to convince me that in the end people in America, the average one, pays much more tax than for example the average Dutch in the Netherlands - but it can also be another person from one of the Nordic countries which have all the same ‘social democratic system’ often in the USA declared as ‘communalistic’ aka Communists! Yuk, don’t label us that too easy!

I put several excerpts of that article of the New York Times Magazine here below…and especially to all the American Conservatives, reading this article, have fun..)

‘’ For 18 months now I’ve been playing the part of the American in Holland, alternately settling into or bristling against the European way of life.’’

‘’ For the first few months I was haunted by a number: 52. It reverberated in my head; I felt myself a prisoner trying to escape its bars. For it represents the rate at which the income I earn, as a writer and as the director of an institute, is to be taxed. To be plain: more than half of my modest haul, I learned on arrival, was to be swallowed by the Dutch welfare state. Nothing in my time here has made me feel so much like an American as my reaction to this number. I am politically left of center in most ways, but from the time 52 entered my brain, I felt a chorus of voices rise up within my soul, none of which I knew I had internalized, each a ghostly simulacrum of a right-wing, supply-side icon: Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Rush Limbaugh. The grim words this chorus chanted in defense of my hard-earned income I recognized as copied from Charlton Heston’s N.R.A. rallying cry about prying his gun from his cold, dead hands.’’

Note: only people in one of the highest income groups pay ‘as a starter 52% tax’. For sure, he’s able to go at least 3 times a year on holiday, from 1 week to a trip of 3 weeks, probably the USA..)!

‘’And yet as the months rolled along, I found the defiant anger softening by intervals, thanks to a succession of little events and awarenesses. One came not long ago. Logging into my bank account, I noted with fleeting but pleasant confusion the arrival of two mysterious payments of 316 euros (about $410) each. The remarks line said “accommodation schoolbooks.” My confusion was not total. On looking at the payor — the Sociale Verzekeringsbank, or Social Insurance Bank — I nodded with sage if partial understanding. Our paths had crossed several times before. I have two daughters, you see. Every quarter, the SVB quietly drops $665 into my account with the one-word explanation kinderbijslag, or child benefit. As the SVB’s Web site cheerily informed me when I went there in bewilderment after the first deposit: “Babies are expensive. Nappies, clothes, the pram . . . all these things cost money. The Dutch government provides for child benefit to help you with the costs of bringing up your child.” Any parents living in the country receive quarterly payments until their children turn 18. And thanks to a recently passed law, the state now gives parents a hand in paying for school materials.’’

Note: until recently, the payments were unlimited regarding children – if you have 10 chilren for each child you get money. Now only until your 3th child. Still fair, or not?

Payments arrive from other sources too. Friends who have small children report that the government can reimburse as much as 70 percent of the cost of day care, which totals around $14,000 per child per year. In late May of last year an unexpected $4,265 arrived in my account: vakantiegeld. Vacation money. This money materializes in the bank accounts of virtually everyone in the country just before the summer holidays; you get from your employer an amount totaling 8 percent of your annual salary, which is meant to cover plane tickets, surfing lessons, tapas: vacations. And we aren’t talking about a mere “paid vacation” — this is on top of the salary you continue to receive during the weeks you’re off skydiving or snorkeling. And by law every employer is required to give a minimum of four weeks’ vacation. For that matter, even if you are unemployed you still receive a base amount of vakantiegeld from the government, the reasoning being that if you can’t go on vacation, you’ll get depressed and despondent and you’ll never get a job.’’
‘’Such things are easy for an American to ridicule; you don’t have to be a Fox News commentator to sneer at what, in the midst of a global financial crisis, seems like Socialism Gone Wild.’’

Note: He forgot to mention here the bonusses and Christmas and end of years extra payments. But read and enjoy the full article herrreeeee
And don't ask me why I as a Dutch live in Turkey...

Statement #20

Modernity doesn’t mean Democracy
But Democracy means Modernity
(On the question if the ‘modern’ Arab states are for the people/by the people)

Day Opening - June 12

Gadhaffi and his body guards...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

World Blog Surf Day

Yes, this Saturday June 13th, the second World Blog Surf Day will be held for expats around the globe.
The last and first one was in March and was already a success. But this time more participants will participate; around 30 from 17 different countries. And yes, Turkey is good represented by expats living in Turkey and by Turks living outside Turkey.
The theme this time is ‘food’…as it is. ‘Do you like the food in your guest country’ (no..),’ do you miss food from your home country’(sometimes..),’ your specialties’ (too many..),’ favorite places to eat’ (my kitchen..) and so on.
The first WBSD was organized by a ‘German Lady in Prague’, this time by a ‘American Lady in Prague’ (thanks Sher!)
Each participant will link to one of the other participants, so in the end you travel around the world through 31 blogs…can not wait.)!!

Day Opening - June 11

One of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China is a man-made structure that was constructed over two thousand years ago and took about 100 years to complete. The vastness of this project brings to light the immense capabilities of man.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dıfference between Gul and Erdogan

The Turkish PM Erdoğan said that the EU elections resulted in a ‘Christian Democrat victory’ throughout Europe. And with the understatement of the week he stated that voter turnout was just 43 percent. And so he concluded that ‘a number of political parties and leaders put their opposition to Turkey's EU accession at the center of their election campaigns’; “We are witnessing a picture after the elections that everyone interprets as negative in terms of Turkey's membership.”

I’m not sure if this rhetoric is genuine or simple based upon some bad advisors around him, but the ‘Christen Democrats’ didn’t win the elections. It was the far right and nationalistic parties with a national agenda which came out the elections as winner. And what’s wrong with ‘Christian Democrats’? As Turkey with 99.8% of the population being Muslim, where most European countries are far from being Christian countries. Many people are non affiliated.

But Erdogan feels the heat and start making nonsense statements; empty ones such as “We are continuing the EU process not with words, but with actions. This is how Turkey sees it. The membership criteria are there. Complying with promises, the principles and rules that have been established is the basis of the spirit of unity. Those who display behaviors that do not comply with this spirit, loyalty and pact, would, before anything else, take an approach contrary to the founding principles of the EU,”
But so far no really actions are made by the current Turkish government the last years and absolutely no progress to integrate Turkey into the EU. Even the Ankare agreement of 2005 is still not implemented.

How different are the words of the Turkish President Abdullah Gül yesterday that downplayed the impact of anti-Turkish statements voiced by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Turkish candidacy to the European Union. ‘’Politicians come and go, he said’’, stressing the importance of political goals set by the countries. And: “The important thing is to continue preparing the country for full EU membership.” “People who voiced opposition to Turkey today might change their position later, what matters is the opinion of the Turkish and European public.”
This sounds more realistic to me than an Erdogan who beat the Nationalistic drum and play the blame game, but he doesn’t gain anything with this approach.

Day Opening - June 10

Commissioned by Ivan the terrible to commemorate his successful military campaign against the Tartar Mongols in the city of Kazan, in 1552, St. Basil’s was designed by Postnik Yakolev and built between 1555 and 1561. Legend has it that Ivan the Terrible had the architect blinded after the building was finished, so he could never build anything more beautiful, but history records that he did build another cathedral in Vladimir, so the legend is most likely just that.
Built on the edge of the Red Square in Moscow, St. Basil’s Cathedral is a colorful edifice made up of 9 individual chapels, each a symbol of a successful assault on Kazan and topped by an onion dome. The ninth chapel was erected in 1588 between the first eight, giving the cathedral the look of an eight-corner star when seen from above.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Feeling like crap

Don’t know what the f%&k is going on, the weather is 28 degrees and I’m inside with a terrible cold.Our terrace overlooks the valley of north Istanbul, the Bosporus partly and far away the Black sea, but the wind comes from there. And although the wind is not that strong, it has been caused terrible excursion in our apartment. I feel cold but sweating at the same time, but barely eating; only some yoghurt today while yesterday my menu was a little different; 6 big slices of brown bread with Dutch cheese and Italian salad, 2 large cups of homemade chicken soup, 2 steaks and César salad and one big plate of macaroni with vegetarian sauce…and snacks. But feel like crap now…and I don't use caffeine!

Day Opening - June 9

The Torre Galatea Figueres (Spain)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Analysis of EU elections

Europe swings to the right

Crisis? What crisis? Despite the credit crunch and the resulting economic crisis, Europeans gave a vote of confidence in the free market ideology by voting mostly for centre-right parties in the European parliament polls that closed on Sunday night.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi have reason to celebrate. German chancellor Angela Merkel did less well, but she was able to minimise the predicted loss. All these leaders belong to the European People's Party, which looks set to remain the biggest political group in the European parliament.

For the past five years, Christian democrats and conservatives formed a majority with the liberals in the European parliament. This allowed the parliament to approve measures aimed at liberalising many sectors that were previously in the public domain: mail services, railways, telecommunications and energy among them. The socialist group on the other hand warned against the risks of the free market economy. It had demanded stricter controls on hedge funds well ahead of the financial crisis, but to no avail.
"This is a difficult evening for the socialists in many countries," said Martin Schulz, the president of the socialist group in the European parliament. Schulz was addressing fellow socialists who had gathered in the parliament in Brussels via video link from Berlin. Many of them looked defeated on Sunday night, much to the annoyance of the Dane Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, the president of the European socialist party, who said it was now more important than ever to fight for a social Europe. "Your body language is out of tune with the message," Rasmussen admonished the parliamentarians.

Just ahead of the meeting of the socialist group, Dutch Labour (PvdA) parliamentarian Jan Marinus Wiersma admitted that the result was "disappointing". The message that the socialists were the best choice to protect the European citizens against the effects of the economic crisis did not come across, said Wiersma. In order to cheer up his colleagues, Wiersma highlighted the results in two countries where the socialists did well: Slovakia and Malta. "Not the biggest countries, but still."

Wiersma's PvdA lost four of its seven seats in the European parliament. In Germany, the SPD was reduced to 21.3 percent of the vote - its lowest nationwide result since World War II. In Britain, where six Labour ministers resigned because of a scandal over parliamentary expenses, prime minister Gordon Brown was resisting calls for resignation after his party suffered an historic defeat in European and local elections. The Labour party secured just 15.4 per cent of the European votes to finish behind the Tories (28 percent) and the UK Independence Party (17.5 percent) but just ahead of the Liberal Democrats (14 pct.)
Based on incomplete results, the new European parliament - which is smaller than the old one with 736 instead of 785 members - will look something like this: the Christian democrats remain the biggest group with 263 to 273 seats. The socialists, despite heavy losses, are in second place with 155 to 165 seats - down from 217. The third biggest group, the liberals, will shrink slightly, while the Green party gains slightly.

The result is good news for parliament president José Manuel Barroso who is seeking a second term. The socialist group in the parliament was the most critical of Barroso. The Portuguese, who is considered a 'liberal' president, already has the support of many heads of government. Europe's move to the right means that he has a good chance of getting the approval of the European parliament as well.

By Petra de Koning and Jeroen van der Kris for Nrc.nl

Here the results: Link - European elections results

Day Opening - June 8

...well known...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

D-Day, Yesterday, 65 years ago...

Yesterday 65 years ago the Allied forces kicked of their conquest of Europe with the landing on the Normandy beaches. The invasion was a success, but it cost thousands of soldiers their lives.
Here some D-Day pictures.

Canadian troops with bicycles on Juno Beach.

British troops take positions on a beach (Juno or Gold).

Our liberators now. American veterans attend a flag-lowering ceremony in the US war cemetery in Colleville-Sur-Mer. Thanks GUYS!!!!!