Monday, August 31, 2009

Turkish sensationalism - Journalism

It looks like that I am not the only Dutch in Turkey who is disturbed by the sensationalistic and prejudice Turkish press. No matter if they are Zaman, Hurriyet or Cumhuriyer. They all show some ignorance when it comes to foreign relations. Or do they play the nationalistic card; the faults made when Turks are involved are always caused by foreigners; Turks don’t make any mistakes, so simple is that. Remember the terrible crash of Turkish Airlines in Amsterdam dd. 25.02.09 which killed nine people and around 80 injured? It was the fault of the Dutch, the wind, Boeing etc. In the end, an independent commission reached to the conclusion that it was the fault of the crew, which was not prepared. But the crew was already buried in Turkey with honor and grace. No word in the Turkish press that it was Turkish Airlines its fault, to keep the spirit high I guess.
To the point; most of the Turkish media reported lately a raise in Islamphobia in the Netherlands; 3 Turks were killed and this was the result of racism. The murders were Dutch even before the police ended their investigations. But what was the result of this investigation? They all were murdered by fellow Turks. One, the well known Turkish Dutch owner of a day care is supposedly killed by a Turkish homeless guy. The other two, by Turkish gangs.
Here what a fellow Dutch wrote in Radikal, an excerpt:

In the meantime, I wish those same Turkish newspapers would make it clear to their readers that it was very unfortunate that they had jumped to conclusions. In the future, I hope that each incident in Europe related to Islamophobia and involving Turks will be highlighted in the Turkish media and strongly condemned by politicians in Turkey and abroad. But I also hope that incidents without any demonstrable link with racism or xenophobia are presented as they should. As tragic events that are a part of life that, be it reluctantly, we are obliged to accept.

Here the full article

Day Opening - August 31


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Uitmarkt - Amsterdam (annual cultural market)

One of the things I miss of Amsterdam is the annual Uitmarkt (Out Market) which heralds the cultural season of Amsterdam with open-air stages and free shows. Last Friday the 32nd edition started. Amsterdam's theatres open their doors to the public and provide free performances indoor and on some of the city's main squares (on the pictures the Dam Square). The idea is to give teasers of what's to come this winter. This year, again, the main stage is on Dam Square, where a variety of well known performers entertain the crowds. These free-of-charge performances range from mime, cabaret, opera, dance, movies, and literature, pop, jazz to classical music.

This year more than 500 shows are performed throughout weekend in the city center, in addition to numerous stalls providing all kinds of information on cultural life of the capital of the Netherlands. Although already the end of the summer, and often bad weather, last year the event attracted more than a half a million visitors. The city centre of Amsterdam is very compact so easy to stroll through the crowds and having a good time!

I especially loved the outdoor pop music concerts.

Just My Two Cents: Random Thoughts #4

Just My Two Cents: Random Thoughts #4

Day Opening - August 30

A surfing dog! (click on picture to enlarge)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fortis Bank Turkey

I was closely involved regarding PR and advertisement with Fortis Bank Turkey in 2005, which had by then a liaison office only. Fortis bank was a Dutch/Belgium bank. And Fortis Turkey was focused on corporate clients, not consumer banking. Prior to their acquisition of Turkish Disbank in April 2005 I warned them of bad publicity when you do mass communication. When they announced the acquisition, a media frenzy was created; this was the major bank acquisition in Turkish history and Fortis paid 4.5 billion for this small Turkish bank. With the takeover my contacts vanished and I saw that Fortis made a ‘Turkish turn’: spend as much as you can on mass communication and everything will be alright. How wrong. The 30 million € ad and PR campaign didn’t bring the wanted results. And not that much later Fortis bank almost bankrupt. The Dutch part was bailed out and the Belgium part, Turkey is part of that, is going through difficult times. But it looks that they didn’t learn from their previous mistakes:
the Turkish ad for Fortis Bank, see above, which promotes their plastic surgery loans with a typical before and after picture of a young woman with the tagline, “You get the credit, another one pays for it” is tasteless.
This is in my opinion very irresponsible to target young women and tempt them with vanity. Plus, they are going to pay for it eventually, aren’t they?
The ad was created by ad agency Gram İstanbul, İstanbul, Turkey with photography by Murat Suyur.
Fortis didn't learn from their mistakes!


Next week my younger sister and my brother-in-law will visit Turkey for the first time. I'm probably not able to write a post or drop an EC.
Now the holidays are over, hope that our co bloggers of Greece will write more..)! Shall make a wake-up call to them.)!
There is an interesting discussion going on on a previous post about the Cultural Heritage of Turkey/Religion. Just enjoy and participate...

Did you know that (6)

*Sleep is good for you, right? Not anymore ... a recent study indicated that getting more than 6-7 hours of sleep per night significantly increases your risk of death.* [that']

Day Opening - August 29

Mitilini, Lesvos, Greece

Friday, August 28, 2009

Segregation, discrimination, fraud etc. at Dutch Islamic schools in the Netherlands

The Dutch education system is unique in the world. See how it works here. Families can choose where their kids go to primary and elementary school and the government subsidies different types of schools – traditional (called independent non-religious, public), Montessori, Steiner, but also Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim. However, 86 percent of the Muslim schools have misused government funds. Some examples: Fake names on the payroll; entire schools taking trips abroad with school funds – trips to Mecca; school boards fired for incompetence etc. Just a few of the problems the government has found at Islamic Schools in the Netherlands. Also a recent report from the Dutch Ministry of Education says that half of the 42 Islamic primary schools in the Netherlands don't meet the minimum education standard. Everybody takes the same test at the end!

Now earlier this week an Islamic school, As Siddieg, which is believed to impede social integration as children of different religions are encouraged not to mingle will lose part of its funding from the government as it has not done enough to integrate its pupils into society. The school also failed to respect basic values of democracy.
As Siddieq, which runs three schools in Amsterdam's De Baarsjes, Noord and Zeeburg quarters, has been given until 1 March to introduce improvements or risk losing part of the government funding. And the Amsterdam city councilor Lodewijk Asscher, who is in charge of education, also withdrew the municipal subsidy to As Siddieq as he has lost confidence in the school board. Now the governing board of this Islamic school in Amsterdam is taking the local government to court over the loss of its funding, reports (the reduce funding to As-Siddieq school group is € 200.000, five percent of the Amsterdam school’s total subsidies of 4.5 million)! Now, these Orthodox Islamic schools treat Dutch teachers who are not Muslims as inferior beings. They have to have their meals separately and cannot be greeted in the same way as Muslims, says former teacher, Hennie Metsemakers of As Siddieq school in Amsterdam. She was suspended by the school a year and a half ago because she spoke of religions other than Islam in the lessons. "I had drawn a timeline and shown the most important events of a number of beliefs on it." Not only was that forbidden, but she was also ordered to teach the children that Christianity would be abolished in the end, all other religions would disapear and everybody will convert to Islam. Other teachers had already left the As Siddieq school due to the extremely orthodox attitude of its management. The board succeeded in imposing the orthodox signature on all staff members, even though half the team consists of non-Muslim teachers.
Non-Muslim teachers at As Siddieqschool and other schools are treated kindly, but not as full-value colleagues. Metsemakers had gone to work at the school full of integration ideals. "The leadership was attentive and nice, but turned out to have a hidden agenda. In the breaks, we had to eat separately. We were not allowed to be greeted in the same way as Muslim teachers, not with the word salaam, peace, because non-Muslims cannot know what peace is’ and the school wants to teach children that they are not allowed to be friends with non-believers. "Only Muslims can after all be good people."...good to know...

You can ask what for example Catholic schools are doing. I went in the late sixties and early seventies of the last century to a Catholic elementary and high school. I got one hour a week education in religion in general. That’s all. But no wonder that in 10 years time the Dutch educational system dropped from its 2nd position worldwide to the 9th place…

Just My Two Cents: The Reality Of Sarah Palin's Political Future

Just My Two Cents: The Reality Of Sarah Palin's Political Future

Dali and Disney

Together they made Destino.

Enjoy it

Day Opening - August 28

A little bit of Love;
Giraffe and Squirrel

Thursday, August 27, 2009


More blogs are added to the chain of Internations. Just Politics of Harrison Price, a moderate conservative from SF, the USA, is an interesting blog about daily politics in the USA from an independent moderate and conservative point of view. Great to discuss there USA politics.

AskSherlock is a blog from Rick and Cher from Pittsburgh, PA. Excellent written articles. Take your time for it.

Martin in Bulgaria has another site: the Rakia Site. Don't think that only in Turkey they produce Raki...they do it in Bulgaria as well. Martin is an expat from the UK living for years in Yambol, Bulgaria. This site is now here on the blogroll of Internations as well.

Camila Roman from Roman from Lima created a site about Peru. Newsworthy information about Peru and if you want to have a nice time there, contact here. Here site is now here on Internations as one of the few touristic sites/blogs.

And last but not least, James O'Donnel's blog, the Poor Mouth, an excellent read.

Also; take a loke a Sezin her blog


Another note: lately this blog is stalked by an Anonymous commenter. Not so ‘anonymous’ anymore since I got the ISP and address of this stalker from an internet security company. In the meanwhile, this blog is on Moderation when not of the bloggers is online. This can delay the process of comments approval. But as long as this ultra nationalist Islamist Turk send his insane messages, we don’t have another choice. Sorry for the precautions.

Did you know that (5)

That the City Council of Oxford, the UK, renamed Christmas festive celebrations into 'Winter Light Festival' and has been criticised by religious leaders of all denominations!
Only the chairman of the Society of Muslim Lawyers in UK praised it.

Day Opening - August 27

Perito Moreno, Argentinia, by Sedat Saatcioglu

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Turkey doesn’t protect the cultural heritage of their land correctly.

In an article which I wrote for the Turkish Daily News 2 ½ years ago, I accused Turkey not to take care of the cultural heritage of the land now know as Turkey. Before the conquest by the Ottomans of the Byzantium empire( Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων) in the 15th century the Empire was also know as of Imperium Graecorum, East Roma Empire based upon Hellenic-Roman traditions and their language was Ancient Greek. Turkey these days are the home of many Christian, Orthodox Christian and Armenian buildings. In fact, Turkey sits on Gold, Silver and Bronze regarding its heritage. Only it doesn’t protect the many ancient buildings that well as you can witness in several parts of Turkey were ‘Christian’ buildings are simple neglected, destroyed or in the best case (Churches) turned into museums.
These days another story occurred in the Turkish newspapers which shows that Turkey isn’t act ethically at all when other religions are involved; A derelict church in Istanbul’s Silivri region will be restored and again put to use as a mosque. The St. Dimitrios Church was built in 1831 and was was primarily made up of Greek Orthodox residents until the population exchange in the early 1920s. New residents preserved the cross and the figurines on the church, but converted it to a mosque by constructing a wooden minaret next to the building. They used the church as a mosque until a new mosque was built, after which the St. Dimitrios Church was abandoned. The wooden minaret collapsed after a while and eventually the abandoned building became a sty and depot. The abandoned building is currently registered to the Silivri Municipality as a “derelict church,” and according to the law it is a first-degree historical site that needs to be protected. Now the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has already started to restore the church as a mosque and the provincial historical sites’ protection board has approved the building of a new minaret next to it. Facing sharp criticism from all sides; architects, the Greek-Orthodox Church etc.
What I don’t understand in this; why always must Churches turned into Mosques? A Church is sacred ground for Christians. How would they react when a Mosque turned into a Church? Which is impossible regarding the structure, design and cultural belief. Is putting a minaret on a church sufficient to call it a House of Prayer, a House of God? I have my doubts.

Il Y avait un Jardin

C'est une chanson pour les enfants
Qui naissent et qui vivent entre l'acier
Et le bitume, entre le béton et l'asphalte
Et qui ne sauront peut-être jamais
Que la terre était un jardin.

Il y avait un jardin qu'on appelait la terre
Il brillait au soleil comme un fruit défendu
Non ce n'était pas le paradis ni l'enfer
Ni rien de déjà vu ou déjà entendu

Il y avait un jardin, une maison, des arbres
Avec un lit de mousse pour y faire l'amour
Et un petit ruisseau roulant sans un vague
Venait le rafraichir et poursuivait son cours.

Il y avait un jardin grand comme une vallée
On pouvait s'y nourrir à toutes les saisons
Sur la terre brûlante ou sur l'herbe gelée
Et découvrir des fleurs qui n'avaient pas de nom

Il y avait un jardin qu'on appelait la terre
Il était assez grand pour des milliers d'enfants
Il était habité jadis par nos grands-pères
Qui le tenaient eux-mêmes de leurs grands-parents

Où est-il ce jardin où nous aurions pu naître
Où nous aurions pu vivre insouciants et nus.
Où est cette maison toutes portes ouvertes
Que je cherche encore et que je ne trouve plus

By George Moustaki

Day Opening - August 26

Gate of wishes - Mrtvica canyon, Montenegro

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Did you know that (4)

America's top ten unhappiest cities, according to Business Week are

1. Portland
2. St. Louis
3. New Orleans
4. Detroit
5. Cleveland
6. Jacksonville
7. Las Vegas
8. Nashville
9. Cincinnati
10. Atlanta
Business Week evaluated U.S. cities according to a variety of factors, including depression, crime, suicide, divorce, and the number of cloudy days they have each year.

Izz Cafe Istanbul

The architecture behind the Izz Cafe tapas bar in Istanbul, Turkey is inspired by the ocean current. Uğur Köse and Batu Palmer are Turkish architects responsible for the renovation of the historical building into the stunning Izz Cafe.

To create the Izz Cafe, mechanical elements and pipes were concealed behind a wooden shell designed to resemble a wave. While the building itself was respected as a whole, individual details were carefully thought out and brought to fruition to create a water inspired design.

Source: trendhunter

Day Opening - August 25

Four season Garden, Walsall, the UK

Arash's World: Why Submission - and Islamic Thought - seem so Foreign to Western Thinking

Arash's World: Why Submission - and Islamic Thought - seem so Foreign to Western Thinking

Monday, August 24, 2009

Did you know (3)

USA Doctors tend to chronically overestimate the amount of time their terminally ill patients have left to live.
USA ranks last regarding universal healthcare in OECD countries

Which countries are lobbying in the USA; Turkey ranks 4th

Figures from an investigation by ProPublica, the not-for-profit journalism website that was founded last year in the USA by a former editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal shows that the UAE spents the most money in the USA, almost 11.000.000 USD regarding lobbying activities. Followed by the UK with 6.105.200 USD, Japan (4.231.656 USD), Turkey (4,185,248 USD), Iraq (3,708,368 USD). The Netherlands ranks 9 with 2,694,604 USD. Amsterdam has been lobbying in the US for years, primarily to attract foreign investment. Half of all foreign companies in Amsterdam are form the US. On the other hand, ProPublica did not include the cost for the campaign about the 400th anniversary of the 'discovery' of the Hudson river by an English explorer, Henry Hudson, who worked for the Dutch East India Company. The highlight of the campaign, which focused on Dutch-American relations throughout four centuries, is a visit to new York by crown prince Willem-Alexander next month. The cost of the campaign is estimated at 6 million euros.
General info:

An examination of the records, which were filed in 2008 and cover activity during that year and the latter part of 2007, show how busy these special interests groups for foreign countries in the USA were:
-More than 280 lobbying firms collected $87 million in fees for representing 340 foreign clients, including governments, government-controlled organizations, political parties, separatist groups and a handful of for-profit firms.
-Lobbyists or other officials reporting under FARA contacted members of Congress, their staff, executive branch officials, journalists and others more than 22,000 times.
-Several prominent former lawmakers have signed on to represent foreign countries, among them ex-Senate leader Bob Dole (Taiwan and Montenegro) and former House Appropriations Chairman Robert Livingston (Turkey and others).


Perhaps no player in the field shows the influence of foreign agents as much as Robert Livingston, the powerful ex-appropriations chairman who was in line to be House Speaker before a scandal derailed him. His firm, Livingston Group, reported the highest number of contacts with government officials represents for example Turkey ae country with a longstanding image problem.

From 1915 to 1923, as many as 1.5 million Armenians perished, many at the hands of the Ottoman government, but a precise description of the events has been an extraordinarily sensitive subject in Turkey. The issue also has risen regularly in Congress, thanks in part to American-Armenian groups that have pushed for government affirmation that the killings amounted to genocide.
In October 2007, with elderly Armenian survivors from the era in attendance, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs approved a resolution that would do just that. The next step would be a vote before the entire House, something Turkey wanted desperately to avoid.
The genocide question split U.S. leaders. All eight living former secretaries of state at the time sent a letter warning Congress that offending Turkey could have serious diplomatic consequences for the United States. Both Barack Obama and his chief opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Rodham Clinton, were in the Senate; Clinton backed a resolution recognizing the genocide, and Obama made it a campaign pledge.
Turkey’s lobbyists made contact with the executive branch 100 times to enlist help pressuring congressional leaders to squash the resolution. The Livingston Group worked Congress. They didn’t lobby just Congress — the country hired foreign agents to promote the cause with people outside the administration, too. Noam Neusner, who served as a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, worked the powerful Jewish lobby, meeting with an array of groups including the influential American Israeli Public Affairs Committee a combined 96 times to persuade them to oppose the resolution, FARA records show. Turkey was the first Muslim country to recognize Israel, and relations have been generally positive; but in the end, AIPAC supported the resolution.
On Oct. 26, 2007, some sponsors of the resolution backed off a full floor vote, and the legislation never advanced. FARA records quantify the effort Turkey’s lobbyists put into the issue: 673 contacts in a single month, and more than 2,200 in the filings overall — the most of any country.
In all, records show, Turkey spent $4.2 million to mobilize its lobbyists to influence a resolution that hinged on the single word -- genocide. Some $1.9 million of that went to DLA Piper, a top-50 U.S. law firm that operates globally.

In contrary with popular belief in Turkey, Turkey itself is more active on the lobby market in the USA than Armenia and/or its diaspora.

Day Opening - August 24


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hate preach in the name of Christianity

Pam Spaulding happened upon this character named Steven Anderson, who preaches from the pulpit at Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona.
Here some parts of his sermon of last week Sunday.
The same God who instituted the death penalty for murders is the same god who instituted the death penalty for rapists and for homosexuals, sodomites and queers!
That's what it was instituted for, okay? That's God, he hasn't changed. Oh, God doesn't feel that way in the New Testament ... God never "felt" anything about it, he commanded it and said they should be taken out and killed.
You know why God wanted the sodomites in the Old Testament to be killed? You know why every good king of Israel, the Bible says they got rid of the sodomites in the land? You know, the good kings that came after the bad kings who had allowed the sodomites to infest their land, they had infiltrated ... King Asa got the sodomites out of the land, Jehoshaphat exterminated the sodomites that were left from the days of his father, Asa. Why? Because the sodomites are infectious, that's why. Because they're not reproducers, that goes without saying, they're recruiters.
How are they multiplying? Do you not see that they're multiplying? Are you that blind? Have you noticed that there's more than there were last year and the year before, and the year before that? How are they multiplying? They're reproducing right? No, here's a biology lesson: they're not reproducers, they're recruiters! And you know who they're after? Your children. Remember you dropped off your kids last week? That's who they're after. You drop them off at some daycare, you drop them off at some school somewhere, you don't know where they're at. I'll tell you where they're at: they're being recruited by the sodomites. They're being molested by the sodomites. I can tell you so many stories about people that I know being molested and recruited by the sodomites.
They recruit through rape. They recruit through molestation. They recruit through violation. They are infecting our society. They are spreading their disease. It's not a physical disease, it's a sin disease, it's a wicked, filthy sin disease and it's spreading on a rampage. Can't you see that it's spreading on a rampage? I mean, can you not see that? Can you not see that it's just exploding in growth? Why? Because each sodomite recruits far more than one other sodomite because his whole life is about recruiting other sodomites, his whole life is about violating and hurting people and molesting 'em.
Not enough?
I'm here to preach the Bible. And I'm sick to death -- hey, let me tell you something. Our country is run by faggots. You know who wrote this 700-billion-dollar bailout bill? You know who was the man who was the architect of the bailout? His name is Barney Franks, he is a pedophile, he has been arrested for uh, interacting with boys that are in their teenage years when he's in his 50s, it's in the news, he's been arrested for it. He is a pedophile, he is a homosexual, he has stood up in the floor of the sacred halls of justice and said, 'I am gay, I am a sodomite.'
That's Barney Frank, that's who just sold our country into fascism. That's who just sold our corporations to the government. That's who sold out our country, a faggot! And I'm here to tell you something! I'm not going to stand for it, and let a faggot run the church! It's bad enough that we've got a bunch of faggots running the government!
And more....
Yeah, God appointed him to destroy this country for the wickedness of the United States of America. God appointed him because that's what our country has turned into. That's who we deserve as a president.
But let me tell you something: I don't love Barack Obama. I don't respect Barack Obama. I don't obey Barack Obama. And I'd like Barack Obama to melt like a snail tonight. Because he needs to recompense, he needs to reap what he's sown.
You see, any Christian will tell you that someone who commits murder should get the death penalty. Because that's what it says in Genesis Chapter 9, that's what it says in the Mosaic Law, that's what it teaches us throughout the Bible. 'Who so sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.' 'From the image of God created he Man.'
And when Barack Obama is gonna push his partial birth abortion, his salty saline solution abortion, hey, he deserves to be punished for what he's done. I'm not going to pray for God to bless Barack Obama. This is my prayer tonight to Barack Obama.
...Now, look, if somebody wants me, it somebody twisted my arm and tells me to pray for Barack Obama, this is what I'm going to pray, because this is the only prayer that applies to him: 'Break his teeth, O God, in his mouth. You know, as a snail which melteth, let him pass away. Like the untimely birth of a woman, that he thinks -- he calls it a woman's right to choose, you know, he thinks it's so wonderful. He ought to be aborted. It ought to be, 'Abort Obama.'
And now he really gets the spirit...
You say why are you preaching this, you know what? Because it makes me mad. I'm mad. I don't know about you, but I'm fed up tonight. I'm angry tonight. Because I'm angered by a bunch of preachers who want to sit back, and let America go to hell, let our freedoms go to hell, let the souls of Americans go to hell, and we all just sit back and just, we're comfortable, we're lazy, we're lukewarm, we're neither cold nor hot, and we want to come to church and have our ears tickled. Hey! This isn't to tickle your ears, it's to give you a swift kick in the pants tonight! 'Cuz that's what you need every once in awhile!
... But I'm here to tell you tonight, that God is a God of wrath and vengeance. And that's the message that oughta be thundering from every pulpit in America today. People oughta be trembling today. People in America oughta be scared to death and trembling! And saying, 'Oh God! What are you gonna do to our country?! Oh, God! Are we gonna be able to survive?! Oh, God! Are you gonna allow us to go into the depths of socialism, and communism with Barack Obama!?'
For an audio of his speech click here...
In my opinion this guy is simple a very sick and disturbed person who, on purpose, misinterpret the bible according to his opinion to make his radical political points of view equitable! At the same time this person doesn’t know that especially the Old Testament is built out of metaphors. But as longs as the USA allows everybody to establish a church (often for tax purposes) these kinds of people makes the ground fertile for extremists. Have a nice and peaceful Sunday!

Day Opening - August 23

A bubble in the air....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kurdish struggle for Identity, Turkish struggle for Unity

Some twenty-five millionKurds are divided between southeastern Turkey, northeastern Syria, northern Iraq, and northwestern Iran. And in Turkey the ethnic Kurds compose a significant portion of the population. Unlike the Turks, the Kurds speak an Indo-European language. The Kurds live across all of Turkey but the majority live to the East and Southeast of the country, from where they originate. Since the 1930s, Turkish government policy has aimed at forcible dissimilation and Turkification (or purification) policies of the local Kurds. Since 1980 the Kurdish population resists this policy through both peaceful political activities for basic civil and cultural rights for Kurds within Turkey, but also a violent armed rebellion for a separate Kurdish state by the PKK, an armed terrorist group which has its roots in Lenin Marxism.

The U.S. rulers' military victory in 1991 in Iraq and Kuwait put the international spotlight on unresolved fight for some kind of self- determination in the region – especially that of the Kurdish people. Prior to the Gulf war the Kurdish struggle had largely been in retreat, having been dealt repeated defeats over the past half century by the Iraqi, Turkish, Iranian, and Syrian ruling classes, with the complicity of Washington, London, Paris, and Moscow.

In Turkey, where the majority of the ethnic Kurds are living the performance or recording of songs in the Kurdish language was banned in Turkey between 1925 and 1991. And the period immediately following the 1980 Turkish coup d'état was particularly oppressive (not just in respect to ethnic Kurds), when use of Kurdish language in public was banned. This led to an influx of Kurdish political asylum seekers in Europe.
The ban was lifted in 1991 during the presidency of Turgut Özal, who was of partial Kurdish descent. Turkish remains the only official language until today, and the use of any other language is not allowed in political life or public services. In 2003, the Turkish Parliament eased restrictions on Kurdish language rights in Turkey; however Kurds are largely banned for example from giving their children Kurdish names until recently...(see part two of this article)

There are estimated around 13.000.000 Kurds living in Turkey on a population of 73.000.00. Most Kurds are Alevi’s who has been profoundly influenced by humanism and universalism but denigrated as non-Muslim by mainly Sunni and Shit Muslims. The relationship between Alevis and Sunnis is one of mutual suspicion and prejudice dating back to the Ottoman period. Sunnis have accused Alevis of heresy, heterodoxy, rebellion, betrayal and immorality. Alevis, on the other hand, have argued that the original Quran does not demand five prayers, or mosque attendance, or pilgrimage, and that the Sunnis distorted early Islam by omitting, misinterpreting, or changing important passages of the original Quran.

At the moment the Turkish Grand general assembly consists of 4 political parties and a handful of independents. The AK party is the largest and is ruling Turkey since 2002. They have their roots in political Islam. The DHP is the Kurdish party and are often accused of having direct links with the PKK. The opposition parties are the CHP, a quasi stalinist party with ditem polit bureau (and the party of the secular Turks) and the MHP, a quasi fascist party which are related to the Grey Wolves, a Para militia organization which are responsible for the death of many.

Tomorrow: Turkish move regarding the Kurdish ‘issue’.

Day Opening - August 22

'Venetian footprints', Methoni, Peloponnese, Greece (Venetian Castle)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Did you Know? (2)

Did you know that the USA army is intensively training the PA security forces (PA: Palestine Authority)?

Happy Ramadan

Happy Ramadan for all Muslims readers!
What means Ramadan for Muslims:
Fasting in the holy month of Ramadan is one of the foremost of the five pillars of Islam, as well as being among the greatest of the symbols of Islam. That fasting has many purposes relating both to the Lordship of God and thanksgiving for His bounties, and to man’s individual and collective life, as well as to his self-training and self-discipline.
Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is the key to a true, sincere, comprehensive and universal thanksgiving. Many people are unable to appreciate most of the bounties they enjoy since they suffer no hunger.
The elderly, the chronically ill, and the mentally ill are exempt from fasting, although the first two groups must endeavor to feed the poor in place of their missed fasting. Also exempt are pregnant women, women during the period of their menstruation, and women nursing their newborns. A difference of opinion exists among Islamic scholars as to whether this last group must make up the days they miss at a later date, or feed poor people as a recompense for days missed. While fasting is not considered compulsory in childhood, many children endeavor to complete as many fasts as possible as practice for later life. Lastly, those traveling are exempt, but must make up the days they miss.

Day Opening - August 21

Winter landscape of Bulgaria

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Are the Dutch rude or simply Direct?

Dutch people do not beat around the bush and will often speak their minds. This can seem rather rude and almost feel insulting to foreign people (e.g: ‘I have read you report and it is awful’). However, Dutch people prefer to be open about their opinion and if it is presented in a kind and friendly manner, this is usually regarded as good. It is considered as being honest, where being too subtle and polite can create misunderstanding (e.g. as in ‘I can see that you have worked very on this report and I do appreciate you have spend this much time on it’). It can be a bit shocking, however, when confronted for the first time with Dutch directness.
But in my opinion, it makes the contact between people clear of ‘communication noise’.
The Dutch are of course renowned for being internationally oriented, with most of the population able to speak English very well. (in fact, the Dutch speaks average 3.6 foreign languages, with English on the first place, German on the second and French on the third place). Nevertheless, some aspects of Dutch behavior can still puzzle and startle the foreign visitor, especially in the workplace. Especially Americans increasingly are interested in Dutch business life since they consider the Netherlands as an effective country to do business with an in.

The German historian and journalist Christoph Driessen asks in an essay for the Dutch nerwpaper NRC Handelsblad: “For me, as a German, it would be impolite to answer this question with a yes. Let me just say: the Dutch are direct - much more direct than other people.”
You can read his article here...and never bother me with the assumption that Germans and Dutch are somehow the same; they are NOT!.)

Did you know? (1)

Did you know that after the Bible (300 million) the IKEA guide is the most published with 130 million copies?

Day Opening - August 20

Church in Rome

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rariq Ramadan (the case part 2) Islam in Europe

Two days ago I wrote that Tariq Ramadan, the city counselor for Rotterdam regarding integration issues went too far as a Iranian state sponsored presentator of the ‘Life & Islam’ London based news broadcaster. Yesterday he was finally fired and his quest lecture ship at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam also stopped immediately. And this is good news. Where ever he goes, the UK, USA, France etc. he leaves a trace of controversy behind him. He’s is not a bridge builder, but more a divider. His anti women, anti homosexual, anti Jewish views are clear. His position within the Islam not. While most Arab countries consider him a treacherous and dangerous, he was a welcome quest in West Europe, until someone found his real motives in France, the USA and now the Netherlands (the UK have still that way to go). Most commentators, from the left to the right welcomed this decision which was made public and fully endorsed by the Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, he himself a Muslim. Since Tariq Ramadan doesn’t like critics he decided to take the city of Rotterdam to court since ‘his respect and honor’ was damaged. Yes, he himself is integrated pretty well.
Here an opinion piece by Afshin Ellia, a columnist for the Dutch NRC Handelsblad and a professor of law at Leiden university. He fled his native Iran in 1983.


Last Sunday, while deleting a planned ad since this person doesn’t show the EC widget on her/his weblog anymore, my complete Entrecard account was deleted ‘on my request’. It took three days to get my entrecard account reactivated. Sorry for all who bought ads on Internations for this week. All disappeared together with all the ads we bought for the upcoming week! Anyway, the problem is solved and will drop again!

Day Opening - August 19


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

U.N. and Cypress At Odds Over Asparagus; Pointless!!!

On the ethnically divided island of Cypress, U.N. peacekeepers are getting the bird flipped by nearby residents and harvesters who gather and sell locally-grown asparagus.
The cause of the standoff is a banned area called the “buffer zone,” a divider between east and west that separates the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus from a third of the island that is calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey.

Who’s guarding the asparagus?

The U.N. controls the buffer zone also known as the “Green Line.” This is where the asparagus grows and the U.N. soldiers roam, and the sheep get ready for mutton stew. The U.K also has military bases there.
“This is unacceptable behaviour and I have demanded that action is taken,” said Nicos Kotziambashis, leader of the village of Mammari, which has been hit hard by the U.N. ban. “The situation is explosive.”

This year, due to ideal weather conditions, a bumper crop of asparagus called “aggrelia” is expected; and the villagers want their Euros.

So here we have a huge peacekeeping operation preventing the little guy from earning a living.
Why don’t they just set up security points for the villagers, so they can go to work in the buffer zone?

Peacekeeping signs can read “No Cameras, Cell Phones, or Other Spy Equipment Allowed; Background Checks, Urine Samples, and Strip Checks Here; Must Eat Asparagus Sample in Front of Guard.”

“Reporters Without Borders, forgetaboutit!

Day opening - August 18


Monday, August 17, 2009

The case Tariq Ramadan

Lately, I see columnists in Turkey referring to Tariq Ramadan as some kind of savior for Islam in Europe. They see in him some kind of scout to make the ground fertile for political Islam in West Europe. What they don’t know (or don’t want to know) is that Tariq Ramadan is a highly controversial public figure in the Netherlands, France, the USA, and the UK and everywhere he stayed. The guy moved around quite a bit; from Egypt to Switzerland, from there to France, the US and Britain followed by his current ‘home country’ the Netherlands. But sooner or later someone digs up quotes from his tapes as proof of his "Jeckyl and Hyde" identity. In the Netherlands, Ramadan was earlier this year hired by the city of Rotterdam to "help lift the multicultural dialogue to a higher level". He is also a guest lecturer at Rotterdam's Erasmus University. Yes, he’s seen as a bridge builder between the non-Muslim Dutch and the Muslims of Rotterdam (mainly immigrants), but the guy doesn’t speak one word Dutch…

Ramadan has been accused of having been a "double discourse", one for Muslims and one for non-Muslims. The French journalist Caroline Fourest described Tariq Ramadan in her 2006 book Frère Tariq (brother Tariq). Fourest argues that Ramadan has a moderate discourse for Western consumption, and a radical one buried inside Arabic-spoken tapes that are widely distributed in immigrant communities throughout Europe. For example: in 2003 TV debate with then French prime minister Nicolas Sarkozy during which Ramadan said he favored a "moratorium" on the stoning of adulterous women, he stopped short of condemning the practice outright.

In 2004, he was forced to give up his tenure at Notre Dame University in Indiana after the US authorities denied him entry because of a 1,300 dollar contribution to an organization with links to Hamas. This is on the terrorist list both in the USA as the EU as well.

Heres some recently made statements: "Allah has an important rule: if you try to attract attention through your manner or the use of perfume, through your appearance or gestures, you are not on the right spiritual path." (women) And: "When walking in the streets austerity requires that you always cast you eyes down to the pavement." (women) On homosexuality Ramadan said: "God has established norms and the norm is that a man is meant for a woman and a woman is meant for a man." Homosexuality is not allowed and in Islam means that the death!

Last week Now, the Dutch Socialist Party and other parties called for Ramadan's resignation because of his collaboration with the Iranian state TV station Press TV. Ramadan has been hosting a weekly talk show on the English-language Press TV titled 'Islam & Life'. The ruling Labour party has also said that Ramadan's work for Press TV affects his credibility, and has asked the city executive for clarification. Ramadan proves once more that he has a "double agenda":on the payroll of the dictatorial regime of [Iranian president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, while at the same time he preaches tolerance in Rotterdam. It’s time that this clown moves to a place where he can implement his Sharia duties instead on non-Muslims. Ramadan is at the moment on a long holiday in Mauretania. Enjoy it there!

Day Opening - August 17

Santorinı Greece

Sunday, August 16, 2009

About the 'death panels' remarks by Sarah Palin

A charge by Sarah Palin that "my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care." We know who's talking...

In fact, the cited provision of the bill merely authorizes Medicare reimbursement for physicians who provide voluntary counseling about such subjects as living wills. The provision is based on a separate bill that was cosponsored by a Republican, Charles Boustany of Louisiana. His Democratic cosponsor, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, has called this attack on the bill "an all-time low".

The "death panel" argument was endorsed by the Investor's Business Daily, which analogized the bill to the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom and editorialized: "People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless."

Hawking, however, who has lived his entire life in the United Kingdom, responded, "I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived."
Good to know this America!!!!

Day Opening - August 16

The Eagle has landed...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I challenge you!

Write your own auto-biography.

But please, don't write endless pages blathering about the story of your life. It's nothing personal, but there is simply a lack of time. Do you have the time to write pages full? Who has time in this era where you buy groceries at three o'clock at night in the supermarket, where you zapp past countless channels for 24-7 entertainment and where you can fly to the other side of the world within a day? Where we keep each other updated via IM, Twitter and blogs... Where people get anxious and need treatment because they don't have their cellphone with them.

I'm getting off track. The auto-biography, yes. I do want you to write one, but one of six words. Nothing more, nothing less. But it must be consistent, a full description of who you are or how you see yourself.

Just to give you an impression:
Made plans but life happened instead (John Lennon)
Yes, you can edit this biography (Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia)

And many more since there is a book that bundled a lot.

Go out and write your memoir!

Day Opening - August 15

Just a beautiful woman

Friday, August 14, 2009

The West strikes back

In reaction of Hamas beheading of populair Western cartoons..

Day Opening - August 14

View from my window in Maastricht, my city for the next three months.

Pic 1 - view to the left: Street towards the Market
Pic 2 - sight on the right: Maaspromenade and the Maas river

Thursday, August 13, 2009

You need a holiday? Billion Dollar Hotel in Antalya Turkey

The Mardan Palace Luxury Hotel in Antalya Turkey surpasses larger than life status.

The gondola ride across the blue water pool takes 30 minutes.
The Mardan Palace in Antalya, Turkey is luxury beyond all meaning. With 11 Italian restaurants, a 2,400 fish aquarium (yes you can swim with the fish), and 560 remarkable rooms, most places on the planet fail to compare to its aura.

Russian billionaire Telman Ismailov has spent over $1 billion on the project and for only $18,300 a night you can enjoy the 9,000 tonnes of white sand imported from Egypt, the 500,000 crystals and 23,000 square meters of Italian marble.
The opening of the Mardan Palace brought a flock of “who’s who” including Richard Gere, Mariah Carey, Sharon Stone, and (OF COURSE) Paris Hilton.

You already made a reservation…for that small amount of 18.300 usd a night?
More info here

Day Opening - August 13

Snap shots of Istanbul

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How do you know if is reliable?

Reg Fife commented on my previous article with the question: how do you know those links aren't malware bait?

There are several signs and ways to figure out if the information on a website is trustworthy.

In the case of the article on
1. they give you sources so you can read more about the flash cookies yourself. This makes the article more transparent. Revealing your sources upon which the article is based, is one of the things that makes the content more reliable.

But you're right, everybody can publish on the internet and direct you to a lot of nonsense. That brings us to the second point.
2. Can you find out more about the website and the owner of the website? How approachable are they? Is there a possibility to contact or comment, is there more background information about the website itself? If not, be suspicious. In the case of they explain more about themselves at the bottom of the page. Here you find lots of information. You can send an e-mail and you can find out who are part of the wired staff. Also the amount of comments on an article are an indicator. If many people comment on it in a positive way, you can assume that the information is correct (shared knowledge). If it's nonsense there are either negative comments or no comments at all because no one reads it.

So far the indications are good. But still, the wired staff can be ghosts and you might never get a response on e-mail (lots of work though for fake information, but it's good to keep your guards up). So there is a way to find out who owns the website if you can't find it on the website ifself.
3. Via Allwhois you can track the website's owner. In this case it's Advance Magazine Group
4 Times Square
New York, 10036 NY

The BusinessWeek website provides some information, though the company itself stays a bit vague. If the owner is still unknown for you, try to find out more via internet or by contacting him/her/the company. If that turns out to be impossible, you should be more aware with the website's content. Is the owner well known with a good reputation, you can assume the information provided is correct.

Look for other signs. Are there adds on the website? What kind of advertisement is it? What else can you find on the website regarding the content? Is the information complete and transparent? And use your own common sense, if it feels misleading, simply skip the website and try to find an alternative for the information you're looking for. If the information is correct, you should be able to find more about it on other websites or in books.

These are some basic research tools I use as a journalist to figure out if the information is trust worthy. And hopefully it answered your question Reg Fife.

Tip: check the website or

And for Hans's question: the only web browser I use is Mozilla Firefox. I simply can't use the internet any more without the add-ons such as the dictionary, add-block, flash-block etc. But there are several good alternatives. I don't mind others, though refuse to use Internet Explorer. Simply because it's owned by Microsoft... :-)

Day Opening - August 12

Little part of Istanbul by night...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sneaky bastards...

My brother just gave me a notice of this article on You deleted your Cookies? Think again.

It is about tracking cookies hidden even on the website of the White House. At the end of the article are some good links to protect your web identity for these Flash cookies.


David against Goliath? Dutch TV reporter takes Russia to court

So, everything is possible:

A Dutch TV reporter is taking Moscow to court over the death of his cameraman during the fighting in Georgia last year.

Dutch TV reporter Jeroen Akkermans is taking Russia to the European Court of Human Rights. Akkermans is joining as a complainant in the case over the Russian attack on the Georgian city of Gori one year ago. The case was originally brought by relatives of Georgians who were killed in the attack. They are holding Russia accountable for the shooting.

In the incident, Dutch cameraman Stan Storimans was killed. He was on the scene with Akkermans to report the Russian-Georgian border war for Dutch RTL television.
RTL has been saying all along that Russian forces used outlawed cluster munitions in the attack on Gori. The commercial TV station will air a documentary on Wednesday showing evidence supporting its claim.

Lets see and follow....

Day Opening - August 11

Confused chicka...

Monday, August 10, 2009

The myth of the American Small Business Dream

Much is said and written about Obama’s healthcare plan. Sometimes described as ‘communistic’ or socialistic-old European style, which doesn’t leave much space for entrepreneurship, when implemented, in the USA as some people said. Those people who opponents Obama’s healthcare plan also complain that the democrats likes to spent tax money like-no one’s-business, but in reality are supporters of a government who really like to spent money for big government like under Reagan or George W. Bush (of course to spend money on warfare).

Here some real facts and figures regarding Obama’s healthcare plan. In fact it’s strange that a country which brags about itself as the oldest democracy in the world (wrong, that’s Iceland and some other European countries) the largest democracy (wrong, that’s India) still is backwards regarding healthcare as some third world countries are. And the argument that Obama’s healthcare plan makes it impossible for people to start their own business is a fake argument and a 100% lie.
Dean Baker in the Huffington Post wrote it well down. Here some excerpts.

The right tells us that the sort of tax/mandates that President Obama wants to impose on small business will stifle entrepreneurship and make the United States more like Europe. John Schmitt, my colleague at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, just did a short study compiling evidence from the OECD on the relative importance of small business in the U.S. and Europe. It turns out that by every available measure, the U.S. is way behind when it comes to the relative importance of entrepreneurship and small business.
We all know that everyone in America wants to run their own business. 7.2 percent of the workers in this country actually do. That puts us ahead of Luxembourg's self-employment rate of 6.1 percent, but behind everyone else. France has a self-employment rate of 9.0 percent, Germany 12.0 percent, and Italy 26.4 percent. Here the FACTS.
How about the share of small firms (fewer than 20 employees) in manufacturing employment? Well, our 11.1 percent share again beats out Luxembourg, and also Ireland, but it trails all the other countries for which the OECD has data.

Maybe 20 employees is not the right cutoff for a definition of small businesses in manufacturing. How about 500? By that measure, the U.S. comes in dead last. France's 63.7 percent share beats our 51.2 percent share by more than a dozen percentage points.
Perhaps we should just ignore manufacturing, that's old economy stuff. Surely the U.S. stands out for its vibrant computer upstarts. The 32.0 percent small firm employment share in computer related services beats Spain's 27.0 percent, but is well behind everyone else. Belgium, the capital of Old Europe, more than doubles our small business share, with 63.0 percent of its workers in this sector employed by establishments with less than 100 employees.

For more devastating facts, read herreeee.

Day Opening - August 10

Beach art
By Daniel Buran, Belgium
photo by Batikart

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Is the USA joining the International Criminal Court?

The Obama administration made its strongest declaration of support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague when secretary of state Hillary Clinton voiced regret that the US was not part of the court. But Washington is still far from joining.

Hillary Clinton was speaking in Nairobi, Kenya, where she urged the government to go to the ICC to prosecute perpetrators of last year's post-election violence.
It was a surprising message coming from an American representative, given that the country has long boycotted the court. Although president Bill Clinton signed the Rome Statute that established the court, lawmakers never supported his decision and when George W. Bush came to power he quickly withdrew the US's endorsement.

The Hague Invasion Act

In 2002, Congress even passed the American Service Members Protection Act, which forbids government officials from cooperating with the ICC. Known as 'The Hague Invasion Act', it authorises the president to use "all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any US or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court". Clinton's statement therefore comes as a positive sign to supporters of the court. Technocally: The USA could invase The Hague in the Netherlands to release 'criminals', which is of course ridicolous; invasing an alley and co-NATO member...

The Bush administration, it never tried to mask its open hostility to the UN and other international organisations. This administration has a very, very different attitude. It's not necessarily an administration that's going to love all international organisations it sees, but it certainly understands that it's in America's interest to craft them in a way consistent with American national interest."

But this doesn't mean that the US will become a full-fledged member of the court anytime soon, Barnett warned. There are lots of domestic political reasons why Obama would not sign the Rome Statute. To begin with, there's congressional hostility, so as a pragmatic political matter, there's a question of whether Obama would take on the political heat for what would amount to be a symbolic gesture. Second, there's going to be opposition from the American military in the same way there was before. And then thirdly, the US has more troops abroad than any other country so feels more exposed to charges, trumped up or not.
But even without ratifying the Rome Statute, and with The Hague Invasion Act in place, president Obama can still work closely with the court. The administration has already said it will be sending a representative to the upcoming ICC review conference next year, something that president Bush had always refused to do.

Day Opening - August 8

One of the finest cd-covers I've ever seen.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Day Opening - August 7


2 cups white sugar
2 cups water
1 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 pounds chopped almonds
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
1 (16 ounce) package frozen phyllo pastry, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 2 cups sugar, water, honey, cinnamon stick, lemon and vanilla. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, skimming any foam that is formed. Set side.

In a small bowl, combine chopped almonds, 2 tablespoons sugar, ground cinnamon and cloves; set aside. Brush butter on bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Each sheet of phyllo dough is twice as big as the pan, so cut each in half, making 2 sheets. Place a sheet of phyllo on bottom of pan, and brush with melted butter. Repeat process for a total of 8 sheets, buttering each. Sprinkle about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of nut mixture evenly over the phyllo, and cover with 4 more sheets, buttering each. Continue sprinkling nuts after every 4 sheets of phyllo, until all but 8 sheets (4 full sheets) are used.

Use remaining 8 sheets for the top layer, buttering each sheet of phyllo. Before buttering the last sheet, tuck in any loose edges. Press down layers with palms of your hands. Pour remaining butter over the top. With a large knife, cut 5 strips lengthwise about 1/2 inch deep, then cut diagonally to form diamond shapes.

Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and immediately pour syrup over baklava. Allow to cool thoroughly. Cut diamonds to go all the way through, and serve.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Interesting facts about Istanbul (2)

General Info

Population : Hell of a lot people including the animals.
Area : 25061979010419502802195026091981 square pikometers.
Roads : 1829203 km in total, about 3 km usable.
Railway System : Subway is very fun, you can even dig a hole into it from any part of the city for fun.
Water System : Wet.

Istanbul is the self-proclaimed economic capital and the teenage rebel of Europe. It bullies the other Turkish cities in terms of population, possibilities of a decent education or occupation, culture, crime, and traffic mess. A lot of people would like to refer to Istanbul as the city where the continents meet, although it might be a little unfortunate should they decide to meet at the rush hour. Istanbul is also the sister city of Purgatory.

It is a known fact that the city inhabitants wake up every day of every year to find everything nicely sorted out for them. Some call this municipal administration, though skeptics choose to refer to it as divine intervention that has a 0.0000076% chance of happening, which is much more likely than Take That reuniting (Breaking News: That already happened; Paradise is now likely to be found for Istanbul!).

Many celebrities have come to Istanbul for business and for leisure. Pope Benedict XVI visited Istanbul and was ran over by a suburban train that came out of nowhere. Luckily among the passengers there were a couple of faith healers present, besides Faith Hill, a country singer, and they faith healed him back to life in a matter of minutes. They were canonised and were awarded with almost forty (~40) virgins in heaven, which was dropped in as a gift by the Islamic end. The pope was considerably luckier since God once visited Istanbul and was robbed of all his belongings, among which were the manuscript to the God Trilogy (the name was later to be changed), the early doodles of the universe, and his iPod (30gb video, white).

Although a tourist is most likely to be distracted, Istanbul has found a few ways to keep them interested along the way as well:
Go to Istiklal Avenue: The strange avenue that has acquired the rights to host the Istanbul Doomsday celebrations. The crowd that inhabits the area, also known as a mercenary crowd, seems to live in the district 24/7; they are fed with shitty burgers, but in desperate times measures such as eating bird bait in the square (Taksim Square, wildly close) and raiding trash cans to find shitty burgers only a day shittier are also taken. There is a rumour that there were once trees where now the majestic granite flooring proudly lies to the beholding eyes of the inspired citizens of Istanbul. Oxygen level seems to be sporadic and mostly inadequate at some parts of the avenue, people are kindly requested to wear oxygen masks when they drop down from the overhead compartment. It is a shopping paradise and you can find anything in this avenue if by anything you mean Squat.
See the Bridges (FSM (Fethi Suphi Mutti) & Bosphorus): Being the two most popular suicide locations of the country, both's history goes back to Byzantines. FSM was built by the Sultan Mehmet II, whose great successors still operate the gates of the bridge. Those who don't have cash are asked to remove their left hands as the bridge operates with Sharia© power. The travellers may get their hands back should they come back and rush the hand in the pickle jar (courtesy of the bridge) to the hospital. OGS: Osman Gazi System is a fully-in-Turkey-engineered-system that enables transport between two sides of the bridge. Some people say there is municipal hole [Tr. Belediye Cukuru] on the Bogazici Bridge, but it is never verified. Recently the former bridge is turned into a gay nightclub as the lights insinuate; the mayor of the city made this statement, "If Istanbul can't be the City that Never Sleeps (as Salem, Oregon has got that covered) she will be the City that Always Stays Up Late and Gets Wasted (after Amsterdam kindly dropped the name)"

Take a Swim in the Bosphorus: Actually, keep your trunk out of the sea if you don't want to die a slow and painful death.

Visit the Historic Peninsula: A great place to see the obelisk where Mr Karahanli's corpse was found (An important Turkish businessman who was murdered by Satanic Clan called Boys Anilar Simdi Gotumde Canlandilar). The place also hosts the mass of Far-Eastern pseudo-tourists imported from Hong Kong that are asked to document anything and everything they see with the cameras that they have in possession. They are almost indistinguishable from tourists, but if one looks closer one can see that they don't leave tips. The pseudo-tourists, together with the European tourists that never cease to be amazed, take care of the district's maintenance. American tourists pretend to be European, so they are not taken in a different category.
See the Princes' Islands: The Princes' Islands (Prinkipo, Halki, Antigoni, Proti, Sarkozy and Serendipity) were privatised by AKP government in recent years and marketed via the popular online island auction site, Isles'R'Us 5000. The current shareholders of the islands are, in descending order (size of the island is taken into consideration): Chief Rabbi of Istanbul, Avi Shazaam; Lars von Trier; Liberace and Mahmut; Keanu Reeves II. There was also a seminary in Halki, until it was torn down in 1971 by Hulky, a green monster strangely wearing a uniform. It was discovered early in the 70s that the Greek priests were educating young Greek pupils not as priests but as psychedelic rockstars. Residents of the island claim that the crosses on the walls were replaced by Guitars and school was named "The School of Rock" and Jacques Noir, a French missionary, once rocked the pupils' socks out with his Christ Fender with a Mother of

Day Opening - August 6

( August 6 and August 9, 1945)