Tuesday, July 22, 2008

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

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

Fish Bowl

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

Turkish organisations ( Fethullah Gülen) under scrutiny

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

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

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

Karadzic arrested, finally!

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

picture: GeenStijl.nl

Day Opening - July 22

"Slide" by Pamela Sukhum.

Monday, July 21, 2008


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

Dutch design: the Senz umbrella

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

Day Opening - July 21

Chesma Shahi garden, Kashmir.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Picnic Table Pyramids

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

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

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

Another interesting development in Wageningen, herrrreee

German hostages freed in Turkey

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

Day opening - July 20

Old Town Square, Prague

By night

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Dutch radical at work - Michael van der Galien

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

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

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

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

In the Netherlands we call MvdG a NSB'er.

Attention Stupid Terrorists! Now Accepting Grant Proposals

Attention Stupid Terrorists! Now Accepting Grant Proposals

By carpetblogger. Enjoy.

Is Turkey a 'mistaken republic?'

Is Turkey a 'mistaken republic?'

By Mustafa Aykol

Saturday, July 19, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read the full article here

Day opening - July 19

Sunset in Peru.

Friday, July 18, 2008

'Don't ban AKP' rapporteur tells top court

Friday, July 18, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day opening - July 18

Destroyed Buddha by Taliban, 2004.

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

Thursday, July 17, 2008


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

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

Untranslatable (Dutch) words

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

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

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

Day opening - July 17

Te future of Dubai.