Thursday, October 30, 2008

Day opening - October 30


Picture by Meike

The Dutch can do everything on a bicycle.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A very biased article: European Union breaks its silence

Some Turkish journalists are thinking that the executive branch of the EU is on a daily base busy with Turkey if there are no other candidate countries or other issues to be solved than Turkish membership. Wrong!
If you read the headline 'Europe Union breaks its silence' then you would expect something spectacular regarding something what's going on in Turkey. Wrong. The EU simple published their annual report about candidate country Turkey.
Here the article and below some excerpts from the report:

Closure case against the AKP: The Constitutional Court did not enact the chief prosecutor's request to dissolve the ruling party and ban 71 of its prominent members, but imposed financial sanctions, thus averting a major political crisis. Now that Turkey has averted a political crisis linked to the Constitutional Court case against the ruling party it needs to resume the process of political reform. The closure case highlighted the importance of amending the rules the political parties so as to ensure transparent financial mechanisms and to bring provisions on the closure of parties in line with European standards. Legislation is also necessary to reinforce the defense of citizens' rights irrespective of personal beliefs or political affiliations and to establish an ombudsman function. Greater dialogue is needed among the country's different political forces in order to build a consensus favorable to reform. Turkey now has a fresh opportunity to advance reforms and establish a climate of dialogue and pluralism.

Problems with judiciary: Concerns remain about the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. There has been no progress on the composition of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors or on establishment of regional court of appeals. Senior members of the judiciary have made political comments in public that go beyond their remit. There is need to improve the quality of investigations of the police and gendarmerie to ensure a fair trial.

Freedom of religion: The adopted law on foundations addresses a number of outstanding property-related issues concerning non-Muslim communities. However a legal framework in line with the European Court of Human Rights, or ECHR, needs to be established so that all non-Muslim communities and Alevis can function without undue constraints.

Minority rights: Turkey made no progress on alignment with European standards. Some limited progress was made on cultural rights but restrictions continue, in particular on the use of languages other than Turkish in broadcasting in political life and when accessing public services. There are no opportunities to learn these languages in the public or private schooling systems.

Situation in the Southeast: The government's decision to complete the Southeast Anatolia project is a step in the direction of addressing the economic and social difficulties of the region. Further efforts are needed to create the conditions for the predominantly Kurdish population to enjoy full rights and freedoms. Compensation of internally displaced persons has continued. However the government lacks an overall national strategy. The village guard system remains to be phased out. Terrorist attacks by the PKK, which is on the EU list of terrorist organizations, continued and claimed many lives.

Civilian oversight of security forces: Political control over the military was applied in practice in the context of military operations aimed at terrorist targets in northern Iraq. Such operations were authorized by the parliament and decided upon by the government. However full civilian supervisory functions and parliamentary oversight of defense expenditure needs to be ensured. Senior members of the armed forces have continued making statements on issues going beyond their remit.

Torture and ill treatment: The Turkish legal framework includes a comprehensive set of safeguards against torture and ill treatment. However more efforts are needed on the implementation of the zero-tolerance policy. Reports on cases of ill treatment and torture, in particular outside places of detention, are a cause for concern.


Freedom of expression and 301: There has been some progress in the efforts to strengthen the safeguards for freedom of expression in particular through the amendment of Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code. However Turkey needs to establish an adequate track record on the implementation of the revised article.

Constitution: The governing party gave a group of academics a mandate to revise the 1982 Constitution. However no draft has been presented either to the public or Parliament, and no clear timetable has been set for discussing it. Instead the Parliament amended Article 10 and 42 of the Constitution with the aim of lifting the headscarf ban for university students.

Lack of compromise in politics: As regards the democracy and rule of law, the new president played a positive role by calling for further political reforms. However the lack of dialogue and of a spirit of compromise between the main political parties had a negative impact on the functioning of the political institutions and on the process of political reforms. The work of the newly elected Parliament was affected to a considerable extent by legal cases aimed at dissolution the governing party and one of the opposition parties.


Note: In my opinion not only the Turkish government but all decision-making bodies in Turkey are responsible for the standoff regarding progress towards full EU membership.

USA elections predictions - 28 October


Looks good. Six days to go.

Day opening - October 29


Picture made by Maarten de Groot

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Dutch city of Rotterdam opens Erasmus museum

A museum dedicated to one of the most famous former residents of Rotterdam, writer and theologian Desiderius Erasmus, was opened by the Dutch city’s mayor on Tuesday.

Erasmus, whose real name was Gerrit Gerritszoon, was born on October 27 over 640 years ago. One of the most influential books written by Erasmus was Lof der Zotheid (The Praise of Folly) which is well known to scholars around the world.
The Erasmus museum is being opened in advance of 2011, which has been designated Erasmus year.

It is hoped too that the museum will increase knowledge about the writer in his native city. Last year a poll showed that 65 percent of the local population thought that Erasmus is the designer of the city’s imposing Erasmus bridge.
The city has a university and a hospital named after Erasmus, but unlike the Rembrandt house in Amsterdam or the Beethoven house in Bonn in Germany, until now the Rotterdam writer has not had a museum dedicated to his life and influence.

Historians are still quarrelling about where Erasmus was born. Some believe his birthplace was actually the nearby but much smaller city of Gouda. However, there is general agreement that the famous theologian and writer spent his formative years in Rotterdam.

Internet bans violates human rights.

Do I must be happy that the ban on blogger.com is lifted? No, first of all, some basic human rights were taken away from me and are given back. Nothing more or less. Which rights? Read it here.
Sometimes I am increasingly cautious by what I write down; people in Turkey, especially 'leaders', decision makers both in the legalisation and in business life are hyper sensitive for being criticised. Not one day goes by in Turkey or I read that someone is insulted and will sue his criticaster. Picture this: 90 Turkish MP's in the EU parliament and I bet you that at least every week one MP is insulted since they simple can not separate personal attacks from simply being critical. This mentality drags Turkey from one side to the other and nothing happens.
Back to the ban; it seems like that lifting the ban is temporary as Emre stated in his post of today. His banner on his site is now also on Internations. When I am 100% convinced that this banning obsession is away, I will take the banner away. But not now. I am still pissed of by so much idiotry.

Cyberlaw and Cyber rights about the ban in Turkey

It is now been reported by a media news source that the Diyarbakir First Criminal Court of Peace has removed the blocking order it issued on 20.10.2008 (order no. 2008/2761) and executed on Friday, 24 October, 2008 with regards to Blogger.com and Blogspot. The DNS servers should be updated by end of today so currently users may still be unable to access the popular blogging sites.
It is, however, unclear why the order has been lifted and it seems like the ban is lifted until Digitürk provides to the court further evidence with regards to its claims for football streaming piracy. Therefore, I would not be surprised to see the blocking order and the ban reinstated.

A detailed assessment of the Turkish approaches to Internet content regulation will be provided in an 80 page long report entitled Restricted Access: A Critical Assessment of Internet Content Regulation and Censorship in Turkey written by Dr. Yaman Akdeniz and Dr. Kerem Altiparmak. This bi-lingual (English/Turkish) report will be published during November 2008 and will be made available as a PDF file through cyberlaw.org.uk and cyber-rights.org.tr pages.

source: cyberlaw

Blogger.com Ban lifted in Turkey

Looks like that the ban on blogger.com is lifted the last half hour.
Didn't expect that at all; was prepared on a ban of at least several months...
They lift the ban because of the National Holiday (Day of the Republic) tomorrow, which starts in fact this afternoon?
I am curious what will happen when the EU opens chapter 'Media'. Will Turkey come with tons of special demands because it's such an 'unique' country? Better keep that chapter closed until Turkey make some real progress regarding media freedom in Turkey.
No 'if's' and no 'but's' please anymore.

Turkish government still not grown-ups in the Internet world

If I read the following remarks made by Turkish Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım, I stay sceptical about his intentions. The fact that 'Internet & communications' resorts under the minister for Transportation, shows that his Turkishness is nothing more than backwardness. I am also curious how he will will 'control' each and every web site, blog, facebook account (!) etc.

'“We currently lack the ability to remove [only the] problematic content of Web sites, but will soon be able to. Our fight against undesired elements on the Internet will be limited to Web site content deemed problematic. Our judges will soon be briefed on the technology,” he said yesterday.

“The fight against elements that aim at degenerating societies and poisoning the youth and children is the fundamental task of each country. Every country has different regulations related to the Internet. Our aim is not to ban Web sites. Such measures will come to an end as soon as our courts are able to ban problematic content instead of entire Web sites,” Yıldırım went on to say.

“Some Web sites, unfortunately, use their global popularity and show reluctance in complying with Turkish laws and regulations. If they say: ‘I am YouTube or Facebook, no one can interfere in my affairs. I am popular with the whole world,’ then we cannot let them do whatever they wish. Every Web site can operate in our country provided it obeys the rules and avoids committing or promoting crime,” Yıldırım remarked.

More than 1,100 Web sites have been blocked in Turkey since November 2007. Web sites are most often banned on grounds of insulting the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, containing vulgarity, enabling gambling or promoting suicide. Many sites have also been banned for crimes covered under the Internet Security Law, but a number of sites are banned for no apparent reason.

Source: todayszaman.com

Newspaper Endorsements -- Obama Widens Lead to 194-82

After a busy weekend, the Obama-Biden ticket maintains its strong lead in the race for daily newspaper endorsements, by 194 to 82 better than 2-1 margin and an even wider spread in the circulation of those papers; the circulation of the Obama-backing papers stands at over 20 million, compared with McCain's over 6 million.

Obama's lopsided margin, including most of the major papers that have decided so far, is in stark contrast to John Kerry barely edging George W. Bush in endorsements in 2004 by 213 to 205.

Weekend Tally

Now included in the tally are major endorsements in the past three days for Obama from the Hartford Courant, St. Petersburg Times, Providence Journal, Anchorage Daily News, Des Moines Register, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Times-Picayune of New Orleans, Newark's Star-Ledger and Bergen Record in New Jersey, Baltimore Sun, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Albany Times-Union and others. McCain picked up the Cincinnati Enquirer, Arizona Republic, The Oklahoman, Omaha World-Herald, and many smaller papers.

At least 38 papers have now switched to Obama from Bush in 2004, with just four flipping to McCain. The latest majors to flipflop to Obama: the papers in Providence and Fort Worth. In addition, several top papers that went for Bush in 2004 have now chosen not to endorse this year, the latest being the Indianapolis Star in key swing state Indiana.

Day opening - October 28


Picture by BennyBDesign

Monday, October 27, 2008

Day opening - October 27


Shocked to be forced to be silent.
Picture made by Anne Fleur

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The beauty of Photoshop

Even an ugly duck can be turned into a beautiful swan nowadays. Thanks to Photoshop. But it's a time consuming job and we all know that time is money. So jobs are done with haste and with hilarious results.

Here's one

Do I have to point out her short arms compared to the rest of her body?

There is even a blog devoted to photoshop disasters. Unfortunately for those in Turkey, this blog is also using blogspot.

Did you know that 5% of all the women have the figure to be a model. But with Photoshop even this group is excluded. The images displayed in magazines are 100% unachievable. A very inspiring documentary made about this topic is the Dutch documentary Beperkt Houdbaar by Sunny Bergman. The documentary can be watched from the website but it's all in Dutch. Recommended.

The reason of banning blogger.com in Turkey...

I found this on another blog. Entry posted with the name Jesus...:

"Apparently some blogs that question Koranic Creationism exist, so a Turkish judge did the only sensible thing: He BANNED THE ENTIRE BLOGGER.COM AND BLOGSPOT.COM DOMAINS, and all the 112 million blogs thereon. Jesus."

Most native Dutch men are hunter-gatherers

Four out of five native Dutch men alive today descend from the hunter-gatherers who lived in Europe during the last Ice Age (around 25,000 years ago). The other 20 percent are the descendants of farmers who colonised Europe from the Middle East 7,000 years ago, according to research by Peter de Knijff, professor of human genetics at Leiden University. De Knijff researched the Y-chromosome of over 2,000 men from all over the Netherlands. He presented his results on Saturday at a seminar organised by the Genographic Project, a collaboration between IBM and the National Geographic Society which maps the migration routes of people worldwide.


The Y-chromosome is particularly suitable to research lineage because it transfers directly from father to son. Descendants of farmers have different DNA variations in parts of their chromosome from those whose ancestors lived in Europe.


De Knijff's research shows that migrating farmers barely settled in the Netherlands at the time. In Germany, by contrast, a much higher percentage of men descend from foreign farmer-colonisers. This means that in the Netherlands, the native population was not 'replaced' by farmers from outside, but the hunters learned farming and cattle breeding themselves.


There are no behavioural or physical differences between the descendants of hunters and farmers, De Knijff says. "Such features come from the general pieces in our DNA which come from both mother and father. Those pieces are mixed together in every new generation."

Day opening - October 26


Pedestal
Artist unknown.

And remember that the clock is set back one hour to winter time...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Turkish Ban book for Dummies...

I didn't know that more proxy sites(unblock sites) are available than the youtube one. Now I am using vtunnel.com. Very simple to use...so the ban have no effect at all, with the exeption that it takes more time and that some features disappeared. I can not create links for example.
That there are idiots in Turkey who ruin, sorry, run different segments of the society is clear for me. But some are really dumbs. Here a story I picked up from a fellow blogger on englishturkey.com:

We had recently talked about how main Turkish Internet Service Provider Turk Telekom banned Wordpress website to the users. This time, Turk Telekom achieved to get the Oscar for Total Dumbness. Recently, Turkish singer, so called actor and director Mahsun Kirmizigul applied to them claiming that his film Beyaz Melek (White Angel) is being distrubuted illegaly on several torrent websites including IMDB ! Can you imagine IMDB as an illegal torrent site. Anyway, the very talented tech. guys of Turk Telekom banned imbd.com instead of imdb.com with the intention of banning IMDB. Imbd : This is just a parked domain name taking advantage of IMDB. We should ask several questions here.

1) Who cares the loser film of that Mahsun Kirmizigul except himself?

2) Don’t they have an idea of what Imdb.com is?

3) Do they have right to cut the access to every website they don’t like?

4) What is next? Google? Yahoo?

5) Millions of people are paying them for Internet service, are they stupid?

6) Your super duper techies aren’t even knowledgable on what the domain name is
Dear Telekom, Let’s learn again the difference on domain names, please: imdb.com and imbd.com are different. OK?

No internet freedom in Turkey; blogger.com banned

While the right of freedom of expression is provided for by both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Turkey banned blogger.com. The rights, as stated in those two declarations includes, with limited exceptions, the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, regardless of frontiers. The international human rights framework provided by these instruments applies to communication on the Internet just as it applies to other forms of communication.

Blogger.com (blogspot) is world largest blogger hosting company.
No reason is given (as usual) for the ban.

Turkey is mentally corrupt; not its citizens and their representatives but judges are ruling this country.

To get around the ban, simple type unblockyoutube.org and scroll down on the page. There you will see a box. Replace youtube.com with your website, and you are back on your blog. But some features will not appear since Java scripts is not supported by this anti-ban web site. For example: I cannot upload images, some widgets can not be viewed, no spellings control etc. But at least I've access.

Day Opening - October 25


9. of the top 10 most expensive paintings ever bought on auction.
Portrait de l'Artiste sans Barbe by Vincent van Gogh

Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe ("Self-portrait without beard") is one of many self-portraits by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, that he painted in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France in September 1889. The painting is a oil painting on canvas and is 40 cm x 31 cm (16" x 13").
Van Gogh painted this just after he had shaved himself. This is an uncommon painting since his other self-portraits show him with a beard. It becomes one of the most expensive paintings of all time when it was sold for $65 million on November 19, 1998 at Christie's, New York.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Selling soft drugs is not a right even in the Netherlands

Two Dutch towns on the Netherlands' border with Belgium have had enough. Roosendaal and Bergen op Zoom are closing down the towns' cannabis-selling 'coffee shops', although the practice of selling small amounts of the soft drug in such cafes has been tolerated for years. This drastic action is necessary because the problems caused by the coffee shops' dealers and customers are getting out of hand.

By Esther Rosenberg

“What else could we do?” Roosendaal’s mayor Michel Marijnen (Christian Democrat) asks while fellow mayor Han Polman (liberal D66 party) from neighbouring Bergen op Zoom joins him in his office at the town hall. They have been putting their heads together for the last five years in order to halt the steady stream of drugs tourists to their cities but to no avail.
Neither mayor thinks that more policing is the answer and nor is moving the coffee shops nearer to the border, away from their towns.

And there is morreee