Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

If God was One us.

I really like the following song, but still no YouTube here in Turkey.

Joan Osbourne
If God Was One of Us Lyrics

If God had a name, what would it be
And would you call it to his face
If you were faced with him in all his glory
What would you ask if you had just one question

And yeah yeah God is great yeah yeah God is good
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home

If God had a face what would it look like
And would you want to see
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
In things like heaven and in jesus and the saints and all the prophets

And yeah yeah god is great yeah yeah god is good
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
He's trying to make his way home
Back up to heaven all alone
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the pope maybe in rome

And yeah yeah God is great
yeah yeah God is good
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if god was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
Just trying to make his way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to heaven all alone
Just trying to make his way home
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the pope maybe in rome

Immigrant Men Are Forced to Marry, Too in Germany

Stories of Turkish girls forced into arranged marriages in Germany are well known. But hardly anyone talks about the men who are forced into marriage -- sometimes harassed, blackmailed or beaten.


Azad will never forget that day in September 2005. It was the day of his wedding in Stuttgart, but for Azad it was filled with hours of shame. "It's really bad, when you have to force yourself to have sex with a relative," says the 20-year-old Kurd. "It's sick. With my first cousin."
When Azad was 16, his parents informed him that he was to be engaged to a cousin from eastern Anatolia, who was also 16. When he refused, his mother threatened to commit suicide. "You will find me hanging from a rope in the basement," she said. At 17, Azad and the cousin were married in a civil ceremony during a family vacation in Turkey. When he was 18 his bride came to Germany, and ornate wedding invitations were sent out. The wedding ceremony took place in a midrange hotel in southwestern Germany. "It was pure horror," says Azad.

Read more herrreee

Bejeweled Credit Cards

It looks like Kazakhstan is flaunting immunity to the credit crunch with a new diamond MasterCard.

Although this is not the first card to sport jewels (the diamond-studded Royale MasterCard for Dubai’s elite already did that), there is no shortage of exclusive, fantastic plastic. Witness the American Express Black Card, GK Power’s high-concept cards, the $5M Holiday Dream Card, and the very exclusive Sotheby’s MasterCard, just to name a few.

Lest your wallet yearns one more, here is the Diamond.

Home to Central Asia’s largest economy, Kazakhstan has a two tier banking system, and it seems they are banking on their immunity from the credit crisis.
MasterCard and Kazkommertsbank, the second largest bank in Kazakhstan, are set to issue a MasterCard credit card adorned with gold and diamonds, with a $50,000 credit limit.
The ‘Diamond,’ sports a picture of a peacock for female cardholders, and a winged horse for men, with both versions displaying a 0.02-carat gem.
The targeted VIP customers will have to ante up an annual fee of $1,000, and the cards will be available November 13. Issues are limited to 30 per month.
“The [financial] crisis is also affecting us but we are talking about rich people, they can afford to have such cards,” says Alla Voyakina, Head of International Payment Systems on the card. “It’s a question of prestige to have such cards in your wallet.”

The Kazakh card also comes with a personal card “manager”, available around the clock.

Day Opening - November 8


Roger and Angelica-Redon

Friday, November 7, 2008

R.I.P. Turkey's Daily News

Turkey’s only one and independent Turkish Daily is embedded in Hurriyet, one of Turkey’s most read tabloid; a newspaper with no sound investigative journalism, but more based upon speculations and feed with populism and often running completely nonsense stories. Is this why so many people in Turkey are not informed at all? Today was the day: Hurriyet Dialy News replaced Turkish Daily News. And as bonus, the Chief Editor of Hurriyet – puppy of our dear friend Ayden Dogan (owner of several media outlets such as Hurriyet, Millyet and also TDN) wrote a column. Wow. Maybe lost in translation, but with this kind of crap, you cannot even finalize your high school in Europe: lack of syntaxes, ridiculous out liners and simple: it’s not a column but some ranting. Read here his idiotry...

And another bonus: a story about the fact that the EU and Nato are almost the same. This creepy fairy tail is doing well for so many years in Turkey but which is completely NONSENSE: Canada, Norway, Iceland, the USA etc. etc. etc. Are not in the EU and Sweden and Finland for example are not NATO members. Turkish politicians tried and tries so hard to confuse Europe but while blocking all kind of decision making processes Turkey is alienating itself from its allies: This sort of blocking everything makes Turkey’s friends in NATO nervous and this is not in Turkey’s interest either,” a French diplomat said.
In the mean while, TDN is not my home page anymore, back to Financial times.

The Stoning of Soraya M., the Movie

Picture: Shohreh Aghdashloo is a prominent actress on both stage and screen, Shohreh Aghdashloo has portrayed a vast array of complex and powerful characters throughout her career. She is most notably known for her prodigious performance as Nadi in “House of Sand and Fog,” which earned her an Academy Award nomination.
She plays the aunt of Soraya M. in the movie, The Stoning of Soraya M.

While stoning is officially prohibited by the fundamentalist regime in Iran, every mullah is free to act as he wants. Muslims cannot stone a human being, but when a woman is accused by her husband - rightly or wrongly - of infidelity, she is no longer considered human. This is the true story of an innocent woman stoned to death in modern Iran. Soraya M.'s husband Ghorban-Ali, was a shiftless, ambitious man, prone to rages and dreams of wealth. He wanted to get out of his marriage. When Soraya began cooking for the widowed husband of a friend, he found his excuse. Abetted by village authorities and aided by Islamic law, he accused his wife of adultery. Soraya M. - rendered mute by the injustice of the accusations, exhausted by her husband's constant abuse and her grinding daily routine - said nothing in her defense, and her silence was taken as guilt. Perhaps, too, she knew that her protests would not be heard.
She was taken away, buried up to her shoulders and neck in the ground, and then stoned to death.
From the Book: the Stoning of Soraya M. by Freidoune Sahebjam.

This movie will hit the theaters soon (don't know in Turkey) and according people who watched a pre-release this film will not appear quietly and disappear without notice; a powerful, dramatic, and disturbing representation of a true story.

Here a short synopsis and here the trailer.

Shohreh Aghdashloo in Talking Movies:

“It is an Islamic law that somehow should be dealt with by the government of Iran,” says Aghdashloo “I don't know about the rest of the world in terms of stoning in other countries, in Iran the government has supposedly suspended it but not banned it. I guess they can't interfere with the rules. I don't know what the problem is but it's still there! It's just been suspended.
“[This film] will definitely have an impact on stoning everywhere, not just in Iran. There are other places; Iraq, Turkey, Yemen, Somalia. What I'm hoping for is that it will have an impact on all these places where stoning is going on.”

And the culture relativist Erdogan of the AK parti try to silence all kind of critics and pursue still a 'modern Islamic' culture. And another one comes up with lies.

Immigrants in Holland catch up

Non-western immigrants are beginning to close the gap with native Dutch people in terms of education, jobs and income, the national statistics office CBS said in a new report on integration in the Netherlands.

The 266-page report (in Dutch) looked at the position of what it calls 'non-western' immigrants, largely people from Morocco, Turkey, Suriname and the Antilles in Dutch society. The integration of immigrants is a central part of national and local government policy.
The report shows that despite the improvements, boys with an ethnic minority background are still more likely to go into lower level vocational training, drop out of school early and perform less well in exams than their white peers.
For example, around 80% of boys with a Turkish or Moroccan background go to trade schools, compared with 55% of the native Dutch.

Jobs market

On the jobs market, the unemployment rate among young men from ethnic minorities fell from 27% in 2005 to 15% last year. In the native population, the jobless rate fell by just 3%. However, non-western immigrants are twice as likely to be on a temporary or flexible contract than their white peers, the report shows.
The unemployment rate among highly-educated second generation immigrants is now equal to that among native Dutch people, the CBS said. 'Nevertheless, the position of non-white immigrants remains vulnerable, particularly at times of economic downturn.'

Crime

The CBS survey also indicates that young men of Moroccan and Antillean origin are still strongly over-represented in the crime figures. They are three times as likely to have a criminal record than their white counterparts and 89% of them will re-offend within 10 years, the CBS says.
But non-western immigrants are also more likely to be victims of crime - especially young men, according to the CBS figures.

The Eastern Middle: The World Is Changing

The Eastern Middle: The World Is Changing

Day Opening - November 7


Les Poseuses by Georges Seurat

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The last EU report about Turkey

Read the last Report of the EU about Turkey by clicking here.
Partially positive (economically) partially negative (human rights, reforms etc.)

The Real John McCain

Japanese style


Japanese Chill monkeys after a full day of labor relaxing in a hot spring..)

Day Opening - November 6


Arthur B. Davies; Reclining Woman

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Europe, say once again: 'we're all Americans'

During the past eight years, two bright and powerful moments in European-American relations stand out to me. On 12 September 2001, Le Monde proclaimed, “We are all American.” And on 24 July 2008, Senator Barack Obama addressed 200,000 cheering Germans, many holding American flags.

To an outside observer who knew nothing of the intervening years, Europe’s enthusiastic response to Obama might seem to be a natural progression from Le Monde’s declaration of support for America. We know, however, that a great rift separates those two events.

And there is morreeee

One Man, One Love, One Nation: Obama Presidency


Obama elected as President of the USA. With a humble speech!


Emotions are running high among Americans!

Not only the Youth but the Elderly are supporting Obama as well!


Yes, believe it!


Day Opening - November 5


Claude Monet, Impression, soleil levant.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mein Kampf - Fitma the movie comparison: witch hunt

The witch hunt.

A school book for primary school children has angered the populist right-wing PVV party lead by Geert Wilders because it mentions Wilders' film Fitna and Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf in the same sentence.

"Both the film Fitna by Geert Wilders as well as the book Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler are based on one-sided opinions,” the book, produced by the Day of Respect Foundation, says.
The foundation, which aims to promote respect among youngsters, has sent the book to two thousand primary schools in the run-up to the Day of Respect on November 13.
Wilders' anti-Islam film Fitna was launched in March and generated widespread protests in many Muslim countries.

PVV member of parliament Martin Bosma has called for the books to be recalled, saying he objects to "children as young as ten being used for political indoctrination".
The foundation's director Corinne Biermans said it had not been the intention of the book to compare Fitna with Mein Kampf. She said she apologised if people felt offended by the awkward phrasing but that there are no plans to withdraw the book and no schools have complained.

If the world could vote: Global Electoral College

...then only Iraq, Cuba, Congo and Algeria would vote McCain...

Last predictions for USA Presidential elections 2008


This is the last map how FiveThirtyEight.com predict the outcome of the Presidential elections.
With its sophisticated way of polling, this site showed already early May that Obama would be the Democratic nominee. And until so far, they are pretty accurate.
It gives McCain 1.9% chance to win the elections.

This morning Pollster.com gave 273 EV (safe) for Obama; the Democrats don't even have to win in states like Ohio, Virginia, Florida etc. See here their chart.
Last polling by Zogby, 11 - 4 - 08 (this morning released):
The final tally now stands at 54.1% for Obama compared to 42.7% for McCain.
Only a miracle can help John McCain (and of course: fraud, lawsuits etc.)

How nasty the GOP can be...

California GOP Files FEC Complaint Over Obama Visit to Grandmother

By Matthew Mosk

Perhaps the most ill-timed press release of the 2008 campaign arrived shortly after 1:30 p.m. yesterday local time (-8 GMT), sent by the Republican National Committee.

The release forwarded word that the California Republican Party filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, in part because of a visit Sen. Barack Obama made to his dying grandmother.
"Obama for America violated federal law by converting its campaign funds to Senator Obama's personal use," the release stated. "Senator Obama recently traveled to Hawaii to visit his sick grandmother. This was the right thing for any grandson to do -- at his own expense -- but it was not travel that his campaign may fund."
At issue was whether the trip should have been paid for with campaign funds, based on the law that forbids candidates from using such funds to pay for personal travel. The Obama campaign said the trip had been vetted with lawyers beforehand and was allowable. The Republicans argued that, because Obama did not campaign during the quick journey to Hawaii, it should not have been a campaign expense.

But filing the complaint today now seems to have been ill-advised, if not legally, then certainly politically.
Obama and his sister released a statement this afternoon announcing that their grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died peacefully after a battle with cancer.

Day opening - November 4

Paintings in Movies: The DaVinci Code

The Last Supper by Leonardo DaVinci

The movie is based on Dan Brown's best seller The DaVinci Code. In both the book and the movie the painting is mentioned.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The future with Obama...


Foreign secret agents are active on Dutch soil

Foreign secret service organisations have recruited informants in Holland for years without any action being taken, Dutch justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin told parliament last week.

For years foreign security agencies have been recruiting informants in the Netherlands without the Dutch secret service being able to expose them. The case of two police officers from Rotterdam who are suspected of working for the Moroccan secret service is the first to actually result in any action.

Morocco’s tentacles


Parliament took advantage of the Rotterdam affair and that of the imams to warn Morocco that its diplomatic relationship with the Netherlands could be jeopardised if interference with Moroccans who have Dutch nationality does not stop. “Morocco’s tentacles have found their way deep into Dutch society,” said Christian Democrat spokeswoman Madeleine van Toorenburg.

Dijsselbloem: “The way in which Morocco has decided to go its own way is a continual strain on of the bilateral relationship between the Netherlands and Morocco.”

And there is morrreeee

Hop Aboard the Obama Change Train

Tuesday will go down in American history as record-breaking turnout for both voter registration and One Stop Early Voting. Why are Americans running to the polls to vote when in past years masses didn't even bother to register? Americans rank as the eternal optimists with lots at stake this Election Day and we sense a real possibility for change.

As we wait the final decision, more passion and hope for change expands on the horizon. The Obama train races for the White House with huge numbers of international journalists, editorial writers, and bloggers of all sorts rooting for the Obama Campaign for Change. Why? Everybody worldwide wants change for America--dramatic change and do it now.

While pundits shared comparisons of great past presidents on television, Parade Magazine published a survey (10/2008) of seven traits that two of the greatest presidents embraced. Obama ranked far above McCain in five of the seven, the highest with a 38 percent difference; one trait tied 50-50, and another with a two percentage point margin, Obama in front.

No doubt about it, this election may be close, but the American public has expressed loud and clear their disappointment about the absurd attacks hurled at Barack Obama by John McCain. You'd think a 26-year seasoned senator and former Prisoner of War would think a little closer about what exactly his words imply about our country, our government, our leaders and our citizens.

Additionally, McCain repeatedly tried to create a racial and religious divide in America, along with terror-mongering all attributed to Obama as evidenced at some of the McCain rallies. Need I mention how some berated his racial identity and religion, not to mention incorrectly, over the course of two years?

Sadly, McCain has tried to persuade the American public that Obama maintains ties with terrorists and promotes socialism. He evidently forgot that presidential candidates go through rigorous security clearances at the Top Secret/Special Background Investigation (TS/SBI) level. All members of their family do as well.

In one of the TV ads, McCain says he's been tested. Exactly what test did he receive to reside as our next president? Was he President Pro Tem when we weren't looking? I don't think so. And did running mate Sarah Palin get tested too? Sounds like years of entrenched politics, Bush supporter, maverick and age stand as qualifications. Maverick was never considered a positive quality, unless of course, your job was on Wall Street or in real estate.

Best of all, McCain must see Obama as a formidable opponent who displays all the characteristics of a charismatic leader. If not, then there would be no need for McCain to dream up ludicrous claims about Obama and questionable connections to the underworld. But wait, there's more. Does McCain expect the American public to believe it all?

Think about it, if America wants different results, then we need to get on board the do something really different overhaul train. Let's unload an antiquated infrastructure; try diplomacy and communication with our foes; reinvent health care for the masses; carve new standards for election campaigns; restore ethical values and respect to government; promote racial, religious, cultural and gender equality, and surrender major funds for education renovation, just to name a few.

America needs a president with lots of energy to mobilize an entire nation, and in the words of Colin Powell, a steady hand of leadership. A president must be fit for constant high stress, educated by the best in the world, seasoned in the trenches of America and harbor an acute awareness of world issues. Our president must be a bridge to both youth and maturity, personify cultural astuteness both at home and abroad, and exude a charisma unlike any before to stand up to the long road ahead.

Barack Obama is the only choice for a new America and the restoration of foreign diplomacy and teamwork.

Day opening - November 3

Paintings from Movies: Girl with a Pearl Earring

Meisje met de Parel by Johannes Vermeer

In this movie the story behind this painting is told. The girl on the painting (Griet) is represented by Scarlett Johansson. The movie is based on a fictional book of the same name written by Tracy Chevalier.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Crazy Halloween in London

Last Friday in London, the whole city seemed to have dressed up for Halloween. Here some good costumes...






The Truth about Sarah Palin and John Biden

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

Adnan Oktar is threatening to close down another site

Adnan Oktar, the name behind the closing of many internet sites in Turkey, has threatened Bianet, a website published within the framework of "Journalism for Rights, Rights for Journalists" -dubbed as BİA3 - project implemented by the IPS Communication Foundation with the financial assistance of the Swedish International development Agency (SIDA).

Claiming he was insulted and slandered through an article criticizing the internet bannings from the legal perspective, which appeared in bianet.org, Adnan Oktar (Adnan Hodja) announced that he was planning to go to court if the said article was not taken off the site.

The article that Oktar thought insulting him was written by Yaman Akdeniz, a faculty from the Law Department of the University of Leeds, and Kerem Altıparmak, a member of the Human Right Center of the Political Science Department of Ankara University, and published by Bianet on October 20.

Reminding that up until today sixty-one sites have been banned by the court orders taken from Silivri and Gebze courts, both Akdeniz and Altan state that the sites were being banned because of a problem in courts’ method of interpretation.

Is there not a way to shut down this guy, banning him from travelling abroad? Maybe some European and American journalists can dig him and put him were he belongs: under intense scrutiny!

Here the full article.

Day opening - November 2

Paintings from Movies: Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulin

Fowl with Pearls by Michael Sowa

This painting starts to talk to Autrey Tatou's character Amelie Poulin. The painting talks to and about her toghether with Michael Sowa's painting the filmhound and the Piggy Lamp besides her bed.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Electoral history tabel USA Presidential elections


zoom in by clicking on picture.

Integration course for free

The mandatory Dutch integration course for immigrants is to be made free for potential participants living in Amsterdam. The course has been compulsory for non-Western immigrants living in the Netherlands since January 2007.

At present immigrants have to pay 270 euros towards the cost of the course but Amsterdam city council believes this is one of the reasons people are not attending.
Some 15,000 people in the Dutch capital were expected to register for the course this year but only 4,000 have done so.
The city council decided on Thursday to make the course free of charge in the hope that that this will encourage a bigger take up which has been low throughout the country.
In the future, non-Western immigrants will not be given a residency permit unless they have completed the course.

Day opening - November 1

Paintings from Movies: Notting Hill

La Mariée by Marc Chagal

In the 1999 film Notting hill, Julia Robert's character Anna Scott sees a print of La Mariée in the home of Hugh Grant's character, William Thacker. Anna later gives William what is presumably the original.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dutch DJ is voted best in world


For the second year in a row, Armin van Buuren has been voted best DJ in the world by a British magazine.

Which Dutch pop musician has a radio show listened to in 40 countries? Which Dutchman was last night voted the best DJ in the world by 345,000 people for the second year in a row. Who gave 140 performances last year, from Rotterdam to Eilat, from Tokyo to Los Angeles?
Armin van Buuren is on a roll. The DJ and producer is on an international victory parade. In March he won two International Dance Music awards, for best European DJ and best radio show. And in January he won the Netherlands' prestigious Popprijs award.

Van Buuren was born on December 25, 1976 in Koudekerk aan de Rijn, a village of just 4,200 people on the river Rhine. His father is a doctor, his mother a freelance journalist.
“It is a musical family,” says brother Eller (27). There was always music at home. When he and Armin were small, their parents and friends would hang out till late at night, listening to music which was just a bit too loud. The two boys would lie in their beds listening.

Serious child

Van Buuren was a serious child. When he was 10, his mother won a computer and he would spend hours writing programmes for it. His uncle taught him how to experiment with music.
Two years later he went to secondary school in Leiden. There he stood out as a hard worker, says Peter van Rooden, who taught him chemistry for four years.
And Van Buuren was also busy with music. He helped organise school dances and took to the turntables as DJ, buying the latest hits with money he earned delivering newspapers.
“My brother used to cycle to school with his Walkman on,” says Eller. He used to listen to mixes by DJ Ben Liebrand that he had recorded from the radio. It was a revelation.

Talent recognised

Van Buuren became a member of Liebrand's fan club and visited his studio and played his hero Blue Fear, a number he had put together using a sampler. Liebrand recognised his talent immediately.
From then on, Van Buuren went to work at Liebrand's studio. He learned a lot, but did not yet see a musical future for himself. In 1994 he started studying for a law degree at Leiden University.
“Armin is not someone to take risks,” says Eller. “If his career in music did not take off, he could always become a lawyer.”
But things did go well for Van Buuren in the music world, particularly as a producer. Blue Fear was a hit in Britain. His colleague and friend Tiësto, another talented Dutch DJ, had just broken through to the big time. He praised the young producer to his manager David Lewis in 1999 who has immediately started pushing Van Buuren into the limelight.

Turntable skills

To achieve that, Van Buuren had to improve his turntable skills. “I began by organising a number of residencies for him, such as at Club O in The Hague,” says Lewis.
“That is how I planned his entire career. He has never booked a gig himself. I decide where he plays. I ask how many people will be there, what time he performs and who is on before him,” says Lewis. “The only thing that is important, is what is good for his career.”
Nevertheless, Van Buuren earns an average of 20,000 euros for a performance.

In 2008, the organisation around Van Buuren and his business partners has 22 staff, an elite group of artists, its own events and record labels.
But how long can he stay at the top? “One of my most important jobs is to make sure he keeps both feet on the ground,” says Lewis. “If he has just performed for 15,000 people, I am the one who says 'that was not good'. Luckily, Armin does not tend to arrogance.”

The stockexchange...look for the differences...


The one in Sao Paulo, Brazil...


The one in Kuwait...

The differences between those 3 debates: the moderators...

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

Turkish and Armenian academics grasp mantle of peace


Football diplomacy gives impetus to second track diplomacy as a group of Turkish and Armenian historians and social scientists gathered at a workshop in Armenia’s capital city Yerevan to discuss past and present relations of the two nations.

The rapprochement that started with the Turkish president's visit to Yerevan last month to watch a Turkey-Armenia football match has also intensified the efforts of non-political actors in the two countries.
As officials in both countries continue seeking greater formal reconciliation, a group of Turkish and Armenians historians and social scientists gathered around a table in the Armenian capital Yerevan last month to hold an academic discussion about ways to reach mutual understanding.
And there is morreee

Day opening - October 31


Picture made by Eva

Seven legged spider in the deep forest of Laos

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

Political Dance Spoofs - Sarah Palin and Obama on Dancing With the Stars


“Next Season on ‘Dancing with the Stars’” will star Sarah Palin and Barack Obama… according to the latest inbox-hopping viral email that is.
The Dancing with Stars image featuring the two most celebritized politicians of the year actually looks pretty darn good.
Sarah Palin looks stunning in her turquoise Dancing with the Stars salsa dress, and Obama is exceptionally handsome in his matching, yet paler hued Caribbean silk shirt.
What a great image, but sadly there is no name on the email to give credit to. Whoever created the “Next Season on ‘Dancing with the Stars’” viral, congratulations with you on your awesome photoshopping!

Day Opening - October 24


No. 6. of the Ten most expensive paintings ever bought on auction.:
'Irises' by Vincent van Gogh

Irises is a painting by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, painted while he was at the asylum at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France in the last year before his death in 1890.
In 1987, it became the most expensive painting ever sold when it was sold for AUS $54,000,000 to Alan Bond, but he did not have enough money to pay for it and it had to be re-sold. It is now owned by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Who are the real perverts?

It looks that I’m not the only person who is angered by the moves the current Turkish government makes regarding ‘protecting children and women’. Children are the most vulnerable in our society. The ‘Muslim’ world condemns always the West as pervert, but who are the real perverts? Read Mr. Yusuf Kanli his excellent article. I am pondering my head why not one female TDN columnist wrote about this.

By Mr. Yusuf Kanli:

Islamist or pedophile?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


While the country and those interested in Turkish affairs were busy either with the approaching first hearing of the so-called “Ergenekon gang” case, or focused on the allegations that separatist chieftain Abdullah Öcalan was ill-treated at the İmrali prison island, and the consequent unrest in some cities or the vote at the U.N. for Security Council membership of Turkey, some people at the Justice Ministry were busy concocting up some nasty legal arrangements which can be considered to be an effort to legalize pedophilia.

One may ask, of course, whether it is compatible with justice or with the mission of the Justice Ministry to work to legalize pedophilia or to suggest reduced penalties for rape within marriage. It is indeed difficult, but as in the old story about the cat and its scratching habit embedded in its genes, it appears that some obsessive Islamists are suffering from some acute mental problems forcing them to aspire to establish a social order in the country reminiscent of a certain time in history when having sex with an 11-year-old girl could be considered legally, morally and ethically fit.

And there is morreeee

Day Opening - October 23


No 2. of the top 10 most expensive paintings ever bought on auction.
'Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh'

The painting was sold to Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito for $82.5 million on May 15, 1990 at auction in Christie's, New York. Portrait of Dr. Gachet is painted in June 1890 by Dutch Impressionism master Vincent van Gogh.
Ryoei Saito shocked the world when he announced he wish the van Gogh painting to be cremated with him at his death. Later he explained he was using a figure of speech: threatening to torch the oils was just an expression of intense affection for the masterpieces. Saito died in 1996.
Vincent van Gogh actually painted two versions of Dr Gachet's portrait with a slightly different color scheme. The other version is located at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Webpage tip

Music has a major part in my life. I'm always looking for new things I like, but it's hard to find in this jungle of sounds.

A site already known to me for a while, but didn't use much until a couple of days ago, is Last.fm.

There hasn't been one band or dj so far that I couldn't find on this web page. What I really like, is the radio function: you type in one band, it gives you the artist and also a radio function where you can listen to that band, but it also plays a variety of music related to it. So far some really great new stuff and the good thing is: no commercials and good music all day long.

Thumbs up for last.fm

Live from Wasilla, Alaska

IT'S CAPS LOCK DAY


IT'S OFFICIAL, IT'S CAPS LOCK DAY.
COMMENTS WRITTEN normally WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
YELL AND SCREAM WHAT YOU WANT, WE WON'T LISTEN..)

Polls of Polls: Sarah Palin leads over McCain...


Some time ago, people in the world admired the USA for its tolerance, its innovations, its hospitality, its 'people management', its optimism, its market dynamics, its opportunities, its competitiveness, its spirit...
But times are changing, right?!
What's left; provincialism, intolerance, ignorance, greed, arrogance and populism. Exactly where Sarah Palin stands for.
A Sarah Palin who 'leads' McCain in his race for the White House...

Day Opening - October 22


Unknown...
Go back to October 21 - 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Turkey: Sleep well Mr. President


AK parti nonsense

While the major world markets (was, and some still) are in turmoil, the Turkish Finance Minister Kemal Unakıtan tells that Turkey is the world's 'safe harbor.' He simply says: ” Investment would come, as Turkey's geography and other factors would continue to make the country an appealing destination. Chief among the factors making Turkey attractive, he emphasized, was continuing economic stability driven by a strong policy of fiscal and financial discipline.’ Does social and political instability not count anymore?

Here he forgot to mention that the IMF was so helpfully, and that foreign investments were the only and solid reasons that Turkey survived and was saved from a total bankruptcy in 2001!
More astonishing; the Turkish president, A. Gul, said in an interview with Der Spiegel: ‘Over the past six years, we have enjoyed an average growth rate of 7 percent, and this year we still anticipate that it will be 4 percent. We are also among the countries in Europe with the lowest budget deficits. Unlike many other European countries, we actually have fulfilled the Maastricht criteria."

So far Mr President. Turkey has a budget deficit of 140 billion USD... unlikely, countries such as Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary etc. etc. all have a budget surplus!
Sleep well Mr. President. But don't forget to pay your loans, period!.)

Obama - McCain; look who's is talking


The difference in generation!
And no photoshop used, this is real ANP copyright..)

First Muslim mayor of Rotterdam will need to find allies


The decision by the Dutch Rotterdam city council to appoint Ahmed Aboutaleb as the city's mayor is a historic one. If his nomination is approved by the Dutch cabinet, he will become not only the first mayor of a major Dutch city with dual nationality - he has a Moroccan and Dutch passport - but also the first Muslim.

While serving on the Amsterdam city council Aboutaleb (Labour) became a household name. But since becoming deputy social affairs minister he has been all but forgotten. Directly after his appointment as mayor of Rotterdam, Aboutaleb’s ethnic background, religion and dual nationality were strongly criticised.

Ahmed Aboutaleb, who has often been described as a 'model non-Western immigrant', was born in the town of Beni Sidel in Morocco's Rif mountain region in 1961, the son of an imam. In 1976, Aboutaleb, his mother and siblings moved to the Netherlands to join his father who was already working in the country.

more herree

Day Opening - October 21


unknown...