Thursday, July 22, 2010

Erdogan logics

From Hürriyet:
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose fight against smoking was awarded by the World Health Organization (WHO), suggested during the award ceremony that people should eat fruits instead of drinking alcohol. Erdoğan noted that drunk driving was forbidden, besides, people should act sensitively in order not to harm others with their smoking habits.
"Where does alcohol come from? Don't they produce these drinks from fruits? Eat fruits instead of drinking then," Erdoğan said.

Yes, don't drink coffee but eat coffee beans; don't drink tea but eat tea leaves; don't do this and don't do that...exactly Erdogan.

Greece and the Greek Cypriots pushing for a deal on Cyprus

Greece voiced support yesterday for Greek Cypriot proposals to jumpstart talks on reunifying the Mediterranean island after Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots accused their rivals of derailing a UN-backed year-end target date for a deal.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou urged Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to "seriously study" the new package of proposals put forward last week by Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias, who is also Cyprus president.
"This shows that President Christofias is one step ahead in initiatives to solve the Cyprus problem," Papandreou told reporters after they met at the island's Larnaca airport.
The package put forward by Christofias proposes that the port of Famagusta in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north be opened to direct trade under European Union auspices in exchange for the return of the nearby resort of Varosha to its displaced Greek Cypriot inhabitants, which is fair in my opinion.

Once one of the Mediterranean's leading resorts, Varosha has been a decaying ghost town since Turkish troops fenced it off in 1974 when they invaded the island's northern third following a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at union with Greece.
Christofias also proposes that in UN-brokered talks on reunifying the island the questions of restoring property to the displaced and adjusting the amount of territory under Turkish Cypriot local administration be combined with the issue of immigration control after any deal.
He is also pushing for the key issue of security to be dealt with at a UN-chaired international conference with participation by the European Union, as well as Greece, Turkey and former colonial power Britain, rather than at a meeting of the last three as proposed by the Turkish Cypriots.
"If these measures are accepted it will change the climate and lead to positive results," Christofias said yesterday.
During a visit to the breakaway north on Tuesday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek accused the Greek Cypriots of lacking the necessary political will for a settlement.
"This is not a process that can go on forever," he warned after talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.
"If the Greek Cypriots and their supporters cannot reach a solution by the end of the year, everyone will continue to follow their own paths," he said.
But Christofias countered that it was not his government that was blocking progress in reunification talks but the Turkish Cypriots and their backers in Ankara, which he charged was "hardening its stance".
Christofias and Eroglu are due to meet again today for their latest talks in the UN-backed peace process which was relaunched in December 2008. Eroglu is a hardcore nationalists who rather sees partitition than reunification!

Day Opening - July 22 - Forgotten Jobs of Turkey (2)

Forgotten jobs of Turkey - making pottery the traditional way for 6 generations

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

'Boomerang kids'

A social reportin the Netherlands covers the growing number of young people who return to live with their parents after leaving home. In the 1990s, just 15 percent of young adults returned to the nest. Between 2000 and 2007, a whopping one in five young women moved back in with their parents. Which is pretty normal in Turkey, where most of the young women move in with their parents after completing their studies.

In this Dutch report it says that compared to other European countries, the Dutch welfare state makes it relatively easy to build up a life as an independent young person in the Netherlands. Why then, it asks, do these 'boomerang children' return home?
A sociologist points out that many come back home after the break-up of a relationship. The lack of affordable housing in many big cities compounds the problem. It is also said that many young people move to a different part of the country when they leave home and that homesickness can play a part in deciding to return to their roots.
However maybe 22-year-old Lisanne can fill us in on the real reason. "Before I came home, I told my mother: 'I'll do my own washing and ironing, you don't need to bother with it.' But, she still does it all - washing, cooking, cleaning. It's just like a hotel," she admits. And that's a little different than in countries such as Turkey and Italy where the baby/child is still King or Queen!

Day Opening - July 20

A mountain called Zimba, Austria

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The source of integration difficulties

The last couple of years The Netherlands has turned from a tolerant country into a country full of anti-immigrant sentiments. This reaches beyond the actual immigrants, it also affects second generation youngsters, in particular the groups of Turks and Moroccans living in Holland for the greatest part of their lives. Most of the anti-immigrant sentiments are fed by fear, spread by the rightwing political movement and by the media, which found a scapegoat to put the blame on for economic, religious and cultural crises. We can conclude that it's not even against immigrants but against the group of muslims in Holland. The socalled integration problem has rooted somewhere down the 60s of the last century.
In the decade following the end of the Second World War The Netherlands has known a period in which lots of inhabitants moved to other places in the world, like the US, Canada and Australia. Halfway down the 50s the industrial activities in Holland increased enormously, and a shortage of labor force arose. At first the Dutch looked at countries like Italy and Spain to get laborers. The next group, at the beginning of the 60s were the Turks and Moroccans. The initial thought was to have them in Holland for only a couple of years before they would return to their country of origin. With this in mind, no effort was but by either the Dutch government or the immigrants ("guest laborers") to integrate and have them take an active role in Dutch society. The Dutch didn't have programs to teach the language and habits of the country, the immigrants did their jobs and spent their free time together with fellow immigrants and prefered to live close to eachother instead of mingling with the original Dutch inhabitants.
After a while Turkish and Moroccan families were reunited in Holland and started a new life for them and for their children. The government slowly started to acknowlegde the permanent stay of their guest laborers, who meant a lot for the wellfare, but it seemed too late to launch integration programs. The cultural differences were quite large. Though it seemed easier to treat all groups equally, the Dutch started to emphasise the differences, which encouraged the majority of the immigrants to feel shut out of society. Together with this phenomenon, the immigrants themselves held on to their values and habits which they took with them 20 or more years before, when they arrived in Holland. Though in Morocco and Turkey time went on and everything got more modern, the immigrants stuck to their old patterns.
From 2001 things got worse. The second generation (children of the original immigrants) got adolescents or adults. They were brought up by parents that were attached to ancient values, and on the other hand they had to survive in a community with a completely different set of values. Together with the more grim attitude in the Dutch society some of them chose to put their backs to society and, encouraged by fundamentalist imams they became together with rightwing groups the symbol of polarisation.
I expect this problem to persist for a long time. It is too late now to reach the group of people that has developed an aversion for Dutch society, but keeps living in it, by active (compulsory) integration programs. On the other hand, the general opinion is to act repressive ("all criminal muslims should be thrown out of the country"; "burqas should be forbidden"), which works counterproductive. A gentle way of acting seems to be the best way, but it needs understanding and effort from both sides...
It is time to let go of prejudices and put our hands together.
Let actions speak louder than words, but start whispering first.

Day Opening - July 18

Bodrum Castle, Turkey

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dutch Twitter criminal convicted

The first person in the Netherlands to be convicted of Twitter crime has been sentenced to 100 hours’ community service. After the World Cup semi-final against Uruguay, the 18-year-old in question sent out an appeal on Twitter for people to head en masse for a square in The Hague which has become notorious for post-football match rioting. “Gas the plainclothes police,” he tweeted.

“In the context of earlier disturbances, this was an invitation to come and riot on the square,” the judge concluded. However, it seems the public prosecutor still has to get used to dealing with crime in the social networking age. The letters “RT, RT, RT” in one of the messages was intended to represent the sound of gunshots, the prosecutor claimed. Until someone pointed out it’s the abbreviation for “retweet”.
Maybe the district attorney's has to go social media...

Day Opening - July 17

Girl - Poland

Friday, July 16, 2010

Who came first: chicken or egg?

‘It had long been suspected that the egg came first but now we have the scientific proof that shows that in fact the chicken came first,’ said Dr Colin Freeman, from Sheffield University, who worked with counterparts at Warwick University. What do they mean with 'who came first'...
More herrreeee

Day Opening - July 16

Brand new.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Insanity in the Netherlands

The Muslim Orthodox foundation Al Rayaan (watch the video in English) in the city of Nijmegen the Netherlands gets subsidy for the promotion of ' emancipation and integration' whereas this Moslem group itself supports a strict separation between men and women; men and women who are not direct relatives of each other, should avoid contact with each other. Also the foundation pleads for polygamy. Now, they made again headlines because anti-Semitic cartoons on their web site and obscure texts. In spite of the fact that the orthodox interpretation of the Muslim faith of Al Rayaan is not in line with the progressive objectives of the municipality of Nijmegen, it will not withdraw its yearly subsidy - 3,500 euro per year. Now another story; the evangelical Christian farmer who has JEZUS REDT (Jesus saves) painted in huge white letters on the side of his roof is planning to take his case to the European Court. Why? The latest twist in his court battle to save his religious message to the world (or at least to local motorists) follows a ruling from the Council of State. The highest court in the Netherlands has decided that the local council is within its rights to fine Mr Van Ooijen 15,000 euros if he does not remove the message (it can insult Muslims). The farmer is, however, standing firm: "We'll carry on the fight," he assures, "and go on to the European Court." You can ask yourself how ‘loonely’ or ‘lunatic’ the Left wing parties are in the Netherlands: you preach Hate and you get a warning and get incentives, you preach nothing but only a pacifistic message and you get fined...

Don't call a Greek a Turk...

A 77-year born Greek living in Sweden gets € 200,000 euro because a Swedish dairy company used his picture recommending ‘Turkish yoghourt’ on the Swedish market. Minas Karatzoglis decorated for nine years the packing of the Turkish yoghourt of a dairy company from the Swedish Jönköping. The Greek discovered this last spring, already it has not been confessed how. Karatzoglis was according to the director of Lindahls Mejeri (dairy) furiously that he was represented as a Turk and asked for almost 5 millions of euro in ‘damages’. Both parties settled before for a lawsuit was started. Now the dairy company wants recover damage of the company which whom it got the copy rights to use the photograph of the ' Turkish man'. I understand that you want to get paid when they use your portrait, but is this simple a way for the man to get some money or is he really upset being used as a Turk…that sounds a little bit too much for me…

Day Opening - July 15

Cat on your head!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day Opening - July 14

Bastille Day; National Holiday in France. 14th of July.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Genocide in Sudan according ICC

The International Criminal Court added genocide Monday to the list of charges against Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir (big friend of Turkish PM Erdogan and Turkish President GUL), already wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

"There are reasonable grounds to believe that (Omar al-Beshir) acted with specific intent to destroy in part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups," said a new warrant issued Monday, listing three genocide charges.
The court in March last year issued a warrant for Beshir's arrest on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, its first ever for a sitting head of state.
It did not include three genocide charges on that warrant as requested by prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who appealed its decision.
In February, the ICC's appeals chamber ordered judges to rethink their decision to omit genocide from the warrant, saying they had made an "error in law" by setting the burden of proof too high.
In Today's decision, the court said there were reasonable grounds to believe that villages and towns targeted by government forces "were selected on the basis of their ethnic composition".
"Towns and villages inhabited by other tribes, as well as rebel locations, were bypassed in order to attack towns and villages known to be inhabited by civilians belonging to the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups."
The court also said there were reasonable grounds to believe that "acts of rape, torture and forcible displacement were committed against members of the targeted ethnic groups."
There was evidence that government forces contaminated the wells and water pumps of villages inhabited by these groups, who were also subject to forcible transfer, in furtherance of the genocidal policy."
"One of the reasonable conclusions that can be drawn is that ... the conditions of life inflicted on the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups were calculated to bring about the physical destruction of a part of those ethnic groups."
Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accuses Beshir of personally instructing his forces to annihilate the three Darfur ethnic groups.
The prosecutor says 2.7 million people have been uprooted from their homes, of whom 100,000 died of causes related to their displacement, such as starvation.
The United Nations says up to 300,000 people have died since conflict broke out in Darfur in 2003, when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated regime for a greater share of resources and power.