Turkey is Typing….

Two weeks and no “talking Turkey”, I apologise dear readers. Let's just jump in shall we?

The best thing to come out of the Turkish blogs in the last two weeks is the creation of the Amerikan Turks Yahoo Group. Started originally by Murat from Amerikan Turk, with the creation of this group he seeks to….

My goal is to create an online community of Turkish bloggers who are interested in keeping a finger on the pulse of their peers in the “blogosphere”.

Most people would say, “oh no, not another email/chat/forum thingy”, however the great thing about this new group is that everyone's blogs posts are being posted to it…creating a user friendly RSS feed. I think that it is a wonderful way to use the medium and I am proud to be a member of it as it creates a stronger community in the blogosphere.

Nobody has summarized the hot topics in Turkey better this week than Metroblogging Istanbul, items which include the bird flu and the release/recapture of Mehmet Ali Agca (most known for this assasination attempt of Pope John Paul II, but convicted murderer of Editor in Chief Abdi Ipekci of the Milliyet newspaper) although I do believe that the battle of the blue and red buses in Istanbul is of importance as well.

First, touching on the subject of the bird flu, Erkan's Field Diary has the most comprehensive updates. Many in Turkey are abstaining from eating poultry, which for many has been fairly easy as with the end Eid al-Aida, or Kurban Bayrami in Turkey, many have been eating alternate meats. Many Turkish bloggers wrote first hand accounts of their celebrations of this holiday including: Erkan's Field Diary, Amerikan Turk, and The Need to Know- who ate a bit more than she should have.

The second main topic is the release and rearrest of Mehmet Ali Agca, which according to Turkish Torque is a sign of the Turkish judicial system being in shambles. Other items discussed by Torque include the sad story of a young Turkish boy who sent 1 lira to the President of Pakistan and memories of the Peace Corps Volunteers that he met in his college days.

The White Path writes about Sultan Abdulhamid and the Armenian Genocide.

Besides reporting from the Golden Globes Talk Turkey also posts an Open Letter to Turkish Americans in which he states the importance of the Turkish-American viewpoints:

I believe it is imperative for the Turkish populace in the U.S. to be informed, as well as informative, and thereby better served by examining and publicizing our general philosophy,view, and stance concerning issues that all Americans consider relevant. That is the true definition of an effective lobby that we as American Turks yearn for.

On a tip from Yogurtland there is a new Turkish food blog out there called Zen in the Kitchen, which is excellent and has a great list of links to other food blogs that have been mentioned in this article before. Mmmmm….that's all for this week folks! Until later!


  • Deborah is so apologetic in not posting for two weeks. But the readers of this blog haven’t commented here yet. What gives? Where are all the ‘long-time visitor / first-time commentors?

    OK, I’ll start. We are so wrapped up sometimes in an independent Kurdistan phobia or cause, depending on which side you happen to be on, we sometimes forget the bigger plan or danger, again depending on your take.

    What do I mean? Well . . . I hate to self-promote, but not really :) . . . I recently posted on my blog (www.talkturkey.us) about the creation of US of E (The United States of Eurasia) by the good old US of A that eliminates all thoughts of independence and nationalism but reawakens federalism with the advent of capitalism and materialism, and most important, Americanism. It’s fashionable to do so I guess.

    For more, please visit USE by TalkTurkey.

  • The USE is an interesting fantasy Metin, and on a loooong enough timeline many such unities will rise and fall, but for now there are apparently a lot of Turkic people with designs of uniting together with Turkey to create a composite of “United Turkish Republics”. Enthusiasts of this idea have their own Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UnitedTurkishRepublics/

    Their front page reads as follows. Pay particular attention to the overall population of this “Re-born Empire”

    Türkçü Toplumcu Turancilarin Otagina Hos Geldiniz, Sav Keligiz, Hos Geldingiz, Hus Keldingiz, Kos Keldingiz, Hus Kildigiz ! WELCOME! Birlesik Turk Cumhuriyeleri: Turkiye Cumhuriyeti, Kuzey Kibris Turk Cumhuriyeti, Altay, Kazakistan Cumhuriyeti,Ozbekistan Cumhuriyeti, Kirgizistan Cumhuriyeti, Cuvasistan Ozerk Cumhuriyeti,Tataristan Ozerk Cumhuriyeti,Azerbaycan, Guney Azerbaycan, Turkmenistan Cumhuriyeti, Baskurtistan, Karakalpakistan, Baskortostan Ozerk Cumhuriyeti, Mogolistan da yasayan Turkler, bagimsizligina kavusamiyan Dogu Turkistan Cumhuriyeti,ve Ahiska Turklerini unutmayalim. Toplam olarak 208,059,687 milyonun ustunde ve daha sayamadigimiz dis ulkelerde yasayan milyonlarca gurbetcilerimiz var. Butun cumhuriyetlerimizi ayrim yapmadan birlestirelim, bir olalim. Dunyanin en kuvetli ulkesi olup Dunyaya United Turk Republics diye tanitalim. Ulkelerimizin, tasi ve topragi ile kalkinalim. “Ne Mutlu Turkum Diyene” – Buyuk isler, muhim tesebbusler,ancak musterek mesai ile mumkundur – Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

  • I also doubt we will ever see a unification of Turkic people under one umbrella anytime soon.

    By the way, the ‘USE’ acronym and its underlying suggestion was a cleverly disguised (I thought so anyway) attempt to warn about the Americanization of all things we hold dear, including our nationalistic desires being overcome by materialistic self interests.

    With the US in Iraq currently, and might as well in Saudi and UAE, as well as Qatar and Kuwait, and soon Iran (laying the groundwork), it is not too far fetched to imagine a US controlled MidEast or NearEast America.

    I am sure many in Turkey would not object? They might not realize it but it might already be too late.

    I don’t believe all of this erosion of privacy and individual liberties under the disguise of ‘Homeland Security’ and ‘Patriot Act’ themes do not only extend solely to ‘Americans’ in America . . . At least for some here in this country, Globalization=Americanization.

    Most think tanks and foreign policy ‘developers’ would also agree that 50 or so years is not a long time to continue to plant the seeds as part of the ‘Greater Plan,’ whatever it may be.

  • Well let’s al well notforget about the hot debate in Turkey these days: “consciencous objection” and”compulsory military service”.

    ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) have fined Turkey to 11.000€ for the maltreatment of conscicencous objector Osman Murat Ülke, more details you can find at http://www.savaskarsitlari.org

    Additional info: Mehmet Tarhan, an anti-militarist, gay, consciencous objector was detained in April 2005 and is still being kept in prison for the reason of “insubordination before the unit” and “refraining people from military service”

    more info about him on

  • This ‘anti-military’ group claims they are ‘anti-war?’ My question is are they anti-war for their individual reasons, beliefs, etc. or do they want everyone else to become ‘anti-war.’

    I also do not see the obvious connection between anti-war and anti-militarism. Furthermore, if other states are declaring war on us, do we lay down our arms and have them walk all over us? Is there such a thing as a defensive military?

    What about people that consider military as profession and the ones who may want to join the military only if they are paid to do so. What about their right to do so?

    Is this group against their wishes as well. It’s one thing to be against something, but another to want everyone else to agree with their opinion. That, I believe, is called ‘fundamentalism.’

    I hope someone clarifies this. Personally I would fight for the rights of individuals who wish to not serve in the military, but not at the expense of banning the military. However, so long as there are laws against not serving in the Turkish military, I would also discourage the breaking of the law.

    You can’t argue with the judge about the speed limit law because of your desire to go faster than the speed limit and reasoning that the car manufacturers continue to produce cars that can exceed the speed limit at least by twofold. Nothing wrong with changing or revising the law though.

  • Judging from your reply, you haven’t fulfilled your compulsory military obligation yet. Karakol visits my father once a month in Turkey, asking where the hell I am.

  • I hope you weren’t addressing that comment at me. I did proudly serve (for 2 months in Burdur nonetheless before they lowered it to 1 month) few years back and departed with some money that I hope the government put to good use.

    But remember the issue that was raised by ‘Devin’ is not about not wanting to serve in the military or even because of individual lack of respect. It is supposedly about whether or not a compulsory military presence equals makes it easier for the government to give the green light for war!

    Supposedly . . .

  • My bad, I was addressing you Metin. I assumed that if you did serve you would mention it in your comment. You are fortunate that you got it out of the way, and you should be proud. I am still trying to figure out how to afford the cost and get the time away from work without losing my job… Then again, what happens to my US citizenship if I serve in Turkish military? I was born in US and technically I shouldn’t be required. Explain that one to me…

    Anti-military and anti-war are two distinctive topics, but one includes the other and not necessarily vice-versa. Turkey would not exist without military strength.

  • Since US has good relations with Turkey, and since Turkey (as well as US) allows ‘dual-citizenship,’ technically (and constitutionally), you are not breaking any US laws or being anti-American. Besides, Turkey requires the military service satisfaction prior to granting the permission for dual citizenry. Otherwise, you may forego your Turkish citizenship and enter Turkey by way of American Visa. Be warned though, I still hear horror stories about Turks being detained at the airport since their dismissal from the Turkish citizenship had not yet become official and recorded.

    By the way, even if you had served in the US Army (as my brother did to pay for his college education), there are no agreements between the two countries to relieve the Turkish obligation. Germany and other EU countries have such an arrangement of exemption.

    Good Luck!

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