Turkey is Typing….Business and Travel

What I thought were the interesting blog posts this week all seemed to revolve around business and travel. I think that it is the coming of spring that makes me what to run away from ordinary life.

Of course, if you wish to run away to say…Turkey…blogger Talk Turkey has an interesting way of funding that. Bloggers are all about links, and in order to create more links, Metin is starting a “link contest” for his site. The grand prize is a trip to Turkey, runners up get an iPod Nano….and as I don't want to miss an opportunity for a free trip to Turkey, I give this link to him.

Flying may not be everyone's cup of tea as Murat from Amerikan Turk tells us a bit about his fears while flying…

“In the event of an emergency water landing…
…this aircraft will disintegrate into a billion fiery pieces and your physical being will instantaneously transform into the consistency of cooked ‘chum'…”
As a kid flying to Turkey every couple of years, I imagined that an emergency water landing would be awesome fun. There were huge self-inflating rafts! Super-slides to joyfully launch down! (no shoes allowed!) Some of the slides doubled as rafts! Self-inflating life vests! What a crock


If you do plan on coming to Turkey, Turkey and My Foreign Perspectives warns about rising prices in Istanbul:

Prices took another jump this week in Istanbul, at least in the grocery stores. It seems just when you think prices will level off, another jump comes and substantial they are when compared to the average workers’ pockets.

With Turkey being ranked among one of the best places to invest for emerging markets, I believe they may well have emerged. At the same time, while cities like Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir are wallowing in delight, other parts of Turkey still struggle with lack of infrastructure, poverty, and basic needs.

Cost of goods in the top three cities continue to rise and begs the question whether the economy is on-track or just gives the appearance of a thriving economy.

I spent last week in Ankara, where prices for food, rent and entertainment are remarkably lower than Istanbul. This makes me wonder why costs keep rising in Istanbul at an unprecedented rate in comparison to elsewhere in Turkey.

Despite the rising prices, Istanbul is a place with many small joys as Metroblogging:Istanbul points out.

It's the small things in life that bridge cultures and continents. A quiet sunlit afternoon at the square adjacent to the Galata Tower turned into a rowdy futbol match as local kids challenged a visiting group of Asian tourists to a pick up game.
Balls whizzing, people ducking and old men yelling advice flushed spectators out from their shops and homes and a community came together for an hour…all due to a beat up ball getting whacked from boy to man and back again.

There has been a lot of talk about new building projects within Istanbul which Spooky Sense by Garfucius is critical of:

the reconstruction of istanbul is essential, but not the construction of an istanbul anew. currently, the city, situated in an incredibly attractive natural and geographic setting, is one of the ugliest in the civilized and semi civilized world – take out the relatively virgin historic peninsula and what remains of pera, you are left with heap after heap of clustered masses of concrete, clustered into congested confines where a congealed lifestyle draggles behind a time wasting, tiresome, inefficient national economy. what istanbul needs is tearing down that ill used space and building from scratch according to rational plans. istanbul, to become something real, desperately needs urban utopia of renascence and metanoia.

constructing a burgeoning new, plastic, inflated toy town on the immediate rim of the old city is the textbook worst scenario in urbanization, a guide to what not to do. just considering the extra burden on the plight of the infrastructure and the extra idle population it will draw into the city should be enough to discourage such wet dreams of drowning istanbul under cement. but more importantly, the end-result is so ugly, it so denies the historical heritage of the two empires that created constantinopolis, it is an epitome of characterless poor taste.

Our top three links for this week are:
1. James from Turkey and his run-down of the Turkish presidential race.
2. If you would like to learn more about notable Turks, visit We are the Turks.
3. This is a rather strange one. Mavi Boncuk had a post about a new film called Costak which is about the life of Petri the Knife. Unfortunately it is something that I am having a hard time finding more information on…so if you know of anything, let me know. Till next week!

6 comments

  • Your blog is really interesting. It’s nice to see other Turks starting to write prominent blogs!

  • Bea

    Garfucius has hit the nail on the head! As I wander through the streets of Istanbul, I notice that where once was a beautiful older building now sits a supposedly fashionable new apartment which has about as much beauty as the Darth Vader building in downtown Sacramento. It’s all the rage now to knock down nice, old buildings in favor of the French style apartment buildings. Ugh! What happened to lovely balconies that beckoned neighbors to socialize in the summer or after work. No, let’s knock that down too, and soon the Turks will only have remnants of their former culture. This truly grieves me.

  • Thank you Deborah once again for the mention. But I am always amazed at the number of comments left on ‘Turkey’ themed posts, as opposed to Kurd-related and others. Are the Turks waiting for the most opportune time to voice their opinions on what really matters to them? I can’t help but think the Turks usually cannot wait for any audience to speak their mind. It puzzles me.

    So maybe I will start a ‘comment’ campaign as well. If you haven’t left at least 10 comments a day in blogistan, then you are not a blog-literate. What do you think?

  • And leaving multiple comments on the same blog and even the same post does count.

    :)

  • Deborah Ann Dilley

    Metin,
    One of the unusual things about this, is that my articles get more comments than the average post on GV. I think that is probably due to you and Murat. Or maybe it is a reflection of the strength and friendship ties between the particular blogging community.

    A commenting campaign is a good thing. :) Besides, I find so many new blogs out there just by people commenting.

  • Speaking of comments.. There has been a “comment explosion” over at Amerikan Turk these past two days.. (Try not to think of Borat)
    Thanks for the link Deb. I just translated a Hrant Dink video for some friends at Brown University. We’re having some sort of Turkish-Armenian friendship concert, and before-hand we are going to show this video and someone is going to read my translation to the audience. I posted the rough draft on AT, the Brown folks may revise it.. It’s a good clip of Hrant Dink. He tells a great story and I hope I did it justice.

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