Turkey is Typing….the Weekly Favorites

So rather than stay with one particular topic or theme in this weekly, I thought that I would just give you the insights into my top Turkish blog posts of this week. Let's begin with my favorite short post of the week from Ignore Me if You Can:

I’m going to start writing a book. Obviously, it will be boring. Obviously, no one will ever read it but; I’m going to start writing a book. I’m very excited.

One of my favorite political blogger's Erkan's Field Diary was hacked this last week, leaving him to find a new and more stable site host. What has the move resulted in? A more impassioned Erkan:

I had passingly stated that it was a deliberate act that Turkey was not invited to the 50th year celebrations. It is time for a longer and angrier post. Since the Dink assassination, I have lost my temper and I have been producing angrier posts on the rising ultranationalism in Turkey and I have stated how disappointed I am with the Turkish state apparatus. Turkey should also be held responsible in the issues of Cyprus, Kurdish rights and Armenian Genocide claims etc to some (and sometimes to a large) extent. But this does not mean that only one actor, here that is, Turkey and her citizens, should bear all the responsibility and it is time for the EU leaders and publics to think about their responsibilities.

Talk Turkey muses on the possibilities (real and imagined) for the next president of Turkey:

Will it matter who the President is? Do you even care?

As for me, I wanted to see Orhan Pamuk through a grassroots effort, but it hasn't happened. Instead, I would vote for a woman (not a ‘headscarved’ one to appease the generals,) or Ali Babacan, not necessarily in that order. My long shot favorite is Egemen Baris, the former New Yorker, and chairman of the Turkish-American Associations Assembly. He also happens to speak perfect English, and frequently interprets for the current President, as well as the Prime Minister. He would be a great interpreter of Turkish politics to the world.

Then again, Bush will be out of a job next year, and he can really be close to the issue ever most important to him, especially if Istanbul becomes the next capital of the U.S.E. (United States of Eurasia.)

Carpetblogger recounts her adventure of trying to find the forbidden white meat in Istanbul:

The old guys reacted the way you would expect old guys to react to white girls asking an ambiguous question about foreign meat.

Old Guys: Nudge, nudge, giggle, giggle. “Duz! Sola!” (straight and to the right)

Armed with this data, we found the signless butcher between a Shell station and a Greek Orthodox church ensnarled in concertina wire. It has served the neighborhood's remaining Greeks and foreigners achin’ for some bacon since 1962. Indeed, the forbidden meat, especially the peppercorn encrusted homemade salami is very very good. With some salami, and some bacon, and some sausage, we departed happy.

Dbadioxide celebrates her birthday by watching Rosemary's Baby…the movie her mother was watching when she went into labor:

So, yes my movement towards breathing has been triggered by a horror movie.

On the subject of movies, Athanasia's Daily gives a review on the Turkish movie Mutluluk:

Anyway, we went to see Turkish movie “Mutluluk” (Bliss). It was shot based on Zülfü Livaneli's novel. The story is not an original one for Turkish people. However narration changes everything. The scenes were perfect. I don't find any other word to define those scenes which make you feel sea, sun, life, freedom and bliss right inside your soul. It is impossible to believe that Özgü Namal (Meryem) is not a 17 year old villager but an actress. The same is true for Murat Han (Cemal). It is hard to find any mistakes or deficiencies in their performances.

And more movies! Or rather the Thinking Blog points the way for fun with Turkish remakes of popular movies…..the Turkish version of the Exorcist filled me with much mirth.

Turkey and my Foreign Perspectives is quite candid with her opinions on the new bus security measures in Istanbul:

Bus Transportation in Istanbul is labelled as the transport choice of “lower-income” by the city's mayor, Kadir Topbas. Due to particular routes under threat of attacks to both drivers and passengers, buses will soon be outfitted with hidden security cameras. I applaud his efforts but not the patronizing attitude.

In Today's Zaman article about these new security cameras, they also pointed out that some bus routes will now be cut short and no longer pass through certain problem areas due to recent Molotov cocktails being hurled at buses.

I expect the mayor also believes these places rank with the lower-income and thus, undeserving of city services.

And last on my list today is Me and Others while describing how family get-togethers work out (plus there is some interesting information on pre-marriage ceremonies):

my wife had already gone to her parents for the preparations, ie to help to clean the house and make food. it is not like the house was not clean, but it is like this with turkish women. they think they have to eliminate even the most tiny bit of dust before big events such as bayrams, or the visit of the family of the significant other.

Personally, I see no problem with this….but I am hyper vigilant with my house cleaning as well. That is all for this week, till we meet again!


  • Osman

    The current Turkish government apparently does not believe in full religious freedom for non-Muslims. I and other friends send letters from the US to Turkish homes and businesses offering a free Turkish New Testament to anyone who wishes to receive one. Because over half of the New Testament was written to areas of Anatolia, I think this would be of interest to many, including devout Muslims. Also, we find thatdevout Muslims with an acquaintance with the New Testament are generally much more tolerant of the beliefs of others.

    In recent months, it has become apparent that Turkish postal authorities are intercepting and returning many of the letters we send. We know this, because we have done test mailings to complete addresses of Turkish friends we know, only to have the letters returned as undeliverable.

    Some years ago, another government with ties to conservative Muslims sent a secret memo to all postmasters telling them to intercept such letters. We know this as a fact, because one of our friends still has a copy of the secret directive. We think the same is the case under the present government of Turkey.

    I wonder if persons who read this might have suggestions as to how we can get the current government of Turkey to stop intercepting our letters.

    Thank you.

    Osman (I’m American, but Turkish friends have given me this nickname).

  • Bea

    Osman, there are still many restrictions on religious activities in Turkey, but at the same time, the postal system stinks and routinely people do not get monthly bills or letters. While I don’t know if it will have any effect at all, you might write a letter campaign to the Postmaster or even the Prime Minister. I write and visit offices to complain about a myriad of problems with local services, but I’ve never received a decent answer if any at all. Everything is slow and few wish to do anything about it, as you can read on my blog.

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