Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Today’s agenda

In Erkan's habitus on March 31, 2009 at 12:46

* PUB 150 class lecture in the morning…

* Department meeting

* Feedback has to be given to my graduation thesis students (for 2 students)

* Hans’ dinner

* Some official stuff to do for my dissertation

* Reading for tomorrow’s lecture (PUB 204)

A day of recommendation letters and write-ups

In Erkan as a lecturer on March 30, 2009 at 23:25

I have spent most of my day preparing recommendation letters for my students who apply for Fullbright fellowships. Tomorrow is the deadline for yearbook write-up and right now at this mid-night I am thinking of producing two write-ups for two of my dear students…

Election Day post- to be updated regularly

In Elections in Turkey on March 29, 2009 at 16:58


I am tired, stressed for all the work I have to do before I set my foot to the barracks,  and since now I am living with my parents, my mother makes me crazy. This might be worse than the barracks. The lights have to be turned off, no more TV etc… Only my younger brother can challenge her, not me. I will stay at my friends’ places from now on.. I am going to bed now. Damn!


Network of election results freezes in Istanbul and in some other major cities. CHP spokespeople begin to question the future election results and argues for possible rigged elections…



Towards a two-party system.  It seems that CHP increased its votes in many urban centers and some support goes to CHP from other parties against AKP… AKP seems to be losing in Beyoğlu, Istanbul. A significant defeat. But what is worse for AKP is that it might even lose Istanbul! Even if AKP gets 40% of votes nationwide,  loss of Istanbul will be a major defeat… CHP votes increase in my districts of Istanbul…[update: in fact, MHP proves itself as the third major party. MHP succeeded to get some AKP municipalities, ie. Balıkesir, Manisa]

Turkey’s CHP claims leads tight race in Istanbul, ruling party denies

A Turkish woman prepares her vote in a makeshift booth during ...

A Turkish woman prepares her vote in a makeshift booth during municipal elections at a voting centre in Istanbul. Turkey’s Islamist-rooted ruling party appeared headed for victory Sunday in local elections marred by violence, but which many see as a test of popularity for a party that narrowly escaped being banned last year.

(AFP/Bulent Kilic)


Early returns show dimming of lightbulb of Turkish ruling party

ANKARA – While Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, appeared in early returns to be maintaining top ranking in local governments nationwide, opposition parties cut far deeper into its mandate than expected with the major upset likely to be a changing of the party guard in Antalya, the country’s fourth largest city.


First Results

AKP 41 %

CHP 16 %

MHP 14  %

DTP 10 %

It looks like AKP cannot win any new municipalities (such as Diyarbakır and İzmir) and loses some like Adana but keeps most of the municipalities it already has… 


6 killed, 97 wounded in election conflicts in 14 cities; all seems to have resulted in village-head elections in Eastern Anatolia towns… more to come…


An elderly man waits to cast his vote at a polling station in ...

An elderly man waits to cast his vote at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, March 29, 2009. Turks are voting Sunday in local elections that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hopes will strengthen his party’s hand in pushing for constitutional reforms. Some 48 million people are voting Sunday to elect mayors and district administrators in 81 provinces.

(AP Photo/Murad Sezer)


* Security measures high.  Policemen everywhere. Istanbul is calm and peaceful in the election day.

* 3 million citizens went to their hometowns to cast their votes. This created a transportation volume 100 million liras.    Source

* We have a spring like sunny and warm day today in Istanbul. Families, especially older couples are up early and walking to high schools or primary schools to cast their votes. It is like a religious holiday, families around as if visiting their relatives. Instead they visit those schools where ballot boxes are located. Schools are closed tomorrow to get ready for education again…

News Roundup: 


Turkey votes Sunday in municipal elections in which local administrators will be elected for five year terms. Here are stories relating to today’s elections:

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Municipal elections today!

In Elections in Turkey, Erkan's habitus on March 29, 2009 at 02:41

One of us created this poster. It is posted in coffeehouses we play cards. Çetin is supposed to be the candidate for district headman and four of us pose as his team members. I am sure some people will think this is for real. What is for real is that Çetin will become a father. I learnt that today. His wife is 1.5 month pregnant. Congratulations Çetin!

A round up on the elections follows: 

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Towards the service (Part II)- “8,6 liras”

In Erkan's habitus, Turkish military on March 28, 2009 at 11:29

Jan Claire made this to cheer me up:)

I could still not get my “dispatch” document from the military office. In fact, last week I was at my military office in Yeni Bosna, to where it takes half an hour to reach by Metrobüs, but I was told the bring the official copies of my diplomas. Although everything is already registered somewhere, you have to follow the steps. I found my master degree diploma but i have no idea where my undergradute diploma is. Finally I decided to go anyway, since they have a copy of my undergradute in my file there. (I saw it before- My file is one of the thickest ones, that includes all my previous sick reports, all educational past information, my once trial in the military court because I did not report I was in the US and missing several calls).

Well, then there are my courses and all and i have been postponing to go. When you arrive, there is always a queue at the gate, a private warning all stand back, not too close to the gate. Since I am registered right in the neighbourhood where the military office stands for, I am privileged. I don’t have to wait in the queue. Those losers are registered somewhereelses and there has to be faxing exchanges for them. My file is just there in that office building so I can enter the building before them. But of course not that easily. There is always that stress to be recognized by the lieutenant in charge. He comes regularly to pick a group of male citizens to process. In the mean time, you approach and show your ID that shows your are registered in that district. If it is not too crowded, he invites you immediately and so here you are inside the building. (you might guess that Erkan is not that a pushy guy, I had had that trouble with public buses. In the busiest of times, I could never get on the bus, because others would always push me away)

When I get  into the building, my life becomes easier. All officials, civil or military are always kind to me and are very helpful. Except that young smartass bitch – who is a new comer – who questioned my previous sick report and there was a little possibility that I could be consripted in last August and my dissertation defense plan would collapse. Yes, there are civilian officials in the military offices, too. These are civil servants in charge of processing our conscription cases which are in the end completed by military officials.

I will try to go and get my dispatch paper this Friday afternoon. Once you get that document there is no going back. It is harder to stop the process. The next step will be to take the exam sometime in 1-3 April in Tuzla. I finally got some ideas about the nature of that exam. It looks like the one that takes places nationwide for graduate degrees (ALES exam). Turkish and Mathematical knowledge is tested and there is a rumor that if you do well enough to be in the first 1000 in the test, you might have a chance to choose where to go. That’s a rumor, I could not verify that.

Yesterday, I got my dispatch paper. I had to wait in the queue more than ever. But this time Can (Avcı) accompanied me and I was less bored. On our way to the military office, we listened to Manowar’s Kings of Metal which surely guns you up with battle hymns in metal form:) I am now officially at the first stage of joining the Army. I was paid 8,6 liras (5 bucks?) for the travel allowance (I spend it with having gyro). In one of three days, 1-3 April, I will take the test. The test takes one hour but before that you have many bureaucratic stuff to do, like filling in documents, interviews etc. You are gathered in groups of 100 persons and move accordingly. I will probably spend at least half of my day in the conscription center.
A friend said: "Well when you arrive there, you will think what the f*** I am doing here, but think of that: all others think the same way, so you will relax, you are all in the same boat…
Several friends warned me about the constant movement of things in the barracks a.k.a. stealing. I was warned to be careful about my boats, which move more than others. Interestingly, I don’t feel threatened at all. I believe people will treat me well in every stage and I will make good friends with my fellow barrack mates. So don’t you worry about me.

When the official filled in forms, I was categorized as a person with a master’s degree. Unfortunately, I am not categorized as an "academician" since my PhD degree is not officially recognized yet.

Moving out…

In Erkan's habitus on March 27, 2009 at 23:55

My parents, who have been living in the same apartment since 1977, proves to be skilled shippers. I am moving out of my apartment I have been living for 4,5 years and they have organized the retreat with great organization and quick pace. Tomorrow is the last day; we are taking out the furniture stuff. I felt very sad this evening when I was alone in my apartment. All packages around, don’t know yet if i can find such a well-located apartment again after I come from the military service… 

New ads for the Turkish national football team while Turkey warms up for the game against Spain…

In Attractions: football, cinema, music on March 26, 2009 at 01:28


I guess Mr. Terim preferred to talk in Turkish this time but check out these videos where he speaks in English:

this is funnier:




Turkish National team is in Spain.
Fatih Terim and his boys landed in Madrid Yesterday and a half hours late because of a problem at the airport in Istanbul.

This video has nothing to do with the Spanish game. I liked the montage of photos. It is a video of a group of Beşiktaş fans who are on their way to an away game:

President Gül’s historical visit to Iraq; another taboo broken

In Turkey and Kurds, Turkish foreign policy on March 25, 2009 at 14:07

Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul (L) and his wife Hayrunnisa Gul (C) pose with Iraq’s President’s Jalal Talabani and his wife Hero Ibrahim Ahmed (2nd L) during a welcoming ceremony at Salam Palace in Baghdad March 23, 2009. Talabani said on Monday the Turkish separatist guerrilla group Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) must lay down its arms or leave Iraqi soil. The comments by Talabani, a Kurd, were some of the toughest made recently by an Iraqi leader against PKK rebels, who have used northern Iraq as a base to launch attacks in Turkey, straining ties between Baghdad and Ankara.REUTERS/Mohammed Jalil/Pool (IRAQ POLITICS)

 Apart from the expected protesting cries from die-hard nationalists or opposition, I observe that there is even a relief. Finally we did. Turkey had to recognize the regional Kurdish government in Northern Iraq and had to start relations with it. Even in pragmatic terms, this could be the next stage. Finally, Turkish State initiates a new era, in the mean time, the President uses the word "Kurdistan". I don’t personally believe this recognition helps separatists. It is an initiative for a friendly era. Separatists might even be upset. Because all parties, all hawks from all sides, seemed to have relied on some nonnegotiable positions. What to do with a not hostile but friendly Turkey? 

Yet another taboo dies in ’Kurdistan’

ANKARA – President Abdullah Gül’s first official uttering of the word ’Kurdistan’ in relation to the regional administration in northern Iraq sends shockwaves through the opposition, which fears this could encourage calls for more concessions and reveals foreign meddling.

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Court decides to wait to merge Council of State attack, Ergenekon link

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2009 at 09:07

I came across a video of media footage on the 1995 Gazi Incident. It has yet to be proven if this was a work of Ergenekon gang. 

It is also alleged that those detained were involved in provocation and agitation during the Gazi incidents of 1995, when tens of people died in clashes with the police in demonstrations after an attack at an Alevi coffeehouse in the neighborhood.[*]



Protests after the Gazi massacre in 1995

In the mean time, 

Court to wait for opinion on Ergenekon merger

The Ankara 11th High Criminal Court hearing the case on the 2006 attack on the Council of State, which left a senior judge dead, announced yesterday that it will wait for another court’s decision before it rules to merge the case with the ongoing Ergenekon trial in İstanbul.


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“Polls near, status quo anticipated

In Elections in Turkey, Turkish women on March 23, 2009 at 17:59

An official video by Higher Election Council that teaches how to vote (In Turkish)

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