Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Not easy to choose the Europe’s first president…

In EU Foreign Policy, State of Europe on October 27, 2009 at 02:59

On “the President of Europe”

from Nosemonkey’s EUtopia

The proposed President of the European Council is very far from being “President of Europe” – either in terms of profile or power.

Whoever lands the job (and it’s highly unlikely to be Tony Blair) will have practically zero influence on anything, acting instead as little more than a moderator between the governments of the member states as they continue to run the EU show. And will be in office for just two and a half years – which is no time at all in EU terms (hell, it’s just taken more than a decade to get agreement on a treaty which doesn’t solve half the problems it was meant to…)

Not all bands like their music used for torture…

In Attractions: football, cinema, music on October 26, 2009 at 23:54

Rage Against Gitmo

from FP Passport by Lauren Seyfried

A large contingent of American bands have joined the Close Gitmo Now campaign in direct protest of the use of their music during torture practices at Guantanamo Bay. The new campaign is led by two retired generals: Lieutenant General Robert Gard and Brigadier General John Johns. Robert Gard has spoken out in defense of the musicians, stating:

In the mean time, Rammstein’s new album is out. It is good but i was not super impressed.Just usual Rammstein I like to listen to without sensational new songs… Read the rest of this entry »

Museum of Innocence is out in English…

In Erkan's readings, Turkish Society on October 26, 2009 at 17:29
Museum of Innocence

Museum of Innocence

last updated: 19 Dec 2009: 10:30

I have read the novel, The Museum of Innocence,  in Turkish last year. In strictly literary terms, this is his weakest novel. However, a very different sort of project intended here. An actual museum has been built in Istanbul and will be opened soon. This book  is a novel-catalogue that actual museum and a great documentary of a particular section of Istanbul’s everyday life. Another intervention to the lives of republican Turkish elites. In the mean time, I have a plan to assign the first 100 pages to my first year students which has a very rich account of approaches to relations, sex and gender roles which are still valid in contemporary Turkish lives.

I was not in love with the literary level of narratives particularly but towards the end I fell in love and in the last pages  I remember feeling sad and crying… Thank you Orhan Pamuk. You do enrich our lives. Read the rest of this entry »

Photography of Çağın Ünsal

In Announcements on October 25, 2009 at 20:35

I realized that a dear former student of mine, Çağın Ünsal, is into photography and some photos he exhibited in his Facebook account were fantastic. I knew that he was an amateur theater player and I watched him play once or twice but I did not know he has also an interest in photography. He exhibits his photos in a photography site called 40 Haramiler. With his curtesy and selection I offer three of his photos here. Enjoy and check his other photos at the link I have just given…

Picture 4018psK

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Anti-Kurdish Initiative propaganda begins to gain ground…Political Cartoons at work…

In Turkey and Kurds on October 25, 2009 at 11:55

I have begun to receive forwarded emails with highly ultranationalists propaganda against Kurdish initiative. DTP’s show of force triggered a Turkish nationalist reaction against the initiative. Here is a collection of cartoons that are found in mainstream press and forwarded as a bundle through emails…


No sense of humor, for sure…

In Turkish Society, Turkish women on October 24, 2009 at 09:41

Jenny White points out a good case. Whatever happens in the political-legal side, a sort of social conservatism continues to rule…. I heard about this ad campaign’s destiny just last night and then I see Jenny’s piece…

The Country of No

by Jenny White

No sense of humor. No humans with animal heads.

A recent ad campaign depicting human bodies with animal heads has caused protests from different groups around Turkey. In Eskisehir, protesters accused the ads of ‘insulting Turkishness’ and managed to suspend them from being displayed on city billboards.It began when animal-headed humans appeared on billboards a few weeks ago asking consumers if they were “fool enough” to pay too much for a product. The ads featured a goose, a cow, a carp and a sheep, each chosen for its implication of foolishness…………….


Photo from Hurriyet Read the rest of this entry »

Some are not ready to digest

In Turkey and Kurds on October 23, 2009 at 11:41
Kurdish rebels address thousands of jubilant supporters in Diyarbakir, ...

Kurdish rebels address thousands of jubilant supporters in Diyarbakir, Turkey, late Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009. Supporters gathered to celebrate the arrival of rebels and refugees who crossed into Turkey from northern Iraq in response to a Turkish government initiative to try to end decades-long fighting between autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels and Turkish troops. The rebels saluted and addressed crowds throughout their journey from Turkey’s border crossing of Habur with Iraq to Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated southeast. (AP Photo )

We have been discussing the event, arrival of a group of PKK and thinking how great and novel this is. In the history of Turkish Republic, I do not remember an explicit moment of peace like this. A rebel group might actually end using arms. Still early to imagine this may be but it is now an substantive possibility. Read the rest of this entry »

Press freedom down: both in Turkey and in Europe

In Turkey in Europe on October 23, 2009 at 00:12

At least Turkey goes not contrary but in line with the EU States (!)

Turkey drops 20 ranks in Press Freedom Index
Today’s Zaman
The Ergenekon mindset also plays a crucial role in intimidating journalists in this country,” Cengiz said. “There are over 40 press freedom-restricting……

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Sakharov Prize goes to Memorial

In EU summits/meetings, State of Europe on October 22, 2009 at 18:29

Russia rights group wins EU prize

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Russian rights group Memorial wins the European Parliament’s annual Sakharov Prize in memory of activist Natalya Estemirova.
A Euronews roundup: Read the rest of this entry »

Foreign Policy Moods as of Thursday morning: Super with Armenia, getting better with Azerbaijan and slightly better with Israel

In Turkey and Armenians, Turkey and Cyprus, Turkey in Europe, Turkish foreign policy on October 22, 2009 at 09:58
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu ...
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses the Parliament to inform lawmakers on Turkey-Armenia-Azerbaijan relations in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009. Turkey’s government faced stiff opposition in parliament on Wednesday over its landmark agreement to improve ties with Armenia by establishing diplomatic relations and opening their sealed border. Davutoglu also explained that Turkey, which shares ethnic and cultural bonds with Azerbaijan, wants a peaceful settlement to the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. an Armenian-occupied enclave in Azerbaijan that has been a center of regional tensions.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Judge Goldstone advises Israel to come to grips with the substance of the report

“In Gaza, I was surprised and shocked by the destruction and misery there. I had not expected it. I did not anticipate that the IDF would have targeted civilians and civilian objects. I did not anticipate seeing the vast destruction of the economic infrastructure of Gaza including its agricultural lands, industrial factories, water supply and sanitation works. These are not military targets. I have not heard or read any government justification for this destruction. Read the rest of this entry »