Archive for December, 2016|Monthly archive page

New photo from Facebook December 31, 2016 at 06:41PM

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2016 at 18:42

Yılbaşı kutlamaları. via Facebook Pages

#AhmetŞık arrested. Reasons for arrest are fascinating.

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2016 at 20:18


An Istanbul court on Dec. 30 ordered the arrest of prominent journalist Ahmet Şık, one day after he was detained over several tweets and his articles for daily Cumhuriyet

Turkish journalist Ahmet Sik held ‘over tweet’

A leading Turkish investigative journalist, Ahmet Sik, is held over social media postings, police say.
Turkish novelist Asli Erdogan was released from custody on Thursday after four months in prison, on the first day of her terrorism trial. She is part of a group charged with membership of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party. Also on Thursday, journalist Ahmet Sik was arrested for “making terrorist propaganda”, state media reported. He has written about links between president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen.
The difference in Turkey between life in jail and life outside are gradually decreasing, one of the country’s most prominent novelists said upon her release, after being held in prison for 132 days.

Asli Erdoğan bursts into tears as she describes spending 132 days in an Istanbul prison on account of her links to pro-Kurdish newspaper

Asli Erdoğan, one of Turkey’s most celebrated novelists, was released from jail Thursday, looking exhausted after 132 days of pre-trial detention, declaring that she could barely believe she was free.

The activities of 94 associations allegedly “threatening national security” and with links to terrorist organizations across 20 provinces have been terminated as a part of a decree law issued under Turkey’s ongoing state of emergency, the Interior Ministry stated on Dec. 30

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

After snowy weather, Massive power blackouts hit #Istanbul

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2016 at 18:23

At least 14 districts of Istanbul were affected by massive power blackouts due to bad weather conditions on Dec. 29, Doğan News Agency has reported. The Energy and Natural Resources Ministry made a statement following the blackout, stating that it was related to a downpour
Gallery Istanbul1881, which opened two years ago to contribute to Istanbul’s promotion in national and international platforms, presents souvenirs featuring British painter Ned Pamphilon’s vivid Istanbul colors and Turkey’s world renowned miniature artist Taner Alakuş’s historic tissues

Public Sculpture by Turkish Art Star Removed from Istanbul Shopping Mall Ahmet Güneştekin’s …

Ahmet Güneştekin’s sculpture Kostantiniyye (2015) was removed from public view after being met almost immediately with protesters.

You Can Hear Hagia Sophia’s Sublime Acoustics Without A Trip To Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, a former church and mosque, is an important part of Istanbul’s long history. Who knew its sublime sound could be transferred to

Drilling work begins for Istanbul’s pedestrian underwater tunnel

The project, designed by the Istanbul Municipality’s engineering and architecture company, BİMTAŞ, was sold to an Ankara-based construction

“Konstantiniyye” Sculpture Removed in Istanbul

Ahmet Güneştekin’s sculpture Konstantiniyye (2015) installed outside of the A Plus shopping Mall in the Ataköy district of Istanbul, before its removal

Rich tapestry of Istanbul

IF there is any doubt that the situation in Istanbul, Turkey, is hostile and … My flight to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines is full and the immigration counters at

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

#Cyberculture – “US expels Russian diplomats over cyber attacks…

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2016 at 17:18

Obama defends expulsions, calling action “a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm US interests”.
Russia’s President Putin rules out a tit-for-tat expulsion of US diplomats amid a row over hacking.
The Russian Tweet Heard Around the World


On Thursday, the 29th of December 2016, President Barack Obama announced the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the US as well as new economic sanctions targeting Russia’s intelligence agencies. Both measures were part of the American response to Russia’s alleged interfering in the 2016 Presidential elections.

Russia’s digital response was immediate. Within an hour of Obama’s announcement Russian diplomats and diplomatic institutions took to Twitter in order to condemn the US President.  The Russian embassy in London published the Tweet seen below labeling the President a lame duck.


The US will deport dozens of diplomats, and has named specific individuals implicated in the cyberattacks.

President Obama sanctions Russia for hacking


UPDATE (3:55 p.m. ET): Story updated to include statements from Rep. Paul Ryan and spokesman for Vladimir Putin.

President Obama has issued an executive order that levies a multitude of sanctions against Russia in retaliation for what the president calls, “the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election.”


The United States formally accused Russia of tampering with the 2016 election.



Since 2014, we’ve chronicled the reality-challenged internet proposals of the scandal-haunted EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger; now, on the eve of Oettinger’s promotion to EU budget chief, MEP Julia Reda lists the 10 normal web activities that Oettinger has sought to ban, from sharing snippets of 20 year old news articles to quoting three-word newspaper headlines to creating and operating a search engine.


What Do Internet Users Hide by VPNs? – Research and Infographics
PR Newswire (press release)
It should come as no surprise that Turkey closes the five leading countries in VPN usage. After popular social nets were blocked in Turkey, including WikiLeaks, technology sites and Twitter accounts, multiple Turkish users have made use of VPNs for Turkey.



(updated below [Fri.])

Julian Assange is a deeply polarizing figure. Many admire him and many despise him (into which category one falls in any given year typically depends on one’s feelings about the subject of his most recent publication of leaked documents).

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

Let’s see how long: “Russia-Turkey brokered truce comes into force in Syria…

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2016 at 16:18


A nationwide ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey comes into effect in Syria.
How Syria Defeated the Sunni Powers

Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar bet on the losing side of the Middle East’s civil war. Now their regional policies are in shambles.
This fragile pact could work. But unless the Assad regime and its backers reconcile with the groups it still calls ‘terrorists’, further conflict is more likely
Syrian Government Announces Truce Backed by Russia and Turkey

The extent to which rebels would respect the agreement, which follows the retaking of all of Aleppo by pro-government forces, was not clear.
The Syrian government and rebels agree a nationwide ceasefire, backed by Russia and Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has continued accusing the United States for sending arms to the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria and for not giving support to Turkey in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria’s al-Bab region

US is providing arms to YPG in Syria: Turkish FM

The United States government has provided weapons to the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Dec. 29, in a response that came a day after the U.S. refuted claims that it supported the military wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD)

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

New photo from Facebook December 30, 2016 at 02:57PM

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2016 at 15:02

Mutlu yıllar. via Facebook Pages

#Eurosphere – Romania President rejects Muslim Sevil Shhaideh as PM, Romanian left proposes new PM candidate…

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2016 at 12:33

Romania President rejects Muslim Sevil Shhaideh as PM

Romania’s president rejects a candidate who would have been the country’s first female, Muslim PM.

[Ticker] Romanian left proposes new PM candidate

Romania’s social democrats have nominated former telecommunications minister Sorin Grindeanu for prime minister, a day after the president rejected their previous pick for the job. The president gave no reason for rejecting Sevil Shhaideh, who would have been the first Muslim woman to head an EU government. Her Syrian husband is said to support Bashar al-Assad. Grindeanu could be installed this week.

Debate: 2016: Dominated by demagogues

The Brexit referendum, the election of Trump as US president and the rising popularity of right-wing populists in the polls in several European countries. Commentators analyse why 2016 was such a successful year for opponents of globalisation and nationalists.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

Turkish justice at work: Journalist Ahmet Şık Taken Into Custody- GOOD NEWS Necmiye Alpay, Aslı Erdoğan, Zana Kaya Released

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2016 at 00:23

Journalist Ahmet Şık was taken into custody in his apartment by police this morning.
Tried in Özgür Gündem case, Aslı Erdoğan, Necmiye Alpay and Zana Kaya have been released. Erdoğan was arrested since August 19, Alpay since August 31 and Kaya since August 22.
A court in Istanbul on Dec. 29 ordered the release of novelist Aslı Erdoğan and linguist Necmiye Alpay who had been under arrest for around four-and-a-half months and four months, respectively
Stating that Prof. Dr. İştar Gözaydın being arrested without solid evidence and on grounds of some false denunciations was unacceptable, human rights organizations demanded Gözaydın’s immediate release.
As I sat down to write, I was still struggling to come to terms with the detention of my colleague Ahmet Şık by Turkish police without any explanation.
A court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır ordered the arrest of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy head Aysel Tuğluk late on Dec. 28, two days after her detention in Ankara

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

Haters gonna hate. New hate work directed at Christmas :(

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2016 at 13:48

A nationalist youth group Alperens performed the latest hate stunt in Nazilli, Aydın. Source

Alperens have a tendency to hate Christmas/New Year celebrations (and a tendency to confuse Christmas and New Year ) and a few years ago they were chasing a suited Santa Claus in Bolu:


İzmir’s public transport authority, ESHOT, has canceled a number of transport cards after a male student was spotted using retired footballer David Beckham’s picture on his bus card, the authority has said

From Astrophysics to Rakka


türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Sözcü Newspaper, 27 December 2016)

Future ISIS astronaut cadre in a light-hearted moment.

Shocking details about Astrophysicist Raşid Tuğral, a graduate
of Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara, who was
killed last year after joining the ranks of the radical religious
terrorist group ISIS, have come to light.  The Voice of America (VOA)
has broadcast Tuğral’s story under the headline “Falling into ISIS’s Trap”.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

US Embassy in Turkey had to say it: “US is not supporting ISIL”

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2016 at 11:38

The United States Embassy in Ankara has denied accusations that the U.S. supported terrorist groups fighting in Syria. The statement came a day after President Erdoğan said he has evidence that U.S.-led coalition forces have given support to terrorist groups, including ISIL and Syrian Kurdish forces


Syria conflict: Turkey and Russia ‘agree ceasefire plan’

Turkey and Russia have agreed the terms of a proposed ceasefire in Syria, Turkish state media say.

Turkey and Russia ‘agree terms of Syria ceasefire’


Countries have agreed proposal that should come into force by midnight, says Turkish foreign minister

Two soldiers wounded in Syria succumb to injuries

Two Turkish soldiers who were wounded in northern Syria during the ongoing Operation Euphrates Shield succumbed to their injuries on Dec. 27 in Ankara, Doğan News Agency has reported.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary