Archive for July, 2018|Monthly archive page

It looks like Turkey’s one of global abduction attempts failed in Mongolia…

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2018 at 16:35

The New York Times – Hannah Beech – Jul 28, 10:14 AM

A Turkish educator in Mongolia was briefly abducted on Friday, in what appeared to be the latest episode of a global campaign by Turkey’s president to capture suspected allies of the exiled cleric accused of plotting a 2016 coup attempt

Foreign Affairs – Nate Schenkkan – Jan 28, 9:00 PM

In October of last year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke at a gathering of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) about the steps that have been taken so far to eliminate the Islamic movement of the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen whom

Turkey and the Netherlands have agreed to normalize ties, Turkey’s foreign ministry said on July 20.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

Packing up and leaving…

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2018 at 10:35

Since the post I told about my sabbatical trip, I have been preparing. This is the longest stay abroad since my Ph.D. days and again the longest stay away from home since my mandatory military service. This process took more emotional labor than I thought. It is only 10-11 months but still, it looks like a long term. I am about to fly in two hours, and it did wear me down much more than I expected.

Photo credit:

So some major preparations:

I sold my car to my elder sister. It was a good and not much-used car. I hope I can buy a new one when I come back. Car taxes are exorbitant!

I am giving my cat I am with for two years to one of my Ph.D. students. The Cat is lonely as I don’t and won’t be staying much with her and I strongly believe she will be happier with her new owner.

My brother is moving into my apartment temporarily. So I will not be thinking about finding an apartment when I come back.

Thinking of an apartment, finding an apartment in Irvine was the most stressful part of my preparations. I was paying $650 rent in 2004 in Houston. But times changed, I ended up finding a 6-month deal with an $1800 rent. Thanks to a former student who is doing his MBA in Irvine.

I will need to buy a car but it seems that is not too stressful to do at this point. and I will need to get California driving license. I guess I can handle that, too. 

I figured out that my insurance plan is not enough for the US trip. So I will have to buy one when I arrive.

I could not figure out what my SSN number is. I haven’t used it since 2004. I assume when I go to the SSN office, this will be fixed.

I have two pieces of luggage. One luggage is the one I used in 2001 when I was moving to the US for the first time. The other is a smaller one which is normally used as a cabin luggage. The funny thing is that the second luggage is literally full of baby stuff for a friend. His relatives asked me to carry all this stuff and I thought it would be just a little piece but it ended fulling my whole luggage. Thank god, I do not need much space at this point. I have put my basic clothing and that’s it.

Because there is the Cloud now. All documents/ books and other stuff is already in my cloud account; Google Drive and Yandex Disk.

I will dearly miss you.

In my backpack, I have the rest: A Kindle, a laptop, a set of printed documents needed for the trip, the passport and a credit card (and a little bit of cash I might need in the beginning). A few plug converters. 

The moment I am settled- hoping to do that in a week- I will resume my own maybe pathetic but still beloved daily patterns of study.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

#İstanbul and the blood moon…

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2018 at 12:10

The many faces of Istanbul

The apartment is in an area called Balat; not exactly in the thrumming heart of touristic Istanbul. “But so what,” I declare. “It’s just 20 minutes away from

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

Trump explicitly threatens Turkey for the arrested priest case, let’s see how independent Turkish judiciary will react…

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2018 at 12:31

Washington Post has reported that Trump requested citizen of Turkey Ebru Özkan from Israel for Pastor Brunson to be released. Israeli newspaper Haaretz has confirmed the report.

Administration escalated pressure after a court placed Andrew Brunson, on trial for terrorism charges, under house arrest

Donald Trump has threatened to slap “large sanctions” on Turkey unless Ankara frees an American pastor whose detention has further strained relations between the Nato allies.

Trump Threatens Sanctions Against Turkey Over Detained Pastor

The warming relationship between combative leaders in Turkey and the United States may cool over the house arrest of an American pastor accused of espionage.
United States Vice President Mike Pence has vowed to keep working for the “full release” of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor being tried on terrorism and spying charges in Turkey, adding that he had a phone conversation with the cleric after he was transferred from prison to house arrest.
Israel freed an alleged Turkish militant following a request from U.S. President Donald Trump, an Israeli official said on July 27 after the Washington Post reported that the deal was part of a failed White House bid to get Ankara to release an American detainee.
A U.S. bill that would restrict loans from international financial institutions to Turkey until it frees arrested U.S. citizens including American pastor Andrew Brunson cleared a Senate committee July 26, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
US President Trump has said that the US will impose large sanctions on Turkey for long time detainment of Pastor Brunson. US Senate also passed the bill that limits Turkey getting loan from international financial institutions last week

US Pastor Brunson Placed Under House Arrest

The US Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who was behind bars on charge of “espionage” since December 2016, has been placed under house arrest.

Turkey to place US pastor under house arrest after over 600 days in prison

Andrew Brunson, on trial for alleged espionage, was released due to health issues after US policymakers threatened sanctions

An American pastor whose imprisonment for more than 600 days has tested relations between the US and Turkey has been released from jail and placed under house arrest, in an apparent concession to repeated demands by American policymakers who called the man’s detention a disgrace and threatened sanctions against Ankara.

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, welcomed Andrew Brunson’s release from prison – but said the decision did not go far enough.

Andrew Brunson, who was arrested after the failed 2016 coup in Turkey, is the focus of an intensive campaign by U.S. officials seeking his freedom.
The Ayvalık Penal Court of Peace has ruled that the book “History of Kurdistan”, whose first edition was confiscated by the State Security Court in 2001, shall be pulled off the shelves.
A Turkish court has accidentally blocked Google’s blogging platform Blogger due to a typo in its ruling, an expert said.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

New photo from Facebook July 27, 2018 at 01:21PM

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2018 at 12:23

Cinque Terre, Italya. via Reddit. via Facebook Pages

New photo from Facebook July 26, 2018 at 05:21PM

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2018 at 17:23

Bu arada Cape Town, Güney Afrika. via Reddit. via Facebook Pages

New photo from Facebook July 26, 2018 at 05:20PM

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2018 at 17:23

via Facebook Pages

Sometimes a single person can make a difference: “Swedish student’s dramatic plane protest stops man’s deportation ‘to hell

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2018 at 15:51

The Guardian – David Crouch – Jul 24, 6:20 PM

A lone student activist on board a plane at Gothenburg airport has prevented the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker from Sweden by refusing to sit down until the man was removed from the flight. Elin Ersson, whose Facebook page says she is a

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

Hi there. Blogspot blocked and unblocked in Turkey… A judiciary roundup…

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2018 at 11:26

Turkey Blocks – Jul 24, 2:50 PM

The Google-owned Blogspot blogging service has been blocked in Turkey on 24 July 2018, verified by the Turkey Blocks internet observatory through several major internet service providers. Confirmed: Google Blogspot blocked in #Turkey ; millions of

In the meantime,

Sanem Altan has shared the first photograph of her father Ahmet Altan from prison with the note, “Life passes, everyone passes, everything passes. Only remains a story. They all pass. Stories remain…”
The Turkish Parliament approved four articles of a contentious anti-terror bill on July 23, leading ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers to engage in a brawl over HDP lawmaker Ahmet Şık’s speech in the general assembly.
A 23-year-old woman, who was detained for insulting Atatürk in a video that she captured in front of his memorial tomb in Ankara, has been arrested on charge of violating the Law on Offences Committed Against Atatürk.
The British authorities have told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency that Hamdi Akın İpek, a fugitive Turkish businessman wanted for suspected links to the Gülen network, was detained in London on May 23 but was later released on bail.
Nate Schenkkan, the Director for Special Research at Freedom House, has spoken to bianet about the six-month period after the organization categorized Turkey as a “not-free country.”
HDP Urfa MP Ömer Öcalan has submitted a proposal for parliamentary inquiry into the armed attack and conflict which erupted in the district of Suruç in Urfa before the elections on June 24. He has also submitted a parliamentary question to be responded by the Minister of Justice Abdülhamit Gül.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

#Europe agenda: Greek wildfires… #PrayforGreece :(

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2018 at 15:36

Survivors of the fires that have killed 74 people in Greece describe being “forced into the sea”.

Greek wildfires kill more than 80 people

On Monday afternoon at 16:45 local time, a fire broke out in a tiny mountainous area of the Greek region of East Attica called Daou Penteli. It quickly spread – fanned by strong winds – towards the coast, where summer residences, resorts, and camps are full of people at the height of summer. At least 80 people have died, dozens are missing

Steve Bannon ‘planning foundation’ to boost far right in Europe

Donald Trump’s controversial former adviser says he plans to set up a foundation ‘to spark populist right-wing revolt’.
The Daily Beast – Nico Hines – Jul 20, 6:57 PM

LONDON— Steve Bannon plans to go toe-to-toe with George Soros and spark a right-wing revolution in Europe. Trump’s former White House chief advisor told The Daily Beast that he is setting up a foundation in Europe called The Movement which

In pictures: Fighting the Swedish wildfires

The battle to get dozens of blazes across the country under control is now an international effort.

Donald Trump calls European Union a ‘foe’

US president says EU has ‘taken advantage of us on trade’, comments European Council President Tusk calls ‘fake news’.

The seat arrangements in the European parliaments. via Reddit.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary