Archive for the ‘Turkish Society’ Category

13 December: World Rakı Day

In Erkan's habitus, Turkish Society on December 13, 2009 at 19:48

updated: 13 Dec 2009- 20:30

A local Rakı producer company declared the existence of World Rakı Day in 2006 and since then more and more Turks (and certainly Kurds) are happily joining ranks to celebrate Rakı drinking. The exact day changes one or two days since then – since this tradition is still being invented- but this year collectively decided: 13 December. For outsiders, Rakı is very similar to Greek drink, Ouzo.

Tomorrow we are invited to a house party to celebrate the day… Check out the 22 brands of Rakı in Turkey:

Rakı drinking is definitely a social activity and Rakı cannot be though without a rich existence of meze… A few days ago it was patented as a Turkish product (!)

Turks at War (with themselves). Part V. 1954 wounded, 2 died in a single day.

In Turkish Society on November 29, 2009 at 02:21

Waiting to be sacrificed. I took it as I was waiting for the green light...

At the end of the first day of Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, 1954 people were reported to be injured in Turkey as they were trying to slaughter sheep and cows, as Hürriyet reports.2 died of heart attack during the act of amateur butchership.

Eid al-Adha | Turkish Islam | Muslim holidays

Previous year reports here.

And more the Turkish society: Read the rest of this entry »


In Turkish Society, Turkish women on November 16, 2009 at 13:57

According to a Hürriyet news, Diyarbakır Police Department, who issues car licence plates, is having a problem with GA, GI and GU letters. Because GA means “ox”, GU means “shit” in Kurdish. And finally, GU means “shit” again in the local Zaza accent…

Turkey's Chief Rabbi Ishak Haleva (C) is accompanied by ...

Haleva (C) is accompanied by Beyoglu district Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan (R) as they walk together with residents during a commemoration near the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul, November 15, 2009. Relatives and friends gathered at a peace monument near the Neve Shalom synagogue to mark the sixth anniversary of the Al Qaeda-linked twin suicide car bomb attacks against the city’s two main synagogues. Neve Shalom and Beit Israel synagogues had been devastated in twin suicide car bomb attacks on November 15, 2003, killing around 30 people including Jewish people praying as well as Muslim passersby.REUTERS/Murad Sezer


and a few more from the Turkish society… Read the rest of this entry »

The first President to be in Tunceli in 19 years

In Turkey and Kurds, Turkish politics, Turkish Society on November 6, 2009 at 17:19

In another positively historical political moment in Turkey, President Abdullah Gül pays a visit to Tunceli. This city, predominantly Alevite, has been the symbol of radical opposition to Establishment. [I had just heard that fatally ill political prisoner Güler Zere may be released, news coming soon]

Cumhurbaşkanı Gül, Zere'yi affetti

Güler Zere

oh yes, she is released (though it might be too late)…

Read the rest of this entry »

Swine flu panic in Turkey

In Turkish Society on November 5, 2009 at 04:53

last updated: 17 Nov 2009: 21:00

(Just heard that thousands of Turks already had swine flu and got over it. Met a friend yesterday who had recovered. Another TA friends is quarantine now but no body in panic really. She is treated, and she will be fine)

I did not have a single moment of panic, I declare. I do not know why. I was more worried with crimean congo hemorrhagic fever or bird flu. However, there is a low level panic feeling about swine flu now here in Istanbul, too. What is promising is that many ordinary people are in fact following authorities and try to take measures as much as they could. They are not fatalistic and they sure are not as indifferent as I am.

Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband (L) reacts as ...

Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband (L) reacts as he answers a question about H1N1 flu shots during a joint news conference with Turkey’s Minister for EU Affairs and Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bagis in Istanbul November 4, 2009.REUTERS/Murad Sezer Read the rest of this entry »

Political street-art

In Documents, Turkish Society on November 3, 2009 at 10:28

Political streetartings from various cities of Turkey

istanbul 2010 kültür sanat başkenti

silahsız Read the rest of this entry »

Christian finishes his Eastern Anatolia trip…

In Turkish Society on October 28, 2009 at 09:00

A dear friend of me and Erkan’s Field Diary, Christian Runkel was on a special Eastern Anatolia tour and he has so far reported from Batman and Van and Mardin and from Mardin to Midyat and then moved to The City of Abraham (Şanlıurfa) and wrote about Green Democracy there.

Giza Pyramids in the Alps

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 »

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 »

Social fabric roundup

In Turkey and Kurds, Turkish military, Turkish Society, Turkish women on October 17, 2009 at 19:51

trilemma: rotten, soldier, objector


A documentary from Turkey examining how gays and the Turkish military view each other in a complex and changing society in which military service is considered a rite of passage for every man. The Turkish army regards gays as sick or diseased and issue medical exemption reports to gays known as “rotten” reports. Gays have to decide whether to try to get such a report, do their military service, or become conscientious objectors.

LINKS to DOWNLOAD HERE. Read the rest of this entry »