Archive for March, 2006

“Our” way to welcome Spring!

Nevruz (Newroz or Norouz) is a day to celebrate the beginning of spring and many Eurasian and Middle Eastern peoples seem to celebrate it. However, in recent times, Kurdish groups initiated Nevruz in Turkey and instead of a celebration it turned out to be a site of political struggle. As far as I could observe, Turkish State and nationalist NGOs attempted to steal the initiative but they weren’t that successful… I have taken the picture in Dolapdere and Nevruz day was announced by pro-Kurdish DTP… It is a shame I could not follow the news until now and I have no idea if DTP-led celebrations happened without any major problems. Whatever happened it is a pity that we don’t celebrate the coming of spring in a more joyful way…

Flush twice to save water


I’m writing this right after check-in and before going to my gate for a flight to Brussels. I have earlier just read about the non-intuitive text in the bathrooms of Atatürk Hava Limani on blogs, but never seen it myself. I’m sure a technician could do a very convincing explanation to me about the logic behind this. But the technicians behind this sign obviously lacked severely in communication skills.

“Please help us save bullets by shooting twice.” Which might be true, but sounds as bad.

open radio

acikradyo.gif acik radyo (open radio), the regional radio station boradcasting to the istanbul area, is celebrating its tenth annivesary. being a private company which nevertheless functions as a non-profit organization, acik radyo survives with funds recevied from listeners. they have launched the listener support project three years ago and today is the sixth day of the third listener support week. the special broadcast program can be found here. do not miss it and listen to it online, regardless of your location on the “universe.” as is stated in the open radio manifesto, they are open to all sounds, colours and vibrations of the universe.
personal recommendation: the special program rocks big time. the special week started with ugur yucel last saturday, two hours of pure jazz spiced with personal anecdotes. today’s presenters are murathan mungan and cem yilmaz. (mm is talking about garbage at the very moment.)

To surprise a north European

Earlier today I was walking through Ortaköy with my parents. Certainly a nice place, but instead of taking in the view I found my father staring at some telephone booths. “Not a single one is cut.” he said, very surprised. This was the second time he seemed really surprised after one week here. The first time was when seeing the subway and finding that not only was the original wall paintings still visible, they were even clean, without grafitti.

I have noticed this as a huge difference since I first moved here and I really must say it’s hard to grasp. Anyone got any own thoughts about this?



Sarıyer. Even the gendarm is nice here (at least to me). The kebapseller I frequent give me the tourist prce, (double) but he does it in such a nice way. Whether you want it or not I will force more of my random framings of this part of the city onto this blog. Nothing can stop me (add insane laughter here).

25th Istanbul Film Festival tickets go on sale on Saturday!

Tickets are available at Beyoğlu Emek and Atlas movie theaters, the Kadıköy Reks movie theater, Biletix sales points, the Biletix call center and on the Biletix Web site. The booklet for the 25th Istanbul Film Festival is available at all festival theaters — Emek, Atlas, Sinepop, Beyoğlu, Reks and IFCA in Beyoğlu — for only YTL 1…For more info about this news, click here; and here for the organizer’s page….
Although I am a regular movie watcher, I cannot make a regular attendance for the film festivals, I guess I won’t even try this time (!). Maybe there are not too many filmmakers in Istanbul but this city has a very qualified film audience and access to world cinema is easier than many other big cities (i.e. Houston).

Invincible touristhunters

My father is a huge man in a coat who is talented making kids not throw balls of paper while teaching them math and cutting down trees (he is also very talented in a lot of other things, but that’s beside the point). When walking somewhere in Sultan Ahmet or Eminönü or somewhere in between there is this subset of people whose mind immidiately starts working in a very specific way when they the sight of him: “Swedish or German, Swedish or German, Swedish or German.”

Somehow – and I tell you I would be glad to know how – they usually comes up with Swedish. And of course they know Swedish, not only do they know the names of their stock in Swedish, they also know common Swedish expressions, names of small cities, even archetypes of people from different regions and names of specific stores.

Bulgarian Water.

It is always tricky to write about such stuff. If you are pro your own land you may be quickly stamped as a facist, if you are contra, thenyou might as well become a communist, separatist pig.

I could’nt care less at the moment though because Bulgaria has opened up all the water gates ! and screwed a complete city.

Places to visit: Pera Museum

This sunday, I had the chance to visit the Pera Museum situated in Beyoglu, near Istiklal avenue.
Right now it features an expo of the works of “Henri Cartier-Bresson” which will be on display till the 09th of April 2006 at the museum. The museum is five floors high and can be very exhausting if you plan on taking the stairs like we did. We then noticed that smarter people we’re taking the elevator up to the 5th floor and visiting the museum from top to bottom instead of the way we chose to. The main permanent exhibits are: Anatolian Weights and Measures, Portraits from the Empire featuring the famous “The Tortoise Trainer” and finally Kutahya Tiles and Ceramics. The museums visiting hours are: Tuesday to Saturday 10-19 Sunday 12-18 (closed on Monday) and is located at the following address:
Pera Museum
Mesrutiyet Caddesi No 141
34443 Tepebasi Beyoglu Istanbul

Countdown to the full solar eclipse

On March 29th there will be a full solar eclipse and a big part of Turkey will be in its viewing path. Although we will see a dramatic covering of the sun by the moon here in Istanbul, the best places for viewing the full eclipse will be a band from Antalya up through Konya and beyond. Check out Tunc Tezel’s great source of total solar eclipse info, along with eclipse path maps here

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