Archive for March, 2007

Tas Plak; fasil disaster.

On Friday night, we were invited by work to a farewell dinner held at “Tas Plak” in Taksim, located in the street right next to Rio de Janeiro, behind Yapi Kredi.
The Tas Plak advertises a ‘Canli Fasil’ on Friday nights, which is traditional Turkish music played while people dine and sing along enjoying a drunk moment amongst family and foes. Generally during fasils, you have small orchestras and a singer who sings all the classic Turkish songs that you’d expect to hear during one of these dinners. Mezes are served while people enjoy raki after raki.. It is quite enjoyable when you’re in a nice restaurant with good food and good music but unfortunately, Taps Plank was far from that.

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The restaurant itself is very small, I wouldn’t advise you go there for a company dinner like we did because we ended up tight like sardines. The attitude of the waiters was terrible and don’t even start me on the food. The mezes were not edible. A triple Big Mac at McDonalds would’ve been healthier. The food seemed to have been made several days before and left a bad taste in your mouth. The presentation of the mezes, all stacked up together on a single plate obviously made you wonder if you weren’t dining at an all you can eat buffet. The only enjoyable part to the evening was the music. It was semi decent. When the warm food arrived at the tables, 45 minutes after the mazes were finished, we already knew that the main course would be as bad as the entrees.

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The place being extra small, all 40 of us were smoked up extremely quickly. That does make life miserable to a non smoker like me. Most of us didn’t eat the main course and left as fast as we could without waiting for any desert.
I’m generally not picky when it comes to dinners with my friends, but this place was a disgrace.

I hope I won’t be subjected to going there ever again.
(p.s. none of us ever got food poisoned which I guess is always a good thing..)

“New security measures for public buses in İstanbul

Buses run by the state-run İETT transportation enterprise with routes passing through squatter settlements of İstanbul are now being escorted by the police due to risk of terrorist attacks, the Cihan news agency reported Wednesday.

After the safest city report, I guess, this is an ironic development. In the mean time, whatever the motive of those vandals, this is a fine case of how one damages oneself. If those buses are burnt, what will happen? Only more annoyance for the local public. Nothing else. Probably those vandals are using the same buses for transportation…

the Safest city!

Do you know that The EU Crime and Safety survey for 2006 showed that the crime rate in Istanbul was just 18 percent last year and Istanbul is the safest major city in the world……..VIA

Simple Diplomacy

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It’s the small things in life that bridge cultures and continents. A quiet sunlit afternoon at the square adjacent to the Galata Tower turned into a rowdy futbol match as local kids challenged a visiting group of Asian tourists to a pick up game.
Balls whizzing, people ducking and old men yelling advice flushed spectators out from their shops and homes and a community came together for an hour…all due to a beat up ball getting whacked from boy to man and back again. Talk about grass roots diplomacy…we should bring home the suits and send these kids on the road.
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View from Icadiye Caddesi

Icadiye Caddesi and its side streets popped out of the March gloom into a few moments of sunshine this week. This old neighborhood makes for some incredible scenery and poking around. You can find it just north of the ferry terminals in Uskudar.

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Cengiz Han’s New Crib

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It seems that Genghis Khan has found new digs…The Sabanci Museum is hosting a new exhibit until April 8 on the life and times of the great Mongol and his hairy horde. Situated on the waterfront in Bebek the grounds and buildings of Sabanci Muzesi are a destination in their own right. 10YTL entrance fee, discounts for students and teachers.
The exhibit runs for just a few more weeks…On April 8, Cengis will be stepping out to the steppes, catch him before he disappears.
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hahahahah a predictable moment in Istanbul 2010 organization…

Todays Zaman says Discord threatens ‘İstanbul 2010: European Capital of Culture’ project: Only three years remain before the İstanbul 2010: European Capital of Culture celebrations begin. In addition to a lack of the required organizational structure, the parties involved are blaming each other….

Istanbulites have no more YouTube, at least for a little while…

I am not totally surprised but it is still surprising; as a citizen of Turkey i know how mighty steps can be taken by the State in case of emergency. One of the most popular websites, YouTube is banned in Turkey for a single video. All the background can be found here or here. The video is ugly. It insults the founder of the Republic. Like it or not, Atatürk is a sacred figure for most of Turkish citizens. And an insulting video would trigger such a popular reaction. However, would it be necessary to legally stop the access to Youtube? In Brazil, a legal step was taken recently. But compared to this one, it is a minor intervention. In terms of net regulation, Turkey is now in league with China, Iran and some other countries in the same line….

For the english speaker in you

As you may remember from a couple of months ago, I posted an entry about job opportunities for english speakers. It’s that time of the year again so those of you who are native or close to native or native-ish can contact me for a job opportunity based in Istanbul. This is fairly urgent so stop thinking and start emailing!

After the derby…

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Some BJK fans patrolling (!) in Istiklal Street…

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The hardcore fan group Çarşı is named after the Beşiktaş çarşı…

Before the game, have your meatballs in the famous meatball restaurant close to the Beşiktaş square. Damn it, i forgot its name but if you ask the place, i guess, people will show where it is. check out the walls:)
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On the right, lies the famous Kazan bar where many BJK fans stop by. And many more stand and drink on this square. This is from a previous game. Yesterday, it was unbearably full…
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oh i forgot to tell what this derby about: Beşiktaş vs. Galatasaray. Here is the derby news.

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