Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Istanbulian and Turkish blogger protests

After the ban of many a video streaming websites by the Turkish government, bloggers decided to take the matter into their own hands by protesting the Chinese style censorship going on. We were getting used to the void left by YouTube when suddenly, Dailymotion, another video streaming website got banned also.

You can find more information on the ban on this website. Show us your support by leaving a comment and having a whinge with us about the whole situation :)

Terror In Uskudar

Three hand grenades were thrown at the building of the municipality of Uskudar, in Istanbul. 1 person has been injured from there knee following the attack and two people, 1 of them being a woman, escaped on a motorcycle and are being hunted down.

Is this going to be a weekly occurance? Are we not going to be safe any more? There is total ground for paranoia.

Istanbul bomb blasts – Gungoren

Last night two bombs went off in the area of Gungoren – killing 17 and injuring  154.  Two RDX bombs went off at 15 minutes interval, the first was a smaller explosion aimed at getting people to flock towards the sound of the bomb to see if they could help incase anyone was injured and the second set off 15 minutes later, with a bigger blast, turning the area into a warzone. The PKK  are obviously the first group that come to mind in case of terror attacks but lets not forget El Kaide , who attacked the American embassy in Istanbul not long ago.

This isn’t the first and it will unfortunately certainly not be the last terror attack against Istanbul, we’re all like sitting ducks provided security measures are not increased.

Ant Oracle

ants-insects-photo.jpg

We unfortunately all know by now that Istanbul is expecting a devastating earthquake which is apparently going to be its downfall. Ever since news of this prediction is out, scientifics and nerds all have been trying to figure out the exact when and where of this 7.0 earthquake that is going to bring Istanbul down to its knees. One of these people, Kadir Sutcu, who isn’t an expert on the matter, claims that he can predict when the EQ will hit by studying the habits and irregularities of the two ant colonies that he is keeping at home. He successfully predicted an earthquake a week ago and sent thousands of mails out to people to warn them before it hit. He claims that ants start acting distressed and that a lot of them start dieing 24 hours before the earthquakes hit. You can follow his work through his website; dkos and subscribe to his mailing list if you believe his theory that ants might be able to predict and save lives. At this point, I’m thinking that it can’t hurt.

Turkey Groans…Again

Sorry to bring you bad news today…but it is, what it is. Details are still sketchy so things can change on us here, but as of posting time here is an update on today’s attack.

Around 11am this morning the US Consulate in Istanbul was attacked by gunmen, 3 Police are dead and 3 attackers are dead. Turkish news outlets report that the terrorists  never got past the checkpoint guarding the driveway leading up to the Consulate.

Hurriyet and CNNTurk are  also reporting that 3 German tourists were abducted from their 13 member climbing party sometime in the last few hours from the slopes of Mt. Ararat in eastern Turkey.

Both events have been labeled as “terrorists attacks” by the governors of their respective regions.

The Fat Lady Sings for Turkiye!

Turks Celebrate in Kadikoy

Turks Celebrate in Kadikoy

Over the last few weeks Turkey has ridden a roller coaster of emotions as they have fought their way into the quarter finals and then tonight the semi-finals of the Euro 2008. Beating Croatia back from victory in the last minute of overtime to tie it up, Turkey outscored Croatia 4 -2 to win their seat in the semi-finals against Germany.
In the last two matches Turkey had not scored until the last few minutes of each game, somewhere in Istanbul tonight the Fat Lady Sang for the people she loves!

Snuffing Out a Bit of Culture

May 19th is a big deal in Turkey commemorating the start of the War for Independence. I find that ironic, because today is another “May 19th” that is going to be remembered for a long time…this one for restricting a freedom that many Turks have enjoyed without restraint.  That of lighting up a smoke whenever and wherever the mood hit.

Starting today public smoking is being frowned upon in this great nation of nicotine loving Turks.  Already banned in airports and large offices today the ban sweeps into its purview the small shops, parks, entertainment venues and extends even to the ferries and taxis that troll throughout the metropolis. An estimated 15 million packs of cigarettes (300 million smokes) are  inhaled each day in Turkey.

Being a non-smoker it took some time to get used to the second hand smoke I was inhaling when we first landed here a few years ago.  Now when returning to Istanbul from abroad there is nothing that makes me feel more  “at home”  than the smell of cigarettes as soon as we step out of the airport.

I know…its bad for me, bad for you,  bad for all of us. I get it. I am not advocating smoking. However, when I see things that have been culturally endeared to me pass away there is an element of grief I experience. I cannot count the times that a Fiat-wielding taxi driver has held out a pack of smokes to me as he weaved and dodged through Istanbul”s infamous traffic, before lighting up himself. The scent of tobacco has become synonymous with the Turkish hospitality that has courted and overwhelmed us during our time in Asia Minor.

No doubt we will all be much healthier and able to worry about whatever great health risk becomes popular in the future. For now though I am not too worried, once I see the ashtrays on the treadmills at the local sports salon go…I will know that the restrictions are here to stay.

Bombing attempt in Kadikoy

A bomb was placed infront of a McDonalds in Kadikoy near Kazasker but didn’t detonate. It seems that there was a problem with the wiring and the cellphone it was attached to.
I wonder when we’ll be allowed to feel safe again.

Monopoly game and Istanbul

Monopoly Word Edition is collecting votes to decide which cities will be listed in the new edition. Istanbul could not make it to top 20 yet:)

Benazir Bhutto killed in suicide attack

Benazir Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack a couple of hours ago. Please check the frequent updates on the Metblogs Islamabad page. Our hearts go out to her family and country.

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