Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Labor Day Chaos

Because of tremendous security measures, central Istanbul districts are in a state of chaos. One of our colleagues, who was in Beşiktaş to deal with her marriage certificate was exposed to tear gas. People from the Anatolian side cannot come to their work places in the European side….

some of the traffic regulations are listed here (in Turkish)…

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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Unkapanı Bridge…

I guess, we haven’t seen Unkapanı Bridge like that before. This bridge is one of the three bridges over the Golden Horn and it was on the march route during Hrant Dink’s funeral…

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Here is one more shot from the funeral. In front of the building Agos’ offices are…
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May your soul rest in peace Mr. Dink!

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Protesters stage a sit-in as they hold pictures of Turkish-Armenian editor Hrant Dink to protest his killing in Istanbul January 19, 2007. Dink, who was convicted last year for insulting Turkey’s identity, was shot dead outside his newspaper office in Istanbul on Friday. The leaflets read, ‘We all are Hirant. We all are Armenians’. REUTERS

Radical Imagery on the Istanbul Streets (3)- the end for now

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This guy wears a t-shirt that has a quote from the American Black leader, Malcolm X.

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Well, an invitation to a demonstration after the Friday prayers. Damn it. The inviting organizations cannot be read.

Radical Imagery on the Istanbul Streets (2)

Because of an uneasy relation between my PC and mobile phone through which I take these photos, it takes time to prepare the stuff. Sorry for late posting. Most of the photos are related to the Lebanon crisis but I will update you with more recent stuff. I promise!

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Normally people write down something like ‘Clean Me’ on these dusty car windows. Here the mood is different.

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A new, Islamic based charity organization, asks for donations through these posters….

Radical Imagery on the Istanbul Streets (1)

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I know few people really look at those affiches or posters hung around on the walls or similar places. If they are related to entertainment stuff, then they might get more attention but I did not observe many people looking at/reading proganda material-

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-Well, I have to check out what goes on the Istanbul walls, bilboards and all. In recent months, as one can guess, most of those propaganda stuff was related to Mideast crisis. So here I share some of the stuff I found recently. I am sure you were very curious about that:)

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An American in the protest…

Steph has been travelling in Turkey and produces solid comments on Istanbul and Turkey. It seems that she was an active observer yesterday in an anti-war protest that took place in Kadıköy. Well, in this hot and humid weather, in no ways I would go and see the event. I feel like most of our authors have the same feelings (!). So here is Steph’s post with full of good photos! I am not so sure but the lack of Islamic groups as Steph wonders might be due to the fact that they were not invited….

In the mean time, I had come across an article in Bianet: Clues For “Beginners” to Live in Istanbul;

Some degree of Turkish is essential if you are intended to stay for a relatively longer time in Istanbul. Maps may not help, ask friends how to start strolling through the city. Share a flat with others, you will enjoy greater freedom than in a hostel…………by Anna GROSS – Boelting

The scent of tear gas-Erkan and İdil exposed to tear gas

Note to the reader: We would like to specify that we do not condone any of the acts of violence portrayed in this article. We were at the event as objective observers.
The 2nd Note to the reader: This entry is published a bit late because I had to urgently fly to Izmir for family reasons, my apologies.

The 3rd Note: The main narrator is İdil. Erkan intervenes from time to time:)
The 4th Note: Erkan could not transfer a photo for which there is one more day of delay and the photo can still not be uploaded:(

While cruising in a shopping mall that I shall not name (but that everyone knows I hate), I got a call from Erkan who happened to be at Starbucks at the same time as me. He was there with two of his friends; Ayla and Erol. They sat by me and my friend Muge and after the introductions, we found out that they were headed to a protest organized against Israel and the attacks on Lebanon. I decided to tag along and be an active observer at the event.

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We took the metro and arrived in Taksim 15 minutes later. Erkan’s friend Erol being an activist and insider, thought that the protest started in Taksim square. It was pretty puzzling because the square was full of passer by’s and no protestors were to be seen. We headed towards Galatasaray, just in case the protest was held down there. Erol and Erkan were in constant contact with friends who were already at the event. Once arrived at Galatasaray, we were greeted by at least 50 police officers pretending to be Robocops and a couple of civil police officers (pretending to be FBI agents) who were eyeing everyone suspiciously. We finally found the group and soon enough saw Erol disappear in the crowd. Erkan and I stood on the side and listened to the slogans for a while. There were many political groups represented, some of those I remember:
ESP
DSP
HalkEvleri
Kaldirac
SODAP
Halkin Gucu

While cruising in a shopping mall that I shall not name (but that everyone knows I hate), I got a call from Erkan who happened to be at Starbucks at the same time as me. He was there with two of his friends; Ayla and Erol. They sat by me and my friend Muge and after the introductions, we found out that they were headed to a protest organized against Israel and the attacks on Lebanon. I decided to tag along and be an active observer at the event.
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On Conquest of Istanbul Celebrations…

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(The Source)

I have been meaning to write about conquest celebrations since May 29 when is the anniversary date. These celebrations are mostly orchestrated by pro-Islamic parties and municipalities for some time and they could be good cases of kitsch. However, as usual I was lazy to go out and take some photos or make some first-hand observations. Instead, Cengiz Aktar wrote about them today and here is what he says:

It has been 500 or so years since the conquest of Constantinople. As has been the tradition for some time now, there are nonsensical performances and conferences that have nothing to do with any scientific approach. At a time when the ideology of ‘Turkish-Islam synthesis’ is becoming more and more apparent, one can see the passion that dominates the proceedings.blockquote>

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