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Visiting Exciting Turkey in the Throes of Restoration

Visiting Exciting Turkey in the Throes of Restoration

Old Mar 15th, 2015, 03:22 AM
  #121  
 
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"there once was a friend who watched snooker".>>

very similar the cricket then!

there is an end in sight to the games in the World Cup - they are 50 overs per side, so when the 100 overs are over - it's over! [and you clearly know something about it - more than you are letting on, methinks]. as for croquet being more fun to watch, I doubt that millions of indians and other inhabitants of the sub-continent would agree with you!
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 03:50 AM
  #122  
 
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I once had a friend who watched snooker --
Never played -- she was just an onlooker.
She once said to me
"Wake me up, I do plea,
at the end" but I left and forsook her.

Difficult rhyme.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 07:06 AM
  #123  
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Some games just have no rhyme or reason.

Some croquet players prefer flamingos.

Some cricketers use their paddles to move on creeks also.

Cool and wet weather to continue for a while in Istanbul.

No violence except that by the Ministry of Education directed to about two million university candidates taking their first level central entrance exam today.

Shopping trips to USA cancelled by tour operators who are trying to find alternative destinations with fashion outlets due to unexpected appreciation of USD.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 09:23 AM
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Shame about the cancellation of the trip, OC.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 11:09 AM
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OC Euro must be falling in line with the Lira, maybe Milan for the shopping?
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 02:16 PM
  #126  
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My trip is not cancelled, i'm just not facing the long flight. DW is going to join both daughters, leaving April 1. She will be back mid may and i have to take care of myself in addition to four cats (two on a long visit but trying to take control of the new environment usually)

I may actually prefer the cats to some of those who occupy the graduate seminar room on wednesdays with blank gazes.

The Euro is down further since my March 12 post, at 2.77 and USD at 2.64TL

Unfortunately the inflation rate is not based on anything but purely on the greed of those who can raise prices. New crop Turkish green beans now at USD 7/kilo. fortunately tomatoes have started going down to USD 1/kilo. Bone-in aged rib steak at USD 32/kilo.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 02:29 PM
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sorry OC, I misunderstood. you have 6 weeks by yourself? how will the cats cope?
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Old Apr 1st, 2015, 08:39 AM
  #128  
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Interestıng political developments for the natives but nothing exciting for the visitor.

The incumbent Islamist party appears to be making one mistake after another and reducing their large margin.

We had a huge power outage that lasted over 8 hours in more than half of the country including all the major cities. Neither the Minister of Energy or any other public figure had any explanation throughout the outage and afterwards. And as usual, no one took the blame, resigned or committed hara kiri.

Rather wet Spring days in the offing, but beautiful when the sun breaks through.

Thinkers, intellectuals, human rights advocates, modernists, socialists, nationalists, liberals, LGBTs, are all joined in saying that Turkey has become a Police State. Most seem to be waiting for either the June 7 national elections or a spark.

Any news in the international press regarding protests and police violence in istanbul is limited to two outlying didtricts which are leftist and Alevite strongholds with a great deal of probably legitimate grievance against government brutality.

At this time, the only possible critical day ahead is May 1 when the Istanbul governor has again forbidden celebrations or marching at Taksim Square and organized labour is again determined to walk to the square. There have been too many years when unrest and protests on May 1 were provoked by different factions including the secret forces.

So, anyone visiting Turkey around May 1 is recommended to stay away from Istanbul on that day and be flexible with plans for May 2 also.

Otherwise, things are as usual to the naked, lensed or hooded eye, rather cheap in USD terms and not so in Euro terms.

DW left for Chicago so I can rest and save and play my strategy games with no interferance. Could even write except for the block that haunts again.

Annhig, the two additional cats have visited us before and appear to enjoy the long stay. Especially the Scottish Fold takes pleasure in the extra attention. However our two American Short Hair Tabbies detest visitors and will spend most of the time under our bed, to escape the gameful approaches of the Turkish Artful Dodger, Messi, who is trained to jump and swat at ping pong balls or wads of paper thrown at heights of up to five feet.

Please rather ask, How this March Hare (or more likely Mad Hatter) cope for seven weeks of human loneliness and 4 weeeks of feline crowding.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2015, 12:41 PM
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Hi OC,

I just returned from Istanbul last night and experienced the power outages. Other than the Trams not running for a few hours, I found it was business as usual with most shops and eateries remaining open. If one wanted to make a purchase, however, cash was the only option which was too bad for me because i was in the process of purchasing a very lovely leather bag (having gone back to Taksim just for it) but did not have the amount of Turkish Lariat to make a cash purchase. Another of many reason I have to come back to your wonderful country.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2015, 12:56 PM
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Please rather ask, How this March Hare (or more likely Mad Hatter) cope for seven weeks of human loneliness and 4 weeeks of feline crowding>>

well? how are you amusing yourself? cooking, eating, writing?

BTW I remember that you had some good ideas for using young broad beans and broad bean tops - care to refresh my memory? i have a lovely crop coming on in the polytunnel and will be in need of them quite soon!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2015, 01:50 PM
  #131  
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The green, preferably not longer than 6 inch pods with the young beans inside make a delicious meal cooked in a bit of olive oil on sauteed sliced onions or slightly sauteed small diced spring onions.
You add about half a table spoon of flour for further sauteeing for a few minutes before adding the beans and some water. Lemon will keep the colour a nice green and give it a tangy taste also.
You may add a few cloves of crushed garlic while cooking and top it with fresh or dried dill. I like to add a table spoon of good virgin olive oil after removing the pot from the fire for extra flavour.

Here's a common recipe which also includes tomatoes which we do not.

She adds dill for decoration but for our family, it also adds something to the taste unless you are allergic to it like I am.

http://seasonalcookinturkey.blogspot...eytinyagl.html


When the pods are grown, we unpod the beans and freeze what we do not cook in individual one pound packs for later use. You can cook them the same way but you have to remember to slice the skins before boiling them.

I play bridge on PC laptop and kindle and turn based strategy games.

Tweet frequently; communicate with an even older former American tutor who is now an emeritus at my old alma mater, about United States foreign policy; try to use what he calls my "pithy wit" when I receive spam calls from banks, internet, book publishing, dry cleaning and TV companies to stop them from calling again, to no avail; attend a few protests if not far away and if escape routes are clear; shop for the best produce and value for the home; Follow the nincompoops who speak around significant issues for hours on end at TV talk shows and panels. Visit sister downstairs and father-in-law not too far away. Will go to Nicaea for a few days where I like to visit my favourite shopkeepers to talk of local issues and national politics as well as the undiscovered natural sites around the city, by biking the two miles to town.

I also make up new variations on my diet allowance which will keep my blood sugar within almost acceptable limits so that the iron endocrinologist lady does not force insulin (or the new equivalent) shots on me.

Did you know that unripe green almond and roasted chicpeas make a great and filling in-between meals snack with little carbs and low calories? and adding a side of some probiotic homemade yoghurt will give the necessary balance?

I have a consultancy visit tomorrow, some proposals for papers to edit before Wednesday, a 3-hour class every Wednesday, Have to keep accounts for building expenses and allocate them to family and tenants. Do face-time 2-3 times a day with Eser and the kids every day.

I guess I was hoping someone would ask me that question so I could get it all off my chest. Thanks.

Must add something about istanbul just to make this post acceptable to the uninitiated :

Some extra precipitation and cooling in the next week, but even the fresh green plums are appearing in the market albeit not in perfect size or taste.

Looks like there will be some smaller demonstartions and protests in coming weeks. Nothing much to worry about but just stay away from crowds, people shouting, waving flags or anything else and security forces in large groups.

With most of the Middle East in shambles, Istanbul is receiving a much larger proportion of the regional tourism than it ever did. So you should realize that almost all women not garbed in line with the weather and the fashion and all men with toes sticking out of sandals and shirts sticking out of pant waists are other Middle Easterners or North Africans. The tall blond women are more likely to be Ukrainian or Russian rather than Scandinavian, despite the problems in those countries as well.

I guess, istanbul is like an oasis in the middle of a desert of violence and uncertainty for our neighbours.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2015, 11:54 PM
  #132  
 
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I'm learning new things about Turkish politics all the time. I've just come across the 10% threshold for votes. It was a disaster in 2002 when 46% of all votes fell below the threshold thus disenfranchising almost half the voting populace.

It doesn't appear very democratic to me.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2015, 01:04 AM
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Well OC, I read most of this thread and found it quite enjoyable and interesting.
You seem like an experienced writer with balanced opinions.
What I knew about Turkey I found in your posts, so I fear I'm embracing a lot of what you say.
Keep writing. My last visit to turkey was last year (Istanbul and Iskeshehir) but I've had to cancel my next one.

I'll definitely come back to your thread.
Regards
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Old Apr 3rd, 2015, 01:46 AM
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annhig, don't know if you saw this following on from your 23 Feb post?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-Choudary.html

More to this than meets the eye?
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Old Apr 3rd, 2015, 05:52 AM
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Rubicund - yes i had missed that. I'm not altogether surprised - kids don't pick up these ideas from nowhere do they? and the parents certainly should try to shift all the blame onto others.

OC - thanks. it remembered that you had posted a recipe that looked delicious but not what it was. We've got a bit of time till the pods are that long, but suddenly they are long and furry if you don't keep an eye on them.

Glad that you are keeping in touch with the outside world a bit - those snacks should help to keep up morale anyway. I've never seen green almonds here - I must look out for them.

And even if you are driven solely by a desire to inform the rest of us what is going on around you, please stay out of trouble!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2015, 11:39 AM
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Thanks otherchelebi for your insight and news. I'm taking a group of 20 adults to Istanbul on May 5 and am now more prepared to digest the news of possible political unrest on May 1 and 2, knowing it will calm down by May 3.

Your posts are much appreciated.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2015, 12:11 PM
  #137  
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Pariswat & kleeblat, thanks.

Croesus, the 10 % threshhold was imposed by the military when they prepared and had the current constitution accepted. Although the constitution was modified extensively since 1983, all ruling parties preferred to keep the threshold which kept all smaller parties out of parliament and distributed the seats they should hold predominantly to the majority party.

The parliament has been a farce since 2002 because the ruling party has had the power to pass all laws they wanted against any and all opposition. The only thing they lacked was the 2/3 majority to require drastic constitutional changes. They used one chance to pass some changes in the legal system in 2010 but it backfired by allowing the FG sect to gain more power within the judiciary. The government has been busy cleaning out FG sympathizers (thousands) among the prosecutors and judges (and police) and setting up their own Islamist and/or opportunistic backers in place. So we have as many or more drummed up charges aginst reporters, media, opposition, intellectuals, critics, artists, human rights activists and so on but less against the armed forces who are now fully under control of the Islamists.

Even the police academy was closed along with thousands of schools and examination preparatory study institutions run by the FG group which were used to educate, train and recruit high quality young people. This has left the public institutions with very few well-trained and educated personnel who are very difficult to replace because of the decreasing quality of national education and the lack of Islamist ideology among the better educated to qualify them for the signican positions. It is like snakes devouring each other and themselves having started from their multiple tails.

Ann, pick the pods when they are furry too, as it means they will be tender. The beans should not be any larger than navy beans for cooking the Turkish and Spanish way.

If the beans grow larger, check the FAVA recipes.

Regarding, Green Almonds, These are almonds that are still unripe and before the pit is hardened. You crack the green covering open, throw away the inside of the immature pit (the part that you would eat if you allowed it to ripen) and eat the res, meaning the green and the still softer shell. A tangy and not unpleasant taste but nothing extremely special. probably full of antioxidants.

I just tweeted (in Turkish) that the Turkish president desperate for a presidential system in Turkey should consider the system at Belarus or if that was impossible, how about the one in Malaisia with a number of Sultans, and himself as the Top Sultan.

But I also tweet about the lack of perspective and depth in United States and European Union policy regarding the Middle East as a whole and each nation individually. So, nobody escapes my `pithy wit` -
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Old Apr 3rd, 2015, 12:17 PM
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Invaluable insights into the turkish political scene as ever, OC.

And recipes!

An unbeatable combination.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2015, 09:35 PM
  #139  
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Thanks Ann.

Here's some interesting reading on Turkey :

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/04/03/...rsPicksRS3%2F4
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Old Apr 4th, 2015, 06:10 AM
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Thanks for the info, OC. It can't be nice having one's vote stolen like that. I think I would be angry.
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