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Visiting Exciting Turkey in the Throes of Restoration

Visiting Exciting Turkey in the Throes of Restoration

Old Apr 6th, 2015, 11:48 AM
  #141  
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Had to face another dictatorship attempt today for about 5-6 hours when access to Twitter and Youtube was banned by an ignorant court upon the orders of I wonder who.

It took me all of 3 minutes to regain access through one of the less dangerous free portals. Many of my contacts also had already appeared but most of the regular ruling party supporters had been helpless and left with no means to attack my ilk. (The party actually has a group of what we call AK-Trolls, about 3000 of them who are organized to attack human rights activists, writers, journalists, artists, thinkers, opposition members, etc.)

So, it will be useful if you you have access to a proxy on your laptop or ipad when you are traveling not only in Turkey but other places like Russia, Hungary, China, Belarus, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, etc.
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Old Apr 6th, 2015, 01:28 PM
  #142  
 
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OC - Thanks for the reminder that what we take for granted, others have to fight for. Take care in your battles with the trolls.
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Old Apr 6th, 2015, 10:27 PM
  #143  
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to sum up yesterday's internet relarted news :

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/goo...&NewsCatID=339

and thanks again Annhig.
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 11:07 AM
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is why the government doesn't want this particular item shown something which is capable of explanation? is it ok to show bodies of dead terrorists? dead civilians? or do they object only to the showing of dead prosecutors?

I don't mean to sound callous, but it seems a strange thing to object to.
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 12:08 PM
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the photo was not that of the body of the prosecutor. It was the prosecutor with a gun pointed to his head by a masked man, who was immediately identified as a known terrorist with a long record by a retired police chief on TV.

What the government wanted to keep away from the public was the hospital autopsy record which was rushed like cray but still gave entry locations of ten bullets all over the unfortunate prosecutor's body. By the time they sprang the ban, this record was scanned and available but probablly did not have wide exposure. I guess they were trying to hide the fact that the prosecutor was actually killed by the police because he was investigating the police murder of a 15 year old who was on the way to a bakery to buy a loaf of bread.

This terrorist group has also long been infiltrated by various intelligence agencies and the whole thing may have been staged to provide the justification for the new laws allowing the police, the governor or the gendarmery (currently removed from military command) to arrest, search, or even shoot people upon "reasonable suspicion."

I used to hate conspiracy theories but we seem to be inundated by them not only in the Middle East but everywhere, it seems.

Too many stupid people too frequently think that everyone is also as stupid as they are. And the minority just write posts on Fodors, I guess. -
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 12:39 PM
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the whole thing may have been staged to provide the justification for the new laws allowing the police, the governor or the gendarmery (currently removed from military command) to arrest, search, or even shoot people upon "reasonable suspicion.">>

interestingly [to me, anyway] the british police may arrest someone on the basis that they have "reasonable suspicion" that they have committed an [arrestable] offence. [a distinction more apparent than real - virtually all offences are arrestable, nowadays].

However, we generally draw the line at shooting them unless they happen to be deranged black men walking around waving table legs or brazilians who look like they might just be terrorists taking a bomb onto the Tube.
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 01:32 PM
  #147  
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The British people have traditionally believed the police and the justice system to be reasonably fair. So, when they were taken into custody, they would think that if there was nothing wrong, they would be released quickly with a "beg your pardon". The immigrants to the Isles and the people of the countries they come from, including all Asian, African, South and Central American, know well that if the police lay their hands on you you will never escape unscathed. You may be tortured, will definitely be insulted and if you talk about human rights, you may be accused of insulting the whole roomfull of them with each corroborating each others' story.

We have had cases of a handcuffed, possibly somewhat irate possibly a little inebriated woman being beaten by three policemen at the station with the sergeant watching, all on their own camera but without sound. The three police received sentences of 9 months each, postponed indefinitely for good behaviour and the woman was being sued with five years imprisonment for insulting and hindering a government employee for doing his job.
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 01:59 PM
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OC - I was in no way meaning to make light of what is happening in Turkey. I don't think though that even the most stanch supporter of our police could think that they are without fault. OTOH there do seem to be some people in Turkey who think that they can do no wrong which is how you end up with their victims being charged and imprisoned.
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Old Apr 16th, 2015, 01:27 PM
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Mixed messages regarding Christian faith tourism in Turkey:

Knidos’ church under restoration - http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/kni...&NewsCatID=375

Church in ancient city of Laodecia to open to tourism - http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chu...&NewsCatID=375

Santa Claus Museum most popular among Antalya tourists - http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/san...&NewsCatID=379
(Although "Fewer tourists come to Santa Claus Museum" - http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/few...&NewsCatID=379 )

But - Pope’s remarks ‘to accelerate Hagia Sophia’s conversion into mosque’ - http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/pop...&NewsCatID=338
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Old Apr 16th, 2015, 01:42 PM
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And perhaps "officials from the Vatican" will no longer be welcome at "World’s first cave church restored and open for visitors" - http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/wor...&NewsCatID=375
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Old Apr 16th, 2015, 10:46 PM
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#Croesus, you gave a good collection of links.

The political situation (it is not a religious public opinion but has supporters) is just as I have been posting (and have spoken about as far back as eight years ago in Denver, CO.)

The current party and president have been using religion as a large part of their campaigning and attacks against whoever criticizes them.

Converting Hagia Sophia back to a mosque for prayers was first mentioned and used politically in the 1950s.

It is also a partial result of the United States support and aid for religious fundamentalism, although they called it "Moderate Islam" against communism and Russia during the cold war years.

As far as I can tell from reading the fundamentalist and pro-government press or listening to some of their thirty odd TV channels, there is no provocation against any religion or religious tourism or religious rites being held anywhere except against the Alevis (whom they consider somewhat similar to Shiites)

Vatican also declared that they "quoted" rather than emphasized "genocide of Armenians" which may have calmed the waters somewhat.

The Armenian issue comes up every year about the time of the accepted anniversary of the order to the Ottoman army to start the mass expulsion. This year it is more significant because it is the 100th anniversary.

My personal view is that violence and enmities in families, cities, countries, regions or the world will never stop as long as people continue to blame each other for past events and claim punishment and redress even when the ideas, actions, attitudes, events, victims and perpetrators have long become dust.

My mother's father has suffered exile and torture at the orders of the government of the Ottomans. His brother was assassinated by poison by orders of the Iron Sultan. My father's father was forced to retire early because of his connections to the mystical sect of Roumi from his post as Director of the Department of Cyphers at the Ministry of Forein Affairs. I am sure that many people have had personal or family threats which were made and carried out against them in their past.

I do not believe in Fate or Kismet but "Things are what they are" and it is the worst thing anyone can do to dwell on the past and forget about your happiness today and tomorrow.

By the way, one correction on one of the newspaper articles on faith tourism : Alahan is at Mut and Saint Paul's Monastery is at Tarsus rather than the reverse.

And, an opinion on visitors to Saint Nicholas : I suspect that the reduction is due to the problems in Ukraine and Russia and the devaluation of their currencies. Despite what a guie or tour operator says, and on the basis of my visits to the site, the visitors are predominantly those of Orthodox faith, usually coming from the North of Turkey. If it were the French, the numbers of visitors to Myra and even Arycanda in the same area and more spectacular would have reached similar numbers.

"Take declarations coming without analysis with a grain of salt even when published in national press," is what this sciolist, pyrrhonist pedant always says.

On a more serious note:

Travelers' Warning for Eastern and Southeastern Turkey has gone up a notch ot two. PKK and government forces may become more active against each other, thereby increasing possibilities of getting caught up in the kerfuffle.
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Old Apr 19th, 2015, 09:25 AM
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Any sources you can recommend to keep up with Sanliurfa area news? I made google alerts for Sanliurfa, Gobekli Tepe, and Harran and am getting very few articles. Only one political one recently. "PKK raids Sanliurfa home of Syrian refugees in anti-prostitution ..." Has there been more?
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Old Apr 19th, 2015, 12:12 PM
  #153  
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If you are going to visit only Urfa and environs by flying to Urfa, check for Urfa as well as Sanli Urfa on google and at the English language daily papers, Today's Zaman and Turkish Daily News or Hurriyet Daily News.

However, any escalation of problems between the Kurdish population and the government will be regional rather than limited to one city and the other majot cities in the area, Mardin, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Batman, Kilis, Hatay should also be on your check list.

I will post any significant change in the general situation on this thread as soon as I hear of any or feel that there are some ominous signs.

Just now I am watching a CNN Turk program on Mardin and the region and the Syrian Christians of the area. The pictures are great but I also hope that you can find one which is dubbed or has subtitles.

Apparently Killit Village, mostly deserted except for 20 houses and a working church with a cemetary is another location to be visited.

It is not usually brought to global public attention but the Syrian Christians and the Yazidis of these lands also suffered through forced exiles and mass expulsions, possibly as bad as those of the Armenians, in the last 200 years or so.
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Old Apr 20th, 2015, 11:38 PM
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Dear OC:

Would you like to meet up with a group of English speakers from Switzerland for an evening of food and chatter? I'll be in Istanbul from May 5-9 with 18 very pleasant adults. I'd love to meet you.

Let me know.
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Old Apr 21st, 2015, 07:10 AM
  #155  
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Hello kleeblat,

Thanks for your interest. Would love to meet.

Please write to this address:

[email protected]

and we can arrange for a gtg.

If you have transportation for the group, my alumni club will provide decent food and good comfortable facilities on Wednesday and Thursday nights and all week day noons, except Monday.

The alumni club has no views; but the other alternative for daytime, the faculty restaurant, Kennedy Lodge, at Bogazici University has a fabulous location up the Bosphorus, near and above the European fortress.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 12:53 AM
  #156  
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My a1c is down from a horrible 8.7 to a still bad 6.8 after about 50 days of eating rationally. One result seems to be that the outlook for Turkey looks brighter.

The campaign declarations of the semi-socialist CHP is the best they have ever written in the last 70 years. They are suddenly on the attack rather than having a defensive opposition stance against the Islamists.

The Kurdish-liberal-socialist party also has a good declaration and seems that they will get the necessary 10% of the votes for representation in the parliament.

The Nationalists will probably steal some votes ffom the ruling AKP to increase their votes to 18% or so.

The ultra islamists may also gain a few back from AKP to gain up to 3% or so.

Result may still be a slight majority for AKP with about 37-40% of the polls but not enough for them to do as they will any more.

For the traveler to Turkey, this means that there could be less protesting, demonstrating, police violence and ad hoc changing of conditions.

The Turkish Lira devaluation seems to be here to stay. It is a good time for American tourists to visit in terms of cost, if nothing else.

The price of the traditional Turkish spirits, Raki, has gone up due to additional taxes. The good thing is that you do not drink as much of it as you would wine or even scotch, bourbon, vodka or gin, because it is a long dinner drink drank with water and ice and a double is supposed to last an hour or so.

Weather rather cold for the season with some unexpected frost causing damage to fruit trees in many parts of the country. So, expect to have higher priced plums, cherries, almonds, walnuts, apricots this year.

Turks find it strange that EU and especially Itally is making a big thing out of a few thousand refugees coming (or not being able to) from North Africa, in view of the Two Million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

At least we accept that our country was one of the major causes of the catastrophy in Syria which uprooted these poor people. I have not heard any European leader accept blame for causing the turmoil and the chaos forcing the boat people out of Libya. It is almost like they prefer to force them back to join the radical Islamists so that the disgruntled and hopeless can find salvation only in fundamentalism and Jihad which will teach them to attack the ruthless Western people and values. Try to explain to them about Western philosophy, ethics, art, humanitarianism !!!!!!!

Unfortunately, political leadership everywhere generally has a major lack of compassion and global perspective to being human.

It is only the common man who can walk on the streets sometimes and chant, "We are American, Turkish, Libyan, Italian, Syrian, Armenian, Georgian, Brasilian, Swedish, Chinese, Mexican, Canadian, French, Swiss ............"

kleeblat, I am waiting to hear from you.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 01:13 AM
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Hi OC:

I'm back. Please see me email.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 01:17 AM
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"a double is supposed to last an hour or so" - aha, that's what I'm doing wrong, I get through it quicker than that, especially with food.

"frost causing damage to fruit trees" - I hope the hazelnuts are OK this year, it sounded pretty bad last year.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 01:30 AM
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thanks otherchelbi, good to get some perspective from a country with 2m refugees.

How is the whole g-word going down today?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 01:47 AM
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OC - I completely agree about Turkey struggling with 2 million refugees but the Italians have a point too, especially the inhabitants of Lampedusa which is really a very small place being overwhelmed with traumatised people.

sadly i have no answer to either problem,
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