It’s all vanity. I just couldn’t resist when national IMC-TV asked me to be on their late night show to talk about developments in the Kurdish issue. In Turkish. Vanity, a will to be part of the debate, a wish to speak out. Could I do that properly in Turkish? The funny answer is: I’m not sure.
I know my subject, …
After a few months in Diyarbakir, I’m flying back to Istanbul later today. I’m not sure for how long, but I hope to be back in my new base camp Diyarbakir very soon. What gives me no choice but to leave now is the totally deplorable electricity situation here, which makes it impossible to write the first chapter of my …
The boys are dead
Life was good in Gülyazi, I heard. Poor and not easy, but good. Happy, even. I wish I had been here a year and a day ago, so I could have experienced it myself. But a year and a day ago, I, like many other people, had never heard of a place called Gülyazi, a town in the Uludere district.
Battle of the universities
It was a real battle last week around the Middle East Technical University (METU, or ODTÜ in Turkish) in Ankara. PM Erdogan visited the university to witness the launch of Turkey’s first ever domestically produced satellite. Students wanted to protest, so Erdogan took along some 3,000 policemen who were very quick to attack the students, who started burning tires and …
Taraf, or: sign of the times
News paper Taraf began publishing in November 2007. I remember it very well. I arrived in Turkey in December 2006, and when Taraf was first published we sometimes used it in Turkish language class. The writing in the paper was grammatically not too complicated, and there was another journalist in language class too, so we sometimes picked Taraf articles to …
If you read this website regularly, you know there are many crazy court cases going on in Turkey. The prime example of the state of justice Turkey is in, however, is the case of sociologist, writer, human rights activist and feminist Pinar Selek. She has been in a Kafkaesk battle with Turkey’s court system for fourteen years now, over involvement …
Esteemed by society
The Prime Minister of a country dealing with huge problems both inside and right on its border, who spends his energy criticizing a TV series. Funny as it seems, the way the ‘problem’ of this highly popular TV series, “Magnificent Century”, is being handled at the moment isn’t very funny at all. Far from it. The …
Catching up – from soap series and ombudsman to Patriots and hunger strike
How to start blogging again after not doing it for some three weeks? That ain’t easy, dear readers. Especially when you blog about Turkey, where so much happens in three weeks. How can I decide what’s the most important thing in this period of time, enough to start up the blogging routine again?
There was the death …
Dutch PM Rutte con-gra-tu-lates Erdogan
The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, was in Turkey last week with a business mission. We, Dutch journalists in Turkey, were invited to have a chat with him, and with the brand new Minister of Foreign Trade (the new government was installed recently, but Rutte lead the previous government as well). Rutte also had a meeting with PM Erdogan, and …
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I am still a journalist
‘It seems to me you are not totally objective’, an editor emails me. I nearly explode. She is right of course – the subject I propose to write about reveals what I find important – but she means it differently. She means I’m not being journalistic. That I’m not looking for balance in the article I want to write. That …