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Jan 28

An identity that endangers their life

‘Could it be the work of one individual?’ That is the question that occupied my thoughts in recent days. Four elderly Armenian women have been brutally attacked in Istanbul. And whatever the outcome of the police investigation – if any – there is one thing I am sure of: it is not the work of an individual.

The facts: in early …

Jan 13

Concentration bubble

My thoughts go back these days to a story I wrote in 1996. What it was about isn’t important. The state of mind I was in is. Pure concentration, no distraction, only that one story that I wanted to write as perfectly as possible. I worked for hours in what we would now call ‘flow’, and the result was commensurate. …

Jan 09


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, …

Jan 06

Oh electricity

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 …

Dec 28

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.

Everything …

Dec 25

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 …

Dec 19

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 …

Dec 13

Pinar Selek

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 …

Dec 09

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 …

Dec 04

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 …

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