Showing posts with label Attaturk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Attaturk. Show all posts

Monday, March 12, 2012

Turkey's Deep State

The March 12 New Yorker magazine is getting some buzz for a piece on Turkey's secular "deep state" that author Dexter Filkin calls...
"a presumed clandestine network of military officers and their civilian allies who, for decades, suppressed and sometimes murdered dissidents, Communists, reporters, Islamists, Christian missionaries, and members of minority groups—anyone thought to pose a threat to the secular order, established in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal, or Atatürk. Friends and colleagues say Erdoğan worried that the deep state would never allow him to govern. But, to the surprise of many, he has pulled Turkey closer to the West, opening up the economy and becoming a crucial go-between for the West with Palestine, Iran, and Syria," says Filkins in this week's edition, the one with Mitt Romney in a car on the cover.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Turkey's Hazelnuts

As Turkey examines its membership in the European Union, it promotes examples that it is a religiously tolerant and multi-cultural place. On my Istanbul to New York flight, Turkish Airlines offered a more patriotic perspective. While munching on flag-draped miracle hazelnuts (The Nut is From Turkey! see photo), documentary-style shorts included one on Mustafa Kemal Attaturk's ascent after the battle at Gallipoli, where the French and English failed to capture Constantinople. And a travel promo advertised a tourist town with Syrian churches as proof of tolerance.
Back on the Internet, Today's Zaman, an English-language newspaper, published a feature saying Turkish authorities are taking land from a 1,600-year-old Syriac Christian monastery. Officials redrew boundaries, apparently because local farmers need more grazing land. The piece lacked a financial analysis and greater context: properties lost by minorites in like fashion over the past 80 years.
Patriotism was on full view when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed off at the end of a January Davos conference panel where Israel's President Shimon Peres demanded, "What would you do if someone was lobbing rockets into your country? Pres. Erdogan was later praised by Hamas for saying, "When it comes to killing, you know well how to kill." TheNew York Times and Al Jazeera covered the news; Time magazine later explored ramifications of Erdogan's Davos outburst.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Astrakan Hat

Thank goodness for Paul, a California Greek and friend of friend, who moved to Istanbul and now is married wıth baby and puttıng down roots. He arranged the colorful and small hotel where I will stay when I get back Sunday night. Lanterns and antiques on split levels in lobby, plus a harem-style room with tons of fabrics, ceramics, tassels and lanterns coatıng the walls and ceilıngs like a wholesale showroom, which is more or less what it is, with dust. Owners apparently got rıch sellıng carpets, and one goes daily to the Grand Bazaar; he ordered dinner from the hotel restaurant for bunch of us who filled up the room last nıght. We had rak, musıc and we ate on the floor, while several male assistants tended to musıc, tea, etc. Went back to the Grand Bazaar wıth hım today where he took us to the Turkmenıstani where İ bought my glass beads yesterday. Today I got an Astrakan hat (see photo). Then borek and baklava with cherry juıce forlunch. LOVE the grand bazaar, cotton bath towels, haremlık pompom slippers for the kids, and that hat -- not as bıg as the one favored by Attaturk (who I never knew had blue eyes. Was he really a European?) Got to see the Chora Church today; beautiful mosaics and frescos. Irked me that the Blue Mosque ıs free, but a church 'museum' costs 11 dollars, and you don't even get a pamphlet or a pretty ticket. I never get lost, and this city is confounding. Very hard to navigate given language barriers (got on bus going wrong direction and decided to stay for a 1.5 hour round-trip since not a soul on the bus spoke Englısh and ıt ıs posıtıvely freezıng here. Missed a hamam appointment, but maybe just as well because it is too cold; snow flurries don't stick two mornings in a row. Aghia Sofia tomorrow, maybe odds and ends around bazaar. And then to airport Tel Aviv. One ceramics seller trıed to reassure me, tellıng me Iran won't start WWIII and the İsraelis have lots of fire power. Happy to report that my stress level is fine, and have not resorted to raki, though I loved the t-shırt at rıght at the bazaar. Sorry for keyboard mıstakes here- Turkısh keyboard despıte brıngıng my laptop. Wıreless does not work (got bıg dıscount on room, but have to blog at receptıon desk. Teşekkür ederım -- that would be, 'I thank you.'