Thursday, July 31, 2008

"All good things are wild and free" -H.D. Thoreau

I'm living in my positivist bubble trying not to think of the repercussions this week. Doing my stats, checking significance levels... and trying reaaaaly hard not to give thought to the process.
As a result I end up working till ten, and since the weather is so great, I either meet friends or go to a movie after work. So here are the last two movies I've seen:
Into the Wild (2007):
A quick summary: A young man leaves his middle class existence in pursuit of freedom from relationships and obligation. Giving up his home, family, all possessions but the few he carried on his back and donating all his savings to charity Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) embarks on a journey throughout America. His eventual aim is to travel into Alaska, into the wild, to spend time with nature, with 'real' existence, away from the trappings of the modern world. (more here!)

What it make me think (other than a renewed adoration of Sean Penn, the director) was moments of bliss in my life. We talked about several of them after the movie and there seems to be three trends:
1. when I feel that I meet a different version of myself: moving, travelling, transforming;
2. facing and embracing nature: I felt I could empathise with the main character. Nature heals, makes, threatens, shows one's limits, and most importantly "all good things are wild and free". Thoreau, Carson, Muir, and Leopold -some of which were mentioned in the movie- knew this. If I need to believe in a deity, it is the nature in its many forms. This doesn't exclude human relations, but sometimes requires some isolation, just so that one figures things out. Too much social interaction, particularly in its institutionalised forms, create mechanisms and networks of obligation, give-and-take, and hence compromise.
3. a caring and encouraging hand: being accepted as I am, including all possibilities of transformation.. being guided sometimes to things I have little knowledge and experience of.. the trust installed in me by the other... moments in which one notices how such care creates miracles (in the movie depicted with the sun shining over two beautiful people, quite similar to my experience) both in and around oneself are blissful. (hence my dislike of full-front challenges)

Alas, the second movie was an older one: Soylent Green, a 1973 dystopian science fiction movie depicting a future in which the greenhouse gas effect results in severe damage to the environment. This leads to widespread unemployment and poverty. Real fruit, vegetables, and meat are rare, commodities are expensive, and much of the population survives on processed food rations, including "soylent green" wafers. Old and not cinematographicly not very impressive, but worth watching for the possibilities it dwells upon.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

an account of July that passed (V)...

more good news: Karadzic detained

an account of July that passed (IV)...

Ljubljana (through two stories)
My account is dull: I loved it. It is where the Mediterranean meets the Alps, where the Aegean mood, food, and weather meets the European. It's the Balkans, I guess.

Why is Dragon the Symbol of Ljubljana

"A long time ago, the Greek hero Jason and his companions from the ship Argo, stole the Golden Fleece from the Colchian king. In an effort to escape its pursuers the ship took a wrong turn and, instead of sailing south on the Aegean Sea, it found its way to the mouth of the Danube river.
As there was no way back for them, they continued on up the Danube, the Sava and eventually the Ljubljanica. At the source of the Ljubljanica they stopped, took the ship apart, put the pieces on their shoulders and thus carried the ship to the Adriatic sea, where they put it back together and continued their way back home.
Between the present-day Vrhnika and Ljubljana the Argonauts found a big lake surrounded by a marsh.
It was here that Jason came across a terrible marsh monster, which he fought and eventually slew. This monster was the Ljubljana dragon, which today has its permanent abode on top of the castle tower in the Ljubljana coat of arms."

The other one is less famous, but its a more recent myth/rumour that one hears in the streets of Ljubljana...

"Once upon a time, there was a country called Y., that was about to fall into pieces. Several of the citizens living in it parts wanted to remain Y.-citizens, as they were afraid of the etnic identities that were being forced upon them, which they didn't identify with. They voted so. But when Y. fell apart, these people found themselves state-less, while they have been living in the same old place, now called the state of S., for years and years. So the new state asked its new citizens when these people who once didn't want to be citizens of S. but remain with Y. should be given immediate citizenship. The S.-citizens must be so angry with this lot that they could not allow this. They voted so. What could the government of S. do then? Were they to give these people another chance by allowing them to apply for citizenship? This would be a long and cumbersome procedure. So, the people of Y., who were now the people of S. but not its citizens,were declared dead. So they roam around the capital of S., as ghosts, and when they dance with the wind, all 18.000 of them, they look like a dragon, timeless and certainly not oblivious to what happened, talking only in ancient languages once every few centuries."

an account of July that passed (III)...

The Concert

Although it happened during Basak's visit, The Concert naturally required a post of its own. The Leonard Cohen Concert at Westerpark was one of the two concerts I decided to see at the beginning of the year (the other being Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and both were perfect concerts in their own way (I felt rather imperfect myself, in the sense that I could not see much, but hey, "I might be short but I'm a genius" reads the last t-shirt/present I received).

How can I write about this? I guess, at the end of the concert I felt blessed, (and everyone too) felt grateful. What more can a life-long adventure with music and poetry could bring someone? ahh.. I am not good with words, so I will leave it to his own...

here is one video for the fans...

an account of July that passed (II)...

basak's visit

It was simply great to have someone from the family visiting. It was awfully exhausting, too... Other than the usual museamania we made two short visits to Rotterdam and Leiden (which is, for some, the most beautiful city in the world) and of course did much more (see the next few posts). But the best bit was having my earliest playmate on the playground again. I had my best time in Amsterdam.

Visiting Yildiz and Sheyla and a dinner with them after over 15 years was hmm... full of surprises, and a lot of fun. I figured the "cold-side" of the family, and learned ways of appreciating Rotterdam.

Under Sander's lovely guidance we managed to cover;
- the hortus (which is, for some, the most beautiful hortus in the world -and cetainly more so than Amsterdam's-click to see my post on hortus A'dam),
- the city,
- and even a part of the National Museum of Antiquities.
Due to pre-mature exposure in early years of life, I am not able to appreciate antiquities or often also other non-art museums, yet. But nonetheless, to see a real Isis-Temple was rather impressive.
So was the Victorian lotus, which would blossom once, white as moonlight, and attract insects, who would then be forced to go on a dive. A day or two later this flower-turned-submarine floats again, this time pink in colour, having devoured its guests onboard.
We ignored the metaphor with Basak, and Sander was sensible enough not to suggest any touristic activity that would include submerging.

Then we had sessions of cooking, walking, drinking beer etc. as tourists do in Amsterdam. So I managed to forget my two bikes that were stolen in one week, and have a bit of fun time in my global village. To be honest, I found Amsterdam a rather beautiful and fun city.

an account of July that passed (I)...

2 July - Finally, we established the Green Party in Turkey with two slogans: Yuzunu Gunese Don (Turn your face to the sun), and Politikaya yesil bir mudahaleye gerek (Politics need a green intervention)
"doğaya uyum, sürdürülebilir yaşam için küresel düzeyde mücadele, erkek egemenliğinin ve şiddetin reddi, doğrudan demokrasi, yerellik, adil paylaşım, özgür yaşam ve çeşitliliğin korunması"
Yesiller Partisinin Tuzugu ve Programini'da bulabilirsiniz.
contact: yesillerinfo @
Many thanks to every one who supported us...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bedenimiz bizimdir!

Radikal, 7/7/08
Galata Köprüsü’nde, tayt ve tişörtüyle balık tutarken vücudunu teşhir ettiği iddiasıyla yargılanan Gülcan Köse’ye (28) geçen hafta mahkemenin “hayasızca hareket” suçundan 5 ay hapis ceza vermesi kadınlar tarafından protesto edildi.
Kadınlar basın açıklamasında, Köse’nin de ceza almasına neden olan TCK’nın kadınlara karşı ayrımcılık yapan 225. maddesi olarak ifade ettikleri ‘Hayasızca Hareketler’ ifadesinin kaldırılmasını istedi.Devletin konuyla ilgili hafifletici yasalarının ‘tahrik edici unsur’ olduğunu öne süren grup, benzer şekilde yılbaşında Taksim’de yaşanan cinsel saldırının suçunun karşılığının ‘57 Lira’ olduğunu hatırlattı.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Colombian Green Politician Ingrid Betancourt is freed!

...after 6 years, 4 months and 9 days!

3 July 2008 AFP/Expatica

BOGOTA - French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and three US nationals were Wednesday rescued along with other hostages from Marxist FARC rebels in a daring jungle operation, Colombian officials said.

Betancourt, who was seized in 2002, and the three Americans held since 2003, were plucked from their captors along with 11 Colombian soldiers in a helicopter-backed military operation, Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos said.

Betancourt, a dual national, became the international face of Colombia's tragic hostage crisis after she was seized in February 2002 during her long-shot bid for the presidency.

Her plight gained new urgency in February when a former hostage warned that Betancourt was very sick and morally spent, prompting tearful appeals for her release from her two children and her mother.

The news of the rescue triggered street celebrations as in Bogota thousands of cars, with their horns blaring, packed the roads in a huge traffic jam.

Hundreds of people flooded onto the streets brandishing the national flag and shouting "Free, free, free".

"We are all free," read a huge sign posted on a building in Cali, 500 kilometres southeast of Bogota, while there were similar scenes in the northwestern city of Medellin.

Betancourt was the most well-known of about 700 people believed to have been taken captive by the FARC, a four-decade-old insurgency which figures on US and European Union lists of terrorist organisations.

Hopes for her imminent release were raised and then dashed when her former campaign manager Clara Rojas was freed by the rebels in January in a deal brokered with the help of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The three US civilians were working in Colombia as contractors for the US Defence Department and were on an anti-drug trafficking mission when their plane crashed in the jungle in the Caqueta region, a large area of coca production under rebel control.

In November, the last proof of life for the three men showed them to be in relatively good health and faring better than Betancourt.

A reward of USD 340,000 and a US visa had been offered for any information leading to their release. Washington then even pledged USD 5 million to anyone helping arrest those holding them. But in vain.

Since then Washington had kept a low-profile in the case, and there had been no international campaign to free the three, as France had organised for Betancourt.