Although I had heard the term ‘podcasting’ many times previously, the concept did not sink in until I read a story on the BBC website: ‘Podcasters’ look to net money. The article is fairly comprehensive, very interesting and raises a number of points to ponder, such as:

It [Podcasting] is totally going to kill the business model of radio

Podcasting is something I may look to do in the future to complement this blog.

The Petrol Price Keeps Rising

Petrol is almost 2.50 YTL (US$1.85) and diesel, almost 2.00 YTL (US$1.48) per litre. This is extremely expensive but I doubt the price will be going down at any stage soon.

One good thing, though, is the petrol stations don’t have to keep adding zeros to keep up with the old lira.

Huseyin Abi Is Not Well

Today I walked to Mersin’s public hospital (Devlet Hastanesi) to see Huseyin abi and give him a bunch of flowers. Huseyin abi hurt his back in a fall in Adana. He has been in hospital for 2 weeks and does not know when he will be out.

Huseyin abi is staying in one of 6 beds in his room in the brain surgery section of the hospital. Apparently, the back patients stay in this section. When I received his SMS, I thought he was having brain surgery! His hospital room is okay but the toilets are disgusting for a place that should be hygienic and clean.

I hope Huseying abi gets better soon for his and his family’s sake.

Only In Turkey…

Where can you find large pictures of skimpy ladies next to a mosque entrance?

Camlibel (my suburb), Mersin, Turkey.

The “Park Camii” sign points to the entrance of the “Park Mosque” where the man is standing. The skimpy ladies are actually advertising shoes from the Turkish “Shoe & Me” shoe store.

The Smoothie To End All Smoothies

From Saturday evening:

2 bananas
1 kiwi
1 carrot
1 orange
250 gm pistachio icecream
fresh mint
juice of half a lemon
2 desert spoons of sweetened, condensed milk
soda water

1) Slice fruit and add all ingredients into a jug.

2) Blend

Note: the drink was delicious although normal water would probably be better than soda water.

Friday Night

Orhan and I had a few beers at the “Blue Sky” pub in “Antik Han” (Ancient Caravanserai) in the centre of Mersin.

For 6 new lira it was 2 Beck’s beers, nuts, carrot sticks and popcorn.

Afterwards we went I our separate ways home.

The port was still operating at 11 pm on a Saturday night.

The new coastal development includes the ubiquitous fountains.

Songs From The 80s

Orhan wanted me to give him a list of songs from the 1980s so he could make a CD. As a 21 year old Turk, he has not received much exposure to foreign (non-Turkish) songs of the eighties.

I started making a list and then could not stop. The list is not strictly from the 80s as there are a few songs from the late 70s and early 90s. For me some of the songs are cringe-worthy; all are memorable.

A-ha: Take On Me
Abdul, Paula: Rush Rush
B-52s: Love Shack
Bad English: When I See You Smile
Bananarama: Venus

Bangles: Walk Like An Egyptian
Basil, Toni: Mickey
Benatar, Pat: Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Big Audio Dynamite II: Rush
Blondie: Call Me

Bowie, David: Let’s Dance
Branigan, Laura: Gloria
Carlisle, Belinda: Heaven Is A Place On Earth
Carnes, Kim: Bette Davis Eyes
Charlene: I’ve Never Been to Me

Concrete Blonde: Joey
Cooper, Alice: Poison
Cross, Christopher: Ride Like The Wind
Crowded House: Don’t Dream It’s Over
Culture Club: Karma Chameleon

Dayne, Taylor: Love Will Lead You Back
De Burgh, Chris: The Lady In Red
Dead or Alive: You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)
Dexys Midnight Runners: Come On Eileen
Devo: Whip It

Dolce, Joe: Shaddap You Face
Duran Duran: Hungry Like The Wolf
Easton, Sheena: Morning Train
EMF: Unbelievable
Europe: The Final Countdown

Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Relax
Gaye, Marvin: Sexual Healing
Hart, Corey: Sunglasses At Night
Hawkins, Sophie B.: As I Lay Me Down
Higgins, Bertie: Key Largo

Hot Chocolate: You Sexy Thing
INXS: New Sensation
J. Geils Band: Centerfold
Juice Newton: Angel Of The Morning
Katrina & The Waves: Walking On Sunshine

Lauper, Cyndi: Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Lewis, Huey and the News: The Power Of Love
Lipps, Inc.: Funkytown
Loggins, Kenny: Footloose
Los Lobos: La Bamba

Madonna: La Isla Bonita
Madness: Our House
Martika: Toy Soldiers
MC Hammer: U Can’t Touch This
McFerrin, Bobby: Don’t Worry Be Happy

Men At Work: Who Can It Be Now
Morrison, Van Brown: Eyed Girl
Moving Pictures: What About Me
Myles, Allanah: Black Velvet
Naked Eyes: Always Something There to Remind Me

Nena: 99 Luftballons
New Order: Blue Monday
Newton-John, Olivia: Physical
Ocean, Billy: Get out of my dreams, get into my car
Opus: Life is Life

Palmer, Robert: Addicted To Love
Parker, Ray Jr.: Ghostbusters
Poison: Nothin’ But A Good Time
Pop, Iggy: Candy
Pretenders: Don’t Get Me Wrong

Proclaimers: I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)
Rabbitt, Eddie: I Love a Rainy Night
Run DMC: Walk This Way
Scorpion: Wind of Change
Simple Minds: Don’t You (Forget About Me)

Split Enz: Six Months in a Leaky Boat
Soft Cell: Tainted Love
Spandeau Ballet: True
Starship: We Built This City
Taco: Puttin’ on the Ritz

Tears For Fears: Shout
The Buggles: Video Killed the Radio Star
The Church: Under the Milky Way
The Cure: A Forest
The Pointer Sisters: I’m So Excited

Toto: Africa
Vanilla Ice: Ice Ice Baby
Vapors: Turning Japanese
Waite, John: Missing You
Warrant: Cherry Pie

Wilde, Kim: Kids In America
Deniece Williams: Let’s Hear It for the Boy
Wilson Phillips: Hold On
XTC: Dear God
Young MC: Bust a Move

All Is Not Well At My Old Primary School And In The Town I Was Born

I was born in the Ceduna District Hospital on the West Coast of South Australia (click for map) and from grades prep to 5&1/2 I went to Ceduna Area School. My Grandparents live in the house I grew up in.

Although, Ceduna is on the coast, the town is isolated. With a population of 4000, it is the largest town for 300 km in any direction. When I was growing up, traffic lights, fast food chains, dual-lane roads, bridges, tunnels, rivers and multi-storey buildings were fantasies, only lived out on the annual or by-annual trip east. To get to Adelaide it is an 800 km drive.

There has always been a large aboriginal population in the Ceduna area. Unfortunately, like in many rural areas of Australia, the aboriginal and non-aboriginal populations have not always seen eye to eye. Recently, the racial problem seems to have reached a crisis point.

Let’s hope positive and long-term strategies can be put in place to minimise the area’s problems and allow people to live in harmony.

Flag Stories, Part 3

Whilst visiting the BBC story on the ‘flag burning issue‘ (recently updated), I stumbled upon a fascinating article concerning the similarity of the Indonesian province of Aceh’s flag with the Turkish equivalent. Here is the Acehnese flag:

If one burnt an Acehnese flag in Turkey I don’t think the Turkish authorities would believe the person was protesting against the Indonesians…

Funny And Annoying Sleep Patterns

Recently (the last 2-3 weeks) I have been sleeping lighter than usual. Before I wake up I have these semi-conscious thoughts. The thoughts are not of any particular nature or subject, just what was on my mind before I went to sleep. Consistent poor sleep has lead to headaches and tiredness during the day.

Coinciding with the light sleeping, I always wake up in the same specific lying position. Previously I used to sleep on my side. Now I wake up lying on my back with my arms above my head. I am almost certain this has something to do with my poor sleep. The new sleeping position also reduces the blood flowing to my arms and when I wake up they take a short time regain all their feelings.

I really don’t know why I am waking up in this new position. Falling asleep is not difficult and psychologically, I’m fine (well, that is what my other personalities tells me :-)).

I have tried sleeping in different positions on the double bed but I always wake up exactly the same. Tonight I am sleeping on the single bed in the lounge room. Hopefully, the different environment will help.

Burning The Turkish Flag

The second Turkish flag post in a row. This one is more serious.

This week, during the beginning of spring (Nevruz) celebrations in Mersin, some Kurdish protestors attempted to burn a Turkish flag.

In Turkey, burning or insulting the Turkish flag in anyway is illegal. The flag is held in very high regard in this strongly patriotic country. Read the army’s response to the attempted flag-burning: Turkish Armed Forces Is Ready To Protect Its Country And Flag.

Although I do not agree with the protestors’ aims, I believe they and everyone else should have the legal right to burn the country’s flag. Burning a flag is not a good thing, but it should not be a criminal offence. This is one aspect of freedom of speech.

Banning flag burning is actually not uncommon. Many, if not most, other countries also share the practise. Even in countries like Australia and the USA, many people want burning the national flag outlawed.

A sign of Turkey truly maturing is when she legalises the burning of her flag.

Any thoughts?

UPDATE [2005/03/23]: This morning at work, Serkan placed a large Turkish flag in the office window. I asked why he was doing it and he said “protesto” (protest). He put the flag up to protest the attempted flag burning on Sunday. I thought it was a joke until I walked to the nearby weekly fruit and vegetable bazaar (“pazar”). On the way there were Turkish flags up on apartments and shops everywhere, all displaying their solidarity in support of the Turkish flag.

Below is a photo of a flag dragging that also occurred on Sunday. I’m not sure if it is directly related to the attempted flag burning.

More news stories related to the flag incident:
Three detained over flag burning
Right-wing groups incensed
Disrespect towards flag condemned
Military issues flag ultimatum

UPDATE 2 [2005/03/24]: Here is a photo I took this morning on the way from home to work. The flags are everywhere.

The flag issue has become large enough for even the BBC to run a news article: Flag-waving frenzy grips Turkey.

Other news stories:
Botched flag burning leads to patriotic backlash in Turkey
IHD calls for moderation in flag reactions
Two children claimed to throw flag to ground deatin (sic)

UPDATE 3 [2005/03/25]: The Turkish flag is constantly displayed on the television by most channels like it usually is on a national holiday.

The Financial Times has a good rundown on the issue and Seyda at Metroblogging Istanbul writes from a different angle.

UPDATE 4 [2005/03/28]:

Lawyers act in Turkish flag row:

Lawyers in Turkey’s third city, Izmir, have filed a complaint against the country’s most senior military officer.

The complaint says comments made by Gen Hilmi Ozkok, after two young Kurdish men tried to burn a Turkish flag, created hatred between citizens.

Enough is Enough:

We should wake up and realize that what we have been experiencing over the past several days was not a demonstration of respect for the Turkish flag. On the contrary, we have been busy establishing even higher walls dividing our people.

Sweet protest:

A pastry shop in Eski┼čehir has joined countrywide protests against a flag desecration incident that occurred during Nevroz celebrations in Mersin last week, preparing two baking tins of baklava depicting the red-and-white Turkish flag.

UPDATE 5 [2008/08/04]:

A witness in the Ergenekon indictment claims the flag burning in Mersin was organised by the Ergenekon gang. If this allegation could be proven it would make things very interesting…

Mersin Graffiti

If you know where to look, Mersin has its fair share of graffiti. The graffiti is usually basic and either personal or political in nature. For some reason, graffitying in English is common.

Following is a Turkish graffiti artist/vandal’s work expressing their love for friends, Gulcin, Fatmagul and Sinem:

Did the graffitist write “you” to provide emphasis or because “I love you” is the most common form of the expression and the only form they knew? I suggest the latter.