31 October 2005
Okay it's a work in progress, but just might prove that religion is a method of natural selection, a form of self-inflicted population control, spread unwittingly by humans on a global scale.
It's okay to believe in G-d or even many G-ds. What's not okay is when believers judge the beliefs of others to be inferior, blasphemous, deficient or wrong. No one can prove that their beliefs are the best, the truest, the most pleasing to G-d, but their actions tell a different story.
We don't blow up our neighbor because they drive a different car or paint their house a different color or listen to different music. These are preferences, not beliefs...
What's a belief really? Does it really differ from a preference? You say you believe in something... What are you really saying? As it relates to religion, MY BELIEF is that belief is a choice. We choose to be hopeful that our parents chose the correct religion. Then we realize that our parents didn't choose anything- we realize that they're hopeful also, that their parents chose wisely. Then we realize that all along, we are victims of circumstance- that we never chose our religion- that it chose us. Most likely, "it" has also taught us to dismiss all other competing religions as incorrect. How conveeeeeeeeeeeeeenient. Religion possesses forces of natural selection, built right into it. Survival of the fittest.
It's no coincidence that at the very end of a reproductive session, some male mammals eject a natural spermicide following the ejection of sperm. This is intended to insure that their effort to propagate is not threatened by others with like interests....
I hope you've found this 'brain-dump' interesting to read. I DO believe in G-d, make no mistake. But all of the other "peripherals" and "add-ons" are respectfully declined. G-d will hopefully judge my tolerance of others favorably enough to drop all of the other charges. Yes, if hell exists, I intend to plea-bargain my way out of it. Some community service is a small price to pay for the luxury of independent thought.
30 Oct 2005 REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Two to three years ago, before our Reis was born, I paid little attention to the death and suffering of children and babies, I felt no compassion for those whose child was injured or killed, I was ignorant and apathetic of the misery of others. Having a child of my own caused an awakening. I am drawn to the stories where people outlive their children. I feed upon the news of the senseless killing and death of little ones. I try to completely absorb the pain that must be felt, the terror. Look into the eyes of Sunita, above. For all of us, it's easy to see how she feels, but for parents it's actually possible to taste it. If you don't taste the emotion in Sunita's face, if you're not imagining with horror what she sees, if you're not feeling a lump in your throat and if you're not holding back tears, then what are you doing? Even a dog could read this woman's expression, even a dog will weep in grief, and even dogs don't do to each other, the horrible things that people do to their own. Having your own child changes you I think. This might seem like an over-simplification, but consider that the overwhelming majority of suicide bombers are child-less young people. It's little wonder that this is so.
30 October 2005
Above, Salih and Nuray. High School sweet hearts.Above, Ebru's brother Umit, his wife of one year Ozge, Ebru, and me.
Found a vodka that uses my name and probably tastes like turpentine. I had three beers last night over a five hour period, yet I've had a headache all day. Drinking just doesn't do it for me I guess.
%40 oranında alkol ihtiva eden Altınbaşak Votka; özenle seçilmiş hububatın çok özel yöntemlerle birkaç defa saflaştırılması, aktif kömürden geçirildikten sonra disitile edilmesi ile elde edilen alkolün, demineralize su ile seyreltilmesi sonucu üretilen yumuşak içimli bir votkadır.Şişe Hacmi: Piyasada 70cl'lik şişelerde bulunmaktadır.Üretildiği Fabrika: Bilecik İçki Fabrikası'nda üretilmektedir.Alkol Derecesi: %40Tüketim Önerisi: İçim sıcaklığı 7-10°C olmalıdır.Çerez, meyve, yeşil zeytin, havuç dilimleri, nar ve domates suyu ile içilmesi tavsiye edilir.Kokteyl olarak ya da buzlukta bekletilerek sek olarak içilebilir.
Turkish army helicopters, carrying special force soldiers, fly during a parade marking the 82nd anniversary of Republic Day in Ankara October 29, 2005
Above, birthday girl Laima and her fiance Kaan
29 October 2005
The fundamentals of the Turkish Flag were laid down by Turkish Flag Law No. 2994 of May 29, 1936. Turkish Flag Regulation No. 2/7175 dated July 28, 1937, and Supplementary Regulation No. 11604/2 dated July 29, 1939, were enacted to describe how the flag law would be implemented. The Turkish Flag Law No. 2893 dated September 22, 1983, and Published in the Official Gazette on September 24, 1983, was promulgated six months after its publication. According to Article 9 of Law No. 2893, a statute including the fundamentals of the implementation was also published.
The measurements of the Turkish Flag are given below :
G = Width
A = Distance between the centre of the outer crescent and the seam of the white band
B = Diameter of the outer circle of the crescent
C = Distance between the centres of the inner and outer circles of the crescent
D = Diameter of the inner circle of the crescent
E = Distance between the inner circle of the crescent and the circle around the star
F = Diameter of the circle around the star
L = Length
1 ½ G
M = Width of the seam band
National AnthemLyrics by : M.Akif ErsoyMusic composed by : Zeki Üngör
The "İstiklal Marşı" (The Independence March) was officially adopted as Turkey's National Anthem on March 12, 1921. 724 poems were submitted to a competition organized to find and select the most suitable original composition for this March, and a poem written by the poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy was adopted unanimously by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Twenty-four composers participated in another competition arranged for the selection of a musical composition for the National Anthem. The Council, which was only able to convene in 1924, due to the War of Independence adopted the music composed by Ali Rifat Çağatay. The words of the National Anthem were sung to this music for eight years. Thereafter, the nusic of the National Anthem was changed to an arrangement written by Zeki Üngör, conductor of the Presidental Symphonic Orchestra, and the words of the National Anthem have been sung to this musical accompainment ever since.
Ataturk and the Modernization of Turkey
Ataturk is the national hero of Turkey. He founded the modern Turkish Republic out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire; an empire that was seen as the sick man of Europe at the turn of the century. His modern perspective created a new nation and a country, and a secular state understanding different from most other Islamic countries was introduced by him. Once you step in Turkey, you will see his statues and the busts all over. One of the best books written about Ataturk from a foreigner's point of view is the book titled " The Rebirth of a Nation" by Lord Kinross.
He was born in the year 1881 in Thessaloniki, at that time, within the Ottoman Empire's borders at that time, in Greece at present . His full name was Mustafa Kemal and the Ataturk surname, meaning the father of Turks, was given to him by the Turkish people (1934 November 24th.) in accordance with the reforms he introduced to create a modern Turkish country.
His background was military, and he served in various posts in the Ottoman army. During the First World War , he was the colonel in charge of Infantry at Gallipoli in 1915 and it was his genious defense tactics that prevented the allied forces ( British, French, Anzacs - Australians and New Zealenders and Senegalese) from capturing the Dardanelles and eventually Bosphorus.
His success and fast growing reputation disturbed the capital and to keep him under control he was promoted to Pasha ( General ). When the War ended the armies of the allied forces occupied nearly all corners of the country including Istanbul. Sultan and many of the people saw a hopeful future in the acceptance of either the British or American mandate. Ataturk, however, had a very different vision. He left Istanbul in a small boat, namely Bandirma ( a nice model of the boat may be seen at the Ataturk Museum in Ataturk's Mausoleum, Ankara), going ashore at Samsun, a coastal town in the Black Sea, on the 19th. of May 1919 ( a date later to be presented by Ataturk to the Turkish Youth as the Turkish Youth Day), the day the War of Independence began. He wanted Independence.
First with skirmishes , in time with proper army troops, Ataturk and his army friends' armies started fighting the enemy. Ankara was chosen to be Ataturk's headquarter for its central location and the seeds of a new country were planted there. He and his friends wanted to replace the Monarchy with a Republic. The War of Independence took some three years and by the end of the year 1922, all of the invaders had left the country. The Ottoman Sultan fled in a British boat. The birth of a new nation had begun.
The Sultanete was abolished in 1922, November 1st..
The Caliphship was abolished in 1924, March 3rd.
The hat as opposed to fez was introduced. (1925)
The activities of religious sects were banned by law. (1925)
Western calender was introduced. (1925)
International numeric system was introduced. (1928)
The Metric system was introduced. (1931)
The nicknames and personal titles were abolished. (1934)
Religious attire was prohibited in public. (1934) According to this law, religious personalities, irrespective of the religious groups they belong were not to wear religious attire in public but only in their sanctuaries.
The surname law. (1934)
The modern secular system of jurisprudence is instead of religious law is integrated. (1926)
The liberation of the women of Turkey by giving them political and social rights:
a) Rights brought with medeni kanun ( 1926)
b) Rights for women to be elected for the parliment
Educational and Cultural Reformations
Unity in Education (1924 )
Introduction and the acceptance of the Roman alphabeth. (1928 )
The foundation of Turkish History Institution
The foundation of Turkish Language Institution
The Principles of Ataturk ( Kemalism)
The doctrines of Ataturk or Kemalism is a system of thought based on the facts of Turkey. It is shaped with the will of the Turkish nation through a long historical background. Above all, Kemalism is the introduction and the rendering of the rights to the nation. It is the expression of the national sovereignity.It is an attempt to reach the level of the modern civilizations, it is westernization, modernization. It requires to experience a modern social life, to establish a secular state, and to govern with a positive science mentality. The principles of Kemalism can be viewed in two groups: "The Basic Principles" and "The Complementary Principles".
The definition of the principles as Ataturk has expressed them:
The Basic Principles
The Complementary Principles
National Unitiy and Togetherness
Peace at home
Scientificism and Rationalism
Ataturk's Address to the Turkish Youth
Turkish youth!Your first duty is to project and preserve the Turkish independence and the Turkish Republic forever . This is the very foundation of your existence and your future. This foundation is your most precious treasure. In the future, too, there may be malovelent people at home and abroad, who wish to deprive you of this treasure. If some day you are compelled to defend your independence and your republic, you must not tarry to weigh the possibilities and circumstances of the situation before taking up your duty. These possibilities and circumstances may turn out to be extremely unfavorable. The enemies conspiring against your independence and your Republic may have behind them a victory unprecedented in the annals of the world. By violence and ruse, all the fortresses of your beloved fatherland may be captured, all its shipyards occupied, all its armies dispersed and every part of the country invaved. And sadder and graver than all these circumstances, those who hold power within the country may be in error, misguided and may even be traitors. Furthermore, they may identify their personal interests with the political designs of the invaders. The country may be impoverished, ruined and exhausted.
You, the youth of Turkey's future, even in such circumstances, it is your duty to save the Turkish independence and Republic. The strength you need is in your noble blood within your veins
Turkish War of Independence
During the summer and fall of 1919, with authorization from the Supreme Allied War Council, the Greeks occupied Adrianople (Edirne), Bursa, and Smyrna (Izmir), where a landing was effected under cover of an Allied flotilla that included United States warships. No Turkish opposition was offered, and the Greeks had soon moved as far as Usak, 175 kilometers inland from Izmir.
Military action between Turks and Greeks in Anatolia in 1920 was inconclusive, but the nationalist cause was strengthened the next year by a series of brilliant victories. Twice (in January and again in April) Ismet Pasha defeated the Greek army at Inönü, blocking its advance into the interior of Anatolia. In July, in the face of a third offensive, the Turkish forces fell back in good order to the Sakarya Nehri, eighty kilometers from Ankara, where Atatürk took personal command and decisively defeated the Greeks in a twenty day battle.
An improvement in Turkey's diplomatic situation accompanied military success. Impressed by the viability of the nationalist forces, both France and Italy had withdrawn from Anatolia by October 1921. Treaties were signed that year with the Soviet Union, the first European power to recognize the nationalists, establishing the boundary between the two countries. In 1919 a war broke out between the Turkish nationalists and the newly proclaimed Armenian republic. Armenian resistance was broken by the summer of 1921, and the Kars region was occupied by the Turks. In 1922 the nationalists recognized the Soviet absorption of what remained of the Armenian state, and Armenian minority in Turkey went back to Armenia.
The final drive against the Greeks began in August 1922 with a battle called as the Battle of the Commander in Chief. In September the Turks moved into Izmir, where thousands were killed during the fighting and capture of the city. Greek soldiers who had crowded in Izmir, were taken away by Allied ships, but unfortunately they burned the city before they pulled out in order to leave nothing to the Turks; this was the most tragic event of the war.
The nationalist army then concentrated on driving remaining Greek forces out of eastern Thrace, but the new campaign threatened to put the Turks in direct confrontation with Allied contingents defending access to the straits (Bosphorus and Dardanelles) and in Constantinople (Istanbul), where they protected the Ottoman government. French forces pulled out from their positions on the straits, but the British seemed prepared to hold their ground against the advancing Turkish nationalists. A crisis was averted when Atatürk accepted a British - proposed truce that brought an end to fighting in the region between the Turks and the Greeks and also signaled that the Allies were unwilling to intervene on the side of Greece. In compliance with the Armistice of Mudanya (near Bursa), concluded in October, Greek troops withdrew beyond the Maritsa River, allowing the Turkish nationalists to occupy territory up to that line. The armistice accepted a continued Allied presence on the straits and in Istanbul until a comprehensive settlement could be reached.
At the end of October 1922, the Allies invited both the Ankara and the Istanbul governments to a conference at Lausanne, but Atatürk was determined that the nationalist government should be the only spokesman for Turkey. The action of the Allies prompted a resolution by the Grand National Assembly in November 1922 that separated the offices of sultan and caliph and abolished the former. The assembly further stated that the Istanbul government had ceased to be the government of Turkey when the Allies seized the capital. In essence, the assembly had abolished the Ottoman Empire. Mehmed VI went into exile on Malta, and his cousin, Abdülmecid, was named caliph.
Turkey was the only power defeated in World War I to negotiate with the Allies as an equal and to influence the provisions of the peace treaty. Ismet Pasha was the chief Turkish negotiator at the Lausanne Conference that opened in November 1922. The National Pact of 1919 was the basis of the Turkish negotiating position, and its provisions were recognized in the treaty concluded by Turkey in July 1923 with the Allied powers. The United States participated in the conference but, because it had never been at war with Turkey, did not sign the treaty.
The Treaty of Lausanne recognized the present-day territory of Turkey with two exceptions: the Mussul area and Hatay Province, which included the port of Alexandretta (present-day Iskenderun). The boundary with Iraq was settled by a League of Nations initiative in 1926, and Iskenderun was ceded to Turkey in 1939 by France in its capacity as League of Nations mandatory power for Syria. Detailed provisions of the treaty regulated use of the straits. General supervisory powers were given to the Straits Commission under the League of Nations, and the straits area was to be demilitarized after completion of the Allied withdrawal. Turkey was to hold the presidency of the commission, which included the Soviet Union among its members.
The capitulations and foreign administration of the Ottoman public debt, which infringed on the sovereignty of Turkey, were abolished. Turkey, however, assumed 40 percent of the Ottoman debt, the remainder being apportioned among other former Ottoman territories. Turkey was also required to maintain low tariffs on imports from signatory powers until 1929. The Treaty of Lausanne reaffirmed the equality of Muslim and non-Muslim Turkish nationals. Turkey and Greece agreed to a mandatory exchange of their respective Greek and Turkish minorities with the exception of some Greeks in Istanbul and Turks in western Thrace.
On October 29, 1923, the Grand National Assembly proclaimed the Republic of Turkey. Atatürk was named as its president, Ankara as its capital, and the modern state of Turkey was born.
27 October 2005
These cabinets were installed in an elementary school- student lockers. This pattern occurred in a few places- the same veneer flitch was used and sequenced in the plywood material that was used. The eyes are formed from putty applied at the factory to fill the un-sound knots. As it turned out, these cabinets were rejected due to the poor veneer quality (no surprise), and they were re-built completely (we're talking a tractor trailer load here). The above cabinet is probably one with the earth in a landfill somewhere, it's screams muffled.
This one was a horror show:
Clink the title link to see a list of projects designed by Jeter Cook & Jepson, my favorite architect to work with in Connecticut. Of the projects listed, (all of which have won multiple design awards) I performed work in 5 of them- one of which is ongoing. Presently I have projects in CT, MA, and RI. The one in RI is the toughest- Brown University Life Science Building.
My career first started out in the factory, building items like those you see pictured using my hands. Nowadays, I manage the engineering, the fabrication, the delivery and the installation of projects such as these. At present eight such projects totaling about $6.5 million. The top picture is one classroom out of 24 new science labs at Glastonbury High School. The bottom photo is a view of one lab out of 16 lab renovations at Hartford Public High School. Obviously neither of them are completed yet.
25 October 2005
I am addicted to the news. When there's a slow news day and just nothing compelling enough to hold my interest online, I often sometimes resort to reading the private entries of people on this site. It was introduced to me by a friend. All of the seven deadly sins are represented. You can confess, or simply read the confessions of others. If you are feeling ashamed of anything you did recently, check it out and you'll feel better. The misery of others is sometimes the best medicine.
23 October 2005
When I was born, my parents had friends in New York who also had a small baby- their first born- Fisun Cokyuksel. She's 6-9 months older than me. When we were still toddlers, the parents took pictures of us together, playing or fighting over a toy or whatever. Fisun and I grew up together, in a sense. Our parents liked to get together and party (drink) pretty frequently so I got to hang out with Fisun very regularly throughout my childhood. We went to religion class together at Fatih Camii in Brooklyn, and later in College Point. We would go to the beach all together out on Long Island. We would go to a pool club out in Mineola LI together. All through my childhood and into my teenage years, Fisun and I hung out, with her younger sister and my younger sister also becoming good friends. Inevitably, our family moved to upstate New York and I only saw Fisun a couple of more times since that event back in 1986. I believe she's a dentist or orthodontist, and I have no idea where she is or how to reach her. Regrettably, I'm not terribly interested in finding her- I had found her number 8-10 years ago and left a couple of messages and never heard back. It's easy to hold a grudge when you feel rejected I guess. Our parents are completely out of touch as well. At any rate, these are some of the things which passed through my mind as I watched Dilara and our son Reis play together at our home. The parents are our close friends Sibel and Tamer, who we first met in 1999. They came over today and it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Pity they live an hour away or we'd see eachother more than once every 2-3 months. Oh well... "Absence makes the heart grow fonder", as they say. Fisun, wherever you are, if this somehow finds you, sorry for all the fat jokes. They were totally meant only to get your attention. My best to your family- Fikret, Ayse and Aysun.
Today I installed a new sink cabinet, countertop, sink and faucet, as you see pictured. Sounds simple at first until you consider:
- All services are shut off an all supply/waste lines disconnected.
- Old cast iron sink is cut free from the silicon bead and carried outside (weighs about 90#)
- Old counter is detached and removed.
- Old cabinet is detached and removed.
- New cabinet requires a toekick assembly to be built and attached to cabinet.
- Cut-outs are made in the cabinet for supply and waste lines
- Cabinet is set in place, leveled, shimmed, fastened in four locations.
- Reveal filler is applied on the right side of the cabinet.
- Power for the duplex is punched into the wall and pulled out below, into sink cabinet junction box
- The corner wall required tile-board paneling to be cut and nailed in place.
- Butcher block countertop is cut to size, and scribed to fit the walls.
- Sink cut-out is made in countertop.
- Faucet is carefully mounted onto the stainless steel sink.
- False drawer front panels are applied and adjusted.
- Now I go to Home Depot for an hour to get supply hoses, strainer, tailpice etc.
- Top is then fastened in place and a coat of tung oil is applied everywhere, after it's sanded.
- The SINK is installed using the piece of shit clips supplied with it. Sink is 18 gauge- and warped. This takes over an hour to fasten down, and requires a lot of patience to prevent me from winging it outside through the window in a rage.
- Okay, calm down. The strainer is fastened to the sink with plumbers putty.
- The old waste line is cut for re-sizing with a new PVC pipe. All parts are cut and dry-fit
- Waste line pipes are all primed and cemented together. Everything is tightened up.
- Dishwasher requires a full height panel on it's right hand side. This is cut and scribed to fit, and fastened in place carefully, leaving a 24-1/8" wide opening.
- Dishwasher is shoved in place, leveled and attached to the countertop with screws.
- D/W waste hose is attached to the tailpiece under the sink.
- D/W supply hose is connected.
- Faucet supply line hoses are connected.
- Supply lines are turned on and checked for leaks. Faucet nozzle and soap dispenser are attached.
Yeah that took 15 hours- from 10:00 AM until 2:00 AM with a one hour break. This little set-up seems to be the easiest but in fact it's the hardest part. It's still not done! I need to install the cabinet doors (which are damaged and need to be exchanged at IKEA). The duplex power box needs to be installed and wired to the junction box under the sink. The D/W power needs to be connected to the same junction box. The panel on the right of the D/W needs a filler piece to close it off. The sink cabinet has an end panel that needs to be fastened on it's left. The toekick needs to be primed and painted. The handles need to be installed on the doors (when we get them exchanged). The false back panel needs to be installed to hide the mess of hoses and wires you see pictured. The tile board and sink and top needs to be siliconed at all adjacent edges. The top needs another coat of tung oil. Only another 6 or so hours before this little set-up is complete!
Then we can look forward to painting the walls, ceiling and trim. It's easy to see why it took three years for me to gather enough courage for this kitchen project. Damn fortune cookie said: "BEGIN. THE REST IS EASY." Yeah right. Would you believe I got the same fortune a week later? I saved em both and taped them to the wall at work. It's raining cats an dogs outside. What a total buzz-kill.
21 October 2005
18 October 2005
It was an impulse for me to submit a photo. I remembered riding my bike up the winding switchbacks of the road leading to the top of Uludag in Bursa this past May. I took my digital camera in case I saw something I wanted to capture. On the way up I got bored and took a few shots of myself, while riding. One of them came out pretty clearly and I liked it. It didn't win the photo contest (held every week) but apparently it caught enough interest to be in the Gallery. Pretty cool if you ask me... Yeah I'm proud of myself. Never hesitate to carry a digital camera around- it's worth the trouble sometimes.
16 October 2005
Arkadaslar ben hep Ingilizce yazarim genelde cunku... Turkce zor geliyor cunku... Turkce benim 2. dilim. Her neyse buranin ziyareticilerin cogu Turk. Bu yuzden ara sira daha cok Turkce mesaj atmaya calisacagim... Bakin evimizin mutfagin oceki hali ve simdiki hali. Evi satmaya calisiyoruz son iki aydir ve her elimize geleni yapiyoruz. Gordugunuz mutfak degisiklikler dahil. 4000$ para harcandi son 2 haftadir ve tum iscilik bizden. Dolaplar mesur IKEA magazadan- birlestirme ve montelerin hepsini kendimiz yaptik. Nasil olmus? Daha bitmedi tabiki ama yinede super bir mutfak olmus bence. Musluk dolap ve tezgasi degisince, duvarlar ve diger defolar boyaninca cok guzel ve kullanisli olacak. Bugun tavandaki lambalari taktim. Dun odanin ortadaki duvar ve tezgayi cakip monte ettim. Tezgahlari kesip monte ettim. Firini yerlestirdim. Uff cok yorulduk. Ev bir an once satilsa, cok rahatlicaz. Istedigimiz ev bizimkinin yarisi kadar- sadece 180 metre. Ama fiyati hemen hemen ayni. Aradaki fark budur: Bizim ev 1860 yillarda yapilmis, yeni alinacak ev 2002 de yapilmis. Yani biri 19. yuzyil, digeri 21. yuzyil'da yapilmis. Ne cilginlik dimi? Not- eski foto'da buz dolap gecici sure firinin onune konuldu diger duvarlarin dolaplari takilirken.