30 April 2007

Abdullah Gul for President? Will the Army intervene?

Photo
The hand of a protester casts a shadow on a Turkish flag during a rally to oppose the ruling AK Party's presidential candidate in Istanbul April 29, 2007. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul refused on Sunday to withdraw from Turkey's presidential vote, ignoring pressure from the army and calls from tens of thousands of demonstrators worried about his Islamist past. (TURKEY)  
REUTERS/Osman Orsal

25 April 2007

Recent Comments widget not working

Grrrrr. WTF.

Picture from Turkish memorial at Gallipoli

Photo
The flags of Australia (L) and New Zealand flutter as Turkish soldiers stand during ceremonies marking the 92nd anniversary of the World War I campaign of Gallipoli held at the Turkish memorial at Gallipoli, April 24, 2007. (TURKEY)  
REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Sometimes...

...I get the urge to completely eliminate this blog, delete it forever. Blogicide. This isn't one of those times, but I sure wish I had more to share with you. I don't.. not after I just sat here and paid all my bills.. Grrrrr. Needle is on empty at the moment. Got my ass handed to me in Sunday's race. Something was wrong.. Unprepared? Over trained? Under rested? Burn-out?

21 April 2007

GVCC Spring Classic: A Prelude

Today's weather was awesome.. enough so that I took a 2-1/2 hour recovery ride in anticipation of tomorrow's death march of 66 miles in the 1-2-3 event. A good friend since 20 years ago, Todd Scheske, is the organiser (and president of the Genesee Valley Cycling Club). Today I rang his wireless kind of frantically to tell him I was on my way to Rochester, but that I couldn't find my license. No worries, he says. We made the trip in 6-1/2 hours, including one 1/2 hour pit stop. Upon arrival at my mom's, I suited up and hit the road with my younger brother Ali. He accompanied me for the first 90 minutes, then I continued on my own after that. The straight flat wide shouldered roads of northeast Monroe County are nice, especially when you want to take it easy. HR got up over 125 only once or twice, otherwise I was just doing 90-110 bpm, what a recovery ride should be.. So now I'm alone while wife, son, mother and brother are all out with friends. Sipping an Amstel Light, which I know I won't finish.. Legs freshly shorn.. I was like, wow, it's been a while hasn't it? Actually I'm on the once a week program.. Little secret: use good quality hair conditioner instead of shaving cream. So much better for the skin, no cuts or nicks, ever.. Anyways, I notice some veins have finally reached the surface! Some of the veins had veins of their own popping out.. Kidding. It's just encouraging to see that the layer of fat on my legs has gotten thinner, that's all. What will tomorrow bring? It's a rolling 11 mile loop with 1000 feet of climbing per lap, and we're doing it six times. I'm excited to be racing back in my home town.. together with some old friends here in Western NY. To be honest, a lot of the people I used to run with aren't in the sport anymore. Too bad... but many others still are.. My goal is to finish tomorrow without popping. Get to the end of the sixth lap without any stupid strength wasting maneuvers. I tend to get ahead of myself on the short climbs, pushing 100% to the top and then expecting to recover on the other side. I need to use my energy in carefully metered doses if I am to last 66 miles without cramping up. It will be a disappointment if I get shelled.. but let's not confuse humility with a lack of self-respect... I intend to have a great time and come away with a great day of training among friends, if nothing else.

20 April 2007

Inspired by the murders in Turkey? or just a random hate crime?

Photo
A visitor looks at Muslim graves desecrated with Nazi swastikas in Notre Dame de Lorette cemetery in Souchez, northern France, April 19, 2007. About 50 graves have been discovered this morning in the Muslim section of a France's World War One military cemetery. (FRANCE)  
REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Turkish weightlifters take podium in Strassbourg

Turkish weightlifters take podium
"...Meanwhile, Sibel ªimºek won the bronze medal in snatch, and silver medals in clean and jerk and the combined category for women's 63 kg class. ªimºek lifted 98 kg in snatch on her second attempt to put her in third for her weight group. She also lifted 122 kg in the clean and jerk category to claim the silver medal. With a total of 215 kg, Sibel ªimºek finished second, where Armenian Meline Daluzyan won the gold medal lifting 243 kg in total. Daluzyan broke the European record for juniors in snatch and the World record in clean and jerk with her performance on the second day of the tournament...." TDN Report

Mother forced toddlers to fight

News like this makes one stop and say WHAT THE FUCK!? I remember my first fist fight in grade school. The rush of adrenaline and emotion was so overwhelmingly foreign to me and my opponent that we both started crying uncontrollably in heaving sobs afterwards.. Okay, that's at the age of 10.. These are toddlers.. siblings.. babies.. I think I know what they felt, and hopefully they never remember it. It's terror. It's a total let-down by the enormous world around you. It's the realization that other people WANT you to get hurt, or to hurt you themselves. Heart breaking for any toddler or child to discover.. Story

Christian Turks fear more attacks

"There were so many stab wounds that we couldn't count them," Hurriyet quoted Dr. Murat Ugras as saying. "It was clearly torture."

19 April 2007

European Weightlifting Championships Strasbourg 2007

Photo
Armenia's Avdalya misses a lift in the women's 69kg weightlifting class at the European Weightlifting Championships in Strasbourg April 19, 2007.  
REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
If anyone has found a link to some pictures or results of Turkish competitors, please advise!

Armenian Revolt Video available on YouTube and for purchase

You can watch the whole film in 6 episodes starting with the one below:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZTEaJVDMoIo
You can also order a DVD for $11 shipping included:
http://www.atahouston.org/Default.aspx?tabid=147

This reached me through a message from the San Diego Turks Yahoo group. -AT

18 April 2007

Turkish bible firm attack kills 3

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) -- Attackers on Wednesday slit the throats of three people in a Turkish publishing house which printed bibles, security officials said, the latest attack on minorities in mainly Muslim Turkey.

Scary photo

Photo
A school boy walks among gendarmes standing guard during a funeral of a rebel belonging to the separatist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in Istanbul April 17, 2007. The rebel was amongst four Kurdish rebels killed by Turkish security forces during recent clashes which broke out near the eastern Turkish city of Bingol. (TURKEY)  
REUTERS/Stringer

My ignorance knows no bounds

Well no, not really. Just a startling and unhappy realization. For many years, I've been telling my wife that the bicycle racing community is a first class group, without exception. I've been telling her that all of us are mature, intelligent, dedicated, strong, disciplined... all of the good things that one would willingly expose his family to.. I've been telling her never to worry about who we encounter at Wells or Lincoln or Ninigret, that she can follow our 3 year old son Reis as he wanders person to person and says "Hi" to total strangers, without worry or fear, because they're all great people. I've been telling her never to lock the door when we're at a race, in case I need to grab something last minute before start, because bike racers do not steal. I've been telling her that "these are the people I want to associate with, there are none better".. I've been proven wrong. What lies I've been telling.. what many words I must now eat.. Regrettably, my dear wife reads this blog, and it's comments.. Do the math. I'm thankful my son can't read yet because if he could read, he'd be afraid to come to another bike race with his dad. So to all of the basement people out there, whoever you are, and whatever your results list or ranking looks like.. my startling realization is that it's time for me to stop pre-judging all bike racers, even the very "best" ones, as though they are all saints, completely free of bad habits or language or thinking.. How pathetically naive of me. More than anything else which has transpired in the past few days, this realization bothers me the most.. Our so-called tight knit New England "family" seems to have some serious identity problems.. kind of like Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, something I spoke about as an invited guest on NPR's OpenSource last fall. Everything's fine and dandy until you are openly critical, until you expose weakness, until you denigrate the status quo. Such fascism is something which the Turkish Republic is strongly criticised for. If you know a little something about Orhan Pamuk's recent fame and fortune, you will know what I mean. If you decide that you disagree so stongly that it's necessary for you to begin throwing your own feces around like a red assed chimpanzee, go for it. You will only be perpetuating the ideas which I've set forth. Better to prove me wrong so that we can share some relief.
 
I've recently had my name dragged through the mud, and my reputation knocked around like a red headed step child. Link. This is in spite of my best efforts to become a unifying factor by recording and sharing race video footage which people would otherwise have no chance of ever seeing..The above was originally posted at Bisikletci. I must say, that in two years of blogging here at Amerikan Turk, even with all of the hot-button issues and controversy and differences of opinion, the commenters who contribute here have NEVER been vile and disgusting as in the situation over at my other blog.

15 April 2007

Rick Newhouse Criterium 1-2-3 Race VIDEO

Here it is... Please give it a view.. and if you see someone you know in there, let them know about it, send them a link. If you LIKE what you see, please be a sport and click on one of the advertisers, either here or at www.unionvelo.blogspot.com. No need to buy anything! Just click and you'll be helping support the recording of future race videos. For my race report of went down during [and in between] the 35+ and the 1-2-3 race, try this when you're done watching the vid: Murat's Rick Newhouse Criterium race report Many thanks.

14 April 2007

Rick Newhouse Criterium Race Video: Coming Up

Happy to report that the camera worked fine today.. The position of the camera wasn't bad either, except next time I will aim it a few degrees lower. Many of the racers noticed the cam, many others were completely oblivious. We have about 25 minutes of footage which I will spice up with some editing. Check back tomorrow AM!
In the meantime, have you seen the Wells Ave video recorded two weeks ago? This footage is forward facing. Feedback on which is better: forward or reverse, will be greatly appreciated. Here's Wells Ave A race from April 1st 2007

12 April 2007

Plain White T's: Hey There Delilah

This song makes me want to stop everything I'm doing and just listen. Pause and let it load fully before playing. Extremely high traffic link..

Tom Boonen: Most every bike racer's role model..

Just look at this guy.. Those rainbows on his arms are World Champion stripes.. Most bike racers would give up their first born to have 1/2 of his speed.. or even just look as strong. 

Turkey may extend military operations into northern Iraq

story.turkey.afp.gi.jpg
Buyukanit called for Turkey to extend its military operations into northern Iraq.
ANKARA, Turkey (CNN) -- Turkish armed forces have begun a spring offensive against rebels with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) ahead of an expected surge in militant activity, the head of Turkey's military said Thursday.
In a rare news conference, Gen. Yasar Buyukanit said operations were already under way at several locations in the country and that in April alone at least 10 Turkish soldiers had been killed in the fighting. Full story on CNN

11 April 2007

Murat is RANKED (United States Cycling Federation rankings)

Your USCF Criterium Master Standings
1 Rank in your zip code (02893)
9 Rank in your state (RI)
16
Rank in your riding age (36)
89 Rank in 5 year age range (35-39)
103 Rank in 10 year age range (30-39)
386
Overall Rank (out of 3,345 competitors who are 30+)

Mehmet Gokcin Gul Hijacks Pegasus Airlines jet from Diyarbakir

Photo
Mehmet Gokcin Gul (R), hijacker of a Pegasus Airlines aircraft during its flight from Diyarbakir, smiles as he is escorted by plainclothesmen for medical check-up in a hospital in Ankara, April 10, 2007. The Turkish man hijacked a commercial passenger plane on Tuesday flying from the mainly Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir but then gave himself up to the authorities, an Ankara airport official said. (TURKEY)  
REUTERS/Stringer

10 April 2007

American Flag Burners Arrested

"..Two of the students, Nikolaos Angelopoulos and Farhad Anklesaria, are 19. According to the authorities, Mr. Angelopoulos is a citizen of Greece, and Mr. Anklesaria is British. The third student, Hyder Akbar, 23, was raised in Afghanistan but is a United States citizen..."
When did flag burning become a crime in this country?! Were they arrested because the flag which burned did not belong to them? or because they caused a hazardous condition? or because of their ethnicity, nationality or religion? Inquiring minds want to know. -AT
Prank or Statement? Deal or No Deal? With Us or Against Us?

Michael Totten's Middle East Journal: An Army, not a Militia

FULL ARTICLE about the Kurdish Pesmerga in "Iraqi Kurdistan".. -AT
Excerpts:
"...The third army is the Kurdish Peshmerga, the liberators and protectors of the only part of Iraq – the three northern governates – that may be salvaged from insurgency, terrorism, ethnic cleansing, and war. Do not confuse the Peshmerga with the ragtag ethnic and sectarian militias running rampant in Iraq’s center and south. The Kurdish armed forces are a real professional army and are recognized as such in Iraq’s constitution and by the so-called central government in Baghdad..."
"...It’s hard to say, then, how well the Peshmerga would stack up against other professional militaries in the region, like those of the Turks or Israelis for instance. The Kurds will likely never fight the Israelis: they not-so-secretly view the Jewish state as a quiet ally against Arab Nationalism and jihadi terrorism. The Turks, though, are another story. The Peshmerga’s next war may be fought against a regional superpower with a large professional mechanized army that won’t be so easy to knock down or push out. That is what they are preparing for now: not to launch an invasion of Turkey, but to defend their homeland in case the generals in Ankara decide to invade Kurdish Iraq to secure the Kurdistan region in their own country which is still wracked with violence from the (Turkish, not Iraqi) Marxist-Leninist Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK.."
FULL ARTICLE

Happy Birthday to Murat's Mom!

She sent me this today, originally from my cousin Nilay in Bursa..
*Yasli bir amca, eseginin üzerinde karayolunda seyretmektedir.Bunu gören trafik polisleri, amcaya takilmak isterler ve durdururlar.
Polis: Be amca, necin dakman golani? (Golan: Emniyet kemeri.)
Amca: Dakmam be iste!
Polis: E bak gördün mu, simdi ceza keseceyik.
Amca: Kes bakalim ne keseceysan da gidecem, acele isim var.
Polis: Peki amca, cezayi sana mi yazalim yogsam esege mi?
Amca: ???
Polis: Yani cezayi sana yazarsak bes milyon ödeycen, esege üç milyon
ödeycen.
Amca: Bana kes o zaman.
Polis: Neden sana keseyon amca?
Amca: Onun sicili temiz ossun, polis yapcez onu!*
Love you Mom.

09 April 2007

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Burqa

You have got to be kidding me.. Sporting activities are more or less religions which worship the human body and celebrate it's potential and it's achievements. (I'm a believer) Sure, this can be expanded to include praise for the G-d of your choosing, and I won't go there.. But covering the body like this during sports is akin to dropping a Koran in the toilet or painting a swastika on a Temple, in my view. Has this girl every right to impede her performance with those ridiculous garments? Of course. Are we required to approve and support her decision?... If you're easily offended DO NOT CLICK HERE.

Messing with a digital camera

Here's what it looks like on March 10th 2007, as Murat fumbles with his digital camera in anticipation of his new action cam arriving in the mail, and contemplating where to mount the thing once it arrives. Sure to bore you to tears. Maybe not though. You get to see parts of my lycra clad fizique!

Turkish-Armenian concert canceled due to threats

Full story in today's The Brown Daily Herald by Debbie Lehmann
Has anyone ever seen this website?: http://www.newneighbors.am/ It's been saved in my favorites for a long time (here at work) but I've never had time to really look into it. -AT
How about this discussion with 273 comments?: hrant-dink-the-murder-of-free-speech Looks like Vahe Balabanian was the most active Armenian contributor. He and I occasionally write eachother, but it's usually a dead end conversation. -AT

Democratic Left Party Rallies in Ankara

PhotoA woman waves a Turkish flag during a rally in Ankara April 8, 2007. Thousands attend a rally of the Democratic Left Party to protest Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's possible candidacy to the presidency.  
REUTERS/Umit Bektas

No Helmet for Syrian First Lady Asma Al-Assad(?) I'm disappointed

Photo
Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad rides a bicycle with a member of the Follow the Women Foundation near Latakia April 8, 2007. About 250 women from 34 countries took part in the event to campaign for peace in the Middle East.  
REUTERS/Khaled Al-hariri

08 April 2007

Murat raced today: Chris Hinds Criterium

Yes my second federation event of the 2007 season. You can read my race report here.
Full results are here (Murat raced the 35+ event) No pictures, no video (digital camera was left at work and video camera wouldn't work because it was too cold)
And here's a hilarious albeit x rated set of pictures I found at Redneck's Revenge: Naked bike riders in San Francisco (where else?) Click at your own risk. Lots of junk.

06 April 2007

UK sailors 'blindfolded, isolated'

Holy crap! They did that?! Those Iranian mofos have really gone too far.. Grrrr. Applying blindfolds to their captured prisoners. What nerve! Isolation? Rough handling? Interrogation? Psychological pressure? UNBELIEVABLE!!
All shitting aside, let me tell you what's truly wrong: The treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Please don't talk to me about blind folds and rough treatment... or I will puke all over you ala Family Guy. These were fucking soldiers, prepared to die for their country.. ("Make the world England" sounds pretty stupid nowadays, doesn't it?) It's headline news that they were blindfolded and treated better than US soldiers treat eachother during hazing and initiation rites? PATHETIC. Here's the tear-jerking story from CNN 

I can help!

Time to really populate my list of "Insulters of Turkishness". Such a list is now officially required.

05 April 2007

At least he knows what he wants, and now so do we..

As one commenter recently said to me: "This blog has become Sean's bitch".. Not quite, I don't think so. But like the great quarterback Jim Kelly of the Buffalo Bills, I consider myself to be very sportsman-like and I give credit where it's due. (Jim Kelly would always clap when his opponent scored) Sean... pill that he is, continues to pollute this blog with reasoning, theories and ideas which "insult Turkishness", so to speak.. But does it intelligently and does not resort to unprovoked personal attacks. Some want to know why I allow it, some ask why I do not moderate comments, some ask why I don't delete every anti-Turkish comment posted to this blog.. Well, it's because we want to see everyone's cards.. we want them to be laid down like in a Hold'em tournament. Sean's cards read thusly, pay particular attention to Nos 6 and 7 (below)... while all along you thought they only cared about No 4 and 5.. How naive of u$! I can't wait to see a Twelve $tep Program for Armenians. -AT
Sean's un-edited list of demands begins here:
Step 1: Turkey stops using oil & $$ as a threat against countries who are recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Read this article: http://www.ntvmsnbc.com/news/404759.asp
Step 2: Turkey stops murdering prominent Armenians in Turkey and using the reaction of Moderate Turks and Armenians to those tragedies as a propaganda tool to show the world that it cares about the minorities.
Step 3: Turkey stops using Armenian religious sites as museums for tourists and allows them to be used as intended.
Step 4: Turkey recognizes the Armenian Genocide and apologizes to the victims, to their families, to the Armenian people and the entire world.
Step 5: Turkey acknowledges that for the past 92 years, its denial campaign was based on lies and fabricated evidence.
Step 6: Turkey investigates the title ownership of each property that was taken from Armenians (and others) without just compensation. Turkey agrees to return those properties to the heirs of the rightful owners, or, as an alternative, if they prefer, they could take compensation, plus interest.
Step 7: Turkey pays compensation for all the lives taken.
Step 8: Turkey opens the border with Armenia and starts diplomatic relations.
Step 9: Turkey does away with 301.
Step 10: Turkey holds public trials for the people accused of being involved with the murder of Hrant Dink.
Step 11: Turkey restores minority rights.
Step 12: Sean stops being "repulsive", to the satisfaction of cem.
Number 10 cracks me up... I believe Armenians are behind Hrant's murder, because of his dovish attitude. He was no Armenian hawk on these matters. The video clip of him [which was posted here] attests to that. -AT

Armenian-Turkish Concert at Brown University **cancelled**

I'm hopeful that there's a breakthrough in the next 24 hours, but not too optimistic. This is very unfortunate. Please check back on Friday for an update. -AT
 
Serhat has left a new comment on your post "Hrant Dink: Water Finds It's Crack":

"I've just learned that the Turkish-Armenian Joint concert has been cancelled. Some "heros" from an Armenian Organization used all their power for this event not to happen. Armenian musicians mysteriously decided not to take part. Now Hrant Dink murder is making much more sense to me. There are many who can't stand even the simple idea of Turks and Armenians sitting together and listening to some music.
Hrant kept saying "no matter what we should be together"."

02 April 2007

Wells Avenue Criterium Race Video: April 1, 2007

This is footage of yesterday's competition from a camera mounted on the race bike.
Check it out. This is the first of many. Enjoy!