America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

31 October 2007

Turkish soldiers with armored vehicle in Sirnak

Turkish soldiers dismount from their armoured vehicle to start a routine patrol as they search for possible roadside mines in the southeastern Turkish province of Sirnak, October 31, 2007. (TURKEY) REUTERS/Osman Orsal

29 October 2007

We are all Mustafa Kemal. We are all Turks.

Children in military uniforms wave flags as a nationalist protester carrying portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, to protest against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Istanbul October 27, 2007. The placards read, "We all are Mustafa Kemal. We all are Turks". The demonstrators were protesting against the killing of Turkish soldiers by the PKK Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey as well the U.S. policy over northern Iraq. (TURKEY)  REUTERS/Fatih Saribas

Cumhuriyet'in 84. yili kutlu olsun

Today marks a special day for the Turkiye. October 29th is the day that Turks declared themselves as citizens of the new Turkish Republic. You could say it is the equivalent of July 4th in some ways. Traffic to my 2005 October 29th posts has been quite robust lately too.. some good information in there:
I'd stay home from work if it were possible.. but here in Amerika, October 29th is eclipsed by Halloween! I'd have better luck getting Wednesday off. No worries.. Have a terrific 29 Ekim everyone!

28 October 2007

Britons join Kurdish rebels to fight Turks

"BRITONS are among foreigners fighting Turkish troops with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, The Sunday Times can reveal."
"According to PKK fighters holed up in one of the natural fortresses of the Qandil mountain range which runs along Iraq’s Turkish and Iranian borders, several Europeans have joined forces with their group."
"At least three Britons were in the PKK’s 3,000-strong force, boasted one fighter as he and a group of men huddled in a room discussing the latest clashes with the Turkish army. Others include Russians, Germans, Greeks, Iranians and Arabs. The PKK is labelled by both Europe and America as a terrorist organisation..."

In a word, disgusting. The PKK is using American weapons and ammunition against Turkish troops, it is said that the PJAK is supported by the US in order to destabilize Iran, and now the PKK threat includes a variety of multi-nationals who bear an axe to grind with Turkey.. It's little wonder that the US commanders in Iraq matter-of-factly declare that they will do nothing to help stop the PKK. It's clearly been established that the PKK, PJAK, and the US are in cahoots.. It might be intended to weaken Iran [only], but the side effects for Turkey seem to have been judged as acceptable. Will it require a joint invasion by both Iran and Turkey to end the PKK/PJAK threat? How will the US military react to such a situation? World War 3 is about to be ignited because of an oil deal between Hunt Consolidated and the Kurdish Regional Government, not to mention a few thousand trigger happy Kurdish militants with delusional ambitions of repeating their good fortune in Iraq. We can be sure that their luck has run out. Kurds will not fall ass-backwards into semi autonomous Turkish or Kurdish land.. (as the above map by Ralph Peters suggests) but the US will repeat their treatment of the Kurds, once the oil deals are inked and their usefulness against Iran runs out. Who are the ones really trying to draw Iran and Turkey into the conflict? Is this a case of one bully pushing a weakling into engaging another bully, for dubious reasons? Why is the US still in Afghanistan and why does the US turn a blind eye to PKK terrorism? The Taliban.. who obviously and openly declare their death chant against America.. just like the Iranians. We must keep up appearances in the war on terrorists who hate us, not the ones who like us and who are willing to share their oil.. Kurds are not only hard working pawns of the Bush Administration, they're also oil partners and boot licking suck ups who pretend to be "America's best ally in the region" for as long as it suits their purposes.

27 October 2007

Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Turkish Crisis in Northern Iraq

Or more appropriately, the Kurdish Crisis in the Turkish Republic of Northern Iraq?..
Source: Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, October 26, 2007 (via Erkan's Field Diary)

If anything about the blogosphere pleases me more than seeing my friend Erkan spit fire from his belly, I can't think of it. For the very best and most comprehensive round-up of articles, information and links related to the dire situation and hard decisions which Turkey now faces, look no further. In his own words:

"Northern Iraqi leaders, especially Barzani, is not helpful. He continues to increase the regional tension. It seems that US won't offer any tangible help, then comes the war....
There are threats from the Iraqi side:
Iraq To Turkey: If You Impose Economic Embargo We Will Respond By Shutting Down Oil Pipe To Turkey and there are Massive Anti-PKK Rallies in Turkey, As Tension And Anger Grow. Rice continues to bully Turkey: Turkey Should Not Intervene In Northern Iraq; U.S. Will Do Whatever necessary and of course the US government won't care for PM Erdogan's Response. Turkey has lost her charm to win it back, she will have to use force. Despite all the human heritage, some things can only be resolved by force. A gang of murderers, PKK - only the naive romantic Western activists can believe that it is a national liberation movement- are harbored, and basically nothing is done about it. ...
Well then, unfortunately it is time to move...."

Compared to Erkan's content, mine amounts to a pile of puke, so what are you still doing here?
(Thank you Erkan.)

26 October 2007

Turkish Protesters: "We are all soldiers. We are enough for the U.S."

Strong words! Are we on a path towards "Metal Firtina? (Metal Storm)? Highly doubtful, but I see that coordination and joint training between Turkish and Iranian counter-insurgency commandos has caught the attention of the US and Israel. It's hard to fathom that one of the "Axis of Evil" is also fighting Kurdish terrorism, and also losing many soldiers in the fight. Nobody cares. No one reports on Iranian casualties, especially since the Iranian Guard has been labeled as a terrorist group recently. That would mean that Turkish forces are terrorists too, if they are working together.. What's next?
University students march with Turkish flags through Istanbul, during a demonstration against the U.S. policy over northern Iraq as well as the killing of Turkish soldiers by PKK Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey, October 26, 2007. Turkish helicopters ferried more troops to the border with Iraq on Friday as diplomatic efforts got under way in Ankara to avert a major offensive against Kurdish guerrillas based in northern Iraq. The placard reads "We all are soldiers. We are enough for the U.S." REUTERS/Stringer (TURKEY)

25 October 2007

Vote on Armenian 'genocide' resolution put off

A victory, but for who? All this bad publicity for Turks and Armenians.. makes both sides look foolish. It's like a classic school yard argument: Did not! Did too! Did not! Did too! Pelosi's a god damn hall monitor who decides to take one side over the other (the one which is Christian, by coincidence). Too bad the principal of the school has other interests.. 10,000 km away, where a special pet project is in danger of disintegrating and adding about 100,000 people to the unemployment lines over here.. I'd thank the Bush administration, but they acted in their own best interests, not Turkey's and not Armenia's. Still, when you win a sprint to the finish line of a bike race.. even after 10 competitors hit the deck behind you, "a Win's a Win". We'll take it.. People should refrain from walking in reverse while trying to move forward.. that is.. if they ever intend to move forward.. For the US, it seemed like one of those "yukari tukursem biyik, asaga tukursem sakal" situations.. Seems that for now, they've decided to swallow the poison.. but there will be more of that to go around soon enough.. Just buy the next SOAD album to be released.. and see how exploiting one's talent and fame is all that's needed to perpetuate hatred.. In the mean time, Armenia will continue to languish as a back water third world land locked mafia controlled country with no natural resources and no access or trade with Turkey. Heck even their alphabet is as old as dirt. (There's my gratuitous jab at Armenians. Don't anyone cry. Turks have been invaded, blown up, knifed, shot dead and kicked around like a red-headed step child for many moons, and we're still standing. Emotionally numb to the pain of our enemies, but moving forward in leaps and bounds) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the resolution's consequences on the war in Iraq would be "quite dire."

We want YOU! .. to draft us into the Turkish Army

Symbolic gestures born of grief, anger and frustration? Do they know they won't be enlisted and so make a show of wanting to join the fight? I guess it's the thought that counts.. Does it? From the looks of these courageous Turks, they've already completed their compulsory service, and want back in. The army is flush with soldiers as it is.. and supporting them with money, equipment, weapons, room and board is a major part of Turkey's budget already. I'll bet they can barely afford to cover the cost of draftees who turn 18.. so accepting an influx of 30 and 40-somethings who have an axe to grind would be poor judgment indeed.. Still, my heart grows at the show of support for Turkey's military.
Protesters demand to be drafted by the army in front of a military recruitment office in Istanbul, October 24, 2007, to protest against the killing of Turkish soldiers by Kurdish rebels. Turkish warplanes and troops have attacked Kurdish rebels inside Iraq and forces were being built up on the border, but Ankara was holding back from any major strike for now, military sources said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Fatih Saribas

24 October 2007

Roj tv Video Footage: 8 missing Turkish Soldiers are indeed PKK POWs

There are a lot of these videos pouring into Youtube. I weeded through them and found one which is just a copy of a news report, with footage from ROJ tv.

Ahmedinejad: Stand-up comedian, going through the motions

Not only did he snub Armenia's invitation to plant a tree sapling at their genocide memorial (due to schedule constraints he says, but maybe it was deliberate, in order to avoid "insulting Turkishness".. he doesn't want to go to a Turkish prison after all), he also said the following, which cracks me up:
"Some people tell us Iran's case is at the (U.N.) Security Council but we tell them those (decisions by the Council) are just a pile of papers. They don't have any value for us,"
Sorry, I can't help it.. funny-faced Ahmedinejad is a smart man who makes such ridiculous remarks, that I can't help admiring his sense of humor. At least I like to think he's just trying to be funny.. Look at that mug.. With a shave and a haircut, he can pass for Russel Crow in Gladiator.
Seriously, though.. what about Turkey's aspiration's for nuclear energy or weapons? A topic I am completely ignorant of.. so I reach out to my readers to hopefully weigh in with some information and links. Would the world allow the Republic of Turkey to arm itself with nuclear weapons of mass destruction? If I'm not mistaken (this could be a total urban legend) the United States had at one time installed nuclear weaponry within Turkey's borders. Fact or fiction? Fascinating either way, eh? 
Armenia's Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan (R) greets Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad upon his arrival in Yerevan October 22, 2007. (Hayk Badalyan/Reuters)

Violent pro-PKK Clashes in Istanbul

People shout slogans against outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the Turkish province of Kirikkale, October 23, 2007, during the funeral of Vedat Kutluca, one of the 12 Turkish soldiers killed by Kurdish rebels in an ambush on Sunday near the Iraqi border.  
REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Sword rattling on hold..

..for a little while. Dear wife and I are developing a business plan which we will hopefully begin to execute full throttle very soon. It's still incubating and in need of some serious coordination with potential partners (not investors). Needless to say, it's a business which involves two things I love: bicycles and children. It's planned to be a full time career for Ebru, but my hope is that it can grow into something which replaces my current income (heck even 1/2 of it and I'll quit!). That's the dream. So for those with an interest in what this is all about, you are invited to peruse the blog I've prepared (I have less than an hour into this so don't expect too much!)

22 October 2007

Turkey vows to defeat PKK rebels

"Turkey's leaders have vowed to "pay any price" to defeat terrorism after the latest attack by Kurdish rebels, which killed at least 12 soldiers."
"In clashes following the ambush near the Iraqi border, 32 PKK rebels were killed, the military said."
Profile: The PKK.. Ever heard of the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons?.. or the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK)? Yeah, these parasites are dividing and multiplying.
"Nationalist demonstrators march with Turkish flags in Istanbul to demand action against the Kurdish rebel group, the PKK, after it launched an attack from across the Iraqi border killing Turkish troops." (BBC)
Ha! such demonstrators anyplace else would not be called "nationalists". If a desire to defend our borders and our citizens from low-life Kurdish thugs is a "nationalist" pastime, sign me up for lifetime membership, please.

21 October 2007

Buy Ataturk Postcards here:

I have stacks of postcards available, in all three designs shown below. Pay only $5 for 5 of them, plus $2 postage (or $7 for Priority Mail) If you don't have an ebay account, but you do have a Paypal account, then e-mail me and I'll send you a Paypal invoice. Send to reiscotools at yahoo dot com. Let me know how many you want of each (sets of 5 only).

Dozens die as Turkey battles Kurdish rebels

(CNN) -- "Separatist Kurdish rebels killed at least 12 Turkish soldiers and wounded 17 more in Hakkari Province near Turkey's border with Iraq and Iran on Sunday, a Turkish government source told CNN."
"Shortly after the attack, Turkish forces responded by killing 23 PKK rebels in southern Turkey, according to a statement on an official government Web site." Developing Story

Apo: "Man of the people"

- "Oh, I have such good news to tell you."
- So I asked him: "What is the good news?"
- "I just heard that my daughter was killed by the Turkish army," he answered, "You know, she was fighting, with us, you know. She completed her training here. And now she got martyred. I am a happy man. This is such good news. She is a martyr now."

20 October 2007

Shit Happens

Super Hero gives me not only an interesting and suspenseful piece, but it's an eye opener too, with some excellent points that just beg to be debated. Read.

19 October 2007

An Open Letter to the Armenian Diaspora

Mustafa Akyol writes to the Armenians with a very logical and balanced approach, and I recommend that you read it. I've posted a comment which I hope will be approved.. and since I'm fearful of my wireless router crashing as it so frequently does, I copied my comment here, and have decided to leave it up for you. Some things that have been incubating in my mind for a while, finally hatched and escaped.. Thought it worth sharing here also:

Hear hear! Love what you have said here..
One comment: the nationalism which you refer to as a virus.. I take exception to a little bit. Is it your opinion that nationalism on any/all levels is a bad thing? even in moderation? Is it not [one of, if not] the glue which binds us together? Doesn't an absence of nationalism result in division and disintegration of any sort? I'm a naive, uneducated American born Turk.. tell me, as a purely unifying factor, what is best?: Religion? Ethnicity? or Nationality? (how about self pity?) Have you ever heard the song, "Proud to be an American!" ? Using one word, how would you judge these lyrics?:

If tomorrow all the things were gone,I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars,to be livin here today.

‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,and they can’t take that away.
And I’m proud to be an American,where at least I know I’m free.

And I wont forget the men who died,who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,next to you and defend her still today.

‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,God bless the USA.
From the lakes of Minnesota,to the hills of Tennessee.

Across the plains of Texas,From sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston,and New York to L.A.

Well there's pride in every American heart,and its time we stand and say.
That I’m proud to be an American,where at least I know I’m free.

And I wont forget the men who died,who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,next to you and defend her still today.

‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,God bless the USA.

How can it be, that in a country as diverse as the USA, with people from all corners of the world calling it home.. that no one bird dogs such a song (and dozens of others much like it) as a symptom of the "nationalism virus"? The US is the world capital of arrogant condescending patriotism.. which I believe to be nationalism in disguise.. yet no one here calls it a bad thing. When some slack jawed yokel in Alabama proclaims "America! Love it or leave it!".. no one bristles with shame or fear.. They nod approval, they say "Amen!" In America, anything considered to be a unifying factor, is GOOD. To wit, the words of the "Pledge of Allegiance":
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
For 12 years attending America's public schools, I was compelled to recite this every morning of every school day, facing the flag with my hand over my heart. Everybody does.. whether they came here last week or last year, whether they're Armenian or Turkish, whether they're Muslim, Jew, Christian or "other".
So I must know.. why the double standard? Why is it okay for Americans to speak and act in ways that make their country "indivisible", but not okay for Turks? Assimilation? Turkification? There's assimilation here too! There's Americanization here too! Yet.. the problem is that Turkey is full of people who don't want to be Turks (even expressed as a nationality, hyphenated with ethnicity or origin), who don't want to assimilate or salute it's flag. To them I say: "Love it or leave it".
Is there a word for the means which Armenians have been using as their "unifying factor" or their "indivisibility"? I can name a few words, none too flattering.
When will we ever see a march or protest in Turkey with people of all backgrounds shouting "We are all TURKISH!" If native Turks did it, it would be called "nationalism". If Armenians did it, it would be called "the most beautiful thing ever seen".
Turkey is also "indivisible", and we can't thank any one thing more than nationalism for this blessing, right or wrong.
I've drifted away from my original purpose here, but I think you get my drift.

18 October 2007

Done deal: Turkish Parliament says "GO!" Northern Iraq.. Southern Kurdistan, Turkish Republic of Kurdistan.. whatever we end up calling it.. -AT
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (front L) and State Ministers Hayati Yazici (front R), Kursad Tuzmen (rear L) and Zafer Caglayan (rear R) vote during a debate at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, October 17, 2007. Turkey's parliament resoundingly approved a motion on Wednesday allowing troops to cross into northern Iraq to crush Kurdish rebels hiding there, brushing aside appeals from the United States and the Baghdad government. (TURKEY)  REUTERS/Str
A Turkish soldier escorts children heading to their school in the village of Senoba near the southeastern Turkish town of Uludere, October 17, 2007. Turkey's parliament was poised on Wednesday to grant its army permission to enter northern Iraq to crush Kurdish separatist rebels based there, but Iraqi leaders stepped up a diplomatic offensive to avert any attack. (TURKEY)  REUTERS/Fatih Saribas

17 October 2007

Iraq incursion: Approved 506 to 19

A Turkish army commando patrols in the southeastern Turkish province of Sirnak.

A Turkish military vehicle patrols the border with Iraq's Kurdish region.

Anyone know who builds this vehicle? Looks kind of neat I think, like it might pinch a loaf and crap out a little HumVee. Hehe.. -AT

Remember this msnbc poll from April 2006?

Turkey Forms Alliance With Iran Against Kurds

According to this article (found via Redneck's Revenge), Turkish forces are helping to train their Iranian counterparts in counter-insurgency. According to Kurdish rebel leader Biryar Gabar, PJAK fighters have killed 200 Revolutionary Guards troops and lost seven of their own soldiers since the fighting began on Aug. 16. As immense as the internet is as a news source, it goes to show you that all the news does not reach us unless we seek it. No one in Western media cares enough about Iranian soldiers fighting Kurdish terrorists and dying in large numbers, to do any mainstream reporting on it. Fine and dandy.. nothing to be surprised about. What's annoying to me is the often heard American assertion that all is fine in northern Iraq, where Kurds supposedly live autonomously and cause no trouble for anyone. What a load of bullshit we're being fed. I suppose as long as Kurds aren't attacking or killing American soldiers, they're considered "peaceful friends and allies", whether they kill Turks and Iranians, or not.. Let the Turks and Iranians work together to protect their respective borders and citizens. It's as it should be. Unless someone else steps up and offers to do it for them, critics can go pound sand..

16 October 2007

NYT: Support Wanes in House for Genocide Vote

"Worried about antagonizing Turkish leaders, House members from both parties have begun to withdraw their support from a resolution supported by the Democratic leadership that would condemn as genocide the mass killings of Armenians nearly a century ago."

Minesweeping in Sirnak

What would the world do if Turkey executed Apo? He was sentenced to death, after all, and the sentence was repealed when capital punishment was abolished 2-3 years later. They must have made it retro-active on purpose, making his original sentence into symbolic death of his freedom. Why does Apo still draw breath? His successor (brother I believe) supposedly promised to lead the Kurds to statehood peacefully. Who is the architect of these latest 30 Turkish deaths? What does Apo Jr. say about it? Who does Mr Karayilan report to? -AT   
A Turkish soldier waves to villagers driving a tractor past the armoured personnel carrier during a patrol to search for possible roadside mines along a road in the southeastern Turkish province of Sirnak October 16, 2007. Iraq's government urged Turkey on Monday not to resort to military action and to seek a diplomatic solution to end attacks by Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq. REUTERS/Fatih Saribas (TURKEY)

15 October 2007

Ebay partners with GittiGidiyor in Turkey

"EBay, 3 Mayıs 2007 tarihinde Türkiye'nin en büyük elektronik ticaret platformlarından'a azınlık hissedarı olarak ortak oldu. Yatırım ile Türkiye, eBay'in faaliyet gösterdiği 37. ülke oldu."

So Ebay finally bought a piece of the Turkish auction site, gitti gidiyor (which literally means "going, gone!) back in May.. Here's the official announcement in Turkish. There's already a bustling forum called "iyibey" where new Turkish users can learn the ropes of how to register and bid and pay for items.. But the biggest problem so far? CUSTOMS. I have personal stories about this topic.. (for later)
In case anyone wondered, the Ebay badge on the left (the one that scrolls products every 8 seconds) is a widget which features my own personal listings on Ebay. Pretty nice. And if you scroll down you can play PacMan. Try it.. I'm about to list another of my father's hand made kanun instruments. More later..

Pass H Res 106 before old Armenians die!

Is this a good enough reason? That many Armenians who did not die in Turkey are going to die soon? Nancy Pelosi believes it to be a compelling argument:
"There's never been a good time," adding that it is important to pass the resolution now "because many of the survivors are very old."
"When I came to Congress 20 years ago, it wasn't the right time because of the Soviet Union. Then that fell, and then it wasn't the right time because of the Gulf War One. And then it wasn't the right time because of overflights of Iraq. And now it's not the right time because of Gulf War Two. And, again, the survivors of the Armenian genocide are not going to be with us."
Speaking later on ABC's "This Week," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell denounced the House committee's vote -- despite agreeing with the assertion that the killings amounted to genocide: "I think it's a really bad idea for the Congress to be condemning what happened 100 years ago," the Kentucky Republican said Sunday. "We all know it happened. There's a genocide museum, actually, in Armenia to commemorate what happened.

And that my friends, actually, is enough. -AT

14 October 2007

Have You Voted Yet?

As of 8:15 PM EST on October 14th, it appears the tide has turned, for what it's worth..
msnbc asks:
"Should the United States formally recognize the World War I-era killing of Armenians as genocide?"
So far, 58063 responses, also non-binding and worthless.. How many voters have a friggin clue and how many voted according to their dislike of Turks or Muslims? Someone please give me the address where I should send my reparation checks. Mind if I post-date them 90 years?

Buyukanit: "..the US shot it's own foot"

It's hard to swing a dead cat without hitting either a genocide supporter, denier, recognizer, or apathetic military person. What I find most chilling is the remark by Murat Karayilan ("Karayilan" is translated literally into "Blacksnake") He warns AP that an eventual Turkish incursion would "make Turkey experience a Vietnam war." Beg your pardon My Blacksnake, but Turkey has been fighting such a war with you, on it's home soil, for decades. -AT

More from the CNN article:
"Secretary of State Rice Condoleezza Rice asked us before we came here to express that the Bush administration is opposed to this resolution," Edelman said Saturday.
"If this resolution passed in the committee passes the House as well, our military ties with the U.S. will never be the same again," Buyukanit was quoted as saying.
"I'm the military chief; I deal with security issues. I'm not a politician," Buyukanit was quoted as saying by Milliyet. "In this regard, the U.S. shot its own foot."
IRBIL, Iraq (CNN) -- Turkish forces overnight fired across the border on Kurdish villages in northern Iraq's Dohuk province, a Kurdish official told CNN Sunday.

Turkey: "Strategic & Scrappy"

I was googling various issues when I discovered this link. An article in TIME magazine from October 15, 1951.. Turkey's population at that time: 20 million. My favorite quotes:
"We don't depend on anyone but the U.S. Norway and France aren't going to fight for Turkey, no matter what the North Atlantic Treaty says. The French wouldn't even fight for themselves in the last war. But the U.S. will fight for Turkey. Even without the Americans, we aren't afraid of anyone, including the Russians. But having the Americans with us makes it better."
-Surreya Agaoglu
"It was the troops in Korea that paved the way [into NATO]. Had the unit not been sent to Korea, Turkey would have remained a second-rate state."
-Ahmet Emin Yalman
"Don't feel sorry for us, Mr. Ambassador... This is a most wonderful thing for Turkey. Since World War II, the world has been saying that Turkish soldiers were no good. Now the world will know we can fight, and will fight."
-Fuat Koprulu, Foreign Minister of Turkey, in response to U.S. Ambassador George Wadsworth's condolences for losing 25% of the Turkish brigade sent to fight in Korea
"Politically, one thing is sure. No matter which party controls the government, it will be antiCommunist. No Turkish political leader in sight would alter that course. Actually, Turkey is more anti-Russian than antiCommunist. In Greece, the opposite is true, but the Turk, who has fought the Moskof 13 times in the past 400 years, would hate and fight him whether he were a Communist, monarchist or playing third base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Here, of all countries in the world, is the one we need never worry about doublecrossing us to the enemy."
-author of article
"We've got six of the prettiest little armored brigades you ever saw... They're really more like the German Panzer division. They're wonderful...the best army in all of Europe"
-George Wadsworth, speaking of the Turkish army the US helped build
"But if there's a brawl, you can be sure of one thing—Turkey won't stand off as it did in World War II. Turkey has a good strong fist that'll bloody any nose that comes poking out from behind the Iron Curtain."
-author of article

12 October 2007

Blogger 'Finduk' enlightens us.. PKK=Communist

Finduk educates us withsomething which I'll bet very few people are aware of:
"When it comes to the Kurds, the PKK is referred to only as the Kurdish Workers Party. As if it is a legal party in Kurdistan. This is the "Party 'K'ommunist Kurdish" which is how I am going to refer to it since that is the actually how the PKK was named, but using the Kurdish words "Partiya Komunistê Kurdistan". This is not some political party with ideological plans to make their lives more democratic and free. This is a group of mentally deranged Kurdish terrorists who are traitors to whichever nation they were born in..."

Quotes of the day: "We don't need anyone's advice.." (Erdogan)

"We don't need anyone's advice on northern Iraq and the operation to be carried out there," Erdogan told a cheering crowd in Istanbul, after saying that the United States "came tens of thousands of kilometers and attacked Iraq without asking anyone's permission".
Referring to relations with the United States and the Armenian resolution, Erdogan, using a Turkish idiom usually employed to describe relations, said: "Where the rope is worn thin, may it break off." He did not elaborate.
Semih Idiz, a veteran Turkish commentator, told Reuters:
"If Turkey sets its mind on something, whether wrong or right it will do it. The invasion of Cyprus in 1974 is a good example," he said, referring to a Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus which drew U.S. condemnation and sanctions.  Continued...

Oil Hits New Record of $84.05 on Tensions in Turkey & Northern Iraq

The knife cuts two ways.. When Turkey withdrew support from the United States' plans to invade Iraq in 2003, nobody cared about what an impact the war would have on Turkey's economy, where a gallon of gas now costs $9.00 (yes, nine dollars). Adjusted for median incomes in US and Turkey, that's the equivalent of Americans paying about $40 per gallon. If such a situation existed here in the US, Americans would march upon the White House with torches and burn it down. Full story 
And lest I remind you.. (found via gewilli

Iraq bomb in toy cart kills children in playground

"BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A bomb hidden in a cart of toys killed two children and wounded 17 others in a playground in northern Iraq on Friday, the first day of a national holiday to celebrate the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The attack came the day after U.S. forces killed nine children and six women in an air strike northwest of the capital that targeted suspected senior al Qaeda leaders in an area known as a haven for Islamist militants.
Police Colonel Abbas Mohammed said a would-be suicide bomber pushed the cart into a play area in the predominantly Shi'ite northern town of Tuz Khurmato. He said the bomber was wounded.
The town's mayor, Mohammed Rasheed, told Reuters two boys aged between 10 and 12 had died and another 17 people under the age of 18 had been wounded in the deadly attack."

Bayram is today?

I suppose it would be more meaningful if I knew what the significance of today is. Who was born? Who died? Did Someone ride a fantasy creature across the heavens? My desk calendar says "Day of the Race" and "(Eid) al Fitr". What does "Eid" stand for? Explosive Improvised Device"? Am I just saying what a lot of people are thinking? Sorry to be such a stick in the mud, but it doesn't mean anything to me, and I don't have the strength to fake it. There's nothing to celebrate. If people gave more of themselves to appreciating the value of this life, and not fantasizing about a 2nd life, the world would be a happier, healthier place.

11 October 2007

Armenian Genocide Resolution: Let it PASS!

I'm long overdue for one of my foaming rants.. That's right! Let it get through Congress intact! Why not? No skin off my nose.. I was born 55 years too late to be held responsible.. I'm not a land owner in Turkey.. Nothing to fear and nothing to apologize for! (Tongue in cheek, in case you didn't notice) Seriously though.. think of what happens to a BEE after it stings it's victim.. It.. no longer lives. So let the bill pass, so that Armenians will have nowhere left to waste their disposable millions of dollars! More importantly, the Turkish military will be free to do as it sees fit (a la Isreal in Lebanon), to protect Turkish citizens from PKK terrorists! No more restraint! Let the sorties fly! Let the tanks roll! Perhaps the armored vehicles and air cargo and fuel carried by the 3000 US supply trucks originating daily in Turkey, can get to Iraq from someplace else.. or not.. Maybe this could spell the end of US occupation of Iraq- speed up the US troop withdrawel and end the war! To wit:
"Appearing outside the West Wing after that meeting, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates noted that about 70 percent of all air cargo sent to Iraq passed through or came from Turkey, as did 30 percent of fuel and virtually all the new armored vehicles designed to withstand mines and bombs."
A BEE dies right after stinging! Let the bill pass so that Turkey is finally immunized from this sickening Armenian venom.. and finally able to thrust it's sword into any hornet's nest which begs to be impaled. What better way to ignite some more "unattractive" nationalism?.. you know.. the American equivalent of "patriotic".. a distinction which makes even a crack smoking, tax evading, magnetic-ribbon-covered-SUV driving American look like a hero, but which has somehow evolved into meaning "child molestor" in Turkey.. Maybe then, Armenians will be happy.. satisfied that they've sold their lies to the greatest country in the world. What next? (oops I forgot.. reparations and return of "stolen land") Will they lobby in China and India for recognition? No worries. Nothing in Turkey will change. Turn this Armenian issue inside-out and all you have is a big black hole.. Let's get this over with.. so that Armenians can turn off the taps.. stop the millions of dollars from being wasted.. Maybe all of the excess propaganda funding can be diverted to where it's really been needed for a long time: their HOMELAND! Sadly, the typical Armenian diasapora doesn't give a squirt of piss about what's going on back "home".. they don't even go there! Yet all that money would sure do wonders for their puny nation.. Just think what it might be like to have modern plumbing! electricity! telephones! Food on the table that DOESN'T consist of dog meat! Build some schools! Feed Armenia!

10 October 2007

97 Turkish Soldiers Killed by PKK to date in 2007

To honor all Turkish soldiers killed during this decades old war, especially the 97 who died in 2007 alone, and most especially for the 15 soldiers killed last week, along with the 12 civilians who were also slaughtered by PKK degenerates.. I offer this: Bruce Springsteen's "Blood Brothers". A song which I interpret to be about a soldier who loses a dear friend in combat, and presses on in battle without him.

Leslie Feist! Some free advice!

One two, three, four...
You slur your speech! don't sing no more!
Five, six, nine ten...
Into my ears I jammed my pen!
Oh-oh! Uh-oh!
There's phlegm in your mouth!
Oh-oh! Uh-oh!
Why don't you spit it out?!

I penned these "Weird Al Yankovich" version of lyrics while driving through Connecticut today.
No me gusta! Metin at Talk Turkey seems smitten though!

09 October 2007

Turkey says ready to send troops into Northern Iraq

Students carry a banner reads "America is the murderer of Mehmetcik" during a demonstration in front of Beyazit Mosque in Istanbul, October 9, 2007, to protest the killing of 13 soldiers in a gunbattle by Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey on Sunday. Mehmetcik refers to any enlisted man in Turkish army. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan gave the go-ahead on Tuesday for all necessary measures to be taken against Kurdish rebels, including a possible incursion into northern Iraq where many are hiding. REUTERS/Stringer (TURKEY)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives a speech at the United Nations in New York City in September 2007. Turkey has threatened a military incursion in northern Iraq as part of stepped up measures against Kurdish rebel bases in the region.(AFP/File/Emmanuel Dunand)
Turkish tanks take part in a military exercise near the southeast Turkish town of Cizre, some 50 km (30 miles) from Turkey's Habur border gate to Iraq, June 7, 2007. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan gave the green light on Tuesday for a possible military incursion into northern Iraq to crush Kurdish rebels hiding there after a series of deadly attacks on Turkish security forces. (Osman Orsal/Reuters)

Marion Jones gives up Sydney medals

Interesting story! Especially when one considers all of the potential changes in results for events of the past 8 years.. How many runner-ups to Marion are climbing the walls thinking about trading up their medals for gold or silver or getting a bronze? Good for them! Reminds me that so many of my cycling heros have been knocked off of their perch lately because of prformance enhancing drugs: Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, Jan Ullrich, Michael Rasmussen, Bjarne Riis, Joe Papp, Alexandre Vinokourov.. Is it ironic that the banned substance which Marion Jones used is considered a designer drug called "The Clear"? Sounds more like a "happy place" where the aforementioned can only dream about!

08 October 2007

Turkey to Syria: no permission for Israel to attack using Turkish airspace

Is this a promise we can keep? Will Israel seek permission? What can/will Turkey do to stop them? Write a nasty letter to Ehud Olmert? Why are we coddling a hostile neighbor which is known to incubate terrorists against both Israel and Turkey? 
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan (C) gestures as he arrives at Palestinian Authority headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah October 8, 2007. Turkey assured the Damascus government on Sunday it would not let Israel use its airspace to strike Syria after an Israeli raid heightened tension in the Middle East. REUTERS/Loay Abu Haykel (WEST BANK)

Where's the outcry?! Which Kurds condemn this? Any at all?

I am having trouble restraining my expletives and F-bombs.. What are we waiting for? Our soldiers are fish in a barrel to these thugs. Time to act in the interest of Turkey and stop signing bullshit agreements with Iraq. Do as Israel did in Lebanon. Go in there with guns blazing.
The coffin of a soldier, Fetullah Selcuk, is carried from a military helicopter in Sati Village in Diyarbakir province, October 8, 2007. A Turkish soldier was killed and three more were wounded in a landmine explosion on Monday, putting further pressure on Turkey's government just one day after Kurdish rebels shot dead 13 Turkish troops. The increased attacks on security personnel in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey have reignited talk of a major Turkish military incursion into neighbouring northern Iraq to crush Kurdish rebels who use the region as a base. REUTERS/Ozgur Ayaydin/Anatolian (TURKEY) TURKEY OUT
People attend the funeral of a soldier, Ali Sahan, in the central Anatolian city of Kutahya October 8, 2007. A Turkish soldier was killed and three more were wounded in a landmine explosion on Monday, putting further pressure on Turkey's government just one day after Kurdish rebels shot dead 13 Turkish troops. The increased attacks on security personnel in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey have reignited talk of a major Turkish military incursion into neighbouring northern Iraq to crush Kurdish rebels who use the region as a base. REUTERS/Muharrem Cin/Anatolian (TURKEY) TURKEY OUT

05 October 2007

World Rubik's Cube championship in Hungary

What neatly trimmed finger nails! Must be a requirement if one wants to be a serious contender. When these toys came out in the early 80s, I was too busy playing with my Atari home video game system to care.. I've tried, but never solved a cube completely.. There's a trick to it which I've not been informed about. I'd like to own one though, just for the nostalgia factor.. So who will win this year? What do they get for their trouble? A free manicure?
A competitor attends the World Rubik's Cube Championship in Budapest, Hungary, October 5, 2007.  REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

Almost flushed away..

A woman in Kansas City goes to use the bathroom and has trouble flushing afterwards.. tries three times, and then "discovers" that she had just given birth to a child. The prematurely born baby survives without permanent injury. She is being charged with assault. It astonishes me that there are women goin about their day to day activities, oblivious to the fact that they are pregnant. (This one is judged to be an exception by the authorities) If it ever truly is a valid "I didn't know" scenario, only one possible explanation comes to mind- obesity.
Here's an example of bad parenting! The poor five year old had 100+ injuries all over her body..
You can find 10-15 such news stories daily, if you looked for them. I don't seek them out.. they just find me. One could devote a blog which showcases nothing but reports of bad parenting and child abuse, if one were so inclined. Why? To raise awareness. To let parents know that if word of their abusive treatment ever gets out, there's a website somplace which will know and which will permanently record the event..

04 October 2007

08-08-08: The most desirable date of birth?

Close friends of ours in Turkey gave birth to their first child on July 7th.. Yes, a birthday of 07/07/07! Makes it impossible to mix up the day/month as is so common with Americans and Europeans..

Did you know that the number considered most lucky in the Far East is not seven but eight?? I predict that the Chinese (among others) are gearing up for a mini baby boom with designs on targeting this date of birth for their children. Yes condom sales during November are sure to decline.. Of course, the only truly palendromic date of birth possible is 11-11-11 (that these add up to six makes this even more attractive- see below). Would you believe that in an auction held in 2003, Sichuan Airlines paid $280,000 for the rights to the telephone number 888-8888! To wit, the Beijing Olympics are set to begin at 8:00 on August 8, 2008. As this article points out, it's no coincidence! Excerpt:

"Chinese culture is steeped in superstition, with numbers playing a major role in birthdays, wedding dates and naming.
Six, eight and nine are considered lucky numbers, while four, seven and even one are considered more unfortunate.
The pronunciation of nine means everlasting, particularly in relationships, while six means things will go smoothly.
Conversely, anything involving the numbers four and seven are avoided as much as possible. Four sounds like the Chinese word for death. Seven translates as "gone" which can also mean death, while one can signify loneliness."

LPG: liquid propane gas RIP-OFF prices

It's infuriating that I was paying $1.45 per gallon in the fall of 2003 and now I am being charged $4.50 per gallon by my current provider. (Notice the price spike in January 2005- I called at that time and was told my usage was too low) I called a competitor last week and was told that if my consumption was over 300 gallons a year (it is) that I would only pay them $2.67 a gallon if I pre-pay and $2.77 a gallon if I lock in and sign a contract for one year. Even if my usage dropped to 200 gallons, the price is still $3.33 a gallon! After hanging up with the competitor, I called my provider (Arrow Gas, formerly Star Gas) I explained what I had just discovered, that I believed I was being ripped off! To try and keep me as a customer they adjusted my last bill from $4.50 a gallon down to $4.00. Pfffft! Thanks for the $20! In order to switch to the new company, I must get Arrow Gas to pick up the old tank and credit me back whatever's left in it (something I'm not optimistic about). I must also pay $100 for tank removal. The new company charges $150 for installation of their tank! Plus they charge $9 a month for rental, which is another buzz-kill. All told, I must pay $250 for tank swapping and $108 for rental over the next 12 months.. Based on usage of 300 gallons, my savings is $546, less $358 in bullshit tank costs. Really worth it? If I can get the new company to waive their tank fee, it's a done deal. Maybe I should just do it on principle. I am so close to referring the matter to the Rhode Island District Attorney's office. Grrrr. By the way, finding any cost info or consumer feedback about liquid propane gas on the internet turns up nothing. Maybe folks will find this, learn from it, and hopefully weigh in. Thanks for reading.

Another Loss to Blog Readers: Phanja

The Need To Know has evolved into "The Need to Disappear". Hopefully Phanja's doing all right.. She has been missed since her last post in March (?) and now she's gone for good it seems. If anyone hears/knows of her well-being, kindly inform us!

03 October 2007

Only a test!

Blogging via Blackberry. How pathetic am I?

Jewish "intactivists" in U.S. stop circumcising

What a bunch of sissy boys.. I was clipped when I was eight years old! It was a big party complete with live music, food, alcohol, a belly dancer, and lots o' cash for me!! Two men held me by my arms and ankles from behind, a bowl was placed beneath my crotch to catch the blood, all while my privvies were exposed to a large circle of gatherers, which included girls. I don't know which was worse- the fear of the pain or the humiliation of exposing myself.. Either way, it took a few days for my testicles to re-descend. I have pictures which I'll try not to post one day.. both in the fancy bed they set up in the center of the party hall, and just before the trim job, my face a terrified white.. Our little one was circumcised by a woman doctor on his 2nd day out of the womb. I wasn't too happy about it, chauvenist that I am.. A Jewish mohel was available and I would have rather had him do it, it's his specialty after all.. The lady doctor was not amused by my suggestion.. One Jew in southern California says:  "I see circumcision as a blood ritual that I can let go of..".. I beg to differ.
A Jewish settler from the Gaza Strip holds his eight-day-old son at the baby's circumcision ceremony, held in a tent outside Israel's Parliament building in Jerusalem, January 10, 2005. An increasing number of Jews in the United States have decided not to circumcise their sons, rejecting the traditional notion that it is a Biblically prescribed sign of the Jewish relationship with God. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen

One of our best bloggers has retired..

I had hoped to honor the request of this blog's author [never to bring it up], but I can't resist. When a pioneer of the 'Amerikan Turk' blogging community euthanizes his own work, it should be acknowledged. He had his reasons.. I leave his link in my sidebar as a memorial. Those of you who've been around a while know which blog I'm referring to. (TT) I for one miss it.

02 October 2007

Useless trivia: MYANMAR..

I repeat myself.. but the letters which spell "MYANMAR" can be re-positioned to spell "ARMY MAN". Still no accurate body count from the violent protests? 10 dead.. 50 dead.. what's the difference? To some.. (not sure who I refer to here) such matters hold the significance of a leaky bag of rice.. pierced with a small hole at one corner. Bag still seems full! So why fret?

Bomb Blast in Izmir

Who is responsible? What's the motive? Related to the pending changes to the constitution? The recent muscle flexing of the military? The Hrant Dink murder proceedings? The PKK? Al Qaeda? Everyone's pissed off about something, it seems. Some self medicate with drugs or alcohol. Some do sports or yoga, or pray.. And others like to blow people up for relief.
The covered body of an unidentified person lies on the ground as police forensic officers search for clues after an explosion in the western Turkish city of Izmir October 2, 2007.  

Ozgur Deniz would be pleased to "meat" you!

"I love to eat human flesh. It makes me ecstatic. We are fools to have been eating beef for so long." - Ozgur Dengiz
Read about how Ozgur murdered a 55 year old Cafer Er and stocked his refrigerator in Fethiye with body parts.

01 October 2007

Debra Cagan: "I hate all Iranians"

Full article
Debra Cagan is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs to Defence Secretary Robert Gates.. for how much longer I wonder?

Also read "The Largest Minority":
"...Imagine if the word "Iranians" was replaced with "Jews," and how quick Cagan would be out of a job due to charges of Antisemitism. The administration has done such a good job at dehumanizing Muslims in general that this statement will simply fly under the radar..."

171 Comments.. who wants to be 172?

Do you remember this discussion?

U.S., Iraqi civilian deaths fall sharply

"...The decline signaled a U.S. success in bringing down violence in Baghdad and surrounding regions since Washington completed its infusion of 30,000 more troops on June 15.
A total of 64 American forces died in September — the lowest monthly toll since July 2006.
The decline in Iraqi civilian deaths was even more dramatic, falling from 1,975 in August to at least 988 last month, a decline of 50 percent, according to an AP tally. The civilian death toll has not been so low since June 2006, when 847 Iraqis died..."
What bullshit! Hey only 64 Americans and only 988 Iraqis died in September! Great success!?!?!?!? Or just a reduction of failure?
Ooooh.. how dramatic! Infuse this.. 

Kurdish Demonstration in Brussels

Interesting green flags.. I've never seen those before.. Red star in the center of a sunburst.. What does it signify?
Kurdish demonstrators hold flags with portraits of jailed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan during a demonstration in Brussels September 29, 2007. REUTERS/Thierry Roge