It was a Monday late afternoon as N and I walked onto the extremely crowded Istiklal, Istanbul’s see-and-be-seen pedestrian avenue lined with all the coolest shops and restaurants. She and I walked among the masses on our way to meet a friend for dinner, chatting about her work and upcoming events at the University, when all of a sudden out of the hundreds of voices rose one extremely angry and violent male tone, shouting in Turkish in such a manner that you needn’t understand Turkish to understand that this man was on the verge of hurting someone or something.
The voice must have pierced through the crowd and into our conversation at about the same time for both of us, as we immediately Read more
My second visit to Istanbul has been filled with interesting encounters with old and new friends, and exploring places in the city that I didn’t get to on my first brief visit last month. This is a vlog just to say hello and reflect somewhat on the trip so far.
(click on the player on the right or the link below)
In the past I’ve made frequent references to the Sephardi jews that in the 15th century fled the Spanish inquisition and Portuguese King’s policies and settled in Amsterdam. I like to refer to that group in history as a clever ancestral anicdote as to why I like living in the Netherlands.
But then I find myself in Istanbul surrounded by some of the finest guides and friends a boy can ever wish for, and when I bring up the sarphatic jews and my long lost possibly jewish roots back many generations, Mr. B turns to me and says — you know where else they settled? – Istanbul.ï¿½ The Ottoman empire, for various reasons, decided to give them a place to settle, right here in this city. (actually one of two places in Turkey) Read more
The first edition of sanat vehayat was removed from the news stands by the Turkish government because it contained the word “Kurdistan”.ï¿½ But the political magazine was not discouraged, later re-releasing that edition with the word Kurdistan crossed out with black marker.
During my visit to the Asia side of Istanbul I had a chance to visit the modest headquarters/social club of the radical magazine. A representative took the time to answer my questions and explain why and how they do what they do, and just what the situation is for the publishers of a magazine that is politically on the opposite side of the spectrum from a conservative government that has little concern for press freedom.