bm100 A Vlog From Istanbul

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)

Sephardi Istanbul

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.? 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)Continue reading “Sephardi Istanbul”

bm299 Radical Politics and Censorship in Turkey

The first edition of sanat vehayat was removed from the news stands by the Turkish government because it contained the word “Kurdistan”.? 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.


Vinicius Cantuaria -Galope

Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – Hysteric

bm298 Imprisoned, Persecuted, and On the Air

Tucked away somewhere in the labyrinth of streets on the Asia side of Istanbul, you’d think you were walking into someone’s house until you notice that each room in this apartment is part of this modest radio station. Sitting in a sun room with windows overlooking this section of the city, sipping tea, I asked this producer from ?zg?r Radyo about how this radio station is alternative.? “Alternative to the government..” she began..

This interview is the 3rd in a series of podcasts focusing on alternative media in Turkey, this time focusing on radio and the struggle to bring forward minority voices.


  • The Clash – Remote Control
  • The Roots – Rising Up

Please Note – Once again I’m experimenting with translation, this time I’ve left all the original audio in the recording, this means lots of Turkish – enjoy!

bmtv98 Istanbul Images

At long last, a short vlog entry that features clips from my first-ever visit to Istanbul. Complete with brief introduction featuring my new “Downloading is now a Crime” shirt from (thanks!).

Note: As mentioned in the vlog entry, I’ll be returning to Istanbul in April to work on more content relating to press freedom, alternative media, and other quality of life related topics.

bm296 An LGBT Magazine in Turkey

Kaos GL started publishing in the 90’s in an effort to get LGBT issues into the public sphere as part of the struggle for equal rights and equal protection under the law.? But what is the state of the state when it comes to gay rights in Turkey? What are the major obstacles and issues that the community struggles with on a daily basis, and how does a community oriented publication survive in the current cultural and political climate?

While in Istanbul I had a chance to sit down with Bawer of Kaos GL to discuss these questions and more.


Gavin Castleton – The Human Torch

Various Artists from the Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack – Jai Ho