Tag Archives: Turkey

Early Tulips

Emirgan Korusu, 2016.03.12

Ayşe was still in Ankara, but I had seen rumors on Twitter that tulips were already blooming in Emirgan Korusu. The bulbs were being dowsed with ice water, lest the flowers be overblown for the Tulip Festival in April. Anyway, I wanted to get away from the crowds of Şişli and Beyoğlu. The morning was mostly sunny. Thus on Saturday, March 12, 2016, I headed out to Emirgan, repeating the trip that we had made the previous April. Continue reading

Turks of 1071 and Today



Skip to Michael Attaleiates on Alparslan after the Battle of Manzikert

Published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788, Edward Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire tells the story of a thousand years and more, from before the founding of Constantinople in 330 till after its loss in 1453. Gibbon can be ridiculed for his title: a millenium is a long time to be in decline. The three thick volumes of the Penguin edition took me a long time to read, if not quite as long as Gibbon took to write. I was living in Ankara at the time, but I enjoyed being able to read Gibbon’s work also while visiting the three old imperial capitals: Istanbul, Rome, and Milan. Continue reading

Liberation

This article is based on quotations from three writers, of three different nationalities, who share a spirit with which I am in sympathy:

  1. “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
  2. ”The real cycle you’re working on is the cycle called ‘yourself.’”
  3. ‘I thought that the democratic system was not only a form of government but a school of political experience coextensive with the nation.’

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Inurement

This is about getting used to things, and things one should not get used to.

There is a free-speech crisis in Turkey now, brought on in part, but not exclusively, by the murders at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. See an editorial of the Platform for Independent Journalism (P24) for a list of issues.

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Interview with Mustafa Kemal

Below are transcribed the words in the image above by the founder of the Turkish Republic.

When I first visited Istanbul, in 1998, I was too late to see old American cars used as dolmuşlar. Perhaps there were still a few around, but I did not see them. They had been described in a book published the previous year:

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Bosphorus Sky

This is about the morning of Thursday, December 18, 2014, a morning I spent by the Bosphorus, thinking mostly about poetry, and photographing the sky.

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Istanbul, August 1, 2014

This is my first full day in Istanbul for three weeks, and I have four observations, on the color of the sky, on the habits political rulers, on public treatment of space, and on the value of art. Continue reading

Şirince 2014

This is about our second visit to the Nesin Mathematical Village in Şirince this year. The first visit was to attend the Summer School Around Valuation Theory, May 22–26. Now we have come back to teach, as usual, in the Turkish Mathematical Society Undergraduate and Graduate Summer School. This time we are teaching not just one week, but two: July 14–27. My own course, as several times in the past, is on nonstandard analysis. Each course meets every day but Thursday, two hours a day.

The Math Village only increases in beauty every year, as I mean to suggest by posting a few photographs below.

I shall also state an opinion. The summer school here in the Village used to receive some funding from TÜBİTAK (the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey); but apparently this funding is no longer forthcoming. Nonetheless, the Nesin Mathematical Village is the kind of venture that governments at their best will support. Certain Libertarians, desiring minimal government, still want government to maintain property rights, so that citizens can make money. Other people look to government to create jobs more directly. But money by itself is worthless, and some jobs are more worth doing than others. I do not say that the Nesin Mathematical Village should be supported for the technological gains that mathematics can make possible. I say that participating in the activities of the Village is itself a gain. What are you going to do when your basic animal needs are satisfied? You could do a lot worse than spend time on mathematics.

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Madness, stupidity, or evil?

In Turkey in 2014, May Day was an official holiday, and yet demonstrations in Taksim were banned. They had been banned also in 2013. In June of that year, I opined that the banning had contributed to the rage that erupted in the Gezi protests.

Why would the government ban demonstrations again this year? The only reasons I can think of are suggested by my title.

May Day demonstrations were permitted in 2012, and I remember the day as a joyous occasion. Some photographs of mine should suggest this.

May Day 2012 Istanbul

May Day 2012 Istanbul


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Hrant Dink assassination: 7th anniversary

A march from Taksim Square to the offices of Agos newspaper, where Hrant Dink was assassinated seven years ago today, January 19, 2014.

Seller of water and whistles

Seller of water and whistles

"We are all Hrant, we are all Armenian" (in Armenian, Turkish, and Kurdish)

“We are all Hrant, we are all Armenian” (in Armenian, Turkish, and Kurdish)

"Neither god nor state" "pimp/bastard/scoundrel state"

“Neither god nor state”
“pimp/bastard/scoundrel state”

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