Archive for the ‘diary’ Category

long time..

it’s been really long time since i wrote. now, i have two theses to deal. and a class to teach. and kid to play. busy and tired. yet happy.

Categories: diary

i am on the move.

October 7, 2013 Leave a comment

we are in urfa since last week and will stay for a few years. i’m trying to get used to be here nowadays. today and in the coming days i’m gonna write about my tiny miny observations in this city.

last week we were on a taxi on our way home with my husband. the driver and f. started a discussion. f. first asked the driver why he did not turn on the taximeter. he said he is not using it anymore, because it is not profitable anymore. sounds weird :). then, he explained. because the oil prices increase very frequently, taximeter needs to be adjusted every time. and this adjustment cost him  a lot of money each time. so he simply decided not to use it. and brought us home for 15 tl. that was acceptable for us.

he asked f. where is he from. f. said ‘Urfalıyım’. man got a bit surprised. f. explained a bit, like ‘ i was abroad’ bla bla. man said ‘kaybolmuşsan’ (you are lost). f. approved him with a similar sentence, with a strong Urfa accent :). then the man became more talkative and asked further questions. and asked me ‘hanım kız sen niçin geldin buralara?’ (why you came here), i said ‘kocam geldi, ben de geldim işte’ (my husband came, so did i). i think he first didn’t understand that f. is my husband. he asked ‘urfanın defterine yazıldın mı?’ (i guess he meant ‘are you registered to the city council?’), i said yes. and he said ‘allah razı olsun’. i didn’t understand why. 


Categories: diary

thesis topic brainstorm

nowadays i am trying to write my thesis. most of the time procrastinating. i do not remember if i wrote about my thesis topic before. today i wanted to write a section on the refugee integration policies of the ottoman empire. i was planning to write about the Muhacirin Komisyonu, Emigrant/Refugee Commission, which was formed by the Ottoman government to deal with the outburst of refugees coming mostly from ex-Ottoman territories.

Now i am going to do some brainstorming, just to relax myself before i start writing.

This commission was formed in 1860. and lasted only couple of years. ottoman state thought that refugee flows would stop, after the crimean war. but many refugees continued coming. so, this commission was re-established under a different name. more active this time. they provided with many kinds of aid to the refugees. not just the financial aid. food and subsidy were given to them. empty lands were given for the agriculturalists. news houses were built for them. refugee children were sent to schools. the local people were expected to participate in all these activities of helping the newcomers. without their participation this would have been impossible, i think.

according to some historians of ottoman empire, formation of this commission and immigration-integration policies of the ottoman empire was very professional and modern attempts of dealing with refugees compared to other states of the time. these ottoman policies were there even before the establishment of unchr (united nations high commissioner for refugees). so, they argue, the ottomans were the pioneers of this field.

do I agree?

don’t know. i do not think that there was a conscious systematic long term policy making. the ottoman officials acted mostly in a pragmatic way.

white bread and the Turkish PM

January 18, 2013 Leave a comment

yesterday or the day before, the PM of Turkey made a statement and said that “we should remove the white bread away from our tables” (Artık şu beyaz ekmek denen ekmeği artık sofralardan kaldıralım). i really don’t know what is really in his mind. banning the production of white bread?

i have a serious problem with these manner of the PM. he is always and always and always talking about removing something away, banning or eliminating or destroying something. instead of banning something, why not just to promote the other alternatives. instead of removing away this so-called white breads, just encourage the production and consumption of healthier breads, like whole-grain bread etc.

his tone and attitudes are sooo irritating.

do not ban anything, dear Mr. PM, just support the alternatives!

once again,

October 4, 2012 Leave a comment

i have to write a thesis. again on migration. but this time it will be historical migration. i can briefly say that, this time i will write about istanbul, serving as a transit hub for the immigrants/refugees of Balkan wars (or Russo-Ottoman wars of 1876-77, it is not decided yet). details will follow. and i am hoping to write more posts as my thesis progress.

it is time to study.

it’s time to procrastinate. kidding :)..

Categories: diary

long time, no see..

October 29, 2011 2 comments

it’s been a long time, since i wrote here. i have a paper to write, and i’ve been procrastinating behind my laptop since yesterday morning. (of course i didn’t stay up here. i am waiting for an inspiration to come, but it didn’t.) and as the final stage of procrastination i thought of blogging 🙂 so here i am, back again! things have changed a lot. i graduated, got my masters degree. i’m not living in the netherlands anymore. that’s was really hard for me first, then i got used to it. i still miss my friends living there, and the things i used to do there. i still read the dutch news every week. it seems that everything is the same. pvv is still there, economic crisis is still there, people are getting more and more against the EU etc.

however, i don’t think i’ll be writing about dutch politics again. because i am not following the news closely, and not living there. i don’t think i can make reliable observations, i am a real outsider now. i may write more about general things, like the the new global “occupy” movements, which first started in the wall street, NYC. globalization is a weird thing. those people are protesting against the global capitalism, and their protests are also becoming global. i can think of globalism as a huge monster, swallowing everything, like those protests. and you can say that’s the positive side of globalism. probably. i have confused feelings towards globalism. i am not in the right mood of writing more about it, hopefully i can write more in the coming days, in a normal day, not in a day full with procrastination. and i hope writing here becomes a hobby for me, not a tool of procrastination.

i said things have changed. i made a life-changing- decision. it was not very hard to make, i feel very confident and comfortable about it. nowadays, i am trying to get used to the presence of a new person in my life. my new significant-other. other than that, i am still a student, in a different masters program. i have thoughts about switching to a phd. getting a phd abroad is nothing but a dream for me nowadays. and the questions follow, does it really worth to get one from a Turkish university? or would it be possible to teach in a turkish university with a headscarf, after long years of studying? if not, i can think of quitting now, but this idea scares me a lot. never mind, just try to forget those problems, and focus on my paper, how Kritovoulos and Tursun Beg described the conquest of Istanbul by Mehmed II in their chronicles.

if i drew a desperate picture of me here, it’s not true. i am more than happy in those days. the pessimistic tone of this text is due to this boring paper.

that’s all for now. i hope i continue writing here and there, i still have a couple of un written recipes.


Go away to your own country!

June 12, 2011 3 comments

Today, there was no class in the mosque. We wanted to have a picnic, everyone brought home-made nice food. But the weather was a bit chilly and the ground was still wet, so it is decided that we’ll have an “indoor picnic”. That was easy, really easy. We could “control” the children within the mosque, it would have been harder to do that in the park. Other teachers very much liked this idea.

After the “picnic”, I decided to take the students in my class to the park, just to have a walk and spend time together. While we were on the way to the park, two “autochtone” teenage girls were passing by to the opposite direction. There happened a dialogue (I’d rather call it a squabble) between my girls and those two. I hadn’t seen how it started, later learnt from the students.

We were walking with a group of eight-nine students (all with headscarves -normally only two of them wear headscarves regularly, others do not. but it is compulsory to wear it, when coming to the mosque-), they were making jokes, playing with their mobile phones and laughing. There were these two girls a few steps ahead. First, students and the approaching two girls stared at each other, in a strange way. Then the two girls asked ‘what are you doing, why are you laughing?’. ‘We are not laughing at you’, said the students.

(Here, I really do not understand how the discussion came to that point..)
Then the two girls shouted: ‘go away to your own country!’
My girls got really angry.
(Although they always say that they do not like this country, and would prefer living in Turkey, they reacted against these girls.. That’s good, there is a sign of love for this country 😉 )
All of them had something to tell for those girls.

‘We are alright in this country, if you are not, then you should go away!’, said one of them.

Some nasty memories of mine came to my mind. I remember hearing very similar sentences on the streets of Istanbul, from some old ladies, sometimes from old men.. ‘You, go away to Iran/Saudi Arabia with your headscarf!’, ‘You, brainwashed people of Hezbollah!’..
Those reactions, of course, did hurt. But I believed those old people had different mindsets which make them reject and react against anything or anyone ‘different’ from theirs. So, I just tried to ignore them.

Today, it was different. This time, similar ‘go away’ sentences were said by young people, other fellow girls, who are supposed to share and shape the future.

Sometimes I feel worried about the future. But not always. Today I do. I really do.