December 14, 2012

what is this pouncer app?

If you've watched the Hit and Run movie, then you can't have missed it. They talk about this pouncer app all the time. And I wonder what the hell it is? I just don't get it.

No, of course I don't mean I don't get what it is for. Well, you can't have missed it, they talk about it all the time. It is almost like this application is sort of their sponsor and they're trying to promote it. And that's kind of funny, because it turns out that the original application has another name and they didn't allow the producers use their name, whatever their reasons might be.

I am sorry for all those who loved the movie, but I really don't get what kind of  lame dialogues this movie has. I mean, they actually talk more than 1 minute to describe what this application does, and I can't stop thinking "Do they think the audience is stupid? Or are they just trying to promote it?" In a natural flowing movie dialogue, it really shouldn't take more than one or two lines to describe what it is all about. Just mention it once and let the movie flow, and let the app do its thing. Don't repeat it over and over again. Yet, they just don't stop.

OK now, for those who haven't watched the movie and love to hear a spoiler about it, this is what it does: It finds gay people. You log in, and the application finds other users near you who have logged in too. So if you want to find someone like minded, well, there you go.  And the name of the original application is Grindr.

If you want to read something more positive and informative about the movie and even the Pouncer App, you can click here.

Turkish Map in the Movie "I am Number 4"

Has anybody seen the movie I am Number 4? Ok, and for those who raised their hands, did you see the Turkish map in it? Probably not, because it was a very quick scene. I mean, you must of course have seen the map, but maybe you haven't noticed it is the Turkish map.

Well, it was the dream destination of this girl and she wanted to go there one day. And the rest of the movie? It was alright I guess, but still, I am thankful that there is not a "I am Number 4, too".

December 10, 2012

a past remade

In the movie Magnolia, Tom Cruise portrays a showman, a very popular public figure. Sorry for not providing more details because it has already been more than a decade since I watched the movie and it has been even longer than that, that my memory started to betray me.

But, in one of the most significant scenes which I happen to remember somehow, a woman interviews with Tom Cruise's character, and he talks about his past. Then, the woman says that she had made her homework, and everything he said about his past was a lie.

Then, Tom Cruise says, "No, it is true. It is my truth."

Don't expect me to remember the exact words, but this was the bottom line.

So I wonder: is it possible for a man to remake his past? Not really, if you are not totally schizoid or something like that. Because no matter how hard you try to reject this fact, you are always what you are, including your past -even if you hate it in the utmost level and and wish to change it completely. That's one of the reasons why you should be very careful about making choices in life, because you can't take back what you did, and they will haunt you forever.

If you think about it, a person has the potential to change his mind about things 180 degrees in a life time. That's quite possible. And as a a matter of fact, assuming a liberal environment where kids are encouraged to investigate as deep as they can,  people  probably change their minds about things in every 6 months or so, until their mid 20s. That's quite normal, too.

So what makes a man who he is if you know that he has changed his mind about many things,  in a sense, if he is not the same person anymore? Well, he is the same person.  Nobody sees him as a different character. So what is the binding force that binds our past and future which makes us the same person? The flesh? Well, maybe. You can't deny the power of this cage of meat which confines our souls. But there's something else, too. It is the power of deed and consequences. For example, you can't kill a man and get away with it by simply claiming that you are a different person now, someone who understands that killing is bad. You did something, you caused consequences and now you have to accept those consequences for better or for worse.

So, unless you are schizoid or something like that, you can't remake your past. It is what it is, and you are what your past made you.

And do you wonder why I talked about this stuff? Because the Turkish Nation reminds me that guy portrayed by Tom Cruise, and naturally, I don't like it.

Our history, especially the Ottoman era is becoming a taboo, with a completely made up sense of perception. First of all, the entire 600 something years are considered to be unique. And the Ottoman Empire is considered to be the most glorious, most fair, most... best of everything you can think of state in the world. Anyone with a little common sense can see that this is impossible by definition, but nobody cares.

There is a very silly debate going on nowadays in Turkey: The TV show "Muhteşem Yüzyıl - "The Magnificent Century"  is about to be banned. It is a silly TV show, a soap opera that takes place in the Ottoman era, the Suleiman-the-Magnificent era in particular. It is actually far from appealing me, however, my tastes don't count in that because the show is undeniably a rating machine. And now the show is under fire: Some people believe that it should be banned   because it doesn't reflect the era correctly.

Now, the show never claims that it is their duty to reflect the past in the correct way. But more importantly, what is a correct way to reflect the past? It turns out that, those people who want to ban the show don't really know about that period of time, and as a matter of fact, they don't care. All they know is, our past is glamorous and the Ottomans were the greatest Empire of all and they were the best of everything you can think of. They don't care the facts. Even when you show them proof that it was  not exactly how they imagine it was, they don't care.

You see, they are exactly like that character in the movie Magnolia. They remade their past and consider it to be the truth and don't care the rest.

You know what is really  pathetic about all this? It is our prime minister who initiated the whole thing. He actually said "This is not how we know our forefathers. Suleiman The Magnificent had been on horse back for 30 years, not in the harem." You show him that his numbers are wrong, but he doesn't care.

And a man opens a file suit against the show, asking it to be banned, because he doesn't like how the show portrays our past. And I challenge him to tell us our past. If he can come up with two original sentences which  is different than his typical routine "Ottomans were so great." I will sign that petition with him. But unfortunately, I doubt that he will accept it when an interviewer tells him the opposite.

You can click here for more information about the movie Magnolia, and here for more information about the show Magnificent Century

December 06, 2012


I am oficially 39 now, and I am too tired to write something  obscure enough to make me look like a wise man. I am just getting old. And old is old, not wise. I am sorry, the 38 years behind me didn't leave me any keys to share with  you. I still don't know why on earth we exist, but at least learnt not to think about such matters and just try to enjoy it while it lasts. Hmm, maybe I am not that dumb, even though this still does not make me a wise guy. So happy birthday to myself.

September 13, 2012

chicken translators

This picture was circulating online some years ago, helping our day with a great stock of laughter. In case you don't know Turkish and wonder what possibly the sign in English is trying to say, it is trying to say: "Grilled Chicken". Lost in translation? Well, you can say so.

Other than being mocked by the entire nation, the owner of this sign probably has another problem: i bet he still wonders why this big sign hasn't affected the number of visitors, especially foreign ones, even though he paid a handsome amount of money for it. So you see, there's also micro economic crisis going on here.

So, assume that you are taking some fancy class in college and your professor asked you in the exam: "Considering the fact that, this sign and all the alike are not isolated incidents but a clear sign of business going bad, what would be your suggestion to solve it?"

Now assume that one of your classmates answered: "We should teach everyone perfect English," and another friend of yours said: "We should make sure that business owners understand this very simple notion that hiring a professional service is not loss of money. Instead, it will help you boost your business."

So who do you think will pass the exam?

The author of an article I read almost six months ago seems to believe in the first answer.  She complains about the diminishing quality of English being spoken in her country.

At first, I thought that she was right. They and we need a better education for our children to learn better English. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But then, I started to feel that there's something wrong with the article which disturbs me somehow.

Then I figured.

Did I tell you that she is from Malaysia and the she complains about the quality of English being spoken in Malaysia? Do people who say "Let's makan" insted of  "Let's have a lunch," or some school kids who say "Let me pass away" while in fact they  wanted to say "Let me pass through", or a businessman who tries to attract tourists with a sign shouting "chicken translate" while in fact he simply meant "grilled chicken"  indicate a serious education problem?

I don't think so.

Why does a public figure say something like "Let's makan"? Why doesn't he say it in his own language if he is already surrounded with people who understand what "makan" is? Or, why do some school children even try to speak English in a non-class environment in a non-English speaking country?

Of course it is a good thing to know a foreign language well enough to make sure that you are giving the correct message. Or, it is even better if you hire a professional to do that for you, but why does it have to be perfect? Why are you supposed to speak English or any other second language as perfect as possible? As a matter fact,  is it even possible?

If you want to read the article I mentioned, it is here.

And if you wonder why the hell i laughed at the sign if i totally advocate not being perfect at English, well, I didn't laugh because the guy used wrong words. I laughed because he dared to think he can do the job himself if only he finds a dictionary.

So what I am saying is, let's learn a foreign language, actually, let's not stop there and learn a second foreign language, even a third one, yay, but let's not let it dominate our domestic education.

August 09, 2012

list of articles about Syria

Just for the sake of spreading the word, i will share some articles on the Syrian issue which you will probably never see in main stream media. I will update it from time to time but just don't expect a fully up-to-date list.

  1. Syria’s “Liberated” Future: Ethnic-Religious Cleansing and Genocide, by Shamus Cooke
  2. Washington Wired for War: Why Syria Could Spell World Catastrophe, by Finian Cunningham
  3. Humanitarian Military Intervention in Syria? Who is Behind the Atrocities?, by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
  4. SYRIA: NATO's Next "Humanitarian" War?,  by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
  5. CONFIRMED: US CIA Arming Terrorists in Syria, by Tony Cartalucci
  6. "Orwellian Ramifications" Begin to Unfold in Syria, by Ismail Salami

August 07, 2012

pattern, part 3

I really don't want to fill this blog with political posts but I just need to sum up two previous posts about this pattern I have seen in the political arena in Middle East.

As I said earlier, the incidents in Syria and Turkey's own PKK problem share similarities which can't be explained by coincidence. The methods, the support system, the way international media prefers to look at the matter, they're all the same.

And, if you widen the time span, you will see the exact methods in an earlier era.

Turkey has a lot of pressure coming from the international society to accept (at least to an extend) the allegations about the Armenian Genocide. While it is indeed very true that Armenians suffered a lot during the deportation, it is an hypocrisy to totally ignore the events which caused the deportation.

The methods Armenian guerilla groups used in late 1800s and early 1900s are exactly the same. They first started attacking and killing their own Armenian community. Just like Kurdish terrorists did in mid 80s. Actually, if you widen the time and geographic span, you'll see the exact same methods applied by Greeks and Bulgarians, too.

And why did they start killing their own people in the first place? Because they needed to eliminate any opposition within. They killed or scared to death anyone who opposed them, anyone who refused to provide  help.

All these events are not coincidentally similar but different movements. They all serve the same ambition to take control of the lands which were once controlled by the Ottomans.

Make no mistake. I am not one of those delusional neo-Ottoman fools who dream about building the empire once again. On the contrary, I wish everyone could have seen what a silly idea this is. I can see that it is a very bad idea and it adds more problems to the ones we already have.

So I think it is extremely important to see that all these incidents are not separate from each other but strongly tied together.

August 02, 2012

managing time

I've been using this online tool, toggl, to measure the time i spend working. The result was quite shocking.

It turned out that I work far less than i initially thought. I don't mean the time spent in front of the computer. That must be as long as forever. I am talking about the time i actually do professional stuff to make money. That's either translating, or some other errand closely related to translation.

But, even in the busiest week, i spend around 40 hours, which is probably standard anyway. So it was a shock to me.

What are the possible reasons? Well, for a starter, I am indeed getting older. And I get tired far easier than I used to. This is one of the problems.

Second, even though I love my job, I think I past the saturation point. So unless I am not working on a really very cool project, I lose interest.

Thirdly, now I have a family. I can't put all my efforts into translating as I used to. And this is indeed important.

But still, I wasn't expecting this.

Let me remind you though, I am a translator and this is quite different than most of the office jobs. I mean, there are a lot of people sitting in the office and doing business now and then, such as taking a phone call or replying an email, or maybe presenting a report. And if you ask them, they will say they worked all they long.
It is quite different for me. When I am doing business, then I am doing business, not chatting on the latest social media application. It means I physically and mentally devote myself to that job.

Yet, I think I am getting older.

By the way, if you want to measure the time you spend on various things, you can check this free online tool called toggl.

July 28, 2012

the pattern, part 2

When Kurdish terrorist group PKK was first established in mid 80s, they started to attack Kurdish villages, massacring everybody, including children and even babies. Later on, they started to attack public servants such as teachers, doctors and imams. Today, they shifted to mostly military targets to claim that they're freedom fighters, not some bloody terrorists. But that's what they are.

And interestingly, whenever PKK attacked, it was Turkish Republic to blame. It was extremely hard to tell the world that these people were ruthless killers. Instead, the world was more interested in violations of Kurdish rights in Turkey. 

In my previous post, I said that defending the opposite of the situation was also impossible. Actually, this is the big trick. Honestly, Turkey doesn't have a good human rights report, and it would be insane to claim something such as "Kurds are not oppressed." No, of course they were oppressed but they only got their share, just like everybody else in this country. It is not even semi-true if you try to put it as if Kurds are the only people who have been suffering. And it is definitely evil if you sound like the Kurdish terrorist movement is right - even if you put a pathetic footnote that you don't approve their violent methods.

And, trying to improve the Kurdish rights -whatever they might ever be- without giving a shit about the overall democratic improvement which covers every single person in this country, is simply wrong. And it doesn't help the cause you claim to support. 

It is important to see this pattern, because it is everywhere. In my previous post, I mentioned about the similarities between the so called Free Syrian Army and PKK.   They operate in the same way. And today, it is always the Syrian government to blame. 

Of course, it is almost impossible to defend the Syrian regime. It would be insane to claim that they're clean. However, this doesn't change the fact that Free Syrian Army is nothing but an opportunist rebellious group who cause extremely violent conflicts in Syria. 

Last decade, Syria was harboring PKK. Today, we are harboring the Free Syrian Army. And they are both equally wrong. 

It is also very important to see that, i am not actually talking about two different but very similar situations. As a matter of fact, both of these conflicts are the part of the same international scheme. And this scheme is not only limited to modern times. Actually, it has some very deep roots. 

July 22, 2012

oh look, i saw a pattern

There is an evil regime in Syria and they don't hesitate to kill their own people just to stay in power. And the world has to do something to protect Syrian people against their own government.

This is the kind of bullshit they want you to believe if you are following the main stream media. Thanks God now we have internet which lets us hear the same story from different vantage points which may help you see the bigger picture.

Of course, the opposite is not true and that's actually the big deal with the mass media. They only take a part of the facts and present it as if it is the truth, the only truth. And when you say there's something wrong with it, you suddenly find yourself defending something which probably isn't worth defending.

What I'm simply saying is, they don't tell you the truth and as a matter of fact, I don't think you need to be a genius to figure this out.

The Syrian government is obviously not the best government in the world. They have tons of flaws, and Syria has a lot to improve to become a fully functional democratic state. That's one thing. However, the so called Free Syrian Army is nothing but a bunch of rebels who are in possession of weapons which they can't normally afford. And when civilans die because of a conflict between the rebels and the official army, it is generally the rebels who initiate the massacre. You are free to make your own research and prove me wrong. And this is another thing. 

And what I hate the most about all this mayhem is that Turkey is harboring those rebels. They tried hard not to leak the news, but now it is a known fact. And Turkish goverment is doing this because...? Right, because there is an evil regime in Syria who  kill and torture their own people and they need to be protected. 

But I have been watching this entire child-play for decades and it really amazes me how Turkish people cannot see the pattern here. Turkish Republic has actually been dealing with the same kind of problem for at least 3 decades and we have been receiving the same kind of reaction in our war against Kurdish rebels, PKK.

It is almost the same. PKK attacks the villages, even towns, kills people, kills babies, along with countless Turkish public servants such as teachers, doctors, and of course, soldiers, and it is always Turkish Republic to blame.

Again, the opposite is not true and I don't say that Turkey has no fault in this. On the contrary, Turkey handled a lot of things in the worst  possible way, but this simple fact does not justify another simple fact that PKK got immense foreign support which helped them keep salughtering and slaughtering and slaughtering.

What seems like a very bad joke is the fact that Syria backed PKK and harbored their bloody leader Ocalan for decades, and then they were forced to send him away to first Russia and then to Italy. He found a good shelter in Italy for about a month and i will never forget and forgive how Italians were eager to support him. Later on, when Italy was finally forced to send Ocalan away, he was caught in Kenya with a Greek passport. 

There are amazing similarites between how Kurdish rebels operated in Turkey and how the so called Free Syrian Army is operating right now. People of Syria might have rightful demands but the way how they make their claim is as evil as the official Syrian government is told to be. And there is an open international support for the Syrian rebels, and Essad is being scorned in every opportunity.

They are both the part of the very same game. It is exteremely important to realize that we are not looking at two similar international plots but one. And as a matter of fact, this plot has far deeper roots than you can imagine and i will be talking about that in another post.

April 02, 2012

the farest place from heaven on earth

When I first heard that Nicholas Cage was in Turkey for the shootings of some of the scenes of the movie Ghost Rider 2, i simply thought: "It probably won't worth for all this media fuss." And it didn't indeed.

The first movie was a big dissapointment for me. And I wasn't expecting much from the second movie - which turned out to be anotherdisaster. And also, it was probably one of the worst (if not worst ever) performances of Nicholas Cage, especialy in that scene where he was threating a bad guy to speak with releasing the devil inside. That was a horrible performance.

But I will cut the chase.

It turned out in the movie that, Uzak Gökten, a fictional place in Turkey was the farest point from heaven on earth. Some people might be offended with that, but honestly, İ found it quite amusing - just like the rest of the movie, it was simply silly, nothing more.. And honestly, I don't know how low budgeted this movie was, but I wish the producers had given a dime or two to a decent trasnlator so that they wouldn't have translated the phrase "Far from heaven" in the lamest way ever.

There's another movie which was shot in Turkey, recently: Taken 2 - or whatever its official name will be.  Even though i can't really stand seeing Liam Neeson doing all that fake action stuff, I must admit that the first movie had some quality in it. However, the problem with the first movie was that, it was almost a racist movie in which this cool CIA agent kicked the asses of everybody he saw in France. And there wasn't even one single good guy in entire France in the entire movie. So I guess the sequel in Istanbul will be very interesting to watch.

March 24, 2012

moody when sleepy

Some time not so long ago i had a harsh dialogue with one of my  clients. Even though my intention was to take things easy, i just couldn't help but speak in a harsh tone. The client wanted to change the initial agreement we had due to change of situation. Well, that simply meant they changed their mind about a project, and my biggest error in here was not to estimate this change of mind in the first place even though it was quite foreseeable.

But, I was planning to find a middle way which pretty much meant that i had to sacrifice things.

But the dialouge didn't go in that way. I told them that I should not be the one who suffers because they changed their mind about something.

I tend to define myself as a mild mannered person and i usually try to find a way to solve a problem even though it usually means that i will be the one who has to pay the price. But when I don't sleep much, my mood changes. I tend to get angry easily at almot anything and my level of tolarence makes a very big fall. So i lose my flexibility, ususally along with my manners and I play rude before you know it - which actually means i become franker than you would like me to. 

The next day, when I have a good sleep, i pretty much regret the way i talked the day before, mainly because i really don't feel like that kind of a guy.

And sometimes i wonder, which one is better? Because seriously, the moody me is really better at protecting my rights while the milder me agrees for 50% of the initial agreement, only the very next day. However he is also more likely to lose a client who i really need.  I really don't know.

March 16, 2012

don't mix milk with the orange juice

In a typical sunday morning when i have proper time to have a proper breakfast with my wife, i pretty much love to mix different flavours. I mix honey with cheese or egg. And I find it pretty delicious. Interestingly, I met many people who just can't understand how delicious this is. It is a taste bomb for me, and yet, many people think that it is rubbish.

My enthusiasm to mix different flavors is not actually limited to breakfast only. For example in a typical lunch time in the office where they serve all the dishes at the same time, i usually take bites from different plates in random order, rather than finishing one dish and then starting the next one - as most people would do. But I would like note at this point that I don't do it as much as I used to do in the past, simply because I restricted most of the stuff I eat. For example, I never eat bread  (at least) in lunch time, or rice, or pasta, or any kind of desserts. So, my options to mix things is pretty much limited.

I also would like to note that I am aware of the fact that there are a lot of people like me. But let me not digress.

The point is, I am open to experimenting with flavours. More than most of the people, actually. I tried to make latte with sweet melons for god's sake - which was a disappointment, but at least i tried. 

Yet, there are things even I know that you should not mix. Like milk and orage juice. I love them both, but mixing them is not a good idea. They're both delicious in their own way, but their chemistry don't get along.


Ok, don't get me wrong. I love them both. I mean, I'm a loyal Metallica fan. I didn't abondon them even when it was a cool thing to abondon them especially right after their Black album. I'm naturally not a fanatical fan as I used to when I was a teenager, but I still adore them.

And I like Lou Reed, too. I'm not a big fan, but I like him and I never switch off the radio if he plays, as opposed to many other performers.

But come on, the mixture of Metallica and Lou Reed is nothing but a freak. They're both good at what they're doing, but they're simply not in the same lane. Actually, they're not even in the same continent. And I thoght they all were good musicians to figure it out before trying.

And here is a sample of what they have done. Listen and decide yourself.

March 09, 2012

Poisonous Spoiled Watermelons

I read an article about a watermelon which was forgotten in a corner in the kitchen. So it got spoiled.

The bottom line of the article is that, there are things we tend to keep in a corner planning  to deal with them  in a more appropriate time,  but we totaly forget about them until they get totally rotten. So we should either do things at the exact time of initial intention, or we should just ignore them and focus on what we are really interested in doing.

The way i try to deal with my spoiled watermelons is to-do lists. Actually, I kind of build my life around them. You see, I'm kind of a guy who is interested in various and somehow unrelated subjects. And as a matter of fact, it is not a bad thing. Because, the way i see it, if you want to be very good at something, you need to work on every aspects of it. I believe in total-body workouts for a fit body rather than trying to improve each muscle separately. So, if you want to be a soccer player and you feel like your left kick isn't as good as you want it to be, it is a better idea to try to improve your overall game playing rather than just trying to improve your left kicks.

But to be honest, the subjects i am interested in are pretty much different than each other, and they don't feel like related. It's like playing voleyball most of the time while in fact you know that you should do something about your left kick. But trust me, they are actually very well related - and how they can't be? After all, they're the aspects which make me the guy who I am now.  

But who has the time to do all that stuff? I am talking about studying statistics (yes I do that) and read Shakespeare afterwards, improving my memory skills and trying to to code a computer software. And who has the time to do all of them, especially if you already have a very busy agenda in the office? So, to-do lists really help me because this way O can make sure that everything is sorted and I will have time to deal with them eventually.  But the problem is, the watermelon in the kitchen can still get rotten before I finally get a chance to touch it after finishing other jobs.

And I realized that it makes me really very angry when I am behind my own schedule, and unfortunately, I am almost always behind it. Well, it is kind of okay if i am behind the schedule,  but it realy drives me mad when i can't finish something i've started no matter what the reason is. So you see, my watermelons are poisonous because they are bad for my nerves when they are rotten.

And if you want to read the article where I got this watermelon idea, you can read it here.