30 Nisan 2014 Çarşamba

'Bride Price' Lifted, 4 Kids Married Off

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Sabah Newspaper, 30 April  2014)

Halaf başkanın fendi başlık parasını yendi
Yildiz brothers and newly-discounted brides.

In Sanliurfa, Halaf Yildiz (60), the former mayor of
Konuklu  town and a member of the Binicil tribe,  has
two wives and 17 children. Yildiz has found it difficult
to marry off his children because of the 'bride price'
(money paid by the groom to the bride's family) tradition
prevalent in the region but he had an idea about how to
change things.

Yildiz got together with his family members and relatives
and said that he wanted to eliminate the 'bride price'.
He was able to confer with about 500 members of  the
20,000-strong tribe and made the case that young people
are not getting married and starting families because of the
onerous 'bride price'. Yildiz got agreement from a large
section of his tribe's members, who announced that the
'bride price' had been consigned to history.

With this, Yildiz married off his sons Halit (24), Yusuf (22)
and Mehmet Yildiz (23), all recently returned from military
duty, and his daughter Hatice (21) - all on the same day.
Father Halaf Yildiz explained that "I first spoke with my
family and relatives about getting rid of this practice from
our region.  We agreed to eliminate the 'bride price' and
I was able to marry off my three sons and a daughter at
once. The 'bride price' in the region is between 30,000
and 50,000 TL, so it's quite a burden. We want our decision
to be an example for other tribes."

Son Halit Yildiz said that he had waited 4 years to marry
his sweetheart Feride because of the 'bride price' problem.
He added that "the Yildiz family married off 4 siblings
at the same time. With the 'bride price' out of the way
lovers were able to marry. I waited 4 years for the girl
I love. Now I'm very happy."

Konuklu is just outside of  the capital city Sanliurfa.

28 Nisan 2014 Pazartesi

Rapper Flo Rida's Excellent Istanbul Paycheck

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 28 April 2014)

//ed. note: today's report centers on corruption within
the Turkey Jockey Club (TJK) and our interest in the story
comes along about mid-way through the article.//

Flo Rida riding high in Istanbul last year.

According to the 16-page lawsuit petition and information
gleaned from the evidence list, the focus of the corruption
accusations is the excessive payment made to a U.S. artist
and a production job given to the son of a former Club board

Last year within the scope of the 87th Gazi Derby horse race
events, rapper Flo Rida, whose real name is Tramar Dillard,
and Murat Boz gave concerts. At first, it was agreed that Flo
Rida would receive $586,800 (!) for his two-hour concert but
because the concert was delayed by the Gezi Park incidents in
June,  another $87,950 (!!) was added on to Flo Rida's payment.

In total, adding on the tax due, Flo Rida's total payment was
1.6 million TL ($800,000) (!!!), whereas Murat Boz (a pretty
famous Turkish singer) received just 30,000 TL ($15,000)  for his
concert the following day. In other words, Flo Rida received
50 times more money than Murat Boz.

The other corruption allegation involved a production job
given to the son of former Club board member Demir Kamil
Gorgun. Allegedly, the son was paid 15,000 British pounds
to produce a VTR (publicity film) that actually cost about
2,000 TL to make. In fact, TJK's own TV unit could have
done the film at no cost.

In defense of the TJK leadership, General Secretary Osman
Hattat told Hurriyet that "we brought in Flo Rida to attract young
people to the Club and to instill a love of horses in them. We didn't
put the money in our own pockets! As for the incident involving
Gorgun's son, that money was returned to the Club."

27 Nisan 2014 Pazar

Recycled Greek Columns for Ottoman 'Revak" at Mecca

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 27 April 2014)

//ed. note: another in our occasional looks at unique slices of
Turkish/Ottoman history.//

450 yıllık sır ortaya çıktı
The Ottoman 'revak' (portico) of Mecca, removed and restored.

The removal of the Ottoman 'revak' (portico), built during the
reigns of Sultan Selim II and Sultan Murat III (1573-1577) for
the Kaaba in Mecca, began in November 2012 and has now
been completed. For years the demolition of the revak was
a subject of discussion in the Islamic world.

The project to expand the Kaaba is being undertaken by the
Bin Ladin (!) Group, which has reached an agreement with the
Gursoy Group, one of the largest historic restoration companies
in Turkey, for the restoration of the revak.  A team from Turkey
went to Saudi Arabia to remove and clean the revak. Some 496
columns, 881 bases, 152 domes, 232 small domes and 993
parapets - a total of 2,754 pieces - were transported to the
restoration site at Muzdelife (a place near Mecca between Mt.
Ararat and the valley of Mina.)

As the Saudi and Turkish experts inspected the revak they
encountered a 450- year old surprise concerning the form of
construction used for the domes: the construction style technique
had never before been seen in Islamic architecture.  Another
surprise was that most of  the columns and bases were from
the Hellenistic period and some were from the Omayyad
and Abbasi periods.  The experts surmise that these columns
came to the Kaaba along with rocks brought from afar.

Mecca was part of the Ottoman Empire in those days.

26 Nisan 2014 Cumartesi

History Catches Up With a Bad Guy

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 26 April 2014)

//ed. note: today's report is our blog's 900th!//

"The talented Kenan gets himself  arrested"

Bursa police captured Kenan Oner (56) in Bayrampasa,
Istanbul, after his sentence of 3 years 6 months for the
crime of  falsifying a document was approved by the court.
But that wasn't the end of the story because Oner's wealthy
parents, who lived in Iznik, have been missing for 6 years.

In order to provoke a response from Oner, the police
mentioned to him that his parents' bodies had been found.
When Oner blurted out in response "you dug up the garden?"
police searched his home in Istanbul and found documents
belonging to his mother and father.

Police then excavated the parents' home's garden in Iznik
on Ataturk Boulevard with a back-hoe. Next to the wall
of  a building alongside a sewerage tank they found two
human skulls and bones buried there. Oner was then
arrested by the court.

Oner's chronology of mayhem:

1988: Oner, a former member of the leftist terrorist
organization THKP/C who went to France after the military
coup in Turkey in 1980, killed Mehmet Yilmaz there and
burned the body. Interpol put out a red bulletin for his arrest.

1990: Oner married businesswoman Canan Aydin and their
son was born the same year.

1998: Oner was captured in Istanbul and sentenced to life
in prison.

2004: Taking advantage of a pardon, Oner was released
from prison.

2005: Oner returned home and after saying he was "taking
her for a vacation" his wife Canan disappeared.

2008: Oner's parents Ahmet Refik and Emine Oner, both
bedridden, moved into Oner's house. One month later the
parents disappeared.

2013: Oner's son A.O informed on his father, alleging that
Oner had killed A.O.'s mother and grandparents.

25 Nisan 2014 Cuma

Black Sea Architecture Edition

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Sabah Newspaper, 24 April 2014)

Competition only from the nearby minaret.

In Amasra, Bartin province, a hut built on a telephone
stanchion 20 meters high is drawing attention. Mustafa
Toprakdelen (45), who lives in a house 20 meters above
the road in Ugurlar village, bought the stanchion from the
construction firm where he previously worked as a chef.

Toprakdelen built the hut on the T-shaped stanchion as
a porch for his house by laying down 6 square meters
of sheet metal, adding a roof and furnishing the hut with
a table and chair on a wooden floor. He entertains his
friends in the hut.

The hut, built 4 years ago, has become a tourist attraction.
Toprakdelen explained that "I realized a 20-year dream.
People who see it say 'the Black Sea genius has shown
itself again. You made a nest on the stanchion like that of
a stork.' Since I can't work, because of some health
problems, I spend a good portion of my days with my
wife and children in the hut."

Amasra, east of Istanbul on the Black Sea coast.


turkce links to original Turkish article

(Sabah Newspaper, 24 April 2014)

Only a Rize native could think this one up...

A mosque minret in Ikizdere district, Rize province,
may be the world's most interesting one. Since
previous minarets in the 2,100 elevation Karzava Yaylasi
(summer mountain pasture) have been destroyed by
avalanches, Fikri Kurt (75) developed a minaret that the
snows can't threaten.  The 7-meter high minaret is lowered
in winter and raised in the summer by means of a special
hand-operated winch system.

Rize, at the other end of the Black Sea.
(but the building genius is the same)

24 Nisan 2014 Perşembe

The Boy Who Ate Home Depot

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Sabah Newspaper, 24 April 2014)

      On the menu in Kutahya

In Kutahya, 15 items, such as a fruit knife and a tea spoon,
were removed by endoscopoy from the stomach of
a 15 year-old boy. This incident, rarely seen in medicine,
amazed even the boy's doctors.

Last week, Emre Bilgir, who is mentally challenged, became
ill and told his family that he had swallowed  a knife, spoon,
pencil and other items. Bilgir was taken to Dumlupinar University
(DPU) Evliya Celebi Training and Research Hospital and
an endoscopic operation was undertaken.

Among the 15 items removed from Bildir's stomach were
a fruit knife, a bottle cap, a straw, a pencil, a ball point pen,
two tea spoons, four ice cream sticks and a tree branch.
Dr. Bircan Savran, who conducted the 3-hour operation
said that "this is not to be believed. It is impossible to
understand how the patient swallowed these piercing and
sharp foreign objects, one 15 centimeters in length,  into
his stomach."

Mother Emine Bilgir stated that "I want my child to recover.
He had to leave school 4 months ago. I want him to go
back to school."

Kutahya, now even  more famous for its 
eclectic cuisine...