31 Aralık 2016 Cumartesi

Grinches Mug Santa, Cancel New Years

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 29 December 2016)

Noel rendition: Santa nabbed in Nazilli en route from the 
North Pole. (Rumsfeld denies involvement)

In Nazilli district of Aydın province, a group associated with the
Alperen Hearths  (rather fanatical Moslem youths) protested
Christmas and New Years with an interesting activity - they mugged
Santa  Claus in the town square.

The Alperen Hearth's Nazilli chief, Burak Yaşar, explained that
"we know that our folks celebrate New Years, not Christmas,  but
in order to make this point we rely on the Prophet's words. They
don't celebrate our holidays so why should we celebrate theirs.
Our friend dressed up like Santa and our guys in Efe (Aegean)
costumes beat him up.  We're giving a message with this - we're
living in the Efe world here."

Image result for aydın haritası
Aydın province. Nazilli is toward the east.


türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 28 December 2016)

Image result for züleyha aldoğan
The Grinchess who stole New Years, center, with friends.

In Marmaris district of Muğla province, Züleyha Aldoğan, district
chief for the National Education Ministry, sent a letter to all public
and private schools, as follows: "Some complaints have been received
about encouraging students toward certain celebrations that are at odds
with our values, such as dances, games of chance, New Years presents
and Santa Claus."

Teachers union chief Altan Kumbasar lamented that "it's a shame that
some people are trying to make New Years celebrations seem like a
celebration of Christmas."  Meanwhile, Aldoğan is planning to file
a criminal complaint about anyone who shared her letter on social

Image result for marmaris haritası

30 Aralık 2016 Cuma

The Faux Golden Lycian Way

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Sabah Newspaper, 29 December 2016)

Image result for antalyada külçe altın söylentisi
What red-blooded Indiana Jonesoğlu could possibly resist?

Treasure hunter Süleyman Çiçek went to search for treasure among
the ruins in Göynük Canyon along the Lycian Way, a more than 500-
kilometer footpath through the territory of ancient Lycia.  Near Kemer
in Antalya province, Çiçek's team found a small opening through
which they put a camera and identified "something sparkling like gold."

Çiçek and his team used explosives to open the redoubt, which prompted
the Gendarmerie to take them into custody.  Soon rumors spread of 20
tons of gold ingots being found.  This amount quickly rose to 50 tons,
upon which the Kemer municipality forbade access to the area.

Image result for antalyada külçe altın söylentisi
    "Hmmm, tight squeeze. Better get the TNT."

Yesterday a team from the Culture and Tourism Directorate went to
the site and were confronted with a great pile of gold ingots. However,
upon closer inspection, the ingots were determined to be plaster-cast
molds painted gold. (!)  Antalya Governor Münir Karaloğlu tweeted
"dreams of gold, in reality plaster."

Four persons have been taken into custody on suspicion of placing
the ingots in the cave in order to hoodwink prospective 'customers'.

lycian way stretching from Fethiye, far left, to Antalya. 

29 Aralık 2016 Perşembe

Trains Edition: Russian Relic in Kars

//ed. note: original Turkish article unavailable on internet.//

(HaberTürk Newspaper, 29 December 2016)

Efforts underway to revive it as a UFO landing strip.

//ed.note: for more on Russian railways see "To The Great
Ocean - The Taming of  Siberia and the Building of the
Trans-Siberian Railway, by Harmon Tupper (1965)//

Image result for harmon tupper

An aerial photograph of a train station in Kars had drawn
high interest on social media.  The station is in the middle
of nowhere, surrounded by pine trees, seeming to be an

It is the Benliahmet Train Station, 10 kilometers from Selim
district in Kars.  The station was built between 1910-1913 by
the Russians as part of the Doğukapı-Akyaka-Kars-Sarıkamış-
Erzurum railroad, in the aftermath of the Russian-Turkish war
of 1877-78.

Benliahmet station was closed in 2003 and these days trains
pass through the station without stopping.  The reason for the
pine trees that surround the station is protection from snow.
Today there is another station with an anti-snow tree perimeter
at Selim, 10 kilometers away from Benliahmet.

Image result for benliahmet

Two freight trains and two passenger trains pass through
Selim each day.  There are 4 Turkish Railways employees at
the station and 4 guards.  One of the workers, Erkan Karahancı
(38), explained to HaberTürk that "since there aren't many
forests nearby, people come to the pine trees at the Benliahmet
and Selim stations in the summer time for picnics.  The station
buildings are solid but since they are historic we cannot change

"Since our job is to facilitate the trains, we sit by the phone a
lot.  There's so much snow these days and we have to clean it
off the tracks.  We take care of the rail switches and guide the
trains. This place is so quite, Kars seems crowded to me."

The Benliahmet station got its name from the village of the
same name 3 kilometers away.  According to locals, a fellow
named Ahmet with a big freckle ('ben' in Turkish) on his face
led the struggle against the Armenians in Kars and the village
was named in his honor.  As of 2012, there were 903 people
living in Benliahmet.  As for Selim district itself, the story
goes that after the Russian-Turkish war the Russian Malakans
(sort of  like 'Quakers' vis-a-vis the Russian Orthodox Church)
settled here and named it Nova Selim.

Image result for doğukapı akyaka kars sarikamış demiryolu haritası
Benliahmet is 10 kilometers east of Selim, which is west of Kars.

28 Aralık 2016 Çarşamba

Bus Pass Like Beckham's

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(HaberTürk Newspaper, 28 December 2016)

Image result for david beckham fotoğrafı öğrenci kartını iptal ettirdi
Girlfriend applied using Posh Spice photo.

In Izmir, university student L.E.M. put the photograph of famous
footballer David Beckham on his municipal student bus pass but
it was subsequently canceled.

L.E.M. (20), who goes to Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir,
applied online for his municipal student bus pass but he could
not get the application page to accept his own photograph.  For
a month L.E.M had to pay full fare on buses because of this

Image result for david beckham fotoğrafı öğrenci kartını iptal ettirdi
       Actually, the resemblance is uncanny...

Ultimately, L.E.M. applied for the pass using a photo of Beckham
and succeeded in getting his bus pass. (!)  ESHOT (Izmir transit
system) had this to say about the matter: "Our folks in the Card
Unit have to handle tens of thousands of applications each day.
There have been about 40 applications using the photos of Brad
Pitt, Adriana Lima, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Tarkan and
Ahmet Kaya. all of which have been discovered and canceled.
L.E.M.'s application with the phony photo slipped through but
we have canceled it."

As for L.E.M., he explained that "thinking that there was a
problem with the system, I put in a new application with
Beckham's photo and it was accepted.  I had heard that people
got cards with photos of Messi, Selina Gomez and other

Image result for eshot
          Would Beckham pay full fare?