31 Ocak 2017 Salı

Asteroids & Orchids Edition

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Milliyet Newspaper, 31 January 2017)

Göktaşına Sezen Aksu adı verildi
          Now on the Celestial Walk of Fame.

A well-known French astronomer, Jean-Claude Merlin, has named
an asteroid he discovered in 2009 after Turkish pop singer Sezen Aksu (!).
Merlin found the new asteroid, which is 450 million kilometers from the
sun, while working with a telescope in Arizona.

Merlin explained the naming of the asteroid as follows: "I wanted to
name one of my discoveries after Sezen Aksu to honor her.  So asteroid
266854's official name is now "Sezen Aksu".  Asteroid 26684 Sezenaksu
is more than three times farther from the sun than Earth."

      Has a thing for Turkish heavenly bodies.

Merlin said that Aksu, whose official name is Fatma Sezen Yıldırım,
"is a songwriter and producer and her voice has a special emotional tone
to it.  She has affected millions of people with her music and besides
Turkish, she has composed songs in Armenian, Greek and Kurdish."  

Image result for seinfeld ricky elaine

A precedent: he named his X-3251 mannequin 'Elaine'.


türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Milliyet Newspaper, 31 January 2017)

Image result for doğadan yabani orkide toplayanlara rekor ceza
Orchid bandit Ali Çetin and his forbidden fruit.

In Yozgat, two people who gathered the wild orchid root 'salep'
have been fined 81,826 TL (about 25,000 USD).  One of the
suspects, Ali Çetin, said mornfully "I was burned. No one else
should be."

Çetin was caught red-handed gathering the roots last May in
Gülyayla village by officials of the Yozgat office of the Forestry
and Water Affairs Ministry.  In accordance with Environmental
Law 2872, paragraphs 9 and 20, a fine of 40,913 TL was levied
on Çetin, who claimed that he didn't know gathering the roots
was illegal.  In any event, the father of four lamented that he does
not have the means to pay the fine.

Both Çetin and his nephew were caught and both received the
same fine. Çetin said he is expecting help from the President,
Prime Minister and the Forestry Minister as he is merely a
laborer and has his parent to look after besides his children.
He added that "I've never seen this amount of money in my life.
I can't pay it. Would we have gathered salep roots if we had
known it was illegal? Would we want to pay a 40,000 TL fine
for salep roots that go for 15-20 TL per kilogram?  They didn't
even give us a warning!"

Yozgat Forestry chief Cihan Eğilmez, however, was unmoved
and explained that in accordance with paragraph 20 of the
environmental law citizens pulling out salep roots, which are
protected, must be penalized.

Image result for yozgat haritası
                 Yozgat province

30 Ocak 2017 Pazartesi


türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Milliyet Newspaper, 30 January 2017)

//ed. note: this is a column by Abdullah Karakuş and provides a
fresh, first-hand look at this mysterious island-nation.//

Image result for madagascar map

The capital of one of the countries we visited on the recent African trip
of President Erdoğan is Antananarivo, on the world's fourth largest
island, Madagascar. Everyone on the trip was curious about the island
because of the animated film of the same name and its loveable animals.

However, as soon as we landed on the island the loveable animals we
expected to see didn't meet us.  Instead, we were met my hordes of 
mosquitoes.  The ceiling of the hotel we stayed at was covered with them.
We couldn't sleep without putting on mosquito repellant all over our 
bodies in this place where malaria is still a great danger. 

Image result for madagascar the movie
Maybe if you use a magnifying glass you can see the mosquitoes.

Most of the African nations were subjected to European exploitation but
Madagascar's history is a bit different.  Moslem Arabs established trading
colonies in the island's north in the 14th century.  In the 17th century,
European pirates looted and pillaged the island. The Moslems living on
Madagascar prayed the Koran for us during Turkey's war of independence.

                     Downtown Antananarivo

There are more Chinese here now than in Mozambique.  When I asked
why, I was told that the Chinese in Madagascar didn't just come for 
business investment like they have in Mozambique.  But there are many
more Indians, Malays and Indonesians here, making Madagascar's 
ethnic make-up quite different than other African nations. 

There has been a marked increase in the island's Chinese population in
recent years.  The following groups populate Madagascar: Malay-
Indonesian, a mix of African-Malay-Indonesian and Arabs, Indians,
Creoles and Comoro Islanders.  It's as if the island has become a 
melting pot of Asians, Africans and Europeans. 52% of the 25 million
islanders follow local religions, 41% are Christians and 7% are Moslems.       

While roaming the streets  we saw people pulling cargo carts, 2 people
in front and 2 in back.  Youths were playing ball on a flat field and 
women washed clothes on the river bank.  The river does not look to
be particularly clean.

Image result for madagascar
              The first time they saw Turks.

We went to a small shopping center in the capital but we were in for 
sticker-shock: small bags were being sold for 500 USD.  They told us
that Westerners are the hoped-for buyers of these expensive items.  
Traffic is dense in Madagascar - it takes hours to get anywhere. When
we set out to cover President Erdoğan's official events our driver said
he was taking a short-cut and headed toward the mountains.  Along
this route we saw impoverished people.  And since there's no 
infrastructure water accumulates everywhere. 

The main exports of the island are coffee, vanilla, shelled sea creatures,
cocoa and oil products.  Madagascar is the world's biggest producer
of vanilla.  The island has 5,600 kilometers of coastline but the 
tourism infrastructure, roads and hotels are inadequate or nonexistant.
We understood this from the hotel we stayed in.  

150 Turkish businessmen came along on President Erdoğan's visit and
there are many areas where they can make investments on the island.
My impression from the President's 3-nation African tour (Tanzania,
Mozambique and Madagascar) is that such visits are very important
markers for the future of both Turks and Africans.  

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) has been
implementing projects on Madagascar since 2009, by, for example,
providing materials for the 10% of the island's women who earn a 
living from handicrafts.  TİKA also refurbished the National Women's
Handicrafts Center building. 

TİKA has given medical material and equipment for dentistry schools
in two university hospitals in two cities, along with an ambulance.
Other interesting TİKA projects have been support for chefs and a
sewing center.  TİKA rehabilitated a birthing residence and provided
10 battery-operated wheelchairs for needy recipients. 

TİKA see recent TNT reporting on TİKA's activities in nearby

Image result for madagascar

29 Ocak 2017 Pazar

Ref's Psychodrama Causes Match Cancellation

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Millyet Newspaper, 29 January 2017)

Image result for psikolojim bozuldu dedi maçı tatil etti
Ref  Eraslan (center) looking as sunny as the weather beforehand.

A referee in the Tokat Super Amateur Football League stopped
a match in progress because he said his psychology was ruined.
The match was being held at the Niksar District Stadium between
Niksar Belediyespor and Erbaa Güreş İhtisasspor.

The home team took the lead in the third minute of play on a goal
by Bayram Nazık.  In the 35th minute Niksar's Fıratcan Koçboğa
complained to referee Hasan Eraslan that he had suffered a foul.
However, Eraslan responded to Koçboğa's complaint by issuing
him a 'yellow card'.  When Koçboğa persisted, Eraslan gave him a
second 'yellow card', followed by a 'red card' (ejection).

Image result for psikolojim bozuldu dedi maçı tatil etti
His mood went south with the rain, though, at the 35th minute.

At this point the Erbaa squad, which was on the attack, objected
to the stoppage of play.  Facing complaints from both teams,
Eraslan declared "my psychology is ruined! I can't run the match
in this state!" and called off the match.

Image result for tokat haritası
Niksar and Erbaa districts are in north central Tokat.