Circe, Madeline Miller

I love to read all sorts of reviews, blog posts, book club notes; watch films and TV series on books that get me thinking. But most fulfilling are well written fan fiction novels. Circe is a very successful representative of this sub-genre. Continue reading Circe, Madeline Miller

Books I Read in 2018

For an obsessive compulsive reader like myself, every year begins – among others – with a goal to read certain amount of books of certain genres. However during the year, this goal gets derailed by my impulsive reading of a flashy new novel or a non-fiction topic that I find attractive as I find myself pressing the download button on my Kindle. Continue reading Books I Read in 2018

My Top 5 Podcasts of 2016

I cannot remember how I used to function before podcasts. I listen to them during my runs and walks, when driving, and (wife permitting) when I’m getting prepared in the morning.
Continue reading My Top 5 Podcasts of 2016

Connecting Rebellion

The program’s format goes like this: first you play a song from say Iron Maiden, let’s suppose you play Hallowed Be Thy Name, a song about a man on his way to the gallows. To proceed to the next song, the DJ has to find a connection to another artist. Let’s also assume that you have a schizophrenic taste of music and you are also fond of Michael Bolton’s How Am I Supposed to Live Without You. This is a song about a man who doesn’t know how he’s supposed to live without her. Continue reading Connecting Rebellion

Protest Music from Gezi Park

In this case when I say Protest Music I mean something else. I’m adding some videos below which are all about the protests but would not be filed under this genre. Maybe it can be said that just like the people, music genres are also uniting to protest against the PM and his government during the Summer of 2013. Continue reading Protest Music from Gezi Park

People’s Republic of Taksim

The Gezi Park was packed, and it looked like a carnival. There were street vendors selling all sorts of food, guitar players with cigarettes in their mouths with the ash almost falling onto their laps, people dancing the halay, voracious readers reading in dim light, a tattoo maker with a sign that said, “Ataturk’s signature tattooed with henna”, more people dancing the halay, people singing songs by Zulfu Livaneli (a popular leftwing singer from the 90’s), people sleeping to get prepared for the long night, occupiers on cleaning duty going around with huge trash bags, a lot of people taking photos and even more people dancing the halay. Continue reading People’s Republic of Taksim

The Teargas Revolution

I can see a growing interest from the rest of the world regarding the anti government (i.e. anti Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan) demonstrations in Turkey. But the real perplexing thing for us Turks is that the demonstrations have mobilised a previously numb and apolitical fraction of the society. Continue reading The Teargas Revolution

Istanbul Underground

As we spoke, we walked into a parking lot used by the tourist buses that shuttle tourists in and out of the ancient peninsula. Here were were greeted by a strange parking lot keeper who claimed that he was a nutcase and that was the only way he could stand his job which he detested. Ignoring his remarks that he would charge us a lot more next time we came, we walked into the dusty parking lot towards a hole in the ground hidden behind some parked vehicles. Continue reading Istanbul Underground

Shalimar The Clown, Salman Rushdie

As we reached the end, satisfied, having sated our (intellectual and culinary) hunger, I felt a little uneasy because the whole night we had been discussing India and Pakistan and on the next table were an expat couple (their timidity signaling a preliminary stage of their dating) one American born Indian (an ABCD) the other asian/oriental. If they end up reading this post I’d like to apologise to them, but they can rest assured that we had the best intentions in the world. And I do not mean it as in the proverb which seems to sum up one of the morals of Shalimar The Clown, “the road to hell is paved with the cobblestones of best intentions”. Continue reading Shalimar The Clown, Salman Rushdie