Sorry, Not Sorry

I have tried not to post any political opinions on my blog, and I think I have been somewhat successful at keeping my blowhard points of view to myself BUT here I am today being all political yet again.  I am sure I will offend some of you, but *sigh* I don’t care to be honest.


My very first post on this blog explained how I came to be living here in Türkiye.  I won’t bore you with the details (you can read about them here) but in short, I had an epiphany that would lead me to travel to the Middle East and Türkiye and to that fateful evening when I met The Turk.

I wanted to travel to Jerusalem.  I wanted to learn about this city that is home to major Muslim and Christian shrines, as well as Judaism’s holiest site.  I wanted to float in the Dead Sea, and I wanted to hit all those nightclubs in Tel Aviv.  Finally, I felt a need to understand why there is such animosity about this fascinating part of the world.


In preparation for my travel, I took a couple of theology classes to learn about the long, and, at times, painful, history of the area.

I learned that the Temple Mount in the Old City is the most sacred place in Judaism.  It is the site of Solomon’s Temple which is said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant.

I also learned that it is the third holiest shrine in Islam, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif. It was the scene of Prophet Muhammad’s ‘Night Journey’ ascension from Earth to Heaven, and the compound incorporates the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The city is also sacred to Christians and Catholics with millions visiting Jerusalem to undertake the Stations of the Cross which follows Jesus’s last day as a man before being crucified on a hill outside its walls.

Finally, I learned that I would never truly understand the complexities of the area.

But Jerusalem also has hugely important implications for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the United States of America have completely derailed any chance of peace in the foreseeable future with Trump’s recent declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital city.  This has just added to the instability of the region.

I mean he is totally giving the Palestinian people the finger.  Ugh!  The man is a complete moron.

Moving on.

Those that know me personally know that I am no fan of Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his push for power in my adopted homeland however his speech given yesterday regarding Trump’s threats to cut funding if countries didn’t vote alongside the US was, in my opinion, fecking fabulous!


By way of context and for those of you living under a rock the US President Donald Trump, being the very embodiment of a bully, threatened to cut funding to countries that would vote against them on the UN motion condemning the US’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Some of Erdoğan’s comments include:

“They call the U.S. the cradle of democracy. The cradle of democracy is seeking to buy a nation’s will with dollars.”

“Mr Trump, you cannot buy our will. I am calling on the whole world: Do not sell your struggle for democracy for a few dollars. Your stance is important.”

“I hope that the U.S. will not get the result it expects today and the world will give the U.S. a very good lesson.”

Yesterday President Erdoğan made the US aware that they are no longer the powerhouse that they once were and that no country should accede to their whims and flights of fancy.  They have dragged themselves down with their ridiculous agendas, casually forgetting about those who have been, up until now, their friends and allies.  The US has swiftly moved from being a joke to being the most hated nation on earth.

Thank you, President Erdoğan for saying what the rest of us are thinking.

And to you Mr Trump – make your fecking list.  Feel free to bluster and blow wind up your own ass because clearly, no one else is interested in your opinions anymore.

Incidentally, the UN General Assembly voted 128-9 declaring Trump’s announcement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void”.

Merry Christmas.


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Gender equality in Türkiye

Oh dear.  It seems that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has gone and put his foot in it again while attending at the Women and Justice Summit in Istanbul on Monday.  While addressing this conference he reminded us all that you cannot put men and women on an equal footing as women are not equal.  “It is against nature,” he said.  “They were created differently.  Their nature is different.  Their constitution is different.”  He went on to talk about how you cannot compare a breastfeeding woman to a man as well as attacking feminism and feminists claiming that they “reject the concept of motherhood.”  Jeeze!

erdogan 2

As a woman I can be outraged at the polarising statement made by the Turkish President and when I start to look at women’s rights in Türkiye I realise that Erdoğan’s statement really is only the tip of the iceberg of inequality here. At the conference Erdoğan went on to state that only a small percentage of women actually had legal employment in Türkiye however there was a very large uncounted percentage of women who worked on the land while the men “played cards”.  People (including his daughter Sumeyye) cheered Erdogan at this point.  “Yes it is true!  The women DO do all the work!”  Erdogan nodded smiling at his constituents no doubt believing that he is all goodness and generosity with his words and time.

Sure it is true but let me tell you what else is true for women here in Türkiye.  It is estimated that 40% of women have suffered from domestic violence in Türkiye.  I suspect that this estimate is actually a lot higher but reporting is frowned upon.  It is merely a case of boys being boys.

How about the number of women murdered by family members here in Turkey?  In 2009 the number was 3 women a day (I do not have the 2014 figure).

How about we discuss the number of underage weddings that take place here in Türkiye each year?  Should I mention that Erdoğan’s Presidential predecessor Abdullah Gul married his wife when she was merely 15 years old?

Finally should I remind you that Erdoğan has attempted to outlaw abortion, the morning after pill and limit caesarean sections and at that same speech given in Istanbul on 24 November reminded women that they should have three or more children for the sake of the economy.  Hello?  What about the health, safety and the sanity of the woman giving birth to these children?  And how about the continual welfare of the children who grow up in rural Türkiye when their family cannot support the children that they already have.

I read a statement issued by CHP Women’s Branch on 25 November that sums up the current policies that contribute to violence and behaviour of women in Turkiye.  “As long as women are not free, as long as they are not adequately represented in the decision making mechanism, this society will not move forward”.  Nice one.

Have a read of this piece posted on my Facebook page by fellow blogger Kerry from Earth Laughs in Flowers.  The piece written by Aslihan Agaglu reminds us that women in Türkiye have long had strong women to look up to.  Türkiye was at the forefront of women’s rights under the strong leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.  Turkish women have long had the right to vote and, rightly so, the right to voice their opinion.  Someone simply needs to remind Erdoğan of these rights as I think he has forgotten.


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A 60 Second Political Update by Janey

As expected Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now the President-elect of this great country of Turkey picking up 52% of the vote.  Incidentally he had a crushing defeat the area that I live in Mersin.  But the battle for Erdogan has only just started with him now wanting to change the constitution that has stood in place since Ataturk was named Turkey’s first President on 30 May 1920.


So what does that mean? 

Simply put the role of President in Turkey is seen as more of a ceremonial post but Erdogan now wants to change that role to make it a more executive decision-maker as seen in the US. 

How would he affect the change?

For Erdogan to change the Constitution he is going to need two-thirds of the vote in Parliament and right now I cannot see him getting that many votes although I guess only time will tell.

Accepting his win he spoke about “old” Turkey no doubt putting in first seeds in people’s minds about the need to change the Constitution:

“Today is the day that we initiate a social reconciliation process.  Please leave aside the old discussions, old disputes, old tensions in the old Turkey. “

A nice speech but let’s remember this was the man who attempted (and for a period achieved his intention) of banning Twitter and Youtube (and for some strange reason the website Funny or Die is still blocked damn it!) as well as the recent corruption scandals and anti-Government protests.  Turkey’s economic growth has now peaked and to be honest I think the Government is going to have its work cut out for it over the coming years.

Conservative or Secular?

With Erdogan becoming President and wanting to make executive decisions I see a huge change coming in Turkey’s future.  A more conservative and religious future which will only polarise the more westernized secular Turkish person.  

What happens now?

On 28 August Erdogan will take an oath in front of Parliament in which he promises to abide by Turkey’s principle of secularism.  With his own Islamist leanings and his penchant for restricting rights such as freedom of speech may prove difficult for Erdogan to balance.

The result of the election was never in doubt but whether he will succeed as President and with his reforms still is.  In our little village, however, there was still fun to be had with one enterprising person putting himself up for vote with little placards placed around the village.  If only this vote counted.

I promise my next post will be a little brighter and giving you something more than political dribble. What is that old saying?  Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.  Some such nonsense anyway.


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Presidential Election

Today Turkey will be heavily featured in the international news for its historic first Presidential election.  For the first time ordinary people will decide on a post that is normally chosen by parliament.


There are three contenders for this position.  Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Selahattin Demirtas.  Erdogan is, of course, the current Prime Minister of the country and will no doubt win this election today as well.  Why?  Well he is the face that people see every day in newspapers, on television.  The Turk said to me that for him Erdogan is the leader of a cult which has smothered democracy.  A rock star if you will.  He is adored by his followers and his smooth talking can turn even the most hardened head.  Erdogan has allowed religion and politics to mix and that’s not on in The Turk’s mind.  The other two contenders Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Selahattin Demirtas really do not have the power to pull in the numbers that Erdogan has.  Ihsanoglu was previously the leader of the International Islamic Organisation so really isn’t that well known here in Turkey.  Selahattin Demirtas is a young Kurdish hopeful but, as Turkey was at war with the minority Kurdish only a few years ago, the fact that he is running at all is a milestone for the country I think.

So what will happen from here?  Probably nothing.  Erdogan will move into the presidential position, one of his flunkies will move into the position of Prime Minister and life will go on.  His control will continue, his opinions will be flaunted (Israel and foreign interests) sometimes to the detriment of the country but for me as a yabanci living in Turkey I just hope that Turkey continues to be a safe home for me and my family.  We will see.

Absent Without Leave

I have been AWOL the last week or so.  There is no particular reason, I have just been busy with life and better to be busy than bored I think.


There has been a lot going on both in Mersin itself and with my life.

In Mersin local elections took place on 30 March and they were hotly contested.  CHP won in the Village but Mersin itself was won by MHP.  It seems, however, that there was one box of votes that were not counted and the shit royally hit the fan yesterday with CHP believing that they in fact should have won.  There were protests and some localised rioting (The Turk wouldn’t let me out of the house) and a recount of the votes was to take place today.  My sister in law is in the Council and a member of CHP so she is hopeful that the count will reinstate her and her and her party CHP to power.  Incidentally Erdogan’s AK Party pretty much cleaned up in most other areas and in fact increased its share throughout the country.  I am surprised at the increase in popularity taking into consideration the corruption scandals that were dogging him over the past few months along with the recent passing of Berkin Elvan in Istanbul.  No official results have yet been announced, but the tally published by Turkish media put the AK Party on around 44% of the nationwide vote to 26-28% for CHP.

Personally The Turk’s aunt passed away last Saturday.  She was my mother-in-law’s older sister and another example of just how wonderful and kind Turkish women can be.  I have also been to a wedding (which had a yikes factor of 7), took Daughter to the dentist (which had a yikes factor of 10 and a never again) and took myself off to the hairdresser which took 4 hours and two attempts before I finally walked out of the salon.  No I am not satisfied – I am blonde.  Well blonde-ish anyway.   The trip to the hairdresser had a yikes factor of 6 but I’m upping it to an 8 because I am still not happy.  Funnily enough, my sisters in law all love it and asked me why I didnt go blonder!!??

All in all a very busy week and leaving me little time to sit down and reflect on my thoughts.



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