Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Turkey

My bus tour experience in Turkey: 7 days in different hotels

I liked this bus tour and already missed this enduring vacation. I am looking forward to another bus tour to different regions in Turkey.

Note 1: I say it upfront that the worst parts in this tour is to “incarcerate” us in modern malls for 3 hours in each major city. These 5 unnerving visits highly upset me. Maybe many would like to visit a mall once or twice, but many of us would rather be in a zoo (if available) or a park with monster roller coasters., and would have settled for a place with babyfoot (fuzzball) , ping pong and dart throwing…..

We didn’t even visit any old souks where we could buy some items that peple back home wanted, like cotton abayaat and other exotic gifts.

My purpose of taking this “exhausting” trip was to test my endurance, hopefully for climbing the Himalayas (and I could take more physical traumas), but the repeated Malls visits took the wind out of my morale.

Note 2: There is no way to pay in other currencies but in Turkish Lira (TL) or credit cards. If you fail to exchange currencies you die of hunger since no shop would accept dollars or Euros: I think government restrictions are followed, except in touristic sites for buying gift. One person told me that he is using his credit cards for everything. Thus, once all my TL were spent, I bought a cologne bottle by credit for less than $3. And I kept using the card for eating.

Note 3: Truth is, none of the guides (Lebanese and Turkish) attempted to introduce us at the first meeting. I could have made this tour without knowing anybody if I didn’t force myself to introduce myself.

The introduction could be: “It is standard procedure to introduce ourselves at our first meeting, at least with our first name. If you feel uneasy, then say “pass” 

Actually, it was on the last day that I haphazardly knew that 2 groups were from my district and neighboring towns. Truth is that I felt alone most of the tour, like when I arrive early for breakfast /dinner, no one would join my table. And had to mingle without invitation.

Going out does barely change the habits of Not introducing ourselves: this habit of “tarkeez al tarboush”.

We landed in Izmir (Smyrna) on Monday morning around 11:30 am and had a “panoramic” tour around this big city of 3.5 million, stretched around an inlet of the sea. Izmir is an industrial city and the sea was badly polluted from former tanning factories and  is being cleaned up.

Smyrna was a destination to Athens philosophers’ (Protagoras and Anaxagoras) who were banned from the city, mostly  when condemned as heretics, and its close region of Milet by a river. It was a main province during the Farisi empire until Alexander defeated this empire. All the Greek city-states had trade contoires in this city in the antiquity,

We slept at the 5 stars Wyndham hotel and I enjoyed its indoor comprehensive spa.

It was the Adha Eid (the sacrifice in Muslim religion) and Turkish had vacation for 3 days and most businesses and pharmacies were closed. Many Lebanese take advantage to buy very urgent inexpensive drugs,  in large bundle, compared to Lebanon.

Once I entered a pharmacy with the group. I didn’t want to by anything. I inquired what kind of drug I should buy 3 years down the drain. I ended up settling for a B-complex vitamin bottle

We resumed to Ephesus and walked the vestiges of this vast ancient city. Apparently, the Austrian archaeologists barely excavated 10% in the last 100 years. When Austria will run out of funds, the German are in the list to continue the work.

The Turkish government reap the entrance fees without spending any money on the archaeology sites. It was hot and the sloping marble street was slippery and the tour was done quickly at my displeasure. Our Turkish guide for the tour was carrying a Turkish flag on a stick to follow. him I ended up following 3 different groups with guides holding the same flag.

One of the 7th most famous wonders in antiquity, the “Temple of Artemis”, is reduced to a single colon and badly repaired. Apparently, the Christians dismantled this “atheist” temple, as the Muslims later will dismantle Christian sites.

We resumed our drive to Meryemena on a hill, supposedly where Virgin Mary died, based on a dream from a bed-ridden German crippled woman. I strongly doubt this myth, since it was Not possible that Mary, who died at age 56, could reach this remote destination. The most plausible location is in actual Syria and on the seashore.

The next day we drove to Pamukkele and the Hieropark hotel. I enjoyed the open-air iron mud-like pool, watching as in the balcony the night entertainment of music and belly dancing. I then swam in the open-air pool and could Not share the belly dancer in my swimming trunk. I liked this supposed 4 stars hotel more than in the other hotels.

We visited the Roman ancient city of Hieropolis with chalk areas and spring pools and slippery low-level pools. A great visit. I think I experience a sudden kind of diarrhea and barely reached the far away WC. Excellent day to spend in that quaint town.

We resumed our trip to Konia, a 5 hours trip.  At one point I told the guide that there is urgency to stop at the first gas station and Not wait for the “programmed break”. I had to come forward twice for the guide to take my request seriously. Many stepped out of the bus and thanked me for my straightforward move.

The “program” made us visit the Mevlana Museum, a place where Imam Jalal El Din taught his students of dervishes. At night, a bunch of the group spent money to watch an hour of Whirling Dervishes. I had watched them in a TV documentary, which I had cut short. I didn’t like this Hilton hotel with its long corridors that reminded me of old hotel style.

The “program” wanted us to visit the Uchicar castle where disciple John was “buried’. I refused to visit this castle because it was apparent that its crumbling outside walls, haphazardly filled with little stones, were “renovated” with  plain sculpted stones. And it was hot and I was tired for these “archaeological” meandering.

The temple of Baalbak in Lebanon is far more majestic and far more ancient than any temple that exists or ever existed.

We proceeded to Cappadocia where over 150 flying hot balloons is performed about 250 mornings per year . The hot balloon morning was cancelled by the authority for climate  causes and reported for the next morning.

I also refused to share in that experience. 18 of our tour group were crammed in a single “nacel” but they experienced a wonderful event from up there. Our guide refused me to join the group, just to watch the frenetic preparation and procedure for the flight, a decision that has no reasonable foundation at all.

It seems that a ticket for a seat in a balloon is $50 if purchased in Turkey, instead of the $175. It was reported to me by one of the group when walking the main street in Cappadokya (as written in Turkey) , and being more curious than the rest of us. Obviously, if seats are “available”.

It is in this Goreme town that I got lost. The Turkish guide said that we will meet at a Chinese restaurant. I visited the first Chinese place and no one was there. I was told there were 8 other Chinese restaurants. One of them is across the main street, and it was closed. And I ended wandered around and checking on the other “closed” Chinese restaurants (probably they take siesta time?).

I got lost off the main street. Hard to find a Turkish speaking English or French or Arabic… I met a guy wearing a large back pack and speaks English  and he said he is a trekking person. He used his GPS but was of no help. After 30 minutes of walking I re-located the main street.

I was exhausted and it was hot and walked straight to the bus. It was locked. On my way back, I met 3 of our group and were urgently trying to locate a public WC. I told them there are none where they are searching. They ignored me.

I resumed my walk and sat in the first “restaurant” and ordered hot tea (chi) and used their WC.  One funny female member said: “So for ordering a hot tea you are waiting for another hour to go back to the bus?”

We visited several sites of these caves dug in the hills, like the Nevsehir valley, the Goreme Open Air Museum and the Red “canyon”. Our Turkish guide Levant flew his tiny drone to film the valley. I thought he was preparing a documentary on this area that he is most fond of. Apparently, Levant is a “professional” photographer and had exhibited some of his pictures in London.

We also visited this Kaymakliunderground city” of 4 levels, dug in a chain and series of caves and holes. Apparently, there are 8 more underground cities, one of them is of 13 floors deep. Most of them were excavated during the Hittite empire, 2000 years BC. Many claim that Christians at some periods inhabited these cities. I believe that these habitation were reserved for slaves and prisoners.

On Saturday we drove to Adana and were parked in a Ramada hotel, in the downtown, with no facilities, save a tiny gym.

A group were whisked to the Optimum Mall. Later, with nothing to do, I opted to walk 1.5 km to there and returned in the same bus at 8 pm.

A group paid $45 for dinner and for watching Turkish traditional dancing, an event that I opted to ignore: I prefer to participate in the dancing and Not sit and watch.

The group reported that they were invited to the dancing floor and many Spanish and Italians danced: a piece of news that I was not filled with, otherwise I would have shared in that event, instead of spending a much boring night. Actually, I planned to work on my laptop, but I could Not recharge it and the connection failed on me that night.

A video, shared to our Izmir group, showed one of our female members joining the belly dancer. In fact, she ignored the dancer and performed her our “choreography” and the official dancer had to step aside. Our group belly dancer added a section in her dance performance, bowed , bent over (mtayyazi) for a while.

I finished reading a book and then remembered that Maria, a young girl sitting behind me in the bus with her mother, initiated me to YouTube this day on the bus. I listened to 2 hours on these old musics of the 70’s.

On the bus that day, Maria connected me to the Rolling Stones at my request. I was so enthralled with the music that when the guide Natasha sounded on the micro: “I have something to say. Are you listening?” I removed one earplug and replied: “Only with one ear”

The next day we paid a visit to the marina in Mersin and I had bass fish with a large Efes beer.

Actually, two days ago, as we were roaming the streets of the town of Seljuk, in the Ephesus province, for a “free lunch”, meaning with our own money and I spent most of my TL on eating “for fee”, I patronized a small eating place and asked for a local Turkish beer. He suggested a very large bottle of Efes, claiming it was made in Seljuk. Later, the Turkish guide rectified: This beer is made in Istanbul.

We returned to Adana in order to fly from its tiny airport. But before that, we were parked in a mall to wait for 3 hours for the airport departure. That was a grueling ending for a good trip.

Our plane our delayed 2 hours because another plane was hired to pick us and the returning hajjis (pilgrims) from Mecca were hoarding all the available planes back to Lebanon.

My taxi driver had to take a nap in his car and I waited outside, hoping that he didn’t lose patience, but he showed after 15 min of worrisome wait.

(I learned later that mobile phones should be closed when boarding a plane to another country, otherwise, when we land we will not be able to receive contact on our mobile)

Note 4: This sentence “It is Not in the program” is what ire me most. In the last night of our tour, I suggested that all the group go to a club, a karioki club for example, and apply our talents in singing, dancing… The idea was good, but the guide replied: “This event is Not in the program”. We had a night off, even an afternoon off. What then? Extra expenses in gas bus? Extra expenses to the driver? Do you think anyone would Not have chipped in for the additional expenses? An event that would have gathered the group and had a great time to meet.

Note 5: Couples mostly remember to take a taxi to visit an old souk. But single people barely can come up with this ingenious idea. It is the guide responsibility to remind everyone of this possibility to schedule their “free time”.

Note 6: Asian tourists preceded us on every bus stop (break), every touristic sites, every hotel. They were from mainland China, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, and even from Kazakhstan (I spotted two goddesses of them and had to investigate their origin). Canadian Asians were there and who were transferred by their companies to Japan, Singapore… and they insisted 3 times that they are Canadians. All of these emerging countries with large middle-classes who are on the move

Note 7: We drove miles in rich fields, trees of all kinds, and fruit trees that have been harvested. A vast country of plenty in the valley between the Taurus mountain chains. And even the dry vast plateau of Konya, where barely a tree could be seen, the fields of cereals were harvested.

Maybe because of the Adha Eid or the fields were already harvested, I didn’t spot a farmer or an agricultural equipment working the land.  Turkey manufacture most of the kitchen industrial products and export them to the EU, products that Europe desisted from resuming production because of expensive workforce. Turkey has many carries, mostly for white marble and extensive construction works for new towns and new building. The guide told us that Turkish “construction companies” were exported to many countries, especially in Libya, Qatar and Asia neighboring countries such as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan…

Note 8: This is an ongoing updated article. I asked members to add comments so that I make a comprehensive article, but no one contributed or responded. One member wrote that this was her worst vacation and she felt a total stranger among our group. Maybe her feeling is founded.

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Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 220

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

“A Berlin, on pourrait recruter 20 chomeurs pour controller si les proprietaires de chiens ramassent les crottes de leurs animaux” (Claudia Hammerlig, deputee’ Verte). Je pense que ces controlleurs de crottes doivent eux-meme les ramasser  s’ils donnent une amende: ou bien ils les ramassent ou bien les clients paient une amende. 

Les controlleurs de crottes de chiens doivent pouvoir louer aux proprietaires de chiens les equipement necessaire pour ramasser les crottes

 “Seul celui qui travaille doit pouvoir manger?” (Depute’ alleman Munteferingo). Et Tous ceux qui touchent des allocations doivent fumer et boire de la bierre?

La pauvrete’ decoule du comportement des gens de sous-culture? Sous-entendu, c’est pas le porte-monnaie qui est vide, mais l’esprit. Comme si les riches qui achetent des objets de luxes qu’ils n’utilizent pas, ou bien une seule fois, ont tant d’esprit a distribuer?

To where the 200,000 inhabitant of Al Raqqa were transferred to? The USA has the humanitarian duty to save all civilians and Not commit war crimes as ISIS and allow UN team to visit this totally bombed and demolished city. 

Now that Turkey entered Afrin, it want to attack the city of Manbej in the Syria Kurdish canton of Kobani? This city co-habit “Arab” tribes, Kurds, Turkmenes, tcherkess and Tchetchenes. It was liberated in 2015 from ISIS.

The northern region of Syria is at proximity of historic cities such as Mardin and Nusaybin that mandated France over Syria and Lebanon gave to Turkey in 1935

A Kobani, dans la residence Kongra Star, ce sont les femmes qui traitent les plaintes de vendetta des crimes d’honneur, avant de les referer a la justice quand elles ne trouvent pas de compromis.

En 2015, l’ organisation Kurde de Syrie (PYD), a l’instigation des Americains, ont rases des villages entieres dans la region de Tell Abyad pour que les Americains construisent leurs bases militaires (des crimes de guerre documentes par Amnesty)

A l’ Assemblee’ Legislative du canton Kurde Al Jazira (Cezire) dans la ville de Amoude siege 101 membres , dont la moitie’ sont feminins.

Rojava (Ouest du Kurdistan) de Syrie, Iraq et Turkie

Les grandes puissances coloniales ont l’intention d’hypoteque’ l’avenir du Nord Syrie, riche en hydrocarbure (25% des reserves de terre), surtout dans la region de Al Malikiyah (Rumeillah) pres de la riviere Tigre.

Le contrat social de la Federation democratique des Kurdes de la Syrie rejette le nationalism et prone une societe’ egalitaire, paritaire et le respect des droits des minorites. (Mireille Court et Chris Den Hond, envoyes speciaux du Monde Diplomatique)

Les organizations Kurdes PKK et le PYD se referent a Abdullah Ocalan (Kurdish/ Turkish leader in prison since 1999) et a l’ecologiste Americain Murray Brookchin (1921-2006)

Why is Turkey standing up for Qatar?

“Thank you Turkey for the milk!” posted one Twitter user from Qatar, along with a picture taken in a supermarket whose shelves were full of Turkish-brand bottles. (Why? Is Qatar in such a dire need with all its billions invested overseas?)

Over the weekend, fresh stocks of milk, yogurt, poultry and juice from Turkey were flown to Doha as the country faced a shortage of fresh produce due to the recent crisis in the Gulf – the worst in the past decade. (Iran is better positioned and closer to Qatar by sea and air to provide all that Qatar need)

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the isolation of Qatar as inhumane and against Islamic values, comparing it to a “death sentence”. (Why? Turkey and Qatar actions in Syria for the last 6 years were that humanitarian)

His foreign minister is due to visit the country on Wednesday for talks about the crisis

As Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt decided to sever all ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, Turkey’s initial reaction was to try to refrain from taking sides and to call for dialogue.

But just two days later Ankara made a dramatic pro-Qatari turn.

The passing of a bill to authorise the deployment of Turkish troops to Qatar was presented to the international community as a clear message: Doha is not alone.

In fact, the bill had been waiting for parliamentary approval for almost two years – long before the Qatar crisis erupted.

The two countries had already signed a military protocol back in 2015, and Turkey had opened a military base in Qatar – its first in the region, currently hosting about 100 Turkish soldiers, but with a capacity of up to 5,000 troops.

On Monday, the Turkish army sent a further three officers to co-ordinate the future deployment. Some reports suggest that Ankara will initially deploy infantry, then a naval force, followed by F16 fighter jets.

Ankara perceives Doha as one of its key allies, especially after Turkey’s increasing isolation internationally.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was the first leader to make a solidarity call to President Erdogan after the Turkish coup attempt last year.

Turkey-Qatar trade ties $424m (Not much)

Turkish exports to Qatar in 2015: main items sea vessels, electrical goods, furniture $361m

Qatari exports to Turkey in 2015: main items petrol and derivatives, aluminium, plastic products

  • 126% Growth of Turkish exports to Qatar since 2011
  • 25% Decrease of Qatari exports to Turkey since 2011

There are even reports alleging that a 150-strong elite unit of Qatari special forces was sent to Turkey for close protection of Mr Erdogan after the coup plot. (Yeah. Turkey’s President badly need all kinds protection, even with the lousy Qatari special forces,  after dismantling his armed forces and detaining thousands of judges, teachers and university students…)

The governments of the two countries also share similar ideological stances.

Neither classifies the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas as “terrorist organisations”; both have condemned the military coup in Egypt that toppled Mohammed Morsi in 2013; and both have supported Islamist groups in their attempt to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.

They also have the same attitude towards Iran. Both acknowledge that it is one of the key players in the region and try to maintain good ties – contrary to the Saudi demonisation of Tehran.

Qatar has also been investing heavily in Turkey – it ranks seventh in terms of Doha’s foreign investments.

Turkish exports to Qatar are valued at more than $420m (£330m), and the emirate is seeking several arms deals with Turkish defence firms. (Not that of any quality since Turkey relies on Israel to do the maintenance of its heavy tanks and air-fighters)

The value of projects undertaken in Qatar by more than 30 Turkish companies, mainly in the construction sector, has reached approximately $8.5bn to date, according to official numbers.

And with the 2022 World Cup’s preparations under way, Turkish contractors are eyeing the country for further investments.

Mr Erdogan has demanded an immediate end to the Qatar crisis, calling on the Saudi king to take the lead to resolve it.

Although taking a pro-Qatari position, Turkey does not want to be perceived as anti-Saudi.

What it wants first and foremost is a diplomatic settlement to restore the relations between the parties.

But if the tension escalates further leading to a military confrontation, or a coup, will Turkey still be prepared to stand by its recently adopted “brother”?

Note 1: Trump and Saudi monarch deal was to subsidize most of the promised $350 billion from Qatar sovereign fund. Saudi kingdom taking full control of Qatar as it did with Bahrain. The US military got hysteric and pressured Trump to cool down his antics. Two US navy ships arrived to Qatar, supposedly to train Qatari marine

Note 2: Qatar is no Bahrain. Not that it is that bigger in population and land, but richer and many countries rely on Qatar’s generosity and investment. Not even the US airbase in Qatar will intervene in any military confrontation: Iran will Not allow this move, this time around, on its backyard

Note 3: Qatar Emir didn’t learn the lesson from his father who was pressured by Saudi Kingdom to step aside: He had ignored Big Brother privilege to initiate political positions and Not take front seat in the political scenes such as with Syria, Libya and Egypt

Note 4: Qatar former foreign minister Hamad confessed yesterday that they committed serious errors in funding terrorist factions in Syria, Iraq and libya. He admitted that, headed with the USA, they shared with Saudi Kingdom the same headquarters in Jordan and Turkey to destabilize Syria since the inception of the civil war in 2011

Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria;

U.S. Blames Assad, How convenient

Note: In 2013, I posted this article representing the two sides of the story on using chemical weapons https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/chemical-attacks-in-syria-is-it-a-matter-of-point-of-view-or-point-of-attack/

If you want the truth in reporting, search it in Turkey where journalists and reporters are locked up in prisons. Erdogan is much bloodier and cruel when it comes to exterminating Syrians

Note 1: Many countries are producing modified tear gas agents, far more potent to disperse mass demonstrators and deadly in many cases.  The tear gas have killed many in Egypt, Turkey, Palestine and Tunisia, Pakistan, Thailand…

Note 2: A plausible alternative was that a bomb hit nerve gas reserves stored by the rebels in tunnels… Apparently, antidote nerve gas too were discovered in the tunnels…

“I have to tell wife Anzi of my extermination mission…”

Note 1: The French author Jean-Claude Belfiore is from an Armenian mother and a Sicilian father. He had published “Hannibal: An unbelievable destiny“.

His second book that I reviewed in two parts was “I committed genocide on Armenians…” Diaries of a Turkish Captain.

He did his best to fool the reader that the book is a genuine diary from an actual Turkish officer.

The cover features an old picture of a Turkish officer, and throughout the book the author made sure to give the impression that the story was extracted from a diary, with attached clips of old Turkish dailies.

This style angered me and the author replied to my review.

Note 1: Sunni Kurds in the outback Turkey (195-18) were hired to do the ugly killing and ransacking of villages and guarding the prisoners.

Note 2: Here is the reply JeanClaude BELFIORE to my review.

New comment on your post “”I committed genocide on Armenians…” Diaries of a Turkish Captain. Part 1″
Author : JeanClaude BELFIORE (IP: 141.0.8.139 , s09-13.opera-mini.net)
E-mail : jc.belfiore@gmail.com
URL    : http://belfiore.fr/jeanclaude/
Whois  : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/141.0.8.139
Comment:

Merci pour cette mise au point. Dans la publication d’un livre,  il y a des contraintes éditoriales que, peut-être, vous ignorez et sur lesquelles il serait trop long de revenir.

Mais rappelez-vous une chose: un texte publié, quel qu’il soit (un journal?), est différent du texte qu’on garde chez soi dans un tiroir.

Encore une fois, le “journal” est un genre littéraire à part entière, comme le récit, comme le théâtre: il a ses lois – des lois qui sont différentes de celles du journal qu’on tient à la maison.

Il ne faut pas essayer de comparer les deux. Le premier n’est pas moins sincère que le second. – Et c’est parce que le massacre des Arméniens est sérieux que j’ai choisi un Turc pour le raconter.

Autre chose.
Je préfère la traduction “I killed Armenians” (part II) plutôt que “I committed genocide”, qui est anachronique. Le mot “genocide” est apparu en 1944.
Merci de l’intérêt que vous portez à ce livre.
JeanClaude Belfiore

Origin of English Language? Turkey and Near East region?

English language ‘originated in Turkey’

Discussion
Image caption Words in common use betray the language of our past

Modern Indo-European languages – which include English – originated in Turkey about 9,000 years ago, researchers say. (The eastern seashore region of the Mediterranean sea)

Their findings differ from conventional theory that these languages originated 5,000 years ago in south-west Russia.

The New Zealand researchers used methods developed to study virus epidemics to create family trees of ancient and modern Indo-European tongues to pinpoint where and when the language family first arose.

Their study is reported in Science.

A language family is a group of languages that arose from a common ancestor, known as the proto-language.

Linguists identify these families by trawling through modern languages for words of similar sound that often describe the same thing, like water and wasser (German). These shared words – or cognates – represent our language inheritance.

According to the Ethnologue database, more than 100 language families exist.

The Indo-European family is one of the largest families – more than 400 languages spoken in at least 60 countries – and its origins are unclear.

The Steppes, or Kurgan, theorists hold that the proto-language originated in the Steppes of Russia, north of the Caspian Sea, about 5,000 years ago.

The Anatolia hypothesis – first proposed in the late 1980s by Prof Colin Renfrew (now Lord Renfrew) – suggests an origin in the Anatolian region of Turkey about 3,000 years earlier.

To determine which competing theory was the most likely, Dr Quentin Atkinson from the University of Auckland and his team interrogated language evolution using phylogenetic analyses – more usually used to trace virus epidemics.

Fundamentals of life

Phylogenetics reveals relatedness by assessing how much of the information stored in DNA is shared between organisms.

Influenza virus
Image caption The researchers used methods developed for tracing virus epidemics

Chimpanzees and humans have a common ancestor and share about 98% of their DNA. Because of this shared ancestry, they cluster together on phylogenetic – or family – trees.

Like DNA, language is passed down, generation to generation.

Although language changes and evolves, some linguists have argued that cognates describing the fundamentals of life – kinship (mother, father), body parts (eye, hand), the natural world (fire, water) and basic verbs (to walk, to run) – resist change.

These conserved cognates are strongly linked to the proto-language of old.

Dr Atkinson and his team built a database containing 207 cognate words present in 103 Indo‐European languages, which included 20 ancient tongues such as Latin and Greek.

Using phylogenetic analysis, they were able to reconstruct the evolutionary relatedness of these modern and ancient languages – the more words that are cognate, the more similar the languages are and the closer they group on the tree.

The trees could also predict when and where the ancestral language originated.

Looking back into the depths of the tree, Dr Atkinson and his colleagues were able to confirm the Anatolian origin.

To test if the alternative hypothesis – of a Russian origin several thousand years later – was possible, the team used competing models of evolution to pitch Steppes and Anatolian theory against each other.

Speech
Image caption Cognate words represent our language inheritance

In repeated tests, the Anatolian theory always came out on top.

Commenting on the paper, Prof Mark Pagel, a Fellow of the Royal Society from the University of Reading who was involved in earlier published phylogenetic studies, said: “This is a superb application of methods taken from evolutionary biology to understand a problem in cultural evolution – the origin and expansion of the Indo-European languages.

“This paper conclusively shows that the Indo-European languages are at least 8-9,500 years old, and arose, as has long been speculated, in the Anatolian region of what is modern-day Turkey and spread outwards from there.”

Commenting on the inclusion of ancient languages in the analyses, he added: “The use of a number of known calibration points from ‘fossil’ languages greatly strengthens the conclusions.”

However, the findings have not found universal acceptance.

Prof Petri Kallio from the University of Helsinki suggests that several cognate words describing technological inventions – such as the wheel – are evident across different languages.

He argues that the Indo-European proto-language diversified after the invention of the wheel, about 5,000 years ago.

On the phylogenetic methods used to date the proto-language, Prof Kallio added: “So why do I still remain sceptical? Unlike archaeological radiocarbon dating based on the fixed rate of decay of the carbon-14 isotope, there is simply no fixed rate of decay of basic vocabulary, which would allow us to date ancestral proto-languages.

“Instead of the quantity of the words, therefore, the trained Indo-Europeanists concentrate on the quality of the words.” (Like what words can be classified as quality? Eating, running, killing, war, stealing, raping, fruits, grains, earth, land, mountains, rivers, water…?)

Prof Pagel is less convinced by the counter-argument: “Compared to the Kurgan hypothesis, this new analysis shows the Anatolian hypothesis as the clear winner.”

Note: Civilizations centered around major rivers and estuaries.The meeting spots for all the people fleeing catastrophic events and shortage of food.

The Euphrates and Tiger Rivers, along of where they flow in Syria and Iraq, have been centers of great earlier civilizations. The hot bed of civilization where all the migrant people lived and developed for many thousands of years.

It is from these centers that civilizations spread to other regions and constituted this unified DNA for mankind.

Turkey was the transit stage toward Europe and the Caucasus.

And the Purge Begins In Turkey:

Planned before the failed military coup

The coup in Turkey is over, and now the purge begins.

On Saturday, Turkish soldiers and police—those who had remained loyal to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the uncertain hours of the previous day—were rounding up their enemies across the security services, reportedly arresting thousands. There will be thousands more.

In the high-stakes world of Turkish politics—nominally democratic but played with authoritarian ferocity—justice for the losers will be swift and brutal.

The remarkable thing about Friday’s coup attempt is not that it failed but that, after years of Erdoğan’s relentless purging of his opposition, there was a faction inside the Turkish military strong enough to mount one at all.

The confrontation was a long time coming.

When Erdoğan first became Prime Minister, in 2003, he was the Islamic world’s great democratic hope, a leader of enormous vitality who would show the world that an avowedly Islamist politician could lead a stable democracy and carry on as a member of NATO, too.

Those hopes evaporated quickly.

Erdoğan, who was elected Turkey’s president in 2014, has taken a page from Vladimir Putin’s playbook, using democratic institutions to legitimize his rule while crushing his opponents, with an eye to ultimately smothering democracy itself.

Over the past decade, Erdoğan has silenced, marginalized, or crushed nearly anyone in the country who might oppose him, including newspaper editors, university professors, aid workers, and dissident politicians. (What an irony that Erdoğan, who has imprisoned so many journalists, and gone to great lengths to censor Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, may have saved his Presidency by using FaceTime to make an early Saturday appearance on a Turkish television news channel.)

President Obama and other Western leaders, seeing Erdoğan as a bulwark against chaos, largely gave him a pass.

In his most recent grab for authoritarian powers, Erdoğan pushed through a law that stripped members of parliament of immunity from prosecution, a measure that his critics fear, with good reason, that he will use to remove the few remaining lawmakers who still oppose him.

Then there’s the military.

Since the Turkish republic was founded, in 1923, the county’s generals have imagined themselves the ultimate arbiters of its politics, stepping into power—sometimes savagely—whenever they felt the government had become either too leftist or too Islamic.

(After the military overthrew a democratically elected government in 1960, the generals executed the Prime Minister.) The military has had a special contempt for Erdoğan, whom they regarded as a dangerous Islamist—but they have proven no match for him.

In 2007, Erdoğan’s henchmen initiated a series of show trials, known collectively as Sledgehammer, in which fabricated evidence was used to remove the top tier of the Turkish officer corps.

Hundreds were sent to prison, and the military itself seemed banished from politics forever.

Indeed, Erdoğan must have been surprised that there was still a dissident faction of the armed forces large enough to try to bring him down. On Friday, the coup’s organizers didn’t even have the sense to detain the man they were trying to overthrow, and they apparently never seriously contemplated shooting their way into the palace.

(After a coup in 1980, the military killed and imprisoned tens of thousands.) In the wake of their failure, the military will be soon be under Erdoğan’s total control, like virtually every other institution in the country.

Andrew Bossone shared this link

Erdogan called the coup attempt “a gift from god.” He even called the Turkish army The army of Mohammad

newyorker.com|By Dexter Filkins. July 16, 2016

In his dramatic appearance at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport on Friday night, Erdoğan blamed the insurrection on the exiled cleric Fatullah Gulen, a reclusive figure who lives in the Poconos (Pennsylvania). “I have a message for Pennsylvania,’’ Erdoğan said, a reference that must have baffled many non-Turks. “You have engaged in enough treason against this nation. If you dare, come back to your country.”

Gulen, an aging cleric who heads one of the world’s largest Islamic orders, fled Turkey in 1999, when it appeared that the military was going to arrest him.

For years, Gulen was one of Erdoğan’s closest allies, helping him in his rise to power. While Gulen preaches a message of love and tolerance, there has often been something mysterious about him and his followers, who do not readily advertise either their affiliation or their intentions.

Over the years, Gulen’s followers quietly found positions within many Turkish institutions, particularly the courts and police. (It was the Gulenists who led the show trials against the generals and the press.)

In 2008, James Jeffrey, the American ambassador, wrote a memo about the Gulenist infiltration of the Turkish National Police. “The assertion that the T.N.P is controlled by the Gulenists is impossible to confirm, but we have found no one who disputes it,” Jeffrey said.

Then, in 2013, Gulen and Erdoğan split, in what appears to be part of a naked struggle for power.

In the years since, Erdoğan has purged the courts and police of thousands of men and women presumed to be Gulen loyalists. It’s hard to know whether Gulen was behind Friday’s attempted putsch, but at this point it seems unlikely.

While Gulen’s followers predominated in the security services, they were not generally believed to be a large force inside the military. It seems more likely that the officers who led the revolt represented the remnant of the military’s old secular order. Now they’re finished.

During his speech last night at the Istanbul airport, Erdoğan referred to the attempted coup as a “gift from God.” Erdoğan is usually a precise speaker, but in this case, perhaps in his excitement, he showed his cards.

With the coup attempt thwarted, he will no doubt seize the moment. In recent months, Erdogan has made little secret of his desire to rewrite the constitution to give himself near total power. There will be no stopping him now.

Note 1: French foreign minister reminded Erdogan that the military coup cannot extend Erdogan any blank check to do whatever he pleases: No executions or trials without due process. The EU constitution should be respected, otherwise, Turkey should kiss good-bye to adhering to the EU

Note 2: The Turkish police force invaded the US Injerlik air-force base, confirming my conjecture that the US was partially behind this coup.

Note 3: Summer tourism to Turkey is Shot. Greece will take the slack. Instability is there to stay for a long while.

Note 4: The successive news are confirming my story https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/military-coup-in-turkey-objectives-and-potential-consequences/

 


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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