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Cornucopia of Ottomania and Turcomania | Contact:mailmaviboncuk(at)
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    Istanbul Declaration On “Freedom For Al Quds” Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference Istanbul, Republic Of Turkey 24 Rabi' Awwal 1439 Ah 13 December 2017 Oic Extraordinary Summit Istanbul Declaration On “Freedom For Al Quds”  SOURCE PDF 

      Mavi Boncuk |

    1. We reject and condemn the US Administration's unlawful statement regarding the status of Al Quds.

    2. Just like the fact that Israel’s decision to annex Al Quds and its actions and
    practices therewith are never accepted, we declare that this statement is identically null and void from the point of view of conscience, justice and history.
    We invite all members of the UN, the EU and the international community to remain committed to the status of Al Quds and all related UN Resolutions.

    3. We emphasize that it will never be possible to give up on the aspiration to a sovereign and independent State of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital; which we regard as a prerequisite for peace and security in the region.

    4. We declare that we will act in cooperation and coordination to protect the cause of Palestine and Al Quds in the international arena, especially in the UN.

    5. We declare that we will mobilize support in the name of entire humanity to strengthen the State of Palestine and its institutions in every field.

    6. We call upon all countries which have not yet recognized the State of Palestine, which was declared in 1988 in Algeria as the result of the will of the Palestinian people to live freely, to take this vital step. Recognition of the State of Palestine has now become essential in order to achieve balance for the prevalence of common sense and conscience in the region in the wake
    of recent developments. While we reaffirm that we recognize the State of Palestine, we invite the whole world to recognize East Jerusalem as the occupied capital of the State of Palestine.

    7. We are of the opinion that, for the defense of the Palestinian cause, it is essential under current conditions to achieve Palestinian reconciliation without further delay on the basis of mutual respect, trust, compromise and a full sense of national solidarity. We reiterate our support in this regard.

    8. We invite the Trump Administration to reconsider its unlawful decision that might trigger chaos in the region and to rescind its mistaken step.

    9. As the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, we reaffirm our full support for our each and every Palestinian brother particularly the President of the State of Palestine, His Excellency Mahmoud Abbas in their struggle for an independent and sovereign Palestine, with Al Quds as its capital.

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  • 12/15/17--10:07: Sykes Picot Agreement Map
  • Mavi Boncuk | 

    Sykes Picot Agreement Map an enclosure in Paul Cambon's letter to Sir Edward Grey, 9 May 1916

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    Frontline Turkey: The Conflict at the Heart of the Middle East’ by Ezgi Başaran (IB Tauris, 224 pages)

    Turkey is on the front line of the war which is consuming Syria and the Middle East. Its role is complicated by the long-running conflict with the Kurds on the Syrian border - a war that has killed as many as 80,000 people over the last three decades.

    In 2011 President Erdogan promised to make a deal with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party), but the talks marked a descent into assassinations, suicide bombings and the killing of civilians on both sides. The Kurdish peace process finally collapsed in 2014 with the spillover of the Syrian civil war. With ISIS moving through northern Iraq, Turkey has declared war on Western allies such as the Kurdish YPG (People's Protection Unit) - the military who rescued the Yezidis and fought with US backing in Kobane.

    Frontline Turkey shows how the Kurds' relationship with Turkey is at the very heart of the Middle Eastern crisis, and documents, through front-line reporting, how Erdogan's failure to bring peace is the key to understanding current events in Middle East.

    Journalist, Istanbul and St Antony's College, Oxford University Programme on Contemporary Turkey Coordinator, SEESOX ezgi.basarankarli(at) 

    Ezgi Basaran made her name covering the Kurdish conflict - reporting 'on the ground' in the fight between ISIS, the YPG, the PKK and the Turkish state. After accepting the offer to write a daily column on Turkish foreign affairs, she became the youngest ever editor of Turkey's Radikal, the biggest centre-left news outlet in Turkey, and the first woman to hold the role. After facing government censorship when covering the breakdown of the Kurdish talks, she resigned. Radikal was shut down by the government a month later - an unprecedented event which made headlines worldwide. She is currently an academic visitor at St Antony's College Oxford. She has nearly 1 million twitter followers, and extensive 'name-recognition' in the field of Turkish politics and journalism. This would be her first book in English.  Follow @ezgibasaran

    Imprint: I.B.Tauris
    Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.

    ISBN: 9781784538415
    Publication Date: 29 Sep 2017
    Number of Pages: 224
    Height: 216
    Width: 135
    Illustrations: 2 maps

    Mavi Boncuk |


    This year has seen a flurry of “state of Turkey” books appearing in English. With such a rapidly changing news agenda it is difficult to write anything of length that remains relevant. And with so many books on present-day Turkey appearing in English, it is becoming increasingly hard for authors to distinguish their books from the avalanche of other work.

    Ezgi Başaran’s “Frontline Turkey” focuses mostly on the country’s long-running conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Specifically, it centers on the development and collapse of the peace process between the two sides, officially ongoing from 2013 to 2015. The chaos unleashed after the failure of those talks is inseparable from the wider authoritarian descent that has gripped Turkey.

    Frontline TurkeyBaşaran was editor-in-chief of the now defunct Radikal newspaper during the peace process. She has focused on the Kurdish question as a Turkish journalist for more than a decade, “interviewing almost all of the prominent figures who have shaped the course of the Kurdish movement in Turkey.” The issue, she argues, still “has the power to either make or break the country.”

    The book’s major contribution to the English-language literature is its blow-by-blow account of how the peace process - which many hoped would put an end to a three-decade conflict that has killed over 40,000 people and ruined countless more lives - developed and collapsed. Amid rising ultra-nationalism, xenophobia and political meltdown, it is almost surreal to recall that not so long ago a peace deal between the Turkish state and the PKK seemed to be in sight.

    Ironically, it was developments in Syria that pushed Turkey to both start and end the peace process. As Başaran describes, Ankara was keen to resolve the problem before the 100-year-old Kurdish issue became entangled with spillover from the war in Syria. However, as the situation across the border spiraled out of control –Syrian Kurdish cantons expanding with the tacit approval of the al-Assad regime - the peace talks in Turkey were brought to breaking point. Turkey equated the PKK affiliates in the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) with ISIS, while the PKK accused Ankara of directly supporting ISIS. The atmosphere became steadily more toxic.

    Başaran suggests that if Turkey had continued its peace process while also helping the YPG against ISIS, “there might have been a viable plan for a truce in Syria, and both Turkey and the Middle East would now be safer and stronger.” But this is wishful thinking. In retrospect, Ankara’s ditching of peace talks and bid to roll back Kurdish gains in Syria look sadly inevitable. The fault-lines were there all along. Başaran describes how during a delegation’s visit to jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in February 2013, Erdoğan and Öcalan’s “red lines” on Syria were irreconcilable. “MP Sırrı Süreyye Önder passed on a message from Erdoğan, which said ‘he would come to an agreement with [Öcalan]. But there is only one red line: Syria. He said he would not allow a Kurdish entity to be established like the one in northern Iraq.’ Öcalan stopped him short and replied: ‘You tell him that we will not allow Kurds to remain in a centralized Syria, and that is our red line,’” she writes, quoting minutes from the meeting.

    Also crucial was President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s bid to shift Turkey to an executive presidential system. that the government would not receive the necessary support from Turkish nationalists while the peace process was ongoing. The June 2015 election saw unprecedented gains for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), it also saw a nationalist backlash benefiting the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which registered its highest share of the vote since 1999. In the subsequent snap election of November 2015 - after the peace process collapsed and amid fierce fighting in the southeast and sweeping curfews – the AKP regained its losses and rose nearly 10 percentage points. Erdoğan had learned a bitter lesson, and the right-wing front between the AKP and various other nationalists started to be consolidated.

    The PKK also carries responsibility for the failure of peace talks. It believed the HDP’s success at the ballot box meant support for the PKK. “On the contrary,” writes Başaran, “it meant support for the peace process, for a ceasefire and for the HDP’s rhetoric on democracy and equality.” The PKK believed it had mandate to stir urban war and turn southeastern Turkey into another northern Syria – part of a wider political project plan. After stocking up on weapons during the peace process, its urban fighters were more than happy to declare war once talks collapsed. “The PKK thought it could declare certain districts in Diyarbakır, Hakkari and Şırnak autonomous, as the PYD/YPG had done in northern Syria,” writes Başaran. This was a deadly mistake. The masses did not rise up to join young urban fighters, and Turkey’s crackdown crushed rather than escalated the uprising.

    The network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen has been central to events in Turkey over recent years. And Başaran is one of the few people who have consistently been proven right on the issue. Years ago she was targeted by the Gülenists for pointing out contradictions in evidence in the Ergenekon and Balyoz cases of the 2000s, when the AKP and Gülen were still arm in arm. In “Frontline Turkey,” she gives a solid account of the Gülenists’ rise and the AKP-Gülen rift, sparing no punches for either side.

    An honest campaign to expose Gülenist wrongdoing and investigate how they infiltrated the state was necessary after the July 2016 coup attempt. But such a probe was politically impossible for the AKP and Erdoğan. “A lawful purge of the Gülenists who were more loyal to Gülen than the state would have to involve the AKP echelon that had given them ground in the first place … This would reveal the true nature of the AKP-Gülen alliance, which Erdoğan could not afford to be made public,” Başaran writes. As a result, we have today’s law of the jungle free-for-all.

    The cover of “Frontline Turkey” is carries an admiring quotation from veteran Middle East reporter Robert Fisk, but don’t let that put you off. Başaran’s judgement is generally sound. She proposes that the Kurdish issue is overwhelmingly a question of rights, arguing that “there is no doubt that the Kurdish problem may be solved in an environment where individual rights and freedoms are fully respected and enhanced.” Rights violations have certainly determined the issue for many years, but it too simple to suggest that addressing them can be a silver bullet. Indeed, the PKK has itself played a significant role in preventing a freer climate from emerging; military and personal interests have built up among PKK commanders, as well as its rank and file, hugely complicating any attempted solution.

    A sense of siege, fueled by conspiratorial paranoia, has taken an iron grip in the minds of the government in recent years. In its view, all setbacks on the march to national greatness are the work of dark forces bent on destroying President Erdoğan and therefore the country. These convictions are now shaping policy calculations and herald a very dark coming few years.

    “Frontline Turkey” does an excellent job of charting how the country reached this precipice, weaving into a cohesive whole the disparate strands of the Gülen movement, the Kurdish issue and deepening authoritarianism. It is required reading for all English-language observers of Turkey. Follow the Turkey Book Talk podcast via iTunes 

    here, Stitcher here, Podbean, or Facebook here, or Twitter here.

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    Mavi Boncuk |

    Lokma (Turkish), loukoumades (Greek: λουκουμάδες, singular λουκουμάς, loukoumas), zalabyieh (Arabic: زلابية), or bāmiyeh (Persian: بامیه)—see etymology below—are pastries made of deep fried dough soaked in syrup, chocolate sauce or honey, with cinnamon and sometimes sprinkled with sesame or grated walnuts. The Turkish word lokma means "mouthful" or "morsel", from Arabic لقمة luqma (plural luqmāt). Lokma is called sfingi (σφίνγοι) by the Greek Jews, who make them as Hanukkah treats[1]. The tradition is claimed to have been originated by the Romaniotes.

    Lokma in the form of a dessert is made with flour, sugar, yeast and salt, fried in oil and later bathed in syrup or honey. Lokma is first described as part of Turkish cuisine in the 9th century Kara-Khanid Khanate. It was cooked by palace cooks in the Ottoman Empire for centuries and spread to the cuisines of the former countries of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, Middle East and the Caucasus. While in the former Ottoman countries such as Iraq and Greece it is an ordinary dessert, it has a ceremonial meaning in Turkey and is generally not consumed as an everyday dessert. Traditionally 40 days after someone passes away, close relatives and/or friends of the deceased cook Lokma in large quantities and serve to neighbours and passersby. People form queues to get a plate and recite a prayer for the soul of the deceased in return after eating the Lokma.

    Lokma in Greece and Cyprus, called loukoumades, are commonly spiced with cinnamon in a honey syrup and can be sprinkled lightly with powdered sugar. While some claim that Lokma is a traditional Greek dessert with roots in deep antiquity, disagreement exists over the likelihood of the claim and which historical Greek honey-cake is the supposed ancestor of the modern lokma, whose present name is borrowed from Turkish. 

    The candidate most frequently mentioned as being prepared with hot oil is enkrides, which is described along with other postulated ancestral honey-cakes.

    Pişi (Bişi, Kabartlama) Boortsog, called pişi or tuzlu lokma (sour lokma) in Turkish, which is Lokma without any sweet syrup or honey, is a staple food for Turkic and Mongolian cuisines. 

    Various other kinds of fried dough with syrup are found in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and South Asia, from the Italian struffoli (the most similar in preparation to lokma) and zeppole[2] to the Indian and Pakistani jalebi and gulab jamun. A version called لقمة القاضي luqmat al-qādi (judge's Lokma or judge's mouthful) was described by al-Baghdadi in the 13th century and continues to be made in Arab countries. Perhaps the oldest documentation of a related but not identical dish is in the tomb of Ramses IV, where something more like jalebi is shown being prepared. Later, the Ancient Greek enchytoi consisted of a cheese-and-flour dough squeezed into hot fat, then covered with honey. 

    A fragment from Callimachus  has been used to argue the supposed antiquity of lokum and a connection to the ancient Olympics by, among others, The Washington Post. Various assertions have also been made regarding ompne (Ancient Greek: ὄμπνη) in the text means, in the plural form, "sacrificial cakes made of grain and honey". Other sacrificial cakes, often called popanon (Ancient Greek: πόπανον) being ancestral to loukoumades; however, the only thing that is clear about them is that they were made from grain and honey.

    A dish very similar to lokma is described by Archestratus, a Greek poet from Sicily, was enkris (Greek: ἐγκρίς, plural ἐγκρίδες)—a dough-ball fried in olive oil, which he details in his Gastronomy; a work now lost, but partially preserved in the Deipnosophists of Athenaeus, which mentions enkris thirteen times, in various inflected forms. 

    The most complete description of it in the Deipnosophists is a passage that reads:

    πεμμάτιον ἑψόμενον ἐν ἐλαίῳ καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο μελιτούμενον, μνημονεύει αὐτῶν Στησίχορος διὰ τούτων

    χόνδρον τε καὶ ἐγκρίδας ἄλλα τε πέμματα καὶ μέλι χλωρόν.

    There are cakes, also, called ἐγκρίδες. These are cakes boiled in oil, and after that seasoned with honey; and they are mentioned by Stesichorus in the following lines:—

    Groats and encrides, And other cakes, and fresh sweet honey.

    It is also mentioned in preserved fragments of Aristophanes's Danaids and Pherecrates's Crapataloi,Stesichorus, and Antiphon

    This word is also used in the Greek Septuagint to describe the manna eaten by the Israelites in the Book of Exodus

    καὶ ἐπωνόμασαν οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Μαν ἦν δὲ ὡς σπέρμα κορίου λευκόν τὸ δὲ γεῦμα αὐτοῦ ὡς ἐγκρὶς ἐν μέλιτι

    And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
    And also in the Book of Numbers,
    «καὶ διεπορεύετο ὁ λαὸς καὶ συνέλεγον καὶ ἤληθον αὐτὸ ἐν τῷ μύλῳ καὶ ἔτριβον ἐν τῇ θυΐᾳ καὶ ἥψουν αὐτὸ ἐν τῇ χύτρᾳ καὶ ἐποίουν αὐτὸ ἐγκρυφίας, καὶ ἦν ἡ ἡδονὴ αὐτοῦ ὡσεὶ γεῦμα ἐγκρὶς ἐξ ἐλαίου»
    And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.

    Also, there may be a connection to the ritual feeding of the victors at ancient Olympia. Aristotle and other ancient writers refer to kharisioi plakoi or plakonta (χαρίσιοι πλάκοι, πλακούντα), translated as "(thanksgiving) cakes or "(gift) cakes".These were offered to the victorious athletes in a highly ritualized ceremony along with the kotinos wreath. No recipe survives.

    This ethereal treat harks back to ancient Persia, medieval German woodcutters, and the Ottoman Empire.

    The technique of deep-frying foods originated in the Mediterranean in the 5th Century BCE. The most commonly used oil was olive oil. As traders took this art to Persia, cooks poured batter into the hot oil, and then immersed the fritter in a syrup of rosewater and sugar. In the 15th Century CE elaborate wooden molds were carved in Europe for shaping gingerbread cookies. Both the mold carving and gingerbread baking were controlled by guilds. In the 18th Century CE the wood was replaced by tin, and shaped cookies were democratized. Everyone could bake their own fancy cookies! The cooks of the Ottoman Empire brought all these traditions together to create a beautiful fritter called demir tatlisi. They dipped iron molds in the shape of flowers in batter and deep-fried them. A warm syrup of sugar, water, and lemon was allowed to simmer on the side. After all the cookies were fried, they were dipped in the syrup and served. Visiting European diplomats brought these recipes to Europe, where they were adopted. Scandinavia fell in love with the flower cookies, calling them Struva. The syrup was replaced with powdered sugar. When the British discovered them, they named them rosettes. You may surprise your Hanukkah guests with beautiful flower shaped fritters.

    A sufganiyah (Hebrew: סופגנייה or סופגניה‬; plural, sufganiyot: Hebrew: סופגניות‬, pronounced [ˌsuf.ɡan.iˈah] SOOF-gah-nee-AH, [ˌsuf.ɡan.iˈot] SOOF-gah-nee-OHT, Arabic: سوفغنية‎) is a round jelly doughnut eaten in Israel and around the world on the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The doughnut is deep-fried, filled with jam or custard, and then topped with powdered sugar. At Hanukkah, Jews observe the custom of eating fried foods in commemoration of the miracle associated with the Temple oil.

    The Hebrew word sufganiyah and Arabic word sfenj derive from the words for sponge (sfog, Hebrew: ספוג‬; isfanj, Arabic: إسْفَنْج‎).
    There is a long North African history besides the Jewish tradition of associating sfenj (the smaller, deep-fried donuts) with Hanukkah. In Israel, where Central and East European Jews mingled with North African Jews, the Yiddish ponchkes (similar to the German Berliner, the Polish pączki, or the Russian ponchik) became part of this tradition.

    Gogoși are Romanian sweet pastries similar to filled doughnuts. Gogoși is the plural form of the Romanian word gogoașă. Gogoși are pieces of dough shaped into a flattened sphere that are deep-fried in oil and optionally dusted with icing sugar. They have no hole and are often filled. Gogoși fillings include chocolate, apricot jam, strawberry jam or cream cheese. Gogoși are believed to date back to Classical antiquity, when Romania was a province of the Roman Empire. They may be related to the sweet dough balls included as aliter dulcia (another sweet dish) in the Roman recipe collection Apicius.

    A Berliner Pfannkuchen (Berliner for short) is a traditional German pastry similar to a doughnut with no central hole, made from sweet yeast dough fried in fat or oil, with a marmalade or jam filling and usually icing, powdered sugar or conventional sugar on top. They are sometimes made with chocolate, champagne, custard, mocha, or advocaat filling, or with no filling at all.

    The yeast dough contains a good deal of eggs, milk and butter. For the classical Pfannkuchen made in Berlin the dough gets baled, deep-fried in lard, whereby the distinctive bright bulge occurs, and then filled with jam. The filling is related to the topping:[citation needed] for plum-butter, powdered sugar; for raspberry, strawberry and cherry jam, sugar; for all other fillings, sugar icing, sometimes flavoured with rum. Today the filling usually is injected with a large syringe or pastry bag after the dough is fried in one piece.
    Today berliners can be purchased throughout the year, though they were traditionally eaten to celebrate on New Year's Eve (Silvester) as well as the carnival holidays (Rosenmontag and Fat Tuesday). A common German practical joke is to secretly fill some Berliners with mustard instead of jam and serve them together with regular Berliners without telling anyone.

    The terminology used to refer to this delicacy differs greatly in various areas of Germany. While called Berliner Ballen or simply Berliner in Northern and Western Germany as well as in Switzerland, the Berliners themselves and residents of Brandenburg, Western Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony know them as Pfannkuchen, which in the rest of Germany generally means pancakes; pancakes are known there as Eierkuchen ("egg cakes").

    In parts of southern and central Germany (Bavaria), as well as in much of Austria, they are a variety of Krapfen (derived from Old High German kraffo and furthermore related to Gothic language krappa), sometimes called Fastnachtskrapfen or Faschingskrapfen to distinguish them from Bauernkrapfen. In Hesse they are referred to as Kräppel or Kreppel. Residents of the Palatinate call them also Kreppel or Fastnachtsküchelchen ("little carnival cakes"), hence the English term for a pastry called "Fasnacht"; further south, the Swabians use the equivalent term in their distinctive dialect: Fasnetskiachla. In South Tyrol, Triveneto and other parts of Northern Italy, the food is called kraffen or krapfen, while in the southern parts it can be referred as bomba or bombolone
    In Slovenia, it is (Trojanski) krof; in Croatia krafni; in Bosnia, and Serbia krofne. In Poland they are known as pączki, in Ukraine as "pampushky". in the Czech Republic as kobliha. In Hungary, it is called bécsi fánk.[2] The pastry is called Berlinerbol in the Netherlands and boule de Berlin in Belgium, hillomunkki or (glazed) berliininmunkki in Finland, berlinerbolle in Norway, šiška in Slovakia, and gogoși in Romania. In Denmark it is called "Berliner". In Turkey they're known as Alman Pastası (German Pie). All of these are essentially identical preparations.
    In English-speaking countries, berliners are a type of doughnut usually filled with jam, jelly, custard, or whipped cream. In South Australia, however, the Kitchener bun is a Berliner cut on the side for the filling of jam and cream.[citation needed]

    In Anglophone North America, the most common term for the jam- or jelly-filled pastry is "jelly doughnut". The name is somewhat misleading, since the jam or jelly used is specially made with less pectin, so that it does not "set" like jams and jellies manufactured for table use but has a consistency comparable to Bavarian cream. The cream or custard-filled varieties usually also feature chocolate icing and are sometimes called Bavarian cream or Boston cream doughnuts (the latter name from its resemblance to Boston cream pie). The Boston cream doughnut has been designated the official state doughnut of Massachusetts.

    In Ontario and the prairie western provinces of Canada, as well as parts of the Midwest and West in the US, such a round jelly- or custard-filled doughnut is commonly called a "bismark" or "bismarck" (after Otto von Bismarck), while a filled bar doughnut is called a "long john", and usually contains pastry cream, custard, or whipped cream, but can also contain a jelly filling. Other Canadian terms include "jambuster" in Manitoba, and "Burlington bun" in Nova Scotia.

    In Portugal, Berliners are slightly bigger than their German counterparts. They are known as bolas de Berlim (lit. Berlin ball), and the filling is always an egg-yolk based yellow cream called creme pasteleiro (lit. confectioner's cream). The filling is inserted after a half length cut and is always visible. Regular sugar is used to sprinkle it. They can be found in almost every pastry shop in the country. Such versions are also found in Latin American countries with German descended populations, such as in Mexico (berlinesas), Chile (Berlín), Uruguay, and Argentina (bola de fraile or suspiro de monja or berlinesa), where it is filled not only with custard (called "Crema pastelera"), but also with jam (especially red ones), dulce de leche, or manjar blanco. In Brazil, berliners are called sonhos (dreams) and traditionally filled with yellow cream (called simply creme). Some modern variants are filled with doce de leite (a type of milk jam), goiabada, or a mix of chocolate and doce de leite.[citation needed]

    In Israel, a version of the pastry called sufganiyah (Hebrew: סופגנייה) is traditionally consumed during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Traditional sufganiyot are usually filled with jam and covered with powdered sugar. Although, many other modern variants exist as well.

    In Finland, berliininmunkki (lit. Berlin's doughnut) is a commonly consumed pastry, although unlike a traditional Berliner, this variant has pink caramel colored frosting on top as opposed to regular or powdered sugar.
    Pączki are deep-fried pieces of dough shaped into flattened spheres and filled with confiture or other sweet filling. Pączki are usually covered with powdered sugar, icing, glaze or bits of dried orange zest. A small amount of grain alcohol (traditionally, Spiritus) is added to the dough before cooking; as it evaporates, it prevents the absorption of oil deep into the dough. The common opinion is that the ideal pączek is fluffy and at the same time a bit collapsed, with a bright stripe around – it is supposed to guarantee that the dough was fried in fresh oil.

    Ponçik: Ponçik TR. 1930ies from RU. Diminutive. Deep fried sweet dough.

    Rusia: ponchiki (пончики, пончик, ponchik) or pyshki ( пышки). There are two types of ponchiki – ones with a hole in the middle, and ones without. The ones without a hole can also have filling inside.The ones with a hole were the Moscow type, hence the name – Moskovskie ponchiki, and the ones without were the St. Petersburg type.
    Ukraine: pampushky (Ukraynaca: пампушки). he Ukrainian word pampukh comes via Polish pampuch (a kind of thick dumpling or steamed doughnut) from German Pfannkuchen ("pancake").Similarly to English "pancake", the latter derives from Pfanne ("pan") and Kuchen ("cake"). The diminutive form pampushka is used more frequently than the basic form. Pampusky are made of yeast dough from wheat, rye or buckwheat flour. Traditionally they are baked but may also be fried.[3][4][5][6] Savoury pampusky have no filling. They are usually seasoned with garlic sauce and often served as a side dish with red borscht or yushka.[3][5][6] Sweet pampushky may be filled with fruits, berries, varenye, povydlo or poppy seeds, and topped with powdered sugar.
    Czechya: koblihy
    Lituania: spurgos

    Slovakia: šišky
    Polish: pączki

    Although they look like German berliners, North American bismarcks or jelly doughnuts, pączki are made from especially rich dough containing eggs, fats, sugar, yeast and sometimes milk. They feature a variety of fruit and creme fillings and can be glazed, or covered with granulated or powdered sugar. Powidl (stewed plum jam) and wild rose hip jam are traditional fillings, but many others are used as well, including strawberry, Bavarian cream, blueberry, custard, raspberry, and apple.

    Pączki have been known in Poland at least since the Middle Ages. Jędrzej Kitowicz has described that during the reign of August III, under the influence of French cooks who came to Poland, pączki dough was improved, so that pączki became lighter, spongier, and more resilient.

    Although they look like German berliners, North American bismarcks or jelly doughnuts, pączki are made from especially rich dough containing eggs, fats, sugar, yeast and sometimes milk. They feature a variety of fruit and creme fillings and can be glazed, or covered with granulated or powdered sugar. Powidl (stewed plum jam) and wild rose hip jam are traditional fillings, but many others are used as well, including strawberry, Bavarian cream, blueberry, custard, raspberry, and apple.

    Pączki have been known in Poland at least since the Middle Ages. Jędrzej Kitowicz has described that during the reign of August III, under the influence of French cooks who came to Poland, pączki dough was improved, so that pączki became lighter, spongier, and more resilient.

    The Polish word pączki is the plural form of the Polish word pączek  Pączek itself is a diminutive of pąk (English: plant bud).

    [1] Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting the hanukkiya to commemorate the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem during the Judean victory over Syrian-Greek forces 22 centuries ago. As a tribute to the small jar of oil used in the temple service that miraculously lasted for eight days, Jews developed a custom of eating foods fried in oil—Ashkenazim eat potato pancakes called latkes; in Israel, donuts called sufganyot are consumed; and Sephardic Jews enjoy bumuelos, fried dough drizzled in honey or topped with powdered sugar and the bumuelo is even mentioned in the 
    Ladino translations of the Bible.

    Pictured: A Hebrew and Ladino edition of the Torah published in Vienna, 1813. (Courtesy of Congregation Ezra Bessaroth).

    Like many Jewish foods, the bumuelo takes on many names and forms throughout history as a result of translational nuance and the intersection of diverse culinary customs. In Ladino alone, it is known as bunuelo, bonuelo, binuelo, bimuelo, bumuelo, binmuelo, birmuelo, burmuelo, or bilmuelo. A similar dish popular in the former Ottoman Empire is known in Turkish as lokma, in Greek as loukoumades, among the Romaniote Greek Jews as zvingous, and in Arabic as awamee. In his Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, Gil Marks notes that in medieval Spain, Christians considered bunuelos to be a sign of Muslim or Jewish cooking. In many Spanish-speaking countries today, the buñuelo is a popular sweet dough treat at Christmas.

    The Jewish concept of the bumuelo can be traced back to the story of the manna in the desert, in the Biblical books of Exodus and Numbers. In Ladino editions of the Torah, this miraculous food is described in the book of Numbers (11:8), as tasting like “cake in oil” (leshad ha-shamen), and in Exodus (16:31) the taste of the manna is said to have been “like sapihit in honey” (ke-sapihit “כְּצַפִּיחִת”). Sapihit is often translated into English as a “wafer.” A similar word, sapahat, is a flat or broad shape, and it also means a jar that holds oil — a satisfying literary connection to the story of Hanukkah. The problem with the word “sapihit” is that it only appears once in the Bible, with no other reference points to help us understand the context.

    But by 1547, Ladino Bibles were translating sapihit as “bunuelo.” Later translations follow suit with various alternate spellings.

    How did this ancient word come to be translated as bunuelos, and are they the same bumuelos we know and love today? For this we turn to other ancient sources, where we find connections not just to bumuelos, but also to the other Hanukkah treats: sufganiyot (doughnuts) and levivot (latkes).

    Beginning with the Aramaic translation of the Torah, sapihit is rendered as “iskeretvan.” In the Mishna (Challah 1:4) and in the Talmud (Pesahim 37a) this word is modified to iskaritin where it is used as example of one of the types of dough exempt from the obligation to set aside a portion known as challah. Another category of exempt dough is sufganin, which bears a resemblance to the Modern Hebrew word for Hanukkah treats, sufganiyot or doughnuts and to the popular Moroccan version known as sfenj.

    In the 10th century, the luminary Saadia Gaon, in his Arabic translation of the Torah, identifies sapihit with the Arabic katayef, a sweet dessert traditionally eaten by Muslims during Ramadan. In his commentary to the Torah, Saadia explains the term sapihit as levivot, meaning fritters or pancakes. (In modern-day Israel, levivot means latkes, the Ashkenazi-inspired potato pancake, but it can refer to bimuelos among Sephardic Jews, too. Levivot, however, did not become potato pancakes until recently; in Saadia’s time they would have referred to a dough pancake. For the Biblical mention of levivot, see 2 Samuel 13.)

    Maimonides’ father, Rabbi Maimon ben Yosef, who lived in 12th-century Spain and later fled to Egypt, writes that on Hanukkah “it has become customary to make sufganin, known in Arabic as alsfingh…this is an ancient custom, because they are fried in oil, in remembrance of

    [God’s] blessing.” Sufganin forms the basis of the modern-day Israeli sufganiyot phenomenon.
    During the 14th century in Provence, the custom to eat sweet desserts during Hanukkah was also cited by Rabbi Kalonymus ben Kalonymus “[The women] bake the dough and make different kinds of tasty food from the mixture…and above all they should take fine flour and make sufganin and iskaritin (bumuelos) from it.”

    By exploring our sources for this culinary tradition in the Sephardic Studies Digital Library, we can see how bunuelos—and the multiple, contested spellings of the term—made their way across the Sephardic diaspora.


    A page from Sefer Heshek Shelomo, courtesy of Richard Adatto.

    According to the first Ladino translation of the Torah printed in Hebrew characters and published in Istanbul in 1547, the manna, which God provided to the children of Israel, tasted like bunuelo in honey. Gedalia Cordovero — the son of the famous kabbalist Moshe Cordovero — edited a glossary of non-Hebrew words in the Torah and translated them into Ladino. In 1588, this Sefer Heshek Shelomo was first published in Venice, and according to the anonymous author, the word sapihit is translated as binuelos or benuelos.

    In 1739, the Ladino Bible translations published by Abraham Asa in Istanbul, and later by others in Izmir and Vienna, all describe the taste of this heavenly food as “binmuelo kon miel.” [Constantinople, 1738; Vienna 1813; Izmir, 1837; Constantinople, 1873 and 1905.] In contrast, Rabbi Jacob Huli, in his famous biblical commentary written in Ladino, Sefer Me-am Lo’ez, offers an additional spelling, stating that manna tasted like bilmuelos.

    “I yamaron kaza de Yisrael a su nomre magna; i el komo simiente de kolantro, blanko, i su savor komo bunuelo kon miel.” [Istanbul, 1547]. OR

    “I la kaza de Yisrael yamo su nombre man; i era komo simiente de kolantro, blanko; i su savor komo binmuelo kon miel.” [Istanbul, 1873]

    In summary, according to Sephardic sources going back to the 16th century — with clear links pointing back to the first century CE — the bumuelo is associated with sapihit, the taste of manna during the Israelites’ wanderings in the desert. Over time, bumuelo itself wandered into Hanukkah history, along with sufganiyot (sufganin) and latkes (levivot), as oily treats commemorating the Hanukkah miracle. Today in Seattle it is commonly pronounced burmuelo or birmuelo. However you pronounce it, we can all agree that it is indeed a heavenly food.

    “Savoriad i ved ke Ashem es bueno, bienaventurado el varon ke se avrega en el temed a Ashem.” Taste and see that Hashem is good. Happy is the man that takes refuge in Him. – Psalms 34:9 


    [2] Zeppole, or also known in Sicily as Sfingi. Zeppole with a filling are traditionally made for St. Joseph's Day which falls on March 19 and which in Italy is also Father's Day. However, a variety of Zeppole without creams are also enjoyed at Christmas time. Zeppole can be made in a variety of ways: without any cream, filled with custard cream or filled with a ricotta cream also known as Cannoli Cream. Zeppole are a great treat for kids to make on a cold night around Christmas time. A zeppola (plural: zeppole; also called "frittelle" in northern Italy) is an Italian pastry consisting of a deep-fried dough ball of varying size but typically about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. This doughnut or fritter is usually topped with powdered sugar, and may be filled with custard, jelly, cannoli-style pastry cream, or a butter-and-honey mixture. The consistency ranges from light and puffy, to bread- or pasta-like. It is eaten to celebrate Saint Joseph's Day, which is an Italian holiday. Zeppole are typical of Italian cuisine, especially that of Rome and Naples. They are also served in Sicily, Sardinia, on the island of Malta, and in Italian-Canadian and Italian-American communities in Canada and the United States. Zeppole are known by other names, including Bignè di San Giuseppe (in Rome), St. Joseph's Day cake, and sfinge.

    St. Joseph is credited with saving Sicily from a severe drought during the Middle Ages. When rain came at last, the Sicilians celebrated by preparing a lavish feast, starting an enduring tradition. St. Joseph’s Day celebrations always feature an array of sweets, because Joseph is the patron saint of pastry chefs. However, zeppole probably didn’t originate until much later. Some sources credit the pastry’s creation to the Neapolitan convent of Santa Patrizia in the 16th century, and note that they were popularized by baker Pasquale Pintauro, who sold them on the streets of Naples each March 19 during the early 19th century. In Istria, Croatia this pastry is called blenzi in the Croatian speaking places and zeppole in the Italian-speaking places.They are always topped with sugar either powdered or coarse. The custom was popularized in the early 19th century by Neapolitan baker Pasquale Pintauro.

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    Top 10 films had 40.74% of ticket sales.

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    Plague Epidemic in Smyrna, 1765

    Author(s) : Shariat-Panahi S. Mohammad T. (5/25/2002)
    Translation : Velentzas Georgios

    For citation: Shariat-Panahi S. Mohammad T., "Plague Epidemic in Smyrna, 1765",
    Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor

    Επιδημία Πανούκλας στη Σμύρνη, 1765 (10/6/2007 v.1) Plague Epidemic in Smyrna, 1765 (9/11/2009 v.1) 

    1. Onset and Spread of the Epidemic

    The major plague epidemic broke out in the spring of 1765. The first victims appeared in Moschonisia. The plague spread to Adramytti, Smyrna and the nearby ports of Çesme and Kuşadası. In particular, in the city of Smyrna the epidemic had catastrophic consequences: all European shops were closed down. The wealthy inhabitants and the subjects of European countries fled to the surrounding suburbs, mainly Burnova and Buca, while the poor moved to the mountains.

    The squeeze in the city and the high temperature contributed to the spread of the epidemic. In May the epidemic was at its peak, while in June several houses had been abandoned. The great earthquake of July 11 made things worse for those who remained in Smyrna.1

    2. Precautionary Measures

    Nobody was allowed to enter the suburbs unless they had successfully undergone the thorough medical examinations. At the entrance to Buca there was a military sentry box, where medical examinations and disinfection were carried out. During the epidemic, vinegar was widely used, because it was the major disinfectant of the time used for food and various items, mostly coins.

    According to travellers, the consequences of the epidemic for the Muslims were more catastrophic because they took fewer precautionary measures.2

    3. The End of the Epidemic

    The epidemic stopped between August 10 and 15; the people returned to their houses and resumed their activities. There must have been approximately 20,000 casualties in the city.

    1. See Ambraseys, N.N. – Finkel, C.F., The seismicity of Turkey and adjacent areas: A historical review, 1500-1800 (Istanbul 1995) p. 136.

    2. See the excerpt from the itinerary of the traveller Richard Chandler cited by Σολομωνίδης, Χ., Η ιατρική στη Σμύρνη: Ασκληπιεία, σχολές, το Γραικικό Νοσοκομείο, επιδημίες, γητειές, γιατροσόφια, γιατροί, φαρμακεία (Athens 1955) p. 60. Chandler blames the "Muslim fatalism" for this behaviour. On the other side, Panzac, D., ‘La peste a Smyrne au XVIIIe siecle’, in Panzac, D., Population et santé dans l’Empire ottoman (XVIIIe - XXe siècles), (Istanbul 1996) p. 36, considers that the religious prohibition of the departure of Muslims from the area where the epidemic broke out aimed mainly at confronting the spread of the epidemic.

    Cholera Epidemic in Smyrna, 1831

    Author(s) : Shariat-Panahi S. Mohammad T. (11/27/2002)
    Translation : Velentzas Georgios

    For citation: Shariat-Panahi S. Mohammad T., "Cholera Epidemic in Smyrna, 1831",
    Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor

    Cholera Epidemic in Smyrna, 1831 (11/9/2009 v.1)

    Επιδημία Χολέρας στη Σμύρνη, 1831 (10/6/2007 v.1)

    1. Onset and Spread of the Epidemic

    A cholera epidemic broke out in Smyrna in late September 1831.1 The epidemic was particularly active until early October among the Jews of the city, because their quarter was very densely populated. There were many Jewish victims. Then the epidemic spread to the Orthodox quarters neighbouring the Jewish district. The epidemic was at its peak between October 3 and November 17. That was the period when it spread all over the city.2 Most of the victims were Muslims rather than Orthodox and Armenians. There were few European victims, as their hygiene conditions were better.

    2. Preventive Measures

    Panic prevailed in Smyrna. Lots of people left the city, while the wealthiest families sought shelter in neighbouring villages. The shops were closed and, as a result, commerce was paralysed. The workers remained unemployed. The inhabitants who remained in Smyrna gathered in churches, mosques and synagogues to pray.

    Those who followed sanitation rules were not infected. The inhabitants tried to tackle the epidemic by receiving the treatment recommended by the doctors. They tried to keep the icy limbs of the patient warm and prepare poultices of camomile, mint and sage for them. The Orientals preferred willow leaves, drops of laudanum, ether and enemas with opium.

    It is reported that approximately 8000 people sickened in Smyrna, 5000 of whom died. Half of the victims were Muslims.3

    1. Τσακύρογλους, Μ., Χρονικόν της εν Σμύρνη Χολερικής επιδημίας (Smyrna 1893), p. 12.

    2. Τσακύρογλους, Μ., Χρονικόν της εν Σμύρνη Χολερικής επιδημίας (Smyrna 1893), p. 12.

    3. H.A. ‘La cholera dans le Levant en 1831’, L’Hellenisme contemporain 1(Septembre-Octobre 1947), p. 451. A different opinion is expressed by Τσακύρογλους, Μ., Χρονικόν της εν Σμύρνη Χολερικής επιδημίας (Smyrna 1893), p. 12, who estimates the number of those who fell sick at 17,000 and the number of the casualties at approximately 6000-7000.

    Plague Epidemic in Asia Minor, 1835-1849

    Author(s) : Shariat-Panahi S. Mohammad T. (7/30/2002)
    Translation : Velentzas Georgios

    For citation: Shariat-Panahi S. Mohammad T., "Plague Epidemic in Asia Minor, 1835-1849",
    Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor

    Επιδημία Πανούκλας στη Μικρά Ασία, 1835-1849 (10/6/2007 v.1) Plague Epidemic in Asia Minor, 1835-1849 (10/26/2009 v.1) 

    1. Geographical Spread and Duration

    Epidemic diseases were quite common in the Ottoman Empire. One of the most serious epidemics, definitely the best documented thanks to the accounts of foreign travellers as well as official documents, was the plague that struck the empire in the first half of the 19th century.

    The catastrophic epidemic first appeared in 1834-35 in Egypt, where, according to a British traveller, it killed approximately 200,000 people.1 In Cairo only there were 5000 victims.2 The way in which the epidemic broke out and the measures taken to prevent it from further spread are not known. The most common precautionary measure at the time was quarantine, that is, the preventive isolation of people, animals and goods in restricted areas in ports and entrances to the cities. However, although the measure of quarantine was implemented, it did not produce the desired effects in the case of Egypt.

    According to the reports of the French consul in Trebizond, there were cases of the epidemic in the city already from July 19, 1835. Neither the reasons nor the way in which the epidemic was spread to Trebizond are known. The spread of the epidemic to the city was so great that until August 24 of the same year 154 people died out of the 205 cases. Most of the victims were Muslim inhabitants of the city.3 The first cases in Constantinople (Istanbul) appeared in 1836. The traveller Hamilton, who was in the Ottoman capital in November and December of that year, reports that there had already appeared several cases of the epidemic in the city. It is reported that for six months the number of the weekly victims in Constantinople ranged between 6000 and 8000, which, although an iflated number, points at the seriousness of the situation.4 During the epidemic between 25,000 and 30,000 people died.5

    The inhabitants of Smyrna, which maintained close commercial relations with the capital, were in readiness. However, despite the precautions, possibly in early 1837, the disease spread to Smyrna, perhaps by two Greek travellers who arrived there with a steamship.6 The disease inflicted the city and between 15,000 and 16,000 people lost their lives.7 By June 1837, the epidemic was spread to the southeast. According to Hamilton, every day in Ilghun, near Ladik (Laodicea Katakekavmeni), 8 to 10 cases appeared and, as a result, 670 houses of the city were completely deserted. The epidemic struck equally heavily in Kara Ağaç, where more than the half of the population died. Then the plague struck the entire administrative district of Antalya. The disease must have been less sweeping as it proceeded towards Asia Minor mainland. For example, several people were infected at Çankırı (central Asia Minor), while in the wider area around the city no cases were reported.

    It seems that in the same year the disease was spread from Asia Minor to mainland Greece, as there is evidence about a plague epidemic in Poros Island of the Saronic Gulf in 1837 and Thessaloniki.

    There is important information about the spread of the epidemic to the eastern part of Asia Minor provided by two English antiquarians, W.F. Ainsworth, responsible for an excavations in Kurdistan, and C. Fellows, who in 1839 published the account of a journey he made to Asia Minor at the time. According to the former, in December 1838 a case of plague appeared on the ship carrying him from Constantinople to Trebizond, which made the passengers of the ship disembark and continue the voyage by land.8

    In 1838 Trebizond asked for medical assistance from Constantinople to deal with the disease, which was becoming more serious; an Ottoman doctor arrived along with two European colleagues.9 As it spread to the east, the disease also struck the regions of Samsun (Amisos), Armenia and Haimaneh, thus perturbing the Ottoman authorities of Safranbolu, who assigned a European doctor with the task of investigating the spread of the blow.10 There were also cases in the district of Batum, as well as in other cities of the Pontus like Kastamonu.11

    As for the same region and period, Fellows reports that in the district of Phrygia, near Lake Ascania, he saw open graves that were going to accept the recent victims of the plague. According to Ainsworth, on March 19, 1839, the plague struck the wider area of Ankara. He also believes that the epidemic spread because there had been an epidemic that had decimated the cattle, the sheep and the goats in rural areas. The peasants, instead of removing or cremating the animals, left them moulder in the settlements, out of religious prejudice or fear, and thus were created the foci of infection that facilitated the spread of the epidemic . In the Turkmen village of Çaltis, the traveller saw a native lying on the road, with obvious marks of the disease on his body.12

    In April of the same year, Fellows visited the region of Miletus, where the fishermen informed him that they were in quarantine because of the disease. Moreover, the commercial centre of Kuşadası was isolated because of the epidemic.13 Although the main foci of the disease had been under control until the late 1839, according to consular reports of 1840 from Trebizond, the plague was still killing people in the city and the wider area, while foreign doctors continued offering their medical assistance. It was not until 1849 that the references to the epidemic and its victims had stopped. It seems that the epidemic in the empire lasted about 15 years.

    2. Cause and Consequences of the Disease

    The poor sanitary conditions, congestion in the cities and the increased commercial transactions were some of the factors that made the spread of the plague easier. In Constantinople at the time, people used to say that all evils, such as cold, fog, plague and the Russians, came from the Black Sea.14 However, the fact that the early cases appeared in Egypt does not justify this claim. The pilgrims could also have been infected by the disease, as they travelled from Asia Minor to Mecca and other holy places via Syria.15 Commercial networks must have been one of the main reasons for the spread of the epidemic, as, according to travellers, the disease frequently broke out aboard ships carrying goods and passengers as well as at commercial stations. The ignorance of rural populations as well as their prejudice contributed greatly to the quick spread of the disease, as they left the dead animals moulder unburied, for fear of removing them, thus creating more serious foci of infection. Lastly, quarantine was not always efficient.

    Commerce was the sector directly influenced by the spread of the disease, as several commercial stations and harbours were in quarantine, which obstructed commercial transactions.16 Of course, there were also severe local demographic consequences, for in some cases the population was decimated, as it happened at Ilghun, where the keys to 670 deserted houses were handed in to the authorities.

    As a matter of fact, it was clear that the disease struck the inhabitants of the empire regardless of their economic or social position. The case of the ağa of Ilghun, who abandoned the settlement after the death of his daughter, should be mentioned.

    1. Bowring, J., Observations on the Oriental plague and on quarantines, as a means of arresting its progress (Edinburgh 1838) p. 13.

    2. Panzac, D., Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nda Veba (1700-1850) (İstanbul 1997) p. 184.

    3. Panzac, D., Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nda Veba (1700-1850) (İstanbul 1997) pp. 172-173.

    4. Hamilton, W., Researches in Asia Minor, Pontus and Armenia with some account of their antiquities and geology, vol. 2 (London 1842) p. 1.

    5. Panzac, D., Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nda Veba (1700-1850) (İstanbul 1997) p. 183.

    6. Hamilton, W., Researches in Asia Minor, Pontus and Armenia with some account of their antiquities and geology, vol. 2 (London 1842)  p. 2.

    7. Panzac, D., Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nda Veba (1700-1850) (İstanbul 1997) p. 183.

    8. Ainsworth, W.F., ‘Notes on a journey from Constantinople, by Heracleia, to Angora in the Autumn of 1838’, Journal of Royal Geographical Society 9, part 2 (1839) pp. 216-276.

    9. Panzac, D., Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nda Veba (1700-1850) (İstanbul 1997) p. 225.

    10. Ainsworth, W.F., Travels and Researches in Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Chaldaea and Armenia, vol. 1 (London 1842) p. 47.

    11. Ainsworth, W.F., Travels and Researches in Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Chaldaea and Armenia, vol. 1 (London 1842) pp. 48, 84.

    12. Ainsworth, W.F., Travels and Researches in Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Chaldaea and Armenia, vol. 1 (London 1842) pp. 137, 146.

    13. Fellows, C., A journal written during an excursion in Asia Minor (London 1839) pp. 264-274.

    14. Curzon, R., Armenia: a year at the Erzeroom and on the frontiers of Russia, Turkey and Persia (London 1854) p. 2.

    15. Bowring, J., Observations on the Oriental plague and on quarantines, as a means of arresting its progress (Edinburgh 1838) p. 21.

    16. The title of the study carried out by Bowring, J., is characteristic: Observations on the Oriental plague and on quarantines, as a means of arresting its progress (Edinburgh 1838).

    Plague epidemic in Erzurum, 1840

    Malaria epidemic in Samsun, 1842

    Cholera Epidemic in the region of Smyrna, 1848

    Author(s) : Shariat-Panahi S. Mohammad T. (12/10/2001)
    Translation : Nakas Ioannis

    For citation: Shariat-Panahi S. Mohammad T., "Cholera Epidemic in the region of Smyrna, 1848",
    Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor

    Επιδημία χολέρας στην περιοχή της Σμύρνης, 1848 (12/19/2008 v.1) Cholera Epidemic in the region of Smyrna, 1848 (1/23/2009 v.1) 

    1. Spread of the epidemic

    The cholera epidemic initially came from Trebizond, from where it passed to Istanbul (Constantinople). Then it appeared at Çeşme from a military unit which had come from Constantinople on 1st June 1848; 44 soldiers died in their camp. From Çeşme it gradually reached many villages of the area of Smyrna. Jewish families from Çeşme moved to Bunarbaşı (today Pınarbaşı), a village near Smyrna, from where the epidemic spread into the city. By the beginning of July the cholera had reached Kırkağaç.

    2. The epidemic in Smyrna

    In Smyrna the epidemic appeared on 12th July 1848 and lasted until 6th October of the same year. Until the 3rd September the epidemic was at its peak. From the 3rd until the 18th of September its cases were sporadic. Approximately 2,000 people died in Smyrna,1 mainly women. From the Christian quarters, those of St Dimitrios and St Aikaterini were more afflicted by the epidemic, since they had narrow streets traversed by streams of filthy water and low houses which were not well ventilated. The greatest part of the inhabitants found refuge in the nearby villages and islands.

    1. Solomonidis reports that the cholera’s victims were 1,200 Ottomans (i.e. Muslims), 702 Greek Orthodox, 295 Jews, 125 Europeans and 105 Armenians. See Σολομωνίδης, Χ., Η ιατρική στη Σμύρνη: Ασκληπιεία, σχολές, το γραικικό νοσοκομείο, επιδημίες, γητείες, γιατροσόφια, γιατροί, φαρμακεία (Athens 1955), p. 64. Tsakiroglou gives the following numbers concerning the victims: Muslims 900, Orthodox 600, Armenians 40, Catholics 160, Jews 250, in total 1,950. He does not mention the Europeans as a separate category. See Τσακίρογλου, Μ., Χρονικόν της εν Σμύρνη χολερικής επιδημίας (Smyrna 1893), p. 15.

    Cholera Epidemic in Smyrna, 1854

    Author(s) : Shariat-Panahi S. Mohammad T. (12/10/2001)
    Translation : Nakas Ioannis

    For citation: Shariat-Panahi S. Mohammad T., "Cholera Epidemic in Smyrna, 1854",
    Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor

    Επιδημία χολέρας στη Σμύρνη, 1854 (12/19/2008 v.1)Cholera Epidemic in Smyrna, 1854 (1/26/2009 v.1)

    1. Appearance and spread of the epidemic

    In early June of 1854 an epidemic of cholera broke out in Smyrna, which lasted until the end of November of the same year. The epidemic came from Marseilles.

    The first cases appeared in the military prison of the lazaretto outside Smyrna. Most of the patients were male; until the 15th July it is reported that 10 people had died. 

    The epidemic reached its peak in the beginning of August. Most of the cases were amongst the Orthodox. The majority of the inhabitants left the city and headed for the nearby villages and islands. More than 150 people died in Smyrna.1 The epidemic mostly afflicted people over 50 years old. After the 8th October the inhabitants gradually returned to the city, but cases were documented even in the beginning of November.

    2. Measures against the epidemic

    To face the epidemic the dimogerontia (council of elders) of Smyrna addressed every doctor of the Orthodox community and made sure they offered free care to the patients. To deal with the epidemic more effectively the areas where Orthodox dwelled were divided into ten peripheries. One or two doctors were appointed in each of them. For the information of the inhabitants of the city an article2 was published in the Greek newspaper Amaltheia, which listed ways to protect from the disease.

    1. Solomonidıs reports that the victims of the cholera reached the number of 172 people, out of which 28 were Muslim, 81 Greek-Orthodox, 49 Jews and 12 Europeans. Amaltheia newspaper informs us that only 154 people died. See Σολομωνίδης, Χ., Η ιατρική στη Σμύρνη: Ασκληπιεία, σχολές, το γραικικό νοσοκομείο, επιδημίες, γητείες, γιατροσόφια, γιατροί, φαρμακεία (Athens 1955), p. 65; Η Αμάλθεια (Smyrna, 9th July-15th November 1854).

    2. See Η Αμάλθεια (Smyrna, 25th July 1854).

    Cholera Epidemic in Smyrna, 1893

    Cholera Epidemic in Smyrna, 1893 - has not been published yet Επιδημία χολέρας στη Σμύρνη, 1893 (19/12/2007 v.1)
    Cholera epidemic that came from Marseilles and afflicted Smyrna in 1893.

    Cholera Epidemic in Smyrna, 1913

    Author(s) : Shariat-Panahi S. Mohammad T. (11/27/2002)
    Translation : Velentzas Georgios

    For citation: Shariat-Panahi S. Mohammad T., "Cholera Epidemic in Smyrna, 1913",
    Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor

    Επιδημία Χολέρας στη Σμύρνη, 1913 (10/6/2007 v.1) Cholera Epidemic in Smyrna, 1913 (11/11/2009 v.1)

    1. Onset of the Epidemic

    In mid-July 1913, a plague epidemic broke out in Smyrna. It was not the only epidemic disease that struck the city that period, as the inhabitants were suffering from the smallpox broken out in early February 1913.

    2. Spread of the Epidemic

    The plague was spread to Smyrna by Muslim refugees from Macedonia. The first cases appeared at Başοturak. Immediately after the meeting of the sanitary committee, the region of Başοturak started to be disinfected and the inhabitants were taken to 40 tents at Kızılçulu on the mount Pagus (Kadifekale). The hospital of contagious diseases in the quarter of Tepecik was used as a quarantine station. The Municipality of Smyrna asked the vilayet authorities to approve a credit of 5000 liras in order to fight the plague. On July 20, the steamship ‘Magda’ coming from Thessaloniki and Kavala with about 700 Muslim refugees from various regions of Macedonia was forbidden to enter the harbour of Smyrna.

    3. Precautionary Measures

    The sanitary service imposed measures on food and water. Coffee shops and wine shops had to use boiled water. The municipality stopped the water supply in the Upper quarter and the people suffered from water shortage. The supreme council (meclis) of the vilayet decided that the waters of the spring Osman Ağa or Vezir Suyu should be examined. The surfaces of the streets, where problems had appeared, were whitewashed. About 500 Jews were removed and settled in tents, on the hill of Katiboğlu, near the city, where they remained in isolation. The civil health inspectorate ordered that all infected inns and hotels should close down; their operation would be allowed only after their disinfection and medical examination. Several butchers and grocers had to close their shops because they did not adopt the sanitary measures.

    On July 24, Smyrna was divided into eight sectors so that the patients could be better treated; the sanitary supervision was undertaken by 101 doctors. On July 25, the diocese issued a decision that assigned the parishes with the task of collecting money for the purchase of whitewash and disinfectants, while in case of emergency the ecclesiastical funds were summoned to make their contribution. The circular letter also ordered that the disinfections of roads and other places should be supervised and the families should be informed about the application of measures.

    The section for infectious diaseases of the English hospital opened on July 29, but it accepted only foreign subjects. On July 31, following a medical examination, several shops and inns of the Jewish quarter were closed down. The huts of the Muslim porters in the area of Zekiye inns were burned, because they had become foci of infection. In order to prevent the epidemic from spreading, the authorities placed guards in all the houses that had been infected by the disease and banned contact with the residents.

    4. Τhe Victims

    The Chief Rabbi of Smyrna died of the disease on August 17. Most of the victims in August died between the 15th and the 21st of the month, thus making a total of 23 casualties. On September 7, following a decision of the diocese, the beginning of the school year was put off because of the seriousness of the epidemic. Vaccination started on September 13. The doctors Koutouvalis, Logothetis and Husni Bey were responsible for vaccinating the inhabitants. The diocese issued a new decision on September 17 and ordered that school classes should start the following day. On September 22, the municipality decided that a disinfector should be used for sanitising items such as the furniture of the people who moved from one quarter to another, old clothes, etc., before they were sold in the market of Bit Pazar. Because the students, out of fear for the epidemic, did not go to school, on September 22, the metropolitan asked them to return to their classes; he added that the plague was in decline and they had nothing to worry about. No more cases of the disease appeared in the city from late September onwards and, finally, the epidemic was eliminated in early October. During the epidemic in Smyrna, there were 284 cases resulting in 166 deaths.1

    1. Αμάλθεια, October 3, 1913. Solomonidis (Σολομωνίδης) reports 300 cases, which resulted in 181 deaths; see Σολομωνίδης, Χ., Η ιατρική στη Σμύρνη: Ασκληπιεία, σχολές, το Γραικικό Νοσοκομείο, επιδημίες, γητειές, γιατροσόφια, γιατροί, φαρμακεία (Athens 1955), p. 74.

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    Mavi Boncuk |
    Famine in Asia Minor, 1873-1875

    Famine in Asia Minor, 1873-1875 - has not been published yet
    Λιμός στη Μ. Ασία, 1873-1875 (14/10/2005 v.1)

    In 1873, a famine appeared in Central Asia Minor, which lasted until 1875. The basic causes of the famine was the drought of 1873 and the subsequent harsh winter. The spreading of the famine resulted in the abandonment of villages and in the paralysis of the economy of many cities. The severe famine struck a wide region in central Anatolia, killing at least 150,000 people. During the disaster, the American Protestant missionaries, already settled in Anatolia since the early decades of the nineteenth century, created effective networks of charity and saved many lives distributing relief and feeding thousands of peasants and townsmen.

    See also: The Famine in Asia-Minor: Its history, compiled from the pages of the "Levant herald" 
    Hardcover: 102 pages
    Publisher: Isis Press (1989)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 9754280134

    ISBN-13: 978-9754280135

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  • 01/04/18--12:39: Paul Lange (1857 – 1919)
  • Mavi Boncuk |

    Paul Lange (October 12, 1857 – December 2, 1919) was a German musician, teacher, orchestra and choir leader living and working in Istanbul. Lange "europeanized" Turkish military music and was one of the pioneers to bring German and European classical music to the Ottoman capital in the years between 1880 and 1920.

    Lange was born in Kartzow, Prussia, the descendant of an old Prussian teacher family. He was trained at the teacher's college in Neuruppin to become a school teacher. He graduated from that college in 1879 with honors. Because of his high musical skills, he was then admitted to the "Royal Academic Institute for Church Music" in Berlin, where he received training as church organist.

    In 1880, Lange moved to Constantinople, where he assumed a position as music teacher at the German School (Alman Lisesi) as well as organist of the Chapel of the German Embassy.

    Subsequently Lange also became music teacher at various other institutes of higher education in Constantinople, including several Greek and Armenian high schools (lycées) as well as American colleges such as Robert College and American College for Girls.

    Lange became a successful piano teacher and subsequently also formed his private conservatory, which however had to declare bankruptcy after two years. He transformed an existing Italian orchestra into a large German-style symphony orchestra with which he conducted the first performances ever of Beethoven symphonies and Wagner operas in the Ottoman Empire, with enormous success.

    Finally, during his visit to Constantinople in 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II, who had already appointed him a "Kaiserlicher Musikdirektor" in 1894, became aware of Lange and helped him gain a position as head of a naval military orchestra of the Ottoman Navy. Subsequently, he took over several other military ensembles, before finally being appointed Director of the Sultan's music after the revolution in 1908. Since then Lange carried the Ottoman Court title "Bey". As a member of the Ottoman court, Lange was allowed to stay in Istanbul by the Allied Military Administration when all other Germans and Austrians were deported from the city. When Lange died in Üsküdar, Ottoman Empire, in December, 1919, he received a state funeral, and the British Embassy chaplain performed the funeral at Feriköy Protestant Cemetery. However, his widow and his youngest daughter, who had stayed with him in Istanbul, were deported to Germany only a few months later in May 1920.

    The German-American conductor Hans Lange (assistant of Arturo Toscanini in New York City, later conductor at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, best known for numerous recordings with the Wagner soprano Kirsten Flagstad) was the oldest son of Paul Lange.

    Paul Lange was a close friend of fellow German lecturer Dr Friedrich Schrader, also faculty member at Robert College in the 1890s.


    John Freely, A History of Robert College: Yapi Kredi, Istanbul; 1st edition (July 2000), ISBN 978-975-08-0238-6 (mentions Paul Lange as teacher at the American College for Girls in the 1890s)
    Schlegel, Dietrich: Paul Lange Bey – Ein deutscher Musiker im Osmanischen Reich, Mitteilungen der Deutsch-Türkischen Gesellschaft, 115(12/1992), S. 36-47
    Emre Araci: Paul Lange Bey: in: Memleketimiz Dersaadet (Daheim in Konstantinopel), Pagma Verlag, Nürnberg, 2014, ISBN 978-3-9810758-5-4, S. 165-184 (in German and Turkish)
    Authority control
    WorldCat Identities VIAF: 10604116 GND: 116704659

    The Feriköy Cemetery (Feriköy Mezarlığı) is a burial ground situated in Feriköy quarter of Şişli district on the European part of Istanbul, Turkey.

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    Veteran actor Münir Özkul died on Jan. 5 at the age of 93. Özkul had been suffering from a respiratory disease and dementia since 2003 and had been treated in his home in Istanbul for a long time. 

    Speaking to press members, his daughter Güner Özkul said her father had been having health problems for a long time. 

    “We have been ready for this day due to a lot of fake news in the media,” she said. 

    Özkul said his funeral ceremony would be held on Jan. 7 or 8 at the Muhsin Ertuğrul Stage and his funeral would take place at the Teşvikiye Mosque. 

    Mavi Boncuk | Münir Özkul (15 August

    1925 – 5 January 2018) was a Turkish cinema and theatre actor. He has been awarded the title of "State Artist of Turkey". In 1972, he won a Golden Orange Award for Best Actor for his performance in Sev Kardeşim.

    He completed his formal education at İstanbul Erkek Lisesi. Özkul starting his acting career at Bakırköy Halkevi theatre. Later he worked at Ankara State theatre and İstanbul Şehir theatre. He became famous after his role in Muhsin Ertuğrul's Fareler ve İnsanlar. From the 1950s onwards, he acted mostly in cinema. During the 1970s, he appeared in many films of the director Ertem Eğilmez like Hababam Sınıfı, Şabanoğlu Şaban, Mavi Boncuk, Banker Bilo, Namuslu.

    Many of these films paired him with the actress Adile Naşit. Other films include Edi ile Büdü, Halıcı Kız, Kalbimin Şarkısı, Miras Uğruna, Balıkçı Güzeli, Neşeli Günler, Gülen Yüzler, Gırgıriye, Görgüsüzler, Mavi Boncuk, Bizim Aile, Aile Şerefi. In the 1980s, he acted in some television series such as Uzaylı Zekiye, Ana Kuzusu ve Şaban ile Şirin.

    Özkul was awarded the honorary title “State Artist of Turkey” in 1998. In 2015, Özkul was one of the recipients of the Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Awards, which are distributed every year by the state to Turkish and foreign artists and institutions that contribute and honor Turkish culture and art.

    In 1972, he received the Golden Orange Award, known as the Turkish Oscars, for Best Actor in his performance in the Turkish movie “Sev Kardeşim” (Love, My Brother). 

    During the 1970s, he appeared in many films by Ertem Eğilmez. 

    He is best known in Turkey for his roles “Mahmut Hoca” in the cult comedy film series “Hababam Sınıfı” (The Chaos Class) and Yaşar Usta in the film “Bizim Aile” (Our Family), as well as many other films. 

    Özkul has married four times and he has three children. His second wife was actress Suna Selen. In 1998, he was awarded the title of "State Artist of Turkey" by the Turkish Ministry of Culture. He has suffered from dementia since 2003.

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    Mavi Boncuk |

    Aydın Boysan (17 June 1921 – 5 January 2018) was a Turkish architect, academic, author and essayist.

    Born in İstanbul , his father Esat was an accountant and his mother Nevreste was a teacher. After Pertevniyal High School he studied architecture in Academy of Fine Arts (later renameded as Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University). For 54 years (between 1945 and 1999) he served as an architect.

    During this period he won many architectural design competitions both at home and abroad. The total area of his building designs was about 1,500,000 square metres (16,000,000 sq ft)

    In 1954, he became the charter member of the Chamber of Architects. He also became the first secretary general of the chamber. Later he served as the representative of the chamber in İstanbul. Between 1957 and 1972 he taught in the İstanbul Technical University.

    Aydın Boysan was a well known name in Turkish journalism. In 1984 he founded Bas Printing House and published essay books. His essays are mostly about his memoirs and humor. He was also a columnist. He wrote in Hürriyet for ten years and in Akşam for three years.



    Paldır Güldür
    Yangın Var
    Umut Simit
    Yalan, Oldu mu Ya!
    Söylesem Bir Türlü.
    Dünyayı Severek( Vol.I, II, III)
    Yıl 2046 Uzay Anıları,
    İstanbul Esintileri
    Leke Bırakan Gölgeler
    Yaşama Sevinci
    Sev ve Yaşa
    Zaman Geçerken
    Yüzler ve Yürekler
    Felekten Bir Gün
    İstanbul’un Kuytu Köşeleri
    Neşeye Şarkı
    Nereye Gitti İstanbul?
    Ne Hos Zamanlardi

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    Mavi Boncuk | The Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 (Greek: Μεγάλη Πυρκαγιά της Θεσσαλονίκης, 1917) destroyed two thirds of the city of Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece, leaving more than 70,000 homeless.

    The fire burned for 32 hours and destroyed 9,500 houses within an extent of 1 square kilometer. Half the Jewish population emigrated from the city as their livelihoods were gone. 

    The lack of housing coupled with the unrest in the city caused many people, including the Jews, to migrate to other parts of the world including, France, Athens, and Palestine. Those that remained in the city were left homeless, sleeping in tents, or in temporary housing until the completion of the reconstruction of the city. This left many fire victims, the majority of them Jews and Muslims, without property since they were unable to reclaim and rebuilt what they lost. The city supervised the rebuilding of the burned buildings and many citizens victimized by the fires claimed that they were only given minimal compensation for their property and suffering, causing much havoc in the city which only worsened a few years later do to the compulsory population exchange between Greece and Turkey. As a result of the war in Asia Minor, Hellenization, the displacement of the population, and the Great Fire of Thessaloniki in 1917, a new, unfamiliar Thessaloniki was born.

    Rather than quickly rebuilding, the government commissioned the French architect Ernest Hébrard[1] to design a new urban plan for the burned areas Thessaloniki and for the future expansion of the city. His designs are still evident in the city, most notably Aristotelous Square, although some of his most grandiose plans were never completed due to a lack of funds.

    Thessaloniki was one of the largest and most modern cities in Europe by Balkan standards at the time of the fire. By European standards, the city's planning was chaotic and the unhygienic conditions that prevailed in the poorer areas were described as "unacceptable" by the government in Athens. The city's harbour was one of the most important centres of trade in the region. In 1912 the city, along with the biggest part of Macedonia and Epirus, was was occupied by Greece. The population of the city was essentially maintained: the larger part of the population were Sephardi Jews, followed by Greeks, Turks, Bulgarians, Roma and others.

    As soon as World War I began in 1914, Greece officially maintained neutrality. With authorization by the Venizelos' government, Entente Forces had landed troops in Thessaloniki in 1915, in order to support their Serb allies in the Macedonian Front. In August 1916, Venizelist officers launched an uprising that resulted in the establishment of the Provisional Government of National Defence in the city, essentially dividing Greece into two sovereign states, one represented by Eleftherios Venizelos, and the other by King Constantine.

    After King Constantine abdicated in June 1917, Greece was reunified again and entered officially the war with the Allies side.

    Thessaloniki soon became a transit center for Allied troops and supplies, and the city filled with thousands of French and British soldiers, numbering up to 100,000. The population of the city at the time is dubious, with some sources claiming around 150,000 and others 278,000. French navy official Dufour de la Thuillerie writes in his report that "I saw Thessaloniki, a city of more than 150,000 people, burn".

    See also: Selanik to Thessaloniki 

    See also: Research article Building the Nation at the Crossroads of ‘East’ and ‘West’: Ernest Hébrard and Henri Prost in the Near East

    [1] Ernest Hébrard (1875–1933) was a French architect, archaeologist and urban planner who completed major projects in Greece, Morocco, and French Indochina. He is renowned for his urban plan for the redevelopment of the center of Thessaloniki in Greece after a great fire in 1917. The majority of Thessaloniki was largely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1917. The Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos forbade the reconstruction of the city center until a modern city plan was approved. He commissioned Ernest Hébrard for the work, which the architect conceived and developed with the aid of the Greek architects Aristotelis Zachos and Konstantinos Kitsikis. The plan did away with the medieval and Oriental (Ottoman) features of Thessaloniki, preserved its Byzantine heritage, and transformed it into a city with boulevards and contemporary roadways, squares and parks. Hébrard taught at the National Technical University of Athens, and his work is well known in the architecture schools of Greece.

    Architect Ernest Hébrard's urban plan for the rebuilding of Thessaloniki after the 1917 fire.

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  • 01/05/18--14:44: Film | Arif v 216

  • Arif V 216 is the sequel of G.O.R.A. After 8 years, Arif's old friend 216 from planet GORA pays a visit to Earth.Together they go on a quest where they'll be visiting 70's. 

    Mavi Boncuk | Arif v 216

    Directed by Kıvanç Baruönü[1], "Arif v 216" features Cem Yılmaz, Ozan Güven, Seda Bakan, Zafer Algöz, Özkan Uğur, Çağlar Çorumlu, Özge Özberk, Farah Zeynep Abdullah, Ahu Yağtu and Mert Fırat. Written by Yılmaz, the film focuses on the journey of Robot 216 and Craftsmen Arif who were previously seen in the film "G.O.R.A." This comedy science fiction depicts events after Robot 216, who has always dreamed of being a human, decides to live with his friend Arif in the world.

    Produced by Onur Cakir
    Cinematography by Jean-Paul Seresin
    Film Editing by Ilker Ozcan
    Art Department Sevgi Dündar
    Foley artist Leith Ridley

    [1] He completed his elementary, secondary and high school education in Zonguldak. While studying at Ankara University Faculty of Communication Radio, Television and Cinema Department, he was interested in theatre and photography. In his college years, he started to work in the field of TV broadcasting - his childhood dream. He worked for many years in one of Turkey's first private radio stations as programmer and chief editor. He had a prominent role in the development of private radios in Turkey and their legal foundations. With the establishment of Number One Music TV channel; he returned to television programming and started to direct music videos. From early 1990s to 2000s, he has directed numerous music videos and received various TV Music Awards. He was long time employed in Tv news programs as audiovisual director and advisor. He worked in feature films "Dansoz" and "GORA" as assistant director and post production supervisor and in "Kelebegin Ruyasi" as production designer. His directorial debut is the feature film "Patron Mutlu Son Istiyor".

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    Fatih Akin gewinnt Golden Globe für "Aus dem Nichts" Mavi Boncuk | See also Cannes Win

    After taking the Best Actress prize for Diane Kruger in Cannes last May, Fatih Akin’s In The Fade scooped the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film tonight. This is the German director’s first win and beat out other Cannes favorites The Square and Loveless as well as Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father and Sebastian Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman from Chile. Along with each of those (save Jolie’s film) the movie is shortlisted for a Foreign Language Oscar.

    In her first German-language role, Kruger plays a woman whose life collapses after the death of her husband and son in a bomb attack. The police arrest two suspects, a young neo-Nazi couple, but Katja wants justice.

    Kruger was on stage with Akin , quickly getting in a thank you to the HFPA “for elevating this movie, even though it’s foreign language.”A stunned Akin said, “How did that happen?” The film has sold just 100,000 tickets in Germany, he noted. He also thanked the usual round of collaborators as well as U.S. distributor Magnolia Pictures and German partner Warner Bros, following that up with a quip that fell flat, “If you see a cop, warn-a-brother” .

    He gave a shout-out to Thierry Frémaux, the Cannes Film Festival chief who was in the audience tonight. “You opened the door.” And then turning to Kruger said, “This is yours, this is ours.”

    While the story is contemporary and timely, Akin first wrote a draft of it in 1992. “Can you imagine?” he said to me the last time we spoke. “As a teenager back then, I could have been a target just because of the way I look, because my parents are Turkish. That really bothered me.” Sadly, he says today, “Nothing has changed since then. It seems that many of us haven’t done the homework or reflection since then.”

    Akin repped Germany as the Oscar submission 10 years ago, but did not advance to the shortlist. He calls it a “bit like a computer game to reach different levels.” With the Globe he’s potentially advanced another level, although the Globes and the Oscars don’t always match up. Since 2010, they’ve been in line five times with: 2015’s Son Of Saul, 2013’s The Great Beauty, 2012’s Amour, 2011’s A Separation and 2010’s In A Better World. SOURCE

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    Mavi Boncuk |

    Kristal Oil which has been the first branded olive oil in Turkey, was established in 1938 in İzmir by Anthony Micaleff[1].

     Kristal Oil has been one of the first brands that produced olive oil and released packed olive oil to the market in Turkey. It has also been the first company that exported packed and branded olive oil. Today, as a pioneer in Turkish olive oil market, Kristal Oil exports olive oil to 25 countries.
    In 1950s, while olive oil was mainly consumed in Aegean and Marmara Regions which are the production areas, Kristal Oil has been the leading company introducing and adopting the habit of consuming olive oil among Turkish people in Anatolia.

    In 2007 along with the partnership of Arkas Holding, Kristal Oil has increased its investments and production capacity even more. 

    The ship on the logo symbolizes the migration of brand founder Anthony Micaleff’s family from Malta to İzmir in the 1860s. On the logo of Kristal oils, the ship stands for trust, progress and prosperity.

    This is the story of how a ship changed the destiny of a family, and how that ship became synonymous with olive oil. It all started in the 1850’s when great-grandfather Micaleff embarked on a journey to the east, from Malta to Crimea, leaving his two sons in Izmir.

    Their started life in İzmir as ship chandlers. When the Crimean war was over the sons did not want to return to Malta, having already started family businesses in Izmir. The destiny of the Micaleff family began with that ship voyage, as the family went on to become one of the biggest producers of olive oil in Turkey.

    The grandson Anthony Micaleff eventually established the first branded olive oil company in the country in 1938. Christopher Dologh, the present general manager of the company, says his uncle, Noel Micaleff, Anthony’s son, now 83 years of age, still hosts olive oil tastings in the company every single day.

    The association between that eastward-bound ship and olive oil is nothing more than a lucky coincidence. When Anthony Micaleff started olive oil production as a branded product, there was no packaging available in Turkey, so he brought in tin can-producing machines from France, becoming the first producer to sell olive oil in tin cans in the country. SEE: Tin Can History by A. Ercan Öner
    İzmir, 2014)  Tin Can Museum

    An image of the ship that changed the destiny of the family was stamped on the cans.

    In those days road transportation was troublesome in Anatolia, so the olive oil was transported to other parts of Turkey via ships and then transferred to inland destinations. In many parts of inland Anatolia, the olive oil became known as “the oil with the ship,” as the emblem featured first in tin cans, and then later in glass bottles.

    For many the image of the ship indicated quality. The Kristal tin cans became a regular feature of households. They were re-used as measuring implements, as the weight written on the can was fully trusted. Other tins ended up as storage containers or flower pots in window sills blooming with colorful geraniums.

    The Levantines in the city have maintained a two-way umbilical cord connecting European cities and İzmir, nurturing both sides in various ways. They traded the plenty of Aegean to Europe, providing them with figs and Smyrna sultanas for their Christmas puddings and Turkish carpets for their houses. They supplied cotton, textiles and Turkish tobacco and in return were introduced to European urban culture, establishing factories and institutionalizing the industrial sector.

    They have become a part of the community. Even if some have had to leave, they have always felt İzmir to be their hometown. Many feel more at home in Turkey than in their ancestral land, the Micaleff family included.

    Enrichetta Micaleff, wife of Anthony Micalleff’s son Charles, is of Italian ancestry. In an oral history interview with the Levantine Heritage Foundation she has said she does not feel Italian when in Italy, even though Italian is one of her mother tongues. Like many Levantines, her mother tongue is more than one, a mix of Italian and French, with a passable command of Greek and finally Turkish. Although she does feel herself to be an Izmir local, she does not consider herself totally Turkish, as she is ethnically different. His husband is from British Malta and was a British subject, but at home they did not speak English. She says most Levantines end up being neither fish nor fowl, but for her that is fine, and she is proud to be a Levantine.

    Kristal sold 49 percent of its shares to Arkas Group in 2007, another Levantine company, broadening its horizons in both domestic and international markets. Interestingly, the symbol of the ship is even more important in the Arkas family. The Arkas group was also founded in Izmir as an import-export agency in 1902, sailing ships to seven seas.

    For many Levantines, ties to their ancestral lands were forged through ships. Long ago the ships brought them to their new land, and ships saved them from hard times in war, many came back with ships, the ships sustained their existence through trade as with the Arkas family, and the ships branded their identity as with the Micaleff family. 



    [1] Micallef is a Maltese surname. It has been recorded in Malta since ancient times, and its origins probably lie in the name Micali, a variant of Michael (in Hebrew, Michael means "Who is like God"). However, another possible derivation for the surname is the Maltese word "mħallef", which means 'judge', and thus its origin is not certain. This surname is found in various Medieval records, normally as Makluffi. Prior to the late 15th century, most people bearing this surname were of the Jewish faith. The history of the small Jewish Community of Malta goes back to the arrival of the Semitic Phoenician settlers almost three thousand five hundred years ago. It is believed that they were accompanied by Israelite mariners from the seafaring tribes of Zevulon and Asher. The discovery of carved menorahs and Hellenistic inscriptions in a number of Jewish catacombs near Valletta and Birzebbuga attests to a community living here in Grecian and Roman times. For long periods during the Middle Ages the Jews of Malta, who had settled here from Sicily, Sardinia, North Africa and Spain, lived a fairly independent and prosperous life. Several were doctors, a profession monopolised by the Jews of Malta at that time. Others were agricultural land owners and import-export agents, but the majority were shopkeepers and itinerant merchants.

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    Ambassador (R) Ömer Engin Lütem who died on January 5, 2018 after a long illness.

    Mavi Boncuk |

    Ambassador (R) Ömer Engin Lütem  (b. 1933 Istanbul, Turkey-d. January 6, 2018 Ankara Turkey) graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Ankara in 1957 and became career diplomat in the same year. 
    Ambassador Lütem directed the Center for Eurasian Strategic Studies (AVIM) in Ankara, Turkey, with whom TASC partnered in 2016 for the advancement of studies in violent extremism, anti-terror, Turkish - Armenian history, and Turkish - Armenian reconciliation.

    Ambassador Lutem lead a stellar professional career in the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Community. He was born in 1933 in Istanbul, Turkey. He graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Ankara in 1957 and became career diplomat the same year. During his service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Lütem served as the Turkish Consul General at Cologne, Germany (1975-1979), Director General of Personnel of the MFA of the Republic of Turkey (1979-1981), Director General of Intelligence and Research of the MFA of the Republic of Turkey (1981-1983), Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Bulgaria (1983-1989), Deputy Undersecretary of the MFA (1989-1992), Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the Vatican (1992-1995) and the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Turkey to UNESCO (1995-1997). After his retirement in 1998, he served as the Director of the Institute for Armenian Research at Eurasian Strategic Research Center (2000-2008) and Director of the Center for Eurasian Studies (2009-2012). Ambassador Lütem was the editor of the journals Armenian Studies (published since 2001), Review of Armenian Studies (published since 2002), and International Crimes and History (published since in 2005). 

    His works include:
    Türkiye-Bulgaristan İlişkileri, 1983-1989 vol. 1 (Turkish-Bulgarian Relations, 1983-1989 vol. 1), ASAM, Ankara, 2000.
    Balkan Diplomasisi (Balkan Diplomacy), ASAM, Ankara 2001
    Ermeni Sorunu El Kitabı (Handbook of the Armenian Question), ASAM-TEİMK, Ankara, 2003
    Türkiye-Bulgaristan İlişkileri, 1983-1989 vol. 2 (Turkish-Bulgarian Relations, 1983-1989 vol. 2), ASAM, Ankara, 2005.
    Armenian Terror, ASAM, Ankara, 2007.
    Armenian Question: Basic Knowledge and Documentation, AVİM, Ankara, 2009.


    Ömer Engin Lütem
    Oyuna gelmeyelim 
    Türkiye 5 Şubat 2001 

    B. E. Lütem ile 1980'li yıllardan itibaren gelişen Ermeni sorunu hakkında bir sohbet yaptık.

    Kışlalı- 1981'de İstihbarat ve Araştırma Genel Müdürlüğü'nde ne yaptınız?
    Lütem- Ermeni cinayetleri bir yana o dönemde bir de muazzam Ermeni propagandası vardı. Her Türk diplomatı öldürdüklerinde "Ermeni soykırımı" vurgulanıyor, dünya basınında yer buluyordu. O zamanki askeri hükümet bu konuya çok önem verdi. Bu alanda çalışmak için kuruldu daire. Hem gelişmeleri izledik hem de dışta gereken diplomatik girişimleri koordine ediyorduk. Faydalı şeyler yaptık. Kitaplar yazıldı. Bunların başında Kamuran Gürün'ün Ermeni Dosyası kitabı gelir. Kendisi de o zaman Dışişleri Bakanlığı Müsteşarı idi. B.E. Bilal Şimşir de Arşivler Genel Müdürü olarak kitaplar yazdı. Bu kitaplar hâlâ ana kitap. Bunlara tabii eklemeler de yapıldı. Yurt dışında Türkiye'ye karşı suç işleyip yakalananların davalarına Türkiye'nin müdahil olarak katılmasını sağladık.

    ‘Kamuoyunun ilgisi azdı’

    Kışlalı- Hükümetler önem vermeye devam etmediler sonra değil mi?
    Lütem- Doğru. O zaman önem verildi ama 1985'ten sonra ilgi azaldı. Cinayetler durmuştu. Kamuoyu ilgisi azaldı. Bu tabii de hükümetin ilgisinin azalması garip. Daha ziyade cinayet olunca ilgi var. Bu ilgisizlik dışarda ciddi gelişmelere imkan verdi. 1987'de Avrupa Parlamentosu'nda ilk kararı çıkardılar. Çok önemli bir karardır bu. Türkiye'den pek tepki gelmedi. Sonra benzer kararlar 90'lı yılların başından itibaren gelmeye başladı. Kıbrıs, Belçika, Rus Duma'sı kararları geldi. Bunlarla hükümetler pek ilgilenmediler. Kamuoyu da tepki göstermedi. Böylece bu günlere geldik.

    Kışlalı- Peki hükümetler böyle ilgisiz kaldı. Ama sizin kurduğunuz daire bunları izleyip hükümetleri uyarmadı mı?
    Lütem- Gayet tabii. Arkadaşlarımın görevi bu. Bunu mutlaka yapmışlardır. Ama karar hükümetlere ait. Bizim ülkede iki önemli konuyla birden uğraşılamıyor galiba. İş işten geçtikten sonra başka konuya eğiliniyor. Bugünkü olaylar bunun açık misali. Bakanlığa yığınla bilgi geliyordu. Bunlar muhakkak değerlendirilip makamlara bildirilmiştir. Ama küçümsenmiştir.

    ‘Zafiyet içinde kaldık’

    Kışlalı- Neler yapılabilirdi acaba?
    Lütem- İşin birkaç yanı var; bunlardan biri diplomatik girişimler. Kamuoyuna yönelik faaliyetler de bilimsel kitaplar yayımlamak, gerektiğinde seminerler düzenlemek gibi. Asıl kesilen faaliyet soykırım olduğu iddialarına cevap verecek yayın ve benzer faaliyetlerin durdurulmasıdır. O sırada Ermeniler dünyanın birçok yerinde yoğun faaliyetlerine devam ediyorlardı. Diplomatik girişimler bilimsel, tarihi verilerle desteklenmeyince boşlukta kaldılar.

    Kışlalı- Bugünkü durum nedir Batı dünyasında?
    Lütem- 1915 olaylarının soykırım olduğuna inanmayan kimse kalmadı dışarıda. 80'li yılların ortasından itibaren tezimizi tanıtma açısından büyük zafiyet içinde kaldık. Tereddütler soykırım olduğu noktasında değil de; acaba modern Türkiye'yi rencide edecek bir şey yapalım mı yapmayalım mı noktasındadır. Yoksa 'Hayır soykırım olmamıştır' diyen çok az insan ve ülke var. 80'li yılların başında 50-60 bilim adamı ABD'de gazetelere verilen ilanda "Soykırım yoktur" diyordu. Bugün arasanız bunlardan hiçbirini bulamayabilirsiniz.

    Kışlalı- Üzerlerinde Ermeni kamuoyu baskısı olduğu için çekiniyorlar herhalde?
    Lütem- Tabii fikirlerini değiştirmemişlerdir ama dediğiniz gibi büyük baskı karşısında kalmışlardır. Adım adım bu noktaya gelindi. Bu olumsuz gelişmelere şaşmamak gerek. Çünkü Türkiye soykırım iddialarını çürütecek savunmayı yapamamıştır. Şimdi bizim Enstitü; Ermeni Araştırmaları Enstitüsü, bunu yapmaya çalışacak.

    Kışlalı- İşlevi ne olacak?
    Lütem- Ermeni sorunlarıyla uğraşan yegâne sivil kuruluş bu. Devlet içinde de yok. Bir başlangıç. Dışta tek amaçları soykırım iddialarını yayma olan çok Ermeni kuruluşu var. Enstitü olarak iki görevimiz var. Biri; bilimsel yayını yapmak. Bir dergi çıkaracağız. İnternette Türkçe ve İngilizce site açacağız. İkinci faaliyetimiz eğitime yönelik olacak. Genç üniversite mensuplarını bu konularda eğiteceğiz. Doktora yapmalarını, tez yazmalarını teşvik edeceğiz. Türkiye'de Ermeni konusunu bilenlerin sayısı az olduğu gibi bunların çoğu da yaşlanmış durumda.

    ‘Tepki çok büyük’

    Kışlalı- Sizce ülke bu sorunun ciddi bir sorun olduğu ve ciddi çaba olmadan kurtulamayacağı idraki içinde mi?
    Lütem- Garip bir durum var. Herkes kendini güncele göre ayarlıyor. Şu anda herkes böyle ama sonra ne olur bilemem. Şimdiki tepki çok büyük. Bir kısmı sizin de arkadaşlarınız olan diplomat şehitlerimiz öldürüldüklerinde ortaya çıkan tepkiden daha fazla tepki var şimdi. Oysa o olaylar şimdikinden daha önemliydi.

    Kışlalı- Olayların birden artmasının Ermeni Cumhuriyetinin kurulmasıyla ilgisi var mı?
    Lütem- Ondan ziyade Koçaryan'ın durumuyla ilgili. İlk gelen Petrosyan soykırım iddiasını rafa kaldırmıştı. Ama 7 sene görevde kaldı Türkiye'den bekledikleri hiçbir gelişme sağlayamadılar. Türkiye'ye karşı hayal kırıklığına uğradılar. Koçaryan tutum değiştirdi. Şimdi dışarıdaki Ermenilerle, diaspora ile uyum içinde görünüyor. Soykırım konusunu sürgit edeceği belli.

    Kışlalı- Dışişlerinde 'Ermeni devletiyle yakınlaşma' eğilimi var. Ama onlar bunu zafiyet işareti olarak alıyor. Bir de; bu gerçekçi mi? Azerbaycan'ı kaybetmeyi göze almadan?
    Lütem- Bu, cambazlığa benziyor. Bunu yapmaya kalkarsak yıllardır izlediğimiz Karabağ politikamıza aykırı olmaz mı? Birçok açmazı var. Zamanlamasından da şüphem var. Ama Ermenistan ile diaspora arasında soykırım konusunda büyük fark var. Diasporayı ayakta tutan soykırım iddiası. Ermenistan halkının başka büyük dertleri var. Sovyet döneminde de pek bu konuda bilinçlendirilmemişler.

    Kışlalı- Paris'te alınan karar sizce sadece oradaki Ermeni oylarından dolayı mı? Yoksa bazı ihaleleri alamamaları, bundan dolayı Chirac'ın Türkiye'ye gelmekten vazgeçmesi de rol oynadı mı?
    Lütem- Genellikle dediğiniz gibi buna inanılıyor. İhaleleri alamamalarının verdiği büyük burukluğun etkisi olmalı. Bu arada Türkiye'yi fazla rencide etmemeye de itina ediyorlar. Kanun lafzında. Ama Türkiye bunlardan hiç etkilenmedi ve açık seçik suçlanıyormuş gibi tepki gösterdi. Fransızların bu tepkiyi beklediklerini zannetmiyorum. Hesaplarının yanlış olduğunu şimdi görecekler.

    Kışlalı- Türkiye bu tür karar çıkaranları umursamasa 'Cehenneme kadar yolunuz var. Ne çıkarırsanız çıkarın' dese ilerde başına büyük dert açar mıydı?
    Lütem- Hayır açmazdı. Ama Türkiye'de bunu böyle hissetmek mümkün değil. Kamuoyu bunun böyle hissedilmesine izin vermez. Çok hassas.

    Kışlalı- Bundan sonra tazminat ve toprak isteği gelebilir mi?
    Lütem- Bunu diasporada düşünenler olduğu anlaşılıyor. Ama soykırımı kabul etmeyene tazminat nasıl zorlanır? Toprak isteği ise hayal olur.

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    1951 Written by Levent Cantek [1] Illustrated by Sefa Sofuoğlu

    ISBN 9789750523052
    1st Printing January 2018 | İletişim Yayınları |176 pg. 

    Mavi Boncuk | 

    See: A Short History Of Comics In Turkey by Levent Cantek

    [1]Levent Cantek, is the author of the book Türkiye’de Çizgi Roman, on the history and evolution of Turkish comics. Studied international relations at Bilkent University, and received his masters in journalism from Gazi University. He finished his PhD at Ankara University, and is one of the editors-in-chief of the Toplum ve Bilim (Society and Science) journal. He is the author of books Comic Books in Turkey (Iletisim, 1996), Markopasa, A Legend of Humor and Opposition (Iletisim, 2001), Karaoglan, An Erotic Nationalist Icon (Oglak, 2003), Republican Adolescence (Iletisim, 2008), Anatolian Tales (Dipnot, 2009), Donkey Immigrating to the City (Iletisim, 2011), Black Smoke (Iletisim, 2013) and Entrusted City (Iletisim, 2014). 

    Levent Cantek 1969 Ankara doğumlu. Bilkent Üniversitesi’nde Uluslararası İlişkiler Lisans eğitimi aldı, Gazi ve Ankara Üniversitelerinde Gazetecilik yüksek lisans ve doktorası yaptı. Çizgi roman ve mizah ile ilgili çalışmalarıyla tanınıyor. Kültür tarihi ile ilgili çalışmalar yapıyor. TV dizi ve film senaryoları yazıyor. Editörlük ve akademisyenliğini sürdürüyor. Kitapları: Türkiye’de Çizgi Roman (İletişim Yayınları, 1996), Markopaşa, Bir Mizah ve Muhalefet Efsanesi (İletişim Yayınları, 2001), Çizgili Hayat Kılavuzu (der. İletişim Yayınları, 2002), Karaoğlan, Erotik ve Milliyetçi Bir İkon (Oğlak-Maceraperest, 2003), Çizgili Kenar Notları (der. İletişim Yayınları, 2007), Cumhuriyetin Büluğ Çağı (İletişim Yayınları, 2008), Anadolu Masalları (Dipnot Yayınları, 2009), Şehre Göçen Eşek (İletişim Yayınları, 2011), Dumankara (Grafik Roman, İletişim Yayınları, 2013), Emanet Şehir (Grafik Roman, İletişim Yayınları, 2014), Uzak Şehir (Grafik Roman, İletişim Yayınları, 2015), Kuş Eppeği (İletişim Yayınları, 2017), Muhalefet Defteri: Türkiye'de Mizah Dergileri ve Karikatür (Levent Gönenç ile birlikte, YKY, 2017). 

    Sefa Sofuoğlu Sefa Sofuoğlu was born in Adana Turkey in 1964. He studied at the Cukurova University and became a pupil of famous Turkish comic artist Oğuz Aral, drawing for his magazine Gırgır. He also contributed his comics to magazines Fırfır, Avni and Dıgıl. He lives in Adana and runs an advertising agency. (from | Last updated: 2012-04-24 )

     1964 yılında Adana'da doğdu. 1985 yılında Ç.Ü. Eğitim Fakültesi İngilizce Bölümü'nden mezun oldu. Gırgır dergisindeki “Çiçeği Burnunda Karikatürcüler” köşesinde Oğuz Aral’ın iki satır eleştiri yazması için yüzlerce karikatür çizdi ve gönderdi. 1980 yılında Gırgır'da karikatürü yayımlandığında uzun süre kendine gelemedi. Kendine geldikten sonra çizmekten hiç vazgeçmedi. Gırgır'ın yanı sıra, Fırt, Dıgıl, Avni, Fırfır, Holigan, Parazit, Küstah, Ekspress gazetesi, Milliyet Güney ve Sabah Güney'de karikatür ve çizgi öyküleri yayımlandı. Sabah Güney'de yayımlanan karikatürleri Alemin Keyfi Yerinde adıyla 2009 yılında kitaplaştırıldı. Adana’da yaşayan Sofuoğlu, 1996 yılından beri reklamcılık, halkla ilişkiler ve yayıncılık sektöründe hizmet veren Öncül/Sefa İletişim Hizmetleri’nin kurucu ortağıdır ve art direktör olarak çalışmaktadır.

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    Please allow me to have this posting written by a multi talented intellectual that I admired for quite a while.

    In 1995, the late Umberto Eco wrote an essay on what he called “Ur-Fascism”. What he meant by this term is the fuzzy constellation of ideas and feelings out of which fascism grows. “[B]ehind a regime and its ideology there is always a way of thinking and feeling, a group of cultural habits, of obscure instincts and unfathomable drives.” In the case of fascism, this is Ur-Fascism.

    Eco’s essay is as relevant today as when he wrote it. Indeed, with the election of Trump, and the debate over to what degree it is fair to call him or his positions “fascist,” it is extremely timely.

    Mavi Boncuk |


    Umberto Eco 

    JUNE 22, 1995  ISSUE
    The New York Review of Books

    In 1942, at the age of ten, I received the First Provincial Award of Ludi Juveniles (a voluntary, compulsory competition for young Italian Fascists—that is, for every young Italian). I elaborated with rhetorical skill on the subject “Should we die for the glory of Mussolini and the immortal destiny of Italy?” My answer was positive. I was a smart boy.

    I spent two of my early years among the SS, Fascists, Republicans, and partisans shooting at one another, and I learned how to dodge bullets. It was good exercise.

    In April 1945, the partisans took over in Milan. Two days later they arrived in the small town where I was living at the time. It was a moment of joy. The main square was crowded with people singing and waving flags, calling in loud voices for Mimo, the partisan leader of that area. A former maresciallo of the Carabinieri, Mimo joined the supporters of General Badoglio, Mussolini’s successor, and lost a leg during one of the first clashes with Mussolini’s remaining forces. Mimo showed up on the balcony of the city hall, pale, leaning on his crutch, and with one hand tried to calm the crowd. I was waiting for his speech because my whole childhood had been marked by the great historic speeches of Mussolini, whose most significant passages we memorized in school. Silence. Mimo spoke in a hoarse voice, barely audible. He said: “Citizens, friends. After so many painful sacrifices … here we are. Glory to those who have fallen for freedom.” And that was it. He went back inside. The crowd yelled, the partisans raised their guns and fired festive volleys. We kids hurried to pick up the shells, precious items, but I had also learned that freedom of speech means freedom from rhetoric.

    A few days later I saw the first American soldiers. They were African Americans. The first Yankee I met was a black man, Joseph, who introduced me to the marvels of Dick Tracy and Li’l Abner. His comic books were brightly colored and smelled good.

    One of the officers (Major or Captain Muddy) was a guest in the villa of a family whose two daughters were my schoolmates. I met him in their garden where some ladies, surrounding Captain Muddy, talked in tentative French. Captain Muddy knew some French, too. My first image of American liberators was thus—after so many palefaces in black shirts—that of a cultivated black man in a yellow-green uniform saying: “Oui, merci beaucoup, Madame, moi aussi j’aime le champagne…” Unfortunately there was no champagne, but Captain Muddy gave me my first piece of Wrigley’s Spearmint and I started chewing all day long. At night I put my wad in a water glass, so it would be fresh for the next day.

    In May we heard that the war was over. Peace gave me a curious sensation. I had been told that permanent warfare was the normal condition for a young Italian. In the following months I discovered that the Resistance was not only a local phenomenon but a European one. I learned new, exciting words like réseau, maquis, armée secrète, Rote Kapelle, Warsaw ghetto. I saw the first photographs of the Holocaust, thus understanding the meaning before knowing the word. I realized what we were liberated from.


    In my country today there are people who are wondering if the Resistance had a real military impact on the course of the war. For my generation this question is irrelevant: we immediately understood the moral and psychological meaning of the Resistance. For us it was a point of pride to know that we Europeans did not wait passively for liberation. And for the young Americans who were paying with their blood for our restored freedom it meant something to know that behind the firing lines there were Europeans paying their own debt in advance.

    In my country today there are those who are saying that the myth of the Resistance was a Communist lie. It is true that the Communists exploited the Resistance as if it were their personal property, since they played a prime role in it; but I remember partisans with kerchiefs of different colors. Sticking close to the radio, I spent my nights—the windows closed, the blackout making the small space around the set a lone luminous halo—listening to the messages sent by the Voice of London to the partisans. They were cryptic and poetic at the same time (The sun also rises, The roses will bloom) and most of them were “messaggi per la Franchi.” Somebody whispered to me that Franchi was the leader of the most powerful clandestine network in northwestern Italy, a man of legendary courage. Franchi became my hero. Franchi (whose real name was Edgardo Sogno) was a monarchist, so strongly anti-Communist that after the war he joined very right-wing groups, and was charged with collaborating in a project for a reactionary coup d’état. Who cares? Sogno still remains the dream hero of my childhood. Liberation was a common deed for people of different colors.

    In my country today there are some who say that the War of Liberation was a tragic period of division, and that all we need is national reconciliation. The memory of those terrible years should be repressed, refoulée, verdrängt. But Verdrängung causes neurosis. If reconciliation means compassion and respect for all those who fought their own war in good faith, to forgive does not mean to forget. I can even admit that Eichmann sincerely believed in his mission, but I cannot say, “OK, come back and do it again.” We are here to remember what happened and solemnly say that “They” must not do it again.

    But who are They?

    If we still think of the totalitarian governments that ruled Europe before the Second World War we can easily say that it would be difficult for them to reappear in the same form in different historical circumstances. If Mussolini’s fascism was based upon the idea of a charismatic ruler, on corporatism, on the utopia of the Imperial Fate of Rome, on an imperialistic will to conquer new territories, on an exacerbated nationalism, on the ideal of an entire nation regimented in black shirts, on the rejection of parliamentary democracy, on anti-Semitism, then I have no difficulty in acknowledging that today the Italian Alleanza Nazionale, born from the postwar Fascist Party, MSI, and certainly a right-wing party, has by now very little to do with the old fascism. In the same vein, even though I am much concerned about the various Nazi-like movements that have arisen here and there in Europe, including Russia, I do not think that Nazism, in its original form, is about to reappear as a nationwide movement.

    Nevertheless, even though political regimes can be overthrown, and ideologies can be criticized and disowned, behind a regime and its ideology there is always a way of thinking and feeling, a group of cultural habits, of obscure instincts and unfathomable drives. Is there still another ghost stalking Europe (not to speak of other parts of the world)?

    Ionesco once said that “only words count and the rest is mere chattering.” Linguistic habits are frequently important symptoms of underlying feelings. Thus it is worth asking why not only the Resistance but the Second World War was generally defined throughout the world as a struggle against fascism. If you reread Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls you will discover that Robert Jordan identifies his enemies with Fascists, even when he thinks of the Spanish Falangists. And for FDR, “The victory of the American people and their allies will be a victory against fascism and the dead hand of despotism it represents.”

    During World War II, the Americans who took part in the Spanish war were called “premature anti-fascists”—meaning that fighting against Hitler in the Forties was a moral duty for every good American, but fighting against Franco too early, in the Thirties, smelled sour because it was mainly done by Communists and other leftists. … Why was an expression like fascist pig used by American radicals thirty years later to refer to a cop who did not approve of their smoking habits? Why didn’t they say: Cagoulard pig, Falangist pig, Ustashe pig, Quisling pig, Nazi pig?

    Mein Kampf is a manifesto of a complete political program. Nazism had a theory of racism and of the Aryan chosen people, a precise notion of degenerate art, entartete Kunst, a philosophy of the will to power and of the Ubermensch. Nazism was decidedly anti-Christian and neo-pagan, while Stalin’s Diamat (the official version of Soviet Marxism) was blatantly materialistic and atheistic. If by totalitarianism one means a regime that subordinates every act of the individual to the state and to its ideology, then both Nazism and Stalinism were true totalitarian regimes.

    Italian fascism was certainly a dictatorship, but it was not totally totalitarian, not because of its mildness but rather because of the philosophical weakness of its ideology. Contrary to common opinion, fascism in Italy had no special philosophy. The article on fascism signed by Mussolini in the Treccani Encyclopedia was written or basically inspired by Giovanni Gentile, but it reflected a late-Hegelian notion of the Absolute and Ethical State which was never fully realized by Mussolini. Mussolini did not have any philosophy: he had only rhetoric. He was a militant atheist at the beginning and later signed the Convention with the Church and welcomed the bishops who blessed the Fascist pennants. In his early anticlerical years, according to a likely legend, he once asked God, in order to prove His existence, to strike him down on the spot. Later, Mussolini always cited the name of God in his speeches, and did not mind being called the Man of Providence.

    Italian fascism was the first right-wing dictatorship that took over a European country, and all similar movements later found a sort of archetype in Mussolini’s regime. Italian fascism was the first to establish a military liturgy, a folklore, even a way of dressing—far more influential, with its black shirts, than Armani, Benetton, or Versace would ever be. It was only in the Thirties that fascist movements appeared, with Mosley, in Great Britain, and in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Yugoslavia, Spain, Portugal, Norway, and even in South America. It was Italian fascism that convinced many European liberal leaders that the new regime was carrying out interesting social reform, and that it was providing a mildly revolutionary alternative to the Communist threat.

    Nevertheless, historical priority does not seem to me a sufficient reason to explain why the word fascism became a synecdoche, that is, a word that could be used for different totalitarian movements. This is not because fascism contained in itself, so to speak in their quintessential state, all the elements of any later form of totalitarianism. On the contrary, fascism had no quintessence. Fascism was a fuzzy totalitarianism, a collage of different philosophical and political ideas, a beehive of contradictions. Can one conceive of a truly totalitarian movement that was able to combine monarchy with revolution, the Royal Army with Mussolini’s personal milizia, the grant of privileges to the Church with state education extolling violence, absolute state control with a free market? The Fascist Party was born boasting that it brought a revolutionary new order; but it was financed by the most conservative among the landowners who expected from it a counter-revolution. At its beginning fascism was republican. Yet it survived for twenty years proclaiming its loyalty to the royal family, while the Duce (the unchallenged Maximal Leader) was arm-in-arm with the King, to whom he also offered the title of Emperor. But when the King fired Mussolini in 1943, the party reappeared two months later, with German support, under the standard of a “social” republic, recycling its old revolutionary script, now enriched with almost Jacobin overtones.

    There was only a single Nazi architecture and a single Nazi art. If the Nazi architect was Albert Speer, there was no more room for Mies van der Rohe. Similarly, under Stalin’s rule, if Lamarck was right there was no room for Darwin. In Italy there were certainly fascist architects but close to their pseudo-Coliseums were many new buildings inspired by the modern rationalism of Gropius.

    There was no fascist Zhdanov setting a strictly cultural line. In Italy there were two important art awards. The Premio Cremona was controlled by a fanatical and uncultivated Fascist, Roberto Farinacci, who encouraged art as propaganda. (I can remember paintings with such titles as Listening by Radio to the Duce’s Speech or States of Mind Created by Fascism.) The Premio Bergamo was sponsored by the cultivated and reasonably tolerant Fascist Giuseppe Bottai, who protected both the concept of art for art’s sake and the many kinds of avant-garde art that had been banned as corrupt and crypto-Communist in Germany.

    The national poet was D’Annunzio, a dandy who in Germany or in Russia would have been sent to the firing squad. He was appointed as the bard of the regime because of his nationalism and his cult of heroism—which were in fact abundantly mixed up with influences of French fin de siècle decadence.

    Take Futurism. One might think it would have been considered an instance of entartete Kunst, along with Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. But the early Italian Futurists were nationalist; they favored Italian participation in the First World War for aesthetic reasons; they celebrated speed, violence, and risk, all of which somehow seemed to connect with the fascist cult of youth. While fascism identified itself with the Roman Empire and rediscovered rural traditions, Marinetti (who proclaimed that a car was more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace, and wanted to kill even the moonlight) was nevertheless appointed as a member of the Italian Academy, which treated moonlight with great respect.

    Many of the future partisans and of the future intellectuals of the Communist Party were educated by the GUF, the fascist university students’ association, which was supposed to be the cradle of the new fascist culture. These clubs became a sort of intellectual melting pot where new ideas circulated without any real ideological control. It was not that the men of the party were tolerant of radical thinking, but few of them had the intellectual equipment to control it.

    During those twenty years, the poetry of Montale and other writers associated with the group called the Ermetici was a reaction to the bombastic style of the regime, and these poets were allowed to develop their literary protest from within what was seen as their ivory tower. The mood of the Ermetici poets was exactly the reverse of the fascist cult of optimism and heroism. The regime tolerated their blatant, even though socially imperceptible, dissent because the Fascists simply did not pay attention to such arcane language.

    All this does not mean that Italian fascism was tolerant. Gramsci was put in prison until his death; the opposition leaders Giacomo Matteotti and the brothers Rosselli were assassinated; the free press was abolished, the labor unions were dismantled, and political dissenters were confined on remote islands. Legislative power became a mere fiction and the executive power (which controlled the judiciary as well as the mass media) directly issued new laws, among them laws calling for preservation of the race (the formal Italian gesture of support for what became the Holocaust).

    The contradictory picture I describe was not the result of tolerance but of political and ideological discombobulation. But it was a rigid discombobulation, a structured confusion. Fascism was philosophically out of joint, but emotionally it was firmly fastened to some archetypal foundations.

    So we come to my second point. There was only one Nazism. We cannot label Franco’s hyper-Catholic Falangism as Nazism, since Nazism is fundamentally pagan, polytheistic, and anti-Christian. But the fascist game can be played in many forms, and the name of the game does not change. The notion of fascism is not unlike Wittgenstein’s notion of a game. A game can be either competitive or not, it can require some special skill or none, it can or cannot involve money. Games are different activities that display only some “family resemblance,” as Wittgenstein put it. Consider the following sequence:

    1 2 3 4
    abc bcd cde def
    Suppose there is a series of political groups in which group one is characterized by the features abc, group two by the features bcd, and so on. Group two is similar to group one since they have two features in common; for the same reasons three is similar to two and four is similar to three. Notice that three is also similar to one (they have in common the feature c). The most curious case is presented by four, obviously similar to three and two, but with no feature in common with one. However, owing to the uninterrupted series of decreasing similarities between one and four, there remains, by a sort of illusory transitivity, a family resemblance between four and one.

    Fascism became an all-purpose term because one can eliminate from a fascist regime one or more features, and it will still be recognizable as fascist. Take away imperialism from fascism and you still have Franco and Salazar. Take away colonialism and you still have the Balkan fascism of the Ustashes. Add to the Italian fascism a radical anti-capitalism (which never much fascinated Mussolini) and you have Ezra Pound. Add a cult of Celtic mythology and the Grail mysticism (completely alien to official fascism) and you have one of the most respected fascist gurus, Julius Evola.

    But in spite of this fuzziness, I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.

    1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition. Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counter-revolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but it was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of them indulgently accepted by the Roman Pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages—in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little known religions of Asia.

    This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, “the combination of different forms of belief or practice”; such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a sliver of wisdom, and whenever they seem to say different or incompatible things it is only because all are alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth.

    As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth has been already spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message.

    One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements. The most influential theoretical source of the theories of the new Italian right, Julius Evola, merged the Holy Grail with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, alchemy with the Holy Roman and Germanic Empire. The very fact that the Italian right, in order to show its open-mindedness, recently broadened its syllabus to include works by De Maistre, Guenon, and Gramsci, is a blatant proof of syncretism.

    If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores, are labeled as New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint Augustine and Stonehenge—that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism.

    2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism. Both Fascists and Nazis worshiped technology, while traditionalist thinkers usually reject it as a negation of traditional spiritual values. However, even though Nazism was proud of its industrial achievements, its praise of modernism was only the surface of an ideology based upon Blood and Earth (Blut und Boden). The rejection of the modern world was disguised as a rebuttal of the capitalistic way of life, but it mainly concerned the rejection of the Spirit of 1789 (and of 1776, of course). The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.

    3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action’s sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Goering’s alleged statement (“When I hear talk of culture I reach for my gun”) to the frequent use of such expressions as “degenerate intellectuals,” “eggheads,” “effete snobs,” “universities are a nest of reds.” The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.

    4. No syncretistic faith can withstand analytical criticism. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

    5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity. Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks for consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.

    6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old “proletarians” are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

    7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside: Jews are usually the best target because they have the advantage of being at the same time inside and outside. In the US, a prominent instance of the plot obsession is to be found in Pat Robertson’s The New World Order, but, as we have recently seen, there are many others.

    8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies. When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians. Jews are rich and help each other through a secret web of mutual assistance. However, the followers must be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.

    9. For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world. But such a “final solution” implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament.

    10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak. Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people of the world, the members of the party are the best among the citizens, every citizen can (or ought to) become a member of the party. But there cannot be patricians without plebeians. In fact, the Leader, knowing that his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler. Since the group is hierarchically organized (according to a military model), every subordinate leader despises his own underlings, and each of them despises his inferiors. This reinforces the sense of mass elitism.

    11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero. In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Falangists was Viva la Muerte (in English it should be translated as “Long Live Death!”). In non-fascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.

    12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters. This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons—doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.

    13. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view—one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. To have a good instance of qualitative populism we no longer need the Piazza Venezia in Rome or the Nuremberg Stadium. There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.

    Because of its qualitative populism Ur-Fascism must be against “rotten” parliamentary governments. One of the first sentences uttered by Mussolini in the Italian parliament was “I could have transformed this deaf and gloomy place into a bivouac for my maniples”—“maniples” being a subdivision of the traditional Roman legion. As a matter of fact, he immediately found better housing for his maniples, but a little later he liquidated the parliament. Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell Ur-Fascism.

    14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in 1984, as the official language of Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show.

    On the morning of July 27, 1943, I was told that, according to radio reports, fascism had collapsed and Mussolini was under arrest. When my mother sent me out to buy the newspaper, I saw that the papers at the nearest newsstand had different titles. Moreover, after seeing the headlines, I realized that each newspaper said different things. I bought one of them, blindly, and read a message on the first page signed by five or six political parties—among them the Democrazia Cristiana, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Partito d’Azione, and the Liberal Party.

    Until then, I had believed that there was a single party in every country and that in Italy it was the Partito Nazionale Fascista. Now I was discovering that in my country several parties could exist at the same time. Since I was a clever boy, I immediately realized that so many parties could not have been born overnight, and they must have existed for some time as clandestine organizations.

    The message on the front celebrated the end of the dictatorship and the return of freedom: freedom of speech, of press, of political association. These words, “freedom,” “dictatorship,” “liberty,”—I now read them for the first time in my life. I was reborn as a free Western man by virtue of these new words.

    We must keep alert, so that the sense of these words will not be forgotten again. Ur-Fascism is still around us, sometimes in plainclothes. It would be so much easier, for us, if there appeared on the world scene somebody saying, “I want to reopen Auschwitz, I want the Black Shirts to parade again in the Italian squares.” Life is not that simple. Ur-Fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises. Our duty is to uncover it and to point our finger at any of its new instances—every day, in every part of the world. Franklin Roosevelt’s words of November 4, 1938, are worth recalling: “I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land.” Freedom and liberation are an unending task.

    Let me finish with a poem by Franco Fortini:

    Sulla spalletta del ponte
    Le teste degli impiccati
    Nell’acqua della fonte
    La bava degli impiccati.

    Sul lastrico del mercato
    Le unghie dei fucilati
    Sull’erba secca del prato
    I denti dei fucilati.

    Mordere l’aria mordere i sassi
    La nostra carne non è più d’uomini
    Mordere l’aria mordere i sassi
    Il nostro cuore non è più d’uomini.

    Ma noi s’è letto negli occhi dei morti
    E sulla terra faremo libertà
    Ma l’hanno stretta i pugni dei morti
    La giustizia che si farà.

    * * *

    (On the bridge’s parapet
    The heads of the hanged
    In the flowing rivulet
    The spittle of the hanged.
    On the cobbles in the market- places
    The fingernails of those lined up and shot
    On the dry grass in the open spaces
    The broken teeth of those lined up and shot.

    Biting the air, biting the stones
    Our flesh is no longer human
    Biting the air, biting the stones
    Our hearts are no longer human.

    But we have read into the eyes of the dead
    And shall bring freedom on the earth
    But clenched tight in the fists of the dead
    Lies the justice to be served.)
    —poem translated by Stephen Sartarelli

    Copyright © by Umberto Eco

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    Mavi Boncuk |

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    Mavi Boncuk |

    To Save Turkey’s Democracy, The Country’s Opposition Must Offer Erdogan A Grand Bargain

    by Soner Cagaptay


    Soner Cagaptay is the author of The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey, and a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. 

    JANUARY 8, 2018

    Turkish democracy is dying. Of the three parties in the country’s legislature that oppose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the leader of the first — the Peoples Democracy Party (HDP) — has been jailed by Erdogan. The leader of the second — the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) — has said he wants to join forces with Erdogan. And the leader of the third, and main opposition faction — the Republican People’s Party (CHP) — has been labeled a “national security issue” by Erdogan’s deputy prime minister.

    Erdogan’s crackdown is not irrational. Rather, it is a deliberate calculation. He is a prototype of populist and right-wing leaders that seem to be on the rise in many regions of the world. Since coming to power in 2003, he has demonized so many opposition groups — a number of people Erdogan arrested have died in jail while waiting to appear in court — that he faces certain prosecution if he loses elections. To avoid being ousted democratically, Erdogan has decided to end democracy in Turkey.

    The problem for Erdogan is that despite his best efforts to build a majority in his favor, and even with extensive allegations of voter fraud, he only won by 51 percent in a recent referendum to increase his executive powers. Erdogan’s policies have not created a solid majority, but a deeply polarized society.

    His opposition — which constitutes nearly half of Turkey, and includes leftists, social-democrats, liberals, secularists, Alevis, and Kurdish nationalists — detests him. And yet by delivering economic growth, and fanning conservative, and often politically Islamist views, Erdogan has built a base that shares his politics — the other half of Turkey, which adores him.

    Erdogan’s future hangs by a thread. Although he won the referendum by the slimmest of margins, he lost the vote among 18 to 32 year-olds, who came of political age after his rise, by a 5 point margin. The majority of people raised under him reject Erdogan, and as more of these youth come of voting age, he faces the risk of being defeated in the next elections in 2019. This is why he has been taking steps to stymie democracy in Turkey.

    Following the failed 2016 plot against him, which awakened Erdogan’s worst fears about falling from power, the Turkish government put in place a state of emergency to pursue coup plotters.

    Erdogan has used the state of emergency to broaden his crackdown on the half of the country that refuses to fold under him. And he has extended the state of emergency, which gives his police the right to detain anyone without a court order, five times. For the most recent extension, Erdogan said that the state of emergency will remain in place “until there is peace and welfare in Turkey.”

    Going forward, he will ensure that elections are not free or fair. Allegations of voter fraud have already emerged: in the aftermath of the referendum, statements from European election monitoring body Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe warned that unequally distributed state resources had created an unfair campaign season. But Erdogan dismissed such allegations and refused to allow a voter fraud inquiry after the referendum — because there is no graceful exit for him.

    Turkey’s democracy is on a death watch. It will only be saved if factions opposing Erdogan come together and offer him a grand bargain, including a promise that he and his administration will not be prosecuted should they lose elections. This offer of blanket amnesty should extend also to the members of Erdogan’s family who have been implicated in corruption allegations.

    Turkey’s intellectuals, in pro- and anti-Erdogan camps alike, can play a role in this process, acting in the common interests of all citizens, by drafting an open letter. It would call for anti- and pro-Erdogan factions in the country to come together around a new social consensus. The pro- and anti-Erdogan blocks, each 40-million strong, are equally large demographically as well as politically, and neither side will vanish regardless of how hard the other side tries to eliminate it. This initiative should proceed on the basis of that social fact.

    The way forward for Turkey is a new societal consensus that would simultaneously provide freedom of religion for the country’s pious half and conservatives, and freedom from religion for secularists and liberals. The intellectuals’ role would be to start a public debate that would then be taken up by the country’s four main parties represented in the legislature.

    While liberals and leftists have traditionally dominated among Turkey’s intellectuals, at every stage, pro-Erdogan thinkers and opinion-makers ought to be involved in this process which should culminate in joint action by the parties in the legislature. The latter should act to write conjoined freedoms of and from religion into the country’s constitution as an amendment, paving the ground for a grand compromise between the Turkey’s pro- and anti-Erdogan halves.

    A joint statement signed by all the parties in the country’s legislature should crown this compromise. The statement should outline Turkey’s history of win-lose politics that extends well into the pre-Erdogan years promising to put a definite end to this brand of national politics once and for all. Erdogan himself is intimately familiar with being on the losing side of politics. He was born in 1954 to a poor conservative family in a working-class Istanbul neighborhood and, for decades, suffered from discrimination in the hands of Turkey’s once secular political system and elites, including a jail term in 1999 — Hopefully this experience has left in him a kernel of sympathy for those who oppose him politically.

    The end product should promise that neither Erdogan, nor any members of his party, family, or administration will face persecution for their acts in the past 15 years — in other words a truth and reconciliation manifesto. The Turkish Armed Forces, traditionally the most respected institution in the country, can be the guarantor of this manifesto. At first, it may not appear be such a good idea to invite the generals back into politics. Yet, being a conscript-based force, the Turkish military is a sole remaining institution in which pro- and anti-Erdogan Turks alike participate, coming together. The Turkish Armed Forces can not only play a role in bringing together Turkey’s disparate halves, but can also stand behind this proposition with more credibility than any other institution in the country.

    This will be a tall order. Erdogan’s opposition comprises various fractions. Some of these groups, such as the leftists, despise him so deeply that consensus will be difficult to secure. And Erdogan himself may not agree to take the olive branch, regardless of how ironclad its terms are, refusing to trust the opposition’s commitment to amnesty. Many people in his camp are unrepentant and might not see the virtue in any sort of deal.

    Still, the greatest risk facing Erdogan is that, if he does not reach a compromise with his opposition, parts of his 40-million-strong opposition, such as far leftists, could radicalize, turning violent. At this juncture, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a violent Kurdish nationalist group that has been fighting Turkey for decades, would be more than happy to act as the avant garde of Erdogan’s violent opposition. The PKK has already positioned itself in this role, exclusively targeting officials of Erdogan’s AKP, as well as members of his security forces. The group’s most deadly attack in the last decade took place in December 2016 when it bombed government buses carrying police officers in downtown Istanbul, killing 36 cops and injuring many others.

    This outcome is dangerous. Turkey has an unfortunate history of right-left political violence going back to the 1970s Today, it is not implausible that hard-leftist as well as Kurdish violence could trigger widespread unrest in Turkey, with radical right-wing political Islamists in the pro-Erdogan camp taking up arms themselves. Among these groups, ISIL has already demonstrated its eagerness to play storm-trooper role against Erdogan’s detractors: In addition to foreigners, the group has exclusively targeted liberal Turks, social-democrats, leftists, socialists, Alevis (who are liberal Muslims), and Kurdish nationalists — which together constitute the anti-Erdogan camp in Turkey — in terror attacks since 2015, killing over two hundred people.

    Erdogan has good reason to take his many rivals at home and abroad and the threat they pose to his rule seriously. For his own part, the Turkish leader has many enemies, from Russia and the Assad regime to the PKK, who hope that he will fail. Despite recent efforts to make up with Ankara, Moscow is ultimately interested in deepening Turkey’s political crisis. According to former State Department official Naz Durakoglu, in the run up to the April 2017 referendum, Sputnik Turkiye, Turkish language version of Russian-government owned news and propaganda outlet, produced many times more the combined output of other foreign media in Turkey, and unlike these other outlets, campaigned almost exclusively against Erdogan.

    Putin does not want to replace Erdogan with a liberal or leftist alternative. Rather, the Russian leader wants to exacerbate and prolong Turkey’s crisis between Erdogan’s supporters and opponents. Putin’s overarching goal is to see a weak NATO and a paralyzed Turkey, likely violently divided between pro- and anti-Erdogan camps, reinforces that goal. Turkey has NATO’s second largest military and is an important U.S. ally in the Middle East and southeastern Europe. It is not a matter of if, but when Russia will boost Erdogan’s current violent opposition, ranging from the PKK to Revolutionary Peoples Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), a hard-Marxist outfit, to undermine Turkey’s stability, and therefore weaken the transatlantic alliance.

    Bashar al-Assad, who Erdogan has tried, in vain, to oust in Syria’s civil war is guaranteed to be a nemesis to Erdogan. Even if Erdogan slowly untangles Ankara from the Syrian conflict, Assad will not forget the fact that Erdogan has gone after him, supporting proxies, which have tried to kill him. The Syrian dictator will use his own proxies, such as the PKK and the DHKP-C, with which the Syrian government has ties stretching back to the Cold War, to hurt Erdogan, subsequently undermining Turkey’s stability.

    This explains why Moscow has deployed troops to PKK-ally People’s Protection Units’ (YPG) Afrin enclave in northern Syria, abutting Turkey. Afrin is surrounded by Putin-ally Assad regime forces and Turkey and its allies in Syria. What is more, with Moscow’s encouragement, the Assad regime has opened up a land bridge from Aleppo to the YPG’s Manbij enclave in northern Syria, saving it from being overrun by Turkey-backed forces in Syria. By inserting himself into Kurdish politics, Putin (together with Assad) is ensuring that he has a Kurdish card to play against Erdogan, in Syria —and in Turkey.

    Turkey’s opposition and Erdogan together have a chance to save the country and its democracy. This strategy is not guaranteed to work, but it is the only graceful exit that may be left.

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    Mavi Boncuk |

    The Only Thing Turkey and the U.S. Can Agree On


    JAN. 10, 2018

    Nick Danforth (@NicholasDanfort) is a senior policy analyst for Bipartistan Policy Center’s national security program. Nicholas Danforth serves as a senior policy analyst for the national security program. He completed his Ph.D. in history at Georgetown University and has written widely about Turkey, U.S. foreign policy, and the Middle East.

    SEE ALSO: November 2017 Power and Corruption in Erdoğan’s Turkey: Context and Consequences By: Blaise Misztal, Nick Danforth, Jessica Michek, and Ryan Gingeras (DOWNLOAD REPORT)

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey speaking at the Grand National Assembly in Ankara this week.CreditAdem Altan/Agence France-Presse — Getty

    WASHINGTON — Last week, a federal jury in New York convicted a Turkish banker, Mehmet Hakan Atilla[1] of playing a role in an elaborate gold-smuggling scheme that involved bribing high-ranking Turkish government officials to help Iran evade American sanctions.

    Making the case even more explosive, testimony at Mr. Atilla’s trial alleged that the scheme had the approval of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
    Mr. Erdogan, of course, is not pleased. The other day, he again voiced his longstanding claim that the Iran sanctions violation case is just the latest link in a chain of C.I.A.-orchestrated plots against him, including the 2013 protests in Gezi Park and the 2016 attempted coup. Mr. Erdogan has also tied the case — initially brought by the United States attorney at the time, Preet Bharara — to accusations of corruption against his family by Turkey’s main opposition party, saying that both were part of the conspiracy.

    Relations between the United States and Turkey are already strained over issues from Washington’s support for Kurdish fighters in Syria to Turkey’s arrest of American citizens and State Department employees. This verdict risks pushing them closer to the breaking point. Mr. Atilla’s conviction, which is likely to lead to heavy fines against the state-owned bank where he worked, has already led to a new wave of anti-American invective from high-ranking Turkish officials.
    Turkey’s president feels under siege. And with both the United States government and parliamentary opponents accusing him of corruption, he will continue his domestic crackdown and his anti-American rhetoric. This is dangerous. Every newspaper closed or politician arrested, like every new diplomatic spat with the United States or Europe, will further strain Turkey’s social fabric and weaken its economy.

    American policy makers could soon find themselves facing an acute dilemma: As Mr. Erdogan becomes more aggressive, the means at Washington’s disposal to apply pressure on him increasingly risk destabilizing Turkey even further.
    Already, provocations like the attack on protesters in Washington last spring have prompted talk of economic sanctions in Congress. When Turkey arrested a local employee of the United States consulate who was accused of assisting in the collection of evidence for the sanctions case, the State Department suspended the issuing of nonimmigrant visas in Turkey for several months. Turkey’s purchase of Russian air defense missiles could set off new sanctions.
    In an increasingly tense and transactional relationship, targeted steps like these can help curb some of Mr. Erdogan’s more antagonistic behavior. But getting tough on Turkey is unlikely to reverse the negative trajectory of the relationship. And it will ultimately produce diminishing returns.

    There are several reasons for this. Turkey is already paying a serious economic price for measures that Mr. Erdogan feels are necessary to maintain his power, as post-coup purges and a continuing state of emergency frighten away foreign investors. Moreover, from Ankara’s perspective, the United States is already putting enormous pressure on Turkey. To Turkey, Washington’s military support for Syrian Kurdish fighters whose partners are at war with the Turkish Army, for example, makes matters of visa policy seem small.

    As Turkey’s political and economic situation deteriorates, the risk grows that further pressure will be counterproductive. Any sanctions with real bite would only increase the already serious possibility of a major economic crisis in Turkey. Rather than leave Turkey more dependent on Washington, such a crisis could well empower those in Ankara who already believe that Turkey has less to lose and more to gain by breaking with the West completely.
    Given the grip on power that he now enjoys, Mr. Erdogan is unlikely to be voted out, regardless of how bad the economy gets. If he decides to cling to power at all costs, even his fall would be more likely to unleash violence than facilitate a smooth return to some form of democracy. In these circumstances, pushing the country toward the brink would do little to advance America’s ideals or interests, much less those of the Turkish people.

    For all of Mr. Erdogan’s anger at America, he now stands to benefit from the very American cynicism he regularly denounces. However infuriating and dangerous American policy makers find him, they will ultimately find the alternative — chaos in Turkey — scarier. Having missed the opportunity to apply pressure earlier in Mr. Erdogan’s tenure, when it might have been effective, Washington is likely to end up quietly hoping he maintains his hold over the country for the same reason it has supported many other authoritarian leaders: stability.

    With this in mind, American policy should look toward helping Turkey emerge intact from an inevitable period of authoritarian rule as early as realistically possible. Congress should focus any future sanctions on concrete issues affecting bilateral relations, like the targeting of American government employees and citizens. American leaders should remain consistent in their public and private criticism of Mr. Erdogan’s undemocratic behavior, rather than withholding or deploying it selectively as a diplomatic tool.
    Finally, it is important to prevent further escalation of Turkey’s Kurdish conflict. The United States can use its military and diplomatic leverage in Syria to forestall both Turkish attacks on Kurdish forces there and renewed terrorist attacks by Kurdish groups in Turkey.

    Beyond this, though, Americans can do little but brace for what’s next. Turkey’s political turmoil, like its relationship with the United States, will almost certainly get worse before it gets better. In the end, the only interest Washington and Ankara share may be a desire to keep Turkey from becoming even less stable.

    [1] New York Trial Verdict Adds to U.S.-Turkey Tensions

    Thursday, January 4, 2018

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    On Wednesday afternoon a jury in the Southern District of New York found Turkish banker Hakan Atilla guilty on five out of six counts connected to illegal financial transactions that enabled Iran to evade sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear program. The trial has long created tension between the United States and Turkey, the verdict will certainly not alleviate it. As Atilla’s lawyers promise to appeal, it remains to be seen how Turkey will respond and, crucially, whether this verdict will be followed by additional indictments of Turkish officials or, more likely, fines against Turkish banks.

    Already, Turkey’s Minister of Justice has announced that he views the case “as an attack on Turkey’s sovereignty.”

    Already, Turkey’s Minister of Justice has announced that he views the case “as an attack on Turkey’s sovereignty.” But such rhetoric has become standard for Turkish officials by now, along with claims that the entire trial was part of a political plot orchestrated by the Fetullah Gulen movement, whose influence extended to the judge and prosecutors in the case. Other critics noted an irony that has been echoed by many U.S. observers as well: among the many people involved in the sanctions-busting scheme, Atilla came off as a hapless bureaucrat who had profited far less for his crime than higher-level officials who remain free in Turkey. That Atilla faces serious jail time (the sentencing is in April) while Reza Zarrab, following a plea deal that enabled him to become the prosecution’s star witness, presumably does not, represents another irony that has drawn sympathy from an emotional if not strictly legal perspective. 

    From a diplomatic perspective, the most positive development following the trial is that Ankara appears open to negotiating the fine that Halkbank, where Atilla worked, agrees to pay. This would avoid a worst-case scenario that some analysts had speculated about, where Turkey simply refused to pay, thereby creating an unprecedented crisis where it would potentially be cut off from the global financial system. 

    Whether U.S. prosecutors take any further steps, beyond the expected fines against Halkbank, and whether Ankara decides to escalate its rhetoric or engage in any retaliatory measures will determine whether the tensions surrounding the trail continue to grow. The recent resolution of the U.S.-Turkish visa crisis, alongside some of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s more conciliatory gestures toward Europe, suggest that for the moment at least Ankara is not eager to escalate. 

    Yet viewed in a broader context, the case itself serves as a reminder of the deep and structural challenges that will continue to bedevil the U.S.-Turkish relationship. Ankara’s initial willingness to prioritize its trade relations with Iran over the security interests of NATO as a whole, coupled with the deep conviction Atilla’s trial itself was part of a politically motivated attempt to bring down the Turkish government, suggest that whatever happens in the case at hand, the tensions United States and Turkey will continue to grow further apart in the coming year.

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  • 01/11/18--12:22: Profile | Roderic H. Davison
  • Mavi Boncuk |

    Roderic H. Davison

    Roderic H. Davison (April 27, 1917 – March 23, 1996) was an American historian of the Middle East who taught at George Washington University from 1947 to 1993. He served as president of the Middle East Studies Association and the Turkish Studies Association, and as treasurer of the American Historical Association.

    Born in Buffalo, New York, the son of an academic at Robert College, Roderic Davison grew up in Istanbul. He graduated from Princeton University in 1937 and gained a masters and PhD in history from Harvard University. In 1947 he began teaching courses at George Washington University, on Near Eastern and European diplomatic history and on the Ottoman Empire for over 40 years. Becoming professor in 1954, he retired in 1993.

    Roderich Davison died of respiratory illness on March 23, 1996 at Sibley Memorial Hospital.[1]

    Reform in the Ottoman Empire 1856-1876, Gordian Press (June 1973), ISBN 978-0-87752-135-8
    Essays in Ottoman and Turkish History, 1774–1923, Saqi Books (2001), ISBN 978-0-86356-324-9
    Turkey: A Short History, The Eothen Press (1998), ISBN 978-0-906719-22-0

    Article | The Armenian Crisis, 1912–1914 The American Historical Review, Volume 53, Issue 3, 1 April 1948, Pages 481–505, Published: 01 April 1948


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    Mavi Boncuk | Ulrich Trumpener (March 24, 1930 - September 9, 2017)

    Germany and the  Armenian Persecutions 1914 - 1918 by Tilrich Trumpener (PDF LINK)

    Germany and the Ottoman Empire, 1914-1918
    Ulrich Trumpener

    Questioning whether the Germans were actually as influential or dominant in the Ottoman empire as most standard works suggest, the author attacks the myths surrounding Turkey's role in the war.

    First published in 1968.

    Table of Contents
    Frontmatter, pg. i
    Preface, pg. vii
    Contents, pg. xi
    Abbreviations, pg. xiii
    Note on Spelling and Place Names, pg. xv
    I. The Eve of World War I, pg. 1
    II. From Alliance Treaty to Intervention, pg. 21
    III. The German Generals in the Ottoman War Effort, 1914-18, pg. 62
    IV. Political Evolution of the Alliance, 1914 to Early 1917, pg. 108
    V. Peace Feelers and the Problem of the Straits, 1914-17, pg. 140
    VI. Dissension over Transcaucasia, 1918, pg. 167
    VII. The Armenian Persecutions, pg. 200
    VIII. Germany’s Financial Support, pg. 271
    IX. The Bagdad Railroad, pg. 285
    X. German Efforts to Secure Economic Predominance, pg. 317
    XI. Collapse of the Alliance, pg. 352
    XII. Summary, pg. 366
    Appendices, pg. 373
    Bibliography, pg. 383
    Index, pg. 409
    Backmatter, pg. 434

    Paperback 2015  ISBN9780691622750  452 pp. 6 x 9 1/4
    Hardcover 2016  ISBN9780691649498  452 pp. 6 x 9 1/4
    E-book ISBN9781400877591

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    Mavi Boncuk |

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    Mavi Boncuk |

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  • 01/15/18--07:03: Word Origin | Kamyon, Araba
  • Mavi Boncuk | 

    Kamyon: camion FR camion[1] m (plural camions, diminutive camionnetje n) (Belgium) der Lastkraftwagen GE; truck (US)[2]; lorry (UK)[3]; 
    [ Düstur, 1890] Kamyon ve el arabası vesaireden ikinci sınıf eşya itibarile sıkletleri nisbetinde rıhtım resmi alınacaktır.
    kamyonet "[Fr camionette] küçük kamyon" [ Cumhuriyet - gazete, 1930]
    Yalova belediyesi Bursa'dan birkaç kamyonet de getirdiği halde
    from Fr camion bir tür at arabası (14. yy), motorlu yük aracı (20. yy)

    Araba: KTü: [ Codex Cumanicus, 1303] currum from persian; TR: araba OTü araba at arabası Sakha: rraha ; Avesta: raθa; Sanskrit:rátha- रथ iki tekerlekli tören arabası.

    [1] Unknown origin, however, most likely early 19th century. Possibly from chemin (“way, route”), see Spanish camino, or from Latin chamūlcus (“cart”), from Ancient Greek χᾰμουλκός (khamoulkós, “crane, windlass, or possibly other machine”), from χθών (khthṓn, “earth, ground”) +‎ ἑλκέω (helkéō, “I drag”).

    [2] truck (n.1)
    "vehicle," 1610s, originally "small wheel" (especially one on which the carriages of a ship's guns were mounted), probably from Latin trochus "iron hoop," from Greek trokhos "wheel," from trekhein "to run" (see truckle (n.)). Sense extended to "cart for carrying heavy loads" (1774), then in American English to "motor vehicle for carrying heavy loads" (1913), a shortened form of motor truck in this sense (1901).

    There have also been lost to the enemy 6,200 guns, 2,550 tanks and 70,000 trucks, which is the American name for lorries, and which, I understand, has been adopted by the combined staffs in North-West Africa in exchange for the use of the word petrol in place of gasolene. [Winston Churchill, address to joint session of U.S. Congress, May 19, 1943]

    Truck stop is attested from 1956.

    [3] lorry (n.)

    "a truck; a long wagon with a flat bed and four wheels," 1838, British railroad word, probably from verb lurry "to pull, tug" (1570s), which is of uncertain origin. Meaning "large motor vehicle for carrying goods on roads" (equivalent of U.S. truck (n.1)) is first attested 1911.