open for everything

a minor language note: the word "open" describes everything in turkish.

open the door: kapı aç
turn on the lights: ışıklar aç
take off your shirt: gömlek aç
these recordings are clearly fake: çok açık bu ses kayitlari gerçek değildir

Some audio recordings were released on youtube over the weekend–impossible to verify if they’re real or not, of course–which appear to be a few recorded phone calls between the prime minister and his son bilal, in which Erdogan tells his son to hide 30 million euros by distributing it among local businessmen. This was on top of a law which wrest control ofthe judiciary review board over to Erdogan–it basically fires all the employees of the board who haven’t been elected (and therefore probably have gulenist ties) and allows the elected peeps to hire whomever they want (i.e. fill the judiciary review board with erdogan’s peeps).

I was wandering near Taksim last night (and a few nights ago) and both times I saw the start of a protest forming–the first time, I was trying to pick up my alaskan neighbors roz and rachel from the ferries, and I looked up from my phone, and realized I was at the mouth of Istiklal street, SURROUNDED by batallions of cops. They were mobilizing. They had big water tanks. They had tear gas guns. I got out of the way, just in time to see the protesters unfurl a banner behind me. Yes, in classic Ernie fashion, I almost got caught in a protest because I was not aware of my surroundings. I am sure writing this out gives my parents much comfort.

The second time was last night, and I saw the batallions of cops, just sitting around, waiting. There must have been two hundred of them in the alleys, and another hundred or so loitering in Taksim square. A whole bunch of sports fans were out for the Galatasaray/Chelsea match, and maybe ten photojournalists with gasmasks dangling from their hands were waiting around, smoking, talking, fiddling with their smartphones. (this was, incidentally, the same thing the cops were doing. there was just more cops.) I talked to a few people and skedaddled home.

Believe it or not, even with all the ridiculousness that’s going on in turkey right now, Erdogan might still get re-elected. Istanbul’s not the only place here, and there are 50 million other turks who have different values. I guess. But his party will almost certainly lose the mayorship of istanbul, which was Erdogan’s former job before being Basbakan.

also this blog is really sharp on the current political sitch, it’s a british author/reporter living in istanbul. good stuff.

As for me, I’m settling into my new house. Claudio, my italian roommate, makes a lot of really good pasta and is just a gem. I bought an enormous container of village yogurt and some homemade strawberry preserves and some muesli. The previous inhabitant of my room left behind a lot of art supplies, so Anna and I are going to purchase cheap canvases and be moody artists in Istanbul. I’m hoping to see eyetouch in the next couple days to put together a set to go sing in some bars. AND, I got a job at DIALOGUE ENGLISH, teaching real adults, which is so much EASIER because they’ve all paid to learn english and really really really really really want to learn it. It’s in Aksaray, across the water, so I can take a ferry OR the marmaray underwater train if I’m in a hurry.


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