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Camel Beauty Contest

What's a Bigger Draw Than a Camel Fight? A Camel Beauty Contest, of Course To the uninitiated, what makes a camel beautiful isn't exactly obvious. But organizers of the Selcuk championship hope the addition of a pageant will draw new enthusiasts to the sport of camel fighting, which is struggling to stay relevant in an increasingly modern and urbanized Turkey.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 22, 2011 - 9 comments

Act 1: Dinner. Act 2: Pie. Act 3: Grousing.

Since the very beginning, PRI's This American Life has (every few years) commemorated Thanksgiving in the US with episodes about the exotic mysteries of turkeys, chicken and other fowl. They call it Poultry Slam and episodes from 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2008 are all available for your turkey day and I-refuse-to-even-look-at-a-Walmart day enjoyment.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Nov 24, 2010 - 6 comments

Let's Talk Turkey...

What really happens to the turkey that the president pardons at Thanksgiving?
posted by veedubya on Nov 24, 2010 - 56 comments

Hold on; It's getting complicated.

Mehmet Ali Agca who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981 was released from Prison earlier this year and has now alleged in a Turkish TV interview that the Vatican government had masterminded the move. Originally Agca, who was a member of the Turkish Grey Wolves laid the blame at the door of the Bulgarian Secret Services. Agca's Grey Wolf colleagues were involved in some interesting and nefarious business. Meanwhile the crazy is running strong. (related).
posted by adamvasco on Nov 10, 2010 - 26 comments

Excavating Hattusa

The German Archaeological Institute has a website detailing their excavations at Hattusa, formerly the capital of the Hittite Empire. There is a brief summary of the city's history to get you started, or a somewhat more detailed one if you're feeling keen. [more inside]
posted by Dim Siawns on Nov 3, 2010 - 11 comments

"It would seem highly unlikely that this individual was attacked by a tiger as he was walking home from the pub in York 2,000 years ago."

One arm was bigger than the other in many remains—a suggestion that the men were gladiators who trained from a young age with a weapon in one hand. Archaeologists discover the world's best-preserved Roman gladiator cemetery in York, England. [more inside]
posted by zoomorphic on Jun 9, 2010 - 42 comments

Tune In, Turn On, Get Cancelled

In 1969, George Schlatter was riding high as the producer of the high ratings blockbuster, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. So when Schlatter pitched a show to ABC that was like Laugh In only more so (with faster jokes, faster editing, and even more outrageous topical humor), ABC was willing to let Schlatter have free rein. The result was Turn-On, a show that bombed so badly it was cancelled the very night it aired. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on May 6, 2010 - 43 comments

The Lessons of Gobekli Tepe

Laying bare the gratuitous assumptions of the patriarchal historical narrative. A weblog entry from the Aristasian Empire, of which a history and some kinnies [NSFW]. • Gobekli Tepe [previously] • Aristasia [previously]
posted by tellurian on Feb 24, 2010 - 31 comments

The Caravanserai of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm

The Seljuk Han in Anatolia has tons of information about and pictures of the caravanserai, inns for caravans, built by the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in what is now Turkey. The Seljuk caravanserai, called hans, were a vital resource for trade from the middle ages to recent times. The website, by Katherine Branning, explains what a han is, their origins, their function in trade, what life there was like and much more. The site also features 39 individual hans, such as the Kadin Han, now a furniture store, Dibi Delik Han, which is undergoing restoration, Zazadin Han, which has been restored already, and the spectacular Sultan Han Kayseri. For an academic survey of Seljuk hans, here's Ayşıl Tükel Yavuz' The concepts that shape Anatolian Seljuq caravanserais [pdf, automatic download].
posted by Kattullus on Jan 8, 2010 - 13 comments

Santa Pope

6 to 8 Black Men. Christmas in the Netherlands as described by David Sedaris (SLYT)
posted by blue_beetle on Dec 24, 2009 - 20 comments

Photo essay: Women at risk in central Asia's heroin highway

House of Happiness - photos by Rena Effendi of women in the Ferghana Valley, part of central Asia's ancient Silk Route now known as "the heroin highway" - "a geographical and cultural mishmash where three countries and many ethnicities cluster." More about the photos. (Some photos NSFW) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 17, 2009 - 14 comments

As God as my witness, I thought that polar bears could fly.

NPR fact-check of environmental protest group Plane Stupid's latest commercial featuring polar bears falling from the sky. [Warning: graphic.] This is not the only commercial that has people upset. Enter PeTA's "Grace" which several NBC affiliates predictably refused to air during Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
posted by cjorgensen on Nov 26, 2009 - 87 comments

The Super Easy Way To Cook For Morons

The Awl wants you to stop being a wuss and bake a pie crust. See also How To Barbecue A Turkey–The Super Easy Way For Morons and Fundamentalist Macaroni and Cheese. Or you can just cook a fucking steak.
posted by The Devil Tesla on Nov 20, 2009 - 63 comments

The Last of the Ottomans

The "Last of the Ottomans". Ertuğrul Osman, the grandson of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, passed away. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Sep 26, 2009 - 27 comments

Sex, bribes and videotape

FBI whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds, has gone on record with her allegations of government corruption and treason. (previously)
posted by ryoshu on Sep 22, 2009 - 98 comments

Photographs of the Excitement of Geotechnical Engineering (Failures)

Professors Ross W. Boulanger and Dr. James Duncan have put together a Geotechnical Engineering Photo Album, with details of the successes and disasters. The album includes compaction techniques for a highway off-ramp, deep excavation methods, an offshore tank structure, and earthquake hazards of many sorts (mountain landslides, liquefaction damage to ports in Kobe, Japan, surface rupture in Taiwan, and problems with shallow foundations and subsidence in Turkey). (via oi9)
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 10, 2009 - 12 comments

The Ottoman Armenians, a Still-Unfolding History

A devastating document is met with silence in Turkey. "According to a long-hidden document that belonged to the interior minister of the Ottoman Empire, 972,000 Ottoman Armenians disappeared from official population records from 1915 through 1916." [more inside]
posted by terranova on Mar 9, 2009 - 52 comments

Turkey: A Return to Power at Considerable Cost?

"Turkey is emerging as the crucial power in the Muslim world." But after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent walkout from a Davos panel discussion and his confrontational words to Israeli leader Shimon Peres, some wonder whether Turkey is forfeiting its role as a peace-broker, attempting to smoke-screen its own oppressive actions against press, intellectuals, and ex-military, and possibly hurting its chances for full EU membership.
posted by terranova on Feb 3, 2009 - 32 comments

Does bacon really make everything better?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: --- The Turbaconducken.
posted by empath on Nov 21, 2008 - 73 comments

Though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage...

Pardon the turkey.
It is unverified that the turkey was ever vetted to be the national bird.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Nov 21, 2008 - 80 comments

Gobekli Tepe

Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple? "Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey's stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization."
posted by homunculus on Oct 30, 2008 - 28 comments

Gallipoli

Gallipoli is one of the most famous battles of World War I. Fought in on a Turkish peninsula in 1915 it was, like most Great War battles, a huge waste of life and largely fruitless. Jul Snelder's site has a wealth of information, the causes, history and aftermath of Gallipoli, the slang of the ANZAC forces, placenames in both English and Turkish, interesting little factoids, how Allied troops used subterfuge to hide their evacuation, the Turkish perspective, pictures of the battlesite today juxtaposed with old photographs, a mini-travel guide to Gallipoli and much more. One of the most famous units at Gallipoli was the Australian 12th Light Horse Regiment. To learn more about this type of unit, responsible for the "last successful great cavalry charge" two years after Gallipoli, I direct you to the excellent website of the Australian Light Horse Association, where you can learn anything you might reasonably want to know about the subject.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 15, 2008 - 82 comments

Reaching for the Heavens

Mimar Sinan; 16th century Ottoman Architect Mimar Sinan born a Christian in Anatolia, from either a Greek or Armenian background, was conscripted into Ottoman service in 1511, and converted to Islam. He was the chief Ottoman architect to four sultans. Sinan worked in seismic, as well as political, fault zones, and his buildings are famous for their earthquake resistance. His extraordinary output included 146 mosques. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Aug 14, 2008 - 7 comments

Turkish folktales

The Uysal - Walker Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative is an immense repository of folktales from modern Anatolia. The full list of stories but luckily there's a search function. But that's not all, oh no, there's also a music section, with downloadable mp3s and a whole nother section with more stories and Turkish literature and mp3s. Here's a somewhat random selection of stories to get you started (all links pdf): Nasreddin Hoca's Brilliant Donkey, A Saint Urinates in Public, The Girl Disguised as a Monk and the Padishah's Youngest Son, Behlül Dane Discourses with the Dung Heap and finally, Elia Kazan in Kayseri (yes, that Elia Kazan).
posted by Kattullus on Jul 29, 2008 - 10 comments

From the Ottoman military to the Balkan Roma

The Mehterhane or Mehter, as they are often known, are thought to be the oldest military marching band in the world. Starting around the 13th century, the band accompanied the Ottoman empire troops (Janissaries, or yeniçeri, roughly meaning "new troops" and were comprised mostly of young men from the Balkans) into battle, spreading their music along the way and influencing western classical composers like Mozart and Beethoven. [more inside]
posted by sleepy pete on Jul 19, 2008 - 14 comments

The Top Public Intellectuals

Prospect/Foreign Policy release their list of the world's top public intellectuals(full list). Number 1? The Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen.

The rest of the top 10? The microfinancier Muhammad Yunus, the cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the writer Orhan Pamuk, the politician Aitzaz Ahsan, the evangelist Amr Khaled, the philosopher Abdolkarim Soroush, the philosopher Tariq Ramadan, the cultural theorist Mahmood Mamdani and activist Shirin Ebadi. Sense a theme? Yes, all Muslims.
This is a striking turnabout from the 2005 poll topped by Chomsky, Eco and Dawkins.
What happened? Prospect Magazine explains. The Turkish newspaper Zaman weighs in. The UK's Independent is outraged. Fethulah Gulen defends himself.
posted by vacapinta on Jul 3, 2008 - 51 comments

Anyone in the mood for a bit of Yağlı Güreş?

Every culture has its own way of expressing its masculinity. It so happens that in Turkey this involves a lot of oil, bare chests, physical contact, and putting your hands down your opponents kisbet. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Jul 2, 2008 - 19 comments

Turkish Literary Delights

A Mid-summer Night's Story - one of hundreds of novels, poems, and tales in English translation at Suat Karantay's Contemporary Turkish Literature pages. Also: Turkish Poetry in Translation (the side-by-side translations of Dağlarca are particularly well-done), and selected stories of childhood & youth from Turkish authors in the mid 20th century.
posted by Wolfdog on Jun 25, 2008 - 4 comments

Just like any mother

A Turkish Celebrity, Bulent Ersoy; a popular singer of Ottoman classical music, has gone on trial charged with attempting to turn the public against military service. What makes this a bit different is that Bulent is a 56 year old transexual. It has been suggested in local daily news that this is the Revenge of the oppressed sexual identity. Here is Bulent Ersoy performing as a man and as a woman. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Jun 18, 2008 - 20 comments

Erkin Koray, Turkey's psychedelic minstrel.

Erkin Koray's long career as a major rock star in his native Turkey has seen him cover all sorts of musical territory. His songs are often a curious (some might say bizarre) hodgepodge of musical influences, and one thing's for sure: you couldn't call the man unadventurous! Here's a sampling of some of his psych-Turk-rock from decades past: Krallar - Gel Bak Ne Söylicem - Cemalim - Allahaşkına - Aşka Inanmıyorum - Yanlizlar rihtimi - Gönül Salıncağı - Anma Arkadaş - Aşk Oyunu - Gün Doğmuyor - [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 27, 2008 - 16 comments

Deep in the shade

The Ergenekon Affair: - The Killer Elite that fuels unrest in Turkey. On 22 January, Turkish police arrested 33 individuals, some connected with the military, in the largest concerted action against the "deep state" , which is heavily involved in Corporate Crime. This might resonate with some US observers.
posted by adamvasco on May 5, 2008 - 8 comments

The Divisions of Cyprus

Labour, which had started the disasters of Cyprus by denying it any decolonisation after 1945, had now completed them, abandoning it to trucidation [by doing nothing when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974]. London was quite prepared to yield Cyprus to Greece in 1915, in exchange for Greek entry into the war on its side. Had it done so, all subsequent suffering might have been avoided. It is enough to compare the fate of Rhodes, still closer to Turkey and with a comparable Turkish minority, which in 1945 peacefully reverted to Greece, because it was an Italian not a British colony. In the modern history of the Empire, the peculiar malignity of the British record in Cyprus stands apart.
The Divisions of Cyprus, an article in The London Review of Books by historian Perry Anderson, is an excellent history of Cyprus from 1878 to the modern day as well as a polemic against the way that outside powers have treated the island. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 17, 2008 - 17 comments

Salih Korkut Peker, strings man from Turkey.

Whether on fretless electric guitar or fretless Turkish banjo, mister Salih Korkut Peker sounds mighty fine. And here he is again on banjo, getting down on some Turkish grooves with percussionist Gencer Savaş. Sweet! [note: see hoverovers for link descriptions] [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 6, 2008 - 33 comments

Don't stop talking.

Qantara (meaning bridge in arabic) is a German based website looking to have dialogue with the Islamic world. Turkey is carrying out a radical revision of Islamic texts trying to define modern Islam. Through dossiers and dialogue and slideshows Qantara is helping this debate.
posted by adamvasco on Feb 26, 2008 - 9 comments

I'll have the ham

"It serves 125, takes eight hours to cook and is stuffed with 12 different birds..." [via Cynical-C]
posted by Chrysostom on Dec 17, 2007 - 43 comments

Thanks for the Laughs

Since the passing of Art Buchwald (previously on MeFi), we're looking for something to replace his traditional Thanksgiving Humor Piece (seen here), with varying success. MeFi's Own rstevens has a collection of LOLGRIMS, MeFi's own Lore offers some catering services for the 21st Century (featuring the next step in Turducken evolution). Formerly MeFi's Own Lileks has a cheap video on how to make a cheap Thanksgiving dinner. A faux-conservative blogger (who's no Colbert) suggests renaming the holiday. The "Creatures in My Head" guy has his own disturbing version of a turkey. A video game site has games that (kinda) fit the holiday. A semi-NSFW site for dudes has the Worst Thanksgiving Dishes (not sexist, but PETA-ist and NPR-ist) But the most obvious Thanksgiving tradition (via YouTube) is the WKRP Turkey Drop (and aftermath). [more inside]
posted by wendell on Nov 22, 2007 - 6 comments

Chew On This

Chew On This. Take a deep breath, swallow hard, and follow the food you eat on its day-long journey through the digestive system.
posted by forallmankind on Nov 22, 2007 - 13 comments

Preparing a turkey the MANLY way

Preparing a turkey the MANLY way. Naturally, one of them involves a lot of bacon.
posted by spock on Nov 16, 2007 - 91 comments

the doctor fish

Garra Rufa treatment, video, before and after pics. Fish that will eat you alive and make you healthy, "when you get over the ick factor, the nibbling can have a calming affect". [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 22, 2007 - 28 comments

War in Iraq continuing to go to plan.... well, everyone else's plan but the Administration's

Turkish MPs back attacks in Iraq. [BBC] The vote was taken in defiance of pressure from the US and Iraq, which have called on Turkey for restraint. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the motion does not mean a military operation is imminent. But he said Turkey needed to be able to respond to a recent rise in bomb attacks blamed on PKK rebels from Iraq [Previously]. Also, [SeaTimes] Flourishing Kurdistan raises specter of war. Needless to say, this is giving the Bush Administration a four alarm Turkish headache on two fronts.
posted by psmealey on Oct 17, 2007 - 19 comments

Armenian genocide

Genocide: An inconvenient truth "The Armenian genocide bill has been attacked by both the right and the left -- and it may make matters worse. But it's necessary." [Cookie.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 16, 2007 - 56 comments

Gaida! Gaida! Gaida!

The gaida is a bagpipe from Southeastern Europe. Gaida mp3s? Lots of 'em here. Gaida on the YouTubes? Why, yes. Yes, of course. Certainly. There's a bunch. Really. A lot. And electric ones? Yup. And here's a deflated one. But do any hippies play this thing? And dance to it? Sure! But the real question is: What is the problem with this gaida?
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 10, 2007 - 11 comments

The allure of the underground city

Derinkuyu wasn't discovered until 1965, when a resident cleaning the back wall of his cave house broke through a wall and discovered behind it a room that he'd never seen, which led to still another, and another. Eventually, spelunking archeologists found a maze of connecting chambers that descended at least 18 stories and 280 feet beneath the surface, ample enough to hold 30,000 people. [flickr]. [wiki].
posted by dersins on Aug 31, 2007 - 48 comments

Turkey votes today

Secular or islamic society? Kemal Atatürk - the Father of modern day Turkey - is watching closely and so is it's secular minded military. Is the country inching closer to Islam or Democracy? A 90% (!) turnout of the 42 million voters is to be expected for this important decision. Al Jazeera has a insightful special covering the event.
posted by homodigitalis on Jul 22, 2007 - 44 comments

First kiss soft, next one passionate; In World War Hulk, My green homey be smashin' it.

Reviews of Dating Tips...? Comic book review blog Hoopla! takes a break from the funny books and instead reviews internet dating tips. Much hilarity ensues.
posted by Outlawyr on Jun 19, 2007 - 27 comments

Several Thousand Turkish Troops Enter Iraq

Newsfilter: Turkish Troops Enter Iraq
posted by huskerdont on Jun 6, 2007 - 66 comments

Death to America

Two podcasts from the BBC. Around the world, by every measure, America's reputation and image has never been so poor. Part 1: Venezuela; Part 2: Turkey
posted by adamvasco on May 9, 2007 - 43 comments

Dünyayi kurtaran adam

Can't sleep, Turkish Star Wars will eat me [IMDb, previously]
posted by thirteenkiller on Mar 19, 2007 - 49 comments

Turkey Cinemascope

Turkey Cinemascope is a series of dramatic photographs from director Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Shot all across Turkey, he used them to record locations he was scouting for his films. Many are panoramic, some are epic, others intimate, and all are beautiful. (via and via)
posted by ztdavis on Feb 26, 2007 - 11 comments

"The Uncontainable Kurds"

"The Uncontainable Kurds" (NYRB). Nice summary of recent Kurdish politics in Iraq, Iran and Turkey.
posted by stbalbach on Feb 11, 2007 - 21 comments

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