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22 July 2014


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Where would you recommend that an American visit in Turkey that is off the beaten path? To have an outdoor adventure to experience the natural beauty and of course the local cuisine. Naturally I understand the inability to speak Turkish may be a hindrance.


Great note. The genie is out of the bottle. How can the ME return to stability when it's social fabric is disintegrating? When more sophisticated weapons are being introduced? When the definition of Islam is being contested? When the US intervenes with haphazard policies?

It seems so bleak for the innocent trying to live and raise families in peace. Does the conflagration have to get much bigger first?


I watched Crosstalk on RT yesterday, with van Crevelt and Flynt Leverett on the subject of Gaza. It is a silly format, and not made for an academic used to speak and be listened to like van Creveld.

Van Creveld's sole point, brought out with considerable agitation, was 'I want the missiles to end so my 7 year old grandson can grow up in peace'. I think in this sentiment he speaks for many Israelis.

Just so, it is that he is oblivious to the missiles coming out of Gaza for a reason. You can't besiege and on occasion ravage Gaza and expect to be able to do that with impunity forever. You can't expand setlements forever, to accomodate immigrants from the former USSR, squeeze and squeeze the Palestinians, and expect the Palestinians to willingly collaborate forever like Fatah.

And yet, that is a reality that happens 30km off Tel Aviv, and is way out of general public consciousness, just like the harsdship the blockade of Gaza imposes on the Palestinians. It is not part of the life of van Creveld. A missile endangering his grandson is.

Van Creveld walked out in anger for being interrupted (that being the point with 'crosstalk rules'). Sad spectacle.

I like van Creveld's book on military logistics. Here's a brilliant man lost, and, sadly, wrong.


I know you focus on the serious here, but this is too good not to share and we certainly need a good laugh



Kunuri: Versus not caring at all?


pipe dream of competence:
President: James Webb
Secretary of State: Chas Freeman
Secretary of Defense: John Mearsheimer
National Security Advisor: Steve Walt



Charles I

You are never boring, look at us we're mostly all here many times a day.

Charles I

Marty Indyk's prescription on Charlie Rise last night was since we can't fix it, let it get a lot worse until global public or political opinion forces adoption of Israel's position - depose & destroy Hamas, demilitarize Gaza, install the P.A min-Marshall plan, it, go back to sleep.


Charles I

Indyk, another racist asshole heard from. pl


Haven't laughed so hard in a long time!

FB Ali

Hilarious! Thanks!

Babak Makkinejad

And what was so great about the introduction of that Latin alphabet; a Turk can walk around in Istanbul not understanding a single "Katibe" while an Iranian understands 70% of it - barring the Turkic verbs.

Ataturk destroyed the unity of the 700-year old Seljuk cultural achievement of Perso-Turkic culture and replaced it exactly what?


Babak Makkinejad

I agree with you about Erdogan's policies benefiting Anatolia.

He also made it possible for women with hejab to participate in the public life of Turkey.

But he has failed miserably in foreign policy - I do not know how much that was due to his own Muslim Brotherhood inclinations and how much due to what he owed to NATO (they telling him to jump and he jumping).


Jack, first of all, you would get by just fine with English, Turkey is a very touristic country now. Also, Turkey is a very large and diverse country, the cousine changes from region to region, all good. One common thread though is history, it is endless, from Istanbul to remotest Eastern province. Another is that you would find people very friendly respectful and deferential. Also, in the last 20 years, since Turkey pretty much integrated to the world, a foreigner walking around by himself is no longer a novelty. Transportation and accomodation is cheap and efficient, and the cops will keep an eye on you, you would feel safe. I live in a little community of expats, all would agree. Other than that, there must be literally 100s of travel books on Turkey, and many websites. Dig in, and if you follow the bits and pieces that interest you, you can come up with a pretty good list of things to do and places to go in Turkey.
Just for one example, I went on a location scouting trip to Antalya, Belek region last week. Outdoor concert, mostly for Tourists . There were many fancy Hotels along the 30 mile strip of wonderful Mediterrenean beach, and I asked the local guide how many 5 star hotels are there along that beach. The answer was 50. Swim the net, you will see what I mean. Cheers.

Charles I

'Tis their season



Back to my memories of Izmir, I have been looking at Alsancak in Google Earth. We lived in an apartment building just around the corner immediately south of the Atatürk museum. There is a little square there that had a single palm tree in it and it still does. The grass is gone in the square, replaced with paving. The bay was just beyond Birinci Kordon (Ataturk Caddesi now). There seems to have been land created beyond the street now. There is a photo posted in GE that shows the square and the palm looking east. We lived in the building on the left on the fourth floor. There was a little restaurant within a few blocks inland in which the waiters wore white dinner jackets and would bring you the day's main course choices on a silver platter to choose (fish, etc.) The same people had another restaurant in a beach town south of Izmir. We patronized both a lot. We are struggling to remember the name of the pace. do you? pl



Just caught up with your posts about the infrastrucure at Albiyim. What, no golf course?! Are you sure this was a USAF facility?? (Just a feeble attempt at some levity...!)



I am not a golfer and so do not remember it but I am sure there was a golf course around somewhere at Izmir. There was an air base(Cigli) just north of Izmir. That had been a US/Turkish base until a month before we arrived. Perhaps the golf course was out there. my wife and I spent a lot of time in the Konak bazaar in the city. I remember that Johnny Walker Black was three dollars a bottle in the NATO Class Six store. pl


Albayim, any chance that beach town can be Cesme? It has a fantastic Crusader-Ottoman castle.

There was a golf course and a hunting club within the environs of Bornova, 15 km east of Izmir on the way to Manisa. Bayrakli olso had some facilities, but I am not sure which.

On a trip to Istanbul from Izmir, I took the long way off Izmir by Cigli, which is next to a natural preserve. The base is still there, but I believe it is under Turkish command now. What struck me from outside is that all of its housing was standard US base style, I have been to quite a few of them in US. Even the surrounding roads and avenues were built to exact US standards, widthwise, and rarely a crack or a pothole on the asphalt.

I will be in Izmir first week of August for a shoot. Undoubtedly I will visit the cafes and restaurants along 1.Kordon, I will make sure I have my camera with me.



We went to Cesme a lot and it could have been there but it could also be in Urla. I see that there is a restaurant named Yengec that has places in both Alsancak and Urla. That could be the one although my wife does not remember the name as that. In those days the Alsancak restaurant was not on Birinci Kordon but they may have moved. pl


Albayim, it shouldn't be too hard for you get yourself invited to a conference or seminar in Istanbul, I am sure there are many people around the world who would love to hear you speak for an hour, and Izmir is only a jump and a skip away from Istanbul.

And Urla, is literally 15 minutes away from where I would be staying in next week. And I heard of Yengec, means "crab", I shall inquire further.

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