Friday, 10 August 2007

Mersin's Successful Election Candidates

Now that I can access again, I will catch-up on a few posts.

Following are pictures and short descriptions (in Turkish) of Mersin Province's successful candidates in the recent Turkish election. The ratios were such that 4 candidates from each of the AKP, CHP and MHP parties were elected.

AKP (Adalet ve Kalkinmasa Partisi; Justice and Development Party; 'Islamic roots'; currently in power nationally)

CHP (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi; Republican People's Party; 'centre-left'; Ataturk's party)

MHP (Milliyet Hareket Partisi; Nationalist Movement Party; 'ultra-nationalists')


Q: Did you notice anything odd about the candidates?





A: They are all males born between 1944 and 1968 (one or two member-elect descriptions don't mention their birth date but they would be in suggested range)

I wish the new members of parliament were far more representative of Mersin's actual population and featured more women and young people. Incidentally, nationally, Turkey has one of the lowest percentages of women elected to parliament in the world.

POSTCRIPT: Here is an interesting pre-election write-up about the supposed 'turbulent' and 'tense' city of Mersin.


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Sunday, 22 July 2007

Turkey Elects, Sunday 22 July 2007

The almost constant noise and colour of political campaign vehicles has finished and, in a few hours time, Turkey will go to the polls to elect a new parliament.

If I could vote, who would I vote for? Definitely not the ultra nationalist MHP or isolationist Genc Party. I would probably vote for an independent candidate.

Who will win the largest number of seats? Probably the currently ruling AK Party. Will they retain a majority? Who knows...

The Turkish Daily News provides a run-down of the Mersin election candidates, parties and issues.

For the overall election issues and latest news, visit Wikipedia's Turkish General Election, 2007 page

Hamdullah, my flatmate, as he is a public school teacher, will man the election booth at his school today.

My 2004 local government election special is here

PS: Like on previous election days, the sale of alcohol is banned today.

ELECTION RESULTS (2007-07-24): As expected, AKP recorded the highest vote percentage with almost 47% of the total. AKP's percentage actually increased from the 2002 vote but their number of seats gained was reduced although they will still have a majority in parliament. CHP and MHP were the other 2 parties reaching the 10% vote threshold required to enter parliament with 21% and 14% respectively. More than 20, mainly Kurdish, independent candidates also gained enough votes to enter parliament.

Mersin Province was one of only two provinces (along with Osmaniye) to give the most votes to the fascist MHP. However, in Mersin there was only 6% difference between 3 parties with MHP gaining 31%, AKP 27% and CHP 25%.

Election result maps are displayed by the BBC and Wikipedia.

For the most comprehensive Turkish election news and coverage in English see Erkan's field diary.


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Thursday, 12 April 2007

Catching Up

Events of the past 3 or so months:

- Toroslar Belediyesi, one of the 3 local suburban Mersin councils painted a 4,500 square metre flag on the side of a hill overlooking Mersin. As this editorial concludes, the flag was a piece of self-promotion. Unfortunately, all levels of government waste far too much money promoting themselves at the expense of decent services.

The flag in question

- Plans for a ski resort at Karbogazi in the Gulek region of Tarsus, Mersin Province were made.

- Hungarian DJ Niki Belucci performed at Hot Nightclub, Mersin. Not Safe For Work (NSFW) photos can be seen here and here.

- Southern Turkey's "drought" of 2 months broke.

- Today's Zaman, a new English language daily newspaper began publication in Turkey.

- Hrank Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian origin, was shot dead in Istanbul. This incident shook the whole country. Here is an editorial surrounding the incident I largely agree with.

- An American basketballer, Nikki Blue, shared her experiences living in and playing for Mersin

- I went to the Adana races with Peter. This was my first ever day at a Turkish race meeting. I didn't win any bets.

- Vodafone has quickly taken over Telsim's name after purchasing the mobile phone service provider.

- After seemingly years under construction, the multi-storey Marina Vista Shopping Centre opened in Mersin. Located next to Burger King and adjacent to the yacht harbour, Marina Vista is in a very good position. The centre was opened prematurely with most of the spaces then still vacant. That is slowly changing. The top floor has a 4-screen cinema and below that is a food hall including a McDonald's restaurant. McDonald's has not had a Mersin presence for 3 or 4 years. When I first came here there were two restaurants, including one I went to for my second ever Turkish date (she chose the venue).

- The Mediterranean Challenge Cup international tenpin bowling tournament was held at Mersin Rollhouse.

- Peter, Sebi, Tugba, Mehmet and I attended Foster's Party at the Armada Club.

- Pearl Jam announce their 2007 European tour. Unlike last year, this time I won't be attending.

- The cost for an adult to take an intra-city Mersin bus ride rose from 1 YTL to 1.25 YTL.


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Thursday, 8 March 2007

YouTube Is Blocked In Turkey!

This evening I went to check my videos on YouTube, only to find the website censored! I, and most folks in Turkey are now barred from accessing the website because of a court order.

Clicked on the image below for a larger, uncropped screenshot of YouTube's censored main page.

The Reuters story is here.

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Thursday, 7 December 2006

Japanese TV To Feature Turkey?

Last week Yutaka emailed me, asking for assistance with questions about Turkey. Yutaka was an AIESEC trainee in Turkey in 2004-2005 and TBS, a Japanese TV station had contacted him via his website. They wanted to know specific answers about Turkey to help decide which country to base their end of year episode of Ichiteru on. Ichiteru is a talk-show featuring non-Japanese women living in Japan. I hope they choose Turkey!

As TBS required answers promptly, I have already sent my replies to Yutaka. I will disclose them on this blog later. In the meantime, what are you responses to the following questions?

In Turkey,

1: is there a job that is NOT likely to exist in Japan (or in any other countries)?

2: is there anything free that is NOT usually free in other countries?

3: how men satisfy their sexual needs by PAYING MONEY?
(since Turkey is a Muslim nation, the TV station simply wonders..)

4: what are criteria for good-looking men?

5: do you know anybody who personally runs her/his own zoo?

6: is there a TV show specially aimed for house-wives?
If yes, can you please name some (with details, preferably)

7: is there an interesting/funny/strange accomodation for students?

8: is there a special signal that you send when you want to have sex?
(like making eye contact, etc..)

9: is there a "taboo" present that you should never ever give?

UPDATE (2006/12/12): I have justed posted the answers I sent to Yutaka in the comments.

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Mersin And Turkey Links And News Stories

Below are some stories I had bookmarked earlier but only now got around to posting:

- Turkey's senior women's soccer team defeated Northern Ireland in Mersin as part of their EURO 2009 qualifying

- An Ak Party member of the Turkish Parliament from Mersin redefines the definition of political cowboy

- An Islamic version of creationism is being heavily pushed by mysterious forces in Turkey

- 2 women journalists arrested in Mersin were finally released after being held for 9 months

- Mersin Sosyete (Mersin Society), a well designed local entertainment portal opened in the summer although I only noticed it recently

- For your viewing pleasure, a video showing some of Mersin Province's highlights:


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