Frasier has left the building
BELGİN AKALTAN - firstname.lastname@example.orgHi guys,
This week will be a relaxed week for everybody. You and me. (You, being the reader.) And also for the cat. Plus the security guards downstairs. The lunch ladies. Chief copy editor Stefan. My editors Beril and Hatice. Intern Deniz. My shuttle bus buddy, another intern named Özge. My cat Machka. (Oh, I already counted the cat.) My neighbor Gülsüm Hanım. The owners of the café that get my evening veggie dishes from, Süreyya Hanım and Hüsamettin Bey. HDN’s evening editor, lonely wolf Özgün.
Taking a second look, what a lame life I have. My husband works overseas, my son lives on the other side of the city. Having neglected all my friends, I’m left with almost no friends to talk to except for Jessica. And maybe Asiye if she still considers me a friend. My sister is in Bodrum. My brother is too busy helping move his ex-wife and kids.
Come on Belgin, collect yourself.
At the beginning of the week, my editor-in-chief told me he likes my titles, especially the ones like “Human Rights 101 in Turkey.” But he advised me not to go overboard with sharing those inner voices talking to me (like this) because that holds the potential to bore readers. He is absolutely right. (So, why on earth am I doing it again?) Maso? Stupid? Desperate? All of the above? Vacation overdue? Too much Gezi?
I like my titles, too. I can come up with good titles, but then the rest of the business becomes painful. So I will listen to my editor-in-chief. I will stop writing my mood swings. (In a minute!)
For this week, I will do what I do best; I will make a list of my planned headlines. Feel free to pick and use any one of them. No copyright. I have plenty more.
By the way, for those readers who are curious, Egypt has granted political asylum to me. So has Libya. I cannot decide where to go. There is also a third country with whom negotiations are ongoing. (For obvious reasons, please note that this paragraph is a joke. I will be the last person to leave this beautiful and lonely country.)
My possible titles and possible topics to write about in the coming weeks are as follows:
• Future of credit cards in Turkey
• Rowing under the Bosphorus Bridge
• Paper machetes: Suggestion for a new form of protest for Gezi resisters: Cut out machete-like patterns from cardboard. Paint them in professional meat-cutting knife color. Carry those paper machetes with you at all times. Police will not touch you.
• Counter takiye: This idea needs to be further developed. “Takiye” is defined as deception for religious purposes, or self-defensive deception. This is believed to be a tactic adopted by conservative religious politicians who act as if they are liberal democrats until they get hold of absolute power. My counter takiye idea is for secular people to act as pious, conservative, obedient, submissive, pro-government people. First, to protect themselves from the cruelty of police and the judiciary. Next, for… Well, I told you that needs to be developed.
• Community policing crash courses for bakers
• Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean Turks
• The epic story of the Turkish police
• Kasımpaşa Academy of Political Sciences
Hang on. Of course I have non-Gezi themed topics. A bit more on “light politics,” then I have a list of “super light” themes… (Poor guys, do you really believe me?)
• Whose prime minister is he?
• The sweatpants that cause sin
• Hashtag Direnberkin. Please Berkin, hold on. You are only 14 years old and you cannot die. DirenBerkin. You have beautiful days to live.
• Heroes of the Gezi Park Movement – (Trophy goes to Divan Hotel, then comes Halk TV, of course the Beşiktaş fan group çArşı, Ceylan Intercontinental, Hyatt Regency, my favorite place, Gezi Patisserie, Babylon, Caffe Nero, Kiki, Tektekçi, Nupera, W Hotel…
• Spoiler alert: Prime minister’s speech next week – I will write an imaginary speech for the prime minister. I have heard they were looking for new speechwriters. It is a well-paying job. The reader will be able to compare my text with the PM speaking on the TV. Oh, I will nail it word by word.
• I love the AKP (no kidding)
OK. Now some general themes… Well, indeed some are inspired by the Gezi incidents.
• Universal hatred for women in Turkey – I will definitely write this next week. Inspired by the machete-wielding man kicking a woman on the street. I am going to write that none of the man I know, work with and meet in my daily life could ever hit a woman like that even if they were offered a good prize. Where does all this hatred come from?
• When there is no love and fun at home: This might seem to be connected to the above. It is about men who have never flirted in their lives… When their life at home is so boring they become vulgar and aggressive on the street, in the stadium…
• Writing in a café like Carrie Bradshaw – I am planning to go to Starbucks and try to write a piece there and tell about my experience… But, I will first need to find out whether Starbucks is still on the black list. I have mixed feedback.
• True Istanbulites do not exist anymore. Who knows about Taşlık, the old Intercontinental at Taksim, Spor Sergi, trolleybuses, etc.?
• Fascism starts in the family: Extracts from a very good psychological analysis written by Görkem Şarkan.
• The Big Bang Theory from Turkey – Sheldon Cooper, Pasadena, Leonard, Penny, Penny, Penny…
• Why are Turks always unhappy while Westerners are simply ‘happy?’
• Nazım Hikmet
• Tastes of Istanbul
• Necati Şaşmaz
• Bigots do not like free women (from Bekir Çoşkun article)
• Kissing instructions for Turks
• We have small Tayyips everywhere in Turkey
• Istanbul and its jerks
• Silivri is actually a nice place
• Entertainment and Turks: Turks do not know how to have fun
• I told you it would be a relaxed week.
This last one is not a title.
But maybe it can be… Can it be?
Belgin has left the building.