Are you hiding something from us?

Are you hiding something from us?

Dear officials,

You have muddled the plane incident so much, you have got it wrong to such an extent that now even your own public has started being skeptical. 

Everybody spoke before being fully informed. The data changed every day. 

At first it was debated whether it had been hit by a missile or an anti-aircraft weapon, then it was discussed where exactly it had been hit. Then, an increasingly tense, mysterious atmosphere took hold. Washington stirred the air by saying it had some knowledge that it could not disclose. Now, everybody has question marks in their minds. So much so that many people have started believing that the plane was not downed by Syria at all, but went down because of a technical failure. 
Well, you are responsible for this situation. You have misguided all of us because of your passion for talking, because of your lack of coordination. 

Or, are you hiding something from us? 

The other side of the coin in Galata 

Last weekend, I criticized the ban on “sitting” at Galata Square. I mentioned that a substantial segment of society “felt excluded and under pressure.” The first objection to my column came from the editor of my TV show, Utku Başar, who has been living in Galata for a long time. Let’s see the other side of the coin, as Utku summed it up: 

“I don’t agree with the ban, but residents in the neighborhood are also extremely fed up. Every morning we find bottles and used condoms in the entrances of apartment buildings, in niches. On top of that, there is sleeplessness. It is either drums or wind instruments playing until 4 or 5 in the morning. It is a miracle that nobody has died in the street fights because everybody is drunk. The streets are a flood of urine. The entrances to apartments are covered in urine.” 

“Actually, nobody over there ‘sits down and sips his drink without bothering others.’ They don’t just bother the neighborhood, they also harass the young tourists staying in the cheap hostels around there. The whole matter of gathering at Galata Square stemmed from the attempts of our young men to socialize with the tourist girls sitting in the square. At one time, for each tourist girl at the square there were 10 Turkish guys. Nobody should protest on grounds that ‘the streets belong to us,’ or ‘No to an alcohol ban.’ We have reached this stage in two years. The police and the municipality officers have deliberately closed their eyes to this scandal since last year, just to strengthen their hands in the midst of the ‘table on the sidewalk bans’ and the Asmalı Mescit debates. They want you to choose between death and malaria. The square has been closed, but the same situation continues in the adjacent stairs and side streets. The residents are even more annoyed. The situation has not been solved, it has been moved closer to their homes.” 

Here is the other side of the coin. You decide. But, just as I said last week, this cannot be solved through bans. The municipality should explore what kind of solution can make everybody happy. The residents should not be victimized and Galata should not be “off-limits.” 

Take your children to this exhibition 

The first interactive art exhibition in Turkey has been opened at the Tophane-i Amire building at Tophane, Istanbul. 

Its name is “The Great Masters.” Art works are exhibited of the three major masters of the Renaissance: Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo. I loved it, both because such a revolutionary exhibition has never been here before and also because it was easy to understand. 

You receive your headset at the entrance and you can listen to the relevant information about every piece you see. At the interactive screens anything you are curious about is available. How the Renaissance marked science and the arts is explained in an easy manner. You should definitely take your children to the exhibition. Believe me, this exhibition will widen their horizons and their imagination. 

Thanks and bravo to Arter Design and Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University who have brought this project to Turkey. You can visit the exhibition until the end of the month.

jet, war,