Post12: The source of joy in my life

2019/03 – Çanakkale, Turkey (c) MA Icbay

In a setting full of hate and resentment, recently I have decided to focus on what makes my day. Although I have no faith in categorization of any kind, I will group the joy of my life according to the senses. No surprise! I will start with the hearing. Then smell. Then touching. Taste and finally sight.

(1) Swallows singing at dawn in a May weekend.
(2) Leaves caressing each other on a weeping willow in a breezy April afternoon.
(3) The peace of silence, tranquility, in a snowy December evening.
(4) Silverware knocking in the kitchens. Heard while walking in the old narrow streets in Gaziantep.

(1) The burnt carpet-surplus smell coming out of old stoves in a chilling winter morning.
(2) Turkish coffee. Definitely on a working day morning. After breakfast.

Post11: File file patatesten tane tane Türkiye’ye.

Page 401 at Chelimsky, E. (2008).Improving the “fit” between evaluative independence and the political requirements of a democratic society. American Journal of Evaluation, 29(4), 400-415.

Page 401 at Chelimsky, E. (2008).Improving the “fit” between evaluative independence and the political requirements of a democratic society. American Journal of Evaluation, 29(4), 400-415. This is the structure of democracy in the United States. Founded almost an age ago, it is still functioning. With some problems. However, with the hope to improve it.

Bu yazıyı da Türkçe yazmaya karar verdim. Anadilim Türkçe olmasına rağmen hala Türkçe yazarken zorlanıyorum. Öz yazarsam kolay olur diye düşünüyorum. Çocukluğum 80’li yıllarda geçti. Tek televizyon TRT ile başlayan, sobalı evlerde devam eden, bayramların kışa denk geldiği bir çocukluktu. Aklımda kalanlardan birisi de alt komşumuz Nurten Teyze’nin erken vefatıydı. Böbrek yetmezliği sonucu. İki çocuk kaldı ardından. Eda ile Ercan. Acaba şu an neler yapıyorlar? Biz de o apartmandan taşınalı çok olmuştu. Nurten Teyze. Evlenmişlerdir. İşe güce karışıp. Sahrelerdeki o çocuk gülüşler gitmiştir. Nurten Teyze de bir kış günü Adana yollarında ömrünü hesap etmiş, etmiş, çocukları aklında.

Hatırlıyorum. Evimiz sobalıydı. Bir odada yanardı. Sabahları buz gibi. Yorgandan çıkmak istemezdik. Annem yakardı. Sabah varla yok arasında. Kahvaltıyı hazırlardı. Oda tüm gecenin sigara dumanını içine çekmiş. Nikotin dolu bir sabah kahvaltısı ile soğuk.

Hatırlıyorum. Arka balkonumuzun bir köşesi soğan, sarımsak, patates çuvallarına ayrılmıştı. Yılbaşında Nalan Altınörs, Ayşe Tunalı söylerdi. Mesut Amca, Türkan Teyze, Faik, Musa Abi bize gelirler. Yer, içer, güler, TRT izlerdik. Dolu dolu, file file patates alırdık. Çuval çuval soğan, sarımsak. Bulgur, simit, mercimek, nohut. Küp küp salça, zeytinyağı. Fakirdik. Bir işçi maaşıyla. Zar zor geçinen bir aileydik. Arabamız yoktu. Sobalı bir evimiz vardı. Ama file file patatesimiz olurdu.

Kaç yıl geçti aradan. Yaklaşık 30 yıl. 30 yılda file file patatesten tane tane patates aldığımız bir duruma evrildik. Üzülüyorum.

Çocukluğum dini sorumluluklarını düzenli olarak yerine getirmeye çalışan insanların arasında geçti. Gaziantep merkezdeki neredeyse tüm camilerde dua ettim. Hatırlıyorum da siyasetin inancı sömüremediği günlerde o insanlar tevazu sahibiydi, nezaketle davranırlardı, yüreklerindeki tanrı sevgisi yüzlerindeki samimi gülümsemelere yansırdı, kul hakkı en fazla dikkat ettikleri vicdan meselesi, yalanı en büyük günah sayarlardı.

Peki bu insanlara ne oldu? Gittiler mi? Yerine bu insanlar mı devşirildi? Bu din bu kadar ayağa düşmeli miydi? Üzülüyorum.


Post10: Back in the days

It has been a very long time since my last post. A semester has passed silently. Summer days first. Then autumn leaves and now snow, cold and shorter days. I am listening to Berlin’s Take My Breath Away. In my office. Almost finished with my tea. It is one of those Fridays with a feeling of regular weekdays. I have been to many places: Kiev, Skopje, Prishtina, Bucharest, many towns in Greece, Budapest.

I am in the main library. Busy with writing my last article about laughter. It’s been raining since the morning. Perhaps since last midnight. There are people around me. Reading, taking notes, talking to each other.

“I don’t judge you. Why should you?” This is the phrase from J Candy at Trains, Planes and Automobiles (1987).


2018/12 – Budapest, Hungary (c) MA Icbay

What I would like to talk today is about the contemporary science. My arguments are all based on my personal observations. As a result they can all be wrong altogether, or might be flawed partially, or might lead the readers to biases as well. The readers, you, should not take these as the mere facts.

The rise in the scientific activities were due to the competition in the Cold War years. Sputnik, nuclear research, experiments in the medicine were all the results of the drive rooted in this competition. Two powers were doing their best to excel in science, as well as in other fields such as arts, sports, social life and so on. However, with the collapse of Soviet Union, the competition ended. The governments were not eager to fund research because there is no need to be better in science. Science has transformed into a way of commodity producer. Putting it another words, the more profit the scientific research brings into the market, the more chances it can have to survive. This is the current situation of science. The scientific research is allowed to exist as long as it creates profit in the market. Worse. If the profit it creates is less than its cost, it ceases to exist. The basic rule of capitalism. This is the main reason why the research in social sciences, arts, humanities are not funded or funded minimally not to eradicate those fields at all.

The previous paragraph, I think, gives you an idea of my understanding of the decline in the scientific research. One step further. I would like to talk more about what happened to science in Soviet Union. Soviet Union motivated the rise of science in the society by allocating the resources. If you were a successful scientist, you were awarded. The part that were originally spared for the majority were allocated to the scientific community. This was the underlying force in increasing the scientific activities in Soviet Union.

Post09: Gaziantep days

My hometown. The town with childhood. With teenager years. The town with dreams. Happiness. Purity. Love. Trust. I am back for the vacation. With my mom. Right now I am sitting in our new home. Around 12pm. Getting hotter. Cars passing by. Listening to Zeki Müren. My mom cooking dolma in the kitchen.

I am editing my father’s notes. More than 10 notebooks. A full of writings on small papers. More than 20 years of writing.

“Çalışmak gerekir. Asla harama yönelmeden, kötülük etmeden, gönül kırmadan, kendine yapılmasını istenmeyen hiçbir şeyi başkasına yapmadan, yapabileceklerinin en iyisini vermek gerekir.” – Mustafa Şevki İçbay

Ankara’da son günler I

öyle bir zamanda sevmeliydim,
bir kediyi okşar gibi, günbatımında huzur gibi,
mutlaka bir anı olmalıydı,
şu bıyıklı adam gülümsedikten sonra,
onca ay seni düşünmeden önce olmalıydı.

öyle bir zaman olmalıydı,
tam içindeyim derken geçiveren,
ne ölüm korkusu ne de yanlızlık,
açlık bir gecelik mutluluktan kabus,
şu kadın elinde çiçek sevinirken
ya da
giderken yeniden gelecekmişsin gibi.

öyle bir zamanda sevmeliydim,
ne tükenmeliydi, ne de yaşar gibi.

3 Ağustos 2009. Ankara.

2018/08 – Gaziantep, Turkey (c) MA Icbay

Post08: Berdyansk days

2018/07 – Berdyansk, Ukraine (c) MA Icbay

Today is my sixth day in this Ukrainian town. A seaside town along Azov Sea. Part of Black Sea. July is the hottest/wettest period of the year. However, the evenings are cool with mesmerizing wind blowing to your skin. Blended with the tranqualizing sound of oak trees. Ukrainian people are extremely kind. Polite. My favorite part. This can be observed in many situations: In public transportation, in lines, in social conversations. In a seemingly poor economy with limited resources, it takes a lot, tremendously a lot, to remain polite.

Today is my tenth day here. So far I have visited many public places: Grocery store, downtown, beach, pharmacy, bazaar, bank, summer house, parks. Among many places, pharmacies are the most interesting places in Ukraine. There are many. At least two three pharmacies on the same street. They sell any prescribed or non prescribed medicine. I assume medicine is an emerging market here. I am not sure if it is ethically or medically right investment.


Another observation: What is wrong with the spirit of capitalism in the post-soviet states? The answer might be the cultural adaptation to the new system. The financial system seems to be working with the scary rules of capitalism. However, it might take some time for the society to adapt itself to the new rules. Private property, public places, savings, facilities and so on. The use of public places is just one part of the communism-to-capitalism transition. Previously, as I have been told here, the state was maintaining the public places. The amazing parks, public transportation, any common use places were properly maintained by the state. Now. It is the sad part.

Post07: My playlist

I still remember the night when I first listened to this song. It was a cold winter evening in late 80s. My older cousin Yusuf, with his long hair like the one Michael Jackson did in this video, visited us in our old house. He was holding the old cassette tape. We listened to Michael Jackson’s Bad for a couple of times. Until my father decided to cut his long hair. He was a handsome tall man. My father was in his mid-forties. I remember the colors in our living room: There was a yellowish, greenish carpet. With our famous gray sofa. Yusuf wore a white flannel. It was cold. Winter coldness. The stove was heating the room. My uncles with his sons including Yusuf were working in a carpet weaving factory in Ünaldı.

Post06: Years. Days. Moments.

I lost my dad 4 years ago. May 26, 2013. A major heart attack. I was running along the sea shore while he was having his heart attack. It was around 6 pm when I heard the news. They told me that he had this sudden pang on his chest. Looked at the air. Said goodbye.

I am still wondering what he might be thinking about. When he was saying goodbye. Me? My sister? His life? His days in Hamburg? My mom? Or just a random moment from his childhood? It has been more than 4 years since he passed away. He has been always in my mind. Every day. Every morning. I always find myself talking to him. Him in my mind. What would he say now? How would he smile? Perhaps you can imagine. Or perhaps you have already experienced the pain of losing someone close. It is a bitter pain. A pain that you can never cure. A pain that you will carry in your mind. Oh! This bitter mind. Those bitter memories.


1981/03 – Gaziantep (c) MA Icbay

Post05: Notes on Ethnomethodology

Any text about a concept, an idea, or an approach starts with a definition. Definitions create the context for further discussion to be based. Following the same tradition, I must start my notes on ethnomethodology (EM) with its definition.

“[…] social events are, in the first place, oriented to and interpreted as meaningful by and for those who participate in them or in any way (including scientifically) attend to them” (Heritage, 1984, p. 47).

“[…] how can two or more actors share common experiences of the natural and social world and, relatedly, how can they communicate about them?” (Heritage, 1984, p. 54).

– Heritage, John. (1984). Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

Post04: Marx is coming!

Read this with caution please! According to Marx, the foundation of a society is built on the society’s experience with the nature. That is to say, the way a society earns its life builds the way the society is formed. How are we earning our life? Farming? Producing milk in a farm? Building a processor? Or building an apartment? Whatever we do to survive in this nature shapes our skeleton of our society. Our society, predominantly busy with construction, is shaped according to the construction characteristics.

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Post03: Recital by Alexey Botvinov

Alexey Botvinov, Ukrainian pianist from Odessa, performed a great piano recital on October 17, 2017 in Çanakkale. I am happy to be involved in inviting him to play in Çanakkale.