Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

Post02: Back in time

The following longer video was recorded 23 years ago in a warm January Sunday in Dülükbaba, Gaziantep. This is only video recording with my father. It is a clear example of how life was simpler and people were happier with what they had back in 90s. Turkish community was not introduced with the spirit of capitalism. They were not familiar with the idea/habit of constant consumption. I remember I was so happy to have a Rotring pencil.

This short video was recorded in at a local cafe, Golf Aile Çay Bahçesi, Çanakkale, Turkey on September 28, 2017 around 13pm, at my lunch time. It is a fine example to observe the beauty and fine details of ordinary life. If you also have a passion in making sense of ordinary life, the actions of those people on this video might amaze you as well.

Post01: Photography

Taking a photo is a resistance. A resistance to the joy of current time. Imagine a world without a camera. How would you remember the past? You have to depend on your mind. Your memories. When you try to remember a point in the past, your memories are mixed with your emotions, your emotions trigger the false reconstruction. A new distorted version of part emerges. It might make you happy, or unhappy, depending on your emotions, feelings. Photography kills your ability to distort the reality.


2017/07 – Çanakkale (c) MA Icbay


2017/06 – Gaziantep (c) MA Icbay


2017/07 – Çanakkale (c) MA Icbay