Photo: Athens graffiti

23 Oct

“He’d leave and I’d die, he’d return and kill me.”

“Έφευγε και πέθαινα, ερχόταν και με σκότωνε.”

Έφευγε και πέθαινα..


Lausannitis watch: “Turkey doesn’t need Europe…” BBC’s Mark Lowen, probably having the time of his life in C-Town, keeps tweeting Erdoğan’s serial manic-grandiosity episodes.

23 Oct


Mark Lowen:

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Lausannitis?  See here: Turks don’t suffer from Sèvrophobia; they suffer from Lausannitis.

Turkey doesn’t need Europe?  Cool.  Ok.  Tamam.  Haydi, ciao.  No problem here.  Totally up front: only thought Turkey in the EU was a good idea as long as I thought that it was better to keep the wolf in the fold where you can keep an eye on it.

But this is an animal out of control.  Nothing we can do from the outside.  We’ll just have to wait for Turks themselves to get fired up enough by the damage he’s doing their country domestically and internationally to take some sort of action themselves — like the “unity” my White Turk friend dreams of: Memo to: a certain generation of “progressive” Turks.

Some NikoBako advice: don’t wait up…


Does India, its world’s largest democracy rhetoric and “marigold p.r.,” get away with shit we would freak about if it were Pakistan?

23 Oct

Some meanwhile-Kashmir p.s. articles…

From today’s Guardian: India to open talks with all parties in disputed Jammu and Kashmir: Former intelligence chief given unrestricted mandate, indicating that even separatist leaders will be consulted.”

And a “long read” by Mirza Waheed from last fall that’s still worth reading, on a conflict we often forget about, despite its up-and-down escalating ugliness:  India’s crackdown in Kashmir: is this the world’s first mass blinding?:

“How did India get here? How is it all right for a constitutionally democratic and secular, modern nation to blind scores of civilians in a region it controls? Not an authoritarian state, not a crackpot dictatorship, not a rogue nation or warlord outside of legal and ethical commitments to international statutes, but a democratic country, a member of the comity of nations. How are India’s leaders, thinkers and its thundering televised custodians of public and private morality, all untroubled by the sight of a child whose heart has been penetrated by metal pellets? This is the kind of cruelty we expect from Assad’s Syria, not the world’s largest democracy…

“Two-and-a-half decades of rebellion in Kashmir have hardened the indifference of India’s political and intellectual classes to the human cost of the country’s repressive tactics in the valley.”

See “more on this story” articles at bottom of Waheed piece.

And a reality check: does India, with its world’s largest democracy rhetoric and “marigold p.r.,” get away with shit we would freak about — or at least make some nominal fuss — if it were Pakistan?

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 6.59.12 PMVictims of police shooting who have been blinded in one or both eyes in hospital in Srinagar. Photograph: Yawar Nazir/Getty Images     

Waheed is author of the best, most disturbing piece of Kashmir fiction I know of: The Collaborator.  Check it out.

Collaborator Mirza Waheed

A follower of William Dalrymple’s suggests he’s in Kashmir doing research on new book.  Anybody have any leads or other knowledge on such project?


Will Dalrymple in Kashmir

23 Oct

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 11.46.24 AMThe recently restored Pattar Masjid Srinagar, 1623 Built by Nur Jahan for Jahangir

 William Dalrymple ( ) is apparently on vacation in Kashmir, and loading his Twitter account with gorgeous photos.  Check them out.

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Shah-e-Hamedan Srinagar From the Jhelum waterfront

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Nishat Bagh Srinagar October light


Who didn’t see this coming? Lombardy and Veneto seek greater autonomy

22 Oct

Two of the richest regions in northern Italy are heading to the polls to demand greater autonomy from the central government in Rome.

Around 11 million voters in Lombardy and Veneto, nearly a quarter of Italy’s population, are casting their ballots on Sunday in a non-binding referendum approved by the constitutional court.

Voters will decide whether they want their regional governments to claim more control from Rome over tax revenues, immigration and education systems.

A resounding “yes” vote will give the neighbouring regions political leverage in negotiations with Rome.

A turnout of more than 50 percent of the eligible voters is required in Veneto for the referendum to hold. There is no quorum for Lombardy voters.

The two regions account for 30 percent of Italy’s GDP, but many taxpayers in the north resent susbsiding the relatively poor south of Italy.

Italy’s twin referendums come on the back of the vote on independence in Catalonia. Tensions have been high in neighbouring Spain after an overwhelming 90 percent voted in favour of secession.

Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel Hamid, reporting from Veneto’s capital, Venice, said: “The Lombardy and Veneto referendums are yet another signal of European separatists movements picking up steam again.”

An approval of the parliament will be required to allow regional autonomy.

Meanwhile, some are also in favour of independence.

“Everyone has the right to decide its own administration,” Franco Tonello, independence campaigner, told Al Jazeera.

“Our culture has been forgotten. Our children are not taught the history of the Republic of Venice but a history that was never ours.”

SOURCE: Al Jazeera News

The dolma scene from Duvara Karşı…

21 Oct

…released as Head-On in English and Gegen Die Wand in German (“Against the Wall”, which is the direct from-Turkish translation), makes me cry every time I see it.

Why, with all the super, violent emotion that German-Turk Fatih Akin‘s brilliant film packs, is it this one that moves me?

Partly because it’s a time-out from the film’s relentless intensity and melancholy — though the sound-track of this particular scene only underlines a very Turkish sense of melancholy.

Partly because it’s so familiar: how many times did I watch my mother — and now myself — doing exactly what Sibel Kekilli is doing?

Partly it’s because food is and always has been something that Turks and Greeks are able to bond around, and I’m desperately looking for ways to feel positive about Turkey and Turks right now.

But mostly it’s the depiction of the nirvana-like state that shopping and cooking for someone you love puts you in.  By the time the rakı gets cloudy in their glasses I’m usually bawling.


“Call Me By Your Name” — Wait, is there anybody who read the novel and DIDN’T think it was Jewish?

21 Oct

The trailer:

Jewcy article:

‘Call Me By Your Name’ Is Jewish

In case you missed it: Another side to the upcoming queer romance film.

By / October 16, 2017

“You may have already heard plenty about Call Me By Your Name, the upcoming Luca Guadagnino film. There’s original music by Sufjan Stevens, Oscar buzz, and even some (misplaced) controversy. But you may have missed that this film is not only a queer coming-of-age romance— it’s a Jewish one.

“Call Me By Your Name is based on a 2007 novel of the same name by André Aciman about Elio, a teenager in Italy in the 1980s who falls for Oliver, a young academic who comes to stay with his family over the summer. Both the family and guest are Jews, a minority in a very Catholic country.

“This shared bond is one of the things that brings Elio and Oliver together; Elio is enchanted by how Oliver wears his Jewishness on his sleeve (or literally, on his chest, in the form of a Magen David), and he tries to emulate him, despite the fact that his family describes themselves as “Jews of discretion.” Elio even wears his own Star of David (“My Star of David, his Star of David, our two necks like one, two cut Jewish men joined together from time immemorial,” writes Aciman in the original novel). In the novel, at least, this has a mixed effect for Elio:

Judaism never troubled [Oliver] the way it troubled me, nor was it the subject of an abiding, metaphysical discomfort with himself and the world. It did not even harbor the mystical, unspoken promise of redemptive brotherhood. And perhaps this was why he wasn’t ill at ease with being Jewish and didn’t constantly have to pick at it, the way children pick at scabs they wish would go away. He was okay with being Jewish.

“In the novel, despite his secularity, Elio understands his own sexuality through the lens of Jewishness:

I remembered the scene in the Bible when Jacob asks Rachel for water and on hearing her speak the words that were prophesied for him, throws up his hands to heaven and kisses the ground by the well. Me Jewish, Clean Jewish, Oliver Jewish— we were in a half ghetto, half oasis, in an otherwise cruel and unflinching world where fuddling around strangers suddenly stops, where we misread no one and no one misjudges us, where one person simply knows the other and knows him so thoroughly that to be taken away from such intimacy is galut, the Hebrew word for exile and dispersal.  [my emphasis]

“How Aciman writes Jewish characters is reminiscent of his personal essays about Jewishness; he treats the subjects with ambivalence and great poignancy. Aciman was born to a Jewish Egyptian family, living as a tiny minority until the family was forced to leave when the writer was a teenager.

“As far as the film is concerned, much of the cast is Jewish as well. Armie Hammer, of Jewish descent, plays Oliver, and Jewish-American newcomer Timothée Chalamet plays Elio. Elio’s father is played by Michael Stuhlbarg of A Serious Man.

“It’s exciting that an Oscar film for this season is also a Jewish queer one. The movie doesn’t come out in wide release till November, but you can enjoy the decadently Sufjan Stevens-laden trailer in the meantime (see if you can spot the Jewish star necklace)…”


If you haven’t, homework for Jadde readers is Aciman’s first novel, Out of EgyptIt’s one of the best — and earliest — English-language novels of the ‘Destruction-of-eastern-Mediterranean-cosmopolitanism’ genre.

Aciman Out of Egypt


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