I have always considered myself lucky for being a Middle East Technical University (ODTU) graduate. Although they included many sleepless nights, lots of stress, tears and sweat, my school years were also so much fun. Being one of the best universities in Turkey and maybe the best technical one, ODTU has special significance. In addition to being a university that accepts only the top 3% of the potential candidates, it also has a tough curriculum, difficult professors and demanding lab or project hours.
But for somebody, ODTU is even more valuable and important…
In every cafeteria or classroom, it is very usual to see a cat roaming around, sleeping or looking for food. Many compassionate ODTU students will happily feed them, play with them and care for them. They will even name them. Like this one:
Meet Pakize, the cat of Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences.
Now she will walk you through the beautiful ODTU campus and share all the campus secrets with you 🙂 Enjoy!
“Meow! My name is Pakize. I speak English very well because the education language is in English here and I go into every class, well… In some of them I am not awake, but I picked up English here and there. Let’s cut the crap, here we go. First thing first, this is glorious me:”
“They have recently elected me as the ambassadors of the ODTU cats. It has been an honor, I should admit. As the ambassador, it’s my duty to introduce this university to you. I have been literally everywhere on this campus in and out. So, trust me when I say I know what I’m talking about. Another reason why you should take me seriously: I have my own Twitter account and I can respond to Trump about cat rights if I want to!”
“Let me take you to our first stop, the Math Department. It has the tiniest cafeteria but it has the best carbonated tea and warm pogaca which is a delicious Turkish pastry that students sometimes are kind enough to share with me. If they don’t, I attack them anyway. Muhahaha! I have my ways 😉 “
“When you get out of the Math Department, the library will be right across the cobblestone path. I have no idea why, but a lot of students stay over night there, studying. The amount of food they eat and the tea/coffee they consume would blow your mind! The quiet part is where I’m not allowed in, but I can enter and wander around in the group work section. I saw people studying, sweating, crying, fighting and even kissing! Telling you, they literally live here!”
“But one thing I like about these kiddos is that they also value friendship, chit chat and fun. They lay or sit on grass and talk. These kinds of groups are my favorites because they usually like to play with me or feed me. Their butt get all grassy and green afterwards, but they don’t care, the sun light and the smart chat were all worth it, they think. Silly but cute.”
“Before I show you my favorite part on Campus, let’s stop on the way by the Physics Department. This is where Erdal Inonu was a teacher for a while and this another famous guy, Levent Ulgen, graduated from, with 4 GPA *gulp*. This department is basically where all cray crays are- just saying.”
“Physics is a department that almost all Calculus takers must go to. When I stepped in to the A3 auditorium, I could see 250-300 students trying to understand Calculus on the board. They had the look of pain in their faces most of the time. Especially in the Prof. Sitki Irk’s classes. Don’t know why that was the case but their tortured faces looked really funny. Anyway, let’s talk about most important thing now: Food. Physics cafeteria is where magic happens for me, because they have my favorite food, patso: a fries sandwich!”
“Their outside sitting area is actually quite fun. Because many Turkish people have the habit of smoking, they usually prefer outside and that works perfectly for me!”
“Alright, we are done here. After physics department, we take a very nice path with full of trees. Variety of trees create variety of smells here. Lovely, very nice smells around. But we are approaching to the most boring building on Campus. I gave you the fair warning!”
“I called this one a nice path because sometimes I see beautiful flowers here.”
“Which one is the most boring building you wonder?…
The tallest building on campus: ‘MM Building’. Students who want to go abroad with Erasmus come here a lot. I don’t know the others. But also there is a sad story about this place, There have been many suicides reported at MM. Some students couldn’t cope with the competitive environment and pressure. So, they jumped from the roof to death. It is really sad. Not a lot of people talk about it here.”
“PS. I tried once but somehow I landed on my four feet. They should name me ‘lucky’ instead of Pakize”
“Ladies and gentlemen. Pakize proudly presents her favorite place on Campus: Yemekhane (Cafeteria) With its incredibly cheap prices, there is always a fixed menu with soup, main meal and dessert. When I used to hang out here I had gained 5 pounds but now I have a job, as you all know. And I’m a responsible cat. I have to run around the campus a lot, so thank God that’s how I lost weight. But man, their food, especially the Keskul dessert is just so perfect for my tummy”
“I will come back here after we finish our tour, it smells like fried chicken is on the menu today. Yum!… OK. Move on! If we take a right turn after the cafeteria, we’ll see one of the most popular cafes on Campus: Çatı (pronounced as Cha-teh ) Their variety of food and awesome sitting area outside lead to long wait lines. But who needs a line when you are as small and cute as me? Hehehe”
“Just by this Cafe, you will see the ‘Industrial Engineering Department whose design is not appreciated by its own students. Me, on the other hand, I don’t care. Really. As long as I can sneak in through the open doors, the design is perfect for me. The students in this department are as generous as the other ones, so why would I care?”
“I have to mention my biggest enemy here since he hangs around this spot a lot. This silly dog keeps going around cuddling people on campus and stealing my food! I don’t know his name yet but I named him ‘deceiver’. Don’t buy into his cute looks, he is a fraud, I’m totally real. Totally.”
“There is a recent addition around here: a sculpture that I don’t know of what. The only thing I know is that it provides a perfect shade for 4 hours in summer. do you think it looks like anything? I can’t tell… Human beings are weird, they call everything ‘art’ these days”
“I would take you farther away but I started to feel tired so I will show you just a few more places then I will head back to the main cafeteria, if you don’t mind *Grin* “
“So,here is the second most boring building on Campus!: The Registrar office. I have never, ever seen a student or an employee leaving this place with a happy face. They all look grumpy. So, I usually avoid bothering anyone around here. I suggest you the same. Signed by: A friend”
“Our upcoming stop is actually really fun. They sometimes hold very loud and fun events here. They are fun to watch, too. Sometimes some serious looking people come here to give important talks. I think the other day the president of Turkey came or something -well, I didn’t go for personal reasons, I have heard not a lot of students attended , either. I’m curious why. But you know what they say: “Curiosity killed the cat” and I want to stay alive for at least 9 more years. Thanks! Anyway, this place is called the Culture and Convention Center.”
“If you walk towards Çarşı, where the banks, restaurants, post office, stationery and copy center are, you will see this large, beautiful green wooded area first. It looks really pretty and usually this is the best place to hold a spot during the Spring Festival on campus (because they build a stage right in the middle for concerts) Its tiny pretty stream sometimes smells like dump, though. I’m just a cat, so I don’t question things but that smell even cuts my apetite. Yuck!”
“And of course Carsi is the place we have to mention here, since it is the place where usually the shit happens – inner thoughts: “or in stadium? Or food engineering back yard? Anyway”- This place has everything from shopping to banking. They have a billiard cafe , where you can play pool,backgammon or chess. They have good kebab places plus some other nice restaurants and cafes. I would take you up to where dorms are now but as I said, I really need to go as I way passed my lunch time 😀 I’m heading back to cafeteria, if you don’t mind. I hope you enjoyed this tour. If you ever happen to come and visit, please find me! I will be around the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences . Chiaawww!”
Because Pakize was really hungry – which I can totally resonate with – she forgot to mention one of the best places in ODTU. I can’t let you go before I introduce you to ODTU Stadium. More than the graduations, concerts, festivals and sport events it hosts, what makes this place even more special is the message it gives: A message from the students to the world.
This message was written on the stadium steps in 1968. It says “Revolution” and it gives a different message for everyone. Some claims it represents the founder of Turkey, Ataturk’s positive revolutions on education, justice and social system. Some claims that this represents being against the status quo is not always a bad thing, Change is good if it is positive for the nation. Despite many attempts to erase it or paint it over, for some reason (obviously a smart combination of chemicals or application method) it remains to this day indestructible. Here is a picture of me standing in front of it. Mind you, taking a selfie in front of a stadium takes a lot of effort and so the letter ‘D’ didn’t show itself very well. Not my fault!
Who likes dieting? Yeah, right. Of course… NO ONE.
But for some of us, it is a must. Because we love food, we are social people and our metabolism is not working as generously as it does for others.
I’m now 36 years old and I have tried any kind of diet possible out there, on and off, since I was 16. And let me tell you… Nothing worked like KETO did.
I want to talk to you about my KETO journey. What you SHOULD do and what you SHOULDN’T do, based on my own experience. I will give you some recipes, some links to help you prepare you for Keto and also will give you some #hashtags to follow on Instagram.
I have lost 16 pounds (~7 kg) in 2.5 months. I lost 10 pounds of it during the first week. If you stick to the rules religiously, you will get results. But KETO is a difficult diet to do for a lot of people.
Why Some People Think Keto is Difficult?
You need to weigh your food. Why? Look at number 2.
You need to count your macros. You need to know how many calories, how much carbs, protein and fat you are eating every day. There are many apps for that including Mymacros and Fitnesspal. Internet has pretty much has nutrition facts for all kinds of food. We need to make sure we are getting enough fat and protein, getting no more than 20g carb and not going above your calorie limit.
You need to do meal prep. Otherwise, you will fail. Because of number 1 and number 2, eating out is not a great option.
No Cheat meal allowed in KETO.
Absolutely NO alcohol.
Absolutely NO sugar.
If you are a fruit lover, sorry. Only berries are allowed (And Avacado!)
Well… No fruit rule of course comes with no fruit juice rule.
It is an expensive diet. On top of buying meat, cheese, organic vegetables, almond flour and nuts, you also will need to buy some nutritional supplements.
Why KETO is good then??
Rapid weight loss gives you motivation. The first week, if you are doing everything right, you will lose 3-10 pounds, which is the water weight. Even though it is not the fat burn, it still makes you feel better and focus on your diet.
The food is delicious. In comparison to other diets that I have tried, Keto has a lot of options. Steak, wings, eggs, bacon, cheese, butter, peanuts, almonds, these are all Keto friendly. Tell you this; anything with butter and cheese on them eventually tastes good.
You feel full very quickly, even when you don’t eat much. In other diets I tried, this was my biggest problem. Half of the time, I was hungry. But on KETO, I never feel hungry. Never.
You feel more energetic, the heavy feeling that carbs give you disappears. I had bloating and gas problems, they are all gone. It also balances your blood sugar levels. It also improved my stomach and sleeping problems. My skin got smoother healthier (see pphotos below, no filter in either! My dark wrinkles disappeared and my skin got smoother-PS. Can’t believe I’m sharing my ridiculous photos with you, haha).
Who SHOULDN’T Do Keto Diet?
People with High cholesterol
People with Thyroid problem
People with Type 2 Diabetes (KETO is good for Type 1 diabetes. My dad has it and KETO worked on him so well. He lost 10 pounds in a month and he used to get 38 units of insulin a day, in a month he took maybe 65 units in total!)
People with no gallbladder
Although there is a myth that KETO might affect kidneys in a bad way since it increases the acidity in urine, doctors are conflicted about this. As long as protein intake is moderate, keto diet is safe they say.
When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin.
Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that it will be chosen over any other energy source.
Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body.
Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates.
Our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source.
How Do I Know my Daily Calorie Intake and Macros?
There are many ways to calculate your daily calorie intake. It depends also on how much activity you have in your life. The more active you are the more easily you are going to burn fat. If you give a 500 calories deficit a day, you should be able to lose 1-2 pounds every week. Here is the link I recommend to calculate your macros: https://www.ruled.me/keto-calculator For example, tight now, when I enter my info these are the macros that are calculated:
How Do You Track Your Macros?
This is a screenshot from the app that I use. If you are not technology friendly, you can use an excel sheet instead.
Once you create an entry in your app and save it, next time when you eat it, it will be already there for you.
One thing that you should not forget about your macros:
Only count Net Carbs! Net carbs means that you need to substract any fiber or sugar alcohol (not sugar!) from the total amount of carbs, that is the net carb. Keto only cares about the net carbs.
Common Mistakes in KETO
Eating not enough fat: “Fat is bad!” is ingrained in our brains so much that we fear the fat. But fat is the only source your body can use to make energy during Keto. You need to give it the fat it wants. This is why having set macros in the beginning is important. Don’t hesitate to put an extra splash of olive oil in your salad, or have extra butter in your eggs.
Eating too much protein: When people deprive themselves from the fat, they tend to turn to protein instead. However, eating too much protein is neither healthy nor helpful for weight loss.
Not counting calories: The dilemma is we need fat, but high fat foods have usually high calories. So the ‘amount’ of food is important.
Not drinking enough water: It is super important that you drink a LOT OF WATER during the day because KETO makes you lose a lot of water. Water molecules clinges on carbs in your cells and if there is no carb, then they are set free. You need to hydrate your body, otherwise you cannot function (And yes, you go to bathroom a lot during KETO :D)
Not taking nutritional supplements: Fruits have electrolytes that are necessary for our bodies and during KETO we are deprived of them. So, we need to get electrolyte supplements.
Keto Flu: During the adaptation phase, people commonly feel brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, intense hunger, irritability, and depression. It lasted 3 days or so for me. I was going to bed at 9:00 PM and I was getting mad at unnecessary things!
Bad Breath: I did Keto twice. In the first one, I had bad breath and in the second one, I did not. I learned that bad breath is normal because Ketosis occurs when your body breaks down fat for energy. Fatty acids are then converted into ketones, which are natural chemicals your body produces when you burn fat for energy. These include beta hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone. That is why it smells bad.
Leg Cramps: Low carb diets causes rapid water loss, that is why your electolides such as Zinc, Magnesium and Potassium get washed out of your body. If you do not replace them, you get cramps. Especially because I was working out, I got a lot of cramps in the beginning until I figured out what the problem was. After starting the take supplements, cramps disappeared.
Hair Loss: This one is going to scare a lot of people, I know. It scared the hell out of me too, believe me. It can be due to many things but I suspect that mine was the stress that my body underwent during the rapid weight loss. I lost 1/3 of my hair. I will be honest, it was scary but I see that new hairs coming out and the doctors say the hair will come back in 3-6 months. I take Biotin and electrolide supplements. So I will keep you updated on that later. You can see my sad hair loss in the below picture (Also consider that I had a hair cut).
Where to Start?
First, read more about Keto from here, and calculate your macros and calorie goal here. Write it somewhere.
Take pictures of yourself in a way that you can see the change later from the front, side and the rear view.
Follow all the #keto accounts on Instagram. My favorite accounts are: ‘@thejoeduff’ for amazing dessert recipes and ‘@stay_snatched’ and ‘@flavcity’ or ‘@keto.meal’ for Keto meals in general.
Make a weekly meal plan and do shopping. Sundays are the best days for cooking marathon for me.
While cooking, add your meal logs in your macros app. What are the macros per each serving?
Start your diet not TOMORROW but TODAY. If you want to decide on ‘when is the best time to start a diet’ please check the beginning of my other post here: When to start dieting
Weigh yourself every Saturday, in the morning, naked and after you use the restroom, on an empty stomach. Record this weight in your macros app. Take a photo of your body from each side, every Saturday. The first week, you will start losing way on your third day.
Please please please remember to drink lots of water. Carry a bottle with you everywhere.
Compare your weight and photos every week.
Do not forget to recalculate your macros once you start losing weight. Because the lighter you get, the less calorie intake you need to lose weight.
What to cook?
I have tried a variety of different recipes, mostly from basic Google search or Instagram search. I have already told you my favorite accounts on instagram. You can also follow me ‘@eceketo’ on Instagram. Definitely follow instagram for motivation and recipe ideas 🙂 . I gathered my favorite recipes here: KETO_Cookbook_EceGurler
Also, you can look at the meals I cooked before and have an idea:
I sticked with the rules and I got results. The first week will be tough, but then you will get used to it and it will get easier, fun and you will feel much better. Just don’t forget to count your macros, get your supplements and drink your water!
After living in Chicago for 3 years, I could say that despite the severe cold in winter, it was a lovely city to live in. Now that I live in Boston, I can see the differences. Boston has the history, and its historical city structure gives it a home-like soul for me. Also most of the people are either students or entrepreneurs. In Chicago, with high rises and spread out city structure, it is more like bustling city with mostly white collars. There is certainly a lot more to do in Chicago and their restaurants are by far the best I have ever been to. Definitely, Chicago is a foody city.
In my 3 years of experience, of course I had some favorite places to go 🙂 And for the tourists who are about to visit Chicago, or students who are willing to study there or people who are getting ready to move there for work, can benefit from this list. I enjoyed every single one of these and most of the pictures here are from my camera. Sorry if you find Snapchat shots cheesy, but I prefer being more authentic and cheesy to being boring since I find internet photos really stereotyped.
As a science lover and geologist, I LOVE Field museum. Probably I have been there 6 times already. Allow yourselves 5-6 hours to visit 75% of the museum, if you want to read every description and enjoy each exhibition, of course. With “Evolving Planet” you can see step by step evolution of earth and living things. “Inside Ancient Egypt” exhibits real mummies from Egypt and their artifacts are breathtaking. Giant fossils and bones of dinasours, real, taxidermied animals from polar bear to Buffalo and giraffes. Artifacts of ancient American civilizations such as Mayans, Incas and Native Americans. Rocks section is almost perfect, they have real meteorites in exhibit which you can actually touch (I don’t advise licking it though :D)
I can’t help but explain here what is happening in the pictures above: (From left to right) 1st one is Native American clothing and tools, Number 2 and 3 are the taxidermied animals (Real animals are stuffed after dying) 4th one is the minerals and where they are used in real life, number 5 and 6 are meteorites that hit the earth. Number 7 is our great great great….grandmother Lucy from Africa. Number 8 speaks for itself, Number 9 is a fossil of a fish who died while feeding on another fish! You can see the fish it ate right before dying at the bottom of its belly! Number 10 is a fossil of a turtle which shows and evolutionary fact: They used to have tails! The other pictures also belong the dinasours except the one at the bottom right which shows the mummies exhibit.
2. Adler Planetarium
If you are interested in astronomy, space and stars, this is your place. Their 3D shows on their dome is absolutely wonderful and very informative. Their lakeview cafe is a place that you won’t mind spending time at. My cover photo for this post is actually from the terrace of the Planetarium. My brother Ege, when he visited me in 2016 gave this pose with too much excitement:
3. The Art Institute of Chicago
Such a great art museum with one of a kind pieces. From famous “American Gothic” by Grant Wood to “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island” of La Grande Jatte painted in 1884. The latter painting is exceptionally important because even though the painting has many brush strokes of different color, when you look from far, they look unified in color! “Lincoln in Dalivision” is an original limited edition lithograph created by Salvador Dalí and it must definitely be seen. Also, Van Gogh’s exhibition is still on.
4. Shedd Aquarium
This aquarium has all the sea animals that you love, from penguins to seals and dolphins. Let’s not forget the scary sharks.
5. Millenium Park
This is the signature place when you think about Chicago. Located in the heart of Chicago, the Loop, it is a nice chilling place… Well… Not really, sorry, it is usually quite busy haha. The ‘Bean’ sculpture, which was originally named as ‘Cloud Gate’ by its creator Sir Anish Kapoor , is the landmark of Chicago. Also, my favorite is the water splitting, face fountains. Especially kids love them! You can see me posing in front of the Bean with my mom and my friend Waithira:
6. Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park Conservatory
I know that some people are against zoos. I will not argue it here but I really learn a lot about animal kingdom whenever I visit a zoo. Especially our ancestors, apes fascinates me! Lincoln Park Zoo is free and open all year around. During Holiday season, they light the whole zoo up with Christmas lights. It is gorgeous.
Also, the zoo has one of the best skyline. Here you can see we are trying to get the skyline in the background at the Zoo, I should confess, we kinda failed it.
Lincoln Park Conservatory is also free and it exhibits all kinds of flowers and plants from all around the world. It is just by the zoo and definitely worths a visit!
7. Navy Pier
One of the most historic tourist attraction in Chicago. Navy Pier is beautiful despite the fact that the tourist crowds really get tiring very quickly. Many places to eat, drink and enjoy the scenery. Some of the cruises sail from here if you want to take a lake tour.
Navy Pier at Night
Navy Pier is famous for the oldest wheel in the US, The Ferris Wheel. It runs as long as there is no issues with the wind.
8. Willis Tower – Skydeck Chicago
If you are not afraid of height and a patient person in general, definitely you must experience the Skydeck. You can see beautiful Chicago from the 103rd floor of Willis tower, and step on the glass balcony to feel like you are flying. I told you you need to be patient because especially at the weekends, the line gets reallyyyy longggg. But it gives great pictures for instagram 🙂 Here you can see my friend Mehmet and I posing at Skydeck.
Chicago beaches are amazing. You can take a walk, ride your bicycle, run or in summer you can enjoy the sand and cold water 😀 They are clean and not terribly crowded. Bring your sunscreen though! Because with the wind, you don’t realize you get sun burned. Trust me on this, experience is speaking.
The most popular beaches are Montrose, North Avenue and Ohio Street ones. Pictured: My friend Ipek and I taking a walk by the lake, walking towards North Avenue beach and my friend Ximena and I at the Montrose beach.
10. River Walk
The only river in the world that its course was manually reversed: The Chicago River. The reason it was reversed is that the sewage was flowing into lake before and the drinking water is supplied from Michigan Lake. So, clearly that was a problem.
“The River Walk” is a very fun late afternoon activity, if you ask me. There are bars and nice restaurants aligned near the river and if you want you can rent a kayak, as well. There are tours taking off from here and showing you the beautiful architecture, the river walk and then the lake. I highly recommend the night tour of the river and lake combined. I have taken one and the skyline at night was magical.
11. Chicago Bulls Game
If you are 80s’ kid like me you know what number 23 means. Michael Jordan’s posters were all over my wall in Turkey, I was a huge fan of Chicago Bulls! It is not quite the same anymore and they are not as successful as they used to be, but this is even better because their NBA tickets are more affordable! If you are going to Chicago, definitely experience a Chicago Bulls game.
12. Broadway in Chicago
Broadway is a must see, if you are travelling to the US. Generally it is expensive, but, trust me on this, it is worth every penny. Broadway originally belongs to New York City. But as the shows tour, they always stop by in Chicago, as well. This one below was one of the shows that I went to. When I used to teach Reading class at Inanc High School in Turkey, I used to teach this book. It was amazing to see how it was turned into a Broadway show.
13. Stand Up Comedy
One of the things I miss the most in chicago is the stand up shows. Zanies and Laugh Factory are the two most famous places to go. I also persoally enjoyed Improv Chicago shows at IO theater a lot. Every Wednesday there was a free show!
14. Jazz and Blues
Greenmill is one of the oldest Jazz bars in the US and they are still running in Uptown area. I have been there many times, there is a cover charge and I recommend you to go there as early as possible to get a seat. You will see a video below from one of those nights. After music starts, they won’t let you speak, just saying. Literally they hush you. Also, House of Blues or Blue Chicago are among the best Blues bars. Definitely your soul needs some jazz and blues time!
A Jazz night at Greenmill
15. Latin Dancing
If you like or you want to practice Latin dancing, Chicago is the best place. Sunday Evenings there is Salsa night at Cubby Bear Chicago, and I used to go to Lalo’s Mexican Restaurant for salsa, bachata or merenge. They had free salsa lessons on wednesday evenings and their food is great! There is also Nacional 27 which was very popular among my students, but I have never been there. In Chicago, it is hard to find a seat if you go to the place after 7 pm, so plan accordingly!
Here is a short snap of one of the salsa nights that I went to at Lalo’s:
There are so many festivals in Chicago during the summer. Most of them are food festivals but there are music, cultural and movie festivals as well. Check www.timeout.com/chicago for current and upcoming events in Chicago. When the festivals start, you can see their schedules here.
FOOD AND DRINKS
Burger at ‘Au Cheval’
This place has been rated as the best burger place in the US. I cannot say it is the best since I haven’t eaten burger everywhere in the States. However, the best I have ever eaten so far. The only annoying thing about it is the wait line. Don’t ever think that you can eat there at the weekends. The kitchen closes at 3 at the weekend and when I went there at noon, they put me in the wait list. My turn didn’t come in 3 hours!! So I had to eat somewhere else. But, once I went there at 4 pm on a Friday, and it was half empty. Again, timing is important. I would say usual wait time is 2-3 hours. That is why it is the best option to wait across the street, at the bar called ‘Haymarket’ because they have delicious beer flights and pretzels. Perfect place to wait for your burger. Once your table is ready, Au Cheval texts you and if you download their app, you can actually see how many tables are in line before you. Definitely worth the wait for me.
You can see here how much my friend Meltem and my brother Ege enjoyed their burger at Au Cheval. Below, you can see Mehmet and I enjoying the beer flight at Haymarket while waiting for AuCheval. Meltem and I were at Haymarket, too and tried their best IPA, Mathias. It was fantastic.
2. Deep Dish Pizza at ‘Pequod’s’
OK pizza is from Italy, we all know that. But deep dish is super American. Lightly burnt crust, fresh ingredients and the homemade taste. Oh and also cheese, lots of cheese. That’s Pequod’s deep dish. When in chicago, you will here ‘Lou Malnati’s’ and ‘Giordano’s’ fans fighting over who makes the best deep dish pizza. You can argue and try all of them but, I will save the time for you, go and eat at Pequod’s. Not only the taste but also the environment is much better.
3. Authentic Korean Restaurant ‘Cho Sun Ok’
One time when I went to Cho Sun Ok with my Korean friend, she had said this was the closest thing she ate to real Korean food that you find in Korea. The food is AMAZING. Especially their seafood pancake and their small plates. They are incredibly cheap as well. Like almost every restaurant in Chicago, it is BYOB, meaning you can bring your own booze to drink. One thing to keep in mind though: They have a very small restaurant and they are popular. So they are not the politest servers you will see. They are racing with time. They are abrupt and quick. Also, expect wait lines during rush hours.
4. Turkish Restaurants : ‘Turquoise Cafe’ and ‘Pera’
Well, of course I needed to fix my Turkish food cravings! Turkish food is not going to be the cheapest, but I swear it will make you feel like in heaven. These two restaurants were my favorite. They both serve Turkish breakfast with fresh bread and unlimited Turkish tea, so please please make sure you try Turkish breakfast if you can.
5. Venezuelan Food: “BienMeSabe”
My other favorite food, Venezuelan cuisine. Their tequenos and arepas are the BEST! If you never tried Venezuelan food, please pay a visit to this restaurant in Chicago, you will be addicted!
6. Geja’s Cafe
This European restaurant is too overpriced for students. But… If you are celebrating an anniversary or a birthday with a special one, definitely this fondue restaurant is the romantic choice. I have been there only once but definitely planning to go back. There are discount coupons available at Groupon. Also, do not forget to make a reservation 3 weeks in advance. I apologize that I can’t use original pictures here since it was dark inside and my photos didn’t turn out good. But I’m using the photos from their website here.
7. ‘D.S. Tequila Co.’ in Boystown
This place has the best margarita bowls and loaded fries. Also in summer, their outside patio is the best place to stay cool.
8. Billy Goat Tavern
There are many locations now but the best one is the original one located at 430 N. Michigan Ave at Lower Level. 3-5 dollar beers and cheap burger and snacks. Wonderful option to get have a quick happy hour with your colleagues or catch up with your friends.
9. Breakfast Places!! : IHOP or YOLK
At the weekend, if you want to have American breakfast: ommelettes, pancakes, waffles, breakfast potatoes, sausage and eggs, bacon, etc. These two places are my favorite. If you can find a local one, that is great. But till you find that, these are pretty good options.
10. Bulerias Tapas with Flamenco Show
If you like Spanish tapas and want to enjoy a live flamenco show while eating your delicious food, this restaurant is for you! I really liked the potato and fried calamari there. And the performance was impressive.
They have the tastiest, juciest kebabs. They are definitely one of a kind. Also, the portions are so big that you will have to take some home.
12. ‘Jake Melnick’s’ For the Best Chicken Wings
If you want to try different kinds of flavored wings, this is the place. They have a very good selection of beers and their garlic parmesan fries are absolutely delicious.
13. ‘Emporium’ Arcade Bars
If you want to play old video games and enjoy your drink, this is the perfect choice. There are many other arcade bars but Emporium locations are bigger and central.
14. “3 Arts Cafe”
Their menu is a little expensive but its atmosphere is so calming, elegant and chic. If you get a nice seat, you can enjoy your book by the fountain or chat with your friend in the middle of the courtyard. This is also a furniture store so you can walk around after and enjoy different selections of furniture. I tried their lobster panini and it was delicious.
15. Friar Tuck
This is a neighborhood dive bar with a fireplace and free popcorn. They have karaoke and trivia nights as well. It is a quiter environment if you want to chat with your friend in not-so-loud environment and still enjoy your drink.
All in all, Chicago is a great place to be. That is why despite the cold, a lot of people cannot give up on this beautiful city. I don’t think I will move back again, but I left my heart there and I’m definitely going back there to visit and EAT!
İtiraf etmeliyim ki bu kitaptan çok şey öğrendim. Hem tarihimize hem insanımıza hem de kültürümüze dair. Şimdi her şey çok daha açık ve net. Altını çizdiğim o kadar önemli nokta var ki, hepsini buraya sığdırmam imkansız. Ama en can alıcı noktalarından kesinlikle bahsedeceğim. Bence bu kitap, ders mufredatlarina alinip okullarda okutulmali.
Bu muhteşem kitap 6 ana bölümden oluşuyor:
Yirminci Yüzyılın Öncesi ve Sonrası
Yirmi Birinci Yüzyılın Getirdikleri
Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’ndan Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’ne
Türkiye’deki Değişimin Sosyo-Ekonomik Analizi
Bir zaman makinesi dusunun. Ben surucu koltugundayim, sizde arka koltuga atlayin, Turkiye’nin neden bugun geldigi yerde oldugunu hep birlikte gecmise yolculuga cikarak anlamaya calisalim!
Oncelikle degisimi tanimlayalim. Paradigma, mevcut durumda bir alan icin gecerli olan kural ve yaklasimlarin tamamini ifade eden model. Eger bu kural ve yaklasimlarda temelli bir degisiklik ortaya cikmissa, buna paradigma degisikligi ya da paradigma kaymasi deniyor. Boyle bir degisimin ortaya cikmasina karsin eski modeli korumaya yonelik tavir gosterenlerin de paradigma felcinin etkisi altinda kaldigi kabul ediliyor.
Turkiye’nin 2000’lere gelinceye kadar dis politika alanindaki paradigmasi ‘Yurtta baris, dunyada baris’ politikasiydi: ‘Kavgaya karisma, disaridan bak ve gerektiginde arabuluculuk yap’.
Turkiye dis politikasinda paradigma 1990’larda Sovyetler birligi dagilinca basladi, ama asil desisikligi 2000’lerden itibaren olustu ve Turkiye, Amerika’nin tesvikiyle Ortadogu agirlikli bir bolgesel liderlige soyundu.
Donusum, paradigma degisiminden daha kapsamli ve koklu bir degisimi ifade ediyor. Paradigma degisimi: anlayislar, kabuller sisteminin degismesini anlatirken donusum, bu paradigma degisiminin ardindan gelen yapisal gelisimi de kapsiyor. Ornegin, Ataturk’un yaptigi reformlar, mesela kadin erkek esitligine iliskin adimlar bir paradigma degisimiydi. Bunun toplum tarafindan benimsenmesi ve kadinlarin gercekten erkeklerle esit konuma yukselmeye baslamasi ise donusumu ifade ediyor. Her paradigma, donusumle sonuclanmayabilir. Sistemin yeni paradigmaya ayak uydurabilmesi lazim. Mesela Iran, ikinci dunya savasindan sonra Ataturk reformlarina benzer paradigma degisikligine gitti ancak 1979 ta eskiye geri donduler cunku paradigmayi donusume ceviremediler. Asagidaki Fotografta ustte bugunun Iran’ini, asagida ise 1942-1979 Iran’ini gorebilirsiniz.
1648: Avrupa’nin buyuk devletleri ‘Otuz Yil Savaslari’ na son veren ‘Vestfalya Antlasmasi’ yasamimizda yer eden bircok kavram ve kurumun dogusuna kaynaklik eden bir antlasmadir. Bu antlasmayla birlikte Avrupa, modern caga gecis yapti: din ve devlet isleri birbirinden ayrilmaya basladi, egemenlik, sinirlar, baska bir devletin icislerine karismama ve elcilik gibi kavramlar dogdu. Insanlar birbirlerinin sinirlarina saygi duydukca ‘ulus kavrami’ ortaya cikti.
1789: Fransiz Devrimi sonrasi Ulus Devlet dusuncesi iyice one cikti: Feodal yapinin yikilmasi ve ekonomide kapitalist sisteme gecilmesi de asagi yukari ulus devlet modeline gecis donemine denk gelir.
1789: Fransiz Devrimini ‘Sanayi Devrimi’ izledi. Fransiz Devrimiyle baslayan paradigma degisimi onu izleyen yapisal donusumlere yol acmistir.
Osmanli Imparatorlugu bir ‘Ummet Devlet’ idi. Hic bir zaman Ulus Devlet olmadi. Osmanli devletine bagli Avrupali kralliklar din farkliligi nedeniyle bu ummet devletinin hic bir zaman bir parcasi, bir unsuru olmamislar, bu karalliklarin halklari da kendilerini bu devletin halki olarak gormemislerdir.
1829: Mora Ayaklanmasi ile Osmanli Imparatorlugu’na karsi ayaklanarak kendi bagimsiz devletini kuran ilk ulus Yunanlilardir. Ardindan Balkan halklari tek tek Osmanli’dan koparak kendi ulus devletlerini kurmayi basardilar.
1923: Osmanli Imparatorlugu’nun yikilisiyla birlikte Turkler de kendi ulus devletlerini, Turkiye Cumhuriyeti’ni kurmayi basardilar.
DUNYADAKI EKONOMIK DONUSUMLER
1800’lere gelinceye kadar dunya’ya hakim olan sistem merkantilizmdi (disa kapali, korumaci ve mudaheleci bir ekonomik yaklasim). Bugunki kuresel sistem ise kapitalizm.
Sanayi devriminin en onemli donusumlerinden birisi, esnaftan (zanaatkar, atolye uretimi yapan yari sermayedar yari emekci) sanayi ve ticaret burjuvasi yaratmis olmasidir. Zamanla atolyeler fabrikalara donustu ve onceleri esnaf burjuvasi iken zaman icinde, kusaklar degistikce sanayi ve ticaret burjuvasina donustu. Boylece aristokrasinin karsisinda guclu bir yeni sinif dogmus oldu.
1970’lerde baslayan otomasyon (Insansiz uretim) ve onu izleyen dijital devrim, sanayi kapitalizmini cok daha hizli bir buyumeye itmistir.
Osmanli Imparatorlugu’nda temel ekonomik guc, tarim ve sanayiydi. Sanayiden kastimiz kuskusuz esnaf duzeyinde sanayidir. Asagida Osmanli zamanindan esnaf fotolarini gorebilirsiniz
Osmanli Imparatorlugu tarima ve esnaf uretimine dayali yapisini degistirebilecek bir donusumu yasamadi. Ise alinan ciraklar, usta yaninda meslegi ogrenirler, yetismelerini tamamladiktan sonra esnaf birligine kabul edilirlerdi. Ise giren ciraklara, meslegin inceliklerinin ogretilmesinin yaninda, ahlaki ve dini degerlerin ogretilmesi de konu olurdu.
Avrupa’da sanayi devrimine giden yol ve sanayi devrimi sonucunda sanayi ve ticaret burjuvazisine donusen esnaf, Osmanli Imparatorlugu’nda boyle bir donusum yasayamadi. Cunku bu donusumun olabilmesi icin Avrupa devletlerinde oldugu gibi Osmanli imparatorlugu’nun da aydinlanma cagina girmesi, egitim sistemini degistirmesi, kesiflere ve icatlara acik bir topluma donusmesi gerekiyordu. Bunlarin hic biri olmadi. Olmamasinin bir cok nedeni var kuskusuz ama temel neden, imparatorlugun bilimden uzak kalmasidir. Yuzyillar once medreselerinde okuttugu bilimlerin cogunun yerine din dersleri koyan Osmanli Imparatorlugu, bilime ilgisini kaybetti. Bu yapi, imparatorlugunun sanayi devrimine girememesinin temel nedenlerinden biridir. Sanayi devrimine giremeyen Osmanli Imparatorlugu, tipki ummet devlet yapisini kaybettigi halde ulus devlet yapisina gecemedigi gibi, merkantilist yapidan kapitalizmine de gecemedi. Daha cok kapitulasyonlarin etkisi altinda yabanci devlet tuccarlarinin ve finans uzmanlarinin gudumunde hareket etmek zorunda kaldi.
Dunyadaki Krizler ve Turkiye’ye Etkileri
1918 – Birinci Dunya Savasi sona erdiginde Versailles Antlasmasi Almanya’yi agir savas tazminatlarina mahkum etti. Almanya’nin mali bunalimi Hitler’in ve Nazilerin Almanya’da iktidara gelmesine zemin yaratti.
Birinci Dunya Savasi, Osmanli Imparatorlugu’nun sonunu getirdi. Bunda eskiden hocalar esliginde bilim, dil, sanat, kultur egitimi alan sehzadelerin ilerleyen donemlerde kafes arkasinda yetirstirilmeye baslanmasinin da onemli etkisi vardir. Fatih Sultan Mehmet’in bilgisi, gorgusu, dunya gorusuyle son donem padisahlarinin bilgisi, gorgusu ve dunya gorusu arasinda daglar kadar fark vardi.
Osmanli, yikilisindan 70 yil kadar once “Avrupa’nin Hasta Adami” benzetmesiyle tanimlaniyor, topraklarinin nasil paylasilacagi hesaplaniyordu.
1929- Kapitalizmin yasadigi ilk kriz 1873’te Viyana Borsasi’nin cokusuyle olmustur. Turkiye, Batili gelismis ulkelerin finansal altyapisina sahip olmadigi icin bundan cok etkilenmemistir. Ikinci buyuk kriz, ‘Buyuk Depresyon’ 1929 yilinda milyonlarca insani isinden etmis, ulkelerin milli gelirlerini geriletmis, ekonomileri kucultmus karsilikli ticareti sekteye ugratmistir.
Turkiye, Cumhuroyet’in emekledigi, hala Osmanli borclarini odemeye calistigi yillardi. Bir de Lozan Antlasmasiyla kaldirilan kapitulasyonlarin karsiliginda uygulamaya soz verdigi serbest ticaret (ithalati kisitlamama) baskisi altindaydi. Ama sansliydilar ki bu antlasmanin taahhut suresi 1929’da bitiyordu. Bu surenin bitmesiyle, daha mudaheleci bir politikayi uygulayan Turkiye, Turk Parasini Koruma mevzuati’ni yururluge koydu, dis ticaretini duzene soktu, sanayilesme icin plan yapti ve bu alanda ilerlemeler sagladi. Boylece dis borclanma yapmadan carklari dondurebiliyordu artik.
1945 – Ikinci Dunya Savasi sona erdiginde, Avrupali devletler buyuk guc kayiplarina ugramisti ve bu savastan 2 dev cikmisti: ABD ve Sovyetler Birligi.
Turkiye, ikinci Dunya Savasi’na girmedi. Bunun temel nedeni, Ataturk’un temel gorusleri arasinda yeralan ‘yurtta baris, dunyada baris’ yaklasimini temel ilke edinmis olmasiydi. Sava girmese de, Turkiye savasin olumsuzluklarini yasadi. Savas hazirligi yapmak zorunda kaldi ve bu sanayi planlarinin rafa kalkmasina neden oldu, enflasyonu yukseltti, butce aciklarini arttirdi. Bu donemde cikan iki yasa hala bugun tartisilmaktadir: Azinliklarin vergilendirilmesi amaciyla cikarilan ama sonradan piyasadaki etkilerini azaltma amacina donusen ‘Varlik Vergi yasasi’, ve piyasaya devlet mudahelesine gecise kapi acan ‘Milli Korunme Yasasi’.
Savasin getirdigi butun olumsuzluklara ragmen bu donemde Koy Enstitulerinin kurulmasi onemli bir girisimdi. Asagida o zamanlarin koy enstitulerinin fotograflarini gorebilirsiniz.
1957 – Ikinci Dunya Savasi’ndan sonra dunya iki devin soguk savasina tanik oldu. ABD ile Rusya arasinda ya da kapitalizm ile sosyalizm arasinda amansiz bir mucadeleye sahne oldu. 4 Ekim 1957’de Sovyetler Birligi uzaya ilk araci gonderdiginde (Sputnik 1) yalnizca Amerika degil, butun kapitalist dunya ayni telasa kapildi: Ruslar uzayi ele gecirirse oradan dunyaya egemen olabilirlerdi. Bunun ardindan NASA kuruldu ve Amerika egitim sistemini ve mufredatini bastan asagiyeniledi. Fen bilimlerine agirlik verilmeye baslandi. Uzay projelerine ayrilan mali kaynaklar arttirildi.
Soguk savas 90’larin basinda kuresellesme modasiyla silindi gitti. Yarisa onde baslayan Sovyetler, Amerika’nin Ay’a adam indirmesiyle geriye dustuler. Sonra da fark iyice acildi. Bir cok neden var kuskusuz ama en onemli nedenlerinden biri Sovyet sisteminin elektronik devrimi tam olarak yakalayamamasidir.
Turkiye’nin Amerika ve Avrupa’ya Yaklasmasi
Sovyetler Birligi, Ikinci Dunya savasi baslangicinda bogazda ve sinirda bazi insiyatifler istemis, Turkiye hayir demisti. Savastan sonra Sovyetler Birligi bu kez de Kars ve Ardahan’in kendilerine birakilmasini istedi. Bu gelisme Turk Dis Siyasetinde en onemli kirilma noktalarindan biridir. Bunun sonucunda Turkiye, Sovyetler Birligi karsisinda yalniz kaldigini hissederek Avrupa ve ABD’ye yaklasmaya yoneldi. ABD, Sovyetler Birligi’ne Turkiye’ye yonelik bu isteklerine karsi bir nota verdi ve Akdeniz’e savas gemilerini gonderdi. 1947’de kabul edilen Truman Doktrini’nin ardindan Turkiye’ye Marshall yardimi yapilmaya baslandi.1948′ de ABD ile ekonomik is birligi Anlasmasi imzalandi. 1949 yilinda Turkiye, Avrupa Konseyi’ne girdi. Boylece ABD ile Avrupa devletlerinin olusturdugu Bati blokuna katilmis oldu. Turkiye NATO’ya da uye olmak istiyor ancak Ingiltere’nin muhalefeti yuzunden giremiyordu. Haziran 1950’de Kore Savasi cikip da Turk hukumeti Kore’ye asker gonderince bu muhalefet kalkmis oldu ve 1952 yilinda Turkiye NATO’ya uye olarak Bati blokundaki yerini netlestirdi.
Buna karsilik Bati bloku Turkiye’yi yaninda tutmakla birlikte hic bir zaman tam olarak arasina almadi. Bunun en tipik ornegi Gumruk Birligi Antlasmasi’nin yapilmis olmasina karsin Turkiye’nin Avrupa Birligi uyeligine alinmamasidir.
1990’lardan itibaren kuresellesmeyle birlikte Turkiye de kapitalizmin daha etkin hissedildigi bir modele dogru yavas yavas ilerledi. Ne var ki bu gidis, ekonomi yaninda demokrasi, yargi bagimsizligi, hukukun ustunlugu, erkler ayrimi, ozerk universite, bilime dayali egitim gibi sosyal ve siyasal alanlardakiileri standartlarla desteklenemedigi icin varilan nokta cogu gelisme yolundaki ekonomide oldugu gibi ‘Ahbap Cavus Kapitalizmi’ oldu.
Turkiye 1990’lardan bugune kadar ikisi kendi yonetim kusurundan, birisi de kuresel sistemin kusurundan kaynaklanan 2 ekonomik kriz yasadi: 1994, 2001 ve 2008 krizi.
1994 ve 2001 krizlerinden IMF destegiyle cikti. 2008 Kuresel krizin etkisini de IMF destegi olmaksizin atlatmayi basardi.
Turkiye, sadece 2001 krizinden sonra yapisal reformlari yasama gecirdi. Bankacilik sektoruyle ilgili bir cok duzenleme yapti. Kamu mali disiplinini saglamak yonunde de duzenlemeler yapti. Bunlarin sonucu olarak ekonomi daha saglikli bir yapiya kavustu. Ancak, bu duzenlemelerden sonra Turkiye hic bir konuda yapisal reform yapmadi. Oysa ekonominin sosyal, siyasal ve okonomik alanda bir cok yapisal reforma ihtiyaci var. Bunlarin arasinda:
Egitim sisteminin bilim temeline oturtulmasi
Demokraside daha ileri adimlar atilmasi
Universitelere ozerklik verilmesi
vergi sisteminde dolayli vergilerin agirliginin azaltilmasi,
Tesvik sisteminin dogru kullanilarak yerli uretimin rekabetci bir bicimde gelismesinin saglanmasi
Enerjide yerli kaynak kullaniminin arttirilmasi ve dolayisiyla cari acigin dusurulmesi.
Ahbap Cavus Kapitalizmi
Kapitalizmin temelini olusturan serbest piyasa ekonomisinin ozelliklerini tasiyor gorunen ama aslinda siyasal iktidara yakinliklari olanlara farkli ve ozel uygulamalar yapan ekonomik sisteme ahbap cavus (es dost) kapitalizmi adi veriliyor.
Yasal olmayan ya da kurallara aykiri isler bir veya birkac alanda bir veya birkac kez tekrarlaniyorsa buna ahbap cavus kapitalizmi yerine yolsuzluk demek daha dogru olur. Eger bu tur iliskiler sureklilik gostermeye baslamissa, siyasal iktidarla veya onun gorevlileriyle cikar iliskisine girilmeden ihale alinamiyorsa ya da kamu ihalelerini almak icin siyasal iktidarin yakininda olmak gerekiyorsa yani olay sistemlestirilmisse o zaman o ahbap cavus kapitalizmi yerlesmis demektir.
Ahbap cavus kapitalizminin onlenmesinin bir tek yolu var: Hukuku ustun kilmak. Bir ulkede yargi bagimsizsa yani hesap sorulabilirlik tartisilmaz bir noktaya gelmisse o ulkede ahbap cavus kapitalizmi yayginlik kazanamaz. Belki tek tuk olaylarla ortaya cikar (Amerika’daki 2008 Mortgage krizi gibi) ama sistemlesemez. Hukukun yalnizca bireylere karsi degil devlete karsi da ustun kilindigi ve hesap sordugu, siyasetcinin hic bir istisnaya tabi olmadan yargi karsisina cikabildigi yerlerde denetimler dogru yapilir, onlemler alinir ve ahbap cavus kapitalizmi yerlesemez.
Ornek: 2014 yilinda Manisa’nin Soma ilcesinde komur madeninde yasanan ve 301 iscinin olumuyle sonuclanan facia, ahbap cavus kapitalizminin bir urunu. Siyasal iktidarla ve kamu gorevlileriyle ic ice oldugu icin yeterince denetlenmeyen ve bircok eksikligine ragmen calistirilmaya devam edilen bir maden ocagi isletmesi sonucta bir facianin ortaya cikmasina yol acti. Olaydan once hic sesi cikmayan sendika, olaydan sonra bile sesini cikaramadi.
Turkiye’nin Sosyokulturel Yapisindaki Degisim
Bazi ulkeler buyuk cogunlugu ayni irk, din ve ulusal kimlige sahip bireylerden olusuyor. Bunlarin birarada yasamasi, birbiriyle anlasmasi cok daha kolaydir. Cunku inanc, gelenek, aliskanlik uclemesi bu toplumu olusturan kisilerde birbirine cok yakin noktalardan gecer.Almanlar, Italyanlar, Yunanlar boyledir. Dolayisiyla bu toplumlari olusturan bireylerin birbiriyle kavgaya, savasa girme olasiligi dusuktur.
Bazi ulkeler de karisik toplumlardan olusur. Sorun yasama riskleri yuksektir. Buna ragmen, ulsu devlet yapisina sahip devletler kurmus olan bir cok ulke farkli inanc, gelenek ve aliskanliklara sahip gruplari ayni toplum icinde birarada tutmayi bir sekilde basarabiliyor. Ornegin Ingiltere, Iskocya, Galliler ve Irlandalilari birarada tutabilen birlesik krallik. Ama baska tarafta sorunlar olmuyor degil: Yugoslavya mesela, 1990’lardan itibaren 7 parcaya bolundu:Sirbistan, Hirvatistan, Bosna-Hersek, Makedonya, Slovenya, Karadag, Kosova. Her biti kendi ulus devletini kurdu.
Turkiye, farkli farkli irklardan (Turk, Kurt, Arap, vb.) farkli mezheplerden (Sunniler, Aleviler ve daha az sayida olmak uzere Ermeniler, Suryaniler, Hristiyanlar, Yahudiler, vb) ver farkli bolgesel kimliklerden (lazlar, cerkezler, vb) gelen bireylerin olusturdugu gruplara sahip bir ulke. Bundan 50 yil oncesine gelinceye kadar cesitli baskilar nedeniyle Turk olmayanlar ulusal kimliklerini, Sunni olmayanlar da dinsel kimliklerini aciklayamiyordu. Dolayisiyla Turk toplumu, disardan bakildiginda, sorunsuz bir toplum gibi gorunuyordu.
Bugun artik Turk-Kurt ayrimi, sunni-Alevi ayrimi dile getiriliyor ve kimligin temel ogesi olarak ortaya konulabiliyor. Ozellikle Turk-Kurt ayriminin rahatca ortaya konmasiyla birlikte Kurtlerin ayrilik istekleri de gun yuzune cikti. Turkiye’de Turklerden sonra en buyuk topluma sahip olan kurtlerin bir bolumu kendi ulus devletlerini kurmak istiyorlar.
Bugun Turkiye, bundan daha da tuhaf bir durumla karsi karsiya: Bolgesel kimlik farklililari ve dine bakis acisindaki farkliliklar son derece buyuk bir kopmaya yol aciyor. Turkiye, bolgelere, kentlere, semtlere gore farkli kimliklere sahip insanlardan olusuyor. Hepsi musluman gibi gorunen buyuk cogunluk, kendi icinde seriat isteyenler ve laikligi savunanlar olarak ikiye ayriliyor. Sonra bu ayrilanlar kendi iclerinde parcalara bolunuyorlar. dinsel devlet yonetimi konusunda ayni dusunceyi savunuyor gibi gorunen tarikatlar is iktidar meselesine gelince kavgaya giriyorlar. Ayni evde yasayan insanlar arasinda bile bolunmuslukler var.
Bu cerceveden bakildiginda Turkiye, bugunku yapisiyla hic bir topluma benzemiyor.
Ahbap Cavus Demokrasisi
Ozellikle gelismekte olan ulkelerde bir cok demokrasi ilkeleri anayasa ya da yasalarda yer aldigi halde uygulanmaz: Secimler gorunurde kurallara ve ilkelere uygun bicimde yapilir. Kuvvetler ayrimi var gibi gorunur. Yasalar gorunurde herkese esit uygulaniyormus gibidir. Cogunluk, azinliga saygi duyar gibi gorunur. Ama bunlarin hic biri gercek anlamda soz konusu degildir. Yasama, yurutmenin dediklerini yapar, yargi da bu yolla yurutmenin emrine girmis olur. Secimler gercekten yapilir ama secimlerde hileler olur. Bu hileler yargiya goturulur gibi gorunse de yarginin bagimsizligini yitirmis olmasi nedeniyleaykiri bir karar vermesi mumkun olmaz. Karsi goruse saygi gosteriliyor gibi gorunse de gercekte boyle bir durum soz konusu olmaz. Yani demokrasi rejiminin temelini olusturan ilkeler uygulanir gosterilir ama uygulanmaz.
Bu ulkelerde bir suru yolsuzluk, haksizlik, yasa disi uygulama gorulebilir. Be var ki iktidar partisi iktidarda kalmaya devam ettigi surece , yarginin bagimsiz olmamasi basta olmak uzere bir cok sebepten, bu uygulamalarin hesabi sorulamaz. Gelismis demokrasinin egemen oldugu ulkelerde parti iktidarinin ve uyelerinin yapmis oldugu yolsuzluklar iktidar surecinde ortaya cikarilir ve hesabi sorularak cezalandirilir. Esasen iktidarda iken hesap sorulamamasi ayricaligi, iktidardaki partinin iktidardan ayrilmamak icin her seyi yapmasinin da temel nedenini olusturur.
Avrupa Birligi Bizi Neden Istemedi?
2004 yilinda AB, o zamana kadar ayak surudugu iliskilerini hizlandirarak Turkiye ile tam uyelik muzakerelerini baslatma kararini onayladi. Ne varki zaman ilerledikce Turkiye’deki hareketin demokrasiyle o kadar da ilgisinin olmadigi, askerin gucunun zayiflatilmasinin sivil gucleri egemen kilmaktan cok din destekli bir ahbap cavus kapitalizmini ve ahbap cavus demokrasisinin pekistirmek icin altyapi olusturmaya yonelik oldugu yolunda Bati’da kuskular uyanmaya basladi. Bu kuskularin artmasiyla birlikte AB, Turkiye’nin uyeligi meselesini geciktirmeye yoneldi. Bugun geldigimiz noktada Turkiye, iki yuzyildan beri aralarina girmeye calistigi Avrupali ulkelerle tarihinin en kotu iliski donemine girmis bulunuyor.
Amerika’nin Buyuk Orta Dogu Projesi ve Turkiye’nin Odedigi Bedel
ABD, kendisine rakip olabilecek Rusya gibi ulkelerin onunu kesmek, bir yandan da enerji deposu konumundaki bolgede soz sahibi olabilmek icin Ortadogu’ya ozel bir onem vermektedir. Boyle bir duzenlemede isi organize edecek devlet olarak Israil, bolgedeki ulkeler icin model alinacak ulke ise Turkiye olarak belirlenmistir.
Ilk asamada Turkiye’nin Bati’yle iliskileri saglamlastirilmaya baslandi. AB ile muzakerelerin baslamasi bu asamadaki donum noktasidir. Ikinci onemli asama olarakTurkiye’ye G 20 ulkeleri arasinda yer verildi. Boylece Turkiye’nin itibari yukseltilmis oldu.
Sonra Turkiye’nin islami kimligi one cikartilmaya baslandi. Cunku Turkiye o zaman kadar laik kimligiyle one cikmis tek Ortadogu ulkesiydi ve bu yonuyle Araplar tarafindan kendilerinden bir ulke olarak kabul edilmiyordu. Islam kimliginin one cikartilmasi Turkiye’nin Ortadogu halklari uzerindeki kredibilitesini arttiracakti. Buna hizmet edecek bir yontem de Israil ile iliskilerin sogutulmasiydi. Cunku Araplar, ABD yuzunden Israil’e ses cikaramiyorlar ama cikarani da icten ice destekliyorlardi.
Turkiye’nin Israil’e kafa tutmasi, Araplar nezdinde itibar elde etmesi icin onemli bir adim olacakti. Bu proje devreye sokuldu. Buhamleler sonrasinda Turkiye’nin Araplar nezdinde eskiden oldukca dusuk olan kredibilitesi yukseldi. Araplar, Israil’e kafa tutan Turkiye modelini benimsediler ve Turkiye’ye “Dusmanimin dusmani benim dostumdur’ yaklasimi cercevesinde bakmaya yoneldiler.
Buyuk Isadamlari Neden Goruslerini Savunmadigi Iktidari Destekliyor?
Bati standartlarina gore yetismis, hukuka saygili, ulkesini seven, laiklikten yana, birlikte is yapan iki is adami dusunelim: A ve B. A ve B mevcut hukumetin yaptiklarindan mutlu olmasalar bile bu hukumetin degismemesini, begenmeseler de mevcut siyasal ortamin devam etmesini isteyeceklerdir. Cunku bu siyasal ortamin bozulmasi, hukumetin dusmesi, yeni hukumet arayislarininortaya cikmasi gibi haller, istikrarsizlik yaratacak ve finansal piyasalar; borsadan kurlara, faizlerden diger getirilere kadar kayiplarla karsilasacaktir.
A ve B buyuk bir celiski icindedirler. Bir yandan begenmedikleri, desteklemedikleri, icinde bulunan sosyal, kulturel ve hukuki ortami bozdugundan sikayet ettikleri hukumetin gitmesini istemekte, bir yandan da hukumetin gitmesinin yaratacagi boslugun olusturacagi para kayiplariyla karsilasmak istememektedirler.
A ve B’nin sayisi bir ulke nufusunda cok yer tutmayabilir. Ne var ki kararlari piyasayi fazlasiyla etkilemektedir.
Son bir kac yilda bu kadar buyuk ve sik soklar yasanmasina ragmen (17 Aralik, ISIS saldirilari, Suriye gocu, vb) piyasalarin tumuyle cokmemesinin temel nedenlerinden birisi; insanlarin kazanclariyla dusunceleri arasinda yasadigi bu celiskinin genellikle kazanclar lehine cozulmesidir.
Rahmi Koc ve Erdogan
Guler Sabanci ve Erdogan
Aydin Dogan ve Erdogan
Venezuella’dan Alinacak Ders
Venezuella, dunyanin en zengin petrol rezervine sahip ulkesi konumunda bulunuyor. Bir zamanlar bolluk icinde yuzen bu ulkenin su anda enflasyon orani %350. Peki Venezuela bu duruma nasil geldi?
2002 de bir darbe girisimi sonrasi tekrar baskanliga geri donmeyi basaran Hugo Chavez, Ulusal kalkinma fonu – Fonden adinda, tumuyle Chavez’in talimatlariyla isleyen, parlemanto’nun onayinin disinda ve denetiminden uzak bir butce disi fon kuruldu. Fonden, ulkenin petrolden gelen milyarlarca dolarlik gelirini sorgusuz sualsiz, denetimden uzak bir sekilde cesitli yatirim harcamalarina yonlendirdi. 2012’ye gelindiginde Fonden kamu harcamalarinin yarisini yapar hale gelmisti. 2005-2012 yillari arasinda 100 milyar dolar dolayinda para tamamlanamayan insaatlara harcanmis bulunuyordu. Chavez bu fondan kendisini destekleyenlere para dagitiyordu. Fonden kanaliyla bir yandan ulkenin yoksul bolgelerinde bircok hastane, okul yapiliyordu,
Chavez, cesitli defalar referandumlar yoluyla anayasa degisiklikleri yapti. 2004 yilinda Venezuella’da kuvvetler ayriligi fiilen ortadan kalkti. Son asamada yuksek yargi da Chavez’in denetimine gectikten sonra yargi bagimsizligi tumuyle ortadan kalkmis oldu. Yargiclar, hukumete sormadan karar almaya basladilar.
Petrol ihracatindan elde edilen gelirle her sey ithal edilir oldu, uretim durdu. Petrol fiyatlarinin yuksekligi, Venezuella para birimi Venezuella Bolivari’nin asiri degerli olmasina yol acmis bu da ulkenin uretim yerine ithalata yonelik bir ekonomi haline gelmesine yol acmisti. Uretim dusunce, GSYH buyumesi durdu.
Chavez olup yerine kamon soforu Maduro gecince isler karismaya basladi. Petrol fiyatlari 100USD/varil duzeyinden 30UDS/varil duzeyine gerileyince sistem iflas asamasina geldi. Ihracattan yeterli gelir elde edemeyip, ithalati da yeterli duzeyde yapamaz oldu. Gerekli mallarin uretimi de yapilmadigi icin fiyatlar artmaya basladi. Maduro, populist politikalari degistirip onlem almak yerine, politikalari iyice one cikardi ve tavan fiyat uygulamasina basvurdu. Bu durumda mallar raflardan cekildi ve karaborsa basladi.
Ulkenin icinde bulundugu siyasal, sosyal ve ekonomik sikintilari gundeme getiren muhalefet liderleri degisik suclamalarla tutuklandi. Medya sansure tabi tutuldu ve elestiri yapamaz duruma geldi. Bir sure sonra medyanin buyuk bolumu el degistirerek hukumet yanlisi ellere devredildi. Bircok olayin yayimlanmasi yasaklandi. Yonetime karsi halktan gelen her tepkiyi Maduro, karsi devrim girisimi olarak nitelendirip cezalandirma yoluna gitti.
Osmanli’dan Gunumuze Turk Ekonomisi’ni Olumsuz Etkileyenler
Bilim ve Din:Bati dunyasi Protestanlarin cikisi, ronesans ve reformlarin gelisiyle karanlik ortacagdan cikip, akil ve bilimin, inancin onune gecmesinin yolunu acan laiklige dogru ilerlerken, Islam dunyasi tam tersi bir yola girip bilimi terkedip dine dondu.
Osmanli Imparatorlugu, kuskusuz bir din devletiydi. Amaci, Islam dinini yaymak, onun bayragi altinda insanlari toplamakti. Buna karsin bilime de agirlik veren bir yapiya sahipti. Bir sure bu ikili yapiyi korumayi basardi. Medreselerde din egitiminin yaninda matematik, fen ve felsefe egitimi de agirlikli olarak yer aldi.
Bizans, Selcuklu ve Orta Asya (Semerkant, Buhara) birikimi Osmanli’nin bilime bakisini ve bicim verisini en fazla etkileyen kaynaklardi. Buna ek olarak Bati’dan kovulan ve Balkanlar’a Istanbul’a ve Misir’a yerlestirilen ve cogu sonradan Musluman olan Yahudiler, basta tip olmak uzere butun alanlarda bilimsel ilerlemeye buyuk katki yaptilar.
Ozellikle Kanuni Sultan Suleyman’dan sonra Osmanli medreselerinde bilimin agirligi azaltilip dinsel egitimin agirliginin arttirilmasi ve felsefe geleneginin yavas yavas terk edilmesiyle birlikte Osmanli’nin bilimden uzaklasma sureci basladi.
Egitim Altyapisi:Eldeki en ciddi verilere gore 1897 yilinda okuma yazma bilenlerin toplam nufusa oraninin %10 dolayinda oldugu goruluyor.
1916 yilinda Osmanli Imparatorlugu’nun nufusu 19.043.000 kisiydi. Buna gore kabaca nufusun %3’u okulda bulunuyordu. Cumhuriyet’in Osmanli’dan aldigi egitim altyapisi oldukca zayif bir altyapiydi.
Ekonomik Yapi: Kapitulasyonlar, bir baska degisle diger uyruk halklarina taninan ayricaliklar, Osmanli Imparatorlugu’nun ve sonrasinda da Turkiye ekonomisinin kokunu kurutmustur.
Osmanli, dis borclanmayi ilk 1854 yilinda Kirim Savasi’nin finansmanini saglamak icin yapti: Neden 1: Osmanli, sanayi devrimine giden yola girememis, sanayi urunlerini disardan almak zorunda kalmisti. Eskiden kendi imalati malzemeyle girdigi savasa simdi Bati’dan aldiklariyla girmek zorundaydi. Neden 2: Madeni paranin yerini kagit para almisti. Osmanli, para ihtiyacini madeni parayi tagsis ederek karsilayamaz hale geldi.
1500 ile 1700 yillari arasinda kisi basina gelirin artmamasinin nedeni buyuk olcude Osmanli Imparatorlugu’nun Ronesans, Reform ve Aydinlanma Cagi’nin disinda kalmasidir. Bati’da yavas yavas dinsel egitimden bilimsel egitime gecilmesiyle baslayan kesifler ve icatlara Osmanli Imparatorlugu’nun yabanci kalmasi ekonomisinin gelismesine de engel olmus gorunuyor.
1820 ile 1923 arasinda kisi basina gelir artisinin son derece sinirli kalmasinin altinda, Osmanli Imparatorlugu’nun sanayi devrimine girememesi yatiyor. Bati’da her gun yeni buluslar yapilir, teknolojide yeni gelismeler kaydedilirken, Osmanli Imparatorlugu bunlardan uzak kalmistir. Bu donemdeki toprak kayiplari da gelir kayiplarina yol acmislardir.
Petrol ve dogalgaz gibi para getirecek kaynaklari bulunmayan ekonomiler icin cikis yolunun bilime dayanan egitimden gectigi cok acik.
1948 Marshall Plani Ikinci Dunya Savasi sonrasi, ABD Disileri Bakani George Marshall’in Avrupa’ya yardim paketinden Turkiye’de nasibini almisti. Yalniz Lozan Antlasmasiyla kapitulasyonlardan kurtulan Turkiye bu yardimla yine Bati’nin mali egemenligi altina girdigi iddia edilmektedir. Bu donemde, Menderes’in de baskisiyla, koy Enstituleri kapatilmisti. Ayni zamanda bazi mallarin uretiminden vazgecilmis, bir cok alandaki girisim yarida birakilmis ve imam hatip okullari acilmisti. O zamanlarda Marshall yardimiyla ilkokulda tenefuslerde sari penir ve sut tozu icerek buyuyen Turk genci 20li yaslarina gelince 68 kusagi denilen bu kusak ikiye bolunecekti: Amerikaya baskaldiranlar (Deniz Gezmis kusagi) ve Amerika politikalarini destekleyenler.
1960 Darbesi Ilginc bir darbedir. Demokrat Parti’nin Marshall yardimiyla baslayan Amerikan hegomanyasina girmis ekonomi cercevesine karsi asker-sivil aydinlarin yaptigi bir darbedir. Turkiye Cumhuriyeti tarihinin en ilerici, en ozgurlukcu anayasasi bu donemde yapilmis olan 1961 Anayasasi’dir.
12 Mart 1971 Darbesi 61 Anayasasinin getirdigi ozgurluk ortami ne yazikki Turkiye’de yanlis yorumlandi. Dunyada yayilan modanin da etkisyle 68 Universite olaylari patlak verdi ve solcular sagcilar olarak ikiye bolunen gencler birbiriyle savasti. 1971 darbesi, 61 anayasasinin tanidigi ozgurlukleri rafa kaldirirken, 1960 da solcu subaylari iktidara tasiyan askeri darbe, 71’de bu kez sagci subaylari iktidara tasiyarak tuhaf bir bicim almis oldu. Darbe sonrasi ekonomik sikintilara alinan onlemler sivil yonetimde bir butun olarak devreye sokulamayinca bu karisik donem 12 Eylul 1980’de bir kez daha askeri darbeyle sona erdi.
1980 sonrasinda iktidara gelenler Cumhuriyet’in ilk kusaklarinin dis borclanmaya karsi soguk tavirlarini hata olarak gormuslerdi. Bu cercevede dis borclanma, yap-islet-devret gibi Osmanli’nin basvurup da iflasa kadar gitmesine yol acan yollara yeniden ve buyuk bir hevesle girdiler.
Cumhuriyet’i kuranlar, imparatorlugu batiran nedenlerin en basinda mali bagimsizligin kaybedilmesinin geldigini gordukleri icin cekilen bircok sikintiya karsin ulkeyi dis borclanmaya sokmamaya ozen gostermislerdir.
Bir toplum, gecmiste cekilen acilari hatirlamaz, yapilan hatalari degerlendirmezse, ayni acilari cekmeye mahkumdur. Tarihini dogru okuyamayan kusaklar, gun gelir o tarihi baskalarindan dinlemek zorunda kalirlar.
2001 Turkiye, tarihinin en buyuk ekonomik krizlerinden birine girdi. Ancak krizden cikisi, IMF nin de yardimiyla hizli oldu. Bu kriz iki onemli sonuc yaratti: 1. Isini kaybeden bircok insan icin para kazanmak en onemli deger halini aldi. Bu insanlar bunu gecmiste belki de hic bu sekilde dusunmemislerdi. 2. Krizin faturasi iktidari paylasan merkez sol ve merkez sag partilerine cikarildi. AKP’ye iktidar yollarini acti.
AKP iktidarinin ilk 10 yillik gecmisine bakildiginda, bir cok makroekonomik gostergede duzelme oldugu gorulur. AKP iktidarinin 2012 yilindan sonraki doneminde ivme kayiplari ortaya cikti. Ozetlemek gerekirse: eldeki kamu mallarinin ozellestirilmesi, satilmasiyla kazanilan ivmeyle son 14 yilda onceki 14 yila gore GSYH’sini ve kisi basina gelirini ciddi bicimde arttirmis, buyumede potansiyel buyume oranini yakalamis,enflasyonu ve butce acigini onemli oranda dusurmus, buna karsilik ayni donemde issizlik artisini ve cari acik yukselisini kontrolden kacirmistir.
Borclanmayi bu sekilde arttirarak ve eldeki mallari satarak bu buyumeyi surekli kilmak mumkun degildir. Turkiye, Menderes ve Ozal donemlerinden sonra bu donemde de yine borclanarak ve mevcut varliklari satip paraya cevirerek ivme yakalama politikasini denemis gorunuyor.
Blogcu notu: Bu kanayan yarayi yara bandiyla kapatmak gibi gecici ve uzun vadede ise yaramayacak bir cozum gibi geliyor kulaga.
ABD Merkez Bankasi (Fed) Ekim 2017’den gecerli olmak uzere bilanco kucultme operasyonunu baslatmis bulunuyor. Bu gelismenin, Turkiye ve benzeri dis finanasmana bagimli ulkeler acisindan sikintilara neden olmasi kacinilmaz gibi duruyor. 2018 yilinda fazla etkisi olmasa da sonraki yillarda piyasada likidite azalmasi baslayacak. Bu da Turkiye gibi ulkelerin dis finansmana erisimini zorlastiracak ve pahalandiracak.
Esnafin Iktidara Gelisi
Turkiye’de gecmiste asker ve sivil burokrasi, sanayi ve ticaret burjuvazisi, tarim burjuvazisi iktidarda yer aldilar. 2000’lerde esnaf burjuvazisinin iktidara gelmesi Turkiye’deki diger kesimler icin surpriz oldu. Bu surpriz giderek soka donustu. Cunku esnaf burjuvazisi iktidarinda Turkiye’de cumhuriyetin ilanindan beri gorulmeyen degisimler yasanmaya baslandi.
Esnaf iktidari aslinda ciddi bir baskaldirinin sonucudur. Kurtulus Savasi’yla baslayan ve Turkiye’yi Bati’ya entegre etmeye yonelen baskaldiri bu kez tersine, Turkiye’yi Ortadogu’ya entegre etmeye yonelmis bir baskaldiriya dondu. Bunun sonucunda Turk toplumu pek cok acidan farkli dusunen, farkli davranan, bu farkliliklara saygi gostermeyen, birbirini anlamayan gruplara bolundu.
Esnaf Sosyolojisi: Bugun hala enaf yanina meslek ogrensin diye verilen ciraklar ‘Eti senin kemigi benim’ yaklasimiyla gonderiliyor. Usta (Baba figuru) cogu kez mutlak otorite, cirak da cogu kez kul konumunda bulunuyor. Boyle bir ortamin en belirgin ozelligi ustadan gorerek yapmak, ondan ogrenileni uygulamaktir. Bu tur bir egitim, genellikle degisime kapali, sorgulamayan insanlar yetismesine yol acar.
Butun bunlar, esnafin gelisime kapali, tutucu, dinsel degerlere bagli, bilime uzak bir ortamda bulunmasi demektir. Kentlesmenin gelismesi, zincir magazalarin ortaya cikmasiyla birlikte esnaflik yavas yavas kaybolmaya baslamis olsa da esnaf kulturunun kaybolmasi esnafligin kendisinin kaybolmasi kadar hizli olmuyor. Cunku burada bahsettigimiz esnaf kulturu, halkin esnaf olmayan tum halka yayilmis bir kulturdur. Bu kulturel altyapinin her ulkedeki gorunumu farkli olabilir. Bizdeki gorunumu:
Dinsel inanci en onde tutan
Bilime genellikle kapali
Dusunce ozgurlugu gibi konulara uzak
Demokrasiyi tam olarak anlamamis
Sandik ve secimi demokrasi olarak goren
Hukuk kurallarindan cok din kurallarina baglilik, seklinde ortaya cikiyor.
Esnaf kulturune bagli insanlar, cocuklarinin buyuklere saygili olmasini, kizlarinin kapali olmasini isteyen, ekmek parasi kazanmayi her seyden onemli goren, guzel sanatlara, tiyatroya, edebiyata fazla ilgi duymayan insanlardir. Esnaf adi altinda toparlasak da aslinda bu cerceveledigimiz grup, esnaftan cok daha buyuk bir grubu olusturuyor.
Esnaf 2000’lere gelinceye kadar gucunun tam olarak farkinda degildi. Daha cok dinsel motifleri one cikaran sag partilere egilim gosteriyor ve oy veriyordu. 2000’lerde kendi iktidarini yaratabilecegini farketti ve sahneyi aldi.
Turkiye’deki Degisimi Etkileyen Faktorler
Nufus ve Goc: Ilk nufus sayiminin yapildigi 1927’de Turkiye’nin nufusu 13.6 milyondu ve bu nufusun %25’i kentlerde, %75’i kirsal kesimde yasiyordu. Bugun Turkiye’nin nufusu 80 milyon dolayinda ve bu nufusun %80’i kentlerde, %20’si kirsal alanda yasiyor. Buradan anlasiliyor ki son 90 yilda hizli bir nufus artisi yasanmis ve kirsal alandan kentlere cok buyuk bir goc gerceklesmis.
Koylulukten kentlilige gecis kolay degil: Insanlar koyden kente goc edip kentlerde yerlestiklerinde birdenbire koylulukten cikip kentli olmuyorlar. Koyden getirdikleri kulturu terk edip kent kulturulerine uyum saglamalari icin yaklasik olarak 3 kusak gecmesi gerekiyor.
Uyum Saglayamama: Cogu insan goc ettikleri kentlerde gecekondular yaparak oralara yerlesmis bulunuyor. Kulturel farkliliklarin yani sira boyle egreti bir yerlesim icinde olmalari nedeniyle kendilerini gittikleri yere ait hissetmiyorlar. Oyle olunca kent kulturunu benimsemeye, oraya ait olmaya caba gostermek yerine, ait olabileceklerini dusundukleri tek yer olan camide bulusarak gelceklerini orada belirlemeye yoneliyorlar.
Dogum Kontrolu: 20. yuzyilda gelismekte olan ekonomilerde bir yaklasim cikti ortaya, az cocuk yapip ekonomiyi bozguna ugratmama. Bu akim Turkiye’de de etkili oldu. Hali vakti yerinde olmayan aileler meseleyi kadere baglayarak birden cok cocuk yaparken, durumu goreceli olarak daha iyi olan aileler, cok cocuga yeterli ve nitelikli bir egitim olanagi saglayamayacaklarini dusunerek dogum kontrolune basvurdular. Bunun sonucunda cocuklarini yeteri kadar iyi yetistiremeyecek ailelerin cok cocugu oldu ve dusuk egitim duzeyindeki nufus artti.
Kurt Meselesi: Osmanli’dan bu yana bu topraklarin onemli meselelerinden birisidir. Osmanli da Turkiye Cumhuriyeti de Kurt meselesini cozemedi. Bunun temelinde yatan sorun, Turklerin cok uzun bir sure Kurtleri ayri bir halk olarak kabul etmemesinden, her iki halkin da agirlikli olarak Islam dinine ait olmasinin boyle bir ayrim yapmaya gerek olmadigi yorumu yapmasindan kaynaklanmis olsa gerek. Oysa Kurt halki oteden beri kendisini dinsel kimlik cercevesinde degil, ulusal kimlik cercevesinde tanimlamaya calisiyor. Turkiye cumhuriyeti son donemde Kurt meselesini cozmek icin yeni bir yaklasim denediyse de, fiysakoyla sonuclandi.
Kurt meselesinin cozulememis olmasi, Turkiye icin milyarlarca TL tutarinda harcamaya ve insan kaybina yol acmakta, ayrica moral olarak toplumun yipranmasina neden olmaktadir. Turkiye, eger en bastan bu kadar parayi ve emegi Kurtlerin yogun yerlesim bolgelerine harcasa ve oradaki halkin is ve as sahibi olmasiyla ugrasabilseydi, bugun buyuk olasilikla boyle bir sorunu olmayacakti.
Devrimler: Uc onemli kuresel devrimden ilki yani topraga yerlesim, Neolitik Devrim, bu topraklarda ortaya cikti. Turkiye ikinci onemli devrimi yani Sanayi Devrimini zamaninda yakalayamadi. 1800 lu yullarda baslayan devrime Turkiye anca 20. yuzyilda dahil olabildi. Devrim cok onemli bir gelisme. Devrimin baslangicinda disarida kalininca sonradan yakalansa bile etkisini yerli yerine oturtmak kolay olmuyor.
Turkiye 3. Devrimin, yani elektronik iletisim devriminin disinda kalmadi. Gelismis ulkelerke karsilastirilinca geride kalmis gorunse bile kendi kategorisinde iyiye yakin bir konumda.
Kulturel Degisim: Turkiye’de iki farkli insan grubu iki farkli ulke insani kadar birbirinden farklidir: Turk kulturu, nufusunun buyuk cogunlugu itibariyle Ortadogu kulturune yakin bir toplum olarak dusunulebilir. Bu kulturde, kadinlar ikinci plandadir. Genellikle evde otururlar, cogu bir iste calismaz, ev kadini olur. Kiz cocuklari baski altindadir. Cogu kisa bir okuma yazma egitiminden sonra okula gonderilmez, Kuran kursuna gonderilir. Insanlar bilimle pek ilgilenmezler, kitap okumazlar, tiyatro ve operadan uzaktirlar. Kadin ve erkek bir arada bulunmazlar. Lokantalar, kahvehaneler sadece erkeklerle doludur. Erkekler duzenli olarak camiye giderler. Kimisi inandigi icin, cogu da orada gorunmesi gerektigini dusundugu icin gider.
Buna karsilik, toplumun az sayida insani Bati kulturune yakin egitim almistir. Bu insanlar kadin ve erkek birlikte gezerler, kadinlari dislamazlar, lokantaya kadinlarla birlikte giderler, icki icerler, kitap okurlar, tiyatroya, konserlere giderler. Kizlarini okuturlar, erkek cocuklardan ayirmazlar. Bu grupta camiye gidenler az sayidadir, gidenler de bayramdan bayrama gider. Bu grubu kentsoylular diye adlandirmak mumkun. Kentsoylular terimiyle kastettigimiz, en az 3 kusaktan beri buyuk kentlerde yasayanlardir.
Birbirleriyle bu iki grup zaman zaman farkli alanlarda catisma icine girseler de genellikle baris icinde bir araya yasamaya calisirlar. Ancak bu cabada son yillarda oldukca zedelenme oldugu goruluyor.
Tasralilarin demokrasi, dusunce ozgurlugu, yargi bagimsizligi, bilimsel egitim, laiklik, hukukun ustunlugu gibi konularla pek ilgisi yoktur. Daha cok is bulup bulamadigi, evine ekmek goturup goturemedigi gibi temel sorunlarla ilgilidirler.
Kentsoylular icin demokrasi, dusunce ozgurlugu, yargi bagimsizligi, bilimsel egitim, laiklik, kadin-erkek esitligi gibi konular, en az is bulup bulamadiklari, eve ekmek gourup goturemedikleri kadar onemlidir. Bu tur kavramlardan uzaklasilmasi onlari is bulup bulamamak kadar rahatsiz eder.
Ilk gruptakiler, kolaylikla ikinci gruba dusman hale gelebiliyorlar. Boylece din, dil, irk, koken gibi farkliliklara bu tur bir gruplasma farki da ekleniyor. Ilk grupta yer alanlar, sehir efsanelerine, safsatalara, dogru gibi gorunen ama aslinda hic bir bilimsel temeli olmayan soylemlere, kiskirtmalara, propogandalara cabucak kapilip ona gore tavir alabiliyorlar. Bu grubun ikinci gruba gore cok daha kalabalik olmasi secim sonuclarinin da bu grup tarafindan belirlenecegini gosteriyor.Bu grubun onemli bir bolumu uzerine dini soylemler oldukca etkili. O nedenle ikinci grubu temsil eden siyasal partiler bile din konusunda farkli soylemlerde bulunmaktan kaciniyorlar.
Egitim: Turkiye’nin en parlak ogrencileri, en cok para getiren islere girmeyi tercih ediyorlar. Yani egitimde asla planlanmamis ama ekonominin isteklerine gore belirlenmis bir yonelis soz konusu.
Son donemdeki duruma bakildiginda, en buyuk talebin fen liselerine yonelmesine karsilik, yonetim, imam hatip lisesi acmayi tercih ediyor.
Turkiye, dunya ortalamasina bakildiginda egitim dalinda cok basarisiz. Arastirma sonuclari gosteriyorki, diger ulkelere nazaran daha cok zaman harcamalarina ragmen ogrencilerimiz daha dusuk basari elde ediyorlar. Buradan 2 sonuc cikiyor: 1. Bizim cocuklar verimli calismayi bilmiyor. 2. Calistiklari seyler dogru seyler degil.
Bir baska neden de su:bir sonraki asamadaki sinavi esas alip ona gore calismalari. Yani ogrenmek, analizde kullanmak amacli ogrenmek yerine sadece ezberliyorlar. Oyle olunca akil yurutmeye dayali sorulari cozemiyorlar.
Ozetle, Turkiye, ogretim sistemini ilkokuldan baslayarak, tumuyle bilimsel temellere oturtmadikca ve bunu yaparken ozgur, sorgulayici bir ortam yaratmadikca, okul sayisini arttirarak, her semtte bir universite acarak ortalama IQ duzeyini yulseltemez, IQ duzeyini yukseltemezse bulus yapamaz, bulus yapamazsa da dunyada iddiali ekonomiler arasina giremez.
Biat Kulturu: Arapca bir sozcuk olan biat, yoneten ve yonetilenler arasinda yazili olmaksizin var oldugu kabul edilen itaat anlasmasi anlamina geliyor. Osmanli’dan gunumuze gelen biat kulturu hala etkisini surdurmektedir. Bunda bilimsel, sorgulayici, analitik egitimin bir turlu tam olarak yasama gecirilememesinin buyuk etkisi vardir.
Turkiye, biat kulturune dayali bu sistem cercevesinde refah artisi oldugu butun donemlerde yeni bir bulus yaparak ya da teknolojiyi gelistirerek degil, onceki donemin birikimini ya da gelecegin gelirini harcayarak refah artisi saglamistir. Erdogan iktidara geldikten sonra ilk 7-8 yil refah artisi yaratmis gibi gorunen modelde, ozellestirilecek kamu kurulusu azaldikca ve ozel kesimin ve hanehalklarinin borclanma sinirina gelip dayanmasiyla gelismenin hizi kesilmis, Turkiye oteden beri hep icinde bocaladigi orta gelir tuzagindan cikmayi basaramamistir. Ulkemiz yukte hafif parada agir teknolojik mallar uretip satarsa ihya olur. Bunun ise tek bir yolu var: Bilime dayali ama yalnizca bilime dayali egitim.
Bilim disi egitimle yetisen insanlarin arasindan bulus yapan, teknoloji gelistiren insanlar, dunya capinda sanatcilar, edebiyatcilar, yazarlar, muzisyenler istisnai olarak cikar, onlari da sistem harcar. Ornegin: III. Murat, Takiyuddin’in kurdugu gozlemevini cesitli dedikodulara inanarak 1 gecede yiktirmistir. IV. Murat, kendi yaptigi balmumu kanatlarla Galata Kulesi’nden Uskudar’a ucan Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi’yi ‘tehlikeli’ bularak surgune yollamistir. Turkiye, dunya capindaki sairi Nazim Hikmet’i ‘komunist’ oldugu icin hapislerde surundurmustur. Yetistirdigi sayili klasik Bati Muzigi bestecilerinden Fazil Say’i, ‘Omer Hayyam’ a ait oldugu sanilan bir rubaiyi sanal ortamda tekrarladigi icin, bir kalemde silmistir. Biat kulturunden cikilmadikca, ilerlemek mumkun degildir.
Hukuk: Toplumu yonetenlerin kendi cikardiklari ve uyulmasini denetlemek durumunda olduklari yasalara uymamalari toplum icin olumsuz bir referans oluyor. Turkiye kurallar acisindan son derece zengin bir ulkedir. Sorun, getirilen yasalara, kurallara uymama gelenegidir.
Bir baska mesele de af yasalaridir. Ozellikle vergilerle ilgili olarak zamaninda odeme yapmayanlar ya da bir sekilde kural disi davrananlar icin sik sik af cikarilir. Sonucta vergisini zamaninda odeyenler cezalandirilmis, zamaninda odemeyen odullendirilmis olacagi icin kurallara uyan insanlarin da kural disi davranmaya ozenmesi soz konusu olur.
Kurallar yalnizca yasalara saygi gosterenleri ve sesi cikmayanlara uygulanir hale geldikce, bu sekilde davranan insanlar da kendilerinin aptal yerine kondugunu dusunerek digerleri gibi davranmaya yonelirler ve toplum giderek kurallara uymayanlarin cogunluga ulastigi bir yapiya donmeye baslar.
Buraya kadar sayilan devrimlere baktigimizda iki durum dikakri cekiyor:
Devrimler arasi gecen zaman kuculuyor. Tarim devrimiyle ilk sanayi devrimi arasinda yaklasik 12 bin yil gecti. Endustri devrimleri arasindaki sureler 100 yilin altina indi. Endustri 3 ve endustri 4 arasinda gecen zaman 70 yildir.
Insan emegine ihtiyac azaldi.
Endusti 4. Devriminde Turkiye’nin rolu bu devrimin gerektirdigi makine ve robotlari onlarin yazilimlarini yapmak degil, bunlari satin alip kullanarak gerekli uretimi yapmak olacak. Turkiye’nin bu devrimin yaratacagi tsunamiye hazirlanmasi gerekiyor:
Sanayi odalarinin onderliginde yuksek kalitede eleman yetistiren bilim liselerinin kurulmasi gerekiyor. Burs verilmeli ve kayitt tesvik edilmeli.
Universitelerde bilim dallarina donus yapilmali.Iktisadi Idari bilimlarin kontenjanlari dusurulmeli, cunku ihtiyac azalmakta.
Bu devrimle olusacak issizligi azaltabilmek icin tarim ve hayvancilik politikalarini, bu alanlarda verimliligive uretimi arttiracak bicimde ele almak lazim.
Butun bunlari yapabilmek icin insaati birakip cevreye bakmak gerek.
Siyasal anlamda da yapisal reformlar gerek: anayasa degisikligiyle baslanmali. Sistemi Bati ulkeleri duzeyine ciakrabilmek icin demokrasiyi, ozgurlugu, dusunce ozgurlugunu, hosgoruyu, kisi haklarinin korunmasini en ust duzeye cikaracak ve kisitlanmasi halini savas gibi cok zorunlu hallerle sinirli tutacak duzenlemelere gidilmesi gerekiyor. Anayasa kuvvetler ayrimini tam olarak vurgulamali. Yasama, yurutme yargi erklerinden birinin otekine ustunlugunu onleyecek bir yapida olmalidir. Secim sisteminde baraj uygulamasi kadirilsin, milletvekilliginde sure sinirlandirilmasi ve dokunulmazliklarin kaldirilmasi bu degisikliklerden sayilabilir
Turkiye’nin bugun ki egitim sistemini kokten degistirmek gerek, tumuyle bilimin egemen kilinmasi lazim.
Hakim ve Savcilar Yuksek Kurulu tumuyle siyasal iktidar disinda kendi mesleki sinirlari cercevesinde sistemi, atamalari, terfileri yonetecek hale gelirse bu alandaki tartismalar onlenebilir.
Ekonomide buyumenin ithalata bagimli yapidan kurtarilmasi ve cari acigin dusurulmesi ekonomik alandaki yapisal reform adimlarindan en onemlisidir.Ic tasarruflari arttirmak veya uretimin ithalata dayali yapisini yerdi girdilere yoneltmek.
Enerji kaynaklarinda gunes, ruzgar eberjisi ve biyoenerji gibi alanlarda adimlar atilmasi gerekiyor.
Turkiye son 15 yilda 2 tren kacirdi. Biri 2001 krizi sonrasi duzeldiginde ikincisi de 2005 yilinda Avrupa tam uyelik muzakerelerine baslandiginda. Mali durumumuz bu iki donemde de iyiyken yapilmasi gereken sey Egitim, huku, vergi, dis acigi dengeleyecek yatirimlarin tesviki gibi alanlarda yapisal reforma girismek. Ancak olmadi.
SON SOZ: Ilginc bir bicimde bugun esnaf, kendi iktidarina son verebilecek en onemli guc gibi gorunuyor.
I have always been curvy. Sometimes I got fatter, sometimes thinner. I always tried different diets and my body always have had good days and bad days.
After trying Keto for 6 weeks and getting great results this year, I realized low carb diets are the best for me. Quick fat loss and delicious food. Plus, you don’t get hungry. Of course, there were side effects such as leg cramps, bad breath and hair loss. But the purpose of this blog is actually different than explaining Keto diet, which I will do in the future in detail. But it is more about why we fail the diets. Meaning, why do we gain the weight we lost after we finish dieting?
It is all in your head: your psychology. In other words, your thought process and your habits.
After we finish our diet with success, we are so happy and we gave ourselves a promise that, now, we will eat healthy, we will keep exercising, and we won’t make the same mistakes. But then what happens? 85% of all dieters regain their weight. Some of them even gain more than before!
It seems easy for some people to stay healthy and everyone seems to have an opinion:
“Oh, just stay away from flour, sugar and salt, you will lose weight, you don’t need a diet”
“My friend of a friend of a friend became vegan and now she looks so healthy”
“You should try gluten free”
“Just don’t eat that second slice of pizza!”
“I run every morning for an hour and I eat everything I want, just start running!”
“It is just calorie intake. Lower it, then you will lose weight! That’s it”
Well, That is not it.
I tried everything (except being vegan, against my nature): I tried fasting, I tried lowering my calorie intake and increasing exercise, I tried cutting flour, sugar and salt, I tried low fat, I tried low carb. Trust me, I tried EVERYTHING. Only diet seems to be working on me was Keto (A kind of low carb diet) and I got great results. However, afterwards, I slowly started to gain the weight back. While I was going through this process, I assessed my psychological swings. There were so many ups and downs. This blog is the story of the feelings I had and the battles I won and I lost with my consciousness.
Before I go through these dangerous psychological battles, I have a few pieces of advice about dieting:
Timing is important: If your birthday or anniversary is coming up, if holiday season is at the door, don’t even bother start dieting. There is a 99% chance that you will fail. Also, if you are changing your routine, let’s say you are moving somewhere or changing jobs, getting a divorce, etc. it is not the best time to do a diet, either.
Absolutely no alcohol during the weight loss process: Trust me on this. It slows down your weight loss process so much that it is a huge demotivator and it is not worth it.
Who you hang out with is important: Peer pressure is real. When your friends are celebrating they want you to drink alcohol or eat shitty food with them. If you don’t, they start to make fun of you or they judge you” ‘Oh, eat today, you can diet again tomorrow! haha” (As if it is really funny? No, I already started, thank you!) “You are not drinking? C’mon! This is why we came here!” (So are you saying that I have no business being here? So you accept me because I repeat what you do? Well, thanks, good to know!) “You are being boring” (Thanks for the motivation. If I say “I’m diabetic” or “I’ve food allergy” or “I’m pregnant” you would be so understanding though, and suddenly, I wouldn’t be boring, would I??)
Exercise: It can be 30 min walk every day, you don’t have to run. Or you can do aerobics, you can do slow-medium speed biking. Or you can choose to do weight lifting. Just whatever you choose, light or intense, please ‘move’ your body. Some people don’t exercise thinking that light exercise doesn’t make a change. IT REALLY DOES. But, when you do it consistently. Consistency is the key.
Count your calories and macros: Most people hate counting nutritional values. But in order to have a successful diet, you have to. At least you have to calculate and add your daily calorie intake. Afterall, you don’t want to fall below your daily calorie limit, either. Because then your body will think that you are starving and it will start storing fat.There are many apps that can help you count your calories and macros, such as MyMacros and Fitnesspal. But you can simply look at the nutrition label of your meal ingredients and calculate it yourself. Trust me, it is not rocket science 🙂
Try to find delicous and relatively healthy recipes!: Cauliflower pizza, zucchini enchiladas, oven baked parmesan garlic broccoli, stew, salad with feta cheese, arugula, cherry tomatoes, avacado and pomegranate sauce. These were my favorite healthy recipes on Keto and my mouth was watering each time I made them.
Now… Let’s talk about the dangerous thoughts that cross your mind after you finish your diet.
Now I want pizza, beer and wings and fries! I deserved it!
This is the first thought you will have after ending your diet. Although you can have these and you definitely deserved the food you missed, you need to be logical. Plan ahead: In the same week, are you going to eat out again? Celebrate something? Is there a possibility that you will have a happy hour after work? If one of these is the case, maybe you should delay your feast to one of these days. Don’t cross the line (meaning take more unhealthy calories than normally you burn) more than once a week. If you have a deficit of 3500 calories in 1 week, you will lose 1 pound (~0.45 kg) but the reverse is also true. Those fries, beers and burgers can become the fat on your hips after the week ends.
2. I lost weight once, I can lose again.
So, I will eat now whatever I want. Rachel Berman, R.D. says “It’s encouraging to see results fast and a restrictive diet may lead to more rapid weight loss,” she explains. “However, being on too much of a restrictive diet and losing weight quickly impacts your hunger hormones.” So, the second time you do the diet, you might not get the same results. Also, think about this: Where is this cycle going to end? Will continue forever? You can do better than this. Once this thought appears, just tell yourself that you want something stable and permanent. You don’t have the energy to go through the same diet again.
3. She is skinny/He is fit and they are eating all those mac and cheese and burgers! Therefore, so can I.
This is your amygdala speaking, the pleasure and reward center of your brain wants that cheesy bread or chocolate cake in your mouth. The scientists suggest the high-sugar and fat diet was actually impairing the ability of the brain to block food cravings. You need to silence that thought immediately.
You don’t know that skinny girl or the fit guy. Her situation might be genetic. Her metabolism might be working faster. I knew this skinny colleague of mine, eating Burger King everyday and she never gained a pound over the years. But I don’t know how her liver or cardiovascular system looks like now of course. Also that fit man might be exercising 2-3 hours a day. Are you? If your answer is no, then you need to forget this thought, as well.
4. I will eat those hot dogs now, I will eat healthy tomorrow and exercise
Well, what if you can’t? It is true that moderation and balancing things out is important. If you ate more than your daily calories today, it makes sense to fall below the next day to balance. So it is important that when you really say this, you actually mean it and do it the next day. If you are not sure, then, don’t trust your own word. Try not to go overboard.
5. I have already eaten a lot of bad food. Now there is no turning back.
Well, there is. Right at this very moment. Go back to healthier eating habits and you will be fine. Unfortunately, our psychology is weird in the sense that once we pass the treshold on something, we feel like we can’t stop. But it is all in our heads. You can stop doing anything, anytime you want. You need to take control of your brain, you shouldn’t run it on automatic and let it take control of you.
6. These people in movies are drinking alcohol and eating bar food all the time and they look fabulous.
In the movies, yes. Not in real life. Jennifer Anniston chugging down the beer in ‘Friends’ but in real life she exercises twice a day and she is on a secret diet. Show business is her job, she needs to stay healthy, this is what she is paid for. James Bond drinks his whisky daily, but he has the best body! Miracle, right? Winchester brothers in Supernatural literally feed on fast food and beer everyday in episodes. And yet their bodies have zero fat (I have attention to detail, that’s all). Magic! Well, not really guys… What I’m saying is, all American TV shows and movies are full of scenes with diners, bars, parties and fit guys and girls. In real life, if you eat like them, you won’t look like them. Your brain is tricking you by making an association between how they look and how they live. Even though you know that this is not real life.
After fighting these thoughts, your battle is still not over. In order not to gain the weight back, you need to have a plan. Most of the time people have an awesome diet plan and they do more or less a good job sticking to it. However, they forget to make a plan for afterwards, which is even more important. Your plan should include these elements:
Nutrition balance: Make sure that you are getting enough protein, carbs and fat. Also make sure you are getting the vitamins and electrolites that your body needs.
Emergency plan (travelling, moving, etc. change of routine): How are you going to eat healthy during this change period? Are there any restaurants that you can order from that serve relatively healthy food?
Cheat meals: Which day of the week do you want to allow yourself to eat the cheat meal? What is it going to include?
Exercise: 3-5 days of the week, what kind of exercises can you do?
Be careful about offerings: I work at a school. Everyday students offer me food or snacks. Every staff meeting there are donuts and pizzas. It is already hard to say no to food, when it is free, it is almost impossible. Well, try your best to say no. Because you are gaining extra calories for a pleasure that will not last more than 5 minutes and it will cost you 30 minutes of running. It is like the question you ask to yourself when you are shopping on a short budget: “Do I really need this? or do I just want it?” If you can’t afford it, leave it.
Do not confuse hunger with thirst: Do you sometimes feel hungry just a couple of hours after eating? It might be just that you are thirsty. Our brain confuses hunger with thirst sometimes. Drink a glass of water and see if that will get rid of the craving.
When you go out, try to be reasonable: As a social person, it is my big problem that I found myself hanging out a lot. I tried to find ways to be more reasonable. For example, instead of 2 beers, I order 1 glass of red wine. Because I drink it more slowly. I usually drink 2 beers in 1 hour, it takes the same amount of time for me to finish 1 glass of wine. Less calories. If I ate bar food that night, I try chips or fries instead of full meal. And next day, I eat salad for lunch and soup for dinner, etc.
I’m going on a diet again on January 2nd. I know that once I’m done with it I will feel and look great. I want to keep that though, that’s why I will try to follow my own advice here. It is all about how we look at the food, how we approach feeding and how we fight with our brain’s reward system. We don’t have to deprive ourselves from everything, or starve ourselves, diet shouldn’t mean suffering. But we need to learn moderation and how to take control of our eating habits. I will keep you updated on my adventure!
This post is about shiny things, global traditions and Jesus.
Also, automatically it is about me since my birthday happens to be on Christmas Day, December 25th 🙂
Most people celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th and some on January 7th (For example in Russia). For some people, the night of 24th is the time of celebration (For most Catholics) and for the others, the celebrations including the church ceremony and dinner takes place on the 25th.
Although Christmas is a Christian holiday, today it is more cultural than religious and it is celebrated by billions all around the world.
Weirdly enough, in a Muslim country like Turkey, Santa Claus and Christmas decorations are figures for New Years, since we do not celebrate Christmas. Santa Claus’ Turkish name is Noel Baba (Father Noel) and his pictures, toys and sculptures can be found in every mall and around the city during December.
Before I talk about Christmas in the USA, I also want to mention how it is observed in other countries.
In Korea, Christmas is a national holiday, but they don’t celebrate it as a family holiday. It is more of a romantic one, like Valentine’s Day.
In China, one tradition that is becoming popular, on Christmas Eve, is giving apples. Many stores have apples wrapped up in colored paper for sale. People give apples on Christmas Eve because in Chinese Christmas Eve is called “Ping’an Ye” (平安夜), meaning peaceful or quiet evening, which has been translated from the carol ‘Silent Night‘. The word for apple in Mandarin is “píngguǒ” (苹果) which sounds like the word for peace.
In, Brazil, devout Catholics often attend Midnight Mass or Missa do Galo. The mass has this name because the rooster announces the coming day and the Missa do Galo finishes at 1 AM on Christmas morning! On December 25th, Catholics go to church, but the masses are mostly late afternoon, because people enjoy sleeping late after the dinner called Ceia de Natal or going to the beach. These pictures are from Rio De Janeiro on Christmas Day:
The United States of America has many different traditions and ways that people celebrate Christmas, because of its multi-cultural nature. People in America like to decorate the outsides of their houses with lights and sometimes even statues of Santa Claus, Snowmen and Reindeer.
Do you want to see what these lights and statues? Here are some pictures.
Some cookies and glass of milk are often left out as a snack for Santa on Christmas Eve! Christmas Carols and making ginger bread houses are also among American traditions. Families buy Christmas trees and decorate them together. Stalkings are hung buy the fireplace and gifts are left under the tree. First thing on Christmas mornings, kids open their gifts and after the church ceremony they come back home and enjoy the feast. Although it is called dinner, it susually starts anywhere between 12:00 PM- 2:30 PM on Christmas Day and Turkey is a classic member of the Christmas dinner.
In the US, The holiday season starts with the Halloween Day, October 31st. Thanksgiving is the last Thursday of November and then Christmas is on December 25th. Every store will have holiday-themed everything. People shop like crazy.
Due to Christmas gift shopping frenzy, the days like ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Boxing Day’ were born. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US and everything is on sale, so people line up (or beasically camp) in front of the stores from the early morning hours. Then they litterally run in the stores when the doors open. Boxing Day (in the UK) is the day after Christmas, It is a time when shops hold sales, often with dramatic price reductions.
On Christmas, you HAVE TO buy a gift and gift cards are a big tradition in the US. So you have to get a card together with your gift. There are many creative and fun cards out there but they can be as expensive as your Christmas gift! Honestly though, I still find the gift cards waste of money since you only look at them only once.
One thing that amazes me in all this, is the beauty of the gospels and Christmas songs. I have attended many church services and some Bible studies in Kansas before. I don’t consider myself as a religious person (Especially after seeing religion bringing more harm than good to people these days) but I love studying the cultures and they come with religion. Although I was from a Muslim country, I always felt welcomed by the people at the church. They were always so kind and positive not only to me but also to each other. It has been amazing to see how they enjoy their worship when they are singing together, united, with one love: Love of Jesus Christ.
With their simple but powerful lyrics, but most importantly wonderful melodies, here is my favorite five gospel songs. It is hard not to enjoy these no matter you are Christian or not. I also tried to choose the best versions of them. Hope you enjoy!
Number 5 – Hallelujah
Number 4 – Mary Did You Know
Number 3 – O Holy Night
Number 2 – Amazing Grace
Number 1 – Awesome God
PS. if you haven’t seen this video below before, please watch in order to see how important the Christmas gifts are for American kids. This video is hilarious.
When it comes to TV Shows/Series, everyone looks into different things. In my opinion, a good series must:
Be believeable: The actors and actresses need to act so well that we should forget that we are watching TV and we should be able to find ourselves in their world as if it was the reality: We need to feel what the characters are feeling. This happens only when: 1. The scenarists write a good script with realistic conversations and consistent story lines 2. When the actors and actresses do an amazing job. The audience is smart; whenever they see a mistake in decor, an inconsistency in storyline or a cheap quality in filming, they notice it right away. They immediately stop watching the show. Let’s not forget, the lost audience is gone forever. But, in my opinion, the reverse is also true: Once you get the audience hooked, they will be with you forever.
Include the element of surprise: The more the series get predictable, the less you want to watch them. A main character dies, or a war breaks, or an accident happens. Someone cheats, or becomes a murderer, or loses their mind. Someone decides to quit the team, or commits suicide. These type of surprises keep the series live.
Have a cliff hanger: It doesn’t necessarily have to happen at the end of all episodes but maybe 85%of them must finish with a cliff hanger. We are human beings, we like to be intrigued!
Be original: The writers of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ might have influenced each other, and the creators of ‘the 100’ might seem like a fan of ‘Battlestar Galactica’. One can also claim that the creators of the ‘Stranger Things’ might have grown up watching ‘the Goonies’. So, it is OK to have some similar elements, as long as you also provide something unique and original. However, if the series is ‘too similar’ to another series, then they will lose their audience.
I have prepared my own list of the ‘Best TV Series of all times’ or maybe, in more modest words, some shows that shaped the years they were aired in. So, I highly recommend that these TV Series must be in your watch list.
Blogger’s Note: For the each Headline here I chose a font that I think suits the best to the series’ character.
It’s the depiction of two powerful families – kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and honest men – playing a deadly game for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and to sit atop the Iron Throne. The series is filmed in Northern Ireland and Malta.
Definitely watch if: You like surprises, history, scenic visual effects, medieval, fantasy, war, politics and drama.
Don’t watch if: You don’t like fantasy and if you can’t handle bloody and nude scenes.
What is best about this Series: I’m sure everyone would agree that this series has the best visual effects and the costumes so far. However, I think the ‘best thing’ about this series is the characters that grow with the Series. There are many characters in the show that anyone can relate to them so easily. For example, my favorite character is Tyrion Lannister, who is witty, fair, brave and smart. But underneath it all, he is very delicate and naive.
What could have been different: They changed the Mountain character 3 times- 3 different actors… As I said, we notice these things and that takes away ‘the real’ feeling to it. Just saying.
What is happening?
What’s left of humankind struggles for survival against the robot Cylons, who have killed millions. The Galactica, led by William Adama, protects a patched-together fleet of civilians – led by de facto president Laura Roslin – in search of a mythical planet called Earth.
Definitely watch if: You like surprises, space, visual effects, sci-fi, war, politics, romance and drama.
Don’t watch if: You don’t like sci-fi.
What is best about this Series: Definitely the wisely written script. Every episode is so exciting that you can’t stop after watching one episode: You just want to keep going! Definitely this show has a lot of cliff hangers. Besides, the series has the best music!
What could have been different: Baltar’s situation, in general his role in the whole series is a little confusing. At the end of the series, it would have been nice to connect some dots.
What is happening?
In this contemporary version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective stories, Dr. John Watson is a war vet just home from Afghanistan. He meets the brilliant but eccentric Holmes when the latter, who serves as a consultant to Scotland Yard, advertises for a flatmate. Almost as soon as Watson moves into the Baker Street flat, they are embroiled in mysteries, and Sherlock’s nemesis, Moriarty, appears to have a hand in the crimes.
Definitely watch if: You like criminal-detective shows, Britain or British accents, action.
Don’t watch if: You don’t like fast-paced TV shows.
What is best about this Series: Definitely the beautiful mind of Sherlock Holmes. Watching him connecting the dots so quickly and wisely is absolutely fun and breathtaking.
What could have been different: The series is too short and their Christmas special was terrible.
What is happening?
The survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 were 1,000 miles off course when they crashed on a lush, mysterious island. Each person possesses a shocking secret, but they’ve got nothing on the island itself, which harbors a monstrous security system, a series of underground bunkers and a group of violent survivalists hidden in the shadows.
Definitely watch if: You like suspense, fantasy, action.
Don’t watch if: You don’t like mystery. You won’t get answers to your questions right away.
What is best about this Series: Definitely the mysterious nature of the island and the mysterious background of each character.
What could have been different: The ending, man… Why? It could have been so much better!!! Ugh…
What is happening?
When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.
Definitely watch if: You like suspense, fantasy, period series (80s), sci-fi and action.
Don’t watch if: You don’t like movies involving kids. The main characters are kids.
What is best about this Series: The director gives the 80s feeling in a perfect way. Also, the friendship between the main characters is so fun to watch. But the best part of the movie is each character is a heroic one in themselves. Every character in this series is equally strong.
What could have been different: I really didn’t find it natural when the they kissed at the prom. I would definitely change that.
What is happening?
At fictional Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey, prickly genius Dr. Gregory House tackles health mysteries as would a medical Sherlock Holmes, all the while playing mind games with colleagues that include his best friend, oncologist James Wilson. House, an acerbic infectious disease specialist, solves medical puzzles with the help of a team of young diagnosticians. Flawless instincts and unconventional thinking help earn House great respect, despite his brutal honesty and antisocial tendencies.
Definitely watch if: You like mystery, real life drama, medical themes, comedy.
Don’t watch if: You don’t like series with annoying (even though smart) characters.
What is best about this Series: The Dr. House character: funny, agitated and annoying, but lonely and fragile. While he saves patients’ lives, his team saves his.
What could have been different: Like every other medical series, it gets repetitive and predictive.
What is happening?
Set in a storybook Connecticut town populated by an eclectic mix of dreamers, artists and everyday folk, this multigenerational drama about family and friendship centres around Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter, Rory. Lorelai owns the town’s bed-and-breakfast, the Dragonfly Inn, with best friend/chef Sookie, and contends with weekly dinners with eccentric, well-off parents Richard and Emily Gilmore (who always have something to say about their daughter’s life). After high school, Rory attends university but frequently returns to Stars Hollow to visit her mom.
Definitely watch if: You like heart warming comedy-drama, family theme, ‘small town’ theme and if you believe in power of coffee and/or books.
Don’t watch if: You don’t like series with no action.
What is best about this Series: The friendship between Lorelai (the mother) and Rory (the daughter). I lost my mother in 2004 to an illness. Maybe that’s why this series has a special place in my heart. Also, I have always wanted to be a mother like Lorelai.
What could have been different: I did not like how the series ended. I guess I had had higher epectations from that character who made a big confession (Trying hard not to give a spoiler here haha).
What is happening?
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, this gritty drama portrays life in the months and years that follow a zombie apocalypse. Led by former police officer Rick Grimes, his family and a group of other survivors find themselves constantly on the move in search of a safe and secure home. But the pressure each day to stay alive sends many in the group to the deepest depths of human cruelty, and Rick discovers that the overwhelming fear of the survivors can be more deadly than the zombies walking among them.
Definitely watch if: You like suspense, action and drama.
Don’t watch if: You can’t stomach gross-looking zombies.
What is best about this Series: The mystery of not knowing what is going to happen next. A lot of people ‘turn’ in this series. I mean… A LOT. Also, the acting talent of zombies will blow your mind! So realistic.
What could have been different: I haven’t finished the series yet. The final season is still airing. However, I will be very disappointed if they don’t tell us what the way is to get out of this hell and/or why this happened in the first place.
What is happening?
Mensa-fied best friends and roommates Leonard and Sheldon, physicists who work at the California Institute of Technology, may be able to tell everybody more than they want to know about quantum physics, but getting through most basic social situations, especially ones involving women, totally baffles them. How lucky, then, that babe-alicious waitress/aspiring actress Penny moves in next door. Frequently seen hanging out with Leonard and Sheldon are friends and fellow Caltech scientists Wolowitz and Koothrappali. Will worlds collide? Does Einstein theorize in the woods?
Definitely watch if: You like comedy, sarcasm, sit-coms and science.
Don’t watch if: You can’t stand annoying smart characters (Like in Sherlock and Dr. House, Sheldon is an annoying genius).
PS. Sheldon is my favorite character 🙂
What is best about this Series: The length of the each episode is a perfect dose for a good laugh. And the best part about it for me is that they are all (almost all) scientists!! <insert heart here>
What could have been different: As in any sit-com, there are ups and downs in terms of quality of the jokes. Some episodes are hilarious whereas some of them are just… meh.
What is happening?
The animated series is not for children. In fact, its goal seems to be to offend as many as possible as it presents the adventures of Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman. The show has taken on Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, politicians of every stripe and self-important celebrities. Oh, and Kenny is killed in many episodes.
Definitely watch if: You like comedy, sarcasm and current political issues.
Don’t watch if: You are not following current events or if you can’t handle bad language. Some people find this show really offensive.
What is best about this Series: The humor and the creativity. Have you ever played Cards Against Humanity? Sometimes I think the creators of that game and the South Park series could be the same.
What could have been different: Some episodes have inside jokes, with references to American culture and history that I don’t understand. But that is my fault, not theirs.
Special Thanks to…
For their heart-warming and funny friendship and romance. They were the first of their kind. Definitely opened up Hollywood doors for Jennifer Aniston (Yay!).
FBI profiling at its best, I really enjoyed this true crime series very much! (Of course, Dr. Reid was my favorite)
Nope, not just ‘CSI’ or ‘CSI Miami’, my all time favorite Crime Scene Investigation series was CSI NY with its awesome cast!
This show definitely has become a phenomenon. This show’s popularity made a lot of people worried since Dexter Morgan is a serial killer. I’m a big fa, as well: I have watched the whole show twice already 😀
Hope you enjoyed this list and I hope you try some of them during the holiday!
I’m very well aware of the fact that everyone has different tastes in movies and TV shows as they do in music and art in general. We have different ideas, cultures, traditions and interests that separate us. But, there are certain movies and TV shows out there that you wish people would know about them and put in their bucket list (Or Netflix Queue).
This is a blog with a list of my favorite movies of all times. Of course, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on this list. However, if you are looking for some movies to watch these days and you haven’t seen any or some of these, maybe you can pick one to watch today!
PS. This is only about movies and my next blog will be only about TV Shows.
The Man from Earth (2007)
One of the best movies I have ever seen. You will either hate it or love it. It begins really slow but after about 20 mins, it picks up and sucks you in the story. The setting of the story is a house in 2007.
This History professor, John Oldman, hosts this farewell gathering at his place to which he invites his friends from the faculty. There is a biology, anthropology, psychology and art professor (who is quite conservative) present in this party. After John claims that he is actually 10,000 years old, they all start questioning him, trying to find some logical answers. Especially the part about religion is absolutely mind blowing. If you are interested in science and history like me, you will love this movie!
2. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Brad Pitt at his best. Quantin Tarantino is at his best. The storyline is simple, but story telling is simply fantastic: In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner’s vengeful plans for the same (IMDB)
There are really funny moments, but also there are many scary moments that will shock you and shake you up. It has the suspense, it has the history, it has the humor. Like every other Tarantino movie, it is bloody, as well. But, let’s be honest, it is hard to cover the World War II period in your movie and not include any blood.
3. 3 Idiots (2009)
If you have time (because the movie is almost 3 hour-long) and you want to put yourself in a very happy mood, watch this movie! Being a Bollywood movie and all, with lots of catchy songs and dancing, and sometimes with overkill with the dramatic acting, in overall it is one of the best movies I have ever watched. Especially considering the messages given throughout the movie, such as the problems in educational system and the importance of friendship.
Two friends are searching for their long lost companion, Rancho. They revisit their college days and recall the memories of their friend who inspired them to think differently, even as the rest of the world called them “idiots”. On their journey to find him, they learn a huge secret about him.
4. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
This film is considered as one of the best movies of all times, and trust me, there is a reason for that. Both Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are at their bests. This movie touches very important issues such as wrong imprisonment, toughness of the prison life and the importance of keeping hope. These two inmates’ friendship will warm up your hearts.
5. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
This Steven Spielberg directed movie is Tom Hanks’ one of the best movies in terms of his acting performance. The traumatic experience and drama of warfare are very well explained in this movie. Based on a true story, this movie is an emotional roller coaster.
Spielberg directed Saving Private Ryan as a tribute to his father, Arnold Spielberg, who served in the U.S. Army and Signal Corps, and fought in Burma during World War II as a radio operator in a B-25 squad. Arnold also helped a young Steven to direct his first movies as a teenager, both of which involved plots that took place during World War II.
6. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
This movie is based on the true story of famous mathematician, John Nash. At the top of his career, he struggles with the unexpected and his companion will be his greatest support. From the beginning of the movie, you understand that Nash is different, and this movie really succeeds in putting you in John Nash’s beautiful mind. Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly were awesome picks for this movie, if you ask me.
From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash, Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery. After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over his tragedy, and finally – late in life – received the Nobel Prize (source: IMDB).
7. Ice Age (2002 – 2016)
When I first watched Ice Age, it was dubbed in Turkish. I don’t know if it made a difference or not, but I laughed SO hard! I usually watch comedies with a constant smile or grin, but I seldom laugh hard. I remember laughing a lot watching Ice Age, especially Sid and Scrat would crack me up. Considering I’m a geologist, maybe I also had special love for this series. It definitely gives important messages about the environment, history, animals and friendship, as well.
PS. If you are interested in Pixar movies and Ice Age is not to your taste, please try ‘UP’ or ‘INSIDE OUT’. you will definitely love one of them!
If you want to have a good laugh today, watch this movie! As a foreigner, I don’t get American inside jokes or cultural clues very much in comedies, or I don’t find them funny to be honest, no offense. This is why I couldn’t enjoy the movies like ‘The Big Lebowski’ or ‘American Pie’ etc. But this movie will give you a good laugh, no matter where you are from!
9. The Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, 2003)
Hmm… Where to start?… This trilogy will blow your mind away… Especially the first (The Fellowship of the Ring) and the third one (The Return of the King). The second one was also cool, especially the battle scenes. If you enjoy fantasy films, this will be on top of your list.
Full of special effects, This movie not only does give a visual feast but also it gives many important messages to the audience: Such as greed is not good, team work is important, real friendhips are invaluable, and you need to make sacrifices for your loved ones.
PS. While everyone’s favorite duo was Arwen and Aragorn, mine was Frodo and Sam 🙂
10. Star Wars (1977 – 2017)
I can see you roll your eyes and hear you saying “Of course, you had to…”. Well, sorry guys if you don’t enjoy sci-fi, but you are really missing out. This series is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! The technology they used back in 1977 will blow your mind.
It has breathtaking special effects, yes. But also the storyline, the continuous fight between the good and the evil (The force and the dark side) will take you into the story so quickly. Different creatures from all around the galaxy will make the movie seem magical. Yoda’s wisdom, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s moral, Anakin Skywalker’s passion, R2-D2 and C3PO’s loyalty, Padme’s purity will make you want to even watch more. All these emotions and characters are all well blended in this Sci-fi action drama.
My all time winner: Back to the Future (1985, 1989, 1990)
Back to the Future trilogy has a special place in my heart. If you were born in the 80s, this movie must be special for you, too. It was the first of its kind, after ‘E.T’, with a quite different storyline. Michael J. Fox (Marty), Christopher Lloyd (Dr. Emmett Brown) travel in time. By doing this, they realize it is not OK to change the past, hence it affects the future. But how about if you change the future? What happens then? You will figure it out!
Special thanks to:Titanic (1997), Kill Bill (2003, 2004) and Alien (1992)
It would be cruel not to mention these movies here. Yet again, they were the masterpiece, one of their kinds when they first hit the theatres! A Big applause! James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’, David Fincher’s ‘Alien’ and Quantin Tarantino’s ‘Kill Bill’ (series). Such masterpieces!
I will see you with the list of my favorite TV Shows of all times soon!
First of all, I want to say that this is more than a book review. After reading Professor Hofstede’s book and searching through his website, I learned a lot of useful information about international relations. With the knowledge I had, I prepared and presented workshops about teaching in multicultural classroom and how as educators, we could use these cultural differences for our own good.
The whole book is a summary of Professor Hofstede’s years of study. This is what the research summarizes:
Unconsciously, you bring your own cultural frame of interpretation to any situation.
Think about cultures as if they were a pair of glasses. Each time you wear a different one, you see the world differently. What causes these differences?
The author of 2002 book “Exploring Culture – Exercises, studies and synthetic cultures”, Gerard Hendrik Hofstede is a Dutch social psychologist, former IBM employee, and Professor Emeritus of Organizational Anthropology and International Management at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He is famous for his research on cross-cultural groups and organizations and he identified these 6 main differences among cultures.
According to Hofstede’s research, culture has 6 main dimensions:
Identity (Collectivist vs Individualist)
Hierarchy (Large power distance vs small power distance)
Gender (Masculinity vs Feminity)
Truth (Uncertainty avoidance vs. Uncertainty tolerance)
Virtue (Long term vs Short term orientation)
Indulgence (Indulgence vs restraint)
Identity defines the relationship between the individual and the group. The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether people´s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “We”. In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In Collectivist societies people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty (Hofstede-insights.com).
Individualism: The cultures of most wealthy countries are relatively individualistic. As countries have become richer, they have moved toward the individualist end of the spectrum. Wealth makes it easier for people to take care of themselves, to make is on their own. In very individualist societies, people may feel lonely, isolated or can develop antisocial behaviors.
Collectivism: Earliest examples are hunter-gatherer societies. Every culture was collectivist once: First for survival we needed each other, then agriculture and religion brought us together.
This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal – it expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us. Power Distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally. The degree of inequality between the people that is assumed to be a natural state of affairs. This is called ‘Power Distance’ (Hofstede-insights.com).
Small Power Distance: People are equal. Some people are better leaders than others, but they won’t show off their skills.
Large Power Distance: Nobody thinks that people are all equal (or even should be). Parents are not children, leaders are not followers and kings are not citizens. There is a clear distinction.
Within Europe, studies showed that power distance in Northern and Western European cultures is smaller than in countries in Eastern and Southern Europe. These two areas are separated, roughly speakig and not by coincidence, by the former boundary of the Roman Empire. A similar line separates Anglo American from Latin American countries.
Researchers have found that as a country has become wealthier, power distance has decreased. Large power distance is easier to maintain in a situation of poverty or limited resources.
Although this dimension is divided into two as masculinity vs feminity, this is not about ‘supportive of man role more’ or vice versa. It is more about the tendency of the society’s behavior.
A high score (Masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner / best in field – a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organisational life Hofstede-insights.com).
A low score (Feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. A Feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best (Masculine) or liking what you do (Feminine) (Hofstede-insights.com).
Feminine: Caring for others and being modest are important. Small is beautiful, no need for bigger or something more assertive. Little difference between the education of boys and girls and between the roles of mothers and fathers. Men and women can wear the same clothes, go to the same places, and have the same rights and duties. Good control of agression.
Masculine: Tougher society. There is more emphasis on achievement and fighting than on caring and compromise. Unequal distribution between men and women. Very competitive.
Cultures of Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries are very feminine, but those of Germany, Switzerland and Austria are strongly Masculine.
Costa Rica and Portugal are feminine, but Colombia and most other Latin American countries are masculine.
Thailand is feminine,but Japan is very masculine, Britain and the US are also rather masculine.
How people in a culture cope with the unpredictable and the ambiguous is called ‘Truth’. It has to do with anxiety as a human feeling, or in other words with fear of the unknown.
The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? This ambiguity brings with it anxiety and different cultures have learnt to deal with this anxiety in different ways. The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the score on Uncertainty Avoidance (Hofstede-insights.com).
Uncertainty Avoidance: Many people in this culture believe what is different is dangerous. Anxiety and the search for truth is closely related. This is not as same as risk avoidance. If risk can be acknowledged and quantified, it is not threatening to people.
Uncertainty Tolerance: More tolerant towards the unknown and ambiguous situations.
Russia and the countries of Balkans have cultures of strong uncertainty avoidance, as do Japan, Korea, Mexico, Belgium, and France.
Germanic countries are very uncomfortable with uncertainty. English speaking countries and China tend to be more uncertainty tolerant. Singapore, Jamaica and Denmark are very uncertainty tolerant.
The problem is the choice between future and present virtue. This dimension describes how every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing with the challenges of the present and future, and societies prioritise these two existential goals differently. Normative societies. which score low on this dimension, for example, prefer to maintain time-honoured traditions and norms while viewing societal change with suspicion. Those with a culture which scores high, on the other hand, take a more pragmatic approach: they encourage thrift and efforts in modern education as a way to prepare for the future (Hofstede-insights.com).
Long-term Orientation: Hard work and persistence are important values and children are taught to sacrifice the pleasures of today for the benefit of their future.
The issue of virtue is particularly important in Asia and explains why non-Asians find it hard to come to grips with this cultural concept. Where Europeans and Americans are more concerned with truth, Asians are more concerned with virtue.
Short-Term Orientation: No savings for the future. It is more important to use your resources for present wealth. Not enjoying present for future savings is stingy.
Many countries of East Asia, such as China and Japan are considered long-term oriented, but some are not, for example, the Phillippines. Most European and American countries are fairly short-term oriented. The Dutch, with a reputation in Europe for stinginess, are long term oriented by European standards. African countries, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are very short-term oriented.
Indulgence can be summarized as the degree to which small children are socialized. Without socialization we do not become “human”, says Hofstede on his website (www.hofstede-insights.com). This dimension is defined as the extent to which people try to control their desires and impulses, based on the way they were raised. Relatively weak control is called “Indulgence” and relatively strong control is called “Restraint”. Cultures can, therefore, be described as Indulgent or Restrained (Hofstede-insights.com).
Most of the Latin countries have high indulgence, where as most east Asian societies are considered as restrained.
The way in which a group of people resolves these six issues is what we call ‘culture’.
The book talks about misunderstandings. How one culture might read the other’s reaction in a completely wrong way. For example, individualistic cultures such as Americans, British, Germans, might be perceived as cold and selfish to collectivist cultures such as Saudi Arabians, Africans or Chinese.
Or a short-term oriented culture, such as Colombians can perceive a long-term oriented culture, Chinese or dutch very stingy.
As you see, there is no right or wrong, but there are differences.
The book tells this interesting story about two Germans (Highly Masculine culture) going to a bar with a Dutch (Feminine culture). They order their beers, they are having so much fun. But all of a sudden, the conversation is taken over by the two Germans who are very passionately arguing about which Euro-league team is the best. One guy says his team is the best, they won the championship three times in a row,and the other said “No, my team is the best, they were the champions last year, they have a good team!!” This lasts about half an hour. The Dutch gets really bored and can’t take it anymore. He doesn’t understand why these two guys are wasting their time arguing about who is best.
The Dutch interrupts them and says: “Hey, you both have very good teams, why don’t you stop fighting and we talk about something else and have fun?” The two German guys suddenly stop talking and look at each other confused. Because, they weren’t fighting, actually this is how they were having fun and building mutual respect. However, they didn’t understand why their Dutch friend didn’t join the conversation and they blamed him being boring.
Another interesting example is again from a Dutchman (Low Power Distance, Feminine, uncertainty tolerant culture) who was working in Belgium (High Power Distance, Masculine and high uncertainty avoidance culture). Here is what he said:
During my work as a regional management assistant at a firm providing cleaning services in Belgium, I came into contact with a lot of people. Because I had to make new cleaning schedules and cost calculations for new and old customers, I met all the employees.
The first thing I noticed was the relationship between a superior and a subordinate. Orders from a superior were to be obeyed, not questioned.
Informal relations between people from different positions in the hierarchy were minimal: For example, no secretary had lunch with her boss.
Subordinates expected superiors to tell them what to do (Large Power Distance). When I talked to the people on the work floor, they always called me Mr. so-and-so, although I had told them my first name. They also expected me to tell them what to do, even if they had more experience in their areas than I did. This was difficult for mein the beginning. Sometimes people stared at me in surprise when I did something they did not expect, for example, when I helped carry some cleaning materials, which in their eyes, was inappropriate.
The Belgians were used to following the rules, and when rules where absent, they wanted a direct and clear decision or order from their superior.
Their work schedules and job descriptions were really detailed (Uncertainty avoidance) If something went wrong, the employees often referred to their job descriptions and schedules and said according to these, they hadn’t done anything wrong.
To Belgians, a good job meant high esteem in society (Masculine). Almost everyone was trying to improve his or her position. Not only did the money one earned tell something about the job one had, but this money also made it possible to buy a largeand beautiful house and a big car.
According to the Dutchman, the Belgians seemed like they were wanting to make themselves look better, they appeared obsessed with detailed instructions and greedy. However, they were just culturally different.
COMPARISON OF CULTURES
Hofstede provides this great service on their website. You can compare dimensions of different countries here:
As an example, I did Turkey vs. The USA and China. Here, I want to share the results with you:
Turkey is a large power distance society. In Turkish Culture, kissing hands shows respect to the other person. In the picture you see a youngster kissing an elderly man’s hand to show respect. On the other one you see an elderly person kissing the Turkish Prime Minister’s hand, since he is hierarcially higher than him.
Turkey scores high on this dimension (score of 66) which means that the following characterises the Turkish style: Dependent, hierarchical, superiors often inaccessible and the ideal boss is a father figure. Power is centralized and managers rely on their bosses and on rules. Employees expect to be told what to do. Control is expected and attitude towards managers is formal. Communication is indirect and the information flow is selective. The same structure can be observed in the family unit, where the father is a kind of patriarch to whom others submit.
The American premise of “liberty and justice for all.” This is evidenced by an explicit emphasis on equal rights in all aspects of American society and government. Within American organisations, hierarchy is established for convenience, superiors are accessible and managers rely on individual employees and teams for their expertise. Both managers and employees expect to be consulted and information is shared frequently. At the same time, communication is informal, direct and participative to a degree.
At 80 China sits in the higher rankings of PDI – i.e. a society that believes that inequalities amongst people are acceptable. The subordinate-superior relationship tends to be polarized and there is no defense against power abuse by superiors. Individuals are influenced by formal authority and sanctions and are in general optimistic about people’s capacity for leadership and initiative. People should not have aspirations beyond their rank.
In China, family values and traditions are so important.
Turkey, with a score of 37 is a collectivistic society. This means that the “We” is important, people belong to in-groups (families, clans or organisations) who look after each other in exchange for loyalty. Communication is indirect and the harmony of the group has to be maintained, open conflicts are avoided. The relationship has a moral base and this always has priority over task fulfillment. Time must be invested initially to establish a relationship of trust. Nepotism may be found more often. Feedback is always indirect, also in the business environment.
The society is loosely-knit in which the expectation is that people look after themselves and their immediate families only and should not rely (too much) on authorities for support. There is also a high degree of geographical mobility in the United States. Americans are the best joiners in the world; however it is often difficult, especially among men, to develop deep friendships. Americans are accustomed to doing business or interacting with people they don’t know well. Consequently, Americans are not shy about approaching their prospective counterparts in order to obtain or seek information. In the business world, employees are expected to be self-reliant and display initiative. Also, within the exchange-based world of work we see that hiring, promotion and decisions are based on merit or evidence of what one has done or can do.
At a score of 20 China is a highly collectivist culture where people act in the interests of the group and not necessarily of themselves. In-group considerations affect hiring and promotions with closer in-groups (such as family) are getting preferential treatment. Employee commitment to the organization (but not necessarily to the people in the organization) is low. Whereas relationships with colleagues are cooperative for in-groups they are cold or even hostile to out-groups. Personal relationships prevail over task and company.
Turkey scores 45 and is on the Feminine side of the scale. This means that the softer aspects of culture such as leveling with others, consensus, sympathy for the underdog are valued and encouraged. Conflicts are avoided in private and work life and consensus at the end is important. Leisure time is important for Turks, it is the time when the whole family, clan and friends come together to enjoy life. Status is shown, but this comes more out of the high PDI.
The score of the US on Masculinity is high at 62, and this can be seen in the typical American behavioral patterns. This can be explained by the the combination of a high Masculinity drive together with the most Individualist drive in the world. In other words, Americans, so to speak, all show their Masculine drive individually. The British, however, have the same culture in this respect. The question, therefore, should be: is the same drive not normally to be seen on the surface? This difference is a reflection of the higher score of the US on Uncertainty Avoidance than of the UK. In other words, in both societies we find the same drive, but Americans show it up-front whereas the British will take you by surprise.
This American combination reflects itself in the following:
Behavior in school, work, and play are based on the shared values that people should “strive to be the best they can be” and that “the winner takes all”. As a result, Americans will tend to display and talk freely about their “successes” and achievements in life. Being successful per se is not the great motivator in American society, but being able to show one’s success Many American assessment systems are based on precise target setting, by which American employees can show how well a job they did. There exists a “can-do” mentality which creates a lot of dynamism in the society, as it is believed that there is always the possibility to do things in a better way Typically, Americans “live to work” so that they can obtain monetary rewards and as a consequence attain higher status based on how good one can be. Many white collar workers will move to a more fancy neighborhood after each and every substantial promotion. It is believed that a certain degree of conflict will bring out the best of people, as it is the goal to be “the winner”. As a consequence, we see a lot of polarisation and court cases. This mentality nowadays undermines the American premise of “liberty and justice for all.” Rising inequality is endangering democracy, because a widening gap among the classes may slowly push Power Distance up and Individualism down.
At 66 China is a Masculine society –success oriented and driven. The need to ensure success can be exemplified by the fact that many Chinese will sacrifice family and leisure priorities to work. Service people (such as hairdressers) will provide services until very late at night. Leisure time is not so important. The migrated farmer workers will leave their families behind in faraway places in order to obtain better work and pay in the cities. Another example is that Chinese students care very much about their exam scores and ranking as this is the main criteria to achieve success or not.
Turkey scores 85 on this dimension and thus there is a huge need for laws and rules. In order to minimize anxiety, people make use of a lot of rituals. For foreigners they might seem religious, with the many references to “Allah”, but often they are just traditional social patterns, used in specific situations to ease tension.
The US scores below average, with a low score of 46, on the Uncertainty Avoidance dimension. As a consequence, the perceived context in which Americans find themselves will impact their behaviour more than if the culture would have either scored higher or lower. Thus, this cultural pattern reflects itself as follows:
There is a fair degree of acceptance for new ideas, innovative products and a willingness to try something new or different, whether it pertains to technology, business practices or food. Americans tend to be more tolerant of ideas or opinions from anyone and allow the freedom of expression. At the same time, Americans do not require a lot of rules and are less emotionally expressive than higher-scoring cultures. At the same time, 9/11 has created a lot of fear in the American society culminating in the efforts of government to monitor everybody through the NSA and other security organisations.
At 30 China has a low score on Uncertainty Avoidance. Truth may be relative though in the immediate social circles there is concern for Truth with a capital T and rules (but not necessarily laws) abound. None the less, adherence to laws and rules may be flexible to suit the actual situation and pragmatism is a fact of life. The Chinese are comfortable with ambiguity; the Chinese language is full of ambiguous meanings that can be difficult for Western people to follow. Chinese are adaptable and entrepreneurial. At the time of writing the majority (70% -80%) of Chinese businesses tend to be small to medium sized and family owned.
Turkey’s intermediate score of 46 is in the middle of the scale so no dominant cultural prefernce can be inferred.
But as your blogger, and as a Turkish person, I can tell you that definitely we are not long-term oriented. A lot of people who doesn’t earn much money have Iphones, expensive cars or motorbikes. Besides, a summer get away is more attractive than putting that money away for retirement.
The United States scores normative on the fifth dimension with a low score of 26. This is reflected by the following:
Americans are prone to analyse new information to check whether it is true. Thus, the culture doesn’t make most Americans pragmatic, but this should not be confused with the fact that Americans are very practical, being reflected by the “can-do” mentallity mentioned above. The polarisation mentioned above is, so to speak, strengthened by the fact that many Americans have very strong ideas about what is “good” and “evil”. This may concern issues such as abortion, use of drugs, euthanasia, weapons or the size and rights of the government versus the States and versus citizens. The US is the one of the only “Caucasian” countries in the world where, since the beginning of the 20th century, visiting church has increased. This increase is also evident in some post-Soviet republics such as Russia. American businesses measure their performance on a short-term basis, with profit and loss statements being issued on a quarterly basis. This also drives individuals to strive for quick results within the work place.
China scores 87 in this dimension, which means that it is a very pragmatic culture. In societies with a pragmatic orientation, people believe that truth depends very much on situation, context and time. They show an ability to adapt traditions easily to changed conditions, a strong propensity to save and invest, thriftiness, and perseverance in achieving results.
With an intermediate score of 49, a characteristic corresponding to this dimension cannot be determined for Turkey.
Again as your Turkish blogger, I will share my opinion here. I think we know the importance of children playing together, growing up together with siblings or cousins, etc. They are not forced to give up their entertainment or socializing time to study or work extra hours like in China or Korea, where students start school at 8:00 AM in the morning and finish at 10:00 PM in the evening.
The United States scores as an Indulgent (68) society on the sixth dimension. This, in combination with a normative score, is reflected by the following contradictory attitudes and behaviour:
Work hard and play hard. The States has waged a war against drugs and is still very busy in doing so, yet drug addiction in the States is higher than in many other wealthy countries. It is a prudish society yet even some well-known televangelists appear to be immoral.
China is a Restrained society as can be seen in its low score of 24 in this dimension. Societies with a low score in this dimension have a tendency to cynicism and pessimism. Also, in contrast to Indulgent societies, Restrained societies do not put much emphasis on leisure time and control the gratification of their desires. People with this orientation have the perception that their actions are Restrained by social norms and feel that indulging themselves is somewhat wrong.
I hope you found this book and the website as interesting as I thought. I will see you soon with yet another interesting blog, soon!
I just want to tell you from the beginning that this blog is not for Adnan or Hae’s family or about making Serial even more popular. I want to dedicate my post to only Hae…
UPDATE: There has been some new findings about the case. You can read about them here.
I seek justice for her.
When I was interviewing for a summer internship at a very prestigious company in college, like15 years ago, I remember answering this question: “Why do you study geology? Why are you studying engineering and science?”. My answer was: “I love questioning, researching. I love making connections between the clues and making logical interpretations based on solid scientific facts. The mystery of the world fascinates me. The only way to solve this mystery is science and engineering”. As you can guess, I didn’t get the internship. When I asked why to my professor, who was also present in th einterview, he told me that I sounded like I was living in an Agatha Christie Book, not in reality.
Every human behavior has a science behind it and it intrigues me so much. Forensic psychology is something that I’m really interested in. This is why I read, watch and listen about criminal behavior a lot. To a degree that it worries my boyfriend sometimes.
As far as the Hae’s murder case is concerned, I have combined the evidence, I did an extensive research and analyzed it. The results will make a lot of sense to you and will make you think about this case even days after you read this. Yes, I have a theory and I can support it with logic. Unfortunately, I cannot help but speculate, but isn’t this how the investigation was concluded in the first place? Over a speculation. At least this time, in my analysis below, you will see that I use the physical evidence, autopsy reports, witness testimonies and forensic psychology.
If you are not familiar with the story, it might be hard to grasp it here. Please listen to these podcasts in order to get the story with the details:
Undisclosed (Love you all Rabia, Susan and Colin! Susan, love how your mind works. This crew also writes on their personal blogs: splitthemoon.com, viewfromll2.com, and evidenceprof.com, respectively)
Truth and Justice with Bob Ruff
If you listened to Truth and Justice’s 25th Episode of the first season, you will remember Jim Clemente, who is a renowned retired FBI Profiler. I will discuss his profile point by point in a little bit and explain you what actually Hae’s killer must be like.
But first, I will briefly introduce you the story:
Let’s talk about Hae…
A beautiful, smart, athletic teenager, a Woodlawn (Baltimore, Maryland) high school student who was full of life and full of love. Someone who is strong, impulsive, who tends to fall in love quickly (In her diary from April 1998 to January 1999, she mentions 3 loves: Nick, Adnan and Don). She was caring, about her little cousin, about her friends. Yet, she was stuck in between being a teenager in America and being a Korean teenager at home. Culture clash, together with living with a single mom and a brother must have been really hard for her.
Hae disappeared on January 13th 1999. She was last seen in her car by 2:20-2:30 PM (There is a witness saying 2:45-3:00) leaving the school. She was supposed to pick up her cousin from daycare at 3:15, but she never showed up. Between 2:30 and 3:15, something really terrible happened to her.
They found her partially burried body in Leakin Park on February 10th, 1999. She was found by Mr. S who claimed that he was taking a leak when she found the body. She recognized human hair and a human foot sticking out of the dirt and the leaves. Since there were no cell phones then, he went to the nearest place and told the police about the body.
News Clip on the day hae was found
Mr. S, who found the body of Hae.
Police arrested her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed on February 28th, 1999 and charged him with murder.
I don’t want to go into too much detail of Krista, Cathy, Debbie, Aisha, or Asia and the testimonies and interviews with them. Because it would make it very long and complicated. However, as I mentioned before, I highly recommend you to first listen to Season 1 of Serial Podcast, and then listen to Undisclosed Podcast together with Truth and Justice podcast.
Here is Adnan Syed’s and Hae’s Mutual friends:
Krista testified that Hae was going to give a ride to Adnan the day Hae disappeared, but Hae said last minute something came up so she couldn’t give him a ride. A few days after Hae’s dissappearance, there was a bday party in Krista’s house in which Stephanie, Jay and Adnan were present.
Asia is a key witness in State vs. Adnan Syed case. She is the only person who can put Adnan in the school between 2:30 PM- 3:30 PM. The State’s argument was Hae was strangled at around 2:36 PM. There is a call to Adnan’s cell phone (which is in posession of Jay at that time) and state claimed that this must have been to ‘come and get me, I killed Hae’ call.
Stephanie was one of the closest friends of Adnan. They had known each other since middle school and they would talk regularly. Stephanie was also Jay’s long-term girlfriend.
Jay is the key person to the whole story. He graduated from Woodlawn, the same high school that both Hae and Adnan went, only a year earlier. He is the one who told the cops that Adnan pre-meditated and executed Hae’s murder in cold blood and Jay helped him bury the body. He had Adnan’s car that day (It was Stephanie’s bday and Jay borrowed the car to go get a gift for Stephanie) Adnan’s new cell phone was in the glove pocket of the car because the students were not allowed to bring their phones to the school back then.
But, Jay has never been a credible witness at all. He changed his story at least 7 times. He kept changing the places he had been to that day. Also the time range that he claimed he spent with Adnan was off. If you are telling the truth already, why is the need for changing it constantly?
Adnan’s story of the day has never changed though: “I went to Jay’s house at 10:45, after my morning class. We hung out. I gave my car to him so he could buy a gift for his girlfriend at the mall. Told him to come and pick me up after the track practice. It was Ramadan, I was fasting, so we should have eaten something together after school, smoked pot. It was towards the end of Ramadan so I should have been in the mosque between 7-9 or so with my father. That is the only thing I remember, it was an ordinary day.”
The most confusing part for me in all this is not Jay, although his testimonies are super confusing. He doesn’t surprise me because I recognize a pathological liar when I see one, I grew up together with some people who constantly lied to me. They always thought they were hiding things very well and I wasn’t aware of what was going on, but I was. The inconsistencies in their stories, in their body language, their eye movements, gestures, their choice of words: these clues were all giving them away. So, I get that Jay is pathological liar, he lied probably all his life to get away from trouble. But Jenn?… Why is she lying?
Jenn was Jay’s close friend. Also Jay claimed that he used to hang out with Jenn’s brother Mark sometimes. For some reason, in the early parts of the investigation in February, Jenn and Jay were the only ones who were called in the station to testify. Both talked to the police multiple times. Their pre-tesimonial talk with the cops (Which were 1 hour long for Jenn and at least 2 hours for Jay) were all off the record. We don’t know what the cops told them, if they encouraged them to lie or not. But one thing I know is that Jenn changed her original ‘I don’t know anything’ testimony to ‘I helped Jay to dispose shovels and dirty clothes’ story after she went back home from station and talked to Jay. Something is really fishy here. Really really fishy. If you look at the whole case, you will see how terrible this investigation was conducted (Suggested read here: Please read: Susan Simpson’s blog: viewfromLL2 )
The State had no physical evidence to arrest Adnan (Hae’s ex-boyfriend) : No DNA, No semen, no fibers. Yes, his finger prints were all over Hae’s car but also there were 20 more unidentified fingerprints on her car. Besides,it was common for Hae to give Adnan a ride even after they had broken up: they were still friends and talking. The only “evidence(!)” the State presented was the cell phone tower ping locations which allegedly showed that his phone was at Hae’s burial site that day.
Well, this is not used as a viable evidence anymore in courts since it is not precise:
Please read: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/what-your-cell-phone-cant-tell-the-police (Also please listen to Undisclosed Season 1 Episode 8 and Addendum 8 to understand that these tower pings have no validity in this case, they explain the reasons why and they interview the experts)
Yes, it is helpful when you want to find out if a group of people were at the same whereabouts at a certain time, sure. But, the cell tower pings can change according to many things such as call volume, type of signalling technology used (GSM/UMTS/CDMA), the local topology (man made or natural obstructions), the height of the antennae, type of CDRs available, physical location of other masts, angling of the transceivers, and degree of network activity (other subscribers). In some instances, Cell Site Analysis can be accurate to a few metres, or sometimes a few streets (approximately a postcode).
Let’s consider that the tower pings are reliable. There are still some problems with that:
Now let’s summarize what went wrong with this investigation and then I will tell you about my theory:
Although there is no physical evidence that links Adnan to the murder, he was arrested based on one single person’s testimony who constantly changed his story and lied. He admitted that he lied on the stand.
Jay was charged with ‘Resisting arrest’ offense on January 27th. What was this about? Did they want to take him in for questioning and he didn’t want to go? Or did the cops want to scare him and use these charges against him later? According to Sis, the store owner where Jay worked at, Jay was supposed to show up at work on the February 26th, and 27th. But he didn’t because probably he was picked up by the police. I don’t want to speculate, but this is very likely. So, were the police talking to Jay the whole time?
Interestingly, after January 27th, Jay started spreading rumors to his friends Chris, Tayyib, his co-worker at the store, etc. about the fact that Adnan killed Hae and Jay helped him bury the body. If you really helped someone bury a dead body, why do you want to tell people about this? If you feel remorse, you would tell people the next day of the crime. Not after you got questioned three days in a row by the police for an ‘unknown’ reason.
According to the owner of the store (I don’t like when people emphasize this was a ‘porn’ store. Jay needed money, he wasn’t filming porn, so why big deal?) Jay took time off on February 20th and 22nd to talk to the cops even though this never was entered into the police records. This sounds about right because as you can see in the image below the police didn’t take much action between February 18th and 24th except questioning Mr S and sending Subpoenas to a bunch of people.
So, although this was NOT Jay’s first interview, the police, for some reason, decided to pick up Jay from the store (They never went to his house, probably Jay didn’t want his family to know and the police were so kind to grand this request. Yet again, why?) and questioned him at the station. After talking to him for an hour ‘off the record’ they went on record. Suddenly, Jay wanted to ‘Come Clean’. He confessed that he helped Adnan bury the body and he knew where Hae’s car was. What is the reason of this preliminary off the record questioning? Why is the mystery?
If you listened to Undisclosed Podcast, there is one addendum session that you HAVE to listen. So, Jay takes the police to Hae’s car on February 28th. But on this police report from the crime scene dated February 12th, there is this coding: Body:12 Car: 12, 0, lost properties: 4, 0,0. This indicated that the police knew where Hae’s car was long before February 28th.
After hearing both sides and reading a lot about this, I think Jay didn’t know where the car was. The police had known the location and took him there.
The charges filed against Jay that went into records on January 27th were dropped suddenly on March 5th, 1999.
There was no physical evidence (DNA from her and her car, the fibers, many items including a condom and a brandy bottle around her body were collected, but never tested), or no professional victimology performed (Nobody knew Hae’s internet contacts, nobody checked who she was talking to in chat rooms, nobody checked what was in her floppy disks, where she usually stopped on her way to the daycare, what she was worried about lately, which restaurant was her favorite, etc). Thinking that the cell tower pings and Jay’s testimony are good enough proof , they arrested Adnan in the early hours of February 28th, 1999 for the murder of Hae Min Lee.
Other strange thing about Hae’s car is that in the initial photos that were taken in Hae’s car when it was found, you can clearly see that ignition collar had been removed. But in the video that wass taken 2 weeks later, on March 16, you see that ignition collar was replaced. But they kept the windshield wiper broken, because it supported the State’s case. Also, according to Hae’s brother, Young, the turn signal, which is on the left not right side, was broken when he was driving the car home on March 4th. Please pay attention, the turn signal was broken, NOT the windshield wiper lever. He remembers it because he had difficulty with it and didn’t feel safe while driving home.
Besides the lack of DNA testing, a detailed analysis on the tire marks wasn’t performed either.
This is the only tire information we have from the investigation and the result was announced as ‘inconclusive’:
When I searched on internet about Hae’s Car, which was a 1998 Nissan Sentra GXE, there were 4 possible DUNLOP tires that could fit. And since the analysis says ‘SP’ not ‘Winter’ type, this brings down the options to two similar tires. However, unfortunately it is impossible to see clearly the tire’s shape and design since Nissan’s tire in the photo is covered in mud. But it is definitey NOT SP SPort 2000 series.
When we compare with Adnan’s car which was a 1987 Honda accord LX , it seems even more unlikely that the tracks belonged to his car, not only the width but also the design seems completely different:
This indicates that there is no evidence that Hae’s car was there that day. But nobody really digged into these, or simply they never wanted to.
I think another weird thing about this case is Adnan’s lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez. Although Adnan says that she was always very kind and caring to him, I think she is one of the biggest reasons why Adnan is in jail right now. He shouldn’t have been sentenced to life with no physical evidence that connected him to the crime. I’m not saying he did or he didn’t commit the crime. He shouldn’t have been imprisoned with the lack of evidence they had in this case.
During the trial, Gutierrez had started to have some health (She later died in 2004) and financial problems. She seemed distracted and agitated in the court or behind the scenes, especially towards Adnan’s family. She never called Asia McClain even though she was the key witness, considering State’s timeline. Gutierrez didn’t even look at the survelience records in the library that Asia mentions below, in her first letter to Adnan. According to Adnan, he gave this letter to Gutierrez but she never followed up with Asia. In Gutierrez notes, it is written: “Asia saw Adnan in the library 2:30-3:30” But it seems like she never followed up on that:
I don’t think Gutierrez appealed to the jury or the judge, either. Her style was not working for the jury or the others in the court. She was absent minded, too forceful, too loud and tiring. While I was listening to Serial, I was super agitated by her voice and intonation as well as her choices of questions. She was far from convincing and she was rather annoying (fast forward to 28:35):
The reason the first trial ended as a mistrial was because the judge called Gutierrez ‘liar’. This mistrial was a major set back in the case.
When she failed the trial, she got in the elevator with Adnan’s parents. Instead of saying ‘I’m sorry’ She kept her silence for a while, and then she uttered these words: “I will need $50,000 for the appeal” and she left the elevator just like that.
I’m sorry if she was really not feeling well or was going through rough times. However, this is not a good excuse to cause someone innocent to end up in jail for life. If Adnan is innocent, look at the hot mess he has been in since day one.
Another super odd fact is that: The investigators of this case only collected outgoing phone records from Adnan’s phone, not the incoming calls, claiming that they cannot trace the tower pings with incoming calls (AT&T Fact cover sheet states that -and yet the prosecuters used some of the incoming calls as evidence in the court). But what the strangest thing is, they didn’t track ANY of Hae’s calls; incoming or outgoing. She told a couple of people that day ‘I have somewhere to be, I can’t give a ride to Adnan’ and yet between the time when she leaves the campus, 2:20 and when she picks up her cousing at the day care, 3:15, she had almost an hour. The drive was not more than 15 minutes with traffic (see below). Mind you that when she was found, her pager was missing. This would make you think that the killer didn’t want the pager to be found. So why nobody looked into her call records? Why do you spend so much attention, time and effort on one possible suspect’s phone records but not on the victim instead?
Also, did anybody ask around at the hotels, gas stations, cafes and restaurants on this route? We guess that she didn’t withdraw any money that day (No records were made public on this). So probably she had some cash with her – when she was found, she had 1$ on her. What if she stopped for food? There is a very interesting detail: At the crime scene, one piece of evidence was an empty bag of Popeye food (maybe nuggets?). Well, guess what, there was a Popeye restaurant on her way.
Here are some cafes that were close to her route:
Nobody asked around these public places to see if someone saw what happened because they had set their minds and eyes already on someone and only one: They were fixated at Adnan. They didn’t care if Hae deserved justice or they didn’t care if they were stealing a very successful bright future from an 18-year old boy by locking him up forever. This was just another case for them to get rid of, and they needed to do it quickly since there were over 100 other cases to deal with at that time.
(And of course that Popeye bag was never tested for DNA… sigh…)
I think Sarah Koenig was thinking that Adnan was innocent until she learned about the Nisha call. Nisha call is still a mystery to this day, and it still looks bad for Adnan. Let me exlain like this: State says, he called Nisha at 3:32 because he was in the car with Jay. Defense says Jay was alone with the phone, Adnan was at track practice, it must have been a butt dial since Nisha was on speed dial and at the top of the contacts list. It couldn’t have gone to voicemail, because Nisha had never set up one. But… AT&T says that after a 30-second-long unanswered calls, they show this in the call log and in the bill as a ‘call made’.
Nisha was one of the girls Adnan was talking to in January 1999. When you look at Adnan’s call logs, he always called her sometime after 7:00 PM (mostly after 9). We are creatures of habit. Probably by the time he broke his fast and ate his dinner with family and finally found some lone time was after 7pm:
Some talks were for seconds, some for minutes, some for almost an hour. But that day, the day Hae disappeared, there was a call from Adnan’s phone to Nisha at 3:32 PM which lasted approximately 2 minutes and 20 seconds. The problem is that, Adnan said at that time he was either at the library or at the track practice, without his phone. His phone must have been still with Jay (until around 7:30 PM that day). This is the only call that was made to someone who only Adnan knew, whereas other outgoing calls until 5:30 PM were Jay’s friends: Patrick, Phil, and Jenn. When they questioned Nisha in March, two months after Hae disapeared, she testified that she remembered one call with Adnan that Jay was there, they were at the video store that Jay worked at. Adnan put Jay on the phone to say hi and Nisha said hi to Jay and that was it. This cannot be January 13th call though because Jay hadn’t started working at the video store until February. What Nisha remembers must be the February 14 call which took place, again, after 7:00 PM:
For other findings, please read: https://ew.com/article/2015/08/24/5-key-finding-undisclosed-serial-adnan-syed/
One most important thing about human psychology is that we cannot hide our excitement or interest most of the time. Our actions speak louder than words. The reason why Adnan got a cell phone in the first place was Nisha. Nisha and Adnan met at New Years Eve and since she lived outside the city, all the calls Adnan was making from his home landline phone, it doubled up the phone bill (Also Both Adnan’s mom and Adnan told that his mom would listen to his conversations with girls and he wouldn’t like that at all) and Adnan decided to get a cell phone instead. Again, look at his behavior: The first thing he does when he activates his phone is to call Nisha to give his number. Not Hae. Actually he calls Hae the last that day to give his number.
If this was a person who was ‘obsessed about the break up, who couldn’t get over Hae, This would have been way different. He would have called Hae first.
NOW, MY THEORY
Because I want justice for Hae, and she didn’t deserve this terrible investigation, I have done my own part. I’m not a cop or a profiler – Blogger Note: I wish I could be. But I’m a concerned human being and I love doing research. I thought it wouldn’t hurt anybody to fight for justice.
I will investigate four main characters here, Adnan, Hae, Jay and Jenn in 2 ways:
Who they are in general.
What happened to them on January 13th.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ADNAN, JAY AND JENN ON JANUARY 13, 1999
Like any other day, Adnan had a schedule that started at 7:45 and ended at 2:50 on Tuesday, January 13, 1999. The schedule below was obtained by the detectives and this was later supported by the phone records.
The phone records and both Jay and Adnan’s testimonies tell us that they hung out somewhere between 10:45 and 12:40 PM that day. Please zoom in if you cannot read clearly. Unfortunately the blog doesn’t allow me use a bigger space for the pictures.
Before we start, I have to clarify two things:
The only reason I’m showing the phone coverage here is because this was State’s argument. In Undisclosed podcast, the team’s research proved that the tower pings, especially in 1999, could not be used at all for the exact location. ESPECIALLY Incoming Calls.
The call that is made to Krista at 5:38, which is a 2 second call has an explanation. This was explained by the experts while discussing the 2:36 the alleged ‘come and get me’ call that lasted 5 seconds only. These short period calls might not be calls at all. Sometimes it tries to connect and drops. Those seconds include the time that passes to connect.
Before I layout my theory here, I want to make it clear that I do not want to offend anybody here or disrespect to Hae’s memory. On the contrary, I’m trying to clarify things, add new things to the investigation so that people can have a more logical perspective. This is neither a game for me, nor a hobby. I felt like these ideas were wandering around my mind for the past 3 years and now I felt like it is time to share with you. Thanks for your understanding.
PS. I have a hate and love relationship with Reddit. Some posts that are not based on scientific facts but pure speculations drive me insane. However, some documents and links provided there are so useful sometimes.
First, let’s go over Jim Clemente’s profile of the killer together. As a retired FBI profiler and a very well educated (Chemistry major, then finished law school and worked as a prosecuter in NYC before joining FBI) professional, I really respect his experience and I find him really smart. Criminal Behavioral Analysis is a real science and it really works, especially when there is not enough physical evidence to find the suspect. Although it works, it functions properly only when you have certain type of information from the crime scene and victimology. Clemente says every criminal has a certain style and that gives them away. As I had said before, we are the creatures of habit.
Before he started to lay out his profile, and a couple of times during the interview with Bob Ruff (Truth and Justice Podcast Season 1 Episode 25) he insisted that ‘He couldn’t devote a lot of time on this’ OR ‘He normally would have dug deeper before he did any analysis’. So from the beginning he admits that he is not fully knowledgeable about the case.
First, he starts with victimology. I will add my own comments in blue here:
” ‘Risk level’ is the exposure to dangerous situations which would end up causing the victim’s death. We evaluate her relationships and environment. Hae wasn’t a run away, or a hitchiker. There was no prostitution, no indication of drug use or extensive partying. Her diary confirms this. She is moral, caring but dramatic. Because of all of these, she is a ‘low risk victim’. Which means there is a very tight circle of people who has access to her in order to kill her.
However, she is lying to her family about her relationships due to cultural reasons. She has history of being extremely in love: She didn’t slowly build up in her relationships, she is impulsive, dramatic, emotional. There might be other men who we don’t know, who is closer to her. So, these two factors slightly elevates her danger level. “
As a person who grew up in a different culture than America, I can totally see Hae’s mother’s worries: Hae is a young, beautiful girl, growing up without a father figure, in a different country: I’m a single mother and I need to protect her at all costs. Especially from men. Maybe that’s why Hae’s uncle was also living with them; to fill in that father figure. So, she had to be a strict mother. Also, most Asian cultures (including mine) are very close-community cultures. The families get really worried when their children fall in love with someone from a different race or culture.
Maybe Hae was quick to fall in love because she was constantly seeking for the attention, love and affection that she had saught while growing up. She might have had what we call ‘Limerence Addiction’. The way that she writes Don’s name127 times in her diary and the next day she says she is still in love with Adnan very much indicates the need of having love involved in her life as much as possible, and not letting it go so easily.
The Next level : Crime itself. Let’s look at the definitions first: A homocide is when someone kills the other person. Murder is when someone kills other person illegally. This looks like a murder. If this was an accident, they wouldn’t conceal the body. The concealment shows that this was not an accident.
It is in a park, in January, relatively remote. The person who put her didn’t want somebody to find her. In behaviral analysis, we consider three concealment types: 1. Permanent concealment: Burying completely or turning the body into ash or dumping the body into the river 2. No concealment 3. Partial concealment: You bury the part of the body. This is the case here. Somebody took the time to cover the body partially (Hae’s body was covered with dirt and leaves in a way that it looked like picture below: the purple marks show where the body was exposed to the air, uncovered).
Whoever did this, they don’t look criminally sophisticated. This murder is ill planned. In January, it is cold and stormy. Ground is cold and very difficult to dig. They didn’t know until they had to do it and dig a grave. According to Jim Clemente, this person is not experienced, OR not old. He didn’t have time to grow up. They had to act this way because it felt like this had to be this way.
If you are a burglar and you go to a city that you don’t live in and you kill, 99.9% you will get out! Let’s say car jacking. Again, you did something you didn’t intend to do but the longer you spend with that dead body, the greater chances you will get caught. If people take the time to conceal a body, there is a known relationship between the killer and the unsub (the victim). If the victim knows this offender and the victims’s relationships (friends, relatives) might recognize this person, the killer will want to conceal the body. He is impulsive so he might be young. There are many places, water dumps, lakes but this person wanted to dig a hard soil.
I think Clemente didn’t know that there wasn’t much digging done to bury her in Hae’s case, although the murderer took the time to remove a considerable amount of soil and leaves to cover her. So far, I agree with Jim Clemente on some points though: He says this person is either older but not criminally sophisticated, or young, which I agree on. I also think this person was in her circle: Either from a close circle or a further one. The range of people of this circle could be anyone from Hae’s group of friends and family to people who work at the day care, the grocery store , gas station or hairdresser, etc.
Robbery was not the motive, she still had jewelery on. Rape was not the motive because at least there is no indication or anything like that occured. So, as a low risk victim, her being killed by a stranger is almost impossible without these motives. She was specifically targeted by the killer. Somebody has a personal cause against her. Rage or revenge.
Now here, I disagree with him. As he mentioned before, he doesn’t know every specific detail about this case. First of all, her wallet, pager, keys and shoes were missing. Her jewelery was on (or at least her necklaces were) but here, I believe wallet and shoes are the most important things (I will explain to you in depth when I present my own theory) since the murderer might have taken the shoes and/or wallet as thropies and her pager as something valuable.
Second of all, we do not know for sure if she was sexually assulted. Yes, there was no semen (spermotozoa) found in anal and oral swabs but semen’s life span is as short as 24- 96 hours , then it degenerates. Have a look at this:
“From FORENSICS: A GUIDE FOR WRITERS, by D.P. Lyle, M.D., pg 201:
“In living victims, the duration of sperm motility is from four to six hours. If motile sperm are found in vaginal swabs, the sexual act likely occurred less than six hours earlier. After that, the sperm die and begin to break down and fragment, and timing becomes a guessing game. First the tails are lost, leaving behind sperm heads, and then the heads and tails undergo fragmentation and destruction. The survival of sperm heads and sperm remnants in various body orifices is extremely variable, so that no accurate timeline can be established. In general, these remnants may remain in the vagina for up to six or seven days, the rectum for two to three days, and the mouth less than twenty-four hours. In cases of rape-homicide, sperm may remain in the vagina of the corpse for up to two weeks.
Elevated SAP levels can be found in the vagina for up to seventy-two hours. Semen is a fairly resilient substance. Laundering and dry cleaning of stained clothing may or may not remove all traces of PSA and SAP, and traces of spermatozoa can sometimes be found on microscopic examination of the laundered material. If protected from extremes of temperature, harsh chemicals, and other unfavorable environmental conditions, dried semen stains may remain identifiable and usable for DNA analysis for many years.”
Would you expect to find semen on a 4-week-old dead body? No. You test DNA instead and compare with the victim’s own DNA. If you find different results, you run in the database, or compare with suspects’ DNA. Although it sounds as simple as it is, detectives did not run the DNA tests and they ruled out rape based on the useless semen tests. BESIDES, near the victim they found a rolled condom (likely unused) and a condom wrapper, a rope and they never tested them for DNA, either.
Clemente continues: If this was a serial killer happened to be in the neighborhood, it would be 1 % chance. If this is a serial killer, what is the motive? Instead of being dilusional or a psychopathic person? Serial killer would never spend the time (because nobody knows the relationship between him and the victim) carrying her there, digging and covering. Because he would have risked being discovered at the time. The theory of totally unrelated, non-motive driven serial killer killing Hae is impossible.Unless they were serial killer who was working in the neighborhood. The person had some familiarity and the connection with the burial site.
It is so true that without a burglary or sexual assault motive, it is highly unlikely that this could be a serial killer. Yet again, there were items missing and we do not know if she was raped or not. So, what we only have for certain is that the killer was known to the victim, and to the area.
Clemente also claims: Lividity is a very good question referring all the lividity being frontal and on her chests and face, indicating she was laying face down when the lividity was fixed. But when she was found, she was lying on her right side (like in the previous picture). So, Leaking Park must be either the burial site but not the murder site: He murdered and kept her in a secure location OR the murderer killed her in the park but later came back and changed her position to conceal her better.
Livor Mortis or Lividity
Livor mortis or lividity is the gravitational pooling of blood in the dependent parts of the body, both externally in the skin capillaries and venules but also in the internal organs. Its onset is variable but it is usually most evident about 2 hours after death, although it is stated to occur as soon as 15 minutes after death (Clark et al., 1997).
Livor Mortis starts to develop 2-4 hours after death, becomes non-fixed or blanchable up to 8-12 hours after death and fixed or non-blanchable after 8-12 hours from the time of death (Chemistry for Liberal Studies – Forensic Academy / Dr. Stephanie R. Dillon)
So according to this information, she was brought to her final position (resting on her side) at the burial side, at least 8-12 hours after her time of death. So let’s say she was killed at 2:45. The best case scenario is that at 10:45, the killer took the body from its original resting position, put in the car without letting anyone see, came to Leakin Park, started digging a shallow grave. So now the time should be, the best case scenario, at least 11:00 PM. But Jay told that they were burying the body between 7 and 8 PM. Also, he claimed that they kept Hae’s body in the trunk crumbled up before they buried her. There is no way she would have a frontal lividity in a crumbled up position in the back of a Nissan Sentra.
Going back to Clemente’s claims though, it is obvious that Hae was buried at least 8 hours after her death. It is highly possible that he kept her in a secure place first then late at night or the next day he went to Leakin Park to bury her. We cannot know the exact time, unfortunately. She could have been alive for a whole week, and we wouldn’t know.
She doesn’t have defensive wounds, the killer possibly incapacitated her by hitting her head first, then he strangled her. Also, he had parallel 2-5 inches scratches on her back, so she should have been dragged, not more than one person was carrying her.
This again shows that the State’s claim was completely garbage, because according to them, Adnan and Jay carried her together.
Strangulation is a very personal kill. You see life is leaving her. Also, this is a very clean kill. he doesn’t want to get messy. He is neat. Indication of first time for this offender. Sadist wants to look in the eye: they want to see the fear and suffering. This person didn’t want to do that. Because it is easier to murder someone who is not fighting them back or looking at them with teary eyes. If there was premeditation, it wasn’t very deep. Planning was not effective.
Premeditation requires being highly organized, well planned. On the other hand, crime of passion is haphazard. Not very much planned. He must have a higher than average intelligence for a first time kill since it gave him 30 days to hide and create an alibi. This is why I think he is young and inexperienced. Recovering immediately when something goes wrong, is a skill. Apperance would be important for this murderer. They must be concerned about their surroundings, concerned about their appearance.
I do believe as well this person was not experienced in killing, but not necessarily young. So considering he is not a good planner, and this might be a crime of passion, this indicates that th suspect was impulsive. This is again against State’s theory, because Jay confessed that they had planned everything beforehand.
Some people claimed that ‘Oh, Adnan is very neat, very clean, well dressed, he must be the killer’. This is jumping to a conclusion with nothing. He was good looking and cared about fashion, yeah. But neat? Look at his car and room:
Adnan’s Car, First Search, Interior, Front, Glove, Envelope
Adnan’s Car, First Search, Interior, Rear, Jeans
Adnan’s Car, First Search, Interior, Rear
Adnan’s Car, First Search, Interior, Front
Finally. Clemente asked Bob Ruff: we know who draw the break ups but who draw the reunions? This would be important to know.
I believe the reason Clemente is asking this is to understand Adnan’s behavior in the relationship. Was he dominant? Most importantly, was he controlling which could turn into violence later?
I have studied about controlling men and their abusive behavior and I learned quite a bit. Especially if the person is coming from an abusive childhood in which the father is abusive towards the mother or the mother OR father abusive towards children, this MIGHT lead children grow up as abusers (mostly men) since they normalize these kind of behaviors growing up. I read Hae’s diary and I read Adnan’s 2015 letter to Sarah Koenig to find clues about such behavior:
Saturday July 4 2018: “Hae and Adnan get in a fight because she doesn’t return his pages soon enough. Adnan leaves Hae a message telling her she is horrible, and he hates her. Hae and Adnan make up and go see fireworks. Adnan drops Hae off at Aisha’s for a sleepover. Adnan returns to Aisha’s late, with carrot cake”
This type of behavior tells me that He was afraid of losing her because he had been sensing it for a while from her that she was distant. He also knew that Aisha doesn’t like him very much and Hae was spending almost the whole day with her. He was being a little bit controlling here, he got frustrated at her. And yet, he didn’t punish her. Most abusers (90%) make sure the woman suffers from the decision she made (spending the time with Aisha or not picking up the phone right away) If he was an abuser, he wouldn’t have taken her to see the fireworks OR he wouldn’t have shown any remorse of his behavior (carrot cake).
The below entry from April introduces a new name, Nick. Probably the guy she liked (maybe dated?) before Adnan. She mentioned that a girl sat on Adnan’s lap that day and he apologized for that even though it wasn’t his fault. This shows a good manner and Hae seems to be already aware of that at that time. It sounds like even though they were not in a relationship yet, Adnan was respecting whatever between Hae and him and he cared about Hae’s feelings.
The below entry from August shows that Hae wanted forgiveness and she believed she hurt him and put him in dangerous situations. I can guess that these are actually Adnan’s words: “Why do you do this to me? I put myself in dangerous situations for you (meaning his family) and you do what? You hurt me.” This is a total assumption of course, but very likely. In this case, there is some sort of emotional manipulation. Which shows that with all these changing minds, breaking ups and coming back togethers, he felt that he was being treated unfairly and yet he wanted to keep her. We play these kinds of games all the time. I highly recommend you to read Eric Berne’s Classic book “Games People Play” (1964) to understand this subject manner better.
Below entry is extra important. Nick, Hae’s ex-love spreads some rumors about ‘Something happened in the techroom while they were alone wih Hae’ Hae, obviously gets mad. But, please look at Adnan’s reaction: “Leave it alone“. Then he tells her a secret of his just to distract her mind from an unpleasant day. ‘Leave it alone’ is NOT impulsive. It is pretty mature, actually. You wouldn’t expect this level of maturity from a 17-year-old boy. Also, he is NOT controlling. Otherwise, he would have confronted the guy, started a fight, or at least would have told really nasty words about him. This might also indicate that that he didn’t want her to get in trouble for this.
Below entry says that “I wanted just a time off and both Adnan and his friends made a great deal out of it. I guess I will be afraid of bringing up anything”. At this point, together with other entries, it is obvious that both Adnan’s and Hae’s families and their cultural pressure on them are affecting the couple. Hae has a lot of back and forths and indecisiveness, which is really common in teenagers. However, her saying that ‘I’m afraid’ means that she thought losing him will also mean losing their mutual friends and she thought Adnan was overreacting.
What did Adnan write?
There are some love poems and letters that I’m not going to share here. However, this Christmas card and after break up note is very important. He says that “You helped me grow’ ‘I care about you too much to just let you slip out of my life, I would love to have you as a friend, maybe my best friend” “I hope you are happy, whoever you are with, whatever you are doing”. These sentences indicate love, respect, acceptance and pain.
Here is an excerpt from a letter Adnan sent to Serial producer Sarah Koenig on 10.10.2013:
This letter tells me that Adnan is a well-written and well-spoken individual. I can tell he has been reading and maybe writing a lot in prison. Also, the urge to watch crime shows to understand where his investigation went wrong kind of indicates that it is because actually he might be innocent. He wants to know about passion kills, couple murders and reasons behind them, since he doesn’t know. He has a very realistic and objective perspective. He doesn’t try to say “Oh! I loved her so much, till this day I still think about her and mourn her death!” He says “This is how we met, this is what we did together and this is why I can’t be her murderer” He is not trying to win over you by being emotional but he is choosing to be realistic in this letter. Like he did in Nick situation, saying ‘Leave it alone’ to Hae.
And finally, this:
He is not concerned about himself here saying that ” I have spent 13 years in prison for nothing, I didn’t deserve this or I don’t belong here” He talks about ‘his parents‘ time’ his lawyers, Sarah Koenig’s efforts. He is genuinely saying that “I value what you do for me,and you are doing it for a solid reason: I’m innocent.”
My final analysis is the famous ‘I’m going to Kill’ note. Hae gives her break up note to Adnan. The same day in Class, during the sex education session, Adnan makes Aisha read the letter. Then they start talking silly things about Hae, which would make sense if you were 17 in a sex education class but when you read now, they are weird:
I have two theories about this, but this is now pure speculation.
Aisha wrote: “No I – messages”
Adnan wrote: “huhi that’s ghetto. eYE (pronounced as ‘I‘”
Adnan continued: “I’m going to kill”
He was trying to make emphasis on Hae’s word ‘I’ and he speaks on behalf of Hae’s, telling Adnan “I’m going to kill”
We have all been tenagers and we know how awakward the sexual education class is, and how boring (It is a necessary class, but we thought it was boring, no?)
When I zoomed in to the doodle, and rotated it, this is what I got:
This looks like an unfinished woman face with a tiny ponytail and two rounded earrings. This could be their sexual education teacher. And by saying “I’m going to kill” He might mean the teacher, because he is so bored.
If you are going to kill your girlfirend, you don’t tell this to your girlfriend’s bestfriend. Do you?
This sentence could not have been added later, either because otherwise Aisha would have started writing from the first line instead of the third line.
WHAT HAPPENED TO HAE ON JANUARY 13, 1999
On January 13, 1999, during the early Photography Class (about 7:40 – 9:15) Adnan asked Hae for a ride. This is from Krista’s testimony (By the way, don’t forget that Adnan’s car is with him that morning):
In her testimony, Becky says a very similar thing:
So, at that time Adnan’s brother was working at NTB-National Tire & Battery on Owings Mills, which is an auto repair shop. There might be two possibilities:
1. Adnan’s plan was to leave the car at his brother’s shop at around 12:30 and get a ride back to school from his brother. Then get a ride from Hae to the shop. But this doesn’t explain why he says later ‘OK no problem, I will ask someone else then’ in response to Hae saying she can’t give him a ride anymore. Because at that point we know that Jay has the car. It is possible that Adnan could have changed his mind about the repair and gave the car to Jay so that he could go shopping. But then why didn’t he tell Hae ‘I don’t need it anymore anyways’?
2. My other theory is not the ride to somewhere else but the track practice. Look at what Becky says:
That day, maybe Adnan was asking this short ride around the front to the track practice. Because he doesn’t have his car and maybe in the morning he was thinking about leaving his car at his brothers and then changed his mind and lent it to Jay instead. From the track practice coach and Asia McClain’s testimonies, we know that Adnan went to library to check his emails and spent some time until the track practice started at 3:30-4:00PM
Hae was present in every class, she was quiet at lunch (According to Becky’s testimony) and when she was asked, she said she was thinking about Don.
At 2:15, when the class was dismissed, Hae saw Adnan (Krista was with him) and she said ‘Oh no, I can’t take you, I have something else to do’. According to Becky, she was at the gym at around 2:30. Maybe she had to stop by the gym for something and that’s why she couldn’t give him this short ride to the track practice.
Between 2:30 and 3:15 sometime, Hae was abducted or killed. After she left Woodlawn campus, she could have taken one of these possible three routes:
The most two logical routes can be as follows considering the time and traffic at that time:
Now I would like to draw your attention to the rectangular area that is colored in red: The red area is magnified in below satellite photo for you. The green circles are showing where the gas stations are located and red ones are showing where KFC and Popeye restaurants were located. All these places have big parking lots and during 2:30-3:15 it is not their busiest times. The yellow circle shows a known sex offender, murderer and burglar’s house (I’ll explain who he is in a second):
That yellow circle shows the location a house which once upon a time belonged to a very dangerous man : Roy Sharonnie Davis III. He was not living in that location then, but his wife and daughter were. Mind you, he commited his first rape and murder on her way to visit his daughter:
Before I continue explaining what I believe happened to Hae, I will stop here to explain first more about her possible murderer suspect.
ROY SHARONNIE DAVIS III
Davis has been charged with multiple charges of assault, burglary, rape and one known murder of an 18-year old, Jada Denita Lambert. But is this enough to call him as a serial killer?
Let’s look at the definition of a serial killer from Wikipedia:
“A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people, usually in service of abnormal psychological gratification, with the murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant period of time between them. Different authorities apply different criteria when designating serial killers.While most set a threshold of three murders, others extend it to four or lessen it to two. The Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI), for example, defines serial killing as “a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone”.
Although psychological gratification is the usual motive for serial killing, and most serial killings involve sexual contact with the victim, the FBI states that the motives of serial killers can include anger, thrill-seeking, financial gain, and attention seeking.The murders may be attempted or completed in a similar fashion. The victims may have something in common, for example, demographic profile, appearance, gender , age or race. A serial killer is neither a mass murderer, nor a spree killer.”
The only known murder by him is Ms. Lambert’s so far. Therefore, it is not quite right to call him as a serial killer.
Davis was 5’11” (1.80 m) tall, weighing 215 lbs (97 kg) at the time. He was 45 years old in 1999. The police report says he had a drivers license (SDX means a driver license number) and the report talks about multiple rape and burglary charges he had:
Before I start to layout the reasons why he most likely could be the killer of Hae, I would like to tell you about what I think about him first. I think he is a very experienced burglar. He is in possession of a gun or guns (you can see this in his criminal record). He smokes or deals pot (his actual picture is impossible to find but his gravatar on the internet is the photo below):
What we know is between 1997 and 2000, he was married with D.L. Davis, he had kids and as far as we know, he used to live at the intersection of Liberty Road and Essex (The yellow circle in the satellite picture).
But something started to change and somewhere between 1998 and 1999 Davis started to get extremely violent. This is what Serial Dynasty, Bob Ruff says in 2015: “What I finally found was a case where Roy Davis was the defendant, that did indeed involve him violating some sort of restraint order. And when I read through the case files onthis, what I found was that the complainant was actually Roy Davis’ wife, not his daughter.And also that he was not sentenced in April of 1999, the complaint was filed in April of 1999. Roy Davis was incarcerated on August 20th of 1999 and then on September 27, he pled guilty to the crime and was sentenced to time served, which at that point had been 38 days. And that’s all there is on that document: plaintiff, Roy’s wife, charged, violation of some sort of restraining order, disposition, pled guilty, sentence time served, which was 38 days.”
Domestic violence is the biggest cause of most restraining orders. If a woman believes that her life or her children’s lives are in danger, they go to the police and make a complaint. The abuser man is not allowed to either come near the family and/or communicate with them until further notice. If the man violates this and tries to contact them or show up at their place, this violates the restraining order. He probably did so on August 20th and he served 38 days in jail for this.
From this information we can assume that he doesn’t respect woman or he sees himself superior and in control. He possibly has a controlling behavior.
Let’s look at his recorded arrests and charges (Admin Office Of Courts District Courts -Maryland) I’m writing here the dates of the offense, not the date of the charges:
May. 1, 1998: Murder – First Degree/Rape
Dec. 28, 1998: Fail Obey Renble/Lawfl (A person who is convicted of fail to obey a reasonable and lawful order that a law enforcement officer makes is subject to imprisonment of 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.Fail to obey a reasonable and lawful order in Maryland is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland, not a felony)
Feb. 2, 1999: Charge/Offense: False Statement – to Peace Officer
Apr. 8 (complaint made), 1999: Violate Exparte/Protection Order
May. 17, 1999 (He was caught in 2000 and sentenced to 10 years for this): Assault, 2nd Degree | Theft | Robbery with a Dangerous & Deadly Weapon | Attempt Theft | Attempted Robbery | Assault, 1st Degree | Handgun – Wear//Carry, Etc | Robbery – General
July 30, 1999: Armed Robbery
Aug. 18, 1999 (charged from the protection violation of prot order, spent 38 days in Jail): Firearm Use/Fel – Viol Crime | Assault – First Degree | False Statement to Officer
Sep. 29, 1999 (He was caught in 2000 and sentenced to 10 years for this): Robbery – General | Handgun – Wear//Carry, Etc | Theft | Robbery with a Dangerous & Deadly Weapon | Assault, 1st Degree
Looking at this criminal record, I see a gradual increase in the number and magnitude of his crimes until February (or January). Then a very quick and obvious escalation takes place in his violence until the time of his arrest. Burglary, robbery, assault, rape, murder. The time span between the crimes gets shorter as well: as if he wants to be caught and imprisoned. Something must have happened in 1998, a trigger, and he started escalating after Jada Lambert’s murder. I don’t know if Lambert was his first rape and murder victim or not. But it is very likely he might have committed a similar crime between May 1998 and April 2000. Especially considering he got more and more careless and violent.
Let’s look at Murder of Jada Denita Lambert on April 30, 1998:
According to her friend’s testimony, Jada took the bus to Charles Center to pick up her ID card and then she was planning to take public transportation to Owings Mills Mall (most likely by subway). Here is the testimony:
Owings Mills Mall is very close to Roy S. Davis’ residence. It was only a 11 minute-drive. Considering the walk between the subway station to the Owings Mills Mall is 17 mins and through alleys and parking lots, this would give Davis long enough time and privacy he was looking for even in the bright day light.
We know from the autopsy that he raped her before he killed her. Also we know that he hit her in the head to make her unconscious at some point, then strangled her. If you knock someone out, they won’t scream, so I believe this is when the rape happened: Between the hit and the strangulation. When they asked him why he had to kill her, he said ‘She noticed him’ that’s why he had to kill her. This makes me think that at least for a couple of minutes they must have had some sort of conversation so that she says that she recognised him or maybe even begged him to let her go. According to Baltimore Sun, his then wife DLL Davis used to cut Jada’s hair.
If the the same thing happened to Hae, like Jim Clemente had said earlier, a serial killer working in the neighborhood, familiar with the people around Hae, maybe that is why she was partially concealed.
Let’s look at the similarities between the two cases:
Both victims are about the same age. Hae was 17 (18 some records) and Jada was 18 (19 some records) when they died.
They were both fully clothed when they were found. BUT Hae was missing shoes and Jada was missing an underwear. (Also, interestingly, the autopsy report doesn’t include Hae’s underwear, but the general evidence inventory does (in some other place you can see it as noted ‘Beige panties and it was tested negative for semen results’).
They were both found by a stream, partially concealed. Jada’s head and part of her frontal torso was submerged in water and most importantly, her blue jean jacket was left on her back (please see the article below). Hae was partially covered in dirt and leaves.
They were both missing their wallets. Hae also didn’t have her keys and pager on her.
They both had a trauma to the head. Hae had on the right side (two blunt force trauma, one of them towards the back) and Jada had it on the left.
They were both strangled.
They both were found with an empty bottle of alcohol near them. I wonder if the bottle in Jada’s case was a Brandy bottle like in Hae’s crime scene. That would be a very compelling coincidence.
8. They were both transported to the burial site by a vehicle. Thinking that Jada didn’t have her car with her, she must have been transported there with Davis’ car.
9. The autopsy report for both show abrasions which indicate ‘dragging of the body’. The abrasions were on Hae’s back whereas they were on Jada’s chest, abdomen and upper thighs.
10. Difference between two cases is that in Jada’s anal and vaginal swabs, there were some spermotozoa with and without tail. Since she was found just a day after her murder, spermotozoa hadn’t degenerated yet. However, this was impossible to trace on Hae’s swabs after weeks past. This could be why all the tests came back negative.
So, Roy Davis’ MO (The particular way of the killer is doing things) fits to the killer of Hae Min Lee’s MO.
Now, I have reasons to believe Jada Lambert might have been his first murder. Do you remember Clemente’s words about being an inexperienced killer? Having bad planning skills? I think he wanted to rob Jada, also he wanted to rape her but she recognized him. So he killed her. After the murder he felt somehow guilty. This is why he covered her with her jacket (to keep her warm) and he made the call and gave the location of the body himself. His exact words were these:
Murderers call the police to either to apologize or to get their attention. By telling the cops where she is, either he felt relieved or he watched from far when police came to the crime scene and enjoyed the attention that his murder scene got.
There is an anonymous call in Hae’s case, too, but the nature of the call is completely different. The call is not revealing any unknown information about the case or he is not apologizing. He is just blaming someone else. Rabia Chaudry later claimed that she suspects that this ananymous call was made by one of Adnan’s acquaintances:
Hae wasn’t his first kill anymore, so he had to be smarter. Yes, his kills were still immature, impulsive (in the middle of the daylight) but he was not going to make the phone call again. He was not going to bury the body right next to his home this time. Also, he didn’t leave any IDs with her so that the police was going to spend time a little longer. He cmight have used a condom or something else this time, because remember a condom and a condom wrapper were found next to Hae. Yet, he was still a bad planner, because Hae was a victim of opportunity, she just happened to come accross. I think she had deposited her check, or took out some cash. Maybe she just bought some Popeye or KFC, paid cash and while returning to her car, Roy Davis hold her at gun point. Put her in his own car: Usually criminals do not want to use the victim’s car since they don’t want to attract unnecessary attention or leave prints or DNA everywhere UNLESS they are planning to dump the car in a lake or wipe it clean. Think about it, every minute you spend with the car, you risk yourself because you know that the police will be looking for her car around.
Speaking of Hae’s car. I remember in Undisclosed, Susan, Rabia and Colin discussed the t-shirt of Hae’s brother found in Hae’s car with Hae’s blood on it. They were thinking about post-mortem Pulmonary edema (in this case due to lack of oxygen, the lungs fills with fluid and it comes out of nose or mouth after 3 hours of death) as the cause of these blood stains. The fact that the blood color was not dark red and pinkish color, it does look like pulmonary edema fluid. However if you carefully look at the the stains, you can see the gravity pulls and how the blood pools at the bottom of each stain (circled with red). The blue arrows below show the direction of gravity. This tells me that the victim was either wearing the T shirt or the tshirt was 30 degrees tilted while the victim was bleeding on it. There are no smears but instead there are 3 different location of blood pooling. This also indicates that the victim is not touching the surface of the shirt but the blood is dropping onto it. When you make the calculation you can see that blood projection was happening with 30 degree tilt.
Thinking that Hae had stuff from 5-6 months ago in her car, and thinking that she was active in sports and could get nose bleed easily, I believe she was wearing this shirt when an accident happened. There is no reported abuse from her uncle or brother, therefore I will definitely dismiss this horrible idea right away. But considering her autopsy, there were no lacerations, open wounds, so I don’t believe these blood stains belong to January 13th. But, of course, I’m not an expert. The way how the t-shirt was initially found looked like on the driver seat as pictured:
None of the stains are visible from this position. Also, I can’t believe they haven’t tested DNA from this t-shirt (Only the blood was tested and it turned out to be Hae’s – OR Could it be her brother’s? Since they share the 50% of the DNA and this is his shirt in the first place?)
One more time, let’s get back to what happened to Hae that day.
Hae doesn’t have any defensive wounds although she is a very athletic girl. That shows that she didn’t see him coming. There is a strong possbility that he saw Hae going out of the car and situated himself in a way that he could have an easy and quick access to her but remain hidden. When Hae came back to her car with her keys, pager and wallet in her hands, didn’t know what to expect. Roy Davis hit her and knocked her out when he came face to face with her in the parking lot. If he had parked near her intentially, he could have quickly put her in the back seat without being seen. He takes her keys, wallet and the pager. Maybe they were worth some money?
Now it is bright day light, he is alone in the car with her. He is feeling the urge to sexually assault her but he is smart enough to know that he needs a secure place to do that. Also considering that he will redress the victim after the rape, he will need a bigger space than a car.
One of the reasons why I believe she was raped is, her missing shoes. In order to take off the pantyhose, Hae needs to take off the shoes. If this was a revenge or hatred murder, why are the shoes missing? Why would Adnan care about Hae’s shoes and wallet?
It has been reported that Davis lived in multiple different locations at that time, since he had a restraining order, he was not with his then-wife. So he could be anywhere, really. It is known that he lived close to Shamrock Ave and Woodgreen Circle in Baltimore. I tried to look at the possible homes he has from Google earth and see if they have a garage or park way. Some of them do have a parkway which would provide an easy access to home.
There are reasons for me to think that the rape and murder happened not somewhere open in public or secluded area: 1. Shoes are not found in the park 2. The pressure marks in the lividity shows that they cannot be made basically by rocks or leaves. Especially on snow. Therefore, Hae must have laid face down on a diamond shaped surface for at least 8 hours after her death. 3. If you take her to a park to rape, why not leave her in the first place in that location? The lividity shows that she was in a different location for 8 hours.
I have been thinking about the pressure marks on Hae’s body since I first saw them. They look like this:
I thought about all these possibilities below: diamond shaped seawage lids, car carpets and pavements:
But when I studied the marks closely, I saw that they must have been folded somehow. So they could not belong to a hard surface like concrete or iron. I think it is a blanket or a comforter (maybe a jacket,even) with a diamond design (or a thin car carpet) something like this, but not exactly:
Let me explain with demonstration. I’m using a toilet paper here since it is easy to fold just like fabric:
It is very likely that Hae was lying on a fabric surface which was crumbled up underneath her. There was also another pressure mark on her lower torso, and Susan Simpson explains this like this:
“This pressure mark falls at the same level as the waist of Hae’s pantyhose, which had been twisted about; the pressure mark resulted from the constriction of the pantyhose where the waist had bunched due to twisting.
The location of this mark is significant in that it confirms that, when lividity fixed, the lower left side of the body’s abdomen was flat against whatever surface the body was resting on, causing blood to pool there. If lividity had fixed while the body was in the position in which it was found, no lividity could have developed in the lower left anterior of the torso. (Susan Simpson, from https://viewfromll2.com/2015/09/30/what-the-crime-scene-photographs-show/)”
If you ask me, this also shows that, after the assault, Hae was dressed right away. At least her pantyhose was on. I also believe that Davis took her shoes as thropies. Some killers (and almost every serial killer) keep an item of the woman which will remind him the incident later and cause him re-live the pleasure. Davis must have kept Jada’s underwear and wallet.
After the assault and strangulation, he left the body face down, tilted towards the front (not completely prallel to the flat surface) until it got dark outside. Like Clemente said, the more time you spend with the body, the more risk you take. In the dark, he took her to the burial site (maybe drank a whole bottle of brandy to get some courage), dragged her as far as he could by himself. It was cold and the ground was hard so he just buried her with the nearby dirt and stones, leaves. He left the scene with his own car. This is why the tire test results were inconclusive. Because they belonged to neither Hae’s nor Adnan’s car.
Look at this random witness, Mr. A’s testimony (taken from Susan Simpson’s viewfromLL2):
On the same evening that the printout was made, a man had walked into the Woodlawn police station to report that he had witnessed something he believed to be connected to Hae’s murder. The man — “Mr. A” — told the police that had seen suspicious activity while in Leakin Park, and that he “had heard of the recovery of a woman’s body in Leakin Park on the TV news and wanted to help.” The officers at the Woodlawn station called the Homicide Unit down in Baltimore, since the city now had jurisdiction over the offense. Detective Ritz and Sergeant Lehmann drove out to Woodlawn to talk to Mr. A, arriving at the station at 9:45 pm. According to Lehmann’s report of the interview, Mr. A told them that he had observed
a [young black male] driving a light colored automobile while in Leakin Park . . . acting suspicious near the concrete barriers blocking southbound traffic onto Weatheredsville Road from Windsor Mill Road, which is approximately a mile from the site of the victim’s recovery.
Roy Davis was a black male, aged 45 (young in whose standards-pretty objective). We do not know his car’s color though. Although I tried to find it, my search didn’t yield any results.
Jay allaegedly confessed where Hae’s car was and took the cops there on February 28th, 1999.
If you listen to Undisclosed Podcast Addendum 13, It talks about a very interesting police report.
The report dated February 9th and stamped on February 12th says: body found, offense is homicide, Nissan is still missing. There is also a page that is stamped on February 24th, the very last page, which reveals something very surprising.
There are solvability factors on this page. They are basically numbers telling the investigators how close they are to understand and find out about the related topic: Scale is from 0 to 12 and as the highest number in the scale, 12 means it solved itself. These numbers were all zero in all previous reports but now it seems like somethings had changed.
Six different factors involved and the report says:
A. Suspect : 12
B. Vehicle : 12
C. Physical evidence : 0
D. Stolen property : 4
E. Any MO present : 0
F. Whether this investigation can be solved in field level: 0
It means that both body and the vehicle were found before Jay’s confession.
I believe Hae’s car was found by the police, way before February 28. Either it was hotwired by a thief and found on Edgewood abandoned or it was hotwired by the police and removed from its original position to the current position, because it supported their theory better (cell phone pings, witness testimonies etc.) and why on earth they fixed the ignition collar but left the windshield wiper lever broken? Is it because, again, so that it would support their theory better?
According to Hae’s brother, the turn signal was broken – not the windshield wiper. We don’t know if this was an ongoing problem already in the car and Hae never got it fixed or it happened during the initial encounter with the killer – in my theory, Davis. it is really hard to tell at this point.
If Roy Davis was stupid enough to use Hae’s car and put himself in huge risk, he could have taken the car to 224 Edgewater St. Because there is one more weird coincidence to mention here. When he killed Jada Lambert, he called 911 to let them know about the body, he called from a pay phone located at 3900 Edmondson Ave, which is 10 minute walking distance from where Hae’s car was ditched (224 Edgewood St):
Also considering that even though he abducted her possibly somewhere around Owings Mills mall, he buried jada very far from where he abducted her from. He buried her very close to his house on Shamrock Ave. So, habitually, we know that he doesn’t go very far from where he lives. Maybe he was staying at this neighborhood somewhere on January 13, 1999. Maybe he was staying at Edmondson Ave, which is very close to Leakin Park.
The similarities between the two cases, the motive, and the escalation in Roy Davis’ behavior after January 1999 all point towards the fact that he can be a much better suspect than Adnan has ever been.
Why Would Jen and Jay Lie?
I have a belief that both Jenn nd Jay were involved in drug trade. They might have crossed the line and might have gotten involved some serious trouble. That is why Jay was afraid of someone, like his co-worker testified. He was afraid that someone was going to come find him and hurt him and Stephanie. Those phone records that the cops pulled out showed this trade very clearly and the detectives scared them, threatened them so that both Jenn and Jay would collaborate their theory. In return, they wouldn’t have gotten any charges and maybe agot a protective deal