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Redd
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American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:41 pm

So should western travelers start thinking twice about travel to Turkey? Anyone living in Istanbul on a.net that can describe the general mood towards westerners or Americans in particular? Scary....


http://edition.cnn.com/2014/11/12/po...ailors-bags-over-heards/index.html
 
AeroWesty
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:07 pm

Quoting Redd (Thread starter):
So should western travelers start thinking twice about travel to Turkey?

The story is about a couple of punks targeting the military—your linked article explains their motivation. Nothing to do with tourism in general.
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Redd
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:50 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1):
The story is about a couple of punks targeting the military

Considering the current world situation, ISIL's current position on the border of Turkey, extremism rising up all around Europe, Islamic neighborhood patrols harassing people in East London, it's a valid concern.

This incident in Istanbul may or may not be an isolated incident. When you have a vigilante group like that attacking US soldiers, or anyone for that matter, it's not illogical to assume that there might be a little more behind it than is written in the CNN article. That's why I'm curious to hear from people living in Istanbul what the general mood there is.
 
lewis
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:01 pm

Quoting Redd (Reply 2):
ISIL's current position on the border of Turkey

Istanbul vs the border is like comparing New York to El Paso.

Quoting Redd (Reply 2):
extremism rising up all around Europe, Islamic neighborhood patrols harassing people in East London, it's a valid concern.

Sounds like a valid reason to have second thoughts about visiting all of Europe then!

Still think Americans should be fine visiting Europe. Not so sure about the other way around though:

http://www.vocativ.com/usa/immigrati...a/state-department-travel-warning/

  

[Edited 2014-11-13 11:01:59]
 
Ken777
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:32 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1):
Nothing to do with tourism in general.

It's up to the government in Turkey to ensure that the issue is cleaned up and cleaned up fast. Turkey does enjoy a certain level of tourism (cruise ships & Navy ships) and it only hurts the honest citizens when this happens. Those responsible should be punished at a level that will ensure their friends know not to duplicate the attacks. If they are in school then the first thing is that they should be expelled permanently.

When the ship I was serving on went to Hong Kong for R & R (for 5 marvelous days) there was a lot of activity by the Red Guard there. I called my parents to say hello and they were very concerned because of the TV stories of the Red Guard running rampant. I told them that there was no Red Guard causing problems in areas where the tourists were - that would be something the local government (and police wouldn't tolerate). Made it clear that I felt very safe there. That is what Turkey needs to establish - a safe environment for tourists. Otherwise the average workers who makes all or part of his income from tourism will be suffering.

Quoting Redd (Reply 2):
Islamic neighborhood patrols harassing people in East London, it's a valid concern.

Those in the patrols will be having their picture taken. Pick them up, toss them in jail and deport them when possible.' It is worth the cost to government to stay on top of them 24/7 and make that activity an undesirable issue for the punks and the families. Fines, disqualification from government benefits, etc can be some significant "motivation".
 
AeroWesty
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:33 pm

Quoting Redd (Reply 2):
Considering the current world situation, ISIL's current position on the border of Turkey, extremism rising up all around Europe, Islamic neighborhood patrols harassing people in East London, it's a valid concern.

Then by all means use an example relevant to that issue to make your point. There was nothing in what I read which would even begin to make me think about avoiding Turkey as a general tourist.
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gocaps16
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:07 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 4):
When the ship I was serving on went to Hong Kong for R & R (for 5 marvelous days) there was a lot of activity by the Red Guard there.

We were about an hours away from Hong Kong when we were told we couldn't enter Hong Kong due to conflicted reason during the good old Kitty Hawk days. Hell, just not to long ago, we were not allowed to enter Manila due to the on-going tensions with a transgender Filipina by a US Marine who apparently killed her not too long ago. We were there for 4 days, no one could leave the ship and we ended up going back to Guam for several days.

According to Stars and Stripes,
"Protesters yelling “Yankee go home!” attacked three U.S. sailors in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday, while the guided missile destroyer USS Ross was in port."

In January, I thought about connecting to Istanbul on an 8 hour layover, but hell, I am thinking twice now. It's either Istanbul, Dubai, or Beijing.

[Edited 2014-11-13 21:20:57]
 
Mike89406
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:19 am

Seems like an isolated incident and after watching the video they were mostly throwing trash and paint at the sailors and luckily a fight was avoided. Turkey is a popular port of call for many reasons. I was told the ships post office mailed more packages/gifts than any other port visit in Europe.

It's not the first time activists have protested Navy ships visiting they're cities. It doesn't always happen though. One time we pulled into Hobart Tasmania and Greenpiece protestors were waiting for us with signs because our ship was a nuclear powered aircraft carrier once we walked past them everything was cool.

In the 90's Osama Bin Laden threatened to send military people home in coffins while we were in the Persian Gulf. Our CO cancelled port visits for almost 2 months.
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:27 am

Tit for tat.

Quote:
The bags over the head is a reference to when U.S. forces in northern Iraq detained Turkish special forces soldiers in 2003, who were allegedly smuggling weapons to a Turkish-backed group in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

The American forces put bags over the heads of the Turkish troops during the detention, before eventually releasing them back to their NATO ally. The move incensed Turkish society. The incident was portrayed in a a popular Turkish film.

You can't expect people to be nice to you when you're not nice to them!
 
JJJ
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:37 am

Quoting Redd (Reply 2):
Considering the current world situation, ISIL's current position on the border of Turkey, extremism rising up all around Europe, Islamic neighborhood patrols harassing people in East London, it's a valid concern.

These guys are the absolute opposite to ISIL. They're hardline secularists, and mostly oppose Erdogan's anti-secularist policies, Turkey's accession to EU and Western Imperialism.

So, the usual student commies.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:46 am

Quoting JJJ (Reply 9):
Quoting Redd (Reply 2):
Considering the current world situation, ISIL's current position on the border of Turkey, extremism rising up all around Europe, Islamic neighborhood patrols harassing people in East London, it's a valid concern.

These guys are the absolute opposite to ISIL. They're hardline secularists, and mostly oppose Erdogan's anti-secularist policies, Turkey's accession to EU and Western Imperialism.

So, the usual student commies.

It could be also hardcore Kemalists, ultra-nationalists, ultra-secular, but extremely sensitive where Turkey's perceived honour is at stake. Apparently a while ago US troops in Iraq have captured some Turkish troops, and as it is standard procedure, have covered their heads to disorient them and to prevent escape attempts.
This, plus the American support for the communist Kurds in Kobane, whom these ultra-nationalist Turks see as their main enemy, causes them to attack US servicemen (and also in the past German soldiers based there with Patriot missile batteries).
Erdogan on the other hand has his own agenda. He dreams of a recreation of the Ottoman empire, run on conservative religious Sunni principles (the Muslim Brother's version, not the "evangelist" ISIS version).

Jan
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pvjin
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:08 am

Quoting lewis (Reply 3):
Still think Americans should be fine visiting Europe.

Depends from the area though, white Europeans and Americans most certainly aren't safe in certain parts of Muslim majority neighbourhoods of large European cities.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr
 
sfbdude
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:58 am

Quoting pvjin (Reply 11):

Quoting lewis (Reply 3):
Still think Americans should be fine visiting Europe.

Depends from the area though, white Europeans and Americans most certainly aren't safe in certain parts of Muslim majority neighbourhoods of large European cities.

True. I know we're all trying to focus on the Muslims here but, I'd also like to throw in that white Europeans and even Americans aren't safe here as well in certain parts of black majority neighborhoods in large American cities. So, for all the whites reading this, please be safe!
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:20 pm

Quoting SFBdude (Reply 12):
True. I know we're all trying to focus on the Muslims here but, I'd also like to throw in that white Europeans and even Americans aren't safe here as well in certain parts of black majority neighborhoods in large American cities. So, for all the whites reading this, please be safe!

It really depends on how you carry yourself, confident without being provocative. I found that being ready to smile often helps, and I have been to rather dodgy places all over the world.
As a young man I used to live in a high immigrant working (and unemployed) part of Berlin, with a high number of Turkish and Arab immigrants. Sure, there were issues with teenage gangs of unemployed Turks, who tried to emulate the American Latino streets gangs (as seen in American movies), but I have to say that I felt a lot more at risk in the purely white, German highrise block of flats places in East Berlin, where there often were drunken Nazi skinheads around. Being drunk, they would not need an excuse to beat up a "stranger".
The last few weeks I explored Baku in Azerbaijan, mainly on foot, which in many places outside the show off city centre resembles third world slums, with streets without street lighting, potholes, rubbish in the streets, broken windows, and I also realised that there, as an expat, I was earning about five times as much as my local counterparts, but first, I make it a habit never to be drunk in such a place, secondly I don't flash valuables (except maybe for my camera when taking pictures).
Azerbaijan is also a Muslim contry, albeit of the Shi'ite persuation (and therefore not attracted to the AQ type of fanatism), but due to 70 years of Soviet rule, people are quite secular.
There are some places I do not go to (at least at the moment). One place is the Muslim territories in Mindenao in the Philippines, even though my Missus's family lives very close to them. 40 years of civil war have left the place lawless, even by Filipino standards, ruled by Mafia like family clans with private armies. Some gangs made it a business to kidnap foreigners and wealthy Filipinos from other regions for ransom. This has les to do with religion, but comes due to thefact that there doesn't exist any effective police.

Jan
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DeltaMD90
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:34 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 8):
You can't expect people to be nice to you when you're not nice to them!

I think from any civil society you may not receive a warm welcome but being attacked and harassed? Just because the US goofed against some Turkish soldiers doesn't give anyone the right to attack random US sailors
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:05 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 14):
Just because the US goofed against some Turkish soldiers doesn't give anyone the right to attack random US sailors

True but many don't think that way, you know "an eye for an eye" and all that jazz.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 13):
The last few weeks I explored Baku in Azerbaijan, mainly on foot, which in many places outside the show off city centre resembles third world slums, with streets without street lighting, potholes, rubbish in the streets, broken windows, and I also realised that there, as an expat, I was earning about five times as much as my local counterparts, but first, I make it a habit never to be drunk in such a place, secondly I don't flash valuables (except maybe for my camera when taking pictures).
Azerbaijan is also a Muslim contry, albeit of the Shi'ite persuation (and therefore not attracted to the AQ type of fanatism), but due to 70 years of Soviet rule, people are quite secular.

You ought to go inside some of the recently renovated buildings in the downtown area, they Azeris did a really nice job refacing the exteriors but inside they are just as bad as they ever were. A lot of the newer buildings are also really badly finished, the new terminal Arap are building is full of mistakes. I sat next to an Arap archetict on a flight from Vienna last year, he said they do not follow the plans, Arap is constantly getting waivers signed so they can't be held responsible when the terminal collapses. Baku is all smoke and mirrors.

They might not be very muslim, as you say the Russians and now the Aliyev's have stamped out the extermists, just don't wear shorts in Baku, I've been advised not to by a couple of concierges, the first time when I was going to go for a run, the second time (different hotel) when I was going to have a walk along Park Bulvar, only gay males and young boys wear shorts, wearing shorts will get you beat up in Baku, not a gay friendly place.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:08 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 15):
True but many don't think that way, you know "an eye for an eye" and all that jazz.

Not only is this not how civilized societies act (if you cut someone's hand off, does Norway cut off yours?) the sailors involved weren't the ones involved in the incident the Turks are mad about. So if you punch me in the face should I punch one of your kids in the face? Ridiculous

[Edited 2014-11-14 05:09:38]
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:13 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 14):
Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 8):
You can't expect people to be nice to you when you're not nice to them!

I think from any civil society you may not receive a warm welcome but being attacked and harassed? Just because the US goofed against some Turkish soldiers doesn't give anyone the right to attack random US sailors

There have been stabbings about perceived slights to the Turkish "honour" and flag before. Turkish ultra-nationalists are extremely aggressive.

Jan
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Kiwirob
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:19 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 16):
Not only is this not how civilized societies act

Oh come on look at how the US reacted after 9/11, the govt manufactured evidence to attack another country, people were baying for muslim blood, many in the US acted like savages attacking US muslim citizens in the streets...
 
JJJ
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:22 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 16):
the sailors involved weren't the ones involved in the incident the Turks are mad about

The kind of people who randomly attacks a certain group won't bother distinguishing between members of the several US military branches.
 
WestJet747
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:32 pm

Quoting Redd (Thread starter):
So should western travelers start thinking twice about travel to Turkey

No.

This was so clearly a targeted act on US military and not westerners in general. There's nothing I'm seeing or reading here that will stop me from traveling to Istanbul.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 14):
Just because the US goofed against some Turkish soldiers doesn't give anyone the right to attack random US sailors

I highly doubt this is in retaliation to a single event. The US has done enough mucking up of the situation in the Middle East that I can see most folks over there having a pretty sour opinion of US military.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 18):
Oh come on look at how the US reacted after 9/11, the govt manufactured evidence to attack another country, people were baying for muslim blood, many in the US acted like savages attacking US muslim citizens in the streets...

Not to mention all the stories that came out after of how Americans were harassing Sikhs because - Americans being the worldly people they are - couldn't tell the difference between a Sikh and a Muslim (not that they should be harassing either anyway).
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ElanusNotatus
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:20 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 16):

I agree that there is no justification for the attacking of individual sailors visiting Istanbul. However, the claim that civilised societies don't act in the same way is not borne out by history.

Afghanistan was invaded on the basis of a claim that 9/11 was carried out by Al Qaeda and the refusal of Afghanistan to hand over Osama bin Laden, who subsequently turned up in Pakistan. Note that Afghanistan had not refused on the basis of support for Al Qaeda but on the basis of international laws requiring a priori evidence before an extradition can be considered. The US position was stuff that, do as we say or we bomb the shit out of you. The rest is history. A civilised nation invaded another country and cared little that people who were not in any way party to any decisions died.

Again, that does not justify killing individuals in Istanbul, be they American or otherwise, but the claim that civilised societies don't act that way does not stand up to examination. All societies, whether they regard themselves as civilised or not (and I don't know of any society they claims to be uncivilised) are capable of acts of co-ordinated violence that does not discriminate between combatants and civilians and are capable of constructing justifications for their own violence while condeming the violence utilised by others.

That said, the actions of a small group of people can not be said to represent the whole of society in the same way that a state might be. While some Turks might express anti American views (leading to some people suggesting that Turkey is not safe for American tourists) those views are not necessarily the views of the Turkish government. Calls by some in various blogs to expel Turkey from Nato are uncalled for as, despite some differences, Turkey welcomes US support for Turkey's closer integration into, and eventual membership of, the EU. While Turkey might wish to strengthen its position as a regional power in the near and middle east, and object to what it perceives as meddling in its internal affairs, it is not hostile to establishing closer links with Europe.

Of immediate concern to Turkey in the region, the civil war in Syria has seen Turkey wishing to receive support from Nato without being subservient to it. The interests of Nato and the interests of Turkey are not identical despite an overlap. While Nato is generally interested in the overthrow of the Syrian government and supports breakaway movements, Turkey is concerned that such support could lead to the fragmentation of the Turkish Republic. This leads some Turks to question whether Nato is a reliable ally in exactly the same way that some question whether Turkey is.

The sadness in all of this is that real, ordinary people do not count. The real politik of the various players is of far greater importance than mere people.

[Edited 2014-11-14 08:30:14]
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MD11Engineer
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:59 pm

Quoting ElanusNotatus (Reply 21):
Of immediate concern to Turkey in the region, the civil war in Syria has seen Turkey wishing to receive support from Nato without being subservient to it. The interests of Nato and the interests of Turkey are not identical despite an overlap. While Nato is generally interested in the overthrow of the Syrian government and supports breakaway movements, Turkey is concerned that such support could lead to the fragmentation of the Turkish Republic. This leads some Turks to question whether Nato is a reliable ally in exactly the same way that some question whether Turkey is.

The current Turkish government would like to see an overthrow of Assad's Shi'ite regime and to have it replaced by a conservative Sunni regime of the type of the Muslim Brothers. They wouldn't mind a Wahabi regime on their border (ISIS), because Erdogan (rightly) perceives Assad to be in the pockets of Iran, which, together with Saudi Arabia, is a local rival.
erdogan also doesn't like the Kurdish fighters in Kobane, because they are orthodox Marxists, secular and closely related to the PKK in Turkey.
He has less problems with the Kurds in Iraq, which are basically two large family clans with private armies, currently fighting together against an external enemy, ISIS, but often enough, in the past, at each other's throats.
The Turkish government clearly thinks that it can control ISIS and sees them as a lesser threat than the Marxist and secular Kurds of the PKK and their Syrian counterparts.
Erdogan dreams of a recreation of a conservative Islamic empire in the region under Turkish leadership (His leadership, since he obviously aims at becoming president for life).

I found some information about the Turkish youth union, the group that attacked the sailors:
It seems that they are ultra-nationalist-socialist Kemalist student radicals, secular, who accuse the West of supporting Erdogan. They are against joining the EU and want Turkey to be a strong military power, controlling the region, independent of NATO, economically ruled by a planned economy-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_Union_of_Turkey

Some years ago they attacked German soldiers, who were manning a Patriot missile battery.

Jan

[Edited 2014-11-14 10:00:43]

[Edited 2014-11-14 10:04:13]
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bennett123
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:23 pm

I had not heard about the attacks on German troops before.

Curious given the strong links between the two countries.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:38 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 23):
I had not heard about the attacks on German troops before.

Curious given the strong links between the two countries.

The funny thing is that several of these German soldiers probably had Turkish roots, but in many cases Turkish politicians of all colours think that the turkish diaspora (even if naturalised, born and grown up abroad), should have their primary allegiance with Turkey.
This group seems to believe that Turkey can dominate the region by itself, and NATO and the EU are just obstructing them.
They are also orthodox Marxist, one could say "National-Communists".

Jan
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Kiwirob
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:46 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 22):
Erdogan dreams of a recreation of a conservative Islamic empire in the region under Turkish leadership (His leadership, since he obviously aims at becoming president for life).

I'm surprised that many/most in Europe haven't worked out what a rat bag Erdogan really is, I also think he's looking at the dynastic Presidents for life and pass it on down to the kids style that is now in play in the former Soviet Islamic Republics.

I always thought the Army in Turkey had the power and mandate to overthrow the President if they veer away from secularism, if he keeps on pushing his agenda this has got to be an option, an Islamic state is not what Kemal Ataturk had in mind for Turkey.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:28 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 25):
I always thought the Army in Turkey had the power and mandate to overthrow the President if they veer away from secularism, if he keeps on pushing his agenda this has got to be an option, an Islamic state is not what Kemal Ataturk had in mind for Turkey.

The problem is that first, the military has discredited itself during the last coup, when they killed and tortured thousands. Secondly, they used to be just as rabidly ultra-nationalist.
And, the most important thing, Erdogan had used the military's excesses during their last rulle successfully to castrate them and to replace the Kemalist leadership with his own people, e.g. by alleged planning to topple him. He did the same with the formerly independent judicary and the police.
All the decision makers in these services are now appointed by him.

As for Erdogan, I think this gives an idea about his personality:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30061107

I think that it is quite possible that he will try to set up one of his sons as his successor, just like Heydar Aliev in Azerbaijan or Nazarbaiev in Kazakhstan.

Jan
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Aesma
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:03 pm

Quoting gocaps16 (Reply 6):
In January, I thought about connecting to Istanbul on an 8 hour layover, but hell, I am thinking twice now. It's either Istanbul, Dubai, or Beijing.

I would avoid the three, but that's mostly because I avoid non democratic countries when possible, not for security concerns. Turkey is still the "less worse" of the three, but not going in the right direction.

Quoting ElanusNotatus (Reply 21):
Calls by some in various blogs to expel Turkey from Nato are uncalled for as, despite some differences, Turkey welcomes US support for Turkey's closer integration into, and eventual membership of, the EU.

Many in the EU see this as a US plot to weaken the union. Personally I think it's simpler, the US doesn't understand other countries and shows it at every opportunity.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
bennett123
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:11 pm

Why is the US so keen on Turkey joining the EU.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:54 am

I've just left Istanbul, and it's the same welcoming, wonderful city its always been. And Americans are as welcome as any other nationality. Indeed, probably even more so now, due to the strength of the dollar.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:39 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 15):
You ought to go inside some of the recently renovated buildings in the downtown area, they Azeris did a really nice job refacing the exteriors but inside they are just as bad as they ever were. A lot of the newer buildings are also really badly finished, the new terminal Arap are building is full of mistakes. I sat next to an Arap archetict on a flight from Vienna last year, he said they do not follow the plans, Arap is constantly getting waivers signed so they can't be held responsible when the terminal collapses. Baku is all smoke and mirrors.

I know. Just walk down Neftcillar Boulevard near Icherisheher. You'll have all the posh shops of Gucci, Cartier, the Rolls Royce dealership etc. there, but if you look into the back courtyards, they haven't changed since Soviet times.
Same with the highway from the airport to town (Heydar Aliev Prospekti). They ghave those four meter high walls along it, with carefully tended grass along it. I though first that it would be for noise protection for the residential areas behind, but looking behind the walls, I noticed that they were built to hide the poverty behind them from casual visitors.
Or go from Fountain Square (the real town centre) 200 meters northwards into the small streets. No street lighting, rubbish in the streets, heavy steel doors on the apartment buildings, broken windows, potholes and dodgy bars.
As for shorts, I figured this out already, seeing all the Azeri men wearing suits.
Here in Germany as well, well into the 1960s shorts were considered a dress for little boys. A teenager would graduate to long pants and an adult would only wear shorts in very few settings (beach, own garden).

Still, as chaotic as the country is, I would go there again. People are very friendly and I have been to other third world countries.

Jan
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DeltaMD90
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:52 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 18):
Oh come on look at how the US reacted after 9/11, the govt manufactured evidence to attack another country, people were baying for muslim blood, many in the US acted like savages attacking US muslim citizens in the streets...
Quoting ElanusNotatus (Reply 21):


Not defending any of this. Just because I have a flag next to my name doesn't mean you can just pin crap to me and assume I agree with it
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:10 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 30):
Or go from Fountain Square (the real town centre) 200 meters northwards into the small streets. No street lighting, rubbish in the streets, heavy steel doors on the apartment buildings, broken windows, potholes and dodgy bars.

Up until about 10 years ago there were canals that ran through this area, they filled them all in and paved over them.

Did you see the area on the other side of the massive flag pole, loads of donkey pumps and spilt oil, go a little further around the coast towards the deep water jackets factory you come to a fantastic beach, with 4-5 old jackups rusting about 150-200 meters offshore. In any other city this beach would be lined with hotels apartments and luxury houses.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 31):
Just because I have a flag next to my name doesn't mean you can just pin crap to me and assume I agree with it

I don't care if you agree with it or not, but you can't say this is not how civilised people act when your own countrymen acted like barbarians not so long ago.
 
solarflyer22
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:01 pm

I'm a Azeri speaking Iranian-American and I will tell you flat out they do not care for Americans. I encountered this numerous times and was just in Turkey in Sept. It is safe however. They will also charge you more for things from cab fare to bazaar items but its still affordable.

Americans incorrectly believe Persians are some kind of Pariah in the Middle East when in fact it is exactly the inverse. This incident was an example of that. They hooded the sailors because that's what the US Army did to NATO ally Turkish soldiers detained in Iraq. It was a huge insult, widely covered in Turkish media and turned into a blockbuster Turkish Cinema film. That is why this incident happened. I was in the exact area where it happened and no one said a word to me.

I would recommend being extremely polite, avoid politics and learn some Turkish. Its a very nationalistic place and when you are there, you're a guest as an American, not a friend. Learn the difference. If you are active military I would not advertise it.
 
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mercure1
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:28 pm

Turkey is fine. Its probably one of the most welcoming places I have ever traveled to.

I hardly view the criminal actions of a few individuals as being indicative of larger society.
mercure f-wtcc
 
Mike89406
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:05 pm

RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:37 pm

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 33):

What do you mean? If you're saying Turkish people dislike Americans? With all due respect this sounds like a personal opinion than a fact. One of our good family friends is a Turkish married couple and we were invited to a couple of Ramandan dinners and other celebrations,

I'm sorry but this is probably one of the craziest stereotypes I've ever heard in my life  rotfl 

[Edited 2014-11-15 11:57:10]
 
Mike89406
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:03 pm

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 33):

What do you mean? If you're saying Turkish people dislike Americans? With all due respect this sounds like a personal opinion than a fact. One of our good family friends is a Turkish married couple and we were invited to a couple of Ramandan dinners and other celebrations.

I'm sorry but this is probably one of the craziest stereotypes I've ever heard in my life.

Did you watch the videos of me the incident? No one approach the Young Activists group and started talking politics. In fact they were in civilian clothes to disguise the fact they're military... Unfortunately Amercians can stick out like a sore thumb sonetimes.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:57 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 32):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 30):
Or go from Fountain Square (the real town centre) 200 meters northwards into the small streets. No street lighting, rubbish in the streets, heavy steel doors on the apartment buildings, broken windows, potholes and dodgy bars.

Up until about 10 years ago there were canals that ran through this area, they filled them all in and paved over them.

Did you see the area on the other side of the massive flag pole, loads of donkey pumps and spilt oil, go a little further around the coast towards the deep water jackets factory you come to a fantastic beach, with 4-5 old jackups rusting about 150-200 meters offshore. In any other city this beach would be lined with hotels apartments and luxury houses.

No, I didn't go across the hills in the West. I only saw the landscape when we flew out from Baku towards Germany (I was sitting in the jumpseat of the 747).
I understand that these oil fields are the location of the oldest commercial oil drilling operations (on shore, the off shore operation started under the Soviets during the 1950s) and have been commercially producing oil since the 1840s (before Drake in Pennsylvania), so there is the polution of 150 years in the soil (though these places first attracted attention because oil and natural gas would come there to the surface naturally, sometimes catching fire, thus giving Azerbaijan the name "Land of Fire").
I have been to an oil field just off the Heydar Aliev Prospekti near the airport and took some pictures there, until some roughnecks signalled me to stop and warned me that the police would confiscate my camera if they saw me. I only speak a few words Azeri and Russian, but managed to explain to the roughnecks that my father used to work on an oil drilling rig as a young geologist in the late 1950s, and one of them toldme that he had been in the GDR as a young Soviet soldier and enjoyed it there.
Imagine several square miles of just mud mixed with oil, lots of "christmas trees" and "nodding donkey" oil pumps, interconnected with leaking pipes. No plants, no ife.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:00 pm

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 33):
Americans incorrectly believe Persians are some kind of Pariah in the Middle East when in fact it is exactly the inverse. This incident was an example of that. They hooded the sailors because that's what the US Army did to NATO ally Turkish soldiers detained in Iraq. It was a huge insult, widely covered in Turkish media and turned into a blockbuster Turkish Cinema film. That is why this incident happened. I was in the exact area where it happened and no one said a word to me.

The Turkish governments think that they have the right to cross the borders into neighbouring countries at will.

Hooding prisoners is a standard practice, to disorient them, prevent them from communicating and to prevent them from trying to escape or fight back.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
solarflyer22
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:07 am

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 35):
I'm sorry but this is probably one of the craziest stereotypes I've ever heard in my life   

It's 100% spot on. Do you speak even a lick of Turkish? Have you been to Taksim and spoken to Turks in their native language? They blame the US for the disaster that is Iraq among other things. There was a poll online that Turks place GREECE, their century old rivals, ahead of America.

Here's the video, I did notice they were not in uniform and I was not assuming they were. I was simply stating if you are US Military you don't want to self identify unless you are also with Turkish police. You're asking for trouble otherwise IMO.

http://youtu.be/BLtwdaB6EMs

Americans get a warmer reception in Tehran than Turkey. If you doubt me, watch Anthony Bourdain on Part's Unknown on iTunes.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:32 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 32):
but you can't say this is not how civilised people act when your own countrymen acted like barbarians not so long ago.

Sure I can. The Iraq war and the events surrounding that were shameful. So is this attack by the Turks on these random sailors. Are we going to get to the point where nobody can speak out against anything because their country has done something bad at some point in their history?
 
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mariner
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:48 am

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 39):
It's 100% spot on. Do you speak even a lick of Turkish? Have you been to Taksim and spoken to Turks in their native language? They blame the US for the disaster that is Iraq among other things.

You don't need to go to Turkey to find people who think that the US - and its Allies - really screwed it with Iraq. Put me in that column.

I've always found Turkey, especially the southern coast, to be a friendly and interesting place - with great food.

mariner

[Edited 2014-11-15 22:02:16]
aeternum nauta
 
Mike89406
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:42 am

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 39):

Most of what you said I agree with except that the Turkish people dislike americans as a whole. Now maybe you did witness that when you visited, however Turkey is a big country and millions of people live there. I don't disagree there's people that dislike Americans in Turkey but I'm willing to bet it depends on who you ask and where you're visiting.


If theres one thing I was taught and learned through years of travel is that you respect people in theyre native country along with they're customs. I've always done that and made friends wherever I go. There's a difference between what they think of our country's politics but that doesn't encapsulate Americans.

I've been told numerous times they hate our leaders but the opinions of our people isn't negative generally. I stay away from politics and religion as a rule and don't have any problems.

In the case of these sailors that were harassed it wasn't some random Turkish citizens it was young extreme student activists. Military servicemen and briefed before visiting a country on customs and rules to follow. They don't wear uniforms in Europe or the Middle East unless they're on duty to mantain a low profile and to lessen the chance of being a target for any kind of trouble so yes they do know what's expected since an incident could reflect badly on the crew, CO, and U.S. citizens.

[Edited 2014-11-15 22:53:00]
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:39 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
Are we going to get to the point where nobody can speak out against anything because their country has done something bad at some point in their history?

The problem is America has done so many bad things in the past 20-30 years, meddled in issues they had no place in meddling, causing loads of people all over the world to have an immense dislike of America and Americans, unlike New Zealanders who are beloved worldwide  
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:23 am

It happens. In every country on the planet. There are weirdos, psychos and dumbasses everywhere - I have been held up at gunpoint in Buenos Aires, and had my front tooth knocked out by a Meth addict in Auckland New Zealand but I would never advise you not to go to either place. As a traveller you should play the odds everywhere you go like millions and millions have before you without issue. Istanbul is not Mosul or Kandahar by any stretch of the imagination. I'd love an excuse to head back to Istanbul. It's an amazing city worthy of your time and effort. I refuse to be scared of these assholes that go out just to cause trouble for others.
Flown to 147 Airports in 62 Countries on 83 Operators and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:31 am

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 44):
had my front tooth knocked out by a Meth addict in Auckland New Zealand but I would never advise you not to go to either place

So you didn't pay him  
 
AIRWALK
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:48 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 43):
unlike New Zealanders who are beloved worldwide

Wouldn't say worldwide mate, tell your all blacks to stop winning!  
I'm sure this thread will take off soon
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:53 am

Back during the winter of 1988 / 89 therewas unrest at many German universities, including the one I went to. University buildings were occupied and classes disturbed due to various grievances felt by the students (increasing semestral fees, cutting back on teaching positions etc.). Most of us were quite leftwing.
Now my university back then in West Berlin was located in the American sector, close to several US military installations, including the US Army hospital. One small road, Fabeckstrasse, had been blocked by students for weeks already (with the main humanities building ("Rostlaube") on one side and the main lecture hall of human medicine and the departments of various sciences (Chemistry, mineralogy etc.) on the other. About a kilometer down the road there was the American military hospital.
One day an American soldier in civilian clothes and his family wanted to pass the road, probably to go to the hospital. The car, while civilian, was recognisable as belonging to a GI by it's number plates. It immediately got surrounded by ultra-leftwing students with a very agressive attitude, banging on it's roof and shouting at the occupants, who were clearly afraid. Myself (at this time looking like a mix of a hippy, a punk rocker and a motorbike gangster with long hair and a long Osama Bin Laden beard) and some others tried to defuse the situation. I shouted that this GI and his family had nothing to do with our issues, but for the ultra-lefties they were evil imperialists. In the end I managed to get the road cleared ahead of this car and signalled to the driver to move on and to get away.
I then got accused that I would also help the police if they wanted to clear the road and the university buildings and got kicked.
The thing is that I was quite leftwing in my attitude back then, but I think I still kept common sense.
Similar behaviour at other incidents (e.g. attacking the shop windows of banks and McDonalds shops during a silent remembrance march for a Turkish family killed by a Neo-Nazi arson attack) made me hate these nutcases.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
solarflyer22
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:16 pm

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 42):
In the case of these sailors that were harassed it wasn't some random Turkish citizens it was young extreme student activists.

I would really heed the warning of history. It was also young extremist students that started protesting at the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979. Having seen the video, these Turks don't look like religious radicals. The harassment was not outside a Mosque or Sultan's palace, it was on a corniche known for tourism. The sailors were hardly out of place or doing anything incorrect.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 43):
New Zealanders who are beloved worldwide  

They are. Aussies too.

You can see the Pew Research poll on Turkish opinions. Granted, they don't like Russians, NATO, Iran and have a strangely higher view of Saudi Arabia which is probably more responsible for ISIS than anyone.

I've been to Bodrum and Antalya but I don't consider that the hearts and minds of Turkey. You can only get that in Istanbul and Ankara which have vastly different points of view.

http://rudaw.net/mobile/english/middleeast/turkey/02112014
 
TK739ER
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RE: American Sailors On Leave Attacked In Istanbul

Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:24 am

Well it is interesting after all this talk about my native country not even one Turkish member replied here, let me chime in then;
Public opinion in Turkey towards the US Policies and US Armed Forces is pretty much like the rest of the Muslim World (or should I say the rest of the world?)
They are responsible for every single tragedy on earth, without US and their army the planet would be a better place to live etc etc etc... I can go on all night long. Some are legit accusations and some are repeated for generations nobody even care if they hold any truth or not, they just repeat it, anything bad happens in Middle East, here comes the usual comment "Those god damn Americans, they are everywhere".

On the other hand though, what I really like about my countrymen and believe me I've been to many countries and encountered many cultures but still never came across such a quick acceptance of the strangers and deep hospitality anywhere in the world. Even the most uneducated ones have the decency of distinguishing the American people and American Policies. Especially if you go outside of big cities in to the country, you will be treated with a high respect and superb hospitality whether you are an American or Australian or Norwegian...

I totally agree with Jan these thugs in Istanbul are totally stupid kommies, thinking that they will save the world some day. Sure good luck.

I also agree with DeltaMD90 that this should not happen not only in any civilized society but in any society. Violence is not the solution for anything, especially things happened in the past and especially things committed by some others. Also he still has the freedom to express his opinion whether he is from the said country causing all these issues in the world, it doesn't make him personally responsible, especially after he stated his disapproval.

Believe me most of these idiots were kids when that thing happened in 2003 or 2004, I'll bet you anything none of them even remembers the incident. These idiots are not even smart enough to know and remember these kinda things but someone else constantly filling them up with hatred 7/24

When it comes to Erdogan, part of me likes him and other part of me just hates him so much, I still don't believe he will take it to a dictatorship and pass it to one of his sons, anybody thinks that way tells me they don't understand the history and tradition of democracy in Turkey. Is it the best democracy in the world? Of course not but it still has it's own roots and dynamics that would never allow such a passing the reign from father to son. About the coups, they are definitely not belong to this century anymore, coups are horrible things and taking any country at least 20-30 years back, there is no place for military coups in today's world, in any country.

For the solarflyer, Greeks are not our century old rivals, we look at them (except some extremists) as our 6-7 centuries old brothers, yes I know it is hard to believe, go ask an average Turk on the streets, they will tell you the issues are political, there is no problem with the Greek people, same on the other side of the Aegean, I've always been treated with respect in Greece. Same for the Americans, The US might come as the most hated country on the polls but most of the time those things are about politics not the individuals, there is a huge difference there.
Do not make the mistake taking Istanbul or Ankara as an example for the whole country, especially Istanbul is even a different world for a man from countryside, opinions and habits are totally different.


One last thing for Jan, about Turkish Government think they have the right to cross the border in to neighboring country at will; if you genuinely think this way then you must be really naive, then I should ask what is another country doing in our neighboring country's soil, the country comes from the other side of the pond? And if you think only these two countries' soldiers are in Iraq then you are missing the fact that Iraq has been an open playground for almost all of the European Union members' secret services, so why not Turkey? Especially considering geographical and historical ties with the region.

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