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Cyprus – December 26, 2010

Nice first day, starting in Nicosia/Lefkosia, one of the few remaining divided cities in the world, and interesting on both sides. It’s also very easy to cross now for many people, including tourists and most Cypriots, which I believe became the case in 2003. Before that it was said to be a bit more tense. At the far edge of the walled portion of Northern Nicosia (it was the Venetians who walled this city long ago) I struck a deal with a taxi  driver. We went through some spectacular mountain scenery to the northern coast of Cyprus, which is not far away. Great driver, and I may use him again for further explorations of the North in the next few days. Also may have found the perfect place for New Year’s after striking up a conversation with a cafe owner in the North. More on that later…

crossing the border – December 28, 2010

I’m heading over across the border again today, this time to meet one of our philosophy blogger friends. Here’s what the border crossing is like when coming from the southern part of Nicosia/Lefkosia, where I’m staying…

Ledras Street, which is the main artery of the shopping district in the southern part of the city, leads straight into a checkpoint. All of the governmental facilities on both sides of the line are sort of like trailers, or like ticket windows for a theater or circus.

To your right is a Republic of Cyprus facility, but that’s only for when you’re coming back in. They don’t want to see your passport on the way out.

Then you’re in the zone for about 20 or 30 feet, and if you look left and right you can see plenty of damaged/abandoned buildings along the Green Line. The big conflict was in 1974, and I would assume that none of these buildings have been used for anything in 36 years.

Then, on your left, a Northern Cyprus trailer, white and with the image of their flag painted on it. You have to fill out a white visa form. They can’t stamp your passport because there are recognition controversies about the national status of Northern Cyprus. So instead, they stamp the piece of paper.

The northern side of Nicosia is rather different from the southern part. On the North it’s a lot like Turkey, unsurprisingly; the style of the mosques is the same, of course.

It’s also pretty easy to get lost in the northern part, though just like in Damascus you’ll eventually hit one of the old walls and be able to reorient yourself that way. But a couple of times, the twisty streets had me turned around so that I was shocked to come upon buildings that I thought were many blocks behind me. It had a sort of urban “Blair Witch Project” feel to it.

Neither the northern nor the southern part of the old city is especially large, but you can easily spend several hours wandering around the northern part.

When leaving, the Northern Cyprus authorities do ask to see your passport and visa. In most cases they type your passport number into a computer. They let you keep the visa, which is reusable for periods of, I believe, up to 3 months. They do stamp the visa upon exit, though, which would make me somewhat self-conscious about going in multiple times per day; as a result, I’ve only made one trip per day to the North.

The Republic of Cyprus trailer then appears 20 or 30 feet later, and they also want to see your passport and visa before allowing you back in. To my surprise, they didn’t check my rather large bag the first time. I had read that they are very strict about cigarette smuggling and so would examine any tourist bags carefully. That didn’t happen.

Since 2003 this has all been a lot less tense, apparently. My understanding (and this is just what I’ve heard) is that the only people who have problems crossing are the Turkish immigrants in the North who want to cross into the South. The original Turkish Cypriots reportedly have no problem.

I’ve wondered a bit if Nicosia was the inspiration for China Miéville’s much weirder divided place in The City and the City.

fun time in the North – December 28, 2010

Fun time in the North today thanks to Cengiz, who BLOGS HERE, did his Ph.D. in the U.K. at East Anglia, and wrote THIS BOOK in English along with a couple of fictional works in Turkish.

We dipped into Northern Nicosia bohemia for a bit, then had a nice long meal in a village outside Kyrenia, then nargileh (a.k.a. shisha) at the Kyrenia waterfront itself. Lots of talk about the current state of SR.

It was nighttime, of course, but here’s how beautiful Kyrenia is by day. This is the waterfront where we smoked the nargileh.

Cyprus cultural note – December 29, 2010

In the southern part of the Old City there’s a Starbucks that’s just a plain old Starbucks, sure. But out here at the edges of Nicosia, the chain coffee shops function almost like bars. I’ve never seen anything like this before, so if this is an emerging global trend, it has escaped me until now.

What I mean is, chain coffee shops here are all large, airy, fancy, and seem to function as a young adult dating scene. The music is cool. Everyone’s dressed for show. The stuff on the video screens is stuff you would normally see at a bar, such as runway models on infinite loop.

There are at least 4 chain coffee shops in a row out here that fit that description.

more Northern Cyprus -January 2, 2011

Another nice sightseeing tour of the North today, thanks to Cengiz Erdem (see HIS BLOG).

He’s an especially good host when it comes to knowing very good local restaurants that you wouldn’t have a ghost of a chance of finding if you weren’t a long-time local resident.

But of course, we ended up at the Kyrenia marina smoking apple nargileh (shisha) yet again.

via Object-Oriented Philosophy

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The police murder of Andreas Grigoropoulos

Greek teen died from bullet ricochet: court sources, ATHENS (AFP)

Initial results from the post-mortem on a Greek teenager whose killing by police sparked five days of rioting show Alexis Grigoropoulos died from a bullet ricochet, court sources said Wednesday. According to forensic doctors and independent experts hired by the boy’s family, the bullet “is a bit deformed, which showed the bullet touched a hard surface” before entering the 15-year-old’s chest, sources agreed…

On the events on the evening of Saturday, December 6, 2008 and the shooting of Andreas (Alexandros) Grigoropoulos

Police accounts, faithfully reproduced in corporate/state media, and slightly adjusted over time to conform with alternative accounts, appear to be based on complete fabrications. That is, rather than police, in fear of their lives, firing a warning shot — which ricocheted and accidentally struck Andreas — tragically killing him, police appear to have deliberately and cold-bloodedly executed the teenager.

via Deadeye on ANARCHISM.net forum

Mourning the death of Alexandros Grigoropoulos of Kratzi> RIP

1st witness
-We saw them at some point, with guns in their hands walking down the street.
-Both of them?
-Both.
-And? Where did they stop?
-Here, right here. They started cussing here, “Come here punks, come and settle this”. Some kids approached.

2nd witness
-During this verbal fight, we saw no objects being thrown, suddenly one of them pulls out his gun and opens fire, straight ahead. We took a careful look and noticed someone on the ground, being dragged away by his friends, probably in fear that he would shoot again. Anyway, this is what happened, the officers were just standing still and then walked away. They turned away and left, on foot.

3rd witness
-I saw the extension of his arms, I saw him aiming. The extension of his arms, not the position of his body. I was behind him. And he aimed. He aimed towards the other end of the street, towards that group.

4th witness
-They were exchanging words. It was intense. Suddenly, without any other intervention, the patrol car abruptly departs and some time later the officers return. They stood in front of the kids and gunshots were heard. One of the kids, fell.

1st witness – resumed
-3 shots?
-3 shots because he didn’t hit him at first. This man wanted to kill. Simple as that.

5th witness
-We heard two bangs. I immediately understood it was gunfire from the sound of the very first shot. I heard the second shot, followed by a scream and a kid falling to the ground. We headed towards the kid, we dragged him away.
-What did the police do?
-The police turned their backs, as if nothing had happened, and left. We lifted his shirt, he was bleeding. We gave him CPR, the ambulance was late.

6th witness
-I saw the patrol car between Zoodoxou Pigis street and Tzavela street, it left but a minute later, the two drivers came back. They were both armed and they shot that kid, without a reason.
-Did you see them aiming?
-Yes, they were aiming.
-They didn’t shoot up to intimidate?
-No, they shot the kids that were standing there.
-Did they see the kid falling dead?
-Yes, someone shouted that the kid was wounded, but they turned and left.

Those testimonies are a bit useless without knowing what the cops themselves testified.

They claimed they were attacked by a group of 30 hooded anarchists, with rocks, sticks and molotov cocktails, while in the car. They stepped on the gas to evade them, but later returned to arrest them. They were attacked once more and while in self defense, they threw a flashbang grenade, fired two shots in the sky to intimidate the attackers and one in the ground. The last one hit the ground but ricocheted.

They’ve been flipping their story until today. Their first two lawyers have already retired from their case, for ethical reasons. The ballistic examination was completed today. The bullet remained inside the body and it indicated that it came from a higher level (the pistol) to a lower level (the victim’s body). If it was indeed a ricochet, the bullet would have entered from a lower level (the street) to a higher [point], the point of entry in the body.

At first, all media adopted the cop’s case, spreading similar news worldwide.

Now, they talk about murder in cold blood.

via slackbastard.anarchobase 

Alexandros Grigoropoulos, two years on…

 http://www.smbc-comics.com/

           Cengiz Erdem’s Storefront

Fantezi Makinesinde Hakikat Sızıntısı

Fantezi Makinesinde Hakikat Sızıntısı (e-book)

eBook: £1.20

“Fantezi Makinesinde Hakikat Sızıntısı” ironinin doruklarında gezen teorik bir anlatı olarak dünyadaki tüm televizyon ekranlarının yanı sıra daha başka ekran mekanizmalarının da bilinmeyen bir sebepten ötürü bir anda beyaza bürünmesi neticesinde gelişen düşündürücü ve bir o kadar da kaygı verici hadiseleri konu alıyor. Tekvin adındaki baş-karakterimiz yazılmış ama henüz yayımlanmamış kitabında tüm bu olanları öngörmüş bir bedbahttır. Televizyonsuz dünyadaki sistem hızlı bir biçimde çökerken, Tekvin de kitabıyla gerçek hayat arasındaki bu kaygı verici benzerliğin kaynağını araştırmak üzere Amsterdam şehrine doğru yola koyulur. Acaba Amsterdam’da neler olmuş, hangi doğa-üstü güçler işin içine bit yenikleri serpiştirmiştir?

 
The Life Death Drives

The Life Death Drives (e-book)

eBook: £1.50

It is only in and through a position of non-mortality within and without mortal life at the same time that the exploitation of mortality can be brought into the spotlight. It is only through such a subtraction of the absent presence of death within life that the productive interaction between Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism, Foucault’s bio-politics, Badiou’s theory of infinity, and Kant’s reflective mode of judgement give birth to the immortal subject as the womb of a new thought, a new life, and a new mode of being, free of the exploitation of mortality and engagingly indifferent to this mortal, all too mortal life.


  • Fantezi Makinesinde Hakikat Sızıntısı

    Fantezi Makinesinde Hakikat Sızıntısı ironinin doruklarında gezen teorik bir anlatı olarak dünyadaki tüm televizyon ekranlarının yanısıra daha başka ekran mekanizmalarının da bilinmeyen bir sebepten ötürü bir anda beyaza bürünmesi neticesinde gelişen düşündürücü ve bir o kadar da kaygı verici hadiseleri konu alıyor. Tekvin adındaki baş-karakterimiz ise yazılmış ama henüz yayımlanmamış kitabında tüm bu olanları öngörmüş bir bedbahttır. Televizyonsuz dünyadaki sistem hızlı bir biçimde çökerken, Tekvin de kitabıyla gerçek hayat arasındaki bu kaygı verici benzerliğin kaynağını araştırmak üzere Amsterdam şehrine doğru yola koyulur. Acaba Amsterdam’da neler olmuş, hangi doğa-üstü güçler işin içine bit yenikleri serpiştirmiştir?

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  • Ölümlü, Pek Ölümlü

    Filme yakından bakıldığında sadece anlamsız bir fotoğraflar yığını görülüyor, ama ekrandan biraz uzaklaşılıp perspektif genişletilince anlaşılıyor ki tüm bu fotoğraflar anlamlı bir bütünlük oluşturacak şekilde sıralanmış aslında. Oluşturulan bu anlamlı bütünlükse son sahneyle birebir örtüşüyor, ki zaten fotoğrafların oluşturduğu o anlamlı bütünlüğü açığa çıkaran da bizzat bu son sahnenin kendisidir. Zira son sahnede fotoğraf karesi çözülüyor, görüntü hareket etmeye başlıyor ve yatakta ying-yang şeklinde yatan bir adamla bir kadın birbirlerine sevgi dolu bakışlar fırlatıyor, şefkat dolu ve/fakat kaçamak dokunuşlar yapıyorlar. Çözümü sevgide bulan kahramanımızın yüzündeki mutluluk ifadesiyle ise seyirciye bu korkunç kördüğümün çözüldüğü, kilidin kırıldığı ve her şeyin tatlıya bağlandığı mesajı başarıyla verilmiş oluyor.

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  • The Life Death Drives

    This book proposes that the life drive and the death drive are rooted in transcendence, whereas immanent critique requires conscious desiring to produce new modes of being and thinking as yet not conceivable from within the dominant model of projection-introjection mechanism based on identification. Cengiz Erdem argues that the life drive and the death drive, each divided within itself, constitute the two sides of a single projection-introjection mechanism. Erdem attempts at an affirmative recreation of the concepts of life drive and death drive in the way of turning these concepts from forms of knowledge to modes of being and thinking. As modes of being and thinking life/death drives emerge as the two components of a dynamic and mobile critical apparatus born of and giving birth to a fragile contact between immanence and transcendence, as well as between affirmation and negation.

    Buy Now @ Lulu.com

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