Saturday Night Fever in Alsancak: A Photo Gallery

All Photos taken with a Leica M, Rangefinder Camera. Ilford HP5 Plus Black and White Film, pushed to ISO 1600. Kodak HC-110 Developer.

Taken April 14, 2018. Izmir, Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fifteen Pictures of Izmir at Night

Basmane Train Station

Station Front

Hotels Across from Night Clubs

Restaurants across from the station. 

Grand Corner Hotel across from the station

Night Scene Near Station

Quick Food Place

Sweets Shop

A Popular place, but all men!

A Kokorec Place

Another Street

Dress Shop

The Other Side of Town- Places to Eat and Drink

Dedicated Drinking Places on the Street

Street with outside tables

A city surely dedicated to pleasure

Pictures taken with Leica M6 TTL Camera. Leica Summarit-M 35 mm lens. Ilford HP 5 plus film shot at ISO 1600. Film developed with Kodak HC-110 Developer.

April 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Destruction of Iraq and Larger Middle East

All of this was predicted by those who know the Middle East, back in 2002, of course. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others determined to attack Iraq had no use for such knowledge. So the carnage unleashed goes on.

I suppose Bush must be enjoying himself.

The Iraq War Fueled the Destruction of the Middle East

Fifteen years after it started, the Iraq war has nearly destroyed the country, one of the most prosperous in the Middle East, and destabilized the whole region by intensifying internecine and religious conflicts and giving rise to new and violent groups. And the human and material costs of the war keep mounting.

In addition to the American soldiers who were killed or injured, the war has had a considerable negative effect on the U.S. economy. The war has also had a negative impact on US troops’ morale There has also been a high rate of suicides prevalent among those returning from the war.

Like a malicious octopus, the ill-named Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) has extended its deadly tentacles into nearby countries, and turned the region into the unmanageable mess it is today. Major Danny Sjursen, a US Army strategist who fought in Iraq recently wrote, “That ill-fated farce of an invasion either created the conditions, or exacerbated the existing tensions, which inform today’s regional wars.”

The war has increased Sunni-Shiite tension, fostered the emergence of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and strengthened Iran as a military power in the region. Following the US led invasion, the Iraqi Shiite Arab majority took a central role in government, an unprecedented event in the Middle East, which also encouraged the Shiites across the region. In a persistent crisis, the Sunnis in Iraq rebelled against the Iraqi Shiites, launching a rebellion against them that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

There was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq before the US and British invasion. It first appeared in Iraq in 2004, when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi formed an alliance with Al-Qaeda, pledging his allegiance to Osama bin Laden in return for his endorsement as the leader of the group’s franchise in Iraq. Al-Qaeda’s main targets were Iraqi Shiites, whom they attacked during religious processions or at their mosques and shrines. After 2007, Al-Qaeda was considerably weakened after the US funded Sunni groups called “Awakening Councils” to expel this organization from Iraq.

Although less powerful than during its peak years, Al-Qaeda continues to be active in its violent activities, whose targets now also include Syria and Yemen. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Yemeni branch of Al-Qaeda, is now thriving in Yemen, taking advantage of the chaotic environment in the country. A ravaged country, Yemen continues to be one of the poorest countries in the world.

In Syria, Al-Qaeda still has a presence, albeit less powerful now. Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s ideological heir, and Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the group it formed, remain in eastern Ghouta, northern Hama and western Aleppo provinces, contributing to the prolongation of Syria’s bloody war.

At the same time, the militants of ISIS, the brutal offshoot of Al-Qaeda, have no restraints in pursuing brutal tactics to cement an Islamic emirate. In an ISIS propaganda video, after bulldozing the Syrian-Iraq border, an ISIS militant says, “We will break the barrier of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, all the countries. This is the first of many barriers we will break.”

The Iraq war has proved to be a disaster for the Middle East. The destruction of Iraq, Syria, the ravaging of Yemen and a region swamped in weapons are connected, either directly or indirectly, to the Iraq war. It may be tempting to think that the war had some redeeming value. However, considering its consequences, one can only conclude that nothing will assuage the savage wounds of this senseless war.

Dr. César Chelala is an international public health consultant and a winner of several journalism awards.

Democracy

Good information for those who do not understand what the US actually does in other countries under the name of promoting “democracy.” 

There are other ways too.

Trump will probably not end NED or even cut it much, but it would be great. He probably does not have a clue, in fact.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/03/14/trump-gutting-national-endowment-for-democracy-and-that-good-thing/fKxkRFVIC6F9wLIw4WsUzL/story.html

Class Divisions in Izmir, Turkey

Part 1: Kemeralti and Basmane

Kemeralti- A huge bazaar with a maze of streets and hundreds of shops selling almost everything. It is next to Clock Tower Square in Konak. Easy to get lost.

Along Anafartalar Caddesi that runs from Basmane Train Station to Kemeralti. It is a more downscale area. Most people are poor. There has been a large influx of Syrian refugees in recent years. Many of them are now running shops in the area.

Women along Anafartalar Caddesi in late afternoon.

Shoppers in Havra Sokak Fish Market. (Synagogue Street) At one time before World War I, this was a Jewish area and there are some synagogues in the area that are now closed. This covered street is mostly a fish, meat, and vegetable market, but other things as well. Fascinating place, always busy.

Shopkeeper and friend.

Shoppers in Kemeralti

Havra Sokak Scene

Alsancak-The upscale west side near the sea. A crowded restaurant.

One of many popular pub-restaurants in the old area of Alsancak. Crowded every night. Hard to get a seat.

The wide mall, closed to traffic, is crowded every evening. Many shops and restaurants for upscale shoppers.

Young women in Sardunya, a beautiful historical pub.

Evening crowds on the mall. 

The buses, trams, metro and ferry boats are all free if one is over 65. But who would ever tell you that about Turkey!