Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Not going postal

I've never seen a postbox in Turkey. If you ever want to send a letter (which, in Turkey, is as good a communication tool as a Town Crier with Laryngitis), you should head down to your local post office and try to decipher which queue you ought to be standing in.

Speaking of which, this seems to be one of the only places Turks form an orderly queue. I once saw two tourists jump a queue in a Turkish post office. The locals lost their minds. I had only come in to pay my phone bill and inadvertently entered a twilight zone.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Hold the front page!

I would have liked to have posted this on the day of publication so you could have had a chance to go and buy the paper, but I got interviewed for the Hurriyet Daily News (previously the Turkish Daily News).

The fabulous Jane Akatay, wrote a super article on blogging in South West Turkey and I, along with Jack from Perking The Pansies, Karen from Being Koy, Julia and Barry from Turkey's For Life and Ayak from Turkish Delight were all interviewed.

We'll be right back... I hope.

You may have noticed a brief interlude in my posts... OK, you might not have; I'm not exactly the most prolific blogger. However, the most recent excuse is that Blogger.com has been banned in Turkey for the past month.

The official reason is due to a Turkish Digital TV provider claiming that some bloggers are streaming live football via their blogs. Despite being impossible, this motive also seems rather improbable. To shut down an entire arm of Google and millions of blogs simply because of a couple of breaches of copyright seems akin to "throwing the baby out with the bath water" or, as they say in Turkey, "pouring water in the donkey's fanny".

I think the more likely reason is someone has said something that someone didn't like. Can I be more vague? Perhaps, but I think you get what I'm saying.

This habit of banning websites willy nilly is starting to get on my tits. I would expect such behaviour from more paranoid nations (North Korea, Iran et al) but I had this strange belief that Turkey was a forward-looking country with sights on becoming a challenger in the digital arena. Is it bollocks.

I was interviewed by the Hurriyet Daily News about my opinions on the ban. You can read my teetering steps into celebrity here.

Oh, and if you're wondering how I'm managing to write this... I'm doing what I did last year when the YouTube ban was in place... I'm using a proxy to fool the internet police into thinking I'm in Belarus. Wish I fucking was.