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Concerning Hakan Kivanç

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Searchwords for this blog suggest that there is a strong interest in Turkey’s former Consul General in Düsseldorf, Mr Hakan Kivanç. It appears that he is no longer in charge there. The German foreign office’s website states that Mr Firat Sunel is Consul General in Düsseldorf now.


Written by taide

December 17, 2009 at 11:50 am

Syria: A Celebrity and a Politician

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You can parade your decadent dog in Syria if you are one of the country’s affluent folks (if you aren’t, you can’t, because it’s costly, and besides, your family would never talk with you again).

You can visit locations like the Narranj in Damascus, and watch Syria’s vice foreign minister Faisal Mikad and Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov  dining there.

And – hey! – you can connect with Baladna, a very modern newspaper, on Facebook now. Asma al-Assad and her husband, Bashar, have done so, too, as Baladna’s network friends. (Homie Bashar even appears twice there, as a celebrity, and as a politician.)

An Awkward and Stiff Penalty

An Awkward and Stiff Penalty

If you are the country’s first lady, you can also surprise the world with highly original and innovative peace plans.

But don’t publicly say stuff like 

Syrians enjoy no protection from arbitrary authorities and the state apparatus’ encroachments.

You can’t say that in Syria. Not without going to jail right away, like Haitham Maleh, after reportedly making the above, too-true-to-be-inoffensive statement.

This post is based on information from an article published by Der Tagesspiegel in Berlin on November 25, unless linked otherwise.

Written by taide

November 27, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Asma al-Assad’s unnoticed Peace Plan

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Syria’s first lady, Marie-Antoinette à la rose, Asma al Assad, introduced a peace plan for the Middle East and the World a few months ago. I believe it is time to give it some publicity.

“The fact is President Obama is young,” al Assad said, “and President Assad is also very young as well, so maybe it is time for these young leaders to make a difference in the world.”

Many tanks, Madame. Consider yourself nominated.

Asma al Assad is a SENSATION in Europe! (زيارة الرئيس الأسد إلى (فرنسا) أثارت جدلاً واسعاً في الأوساط الفرنسية والأوروبية)

Oh! Ah! Wohoo! Asma al Assad is a SENSATION in Europe! (زيارة الرئيس الأسد إلى (فرنسا) أثارت جدلاً واسعاً في الأوساط الفرنسية والأوروبية)

Consul General’s Latest Status

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Hakan Kivanç may be suspended. Then again, maybe he’s only on a holiday. Either way – if he left, it’s not because of German pressure. No German will hurt the honour of a Turkish consul general. Let there be no misunderstanding.

Written by taide

May 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Eight Represents: Exposing Justrecently’s Lies

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Justrecently wrote another biased and distorted post yesterday. He comments on the new bilingual Hualan Magazine‘s story on The Eight Represent Ordinary Women, and by commenting on one of the photos he suggests that The Eight Represents were no real Represents, because the furniture wasn’t ordinary enough. No, he doesn’t say that, he only viciously implies that without saying!

I will expose Justrecently’s lies one by one.

Let’s look at what some of the represents said when they were asked what Germany makes them think of:

Represent One

Hualan Magazine: Represent One

Represent 1:
I don’t know much about Germany. But I like dogs very much, so I’m thinking of German shepherd dogs first.

Represent 2:
Germany? They say that the sausages are very tasty (unfortunately, I haven’t tried one yet). The beer is excellent, too, but I drink no beer.

Represent 3:
When talking about Germany, I’m thinking of brown bread first. Haha, maybe it’s because I don’t like brown bread. (…) Germans are pretty ambitious. (…) They don’t plan today for tomorrow, but much earlier. (…) Don’t be in the way of their fixed plans, otherwise they may fall out with you. That doesn’t mean that they abandon friendly relations, but it shows that they are annoyed about something.

Represent 4:
I’m very cheerful and open-hearted. In the past, I was a model on auto shows, and I once founded an orchestra with three Germans. (…) They aren’t as boring as people describe them.

Represent 5:
Recently, I bought a LV bag in Germany, but the price was 15 Euros above that in France. (…) Germans are very serious, punctual, and act like gentlemen. (…)

LV bag

LV bag

The other three represents talked the same way. And you try to make us believe that they aren’t ordinary? Shame on you, Justrecently! You are too CNN!

Written by taide

May 17, 2009 at 8:54 am

More about May Day, More Globally Speaking

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A moderate anti-globalisation activist

A moderate anti-globalisation activist

Josef Joffe, Stanford, California, co-editor of Germany’s weekly Die Zeit, apparently lives in California. They don’t celebrate May Day there, but he’s trying to be nice to the unions here anyway.

Of course, globalisation is great, he writes, and it has helped every country that was open for it, and left those behind who were not. But still… there was that uneasiness

Because it was so unpleasant when American customers who only wanted a domestic flight got their inquiries answered by Indian sing-sang (South Asian Indians, I suppose). Or when you have a bank account in Kent, you don’t want to have your phone calls answered by a call centre in Malysia, do you? The accents get on Mr Joffe’s nerves, because it dramatises the distance between the customer and the company.

Fortunately for most Germans, these excrescences don’t occur to them, because Indians don’t speak German. Germans can enjoy globalisation’s fruits without any pitfalls. But times are getting better again for America and Britain, too, Delta Airlines has now closed its call centres in India, reports Joffe, and so does Chrysler. Hooray!

Written by taide

May 3, 2009 at 8:16 am

Verden, High Society

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And now for some semi-royal affairs.

grand piano furbishing, Verden

grand piano furbishing, Verden

Once upon a time, a young girl from Verden sojourned in London as an au-pair girl in the service of a dentist family there. Sojourned is the most apt translation I can find for the verb weilen, used by our local newspaper, the Verdener Aller Zeitung of March 20. Anyway, the mistress or landlady (the most apt translation I can find for Frau des Hauses which refers to the London dentist herself – maybe her husband is a dentist, too) had been looking for a good grand piano for some time, and the guest from Verden (the young au-pair girl) recommended the Helmich workshop in Verden. (To recommend and workshop don’t quite befit the solemn keynote of our local newspaper’s article, but my time and translation skills are limited. Anyway, the dentist travelled from London to Verden and her piano mission was carefully attended to.

But not only this: Cherie Blair, then prime minister Anthony Charles Lynton Blair‘s lawful wedded wife, and one of the dentist’s patients, learned about the great grand piano from Germany of which the dentist was so enthusiastic. And as the prime minister’s family was looking for a piano too…

And then, Mrs and Mr Helmich travelled from Verden to London (or to Chequers) to do the fine-tuning of the piano, after its successful delivery.

So, Chequers became home to a prime ministerial piano from Verden, which “shows us in how high esteem craftsmanship and reliability are held”, tells us Katrin Helmich, boss of the workshop. But “every other customer matters just as much”.

Now I’m imagining how Cherie Blair sitting at the grand piano (the piano adorned with a nail cross, Verden’s coat-of-arms), singing Catholic hymns. And as Cherie is not alone, maybe H.E. is playing on that thing too, singing Bombs on Baghdad.

(Sick idea, I know.)

Anyway, that’s past now. Because when the Blairs left Downing Street (and Chequers), they left the piano behind, says my local paper. So now it is Gordon Brown playing there. He’s a real nice and easy-going guy. If you don’t believe me, watch and listen to this.

Written by taide

March 27, 2009 at 7:14 pm