The things you own end up owning you.

Iceman Talks Cold: Turkish Chief of Staff Ilker Basbug’s comments on the Aktütün incident

Ilker Basbug, the Chief of Staff of the Turkish Armed forces is portrayed as the “iceman” and someone who does not like to speak alot in public. However, following the critical attitude of the media concerning the Aktütün incident which took place on 3rd of October, in which the Turkish Armed forces lost 17 soldiers, General Basbug faced the cameras and gave an extraordinary harsh speech.  The Turkish daily “Taraf” which began to search the reasons behind the devastating attack on the frontier outpost began its stance first by showing the head of the Air Forces playing golf while the incident was taking place. Yesterday, the “Taraf” took the incident again to its headlines and this tiem claimed that the attack was well known by the Turkish armed forces before it took place. The newspaper also used video footage from the Heron pilotless airplane cameras. In these footage it is visible that the PKK was building its forces behind the lines in attack positions.

Org. Basbug, commented today on the incident with a harsh tone. He said that those who leaked these documents and those who used it will be sued. and anybody who illustrates PKK’s attacks as success will be a partner in crime of the blood that would be spilled.

This was the second blow to the Turkish army, after the photos of the Head of the Air Forces playing golf during the incident. The credibility of the army, which was immune from critique up till today, nevertheless took a harsh blow. but nevertheless, the mainstream media continues to halt a blind eye attitude.


October 30, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment

The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein and Naseer Shamma

The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein is an independent film produced in 2001 by the American director John Gianvito. The film explains simultaneously three stories – during and just in the aftermath of the Gulf War- one the story of Fernanda Hussein and her sister and son, the other Raphael a highschool student, and the war veteran Carlos both living in New Mexico.

The story of Fernanda Hussein is by far the saddest of all, before the first Gulf War beings, the locals write xenophobic graffiti’s on Fernanda’s home wall. Fernanda, a Mexican-American is married to an Egyptian man who went back to Egypt to find a job and left Fernanda with her two children. The story gets tense, after the two do not come back from the school. We see at the beginning of the film, the corpses of two children slowly sliding on the river and we can discern that they are indeed Fernanda’s children, attacked by locals due to their name “Hussein” a direct connotation with Saddam the Hussein.

Raphael, comes from a upper middle class, a-politic family, and he tries to understand the meaning of war, and through his critical teacher he develops a hatred to the passivity of the population towards the war. and engages in peace activism. His endevaours and the mix feelings paves the way to intense discussions with his parents. In one discussion, the camera captures Raphael’s father working while eating his breakfast, whereas the mother playing the girly role in the kitchen. the house is tip-top and everything is just like in those ikea catalogues. raphael is deeply annoyed by the fact that even his family cannot understand the meaning of war and urge him to go back to his normal life and not to meddle with these political ideas.

Whereas Fernanda virtually goes mad and begins to live in the mountains, Raphael leaves his home and begins to live the life of a aimless looser. his contact with the peace movement in a way changes his life, and gives him a reason to live.

Carlos, is deeply traumatised during the war, and at home he is welcomed as a hero, with the curious question of how many Iraqis he killed. he tries to go back to normal life, but his former chief already installed a new worker in his position and refuses to take him back. completely disoriented, Carlos meets his girlfriend and in the desert tells him his traumas during the war. fernanda’s cries stop him to rape his girlfriend.

The film is interrupted by the songs of Iraqi oud player Nasser Shamma.  Shamma’s song “Happened at al-Amiriyya,” is especially the most shocking and wonderful piece i have heard int he last times. The piece is composed in the aftermath of the coalition forces’ namely the US bombing al-Amiriyya shelter on February 13, 1991, iwhich put an end to the lives of  400 Iraqi women and children. Shamma’s oud becomes the camera, and the music takes u to the atrocities. especially his sliding technique to echo the sirens, and the flamenco like moves to echo the bombing is by one word extraordinary. you can feel the hapiness before the bombing in the shelter, like lullabies and the chaos, the bombings the cries and the sadness in its aftermath.

the film also shows historical footage from the CNN and other tv channel’s portrayal of the coming back of the troops.

7.9 over 10

a good film, but extremely depressive which is good and necessary.

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Film Reviews | Leave a comment