Tag Archives: Istanbul

Russian warship sinks after collision off Istanbul coast, all soldiers rescued

A Russian intelligence vessel has sunk after colliding with a freighter north of Istanbul on the Black Sea on April 27, although all crew members were reported to have been rescued, Doğan News Agency has reported.

A number of tugboats and rescue boats were dispatched to the area by the Coast Guard following the collision between the Russian vessel and the Togo-flagged ship, which was carrying livestock.

Continue reading Russian warship sinks after collision off Istanbul coast, all soldiers rescued

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The New Leader Of France’s National Front Questioned The Existence Of Nazi Gas Chambers

Jean-François Jalkh, Marine Le Pen’s second-in-command, denied he ever said it, but BuzzFeed News spoke to a researcher who has his comments recorded on tape.

Marine Le Pen, who faces independent Emmanuel Macron in France’s presidential vote on May 7, stepped down Monday as the leader of the far-right National Front party, handing the keys to her second-in-command, Jean-François Jalkh.

The move is a symbolic step intended to distance Le Pen from the party so she can “meet the people.”

Continue reading The New Leader Of France’s National Front Questioned The Existence Of Nazi Gas Chambers

Aydın Büyüktaş bends brains with dizzyingly distorted views of american landscapes

just over a year ago, turkish artist aydın büyüktaş turned the streets of istanbul upside down to form surreal city scenes for his series ‘flatland’. now, having recently returned from a trip to the united states, büyüktaş has completed a second installment in the series that completely warps american landscapes and defies the laws of physical existence. drawing from the satirical novel ‘flatland: a romance of many dimensions’ by edwin abbott — which tells the story of a two-dimensional world occupied by geometric figures — the artist has once again distorted viewers perception of space and dimension.

aydin buyuktas flatland

the locations included in büyüktaş’ ‘flatland II’ series took more than two months to scout and plan. over the course of another month, büyüktaş shot the photos over about 10,000 miles of land in the united states. using between 18-20 photos, the artist then carefully created digital collages that stretch into the sky and fold backwards onto themselves. rolling landscapes and cow farms seemingly double over, while baseball and football stadiums appear to reverse the laws of gravity.

aydin buyuktas flatland

‘the idea that I could depict surreal places that I saw in my dreams and thought of in my childhood gradually started to occur in my mind,’ büyüktaş describes. ‘during my childhood and adolescence, I read science fiction series of writers such as isaac asimov and H.G. wells and scientific and technical journals. these books made me question issues such as wormholes, black holes, parallel universes, gravitation, and the bending of space and time. while I was reading ‘hyperspace’ by michio kaku, I was obsessed with the idea of a black hole occurring in the place we live, and how it would bend space, time and place.’

aydin buyuktas flatland

aydin buyuktas flatland

aydin buyuktas flatland

aydin buyuktas flatland

aydin buyuktas flatland

aydin buyuktas flatland

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aydin-buyuktas-flatland-usa-designboom-02

aydin-buyuktas-flatland-usa-designboom-02

aydin-buyuktas-flatland-usa-designboom-02

Turkey’s peace with Kurds splinters as car bomb kills soldiers

A Turkish soldier checks cars at a checkpoint in Diyarbakir after the car bombing.
A Turkish soldier checks cars at a checkpoint in Diyarbakir after the bombing. Photograph: Ilyas Akengin/AFP/Getty Images

Kurdish rebels blamed for attack on military police vehicle carrying several officers, as PKK says ceasefire has ‘lost all meaning’ after Turkish air strikes

The fragile peace process between the Turkish government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ party, or PKK, appeared to be on the brink of collapse on Sunday after two Turkish soldiers were killed and four others were injured in a car bomb attack which Ankara blamed on Kurdish rebels.

The blast came after Turkey launched air strikes against PKK positions in northern Iraq as well as against Islamic State in Syria, in retaliation for a string of violent attacks last week that Turkey holds both groups – themselves fierce rivals – responsible for.

On Sunday the Turkish foreign ministry said it said it had asked NATO to hold an extraordinary council meeting on Tuesday to discuss its security operations against Islamic State and PKK Kurdish militants.

US officials expressed their support for Turkey’s air strikes on the PKK, saying they “respected Turkey’s right to defend itself”. In a major policy shift, the Turkish government last week agreed to open its airbases for US-led coalition warplanes after the US had grown increasingly frustrated with Turkey’s reluctance to join the fight against the Islamic State.

While some wondered if American support for Turkey’s raids on the PKK was part of the deal reached after lengthy negotiations, others said it was too early to deduce that the US had dropped the Kurds, a major ally in the fight against Isis, in exchange for Turkey actively joining the anti-Isis coalition.

“In the clash between the Turkish state and the PKK, the Americans have always supported Turkey,” Mesut Yegen, a historian of the Kurdish issue, explained. “The real question is what the US would do if Turkey will turn on the PYD,” he said, referring to the Democratic Union party, the Syrian affiliate of the PKK.

The deadly car bomb exploded late on Saturday, when a military police vehicle carrying several officers was travelling to intervene in a traffic blockade close to the predominantly Kurdish town of Lice, according to a statement by the Diyarbakır governorate.

The military had launched a wide sweep to capture the bombers, Turkish authorities said. In coordinated raids throughout the province, at least 21 people suspected to have links to the PKK were arrested on Sunday morning.

The attack came on the heels of a PKK declaration that the ceasefire, agreed upon as part of the peace process started in 2012 in an attempt to end a bloody conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people over 30 years, had “lost all meaning” due to the Turkish military assault, the heaviest since peace negotiations began.

On Friday night, Turkish fighter jets hit several PKK targets, including shelters, warehouses, bunkers and parts of the Qandil mountains, where the Kurdish group’s military headquarters are located, the Turkish authorities said.

One PKK member was killed, and three others were wounded during the attacks, according to a statement published by the People’s Defence Force (HPG), the PKK’s military wing.

In a statement published on Saturday, the HPG denounced the air raids as an “aggression of war” by the Turkish state and vowed to resist.

The operations continued on Saturday, when Turkish fighter jets and artillery forces jointly attacked PKK camps in northern Iraq and Islamic State militants in Syria, with Turkish officials saying the incursion against the jihadis would help create a “safe zone” on Syrian soil alongside the Turkish border.

“As soon as areas in northern Syria are cleared of the [Islamic State] threat, safe zones will emerge naturally,” the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavușoğlu, told reporters on Saturday, adding that these swaths of land could be used to host Syrian refugees.

“We have always defended the establishment of safe zones and no-fly zones in Syria. People who have been displaced can be placed in those safe zones,” he said.

Parliament has been summoned to meet on Wednesday to discuss the security situation.

Turkish police used water cannon to disperse a demonstration in Ankara condemning violence by Isis, an AFP reporter said, with police reportedly arresting about 33 people.

Meanwhile, the leftist opposition Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP) has harshly criticised the military operations, saying the attacks on the PKK were a “pretext” and an attempt by the interim Justice and Development party (AKP) government to force early elections after the party lost its parliamentary majority on 7 June.

“This is a plan by the government to set the country on fire in order to secure a single-party government. By creating a militaristic and nationalist climate while pretending to conduct a comprehensive fight with terrorism the government wants to force snap elections,”

a statement from the HDP said on Saturday, underlining the need for renewed dialogue and negotiations in order to keep the peace process, now hanging by a thread, on track.

Since the suicide bomb attack that killed 32 people last Monday, a wave of violence has rolled over the country, including the killing of several police officers for which the PKK claimed responsibility.

Violent protests against the AKP’s failed Syria policies and their stalling of the Kurdish peace process have erupted in several cities all over Turkey. In clashes between pro-Kurdish protesters and the police in Cizre, a 21-year-old man was reported shot in the exchange of gunfire.

In Istanbul, authorities banned a planned “peace march” scheduled to take place on Sunday, citing security concerns and traffic congestion.

Turkish police in Ankara used water cannon and teargas to disperse a demonstration protesting against the AKP’s Syria policies and Isis violence. Thirty-three people were reportedly detained.

Journalist and commentator Oral Çalışlar said that neither the Turkish government nor the PKK had anything to gain from a return to full-scale hostilities.

“In the end both parties will have to sit around a table and continue to talk,” he said. “They know, from years of struggle, that they cannot destroy each other, and that they cannot reach any lasting results through violence. The peace process simply has to continue because of that.”

Take A Ride On A New Luxury Train From Hungary To Iran Where A Ticket Costs Up To $40,000

Budapest13

A new luxury train that runs from Hungary’s capital of Budapest to Iran’s capital of Tehran made its first trip on Wednesday, Reuters reports. 

The first branch of the route, connecting Budapest to Istanbul, follows the path of the world famous Orient Express, the early-20th century trip that used to carry Europe’s aristocracy to Turkey.

The new luxury train cars ride on existing railways, leaving from Budapest, heading east toward Turkish Kurdistan and dumping passengers in Iran. A ticket for the two-week trip costs more than $14,000, according to Reuters. 

The route is operated by the private travel agency Golden Eagle, a British company that offers trips on luxury trains across Europe, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. The first train left on Oct. 15, the next one is scheduled for March next year.

The trip covers a total of 4,350 miles across five countries.

The trip covers a total of 4,350 miles across five countries.

The train left Budapest on Wednesday, Oct. 15. Everything from staffs’ uniforms to the design of the cars harkens back to the beginning of the 20th century.

The train left Budapest on Wednesday, Oct. 15. Everything from staffs' uniforms to the design of the cars harkens back to the beginning of the 20th century.

When the first convoy left Budapest, there was even a marching band to salute it.

When the first convoy left Budapest, there was even a marching band to salute it.

The basic ticket costs $14,333, but if you want extras like a private bathrooms and concierge service, the price can shoot up to $40,000, according to Reuters.

The basic ticket costs $14,333, but if you want extras like a private bathrooms and concierge service, the price can shoot up to $40,000, according to Reuters.

Despite the hefty price, the founder of Golden Eagle, Tim Littler, told Reuters that tickets sold out in 10 days.

Despite the hefty price, the founder of Golden Eagle, Tim Littler, told Reuters that tickets sold out in 10 days.

The company had to set up an Australian affiliate in order to apply and obtain travel permits in five different countries, including Iran.

The company had to set up an Australian affiliate in order to apply and obtain travel permits in five different countries, including Iran.

The trip is the vision of two English businessmen: Littler and Howard Trinder, who bought four rail cars from a Hungarian postal service, Reuters said. Refurbishing each car cost $1 million.

The trip is the vision of two English businessmen: Littler and Howard Trinder, who bought four rail cars from a Hungarian postal service, Reuters said. Refurbishing each car cost $1 million.

The dining car is furnished with intimate two-seats tables. Outstanding scenery from the windows is a plus.

The dining car is furnished with intimate two-seats tables. Outstanding scenery from the windows is a plus.

The train also have a full staff of waiters and chefs to accomodate all passenger requests.

The train also have a full staff of waiters and chefs to accomodate all passenger requests.

The piano bar is where passengers can enjoy the vintage atmosphere over a drink while listening to music.

The piano bar is where passengers can enjoy the vintage atmosphere over a drink while listening to music.

For those who prefer a quieter time, the train has private lecture rooms and sofas.

For those who prefer a quieter time, the train has private lecture rooms and sofas.

For an authentic experience, the train is still powered by a coal engine. It doesn’t move very fast.

For an authentic experience, the train is still powered by a coal engine. It doesn't move very fast.

Luxury train travel normally costs between $1,000 and $2,000 a day according to Reuters, meaning the Golden Eagle train is actually sold at an average price. Any interest?

Luxury train travel normally costs between $1,000 and $2,000 a day according to Reuters, meaning the Golden Eagle train is actually sold at an average price. Any interest?

50 Places In Europe You Need To Visit In Your Lifetime Vol. II

Cliffs of Moher Ireland

Europe is home to historic cities, world-famous museums, and phenomenal restaurants. But there are also gorgeous hidden beaches, phenomenal ski resorts, and stunning natural formations like canyons, waterfalls, and gorges.

We’ve come up with the ultimate bucket list of travel destinations in Europe.

From biking along the canals of Amsterdam to tasting Chianti in Italy’s Tuscany region, here are 25 things you need to do in Europe in your lifetime.

Stroll through fragrant lavender fields in Provence, France.

Stroll through fragrant lavender fields in Provence, France.

Marvel at the treasures and artifacts inside London’s British Museum, which is open to the public for free. (As is almost every other major museum in London.)

Marvel at the treasures and artifacts inside London's British Museum, which is open to the public for free. (As is almost every other major museum in London.)

Have a beer in the beautiful Market Square of Krakow, Poland.

Have a beer in the beautiful Market Square of Krakow, Poland.

Indulge with fresh gaufres chaudes (hot waffles) topped with strawberries, whipped cream, Nutella, and more in Belgium.

Indulge with fresh gaufres chaudes (hot waffles) topped with strawberries, whipped cream, Nutella, and more in Belgium.

Go canyoning in Interlaken, Switzerland: rappel, raft, and jump through waterfalls.

Go canyoning in Interlaken, Switzerland: rappel, raft, and jump through waterfalls.

Take a gondola ride through the winding canals of Venice, Italy.

Take a gondola ride through the winding canals of Venice, Italy.

Gaze at the Aurora Borealis from Lapland, in northern Finland.

Gaze at the Aurora Borealis from Lapland, in northern Finland.

Sample Paški sir, the famous artisanal sheep milk cheese made on the Croatian island of Pag.

Sample Paški sir, the famous artisanal sheep milk cheese made on the Croatian island of Pag.

Drive through the Scottish Highlands and admire the gorgeous hilly terrain.

Drive through the Scottish Highlands and admire the gorgeous hilly terrain.

Run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

Run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

Take a dip in a thermal bath in Budapest, Hungary.

Take a dip in a thermal bath in Budapest, Hungary.

Skip the lines at the Eiffel Tower, and take in the view of Paris from the top of the stairs at the Sacre-Couer in Montmartre.

Skip the lines at the Eiffel Tower, and take in the view of Paris from the top of the stairs at the Sacre-Couer in Montmartre.

Explore the Eden Project, a pair of giant biomes that hold thousands of plant species from around the world in Cornwall, England.

Explore the Eden Project, a pair of giant biomes that hold thousands of plant species from around the world in Cornwall, England.

Straddle two continents on a boat tour along the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey.

Straddle two continents on a boat tour along the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey.

Sample Italian Chianti in the vineyards of Tuscany.

Sample Italian Chianti in the vineyards of Tuscany.

Cheer on the home team at a football (soccer) match in the U.K.

Cheer on the home team at a football (soccer) match in the U.K.

Recount the tale of Dracula in Sighisoara, the Romanian town where real-life inspiration Vlad the Impaler was born.

Recount the tale of Dracula in Sighisoara, the Romanian town where real-life inspiration Vlad the Impaler was born.

Cruise Norway’s imposing fjords, created by eroding glaciers.

Cruise Norway's imposing fjords, created by eroding glaciers.

Try a restaurant that specializes in foraged food in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Try a restaurant that specializes in foraged food in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Watch the sun set at Stonehenge, in southern England.

Watch the sun set at Stonehenge, in southern England.

Find solace at the Rila Monastery, an Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria.

Find solace at the Rila Monastery, an Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria.

Scuba dive in the clear Mediterranean waters off the coast of Cyprus.

Scuba dive in the clear Mediterranean waters off the coast of Cyprus.

Admire the incredibly detailed facade of the Sagrada Família, a church in Barcelona, Spain, which was designed by famed architect Antoni Gaudí and has been under construction since 1882.

Admire the incredibly detailed facade of the Sagrada Família, a church in Barcelona, Spain, which was designed by famed architect Antoni Gaudí and has been under construction since 1882.

Savor a rich chocolatey Sachertorte in Vienna, Austria.

Savor a rich chocolatey Sachertorte in Vienna, Austria.

Admire Claude Monet’s enormous series of “Water Lilies” murals at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, France.

Admire Claude Monet's enormous series of "Water Lilies" murals at the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris, France.
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