The great Irish potato famine and the Turkish humanitarian aid to Ireland

Skibbereen_by_James_Mahony-1847In 2010, the Irish President Mary McAleese paid a visit to Turkey. During that visit a historical event that took place in 1847 between these two countries was remembered and covered widely in the Irish press.  The case in question was the Irish Potato Famine, or the Potato Blight that devastated Ireland between 1845 and 1849, and the generous humanitarian response by the Turks to this Irish predicament.

This plight was either caused by a disease in the potato crop, or a severe draught, and it spread rapidly throughout the country. There was a large scale famine as the potato was the main source of livelihood of the Irish people; about one-third of the population depended solely on the potato , either as a consumer or cultivator.  At that time the population of Ireland was about 8 million — 1.4 million people died of starvation, and 1.5 million people immigrated to other countries, mainly the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia.

At that time the Ottoman Empire was ruled by Sultan Abdul Mecid.  He was an enlightened ruler. His mother was French, Aimée DuBuque.  Her family lived in the Island of Martinique in the Caribbean. Her sister was also famous and an Emperatrice; she was Josephine, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.

In 1847, Abdul Mecid heard about the Irish disaster from the British Ambassador.  He  immediately dispatched a fleet of five ships full of food supplies to Ireland.  However, the British Crown became touchy, and obviously considered it as a trespassing  on its own sphere of influence, and refused to  give permission to those ships to enter the ports of Dublin or Belfast. Instead of laying idle there the commodore of the fleet took it upon himself and decided to try another port, and they sailed to a smaller port named Drogheda, 70 miles North of Dublin. They were able to discharge their cargo – secretly.  For lack of a decent hotel in town the city authorities put them up  at the City Hall.

Sultan Abdul Mecid  also declared that he would donate 10,000 in gold monetary aid to relieve the Irish people.   Queen Victoria objected to that.  With direct order from her the British Ambassador in Istanbul pleaded with the Sultan, “would he be so kind to reduce his amount, for the Queen’s donation was only 2, 000, and no amount of charity should exceed hers.” Thereupon the Sultan reduced his amount to 1,000.  Research made in the Ottoman archives in 1993 revealed a “Letter of Gratitude” from the noblemen, and the inhabitants of Ireland addressed to the Sultan and to the Turkish people.

To commemorate this event, on May 2, 1995, the Mayor of Drogheda Alderman Frank Godfrey paid a visit to the Turkish Ambassador  Mr. Taner Baytok, and asked him to join the ceremony of erecting  a plaque with “star and crescent emblem” on the wall of  the Westcourt Hotel, which was the old City Hall where the Turkish seamen had stayed.  Mr. Baytok wrote in his memoires that this event was made public for the first time in an article written by Thomas P. O’Neill, published in the Treshold Magazine in 1957.

 The Ottoman efforts to relieve the hardship of the Irish people and to lessen their pain despite the long distance are still remembered and appreciated in Ireland. The Turks put aside their differences in race, religion, language and culture, and extended their hands far and far away to the afflicted and distressed Irish people.

There is an anectode, an oral history if you will, about this event.  Some of the people in the entourage of the Sultan were not happy with this enterprise; they voiced their displeasure by saying that, “ Why this fuss about a small island so far away?  We do not have any relations with them, no trade, no political or military.” The Sultan is said to have responded, “They may be small, but we are great! This is my justification.”

Ayhan Ozer

How PASTIRMA became PASTRAMI? By: Ayhan Ozer

Turkish Pastirma

Turkish Pastirma

On June 24 1987, in the “Living Section” of the New York Times appeared a Letter to the Editor asking “What is pastrami?” The letter mentioned the fondness of Yves Montand for pastrami. He was a famous French singer in 1950s and 1960s. People also know him as the third husband of Marilyn Monroe. To my opinion, notwithstanding this semi-official testimonial what Yves Montand liked so much was not the American “pastrami”, it was the Turkish PASTIRMA. It is popular in France too because of the several minorities who immigrated to France from Turkey after World War I.

As a reply to the above inquiry I sent a letter to the New York Times explaining briefly how pastrami had originated in Turkey, and how it found its way to the United States but in the process it lost its innocence and must have suffered an identity crisis. My letter was published on July 22, 1987. A Turkish Armenian fellow living in New York, a total stranger to me found my address from his circle of friends, and sent me a letter, saying that he enjoyed my letter so much, and thanking me for my “informative and nice letter”.

Then, in our local library I came across a book “A History of English in its own Words”. It was about the etymology and the history of the words. In that book I came across an entry for Pastrami. The writer seemed to tie the origin of the Pastrami to an obscure background, totally speculative and without any convincing proof.

The origin of Pastrami is PASTIRMA, a Turkish delicacy. In the rural Turkish dialect it is BASTIRMA, meaning to steep raw meat, fish, or even fruits and vegetables in a medium of brine, salt or any pungent substances for curing and pickling purposes.

To make PASTIRMA, a raw cut of beef is put under a heavy marble block to make it release its blood. When it is free from any residual blood the curing stage begins. For curing purposes the meat is coated with a mixture of condiments composed of ground fenugreek (an aromatic spice), red pepper, garlic and some non-essential spices, and is let to rest for a certain period of times. During the curing period, the aroma and the taste of this compound penetrate the meat, and give it a zesty flavor.

This concept with a slightly modified name (pastrami) was brought into this country by the Jewish immigrants from Romania, which was a Turkish province until late 19th century. However, the taste of the original PASTIRMA was modified to please the American palate. It is milder and without any aroma.

Who is a Turkish-American? by Ayhan Ozer

US-Turkish_prideFor a traditional mind America is a land of untold peculiarities; one of its features is the “hyphenated citizen” status. America is an immigrant country; the ancestors of the entire U.S. population who call themselves today “American” had come to this land from other countries during the past four centuries. Therefore, today in America almost all the nations have social and cultural extensions. The new-comers to this land arrive here with a determination of settling. This make them identify with this country willingly, which make their adaptations conscious, and therefore, easier. Not to forget their heritages they call themselves “Irish-American”, “Polish-American”, “Italian-American”, etc. They  draw a sense of pride from this blood identity with the old country. However, they are no longer Irish, Polish or Italian; they are a new breed, they are American at the core.

One of the recent groups that jumped onto the bandwagon is the Turks. Today, a new descendant of Turks is coming of age in America. They are the Turkish-Americans. Like all the other immigrants, the Turkish-Americans too are aware of the double cultural identity they possess. They have two sets of values, one acquired in this country, and the other infused at home. Yet those values do not clash, they reinforce one another. To reconcile those values harmoniously is the main task of each individual.

Much as the majority of the Turkish-Americans seem to have “made it” in various endeavors, like many immigrants, they have some adjustment problems to work out, such as mastering the language, assimilation, entering the main stream as soon as possible, polishing their manners and to conform to social conventions.

Lately, the Turkish-American phenomenon is debated from various perspectives in Turkey, some call it a brain drain, yet others characterize it a questionable patriotism that causes losing our time-tested traditional values. Those debates, however, do not address the socio-cultural problems of these pioneering generations, nor do they elucidate the matter and offer a fresh perspective to understand their struggle; rather, they provide a forum for some quasi-intellectuals to display their raw chauvinism in blusterous statements. These armchair patriots do titillate the patriotic sentiments of their audience, which sometimes resonate in the Turkish psyche effectively.

Like most of the other ethnic communities, the Turkish-Americans too are the extension of the old country. As they gain strength rapidly in the United States they become an effective voice for their mother land. They enhance the image of Turkey and promote her interests in this country through effective lobbying, media watch and school curriculum campaigns. They create business, trade and tourism potential for Turkey and promote the Turkish culture. Therefore, it is to the benefit of the motherland to have more Turks who are well-adjusted, established and attained status in this country who call themselves “Turkish-American” rather than having individuals with an identity crisis for not being a part of either world, yet call themselves “Proud Turk!” Today, certain countries, like Greece. Israel, Italy and Armenia draw strength from their Diaspora abroad.

As the name implies (Diaspora in Greek means:”dispersion”, “sprout” “to sow”) those countries through their well-established communities grow roots in another country and broaden their cultural, economic, political, educational and social bases. All these translate to creating positive images for the old countries and gain strength.

Very often, in Turkey, people have unrealistic expectations from the Turkish-Americans. They assume that the Turks living abroad should have the same values and the outlook as the Turks living in Turkey. In this country the freedom is widespread. There are respects for the individual choices. There is acceptance, condoning and latitude. In Turkey the norms are more rigid. Tolerance, empathy and forbearance are exercised sparingly. People are prone to fault-finding. This attitude is self-defeating, therefore harmful. Furthermore, it is immature and unbecoming for a country that claims to be democratic. In that regard we have much to learn from America. This country is a colorful mosaic of race, religion, culture, language, and heritage; yet, it is a nation in its true sense. Notwithstanding those fundamental differences, each individual calls himself or herself an American. There is a unity of ideals, aspirations and interests; these are what make a society a nation.

Pennington, NJ

ATATÜRK’s vision and development programs… Summary by Bircan Unver, Light Millennium

hl_inaugural-group-4-19-13The Light Millennium and the College of Arts and Letters at the Stevens Institute of Technology jointly presented an international conference on the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations and their relation to ideals advanced by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), founder and the first president of Republic of Turkey. The two-day conference was entitled Pioneer of the Millennium Development Goals: Atatürk and, The conference was held on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, 2013.

One of the most accomplished world leaders of the 20th century and founder of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s (1881-1938) visions, principles, and their implementation from the 1920s on until his departure in 1938, which are nailed down as the pioneering acts and development programs on the multiple level and dimensions as well as from global perspectives of the Millennium Development Goals for 2015 during the Pioneer of the Millennium Development Goals: Ataturk – A Two-Day International Conference at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey on April 19-20, 2013.

High Level Inaugural Session of the conference dedicated to the Eight Goal of the Millennium DevelopmentGlobal Partnerships and International Peace.

Co-chair of the conference, Prof. Foster, opened the Inaugural Session of the conference by inviting Dr. Nariman Farvardin, president of Stevens Institute of Technology, for his welcoming remarks. The dean of College of Arts and Letters, Dr. Lisa Dolling, followed Dr. Farvardin with her own welcoming remarks. She articulated the importance of Ataturk’s dedication to art and science education and the need to imprint ethical responsibilities on students. Then Prof. Foster invited Bircan Ünver for her own concept that led to the conference.

Ms. Suzanne Bilello, Senior Communications and Liaison Officer for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) invited H.E. Ambassador Halit Çevik, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations,for his opening remarks. Following his speech, Mr. Akan Rakhmetullin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations presented H.E. Ms. Bryganym Aitimova’s (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations) statement. This was followed by then H.E. Pajo Avirovikj’s, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Macedonia to the United Nations; keynote speaker Stephen Kinzer, author and professor of International Relations of Boston University, and H.E. Carlos E. Garcia Gonzales, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the United Nations. Ms. Bilello made a comprehensive presentation about UNESCO and its role and visions within the context of the MDGs. [For the High Level Inaugural Session/April 19REPORT, please click on this link.]

hl-group-all-4-20-13On Saturday, April 20, the conference brought in a diverse and multi-cultural group of academics, students, independent authors/researchers and non-governmental organization representatives. Geographical participations were from Liberia, Turkey in four universities such as Kadir Has, Maltepe (Istanbul), Firat (Elazig) and Anatolian (Eskisehir) universities as well as from Atlanta (Middle Georgia State College), W.DC, Virginia, Connecticut (State University), Toronto (Carleton University), Michigan (NGO), New York (Columbia University), and New Jersey (Stevens). Selected, and all previously announced papers presented.

The morning session of the second day was dedicated to the “Empowerment of Women and Gender Equality, and Universal Education” moderated by David C. Cuthell, Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia University.

During the second day of the conference there were very interesting spectrum in between the different presentations that each of them has brought it one of the key angle’s of the Universal Education, Women Empowerment and Gender Equality as well as the Eradicating Hunger. At the same time, some of the presentations act as the other counterpart of each other such as Prof. Dr. Nezih Orhan and Research Assistant Efe Gozde’s paper on Village Institutes and Universal Education and Robert Weir’s power point presentation on Universal Education; presented in debt Turkey, India and on the global level MDG#2 and literacy level and comparison came it naturally in the minds of the attendees. Similar conceptual connection and another corresponding item came in with Mrs. Sally Shatila Kader’s keynote on Middle East and Arab Spring and Dr. Hamid Akin Ünver’s paper entitled “Sovereignty and Legitimacy as the Basis for Peace: Atatürk’s Principles and the future of the Arab Spring.”

Ataturk Society of America, Dr. Gul Çelkan, Judy Light Ayyildiz and Seden Anlar’s papers offered from multiple angles of the MDG#3 “Women Empowerment and Gender Equality” in Turkey both from its pioneering and inspirational qualities and values as well as its historical perspective. A combination of these also have escalated Ataturk’s role, principles, vision and importance a much more higher global ladder and conscious, which are more relevant and needed in the present time. (Please see Full Report of the Conference).

Dr. Sebahattin Devecioglu’s paper brought it another angle both from the Ataturk Era as well as UN-MDGS with a proposal that development programs and investing in Youth and Sport should be included Beyond the 2015 Agenda of the MDGS.

Afternoon session of the second day of the conference presented “Global Partnership and International Peace” from the academia, NGOs and independent thinkers that also act as the counterpart of the Inaugural Session.

Prof. David Cuthell presented of Atatürk “as the man” of Atatürk rather as an icon or god-like figure, which also has served to Atatürk’s his own vision about himself as Prof. Kinzer’s quoted by Atatürk during his keynote presentation: ““I am leaving no sermon no dogma nor am I leaving as my legacy any commandment that is frozen in time or cast in stone.”

In the “Peace vs Pact: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s Concept of Peace” paper, which presented by Prof. Foster, its author Prof. Özer is highlighted Ataturk as an humanitarian who believed in the equality of nations, and his urge for activisim for the protection of the future of the world as a whole (secularism, education, women’s rights). She also redefined of Leadership with reference to Atatürk’s stance in the face of wars and domination putting an emphasis on his concept of Peace.”

Rev. James Bestman strongly emphasized the urgency to achieving the MDGS in Liberia, in particular, achieving “eradicating hunger” through “universal education”. Rev. Bestman and LCA-Global Initiative also brought in Africa, and one of the least developing countries in our time that also has added tremendously to the overall goal of the concept that is presenting the conference from the global perspectives and on the global level.

Prof. Vassillopulos’s metaphorical and powerful comparison of “Homer and Ataturk” as well as focusing on Ataturk’s “reconciliation” with the neighboring countries immediately after forming of Turkey as well as to prior “enemies”, who were invaded of Gallipoli, and Atatürk message to the mothers of the lost soldiers, “now, your sons are also ours” created a sensational moment at the conference that is alone still stands out one of the most unique examples how a military commander has transformed to a “peace maker” with the world immediately follow by the forming his own country! This quote also brought in both emotion and better understanding of Ataturk’s vision for international peace as well as, Prof. Vassillopulos being from Greek background, added further indebt mean and value to the dedication theme of the conference and the afternoon session of the April 20th.

Prof. Özay Mehmet focused from the economic development agenda in his paper and suggested to the western countries policy makers and to the United Nations to take another approach to achieve the MDGS such as taken up a combination of Ataturkist and Gandhian perspectives for achieving the MDGS.

With all above mentioned that the conference also has brought in several proposals to be included into the Beyond 2015 Agenda of the MDGS.

As it was initially announced, Dr. Aysegül Durakoglu presented a paper entitled “Atatürk: Creating a Universal Language in Turkish Musical Culture” from the cultural implications of Atatürk’s development agenda in the 1920 and 30’s as the concluding session of the conference. A selected and very impressive piano performances from this era presented. Young talent violonist Yigit Karatas accompanied to Dr. Durakoglu.
[For the April 20 REPORT, please click on this link.]

As the overall conclusion of the High Level Inaugural Panel as Prof. Stephen Kinzer is commented on the following: If Ataturk were alive today, he would’ve be a perfect Director of the Millennium Development Goals (or Secretary General of the United Nations). Prof. Kinzer also emphasized and illustrated Atatürk was a very inpatient that might have been caused his early departure, he commented.

With Atatürk’s inpatient personality, forceful and visionary mind, if Atatürk were alive today, indeed, he would’ve been able to achieve the MDGS as in full by the 2015!

The conference is directed by Bircan Ünver of The Light Millennium, and co-chaired along with Prof. Edward Foster of the College of Arts and Letters at Stevens Institute of Technology. 

Special Thanks to: Hande Subasilar, Altnernate Representative of The Light Millennium to the Department of Public Information of the United Nations.

– PROGRAM (Final)
– Full REPORT – April 19-20, 2013 (as work in progress)
– Conference’s FLYER

This Summary may be fully reproduced under the following conditions only:
1. “This SUMMARY of the PIONEER OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: ATATÜRK” International Conference was originally e-published by The Light Millennium.”
And, below hyper link to the actual webpage should be included: 
2) For the post-production of the conference’s video-recording as a mini television series (4+1 Highlights) ot 6+1 parts) to be edited and scheduled in Fall 2013; The Light Millennium (with tax exempt/501c3 status) is seeking for sponsorships and donations for post-production of this mini-series. If you are interested in sponsoring it, please email
3) Timeline of the Book Publishing: Depending on availability of sponsorship, in Fall/Winter 2013 or Spring 2014.
4) ALL the presented PAPERS at the conference will be available on The Light Millennium’s website.

Concept Related links:
1921 Constitution
1924 The (First) New Constitution of Turkey
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly [without reference to a Main Committee (A/55/L.2)]
55/2. United Nations Millennium Declaration
2000 Millennium Development Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly:
Millennium Development Goals for 2015:
BEYOND 2015:
34th Session of the General Assembly – Official Document – 19 December 1979
UNESCO – Turkey, Profile of Education:
UNESCO Centenary of Ataturk’s birth – The Executive Board 21) November1979
The Unesco COURIER – November 1981

My Birthday, 19 May by Sebahattin Devecioglu

Prof. Dr. Sebahattin DeveciogluHistory of nations involves important events and dates, which change their destiny, enlighten their future, appreciate the society as a whole and open to a radical change and development, as well as a new structure and formation. If these dates and events become the starting point of a great revolution and a bright future, they gradually become important and permanent holidays.

Holidays that are commonly celebrated by communities are definitely placed on the top of national customs and traditions (1). 19 May 1919, which is the first step of the great revolution within the War of Independence, was accepted as the “Youth and Sports Day” on 19 May 1938. Being among the important national holidays of the Turkish nation, “May 19 the Commemoration of Ataturk Youth and Sports Day” has been established deeply in the Turkish culture and widely esteemed by the society in a commonly official and unofficial way. History of nations involves blurry, rough and dark periods, where it seems impossible to find a way, select a trace and get illuminated. As Ataturk states, majority of people get into a vicious circle on such days and while some of them resort the salvation in uniting with the enemy, some resort in being under the protectiveness and guidance of a stronger foreign state and some resort to establishing weak local resistance organizations. 19 May 1919 is an illuminating date in a dark period (2,3), which is based on dying in an honorable way rather than living in a dishonorable way under contempt and the starting point of a chain of events that occurred afterwards.

Ataturk’s definition of youth generally gains an intellectual meaning by exceeding the age limits; in other words, it goes hand in hand with the innovation of opinions. Ataturk’s statement, Having a young opinion means a person with a real opinion, who sees and understands the truth was used in this context. The Great Leader Ataturk who proclaimed the Republic when he was 42, he stated: “As for me, the youth consists of individuals who adopt the opinions and ideology of this reform and would transfer them to the next generations. In this regard, it is essential to seek, see and think about an ideal youth of opinion in Ataturk’s “Turkish Youth” by exceeding the age limits.  The founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk anticipated that the only solution against those who intended to cause the nation to go back with their old-fashioned opinions as from the beginning of the National Struggle was in youth and young opinions and foresaw that generations who would be raised with a modern mentality would develop his work even further and keep it alive for eternity by protecting it from all kinds of dangers in the future. Thus, Ataturk commended the republic which he called “my greatest work” to the youth and presented the date May 19, when he set off for Samsun to start the War of Independence, to the Turkish youth as the “Youth and Sports Day”.  Placing a great value on this day, Ataturk started his Great Speech on May 19 and when he was asked about his birthday, he answered why not May 19. As well as the expectation, desire and enthusiasm of the people of Samsun, “Ataturk’s special interest” enabled the day to be considered among our national holidays (4).

In 1981, on the other hand, the name of the day was changed as “May 19 the Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day” with a law numbered 2429. The official newspaper that was published on 1 October 1981 issued a program regarding how to celebrate that day in Ankara, the capital, and other cities and explained that this celebration would be organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The addition of the words “the Commemoration of Ataturk” to name of the day is an expression of the great respect for Ataturk, who stated “I was born on May 19”. May 19 is celebrated with physical education and sports shows throughout Turkey and these celebrations turn into a visual feast with simultaneous movements of students of hundreds. May 19 Race, which starts in Samsun and ends in Ankara, has been organized since that day (5).

Having been entrusted with the Republic of Turkey by Ataturk, the youth will progress on the way of science and modernity referred by him in full unity, glorify our nation, arrange our future, and make it enlightened and content. In his statement, “Youth; who have taken on the task of realizing my future goals! I am very pleased and happy since I will leave this country to a youth like you, which understands me”, Ataturk expressed his reliance on the Turkish youth as well. The youth of Ataturk is a youth that pursues great actions just like him, aims at education and knowledge, believes in the existence of modernity primarily in education and technique, research, works and finds for this… grounds on the consciousness forming the Turkish Culture, fulfills its requirements, and sets the goal well….comprehends and expresses the philosophy, principles and goals of Ataturk. Thus, abiding by the principles and reforms of Ataturk, the Turkish youth will bring the Turkish Nation to the highest point of the contemporary civilization within the shortest time, which was His goal (6).


1. Salim Koca, “Türklerde Bayram Anlayışı ve Nevruz”, Ufuk, Sayı 3, (Kasım-Aralık1998), (2-4), s.2

2. Mustafa Turan, “19 Mayıs’ın Türk İstiklâl Harbindeki Yeri ve Önemi”, Türk Yurdu, C.18, Sayı 129, (Mayıs 1998), (41-45), s.4

3. Suna Kili, Türk Devrim Tarihi, Boğaziçi Üni. Yay. 1980,İstanbul, s.20.

4. Utkan Kocatürk, Atatürk’ün Fikir ve Düşünceleri, Ankara, 1984, s.1

5. 19 Mayıs Atatürkü Anma Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı;, Erişim Tarihi : 25.03.2013

6. Aydın Can, Atatürk ve Türk Gençliği, Ç.Ü. Türkoloji-Makale Bilgi Sistemi Makale No : 3646, 03.07.2008

P.S: This article full presantation :The Birth Of The Celebration Of Youth And Sports And The U.N.’S Agenda For Youth And The Encouragement Of Sports, Pioneer Of The Millennium Development Goals: Ataturk, International Conference, The Light Millennium and College of Arts and Letters at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, April 19, 20, 2013

Asst. Prof.  Sebahattin Devecioğlu

(This text  was written with reference to my Birthday May 19, 1968)


Basbug AtaturkAn International Conference 


Professor of international relations at Boston University and author of Crescent & Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds.

Date: On Friday, April 19, 2013 Location: Stevens Institute of Technology, 6th & River Streets, Hoboken, New Jersey

The Light Millennium and the College of Arts and Letters at the Stevens Institute of Technology will jointly present a conference on the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations and their relation to ideals advanced by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), founder of the Turkish Republic.

The conference will be held on April 19th on the campus of the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Keynote speaker Stephen Kinzer, the first NY Times Chief Correspondent to Turkey (1996-2000), author of the book Crescent & Star: Turkey Between in Two Worlds (2001), and Professor in International Relations at Boston University, explains in his book: “The origins of this transformation [may be found] by examining the life of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic and still, despite his death in 1938, the most influential figure in Turkey’s history.”

The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals include the eradication extreme poverty and hunger, the attainment of universal primary education, the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, the reduction of child mortality, the improvement of maternal health, the combating of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, the attainment of environmental sustainability, and the development of a global partnership for the development of international peace.

Atatürk regarded universal education and equal rights for girls and women as pillars of the society he wished to building in the 1920s. He established the Turkish parliament and constitution to advance his ideals. He created institutes in villages for poor children and universities where women would be encouraged to study. He adopted the Roman alphabet for the Turkish language and introduced western values, culture, and lifestyles. Atatürk advanced the notion of “Peace at home, peace in the world.” [Read more…]

Linguistic Makeup of the Latinized Name SULFOLOBUS SOLFATARICUS by Polat Kaya

In a previous paper entitled “Revealing the secret make up of the Latinized terms “PROKARYOTIC” and “EUKARYOTIC” – and more”,, where I had pointed out the linguistic make up of the scientific terms “PROKARYOTIC” and “EUKARYOTIC” that described single cell organisms, In this exercise, I dwell on the linguistic make up of theLatinized name Sulfolobus solfataricus describing another single celled micro-organism and also some other related terms.

 “One of the best characterized members of the Crenarcheota is Sulfolobus solfataricus. This organism was originally isolated from geothermally-heated sulfuric springs in Italy, and grows at 80 °C and pH of 2-4.[9] Since its initial characterization by Wolfram Zillig, a pioneer in thermophile and archaean research, similar species in the same genus have been found around the world. Unlike the vast majority of cultured thermophilesSulfolobus grows aerobically and chemoorganotrophically (gaining its energy from organic sources such as sugars). These factors allow a much easier growth under laboratory conditions than anaerobic organisms and have led to Sulfolobus becoming a model organism for the study of hyperthermophiles and a large group of diverse viruses that replicate within them.”  See also . [Read more…]

Revealing the secret make up of the Latinized terms “PROKARYOTIC” and “EUKARYOTIC” – and more by Polat Kaya

These two words are used in describing what is called Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells in scientific biological studies.  The link at gives the following definitions about these words and the cells that these terms represent.

“Part of our definition/description of what it means to be a living thing on Earth includes the assertion that living things are made of cells and cell products. In other words, we consider the cell to be a pretty fundamental structural aspect of life. [Read more…]

Feast of sacrifice and its origins by Ayhan Ozer

According to the Islamic Tradidion, in this lunar month of Zulhijja the Muslim world performs the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. The Hajj is one of the five pillar of Islam. At the end of the Hajj the devout ritually sacrifice an animal, usually a sheep or ram which is called “Kurban”. This religious offering, called in English oblation, commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham) readiness to sacrifice his son identified in Islam as Ismail, at God’s request. Through their actions, Ibrahim and Ismail demonstrated an unflinching faith, and unswerving obedience to God. The Muslims re-enact that sacrifice as a commemoration of Ibrahim’s example of belief and submission to God’s will. The Feast that follows marks the culmination of the pilgrimage.

“Kurban” literally means “approaching”, “approximation”. From a religious context it implies coming closer to the Divine through faith and piety. Etymologically, the word of “Kurban” is related to Korban, a Hebrew word, which also means “to approach”. The origin of this custom is in Judaism; later it was adopted by the Muslims. Kurban is referred in both Old Testament and the New Testament. Yet, Christians and Jews do not sacrifice animal. Even though it did not originate in Islam only the Muslims perpetuate this barbaric and wasteful custom. And why??   [Read more…]

Jihad – The American Way by Ayhan Ozer

It is fair to admit that one component of Jihad is, in fact, “divinely sanctioned” holly war, but only as a last resort. Muslims are enjoined to search for peaceful solutions to resolve their disputes and the conflicts. Understanding, compromise and empathy should precede the confrontation as they are more constructive, and they lead to a healthy relationship

Jihad is a multi-level concept, and has a larger connotation than its casual meaning would suggest. It is, in principle, to strive in the way of God, to struggle against evil inclinations within one self. It may come as a surprise to most people, it is not strictly religion-specific, it is a way of dealing with the human conditions; therefore it is universal. During their lifetimes most individuals as well as the societies have had their own moments of Jihad. With a stretch of mind, for instance, the tremendous will power put forth by a drug addict to free himself from the tentacles of the addiction can be construed as a Jihad. Similarly, the ordeal of an alcoholic who seeks liberation from his “purgatory” can also be characterized as Jihad. All private struggles, such as gambling, over-eating habit, and all other lonely human vices that demand unrelenting will power and nervous energy to overcome the evil within ourselves can also be termed as Jihad. [Read more…]