2016-07-16-0049Z


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news from Turkey is contradictory. I heard as early as last night the coup was successful. googled just a few minutes ago and read that it wasn't.

here's my take, at the risk of sounding like Brian Williams, becase I was there, in Istanbul, in late 1996 or early 1997, whenever it was that the military deposed Erbakan. at the time I was working for List 2000, a Turkish search engine, as one of the two lead programmers. it was to be the "grand opening" of the company, as I recall the first multilingual Turkish search engine, and there were lots of dignitaries, celebrities, and assorted businesspeople gathered to witness the deployment. I was working (illegally, I guess, but my bosses had paid all necessary bribes) with the Turkish employees in their building in Istanbul; myself and the other two Americans who came with me were hired at their office in Boca Raton, FL.

when the other programmer, Carl, had to go home early due to a family emergency, it fell on me to finish the automated translation process and get the site ready. I worked for something like 40 hours straight, but had it done on time for the celebration.

I can't remember if the coup happened before or after the grand opening. nobody seemed too concerned about it, in fact everyone seemed upbeat. my boss, Sam (Semih) explained that Turks were primarily secular, though many called themselves Muslim the same as many Americans say they're Christian though they don't read the bible or go to church; and when a president starts getting cozy with Muslim clerics they want the military to step in and force new elections.

later that night, or not long after in any case, they called in pizza from the local Pizza Hut and I got violently ill from it. Sam's mom made me some chicken soup and I was on the mend after a day or three.

I don't remember a whole lot more: vignettes of going to a local burger joint on my own; walking in the cold twilight between the office building and the hotel; drinking Turkish coffee down to the mud at the bottom of the cup. fun times.

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last updated 2016-07-15 21:09:12. served from tektonic