The Anonymous Widower

Turkey Blames EU In ‘Sofagate’ Diplomatic Spat

The title of this post, is the same as that on this article on the BBC.

These are the first two paragraphs.

What began as an attempt to repair tense EU-Turkey relations has turned into a diplomatic spat that has been dubbed “sofagate”.

When European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was left standing because of a lack of chairs in Ankara, she reacted with an audible “Ahem”.

I suspect Mrs. T and Mrs. M would have done more than say “Ahem”

You certainly see better courtesy on the buses on the multi-ethnic route between Dalston and Stamford Hill.

Three times now, I’ve seen the classic friendly argument between an elderly male Orthodox Jew and a very much younger lady, about who should get on the bus last.

If only all problems could be solved with a smile, as these usually are in the end!

April 8, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coronavirus: Over 600 People Test Positive At German Slaughterhouse

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on DW News.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Yet another German slaughterhouse has registered a massive outbreak of the coronavirus. Roughly two-thirds of the test results so far have come back positive.

Does the author think this is a recurring problem?

There is a sub-heading in the article of By No Means An Isolated Case, where this is said.

Germany’s meat processing sector has come under increasing scrutiny during the pandemic, with several plants reporting massive outbreaks. The sector is plagued with poor working conditions, exploitative contracts and usurious rents in mass housing for eastern European workers.

The company is blaming Bulgarian and Romanian workers going home for the long weekend.

The next paragraph, would appear to debunk that theory.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Germany has had far more confirmed cases of coronavirus than either Romania or Bulgaria. In the past 14 days, Germany registered 4,814 new cases, compared to 2,898 in Romania and 915 in Bulgaria.

By comparison, we have had 14,932 lab-confirmed cases in the last fourteen days.

The article says that this slaughterhouse is in Gutersloh and from a picture in the article, the slaughterhouse seems to process pigs.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the Wikipedia entry for Gutersloh.

It looks to be a typical German town of 100,000 people, but it does have one unusual feature according to Wikipedia; ten percent of the population are Arameans.

I have found these facts on Wikipedia.

  • The total number of Arameans in Germany is between 100,000 and 120.000. See Arameans
  • There has been a long history of Turkish people migrating to Germany. See Turks In Germany
  • The number of Turks in Germany is 2,774,000, making them the largest minority. See Demographics of Germany
  • Many of the Turks were brought to Germany in the 1970s to do the jobs the Germans didn’t want to do and to solve a labour crisis, after the building of the Berlin Wall. See Turks In Germany

Turks are Muslim and the Germans produce a lot of pork. So do Turks work in German slaughterhouses handling pork and making sausages?

If they don’t, does this explain the large number of Arameans in Gutersloh? Arameans are Christians and unlike Muslims and Jews, eat pork.

Their diet also contains alcohol and appears to be gluten-rich!

I’d love to have German statistics of COVID-19 by ethnicity!

June 21, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Istanbul Tram Line To Be Catenary-Free

The title of this post, is the same as that in this article on Global Rail News.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Contractor Dogus Construction has selected Alstom to supply a full APS ground-level power supply solution for the Eminönü-Alibeyköy tram line in Istanbul.

Choosing Alstom’s street-level power rail solution means that the 10km-long line will be entirely catenary-free.

I suspect, catenary-free will become the norm, either using systems like in Istanbul or batteries like the Midland Metro.

April 5, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Why We Shouldn’t Mine Coal

I’m sixty-seven this year and all my life, every year or so, I’ve heard reports of the deaths of coal miners.

Now today, there are reports of a serious mine disaster in Turkey.

When I was in Poland, I shared a train compartment with a lady going to Katowice. I remember the city for a mining disaster in the 1950s, which was nearby.

Isn’t it about time, we stopped mining the filthy stuff, as it just creates grief for the miners and their families? And of course there’s always the issue of global warming.

May 13, 2014 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

France Annoys Another Friend

France is thinking about making it an offence to deny the Armenian genocide and a bill is passing through their parliament.

If you don’t know about the genocide, this is the first few paragraphs from the Wikipedia article.

The Armenian Genocide also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime  refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was implemented through wholesale massacres and deportations, with the deportations consisting of forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees. The total number of resulting Armenian deaths is generally held to have been between 1 million and 1.5 million. Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Greeks, and some scholars consider those events to be part of the same policy of extermination.

It is widely acknowledged to have been one of the first modern genocides, as scholars point to the systematic, organised manner in which the killings were carried out to eliminate the Armenians, and it is the second most-studied case of genocide after the Holocaust. The word genocide was coined in order to describe these events.

If you read the article, you’ll see that it was probably one of the most barbaric acts of history at the start of the twentieth century. And let’s face it there were quite a few atrocities.

The French action in their parliament, is very much resisted by Turkey, who still deny that the genocide happened  There was a protest in Ankara yesterday, which is reported in the Guardian.

December 20, 2011 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

How The Turks Deal With Pollution

This horrific story is in The Times today, although I’m pointing to a green web site, so evryone can read it.

Turkey may well have nine percent economic growth, but at what cost?

So is it right,  that we increase unemployment, because of imports from Turkey?

In my view it isn’t!

C and I once had a holiday in Turkey and in some ways we weren’t impressed.  Luckily we could afford to go somewhere better.

As a coeliac, I starved in Turkey, as they just couldn’t get the idea of what gluten-free was! Despite the fact I had an excellent translation.

May 31, 2011 Posted by | Health, News, Transport/Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment

The Ford Transit Connect

You see these vans all over Europe, but I can’t remember seeing one here in Greece.  Is it because they are made in Turkey?

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , | Leave a comment

Another Tour Company Goes Bust

It has been announced this morning, that another tour company, Goldtrail, has gone bust. It does seem to happen at least twice a year.

What bannoys me is that a lot of people will not have travel insurance, so they will expect the CAA, i.e. all our taxes, to get them home.

Let’s have aaw which says that you can’t buy a holiday without either insurance or the means to get yourself home, if it all goes bust.  I have insurance, but it didn’t cover my problems in Hong Kong, so I had to fund that myself.

But why should I have to fund people who make no provision? The CAA should publish how much they have had to pay out, over and above any bonds.

Especially, as most this time were to Turkey, which is somewhere I am very cautious of visiting as it is not very coeliac-friendly, unless you stay in five-star hotels.

July 17, 2010 Posted by | Business, Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment