... in turkey

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk > Grand Ayatollah Sayid Ruhullah Musawi Khomeini

25 Nov 2007 | 215 words | airtravel turkey iran religion modernity

At least when one is to believe the flight schedules of Turkish airlines and Iran Air. Since november 2007 both airlines have a daily service connecting Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport with the new Imam Khomeini International Airport just south of Tehran (actually it is quite a bit south of the city but very close to the shrine of the the late Grand Ayatollah).

Is it just me or isn’t it at least a tiny little bit ironic that there are direct flight’s between two airports that are named after the founder of the secular Turkish republic (the first and as far as i know only secular muslim majority country) and the leader of the Islamic Revolution that lead to the establishment of Islamic Republic of Iran. There are hardly two men who’s politics could be more opposed to each other (at least when it comes to the relationship between state and religion in the 20th Century). It appears that globalization and the associated travel patterns of the 21st century conveniently ignore such matters and integrate them in their highly codified languages:

… we are approaching Imam Khomeini International Airport, please bring your seatback in the upright position, fold away your tray-table, switch off all electronic devices, put on your headscarf and finish your last drink.

Rudas fürdő

13 Sep 2007 | 279 words | budapest cities turkey civilisation

I guess it is since i first read Enki Bilal’sPartie de Chasse that i wanted to go visit the various public bath houses in Budapest. there is a scene in Partie de Chasse where Vassili Alexandrovitch Tchevtchenko comes to Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution of 1966 to talk to Tibor Illyes, the local stalinist party leader, in a thermal pool to convince him to step down. later Illyes is found dead in the pool and officially it is said that he committed suicide. It is a fairly small scene, but it has somehow etched itself into my memory. Last week i finally had the chance to visit some of the bath houses in Budapest myself. my favorite is the Rudas, an old turkish bathhouse from 1566 that as been recently renovated (but essentially left unchanged):

If i was living in Budapest i could imagine myself spending a lot of time there (like a lot of the old fat locals do). The best thing about the Rudas is that it is open for mixed bathing till 4 in the morning on friday and saturday night (normally it is men only), which makes it an excellent last destination when having a night out (although going out with swimming shorts in you pockets feels a bit strange).

The Rudas was build in 1566 by the Turks, when Budapest was part of the Ottoman Empire, which makes me think that it is a shame that the Turks did not conquer all of Europe so they could have build places like this all over the place. Gives me one more reason to dislike the Austrians even more than i did before coming to Budapest.

meanwhile... is the personal weblog of Paul Keller. I am currently policy director at Open Future and President of the COMMUNIA Association for the Public Domain. This weblog is largely inactive but contains an archive of posts (mixing both work and personal) going back to 2005.

I also maintain a collection of cards from African mediums (which is the reason for the domain name), a collection of photos on flickr and a website collecting my professional writings and appearances.

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