Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bull in Modern Times

In year 1991, I had Ankara Istanbul flight late at night together with our General Manager, Jeff Green. We were on a marketing mission in Istanbul for negotiations.

I saw my dearest friend from my precious university mechanical engineering undergraduate years, the sweetheart of all pretty girls in the university, we called him, "Ox". Anyhow he says that he was "Bull" not "Ox".

I asked Jeff if he could change his seat with Bull so that we two school friends can sit together and exchange the latest developments in our respective lifestyles. Jeff said "No problem". He took all his documents and briefcase and replaced his seat with Bull.

Although we had 4 (four) years together in the undergraduate years with Bull, it was almost 20 years later now we were together again. From time to time, I had news directly or indirectly from Bull, he was in USA, in Britain, in Europe, in South America, Africa, Sahara, Algeria, Nepal, India, you name it anywhere in the world.

I asked the latest news, where he had been, new opportunities, and new business. I remember he once introduced himself to our principal business figure, Mr. Sakip SABANCI, of Sabanci Holding, "Let me introduce myself sir, my name is Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror of Istanbul". Mr. Sabanci was first very surprised (or shocked) and then understood that Bull was trying to have his attention, so very pleased to have Bull in his corporate staff.

Anyhow Bull had so much ambition that he left Sabanci group, then joined the biggest private enterprise, Koc Group, and then later he formed his own company and got very rich in rehabilitation of steam boiler business. He is now a prominent businessman in Istanbul in energy business at this time.

He said, "Haluk, in your lifetime man has limited opportunity. You do with that limited capability what you can do to create your next generations. Unfortunately I have spent most of them in various parts of the world. Hence I do not know the outcome."
I said " Don't worry you will get married and then do your homework from now on". His eyes flashed with a big smile. He brought up a picture, and said, "Look, this is Cherry. My daughter, only one-year old." A small beautiful baby daughter smiling in the photo.
I roared and responded with anger, "How come you got married and I do not know. Your best friend is NOT invited to your wedding?"
He responded " Yes, surely we need a wedding, don't we? but I do not know when?"
I surprised and asked "Common, you will not tell me that you are escaping from marriage, get married and do your homework with whatever you have left in rest of your life".
"I am NOT the one in responsible for not getting married. I do want to get married but I am refused to get married." He responded.
"That is impossible. There is no woman who can refuse your wedding proposal." I said.
"That is a reality, our times are changed. Now we are to prove that we deserve to get married and a daughter between us is not a firm commitment nor a reason for marriage."
I was stunned. A handsome successful businessman in Istanbul, with a daughter from his beloved woman, cannot get married, since he still does not get qualified for marriage. A real shock in changing times.

Later in time, Cherry's father and Cherry's mother got married and they are happily living ever after since then. He prepared a web site for his beautiful baby daughter, where he calls himself NOT only father but the best friend of Cherry, who is now 15 years old, living with her parents in Istanbul.

Time is getting changed. Nothing is same as before.

I am not sure if this is a proper story to tell. I do not know why I wrote it. I do not know how to end.

Do you have any comments how to end up this story? Any further suggestions or plot to add?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Barselona -2004

Me and Dilek in Barselona city center, in June 2004 for PowerGen Europe Conference.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Teo's Story

On 26th June 2005, we had another alumni day for graduates of the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. On our 30th year graduation anniversary,
we were together with Teo, my classmate for more than 30 years. He told this story, and I added up some further clarifications for better understanding of the reader.

Here is his story,


Sometime in October 1966, I was a recent high school graduate, recently accepted to Middle East Technical University in Ankara. METU, for short, was founded mostly by US aid in 1955s with curriculum copy of MIT in USA. Education language was, and still is English.

We were supposed to learn English in preparatory school for one-year before attending freshman courses. Our teachers were mostly native English speakers, American, British, Australian, any other.

I was in the early days for the new semester, trying to get oriented to the new atmosphere, new style, and new procedures.

Everything was new for me. We had also foreign colleagues from nearby countries. However we had our own cultural limitations. We were trying to learn the new ways of life.

In our class, we had a number of Turkish girls, all local. They were very shy. They were resisting making any friendship, as if they would loose their virginity with handshake.

One day we saw an announcement, in English. “It is our 10th Anniversary of our University. You are invited to our Ball, on the weekend. Get dressed well." We had daydreaming all day for that ball.

We got dressed. It was our first Ball for most of us. That night we, all-boys gang, were young, sharp, clean, shaved, ready for the ball, to meet pretty girls.

Unfortunately all pretty young girls were absent. We had all grown up professionals, academicians, politicians, businessmen, old local folk etc.

Later in the night, President of our University, Mr. Kemal Kurdas, in his late 40s, came to our group with a lady in her early 40s. Lady was beautiful. Her skin was ivory white, her hair in whitish blond. Very fit, very thin, pure white skin, but unable to hide her age, seem her early 40s. Maybe Nicole Kidman of today. Very rare or even unseen beauty example of that day.

We would never think of being her friend, never boyfriend ever.

President called me and asked,

“My son, what year are you in?”

“I am in prep school, Sir”

“How is your English?”

“At beginners stage, sir.”

“My poor son, you lost the Chick.”

What chick, What is Chick? Who is Chick? Why did I loose the Chick??

Later in the night, I started to understand what Chick would mean.

Later I understood that I could dance with a lady professor. I could ask to dance. I did not need to find a girl of my age. Dance is a dance, nothing more.

Then I tried to bring together necessary English words in my mind,

When she was all-alone, I approached and said, in broken English,

“You- dance- with- me, Madam ??”

She said, “Yes”.

And we danced, although she was almost one foot taller than me. She hugged me, and we danced. More important than that, I had no idea how to dance.

Last week, we celebrated 40th year anniversary of our university.

I received my medal for my 30th year graduation.

We had our black tradtional coats; we walked in our stadium, sung our national anthem, as if we were new graduates. In 1968, we printed “Revolution” in big letters on the stairs of our stadium. It was our revolution stadium.

In those days, Joan BAEZ and her protest songs were very famous. We were listening to her every day, from loudspeakers of the newly constructed soccer stadium. I saw her live first time in Berlin in 1980s. Last year she was in Istanbul festival.

We learnt that it was now officially named as "Revolution" Stadium, our revolution in 1968. I believe that we shall listen to Joan Baez soon in one of graduation days in this stadium.

I saw my friends. Our girl friends are now happy grandmothers. Their grand daughters were very comfortable with their boyfriends. We are more tolerant compared to our mothers- and fathers.

Our university is now one of very reputable, very respected institutions, in our region. We have many successful businessmen, academicians, and politicians.

The ivory lady, Nicole Kidman, should be in her 70s now. My English is better I presume.

That was a great night, I had communicated with a foreign lady, in a foreign language. More important than that, it was my first dance.


That was Teo's story,

he then graduated, got many public posts, married twice, with two grown up kids, successful businessman in Ankara.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

This is a casual Blog,

This is a casual blog,
Do not get too serious here,
You are not a prime minister,
nor an undersecretary,
Neither a director, nor a boss,
It is not important here
That you are rich or poor,
But it is important that
You are happy and healthy,

Time is frozen here for you,
You are at your early 20s,
Do enjoy as if you are young
And happy
and healthy
and handsome,

On the very first day,
That you were once,
A recent young university graduate,

Do not take anything too serious,
Do believe that
no one can make you angry,
Or scared, or unhappy.

You will never be angry, unhappy or scared,
If you do not let them so.

Drop something to share
into the comment box
For this blog
now and then,
Not necessary serious or important,

Better but not necessary, if serious or important,
Any announcement, any information,
Any story, any poem,
You feel appropriate,

Anything in any language,
Either in English, in Russian,
Or even in Japanese or in Swahili,

Anything you have experienced,
On a dry hot desert in somewhere in Arabian Peninsula,
Or in CN tower in Toronto,
Or in deep artic Siberian construction camp,

This is one of rare places,
That you were once
Young, handsome, energetic,
Full of hope and joy,

Time is frozen for you
In this virtual blogger
All designed to please you
To feel happy, carefree,
Enjoy that you are here.

Thank you!