Dont Hate Turkey! Sarai Sierra, American Tourist, Killed by Blow to Head

Sarai Sierra, American Tourist, Killed by Blow to Head, Turkish Police Say

A New York City woman vacationing alone in Istanbul was killed by at least one fatal blow to her head, Turkish officials said today. The body of Sarai Sierra, 33, was was identified by her husband, Steven Sierra, in a morgue, Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin said today. After an intense search that lasted nearly two weeks, the body of Sarai Sierra was found near the ruins of some ancient city walls and a highway on Saturday. Sierra was wearing the same outfit she was seen wearing on…Full Story

I am not going to discuss the whys and wherefores of this poor woman’s death because we don’t really know what happened.

I have to say i am disgusted with a majority of comments i have read around the net. There are people bringing religion, ‘Islam’ into it, talk about how the Muslims hate Americans etc. People who have never been outside their own countries stating how awful, backward and dirty Turkey is. This is mainly coming from Americans and probably the ignorant unenlightened majority whilst the other decent Americans have to take the flak!

People have asked questions which i will give my opinion below.

Comment:What is a married woman doing going alone to Turkey to take pictures.

A:This is 2013 and women don’t need chaperone’s and that includes the majority of Turkish women.

Comment: She had children she shouldn’t have gone off alone.

A: The children have a father too don’t they? A woman does not stop living because she has children if they are in safe loving hands of family. There are reasons families cant always go away together, does that mean a women is always the one to stay behind?

Comment: Americans shouldn’t travel to Muslim countries. They hate us!

A: I wonder why? Look at your foreign policy but it has not been shown that this is a hate crime so there you go ‘Islamophobia’

Comment: So you leave your kids to go off on some trip to a country where you know Muslims live and who will be very upset that you are walking around in jeans without a male escort?  I’m a man and would never go into any Islamic country, at least not without the second U.S. Army.

A:How ridiculous is this commenter? Many women in Istanbul and most parts of Turkey dress in jeans, skirts, tee shirts etc. They just don’t show a lot of flesh.  Turkey receives over 30 million tourists a year and  the vast majority of Turkish people, including men, are honest, kind and decent but i suppose you will find a few like the commentator above !

I travelled alone a lot when i was younger because i am a bit of an adventurer. It was almost impossible for me and hubby to be able to go as a family as there was always an obstruction. My girls had grown up before i started travelling but i wouldn’t have hesitated to travel even when they were small if we could have afforded it.

Bearing in mind that we are Muslims you can see that we are very enlightened and believe in the rights of men and women. Although hubby would be nervous about me travelling alone, he understood the thirst i had for seeing new places and cultures and gave me his blessings. He put my care in Allah and in my good sense.

I have visited Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia  and Pakistan and i must say it opened my eyes and changed the misconceptions i had about so called third world countries. Unless you have been to these places you cant make a judgment by what you hear in the media. I won’t go into that here though.

My most loved place is Turkey where I/we have been going to for 16 years also having a second home there for 12 years .Its a beautiful place with good-natured hospitable people who are very welcoming.

Having mastered the worst pigeon Turkish we are able to communicate and make friends, watch tv and read newspapers. We have also explored non tourist areas in Turkey so i believe i have a right to say that  I understand the people and the culture.

On the whole Turkish people are torn between extremities of old and new but are seriously the most modern of Muslim countries. I have found that, just like anyone in any other country is that if you treat them with respect you get that back.

I do know that the tourist areas are probably the paces with the worst reputation for touting, hard selling and flirting and lone women should be aware and not believe everything they are told by the men. Most people in the tourist areas come from inland Turkey where they can live from hand to mouth so when they see an opportunity to benefit themselves they have no scruples regarding hitching up with a tourist. I have to admit that if i was in their shoes i might do the same.

Crimes against foreigners are not as common as many Americans think. In fact on the whole Turkey’s crime statistics are 10 times better than US. I have bought 3 properties over the years carrying large amounts of money from bank to bank in taxis and peoples cars, i have left my handbag twice in a taxi and in a restaraunt and had them delivered back to my home/hotel. I have been escorted by families late at night making sure that i get home safely. When electricity goes off for hours or even all day, people have sent food or lamps.  If you are a visitor in a home as a guest you will be treated like royalty. If you need help there is always someone willing to help you even go out of their way to do so. I love the way people in Turkey look out for each other. Everything is not perfect nor is it anywhere but i have never felt afraid or alone in Turkey.

I have travelled to many many countries, Muslim and Christian and the people are no different except in the way they look, dress or behave socially. I find that a majority of tourists treat the natives as if they are ignorant or stupid when in fact they themselves are the ones who are! People who don’t travel far from their own culture think that their way is the only way and the rest of the world are wrong.

If you are a woman travelling alone to Turkey or for that matter any country you are as safe as you would be anywhere follow the rules below.

  • Always research the place your going to making sure you stay in a populated reputable area.
  • Learn a bit of the language, it will be appreciated.
  • Let people know of your plans even at your hotel.
  • Be friendly with other women including the natives. You can get advice are even a companion.
  • Walk assertively and confidently.
  • Don’t go out with strangers or even go to any unpopulated area alone .
  • Consider wearing a (fake) wedding ring.
  • Trust your intuition.

Istanbul was the 5th most visited city in 2012

The Diamond Jubilee

The Diamond Jubilee will mark 60 years of The Queen’s reign.

Am i interested…No! The idea of Royalty doesn’t sit well with me but at the end of the day the system seems to work as well as any of the alternatives.

I was 4 years old tied to a cot (so i couldnt climb out, apparently i was a bit of a handfull then 🙂 in hospital when the queen was crowned and i remember then feeling bitter that i couldnt pop the balloons and join in the celebrations. Maybe that also had some effect on how i feel now.

I really wonder how much, all of this had costed the British tax payer, especially when the newly elected Government had cut back on expenditure, that is taking an effect on the people who are really struggling already. Maybe the Queen should be paying more of her own way, the taxes that she would pay, still would not cover the upkeep of what the tax payers are paying out to her and her relitives. What does Prince Andrew do for instance? Or Edward and Sophie? And those 2 girls Eugenie and Beatrice? Why do I have to pay for them to live in the lap of luxury and not lift a finger? And don’t get me started on Mrs Parker Bowles.

The country is bankrupt, we are in recession, families are living on the poverty line – we can’t afford all this pomp and ceremony.

I don’t think i object to the monarchy and the queen,but i do object to all the hangers on in the royal family who do nothing to earn their keep. That makes me angry.

I read that the cost of the Jubilee has NOT been funded by the taxpayer, and according to this article there will actually be a surplus going to charity?!…iamond-jubilee
It will be a giant undertaking, but it won’t cost the public a penny. All of the £10.5m budget has been raised from individual donations and corporate sponsorships, and a “substantial” surplus has been raised. It will be given to charity via the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.However this is not exactly true! It mentions at the bottom of the article that some of the cost will come out of the public purse, including security.

Extra costs
But the public purse is not entirely spared the cost of the event. The Greater London Authority has budgeted £2m for outside screens, road closures, signage and similar expenses. It will pick up £100,000 and pass the rest of the bill to the Department for Media, Culture and Sport. Some of the costs will be offset by revenues from commercial sponsorship.
The Royal Household has been given an extra £1m to cover the cost of administration and increased correspondence in the jubilee year. That comes from taxpayers via the Sovereign Grant – and it’s more than double the contribution made for the Golden Jubilee in 2002 (£450,000).
On top of those costs, the Metropolitan police will put over 6,000 officers on duty on the busiest days. 21 police boats will patrol the river. All these costs will be met from the public purse.
The Ministry of Defence is also making a big contribution. The type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond started the proceedings with a 21-gun salute at Portsmouth harbour on Friday – this will be followed by an RAF flypast, and 1,000 personnel from all three services will take part in the parades and fire salutes and a “feu de joie”.
The MoD and Met police would not supply cost estimates for their participation, but it is likely to run to millions of pounds.
But the biggest cost of all will come from the time off that the public take to watch it all. The Bank of England warned that the impact of people not working on the bank holidays will knock 0.5 per cent off GDP for the second quarter of the year – wiping over £1bn off the national output and prolonging the country’s double-dip recession. A lot of cheering up will be required.

After saying all that i do have a sneaking respect and have to admit i do appreciate what this queen has done for this country (as much as she was able.The Queen effectively has no power – she has some legacy ‘powers’ but were she to try and leverage them to any degree the government would just take them away from her. ) She is probably one of a kind and I doubt that those who follow after her will come anywhere near to doing as good a job as the one that she has done, she is in reality a product of the past from a different age when people were expected to behave differently to what is deemed to be acceptable now.


Foul Language

Is it an age thing? I cant stand bad language and disassociate myself from people who use it because it makes me cringe. I think that it’s not only a sign of ignorance, it’s also a sign of showing off.  If someone starts swearing during a conversation, I’ve already lost a lot of respect for them.  If someone occasionally says something out of frustration, I’m a tiny bit more tolerant to that, but I dont  tolerate useless swearinggenerally.

I would just say that who swear are not able to articulate their opinion or emotion very clearly if they have to use foul language or swearing.

We hear bad language from the media,from celebreties and mostly from the TV. A recent survey showed that 90% of parents in the USA use bad language in presence of their children, something that is quite shameful. Here in the UK its estimated at 65% and even thats bad enough. How on earth can we teach our kids that foul language is not acceptable when they hear it day in and day out

There are many psychologists and modern thinkerts who will give different excuses for the use of foul language, i think they are just trying to fit into what they call the “new age.”.

Jsut to add a little extra i found about tv in the uk while surfing.

“As someone from the Left, I am not expected to object to the spread of bad language and other squalid habits infecting our society. There are many of us today on the Left who can see that something precious, possibly unrecoverable, is being destroyed and that we have a responsibility to try to stop this dissolution.

The corruption of language in public culture is just one aspect of the general coarsening of life which is taking us down into the pits.  Television, in particular, has now reached such depths it is hard to imagine where it can go next.  If, as I did recently, you try to debate this genuine anxiety, felt by millions, with the highly placed men and women who are responsible for British TV, they will not engage except with majestic disdain and superciliousness.  Or they react with fearful paranoia as if we wanted to shut down the whole business and force the nation into bible-reading every evening.

It is time, I believe, to take an honest look at all television output.  Never in our history have British children had such relentless, often third rate, shrill and brainless television programming that they are offered today.   It was Aristotle who said that law makers should be extremely careful about indecent language ‘for the light utterance of shameful words leads soon the shameful actions’.  Maybe if we had been more vigilant with the words, much of the depressing coarsening of life could have been avoided.Daily Mail 17/7/2003

If you are interested you can find more here

English only please!

Tom Sharp, 71, said he was talking to his half-German daughter in the   Packhorse pub in the Peterborough village of Northborough when their   conversation slipped into German.

Mr Sharp, who also served with the Royal Signals for 26 years during which he   met his wife Anni in Germany, said the pub’s landlady flew into a rage when   she heard the language being used on Wednesday evening.

He claims she told him: “We are white, you are English so you speak   English in my pub otherwise get out.”

Other drinkers who witnessed the row and spoke up for Mr Sharp and his   49-year-old daughter Nichole Falconer were also ejected, he said.

“I honestly couldn’t believe she was telling us we couldn’t speak   German. Now and again the odd German phrase slips up – it is my daughter’s   mother tongue. It is natural,” he said.

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