can you read my lips? Deaf but neither dumb nor blind – Let’s Carpe thehell out of Diem

This morning I sent all my facebook friends a private request. Something I never did before and usually do not like myself to receive, worse, sometimes not even bother to read. For a cause or campaign or however you want to call it.

This is what I wrote [copy+pasted] 301times:

On behalf of my Turkish/ Scottish God-daughter Dilara Earle who is deaf and a film maker herself, with CI, but that is not enough, I would love you to sign this petition

As a Dutchy I grew up with subtitles on both TV and movie screen, the most normal thing in the world for me, but not so in English speaking countries. Lots of hearing people find subtitles annoying hence the missing link for the audio impaired.

Thank you,
Carolien Geurtsen

Yesterday that same god-daughter of mine posted her own strong [and for me heart breaking] message on Facebook into the digi-verse, in order to get people involved:

“All I want for Christmas is Subtitles!”
Please sign this! It won’t happen for this Christmas but it would make the rest of my Christmas’s!

All we want for Christmas is subtitles


There have been so many times I have had to:

Leave the cinema because the projector has broken and they can no longer screen the subtitles.
Return the DVD I just rented and that still uses up my Lovefilm quota, even though it wasn’t my fault.
Wasted money on a DVD that I can’t return because it doesn’t have subtitles.
Can’t watch the extras on the DVD because they only put subs on the main show. I mean, why?

I studied film as a degree and because I need subtitles, suddenly I can’t access what I want to learn from the commentaries and behind the scenes shows. ARGHH.

I still remember going to the video store down the street on a Friday night. I’d look for the square speech bubble before genre, actors, pretty covers, titles, or interesting blurbs on the back. That small square determined everything.

There are exciting new advances with glasses (like 3D) that allow you to watch subtitles alongside a hearing person who won’t get annoyed by them. Captiview is also a gadget that let’s you take in an adjustable screen that pops into your cup holder and although it had flaws it did an okay job. I’m used to watching lips, the screen and action and sentences all at once. But it’s still not up to scratch!

I want to finally go to the cinema on the same day as my friends to see the exciting new release and talk about it after.
Not 3 weeks later, after which the entire thing has been talked about on my Facebook news feed….!

I want to rent DVDs without being frustrated, embarrassed and guilty that I can’t watch it with someone and that they feel like they can’t watch it now. Which is a bit rubbish all round!

I’ve cried over this. My deafness is just something I have. But the fact subtitles aren’t on every DVD by now and the cinema isn’t 100% accessible just isn’t fair!

Cringe? Whatever. I don’t give a pig’s shit anymore. Just sign it, for me. I’ll give each and every one of you a big massive sloppy kiss and be eternally grateful for when the day finally comes round!


And there she got me going, remembering when she was a baby and how her mother found out that she was deaf, and all the difficult years, with there own challenges, to follow. And I do not care shit to become even more dramatical: As I have witnessed from so close how dramatical it has been for all involved and therefore for so many more on our ‘civilised’ planet.
I imagined my BF and her mother reading this post sitting at the kitchen table where her laptop is (so I happen to know from our recent Skype sessions), looking at the gorgious picture from her smiling daughter, who is terribly far away right now, somewhere Down Under, so you might magine with me as well:

This mother is weeping. A million likes.
One of the few things we can be grateful for is that this has given you a taste for world movies and taught you more tolerance than the insensitive people who say they can’t concentrate on a film with subtitles. Pah!
The technology’s there – it just needs folk to put it in place and others to be grateful they have all their senses, if not their common sense.

Cringe cringe. As I am reading that one, not that far, but away…
For me as a Dutchy who knew subtitles (from the cinema) before they had TV at home, this really was a revelation yesterday.
That people can be disturbed by subtitles bacause they are not used to, I can vaguely relate to. That’s how it was for me watching English movies with Turkish subtitles in the Open Air Cinema in Kusadasi when we lived there. But that people actualy can oppose it because of this ‘disturbing factor’, beats the H out of me.

To give some more idea, if this is A Far-From-Your-Bed-Time Story, another sensory impaired friend of my D:

Don’t get me started on airlines, I flew all the way back from Mauritius and there was not one single subtitled English speaking film.
Also Sara Cox angered me several years ago when she complained about going to the cinema to watch a film because it was subtitled! RANT!

And than over to my tube You Tube via mum:

Absolutely, Disgraceful.
Also youtube, particularly when the subject is relevant to sensory impairment and it’s not subtitled.
Anyhow, I put a lot of Dilara’s (and possibly your) good grammar and passion for books down to reading subtitles from an early age (let’s excuse the odd slip whilst ranting).

So, H.I. folks:

1 – Hearing folks who can’t cope with subs: 0 on that score.
Dilara Bien-aimée will enjoy waking up in Oz to our rants!

To sum it up a little more with the last titbit of the personal life of being a BF to a sensory impaired:

I would just like subtitles because after watching so much TV with Dilara, my brain can no longer muster the extra concentration to actually listen to what they are saying in addition to watching the film.

So, I guess we could make this work for the sooo many audio impaired people living on our Planet Earth.  So, yes, as one of my favorite quotes from another dear friend:

Let’ s Carp theHell out of Diem

[and yes I put it on purpose like that, otherwise our Digital Bros will expell my blog from the digi firmament

due use of #swaerwords++

 All I want for Christmas is subtitles

P.E.T.I.T.I.O.N – Love Film



Turkey 2013 and press-freedom, an extremely spicey & açı mix – Karsu Dönmez & Füsün Erdogan

First published on November 6th @ Invest in Happiness, and today, 3 days later, a little altered for the Special Destinations Turkey Weekend Blog. Please also follow us on twitter: Turkey Travel Bloggess @Special_Turkey and keep them coming, your stories! As we think Turkey deserves a brighter future and exposure of the Good as well as the To be improved, and we cannot cover and write it all ourselves.

İyi Hafta sonu!


I can’t listen to this song without tears, who ever sings it does not make much difference, although I love the Nilufer one and appreciate this one extremely. Sometimes those tears stay hidden behind my eyelids, sometimes they are easy flowing or something in between.
Normally I start my day and a post with a piece from `Vrije Geluiden`, this time I do it the other way around, as I am too touched by this version which I found yesterday, shortly after the verdict was published for Füsün Erdogan, what’s in a sur-name, a Dutch-Turkish journalist in Turkey, sentenced to life imprisonment.

I posted a tweet shortly afterwards on my personal account

Which translates something like
Fortunately the first 3,5 hours of my day were reasonably happy ones, now going to take a shower but more over, wash my mouth from that bad taste which is left behind because of the verdict #fusunerdoganshouldbefree

Bram Vermeulen, himself journo in Turkey with recent difficulties renewing his working permit, explained yesterday [Dutch] that the verdict is surprisingly high and has everything to do with Füsün being a member [and considered a leader] of a leftish group and writing about her ideas on minorities in Turkey. Therefore she is considered an Enemy of the State. Although nothing she has DONE is opposed to any known European law.
In 2013…

Now about Karsu Dönmez. She started performing years ago, in her parents restaurant in Amsterdam over the weekends. The same parents who were,many years ago when Karsu was a young girl, saving money to buy a family car, but instead they bought her a piano, because she was so much longing to learn how to play. This after hearing Bach and Beethoven.
Ever since the first time I saw her on TV I closely follow her career. She is now flying the globe, spreading her beauty and her talents all over the planet. And as I need my daily portion of beauty to be able to cope with all which is happening in the world, and more special in Turkey, I gladly share my finds for maybe some comfort or inspiration here and there. Currently I am writing my book about living in Turkey and the stories of my travels spiced with 2013 happenings. I need my daily morning start with some beauty to give me energy for the day. This includes the 70 days journey I started towards 2014, with on my personal blog each day a piece of music, some text and a photograph.
And thus I also created an extra playlist on YouTube titled Keeping my Wits. Otherwise I drown in the negative news which is there when I open my Browser in the morning, That is how my brain is wired.

The above performance broadcasted on TV is from an evening in 2012 about Press Freedom and the lacking of it, also all over the planet.
So combined with yesterdays news about Füsün this is my choice for the day.

I regret very much that CNN Türk has been taken off the cable here in my region in the Netherlands, and I decide the minute I write this that I will start looking via the Net, if poss, and start this minute with Karsu Dönmez @ Turkse talkshow ‘Burada Laf Çok’ –
I recommend you to watch it, it is witty, spiced with humour and beautiful music.


Febr 2013 Istanbul - ©Carolien Geurtsen

Dreams and Nightmares – Istanbul February 2013

Ofourse this post and the music is dedicated to Füsün, and to all others who are wrongfully imprissoned anywhere at this moment


Karsu Dönmez – Çok Uzaklarda

Press Freedom evening 2012
Published May 11th 2012

(with translation)

Caddelerde rüzgar, aklimda ask var
(There is wind at streets and love in my mind)
Gece yarisinda, eski yagmurlar
(In the midnights ,old rains)
Sarki söylüyorlar, sesiz usulca
(Singing silent, slowly)
Özledigim simdi cok uzaklarda
(The one I missed is so far away now)

Deli dolu günler, hayat güzeldi
(Crazy and funny days,life was nice)
Kahkalariyla günler gecerdi
(Days had been passed with laughs)
Ellerim uzanmaz, dokunamamki
(my hands can’t reach I can’t touch)
Özledigim simdi cok uzaklarda
(Is so far away which I’ve been missed)

Oda özlüyormus, benim birtanem
(he has been missed my only one)
Cok üsüyormus, ben olmayinca
(Feel so cold when I ‘m not there)
Öyle yaziyor, son mektubunda
(Writing like that at his last letter)

Oda özlüyormus, benim birtanem
(he has been missed my only one)
Cok üsüyormus, ben olmayinca
(Feel so cold when I ‘m not there)
Öyle yaziyor, son mektubunda
(Writing like that at his last letter)

Karsu Dönmez her website

And no, she is not performing anymore in her parents restaurant in Amsterdam unfortunately.


Zülfü Livaneli on Human Rights Day – Turkey

Livaneli has composed some three hundred songs, a rhapsody –recorded by London Symphony Orchestra –, and a ballet. His collaborations with Mikis Theodorakis of Greece have been noted as a gesture of bringing together the two countries.  Livaneli has been a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 1996.

A girls got to do what a girls got to do – daily blogging is one of them – and while at the same time Baby Einstein is playing Christmas songs and I have to run to the City Council in half an hour, I decided to get this post of my chest. The first doubt being because its take-off is mainly so, if not all, a  Wikipedia quote, and that is because the missing link and connecting post are probably only arriving much later.
This is too bad, and too far away, but mainly my own mistake. Before I start talking in riddles again I just take off and maybe will compensate the length of the quote with the length of my own doing.

About Zülfü Livanely and me

He is for me the personification of politic engagement, and as singer/songwriter I know him already for a long time, over twenty years I guess. During my stay in Turkey he and his work were like a red thread through my life, next to many others like Baris Manco en Sezen Aksu, who came in and went out of my attention and CD player time and again. But it was only this summer in Istanbul that I got his Album Efsane Konserler and since then I managed to forget to play it for just about one week, for the rest it is on, either on Spotify or in my old-fashioned CD Player.  And yes, it is, like the most Turkish music I know, rather melancholic and therefore sometimes I compensate with either Anouk, Anny Lennox, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen or Adele.
But you can see maybe, like I do, that even there are mutual matches in types of their music and their characters. Strong individuals with strong opinions and strong voices. Livaneli ’s is not that strong as most of the others mentioned above, but his passion and even so devotion and engagement make up for that, in my eyes at least. But that might be because the language also makes sense to me, that i don’t know.
For a non-Turkish speaker or understander (no proper English but you know what I mean) it might be too boring too soon.
But his music and texts are always hitting home in my heart full blast and have this effect like balm, balm for my soul. I would love to hear from a music connoisseur, and yes, maybe preferably one who does not understand the meaning of the words, what he or she can say about this effect, this melancholy. Is it in minor mostly? I have no clue about the technical aspects. Is it really in the music or in me?
Yes, the issues often are about longing, and missing, and waiting, but that is in the words. I think it is in the music as well and know for instance that some people get irritated when I play it for more than lets say, half an hour. Headphones are ready and waiting.

But now I have to go…

This post is for all my friends from Turkey and abroad in other places, now spread all over the world.
For all the good times we had and the hard times we had and the challenges still there. Turkey - Cappadocie Underground City With love. Size seviyorum!

Ömer Zülfü Livanelioğlu (born 1946) is a popular Turkish folk musician (singer and composer), a novelist, newspaper columnist and a film director who has been highly popular for decades. He is also a prominent left-wing and social-democrat politician and was a member of the Turkish parliament for one term.

He is most known for his fusion of Turkish folk music with contemporary music, in much the same way as Bob Dylan and his contemporaries in the United States. His 1997 Ankara concert was attended by no less than 500 thousand people.
His collaborations with Mikis Theodorakis of Greece have been noted as a gesture of bringing together the two countries.
Livaneli has been a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 1996.
Livaneli has composed some three hundred songs, a rhapsody –recorded by London Symphony Orchestra–, and a ballet.
His compositions have reached cult status nationwide and have been performed by internationally renowned artists such as Joan Baez, Maria Farantouri, María del Mar Bonet, Udo Lindenberg, Haris Alexiou, Jocelyn B. Smith and Kate Westbrook.
He has also written five plays and thirty film soundtracks. Among these soundtracks are the soundtrack for “Yol” (The Path), directed by Yilmaz Güney and winner of the Golden Palm in Cannes Film Festival, “The Herd”, directed by Yılmaz Güney and Zeki Ökten, and “Shirin’s Wedding” by German director Helma Sanders-Brahms.
His recordings have been published in the USA, Sweden, Germany, Holland and France, and he has given dozens of concerts throughout the world. He has produced albums and performed with Mikis Theodorakis and Maria Farantouri, and he has also collaborated with Manos Hatzidakis, Giora Feidman, Inti-Illimani and Ángel Parra.
In 2010, he sang ‘Mothers of The Disappeared’ with Bono at U2′s concert in Istanbul, Turkey, which was U2′s first-ever concert in Istanbul. Livaneli has been distinguished with the awards Best Album of the Year (Greece), the Edison Award (Holland), and Best Album of the Year (Music Critics Guild of Germany), and the “Premio Luigi Tenco” Best Songwriter Award, San Remo, Italy, in 1999, among others.More

I just picked one of his songs from the beautiful double album Efsane Konserler

Saat Dört yoksun
on YouTube 

and on Spotify 

Four a clock and you are not here
four o’clock, you are not here
it’s five, not here
six, seven o’clock, the next day,
the days after
and who knows when…

reading a book
in there I find you
listening to a song,
I hear you
sitting down to eat
opposite me you sit

while working I see you in front of me

the most beautiful sea
is the one you haven’t been
the most beautiful child
did not grow up yet
our best days
are the ones we have not lived yet
and the most beautiful word
I want to tell you
is the one i haven’t said yet

what is she doing now?
now, right this moment, right now, now, now
Evde mi, sokakta mı? /is she at home, is she somewhere outside, in the streets?
is she working, lying or standing?
she might have raised her arms, my rose
how naked makes this movement of her white thick wrist
what is she doing right now
now, at this very moment, right mow
maybe she is caressing a kitten, laying on her knee
maybe she is walking, about to step
always on my darkest day
they come to me, my darling’s
sweethearts feet
and what does she think now? is it about me?
otherwise, how can i know
why the beans
are not getting cooked somehow
or why most of the people are like that
what is she thinking now?
at this moment, right now, now

Saat dört, yoksun
Saat beş, yok.
Altı, yedi, ertesi gün, daha ertesi ve belki kimbilir…

Grace to Kybele/Sybil for helping to translate

Related: My heart aches for Turkey | In Friendship we do real |  More English posts |Efsani Konserler on Spotify | Official Livaneli website | video clips  | Livaneli on Wiki The Director, Composer and Novelist

Two hours later now and back from the City Council, I realize again that it is Human Rights Day, for what it is worth and whatever its effects may be, in Turkey as well as in the Netherlands and all over the world there is plenty eksik/missing with that, so in my opinion  there is no better day than today to post this column.

Happy as a Kite this girl.

In Love and Friendship we do real – NL

In friendship  the same values count Friends / Vriend

Upstairs my son is talking Turkish with his grandparents, English with his father and in Dutch with my sister, all within 5 minutes. It reminds me of his carousel talking when he was 4 years old, turning to his grandparents and speak in Turkish , to me in Dutch and run to his friends and continue in English.
Yes, just like he did until we left Turkey for Holland, when he was 4 years old…
Only now not In Real Life, but with Skype, a great way to stay connected.

It is his birthday, and 19 years ago that I was jinxed into the ER after 26 hours of labor.
Pavaroti was playing out loud, and doctors and nurses were scrubbing their hands and getting ready to deliver my son, our son.

The A-Team = friends as family and vice versa

His father couldn’t be there, had to leave  two days earlier to open a Hotel in Turkey.
My sister and brother were there to support me, jokingly calling themselves my ‘A-Team’, and they would also accompany me on my/our journey back home, to Turkey, 5 weeks later.
During the whole labor we had a hot line, no Skype unfortunately, but ordinary 1.0 telephone landline, with my husband.

Although separated, we are still the best of friends, so in honor of this friendship and for the love I feel for my family and friends in Turkey and abroad, today’s blogpost is in English.

Write on Thursday

Today’s theme word of #WOT is ‘Friend’ (Vriend). I guess the ‘official’ theme is ment to be written in Dutch, according to a bond I have with Karin Ramaker and other bloggers.
Every Thursday she chooses a * Dutch* word and all of us write a blogpost with this word as the anchor. But as the title is in English, [ I choose it to be like that] I take the liberty to further bend the rules a little bit.

The moment I saw this picture one month ago, I planned to paint the text on a door or a wall  in our house as well.
I simply love it, and it covers about everything in relationships which is important to me.

Time-wise it didn’t work out so well, as it was not ready before my son arrived home from Turkey two weeks ago, but there is always something good in something chaotic, so early this morning, his birthday, I finally started.
It needs one more coating, and probably will be ready when the first guests arrive this afternoon.

After I read today’s #WOT theme, I looked at the text once more and I realised that if you replace ‘This House’  for ‘Friendship’, and read it again, it totally matches my understanding and definition of friendship.

Alles is Liefde| Not my typical Sunday | From Turkey with love (Dutch)  | Another Sound (English)