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Remembering Gallipoli I: ANZAC Day 2011

Sailing north through the Dardanelles, the straits that separate the Asian side of Turkey from the European, the land is pockmarked with numberless trenches. It is here that hundreds of thousands of troops — Turkish and Allied — faced each other in 1915. The preponderant numbers on the Allied side comprised the Australian and New Zealand troops, mobilized into the “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps,” or “ANZAC.” When it was all over, a half million young men, approximately evenly divided between the two sides, had been wounded or killed.

Secular Democracy and Turkey

June 2013 was not a good month for secular democracy in Turkey! The United States was founded 237 years ago by group genius, by the likes of Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Madison… all children of the Enlightenment, along with one military hero who became the symbolic “Father of the Nation.” In distinction the modern Turkish Republic…

EINSTEIN AND ATATURK (Part 1)

This story represents the intersection in the lives of two of my lifelong heroes. First there is Albert Einstein, the greatest scientist since Isaac Newton, and Time Magazine’s choice for “The Individual of the 20th Century.” As a professor of physics for four decades I have been intimately involved with almost every component of his…

Remembering Gallipoli II: Resurrecting Ismail Hakki

On June 23, 2006 I had been serving as a lecturer on board the cruise ship, Crystal Serenity, when the ship docked for the day in Thessalonica (the old Ottoman Turkish city of “Selanik”). With close friends from the ship, I drove to Virgina, to see the tumulus of Phillip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the…