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Turkey / Türkiye



Breaking News:

ANKARA, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Turkish paramilitary police have seized more than 15 kg (33 lbs) of weapons-grade uranium and detained two men accused of smuggling the material, the state-run Anatolian news agency said on Saturday.

Officers in the southern province of Sanliurfa, which borders Syria and is about 250 km (155 miles) from the Iraqi border, were acting on a tip-off when they stopped a taxi cab and discovered the uranium in a lead container hidden beneath the vehicle's seat, the agency said.

The incident happens at a time of mounting speculation the United States could launch a military attack on neighbouring Iraq for its alleged programme of weapons of mass destruction.


Story is still developing.....
i'd really hate to be a uranium mule. yup, one of those jobs that are really really high on my list of "jobs i never want to have...ever!"
Rather surprising how easy this stuff can be to get hold of.

Makes you wonder where the first terrorist nuke detonation will be :eek!!!!:
The whole thing is a set up , to make people believe Iraq is making nukes !
i have to agree with Marion. they're prolly smarter than we think. i just hope that they are just trying to makes us think they can detonate nukes. it's always in the back of my mind
Unfortunately, terrorists (groups or states) don't need to be able to build nuclear weapons in order to make use of weapons-grade materials - just powder the stuff, and pack it into a 'conventional' bomb. Then render the capital city of your choice uninhabitable....
Then render the capital city of your choice uninhabitable....
....and some people would say that about London already....anyone go marching yesterday?
Originally posted by Pinklefish
What does uranium look like?


From here

Uranium, U, is a radioactive metallic element, found in the actinide series of inner transition metals in Group IIIa of the periodic table.
Atomic Number : 92
Relative Atomic Mass : 238.03

is a hard white solid, but normally exists in the form of a highly divided black powder,
is primarily of interest because of its radioactive properties.

Uranium is used as a colourant in pottery and the manufacture of glass.
Uranium is used in the nuclear industry as a fissionable material.


Elsewhere it's revealed that cos of it's density it's used in the keels of boats and as a component in smoke detectors!

Hope that helps

I love you Stu... :madeyes:

Everyone - continue with the war discussion.

Uranium is used as a colourant in pottery and the manufacture of glass.
There used to be a mine at St Stephens, up the River Fal here in Cornwall, that produced small quantities of uranium for this purpose. Apparently it can produce intense yellows that no other substance (at the time) could.

(Somewhere I have a press cutting on this - I'll try to dig it out.)
Stu Neville said:
Elsewhere it's revealed that cos of it's density it's used in the keels of boats and as a component in smoke detectors!
You also tend to find Americium (another radioisotope) in modern smoke detectors. A quick environmental health plug: "Always follow the instructions on the disposal of your smoke detectors!" <End of public service broadcast>:)
Re: hmm..

KDF said:
Turns out the facts of this story wern't quite as first reported (surprise, surprise)..the 2 guys were smuggling 140 grams of something they claim to be Uranium. All the headlines about "weapons-grade" seem to come from some reporter's imagination. Probably a couple of Turkish wide boys out to con someone.


That assesment of the situation has been confirmed. The test results are in...

As posted in Ananova

Seized substance wasn't uranium

Atomic energy officials say a substance seized by police near the Syrian border in Turkey was not weapons-grade uranium.

The Anatolia news agency says the material was harmless and contained zinc, iron, zirconium and manganese.

The announcement ends days of speculation the substance might have been destined for neighbouring Iraq.

Police, acting on a tip, recovered the material in a taxi last week in Sanliurfa province, near the Syrian border.

Two Turks who were trying to sell the material as uranium have been released from custody.

The seizure alarmed intelligence agencies around the world when the Turkish police said it weighed 35 pounds last week. Police now say the material weighed only 5 ounces.

Authorities initially included the weight of the lead container in which the material was placed, police say.
Story filed: 13:50 Tuesday 1st October 2002
Well, 35 pounds of uranium would need a pretty large container...
So an over hyped peice of hearsay based on police misinformation - crude anti-saddam propaganda anyone?
The density of Uranium metal is ~19 g/cm3, so 35 lbs of uranium would fit into a cube roughly 10cm x 10cm x 10cm, so not very big. Of course you might want a bit of shielding around that, though a sub-critical mass of uranium isn't terribly radioactive, so you shouldn't need a lot. I guess something the size of a thermos flask out to do. (Now where did I put my coffee... ;) )
The Underground Troglodyte Cities of Cappadocia

Just found out about the amazing underground complexes of Cappadocia with their "fairy chimneys" and rolling rock door barriers... I have no proof but I believe the word troglodyte was first coined to describe the dwellers in these structures.

UNDERGROUND CITIES; The underground cities have about 8 storeys dug into the earth. These cave constructions are grouped around an aeration chimney which is capable of supplying enough air for the dwellings below. Chambers (chapels, some with crypts, cellars, silos and living rooms etc) are linked with each other by corridors often narrow with a gentle slope or stairs.

These must have been constructed for security purposes against the danger presented by mainly Arab raiders. The openings were closed by huge mill stones. To the underground city called Derinkuyu (deep well) flight of stairs which starts from third or fourth storeys takes the visitor to the sanctuaries. The cities at Kaymakli, Ozkonak, Mucur, Orentepe, Gumuskent,Tatlarin, Ovaoren, Gokcetoprak are like modem apartment houses.

The dryness and the property of not absorbing humidity of the tuff made life easy. Even today these underground chambers are used to store lemons, oranges and straw. The underground cities such as Derinkuyu, and Ozkonak have been fitted out and the inside is illuminated and made ready to receive visitors. There must be other such underground cities awaiting their discovery.

The underground city Derinkuyu is in the centre of the actual city and consists of seven levels or storeys which descend to 85 meters beneath the earth's surface. All the storeys have access to the deep well at the bottom. There are two of which the apertures have been hidden lest they be poisoned by the enemy during a raid. At the bottom is a church in the shape of a cross and the chorus is beside the well. The underground city next in importance is at Kaymaklý at a distance of 9 km. This one also is at the centre of the town, right beneath the Kaymaklý Castle. The fact that there are cellars, silos and dwelling chambers indicates that people could take refuge here and live in here for over long periods of time.

The above from THIS SITE with good pictures.


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Yep they are very impressive I've been in at least 2 or 3 and they are well worth going to see if you are out that way. Cappadocia has very thick layers of tuff (softish volcanic rock) and there are numerous examples of different cultures exploiting and expanding the natural caves and hollows - there are also equally elaborate cave systems dug into the sides of valleys as well as the Christian troglodyte dwellings up around Goreme (which are a very popular tourist destination - I was also as sick as I've ever been there one year).

Its a good way of getting out of the blistering sun and is done all over the world. For example, as you head south to the Sahara there are numerous dwellings there dug down into the ground and I've even been past the the Hotel Troglodyte (its just north of where the Tatooine scenes were filmed).

The etymology of troglodyte is more general than just refering to the people in Turkey - it means those who go into a hole see e.g.:


[Emp edit: Quick edit to help clarify matters.]
Turkish Airlines gets the hump

Some say camel meat tastes like 'coarse beef'
A job well done is worth celebrating, but Turkish Airlines say staff went too far when they sacrificed a camel.
To mark the last delivery of 100 aircraft, maintenance workers clubbed together to buy the beast - and then consume it.

The sacrifice took place at Istanbul international airport.

"They didn't ask permission," a spokeswoman for the airline told the BBC, adding that the boss of the offending staff had been suspended.

He will remain off work while the incident is investigated.

Camel is eaten in Turkey, while the sacrifice of animals - usually sheep - is performed during the Festival of Sacrifice, marking the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to.

"But it wasn't anything to do with that," said Belgin Alisan of Turkish Airlines, which was last week accepted into the Lufthansa-led Star Alliance.

"They went too far. We are really quite shocked."

Top-selling daily Hurriyet said 700kg of camel meat had been distributed among the workers.

I read this earlier, im not one for knocking peoples religions, but if someone were to do these days what the prophet done then, they would be sent to broadmoor, not worshipped.
I think there is a great difference between 'sacrifice' as eg a black magic ceremony or religious ritual (which may be cruel or evil), and simply killing an animal for food, whether purely for sustenance and/or as part of some celebration - in the latter case the ritual really involves respecting the spirit of the creature, which is a recognition of the unity of nature, and also that all of us are part of the food-chain in the long run.

It seems to me that this second scenario was the case in the Turkish airport.

In the works of Homer, ancient Greeks were forever 'sacrificing' creatures.

But it comes across to me as 'dinnertime', and 'saying Grace' beforehand!

I think people like that would make an excellent addition to europe as we are far too civilised and boring.
Talk about being a bad loser.

The Turkish media are reporting an unusual result from last weekend's local elections - a village mayor stands accused of pulling down a playground in a fit of pique after losing the vote.

Villagers in Yenidoganlar near the Black Sea woke up on Monday morning to find the playground dismantled and various parts dumped in a van, and some witnesses say they saw Mehmet Akyol "cut up the swings and slides because he was angry at the result," the T24 news site reports.

Mr Akyol was "muhtar" - elected village head - for 20 years before being ousted in the local polls, and the playground had only been built two weeks before the vote, the villagers said.

You're on a slippery slope when banana jokes are banned.

Laughing and joking on camera, Syrians have been taking part in the latest craze to sweep social media in Turkey.

In playful TikTok videos, they've been eating bananas and challenging their friends to do so. The videos seem harmless enough, standard fare for TikTok these days. But while trends come and go, these videos could have lasting consequences for some Syrians.

In recent days, Turkish authorities have accused Syrians of "inciting hatred" for eating bananas in a "provocative" way. Several Syrians have been arrested and face deportation.

In a climate of increasing hostility towards Turkey's large Syrian community, bananas have became a symbol of division.
So, what's the story behind the banana challenge videos?

The banana challenge was inspired by a viral video of a heated discussion between Syrians and Turks about the dire economic situation in Turkey. Turkey's economy has suffered from high inflation that has eroded living standards. In the video, conflicting views were shared and a young Syrian woman, in fluent Turkish, defended the work ethic of refugees. In response, frustrated Turks suggested Syrians and Afghans were taking their jobs.

But what made this video go viral was what one Turkish man said: "I see Syrians in the bazaar buying kilograms of bananas, I myself cannot afford them."

This claim, which caused debate among the Syrian community in Turkey, quickly turned into a viral soundbite on TikTok. Poking fun at the Turkish man, Syrians filmed themselves eating bananas, using banana filters, and sharing banana memes.

While the banana jokes were only for online amusement, they did not amuse everyone.

One photo that replaced the Turkish flag with a banana particularly rankled. The newly founded nationalist Victory Party issued a complaint against Syrian TikTok users for "insulting the Turkish people and their flag".

Other critics on social media said the videos were "mocking the grave economic situation Turks are facing".

At a time of economic woe, the banana videos apparently irked Turkish authorities, too.