...I forgot to mention about the inaugural Reading Turkish Society meeting, and as I have a moment now, or rather because I can't be arsed to get on with any meaningful work, I may as well give an update of it.
Well, it wasn't exactly the colossal fuck-up it could have been. Poorly-organised, yes. Badly-timed, yes. No clear idea of where it was going, yes. Colossal fuck-up, no. The woman organising it had been let down by others who had promised they were going to help, so she was already deeply stressed by the time we arrived to give a hand. In the programme of events, she'd only left half an hour for introductory speeches and whatnot, but wanted somehow to squeeze eight different speakers, plus myself as link, into that time, clearly impossible. Still, we did our best, but overran by a good fifty minutes. Things were not helped by one of the speakers, from the Young Turks society, starting to show a film about the Turkish War of Independence (Kurtulus). Things were not helped even more by the organiser getting panicky and curtailing the showing, afraid that the meeting was getting 'political'. This did not impress a few of the invited speakers, who began to wonder why they'd been invited in the first place. Someone also pointed out that the day (the 24th) was the day that the Armenians remembered the 'ethnic cleansing' of the Ottoman Armenians during the First World War. (note: I'm not going to comment about whether the whole thing was genocide or not: there are plenty who will argue with me either way, and I for one would rather wait until the Turkish government finally decides to open its extensive documentation on the affair.) In short, everything started to go pear shaped, until I stepped in and suggested everyone go and have a kebab. Afterwards, there was a question-and-answer session, largely dominated by general questions to the Turkish Cultural Attache, Izzet Bey, rather than questions regarding the society itself.
And ever since then, the various people who organised this, my wife included, have been pointing fingers, recriminating each other, and generally moaning.
I am utterly pissed off with the whole affair.
I was, however, the only one who came out of it smelling of roses, thanks to being the mc.