Sunday, June 17, 2018



Now in Turkey, with a population of 80+million, the almost 60+million voters are the players in this game. Equilibrium will have a dramatic impact on political climate not only domestically, but also in the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, as well as Iran and Palestine. We shall observe further impact in Russia, Europe, and Northern Africa.
Current state of Turkey is not so promising, with the economic situation degrading and interest rates going up, with high unemployment, low investor confidence, decreasing investments, and lower consumer confidence in the 16-year old government.
The country needs a fresh start, the rule of law to prevail, parliamentary democracy, separation of powers. So, the opposition parties need new game changing policies. Voters need a new game plan.  This new game plan will be shaped by the %10 electoral threshold. Any party with less than 10% of overall votes will not get represented in the parliament.
Existing political power has nothing to offer to voters other than a fictious safe place in afterlife in heaven, with ever growing numbers of mosques, prayers, religious services, religious schools, and no help for an improved investment climate, nothing for economic growth. The ruling party has a 40-45% voter share, more or less.
Intellectuals traditionally and historically tend to vote for major opposing party: i.e. left of the middle Republican People’s Party (CHP). However, that party has a 25% rooted base from their loyal voters, also more or less. That party has a politburo type of structure with no hope of improvement. A local religious sect also has a high share in their decision-making process
New IYI Party is, again, a group of older politicians who know politics but have no vitality or any young blood. This party has around a 15-20% voter share. They are the leftovers from the existing nationalist party, which is expected to disappear due to the 10% threshold. They will lose their voters to either the ruling party or to IYI Party.
Now we have a new party (HDP) with a local southeast Anatolia ethnic citizen base in coalition with Turkish socialist intellectuals. This party may get more than the %10 threshold, if participants change their traditional voting tendencies. This party must pass the threshold and should join the parliament and be a part of Turkish democracy.
It they can not pass the 10% voting threshold, then all their seats, almost 70+, will be allocated to the ruling party which will give them the governing majority in the parliament to continue executing their existing policies as well as controlling the domestic economy. Voters should consider that this is not sustainable for their own personal well-being in the long run.
Nash equilibrium will be reached only if the last party (HDP) joins the parliament, and they are part of a new coalition as opposed to the existing ruling party.
Nash equilibrium is also governing the Turkish presidential elections on the same day. Here, the two candidates with the most votes will run in the second round after 2-weeks and the voters for the southeast party will be the key parameter for the final winner.
The 24-june Turkish elections will have great impact on Turkish political environment. We shall review and experience he political structure with Nash equilibrium and with great enthusiasm.

Berlin 12 June 2018

Monday, May 14, 2018

Simon Boccanegra

Opera by Giuseppe Verdi, in LaScala Milan
Years ago I entered into "Dost CD music store" in Ankara Kızılay . I asked for a record of "Leyla Gencer" opera. The clerk said, "We do not have studio record, we have only one live recording, only one CD, Simon Boccanegra from Giuseppe Verdi. I did not know anything about this opera, an opera that has been composed, played in the past, and then forgotten. It was staged in 1858 for the first time in Venetian opera house, and the work of composer was renewed in 1881, but then the opera was forgotten after a while.
Leyla Gencer sang such forgotten operas. She preferred not to record. La Scala's other Diva, Maria Callas, while performing clean banding at the studio and singing only the most beloved operas, La Scala's another Diva Leyla Gencer voices difficult old forgotten operas and she did not want to record voice recordings. So in the CD I purchased, there background was filled with unwanted voices, cries applause. Leyla Gencer accomplished a very difficult singing for "Simon Boccanegra".
Simon Boccanegra opera took place in the Izmir Alhambra scene in 2009. Eralp Kıyıcı and soprano Ayşe Tekin had wonderful performances.
Simon Boccanegra is a very popular opera nowadays. When the great artist Placido Domingo (75) plays, he gets high credits. The artist plays alternately in New York Metropolitan and Milan LaScala. For this opera, he turned from tenor to baritone voice. Leo Nucci in the character of Simon Boccanegra, Carmen Giannattasio the soprano in the character of Amelia. South Korean chef Myung-Whun Chung was fabulous. Let's not forget the director, Federico Tiezzi. Each chorus member played a separate character. In the huge big scene there were decorations that were in reasonable size, the costumes of the 13th century were great.
In LaScala opera, on 23 - June 2016 Wednesday evening we watched Guiseppe Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra" opera on the first balcony. We got our seats at 19:00. The main gates opened at 19:30, we walked in, guided by special ushers with black robes like parliamentary norms, directed us to our seats. Audience was dressed very seriously. The balcony room door was opened with a big old type key. We were seated at the front seats. The orchestra was very big, the acoustics of the place were great. I do not know how 3-hour spent there.
The opera began, suddenly we heard an high volume angry criticism of a female voice from a balcony. In LaScala, the traditional critisizm was made at loud voice immediately by the audience. The conductor who's not performing properly, the singer who has detonation, the bad decorator, the bad costume-maker, and even the director have all taken care of that immediate verbal criticism. The artist who is detonated is immediately protested, his/her opera life is over. We did not understand what it was, but I suppose it was worth to protest.
During intermission, we entered into the foyer, a small space. The opera shop was open for sale, they were selling everything which may come to mind about the opera. There were CDs, DVDs, books, souvenirs, whatever you were looking for. The last EMI record CD Simon Boccanegra was going from € 25 each.
In the LaScala stage, Italian artists taught us, as if "Opera is staged like this, it is played like this, it is presented like this." On the big stage, the ritual of entrance to the hall and the balcony was very different, with a reasonable décor, a wonderful staff, a wonderful acoustics, chorus elements playing in a separate roles. After seeing the LaScala opera, I would have to say that I find unnecessary and erroneous decorations in unnecessary erotic variations in Istanbul, unnecessary decorations that fill the scene in Ankara.
The opera was over, there was no grand parking lot nearby, since opera house was built 200 years ago, all the business men wearing black suits, lovely ladies and we all went to the Duomo Metro station, and were scattered to our houses by the Metro after 23:00.
Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.
This article is released in the "EurasiaReview" news web site.
Prinkipo, 15 May, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

La Forza Del Destino


"La Forza Del Destino" (The Power of Fate)
Opera by Giuseppe Verdi in İzmir Alhambra Opera Theater
The four-act "La Forza Del Destino" (The Power of Fate) opera was composed by Giuseppe Verdi. It was ordered by the Russian Saint Petersburg palace orchestra. Opera premier was performed in 1862 at the Bolshoi Kamenny theater in Saint Petersburg, then in 1877 for the first time in Istanbul and in 1964 in the Ankara State Opera House.
The opera begins in Spain and continues in Italy and ends again in Spain. Leonore, daughter of Calatrava Marquis is in love with Don Alvaro. Alvaro's mother comes from the Inca heritage from the indigenous peoples of South America. Her father is not willing to marry her daughter with Alvaro who is not a pure Spanish person. Leonore is determined to do everything she can to marry Alvaro. While trying to escape, Alvaro accidentally kills Leonora's father. Lovers leave while unaware of each other's lives. Leonora's brother, Don Carlo, calls and seeks illegal lovers to get revenge. In the end, the heroes all die, unhappy end comes. The work was first written in Spanish as a theater work, and then it was transformed into opera by Verdi with a solid dramatic editing. The music is amazingly beautiful. The melodies in the music that we listen to at the beginning are repeated throughout the opera.
Orchestra Conductor is Tulio Gagliardo, Stage Director Evin Atik. Orchestra plays smooth, choir is strong, İzmir orchestra permanent conductor performs wonderfully. The work is put on the classic interpretation scene in İzmir. The decor is reasonable, the costumes are beautiful. However we could not get the meaning of the gun sounds coming from the microphone before the overture in the first act.
The first act starts in Leonora's bedroom.
The second scene is in Spain. Here, the fortune-teller Gypsy girl mezzo soprano Preziosilla has a beautiful song praising the war.
The second act is again in the monastery in Spain.
The third act is in Italy at the war zone. The ruthless face of the war is emerging in the same veil. Preziosilla comes out on the stage again and tries to cheer people up with her songs, while people are poor because of the war, relatives are lost. Meanwhile, the monk, who was there to heal them, says that all the evils that have come to them are due to the sins they committed.
The Fourth Act goes back to the monastery in Spain. People who are trying to take refuge in the church because of hunger. We see absence of mercy and greed of monks and other people who are rude.
Then we see the encounter of Don Carlo and Don Alvaro. Opera ends with the final scene in front of the cave where Leonora was sheltered.
Let's put together some of the main Arias that stand out in the opera and can be found easily on YouTube:
Leonora: 1st Act: Me pellegrina ed orfana,
2nd Act: Sono giunta! .... Madre pietosa vergine
4th Act: Pace, pace mio (Soprano Leyla Gencer is recommended!)
Preziosilla: 2nd Act: Al suon del Tambura
Don Alvaro: 3rd Act: La vita é inferno ..... o tu che in seno agli angeli
Don Carlo: 2nd Act: Son pereda latest ricco d'onore
3rd Act: Morir Tremenda cosa .... Urna fatale del mio Destino
The main roles are alternately performed by, Burçin Savigne, Ayşe Tek, Feryal Türkoğlu, Lorenzo Mok Arranz, Oğuz Çimen, Levent Gündüz, Aydin Uştuk, Nejad Begde, Gökhan Koç, Tamer Peker, Cengiz Sayin, Doğukan Özkan, Tevfik Rhodes, Engin Suna and Murat Duyan , Gökhan Varkan, Ebru Captain, Ayşe Özkan, Ferda Yetiser, Sabri Çapanoğlu, Tankut Eşber, Kaner Sumer, Başak Karataş, Evrim Keskin Özülgen, Christopher Gagliardo, Soner Yıldırım, Barış Yener.
The premier night, on 3rd May, was performed by the artists settled in Izmir. On 5th of May, we observed that the performers from outside Izmir were performing more impressively than the first night. Feryal Türkoğlu, Cengiz Sayın and Engin Suna have a big share when we get this impression. Tenor Aydin Uştuk was spectacular on both nights. The other roles, Preziosilla and Melitone, were performed beautifully on both days.
Giuseppe Verdi wrote this opera work with the order of Tsarist Russia. It was a period in which intolerance in Europe is most brutally practiced when the work was written. Giuseppe Verdi has given support to national- revolutionary works throughout his life. His works have rich melody, solid theatrical fiction, big and glorious orchestra, and powerful chorus music.
From our stage director, we were waiting for an article telling us how she staged in the program book. There were two more available tickets on May 5-May, while there was no buyer, we left it open in ticket box.
İzmir audience do not get tickets at the opera gate. There's always a lot of available tickets at the gate before performance. There is always a last minute ticket purchase in Istanbul and Ankara.
During 2018-2019 season, this opera is in England's "Royal Opera House" program. The main roles are shared by Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann. The opera will be in Munich, Augsburg, Dresden, Paris and Zürich. The staging of the Munich opera has contemporary interpretation with horrors of war introduced.
This magnificent opera takes place on 03 (Premier) - 05 - 12 - 14 May 2018 at the Izmir Alhambra opera house. Opera will be at festivals during the summer season, next season we will see again at Alhambra.
İzmir May 10th, 2018
Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.
This article is written for "EurasiaReview" web page.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Forever First Lady, Michelle Obama

Barrack H. Obama, the former US president, gets 400 thousand US$ for each of his commercial public speaking. His wife former First Lady Michelle Obama gets 200 thousand US$.
Michelle Obama did not get paid for the last talk she made for the students, but in that speech, she called herself "Forever First Lady". Michelle Obama told around 8,000 high school students who were attending the 2018 College signing day at Temple University in Philadelphia.
"I know that you are me, and if I can be standing here as your Forever First Lady, then you can do anything you put your mind to, " she added. This definition she made for herself will be a matter of discussion for a long time.
Former US President Bill Clinton receives 200,000 US$ per speech in the USA. It was reported that he received 600,000 Euros for his latest speech in Sweden. An invited keynote speaker in the USA is paid between 20,000- 40,000 US$.
The numerous "International Energy Conference" are organized in luxury venues in Istanbul, and their announcements come to me in the course of the year. They invite market professionals to speak, often they do not pay any fee to local speakers.
Meanwhile they invite a few foreign speakers. They provide them free accommodation in conference hotels plus paid "business" round- trip airfare.
More they pay 1000-5000-10,000 US$ for the foreign speaker depending on the market. The foreign speaker repeats the same off-the-shelf ppt presentation he has made for audiences in a contemptuous atmosphere, with polished fancy English, perhaps he already has made same presentation tens or maybe hundred times before. "We do this in this way, you do the same," they say.
However in our environment, that is not applicable. It is for sure that our native local speakers are as good as foreigners. They know our local market, our legislation, local practices, our bureaucracy better. They can give much more useful information they know better, but they do not get money for all these valuable information.
The organizer company says, "We'll not give you money, what's your personal advertisement, for your personal promotion to have more business, what else do you need more?". Company advertisers already do keep this promotions in their presentations, and they do not need money anymore, their company sponsors the conference, company pays for speakers expenses.
Authorized senior political authority comes to the conference on the first day, he joins the opening, cuts the ribbon, gets a plaque, then he usually makes a standard speech and he leaves the venue. As for the high level of political authority, it is absolutely expected that other senior bureaucrats should participate in the conference. High-ranking bureaucrats from the same institution always accept the conference invitation. Their public institution pays them per diem for their travel spending. They make an old presentation that has already been passed - all known by you earlier.
The former senior bureaucrats who have just left the ministry, new retirees who are looking for a prestigious post in the private company supervisory boards, they always join the conference if they get an invitation. They hope to find a new job on this events Newly separated elderly professionals from senior staff of large private companies view such meetings as new business opportunities for themselves
The organizer gets 500-1000 US$ per company, participant or listener. They also get other fees from sponsors. We notice that organizers would even try to get money from the speakers. Speakers do not usually pay the conference fee.
Your writer give a standard answer to conference invitations,
"Thank you for your invitation to your conference (fair, congress) for the public speaking on energy issues in our environment, I expect the organizer company to pay my business class return plane ticket, pay my accommodation in conference hotel plus pay a reasonable fee for my presentation."
Does anyone have concur? Sometimes yes, but I do not feel sorry for missing an invitation when they can not pay.
We are told that institutions such as CNN, BBC, and Deutsche Welle pay those specialists who show up in their programs to speak on their specialist field. TV channels pay 100-500 US$ per speech. This figure is also paid for the technical or expert article you write.
If you have made a good comment and you have received nice comments from the audience, then the institution is looking for you for more, then they ask your bank account, they send a reasonable amount of money.
It is difficult for the organizers to monetize and pay local tax in this situation and it is easier for them not to give money. What happens next? Market is filled with people who do not know details.
The invitation to the TV news programs is another case to avoid. The anchor of the program comes out with a ridiculous question every 50 seconds of your talk, you forget what you are telling. It's better not to join the programs.
Professional newspaper columnists are paid 50-250 US$ or more per article. Some journals put their writers into their payroll in order to pay, while asking them to write minimum one article per week, four per month. Newspaper articles have a tax exemption of up to 15 thousand TL (3750$) per year for local columnists. Those who do not get paid for a while so that they advertise their names.
At conferences, you can share audio and video recordings with your friends, In "public speaking", everyone can record- write- and share notes.
In panels we make in the METU Alumni Association conference hall, first we get permission from the speaker for sharing, if not, then we do not let him talk. Private speeches in closed meetings are subject to the rules of "Chatham House", ie the information provided in closed meetings are available but not given reference, the speaker's name is not disclosed.
In my age group, we no longer need personal advertisement, promotion, since we are in this a game, we already are known by players. However participation is a compulsory task when there is an invitation to a conference which would be organized by universities, chambers, professional unions and there can not be a money expectancy in those presentation, all for courtesy.
Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.
This article is released in the "EurasiaReview" news web site.
Prinkipo, 06 May, 2018

Monday, April 30, 2018

R&D and Innovation in Turkey- OpEd

R&D and Innovation in Turkey
If we translate all documents of the American NASA Space Agency into Turkish, then we bring all the space equipment to the vast Konya Plain, how long does it take to go to the Moon? Never? No.
What do we need more to accomplish that mission?
Do we have Research & Development (R&D) and Innovation works? How effective? Yes, we have R&D centers in some commercial private companies, in public institutions, and we have university techno centers. As of March 2018, we have 74 Techno-parks. These technoparks are obligatory to work at universities. Therefore they are established at university campuses. Researchers, academicians, students of the universities work there. They use university computer backbone. Most of companies come here to find educated qualified trained staff, to keep them at reasonable prices, to benefit from tax exemptions. Rents are at 10-25 USD per m2 per month.
In the last survey carried out in Ankara METU University Techno park, the advantage of being in Techno park is revealed that it is reversed. Corporations-institutions now come and stay in the Techno park "in order to be able to access and retain qualified human resources". Advantages of tax exemptions, fall into the second priority. There are scarce number qualified specialists in some areas. Those who go abroad for better financial returns. We can not keep them within the domestic company-organization with existing work conditions.
Moreover nowadays, the work that only one person can do is limited, everything has to be done by an expert team work.
Everybody wants incentives while doing R&D works. However incentives are misguided or misused practice in everywhere. Persons who need to receive incentives can not get proper incentives at the right time. Those close to political will receive incentives. The most of the time incentives are given for wrong projects. Incentives are always abused all over the world.
In our techno parks, 60-70% of works is on new software creation. Because you do not need anything other than a simple desktop PC computer and a person who knows computer technology. You do not need large laboratories or large manufacturing test shops for research. Everything starts from scratch around here. However, you should keep in mind that the innovations are built on the old working software.
The academicians and researchers who are working in techno-centers are in need of key softwares. They do not have to invent an iPhone or an intel chip so-called to rediscover America. You buy iPhone and look at your business. In our environment every researcher is rediscovering America. Moreover, there are local customs duties on foreign software purchases starting from 21%. There are a lot of procedures, approvals, red-tape.
Your writer works to advise on thermal power plant design software. By asking foreign consultant friends, we learn that there are no customs duties in Germany, in Italy, in most European countries for the purchase of design software. Not only for the techno parks, but also no customs tax is imposed for the normal commercial institutions. What happens if we do not take customs tax then? We suppose that we will see it as an opportunity to misuse and abuse the customs tax exemption incentive.
Students of Istanbul KadirHas University have a study for the project of thermal coal power plant design for domestic coal. Your writer commented that "Turkish coal will not work with CFB (circulating fluidized bed) technology". Because there is very large water content in the Turkish coal. This water is ice in winter and you are dealing with mud in the summer. Our coal is best to burn with "Pulverized coal burning technology with pre-drying upfront" which has proved its design by working continuously in our home plants for 30-40 years.
What equipment does the thermal power plant with this technology have? We do not choose these according to our expertise. The required equipment list is listed in American ASME and German norms. You need to pay to get the last valid standard or to access the website. There is 21% custom duty requirement to buy them.
Then you do not do the design - you can not, and let the strangers do on your behalf, they use the same software. You are dependent on them. You can not buy software that will make your own suitable design. You are always at the bottom step of ladder of your job. Everyone in our research centers are rediscovering the American in every investigation. While others are building colonies in America, we can not pass the first phase of business. We're wasting our time and resources. Our industry lives in a large-scale copying procedure. Only a few large local automotive companies have the ability to do R&D. The industry wants ready-made projects and ready-made orders, and if they do not receive, they are not interested in R&D studies.
In developed countries, R&D spending has reached to 4% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product), whereas Turkey has only reached to 1% in recent years. Most of the local R&D expenditures go to meaningless projects, non-commercial jobs, duplicate work. We definitely need a serious renewal of R&D works and innovations.
If we put all NASA all the facilities, documents, equipment in Turkey say in vast Konya plains, the travel to Moon can only be possible with "Team of expert research staff working harmoniously".
Do we have enough number of competent expert staff who are harmoniously working with each other? This is the second important question that needs to be answered in order to go to the Moon.

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

This article is written for "EurasiaReview" web site release.
Ankara April 29, 2018

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