Saturday, March 17, 2018

Giselle Ballet

"Giselle" Ballet at Ankara Opera Ballet Theater

The two-act "Giselle" ballet music was composed by Adolphe Adam. Giselle Ballet was first performed in Salle de Palatier in Paris in 1841.
It was a sensational success in the premiere night, and then has been replayed in Europe, America and Russia for years. The ballet has been performed in the Ankara Conservatory repertoire since 1964. It is also on stage in Istanbul, AKM, Süreyya and Zorlu PSM venues as modern and classical. Ballet depicts a romantic love story.
The "Classic" Jean Coralli- Jules Perrot choreography will be on again in Ankara. This beautiful ballet will take place on the Ankara Opera Ballet stage on 24 (Premier) - 29 - 31 March 2018, and 14 - April 2018.
Conductors are Bujor Hoinic and Kartum Hoinic. Stage director is Zeynep Sunal Ongün. In the Giselle character, the three magnificent ballerinas of Ankara Ballet will be on the stage, alternating between Özge Başaran, Mine İzgi and Sultan Hinge.
Zorba, Harem, Frida, Bach / Alaturka Danzon and Nutcracker ballets will be on stage in Ankara opera house in this season.
Tickets are on sale online at 10:00 a.m. a month earlier.
After the box office sales, there is not much room left in the internet ticket. On the day of the sale the tickets were consumed within the same day. If you go to Opera-Ballet in the morning, you can get your ticket directly from 09-10 in the morning with cash money or credit card.
This article is written for "Odtu Alumni Bulletin". Ankara, 20 March 2018

Saturday, March 03, 2018

East Med Offshore waters are warming

Eastern Mediterranean Offshore Waters are warming- OpEd
Relative optimism on Eastern Mediterranean offshore gas explorations may soon face a nasty hard fact. First let’s see the latest offshore reserve figures. New figures are emerging every day about the East Med offshore natural gas reserves. Therefore we advise you to be cautious about the numbers we will give here. There are 320 bcm (billion cubic meter) in the Tamar region of Israel, 600 bcm in the Leviathan region, 130 bcm in the Southern Cyprus Aphrodite region, and an estimated 850 bcm natural gas reserves in the Egyptian Zohr region. Companies BP, ENI, Exxon, Total are working in the East Mediterranean region. Let’s keep in mind that annual Turkish import of natural gas is around 50bcm in recent years.
Turkish Naval Forces war ships, prevented drilling vessel of Italian oil company ENI, from reaching the controversial Cypriot offshore area. There was a pre-announced Turkish military maneuver in the area. Ankara showed its hard attitude towards the conflict with this intervention. Ankara states that the offshore reserves also belong to the Turkish part of the island, and want a fair share of natural gas resources.
Cyprus’s environment offshore region, is now the second area of conflict between NATO members. First conflict is in the Northern Syria. There is no war between NATO countries. This is not allowed. But they can always harass each other, dog fights are normal.
On the other hand, geographically, due to proximity to the mainland, easy logistical support, the overwhelming dominance of the naval and air forces of Turkish armed forces is unquestionable.
Ankara’s regional political and administrative anticipations no longer depend only on perceived threats, but also on energy reserves.
Since last week launched around Cyprus against gas exploration joint venture of French Total- Italian ENI, Turkey has stepped up military activities in the region.
The Egyptian-Turkish dispute continues on the other side of the Eastern Mediterranean region. Cairo put its weight on the side of Nicosia because of the Turkish statements of the Muslim Brotherhood and military activities that began in Syria and on the Horn of Africa. The Egyptian Foreign Minister said that not only the Cyprus offshore gas exploration projects, but the maritime trade agreement with the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Cyprus, 2003, applies to all.
In 2003, Cairo and Nicosia signed an agreement to set up an EEZ in the Eastern Mediterranean for natural gas exploration and production at nearby offshore sea regions. There is not yet an EEZ map agreed on Eastern Mediterranean countries. Every country takes care of their own interests and does not refrain from taking tough military measures to implement them.
Ankara opposes these formations because the Turkish Cypriots demanded legal rights and fair sharing over marine resources. Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs regarded the Cairo- Nicosia EEZ agreement as “null and void”.
Cairo warned neighboring countries not to violate Egypt’s sovereign rights. South Cyprus and Egypt are supported by the European Union. Turkey began blocking against other sea areas to the Greek and Greek Cypriot ships. Ankara warned that international companies could lose Ankara’s friendship. Cairo aims to further expand its overseas production in the Zohr gas field and the latest BP offshore area. Cairo is implementing plans to become an big LNG exporter in the East Med region by 2020.
These plans will be combined with the Cyprus-Israel offshore gas production partnership.
Israel-Turkey relations were severed at the end. Israel’s plans on the old pipeline to export gas to Turkey. The US and EU first encouraged this partnership. The current stance in Ankara does not allow these joint plans anymore.
Eastern Mediterranean easiest and cheapest transit route to European markets is passing over Turkish mainland soon after production of offshore gas. Other alternatives seem to be more expensive, long-term, hard tricky solutions.
One way of making Israeli gas commercially attractive is export co-operation with Egypt. Ankara’s strategic preferences now seem to consolidate Egyptian-Israeli ties. South Cyprus, the EU member, is considered the gateway to Europe and therefore they have of strategic importance. With the possibility of re-opening and possibly expanding Egypt’s existing LNG liquefaction schemes, a new Triple Coalition for offshore gas production may be established.
Fair Share demand not just from Turkey – Nearby countries Lebanon and Syria also ask to have their share.
Israeli navy is expanded forces to protect gas projects and shipping lines. An increasing foreign threat in Lebanon will only give more emphasis to Israel. The expansion of the Israeli navy will not only be threats to the north, but also the threats to the Palestinian extremist Hamas movement overseas projects.
When we look at the facts in the region, there is a possible hot war. “Eastern Mediterranean” gas futures will get harmed.
Increasing insecurity in the region or possible war does not only threaten Israel or Lebanon, but it also spreads to other countries.
In the big picture, gas operations are not the only threat.Threats and conflicts at sea can also damage other oil transports. Offshore region may face complete military conflict involving Israel-Cyprus-Lebanon area, from Ceyhan (Turkey) to block incoming oil transit lines.
At the same time, in a direct conflict between Cyprus and Turkey, will also direct transit routes through the Strait threatening Greeks.
Both can threaten the transportation volume between 1.6 million bpd (BTC pipeline) and 2.9 million bpd (Bosphorus).
There is not much that the US and Europe can do for now.
Without rational fair share of natural gas reserves between nearby countries, a permanent solution is not possible to accept in the Eastern Mediterranean. Ankara March 6, 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 site release.


Friday, March 02, 2018

Castration Effect

A “Castrato” is a male soprano, mezzo-soprano, or alto voice produced either by castration of the singer before puberty or one who, because of an endocrinological condition, never reaches sexual maturity. Castration is non-reversible.
In business world, we have a similar feeling in the market, but that is reversable if cared properly. One day in late 2006, a Korean Company has internally decided to come to Turkey, to capital city Ankara in order to meet with reputable local companies private and public for future cooperation and partnering in local Turkish energy market. Through an international business colleague, they asked your writer to help them in local networking. At first we asked appointment from top management of public companies, Ministry, EUAS, TEDAS, and TEIAS etc.
Our Public companies have the similar attitude these days. They say "Since we should get 3- offers and evaluate for almost 3-months for each bolt we need, we cannot finalize any investment in the modern times in a reasonable short period of time. Therefore we ask private investors to make the investment. We expect the maximum rental fee for our treasury." Good point, good thinking, very logical.
We also asked appointment from private companies for mutual meetings for future cooperation. Most of them accepted and invited us to their head offices. That was almost no cost for them other than some business time to allocate.
On both sides, we had almost similar presentations. At first, our visiting foreign Company introduced their colorful hardcopy documentation, their home country references of various thermal power plants, as well as nuclear. Documentations were beautiful but they had no meaning in content. Anyhow that was something other than nothing. They had pictures of their international experiences, reference plants in the Middle East and elsewhere. However these documentations explained their companies with relatively poor verbal English.
In response our local companies explained how wonderful work they do in local and/or international environments.
Surprisingly Turkish scope covered only civil works and site installation, plus maybe some construction of administration buildings / some catering. That was all. It is a pity. Most of our companies don’t have courage to exceed these simple activities. These activities are simple, hard work with minimum cost, almost with minimum value added value. It is so sad to say that our companies cannot handle basic engineering, they cannot handle overall leadership.
So we all handle the hard work, whereby our international partners get the biggest portion of the scope and profit.
The Koreans were at the lowest life style in 1950s in the Korean War and at that time we sent our troops to save them. After 50 years, their GNP is almost twice of ours now. Korean Company had turnkey engineering and complete project leadership capability. They constructed all their thermal power plants by themselves. Similarly they constructed many nuclear power plants in Korea under license.
They have the same software and hardware available as elsewhere, and they purchased the necessary technical license to handle design works of all types’ thermal power plants. They recently signed a license agreement with a reputable USA company to construct CFB boilers to fire all types of poor quality with low LHV local lignite.
In the international markets, today US or UK companies, German/ French/ Italian companies are too expensive. They can not receive any order in our local market due to their high market prices. On the other hand China, Indian, Korean companies are relatively cheaper in turn key EPC contracts
If we do not show our engineering expertise, our market will soon be dominated by these Eastern companies and as a result our local companies will be doing only the simple hard work with lowest profit margins.
We visualize a sort of “Castration Effect” in our local contracting companies. Are these local companies “Castrato”?? That is unfortunately created by our public companies over the years while looking for international foreign companies. All we need is courage, at least within our own environment. We should start to construct our own thermal power plants by ourselves. Foreign companies cannot design; construct power plants to fire our special local indigenous lignite. Only Turkish engineers can do it, since we live all our life with this local fuel.
Our local private companies are to decide if they will continue to have simple works all the time, and vanish, or make drastic change and start doing new investments on engineering talent by supplying the engineering staff with appropriate software and hardware, plus necessary technical licensing, to enable their companies work as turnkey EPC contractor as leading company. That is the most important key decision now.
Finally we have some good news for you. A local investor company built its own 3x60 MWe Combined cycle power plant in Aliaga through its own engineering capability. They are now planning to build new coal fired power plant. One other local contracting company has completed their local lignite fired CFB steam boiler in Konya Cumra sugar plant. It is in successful trial operation for last 2-years. We are very happy to learn that another leading Turkish energy company has built their combined cycle power plants in Ankara Sincan and Kayseri Organized Industrial zones based on their own local engineering capability. They received recent order for construction of similar plants in Israel and Russia.
As the old saying goes, “If you think you can, you can.”

Ankara, 3rd March 2018

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

TURKEY: Local R&D in Japanese tailor procedure

The last time I attended a social gathering, my highly experienced professional colleagues of the local market complaint that in general there is no R&D made in recent years in the local market, but only copies. "Nobody is making a sheet of technical drawing, but there is a practise to substitute for copying and duplicating the equipment, machine, and device that come in front of them." Most of the other members in the meeting were inclined to participate to this notion. I do not quite agree with this market assessment. In the 1980s, we had an obligatory R&D experience, let me tell you about it.
I worked manufacturing halls more than 10 years in a public machine production factory. Then they took me to the design section. At that time, we got a license from a German VKW (and EVT) companies for 50 tph coal burning and 100 tph fuel oil burning steam boilers. Two each boiler pieces were sent to us with 100 percent material and we installed them on site.
They gave us a new task of reproducing the missing technical drawings. A small number of general arrangement drawings were received but they were inadequate. Boiler materials, tubes, grids were physically sent. We drew all of them in detailed drawings, then we produced these boilers. We installed these boilers on site, we operated for many years.
Later in time, management gave me a new task directly. "Now you learned how to copy. Now copy the guillotine, heavy duty lathe, and steel sheet cold bending benches. Continue to copy the horizontal sludge press, sugar centrifuge, raw factory lime tower."
I gathered all the technical draftsmen working in the design bureau. I gave each one tasks for copying a machine. Wherever they do not understand, I interfered and drafted the detailing. After a long tiresome disastrous period, technical drawings were prepared and we finished the drafting work.
When copying large-sized workshop drawings, we were trapped with old-age "Japanese Tailor" fault. What did "Japanese Tailor" do first? Let me explain it. Japanese tailors are doing great designs around the world today. It was not like that at the beginning. They had a learning period. In the 1850s Japan forced by the US fleet to open its doors to the western world. Later, top rulers decided to open the embassy in other countries. They would send diplomats to Western countries. The managers thought, "It's necessary to dress like a Westerner. It would not be appropriate to go there with our own traditional clothes, let's create western dresses". They asked a Western Christian missionary in Japan to give his western dresses. They would create the same and wear it on the diplomats they send. The poor missionary gave his worn-out old western dresses. Because dresses were so old and used, there were patches on the knee and elbows of the clothe. "Japanese Tailor" made the patches exactly the same. The wrong addition of the patches on new clothes was quickly understood. It was corrected after they noticed the reaction at points they were assigned to and tailors created new dresses. The rest of the diplomats have received new dresses, but the "Japanese Tailor" application has become a necessary lessons learnt to be taken in copying practice.
When we copied it, we made the same mistakes, as ancient "Japanese Tailor". Heavy big tools were made of steel casting. When we made copy, we evaluated that most of them were suitable to make in welded steel constructions. When we were re-designing, we examined the thicknesses, but some unnecessary attachments were duplicated. It turned out that we made the same mistake of patches of the Japanese Tailor copied. After we made the first machines, we noticed the situation. We made necessary corrections in the next manufacturing.
Later, necessary budget money was allocated by the top management. Heavy duty shop machines were produced for other machine factories. Capacity of sugar equipment was enlarged and re-built. This process continued for years. Meanwhile, the technical pictures we sent to the manufacturing workshop were to disappear. Shop asked more blue prints. "Blue prints are worn out, damaged, lost etc", they said. We have never ceased to give a new blue prints to workshop.
I left the factory in 1984. Time passed, in a casual trip to nearby organized industrial zone in Ankara, I noticed that in some workshops our steel sheet bending, guillotine, lathe, centrifugal are produced with the same design. The technical pictures were our pictures, but nameplates have been changed. Auto-cad design introduced, catalogs were printed. We, engineers, draftsmen, technical staff, have not earned any more than our monthly salaries. But the technical drawings we produced in the public factory have been used free-of charge in the market. I have no objection, it was very good.The market produced these pictures. At least it was a start. So R&D was done, but it was not done as it should be. It was made inexpensively in accordance with the "market" conditions. That's the rule of our game!
Later in time, on the market I also saw the steam boilers that we copied. Our technical drawings have been transferred to the market in some way. I have no objection to that. I wish we could also design larger thermal power plants and transfer them to the market.
In the energy and mining sector, we have designs for both open pit coal mining (Elbistan-Eüaş etc.), or in coal-based thermal power plants (Çatalağzı, Çanakkale, Tufanbeyli) each with capacities up to 6x900 KW, with maximum length of 3.6 Km, and conveyor facilities and equipments in carrying capacities up to 11500 tons per hour, and manufactured in Ankara. There is no objection to copy from the examples, or to benefit from the old projects. Because, without first and preliminary information, there is no new development.

Ankara, 7 February 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 site release.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Modern Interpretation of Donizetti's Opera "L'elisir D'amore"

Modern Interpretation of Donizetti's Opera "L'elisir D'amore"
Premier of Ankara 3-February 2018 Saturday at 20 hours

The opera "L'elisir D!amore", which was prepared in modern interpretation, opened to Ankara Premier on Saturday February 3, 2018. The 18th century opera house on a farm moved to the open office of a large company at a business center of a big city on a modern stage. The opera starts with the staff coming in the morning in the accompaniment of the overture music. Men are in dark business suits with tie, women are in good business attires. Everyone has their IDs on their necks, laptop computers on the tables. It is obvious that this is an export-import trading company. There is a poor office-boy Nemorino (wonderful tenor Emre Akkuş), he distributes the letters of the incoming documents and cargo packages. There is an automatic coffee machine on the left corner. Then the director of the office Adina (beautiful soprano Görkem Ezgi YILDIRIM) enters to the environment, climbs to her prestigious office of the left staircase with her administrative assistant. She's reading her emails on the laptop. The cute executive secretary, Giannetta (Ezgi Karakaya), supervises her employees and distributes new tasks. Everyone works with laptop desktop computers on their desk. Then big boss CEO Belcore (Beran Sertkaya) enters, behind him there are three bodyguards in their black suits with black ties. I read it as a reference to Hollywood "Men in black, Blues brothers, matrix" movies. The ego tops a roof. Later the life coach, or managerial consultant Dr Dulcamara (Özgür Savaş Gençtürk) makes ppt presentation on the screen, adding white board explanations. We understand that he has traveled around the world. He has photographs in front of Egyptian pyramids, New York skyscrapers, even with Angelina Jolly. He has an Hollywood star on the street. He sells and distributes his books. Office boy wants help from him for love, Dr Dulcamara gives him the wine from his pocket and then all happens. It was an incredibly beautiful staging. The most beautiful opera piece I've seen in recent years. I need to go to every stage. This opera should not be missed.
The opera Italian name L'elisir d'amore is a two-act opera in the form of melodrama giocassa (melodramatic play) composed by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. The premiere of the opera was first performed at the "Teatro della Canobbiana" theater on May 12, 1832 in Milan. First time in Turkey staged in 1952 at the Ankara Opera. In the last years, stage director Mrs Yekta Kara performed another excellent modern staging in Istanbul Süreyya opera house. Your writer has already watched and wrote about it while on stage earlier.
The modern interpretation of Ankara is completely different. Mrs Figen Ayhan Karakelle, the young director, performs a wonderful work. This opera is a masterpiece, extraordinary"

Music by: Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by: Felice Romani
Premiere: May 12, 1832 in Teatro della Canobbiana, Milano
Players in ankara on 3rd February 2018
Nemorino: Simple office-boy, in love with Adina, tenor Emre Akkuş
Adina, Company Manager, soprano, Görkem Ezgi Yıldırım
Belcore: CEO rich boss, baritone, Beran Sertkaya
Dulcamara: Life coach, bas, Savaş Gençtürk
Giannetti: Executive secretary, soprano, Ezgi Karakaya
Company Employees (chorus), Belcore's body guards / assistants

CONDUCTOR Alessandro Cedrone
Director: Mrs Figen Ayhan Karakelle
DECOR Ozgur Usta
COSTUME: Gazal Erten
Choire Chief Giampaolo Vessala
LIGHT: Fuat Gök

Original Place:
A small village in the Basque country in the north of Spain, in 18th century
The modern staging takes place in a company office in a business center, time is today.
This opera has the famous aria "Una furtiva lagrima" which is very famous and presented separately in musical concerts.
In the Premier presentation, it was a misfortunate, the voice went, the evil eye became, so, the audience supports with applause.
Watch before in CDs, YouTube, mezzo records. Get in your ear, memorise your mind. Do not trust digital stuff on the stage, it is not read very lightly.
The work will take place on the Ankara Opera Ballet scene between 07-19 February 2018, 07-12-19-26 March 2018 and 9-April 2018.
Tickets are on sale online at 10:00 a.m. a month earlier.
If you go to Opera-Ballet in the morning, you can buy your ticket in cash or by credit card directly at 09-10 hours.
After the box office sales, there is not much seats left in the internet ticket.

Ankara, 4 February 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.

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