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Baghdad, Turkey
Baghdad photo scandal



March 28, 2006

On March 28th 2006, Howard Kaloogian's campaign website contained a photograph which he claims to have recently taken in downtown Baghdad. It was accompanied by the description:

"We took this photo of downtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it - in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism."

Upon further analysis by members of a discussion forum on Democratic Underground, it was found that this photo was actually a fake photo of Baghdad, because it was most likely taken in Istanbul, Turkey.

Many inconsistencies, including the following, were found:

  • Many signs are written in Turkish, but none in Arabic
  • Women are seen wearing revealing (western) clothes
  • Taxi cabs are similar to those seen in Istanbul
  • Uniquely Turkish traffic signs are present
  • Signs of businesses based solely in Turkey are present

See also:

Fake photo of Baghdad used to bolster GOP's claims?

by anthonyLA, Daily Kos Howard Kaloogian (R) has posted a photograph on his campaign website which he claims to have recently taken in downtown Baghdad, to show how "calm" and "stable" the city was during his visit.

Check out the photo under the fold. I am no photographic expert, but to me, this does not appear to be a photo of Baghdad (or even Iraq) at all.

Here's why I think this photo was not taken in Iraq:

1)  The signs are all in Roman script.  (the signs that read edo, 2.Noter, etc.)  Where's the arabic?

2)  The couple holding hands in the front, right side of the picture.  First, the fact that they are walking down the street holding hands makes me think this is not from Baghdad.  Second, look at the woman's top (shirt).  It has spaghetti strap sleeves (shoulders exposed) and is awfully tight for Iraq.

Am I crazy, or is this not of Baghdad at all?

Check out the photo on Kaloogian's site here:


This is extremely important because Kaloogian is claiming that Iraq is much more calm and stable than most Americans believe.  His direct quote: "We took this photo of dowtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq.  Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be.  But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it - in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism."

Just another reason to support Busby on April 11 and June 6.

Remember to support her here:


and check out her campaign site here:


UPDATE: A few days ago, Kaloogian challenged his supporters to outraise Busby's netroots account (which stands at about $16,000)--they met the challenge and raised $25,000 for him through his website! Remember to give if you can! The latest poll in this race shows Busby leading the pack of 18 candidates with a wopping 39% of the vote! Remember, taking back the House begins with this race!

Selected Comments

Photo definitely taken in Turkey (65+ / 0-)

The photo was definitely taken in Turkey; the sign "2.Noter" is for the "2nd Notary Public" (in a given district); the yellow taxicab in the front/right is a typical Turkish cab. The words "carsi" (market or bazaar) and "alis" (first part of the word "alisveris" = shopping, as in "alisveris merkezi" = "shopping center") are not EVER used in Arabic.

Any Turk would recognize this as a typical street scene in Turkey.

by daristani on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 01:55:27 PM PDT

Absolutely, definitely turkish (2+ / 0-)

I just posted another comment that relates what my (Turkish) dad just told me.

'2.Noter' means that this is the 2nd Notary licensed in a given city or province of Turkey. This is a peculiarly Turkish system and there are, by definition, relatively few such offices in the whole country.

The Noter system is not a commercial chain. It is very unlikely to exist outside Turkey. The only place in the US that fulfils that role is the Turkish Embassy in Washington.

See my other comment for more details.

-2.38 -4.87: Maturity - Doing what you know is right even though you were told to do it.

by grapes on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 06:41:45 PM PDT

comment from a Turkish friend (25+ / 0-)

courtesy of C. Karaca:

As my surname would indicate, I can be considered an authority on things Turkish. I was ASTONISHED to learn that this photo is actually being used as a scene of contemporary Baghdad! You have done an astute job pointing out the obvious reasons why this photo CANNOT have been taken in Iraq, here are more specifics to back you up:

"Edo" is a popular ice cream parlor in Turkey
"2. Noter" means second notary in Turkish
"Alisveris Merkezi" is the name for shopping center in Turkish (appears in the right side of photo)
"Carsi..." means market in Turkish (appears on yellow banner) -note: the "carsi" associated with the futbol team Besiktas is a fanatical group
of, well, fans
There is also a Turkish police car in the middle of the pedestrian zone and the taxi in the foreground is most definitely a signature Renault

All other observations about body language, apparel, etc. are spot on. Good to see the GOP can't pull the wool over everyone's eyes!

by oldmanriver on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 05:49:53 PM PDT

Its Turkish - probably smaller city (28+ / 0-)

I phoned my expert on these matters - my dad. He's Turkish and just moved back to NA a month or two ago. His assessment - its somewhere in Turkey. His reasoning:

* 2.Noter is a notary. Notaries in Turkey are government-sanctioned. As each one in a given province or city is approved, it receives a number. You can see anything from 1.Noter to 43.Note in a large city. The number 2 means that is was the second notary approved in the province or city. There will only be one 2.Noter office in that province or city. For example, there is only one 2.Noter in all of Ankara (capital city of 4.3 million persons).
* Noter offices are official government-sanctioned offices that are not part of a commercial chain. For example, there are no Noters in the US. The Turkish Embassy is the only location that fulfils that role. Unless Iraq has stolen the Turkish system lock, stock and barrel, name and alphabet, the picture is taken in Turkey.
* Given the rarity of 2.Noter in any Turkish area, it is unlikely that there are very many that sit above an EDO Dondurma (ice cream) shop. My Turkish is weak, but my dad says there are online government directories of Noters and addresses throughout Turkey. If you can find a directory of EDO locations, you could probably cross reference the exact intersection.
* This is unlikely to be in a major city. More likely it is a regional town or small city. IF Kaloogian actually took the picture, it must have been on his itinery. Look for a town near Incirlik air base or a town with a tourist attraction nearby.
* The yellow taxi is very typical of Turkey
* The cedillas on the C and S in the yellow sign are unique to the Turkish language.
* The words Alis... and Carsi... are typical Turkish words in street business signs.
* Given the clues, if any Turks can pass the photo back to their Turkish friends, it is not impossible that they could track it down and photograph it for real.

Hope this helps.

-2.38 -4.87: Maturity - Doing what you know is right even though you were told to do it.

by grapes on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 06:36:33 PM PDT

:: Article nr. 22044 sent on 29-mar-2006 09:49 ECT


Link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Kaloogian

:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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