Sunday, April 02, 2006

Baghdad Is So Safe, It's Really Istanbul

The above picture originally appeared on the website of California congressional hopeful Howard Kaloogian, who explained, "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." The only problem was that the picture was actually not taken in Baghdad at all, but in a suburb of Istanbul:
The photo featured people who didn’t seem dressed quite right for Iraq, and signs and billboards that looked off, too. In the now-familiar pattern, the ace detective work leaped from obscure blogs to the well-known (Talking Points Memo, Eschaton, Attytood, more), and back again, as eagle-eyed experts proposed alternative locales, with Turkey a likely suspect.

In less than a day, it was over. “Jem6X” at the popular DailyKos blog confirmed the street scene was in Bakirkoy, a suburb of Istanbul, not Baghdad.

Tipped off by someone who recognized the actual intersection in Turkey, Jem went through online photo galleries and in a matter of minutes today found a snap taken by a “Faruk” that lined up with the “Baghdad” photo in numerous conclusive ways. Game, set, and match to the blogosphere.

Later Wednesday, Kaloogian admitted the photo was from Turkey but denied he had anything personally to do with posting it on his site. He replaced that Turkey photo with a photo of what he said was Baghdad—taken from a distant hill.
Link (via BoingBoing). I suppose it could be an honest mistake. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten home from a vacation, looked at my pictures, and forgotten exactly where they were taken. Usually, however, I can tell the difference between two countries. Especially if one has, you know, a war going on.

Indexed by tags politics, Iraq, Baghdad, Istanbul, Turkey, picture, Howard Kaloogian.


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