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x0x Turkish news for week ending 29 December 2007
[Best when viewed with the courier font.]
A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:
TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM
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Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host is Melis Atalay
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* Turkish leaders have strongly condemned Thursday's
assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir
Bhutto, and have called for calm in the troubled
country, reported the Turkish private channel NTV.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was
saddened by Bhutto's killing and offered his
condolences to both the slain former Prime Minister's
family and the Pakistani people.
A statement issued by the Turkish Ministry of
Foreign Affairs described the slaying of Bhutto as
"obnoxious" and was intended to destabilize Pakistan.
Turkey hoped that the assassination would not derail
the democratization process in Pakistan, the statement
* Turkish raids on the rebel Turkish Kurds' hideouts
in Northern Iraq continued this week. Turkish military
and political leaders say that the attacks will
As a reprisal to the Turkish raids, sympathizers of
the rebels in Istanbul are burning private cars. The
English-language daily New Anatolian reports that the
number of vehicles set ablaze rose to 51.
Governor of the Istanbul province, however, said
that they do not have the evidence to connect the
arson attacks to the same motivation.
In related news, a bomb planted in a garbage can in
a town near Istanbul injured a woman, who subsequently
died at the hospital.
Istanbul police also caught a young man trying to
enter the subway with plastic explosives hidden in his
* President Bush, during a phone conversation Monday
with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has
again declared the rebel Turkish Kurds' underground
organization PKK to be an enemy of the US as well as
of Turkey, reports the private channel NTV.
President Bush reiterated that US support to Turks
in their fight against the rebels will continue.
US military has been passing intelligence
information to Turkey on the rebel activity and
* There is a challenge to the leadership of the main
opposition party in the Turkish parliament.
The private channel NTV reports that Haluk Koc is
vying for the top job of the Republican People's
Mr. Koc says that the party had been influenced by
the artificial agendas created by the ruling Justice
and Development Party and had failed to communicate
with NgO's efficiently in the lead up to this year's
Mr. Koc is challenging incumbent party chairman
Deniz Baykal for leadership. Mr. Baykal, who is 69,
has been at the helm's of the party since 1992, with
two short-term interruptions where others lead the
party. The Republican People's Party has been losing
in the elections for many decades, and many are
blaming him for his lack of vision and leadership.
The Republican People's Party is the oldest Turkish
political party, which established the Republican
regime and the parliament in Turkey in 1923. These
days, the party defines itself as a social democratic
and secular one. Mr. Baykal was elected as the vice
president of the Socialist International, an
organization of a social democratic parties of the
World, in 2003, and he still has this position.
* According to the Turkish private channel NTV,
amendments to Article 301 of the Turkish penal code
are being drafted and will be submitted to Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan within 15 days, a senior
minister said late Tuesday.
Under the proposed amendments, permission of the
Justice Ministry would be required before an
investigation could be launched into any alleged
breach of Article 301, the minister said.
Article 301 deals with the crime of insulting
Turkish identity. The article has been widely
criticized both in Turkey and abroad for restricting
freedom of speech. In recent years, a number of
writers, journalists and intellectuals have been
prosecuted under Article 301.
They include Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's Noble Prize
winning novelist, and Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian
journalist who was gunned down outside his office in
Istanbul in January this year.
* There is no immediate danger of a major earthquake
in the region around the Turkish capital Ankara,
according to scientists, reports the private Turkish
The region around Ankara has been shaken by a series
of quakes over the past week, including two of which
were of a magnitude of 5.5 or more.
Turkey, much like California, is crisscrossed by
many fault lines. From time to time some of these
fault lines produce major earthquakes. A series of
earthquakes in 1999 killed more than 40,000 people.
* Turkey's Yildiz Holding is purchasing Godiva brand
from the Campbell Soup Co. for $850 million. Yildiz
Holding is the manufacturer of Ulker brand of snacks
* We told you two weeks ago that Fitch Ratings
upgraded Turkey's long-term local currency issuer
This week, however, the Japan credit rating agency
announced that it had downgraded its economic outlook
on Turkey from positive to stable, in part due to
Turkey's military operations in northern Iraq, reports
the Turkish private channel NTV.
However, the ratings agency made no alterations to
Turkey's long and short term rating.
* Turkey's Minimum Wage Commission has set the base
salary rate for Turkish workers for next year,
announcing a four percent increase for the first half
of the year and five percent for the second six-month
With the new raise the minimum wage will add up to
520 Us dollars per month in local currency.
ARTS AND CULTURE
* Turkish choreographer Korhan Ba$aran will present
his modern dance piece "Asklama," an examination of
the meaning and complexity of love, on Jan. 3 at the
KadIkoy Public Education Center, in the Asiatic part
of Istanbul, reports the Turkish Daily News.
The entire work explores the choreographer's own
feelings and experiences of love over the last 10
years also demonstrates the transition Ba$aran
underwent from his first debut as a performer in
Ankara to where he is a choreographer and dancer today
with the group Hurrem Sultan.
Ba$aran will be joined in the performance by Esra
Akyatan, Esra Yurttut, Evrim Akyay and Mert Oztekin
which will be set to classical baroque music.
* A mosaic uncovered during excavations in Turkey's
southeastern province of Malatya's Kuluncak district
revealed that the district used to be an important
trade center in the second century A.D.
Malatya Archaeology Museum Director Izzet Esen said
this year's excavations in the Dogan$ehir and Kuluncak
regions were completed and that a mosaic, which
belonged to the fourth or fifth century A.D.,
depicting a figure of a deer was among the important
findings unearthed in Dogansehir, shedding light on
the history of the district, the Anatolia news agency
* According to the Turkish Daily News, Turkey will be
represented by young artists from Istanbul and the
Mediterranean city of Antalya at an exhibition in
Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympic games.
Some 15 painters from Antalya and 10 from Istanbul
will participate in the exhibition, said painter Imren
CalIskan Tuzun, who is training the group from
* The Turkish Daily News reports that a masterpiece of
Turkish literature "The Time Regulation Institute" has
now been translated into French.
Written by Ahmet Hamdi TanpInar and published by
Dergah Publications in 1962, the much-loved book was
translated into English by Ender gurol in 2001.
TanpInar is perhaps the most surprising writer of
20th century Turkish literature. Besides creating a
cultural universe in his work, TanpInar brings
together western forms of writing with the
sensibilities of Ottoman culture. For him "The Time
Regulation Institute" is a concrete manifestation of
the dream form, regarded by many as the masterpiece of
The novel, which revolves around the notion of time,
is handled with irony and insight. This is a novel of
transitions: From the old way of measuring time to the
new way, from an old way of life to a new one, from
old institutions to the new.
* According to the Turkish Daily News, after
performances in France, Scotland and the United
States, Bulent Bezduz has started enchanting Italian
Mr. Bezduz, three-time grammy award winner and a
member of the Mersin State Opera and Ballet,
mesmerizes Italian opera lovers with his performance
of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" opera. He
performs with permission from the Turkish Culture and
Tourism Ministry, and plays the role of Sir Edgardo
Being regarded as one of the ten successors to the
throne of late Italian tenor Pavarotti, Bezduz said
that as a Turkish artist he is very proud of being
applauded by art lovers in a country like Italy.
* Dogan News Agency reports that a "Book Arts Museum"
has opened in the central Anatolian city of Konya. The
museum, which is affiliated with the Konya Library of
Handwritten Works, is the first one in Turkey and
displays samples of the arts of handwriting, marbling
"Our library is a place where calligraphies are
collected and restored," said the library's director
Bekir $ahin. Each of the calligraphies is a work of
art, he said, adding, "we particularly display
calligraphies created by Mevlevi calligraphers,
marbled works and marbling materials from the Seljuk
period. These works of art are subjects of great
interest to both Turkish and foreign visitors."
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.s. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.16
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 32/21 Fog
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 64/43 Decreasing Cloudiness
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 48/36 Fog
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 54/37 Decreasing Cloudiness
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 46/37 Rainy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Davraz, in Isparta , South Central Turkey 11 inches
Erciyes, in Kayseri, Central Turkey 39 inches
Ilgaz, in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey 53 inches
Kartalkaya, in Bolu, Western Turkey 45 inches
Palandoken, in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey 31 inches
Sarikamis, in Kars, Eastern Turkey 55 inches
Uludag, in Bursa, Western Turkey 31 inches
Edited by Mark Nowak
*Turkish Turkcell Superleague
Manisaspor 1 - 2 BesIktas
Konyaspor 2 - 1 Kasimpasa
MKE Ankaragucu 1 - 1 Kayserispor
Fenerbahce 3 - 2 Trabzonspor
Caykur Rizespor 2 - 0 Denizlispor
Istanbul BB 1 - 2 gaziantepspor
Bursaspor 0 - 0 BB Ankaraspor
Sivasspor 2 - 0 genclerbirligi
genclerbirligi Oftas 0 - 0 galatasaray
Team GP W D L GF GA PTS
1. Sivasspor 17 12 1 4 28 13 37
2. Fenerbahce 17 11 4 2 30 17 37
3. Galatasaray 17 10 6 1 29 12 36
4. BesIktas 17 10 4 3 22 14 34
5. Kayserispor 17 6 8 3 24 17 26
6. Konyaspor 17 7 4 6 22 27 25
7. Denizlispor 17 7 3 7 22 21 24
8. MKE Ankaragucu 17 6 5 6 19 21 23
9. Trabzonspor 17 6 4 7 22 22 22
10. Gaziantepspor 17 6 3 8 22 24 21
11. Caykur Rizespor 17 6 3 8 18 27 21
12. Istanbul BB 17 5 5 7 20 20 20
13. Genclerbirligi Oftas 17 5 5 7 16 16 20
14. Bursaspor 17 4 7 6 16 19 19
15. Manisaspor 17 4 5 8 23 29 17
16. Genclerbirligi 17 3 5 9 19 27 14
17. BB Ankaraspor 17 2 7 8 14 21 13
18. Kasimpasa 17 2 3 12 13 32 9
* UEFA Cup
Galatasaray 0-0 Austria Wien
Galatasaray advances to next round
* Turkish Basketball
Galatasaray - T.Telekom 72-70
Alpella - Antalya 66-78
Mersin - Oyak Renault 72-65
Kepez Bld - Beykoz 78-68
Darussafaka - Selcuk Uni. 91-74
Karsiyaka - Efes P. 85-92
TED Koleji - Banvit 69-79
BesIktas - Fenerbahce 84-61
1. GS Cafe Crown 10 - 2
2. Turk Telekom 10 - 2
3. BJK Cola Turka 9 - 3
4. FB Ulker 8 - 4
5. Efes Pilsen 8 - 4
6. Pinar Karsiyaka 7 - 5
7. Antalya 6 - 6
8. Alpella 6 - 6
9. Mutlu Aku S.U. 6 - 6
10. Kepez 5 - 7
11. Banvit 5 - 7
12. Mersin 5 - 7
13. TTNET Beykoz 4 - 8
14. Oyak Renault 3 - 9
15. CAsA TED 3 - 9
16. Darussafaka 2 - 10
Hidayet Turkoglu stats
Orlando 121 - 114 Miami 22 pts, 6 reb, 6 asst, 46 min
Orlando 110 - 96 New York 26 pts, 6 reb, 6 asst, 39 min
Orlando 91 - 103 Boston 19 pts, 5 reb, 3 asst, 36 min
Mehmet Okur stats
Utah 109 - 123 LA Lakers 4 pts, 6 reb, 3 asst, 24 min
Utah 99 - 90 Dallas 9 pts, 6 reb, 2 asst, 41 min
Utah 103 - 102 Miami DNP, strained left trapezius
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