1537x0x Turkish news for week ending 10 May 2008
- May 14, 2008[ News for the past five weeks that we were not able to send by email is
at: http://turkradio.us/subject.html ]
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 10 May 2008
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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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Edited by Bilgin Atalay
* Turkish daily Star reports that Turkish President Abdullah Gul met with
his Macedonian counterpart Branko Crvenkovski in Macedonia last Sunday.
At a joint press conference afterwards, Mr. Gul said that Turkey had
tried its best at NATO's recent Bucharest summit to bring Macedonia into
the bloc, but to no avail.
"I hope Macedonia will be a full member of NATO as soon as possible," he
For his part, Crvenkovski said that Turkey has consistently supported
Macedonia since it gained independence.
* Turkish daily Hurriyet reports that the northern Iraqi administration is
establishing 40 security checkpoints along the Turkish border to ensure
security and prevent Kurdistan Workers Party militants for entering
Cabar Yaver, a spokesman for peshmerga forces in the area, said that the
checkpoints between the Zaho and Hakurk regions would help frustrate the
terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party.
* The ruling Justice and Development Party is the only Turkish political
party actively seeking Turkey's European Union membership, said visiting
Turkey-European Union Joint Parliamentary Commission head Joost Lagendijk
on Sunday, according to the Turkish Daily Hurriyet.
Although the opposition Republican People's Party and Nationalist
Movement Party also claim to also support Turkey's European Union bid,
they do nothing to promote it, and actually do all they can to oppose it,
Lagendijk told reporters.
He stated that the Republican People's Party has failed to act in the
areas of minority rights, the foundations law, Kurdish issue and religious
freedom, although it should have.
The commissioner added that he couldn't understand why labor unions
weren't allowed to celebrate May 1 last week at Istanbul's Taksim Square.
The following day, Main opposition Republican People's Party lawmaker
Kemal Anadol criticized the Dutch politician who co-chairs a joint
commission between the Turkish and European parliaments.
"We're ashamed that the ruling Justice and Development Party lets Joost
Lagendijk speak this way," said Anadol. He accused Lagendijk of being a
"foreign player on the Justice and Development Party squad" and of "acting
like a colonial governor.".
Anadol also criticized Lagendijk for being silent about the
controversial use of force by police against demonstrators on May 1,
asking, "Three days have passed since the incidents. Why didn't he speak
up against the thuggery on May 1?"
* There are many negative views about Turkey in the European public, and
many reasons for this, said EastWest Institute Vice President Greg Austin
"First, Turks' immigration to Europe happens for economic reasons," he
explained at a Brussels meeting on the impact of 50 years of Turkish
immigration to Europe.
"Second, the role of the media. Third, the domestic policy maneuvering
of European politicians. We have to promote a political image in order to
He added, "Turkey is very important for Europe. Turkey has the world's
17th-largest economy, and it has a very dynamic population. Europe cannot
ignore Turkey," he added.
* Meeting with business editors of leading newspapers last Sunday,
Turkey's Central Bank President Durmus Yilmaz said that this year's
inflation target, 4 percent, won't be revised, but that the Central Bank
would submit a new inflation target for 2009 during fall budget debates.
Stating that this new target would be 9.3 percent, he said, "All
economic actors should adjust their plans to this new target."
Mr.Yilmaz also said that the economic problems facing Turkey should be
overcome without damaging the country's potential for medium- and
* On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Babacan met with his
United Arab Emirates counterpart Sheikh Abdallah Bin Zayid Al Nahyan.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Nahayan said that the United Arab
Emirates is an oil-rich country and will make more investments in this
sector in Turkey.
Stressing that Turkey has a role to play in the region in supporting and
encouraging moderate-leaning countries, Nahayan added, "We expect Turkey
will continue to play a key role in important issues in the region."
* Isil Karaka$ was sworn in on Tuesday as Turkey's new representative on
the panel of judges of the European Court of Human Rights.
Ms. Karakas replaced Riza Turmen, Turkey's representative since 1998,
and so became the first woman judge from Turkey to sit on the court.
She will serve the court in Strasbourg for six years.
* On Tuesday, Turkish President Abdullah Gul met with France's Minister of
State for European Affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet, in Ankara to attend a
Turkey-European Union Troika meeting.
During their talks, Gul reportedly conveyed a message to French
President Nicolas Sarkozy not to harm Turkey's motivation to pursue
European Union harmonization reforms.
Stressing that Ankara has made great progress in both political and
social reforms, as well as human rights and freedom of speech, Gul said
that European Union member states should avoid discouraging Turkey from
continuing this progress.
He added that France should be open to Turkey's full membership
perspective and clearly express this.
For his part, Jouyet said that his country has no intention of harming
Turkey's European Union membership progress, adding that Ankara shouldn't
be worry about France's European Union term presidency, which begins in
The same day, Tuesday, a Turkey-European Union Troika meeting was held
in Ankara, with Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Babacan, European Union Term
President Slovenia's Foreign Affairs Minister Dimitrij Rupel, upcoming
Term President France's State Minister for European Affairs Jean-Pierre
Jouyet, and European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn in
Afterwards, Mr. Babacan told reporters that Turkey's European Union
membership process has importance beyond daily political concerns and that
it is critical to start negotiations on chapters which are technically
Mr. Rehn said that the quick progress of the membership process depends
on the reforms moving forward.
* Turkish daily Cumhuriyet reports that Democratic Society Party group
chairman Ahmet Turk, accompanied by a group of deputies, traveled to
Sulaimaniyah, in northern Iraq on Wednesday to have talks with top Iraqi
officials, including President Jalal Talabani.
Speaking to reporters at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, Turk said that
through dialogue and compromise, all problems can be solved, adding that
throughout history Kurds have turned their gaze towards Turkey.
Stressing that his party wants to visit Iraq from time to time to hold
contacts in a spirit of fellowship, Turk said that Turkey should develop
relations with neighboring countries, especially a state with millions of
* According to Turkish daily Star, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Hristofias
attended a reception at Slovakia's Embassy in Southern Cyprus, on
Wednesday with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Prime Minister Ferdi
Sabit Soyer also in attendance.
The two leaders pledge to continue negotiations over the divided island.
* Addressing members of his Kurdistan Democrat Party on Wednesday,
northern Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani reportedly said that
psychological hurdles between Turkey and his administration have been
"The latest meeting between Turkish and Kurdish delegations in Baghdad
was very fruitful, we expect new steps to be taken." he added.
* United Nations Development Program head and former Economy Minister
Kemal Dervis cautioned on Wednesday that developing countries like Turkey
could face severe problems in controlling inflation and money supply due
to the expansionary economic policies of developed countries seeking to
"This may cause us a lot of headaches in the next two or three years,"
he told Britain's Financial Times.
Mr. Dervis, who helped Turkey's economy emerge from its 2001 crisis with
a successful economic stabilization program, also said that the urban poor
in developing countries were already facing an "inflation tsunami" from
soaring food and energy prices, making them up to 25 percent poorer in
less than a year.
Stressing that developed economies are facing the new phenomenon of
rising commodity prices at a time of recession, or at least slowdown, and
that liquidity in the system is looking for an outflow, he said, "But how
can you tighten your monetary policy in an emerging market when the Fed,
that is the US Federal Reserve is lowering interest rates? Countries like
Turkey and Brazil, which have been fighting inflation for years, are now
facing a real inflationary danger that does not result from a
macroeconomic cycle but from the need to bail out the financial sector."
He added, "We did not see this coming. We are all a little bit guilty. A
year ago very few people were warning about this, although the trends were
* The Ladies European Tour's first visit to Turkey started with the Pro-Am
Tournament. That event marked the tee-off moment of the 250,000-euro
prized Garanti American Express Turkish open at the National Golf Club in
the Mediterranean resort town of Belek, Antalya.
The first round of the tournament starts today. A field of 126 players
will tee up in the 72-hole stroke play event with a cut to the leading 60
players and ties after 36 holes.
Britain's Lisa Hall, the Ladies Masters champion, will be among the
favorites for the title, along with last week's Aberdeen Asset management
ladies Scottish Open champion Gwladys Nocera from France and Sweden's Emma
Zackrisson, who recently claimed the Spanish Open.
* Turkish daily Turkiye reported on Thursday that, working to help end the
recent political tension between Lebanon's government and opposition
parties, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Lebanon's
Parliament Speaker Nebih Berri and Prime Minister Fuad Siniora to urge
restraint and compromise.
Mr. Erdogan's talks focused on possible ways to end the tension. The
political crisis exploded into violence on Wednesday when supporters of
Lebanon's Hezbollah-led opposition blocked roads in Beirut to enforce a
strike called by labor unions protesting the government's economic
policies and demanding pay raises.
The strike escalated into street confrontations between supporters of
the rival camps. About a dozen people were injured.
On Thursday, the violence spread outside the capital.
The Turkish premier on Wednesday also telephoned his Syrian counterpart
Bashar al-Assad on the issue.
Mr. Erdogan is expected to continue his efforts to ease the tension in
* According to the same Turkish daily, Turkiye, after completing his
contacts in Strasbourg, Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Babacan
proceeded on Thursday to Ljubljana, Slovenia to attend the 11th European
He also met with President Danilo Turk, whose country currently holds
the rotating term presidency of the European Union.
In addition, in a guest column in Slovenian daily Dnevnik, Mr. Babacan
wrote that after completing its accession process, Turkey wants full
European Union membership with rights and responsibilities equal to all
other member countries.
Turkey's full membership is closely related to the vision of a future in
which the European Union is a global actor, added Mr. Babacan.
An European Union with Turkey in its ranks will also be a source of
inspiration for other regions in the world, by proving that differences
can come together around common values and interests, he wrote.
European Union Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso attending the same
forum in Ljubljana, Slovenia said that Turkey needs both full democracy
and "democratic secularism" to get into the European Union.
He criticized a state prosecutor's case seeking the closure of Turkey's
ruling party, saying it was irregular and called into question the state's
Saying secularism can't be imposed by force, he added, "We're concerned
about recent developments in Turkey. After visiting there, I was convinced
that Turkey need to be closer to the European Union and that the European
Union should continue fair negotiations with Turkey."
* Turkey has decided to send $1 million in aid to cyclone-struck Myanmar,
the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
The statement said that a team from the Turkish Red Crescent has been
sent to the Southeast Asian country, which was hit by a devastating
cyclone on Monday, to asses the situation.
* Formula One's Turkish Grand Prix started on Friday with practice runs.
In the grand prix, the fifth race of the year, qualifying runs were held
today, and the race will start at Istanbul Park tomorrow.
Istanbul will also host GP2 and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup races. This is
the fourth time Istanbul has hosted the race.
Kimi Raikkonen (Mercedes McLaren) was the winner of the first Turkish
Grand Prix, followed by Felipe Massa (Ferrari) in 2006 and 2007.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Serka Hatipoglu
* On May 10th, Istanbul will host Pangea Day, a global event bringing the
world together through film. The event, organized in Cairo, Dharma,
Jerusalem, Kigali, London, New York, Ramallah and Rio de Janeiro brings
millions of people together through a live screening from each city.
The event will be held in Istanbul for the first time. Pangea Day helps
people see themselves in others. Istanbul live screening will be in the
city's historic Sultanahmet Square.
The entire program will be broadcast in seven languages to millions of
people worldwide through the Internet, TV and mobile phones.
During the four-hour event there will be film screenings titled "24
Short Films by People Around the World for the World." The event will kick
off at 9:00 p.m. and it is free of charge.
The films have been selected through an international competition that
generated more than 2,500 submissions from over 100 countries. The films
were chosen based on their ability to inspire and transform people's views
on other people's lives.
The program will also include a number of exceptional speakers and
musical performers. Queen Noor of Jordan, CNN's Christiane Amanpour,
musician/activist Bob Geldof, and Iranian rock phenom Hypernova are among
those taking part.
Pangea Day aims to inspire people to participate in community-building
activities around the world. Through the live program as well as the
Pangea Day Web sites and local events, everyday people will be connected
to each other through extraordinary activists and organizations.
Following May 10, Pangea Day organizers will facilitate
community-building activities around the world by connecting inspired
viewers with numerous organizations that are already doing groundbreaking
See more at http://www.pangeaday.org .
* The "Art Bosporus Contemporary Art Fair" opened its doors to visitors
for the second time this year on May 6. The fair aims to introduce art to
the masses with the slogan "Spare some time for yourself and art."
The fair is held at the Military Museum in Istanbul's Nisantasi
district. Some 31 art galleries will participate the fair with 1,000 works
of art by 70 artists.
Guzhan MustecaplIoglu, the director of the fair, said the event is
becoming one of the most important art events of Istanbul. Art Bosporus
Contemporary Art Fair, held in Istanbul's Feshane last year, has hosted
MustecaplIoglu said Turkey should be open to different art approaches
and ideas, and noted that art life in Turkey is improving, opening a path
for art fairs to develop in time.
"Art should be supported by the state. Besides financial support for
opening fairs, galleries and exhibitions around Turkey, artists should
also be individually supported," said MustecaplIoglu. He said these events
need interaction and multi-dimensional action.
The fair exhibits many paintings, sculptures, ceramic works, photography
and installations that have not been displayed before.
See more at
* The Galata Fashion Festival, aiming to display the wealth of Turkish
fashion, will take place this year from May 28 through June 1.
As its name suggests the festival will be held around Galata Tower in
Istanbul's Beyoglu Township. The festival will showcase well-known designs
by famous Turkish designers as well as various accessories. Visitors will
be able to find items designed by established but also emerging fashion
designers who are just stepping into the fashion world. All pieces will be
on sale throughout the festival.
Several textile brands will also have sections where they can exhibit
their products and meetings with designers will be held each day.
Galata Fashion Festival is organized twice a year, in spring and autumn.
It is organized by the Fashion Designers Association and Beyoglu
Municipality. The festival is expected to draw nearly 10,000 visitors this
See http://www.turks.us/article.php?story=20080507083105848 for more.
* The 26th Historic Turkish Houses Week, jointly organized by the Historic
Turkish Houses' Protection Association and the Governorship of Kastamonu,
will host two conferences, one in Istanbul and the other in Kastamonu
The project aims to raise awareness about the protection of cultural
heritage and architecture.
The first meeting in Istanbul took place on May 5th. At the conference,
which was held in the Chamber of Architects' Buyukkent branch, the
structure of Kastamonu houses was promoted and discussed. The second leg
of the meetings will take place on May 20-22 in Kastamonu's RIfat Ilgaz
Besides the conference in Kastamonu, there will be a painting
The mayor of Kastamonu, Nurullah CakIr, said that the project plays an
important role in promoting the city of Kastamonu. There will also be a
tour program in Kastamonu, to see the houses that have been renovated,
See http://www.allaboutturkey.com/safranbolu.htm for more.
* The International Mersin Music Festival will be held for the seventh
time this year. It will host musicians from a wide range of countries from
Azerbaijan to Spain and the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy
performances from classical music to dance and from choirs to jazz.
The festival, organized by the Mersin International Music Festival Art
Events Association, will start on May 22 and will continue through June 2.
The festival, which in the past hosted 21 foreign and 18 local
musicians, 24 local and foreign bands and three symphony orchestras, will
again host many world-famous musicians.
Member of the festival's executive board and Vice Chairman of the Mersin
Chamber of Commerce Faik Burakgazi said, "This festival is important to
revive the city's cultural life and to make it a trademark." The art
director of the Mersin International Music Festival is a former chairman
of State Opera and Ballet.
The Bilkent Symphony Orchestra will perform at the opening concert of
the festival on May 22. Janine Jansen, a young and talented musician from
the Netherlands, will take the stage with the orchestra. She will perform
in Turkey for the first time.
Mr. Burakgazi said that on May 24, the festival will host the most
amusing concert: The five-people band "Vokaliz," consisting of tenor, bass
and baritones, will perform without instruments, using only vocals.
May 25 will see a show in which dance and music will come together.
Spanish group Los Vivancos, formed by seven dancer brothers, will take the
stage. Each of the brothers also plays an instrument.
The last concert, by the Leipzig String Quartet, will take place in
Tarsus St. Paul Museum.
The festival is supported by the Prime Ministry Presentation Fund
Commission, the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Mersin Governor's
Mersin is on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.
For more information see
* The tranquilizing sound of Sufi music echoes in the cardiac surgery
intensive care unit of Istanbul's private Memorial Hospital where patients
undergo Sufi music therapy as part of their treatment.
Medical specialist Erol Can, who pioneered this treatment, was a member
of the Turkish community in Bulgaria who were forced to migrate to Turkey
in the 1980s. Upon his arrival, Mr. Can began researching the effects of
the sound of the reed flute "ney" on the mental and physical health of his
Each day, while sitting next to one of his patients, Mr. Can played the
ney and tried to see whether it had any effect on the patient's heart
rhythm and blood pressure. After a series of experiments, he proved that
Sufi music had positive effects on each patient's health condition.
"We got negative results only for one patient," said Mr. Can, noting
that the patient was suffering from post-surgery depression at the time.
This led Mr. Can to undertake further research, where he found that some
parts of certain musical genres have negative effects on the individual.
"Some parts are not suitable for patients who suffer from depression,"
he said. He later decided to ask his patients which musical genre they
Mr. Can had received a number of medals by Bulgarian authorities before
the forced migration took place. He also hold a dozen of honorary
diplomas, his name is on patented projects and he is the author of some 60
scientific articles so far.
Specifically, the sound produced by the ney and the kemence (the Eastern
equivalent of the fiddle) is the closest to the human voice and therefore
gives the human soul a feeling of peace and serenity, he added.
Not so long ago, Mr. Can himself underwent heart bypass surgery. As he
was preparing for the operation, he wanted to hear the sound of the ney.
"My blood pressure had jumped to 160 for I was quite nervous before I
listened to the ney sound. But after I listened to it, I took my blood
pressure again and it was 130," he said, referring to his personal
experience of ney therapy.
A mere hours after he awoke, Mr. Can began playing the ney as though he
had just taken some painkillers.
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 63/43 Partly showers
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 73/59 Partly cloudy
Erzurum in eastern Turkey----------: 54/34 Heavy Showers
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 64/50 Partly cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 73/54 Partly cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 61/46 Heavy Showers
Black Sea measured at Trabzon 55
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag 61
Aegean Sea measured at Bodrum 66
Mediterranean Sea measured at Alanya 68
S TakIm Puan
1 Be$ikta$ Cola Turka 54
2 Efes Pilsen 52
3 Fenerbahce Ulker 51
4 TURK Telekom 50
5 Galatasaray Cafe Crown 49
6 Antalya B$b. 48
7 Pinar Kar$iyaka 47
8 Banvit 44
9 Casa TED A. Kolejliler 43
10 Mersin Buyuk$ehir Bld. 43
11 Kepez Belediye 42
12 Oyak Renault 42
13 Mutlu Aku Selcuk Univ. 40
14 Daru$$afaka 39
15 Alpella 38
16 TTNet Beykoz 38
1.BE$IKTA$ A.$. 58
2.GALATASARAY A.$. 57
7.TRABZONSPOR A.$. 35
8.MKE ANKARAGUCU 32
10.GENCLERBIRLIGI OFTA$SPOR 30
11.BUYUK$EHIR BLD.SPOR 29
15.ANKARASPOR A.$. 24
16.CAYKUR RIZESPOR 24
17.VESTEL MANISASPOR 23
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*** Turkish American Association of California (TAAC) invites you to
19 May - Ataturk Remembrance, Youth and Sports Day Picnic
[TAAC Silicon Valley Chapter Kick Off Meeting]
WHEN: Sunday, May 18, 1-5pm
WHERE: SERRA Park, 730 The Dalles Ave, Sunnyvale, CA
COST: $12 TAAC members, $15 Non-members
MENU: BBQ - Kofte or Chicken
Kisir (Bulgur Salad)
Sports/entertainmen t races for adults and children
Prizes for first place winners...
Come and celebrate Youth and Sports Day, participate in friendly
competitions, and meet/network with the members of our community.
Please visit TAAC website to become a TAAC member/ renew your membership,
or you can fill out the membership forms at the site, to help and support
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TAAC is a California 501 c(3) Nonprofit Public Benefit corporation and is
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time at the events. Please contact TAAC at taac@... if you want to
volunteer for the event.