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1559x0x Turkish news for week ending 26 July 2008

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  • Turkish Culture List
    Aug 1, 2008
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      *** The news for week ending 12 July 2008 we could not
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      x0x Turkish news for week ending 26 July 2008

      [Best when viewed with the courier font.]


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      Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host today is Murat Temeltas.
      Anita Donohoe provided the web links for Arts and Culture section.

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      * In Kars, Turkey's President Abdullah Gul on
      Thursday attended a groundbreaking ceremony to
      launch the construction of the Turkish leg of the
      Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, also known as the "Iron
      Silk Road," reports the Turkish daily Sabah.
      Azerbaijani President Ilham Alivey and Georgian
      President Mikhail Saakashvili were also in
      Addressing the ceremony, Gul said that the
      project would create a new economic cooperation
      zone in the Caucaus when it is completed, in
      parallel to developing good relations among
      Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
      Turkey's Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim
      also addressed the ceremony and said the railway
      links from the region will extend into Europe with
      the completion of an ongoing rail tunnel project
      linking the European and Asian sides of Istanbul,
      and added thanks to this, the project will link
      the East and West from China to England.

      * The Turkish daily Star reports that Turkey's
      Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Babacan was in New
      York to drum up support for Turkey for the
      elections to be held in October for a
      non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council this
      The previous day Mr. Babacan said that over the
      last 10 months he had met with the foreign
      ministers of 130 countries and pointed out to them
      that Turkey had not had a seat on the Security
      Council since 1961.
      He met on Thursday with the UN permanent
      representatives of Jewish associations,
      Organization of Islamic Conference and Arab
      countries as well as UN Secretary General Ban
      During their meeting, Mr. Ban expressed his
      pleasure over the recent meeting of Turkish
      Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mehmet Ali
      Talat and Greek Cyprus administration leader
      Dimitris Christofias for a solution on the Cyprus
      In related news, Alexander Downer, Secretary
      General Ban Ki-moon's special representative to
      Cyprus, was expected to visit Cyprus over the

      * Before traveling to New York, Mr. Babacan met
      with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili,
      who was traveling back to Iran via Istanbul after
      a weekend visit to Geneva for negotiaions with the
      European Union countries.
      Afterwar their meeting, the Turkish Foreign
      Affairs minister said, "Turkey is holding
      consultations on Iran's nuclear program with six
      countries, as well as Iran itself."
      He added, "We believe every sovereign country
      has the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful
      aims and to possess that technology. But Turkey is
      opposed to nuclear weapons in its region."

      * According to the Turkish daily Turkiye, Turkey
      welcomed the arrest by Serbian authorities of
      accused Bosnian Serb war criminal Radovan
      "The trial of Karadzic will ease the pains
      which occurred in the former Yugoslavia, which
      constituted one of the most terrible incidents of
      the 20th century," said a Turkish Foreign Affairs
      Ministry statement.
      "This trial will also demonstrate that the
      perpetrators of such tragedies can not escape
      justice," the statement added.
      The statement also said, "Turkey hopes that the
      remaining war criminals, and particularly Ratko
      Mladic, will be brought to justice, and that this
      will help heal the wounds."

      * Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister and government
      spokesperson Cemil Cicek said on Monday July 21st
      that the financial damage caused by the Turkish
      Kurd rebels adds up to $300 billion dollars over
      the past 25 years.
      Mr. Cicek said that this amount dwarfs what
      Turkey was able to invest in the predominantly
      Kurdish southeast. Under the "Southestern Anatolia
      Project" effort, known primarily by its Turkish
      acronym GAP, Turkish government spent only around
      $32 billion for the region, the minister

      * Speaking of the Kurdish rebels, the daily
      Turkiye reports that in a phone call to the
      Turkish prime minister, German Chancellor Angela
      Merkel welcomed the news of the rescue of three
      German mountain climbers by Turkish security
      forces from the rebels and thanked the Turkish
      government and security forces for their efforts.
      As we reported to you two weeks ago, underground
      rebel organization Kurdistan Workers Party had
      kidnapped the mountaneers from a camp on Mt.
      Ararat at an elevation of 10,000 feet.
      The militants reportedly had said that the
      kidnapping was in response to recent action taken
      by the German government against Kurdistan Workers
      Party sympathizers and associations in Germany
      linked to the group.
      Turkey, European Union and the United States
      consider the Kurdistan Workers Party a terrorist
      organization. In addition to the Turkish military
      personnel, the underground organization has been
      responsible for the deaths of many civilians over
      the years, especially those who do not sympathize
      with their goals.


      * The Turkish daily News writer Emrah Guler
      reports that in a second adaptation to screen
      three decades later, late Turkish satirist Aziz
      Nesin's famous story "Yasar Ne Yasar Ne Yasamaz"
      --translated into English in 1978 as 'Yasar is
      Neither Alive or Dead' takes a sharp look at the
      comic tragedies of the ordinary Turkish man.
      "Yasar Ne Yasar Ne Yasamaz" is one of the finest
      examples of the satirical master of Aziz Nesin --
      a man whose work has been translated into over 30
      Mr. Nesin, who died more than a decade ago, was
      always courageous and a harsh critic of
      oppression, bureaucracy, and economic
      discrepancies among classes.
      He infamously called most Turkish people stupid
      in reference to their submission to various forms
      of authority without questioning. He was a
      frequent visitor of prisons due to his outspoken
      nature on politics and he barely escaped death
      when radical Islamists burned down a hotel filled
      with mostly Alevi intellectuals gathered for a
      cultural festival in Sivas.
      See more at:

      * The Anatolia News Agency reports that Turkish
      amateur and professional photographers have
      launched an e-petition in which they protested
      Turkey's Finance Ministry's policy of levying a 20
      percent excise tax on cameras.
      The petition, released on the website of the
      campaign said the reason why the tax was imposed
      on photographers was to raise funds for Istanbul
      as it has been selected as the cultural capital of
      Europe for 2010.
      See more at:

      * According to the Turkish Daily News Turkish film
      "My Marlon and Brando" directed by Huseyin
      Karabey, has won the International Federation of
      Film Critics FIBRESCI prize at the Jerusalem Film
      Festival, which ran July 10-19.
      The movie is based on the true story of its
      leading actress Ayca Damgac and her attempts to
      travel to northern Iraq during the current war to
      see her lover.
      Ms. Damgac has returned from festivals in turkey
      and abroad with awards for her breakout
      The world premiere of the movie was in
      Rotterdam, and was followed by Huseyin Karabey
      winning the "Best Director" award at the New York
      Tribeca Film Festival founded by Robert De Niro.
      Damgac also won the "Best Actress" award at this
      year's Istanbul International Film Festival and
      Adana Altin Koza Film Festival.
      See more at:

      * Betul Cal of the Turkish Daily News reports that
      a new staging of Homer's rendering of the legend
      of Troy, one of the core myths in the history of
      civilization, made its debut in Turkey's southern
      province of Antalya at the Aspendos Arena, near
      the Aspendos Antique Theatre.
      After three years of hard work, "The Legend of
      Troy" was performed by a group of 120 professional
      dancers from the dance group Fire of Anatolia.
      Premiering at the Istanbul Show Center in
      April, "Troya" attracted attention for the
      technical work used on the stage and for the world
      famous stars who created the musical accompaniment
      for the show.
      Christopher Ash, who created the stage lighting
      for the musical "Chicago" came to Turkey to design
      the lighting for "Troya," while the flying system
      on stage, the first of its kind in Turkey, was
      managed by Ted Moore, designer of the system for
      Circque du Soleil.
      The songs for "Troya," composed by Yucel Arzen,
      were performed by the Prague Philharmonic
      Orchestra, while the 80-person musical group for
      the show was accompanied by world-renowned
      virtuosos Gheorghe Zamfir, Civan Gasparyan and
      Vassilis Saleas. Another group of 70 expert
      Turkish musicians also contributed to the show
      with their distinctive performances.
      "The show has been performed in Istanbul as of
      April playing full house at every performance,"
      said media and public relations manager for Fire
      of Anatolia, Ozlem ISler.
      Serdar BaSbuG designed over 2,000 costumes for
      the show, while Dr. Rustem Aslan, who participated
      in the Troy excavations provided historical
      Ancient Troy was located what is now
      Northwestern Turkey. Its ruins have been excavated
      for many decades.

      * As to the show's venue:
      The ancient settlement Aspendos located beside
      the Eurymedon River near the city of Antalya, is
      famous for having one of the best-preserved
      ancient theaters in Turkey. This spectacular
      historical site is one of the finest examples of
      Roman theatre construction in the world.
      Ancient performances at Aspendos were funded by
      civic institutions and admission was charged for
      attending plays and competitions. Performances
      continue today at Aspendos which has a capacity of
      15,000 people, in the form of concerts operas and
      the Aspendos Arena is located next to the
      Aspendos Theatre and can hold an audience of
      4,500. There are shops and a parking lot inside
      the complex. The new arena, at 1,300 square meters
      boasts the world's biggest theater stage.
      See more at:

      * A culinary competition designed to revive the
      tastes of authentic Ottoman cuisine will take
      place in Istanbul from Aug. 15 to 17, reprorts the
      Turkish Daily News.
      Eleven teams will take part in the contest,
      consisting of chefs from the most prominent hotels
      in Turkey.
      Ottoman cuisine has been a culinary culture
      shaped by the Istanbul elite since the city became
      the capital of the Ottoman Empire after 1453.
      Acknowledging that there was a considerable
      difference between the food culture of the palace
      and that of ordinary people, the competition aims
      to recall the most refined tastes of the time in
      order to promote Ottoman tradition and increase
      its popularity in a contemporary context.
      See more at:

      * Cruise travelers bored with typical Caribbean
      cruises have turned their eyes to Black Sea and
      eastern Mediterranean voyages creating a recent
      trend in cruise tourism that may prove a great
      benefit to Turkey, writes the Anatolia news
      "Istanbul may play the key role in cruise
      tourism in the Black Sea, said Artun CaGlayan,
      secretary general of the Turkish Maritime Tourism
      Association. Caglayan says many prominent cruise
      companies in the world have chosen Turkey's major
      port city Istanbul as a homeport
      Istanbul has easy access to both the
      Mediterrenean and Black Seas.
      See more at:

      * Sile Fabric Culture and Art Festival is annually
      organized by the municipality of Sile between the
      last week of July and the first week of August.
      The festival, which has been identifying the
      tradition of Sile became in time a renowned
      cultural and artistic event. The town, located 35
      miles from Istanbul in the north-eastern part of
      Marmara region, is a well-known tourism spot,
      famous for its wonderful Black Sea coastline. In
      the summer some 300,000 visitors visit Sile each
      Sile festival is celebrated with the
      contribution of not only famous Turkish performers
      but also international guests coming from around
      the world. Apart from music the event presents
      poetry and literature works including meetings
      with renowned writers poets cartoonists and
      This year's festival, twenty-first in history,
      began with shows for children, taking place on
      Friday, July 25. The official opening ceremony,
      held at the Festival Square, was followed by the
      fashion show of clothing made from Sile fabric.
      The finale of festival's first night will bring
      the performance of Yesim Salkim.
      Saturday and Sunday nights are to bring folk
      dance shows as well as concerts of Tan and Izel,
      Sami and Group Sefarad, as well as pop music
      performers Nev and Kutsi.
      As for the fabric that gave its name to the
      festival: Sile fabric or crimpled cotton is a
      light, see-through, versatile cotton material. It
      has become so popular that now even the Chinese
      and the Indians are producing their versions.
      See more at:



      * Capadocia in Central Turkey had a festival that
      just ended. The Turkish Daily News writes that an
      international group of 15 artist-performers from
      France, Turkey, Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Norway,
      Israel, and the U.S. anchored their work and
      presence in the everyday life of Uchisar, a town
      of Capadocia, using streets squares shops
      restaurants homes and the surrounding valleys as
      performing spaces.
      Calling themselves "Le Mouton Rouge", artists
      are made up of musicians dancers actors and visual
      In addition to Uchisar town, the festival also
      visited Pigeon Valley in Goreme and the Goreme
      town itself.
      See more at:

      * A study by experts from the Eastern
      Mediterranean Forestry Research Institute and
      Istanbul University is finding Cehennem Dere
      Valley (Hell Stream Valley), in Turkey's
      mediterrenean province of Mersin, highly suitable
      for a variety of ecotourism activities such as
      trekking, terrain bicycling, flora discoveries and
      observation of natural life, reports the Anatolia
      News Agency.
      The experts has examined a forest of cedars and
      spruces in the Camliyayla district of the southern
      province to determine its fitness as an ecological
      In addition to its rich flora and fauna, the
      valley is also home to a considerable number of
      ancient monasteries churches and windmills.
      Among the unique plants are pinus brutia
      (Turkish pine), pinus thunbergii (black pine), the
      taurus cedar and the taurus spruce.
      The valley is also home to various caves
      cascades and geological forms.
      See more at:


      EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.2


      High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather

      Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 93/66 Mostly Cloudy
      Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 90/66 Partly cloudy
      Erzurum in eastern Turkey----------: 97/64 Partly cloudy
      Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 84/55 Decreasing Cloudiness
      Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 84/70 Partly cloudy
      Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 91/66 Mostly Cloudy

      Seawater temperatures

      Black Sea measured at Trabzon 77
      Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag 79
      Aegean Sea measured at Bodrum 77
      Mediterranean Sea measured at Alanya 82


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      *** For more music from Turkey and the Middle East tune to
      International Cultural Program.

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      *** Come and Celebrate the Turkish Arts and Culture
      Aug 2-3, Saturday & Sunday

      11th Annual California Turkish Arts & Culture Festival in Monterey
      Custom House Plaza, Monterey, CA
      Monterey State Historic Park (next to the Fisherman's Wharf)


      Live Music Entertainment, Folk Dancing, Belly Dancing, Art

      Food and drinks (Doner Kebap, Adana Kebap,borek, baklava, Turkish
      Coffee) Many activities for Children (puppet making, painting, coloring,
      story telling, folk dancing, games,...)