x0x Turkish news for week ending 03 February 2007
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 03 February 2007
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* According to the Turkish Daily News, the U.S. State Department said on
that Turkey and Greek Cyprus should refrain from any action in their
dispute over oil and natural gas exploration rights off the Mediterranean island
that might be misinterpreted by opposing sides.
There also should be full transparency in dealings between the two to prevent
misunderstandings resulting in mishaps, spokesman Sean McCormack added.
On Tuesday, Turkey warned Lebanon and Egypt not to press ahead with oil and
gas exploration deals signed with Greek Cyprus, saying Turkey and Turkish
Cypriots also had rights in the region. The Lebanese government's commitment to
"excellent" ties with Turkey despite a deal it signed with Greek Cyprus followed
News reports earlier said Turkey sent battleships near Cyprus amid a growing
row over the deals the Greek Cypriot administration had concluded. The Turkish
military confirmed the reports that Turkish ships were patrolling the eastern
Mediterranean but denied they had been sent to waters in show of protest against
In response to the Greek Cypriot administration's decision to explore oil and
natural gas off the Mediterranean island, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation is
planning to do the same off northern Cyprus, sources said.
The Turkish Daily Milliyet wrote about the reaction of the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus: The president of the Republic Mehmet Ali Talat spoke
with the press at a breakfast in Istanbul.
Mr. Talat said that the unilateral initiative by the Greek Cypriots was
unacceptable. Stressing that the Greek Cypriot administration did not represent
the whole island, Mr. Talat said that there was no legal administration or
government for the entire island and that an illegal government cant make a deal
with neighboring states for oil and gas research.
* Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullah Gul commented on recent
developments in Iraq, saying that Turkey was talking with its
neighbors about ways to end the violence and put out the fire in
"Iraq is a dangerous place," said Mr. Gul. "Everyone should
Stressing that the worst thing would be if the Iraqis
were to destroy themselves, Mr. Gul stated that Turkey had no
intention of interfering in Iraq's internal affairs.
"It is natural for us to be concerned about our neighbor's future," he added.
* The Turkish Daily news reports that on Monday Turkish Prime Minister Recep
attended the opening of the Eighth African Union summit
of heads of state and government held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Addressing the African leaders at the gathering, Mr. Erdogan warned
that extremists and terrorists are trying to push the world into a
dark, bottomless abyss, adding that the Alliance of Civilizations,
an initiative launched by Turkey and Spain, was working to alter
"We aim at forming extensive cooperation, peace and an
atmosphere of cohesion by means of highlighting common values of
different cultures and religions," underlined the Turkish premier.
* The Anatolian News Agency reports that Turkish security forces arrested 46
people suspected of membership in the Al Qaeda.
In 2003, homegrown Islamic militants with alleged ties to Al Qaeda bombed two
synagogues, a British bank and the British consulate in Istanbul, killing 58
More than 70 Turks are on trial for their alleged roles in those attacks,
though police say some suspected ringleaders have fled the country and others
have died fighting U.S. forces in Iraq.
Many of those arrested in connection with the 2003 attacks acknowledge
attending militant Islamist training camps in Chechnya and Afghanistan, but deny
direct ties to the al-Qaida network.
* In our previous programs we have told you that political parties in Turkey
to garner at least 10 percent of the popular vote to be able to field
the Turkish parliament.
Two Turkish citizens have taken turkey to the European Court of Human Rights
this matter. However, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reports that the Court ruled
that 10 percent election threshold did not violate human rights.
The Strasbourg-based court said that the threshold aimed at ensuring stability
in the country's political life.
* The World Bank president Mr.Paul Wolfowitz visited Turkey this week.
According to the Turkish daily Turkiye, after meeting with Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Mr. Wolfowitz
exchanged views on the Turkish economy and the World Bank's relations to it with
State Economy Minister Ali Babacan.
Afterwards, Mr. Wolfowitz told reporters that the Turkish economy was
doing well and the World Bank was happy to work together with Turkey as a
Concerning Turkey's European Union membership bid, Mr. Wolfowitz said that
Turkey's membership would serve the interests of both the country and the bloc.
For his part, Mr. Babacan said that Turkey would continue its efforts for
privatization and structural reforms, adding that the country's stability and
reliability had made Turkey attractive to global capital.
* According to the Turkish private channel NTV, the year-end figures released by
the Turkish Statistics Institute, Turkish exports rose 15.9 percent
in 2006 compared to the previous year. In total, Turkish exports were valued at
However, the Institute figures also showed a massive increase in the trade
deficit, with Turkey importing goods worth $137.3 billion. This gave a trade
deficit of $51.9 billion, an increase of 19.8 percent.
ARTS AND CULTURE
EDITED BY Hilal Koc
* The Istanbul Modern Film will be celebrating Bollywood in February.
"Bollywood Days: Love and Music" will run February 9-21. The 10-film program
will include significant films starring stand-out Bollywood stars like Raj
Kapoor, Guru Dutt and Amitabh Bachchan.
The most expensive Bollywood production shot to date, "Devdas," directed by
Sanjay Leela, will also be screened.
* A "Japanese Day" will be celebrated in the Black Sea town of Karabuk, where
half of the annual visitors to the town's well-preserved Ottoman-style houses
are from Japan.
Karabuk Governor Can Direkci said Japanese Day will be celebrated in the
Safranbolu town between March and June this year. The governor said Japanese
tourists had shown great interest in Safranbolu thanks to an ongoing promotional
campaign since 2000, the Dogan News Agency reported.
* Speaking of Japanese and Turkish partnership, the Turkish Memorial and Museum
on the Japanese island of Oshima, already a major attraction for Japanese
tourists, is planning to attract more Turkish tourists to the region. The museum
in the village of Kushimoto, where the two structures were erected, commemorates
the shipwreck of the Turkish frigate "Ertugrul" on Oshima's shores.
The voyage of the Ertugrul was planned by Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II as a
goodwill trip to Japan in response to a Japanese delegation visit in 1887.
However, the Ertugrul sank on Sept. 15, 1890 on its way back from Japan; a total
of 533 sailors died in the accident while 69 were rescued by the Japanese.
Residents of Kushimoto established the Turkish Memorial and Museum after the
accident to commemorate the Turkish vessel.
Surrounded on both sides by the
Pacific Ocean, Kushimoto is a coastal town located in the city of Wakayama. The
sites attract around 125,000 tourists a year, and the tragic story of the
Ertugrul is included in the curriculum of Kushimoto primary schools.
Kerem Kiyoshi Oishi, 60, grandson of fisherman Okazaki Oishi who was among the
Turkish sailors' rescuers in the accident, will take over the post of museum
director. His daughter Ece Wiskumi Oishi, 20, sells Turkish handicrafts and
souvenirs in the area. Kerem Kiyoshi Oishi explained that the names - like his
and that of his daughter - and traces of Turkish sailors still maintained a
meaningful presence in almost every house in the community. "The memories of
Turkish soldiers and sailors who were rescued by our grandfathers still live
Initially a monument was erected on Sept. 15, 1891, the first anniversary of
the event, on the rocks, 400 meters from where the frigate sunk. The current
Ertugrul Memorial was erected in 1929 with the support of the Kushimoto
Municipality and later renovated in 1937 by decision of the Kushimoto
In 1974, a Turkish Museum was built near the memorial in cooperation with the
Kushimoto Municipality and the then-Turkish Ambassador to Japan Husrev Gerede.
museum featured the first findings of the Kushimoto fishermen from the sunken
wreckage as well as some personal belongings and photographs of the frigate's
commanders and crew. An "Ataturk Corner" was later established in the museum,
which also holds a Turkish national team strip signed by Turkish Football
Federation chief Haluk Ulusoy during his visit to the museum. Objects and
souvenirs sent from Mersin, sister cities with Kushimoto, and Yakakent, are also
The two venues ranked third among the most-visited historical places in the
Wakayama region, famed for its natural beauty, also ranking first in the
must-see list of promotional books prepared by the Kushimoto Municipality and
travel agency tour programs. Souvenir shops selling gifts specific to Turkey
have been opened near the memorial and museum, which have had other important
guests from Turkey, including former Naval Forces Commander Adm. Nejat Tumer,
current commander Adm. Yener Karahanoglu, Guven Erkaya, lhami Erdil and Ozden
* Renovations already underway in the popular Aegean cruise and tourist resort
of Kusadasi have been accelerated in preparation for the coming summer.
of the works is to give the town a more modern appearance and provide better,
more comfortable transportation, reported the Anatolia news agency.
Kusadasi Mayor Fuat Akdogan said the town's traffic problems would soon be
remedied. "This place will be a magnet for tourists," he said. "The new
promenade will be parallel to the sea, becoming a large boulevard. Our aim is to
remove the traffic problem in the town, in other words, to bypass it."
The 13-kilometer boulevard is scheduled to open on Feb. 15, 2007, at an
estimated cost of $2 million to the KusadasiMunicipality.
* A meeting scheduled to mark World Women's Day will be held in the central
Anatolian province of Nevsehir, in Cappadocia. According to data on the Culture
and Tourism Ministry Web site, there are currently nine hotels in Nevsehir that
cater to congress tourism, providing simultaneous translation and all the
necessary technical equipment. The meeting, which officials from various Turkish
ministries will be attending, will be held March 7-8.
Nevsehir is a regional transport hub for the surrounding area. It is close
enough to the attractions of Cappadocia to make it practical as a base from
which to explore but it doesn't have the same "charm" as the smaller Cappadocian
towns and villages.
Cappadocia has one of the most interesting and spectacular landscapes in the
world. About three million years ago the volcanoes of Mt. Erciyes and Mt. Hasan
covered the surrounding plateau with volcanic tuff as a result of their violent
eruptions. The natural effects of wind, water and rain eroded this area into a
spectacular, surreal landscape of rock caves, capped pinnacles
and fretted ravines in colors ranging from warm tones of red and gold to cool
tones of green and gray. Dating back to 4,000 B.C., the earliest settlers there
used to live in Goreme, known as Cappadocia, in dwellings dug into the rock.
* A structure discovered in the historic Ephesus in Western Turkey is
believed to have once been a palace inhabited by the governors of the ancient
city, researchers said. The recent excavation and restoration works in Ephesus,
where signs of inhabitants go back to 6000 B.C., uncovered a structure near the
ancient theater as archaeological works there entered their 111th year, the
Anatolia news agency reported this week.
The ancient city was home to numerous restored magnificent huge structures,
such as those in the region called "Hillside Houses II", thought to have been
inhabited by wealthy families, archaeologist Cengiz icten said. Mr. icten
explained that the discovery of such houses had led them to question, "If the
rich families lived in such magnificent houses, where were the governors who
used to rule the ancient city on behalf of the emperor living?" The supposed
governor's house is to the east of the 25,000-capacity ancient theater,
ictenadded. The importance of the structure's inhabitants is reflected in the
building itself, the archaeologist noted. "The palace-like structure was built
in a way that facilitated its defense."
Ephesus was one of the great cities of the Ionian Greeks in Asia Minor,
located in Lydia where the Cayster River --known in Turkish as Kucuk Menderes--
flows into the Aegean Sea. It was founded by colonists, mainly coming from
Athens. The ruins of Ephesus are hugely popular domestic and international
tourism attractions, due to their historic significance and easy accessibility
from the Izmir airport and the port of Kusadasi.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.4
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 34/25 Snow
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 57/39 Rainy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 39/32 Snow
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 48/34 Rainy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 43/37 Rainy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes, in Kayseri, Central Turkey 22 inches
Ilgaz, in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey 43 inches
Kartalkaya, in Bolu, Western Turkey 114 inches
Palandoken, in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey 28 inches
Saklikent, in Antalya, Southern Turkey - inches
Sarikamis, in Kars, Eastern Turkey 14 inches
Uludag, in Bursa, Western Turkey 47 inches
1. Fenerbahçe 19 38
2. G.saray 18 34
3. Besiktas 18 26
4. ManisaSp. 19 33
5. KonyaSp. 19 25
6. KayseriSp. 18 22
7. G.birligi 19 21
8. Bursaspor 18 22
9. Sivasspor 18 18
10. Ankaragucu 18 21
11. Ankaraspor 18 21
12. GantepSp 18 20
13. TrabzonSp. 19 20
14. Rizespor 18 15
15. AntalyaSp. 19 19
16. DenizliSp. 19 14
17. SakaryaSp. 19 11
18. ErciyesSp. 18 16
Fenerbahçe - G.birligi 2 - 1
Antalyaspor - Sakaryaspor 1 - 0
Konyaspor - Denizlispor 5 - 1
Manisaspor - Trabzonspor 0 - 0
Erciyesspor - Fenerbahçe 1 - 1
Galatasaray - Ankaraspor 2 - 0
G.birligi - Sivasspor 0 - 1
Ankaragucu - Bursaspor 1 - 1
Besiktas - Manisaspor 3 - 1
Denizlispor - GantepSp 0 - 2
Rizespor - Antalyaspor 1 - 0
Sakaryaspor - Konyaspor 1 - 1
Trabzonspor - Kayserispor 0 - 0
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