x0x Turkish news for week ending 04 August 2007
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 04 August 2007
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A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:
TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM
Saturdays at 6:00 P.M.
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Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host is Merter Bozkurt
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* It seems like it is politics as usual in Turkey. The
Republican Peoples Party in the opposition and the Justice
and Development Party at helms may be butting heads about a
new president for Turkey.
Earlier in the year the two parties were locked in battle
on the nomination and election of a president, which in
Turkey is done by the parliament. A successful boycott of
the parliamentary sessions by the Republican Peoples Party,
warning by the military and large scale public protests
prevented the Justice and Development Party from electing
its candidate, the foreign affairs minister Mr. Abdullah
After seeing the political stability declining, the
ruling Justice and Development party called for early
elections. The party fared well in the elections,
increasing its votes. The Republican Peoples increased its
votes slightly, but lost a significant number of seats due
to the emergence of the Nationalist Action Party as another
opposition bloc in the parliament.
The Republican Peoples Party leader Mr. Deniz Baykal is
saying again that his party will oppose the determining of
candidates by the Justice and Development Party alone.
Backing up the Republican Peoples party is the Turkish
military. The chief of staff of the Turkish Armed Forces
said this week that they stand by the ultimatum that they
gave to the government about the election of a person
perceived to be nonsecular, which includes the foreign
* As we have told you in the past few months, the Turkish
government and the military keeps threatening that they may
venture into northern Iraq to squash the rebel Turkish
Kurds bases. This has been a major friction point between
the US, Iraq and Turkish administrations. The US and Iraqi
administrations are opposed to any Turkish military action
in northern Iraq.
On Wednesday, the retired chief of General staff of the
Turkish army, General Hilmi Ozkok expressed his opposition
to a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq.
General Ozkok said that tough policies would not help
Turkey deal with the issue.
* More on rebel Turkish Kurds' bases came from the US.
According to the Turkish daily Star, columnist Robert Novak
wrote on Monday that US and Turkey are planning a secret
operation against the rebels in northern Iraq.
Mr. Novak said that US Undersecretary of the defense Eric
Edelman had given a briefing about the issue to select
members of the Congress. Mr. Edelman is the former US
ambassador to Turkey.
The US embassy spokesperson in the Turkish capital Ankara
said "we don't comment on commentaries. We do take the
Kurdistan Workers Party threat very seriously, and we
continue to work with the Turkish and Iraqi authorities to
combat this threat."
* According to the Turkish daily Aksam, the Hamas leader
Ismail Hania said on Tuesday that they would be pleased if
Turkey acted as a mediator to bridge the rift between his
party and rival Palestinian party Fatah.
Aksam says that Mr. Hania called the Turkish prime
minister and congratulated him on his victory in the July
* The Greek foreign affairs minister Dora Bakoyannis said
on Sunday that Greece supports Turkey's European Union
membership bid, reports the Turkish daily Turkiye.
Ms. Bakoyannis claimed that there was no negative opinion
within the European Union against Turkey's membership.
However, improving the Turkish Greek relations will supply
an additional argument on the side of Turkish entry into
Ms. Bakoyannis added that Greece is extending its hand to
Turkey and that they believe it is time for Turkey to
* Speaking of the European Union, the Turkish daily Sabah
reported on a new report by the Union.
According to the report, Turkey's membership talks with
the European Union and the base provided by the
International Monetary Fund program brought macroeconomic
stability to Turkey.
* The Turkish daily Sabah reports that the Turkish Air
Force planes which participated in this month's Red Flag
2007 exercises in Alaska have successfully returned to
their bases in central Turkey.
The Turkish Air Force was participating in the Red Flag
military exercises for the first time.
Six F-16s and two KC-135R Stratotankers made up the
Turkish squadron, and they made more than 100 sorties.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Hilal Koc
* The statue of Hermes, an Olympian God who is a messenger
of the gods, was found Monday during excavations at the
Roman bath in the Turkish capital Ankara's Ulus district.
The Hermes statue is estimated to belong to the second
century A.D. and will be displayed at the Anatolian
Civilizations Museum after restoration.
Culture and Tourism Minister Atilla Koc held a press
conference to announce the discovery as well as promote
ongoing culture and tourism-related promotional activities.
He said the Roman Bath in Ulus will be converted into a
center of attraction for both domestic and international
tourists after the completion of excavation. Archaeological
works at the site kicked off around one-and-a-half months
The budget secured for advertisements and promotional
activities carried out in 73 countries rose to $120
million. Mr. Koc said the promotional events were
intensified in China, India as well as Middle Eastern
countries including Iran. The ministry plans to participate
in 139 fairs this year and give importance to promotional
Mr. Koc also said the figures indicated an increase in
the number of tourists coming to Turkey compared to last
year and that over 9 million tourists visited Turkey in the
first 6 months of this year.
"Turkey ranks 11th in the World in terms of tourism
revenue and the ninth in terms of being the destination
attracting the largest number of tourists. The hotels are
almost working at full capacity in recent days. We target
65 million tourists and $85 billion by 2023."
* Kempinski hotel Barbaros Bay's Barbaros beach, located in
YalI resort in Bodrum in southwestern Turkey, was listed
among the "World's Sexiest Beaches" by Conde Nast magazine,
regarded as the best resource for travel information.
Beaches in Miami, Maldives and Hawaii were also on the
This was the first time a beach from Turkey was listed
among Conde Nast beaches.
Barbaros Beach is ranked 9th on the list. While the
magazine provided information about the only Turkish bay,
it praised the region. Characterizing Bodrum as a "cute
Aegean town," the magazine wrote about Bodrum's crazy
nightlife, unique beach, sunset and its unique romantic
The magazine recommended Kempinski Barbaros Bay to
readers, stating, "The one and only alternative designed to
make its guests experience Bodrum's natural beauty through
The magazine also praised the hotel's location
overlooking the Gulf of Gokova.
* While we were on the subject of Bodrum, the curator of
Bodrum Fort and Underwater Museum, Yasar YIldIz, recently
announced that they had put the World's oldest leaflet on
Mr. YIldIz revealed that the parchment was excavated from
the 3400-year-old Uluburnu shipwreck found off the coast of
Ka$ Uluburnu in 1982. Mr. Yildiz thinks that the leaflet
was used as the captain's log.
The leaflet was written on with honeycomb wax and bound
with ivory said Mr. YIldIz, adding that the writing was
destroyed by water.
The ship sank in the 14th century B.C. This period had no
money system and merchants of the time use bartering to
trade their goods.
It took a period of 11 years to clean the wreck, found in
1982, of all its precious artifacts. These artifacts
supplied very important information about trade in the
Mediterranean three and a half millennium ago.
The magnificent cargo also garnered much interest among
scholars; artifacts made of diverse materials ranging from
glass to copper were found in the wreck 45 feet under the
* One of the teams of archaeologists working in the Central
Black Sea town of Alacahoyuk in Corum, Turkey have
unearthed a jewelry workshop and furnaces at a Hittite
period palace, excavation head announced last week.
According to the Anatolia news agency, during the 2007
excavation season the teams has uncovered nearly 50
archaeological findings including Hittite and Phrygian
period artifacts on the site.
The Alacahoyuk excavations started on May 15 and 15 teams
are collaborating in the effort.
* Istanbul's 9th Annual International Istanbul Biennial
Arts Exhibit, which uses art to express political, economic
and cultural insights into Turkey, has received high
praises from the Financial Times. The British paper
declared this year's Biennial as "the most striking
biennial of past years."
This year's theme was "Urban Issues and Architectural
Reality as a means of exposing different cultural context
and artistic vision."
To see pictures and learn more about the exhibit, please
visit http://www.iksv.org/bienal .
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.28
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 93/63 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 95/79 Mostly Sunny
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 86/70 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 93/73 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 81/73 Mostly Cloudy
Black Sea measured at Trabzon 77
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag 81
Aegean Sea measured at Izmir 81
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 82
*** Turkish American Association of California is a non-profit
charitable organization established to promote better
understanding between Americans and Turks.
If you have any questions about Turks and Turkey,
e-mail them at taac@...
*** Turkish American Association of California
Monterey Bay Chapter and
Horon Turkish Folk Ensemble presents:
MONTEREY TURKISH ARTS AND CULTURE FESTIVAL
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
August 4th and 5th
Monterey Custom House Plaza
[Next to the Fisherman's Wharf]
Live Music Entertainment, Folk Dancing, Belly Dancing
Turkish art and crafts exhibits and vendor booths,
Food (Doner kebap, Adana Kebap, etc.) and
Drinks (Turkish Coffee/tea, Soft drinks, Turkish Raki, beer, wine) and
many special activities for children.
Authentic Turkish food will be prepared and sold by
NEW KAPADOKIA and SAKO's Mediterranean restaurants.
*** Planning to go to Turkey? Take a look at our Web pages
that are full of articles and information furnished by
travelers like yourselves:
*** For more music from Turkey and the Middle East tune to
International Cultural Program.
San Francisco World TV Channel 29
*** NORTH BAY TURKISH CLASSICAL MUSIC ENSEMBLE
North Bay Turkish Classical Music Ensemble is
looking for players traditional Turkish classical
instruments such as oud, ney, tanbur, kanun or
kemence, bendir or kudum; or even western
instruments that easily adapt to Turkish music,
such as cello.
The ensemble is also looking for people who can
sing in Turkish, or are interested in learning.
The group is open to anyone with a sincere interest
in Turkish music.
For details call Hank Levin at 415 492-0728,
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