x0x Turkish news for week ending 25 August 2007
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 25 August 2007
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Edited by Fuad Tokad
* Contender to the Turkish presidency Abdullah Gul
is now one step closer to the presidency although
he failed to get elected during the second round
of voting in the presidential elections held
Mr. Gul received 337 of 446 votes, four less than
he received in the first round of voting.
Nevertheless this number is enough for him to be
elected president on Aug. 28, in the third round
of voting where 276 votes suffice. The
Nationalist Movement Party's candidate Sabahattin
Çakmakoglu received 71 votes and the Democratic
Left Party's candidate Tayfun Içli received just
14 votes. There were 24 blank votes cast.
Mr. Gul and Çakmakoglu will contest the third
round, while Içli is out of the race. Following
the voting Mr. Gul said that everyone must wait
for the voting on Tuesday.
In related news, outgoing President Ahmet Necdet
Sezer bid farewell to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar
Mr. Sezer is expected to hand over his post to his
likely successor, Abdullah Gul, the day he gets
elected, probably Aug. 28. President Sezer said he
has already moved to his new house and is ready to
leave office the same day his successor is
elected, daily Milliyet reported Friday.
Gen. Buyukanit welcomed President Sezer at the
military's headquarters with a military ceremony.
After a short visit to Gen. Buyukanit, Sezer then
went to the Prime Ministry. Sezer's last visit to
the Prime Ministry was in 2000, which shows
Sezer's efforts to keep his distance with the
* Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat Friday
called for fixing a date to start full-fledged
negotiations aimed at reunifying Cyprus. Mr.
Talat was speaking with Turkey's NTV news channel.
Mr. Talat is scheduled to meet with Greek Cypriot
leader Tassos Papadopoulos on September 5.
In related news, U.S. Undersecretary of State
Nicholas Burns plans to pay an official visit to
the divided island in September or November
according to a news report broadcast on Greek
Cypriot radio, reported the Anatolia news agency
Friday. In a message sent to the conference on
"Cypriots living abroad," Burns stated that he
will exert efforts to contribute to the solution
of the Cyprus dispute.
* Professor Mustafa Erdik from Bogaziçi
University's Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake
Research Institution said in an exclusive
interview with the Turkish Daily News, that one in
20 buildings will be irreparably damaged, while
one in five buildings will be slightly damaged,
according to a worst case scenario of a possible
The probability of a massive earthquake in
Istanbul is 2 percent each year. "That is a very
high probability," said Dr. Erdik, the head of the
earthquake engineering program in Bogaziçi
University. San Francisco and Tokyo are the only
two cities in the world that face similar risks as
Istanbul. "No city can be ready for such as a
disaster," Dr. Erdik said.
However the building inventory of San Francisco
and Tokyo is better than Istanbul's.
Moreover, the factors that would
increase the risk such as the population and
cultural and historical heritage is much more in
Istanbul," he added.
Scientists and experts examining the fault line
under the Marmara Sea estimate an earthquake of
7.0 or higher magnitude on the Richter scale would
have an impact of around 9.0 magnitude in
Istanbul, Dr. Erdik said.
* An Egyptian hijacker who commandeered an Atlas
Jet airlines passenger plane together with a
Turkish citizen had received training at an
al-Qaida camp and wanted to be flown to Iran and
then to join al-Qaida in Afghanistan, police
officials announced, the Anatolia news agency
The two hijackers surrendered and released their
hostages after forcing the Atlas Jet plane to land
in southern Turkey on last Saturday saying they
had a "bomb," which turned out to be sculpting
clay with wires attached to it.
* The shipment of the Iranian-made Samand
automobiles to Turkey is set to begin next week.
Iranian Khodro Company manufactures the Samand,
which is built on the French Peugeot 405
platform. The MYS Otomotiv will distribute it in
Turkey. The 'Samand LX' model will be the first
to arrive and will fetch around a $15,000 price
"The Soren and Pars models will follow Samand. We
are continually working to make that possible,"
said Mr. Sukru Seskir, the chairman of MYS
* Work on the third bridge, to be constructed
over the Bosporus Straits entered its last phase,
reported the Turkish daily Vatan on Tuesday. The
director general of Turkey's Highways Department,
Mr. Cahit Turhan stated that determining the route
of the third bridge will be finalized at the end
of this year. "We can lay the foundation of the
bridge in the summer of 2008 after completing the
administrative work such as awarding the bid and
determining the place," Turhan said.
Turkish authorities are using the
"Build-operate-transfer" model in constructing the
bridge. The model calls for the builder to
operate the bridge a number of years to recoup its
costs and then transfer the bridge back to the
Mr. Turhan noted that the bridge will cost $2
billion and said that it will be in operation in
According to Mr. Turhan the bridge will not be
constructed in the northern part of the Bosporus
since that will not diminish the traffic load of
the two existing bridges. Moreover, the bridge
will be made up of eight lanes and a possible lane
for industrial vehicles, wrote the daily.
ARTS AND CULTURE
* Old Tarsus houses, located in Mersin's Tarsus
Township and currently owned by Turkey's Culture
and Tourism Ministry, will be offered to investors
interested in converting them into boutique hotels
in the coming days.
As he have told you last week, Tarsus is where
Saint Paul lived, and the Pope declared 2008 as
the year of Saint Paul. The local administration
in Tarsus is preparing for an influx of pilgrims
from around the World.
The governor of the province where Tarsus is
located says that his province offers many other
attractions to visitors, but there is a problem
with promoting its region. He is hoping that the
Pope's declaration will it alleviate this problem,
at least for 2008.
* According to the Anatolia news agency, the
traditional Turkish bath owners are claiming that
the baths and saunas in 5-star hotels do not
reflect Turkish culture, and are engaged in a new
campaign to promote the "real" one.
The promotion aims to draw the interest of
tourists with CDs and "pleasure" tours of their
The Turkish Bath Owners Association chairman in
Izmir Nafi Karaca says that pleasure tours for
tourists entail spending a whole day in the
Turkish bath and experience the real culture. On
certain days reserved for tourists there will be
entertainment and food in the Turkish baths .
The project set up to undertake this promotional
event is dubbed "Health in the Turkish Bath" and
the European Union will partially fund it, Mr.
The chairman is also saying that a High School
diploma is to become compulsory to be a
traditional Turkish bath employee. He also shuns
massages performed on lounge chairs and says that
they damage the image of a real Turkish bath. In
traditional Turkish baths patrons are seated on
elevated marble platforms. A special area in the
center of the bath is especially popular place for
getting a massage. This area is called the "navel
stone", and heated to somewhat elevated
temperatures from under the bath.
* Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry has
commissioned a US company to shoot a film
depicting the natural and historical wealth of
Turkey's southern Aegean coast. The film will be
used in promoting the region internationally.
The Ministry's Ozgur Ozaslan says that CNN will be
among the television channels that will show the
The officials says that they are hoping that
cruise lines will also start visiting the area.
The area is renowned for its beautiful beaches and
many historic ruins.
* Speaking of the Turkish Culture and Tourism
Ministry, the officials are pleased that five
exhibitions the Ministry prepared were well
received abroad. The exhibitions are aimed at
publicizing the historical riches of Turkey and
attracted almost 600,000 visitors.
Mr. Orhan Duzgun, general manager of Cultural
Assets and Museums, says that the Ministry is
planning to double the number of exhibitions in
Mr. Duzgun cites the following exhibits that has
taken place this year:
- Junction point of ceramics Turkey: meeting Place
of East and West, in South Korea, which brought in
almost 282,000 visitors.
- Istanbul: City and Sultan in Amsterdam, Holland,
attracted 165,000 visitors.
- Treasures of Topkapi Palace-Excellent Ottoman
Dynasty, in Tokyo's Metropolitan Museum. This
particular exhibit is still ongoing and is drawing
large crowds. It features 140 works of arts, 111
from the renowned Topkapi Palace and 29 from the
Turkish and Islamic Works Museum. Among the items
in exhibit are: kitchen equipment such as a
percolator, tray and bowl, and Turkish bath bowl
and pan, and ornamental pieces such as emerald
earrings and a necklace, the displays also exhibit
Hurrem Sultan's deed of trust, the deed of Sultan
Mahmud I's property with his signature and a writ
issued by Mehmet IV. The exhibition will remain
open until September 24.
- "Anatolia 12,000 years ago: The Oldest
Monuments of History of Humanity" was displayed in
the German town of Baden-Wurttemberg, Karlsruhe
State Museum. The exhibition, featuring 386 works
of art from 11 city museums, displayed the life of
Anatolian people, their architecture, agriculture
and livestock in the Neolithic term with findings
- The exhibition in the Italian cities of Rome
and Naples, "Turkey: 7,000 Years of History,"
hosted 63,000 visitors. The exhibition displayed
archaeological works of different ages and 43
works of art from the Ottoman period.
* Mike Collini, Hilton International's Vice
President for development in northern Europe,
initiated talks on opening a hotel in Adiyaman,
one of Turkey's most significant tourism spots
featuring Mount Nemrut and 2000-year-old colossal
statues on its peak.
Although Mount Nemrut attracts many visitors, the
area it is still highly underdeveloped and away
from the major tourist destinations in western
Turkey. A new hotel built to international
standards will increase the number of visitors to
* The Turkish Daily News reports that the works of
the Georgian painter Pirosmani who influenced many
including Picasso and lived and died in loneliness
and misery are being exhibited in Turkey for the
35 of his works are in the exhibition from
different periods of the artist, and his painting
named "Actress Margarita" which he dedicated to
his great love Margarita will also meet art lovers
of Istanbul at the exhibition.
Born in 1862 to a poor family in a small Georgian
village, the self-educated painter made ends meets
by working in Georgian drinking establishments,
train stations and painting for tavern owners.
Like many artists of his time, Niko Pirosmani was
shunned by his contemporaries, and his work
depicting a neo-primitive approach of villages,
humans and animals only gained recogntion after
The exhibition will run until October 7 in Pera
museum. It is being co-sponsored by the Georgia
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Turkey's
Foreign Economics Relations Foundation within the
framework of "Georgia Season," the country's
national art program.
* A restored Greek Orthodox church in Didim's
Akbuk Township in Aydin province in western Turkey
has been converted into a culture center, reports
the Turkish Daily News.
Architect Fikri Aktan said during the opening
ceremony: "The restoration undertaken by Izmir
Reliefs and Monuments Head Office has been really
successful. The building still maintains its
The church was built in 1823 and before the
restoration it was in ruins.
* According to the Turkish Daily News , Mr. Ömer
Tosun, collector of ancient rugs and antiques, had
the caves and ancient residential areas in
Cappadocia's Uçhisar district restored and turned
them into museum-hotels.
In the hotel, each of the rooms are named
according to the antiques inside. The hotel has 30
rooms and aptly named "The Museum Hotel".
Restoration began in 1999 and continued until 2001
with the consultation of geologists to return the
relics back to their original forms and with
permission from Turkey's Ministry and Conservation
Mr. Tosun was later joined by expert architect Ms.
Nazife Gurlek in the restoration project.
Tosun's museum-hotel concept, combining his
passion for antiques and his entrepreneurial
spirit, is the first of its kind in Turkey.
During the short period the Museum Hotel has been
open for business, many World famous guests have
already visited. In recent weeks alone, Henry
Ford's daughter, Anne Ford, was a guest at the
Museum Hotel with her family as well as Hollywood
star Harvey Keitel.
The hotel also re-creates The historical streets
of Cappadocia. Each of the historical streets,
taking the visitor from modern times to hundreds
of years ago, opens up to a courtyard. According
to the characteristics of the antiques in them,
the rooms have different names, such as
"Pot-bellied Room," "Tafana Deluxe Suite,"
"Oriental Deluxe Cave," "Cabinet Room," "Harem
Cave Suite" and the "Sultan's Cave Suite."
Doors with knockers, guillotine windows, old style
bedsteads, rugs, antique lamps, and chandeliers
add a distinct color to the historical texture of
the structure. Tosun mentioned the importance of
restoring according to the originals.
Mr. Tosun was born in Cappadocia, and he stated
that he knows the region and the texture of the
historical structures well so they were able to
copy the originals. "We tried to apply what needs
to be applied without destroying its nature," Mr.
Mr. Tosun said that they noticed a three
centimeter hole while working on a room named
"Lazy Hunter." The hole pointed to the top of a
peaked chimney rock in the valley in front of the
hotel, an area where birds often perched. The room
is named "Dovecotes" because it's placed on the
original dovecotes. Mr. Tosun thinks it was used
to capture the birds.
Rooms at the Museum Hotel are grouped in three as
standard, deluxe and deluxe suite ranging from
$145-1,200. The hotel's restaurant serves Turkish
cuisine, with its chef having won a third place
award at the World Gastronomy Festival. Guests
can enjoy the unique view from the hills
overlooking Cappadocia while indulging in the
pleasure of a jacuzzi in the room.
With its surreal landscape, underground cities
that dates back to thousands of years ago, homes
and churches carved into rocks Cappadocia is
unusual. Cappadocia came to life with the
Hittites, called the "Land of Beautiful Horses" by
the Persians. Even though its nature and history
are greatly appealing, the area is not promoted
well, Mr. Tosun says.
Many historical pieces and natural formations in
Cappadocia are under threat. Some of the
historical ruins have been saved by the support of
entrepreneurs like Mr. Tosun, some get lost in the
dusty pages of history.
"It's not possible to find another Cappadocia in
the world. You don't just get to see rocks here -
these are the first markings of history and
culture," said Mr. Tosun.
* Damaris Kremida, writing in the Turkish Daily
News, reports that Hundreds of Greeks visit
Ayvalik's Thursday open air market week after
Kremida says that first-timers bring with them
fears and stereotypes about
Turkey. At the end of the day, however, they love
a good day shopping as do the Turks.
Only a short ferry ride from the neighboring
Greek island of Mitilini, Greek
shoppers stroll through the market willing to buy
anything their euros can afford, from beds to
construction materials to clothes, or perhaps a
pleasant meal at the end of the day.
* The Turkish film "Fog and the Night", applauded
as the best in its genre, is heading to the
Valencia Mediterranean Film Festival in Spain.
The Festival will take place From Oct. 16-24.
Based on a book by the renowned crime writer Ahmet
umit, the film stars Selma Ergeç, Ugur Polat,
Ayten Uncuoglu, and Sara Meriç and is directed by
"Fog and the Night" is about an investigator who
has lost confidence in his organization and whose
happy "family man" role has been disrupted by his
* Speaking of films, it is almost time for the
Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival again. The
charming Mediterranean city of Antalya will host
the The festival 44th time this year with the
participation of hundreds of stars and film
professionals from all around the world from
Featured in the line-up of the International
Eurasia Film Festival, the international section
of the festival, are many films that will make
their Turkey premieres.
Along with showcasing an array of international
film, the festival also will have a list full of
exciting events, such as workshops, red carpet
celebrations, question and answer sessions and
The festival will hold two competitions: The
"Feature Film Competition," accepting only films
from Europe and Asia, and the "Out of Competition"
section, open to films from all over the world.
The lineup for the international competition
section will be announced on September 10.
One of the festival's fresh features this year
will be the Network for the Promotion of Asian
Film jury, which will determine the Network Award
for the International Eurasia Film Festival.
In the out of competition section of the festival,
there are films that have competed at the 2007
Cannes Film Festival such as Cristian Mungiu's "4
Months 3 Weeks 2 Days" that won the 2007 Palme
D'Or, Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi's
"Persepolis," the film adaptation of Marjane
Satrapi's graphic novel, Bela Tarr's "The Man from
London," Kim Ki Duk's "Breath," Catherine
Breillat's "An Old Mistress" and Naomi Kawase's
"The Mourning Forest."
Other films to be screened in the out of
competition section of the International Eurasia
Film Festival are Robert Thalheim's "And Along
Come Tourists", Enrique Fernandez and César
Charlone's "The Pope's Toilet", Daniele Luchetti's
"My Brother is an Only Child", Barbet Schroeder's
"Terror's Advocate", David Cronenberg's "Eastern
Promises," Eran Kolirin's "The Band's Visit",
Johnny To's "Mad Detective," Quanan Wang's "Tuya's
Marriage" which won the 2007 Berlin Golden Bear
Award, Gus van Sant's "Paranoid Park," Julian
Schnabel's "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
and Naomi Kawase's "The Mourning Forest". The
winner of Cannes "Grand Prix" Award, Naomi Kawase,
will be a guest at the festival and is scheduled
to attend question and answer sessions to answer
the questions of cinema lovers of Antalya.
The third International Eurasia Film Festival will
screen the Turkey premiere of Anton Corbjin's
feature film "Control," a bio-pic about the lead
singer of the legendary post-punk rock band Joy
Division. The bank's former lead singer, Ian
Curtis, is widely regarded as one of the tragic
heroes of Punk.
Tracking the life and works of Joy Division singer
Ian Curtis, "Control" has opened the 2007 Cannes
Festival Director's Fortnight and grabbed enormous
attention, applause and several prizes. Hailed by
critics as the most prominent post-punk band of
popular music history, Joy Divison forged Punk's
wry and uncompromising energy into a
melancholy-drenched, dreary sound and ignited a
legend with a mere couple of albums, prior to
their splitting up following the Curtis's suicide
"Control" is the debut feature of Dutch
photographer and video clip director Anton
Corbjin, who is famous for his video work with
artists such as Depeche Mode, U2, Nirvana, Nick
Cave & The Bad Seeds and Joy Division.
A homage section dedicated to the virtuosos of the
silver screen who recently passed away,
Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman,
featuring a cluster of milestone works from their
gleaming portfolios will also enhance the program
of the third International Eurasia Film Festival.
A colorful collection featuring the fascinating
diva of the German screen, Hanna Schygulla finds
its place in the "Tribute to a Master" section of
the third International Eurasia Film Festival.
Having performed in the works of pioneers such as
Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Wim Wenders,
Schygulla has recently appeared in Fatih Akin's
Cannes "Best Screenplay" winner "The Edge of
Featured in the tribute zone are iconoclast
director Rainer Werner Fassbinder hallmarks "Love
is Colder than Death," "Bitter Tears of Petra von
Kant," "Lili Marleen" and "The Marriage of Maria
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.33
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 86/66 Sleet
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 106/84 Mostly Sunny
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 93/75 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 99/81 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 82/73 Snow
Black Sea measured at Trabzon 79
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag 81
Aegean Sea measured at Bodrum 79
Mediterranean Sea measured at Alanya 86
Edited by Mark Nowak
* Turkish soccer - National Team
Turkiye 0 - 2 Romania
* Turkish Super League
Week 2 Results
Fenerbahce 2 - 1 Gaziantepspor
Bursaspor 0 - 1 Galatasaray
Konyaspor 1 - 1 Kayserispor
Sivasspor 2 - 1 Istanbul BB
Caykur Rizespor 0 - 2 Genclerbirligi
MKE Ankaragucu 3 - 2 Denizlispor
Manisaspor 2 - 1 BB Ankaraspor
Week 3 Matches
Istanbul BB Genclerbirligi
Trabzonspor Caykur Rizespor
BB Ankaraspor Konyaspor
Galatasaray MKE Ankaragucu
Standings in the Super League
Team GP W D L GF GA Pts
1. Galatasaray 2 2 0 0 5 0 6
2. MKE Ankaragucu 2 2 0 0 5 3 6
3. BesIktas 2 2 0 0 3 1 6
4. Kayserispor 2 1 1 0 4 2 4
5. Trabzonspor 1 1 0 0 2 0 3
6. Gaziantepspor 2 1 0 1 3 2 3
7. Genclerbirligi 2 1 0 1 3 2 3
8. Istanbul BB 2 1 0 1 3 2 3
9. Sivasspor 1 1 0 0 2 1 3
10. Manisaspor 2 1 0 1 3 4 3
11. Fenerbahce 2 1 0 1 2 3 3
12. Genclerbirligi 2 1 0 1 2 3 3
13. Denizlispor 2 0 1 1 2 3 1
14. Konyaspor 2 0 1 1 1 2 1
15. Bursaspor 2 0 1 1 0 1 1
16. BB Ankaraspor 2 0 0 2 2 4 0
17. Kasimpasa 2 0 0 2 1 4 0
18. Caykur Rizespor 2 0 0 2 0 6 0
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*** Bay Area Turkish Community School will be start for 2007-08
school year with a registration on Sunday, August 26 :
- at 10:30am-12:30pm
- at the Hillview Community Center in Los Altos.
Hope to see the Turkish-American children (5-12 years of age)
and their families who'd like to register.
The address for the Hillview Community Center is:
97 Hillview Avenue
Los Altos, CA 94022