x0x Turkish news for week ending 22 September 2007
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 22 September 2007
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A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:
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Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host is Melis Atalay.
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* The Turks in Turkey are keeping busy these days discussing the
amendments to their republic's constitution that the ruling
Justice and Development Party is pushing through.
The Turkish daily Cumhuriyet reported on Friday that The Main
opposition party leader Mr. Deniz Baykal criticized the
government's draft, saying that the proposed changes threaten
Turkey's unitary structure.
Mr. Baykal stressed that although the government says it wants
to produce a civilian constitution, it is taking no steps to
ensure an independent judiciary.
Cumhuriyet also reported that the presidents of several
universities also chimed in: On Wednesday they said that the work
on the new constitution should be deferred after the October 21
referendum on direct elections of the Turkish presidents.
But the university presidents were rebuffed by the prime
minister, who told them to mind their own business. In turn the
presidents criticized the prime minister and said that it was
their duty to enlighten the people and warn if elements of a new
constitution are not right.
The Turkish Daily News reported on Saturday that Turkish
businessmen are also expressing concerns about the draft
constitution. Speaking at the Turkish Industrialists and
Businessmen's Association advisory council meeting, Mustafa V.
Koc, urged the government to base the new constitution on a
consensus among all the sections of society. Mr. Koc also
demanded that the basic tenet of secularism remain intact.
Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Cemil Cicek, who
was present in the council meeting, responded the association's
demands by saying that the new constitution would not belong to
the Justice and Development Party but it would be the
constitution of the nation.
On Wednesday Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals also criticized
the new draft constitution. Chief prosecutor of the court
Abdurrahman Yalcin said that legal prohibitions coming from the
European Court of Human Rights and judicial organs of modern
governments should not be reversed through constitutional
amendments. He was referring to the desire of the Justice And
Development Party to reverse the ban on wearing headscarves at
schools and government jobs. The religious women are the ones who
want to wear headscarves, but both Turkish courts And the
European Court of Human Rights said that the ban was legal.
* The Turkish daily Turkiye reports that the new Turkish
President Mr. Abdullah Gul visited the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus this week. On his last day of the visit he
addressed the northern Cyprus parliament and said that the
Turkish Cypriots have proved their peaceful approach on the
Mr. Gul said that though the Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus president had recently declared his readiness for
comprehensive negotiations with the Greek Cypriots, the Greek
Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos had rejected this overture.
Saying that the basic parameters of the Cyprus issue are
equality and balance, Me. Gul added that it is futile to hope
that the Turkish Cypriots will accept a minority status.
* Visiting the Turkish capital Ankara on Wednesday, US
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns was
received separately by President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reports the Turkish daily Milliyet.
During his meetings, Mr. Burns said that he brought messages of
friendship and respect from President George W. Bush and
expressed support for Turkey in its fight against terrorism.
Touching on Iran's nuclear program, the US Undersecretary of
State for political affairs stated that Washington needs the
support of all countries in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe in
order to strengthen sanctions on Iran. Mr. Burns further stated
that Secretary of State Condolezza Rice would come to Istanbul
next month to attend a meeting of Iraq's neighboring countries.
* According to the New Anatolian, an English-language daily from
Turkey, the French foreign affairs minister Bernard Kouchner
yesterday said he was trying to persuade President Nicholas
Sarkozy to drop his opposition to Turkey's entry to the European
"I believe that Monsieur le President needs to change his mind
about Turkey, and I have a part to play in this," Mr. Kouchner
said in a French radio interview.
"He is maintaining his position on Turkey, but he also knows
that I haven't changed my mind on the issue." Mr. Kouchner also
said that he would visit Turkey early next month.
* The Belgian Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision to try
fugitive terrorist Fehriye Erdal for the crimes she committed in
Turkey, reports the Turkish daily Sabah.
In October 2005, a Ghent Court ruled that Erdal could not be
tried in Belgium for the crimes she committed in Turkey, but this
decision was overturned last year by the Supreme Court.
Ms. Erdal is wanted in Turkey for her role in the 1996
assassination of a prominent Turkish businessmen. She escaped
from house arrest in Belgium early last year.
* A 12-year-old Turkish girl, Hilal Coskuner, will be decorated
with the 2006 International Fair Play Baron Pierre de Coubertin
Prize, reports the Turkish daily Milliyet. During a track
championship last year in Trabzon, Coskuner, who was leading the
runners, stopped to help a competitor who had fallen down.
* The Turkish daily Aksam reports after a three-month summer
holiday, the 2007-2008 school year started on Monday, September
17 in Turkish elementary and high schools.
Throughout Turkey nearly 15 million students and 600,000
teachers began the new year.
Meanwhile, approximately 122 million textbooks for elementary
schools and 35 million for high schools will be distributed free
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Colleen Clark
* An exhibition entitled "East meets West" opened Wednesday in
the Ek Hizmet Binasi hall on the 150th anniversary of Beyoglu
district. The exhibition promotes Beyoglu's urban development in
preparation for Istanbul's selection as the European Culture
Capital of 2010.
Ideas of how to revitalize the area were developed by the
cooperative efforts of the architecture and urban development
departments of Istanbul's Yildiz Teknik University and the
University of Siegen in Germany.
Suggestions include the building of a broad promenade in the
unused Tophane neighborhood to make space where people may stroll
alongside the Bosporus and children can play while parents shop
in stores that would replace the currently empty stock houses.
Other ideas include building a so-called "European building" for
sports on the shores of the Golden Horn and establishing a new
Goethe Institute close to the Galata Tower.
The project aims to exploit the district's excellent location
with views of the Bosporus and the Golden Horn, its urban density
and characteristic topography as well as its rich cultural
The project grew out of the cooperation between the two
universities under the European Commission Higher Education
Exchange Program (ERASMUS) and has been growing steadily since a
joint conference some years ago, said Dietrich Pressel, a science
assistant in the architecture department at the University of
The cooperation also has a historic connotation. In 1916, a
German architectural competition involving famous German
architects like Peter Behrens was held to select a design for the
building of a House of Friendship in Istanbul. World War I put an
end to that project.
"East meets West" will be open through Sept. 29 in the Ek
Hizmet Binasi exhibition hall, located on Istiklal Caddesi No:
217, Beyoglu, Istanbul.
* The Zurich Theater Festival in Switzerland recently hosted the
Fifth Street Theater from Turkey. The Turkish play presented was
"I Destroy the Game". It was well received by the audience and
There were discussions, after each performance, on
discrimination and women.
The play was written by Meltem Arikan and directed by Mustafa
and Ovul Avkiran. It tells a story about the law, honor killings
and rape through a woman's eye. A woman needs a man to feel like
a woman and man needs a woman to feel like a man. The play uses
bold and tough language.
The Avkirans are the founders of Garage Istanbul, one of
Istanbul's performing art centers. The couple has directed many
plays that reflect their political attitude and world
perspective. The couple was hosted for the first time in 2001 at
the Zurich Theater Festival.
"I Destroy the Game" was first performed at the International
Istanbul Theater Festival in 2006 and will be performed in Garage
Istanbul after Oct. 25.
* Turkish-German director Fatih Akin's film "The Edge of Heaven"
was nominated for an Academy Award on behalf of Germany.
A statement made by German films in Munich said the jury
selected AkIn's film in the "Best foreign film" category for its
visual arrangement and synopsis.
"The Edge of Heaven" also received the Screenplay Award and
Ecumenical Jury Prize at Cannes 2007.
The theme of the film is alienation, people not being at home
in the way they live or where they live.
* The Gaziantep Greater Municipality in southeastern Anatolia
will open a planetarium and a botanical park.
"Currently the only planetarium in Turkey is in the Naval
Academy in Istanbul. That planetarium is open to school
excursions, but civilians are not allowed to visit," said Mayor
"The Gaziantep planetarium will be open to the public."
Construction is slated to start in early 2008 and will be
completed by the end of the year," Guzelbey added.
The botanical park project on a 12,000-square-meter area will
also be completed in 2008, and will include 4,000 plants.
According to the mayor the biggest botanical park of the world
is in Germany. "The city of Duisburg will give us technical
support," he said.
"There are eight botanical parks in Turkey, but our park will
be the first in terms of both size and plant variety," he added.
Guzelbey emphasized that Gaziantep will get a new image with the
planetarium and the botanical park projects.
* The ancient Hittite city of Sarissa in Sivas' Altinyayla
district is on the way to becoming a tourism spot. Sivas is in
north central Anatolia.
Excavations have been continuing under the direction of
Andreas Muller Arpe, chairman of the Archaeology Department at
Marburg University in Germany. Sarissa, also known as the Kusakli
Archaeological Site, dates back to 1400 B.C. Many artifacts
including the Twin Bull Ryhton Statue, which has two bulls next
to each other, have been found during the excavations since 1992.
Sivas Governor Veysel Dalmaz pointed out that the ancient city
of Sarissa was the second center of the Hittites. He said, "This
was a civilization center hundreds of centuries ago and also the
place where the written statements of the Kadesh agreement were
found. It is one of the most significant elements in the museum."
The Battle of Kadesh took place between the forces of Ramesses
II's Egypt and the Hittites of Muwatalli II at the city of
Kadesh, the modern Tell Nebi Mend, on the Orontes River of modern
Syria. The battle is generally dated to 1274 BC.
It was probably the largest chariot battle ever fought,
involving perhaps 5,000 chariots.
An enlarged replica of the Kadesh agreement hangs on a wall at
the headquarters of the United Nations, as one of the earliest
international peace treaties.
* The cultural adventure of Turks from their origins in Central
Asia to the present has been detailed in a newly published book
titled "Turkish World Culture Atlas," according to a report from
the Anatolia News Agency. The publication is a joint project by
the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Turkish Culture Support
At a conference to promote the book, Metin Eris of the
Foundation said that the project was launched in 1992 and was the
culmination of the efforts of over 100 experts.
The 12-volume culture atlas is divided into five sections:
Before Islam; Seljuk period; Ottoman period; Republic period; and
Turkish State and Communities in Our Century.
The topics are introduced with an array of images under
different subsections including political history, language,
religion, architecture, folklore, ethnography, economic and
commercial life, military life, literature, urbanism, other art
branches and sport. Prepared in two languages, Turkish and
English, the publication targets both Turkish and international
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.22
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 77/57 Partly showers
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 81/68 Overcast
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 70/63 Rainy
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 79/64 Overcast
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 72/64 Heavy Showers
Edited by Mark Nowak
* UEFA Champions' League - Group Stage
Fenerbahce 1 - 0 Inter
Olympique Marseille 2 - 0 BesIktas
* UEFA Cup - 1st Round
Sion 3 - 2 Galatasaray
Dominguez 7', 10' Lincoln 39'
Alioui 32' Linderoth 67'
* Turkish Premier League
Week 6 Fixture
C.Rizespor - Sivasspor
Genclerbirligi OFTA$ - Gaziantepspor
KasImpa$aspor - Galatasaray
Vestel Manisaspor 1 1 Trabzonspor
Ankaragucu 1 0 Istanbul BB
Bursaspor - Fenerbahce
Kayserispor - Ankaraspor
Be$ikta$ - Denizlispor
Konyaspor - Genclerbirligi
Team GP W D L GA GA Pts
1.Galatasaray 5 4 1 0 14 2 13
2.Be$ikta$ 5 3 2 0 4 1 11
3.Ankaragucu 6 3 2 1 8 6 11
4.Trabzonspor 5 2 3 0 9 3 9
5.Sivasspor 4 3 0 1 5 2 9
6.Istanbul BB 6 3 0 3 6 6 9
7.Kayserispor 5 2 2 1 9 6 8
8.Vestel Manisaspor 6 2 2 2 10 10 8
9.Fenerbahce 5 2 2 1 5 5 8
10.Gaziantepspor 5 2 0 3 7 8 6
11.KasImpa$aspor 5 2 0 3 5 7 6
12.Bursaspor 5 1 2 2 4 4 5
13.Denizlispor 5 1 2 2 7 8 5
14.Genclerbirligi 5 1 1 3 6 9 4
15.Genclerbirligi OFTA$ 5 1 1 3 3 6 4
16.C.Rizespor 5 1 1 3 5 13 4
17.Konyaspor 5 0 3 2 4 11 3
18.Ankaraspor 5 0 2 3 4 8 2
*** Nobel prize winner Turkish author Orhan Pamuk will be in
San Francisco on October 17.
He will be speaking in the evening JCC San Francisco,
and we will be giving out a pair of tickets on the air on our
October 13 broadcast.
Be sure to tune in to the Turkish cultural program here on
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*** Bay Area Turkish Community School has started for 2007-08
school year :
Hope to see the Turkish-American children (5-12 years of age)
and their families who would like to register at the
Hillview Community Center in Los Altos.
The address for the Hillview Community Center is:
97 Hillview Avenue
Los Altos, CA 94022
*** The East Bay Turkish community school is also starting at
UC Berkeley campus. If you are interested drop us an
TRH (at)turkradio (dot) US