x0x Turkish news for week ending 20 October 2007
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 20 October 2007
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A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:
TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM
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Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host is Murat Temeltas
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* As expected the Turkish parliament overwhelmingly voted to
approve government's request to be able to conduct cross-border
operations in Iraq on Wednesday.
The Turkish government says that rebel Turkish Kurds hide in
the mountains of northern Iraq and cross the border to attack
civilians and military alike.
In the meantime, the Associated Press reported that Iraqi Kurds
protested the Turkish vote in the Iraqi town of Dohuk across from
the Turkish border. Other news agencies reported of similar
protest events throughout northern Iraq.
President Bush reported as saying that a cross-border operation
wouldn't be in Turkey's interest.
On Wednesday the Iraqi president Jalal Talabani, an ethnic Kurd
himself, told a news conference that they asked the militants to
halt their activities, or else leave northern Iraq. However,
analysts say Iraqi Kurds often help the Turkish Kurdish rebels.
Later in the week the Turkish prime minister called on Iraq to
shut down the rebel bases, reports the Reuters news agency. "What
will satisfy us is the closure of all rebel camps, including
their training facilities, and the handover of the terrorist
leaders to us," Erdogan told reporters in televised comments.
For months, Turkish authorities have been asking the Iraqi
government and the US to eradicate the basis of the rebels, news
Both the European Union and the US considers various rebel
organizations as "terrorist organizations".
* Nicholas Birch of Eurasianet says that the threat of military
action has tended to overshadow the fact that economic ties
between Turks and Kurds have been growing at a strong pace of
late. Turkish companies, workers and goods have been flocking to
a market enriched by 17 percent of Iraq's oil revenues.
Iraqi Kurdish supermarkets are almost an entirely stuck by
Turkish goods. Out of 500 foreign companies in Erbil 380 are from
Turkey. 65% of the contracts worth $350 million in Dohuk went to
Turkish companies the Eurasianet reports.
Turkish trade with Iraq reached $3 billion in 2006 and "could
top $5 billion this year," Turkey's trade minister Kursad Tuzmen
told around 500 Turkish and Iraqi businessmen at Gaziantep's
second Iraqi fair.
Eurasianet is operated by the Central Eurasia Project of the
open Society Institute out of New York.
* Environmentalists and non-governmental organizations in Turkey
pledged to do their utmost to prevent gold mining in the Kaz
Mountains in the northern Aegean region, reports the Turkish
The mountains recently became a battleground in which locals
and NGOs are taking a stand against 11 mining companies
prospecting in the area with official government permission.
Appearing on TV on Thursday, Turkey's Energy Minister Hilmi
Guler claimed that public opposition to the mining was backed by
foreign interests. These interests always seek to block Turkey's
efforts to use its gold resources, argued Guler.
ARTS AND CULTURE
* The film "Bliss", directed by Abdullah Oguz, received the Human
Rights Award by the European Commission. The film, which was
jointly produced by Turkey and Greece, is an adaptation of a 2002
novel by Zulfu Livaneli. Mr. Livaneli is not only a successful
writer, musician and film director but has also been a key
political figure for the past 30 years.
"Bliss" was a nominee for the Golden Tulip in 2007's
International Istanbul Film Festival. Ozgu Namal, Talat Bulut,
Murat Han and Lale Mansur share the leading roles. The movie and
book is the story a girl called Meryem, 17, an orphan in a
village near Van in east Anatolia who loses her virginity and is
locked up by her family.
Her step mother tortures her but Meryem refuses to do what she
is told. The family put her on a train to Istanbul with her
cousin Cemal with the instruction that Meryem not come back.
But the experiences of Meryem and Cemal in Istanbul and the
people they meet change their lives, and Meryem escapes her
family's curse on her life.
* Turkish opera singer Tuncay Kurtoglu has won first place in
Italy's Internazionale Per Cantanti Lirici contest. Kurtoglu is
an opera singer in the State Opera and Ballet.
The competition took place in Alcamo on the Italian island of
Sicily. There were 125 artists from 25 countries around the
world. Kurtoglu obtained first class honors from the jury. Jury
leader Joan Sutherland, the famous soprano. honored him by saying
he was the "the best bass."
Another Turkish artist in the competition was Mine Yenice, 24,
who went on to reach the semifinals.
Mr. Kurtoglu has attended nine other international competitions
including the International Verviers Competition in Belgium and
the 20th Valsesia Musica, where he came second.
Mr. Kurtoglu lectures at Ankara University and Baskent
University and advises every young artist to attend competitions.
Kurtoglu, who has performed in many countries, will be performing
in Nabucco, and Il Travatore in the new season of State Opera and
Following his win, Mr. Kurtoglu is considering offers from
several opera agents. He said his biggest aim is to continue his
career abroad so that he can prove himself in the best way. The
Metropolitan Opera House in New York City and La Scala in Italy
are where every opera singer dreams of performing.
* On Friday October 12 Orhan Pamuk, who won the 2006 Nobel Prize
for literature, gave a talk in Cambridge, Massachusetts about his
latest book to be published in English, "Other Colors." Several
hundred interested fans lined up to attend the reading sponsored
by the Harvard Bookstore. The bookstore is not part of the
university but is just across the street from the main university
library. The event was sold out.
Mr. Pamuk read excerpts from his book, including several pieces
about his relationship with his daughter when she was a child.
The audience was entranced. Afterward hundreds lined up to have
their copies of "Other Colors," which were for sale at the talk,
signed by the author. Mr. Pamuk was very gracious.
"Other Colors" is the top seller at the Harvard bookstore this
week and "Istanbul" is third on its paperback best seller list.
* The sixth Autumn Film Week "Film October" organized by the
Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts is being held from
October 19 through October 25. Moviegoers will have an
opportunity to watch the best crop of major film festivals as
well as the latest releases from the masters of cinema.
The films screened at Cannes and Berlin film festivals
constitute the backbone of the week. This year organizers expect
that the Iranian film "Persepolis" will attract a lot of
Adapted from Marjane Satrapi's best-selling graphic novel of
the same name, this animated film tells the story of the Iranian
revolution from the perspective of a young girl. "Persepolis" was
fiercely criticized by the Iranian government. Directed by
Satrapi and Vincent Parrannoud, "Persepolis" won the Cannes Jury
The list of films for the festival is prepared after the
International Istanbul Film Festival in April. It takes months to
prepare the list of 21 films scheduled for screening. The
organizers follow international festivals closely, screen films,
and make their selections. Last year 30,000, mostly young
moviegoers, attended the festival.
"Film October" will also kick-start the Nokia Nseries Short
Film Contest, the first of which was held last year. There is no
age limit to join the contest. The only requirement is to take a
five-minute shot on a cell phone or a digital camera. Winners
will be awarded with a Nokia N95 computer. The first place winner
will get a prize of approximately $4200, the runner up will get
$2500 and the third place finisher will get $1600.
The "Film October" team has received about 400 submissions for
this year's contest. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 21.
Results are to be announced on April 10, 2008.
For detailed information visit: http://www.iksv.org
* The play "I Destroy the Game" by Meltem Arikan and directed by
Mustafa and Ovul Avkiran tells a story about the law, honor
killings and rape through a woman's eye. After having been well
received in Switzerland, it will be performed at the theater
Garage Istanbul in Istanbul beginning October 25.
* UNESCO has declared 2007 the year of Rumi in honor of the 800th
anniversary of his birth. Activities and events held in Konya so
far this year have begun to bear fruit in promoting Konya as a
destination for tourists both domestic and foreign.
"Rumi is a value recognized all over the world. It is
understood better with each passing day and this increases the
number of tourists visiting Konya," said Konya tourism chairman
Mr. Bekir Sahiner.
"But Rumi is not the only tourist attraction. There is the
9,000-year-old Catalhoyuk, the first known village in the world,
and other old settlements, and there are many historic artifacts
from the Ottoman and Seljuk periods," Mr. Sahiner continued. In
fact, the archaeological museum is the second largest museum in
Turkey after the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul, according to
Konya has suffered some from being thought to be socially very
conservative by some visitors. Mr. Sahiner says however that many
say after visiting the city, "Konya is not different from
Istanbul and all they have heard about the city is wrong."
The Rumi celebration that will bring in many visitors from
around the word will be held from December 1 through 17 this
* The Istanbul Bach days started on Friday. The Bach days will
feature many classical music events throughout the city. The days
we'll start with a concert by the Lithuanian chamber Orchestra
Among other renowned participants are violinist Elizabeth
Wallfisch, conductor and cello master Wieland Kuijken, and lute
master Edin Karamazov.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.21
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 73/43 Overcast
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 79/64 Overcast
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 70/55 Rainy
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 75/57 Rainy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 70/55 Overcast
Greek National team beat the Turkish team in Istanbul
1 to 0 in UEFA Groupp C qaulifying matches.
In the previous game held in Athens in March, the
Turkish team had beaten the Greek team 4-1.
*** 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@...
*** 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
Sundays at 9-10 A.M.
*** TAAC will also be commemorating the Republic Day
Mark your calendars:
Visit <http://www.taaca.org/events/republicday.htm> for detailed
information and to purchase your tickets online.
*** Santa Rosa Junior College is exhibiting textiles from the Turkish
"From Tent to Palace: Textiles of Central Asia and Turkey"
Where: SRJC Art Gallery This exhibit introduces to the public the
historic aesthetic sensibilities of the Turkic Islamic world as it
extended from Central Asia to Anatolia and from tent to palace among
nomadic and settled peoples. It presents the colors, forms, and patterns
of an Islamic culture that prefigured modernity but that often survives to
inform aesthetic sensibilities in the present.
*** Azerbaijan Nights prsents on first thursday of November:
1 - Azerbaijani poet, Mrs. Azadeh Darai from Los
Angeles will be our guest. She will indulge us with
her exquisite collection of Azeri poems.
2 - Dr. sultan Qurai is a researcher in Comparative
Literature. He is currently working on a book about
master Shehriyar's life and accomplishments. He will
share his findings and knowledge on master Shehriyar.
3 - Mr. Ismail Jamili is a well known poet whose work
appears constantly on Azeri publications. He will also
give us a speech on "Saib Tebrizi", one of the famous
poets from Tabriz.
Starts at: 7:30 To 10:00PM
16400 Lark Ave. Ste # 260,
Los Gatos, CA 95032