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x0x Turkish news for week ending 03 November 2007
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Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host is Merter Bozkurt
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Edited by Gokce Gokalp
* The 84th anniversary of the Turkish Republic was celebrated on
Monday throughout Turkey and abroad.
Following the traditional visit of top Turkish officials to Anitkabir, the
mausoleum of Turkey's first president and independence war hero Mr.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, they observed a parade in the Turkish capital
Later President Abdullah Gul hosted a reception for high-level officials,
military commanders, political party leaders, cabinet ministers, foreign
mission chiefs and representatives of religious minorities in Turkey, as
well as other guests. Actor Kevin Costner, currently in Turkey to perform
in Istanbul, was also present at the reception.
Main opposition Republican People's Party leader Deniz Baykal and
other fellow deputies were not at the event.
In addition, throngs of people visited Mr. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's
mausoleum to pay their respects reported the Turkish newspapers.
* Turkey's foreign affairs minister Ali Babacan stated on Thursday that
Turkey's efforts to combat terrorism cannot be delayed. Speaking at a
press conference on the Iraq summit being held in Istanbul,
Mr. Babacan indicated that planned economic sanctions would be only
imposed against the rebel Turkish Kurd's organization Kurdish Workers
Party and its supporters, adding that Turkey does not want the Iraqi people
The foreign affairs minister also said that Turkey would take certain
measures that would not be made public against the terrorist group and its
Stressing that Turkey believes the Iraqi government sincerely opposes
the Kurdish Workers Party, he added, however, that it lacks the ability and
wherewithal to fight the group.
Pointing to Turkey's resolve to fight the rebels, Mr. Babacan stated that
certain international media outlets had deliberately misrepresented
Turkey's possible military incursion into northern Iraq as an invasion.
Turkey targets only the Kurdish Workers Party, not Iraq, added the foreign
affairs minister, according to the Turkish daily Turkiye.
Both the US and European Union classify Kurdish Workers Party as a
* According to the Turkish daily Aksam, President Bush stated on
Thursday that he hoped to have a productive meeting next Monday with
Turkey's Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"I look forward to discussing with Prime Minister Erdogan on this
important subject as to how we can work together to prevent people from
coming out of mountain ranges to do harm to Turkish troops," he stated.
Mr. Erdogan will be accompanied by the Turkish Armed Forces' Deputy
Chief of General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun and Gen. Kenan Kocak, who is
in charge of a planning a possible cross-border operation.
In related news, after his US visit, Mr. Erdogan will proceed on
Wednesday to Italy, where he will stay as the official guest of his Italian
counterpart Romano Prodi.
* Last week we told you about the US plans to deploy unmanned planes to
gather intelligence on the rebel Turkish Kurds in Iraqi mountains. This
week, the US Defense Department stated Wednesday that it already shares
intelligence on the rebels with Turkish officials reported the Turkish daily
Speaking to reporters, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell pointed to the
importance of intelligence in combat situations. He stated they have
helped Turks get information about the rebels, adding that such activities
have recently increased.
In addition, the US has reportedly sent a number of U-2 spy planes to the
Turkish-Iraqi border to get more information about the activities of the
* Before the ministerial conference of Iraq's neighbors and major Western
powers in Istanbul, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited the
Turkish capital Ankara to have talks with the Turkish President Abdullah
Gul and prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the rebel Turkish Kurd
Turkey is urging both the US and Iraqi administrations to take urgent
action amid rising pressure following the deaths of dozens of Turkish
soldiers in Kurdish Workers Party attacks. Afterwards, Ms. Rice
proceeded to Istanbul to attend a dinner hosted by foreign affairs minister
During her stay in Turkey, tight security measures were taken, reported
the Turkish daily Hurriyet
* In related news, according to the Turkish daily Aksam, Iraqi President
Jalal Talabani did not attend the Friday and Saturday's meetings in
Istanbul of the foreign affairs ministers of countries neighboring Iraq.
Instead, representing Baghdad were Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-
Maliki and foreign affairs minister Hoshyar Zebari.
Speaking before coming to Turkey, Mr. Zebari stated that intensive
efforts were continuing to find the eight Turkish soldiers missing and
claimed captured by the Kurdish Workers Party last month.
"The meeting in Istanbul should focus on Iraq's security and stability, and
should not be influenced by the tension on the Turkish-Iraqi border or the
terrorist Kurdish Workers Party's activities," he said.
* On Tuesday, two senators, the Democrat Robert Byrd and the
Republican Gordon Smith, submitted a Senate resolution both highlighting
the importance of the Turkish-US friendship and cooperation and
condemning the Kurdish Workers Party terrorism.
The resolution said Turkey has proven its anti-terror credentials and
called on the international community to stand against the terrorist threat.
Pointing to the important ties between Turkey and Israel, the resolution
stressed that Turkey has worked to play a constructive role in the Mideast
It also condemned over two decades of Kurdish Workers Party violence
and terror in the country, reported the Turkish daily Turkiye.
* On Tuesday, Gen. Rashid Dostum, deputy commander in chief of the
Afghan Military Forces, released a letter of condolences for the 12 Turkish
soldiers who lost their lives in a recent Kurdish Workers Party attack
"We support the Turkish Republic's and Parliament's struggle against
terrorism and we ask God's forbearance and fortitude for the families of
the fallen soldiers. I declare that Afghanistan is on Turkey's side and ready
to help in its struggle against terrorism," said General Dostum, reported
the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet
* Dr. Erdal Inonu, former deputy prime minister and former leader of the
Social Democrat People's Party, passed away in Houston, Texas on
Mr. Inonu, son of Ismet Inonu, the Turkish Republic's second president,
died at age 81 at a hospital where he was receiving treatment for leukemia.
Born in 1926 in Ankara, Mr. Inonu was both a physicist and a politician.
Leader of the Social Democratic People's Party in 1983-1993, he served as
deputy prime minister in 1991-1993 and foreign affairs minister for six
months in 1995 reported the Turkish newspapers.
ARTS AND CULTURE
* The Anatolian News Agency reports that the 68th world convention of
SKAL, an organization of international tourism leaders, will be held from
Nov. 4 through 9 in the southern Turkish province of Antalya's Belek
township. The theme of this year's convention is "Under the Wings of
Two other SKAL conventions, one in 1970 and another in 1993 were
also held in Turkey.
This year's conventions main topic will be "sustainable development in
tourism", the organizers say. About 1000 delegations from around the
world will attend the convention.
SKAL founded in 1932, has 500 branches in 90 countries and boasts a
membership of 22,000 people. The first SKAL branch in Turkey was
established in 1956 in Istanbul. There are currently 13 Turkish SKAL
* The Anatolian News Agency also reports that Turkey's Eastern province
of Agri is attracting a growing number of tourists.
Among its generous natural and cultural assets of the province is Mt.
Ararat, the highest peak in Turkey which has been the subject of search
attempts to recover the Noah's Ark.
So far this year 102,000 tourists visited the Mt. Ararat, meteorite crater
and Ishak Pasha Palace.
Ishak Pasha Palace was the second administrative complex after
Istanbul's TopkapI Palace and is one of the most renowned palaces built in
The palace, built on a hill side three miles east of DogubeyazIt
Township, is the last large monumental structure of the Ottoman Empire
in the so-called Tulip era period, featuring a magnificent example of 18th
century Ottoman architecture.
According to the inscription on top of the door in the Harem section, it
was constructed in 1784.
The meteorite crater, located 21 miles east of DogubayazIt, was formed
in 1892. It is the second biggest meteor crater after the one in Alaska
based on its width of 170 feet and depth of 180 feet.
* Speaking of Noah's Ark, a database aptly named Noah's Ark biodiversity
is being used by Turkish scientists to record the biodiversity in Turkey.
The Turkish daily news reports that the database is the first of its kind in
Turkey and will be used to track risks faced by various species, habitats,
Home to a rich fauna and flora, Turkey is one of the significant countries
of Europe and the Middle East in terms of biological diversity. Seven
regions of Turkey all display different flora and fauna characteristics.
Turkey has more than 9,600 kinds of plants, 152 kinds of mammals, 459
bird species, 354 fish species and 106 reptile species.
You can access the database at http://www.nuhungemisi.gov.tr/
* Kristen Stevens of the Turkish daily news reports about the children's
film Festival that is taking place in Turkey.
The film festival gives kids in Turkey a chance to see films from around
the world, writes Stevens.
The Festival also awards the junior directors some as young as nine years
old. It also offers workshops for the aspiring directors.
Last week the festival awarded prizes to 12 children directors in four age
groups during its opening gala ceremony.
Director Ali Erdem Eksioglu, 9, from Istanbul won first prize in the
under-10 group with his film "Movie Theater Dreams", which he
described as "The realization, using simple film techniques, of dreams that
are not possible in the real world."
A scientific study about growing up may not turn out the way the boys
predicted in Sercan DalyancI's "The Impatient Ones", winner of the 11-12
age division. In "You're Not Thinking", first prize-winner 15-year-old
director E. Naz Oktay creates dilemmas in which three young people must
decide to be thoughtful or not. The young winning filmmakers were given
digital cameras, digital video recorders and DVD players.
This year, more than 110 movies for children from 30 countries are being
screened in four theaters in Istanbul.
The films selected were made for children between 2 and 15 years,
ranging from animation to documentary, from musical to puppet
animation and short film, and including classic, educational and
Since its first year in 2003, the festival has viewed more than 400
original films made by children entering its competition titled "Big Films
by Little Filmmakers."
* Dogan News Agency reports that the portrait of Sultan Mehmet II, the
conqueror of Istanbul in 1453, sold for 469,000 British pounds in London.
Famous Italian painter Gentile Bellini painted the portrait. The auction
house Sotheby's kept the buyers name secret.
Upon Sultan Mehmet's invitation, Gentile Bellini had come to Istanbul
and drawn the portrait, which was displayed in Venice for 30 years right
after it was painted.
Besides the portrait of Sultan Mehmet, there were many Iznik tiles,
Murat the fifth's portrait, a wooden antique box with the signature of
Selim the third, and an Ottoman cradle.
ÇInar Ergin, the secretary at the Turkish Embassy in London and Sermin
Özduran, tourism adviser watched the auction. Özduran, who talked after
the auction in Sotheby's Auction Museum, said, "Turkish Culture and
Tourism Ministry announced that there some art pieces, which were stolen
from Turkey in the past few months, and might be sold in auctions abroad.
So the embassy in London is currently taking action to locate them."
The items on auction at Sotheby's were not part of the stolen works.
*Anna Jenkinson of the Bloomberg news writes that the shipwrecks some
centuries old are luring the divers to the Lycian coast, part of the Turkish
Besides hundreds of shipwrecks, Jenkinson says that waters reaching 85
degrees during the summer, visibility as high as 120 feet and abundant
marine life other pluses of the region.
Jenkinson mentions that some underwater sites are so sensitive that they
are off limits to divers.
There is also a sunken city dating back 2000 years. Many structures are
still above the surface, but some stairs eerily descend into the water. An
earthquake millenniums ago is thought to have lowered the ground
beneath the sea level.
* The Anatolian News Agency reports that Turkish officials will start
monitoring the visits to Eastern black sea national Park located on Mt.
Kackar. Visitors will be required to hire local guides and will be allowed
to camp only at designated areas.
The park covers an area of 51,550 hectares and encompasses a truly
alpine mountain range with glaciated valleys filled with gushing rivers and
streams, high meadows, beautiful lakes and glaciers.
* The 44th Golden Orange Film Festival came to a close Sunday with a
ceremony held at the SabancI Congress and Fair Center in the Turkish
Mediterranean city of Antalya.
The film "Egg" directed by Semih Kaplanoglu and considered by himself
to be "a very personal film" received five awards: Best Film, Best
Scenario, Best Art Director, Best Director of Photography and Best
The film was also presented with the Behlul Dal Digiturk Young Talent
Jury Special Prize and the Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival Award.
Kaplanoglu, who could not attend the ceremony because he was shooting
another film in Izmir's Tire district, sent a message to the festival's guests
through the film's leading actress, Saadet IsIl Aksoy, who said that he
dedicates the award to his mother.
Abdullah Oguz's "Bliss" won five awards including Best Music, Best
Actress, Best Actor, Best Sound Design and Best Hair and Make Up.
Director Oguz said he expected to leave the festival with the Best Film
Award: "I am wondering why we couldn't get the Best Film Award but
this is a competition. I am very happy."
Turkish-German director Fatih AkIn whose film "The Edge of Heaven"
won Best Screenplay at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, received the Best
Director Award at the festival.
* The Anatolian News Agency reports of that Tilmen mound, which used
to be one of the most magnificent cities in Anatolia, has been turned into
an archaeological park. The tumulus is located in the southeastern
Anatolian city of Gaziantep and its history dates back to 4000 B.C.
Turkey's culture and tourism Ministry and Italy's Bologna University
collaborated in the project. Scholars from the University have been
carrying out excavations at the site for many years.
Finds in the tumulus reveal relations between the cultures of
Mesopotamia, Syria and Anatolia.
* The Dogan News Agency reports that One of Bolu's natural wonders,
the Seven Lakes National Park, welcomed many nature lovers and
photography aficionados over the weekend. While the eager
photographers tried to capture the best shots, other visitors were happy to
enjoy the beautiful nature.
The Seven Lakes Natural Park is 42 kilometers from Northwestern
Turkish city of Bolu and has a different appeal during the autumn season.
The park maintains all the tones of red and is covered with Amber and
Golden leaves. Each year, many visitors from Turkey and abroad flock to
the region, and pitch their tents. Many visitors come to Seven Lakes just to
take a break from their daily city life and enjoy long walks.
Most of the photographers take pictures of the streams that flow to the
lakes. They pay around $60 in local currency for a one day entry to the
park, but at the end of the day they mostly think it is worth it.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.17
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 63/43 Overcast
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 72/64 Light Showers
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 63/50 Overcast
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 70/55 Decreasing Cloudiness
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 66/48 Overcast
* Turkish Turkcell Superleague
Week 10 matches
Kayserispor 1 - 0 Trabzonspor
BB Ankaraspor 2 - 0 Gençlerbirligi
Bursaspor 1 - 1 Gaziantepspor
Manisaspor 0 - 2 Genclerbirligi Oftas
Kasimpasa 1 - 2 Fenerbahçe
Konyaspor 2 - 1 Sivasspor
MKE Ankaragücü 1 - 0 Caykur Rizespor
Besiktas 0 - 0 Istanbul BB
Denizlispor 1 - 2 Galatasaray
Week 11 matches
Trabzonspor 2 - 1 BB Ankaraspor
Genclerbirligi Oftas Konyaspor
Caykur Rizespor Manisaspor
Bursaspor MKE Ankaragücü
Istanbul BB Kayserispor
Teams GP W D L GF GA Pts
1. Galatasaray 10 7 3 0 20 5 24
2. Sivasspor 10 7 1 2 17 8 22
3. Besiktas 10 6 3 1 12 7 21
4. Fenerbahçe 10 5 4 1 15 9 19
5. Kayserispor 10 4 4 2 15 11 16
6. Istanbul BB 10 5 1 4 14 10 16
7. Trabzonspor 11 4 4 3 14 11 16
8. MKE Ankaragücü 10 4 3 3 12 12 15
9. Genclerbirligi Oftas 10 4 2 4 11 10 14
10. Gaziantepspor 10 4 1 5 13 14 13
11. Denizlispor 10 3 3 4 14 14 12
12. Konyaspor 10 2 4 4 11 20 10
13. Caykur Rizespor 10 3 1 6 9 19 10
14. Gençlerbirligi 10 2 3 5 11 15 9
15. Manisaspor 10 2 3 5 12 18 9
16. Bursaspor 10 1 5 4 9 12 8
17. BB Ankaraspor 11 1 4 6 8 14 7
18. Kasimpasa 10 2 1 7 7 15 7
* Turkish Basketball
Alpella - Kepez Bld 51-62
TED Koleji - Galatasaray 82-73
Besiktas - Mersin 84-68
Fenerbahce - Antalya 90-80
Oyak Renault - Selcuk Uni. 60-65
Efes P. - T.Telekom 71-86
Banvit - Beykoz 69-71
Karsiyaka - Darussafaka 92-86
1. T.Telekom 4-0
2. Karsiyaka 4-0
3. Fenerbahce 3-1
4. Galatasaray 3-1
5. TED Koleji 2-2
6. Besiktas 2-2
7. Antalya 2-2
8. Banvitspor 2-2
9. Beykoz 2-2
10. Efes P. 2-2
11. Alpella 1-3
12. Darussafaka 1-3
13. Mersin 1-3
14. Selcuk Uni. 1-3
15. Kepez Bld 1-3
16. Oyak Renault 1-3
* FIBA Euroleague
Efes P. 80 - 70 Armani
Barcelona 82 67 Fenerbahce
1. Lietuvos 2-0
2. Aris 2-0
3. Cibona 1-1
4. Unicaja 1-1
5. Macc.T-A 1-1
6. Efes P. 1-1
7. Armani 0-2
8. Le Mans 0-2
1. Panathin. 2-0
2. Partizan 2-0
3. Real 2-0
4. Barcelona 1-1
5. Roanne 1-1
6. Bamberg 0-2
7. Lottomatica 0-2
8. Fenerbahce 0-2
Hedo Turkoglu stats
Min. Reb. Asst. Pts.
Orlando 92 - 116 Detroit 35 5 3 17
Orlando 103 92 Milwaukee 34 5 2 24
Mehmet Okur stats
Utah 95 - 106 Houston 37 10 0 16
Utah 117 - 96 Golden State 16 3 1 0
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*** Santa Rosa Junior College is exhibiting textiles from the Turkish World.
"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