x0x Turkish news for week ending 17 November 2007
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 17 November 2007
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Edited by Okan Kolak
* The Turkish daily Turkiye reports that the Turkish Parliament held a
historic session on Tuesday. Israeli President Shimon Peres and
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, both visiting Ankara, addressed the
assembled Turkish deputies.
Mr. Peres delivered his speech in Hebrew to 550 lawmakers and
Palestinian President Abbas, as well as Turkish President Abdullah Gul and
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This is the first time an Israeli
president spoke before the legislature of a majority-Muslim country.
Mr. Peres expressed Israel's gratitude to the Turkish people for opening
their doors to Jews in 1492 when they were expelled from Spain. "Here,
they found a home of tolerance where they could freely practice their
religion, " said Mr. Peres.
Also addressing the Turkish Parliament, Mr. Abbas became the first
Palestinian leader to take the floor there. He thanked Turkey for its
support to the Palestinian cause. Stating that the Israeli occupation does
not "bind with any religious or humanitarian views, " Mr. Abbas added that
it also does not contribute to an atmosphere of trust.
On related news, Turkish daily Milliyet reports that Mr. Peres and Mr.
Abbas, along with Mr. Gul, held a meeting on Tuesday to establish a
Turkish-sponsored industrial park in the West Bank.
The project is expected to generate jobs for thousands of Palestinians
and build confidence between Israelis and Palestinians. Following the
signing of a declaration for the venture, Mr. Gul stressed that peace and
stability should be ensured in the region for the sake of prosperity in
the Mideast. Also speaking to the gathering, Mr. Peres and Mr. Abbas
expressed their hope for peace in the Mideast and that the venture would
aid such efforts.
* Reuters and Agence France-Presse reported that the Turkish prosecutors
on Friday opened a court case against the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society
Party after its calls for autonomy for the southeast region.
The action against the Democratic Society Party by Supreme Court
prosecutors came amid heightened tensions with Iraq caused by Turkey's
threat to launch cross border attacks on Kurdish rebel bases.
The party claims that it backs more cultural and political rights for
Turkey's large ethnic Kurdish population but is viewed by many Turks as a
mouthpiece for the rebel underground organization Kurdistan Workers Party,
a charge it denies.
Turkey blames the Kurdistan Workers' Party, for the deaths of nearly
40,000 people since the group launched its armed insurgency in 1984.
Turkey, the United States and the European Union classify the Kurdistan
workers party as a terrorist organization.
The Democratic Society Party's new leader, Nurettin Demirtas, has spent
more than 10 years in jail for belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party.
Another deputy, Sabahat Tuncel, is on trial -- despite his parliamentary
immunity -- for alleged support for the Kurdistan Workers Party while the
husband of another deputy, Fatma Kurtulan, is a Kurdistan Workers Party
* Turkish daily Aksam reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan rebuffed allegations that Turkey had already launched a
cross-border operation into northern Iraq. Mr. Erdogan said that the
security forces are continuing their operations within the framework of
Turkey has massed about 100,000 troops on its border with Iraq,
threatening to cross the border to stop attacks by Kurdistan Worker's
Party that have bases in Norther Iraq. Mr. Erdogan siad that all necessary
steps to address the terrorist attacks are being done politically,
diplomatically and militarily.
In related news, Agence France-Presse reports that Iraqi President Jalal
Talabani, himself a Kurd, said on Friday some kind of Turkish military
action was "now almost inevitable" but need not necessarily harm bilateral
Mr. Talabani told the official Kuwait news agency KUNA in an interview
that a cross-border operationa will not affect relations between Iraq and
Turkey or between the Turks and the Kurds if it is limited in scope.
Also in related news, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said on Tuesday
that Iraq is opposed to all forms of violence against Turkey, Turkish
daily Sabah reports. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Arab
League Secretary-General Amr Musa in Cairo, Mr. Talabani said that he
views any kind of armed attack on Turkey as an attack on Iraq itself.
Stressing that his administration recently began to focus on ending the
terrorism which threatens both Turkey and Iraq, Mr. Talabani added that
most effective way to do this is to urge the terrorists to lay down their
arms through media and political pressure.
* Turkish armed forces' Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit talked
to fellow NATO members on Wednesday about Turkey's fight against
terrorism, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet reports.
Speaking to the chiefs of staff of 26 NATO member countries at a regular
year-end military committee meeting, General Buyukanit spoke about the
attacks of the Kurdistan Workers' Party and ways to combat it.
Kurditan Workers' Party is classified as a terrorist organization by
Turkey, the US, and the European Union. The representatives of the allied
countries reportedly said they are ready to support Turkey.
* As reported by Turkish daily Star, Turkish Minister of Interrior Affaris
Besir Atalay said on Thursday that Turkey will not sacrifice democracy and
human rights to the fight against terrorism.
Speaking to the Turkish Parliament's Planning and Budget Commission, Mr.
Atalay said that the state will determinedly continue the fight against
terrorism. Mr. Atalay stated that one key plank of the fight against
terrorism is redressing economic, social and infrastructure shortcomings
in Turkey's east and southeast.
Mr. Atalay added that making concessions to the rule of law,
democratization and human rights just for security reasons was out of the
* Turkish Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin said on Tuesday that a review
of Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code was continuing and that the
article will be revised, not abolished. 'I expect Parliament to take steps
to revise this article before year's end,' he added.
Article 301 prohibits "denigrating Turkishness" and draws wide criticism
for restricting freedom of speech. Several prominent Turkish
intellectuals, including Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, were brought to trial
for violating the article.
* Turkish daily Turkiye reports that Azerbaijan invited Turkish Republic
of Northern Cyprus President Mehmet Ali Talat to Baku to attend this
weekend's 11th Turkic State and Community Friendship, Fraternity and
Cooperation General Assembly.
Azerbaijan took a similar step towards ending the international
isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the past as well,
through a direct flight to the Northern part of the divided island.
* Turkish daily Aksam reports that at a private meeting this week at the
European Parliament before addressing the full body, French President
Nicholas Sarkozy reportedly said that the issue of Turkey's European Union
membership is not an urgent issue but should be dealt with in about 15
Mr. Sarkozy said that 'for the last 20 years nobody took an open, honest
stance against Turkey, everybody promised it full membership, but this
never happened and now it's time to be honest.'
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Colleen Clark
* A photography exhibition titled The Soul of Istanbul featuring
Istanbul's historic and cultural values, opened November 13 in Bratislava,
the capital of Slovakia.
Turkeys Ambassador to Slovakia Tunc Ugdul recalled Nobel Prize winner
Orhan Pamuk's expression The soul of a city is its collective memory. He
invited everyone to visit Istanbul.
The Soul of Istanbul has been organized with the cooperation of
Turkey's Embassy in Bratislava and the Greater Istanbul Municipality, and
is on display at the Slovakia Ministry of Culture halls.
Among the guests at the launch of the exhibition were Slovak President
Michal Kovac and his wife Emila Kovacova, and foreign diplomats in
* The Istanbul Choral was founded five years ago by Gulsen Yavuzkal and a
small group consisting of members of the European choir of Istanbul who
wanted to add variety to their repertoire. The group has members from
France, Italy, Germany and Japan as well as Turks who represent the
richness of Istanbul: Armenians, Rums and Jews. Our principle, the
philosophy of our Choral is this: To bring together the different faiths
and cultures of Istanbul There is no discrimination, said Yavuzkal the
choir's director. The group brings music with a message of peace and for
the preservation of the environment, said its members.
Members of the Istanbul Choral say that they do not have a home yet,
but for the love of lifting their voices in song this small group from
Turkey and all over the globe meets every week.
We try hard to get together and practice once a week, Yavuzkal said as
the dozen or so members of the choir gathered. We don't have a set
practice location, we don't have money, she said, and added: With our
hearts through our love of music, with each other and our friendship we
find a piano and four walls and practice.
On a windy and rainy Sunday afternoon in November, in Istanbul's
historic Galata district, people trickle into a 700-year-old building that
once served as the Genovese chamber of commerce. The building is now home
to the Galata Association that fosters arts, and those who are coming in
from the cold arrive to warm the building with their voices.
Yavuzkal said half of the group members are professionally trained
musicians and half of them are amateurs. So they compliment each other,
and the amateurs are able to develop themselves more. The choir chooses
fun songs from around the world to perform and these transport them to
different countries and also introduce international music to their
audiences, said members. We don't charge for our concerts. And put on
shows thanks to the generosity of sponsors.
The group is open to more members. For more information contact
* The world's oldest iron workshop has been uncovered during excavations
in Turkey's central Black Sea province of Corum. Archaeologists hope the
find will draw tourists to the region, the dig's leader said yesterday.
The workshop, dating back to the Bronze Age, was found in Hittite site
of Alacahöyük, University Archaeologist Aykut Cinaroglu, told the Anatolia
Besides the iron workshop, some ceramic and stone pieces, as well as
ornaments, were also among the findings, which reveal evidence of the
daily lives of the Hittites, he said, adding around 100 pieces were
unearthed as part of the excavations. A dagger with a golden handle in a
prince and princess' graves at the same site were excavated in previous
The artifacts were handed over to the Corum Museum, Cinaroglu said,
adding that archaeologists have restored some artifacts and displayed them
for public viewing in an old museum building on the excavation site.
The Culture and Tourism Ministry is also planning to use king graves
found in the region for tourism, a plan they call the "Alacahöyük King
Graves Revival Project."
The project is the first of its kind in Turkey and the first to display
six Hatti graves in a glass bell, together with skeletons and grave gifts.
The Hittites were an ancient people from Kanesh who spoke an
Indo-European language, and established a kingdom centered at Hattusha in
north-central Anatolia, Asiatic part of modern-day Turkey, from the 18th
century BC. In the 14th century BC, the Hittite empire was at its height,
encompassing Anatolia, north-western Syria, and eastward into upper
Mesopotamia. After 1180 BC, the empire disintegrated into several
independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some surviving until as late as the
8th century BC.
Hattians were an earlier people who inhabited the same region until the
beginning of the 2nd millennium BC, and spoke a non-Indo-European language
Many of the modern city names in Turkey are derived from their original
Hittite names, such as Sinop and Adana, showing the impact of Hittite
culture in Anatolia.
* After many years of being ignored in Turkey the late Yilmaz Guney, the
controversial and political Turkish filmmaker, director, screenplay writer
and actor is being commemorated this month in the ''Festival on Wheels,''
a European film festival that has been organized for film buffs across
Turkey by the Ankara Cinema Association for over 10 years.
Guney's The Road", winner of Palme D'Or in Cannes Film Festival in
1982, is being screened at the Festival with previously unseen footage and
the participation of its director Serif Goren and some of its cast. Yol
is the film that made Guney an international celebrity, and the film that
brought its first prestigious international award to Turkish cinema. The
film later went on to win the Fipresci Prize and a nomination for Best
Foreign Film at the Golden Globes in 1983.
Guney was born to a Kurdish family, in a village near the southern city
of Adana. His father was killed in a family feud when Yilmaz was nine. He
started writing during his high school years and launched two literary
magazines, Doruk and Guney. He later studied law and economics in Ankara
and Istanbul. During these years he began working for film companies and
writing stories and scripts. Becoming an assistant for director Atif
Yilmaz, apprenticing as a screenwriter, and acting in as many as 20 films
a year, Guney soon became a popular name in Turkey.
In 1961, Güney was sentenced to 18 months in prison and six months in
exile for his story "Three Inequality Systems with Three Unknown Factors".
In 1963 he returned to Istanbul, where he continued acting and working as
an assistant director. Güney's first important film "The Law of the
Borders", directed by Lütfi Ömer Akad, was released in 1965, a film for
which Guney both wrote the screenplay acted in. The film was a criticism
of the feudal landlords in Anatolia.
Güney's directorial debut "Seyyit Han," and the following "Hungry
Wolves" and "The Black Sheep of K?z?l?rmak" established him as a filmmaker
for the underdog and those crushed under the system in rural Turkey.
During this period, Güney got his popular nickname "Ugly King" due to his
popularity as an actor and because he was the antithesis of the pretty
Turkish leading faces of the period.
Güney's breakthrough work "Hope", in 1970 established him as an
outstanding Turkish filmmaker. A prototypical film of Güney's unique brand
of cinema, "Umut" was first in a series of films reflecting the
frustrations of Turkish lower class, mainly of Kurdish origin.
Güney was arrested in 1972 for helping the leaders of an illegal
organization, and was kept imprisoned until 1974. After leaving prison, he
filmed the then controversial "The Friend", about the collapse of the
Turkish bourgeoisie. The film is not so much antagonistic as hopeful.
That same year, Güney was imprisoned for killing a judge. In prison, he
wrote the scripts for "The Herd" and "The Road", films which later
established him as an international filmmaker. In The Herd, Güney once
more took a critical look at the feudal system in Anatolia.
From his jail cell Guney collaborated with Serif Gören to direct The
Road, and eventually finished the post-production himself in Switzerland.
Gören and Güney won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival for their
collaboration. The last film by Güney was "The Wall", a harsh but
sensitive recreation of the 1976 uprising of children in Turkey's central
prison in Ankara. Guney died of cancer in 1984. He is buried in the Pere
Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. According to film expert Agah Özgüc's book,
"All Sides of Yilmaz Güney", he has 111 film credits to his name - as a
scriptwriter, actor and director.
In the 1990s, Turkish intellectuals embraced Güney, and his films began
finding their way in Turkish movie theaters. Many books were published,
praising him as a cinema personality. Of course, negative voices came out
as well, trying to focus on his machismo and supposed lack of intellect.
Nonetheless, Güney continues to be a major name in film festivals and his
reputation continues to grow.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.18
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 63/41 Overcast
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 73/59 Mostly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 63/54 Mostly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 73/59 Mostly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 66/54 Mostly Cloudy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Kartalkaya, in Bolu, Western Turkey 2 inches
Palandoken, in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey 8 inches
Sarikamis, in Kars, Eastern Turkey 20 inches
Uludag, in Bursa, Western Turkey 4 inches
Edited by Mark Nowak
* Eurocup 2008
Match played in Norway
Beyozoglu 31' Hagen 12'
Pts GP W D L GF GA
Greece 25 10 8 1 1 18 9
Turkey 21 11 6 3 2 24 11
------------EURO2008 Finals -----------
Norway 20 11 6 2 2 23 10
Bosnia-Herzegovina 13 11 4 1 6 16 21
Hungary 12 11 4 0 7 10 20
Moldova 12 12 3 3 6 12 19
Malta 5 10 1 2 7 9 22
Week 12 Matches
Denizlispor 2 - 0 Trabzonspor
BB Ankaraspor 1 - 1 Istanbul BB
MKE Ankaragücü 1 - 0 Gaziantepspor
Manisaspor 1 - 1 Bursaspor
Kasimpasa 1 - 3 Genclerbirligi Oftas
Konyaspor 2 - 1 Caykur Rizespor
Besiktas 1 - 2 Sivasspor
Kayserispor 2 - 1 Fenerbahçe
Galatasaray 3 - 2 Gençlerbirligi
Week 13 Matches
Genclerbirligi Oftas Besiktas
Istanbul BB Denizlispor
Fenerbahçe BB Ankaraspor
Caykur Rizespor Kasimpasa
MKE Ankaragücü Manisaspor
G W D L GF GA Pts
1 Galatasaray 12 8 4 0 24 8 28
2 Sivasspor 12 9 1 2 23 9 28
3 Fenerbahçe 12 6 4 2 18 12 22
4 Be?ikta? 12 6 3 3 14 11 21
5 Kayseri 12 5 5 2 18 13 20
6 MKE Ankaragücü 12 5 3 4 14 14 18
7 Denizlispor 12 5 3 4 18 15 18
8 ?stanbul BB 12 5 3 4 16 12 18
9 Gençlerbirli?i OFTA? 12 5 2 5 14 12 17
10 Trabzonspor 12 4 4 4 14 13 16
11 Konyaspor 12 4 4 4 14 21 16
12 Gaziantepspor 12 4 2 6 14 16 14
13 VESTEL Manisa 12 3 4 5 17 20 13
14 Bursaspor 12 2 6 4 12 14 12
15 ÇAYKUR Rize 12 3 1 8 11 25 10
16 Gençlerbirli?i 12 2 3 7 14 20 9
17 Ankaraspor 12 1 5 6 9 15 8
18 Kas?mpa?a 12 2 1 9 8 22 7
Round 6 results
Mersin - Galatasaray 63-53
TED Koleji - Fenerbahce 74-97
Besiktas - Darussafaka 73-58
Antalya - T.Telekom 99-98
Karsiyaka - Kepez Bld 88-82
Banvit - Selcuk Uni. 72-76
Alpella - Beykoz 77-72
Efes P. - Oyak Renault 88-61
1. T.Telekom 5-1
2. Karsiyaka 5-1
3. Besiktas 4-2
4. Fenerbahce 4-2
5. Galatasaray 4-2
6. Efes P. 4-2
7. Antalya 3-3
8. Beykoz 3-3
9. Mersin 3-3
10. Alpella 3-3
11. TED Koleji 2-4
12. Selcuk Uni. 2-4
13. Kepez Bld 2-4
14. Banvitspor 2-4
15. Darussafaka 1-5
16. Oyak Renault 1-5
1. Lietuvos 4-0
2. Aris 3-1
3. Unicaja 3-1
4. Macc.T-A 2-2
5. Cibona 2-2
6. Efes P. 2-2
7. Armani 0-4
8. Le Mans 0-4
1. Panathin. 4-0
2. Real 4-0
3. Fenerbahce 2-2
4. Partizan 2-2
5. Barcelona 2-2
6. Lottomatica 1-3
7. Roanne 1-3
8. Bamberg 0-4
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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