x0x Turkish news for week ending 16 February 2008
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 16 February 2008
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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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Edited by Okan Kolak
* The Turkish news channel NTV reports that a 16-year-old boy lost his
life on Friday during the protests staged in Southeastern city of Cizre to
mark the 9th anniversary of Abdullah Ocalan's capture.
During the protest rally, a group having a rally without permission
blocked the traffic and the intervention by the police escalated to a
clash. During the clash 16-year-old Yahya Menekse was hit in the head with
a rock and sustained a serious injury. He was transported to the Cizre
State Hospital but did not survive.
It was also claimed that he was not hit by a rock but was run over by an
armored police vehicle, but the true nature of the incident was not clear.
Abdullah Ocalan is the leader of Kurdistan Worker's Party that wages an
armed separatist campaign in Turkey. He was captured by Turkish special
forces in Kenya and is currently serving a life sentence in an island
prison where he is the only inmate.
* The Turkish daily Sabah reports that hundreds of people, most of them
Turks, gathered on Sunday at a memorial service for nine people, including
five children, killed last week in a fire in southern Germany.
Turkish flags were draped over the coffins of the victims at the
interfaith ceremony in Ludwigshafen.
Speaking at the ceremony, Turkish State Minister Said Yazicioglu
reiterated the Turkish government's pledge to make sure the fire is
investigated fully. Afterwards, the bodies of the victims were sent to
Turkish daily Turkiye reports that the victims were laid to rest on
Monday in their family home of Gaziantep, in Turkey's southeast.
Speaking in Turkish at the ceremony, German Ambassador to Turkey Eckart
Cuntz said that the tragic incident had brought people from Turkey and
* Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was in Ankara at the official
invitation of his Turkish counterpart Vecdi Gonul to discuss matters of
bilateral defense cooperation, reports the Turkish dailies. Mr. Barak
promoted defense contacts with firms from his country during the visit.
Mr. Barak separately met on Wednesday with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, and Foreign Affairs Minister
At a joint press conference afterwards, Mr. Gonul said that 15 military
agreements had been signed with Israel, but there were no plans to buy an
Israeli-produced spy satellite system.
Turkish armed forces Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit and
President Abdullah Gul also received Mr. Barak separately on Thursday.
In related news, the Turkish daily Turkiye reports that the Palestinian
Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad al-Maliki arrived on Thursday in Istanbul
to attend a meeting of the Palestinian ambassadors to European countries
During the three-day gathering, the diplomats discussed Palestine's
foreign policy and regional developments. Turkey's Foreign Affairs
Minister Ali Babacan delivered the opening remarks to the meeting.
Turkey, which closely follows the Middle East peace process, brought the
Israeli and Palestinian presidents together for a historic meeting in
Turkey last November.
* Turkish daily Star reports that Deputy Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs
of Staff Gen. James Cartwright arrived in Turkey on Wednesday to hold
talks with his Turkish counterpart Gen. Ergin Saygun on cooperation
against the Kurdistan Workers Party.
Both countries view the group as a terrorist organization and the two
generals are responsible for coordinating the bilateral military
cooperation process against it.
In related news, Attorney General Michael Mukasey also arrived in the
Turkish capital Ankara on Thursday to meet with his Turkish counterpart
Mehmet Ali Sahin and other Turkish officials to discuss cooperation
against Kurdistan Worker's Party, the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet reported.
* We reported to you last week about the ruling of a Belgian court,
ordering that the convictions for the members of a far left Turkish group
Among others, the ruling is effectively freeing Fehriye Erdal, a suspect
in the murder of a prominent Turkish businessman in 1996.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said on Tuesday that the
Turkish cabinet had discussed the controversial Belgian court ruling,
reports the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
Mr. Cicek said that Turkey expects genuine cooperation in its efforts
against terrorism, and explained "Unfortunately, terrorist group which
have taken many innocent lives in Turkey have found shelter in certain
countries, which we stand next to in many international organizations and
even defense alliances."
Belgium and Turkey are both NATO allies and members of the Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development.
* Turkey's prime minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended on Thursday
the Turkish Patent Institute's 2007 Patent Awards ceremony, reports the
Turkish daily Star.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Erdogan said Turkey should focus on brand
development and creating brands to compete internationally.
Stressing that creating brands will sharpen Turkey's competitive edge,
Mr. Erdogan said the government puts great emphasis on research and
development and will keep assisting such projects.
Mr. Erdogan also pointed out that by seeking some 72,000 patents last
year, Turkey was among the top three European countries for patent
* The Turkish daily Sabah reports that Turkey's export revenues soared 38
percent in January and early February compared to the same period last
year to reach $12.9 billion, said State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad
Tuzmen on Monday.
In January, exports skyrocketed 49 percent, and also rose 11.7 percent
on February 1 through 9 with revenues of $3 billion, Mr. Tuzmen explained.
* The Turkish Daily News reports that BC Partners Ltd. has agreed to buy
Migros Turk, Turkey's largest supermarket chain, in the country's
biggest-ever leveraged buyout.
The London-based buyout firm will acquire 51 percent of Migros Turk for
$1.65 from Koc Holding.
Through the takeover, BC Partners will gain 961 stores in Turkey and
The Turkish banks are financing the deal, overcoming the difficulty of
getting finance due to the existing credit crunch in the U.S. and Europe.
* According to Agence France Presse, Ford Motor Co. will be marketing in
the U.S. a Turkish-made van.
Dubbed the Transit Connect Van, the vehicle will be available in the
U.S. in 2009. Ford officials say that there is nothing like it on the
roads in the US right now, it will give customers improved fuel efficiency
and better cargo accessibility.
ARTS AND CULTURE
* The New York Times travel section on Feb 10 2008 had an article about
shopping in Beyoglu's Cukurcuma, which it described as being a "funky
antiques district" where a tourist can find "memorable souvenirs." ("A
More Intimate Grand Bazaar," by Yigal Schleifer.) It mentions a number of
shops where one can buy anything from village style handicrafts to
textiles to a number of new boutiques with locally designed products.
There are also suggestions on where to eat including a traditional
kofteci, a cay evi (tea house), and a newer style Istanbul restaurant
"where old and new Istanbul seems to meet." For the whole article,
including names, addresses and telephone numbers of businesses go to
* The ancient city of Sebaste, located in Usak in western Turkey, has two
churches, a Roman bath, and many tumuli. Regrettably, the city is in a
desperate situation lately. It is exposed to pollution and has become the
target of smugglers.
There are many historic areas hidden below the city, a part of which was
unearthed in 1966 by Dr. Nezihi FIrat and his team during the first
scientific excavation in the region, according to SelCikler Mayor Osman
"Until 1992 SelCikler had its own museum that exhibited historic
artifacts but it was later transferred to Usak," Cakar said. "In 1986
there were efforts to turn the region into an open air museum and
permission was granted but later the work stopped. We unearth many
historic artifacts, but we are unable to protect them. The area should be
fenced and the findings should be cleaned and exhibited. If we are given
the authority, we can manage it," he said.
Talks with the Culture and Tourism Ministry have not yet yielded
See more about the area at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sivasl%C4%B1
* Ernest Hemingway, one of the world's better-known American expatriates,
never came to Turkey. But Since October he has been in Istanbul
personified on stage by the American actor Adrian Sparks.
In a unique monologue called "Baba Hemingway," or "Papa," as it is known
in theaters in the west coast of the United States, Sparks brings to life
the one-man play of journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner John DeGroot for
Turkish audiences. "Papa" was written after 10 years of painstaking
research by DeGroot, who interviewed almost everyone who knew Hemingway.
"Every line of the play was actually said by Hemingway or those who knew
him claim he did," Sparks told the Turkish Daily News.
Sparks, 58, has had a 30-year-long career in theater including more
than 50 movies and television shows. He said, however, that this Hemingway
project has been the most challenging project he has ever had to do. The
monologue is so intimate and powerful that sobbing or tears streaming down
faces are not uncommon reactions, said Sparks. "Mostly I am thanked and
people say they will start reading Hemingway," he said.
The play is set in Cuba a year before the author committed suicide. "He
is manic depressive, an alcoholic, a diabetic and toward the end he had
paranoia and was convinced the CIA was after him," said Sparks. "He was
just a time-bomb waiting to explode."
The audience is the uninvited Life Magazine photographer who has come to
take his picture for a story Hemingway wrote that year from Cuba. He
drinks with him and talks to him, and at the end people feel like they've
spent an afternoon with Hemingway.
The play had a six-month run at the Douglas Fairbanks Theater on
Broadway a decade ago but the world seemed to have forgotten about it when
Sparks found out about the play from an actress friend and ordered a copy
of it from the Hemingway Resource Center in Iowa for $75. DeGroot was not
interested in revisiting the play.
Sparks said his choice of a female director has been the key to the
play's success, as award-winning Martha Demson is able to bring out what
Hemingway was actually feeling. "Everyone knows the legend but the point
is to go to the man beyond the legend. What was going on? What was he
feeling?" he asked. When DeGroot finally agreed to come to one of Sparks'
performances he told Sparks: "You are doing something with my play that I
didn't know was there."
For the last three years Sparks has dedicated his life to exploring
Hemingway --" the man, the literary genius, the icon --" on stage and
bringing him to life for audiences. Often when talking about Hemingway and
his life Sparks quotes the author and speaks of him with the familiarity
one would expect from someone who actually knew him.
The actor admitted that it is unusual to act in the same play for three
years. However, he said no performance is ever the same for him as the
character keeps developing. "In many ways it has spoiled me as an actor. I
find it rewarding and ever since my film and television work has dropped
off. It feels like my life's work now," said Sparks. "Before I came here I
played Macbeth and it was rewarding, but I don't get the same juice...
Nothing is quite as intense for me. It's the most challenging thing I've
Sparks' first theatrical performance in Turkey and overseas, has
happened thanks to his collaboration with Turkish director UGur UludaG.
Sparks played the role of the U.S. ambassador in UludaG's film "Bir
Ihtimal Daha Var" (There's Another Possibility) released in 2007.
Sparks says when he received an e-mail from UludaG asking him to play in
his movie he almost deleted the message. A friend confirmed that UludaG
"was the real deal." Sparks was skeptical about Turkey but his wife, who
had lived in Besiktas as a student in the 1970s, said go. "The working
experience turned out to be just delightful," he said.
Sparks has been in Istanbul since October and said that coming from a
city of 6 million inhabitants, LA, to one over twice the size is a bit of
a shock, especially since the pace of life is slower here. The sense of
history in the city, however, is empowering to him as a human being. "We
are all descendants of this history. We all survived it," he said. He said
that he worries about his Turkish friends because they smoke too much. But
joking aside, one thing he has learned in Istanbul is that Hemingway does
not just belong to the United States, he said. "Before I thought of
Hemingway as an American icon and now I think of him as a human icon,"
When UludaG visited Los Angeles shortly after the release of his movie
Sparks put on a private "Papa" show for the Turkish director and his
friends. One of the Turkish women who accompanied them to the theater
spoke no English. Yet she was so moved by Sparks' performance that she was
in tears by the end of the play. "People need to see this," UludaG told
the TDN of the play "Papa." "Everyone in Turkey knows Hemingway and this
is a very strong one-man performance."
Sparks is scheduling shows around Istanbul and northern Cyprus until
the end of March. So far he has played at SabancI University, Akatlar,
MUjdat Gezen Sanat Merkez, BakIrkOy Sanat Merkez and the Ankara
International Theater Festival. His next performance is at the Fettah
AytaC Salonu of TUrker inanoGlu Maslak Show Center (TiM) on Feb. 26 at
9:00 p.m. All performances are in English with supertitles.
For more information visit: http://www.esek.org/baba.htm
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.19
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 27/23 Light Snow
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 54/41 Rainy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 34/30 Heavy Snow
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 41/36 Rainy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 39/37 Heavy Snow
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Davraz, in Isparta , South Central Turkey 31 inches
Erciyes, in Kayseri, Central Turkey 53 inches
Ilgaz, in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey 57 inches
Kartalkaya, in Bolu, Western Turkey 73 inches
Palandoken, in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey 33 inches
Sarikamis, in Kars, Eastern Turkey 65 inches
Uludag, in Bursa, Western Turkey 65 inches
Edited by Mark Nowak
* Turkcell Superleague
Week 21 Results
Istanbul BB 2 - 1 Caykur Rizespor
Kayserispor 2 - 0 Besiktas
Galatasaray 6 - 3 Manisaspor
Denizlispor 2 - 1 Konyaspor
BB Ankaraspor 2 - 0 Kasimpasa
Gençlerbirligi 1 - 0 MKE Ankaragücü
Gaziantepspor 0 - 0 Sivasspor
Trabzonspor 2 - 1 Bursaspor
Fenerbahçe 3 - 1 Genclerbirligi Oftas
Week 22 Results
Caykur Rizespor 2 - 4 Fenerbahçe
Genclerbirligi Oftas 0 - 1 Sivasspor
Bursaspor 2 - 2 Istanbul BB
Besiktas BB Ankaraspor
MKE Ankaragücü Trabzonspor
Team Wk W D L GF GA Pts
1. Fenerbahçe 22 15 5 2 48 23 50
2. Galatasaray 21 14 6 1 45 17 48
3. Sivasspor 22 15 2 5 34 17 47
4. Besiktas 21 13 4 4 31 20 43
5. Kayserispor 21 10 8 3 32 17 38
6. Denizlispor 21 8 5 8 28 27 29
7. Trabzonspor 21 8 4 9 29 27 28
8. Genclerbirligi Oftas 22 7 6 9 23 24 27
9. Istanbul BB 22 6 7 9 28 30 25
10. MKE Ankaragücü 21 6 7 8 21 28 25
11. Gaziantepspor 21 7 4 10 24 32 25
12. Konyaspor 21 7 4 10 25 37 25
13. Bursaspor 22 5 9 8 22 26 24
14. BB Ankaraspor 21 5 8 8 21 23 23
15. Gençlerbirligi 21 5 6 10 26 31 21
16. Caykur Rizespor 22 6 3 13 24 46 21
17. Manisaspor 21 5 5 11 29 39 20
18. Kasimpasa 21 2 3 16 15 41 9
* Turkish Basketball
1. Efes P. 14-5
2. T.Telekom 14-5
3. Galatasaray 14-5
4. Besiktas 14-5
5. Fenerbahce 13-6
6. Karsiyaka 12-7
7. Antalya 12-7
8. Kepez Bld 9-10
9. Mersin 8-11
10. Banvitspor 8-11
11. Alpella 7-12
12. Beykoz 6-13
13. Oyak Renault 6-13
14. Selcuk Uni. 6-13
15. TED Koleji 5-14
16. Darussafaka 4-15
Orlando 109 - 98 Denver 18 pts, 4 reb, 4 asst, 25 min
Orlando 111 - 118 Cleveland 25 pts 6 reb 5 asst 38 min
Utah 112 - 93 Seattle 20 pts 10 reb 2 asst 39 min
Utah 97 - 87 Chicago 7 pts 8 reb 1 asst 36 min
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