x0x Turkish news for week ending 01 March 2008
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 01 March 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 Merter Bozkurt
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Edited by Gokce Gokalp
* As you may have been followin on the news, the Turkish troops have
pulled out of northern Iraq where they have been fighting the Turkish Kurd
The underground organization of the insurgents, Kurdistan Workers Party,
has numerous hideouts on the rugged mountains of the area. From these
hideouts they have been carrying raids into Turkey, attacking military and
civilian targets alike.
Although Turkish military incursion received intelligence assistance
from the U.S. and an initial sympathy, the U.S. administration has been
asking the Turks to pull out from Iraqi territory.
On Wednesday Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was in the Turkish
capital Ankara, where he met with the Turkish officials and reiterated
this message. However, the Turkish officials indicated that Turkey will
not be pressured into an early withdrawal, and the troops will be brought
back when the mission is accomplished.
* While arguments on how long the Turkish incursion into northern Iraq
should continue, Turkey was also on a diplomatic offensive. A foreign
policy adviser to the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was
dispatched to Baghdad.
In Baghdad Mr. Davutoglu held meetings with Iraqi officials and told
them that the Turkish military operations were not targeted against the
âUS and Iraqi officials agree that the terrorist Kurdistan Workers
Party is a common problem,â stated Mr. Davutoglu.
* In related news, Gen. Carter Ham, director of operations for the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, stated on Monday that the Turkish Army had no need for an
US green light for its land operation into northern Iraq against the
Kurdistan Workers Party.
"The Turkish military does not ask ... nor does the United States
military provide approval for these missions," General Ham told a Pentagon
"We have asked and the Turkish military has agreed to provide
notification so that their operations do not come in conflict with the
operations of the Multinational-Force Iraq inside Iraq." Gen. Ham added,
reported the Turkish daily Hurriyet.
* Turkey's president explained the Turkish position also. âTurkey has no
intention of invading Iraq, as our only goal is to eliminate a threat to
our country, stated President Abdullah Gul on Wednesday, the Turkish daily
"No country lets an illegal armed power in its territory or near its
border," the Turkish president told a group of radio and TV reporters. "If
the state allowed such an illegal force, then we cannot call it a state."
He added, "Every fallen soldier we see hurts us deeply. But we would
have seen even more if the ground operation (into northern Iraq) had been
launched at a later date. Failure to act in a timely fashion leads to more
Stating that Turkey will show it is determined to the very end, Mr. Gul
stated that their intention is very clear.
* As we have been covering in our news for the past two months, until last
week, ladies wearing headscarves were banned from attending universities
and colleges in Turkey.
Although the Turkish parliament passed a constitutional amendment to
liberalize headscarves, Turkish university presidents are resisting
admitting students wearing headscarves. And the battle lines are drawn
between the pro-government Board of Higher Education Chairman Yusuf Ziya
Ozcan and the university presidents.
The news we have been getting indicates that Mr. Ozcan is pressuring the
university presidents, and they are fighting back. Here is the coverage of
this from various sources:
* Chairman Yusuf Ziya Ozcan declined an invitation to attend Thursday's
Inter University Board meeting on Wednesday, adding that the group had no
standing to discuss the headscarf issue.
In a written statement, Mr. Ozcan stated that the board was meant only
to deal with academic issues, not the headscarf issue. The Inter
University Board, made up of all of Turkey's university presidents, held
an extraordinary meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara Thursday morning to
discuss constitutional changes related to the headscarf ban, according to
the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
* The Turkish daily Aksam in covering the meeting of the Inter University
board wrote that the attending 90 university presidents called on Chairman
Yusuf Ziya Ozcan to resign.
A statement signed by 90 presidents and read out by board's chairman Mr.
Mustafa Akaydin stated that Mr. Ozcan was incapable of representing
Instead of creating favorable conditions for university institutions to
work cooperatively, Mr. Ozcan has erected an autocratic, centralist
structure, the rectors indicated, and called on the Turkish president to
remove him from office.
In related news, the Ankara Prosecutor's Office launched a probe into
Mr. Ozcan's statement that recent constitutional changes were sufficient
to lift the headscarf ban at universities.
The move by the prosecutor's office followed several official complaints
filed against Mr. Ozcan, one by the main opposition Republican People's
A probe can turn into an investigation only upon approval by Turkey's
education minister Huseyin Celik.
* On another front in the headscarf wars, the Republican People's Party
also submitted a petition to Turkey's constitutional court on Wednesday,
asking it to annul constitutional amendments to Articles 10 and 42
allowing headscarved women to attend universities reported the Turkish
The 58-page petition was signed by 111 deputies from the Republican
People's party as well as the Democratic Left Party and Tunceli
independent Deputy Kamer Genc.
* Communist Akel Party leader Dimitris Hristofyas' win in Tuesday's
presidential election in Southern Cyprus is expected to strengthen hopes
for a solution to the Cyprus issue, writes the Turkish daily Sabah.
During his campaign, Mr. Hristofyas, known to have a softer stance on
the issue than his predecessor Tassos Papadopoulos, pledged to meet with
the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mehmet Ali Talat with an
eye to restarting talks.
Mr. Talat telephoned Mr. Hristofyas to congratulate him, and both
reiterated their willingness to meet as soon as possible.
Mr. Hristofyas is set to be the first communist president in European
Union history, reported Sabah.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Hilal Koc
* A new program through the Goethe Institute, âcreateurope: The Fashion
Academy Awards,â aims to demonstrate the vitality of the European
fashion scene and help young European designers get on their feet.
âWe wanted to give a summary of the fashion career of a man who has
already been through it,â said talented and established Turkish fashion
designer Ãmit Ãnal about the show he gave at the project's launch party
in Istanbul Tuesday evening. Ãnal is also Turkey 's designer sponsor of
The Fashion Academy Awards are especially geared toward design students
in their last year in fashion schools or young professionals with less
than one year in the trade, explained Dr. Ulrich Sacker, who initiated the
project, of the Goethe Institute, a German cultural and language
All 27 participating countries will have kick-off events, a press
conference here, a fashion performance there, within the next two months,
Sacker said. âThe young fashion designers register [for the competition]
online and send their portfolios by the end of June. A European jury will
select 30 finalists,â said Sacker. A second jury, headed by Joop!'s
Creative Director Dirk SchÃ¶nberger, will choose the four top winners in
Winners will be chosen in four categories: The overall best young
designer, the best avant-garde designer, the best student designer, and
the winner of a special Galeries Lafayette. âWe do not know what the
prize will be but the Galeries Lafayette will show works by the 30
finalists in their shop in Berlin , and possibly in Paris and Lyon,â
For more information on deadlines and application procedures:
* Young swimmers in Mugla's Bodrum township and from the Greek island of
Kos will swim a âCrawl for Peaceâ next April. The swimmers will meet
in the Aegean Sea in international waters to hand each other flowers and
The swimmers have begun training, supervised by Turkish National Swim
Team Coach Cengiz Altayli. Six swimmers from the Bodrum Municipality
Bodrumspor Swim Team and the swimmers from IstankÃ¶y Maritime Club on Kos
Island , five miles from Bodrum, are training for the swim.
The activity is very important for peace and friendship, said Bodrum
Mayor Mazlum Agan of the Republican People's Party.
âWe are holding various events in the fields of tourism, art and
sports to contribute to and promote friendship and peace with our neighbor
Greece . We want the Aegean Sea to be a sea of friendship. We aim to turn
this into a traditional activity," Agan said.
The swimmers attend training practice two hours a day, swimming four
miles, said Altayli. âFollowing this event, we aim to hold competitions
and collective training programs between the swimmers of the two
countries. Peace in the Aegean will set an example for the whole world,â
See more at: http://www.bodrumpages.com/English/ferries_e.html
* The 13th Annual German-Turkish Film Festival kicked off Friday, February
29th and will last through March 9th in the German city of Nurnberg . The
festival strives to bring together and educate the German and Turkish
populations in the area on cultural issues and sensitivities.
In the ceremonyâs opening gala, famed Turkish singer ZÃ¼lfÃ¼ Livaneli
was also awarded the Lifetime Honor award by German Green Partyâs head
Claudia Roth. Roth described Livaneli as a âbig hearted, big-thinkerâ
referring to his lifelong passion for music and performance, as well as
his personal mission to unite the German and Turkish people.
A film which Livaneli directed, âIron Ground, Copper Sky" was shown,
and another film for which he wrote the screenplay, âHappiness"
participated in the festival.
American jazz singer Jocelyn B. Smith, who lives in Berlin, will also
hold a concert featuring many of Livaneliâs songs.
The festival will show a total of 60 short and long documentaries.
See Mr. Livaneli at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K_PezfCaZI
* Speaking of film festivals, Bay Area's own Tiburon International Film
Festival is featuring several Turkish films this year.
Among them are:
Hakan Tokyay's film titled "Iran: Behind Walls", describing the role
of the Iranian women in transforming their society. (March 16)
Sirri SÃ¼reyya Ãnder and Muharrem GÃ¼lmez's "International", about a
group of local musicians in eastern Turkey. The martial law commander of
the region tries to create a "modern orchestra" with these street
musicians and a set of tragicomic events start. (March 17)
Abdullah Oguz's film titled "Bliss" about a 17-year-old girls conflicts with local traditions, and a professor's involvement in it. (March 20)
The festival will start on Thursday March 13th.
For detailed information about these films checked the Web pages of the
festival at: HTTP://www.TiburonFilmFestival.com
As we did in the past years, we will be giving away tickets to these
films. Stay tuned.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.2
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 61/32 Foggy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 64/48 Decreasing Cloudiness
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 63/45 Mostly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 66/48 Partly cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 59/43 Partly cloudy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Davraz, in Isparta , South Central Turkey 47 inches
Erciyes, in Kayseri, Central Turkey 41 inches
Ilgaz, in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey 91 inches
Kartalkaya, in Bolu, Western Turkey 108 inches
Palandoken, in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey 14 inches
Sarikamis, in Kars, Eastern Turkey 26 inches
Uludag, in Bursa, Western Turkey 65 inches
By Mark Nowak
* Turkish Premiere League
P Mx Tie * G W D L F A
1 Galatasaray 51 84 * 23 15 6 2 46 18
2 FenerbahÃ§e 50 83 * 23 15 5 3 48 25
3 BeÃ¾iktaÃ¾ 49 82 * 23 15 4 4 36 23
4 Sivasspor 48 81 * 23 15 3 5 34 17
5 Kayseri 44 77 * 23 12 8 3 38 18
6 Trabzonspor 32 62 * 24 9 5 10 33 30
7 Denizlispor 29 62 * 23 8 5 10 29 30
8 Konyaspor 28 58 6 2-0 * 24 8 4 12 27 44
9 GenÃ§lerbirliÃ°i OFTAÃ 28 61 3 2-2 * 23 7 7 9 24 25
10 MKE AnkaragÃ¼cÃ¼ 28 61 0 1-3 * 23 7 7 9 23 31
11 Bursaspor 27 60 6 5-2 * 23 6 9 8 24 26
12 GenÃ§lerbirliÃ°i 27 60 0 2-5 * 23 7 6 10 34 33
13 Gaziantepspor 26 59 * 23 7 5 11 26 36
14 Ãstanbul BB 25 58 * 23 6 7 10 29 32
15 Ankaraspor 23 56 * 23 5 8 10 23 29
16 ÃAYKUR Rize 22 55 * 23 6 4 13 24 46
17 VESTEL Manisa 21 54 * 23 5 6 12 32 43
18 KasÃ½mpaÃ¾a 15 48 * 23 4 3 16 17 41
Week 23 results
Denizlispor 1-2 BeÃ¾iktaÃ¾
Gaziantepspor 1-1 GenÃ§lerbirliÃ°i OFTAÃ
GenÃ§lerbirliÃ°i 6-1 Konyaspor
FenerbahÃ§e 0-2 Bursaspor
Ankaraspor 0-3 Kayseri
Ãstanbul BB 1-2 MKE AnkaragÃ¼cÃ¼
Sivasspor 0-0 ÃAYKUR Rize
Trabzonspor 2-2 VESTEL Manisa
Galatasaray 0-1 KasÃ½mpaÃ¾a
* Turkish Mens'Basketball
1. Besiktas 16-5
2. Efes P. 16-5
3. Galatasaray 15-6
4. Antalya 14-7
5. Fenerbahce 14-7
6. T.Telekom 14-7
7. Karsiyaka 13-8
8. Kepez Bld 10-11
9. Mersin 9-12
10. Banvitspor 9-12
11. Alpella 8-13
12. Selcuk Uni. 7-14
13. TED Koleji 7-14
14. Oyak Renault 6-15
15. Beykoz 6-15
16. Darussafaka 4-17
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