x0x Turkish news for week ending 05 April 2008
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 05 April 2008
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A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:
TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM
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KUSF FM 90.3, San Francisco
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Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host is Merter Bozkurt
For a subscription to the Internet edition of this news,
send a blank email to:
* Ever since the founding of the Turkish Republic there
had been some willing to exploit religious issues, the
commander of Turkey's armed forces said Friday, reports
the Turkish private channel NTV.
Reactionary circles continue their anti-secular
actions through legal associations and foundations in
Turkey and abroad, General Yasar Buyukanit said in an
exclusive interview published in the April issue of the
Turkish Defense and Aviation Magazine.
Another major threat to the country was posed by the
terrorist group the Kurdistan Workers Party, which
aimed to destroy the nation-state and its unitary
structure, he said.
* Referring to the decision by Turkey's Constitutional
Court to hear a case filed by a senior prosecutor
alleging the the ruling Justice and Development Party
had worked to subvert the secular regime in Turkey,
State Department spokesperson Tom Casey said that US
hopes case will be apolitical.
"What we would expect and hope from this process is
that those involved would proceed in a way that was
apolitical and that reflected the commitment to
representative democracy that's been expressed by the
Turkish voters in recent elections," Mr. Casey said.
On Monday, Turkish Constitutional Court voted to
accept the indictment against the Justice and
Development Party, 70 of its leading members and
President Abdullah Gul.
The prime minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is
one of the defendants, said the case is a problem for
all of Turkey. He added that his party would remain
committed to the rule of law and maintain its
In related news, the Turkish daily Milliyet reports
that Turkey-European Union joint parliamentary
commission co-chair Joost Lagendijk said that the case
seeking the closure of the ruling Justice and
Development Party should be blocked.
Mr. Lagendijk suggested that the Turkish government
should submit a comprehensive reform package to prevent
such party closures.
Mr. Lagendijk was speaking at a conference in
* Private Turkish channel NTV reports that Belgian
police have raided a building in the east of the
country believed to have been used by the underground
organization Kurdistan Workers Party and detained
around 40 women on Friday.
According to the Belgian broadcaster RTL, those
detained by police were taking part in a training camp.
The raid on a Kurdish cultural center in the town of
Verviers also resulted in police seizing a quantity of
documents, the local media said.
The raids come after a ruling on Thursday by the
European Court of First Instance that the Kurdistan
Workers Party's inclusion on the European Union list of
groups involved in terrorist activities was not
However, Joost Lagendijk, the co-chair of the
European Union-Turkey Joint Parliament Committee,
subsequently said the Council of the European Union had
placed the Kurdistan Workers Party on the list and the
European Court of Justice's decision will not change
As we have been reporting to you over the years, the
Kurdistan Workers Party is mainly active in Turkey's
Southeast, attacking military and civilian targets
In addition to the European Union, the U.S. and NATO
classifies the Kurdistan Workers Party as a terrorist
* According to NTV, inflation is up in Turkey, the
latest report by the Turkish Board of Statistics
indicates. The Central Bank of Turkey is blaming food
and fuel price hikes for the rising inflation.
According to the Board of Statistics, annualized
consumer price inflation was 9.2 percent in March and
the wholesale prices inflation 10.5 percent.
There is some good news about the Turkish economy,
however: The Turkish daily Turkiye reports that Turkish
Exporters Assembly announced that Turkey's export
revenues increased by 36 percent this January to March
period and reached $31.4 billion.
The twelve-month export figures increased by 27
percent and reached $114 billion.
* Turkey has turned down a call from the US to send
combat troops to Afghanistan, Turkish President
Abdullah Gul said Wednesday, reports NTV.
Turkey has twice lead the International Stability and
Assistance Force based in Kabul but its operations were
mainly limited to the area around Afghan capital.
As we reported to you last week, the Turkish
government previously said it would consider sending
troops to Afghanistan to take part in the US-led
coalition there, despite Turkish armed forces' top
commander General Yasar Buyukanit saying Turkey could
not spare the men due to the ongoing anti-terrorist
operations being conducted inside Turkey.
* The Turkish daily Turkiye reports that Turkey's
President Abdullah Gul accompanied by defense minister
Mr. Vecdi Gonul attended the NATO meeting in Bucharest,
* Turkish prime minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
accompanied by state minister Sait Yazicioglu, industry
and trade minister Zafer Caglayan, and interior
minister Besir Atalay visited Sweden at the invitation
of his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt.
Addressing Sweden's International Relations
Institute, Mr. Erdogan said that his government places
great importance on Turkey's European Union membership
Stressing that Turkey's reform process will continue
decisively, the prime minister said the inclusion of
Turkey in the enlargement of the European Union will
strengthen the Union.
On Thursday the Turkish prime minister spoke at a
Turkey-Sweden business forum.
In addition to talking more about the candidacy of
Turkey for the European Union membership, the prime
minister emphasized the importance of cooperation and
solidarity between Turkey and Sweden.
* Another good news on bringing the divided island of
Cyprus back together: The Turkish daily Cumhuriyet
reports that officials of the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus and Greek Cypriot administration
reopened the Lokmaci Gate between the capitals of the
two countries to crossings in both directions.
The move followed negotiations with the UN and is
hoped to herald new talks to resolve the issue of the
divided island, Cumhuriyet added.
* Turkey has added its voice to the growing groundswell
of criticism being directed at a film produced by Dutch
parliamentarian Geert Wilders that seeks to depict
Islam as a faith of violence and repression, reports
the Turkish channel NTV.
On Wednesday, Turkeys state Religious Affairs
Directorate issued a statement condemning the film
saying it was part of efforts to to show Muslim people
as potential terrorists, discriminate against them and
hurt their feelings.
However, the Directorate said it hoped Muslims would
not be provoked into action would lead to tension and
division in the societies in which they live.
ARTS AND CULTURE
By Hilal Koc
* The Turkish Daily News writes that their new book is
out on the late Ottoman history. The author is
Princeton University professor M. Sukru Hanioglu.
Doctor Hanioglu is bringing all facets of the era -
cultural, diplomatic, intellectual, literary, military,
and politics - to life for readers and serves as an
important corrective to other histories of this period,
the Turkish daily News writes.
Dr. Hanioglu is also the author of "Preparation for a
Revolution: The Young Turks, 1902-1908" and "The Young
Turks in Opposition."
Dr. Hanioglu insists on presenting historic events
and trends within their own context, thereby avoiding
the pitfalls many historians face when they present
Ottoman history in light of post-imperial and
nationalist accounts, adds the Turkish daily News.
See more about Dr. Hanioglu at:
* Turkish musician Erdem Helvacioglu is releasing a new
album in Turkey, reports the Turkish daily News.
Though relatively unknown in Turkey, Erdem
Helvacioglu is one of the most outstanding and
prolific contemporary Turkish musicians, whose work
has been described by prominent music magazine
Gramophone as "one of the best examples of its kind."
Mr. Helvacioglu's new album "Altered Realities" was
already released last year in the United States by New
His latest album is a conceptually unique
achievement, a solo acoustic guitar and live
electronics album, all performed and recorded in
real-time by Helvacioglu.
Helvacioglu, who has received numerous international
awards including prizes from the Luigi Russolo and
Insulae Electronicae Electroacoustic Music
Competitions, was commissioned to compose for Bang On A
Helvacioglu commission is the group's first for a
Helvacioglu was born in 1975 in the western city of
Bursa and his work reflects the transformation of the
music of the past into the music of the future through
the use of electronic beats. He researched American
musical history in detail to create his work. He
composed a work titled "Lossada Taka," which means
"Let's go there" in Abenaki, a Native American
language. He prefers using authentic themes in his
work, in which one can feel his combination of rhythmic
and sentimental tunes.
The band Bang On A Can said Helvacioglu's
commissioned piece, which they performed on Feb. 13 in
a concert at Merkin Hall hosted by renowned radio host
John Schaefer, is one of the compositions they most
enjoyed playing. Tristan Perich and Ken Thomson
composed the other works performed at the concert.
See video clips by Helvacioglu at:
* The 19th Annual Ankara Film Festival announced
winners just a few days ago. Ankara Film Festival is
the second largest film festival in Turkey after the
Antalya Film Festival. Its is sponsored by CNBC, NTV
Radio and Capitol Radio,
The national film competition awarded the first
winning prize to the film, "Riza." The film's
director, Tayfun Pirselimoglu was also a winner for the
Best Director award.
Best screenplay was given to "On the brink of life",
by Fatih Akin.
Best actress went to Fadik Sevin Atasoy and Best
Actor to Yetkin Dikinciler.
For more information on the festival, please visit
the website at http://www.filmfestankara.org.tr
* Istanbul is preparing for the vivid colors of tulips
to change the atmosphere of the city as the Third
International Istanbul Tulip Festival kicks off
This year's festival will host different
performances around Istanbul, including in Emirgan,
Ortakoy Square, Sultanahmet Square, Bagdat Street and
Goztepe Park. Among those events, there will be an
exhibition of the famous Turkish painter Ismail Acar.
He will display his works in an exhibition titled
"Laleler - Tulips."
This year's "100 most beautiful Tulips" competition
will take place in Emirgan Korusu on May 10.
Although tulips are associated with Holland, both the
flower and its name originated in the Ottoman Empire.
Tulips were brought to Europe in the 16th century;
the word tulip is from Ottoman Turkish tulbend,
meaning "muslin, gauze."
Capital see more about the Tulip Festival at:
* Ankara movie buffs are being treated to a six-day
feast of Spanish cinema starting today with a selection
of outstanding movies in the program.
The "Spanish Film Week," jointly organized by the
Spanish Embassy in Ankara and the Ankara Association
for Cinema Culture, will feature six films that
are the best examples of recent Spanish cinema and have
won awards in international festivals.
The event will run through Sunday at the Ankapol
movie theater in Kizilay, and all films will be
screened at 5:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. every day with
See the expanded coverage of the Spanish Film Week at:
* The winning cartoons of 2007's Dogan International
Cartoons Competition are on display at an exhibition
that kicked off in southeastern Gaziantep province
The exhibition is held at the Gaziantep Chamber of
Commerce's art gallery where 3,326 cartoons are of 218
artists from 91 countries are displayed.
See the cartoons at:
* The Dogan News Agency reports that a coal mine in
the Black Sea region of Turkey that was used as a
shelter during World War II and later as a training
center for mine workers is going to be converted into a
The coal mining museum in Zonguldak province, will
open next year, and be the first in the country.
The coal mine first became operational in 1880,
during the late Ottoman era.
A multi-functional hall will be built next to the
museum. It will show movies and various other
audiovisual shows about mining to inform visitors. A
cafe will be opened next to the museum as well.
Read more about the museum at:
* The latest video for turkish band Mor ve Otesi's
Eurovision Song Contest entry "Insane" was posted on
Eurovision.tv last week.
The Turkish broadcaster TRT chose Mor ve Otesi to
represent Turkey at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest.
The band, known for their environmentally conscious,
anti-war ideas, formed in Istanbul in January 1995 by
Kerem Kabadayi (drums), Harun Tekin (vocals/guitar),
Derin Esmer (vocals/guitar) and Alper Tekin (bass),
four close high-school friends in.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.29
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 63/46 Heavy Showers
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 68/57 Heavy Showers
Erzurum in eastern Turkey----------: 50/34 Mostly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 63/50 Light Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 59/54 Heavy Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 68/46 Mostly Cloudy
Turkish soccer premier league:
In this week's games:
TRABZONSPOR A.S. 2 - 0 DENIZLISPOR
GENCLERBIRLIGI OFTASSPOR 0 - 1 KASIMPASA
FENERBAHCE 2 - 1 KAYSERISPOR
In last week's games:
ANKARASPOR A.S. 1 - 0 TRABZONSPOR A.S.
DENIZLISPOR 3 - 2 GENCLERBIRLIGI
BESIKTAS A.S. 1 - 2 FENERBAHCE
VESTEL MANISASPOR 2 - 1 CAYKUR RIZESPOR
KONYASPOR 0 - 1 GENCLERBIRLIGI OFTASSPOR
KAYSERISPOR 1 - 2 BUYUKSEHIR BLD.SPOR
MKE ANKARAGUCU 2 - 0 BURSASPOR
KASIMPASA 0 - 4 SIVASSPOR
GALATASARAY A.S. 0 - 0 GAZIANTEPSPOR
Turkish Soccer Premier League, ranking:
Rank Team Points
1 FENERBAHCE 63
2 GALATASARAY A.S. 61
3 SIVASSPOR 61
4 BESIKTAS A.S. 58
5 KAYSERISPOR 48
6 DENIZLISPOR 39
7 TRABZONSPOR A.S. 38
8 GENCLERBIRLIGI OFTASSPOR 36
9 MKE ANKARAGUCU 36
10 BUYUKSEHIR BLD.SPOR 35
11 GAZIANTEPSPOR 32
12 BURSASPOR 31
13 ANKARASPOR A.S. 30
14 GENCLERBIRLIGI 28
15 KONYASPOR 28
16 VESTEL MANISASPOR 26
17 CAYKUR RIZESPOR 25
18 KASIMPASA 19
European Champions League:
* According to the Turkish channel NTV, Turkish soccer team Fenerbahce did
more than enough to keep their Champions League campaign alive Wednesday
night, bouncing back from the disappointment of an early own goal to beat
English powerhouse Chelsea 2-1 in the first leg of the quarter final tie
The Istanbul side now go into next week's return match in London
confident they can become the first Turkish club to advance to the
* Istanbul Rally, Turkey's oldest international motor sport event with a
36-year past, is being held this weekend.
This year, 21 international and 37 Turkish drivers will be rushing
their cars along the route, which is about 800 kilometers long and will
once again consist of smooth gravel roads on Istanbul's Asian side and in
the neighboring city of Kocaeli.
* The Turkey leg of the Olympic torch relay was held yesterday in Istanbul
where police detained at least six Uighur Turks who were protesting
The demonstrators were detained after they broke away from a larger
group of protesters and shouted slogans just meters away from Tugba
Karademir, a Turkish figure skater and Olympic athlete who started to run
with the torch through the city, reported the Associated Press. About 200
Uighur Turks had converged ahead of the ceremony near the Blue Mosque and
the St. Sofia.
"Turkey, stand by your brothers," read a banner at the protest. "We
don't want a country like China, with a bad human rights record, to hold
the Olympics, which symbolize humanity, peace and brotherhood," protester
Hayrullah Efendigil told the Associated Press.
Turkish Basketball, Men's First League, ranking:
Rank Team Points
1 BesIktas Cola Turka 47
2 Efes Pilsen 46
3 Galatasaray Cafe Crown 43
4 Fenerbahce Ulker 42
5 TURK Telekom 42
6 Pinar Karsiyaka 41
7 Antalya Bsb. 41
8 Mersin Buyuksehir Bld. 38
9 Banvit 37
10 Casa TED A. Kolejliler 37
11 Kepez Belediye 36
12 Mutlu Aku Selcuk Univ. 35
13 Oyak Renault 35
14 Alpella 34
15 Darussafaka 34
16 TTNet Beykoz 33
Turkish basketball, Women's First League, ranking:
Rank Team Points
1 Fenerbahce 42
2 Galatasaray 39
3 BesIktas Cola Turka 38
4 Pankup TED Kayseri Koleji 37
5 Botas Spor Kulubu 37
6 Mersin Buyuksehir Bld. 35
7 Ceyhan Belediye 33
8 Bahcesehir Burhaniye Belediye 30
9 Cankaya Universitesi 28
10 Migros Spor Kulubu 28
11 Istanbul Universitesi 27
12 Edremit Basketbol 12
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*** Stay tuned to our program for free tickets for a
performance. We will give away the tickets next week:
The performance is on Wednesday, April 16, 2008
folk-inspired Turkish classical guitarist
Door 7:30 P.M., Music 8:00 P.M.
Freight & Salvage Coffee House
1111 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94702
Telephone: (510) 548-1761