x0x Turkish news for week ending 24 May 2008
x0x Turkish news for week ending 24 May 2008
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Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your hosts are Fuad Tokad and Aysegul
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Edited by Aysegul Ildeniz
* Turkey marked the anniversary of founder Mustafa
Kemal Ataturk's landing in Samsun in 1919, where he
launched the struggle for national independence, on May
Ataturk chose to dedicate May 19 to youth, so it is
commemorated as Youth and Sports Day. The nationwide
celebrations began yesterday with the country's top
civilian and military echelons visiting Ataturk's
Mausoleum in the Turkish capital Ankara, laying wreaths
at the tomb.
President Abdullah Gul signed the special guest book
at the mausoleum and wrote, "The democratic, secular
and social Turkish Republic governed by rule of law
that you entrusted to the Turkish youth will stay alive
* New regulations extending the smoking ban in enclosed
public places came into effect in Turkey.
The new law prohibits smoking not only in all
enclosed areas, including taxis, ferries, trains,
shopping malls and the courtyards of all educational,
cultural and social service buildings, but also in
certain open-air areas, namely stadiums and
Cafes and restaurants except for those located in
shopping malls will benefit from a transition period
with a total ban only coming into force for them on
July 19, 2009.
* Turkey's top jurists made very harsh accusations
against the government, claiming that it exerted
systematic pressure on the judiciary on the eve of
"The latest developments are enough to prove that the
government tries to create a pro-executive judiciary,"
said the Supreme Court of Appeals' Chamber Presidents
Council, in a written statement.
"Since a year and especially recently, systematic
attacks on the judiciary undermine the Republic's
founding values. This is exactly the goal, but it must
never be forgotten that human history never witnessed a
nation and a state that satisfied its people with such
a controlled judiciary," read the statement.
* Leaders of the Turkish business world gathered at a
meeting in Istanbul Wednesday to discuss their action
plan against global warming to ensure a liveable planet
for the future.
Chief executive officers, or CEOs, discussed climate
change and its impact on the economy at a meeting held
at the Conrad Istanbul Hotel by Turkish economy
magazines Capital and Ekonomist.
"Unless public and privates sector officials take
measures now against global warming, it will sweep away
5 to 20 percent of the world's income,"
James Leape, chairman of World Wildlife Fund, the
global conservation organization, said at the CEO
Forum, sponsored by pension and insurance firm AvivaSA
Emeklilik ve Hayat.
"However, the damage will amount to just 1 percent of
the world's income should proper measures be taken on
time," said Leape, who has been serving as managing
director at World Wildlife Fund International since
ARTS AND CULTURE
* Mor ve Otesi representing Turkey in the 53rd
Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade will be going to
finals as it managed to be one of the first 10 groups
in the second semi final.
Mor ve Otesi will represent Turkey with the song
Here is their song:
* The Istanbul International Jazz Festival, to be held
July 2-16, plans to celebrate its 15th anniversary this
year by converting Istanbul into a city of jazz,
complete with a special anniversary program and some
big-name acts, reports the Turkish Daily News.
The festival, sponsored by Garanti Bank, will present
nearly 40 concerts, bringing audiences prominent jazz
artists from around the world, as well as esteemed
figures on the pop, rock, folk and world music scene.
The Jazz Boat, now a festival tradition, will stay its
course with a wonderful Bosporus tour on July 6, while
"street concerts" will continue to take jazz fever to
the streets of Istanbul.
Among these year's eminent musicians are: Herbie
Hancock and trio, Al Jarreau, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee
Bridgewater, Stacey Kent, Raul Midón, Sibel Kose and
the Al Schackman Band, Lenny Kravitz, Caetano Veloso,
Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard, Steve Swallow, Billy
Drummond feat. Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano, Jan
Lundgren, Paolo Fresu, Yasmin Levy, Funk Fever, Marcus
Miller, Omara Portuondo, Tito Rodriguez jr. and Machito
jr., Taksim trio featuring Zakir Hussain, New Folks,
Rufus Wainwright, Ivan Lins special project featuring
Nnenna Freelon, Maffy Falay Quintet, Sabri Tulug Tirpan
& Wolfgang Puschnig Rhythm Section, Oliver Gronewald &
Onder Focan group, Alp Ersonmez trio featuring
Alexandre Tassel, Sibel kose & jean-loup longnon, Burak
Bedikyan & Kestutis Vaiginis, Sarp Maden quartet feat.
Stéphane Belmondo, Baki Duyarlar & Stanislav Mitrovic,
and the Raul Midón, Istanbul saxophone quartet.
For more information go to:
* World-renowned pop star Kylie Minogue, who was on
stage in the Kurucesme Arena Tuesday night, had arrived
in Turkey with 21 trailers and eight buses, was given a
gift, a caftan specially prepared for her as a souvenir
from Istanbul, reports the Turkish Daily News.
A caftan is a cotton or silk cloak buttoned down the
front, with full sleeves, reaching to the ankles and
worn with a sash.
The caftans worn by the Ottoman sultans constitute
one of the most splendid collections of Topkapi Palace
in Istanbul. Some of them were so precious that they
were given as rewards to important dignitaries and
victorious generals during elaborate religious
A 10-person team prepared Minogue's caftan over 15
days. The caftan, which is handmade, has a tulip
pattern on the front and back of it. On the skirt and
sleeves there is a handmade crescent and star emblem.
There are also crosses on the shoulders of the garment.
The caftan, which is purple and light green, is
completed by a mini skirt cut from the same cloth.
Minogue told the audience that she loved the crescent
and star figure, and that she was very happy with the
After the concert, Minogue's fans waited at the
entrance of her hotel. There were even foreigners who
waited to see her.
Her fans describe her as very sympathetic and
warm-hearted. Fans raved that the concert was
"colorful, energetic and charming.
Here is more about Kylie:
* The seventh Mersin International Music Festival
started Wednesday in the Mediterranean city.
During the opening concert to be performed by the
Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, young violinist Janine
Jansen was on stage.
On the second day of the festival Bilkent Symphony
Orchestra accompanied two world-renowned opera artists:
Latvian soprano Marina Rebaka and tenor Aldo Di Toro.
One of the liveliest concerts of the festival was
held Saturday, when the quartet Vokaliz Grup performed
songs without instruments.
Mersin International Music Festival is being
organized by the Mersin International Music Festival
Art Events Association and is supported by many
nongovernmental organizations as well as Turkey's
Culture and Tourism Ministry and Mersin Governor's
The festival will end June 2.
More on the festival is at:
* Dogan News Agency reports that Turkeys first
eco-village market will open in the Aegean township of
Kusadasis Kirazli village on May 25.
Local women will sell their homemade products at the
market that will bring producers and consumers together
every Sunday. It is expected that the market will
contribute to bringing more visitors to the village.
The Kirazli village known for its strawberries and
natural landscape. The name of the village is also
interesting: It means "With Cherries", probably
abbrevitated from Village with cherries".
The Eco-village project, initiated three years ago
under the direction of the Kirazli local administration
office, the Kirazli Ecological Life Association and the
Watering Cooperative, has been turned into a marketing
entity with the participation of 50 farmers.
Local women will produce goods for the market just
like they produce for their family and women will be
able to contribute to their family's income.
Meanwhile, the Cherry Festival, which is a 50-year
tradition of the village, will take place on June 1. A
series of events will be held during the festival.
If you are around Kusadasi, check out the Kirazli
village, only 7 miles away, and tell them that you hear
about them in the US on the Turkish Cultural Program.
* The Turkish Daily News reports that the 16th
International Istanbul Theatre Festival is continuing.
Last week two honorary awards were presented to
Gulriz Sururi and Engin Cezzar respectively for the
outstanding contributions they have made to
contemporary Turkish Theatre.
A third honorary award was presented to the
Lithuanian director, Eimuntas Nekrosius, who is
internationally acclaimed for his work in theater and
opera, on May 25 at the Ataturk Cultural Center (AKM)
Grand Hall, before the staging of the play "Faust,"
which he directed.
Featuring eight theater and dance companies from
abroad, as well as 25 brand new productions from
Turkey, the 16th International Istanbul Theatre
Festival will showcase over 70 performances.
The festival will ends June 4.
Read more at:
* Guneyli village, near the Gulf of Saroz on the
Gallipoli Peninsula, has been developing into a popular
spot for diving tourism in recent years, reports the
Anatolia News Agency. Especially on weekends, the
village is very popular among tourists due to the fact
that is easily accessible from Istanbul.
"There has been too much interest in Guneyli in
recent years," said Savas Yapman, the founder of the
Kadikoy Underwater Center and a Turkish Underwater
Sports Federation member. He said divers and visitors
coming to Gallipoli are always charmed by the beauty of
region. "We think the revival of diving tourism in the
Gulf of Saroz, which we call Turkey's Red Sea, will
make a great contribution to the region's economy."
See a photo at:
* Anatolia News Agency reports that In the Aegean
province of Mugla, 10 more beaches have been awarded
the "Blue Flag," raising the number of blue flag
beaches in the region to 57 this year.
Following an evaluation by the international jury of
the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), it
was announced that 258 of Turkey's beaches and 13
marinas were deemed worthy of carrying the blue flag.
Blue flags are awarded to beaches for being clean,
safe and well-managed.
Here is one of Mugla's beaches:
* A company in the central Anatolian city of Konya has
started producing (tamarind), (water of life) and
(cornelian cherry) sorbets, indispensable flavors of
Ottoman cuisine that are mentioned in the Ottoman
Kanunname (Compendium of Imperial Law), reports the
"There are many different and delicious dishes and
sorbets in Turkish food culture," said Murat Dutar, the
owner of the company, which was established last year.
He said fast food and beverages like cola and fruit
juices resulted in traditional Turkish beverages fading
away. "We want our people to remember and appreciate
these various kinds of drinks and dishes in our
culture. That is why we decided to produce sorbets,
which are indispensable elements of Ottoman cuisine."
Dutar said they had studied the preparation of
sorbets and their importance in Ottoman cuisine, and
added, "During a study of three to four years, we
examined the compendium of imperial law and books on
Ottoman sorbet culture with some experts. Some books
contained more than 25 sorbet recipes."
Dutar said the sorbets were made entirely from herbal
products, and held many benefits for human health such
as alleviating stomach problems, increasing potency,
strengthening the heart, inducing feelings of happiness
and other things.
* The revamped "Bakewell Ottoman Garden" opened
Saturday in the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the
world's leading botanical gardens, in St. Louis in the
The Ottoman Garden, which is the first of its kind in
the United States and reflects traditional Turkish
garden architectural style, had opened for the first
time in August 2006. The garden was rededicated during
a ceremony Saturday with enhanced features and new
flora. The Turkish Consul General to Chicago Kenan Ipek
was present at the opening ceremony, held with the
support of the Turkish Culture Foundation based in the
United States. Professor Nurhan Atasoy, who is a
consultant for the Ottoman Garden project, made a
presentation on "The effect of Turkish garden culture
on the western world."
The garden provides a feast for the senses, with
various fountains and architectural elements to provide
a strong sense of authenticity. Seasonal oleanders
lining the walkway lead to the central focal point, a
shallow pool of water. Authentic flora includes citrus,
fragrant roses, classic Turkish tulips and drifts of
other bulbs and perennials, aromatic herbs,
pomegranate, and lilac. An inscription in Ottoman
script, gold on blue, above the arched doorway at the
south entrance honors the garden's benefactor, the late
Edward L. Bakewell.
According to the Turkish Culture Foundation, the
Bakewell family had relations with Mahmut II's mother,
Naksidil Valide Sultan, a woman of French origins. The
brothers Ted and Anderson Bakewell wanted to realize
the will of their father Edward L. Bakewell to
establish an Ottoman garden in the United States, and
opened it in the Missouri Botanical Garden. Turkish
architect Fazil Sutcu, who resides in St. Louis, also
contributed to the efforts of the Bakewell bothers.
For the Ottoman Garden, horticulturalists supervised
the planting of nearly 9,000 bulbs including historic
hybrid tulips, with varieties dating from the 1500s
through the mid-1900s. "It is one of the largest public
displays of such rare tulips in the United States,"
said Jason Delaney, a horticulturist at the botanical
Although tulips and other flowers had been known
throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, many
varieties were first introduced to Europe through
contact with the Ottoman Empire.
The Missouri Botanical Garden's display focuses on
authentic "Rembrandt" tulips, which are infected with
potyvirus. "The virus causes color breaks in the
petals, creating a feathered and streaked appearance to
the blooms," Delaney said. "As their popularity spread
westward, the Dutch turned the Ottoman appreciation
into a crazed obsession, buying and trading single
bulbs for entire family fortunes during a period known
as Tulipomania' in the 17th century," he added.
"It was not until the 1930s that this color-breaking
and mutation was identified as a virus, and within the
next few decades, the commercial cultivation of these
types ceased. Look-alike Rembrandt tulips have been
created through extensive hybridization and are now
available to the home gardener in many different colors
and styles," Delaney continued.
Designers of the Missouri Botanical Garden have tried
to recreate sights and smells common to the people and
officials of the historic Ottoman Empire. While gardens
in Islamic lands differ in layout, most share the
purpose of resembling the Koran's description of the
Gardens of Paradise, with flowing water and abundant
flora. The religious-based gardens seek to establish an
atmosphere of peace and oneness with nature, enhanced
by the rich, colorful sights and the pervasive
fragrance of blossoms and herbs. Scent is a strong
component of the garden.
Here are some views of the garden:
*** Turkish American Association of California is a non-profit
charitable organization established to promote better
understanding between Americans and Turks.
If you have any questions about Turks and Turkey,
e-mail them at taac@...
*** Planning to go to Turkey? Take a look at our Web pages
that are full of articles and information furnished by
travelers like yourselves:
*** For more music from Turkey and the Middle East tune to
International Cultural Program.
San Francisco World TV Channel 29
Sundays at 9-10 A.M.
*** After great success in 2007 with our special charity Captivating Caves
of Cappadocia Tour,we will again be hosting another limited series of
charity tours this year.
This is a wonderful opportunity to visit traditional and restored cave
homes in Goreme and a unique experience for all participants.
Your support is greatly appreciated .
The dates for the 1st series are as follows :
Saturday 24 May 2008 2.00pm
Sunday 25th May 2008 10.30 am
As all proceeds from the tour are for the Old Goreme Restoration fund.
We would appreciate your support by either joining us with your
friends,clients and guests,placing the attached posters in your place of
business,or advertising this on your website.
Ruth Lockwood & Pat Yale