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x0x Turkish news for week ending 28 June 2008

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  • Turkish Culture List
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    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2008
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      x0x Turkish news for week ending 28 June 2008

      [Best when viewed with the courier font.]


      A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:

      Saturdays at 6:00 P.M.
      KUSF FM 90.3, San Francisco

      Also tune to

      Tuesdays at 10:00 P.M.

      Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host is Murat Temeltas.
      Anita Donohoe provided the web links for Arts and Culture section.

      For a subscription to the Internet edition of this news,
      send a blank email to:



      * According to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, Turkish officials said Friday
      the economy showed a strong budget performance and a successful fiscal
      discipline during the first five months of the year.
      The assessment came amid growing criticism of economists that the
      signals of loosening the fiscal discipline have increased.
      "Turkish economy's vulnerability stemming from external shocks decreased
      remarkably thanks to strong reserves and the improvement achieved in the
      level and structure of public debts," said a statement released after a
      meeting on Turkish economy, presided by Premier Tayyip Erdogan in the
      capital Ankara.
      Turkish economy is stuck between the rise in inflation and a slowdown in
      growth. The headline inflation rose to double-digit figures, highest in 14
      months. Food and energy prices are the main drivers of the inflation.

      * The Turkish daily Turkiye reports that the Parliamentary Assembly of the
      Council of Europe accepted a report on Thursday stipulating that a
      monitoring mechanism for Turkey should be reviewed, if the need arises.
      The report prepared by Belgian parliamentarian Luc Van den Brande
      focuses on the functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey.
      It also expresses great concern about the closure case against the
      ruling Justice and Development Party, which could also result in political
      bans on the prime minister and the president.
      "Regardless of the court ruling, the case will affect the political
      stability of the country," the report warns.

      * At the opening ceremony of a photo exhibit held by the US Embassy in
      Kahramanmaras in southeastern Turkey, US Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson
      on Tuesday said that recent opinion polls show a rising tide of sympathy
      and interest among Turks for the US.
      "The reason for this is very simple," he added. "Mostly it's related to
      Iraq. Over the last year-and-a-half, we've seen promising developments in
      Iraq. For this reason, the US' image in Turkey has started to improve."
      Asked about the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development
      Party, Wilson said, "I'm worried about its impact on Turkey's democratic
      institutions," and added, "I'm sure that the institutions in Turkey and
      its people will find a solution to these problems."

      * According to the Turkish daily Milliyet another U.S. official commented
      on the impending closure case against the ruling party in Turkey. A top
      Turkish prosecutor is accusing the party of violating the principal of
      secularism of the Turkish Constitution.
      If the ruling Justice and Development Party is closed down and Turkey's
      European Union talks are halted, this would be unfortunate and hurt US
      interests, but it would be Turkey's business, said US Deputy Assistant
      Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Matt Bryza on Wednesday.
      Mr. Bryza made the remarks after giving the Turgut Ozal Memorial Lecture
      at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

      * Turkey's foreign affairs minister Mr. Ali Babacan said on Tuesday that
      he was working to help establish a Palestinian state with secure borders.
      Mr. Babacan, in Berlin to attend a donors' meeting for Palestine, told
      reporters that the attendees had exchanged views on how Palestine can
      develop its own police and legal institutions.

      * Turkey's president Mr. Abdullah Gul on Wednesday approved a law allowing
      the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation to broadcast in
      languages other than Turkish, including Kurdish, reports the Turkish daily

      * According to the Turkish daily Sabah, The French Senate early this week
      rejected a proposed constitutional change for a public referendum on
      Turkey's European Union membership.
      The proposal, already passed by France's lower house, had stipulated a
      direct referendum over the membership of countries whose population
      exceeds 5 percent of the European Union's total population.
      Following the Senate's rejection, the constitutional amendment package
      will be sent back to the French lower house.

      * The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization will hold a
      meeting in Istanbul next Tuesday and Wednesday, reports the Turkish daily
      During the Cross-Regional Workshop for the organization's International
      Cooperation meeting, representatives of 36 countries will discuss
      encouraging non-proliferation and efforts to boost the number of member
      Turkey ratified the non-proliferation treaty in 2000.

      * Reuters news agency reports that a forest fire is ranging on the hills
      overlooking the Mediterranean resort town of Marmaris.
      Hotels and homes have been vacated.
      As here in California, Turkey is experiencing severe drought.

      * International Diamond Laboratories, an initiative of the Dubai Multi
      Commodities Center, has opened a full-fledged facility in Istanbul to
      offer its internationally recognized diamond grading services.
      International Diamond Laboratories, which started operations in 2007 in
      Dubai, is also present in Antwerp, Jeddah and Mumbai and offers many
      services like automated color grading and the world’s first diamond color
      It is also the first lab to offer diamond jewelry certification

      * On an official visit to Spain with a large business delegation, State
      Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen called on Spanish contractors to
      make investment in league with their Turkish counterparts, and said that
      Turkey wants to cooperate with Spain in the construction sector, reports
      the Turkish daily Sabah.
      Meeting with Spanish Contractors' Association head David Taguas in
      Madrid, Tuzmen said that the Turkish contracting sector made $20 billion
      in foreign countries last year, up from just $1.4 billion in 2002.
      He added that 22 of the world's 225 biggest contractor companies were

      * According to the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, Iraq's oil minister announced
      on Sunday that six more foreign companies, including the Turkish Petroleum
      Company, will be able to bid for future oil and natural gas deals in the
      The agreements are expected to be signed Monday Jun. 30th.

      * Turkey on Tuesday officially started a $3-billion project to produce
      attack helicopters in association with the Italian company AgustaWestland,
      reports the Turkish daily Turkiye.
      A ceremony marking the occassion was held at Turkish Aviation and Space
      Industry headquarters in the Turkish capital Ankara, with Prime Minister
      Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Franco Frattini,
      Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and Chief of the General Staff Gen.
      Yasar Buyukanit in attendance.

      * According to the Reuters, Merrill Lynch plans to launch a new Turkish
      real estate investment fund by the end of this year, the head of the
      investment bank's Turkish arm said on Tuesday.
      The new fund follows another real estate fund worth $1 billion launched
      just over a year ago.
      Real estate in Turkey has boomed in recent years, helped by a
      fast-growing population, economic growth averaging 7 percent a year since
      2001, foreign investment and the start of European Union membership talks.


      * Anatolia News Agency reports that Turkish food companies are set to
      participate in the "Summer 2008 Fancy Food & Confection Show" in New York
      from June 29 to July 1.
      Recent Fancy Food Shows have attracted from 19,000 to 24,000 attendees
      from specialty food, wine, gift and department stores, supermarkets,
      restaurants, mail order and other related businesses.
      Around 28 Turkish food companies with pistachio and olive oil promotion
      groups will take part in the fair.
      About 2,500 American and foreign companies will attend the 54th Fancy
      Food Show this year in New York. Almost 20,000 buyers are expected to
      visit the show. These attendees come to see thousands of exhibitors from
      around the world, presenting more than 180,000 specialty foods to discover
      and sample.
      See more at:

      * The Turkish Daily News reports that the number of tourists taking the
      blue cruises in the coves of Gokova in Turkey's Aegean province of Mugla
      have reached 100,000.
      Also know as blue voyage, a blue cruise takes passengers along the
      southwestern coast of Turkey on a traditional wooden boat called a gulet.
      Passengers live on the boat throughout the duration of the cruise.

      * Anatolia News Agency reports that excavations carried out in a marble
      travertine mine in the town of Kocabas in Turkey's Aegean province of
      Denizli's Honaz Township unearth fossils of human arm bones, seahorses,
      crocodiles and crabs.
      The municipality is keeping the fossils under protection for
      scientists, said Kocabas Mayor Isa Cin.
      "The homo erectus fossil that was found in 2002 was 500,000 years old,
      but these fossils might be even older," said Cin and added that the
      fossils were removed from stones in the marble travertine mine.
      He said, "There are 40 marble mines and 20 factories in the town. Such
      interesting things can be found during excavations, and they are very
      important in terms of illuminating the history of Denizli. We hope
      scientists will soon come here and study the fossils."
      Cin said the necessary studies would be carried out to determine the age
      of the fossils, and added, "After the completion of the scientific studies
      of the fossils, we plan to open a museum to display them."
      See more at: <http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/m/a.php?id=107812>

      * Vercihan Ziflioglu of the Turkish daily news reports that universally
      acclaimed Turkish harp virtuoso Sirin Pancaroglu played the cheng, a
      1,000-year-old mythical musical instrument of the East, for the first time
      on stage during her performance at the 36th International Istanbul Music
      Sirin Pancaroglu has captivated thousands of ears with the magical
      melodies of her harp during many years of performing on stages around the
      world. Ms. Pancaroglu studied music at the Geneva Conservatory and
      received a master's degree in music from Indiana University in 1993.
      Ms. Pancaroglu was on stage in Hagia Irene on June 24 where the Tekfen
      Philharmonic Orchestra led by conductor Saim Akcil will accompany her. The
      cheng has been one of the most significant musical instruments in the East
      since the 18th century. The word comes from the Persian word "chang,"
      which means "harp" and also "five fingers."
      Similar to the harp in terms of its shape and function, the cheng is
      known for being the musical instrument to accompany philosophical and
      intellectual gatherings involving poetry.
      Evolving from ancient Near Eastern instruments, it was a popular
      instrument in the Ottoman Empire until the last quarter of the 17th
      Evliya Celebi, the world-renowned Ottoman traveler who journeyed
      throughout Ottoman territory in the 17th century also mentions the cheng
      in the 10-volume chronicle of his travels.
      See more at:

      * Turkish Daily News reports that concerts, theater plays, exhibitions and
      film screenings will bring a lively atmosphere to Istanbul's Buyukada. The
      Adaevi Summer 2008 cultural festival, which kicked off June 28, will bring
      together artists, writers and locals.
      Buyukada is one of the Princes' Islands located in the Marmara Sea in
      northwestern Turkey.
      The festival kicked off with an art exhibition by artist Nino Varon from
      Buyukada itself. This marks the start of an event featuring 12 exhibitions
      of plastic arts, 11 photography galleries, 13 concerts, three plays, five
      film screenings and three performances in total.
      Various types of fine arts will be exhibited, ranging from paintings to
      sculptures, marbling to miniatures. Conspicuous works of artists such as
      Devrim Erbil, Berc Torosyan and Lale Merkit will no doubt draw attention.
      Other exhibitions on show include: Cengiz Akduman's photography
      exhibition, Harun Yilmaz's illumination and miniature exhibition, Nimet
      Ozata's marbling exhibition, Eti Behar's sculpture exhibition and Lale
      Merkit's jewelry exhibition.
      Greek, Seferad, Latin, pop, classical, neo-classical western and Turkish
      music, folk songs and concerts, appropriate to the multicultural structure
      of the islands, or "Adalar," will give a novel touch to the evenings. Ruhi
      Ayangil, Armando, Funda, Candan-Erdem Naturel Grubu, Orpheus Ikilisi,
      Cesm-i Dil MusIki Grubu, Ali Naki Gundogdu and Erol Esken will be among
      the performers. There will also be a music workshop held by Yesim Altinay.
      Ali Catalbas's single-act play "Kotu Cocuk" and Orhan Erturk's play
      "Godot Gitmiyor" will be performed in the specially prepared gardens of
      "Adaevi" (the Island House).
      Famous artists and journalists such as Ataol Behramoglu, Balkan Naci
      Islimyeli, Nebil Ozgenturk, Halit Refig, Tanju Gursu and Ediz Hun will be
      attending the discussions, which will take place Sunday evenings.
      See more at:

      * Turkey will be hosted in one of the most important music festivals this
      year, besides being a guest country in the Frankfurt Book Fair. Popkomm, a
      festival which gets more than 400 bands from all over the world onto the
      stages of Berlin's hippest clubs, will promote Turkey in the German
      capital and to the worldwide music scene.
      The festival has been held in Berlin since 2004 and is now well
      established as the meeting place for the music and entertainment business
      around the world. Popkomm is the third biggest festival in the world.
      During the festival there will be 15 live performances of Turkish folk,
      pop and art music. The streets of Berlin will be dancing to Turkish music
      for three days starting from Oct. 8. The festival starts right before the
      Frankfurt book fair.
      See more at:

      * Anatolia News Agency reports that World-renowned Turkish pianist Fazil
      Say is ready to offer his latest CD to music lovers. Mr. Say, who took the
      stage together with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja at his concerts on
      June 26-27, performed compositions from his upcoming album. The concert
      was at Enka Open Air Auditorium in Istanbul's Istinye district.
      The duo has attracted the attention of the world press. French magazine
      Le Monde de la Musique wrote that they were playmates who influence and
      give energy to each other."
      Say has a packed concert schedule this summer. Before performing in
      Turkey, he will take the stage in London today, and in the Czech Republic
      on June 25. After the concert in Istanbul the musician will head to Athens
      and the Netherlands. On July 15 he will be in Munich. Say will be
      performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and will be one of the jury
      members of the festival's contest.
      See more at: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOo_IZypu6U>

      * 17 Turkish hotels have been listed among the world's 100 best hotels in
      a poll conducted by one of the world's largest tourism operators, the
      German-based Touristik Union International, reports the Turkish daily
      news. The poll was conducted among the 35 million guests who traveled with
      TUI last year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.
      See more at:

      * Seyfi Teoman's first movie "Holiday Book" won the special jury prize at
      the 54th Taormina Film Festival in Italy. The festival took place June
      The jury, headed by Turkish screenwriter-director Ferzan Ozpetek,
      particularly appreciated Teoman's work among that of a number of other
      Turkish directors. A special part of the festival was dedicated to Turkish
      cinema, including recent movies "Egg", "A Man's Fear of God," "My Father
      and My Son," "Five Times," "Destiny," "To Go" and "Three Monkeys," which
      were screened separately from the main competition.
      The Turkish premiere of "Holiday Book" took place at the 27th
      International Istanbul Film Festival in April, where it won the prize for
      the best Turkish film and the FIPRESCI prize, given by the International
      Film Critics Association.
      See more at:

      * Anatolia News Agency reports that Konya's Cihanbeyli District is set to
      open a center aimed at the promotion of culture and economic development
      in the area. The center will hold flat woven rug workshops, which will be
      supported by the local Selcuk University.
      The participants will weave rugs with Anatolian motifs in accordance
      with a lectures given during the workshops.
      See more at:

      * Anatolia News Agency reports that a cultural education project
      "Displaying on Site," prepared jointly by Zeugma Excavation Team and
      Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, has been accepted by the European
      Union to receive funding of one million euros.
      The goal of the project is to keep the artifacts in the ancient city in
      their own place and to display them there.
      "Professional Italian restorers, Tunisian museum experts and Syrian
      archaeologists will come to the ancient city of Zeugma to work together."
      said Zeugma Ancient City Excavation Team Chairman assistant professor
      Kutalmis Gorkay.
      See more at:


      EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.22


      High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather

      Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 95/59 Decreasing Cloudiness
      Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 93/66 Partly cloudy
      Erzurum in eastern Turkey----------: 91/57 Partly cloudy
      Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 93/59 Partly cloudy
      Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 90/72 Decreasing Cloudiness
      Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 91/55 Decreasing Cloudiness

      Seawater temperatures

      Black Sea measured at Trabzon 72
      Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag 75
      Aegean Sea measured at Bodrum 72
      Mediterranean Sea measured at Alanya 79


      * Two more Turkish basketball players have been drafted by NBA clubs for
      the 2008-2009 season. The Chicago Tribune reports that The Boston Celtics
      have recruited Semih Erden of Fenerbahçe Ülker. Erden also plays in the
      Turkish national team.
      The Portland Trail Blazers recruited another national team and Fener
      Ülker player, Ömer Asik.

      * Facing Germany on Wednesday night in the first semifinal match of the
      European Football Championship 2008, the Turkish National Football Team
      lost due to a last-minute goal, 3-2.
      Playing without eight key players, the national team won great praise
      for its performance in the match.
      Germany will come up against the victor of the today's second semifinal
      match between Russia and Spain in the final on Sunday in Vienna, Austria.


      *** 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.

      *** Pacific Film Archive presents:
      Mental Minefields: The Dark Tales of Zeki Demirkubuz
      Through June 28, 2008

      >>>> Tune to our program to win a free pair of tickets!

      "An auteur with a genuine spiritual sensitivity, Zeki Demirkubuz [is] one of the world's few convincing existential filmmakers" (Boston Phoenix). Discover this Turkish director's acclaimed body of work, a compelling portrait of morality in the contemporary world.

      6:30 Confession
      Zeki Demirkubuz (Turkey, 2001, 91 mins)
      A husband's suspicions lead to "the most shattering depiction of marital life since Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage."-Edinburgh Film Festival

      8:15 Destiny
      Zeki Demirkubuz (Turkey/Greece, 2006, 103 mins)
      This prequel to Innocence develops that film's characters and won the Best Director prize at the 2006 Istanbul Film Festival.

      Mental Minefields: The Dark Tales of Zeki Demirkubuz is a touring exhibition organized by ArteEast and Moon and Stars Project (www.moonandstarsproject.org).

      The Pacific Film Archive Theater is located at 2575 Bancroft Way (between Telegraph and Bowditch) in Berkeley. Advance tickets are available by calling (510) 642-5249 or visiting http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/tickets

      For more information, visit http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries/demirkubuz2008

      *** Ahmet Luleci and his dance company Collage West will be in the 30th
      Anniversary Ethnic Dance Festival.

      They are performing a piece that he choreographed called Anatolia -- a
      medley of 7 different dance styles and regions of Turkey.

      June 28 & 29.

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