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x0x Turkish news for week ending 08 November 2008

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  • Turkish Culture List
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    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 11, 2008
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      x0x Turkish news for week ending 08 November 2008

      [Best when viewed with the courier font.]


      A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:

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      Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your hosts is Fuad Tokad.

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      Edited by Fuad Tokad

      * The Turkish daily Cumhuriyet writes that the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey
      Ross Wilson says that almost 95 percent of U.S. policies would be
      maintained although the administration changed in the United States.
      Ambassador Wilson says foreign policies of countries depends on national
      interests, and added that many issues, including issues related with
      Turkey, were based on consensus.

      * The Turkish daily Milliyet reported that Deputy chairman of Justice and
      Development Party Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat resigned from his position.
      Mr. Firat, who has allegedly resigned due to his disagreement with Prime
      Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the "Southeast issue", denied such
      The Turkish daily Radikal on the other hand reported that Mr. Firat
      resigned due to his ineffective defense of his party against corruption
      allegations from the opposition Republican People's Party.
      Upon Mr. Firat's resignation, Abdulkadir Aksu became the new deputy
      chairman of the Justice and Development Party.

      * Delivering a speech at the French parliament, European Commissioner for
      Enlargement Olli Rehn said that the European Union is applying "double
      standards" against Turkey in its negotiation process to become a member of
      the Union.
      Mr. Rehn said that European Union suspended eight chapters of the
      negotiations due to Cyprus issue, Demands of France and several other
      countries caused the suspension of yet other chapters.
      Mr. Rehn said that approximately two chapters could be opened to
      negotiation each term, adding that such figure was quite low.

      * Mr. Zekeriya Temizel, the former head of Turkey's Banking Regulation and
      Supervision Agency blamed the International Monetary Fund for the meltdown
      in Turkish economy in 2001, reports the Turkish daily Yeni Safak. Mr.
      Temizel said "our banks went bankrupt because of the policies and methods
      of the International Monetary Fund. The country was pushed into risk."
      Mr. Temizel said that there was no difference between Turkey's 2001 and
      the current worldwide economic crisis.
      Mr. Temizel also said that there was no finance law in Turkey until 1999
      and markets were managed without regulatory framework for five years.
      "In the law adopted, we wanted to include a clause saying that banks
      shall be ensured liquidity and funds with the transferred to banks in a
      difficult condition. This clause was removed from the law with
      International Monetary Fund's pressure," Mr. Temizel also said.
      Mr. Temizel said, "after the constitutional row between the then Turkish
      prime minister and president, foreign capital was withdrawn from Turkey.
      We could not immediately implement the floating exchange rate regime,
      proposed by the International Monetary Fund, since the prime minister was
      "And the following day was a disaster. Interest rates climbed to 2,000
      percent and markets collapsed. We were not let to save even strong banks.
      Now, they are saving giant banks with the means that was restricted from

      * A video footage said to be taken secretly in orphanages in Turkey by a
      British TV team along with the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and her
      daughters has stirred a lot of passion both in Turkey and Britain.
      The footage was broadcast in Britain on ITV with the headline, "the
      forgotten children of Europe."
      The broadcast asked if Britain would continue supporting Turkey's bid
      for European Union membership if the less-than-desirable conditions in its
      orphanages persist.
      The Daily Telegraph criticized the Dutchess of York who was with the
      undercover British journalists.
      The newspaper wrote that the dutchess was misusing her own daughter to
      pay her debt of 4 million pounds.

      * Commenting on the documentary on Turkish orphanages during his talks
      with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Turkey's Foreign Minister
      Ali Babacan said that Sarah Ferguson made public the handicapped lives of
      the children at orphanages without their consent.
      Mr. Babacan said that this was against the human rights and the children
      were hurt.
      Mr. Miliband said the Dutchess had no ties neither to the British
      government nor to the royal family.
      Mr. Miliband said that British officials did not support the disclosure
      of the lives of the children without their or the caretakers' consent,
      reported the daily Hurriyet.

      * In related news, daily Sabah reported that Recep Dogan, the legal
      counsel of the Children's Protection Agency of Turkey, was an individual
      who also grew up in orphanages.
      After graduating from law school and becoming a lawyer, Mr. Dogan went
      to Britain to get a doctorate.
      Mr. Dogan has launched a legal action against the undercover video
      footage of Duchess of York in Britain, reports the daily.
      Ismail Baris, the director of the Children's Protection Agency, said the
      agency would sue Sarah Ferguson.

      * The Turkish daily Hurriyet reports that main opposition Republican
      People's Party parliamentarian Kemal Kilicdaroglu is accusing the current
      Turkish administration of favoring the Lebanese Hariri family in the
      privatization of Turk Telecom.
      Mr. Kilicdaroglu says that the government reduced the corporate tax
      after the privatization which provided millions of dollars of additional
      profits for the purchasing company, Oger Telekom. The company is part of
      Saudi Telekom and controlled by the Lebanese Hariri family.
      Mr. Kilicdaroglu distributed Saudi media reports that argued Abdullah
      Tivnikli, vice-chair of Kuweit Turk Investment Bank, influenced the sale
      of 35 percent of Oger Telecom to the Saudi Telecom company. Mr. Tivnikli
      is also said to have helped the Hariri family and Oger Telecom during the
      privatization of Turk Telecom, as well as having major influence on the
      Justice and Development Party, Mr. Kilicdaroglu said.
      He showed photographs of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
      with Messier's Tivnikli, Hariri, and two officials from Saudi Telecom.
      "It is said that Tivnikli is keeping a portion of Turk Telecom shares
      for himself as a trustee,"Mr. Kilicdaroglu added.

      * A group of Alevis will stage a rally in the Turkish capital Ankara on
      Sunday to demand rights from the government, reports the Turkish daily
      The Alevis are expected to reiterate calls for the abolishment of
      Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate. Alevis want the government to
      legalize their "cemevi" prayer houses and to not build mosques in Alevi
      "We are defending the rights of all citizens to freedom, equality and
      peace, and freedom from discrimination," a statement by a group of Alevi
      intellectuals said. The group that includes authors Yasar Kemal and Adalet
      Agaoglu and pianist Fazil Say is expected to join the weekend rally.
      The opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, and the pro-Kurdish
      Democratic Society, or DTP, are also backing the Alevi rally.
      Alevis, which number around 30% of the population, are a religious,
      sub-ethnic and cultural community in Turkey. The majority Sunnis sometimes
      consider them to be heretics.
      The government led by the Justice and Development Party whose roots are
      in sunni Islam, have been under fire for not listening to Alevi
      The majority of the Alevi community in Turkey traditionally votes for
      social democrat and left wing parties.

      * The Turkish daily Hurriyet reported on the issues surrounding the
      transportation of Caspian basin natural gas through Turkey to Europe.
      Nabucco, one of the projects aming to transfer the gas to Europe, has
      still not been finalized due to a dispute between European Union and
      Turkey on the pricing mechanism.
      The European Union is also struggling to beat Russian competition for
      Azerbaijan's gas supplies, essential if dependence on Russia is to be
      Last week, speaking to the Turkish press, following talks with Turkey's
      President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Energy
      Minister Hilmi Guler in Ankara, the European Union energy envoy said,
      "Today we more or less agreed that the intergovernmental agreement for
      Nabucco could be signed early next year."
      However the envoy added that the technical formula Turkey's energy
      ministry presented is not compatible with the European Union's liberalized
      energy market.
      Another major issue raised by the envoy was the liberalization of the
      Turkish energy market. "The 2001 reform remained on paper only, a lot of
      it was not implemented. We have quite a number of energy operators who are
      ready to enter the [Turkish] market but they are reluctant to do so
      because market regulation is imperfect. If this is solved, the
      commissioner said Turkey will see billions and billions of euros
      invested," the envoy added.

      * A senior member of the Russian parliament praised Turkey's commitment to
      the Montreux Convention of 1936 throughout the Russia-Georgia war that
      broke out last summer, on Friday, reported the daily Hurriyet.
      "Your commitment to the Montreux convention made us happy," said
      Ilyas-Magomed Salamovich Umakhanov, deputy head of the committee on
      foreign affairs of the Russian federal council. His remarks came during a
      meeting with Murat Mercan, chairman of the Turkish Parliament's Foreign
      Affairs Commission.
      The Montreux Treaty, which governs the passage of military ships from
      countries that do not have coastal access to the Black Sea, became
      relevant to Turkey in August when the U.S. military announced plans to
      send two large military hospital ships to Georgia, through the Turkish
      Straits. Georgia, a close U.S. ally, was at the time being invaded by
      "Turkey's letter by letter commitment to the Montreux Convention and its
      cooperative efforts during the crisis, were constructive," he stressed.
      Mr. Umakhanov also praised the Turkish initiative aiming to create a
      regional cooperation pact, also involving Russia.
      For his part, Mr. Mercan said he had the impression that Russia had no
      uneasiness about the Turkish position and expressed the belief that Turkey
      would continue to make positive contributions to the process of dialogue
      in the Caucasus region.
      Turkey came up with a proposal to create a Caucasus pact in the wake of
      the Russia-Georgia war to bring the conflicting parties to the table,
      including rivals Azerbaijan and Armenia.
      Earlier in the week, the re-elected leader of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev,
      was in Turkey. He said Turkey's efforts would bring peace to the region,
      while calling on Armenia to show the political will for a solution to the
      dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani territory occupied by


      Edited by Serkan Hatipoglu

      * A new exhibition depicting a chronological account of Ataturk's life
      opened last Thursday at the Rahmi M. Koc Museum runs through until Nov.30.
      The exhibition is comprised of photographs covering the life and death
      of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish republic. Film slides
      illustrating important events in his life will be on display at the
      The Rahmi M Koc Museum is the first major museum in Turkey dedicated to
      the history of Transport, Industry and Communications. Situated on the
      shore of the historic Golden Horn it is the perfect setting to house this
      new Ataturk exhibition.
      Mr. Necmettin Ozcelik, who has dedicated years to collecting the work of
      various different artists and photographers, both native and
      international, has put the collection together.
      Each photograph selected standouts for its unique portrayal of different
      aspects of Ataturk's life, from his activities and preoccupations in the
      Dolmabahce Palace to the grand parade of his funeral car.
      Among these photographs will be fragments from newspapers of the time
      and portraits of memorial services that have taken place in remembrance of
      Ataturk over the years.
      Reactions to Ataturk's death will be shown through slides illustrating
      messages from government officials and the famous eulogy delivered by
      General Ismet Inonu will be among these.

      * The new documentary "Mustafa," by the renowned documentary director and
      biographer Can Dundar, sheds a whole new light on Turkey's greatest hero,
      depicting the deified leader as a human being, perhaps, for the first
      "Mustafa" chronicles Ataturk's life, from his childhood in Macedonia to
      his death in Istanbul in 1938. The film begins with Ataturk's final months
      on his deathbed in Dolmabahce Palace where he was fighting cirrhosis.
      Narrated by director and writer Dundar, we are told Ataturk's impressions
      of a painting in his room that reminded him of his early years in
      Macedonia. He tells his adopted daughter Afet Inan of his
      (never-fulfilled) wish to make a final trip to the land where he was born.
      As implied by the title, "Mustafa" is a very intimate recount of Ataturk
      in a never-before-seen light. Following arduous research through public
      archives of Ataturk's personal journals, Dundar brings a whole new
      dimension to the leader. In the movie, here's a man who flirts, misses his
      mother, has his heart broken, clashes with his friends, makes mistakes,
      dances, drinks and eventually leads a lonely life in the face of a new
      century he understands perfectly well but cannot share with anyone.
      Some journalists, and columnists deemed it unnecessary to reflect
      Ataturk's strong views on the role of Islam in the new country he was
      building from scratch, his fondness for partying brightened by the nicely
      distilled rakI and his single-party regime, and some argued that it has
      been a long time since someone reminded us that the heroics of great men
      become all the more valuable with their weaknesses.

      * New excavations have revealed that Turkey's Aegean city of Izmir, once
      believed to be 5,000 years old, may be as old as 8,500 years.
      Professor Zafer Derin of the Ege University archeology department, the
      head of the excavation team, said in a written statement his team had
      discovered 150 artifacts at the Ye$ilova Tumulus excavation site, reported
      the Anatolia News Agency.
      Professor Derin said that findings determined that those who lived in
      this area 8,500 years ago had an organized society and were related to the
      people who lived in Anatolia, the mainland part of modern-day Turkey. "We
      had clues that they also had commercial relations with people in the
      Anatolia region," he added.
      Professor Derin said they discovered spoons with religious motifs and
      that the handle of the spoons unearthed at the site had been carved as a
      figure of a mother and used to feed babies.
      "We have discovered accessories made of stone and bones, beside seeds
      and animal bones. These prove that Ye$ilova's Neolithic inhabitants were
      good at handcraft and agriculture."
      Ege University has also launched a project to transform the area where
      the Ye$ilova Tumulus is located into an educational area by re-enacting
      life in the area for visitors.
      According to the project, called "Time Travel" and developed as a
      European project by the Bornova and Kalmar municipalities from Sweden, the
      archeological area will first be visited and explained to students and
      then students will participate in experimental excavations at the
      archeology park.
      Students will also wear clothes from the era and have a chance to
      experience the conditions of the age.

      * Damaris Kremida of the Turkish daily Hurriyet writes that hundreds of
      artists from around the world have convened for the 18th annual TUYAP
      Istanbul Art Fair running along side the book fair until Sunday.
      Not long ago, two men, one Greek, the other Turkish, met at a human
      rights conference for artists in a small Greek town, three hours west of
      Athens. When they learned that they both had roots in Samsun, they
      embraced and cried.
      The story of Deniz Han Ozer and Sotiris Iosifidis is testament to how
      common roots, and more importantly art, can bring people together. This
      week at the annual art exhibition at Istanbul's TUYAP Art Fair, among the
      hundreds of different works of art from around the world, hangs one
      painting with a message of peace.
      Iosifidis told that when Ozer invited him to the TUYAP event last month,
      he felt he had to bring a piece that said something. One night at two in
      the morning he pulled the sheet off his bed and started his anti-war
      manifesto. When he was done, he rolled it up and boarded the plane for
      Istanbul for the first time.
      "This work is not about Turkey," said Iosifidis. "It is about humanity."
      His work is a study on how wars, like the well known story of Troy, were
      fought for love. His piece, he said, reveals this contradiction and makes
      the statement; "Not by war." Above the writing on his painting a pair of
      white underwear replaces the white flag of peace and takes on a meaning of
      love and attraction, Iosifidis explains. At the end of the day, everyone
      is looking for love, not war, he added.
      Iosifidis is one of the nearly 170 artists displaying their work at
      TUYAP, which runs until Sunday in conjunction with the TUYAP Book Fair. A
      Bulgarian native, Vassil Stoyev told the Daily News that this was his
      second time at the event, which has been held annually for the last 18
      years. The fair is known for its more casual and unpretentious attitude
      toward art, said one of the fair organizers from the non-profit Koridor
      Contemporary Art Program, Ozer. He explained that the main purpose of the
      TUYAP event was for artists to show their work and get to know each other.
      "There is no star artist here," he said, explaining that the primary
      audience was the artistic community and that everyone contributed to the

      * The Anatolia News Agency reports that one of the most important projects
      undertaken to revive the city of Izmir's cultural and artistic heritage,
      the Adnan Saygun Art Center, is set to open soon.
      According to a statement made by the Izmir Municipality, the famous
      Turkish pianist, Gulsin Onay, who resides in London, came to Izmir to see
      the construction of the center that bears the name of her teacher, Ahmet
      Adnan Saygun, composer of the first Turkish opera.
      Ms. Onay, pointing out the importance of the center's concert hall, with
      a capacity of 1,255 people, said, "This will be a huge artistic structure
      and a unique arts center for the country."
      She said that once it opened, she would no longer be jealous of art
      centers in other cities such as New York, Berlin and Paris, because the
      Adnan Saygun Art Center would be just as magnificent.
      Ms. Onay, who graduated from the Paris Conservatory at the age of 16,
      gave her first concert in Europe when she was just 18. She received the
      title of State Artist in 1987 and was chosen as a goodwill ambassador in
      2003, by the UNICEF Turkey National Committee. She was also awarded a
      Polish State Medal due to her successful interpretation of Chopin's
      Mr. Saygun dedicated his second piano concerto to Ms. Onay, who is a
      powerful interpreter of Mr. Saygun's compositions.

      * The 14th Festival on Wheels, organized by the Ankara Cinema Association
      with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the
      Kars Municipality, began its journey last Friday in the eastern Turkish
      city of Kars, before stopping in Artvin, a northeastern Black Sea city
      from Nov. 14 to 16, reports the Turkish daily Hurriyet.
      The festival will travel beyond Europe this year, to the United States,
      Mexico, Argentina, India, Germany, and Sweden. Audiences will be able to
      choose from a program of 156 films, spread across the feature, short and
      documentary genres.
      Ten films, examples of contemporary world cinema, will compete for the
      Golden Goose, Silver Goose and the Cinema Writers Association Awards in
      the third International Golden Goose Competition.
      Two films from Turkey will also be competing for an award; Semih
      Kaplanoglu's highly anticipated film "Milk" and Ozcan Alper's first
      feature film "Autumn."
      Other Turkish films at the festival are "My Marlon and Brando" by
      Huseyin Karabey who received the Best Director award at New York's Tribeca
      Film Festival; Dervi$ Zaim's latest feature "Dot," "Pandora's Box," by
      Ye$im Ustaoglu; "Three Monkeys," which won Nuri Bilge Ceylan the Best
      Director Award at the 61st Cannes Film Festival; and Seyfi Teoman's
      feature "Summer Book," which has won Turkish cinema a succession of awards
      this year.
      The Festival on Wheels also has a section allocated to Romanian cinema,
      a rising star in recent years. The section will serve as a showcase of
      recent Romanian short films. Festival guests from different countries and
      cultures around the world will meet in Kars to watch films together, share
      experiences and create.
      See more at: http://www.festivalonwheels.org/


      EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.54


      High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather

      Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 36/61 Mostly Sunny
      Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 55/81 Mostly Sunny
      Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 54/61 Mostly Sunny
      Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 54/72 Mostly Sunny
      Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 50/57 Clear

      Seawater temperatures

      Black Sea measured at Trabzon 64
      Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag 63
      Aegean Sea measured at Izmir 68
      Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 79


      * Turkish Premier Soccer League

      BE$IKTA$ A.$. KOCAELISPOR 5- 2

      * In games played last week:

      KAYSERISPOR BE$IKTA$ A.$. 1- 0

      * Standing in the league:

      1.TRABZONSPOR A.$. 20
      2.ANKARASPOR A.$. 19
      3.SIVASSPOR 18
      4.BE$IKTA$ A.$. 18
      5.GALATASARAY A.$. 17
      6.KAYSERISPOR 17
      7.BURSASPOR 15
      9.FENERBAHCE 13
      10.ESKI$EHIRSPOR 13
      11.KONYASPOR 13
      14.DENIZLISPOR 8
      17.ANTALYASPOR A.$. 5
      18.KOCAELISPOR 2

      * The Turkish soccer team Galatasaray beat Portugal's Benefica in its own
      turf to 0 on Wednesday. This victory will enable the Turkish team to
      qualify for the U. E. F. A. cup.
      Galatasaray is now up at the top of Group B.


      *** Turkish American Association of California is a non-profit
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      *** 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.

      *** Yore dance
      Free Classes, adult only, dancers must be available for Saturday or
      Sunday performances. Dance experiences preferred for teenage

      Every Sunday: 11 AM-1:30 PM
      Shawl-Anderson Dance Center
      2704 Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley CA 94705
      Corner of College & Alcatraz

      Fridays 8:00-10:30pm
      Stanford University EV Center
      Contact: yoredance-owner@...

      *** Republic Day commemerative breakfast

      Stanford Turkish Student Association will be celebrating the
      Turkish Republic Day with a breakfast on Sunday, November 2.

      For more information contact: simlac@...

      *** Commeration events for M.K. Ataturk, the first president of Turkey:

      -- Monterey: Pebble Beach Community Services District Boardroom,
      Nov. 9, 2008, 14:00

      3101 Forest Lake Rd., Pebble Beach, CA

      Organized by TAAC Monterey


      ============ =====

      2:00 Moment of Silence
      2:05 National Anthem
      2:10 Importance of the Day
      2:25 Ataturk Documentary Film
      3:30 Poems by Children
      3:40 Reception

      (Coffee & Desserts will be served)

      -- Stanford: Village Center, 750 Escondido Road, Stanford,
      Nov. 9, 2008, 14:00

      Organized by TAAC Silicon Valley


      - Tolga Ornek's Ataturk film
      - Violinist Sema Oktay's performance of Ataturk's favorite music
      - Poem recitation by the Turkish Community School students

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