x0x Turkish news for week ending 02 May 2009
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 02 May 2009
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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 Ahmet Toprak.
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* We reported to you that the Turkish parliament
adopted a bill to make May 1st and national
holiday for the workers.
And we received the news yesterday that the
workers marched in the streets of many cities in
Turkey on May Day. In some cities, these marches
were not peaceful. Reuters reports that in
Turkey's largest city Istanbul, May Day marchers
clashed with the police.
The protesters wanted to walk to Taksim square,
however, the governor of Istanbul Province
declared it off-limits.
In 1977 in a May Day rally 37 people died after
shooting by an unknown gunman or were trampled.
* A total of 10 Turkish military personnel died on
Wednesday in conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan
Workers Party in southeastern Turkey news agencies
In one instance Kurdistan Workers Party militants
detonated minds remotely and killed nine military
traveling in a convoy of military vehicles.
Turkish papers reported on Thursday that Turkish
military planes bombed the hideouts of the Kurdish
rebels in northern Iraqi mountains across the
Kurdistan Workers Party is considered to be a
terrorist group by Turkey, European Union and the
* According to Agence France-Presse, Turkish prime
minister announced a major cabinet reshuffle on
The current foreign affairs minister Mr. Ali
Babacan was made the deputy prime minister
responsible for the economy. In his place Mr.
Erdogan put his foreign affairs policy adviser Mr.
Out of the 26 ministers in the cabinet eight lost
Agence France-Presse says that the cabinet shuffle
was expected since the ruling Justice and
Development Party's declining votes on the March
29 local elections. The party still received the
* Fulya Îzerkan of the Turkish daily Hurriyet
reports that anti U.S. Iraqi Shi'ite cleric
Moqtada al-Sadr attended talks in the Turkish
capital Ankara. Turkish officials say that Mr.
Sadr was there for political consultations ahead
of the December parliamentary elections in Iraq.
Diplomatic sources say that the visit is part of
Turkey's policy of seeking dialogue with all
political and religious factions in Iraq to
promote reconciliation and stability.
Some news reports claimed that al-Sadr, who is
believed to be based in Iran as he is on the
coalition forces' wanted list in Iraq, was
secretly brought to Turkey on a special plane and
was accompanied by a Turkish intelligence team.
After wrapping up talks in Ankara, al-Sadr will
travel to Istanbul to chair a meeting of Shiite
A past meeting of Iraq's resistant Sunni groups in
Istanbul drew negative reactions from the United
States. Though not involved in the meeting, Turkey
was criticized for providing the logistics for
such a gathering.
"The U.S. government is supporting the government
of Iraq's efforts to convince armed extremists to
lay down their arms and join the Iraqi democratic
process. These meetings in Turkey can help
convince Moqtada al-Sadr to support the government
of Iraq efforts," Kathy Shallow, spokeswoman of
the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, told the Hurriyet
Daily News. "We would welcome that," she added.
* The Turkish daily Cumhuriyet reports that Turkey
will be taking command of anti-pirate force in
Gulf of Aden.
Turkish commander Gen. Erdem will lead the
multinational force until August 15.
* In an unprecedented news conference, chief of
the general staff of the Turkish armed forces
general Ilker Basbug, talked about the ongoing
probe into an alleged conspiracy to overthrow the
As we have been reporting to you over the past few
months many former and current military officials
along with professors, artists and scholars are
arrested as part of the probe.
Gen. Basbug said that the Turkish armed forces is
committed to democracy and the rule of law, and
anybody who dissents against these principles will
not be tolerated by the Turkish armed forces.
The general rejected the possibility of any link
between the Turkish armed forces and hidden
weapons and ammunition caches found in the course
of the investigation.
* According to the news reports, Turkey and
onetime rival Syria have conducted a three-day
joint military exercise on their common border.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed
concern over the exercise. However, he said that
Turkey's military relations with Israel will not
* Speaking of Israel, according to the Jewish
Telegraphic Agency, Turkish prosecutors dropped a
war crimes investigation against Israel over its
Gaza military operation.
The prosecutors were not able to get the Turkish
justice ministry's permission to proceed with the
* The Turkish daily Referans reports that Israel
has launched an investigation over the import of
industrial steel from Turkey, claiming that cheap
prices are damaging domestic production.
* According to the Turkey's central bank,
inflation in 2009 will be between 4.8 to 7.2
percent, reports the Reuters news agency.
The central bank earlier was targeting a 7.5
percent inflation rate but the contraction in the
Turkish economy due to the global economic crisis
is curbing the domestic demand and slowing the
rate of inflation.
* International Defense Industry Fair 2009 began
in Istanbul on Monday with an opening ceremony
attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Chief of General
Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, State Minister and chief
negotiator for European Union talks Egemen Bagis,
military commanders and foreign guests.
As part of the fair, Turkey is expected to sign
defense industry cooperation agreements with
Germany, Australia and Syria.
Businessmen from 80 countries and more than 400
senior officials, including 25 government
ministers, are participating in International
Defense Industry Fair, and some 62 percent of the
firms exhibiting at the fair are non Turkish.
* According to the Turkish daily Sabah, stronger
trade ties between Turkey and Iran could rise to
$20 billion annually within five years, said
Turkey's State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad
Tuzmen on Monday.
He made the remarks at a seminar in the Turkish
capital Ankara on boosting trade and investment
between Turkey and Iran, with Iranian Commerce
Minister Massoud Mirkazemi and many Turkish and
Iranian businessmen in attendance.
ARTS AND CULTURE
* According to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, the
Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival
in the Turkish capital Ankara will feature movies
from the 1980's to turn the spotlight on the
pressures women faced during that decade.
90 films by 81 female directors from 26 countries
will be on silver screen at the festival. With
these films the political, social and cultural
transformations of the 1980s will be relived on
the silver screen.
The Flying Broom film festival is Turkey's first
festival to focus on women.
* 16 theater groups from almost as many countries
are participating in the 10th International Black
Sea Theater Festival. The festival started on May
1st and will continue until 15 in Turkey's Black
Sea City of Trabzon, reports the Anatolia news
The festival has drawn great interest and has "a
serious viewer potential," said State Theaters
Directorate Foreign Relations and Festival
Representative Sukun I$Itan. "The audience
members numbered nearly 3,500 in the first years
of the festival," she said. "Last year, there were
4,700, and we aim to reach 6,000 this year. Their
numbers have not decreased so far, but increased."
I$Itan said the International Black Sea Theater
Festival was the second oldest organized by the
State Theaters General Directorate, after the
Adana Festival. "The Istanbul Festival, organized
every two years, is the best-known festival in
Turkey," she said. "But this festival host six
groups from six countries at the most. We are
hosting 15 [international] theater groups, so this
is a big responsibility."
* Indie-rock singer Will Oldham will show off his
expressive and soothing voice when he comes to
Istanbul for the third time, reports the Hurriyet
Daily News. Mr. Oldham last performed in Cemal
Re$it Rey Concert Hall in the beginning of 2007.
This time the charismatic musician will be on
stage at Istanbul's popular performance stage
Babylon on Sunday as part of the tour for his new
Interpreting traditional country music to
indie-rock, his songs are mostly about feelings
such as longing, love and sin.
Besides visiting Turkey twice already, Mr. Oldham
also wears a Turkish flag t-shirt in the music
video for his song "I am Goodbye."
* Cihan Ta$kIn's debut film is the first Turkish
movie to address the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks. Shot in Afghanistan, Istanbul and parts
of southeastern Anatolia, the movie is expected to
be a hit. "The film is above the standards. The
story starts in Turkey, but it is a film that will
receive interest in all over the world," says
Set in Afghanistan, where preparations for the
Sept. 11 attacks started five years before the
infamous event, "Butterfly" portrays the civil war
and its effects on the thousands of people who
lost their lives, their families or their homes --
a tragedy that brings the Turkish character Yusuf
to Afghanistan as part of an aid effort.
"It is said that when a butterfly flaps here, it
causes a storm in the Atlantic Ocean," says
Massoud's character, grandfather Ibrahim, as he
sees young Yusuf and his friends off to
"We, each of us, are like this butterfly. But with
a difference: our butterfly does not cause the
storm. It protects us from the storm with its
As the young men prepare for the journey, Osama
Bin Laden is also crossing the border into
Afghanistan, home of his new camp.
He is just one of the thousands of people that
Yusuf and his friends encounter in Afghanistan --
but the one who will soon be known all over the
* The International Nazim Hikmet Poetry Award was
given to Danish poet Erik Stinus at the closing
ceremony of the Istanbul Beyoglu Poetry Festival.
The festival was held over the weekend at the
Hagia Eireni Museum. The ceremony started with a
concert by the State Opera and Ballet String
"Our goal is to keep the memory of Nazim Hikmet
alive and make his works known all around the
world," said festival director Salih Zeki Tombak.
Born in 1934, Stinus met the late renown Turkish
poet Nazim Hikmet at the Berlin World Youth
Festival in 1954 and was affected by him. He has
written many poems and books.
* Kubrakan Gulec reports about an interesting
dance troupe in Hurriyet Daily News: Rajesh Rapaka
is the trainer of Turkey's first professional
Indian dance group, Nataraj Dance, and has been
living in Turkey for many years.
He is satisfied with Turkish women's interest in
Indian dances but complains about Turkish men's
prejudices against dancing.
"Like India, Turkey has a wide range of cultural
diversity," he said, pointing out similaritiesin
terms of their family structure and friendly
In terms of Turkish folk dances, Rapaka finds the
dances of the Black Sea region very vivid and
interesting. "As far as I know, Trabzon Province
is very rich in terms of dance motifs," he said.
* Speaking of dancing, Anatolia news agency
reports that as part of an international
celebration of dance, the Ankara State Opera and
Ballet is premiering its new performance, 'Life
and Tango' . 'This will be a very special play to
be staged as part of this year's celebrations,'
says chief choreographer Zeynep Odabasi.
The piece includes three choreographies: Korean
guest choreographer Young Soon Hue Simon's
"Backstage" and "This is Your Life," and Istanbul
State Opera and Ballet chief choreographer Beyhan
Murphy's "Aheste Beste."
"This is Your Life" will be accompanied by the
music of Astor Piazzolla and Gade, performed by a
six-person orchestra comprised of Ankara State
Opera and Ballet artists. State artist Sabri
Îzmener will narrate the story, which contains
sections including "Trio," "Beauty Saloon,"
"Businessman and Six Men," "Tango Duet," "Chair
Dance" and "Love Duet."
World Dance Day, celebrated every year on April
29, was established in 1982 in order to attract
attention to the art of dance. The idea was
suggested by Pyotr Gusev to commemorate the
birthday of influential French dancer and
ballet-master Jean-Georges Noverre. The goals for
the day include increasing awareness among the
general public about the importance of dance and
persuading governments all over the world to
incorporate dance at all levels of education,
starting in primary school.
* According to the Turkish Daily Milliyet, Turkish
theater actress Izlem Saglanmak received the most
prestigious Danish award, the Reumert.
At the award ceremony, which was held Sunday night
at the Royal Theater Hall with the attendance of
Prince Joachim and government officials, Ms.
Saglanmak was presented the "Reumert Talent Award"
for her successful performance on stage.
Ms. Saglanmak, 28, became known last year in Denmark
with her dubbing performance for the controversial
children's Christmas program Yallahrup Faergeby on
state television DR.
In 2002 she was one of the eight people, who
managed to be accepted by the Danish State Theater
Academy, among 800 candidates.
After having graduated from the academy, Saglanmak
played roles in many theater plays and films. She
also played in cinema film "Fighter," which was
released in Turkey in 2007 and in which Turkish
Ms. Saglanmak's mother Meliha Saglanmak, who played in
some TV series and films in Denmark, said she
cried when her daughter accepted the award at the
ceremony that was broadcast live.
* Turkish film "Revolution Cars", which depicts
"Revolution", Turkey's first automobile, will be
on the silver screen once again on May 1 due to
intense demand. The film was first released in
Directed by Tolga Ornek, the film's script was
written by Ornek and Murat Disli. The film stars
Sait Genay, who plays the role of the president at
the time, Cemal Gursel, Taner Birsel, Ali
Dusenkalkar, Halit Ergenc, Altan Gordum,
Vahide Gordum, Secil Mutlu, Ugur Polat, Serhat
Tutumluer, Onur Unsal, Selcuk Yontem and Haluk
For the second release of the film, a new poster
and a new slogan, which is "Brave hearts are
needed in order to achieve the impossible," have
been prepared. The main sponsors of the film are
Dogus Holding, Dogus Automotive, Garanti Bank and
Koc Allianz as well as Turkish State Railways,
some schools, universities and other
"The Revolution Cars won the Best Actor Award at
the 14th Sadri AlisIk Cinema and Theater Awards.
Actors Taner Birsel, Ali Dusenkalkar, Halit
Ergenc, Altan Gordum, Serhat Tutumluer, Onur
Unsal and Selcuk Yontem shared the award. Demir
Demirkan, who composed the film's music, was given
the Best Music Award in the Turkish Films section
by the 41st Cinema Writers' Association. Art
director Veli Kahraman won the Best Art Director
Award at the 20th Ankara International Film
Festival. The film also won many other national
and international awards.
"The Revolution Cars" will be the opening film at
the Monaco Film Festival on May 11 to 16, and will
also be screened at the Milan Film Festival from
May 11 to 19. In the competition section of the
festival, the film will compete for the Best film
Award and actor Taner Birsel will compete for the
Best Actor Award.
The film was also invited to the Canada Film
Festival from Feb. 19 to 21, 2010.
* Artists from Turkey and Greece are working on a
joint sculpture in Turkey's Cappadocia region.
With efforts from the Defne Turkish Greek
Friendship Association in Turkey and the Daphne
Greek Turkish Friendship Association in Greece,
two sculptors came together for the 8th
Turkish-Greek Friendship Festival.
Greek Anthropologist Andonis Kutsubas and Turkish
sculptor Ertug Atli are the two artists.
The sculpture is made up of two parts. The part
that Kutsubas is working on is the shape of
Cappadocia on earth and a pear sliced into two
The works made by Atli is made up of two tree
trunks, whose roots are on air and branches and
knobs are on ground.
Speaking to press members, Kutsubas said he aimed
at symbolizing the people of Kavala ad Cappadocia
region in his work. "During the population
exchange, we were separated into two like a pear.
But I combine two helves of the pear and try to
tell that the line between the two publics is
disappearing. We are closer to each other unlike
the past. We are trying to remove the traces of
the past," he said, adding that his work would be
1.5 meters tall and 50 kilograms.
The Turkish Greek Friendship Festival will start
on June 12 in Greek Kavala and end on June 16 in
* Hurriyet daily news reports that the voice of a
Turkish woman is the bringing new life into
Ms. Emine Sari, a Hatay-born singer who left her
country to follow her passion for singing, made
the finals in a Japanese song contest to select
the Best Singer of 2008.
She now works on an album project to be released
Ms. Emine Sari, who went to Japan a few years ago to
receive treatment for blood cancer and decided to
stay in the country, is introducing Turkish
culture and melodies to the Japanese as a cultural
ambassador for Turkey.
She said after the competition she had been chosen
as one of the 10 best singers in Japan, and became
known as a second Baris Manco (the late Turkish
artist who was also well-known in Japan). Born in
the eastern city of Hatay, Sari said her father
was a Turk and her mother was Chechen, and she
lived in the Mediterranean district of Alanya for
many years. She said she can speak English,
Russian, Japanese, German and Arabic and sing in
Sari said that during her three-month treatment in
Japan she found the opportunity to study Japanese
music and practice. "My album, which was a present
as a result of the competition, was really
appreciated by the public and I made two more
albums," she said.
She studied at St. Petersburg Conservatory.
See a video at:
* Allen "Ali" Cayir, President of Transtech
Engineers, Inc., will be awarded an Ellis Island
Medal of Honor in New York on May 9, 2009.
Established in 1986 by NECO, the Ellis Island
Medal of Honor pays tribute to our Nation's
immigrant heritage, as well as individual
achievement in fostering respect and understanding
for America 's ethnic diversity.
A native of Turkey with an engineering degree from
Istanbul Technical University , Ali Cayir arrived
in New York in 1980 on his way to a new life in
Southern California . During the early 1980's,
Cayir was employed at a public agency and, later,
held production and management positions with a
large engineering firm based in Southern
In 1989, he founded Transtech Engineers, Inc.,
which provides professional and technical
expertise to governmental agencies, educational
institutions and the private development sector.
His philanthropic contributions and fund raising
activities include diverse organizations such as
Tools For Education at California State University
San Bernardino where a Multi Cultural Foundation
Lab is named after him, restoration work at
Mission San Juan Capistrano, the Turkey Earthquake
Relief Fund and other Turkish/American community
causes, the United Way, and supporter of numerous
other local charities and civic organizations.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.58
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 63/43 Sleet
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 70/57 Showers
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 64/54 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 68/57 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 63/52 Showers
* Turkish premier soccer league
Turkcell Super League
WEEK 29 Games Played
Hacettepe 2 - Buyuk$ehir Bld. - 1
Sivas 3 - Trabzon - 0
Fenerbahce 1 - Ankaragucu - 2
Bursa 2 - Denizli - 0
Genclerbirligi 1 - Gaziantep - 0
Kayseri 1 - Konya - 1
Kocaeli 1 - Antalya - 0
Eski$ehir 0 - Be$ikta$ - 2
Galatasaray 1 - Ankaraspor - 1
Ranking in the league: Week 29
Team O G B M A Y P
1. Sivas 60
2. Be$ikta$ 59
3. Trabzon 53
4. Galatasaray 52
5. Fenerbahce 48
6. Bursa 48
7. Kayseri 41
8. Ankaraspor 40
9. Gaziantep 39
10. Antalya 35
11. Genclerbirligi 35
12. Ankaragucu 33
13. Eski$ehir 33
14. Denizli 32
15. Konya 32
16. Buyuk$ehir Bld. 30
17. Kocaeli 26
18. Hacettepe 19
RANKING IN GOALS SCORED
Player Team Goal
1. MILAN BAROS Galatasaray 19
2. TANER GULLERI Kocaeli 16
3. MEHMET YILDIZ Sivas 13
4. GOKHAN UNAL Trabzon 11
5. RODRIGO BARBOSA TABATA Gaziantep 11
1. ONDER TURACI Fenerbahce
2. IBRAHIM DAGA$AN Sivas
3. CIHAN HASPOLATLI Konya
4. ADEM CALIK Kocaeli
5. EMMANUEL MAZOWA NSUMBO Kocaeli
THIS WEEK PROGRAM - WEEK 30
Trabzon 4 - Kayseri 1
Be$ikta$ - Fenerbahce
Gaziantep - Sivas
Konya - Kocaeli
Ankaragucu - Ankaraspor
Denizli - Eski$ehir
Antalya - Bursa
Buyuk$ehir Bld. - Genclerbirligi -
Hacettepe 2 - Galatasaray 0
Beko Basketball League - Men 2008/2009 - 24 April 2009
1. Efes 54
2. Telekom 48
3. Fenerbahce Ulker 48
4. G.Saray Cafe Crown 47
5. Be$ikta$ 44
6. Antalya B$. Bld. 44
7. Mersin Buyuk$ehir Belediye 43
8. Kar$Iyaka 41
9. Oyak Renault 40
10. Erdemir 40
11. Daru$$afaka 40
12. Banvit 40
13. Selcuk Universitesi 38
14. Aliaga Genclik 37
15. Antalya Kepez Bld. 37
16. Ted Ankara 31
28. Week: (24c- 25April) Games Played
Fenerbahce Ulker - G.Saray Cafe Crown 89 - 62
Mersin Buyuk$ehir Belediye - Ted Ankara 116 - 70
Oyak Renault - Kar$Iyaka 93 - 94
Daru$$afaka - Antalya B$. Bld. 75 - 71
Be$ikta$ - Erdemir 99 - 77
Antalya Kepez Bld. - Efes 79 - 90
Aliaga Genclik - Selcuk Universitesi 60 - 50
Telekom - Banvit 93 - 79
Banvit - Daru$$afaka -
Ted Ankara - Oyak Renault -
Antalya Kepez Bld. - Mersin Buyuk$ehir Belediye -
Kar$Iyaka - Be$ikta$ -
Efes - Antalya B$. Bld. -
Erdemir - Fenerbahce Ulker -
Selcuk Universitesi - Telekom -
G.Saray Cafe Crown - Aliaga Genclik -
Women's Basketball League 21.April.2009
1. Fenerbahce 33
2. Samsun Basketbol 33
3. Mersin BB 32
4. G.Saray 31
5. Be$ikta$ 30
6. Tarsus Bld. 29
7. Ceyhan Belediyesi 28
8. Ted Kayseri Koleji 27
9. Bota$ 24
10. Cankaya Uni. 24
11. Burhaniye 21
Turkey Women's Basketball Teknosa Turkish Cup, fenerbahce is the finalist after beating
Galatasaray 68 - 64.
we'll know the next finalist after the match between Mersin B$Bi-Samsun.
AROMA Volleyball Men's League
1 Arkas Spor 52
2 Ziraat BankasI 50
3 Ist.B.$ehir Bld. 48
4 Halkbank 43
5 Fenerbahce 38
6 Galatasaray 36
7 Maliye Milli Piy 33
8 Belediye Plevne 23
9 SGK 19
10 Bozkurt Bld. 19
11 Polis Akademisi 18
12 MEF OkullarI 14
AROMA Volleyball Men's League, Istanbul Buyuk$ehir Belediyesi beats Fenerbahce'yi 3-0
and becomes champ this season.
AROMA Volleyball Women's League
1 V.Gune$ Sigorta 50
2 Turk Telekom 48
3 EczacIba$I Zentiva 44
4 Fenerbahce AcIbadem 43
5 Eregli Bld. 32
6 Be$ikta$ 27
7 Kar$Iyaka DYO 26
8 Galatasaray 27
9 Iller BankasI 13
10 Nilufer Bld. 13
11 Gazi Universitesi 7
Fenerbahce AcIbadem beats EczacIba$I Zentiva'yI 3-1 at the
finals and becomes champ in 2008-2009 season.
*** The fifth annual Turkish-American Business Conference will be held as a day-long
event on Saturday, May 30th at the Parc55 hotel in San Francisco.
The conference will specifically focus on the Defense Technology, E-Commerce,
Mobile Applications, Finance and Renewable Energy sectors and explore issues and
approaches concerning business and partnership opportunities in these sectors
between Turkey and the U.S.
Traditionally the most prominent high-tech business event of the year in Silicon Valley
for Turkish-Americans and those wanting to do business with Turkey, this years
conference, organized by the Turkish-American Business Connection, will again
feature top level speakers from the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Undersecretariat
of Defense of Turkey, Havelsan and WYSE Inc.. among others.
All those who have a business interest that involves the U.S. and Turkey are strongly
urged to register for the conference at www.tabcon.org.
*** 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.
*** Yore dance invites you to:
Free Turkish Folkdance Classes.
Sundays at 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Shawl-Anderson Dance Center
2704 Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley CA 94705
Corner of College & Alcatraz
Tuesdays at 8:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Stanford University EV Center