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x0x Turkish news for week ending 27 June 2009

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  • Turkish Culture List
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    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30 9:10 PM
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      x0x Turkish news for week ending 27 June 2009

      [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 Fuad Tokad.

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



      Edited by Fuad Tokad

      * The leading issue in Turkey last week was the
      controversy surrounding a document allegedly
      drafted by the Turkish military outlining a plot
      to undermine the ruling Justice and Development
      Party, and a religious order That Supports the
      Party. The document was published in a Turkish

      The independent civilian judiciary would carry out
      the necessary investigation and clarify the
      alleged anti-government document, Prime Minister
      Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday, according to the
      Hurriyet Daily News.

      Earlier the Military Prosecutor's Office declared
      the document a forgery and further investigation
      is a civilian matter, not within the jurisdiction
      of military law.

      The Turkish prime minister's remarks came a day
      after Turkish army chief Gen. Ilker Basbug said
      the alleged anti-government plan is part of a
      smear campaign against the army.

      Gen. Basbug has urged civilian prosecutors to find
      out who is behind the document. He has also
      slammed criticism directed at the military
      investigation that concluded the alleged document
      was a forgery, not prepared at the General Staff

      Mr. Erdogan said Saturday efforts to create a
      crisis of confidence between state organs would
      not only harm relevant parties but entire Turkey

      He said all state organs had full confidence in
      each other and were loyal to the constitutional
      regime and democracy.

      The ruling Justice and Development Party and the
      Gulen movement are accused of trying to undermine
      Turkey's secular order and establish an Islamic

      Mr. Gulen, the head of the movement has been
      living in Pennsylvania on self-imposed exile since
      1998 to avoid prosecution by Turkish authorities
      for his remarks in a sermon in Turkey.

      * The Turkish daily Radikal reported that Chief of
      Turkish General Staff Gen Basbug said "eradicating
      Justice and Developmet Party" document was aimed
      at wearing down the Turkish Armed Forces while
      only a few hours later civilian prosecutors
      summoned the Colonel who is said to have signed
      the document to bear testimony.

      Gen. Ilker Basbug said the "plan to eradicate
      Justice and Developmet Party and Gulen
      congregation" was not a document but a mere piece
      of paper.

      He said certain organized conspiracies turned into
      a defamation campaign against Turkish Armed Forces
      and regarded this campaign as an "asymmetric
      phycological war".

      The plan, which was first published two weeks ago
      by daily Taraf, details ways to break popular
      support for the ruling Justice and Development
      Party and its influential supporter, the Muslim
      cleric Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the
      religious Gulen movement.

      "As a result of the investigation, it has been
      revealed that there is no document, but just a
      piece of paper," Gen. Basbug said. "Discussing
      such a paper for two weeks at a moment when there
      are so many regional global developments that
      concern us is really odd."

      * The Turkish prime minister sought Friday to
      revitalize Turkey's European Union membership bid.
      The bid seems to have bogged down amid opposition
      from France and Germany, along with historical
      differences over Cyprus, reported the Hurriyet
      Daily News.

      "No other candidate nation has been subjected to
      this kind of treatment," said Prime Minister Recep
      Tayyip Erdogan, who traveled to Brussels with two
      senior colleagues for talks with European Union
      officials. "This situation has to change," he
      added, according to a report by Agence

      "Some countries have adopted a political attitude
      in the negotiation process, and their efforts to
      slow things down upset us," he told reporters. Mr.
      Erdogan dismissed proposals by France and Germany
      to grant Turkey a "privileged partnership" that
      would offer it enhanced trade and other ties
      instead of full membership.

      Also on Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet
      Davutoglu reaffirmed Turkey's commitment to
      becoming an European Union member, saying speeding
      up the negotiations serves the strategic interests
      of the country.

      "Recent busy diplomatic traffic between Turkey and
      the European Union shows Turkey's increasing
      motivation about the country's membership bid,"
      the Anatolia news agency quoted Mr. Davutoglu as
      telling a joint press conference after a meeting
      with European Union Enlargement Commissioner Olli

      * Speaking of Cyprus, Greek and Turkish Cypriot
      leaders have agreed to open a new crossing point
      linking the two communities, a United Nations
      official announced Friday, Hurriyet Daily News

      U.N. envoy Taye-Brook Zerihoun said the
      Limnitis/Yesilirmak crossing in the island's
      remote northwest will operate like six other
      crossing points across the no man's land dividing
      the Turkish Cypriot north and the Greek Cypriot
      south that opened in 2003, according to a report
      by The Associated Press.

      No exact date for the crossing opening was
      announced. Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris
      Christofias said it will "take some time yet"
      until infrastructure work is completed.

      The deal also encompasses overland access and
      electricity supply to Kokkina/Erenkoy on the
      island's northern coast. The crossing opening is
      corollary to the slow-paced talks, aimed at
      satisfying a long-standing demand by Greek and
      Turkish Cypriot residents to shorten travel time
      to Nicosia, 65 kilometers to the east and to also
      help boost the region's development.

      The U.N.'s announcement came a day after European
      Commission President Manuel Barroso urged rival
      Cypriot leaders to open the crossing in order to
      "send a good signal" and quash growing public
      doubt over the talks' chances for success.

      * According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey's
      Interior Ministry will grant the prosecutor's
      office permission to launch a preliminary inquiry
      into corruption claims against the Turkish capital
      Ankara's Mayor Melih Gokcek.

      Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office will
      investigate 17 alleged cases between 2004 and
      2009 that have been connected to Mr. Gokcek. 64
      corruption cases had been dismissed.

      Mr. Gokcek is believed to have been dealt a blow
      in the March 29 local elections due to corruption
      claims despite winning the race.

      * There are new attempts in Turkey to change the
      Constitution in a referendum to allow the
      prosecution of the 1980 coup leaders.

      However, Ret. Gen. Kenan Evren says he would
      rather commit suicide than be prosecuted for the
      Sept. 12, 1980 military coup and have to live with
      such dishonor. Gen. Evren headed the military at
      the time of the coup, reports the Hurriyet Daily

      Speaking to daily Hurriyet's editor in chief,
      Ertugrul Ozkok, and daily Milliyet's Fikret Bila
      in separate telephone conversations Thursday, the
      92-year-old Evren said the coup was not something
      the General Staff had wanted, but something it was
      forced to carry out.

      After the coup, a military-dominated commission
      prepared a new constitution. Subsequently the new
      constitution was put to a referendum and received
      the backing of 92 percent of the electorate.

      Gen. Evren then retired from the military and
      served as president of the country for seven
      years, until Nov. 9, 1989.

      The 1982 Constitution banned the prosecution of
      those involved in the coup and is seen as a
      conservative document that limits rights and

      It has been amended many times over the years, but
      there are calls -- including from the ruling
      Justice and Development Party for it to be
      replaced in its entirety.

      Earlier this week, opposition Republican People's
      Party leader Deniz Baykal called for the annulment
      of Article 15 of the Constitution, which bans the
      prosecution of the 1980 coup leaders. He is yet to
      receive a response from the government.

      * The main opposition party in Turkey filed a
      lawsuit at Turkey's top court to cancel a law on
      de-mining the border between Turkey and Syria,
      reported the daily Cumhuriyet.

      Republican People's Party executives submitted to
      the Constitutional Court on Thursday their
      petition, which was signed also by several
      lawmakers from other opposition parties, the
      Nationalist Movement Party, Democratic Society
      Party, Democratic Left Party and the Turkey Party,
      as well as independent deputies.

      * The Turkish daily Sabah reported on Thursday
      that Turkish President Abdullah Gul traveled to
      China with a large delegation consisting of mostly

      He will sign agreements on trade and investments
      worth $2.9 billion.

      Agreements will create opportunities especially in
      the construction industry. Turkish companies
      operating in the telecommunications, energy and
      mining industries will take a huge chunk of these

      Daily Vatan reported that Mr. Gul was welcomed
      with full military honors by his Chinese
      counterpart Hu Jintao.

      Speaking to reporters about his visit, Mr. Gul
      said economic issues will top the agenda of his

      "Chinese executives -- be it the head of state,
      the secretary-general of the Communist Party or
      provincial governor -- they all act like the CEO
      of a big company. You need to see China in that
      way," Mr. Gul said.

      Mr. Gul is the first Turkish president to visit
      China in 14 years.

      * Turkish parliament adopted a motion authorizing
      the government to extend the mandate of Turkish
      troops under the banner of U.N. Interim Force in
      Lebanon for another year as of Sept. 5, 2009.

      The U.N. Security Council is expected to adopt
      another resolution in August to extend force's
      mandate, reported daily Vatan on Wednesday.

      * Merrill Lynch made striking assessments about
      Turkey, writes the Turkish daily Yeni $afak .

      The company, which evaluated the 12 emerging
      economies of the world, said Turkey would be the
      country that grows most rapidly between 2010 and

      Turkish economy is predicted to grow by an annual
      average of 4.5 percent in the next decade.

      * Zeynep Ilgaz Pala has become the hope of U.S.
      parents with the "home test set" that she
      manufactured with a company she established in the
      United States.

      Ms. Pala won the "rising star" award granted to
      individuals who take giant economic steps.

      The device Ms. Pala's company is manufacturing is
      a home drug usage test kit that analyzes hair
      strands, without having to have the test conducted
      in a lab.

      Ms. Pala's home test kit is the only home device
      of its type in the United States, reported daily
      Yeni Safak on Tuesday.


      Edited by Anita Donahoe

      * Asli Saglam of Hurriyet daily news reports that
      the historic city of Mardin has become a center
      for film on this week with the opening of the
      Fourth Mardin Film Festival on Saturday.

      The opening ceremony was held on Saturday evening
      at the Erdoba Mansion and, in a break from
      previous years, included international guests from
      Sweden, Syria and the United States.

      Festival director Helun Firat said he was proud to
      be holding the fourth film Festival in a city that
      had no movie theater just two years ago. He hopes
      to further expand the Festival beyond the Turkey's
      borders to Damascus Syria.

      "This year the festival brings together two close
      cultures that have never come together before. The
      Turkish film industry and moviegoers have never
      had the chance to meet with Arab film although we
      only have the border as a barrier," Mr. Tumer

      Mardin is on the Syrian border in southeastern

      New York-based cultural institution ArteEast is
      collaborating with the Mardin festival organizers
      to bring the Arab films.

      Among the participants from abroad was Turkish
      born Assyrian director Nuri Kino. Mr. Kino now
      lives in Sweden.

      With its unique medieval architecture Mardin is a
      city nominated for the UNESCO list of world
      cultural sites.

      See more at:

      * The first Kurdish play staged on state theater
      in Turkey's eastern city of Van reports the
      Hurriyet Daily News correspondent Vercihan

      The atmosphere has changed radically since Turkey
      declared a state of emergency from 1987 to 2002 to
      ensure security in the eastern and southeastern
      regions of the country.

      Scriptwriter and director of the play Mirza Metin
      said during that time, tanks were kept outside the
      theaters during performances of free theater
      artists for security reasons.

      "Plain clothes policemen used to come to the
      theater and we had to perform our plays in the
      company of police radios. We were sometimes taken
      into custody and set free when they understood
      that we were theater artists," said Mr. Metin.

      But playwright Berfin Zenderlioglu said this time
      they did not face similar problems. "State
      Theaters General Director Lemi Bilgin's recent
      statement that theaters are open to Kurdish plays
      is in effect," she added.

      See more at:

      * According to the web site My Merhaba, Sakip
      Sabanci Museum of Istanbul offered a free visit to
      the "Voyage to West" and "Lisbon: Memories from
      Another City" exhibitions for those who reside or
      work at Emirgan, Bebek, Istinye and Resitpasa on
      Wednesday, 24 June.

      The vistors got an invitation by visiting their
      muhtars-- village administrators.

      The easily accessible Sabanci Museum has much to
      offer from the moment you enter the garden and
      walk up the hill to the mansion.

      See more at:

      * The Anatolian Agency reports that a new Turkish
      film titled "Angels and Gamblers" is being shot by
      director Ertekin AkpInar in the northwestern city
      of AdapazarI. "The film tells the story of the
      world of men," said AkpInar.

      AkpInar said the film tells a true story about his
      friends and him. He said he has worked on the film
      for four-and-a-half years and has met 1,500 to
      2,000 people.

      "The names of real people living in AdapazarI will
      be used in the film," he said, adding that
      "artists, including Cem Davran, Bulent $akrak,
      Kutay Kokturk, Nail KIrmIzIgul, Hakan Mericliler
      and Macit Sonkan will act in the film and the
      names of the male and female leading actors will
      be announced later."

      See more at:

      * According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Canadian
      singer-songwriter, novelist and poet Leonard Cohen
      is coming to Istanbul in August.

      As part of his World Tour 2009, Mr. Cohen will
      perform in two concerts at the Cemil Topuzlu Open
      Air Theater.

      See more at:

      * Students in Edirne have made a film featuring
      the life of Roma citizens in their city, according
      to the Hurriyet Daily News.

      The film was made by Edirne's young directors of
      the future as part of a project entitled
      "International Youth Filmmaking." The project was
      initiated last July with the support of the U.S.
      State Department. As a result, the young directors
      have produced two films on Roma.

      The goal of this project was to promote greater
      understanding and awareness among young people in
      Turkey of important social issues through
      youth-created films and videos. The northwestern
      city of Edirne's young students chose Romas living
      in the city as the theme of their films.

      The young people, who ignored others' warning to
      stay away Roma neighborhoods because they are
      dangerous, have shot two films featuring the
      position of the Roma in social life and the
      troubles they face in their daily lives in the

      See more at:

      * The Anatolian Agency reports that the Turkish
      music band, Karde$ Turkuler, will share the same
      stage with Armenian and Palestinian musicians at a
      concert next week at Kurucesme Arena in Istanbul

      Karde$ Turkuler was formed in 1993 as a concert
      project by the Bogazici University Folklore Club.
      The concert aimed at interpreting Anatolian
      folksongs based on their own cultural structure
      and in their original languages.

      The project, based on the ideal of living together
      in fraternity, also took a stand against the
      polarization and tensions that have been created
      among different peoples in a multicultural land.

      See more at:


      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----------: 82/59 Thunderstorms
      Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 88/68 Mostly Cloudy
      Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 82/68 Mostly Cloudy
      Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 88/70 Partly Cloudy
      Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 79/70 Thunderstorms

      Seawater temperatures

      Black Sea measured at Trabzon 73
      Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag 68
      Aegean Sea measured at Izmir 72
      Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 75


      * Turkish road championships for bicyclists started in the black Sea
      Province of Trabzon.

      20 teams made up of 77 athletes are participating.

      * In the Mediterranean Olympics taken place in Italy, Turkish lady
      weightlifter Nurcan Taylan broke two records in the 53 kgs category by
      lifting 109 kgs first then breaking this first record with a 112 record.

      Ms Taylan received to gold medals.

      Another Turkish lady weightlifter Emine Bilgin received and bronze medal
      by lifting 102 kgs in the same category.

      In the men's 62 kg category Turkish weightlifter Erol Bilgin is got two
      gold medals. He lifted 138 kg and broke the previous record of 137 of
      Tunisian Atef Jarray.

      The men's 56 kg category Turkey's Sedat Artuc received a silver and Gokhan
      Kilic a bronze.

      In Greco-Roman wrestling the following Turkish athletes received medals:

      74 kg. $eref Tufenk Gold
      55 kg. Erhan Karakus Bronze
      60 kg. Soner Sucu, Bronze
      66 kg. Abdullah Coskun Bronze
      84 kg. Akif Canbaz Bronze

      In total tally Turkey's leading with 8 gold, 2 silver, and 7 bronze
      medals. Second in place is Italy with 6 gold, 3 silver and 9 bronze

      * In the wheelchair basketball championships that took place in Istanbul
      Galatasaray became the champion. Second-place went to Be$ikta$.

      * In this year is Oily Wrestling championships that will take place in
      Kirkpinar in Turkey's Edirne Province, 2000 wrestlers are expected.

      This is the 648th year of this traditional wrestling competition, making
      in it into the Guinness World Record for the longest running sports
      competition The champion will receive approximately $10,000 in local


      * We will also give away tickets to the following concert. Leave your
      name, telephone number and or email for a drawing. Or drop an email to

      You are invited to a Azerbaijani concert on July 11 2009 at 8 PM.

      The concert is brought to you by the Azerbaijan cultural society of
      Northern California.

      Featured in the concert with the musicians directly coming from

      Nuriya Huseynova, Afhakerim Nafiz, Novruz Novruzlu, Helimat Sultan,
      Fakhraddin Salim, Aydin Ghuliyev and Iffat

      The concert will take place at the Santa Clara convention center on 5001
      great America Parkway.

      For more information call 408-356-0414

      *** One of our underwriters is the European
      Turkish Market of Burlingame. European Turkish
      Market is a family-owned-and-operated market in
      Burlingame, California, offering a large variety
      of international food and gift items for your
      needs. From succulent deli meats to enticing
      Turkish, and mediterranean foods, the market
      offers you a large selection of your favorite
      European items under one roof.Visit the European
      Turkish Market to find the perfect International
      food and gift item that you have been searching

      1138 Chula Vista Avenue

      Burlingame, CA 94010-3502

      Phone (650) 548-5386

      On the www at :

      Bugunki programimizin sizlere getirilmesinde
      European Turkish Market'in katkilari olmu$tur.

      Turkiye ve Akdenizden her tur bakkaliye ve
      hediyelik e$yanin bulundugu market Burlingame'de,
      hemen broadwat chiki$indadir.

      Telefonlari ve adresleri:

      1138 Chula Vista Avenue

      Burlingame, CA 94010-3502

      (650) 548-5386

      *** 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

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