x0x Turkish news for week ending 25 July 2009
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 25 July 2009
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A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:
TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM
Saturdays at 6:00 P.M.
KUSF FM 90.3, San Francisco
Also tune to
Tuesdays at 10:00 P.M.
KKUP FM 91.5, CUPERTINO
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
* Friday's meeting of Turkey's Supreme Board of
Judges and Prosecutors did not yield any results,
reports the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors is the
body that appoints judges and prosecutors in
There are claims that the Board is delaying
appointments to spoil politically charged
lawsuits, especially the one concerning an alleged
coup attempt in which hundreds of intellectuals,
former military, and former officials are being
accused of plotting.
A senior official from the ruling Justice and
Development Party, Mr. Bekir Bozdag, who
criticized the delay in the deliberations of the
board said, "the public is getting the impression
that 'something is up'. Nobody has a right to
create such an impression."
The board's acting president Mr. Kadir Ozbek who
made a statement following Mr. Bozdag's remarks
said, "I want them to leave justice to the
judiciary, and want them to know that the only
interlocutor of the judiciary in the board is the
Mr. Ozbek said they were face to face with
criticism they did not deserve, adding that this
would harm everyone reported the daily Cumhuriyet.
* The Turkish daily Milliyet reported on Thursday
that Eckart Cuntz, the German ambassador to
Turkey, presented a medal of merit to Dogan
Holding's Executive Board chairman Mr. Aydin
The German ambassador said that with the medal of
merit, the German president thanked Mr. Dogan for
his extraordinary sense of responsibility for
friendship between both Turkey and Germany, and
the Turks and the Germans.
Mr. Dogan, speaking at the ceremony, said the
concept of an European Union "privileged
partnership" led to disappointment in Turkey,
adding that, "our train has departed long before.
Ours is a one-way ticket. Full membership is the
The current German Chancellor is advocating that
Turkey should only be a privileged partner to the
European Union, and advocating against a full
Mr. Dogan is a billionaire who made his fortunes
in the newspaper publishing business. The Dogan
Holding owns Kanal D, Star TV, CNN Turk, and
newspapers such as Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal,
The junior members of his family are also on the
list of Turkish billionaires. One of his
daughters is the chairperson for the Turkish
Businessmen's and Industrialists Association.
The current Turkish administration and Mr. Dogan
are currently at loggerheads due to reporting of
an embezzlement case. The case which was tried in
Germany involves donations to a Germany-based
Turkish charity, and subsequent convictions of a
number of officials of the charity in Germany.
German authorities are saying that some of the
suspects are in Turkey and are political
appointees of the current Justice and Development
Party administration. Mr. Dogan says that due to
the reporting of this case in his papers, the
government started accusing him of tax evasion.
* According to the reporting in the Turkish press
in the past few weeks, there are efforts by both
the ruling and opposition politicians in Turkey to
establish peace between the Turkish government and
the Kurdish rebels.
Turkish and world press has been reporting for a
while that even the jailed leader of the rebels is
also working on a peace proposal.
One of the efforts is coming from the ruling
Justice and Development Party administration, and
is dubbed the "Kurdish Move".
Commenting on "Kurdish move" discussions, Turkish
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said,
"Whatever you call, it either the Kurdish problem
or Southeastern problem or Eastern problem or
Kurdish move, we have launched initiatives on the
matter and have made significant progress."
Mr. Erdogan said the matter was discussed in
Turkey's National Security Council, and the
Council "has charged the Interior Ministry with
Mr. Erdogan also warned Justice and Development
Party deputies about their assessments. "Everybody
can speak in a democratic country; however, I will
not tolerate any statements by my party's
lawmakers that would harm the consensus, reported
daily Cumhuriyet on Thursday.
* In related news, after the ruling Justice and
Development party's efforts for peace, the Turkish
daily Sabah reported that the main opposition
Republican People's Party is preparing a package
of proposals as a solution to the Kurdish issue.
The package prepared by academicians include,
among others, proposals such as:
"The term 'terrorism' should not be used. Dialogue
should be the basis. Local administrations should
* Prominent Turkish novelist Yasar Kemal also
issued a call for a solution to the Kurdish
He said the solution depended on the recognition
of fundamental human rights.
"Neither Turks nor Kurds want to get separated
from each other," he said. "No power can separate
them." reported the daily Sabah on Friday.
* The Constitutional Court, Turkey's highest
judicial body, decided to invalidate some clauses
in Article 2 and Article 3 of the law on
eradicating landmines along the border with Syria.
The law stipulates that a company could be allowed
to use the land that it de-mines for agriculture.
The lawsuit to evaluate these two laws was
initiated by the main opposition Republican
People's Party. This was the 37th case won by the
Republican People's Party in the last six years,
reported the Turkish daily Vatan on Friday.
* The Turkish daily Milliyet reported that in
regard to the recent tension between Turkey and
China after the incidents in Eastern Turkistan
which Chinese call Xinjiang -- new territories,
Chinese Ambassador to Turkey Gong Xiaosheng said
the two countries would overcome this small issue.
Mr. Gong Xiaosheng said foreign affairs ministers
of the two countries had a meeting which lasted
for 70 minutes.
"Turkey is a major state and the relations between
the two countries would continue", he said.
* The winner of the recent general elections in
Bulgaria, Boyko Borisov, is set to assign a deputy
of Turkish descent as culture minister in his new
Turkish-Bulgarian sculptor Vejdi Rashidov is the
only Turkish deputy elected to the parliament from
Mr. Borisov's new political party, the Citizens
for the European Development of Bulgaria. "We want
to have the Turkish state as a good neighbor to
us. We will not discriminate by religion or
"At least four others of Turkish descent will take
part in the government," Mr. Borisov told the
Turkish daily Hurriyet.
* Foreign affairs minister Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu
appointed two non-ministry people as ambassadors.
Professor Kenan Gursoy, an Islamic philosophy
expert and the dean of the Faculty of Science and
Letters at Galatasaray University, is expected to
be assigned as the ambassador to the Vatican,
reported daily Milliyet on Friday.
* The Turkish daily Radikal reported that Turkey's
foreign affairs minister Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu made
a terse warning on the Cyprus problem, saying the
status quo needed to change.
"Negotiations will either end the division of the
island or we will all have to consider alternative
ways. Everyone should fully understand that the
negotiations offer the last chance.
"We do not want the status quo to continue on the
island. Turkish Cypriots can no longer live under
economic isolation as if they committed a crime
"There is an expression in English: 'Enough is
enough,'" Mr. Davutoglu said in a televised
* According to the Turkish daily Yeni Safak,
Turkish military cast a major blow to Somalian
pirates attacking civilian targets in the Bay of
Underwater assault teams seized a pirate boat
which was getting ready to hijack a ship.
Upon a call from NATO the Gediz Frigate started
the operation in dawn, the underwater assault
teams with support of helicopters seized the
target at 09:55 and captured the five Somalian
* Another rescue news involves the Turkish vessel
Yasa Seyhan half a world away.
The crew of Yasa Seyhan rescued two Americans off
Florida who were dragged by a storm with their
yacht. Eric Ross, 48, and Vincent Faulkner, 39,
said they were treated kindly by the Turkish crew.
"They offered us water, ice cream, coffee and
cigarettes. They also let use take a shower, and
they gave us clean clothes," reported daily
Yasa Seyhan itself was attacked by pirates in
Sudan in February.
* The Turkish daily Radikal reported last Sunday
that the expanded smoking ban went into effect in
Turkey in all enclosed public places including
restaurants, coffeehouses and bars.
The European expression "smokes like a Turk" will
no more apply, the daily Radikal writes.
Smokers who violate the ban will face
approximately $45 penalty in local currency, and
business owners will have to pay a fine as high as
$4000 if they allow smoking.
* Turkish daily Hurriyet reports that data showed
that 36 percent of Turkey's adult population of 48
million are smokers, with 5.5 billion packages of
cigarette consumed annually.
The Turkish government collects 8 percent of its
total tax revenue from tobacco products.
The first phase of the law restricting smoking
went into effect in May 2008 and made it illegal
to smoke on public transportation, and in
workplaces and malls.
Restaurants, bars and cafes were given an extra
year to bring themselves into compliance with the
Turkey will be the seventh country on the European
continent to ban smoking in all enclosed public
* The Istanbul Chamber of Industry released its
top 500 industrial enterprises of 2008 survey.
The losses of companies on the list were 450
percent up in 2008 over 2007.
Their profit was only 13.3 percent, which is the
lowest rate in eight years, reported tha Turkish
* Daily Radikal also reported the number of
foreign tourists visiting Turkey in the first six
months dropped only by 0.9 percent.
The figures by the Turkish Culture and Tourism
Ministry showed that 10.6 million foreign tourists
visited Turkey to spend their holiday between
January and June 2009.
In the same period last year, 10.7 million foreign
tourists had visited Turkey.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Colleen Clarke
* The Turkish daily Hurriyet reported that the
face of one of the six-winged angel figures at the
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has been unveiled.
The mosaic is believed to be about 700 years old.
The mosaic was last seen by Sultan Abdulmecid of
the Ottoman Empire and Swiss architect Gaspare
Fossati during the restoration inside the Hagia
Sophia from 1847 to 1849.
During the process of converting the church into
mosque centuries ago, the angel figures were
covered in line with the traditions of Islam.
According to the Bible, the six-winged angels are
called seraphim. They are the closest angels to
God. They surround God's throne.
There are four seraphim corresponding to the four
winds of the world. They each have six wings
corresponding to the six days of creation.
* The winner of the third annual Deutsche Bank
Urban Age Award will be announced Nov. 4 at a
reception inaugurating the Urban Age Istanbul
Conference that will be held Nov. 5 to 6. The
award comes with a $100,000 prize, according to a
report in Hurriyet Daily News.
For 2009, the Urban Age project is focusing on
Istanbul as it extends its investigations into the
links between the social characteristics and the
physical forms of global cities. Project
organizers said Istanbul's strategic location
makes it a vital reference point for understanding
urban trends in southeast Europe, the eastern
Mediterranean and the Middle East.
The project explores how the city's evolving
polycentric form - shaped by its recently extended
administrative boundaries, decentralized national
policies, increased investment in public transport
and new commercial and residential developments in
outlying enclaves - addresses the social inclusion
of a culturally diverse population.
The conference will follow a year of research and
analysis of the key issues related to Istanbul's
recent growth, including how the city's
transcontinental terrain has established it at the
center of the Turkish economy.
An independent jury drawn from an international
community of urban leaders, designers,
businesspeople, media members and civic leaders
will evaluate all submissions and determine the
winner of the award.
The deadline for project submissions is Sept. 11.
* Hurriyet Daily News reports that registration
for piano master classes with the renowned Turkish
pianist Idil Biret at the AyvalIk International
Music Academy from Aug. 28 to Sept. 4 have begun.
The deadline for applications is July 31.
Ms. Biret, who has directed piano master classes
at the academy for the last two years, will focus
on Chopin in the 2009 classes.
To attend the "Chopin Interpretations with Idil
Biret" master class, the participants should play
piano at a conservatory level, know about Chopin's
repertory and also play at least a Mazurka and
Music master classes have been held every year
during the summer and fall seasons in the Aegean
town of AyvalIk for 12 years, focusing mostly on
string instruments. Students from Turkey, Europe
and even as far away as New Zealand have been
gathering for eight to 10 days of intense
studying, practicing and performing with
distinguished international faculty at this Aegean
Ms. Biret showed a gift for music at the age of 3
and was trained at the Paris Conservatory under
the tutelage of Nadia Boulanger. She studied with
Alfred Cortot and was a lifelong disciple of
Wilhelm Kempff, who considered her a great
For more information, go to
* A newly established Turkish music academy, based
in a 130-year-old restored Greek house, is
gathering experts from Turkey and various European
countries together with students reports the
Hurriyet Daily News. This is the first music
Academy in Izmir province, located on the Aegean
coast of Turkey.
Six Turkish and European musician masters will
train young musicians at the Urla Music Academy in
the town of Urla this year.
Two entrepreneurs and sisters, Inci Coskuner and
Sedef Tuncag, restored the old Greek house in
Urla. Tolga Alpay, principal bassoonist in the
Izmir State Symphony Orchestra, is one of the
artists who contributed in the establishment of
the Academy. Alpay said the academy would host
five courses this summer, and there are plans to
hold courses in winter, too. "The courses target
especially young musicians, who have just
graduated and want to improve. One had to travel
abroad to work with the teachers here, now they
are coming to Turkey."
The academy opened with a bassoon and reed
manufacturing course. Next was a flute course by
Prof. Andras Adorjan, a lecturer at Munich Music
Oboist Hanjorg Schellenberger of the Berlin
Philharmonic Orchestra, cellist Heidi Litschauer
of the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, and
clarinet player Guy Dangain of Conservatoire
National Superieur de Musique de Paris are other
lecturers of the at the academy.
Andree Sommer, a lecturer of Bilkent University's
music and stage arts faculty, will play the piano
during the training programs.
The courses will end on Sept. 29.
* San Francisco-based radio host and concert
producer Dore Stein puts on his fifth musical tour
in Turkey this October, reports Hurriyet Daily
An aficionado of world music, Mr. Stein's romance
with the music in Turkey is the centerpiece of
this intimate voyage of cultural immersion. "I
know of no other tour for Westerners that
organizes concerts with artists from Turkey," he
Whether they come from near or far to immerse in
Turkey's musical landscape, people who join the
Tangents Turkey tour - with its 10 concerts in 16
nights - are captivated by this multicultural land
and its myriad sounds. Some can't stay away and
have returned to live. This year's tour is October
Professionals in the music and travel industries
call the tour a one-of-a-kind gem. Tom Brosnahan,
writer of bestselling Lonely Planet Turkey guides,
said the tour was unforgettable. "Dore opens doors
that music-lovers who travel on their own don't
even know are there," he said.
Mr. Stein fell in love with Turkish music when he
came to Istanbul in 2004 despite a cancelled music
conference. Driving in Cappadocia with Mehmet
Dasdeler, now a close friend and associate for the
tour, Mr. Dasdeler popped a cassette in the
player. Spellbound by the voice of Sabahat Akkiraz
wafting from the speakers, news Stein said, "It is
a special, magical, moment when a sound instantly
carves a place in one's heart."
* A cultural inventory of the southeastern city of
DiyarbakIr will be conducted under the leadership
of the DiyarbakIr Museum Directorate, according to
the Anatolia News Agency.
A group of researchers made up of architects,
archaeologists and art historians is recording the
cultural resources in the city. President of the
commission, Nevin Soyukaya, said that they had
confirmed 150 historical structures so far.
"Historical research was carried out in central
DiyarbakIr in 1988, but the inventory has not been
updated. When we complete our research, we will
publish a book titled 'DiyarbakIr Culture
Inventory,'" she said.
Ms. Soyukaya said that the Metropolitan
Municipality was preparing a construction plan for
to protect the areas and that their research would
create a substructure design for it. She added
that historical monuments had been photographed,
recorded and sketched.
"We do not treasure the cultural values in
DiyarbakIr as much as they deserve," Ms. Soyukaya
said. "We will also do historical research in
towns. We need to find and record all of the
monuments. We need to inventory the mounds in the
villages and towns, otherwise we won't be able to
understand what we may lose when the historical
monuments are damaged."
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.48
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 95/64 Hot
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 104/86 Hot
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 90/73 Mostly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 104/79 Hot
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 86/70 Thunderstorms
Black Sea measured at Trabzon 81
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag 79
Aegean Sea measured at Izmir 82
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 82
* In the UEFA European league championships
preliminaries, the Turkish team Galatasaray beat
its Kazakh rival 2 to 0. This is the second time
the two rivals played against each other. In the
first game Galatasaray had a 1-1 draw.
* In the 20th European youth Athletics
championships in Serbia, Turkey's Resul Cevik
received a silver medal in men's 1500 m race.
This is the second silver medal after Askin
Karaca's in the men's triple jump competitions.
* In the 10th European Olympics youth summer
festival games in Tampere Finland, Turkey's star
women's volleyball national team beat its Russian
rivals 3 to 2 and became the European champions.
*** Turkish American Association of California (TAAC) in cooperation with the TAAC Monterey Bay Chapter and Horon Turkish Folk Ensemble proudly presents...
12th Annual Turkish Art and Culture Festival in Monterey
August 1-2, 2009, Sat & Sun, 11am - 6pm
Monterey Custom House Plaza/State Historic Park [next to the Fisherman's Wharf]
( http://www.turkfestca.org, http://www.monterey.com)
Featuring many fun activities for the whole family, the two-day festival will include live Turkish music and folk dances performances, Turkish art and crafts exhibits and vendor booths, Food (Doner kebap, Adana Kofte,...) and Drinks (Turkish Coffee/tea, Soft drinks, Turkish Raki, beer, wine) and many special activities for children.
The authentic Turkish food will be prepared and sold by the NEW KAPADOKIA and SAKO's Mediterranean restaurants.
*** 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 trh@...
*** A play directed by a Turkish American
is opening up in San Francisco and we will be given
away five pairs of tickets.
Golden Thread Productions, a San Francisco-based
theater company dedicated to staging alternative
perspectives of the Middle East is opening its next play,
ECSTASY | a waterfable
at the Thick House (San Francisco)
on the 31st of July.
The play is directed by Evren Odcikin,
an up and coming San Francisco-based director
who was born and raised in Turkey.
*** We have one pair of tickets for:
Ancient-Future.Com Records 30th Anniversary
CD Release Party
3 Releases Celebrating 30 Years of World Fusion Music
--'Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar'
by Matthew Montfort (Acoustic Guitar)
--'Sangria' by Mariah Parker (Indo Latin Jazz)
--'Planet Passion' (30th Anniversary Remastered Edition)
by Ancient Future (World Music)
Sunday, July 26, 8 pm
Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse
1111 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94702
*** 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
*** 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