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x0x Turkish news for week ending 01 August 2009

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  • Turkish Cultural List
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    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 7, 2009
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      x0x Turkish news for week ending 01 August 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 Merter Bozkurt

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



      * The third ministerial meeting of the trilateral
      mechanism composed of Turkey, the US and Iraq,
      established last November to improve cooperation
      in the fight against the rebel Turkish Kurds
      underground organization Kurdistan Workers Party,
      was held in the Turkish capital Ankara on Tuesday,
      reported the Turkish daily Sabah.
      The meeting was attended by Turkish, Iraqi and US
      delegations headed by Interior Minister Besir
      Atalay, Iraqi State Minister for National Security
      Shirwan al-Waili, and US Maj. Gen. Steven A.
      Hummer, the deputy chief of staff for operations
      in the multinational force in Iraq.
      After the meeting Turkey's interior minister said
      that all sides reiterated their determination to
      eradicate the Kurdish Workers Party presence in
      northern Iraq. However, he said that Turkey
      expects Iraq to do more.
      The Kurdistan Workers Party has been launching
      attacks on both civilian and military targets in
      Turkey from their hideouts across the border in
      Iraq. Kurdistan Workers Party is on a list of
      terrorist organizations in the US and the European

      * Turkish parliament's human rights commission is
      seeking Chinese permission to go to Eastern
      Turkistan to investigate the recent incidents
      involving Uighur Turks and Han Chinese settlers.
      The Chinese government is citing official holidays
      and have so far not honored the request of the
      Turkish human rights commission.
      However, earlier in the week an eight-member
      delegation of Turkish journalists traveled to
      Urumchi, the capital of Uighur autonomous region,
      to speak with officials on the recent
      developments, reported the Turkish daily Turkiye.
      The delegation met with Urumchi Mayor Jerla
      Isamudin, who told them the recent violence would
      not stop the region's development and that the
      Xinjiang administration is determined to maintain
      public order.
      Xinjiang, meaning "new territories", is the name
      given to Eastern Turkistan by the Chinese.
      Afterwards, the delegation visited a city square
      where riots took place and a hospital where
      injured people were taken after the violence.
      It is not clear if the delegation was able to
      interview ordinary Uighurs, who complain about
      discrimination and oppression by the Han Chinese .

      * Cyprus was in the news again this week. The
      United Nations secretary general Ban Ki Moon
      praised the progress of the two communities on the
      island for making progress on reunification.
      Cyprus is divided into two sectors because of the
      ethnic strife that took place throughout 1960s and
      70s. In 1974 the division was made more
      entrenched by Turkey's intervention in the face of
      a coup by Greek hard-liners and their threats to
      unify the island with Greece.
      Although the United Nations secretary general is
      praising the two communities, the Turkish Cypriots
      are saying that the Greek side is dragging their
      In related news, according to Agence
      France-Presse, in the US, Representative Ileana
      Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House of
      Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, called
      on Turkey Wednesday to facilitate the
      reunification of Cyprus by removing all of its
      troops from the divided island.
      Agence France-Presse notes that in 2004, a
      UN-backed reunification plan was scrapped after
      being rejected in a referendum by Greek Cypriots
      but backed by Turkish Cypriots.

      * Turkish foreign affairs minister Mr. Ahmet
      Davutoglu has visited Lebanon this week. While in
      Beirut Mr. Davutoglu met with the prime minister
      designate Saad Hariri twice.
      Mr. Davutoglu also visited the Turkish military
      unit under United Nations interim force in
      Lebanon. He also paid a visit to a burn center
      that Turkey is building there.

      * According to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, NATO's
      new secretary general Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen
      has approved Turkey's appointment of former
      ambassador Mr. Umit Pamir to the security
      alliance's Wise Men Committee, a new body tasked
      to plan the future of NATO and its missions.
      Mr. Rasmussen's election as secretary general of
      NATO during its 60th anniversary summit in early
      April caused controversy within the alliance as
      Turkey threatened to use its veto right, saying
      the Danish politician was not the right person for
      the job.
      Turkey had strongly criticized Mr. Rasmussen for
      his stance during the cartoon crisis of 2006,
      which triggered major protests across the Islamic
      world, and had concerns about the policies that
      NATO would follow under Mr. Rasmussen's helm.
      After receiving firm assurances from such figures
      as President Barack Obama, Turkey agreed to the
      former Danish premier's election to the top NATO
      post. One of those assurances was the appointment
      of a Turkish diplomat to the new NATO body.

      * According to the Associated Press, a statement
      from the Istanbul police headquarters says the
      suspected members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir group were
      detained in simultaneous raids in 21 provinces on
      It said police seized arms, hundreds of T-shirts
      with a slogan calling for the establishment of a
      state ruled by Islamic laws for the Muslims of the
      world, as well as maps and flags of such a state.

      * As we reported to you in our last program,
      Turkish Navy captured a number of Somali pirates
      last week. This Friday Turkish Navy captured
      another seven Somali pirates, the Turkish military
      officials announced.
      NATO member Turkey has sent two warships to the
      Gulf of Aden under an international mission
      deployed off Somalia since the start of the year
      to try to prevent attacks.

      * Turkey's trade deficit shrank 46 percent
      year-on-year to $4.15 billion in June, less than a
      forecast deficit of $5.6 billion, reports the
      Reuters news agency.
      Exports fell 29 percent to $8.33 billion and
      imports fell 36 percent to $12.48 billion, the
      Turkish statistics office said.
      Trade to the European Union, Turkey's top trading
      partner, dropped 30.4 percent year on year, the
      statement from the statistics institute said.

      * Reuters also reported that Turkish stocks
      continued to outperform with the Istanbul stock
      market hitting new 11-month highs and bond yields
      at historic lows after the central bank signalled
      this week that more interest rate cuts were on the

      * According to the Agence France-Presse, Iraq has
      said the state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation
      can take part in a second auction in November to
      develop its oil and gas fields, Turkey's energy
      minister said Friday.

      * According to the Turkish daily Sabah, Turkey
      started using third-generation (3-G) cellular
      phones this week. 3-G cellular phones access
      internet hundreds of times faster.

      * According to the wire reports, Boeing has
      received another order for seven more planes from
      the Turkish Airlines. In April Turkish Airlines
      had ordered five planes.
      The Turkish allies order is for 777-300ER type
      According to the Boeing's description, 777-300ER
      is 19 percent lighter than its closest competitor,
      greatly reducing its fuel requirement. It produces
      22 percent less carbon dioxide per seat and costs
      20 percent less to operate per seat. The airplane
      can seat up to 365 passengers in a three-class
      configuration and has a maximum range of 7,930
      nautical miles (14,685 km).


      Edited by Carol Dean

      * In the historic center of Istanbul, two college
      friends, Selahattin Kaplan and Murat Alicavu$oglu,
      are working to preserve the cultural meaning of
      Turkish traditions and arts instead of
      commercializing them. Four nights a week, the
      Istanbul Dance and Rhythm Ensemble puts on a
      concert of Sufi music, accompanying a
      whirling-dervish ceremony, in the Sultanahmet
      The group also organizes a folkloric dance show in
      the nearby FIrat Cultural Center. "We also hold
      ethnic and Roma music concerts from time to time,
      both in Turkey and abroad," said Selahattin
      Kaplan, manager of the ensemble The Istanbul Dance
      and Rhythm Ensemble tries to communicate the
      messages behind the whirling-dervish ceremony to
      its spectators. "It is not just a dance show or a
      musical concert, it also has a very deep
      philosophy behind it," said Kaplan.
      "The whirling dervishes we work with have been
      doing this for years. They learned it as children
      from senior dervishes," said Kaplan. "They do it
      according to tradition, just as it was during
      Ottoman times. They have grasped the religious
      aspect of it, Sufism, and are aware that it is a
      religious worship. They take the stage after they
      perform the ritual prayers of Islam."
      The team plans to expand its scope and hopes to
      screen leading Turkish films with French or
      Spanish subtitles. Added Kaplan: "I would also
      like to establish an academy where we can offer
      folk dance and music courses."

      * Restoration work on the clock tower on the
      grounds of Istanbul's Dolmabahce Palace, has been
      completed, and the refurbished clock tower will be
      officially inaugurated in October.
      The project is the flagship of a larger
      Turkish-Italian cooperation in the field of
      restoration. Mr. Roberto Luongo, the head of the
      Italian Institute for Foreign Trade told the
      Hurriyet Daily News "The two countries share
      strong ties due to not just their economic
      connections, but in this case also for the rich
      artistic legacy that they inherited and are meant
      to preserve."
      The growing interest shown by Turkish authorities
      in the revaluation of its artistic heritage, the
      fact that Italy is the world leader in restoration
      and the choice of Istanbul as the European Capital
      of Culture for 2010 can be attributed as reasons
      for this cooperation, writes the Hurriyet Daily
      In addition to the restoration of Dolmabahce
      Palace's clock tower, there are other projects
      under way - for instance, a project to illuminate
      Istanbul's important buildings, such as TopkapI
      Palace, the Hagia Sophia Museum and Yeni Cami. In
      autumn a Turkish-Italian workshop related to
      landscape lighting will take place in Istanbul.

      * France is enjoying a series of events dubbed the
      Turkish Season this year with various activities
      focusing on Turkish culture.
      In exchange, French Ambassador to Turkey, Bernard
      Emie, announced that two dance groups would
      represent France in the Bodrum festival in
      Turkey's Southwest, and that his country would
      also participate in festivals in Eski$ehir and in
      the Black Sea region, as well as the Adana theater
      Ambassador Emie said that the number of French
      tourists visiting Turkey was on the rise, reaching
      almost 1 million this year.
      "Cooperation between French and Turkish artists
      will continue in Istanbul, which will host a giant
      cultural event including France in 2010 as the
      European Capital of Culture," he added.
      As part of the cooperation, the French dance
      groups Kafig Company and the National Ballet of
      Marseille will take the stage at the Bodrum
      International Ballet Festival. Kafig will perform
      its show "Tricote" on Aug. 22. The National
      Ballet of Marseille will close the festival with a
      performance on Aug. 30.

      * A museum in Izmir Kulturpark has drawn much
      interest from cruise tourists who pass through the
      city. But officials complain that the number of
      local visitors who visit the Izmir History and
      Arts Museum has fallen.
      The Izmir Museum of History and Art consists of
      three main sections:
      -- stone works,
      -- ceramic works and
      -- precious item works.
      Stone work such as statues from the archaic,
      classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine
      periods are displayed at the entrance of the
      museum. In the ceramic works section, a very rich
      collection covering a time range between the
      prehistoric and Byzantine periods is exhibited. In
      the valuable items section, bronze, silver, gold
      and precious stone objects are on display, dating
      from the 6th century B.C. until the Ottoman
      Archaeologist Cemil Kanca, the museum's director
      and researcher, told the Anatolia news agency "the
      most distinctive feature of the museum is that it
      is an accessible museum. It is on one level, and
      has specially designed ascents and walkways for
      the handicapped. This is why our museum ranks
      first among annual cruise travel programs; the
      ages of people participating in cruises are 50
      and above," Kanca said. "Most of our visitors are
      people at this age."
      The statues of the god of the sea Poseidon, the
      Greek goddess of the bountiful harvest Demeter,
      and Homer, the writer of "Iliad" and "Odyssey,"
      are on display in the museum.
      The entrance fee to the Izmir History and Arts
      Museum is three Turkish Liras. It is free for
      primary and secondary school students and people
      above 65. Visitors also have a chance to buy a
      Museum Card, offered by the Culture and Tourism
      Ministry for 20 liras, which allows them to visit
      all of the country's museums for a year.

      * According to the Hurriyet Daily News, EurasiaNet
      is reporting that Turkey's popular Mediterranean
      resort city of Antalya ranks as the number one
      summer vacation destination for Armenians.
      According to the Eurasianet report, Antalya's
      reputation for low prices and high-quality
      customer service outweighs for many customers the
      fact that it is located within the borders of
      "longtime foe" Turkey.
      Tez Tour's Armenia office director, Narine
      Davtyan, told EuraisaNet that by summer's end her
      Russian-owned agency will have twice the number of
      Antalya-bound customers compared to 2008.
      According to the Turkish culture and tourism
      Ministry officials, 19,000 Armenians visited
      Turkey in 2007, including daily visits.
      The number went up to 24.4 thousand in 2008 and is
      21.2 thousand for the first six months of this
      year, projected to go up to 40,000 by the year

      * According to the Anatolia news agency, Turkish
      luxury-boat producers will promote the country's
      yacht industry at a tourism fair organized in
      France from Sept. 23 to 28.
      Turkey will be the guest of honor at the maritime
      tourism fair, which will bring together top yacht
      makers from around Europe.
      A total of 23 Turkish companies, including yacht
      makers, marina and port operators and companies
      offering short "blue cruises" along Turkey's
      Mediterranean or Aegean coasts, will attend this
      year's fair, according to Ahmet Erol, head of the
      shipping chamber's office in the Mediterranean
      province of Antalya.

      * A series of concerts that aim to raise awareness
      of the ancient city of Myndos, located near
      Bodrum's Gumu$luk district, begin Friday with a
      performance by famous singer Zuhal Olcay.
      The event, titled Myndos Hope Concerts, was
      organized by the Gumu$luk Academy Foundation to
      help excavation works in Myndos to unearth the
      ancient city. The academy and its supporters are
      also petitioning to have the area where the city
      is located declared a protected area.
      Myndos was an ancient Dorian colony on the Bodrum
      Peninsula, famous for its large city gates.
      Bodrum is in southwestern Turkey where the
      Mediterranean and the Aegean seas come together.

      * According to the newswires, the restoration work
      on an ancient lighthouse in Patara, which was on
      hold due to lack of funding, will be financed by
      building taxes, Turkey's culture and tourism
      minister has said.
      The lighthouse in Patara dates to around 60 A.D.
      and is believed to be the oldest preserved
      lighthouse in the world.
      Patara is in Turkey's Mediterranean province of


      EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.47


      High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather

      Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 84/61 Partly Cloudy
      Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 90/77 Hot
      Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 84/68 Thunderstorms
      Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 91/75 Mostly Sunny
      Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 75/70 Heavy Showers

      Seawater temperatures

      Black Sea measured at Trabzon 79
      Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag 81
      Aegean Sea measured at Izmir 82
      Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 82


      * In the European youth weightlifting
      championships, Ms. $aziye Okur of Turkey broke
      four European records. The championships were
      taking place in Landskrona, Sweden.
      In the same championships, in the 53-kilo category
      Turkey's Ms. Ay$egul Coban received three gold
      medals. In the same category another Turkish
      competitor Ms. Damla Aydin received a bronze

      * On the Bosporus Bridge connecting Asia and
      Europe, an interesting sports event took place
      this week.
      The Anatolia news agency reports that Hong Kong's
      Ko Lai Chak and Austrian Werner Schalger had a 20
      minute table tennis match. The game was organized
      by the Turkish Table Tennis Federation.
      Authorities stopped the traffic on the Bosporus
      Bridge for half an hour on Sunday morning for the
      occasion. The Bosporus Bridge is in Turkey's
      Istanbul province or the Bosporus strait.

      * In addition to a table tennis game over the
      Bosporus, last week also saw a series of events in
      it: According to the Hurriyet daily news, hundreds
      of swimmers threw themselves into the refreshing
      waters of the Bosporus on Sunday in an attempt to
      become the fastest swimmer from Asia to Europe.
      The Asia to Europe International Swimming, Rowing
      and Sailing Competitions organized by the Turkish
      Olympic Committee were held for the 21st time
      under the banner "Bosporus 2009."
      A total of 713 competitors, 160 of them from 26
      different countries, vied for the prestigious
      title. The winner was Dimitar Metodiev Videnov
      from Bulgaria, who completed the course in 54
      minutes 1 second. Abdulhalim Lafci was runner up
      two seconds behind Videnov, while Denis Turan of
      France finished third in 55 minutes.
      The Bosporus Strait was closed to all sea traffic
      during the race to ensure the swimmers' safety.

      * Turkey's Hidayet "Hedo" Turkoglu signed a
      five-year $53 million contract with Toronto's
      Raptors. Hedo has been playing in the US for
      several years.

      * In a UEFA Europa League third-qualifying-round
      game, Turkey's Galatasaray soccer team beat
      Israel's Maccabi Netany 4 to 1. The game was
      played in Israel.
      In the same cup, Fenerbahce of Turkey beat its
      Hungarian rival Honved 5 to 1 in Istanbul.

      * Turkish city of Kayseri has been confirmed as
      the fourth venue to host the World Basketball
      Championships, replacing the Turkish city of
      Antalya, the world governing body for basketball
      announced late Wednesday, reports the Hurriyet
      Daily News.
      The central Anatolian city was picked along with
      the Turkish capital Ankara, Turkey's cultural and
      commercial center Istanbul and Turkey's third
      largest city Izmir to host the world's most
      important basketball event in 2010.

      * In the Balkan cycling championships' the 15 to
      16-year-old category Turkish team received a gold
      The championships took place in Turkey's European
      part. Bicyclists from Turkey, Macedonia, Albania,
      Serbia, Romania, Bosnia, Greece and Bulgaria were
      participating in the race.


      *** 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

      The authentic Turkish food will be prepared and
      sold by the NEW KAPADOKIA and SAKO's Mediterranean

      *** 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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