x0x Turkish news for week ending 01 August 2009
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 01 August 2009
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A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:
TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM
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KUSF FM 90.3, San Francisco
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Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host is Merter Bozkurt
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* 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
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
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
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 $12.48 billion, the
Turkish statistics office said.
Trade to the European Union, Turkey's top trading
partner, dropped 30.4 percent year on year, the
statement from the statistics institute said.
* Reuters also reported that Turkish stocks
continued to outperform with the Istanbul stock
market hitting new 11-month highs and bond yields
at historic lows after the central bank signalled
this week that more interest rate cuts were on the
* According to the Agence France-Presse, Iraq has
said the state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation
can take part in a second auction in November to
develop its oil and gas fields, Turkey's energy
minister said Friday.
* According to the Turkish daily Sabah, Turkey
started using third-generation (3-G) cellular
phones this week. 3-G cellular phones access
internet hundreds of times faster.
* According to the wire reports, Boeing has
received another order for seven more planes from
the Turkish Airlines. In April Turkish Airlines
had ordered five planes.
The Turkish allies order is for 777-300ER type
According to the Boeing's description, 777-300ER
is 19 percent lighter than its closest competitor,
greatly reducing its fuel requirement. It produces
22 percent less carbon dioxide per seat and costs
20 percent less to operate per seat. The airplane
can seat up to 365 passengers in a three-class
configuration and has a maximum range of 7,930
nautical miles (14,685 km).
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Carol Dean
* In the historic center of Istanbul, two college
friends, Selahattin Kaplan and Murat Alicavu$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
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
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
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
* 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
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
*** 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