x0x Turkish News for the week ending 14 December 2009
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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 14 December 2009
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM, every Saturday from 6 PM to 8 PM on
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Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host today is Melis Atalay.
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Edited by Bilgin Atalay
* According to the Anatolia news agency a new
bylaw in Turkey that lifts time limitations on
broadcasts in languages other than Turkish went
into effect Friday.
Previously radio broadcasts in languages other
than Turkish were limited to an hour each day and
a total of five hours per week for radios and to
45 minutes per day and a total of four hours per
week for televisions.
The previous bylaw also required translations and
subtitles of the programs on radios and
The new bylaw also eliminates a provision that
banned educational programs in the languages and
dialects in which the broadcasts were made.
The Turkish government on Friday released more
details about its much-debated Kurdish initiative,
which the ruling party has billed as a solution to
the country's 25-year struggle against an outlawed
Kurdish group in the Southeast.
Another part of the initiative would be to restore
the former Kurdish names of villages, he said.
* The Hurriyet Daily News writes that Turkey's
energy minister said Friday that Turkey would not
refuse if asked to store Iran's enriched uranium
to help solve the nuclear impasse between its
neighbor and the West.
The minister, Mr. Taner Yildiz, said that there
had been no such formal requests to Turkey from
Iran or the United Nations. However, he confirmed
that the issue is being discussed.
Turkish and Iranian officials held talks on a
proposal from the chief of the U.N. nuclear agency
for Iran's enriched uranium to be sent to Turkey
for processing into reactor fuel, an alternative
to a plan for Russia to do the work.
The Turkish option, which International Atomic
Energy Agency Director-General Mohamed El Baradei
proposed on Nov. 6, was discussed by Turkish
President Abdullah G?l, Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan and Iran's hard-liner President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last weekend at a meeting of
leaders of Islamic nations in Istanbul.
In an interview on the PBS network's Charlie Rose
television show, El Baradei said Turkey could
accept Iran's low-enriched uranium and ship it
back as reactor-grade fuel as a way to ease U.S.
and European concerns that the Persian Gulf
country aims to boost its supply of the material
to the level needed for nuclear weapons.
Iran hasn't accepted an earlier proposal, brokered
by El Baradei, for its uranium to be sent to
Russia for further enrichment to reactor-grade
fuel. Turkey may be a better option because "Iran
has a lot of trust in Turkey," and the U.S. would
also agree because it's "very comfortable with
Turkey," El Baradei said in the interview.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking at
a press conference in Istanbul earlier this week,
said his country "has very good relations with
Turkey in all dimensions," implicitly signaling
that Tehran would accept the new U.N.-backed
offer. He also said that Iran is capable of
enriching its own uranium and that it entered into
international talks on enrichment outside the
country "for the purpose of setting up a
The U.S. is willing to give Iran's government more
time to decide whether to accept the idea of
shipping its uranium abroad for processing, the
U.S. ambassador to the IAEA said on Nov. 9 at a
briefing in Vienna. "We want to give some space to
Iran to work through this," Ambassador Glyn Davies
said. "It's a tough issue for them. We're looking
for an early, positive response."
Turkey, a U.S. ally and member of the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization, has expanded trade
and political ties with Iran under the Justice and
Development Party government. During a visit to
Iran last month, Turkey's prime minister Mr.
Erdogan said that its nuclear program has
"peaceful aims" and that its government was taking
a "positive" approach in nuclear negotiations.
* On Tuesday, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of
the Republic of Turkey, was commemorated on the
71st anniversary of his death. The first ceremony
to remember Ataturk took place at his mausoleum,
Anitkabir, in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
After the state ceremony on Tuesday morning,
260,000 the sick for people from throughout Turkey
visited Ataturk's mausoleum, with Ataturk's
pictures and Turkish flags in their hands, saying,
"Our (Founding) Father, We Follow Your Footsteps."
Ataturk's mausoleum was decorated with 40,000
flowers and 1500 plants.
* According to the Turkish daily Turkiye, two
major Turkish banks, Ziraat and Garanti, announced
they had recorded profit in the first nine months
of 2009. Ziraat said it had a net profit of $1.8
billion in local currency and Garanti said its net
profit was $1.43 billion in the first nine months
* Pierre Lellouche, the French secretary of state
for European Affairs, said that Turkey and France
reached a "tacit" agreement to ease problems
regarding Turkey's European Union accession,
reports the Turkish daily Sabah.
Mr. Lellouche said, French President Nicolas
Sarkozy and Turkish President Abdullah Gul had
agreements on some issues within the scope of
Turkey's European Union accession during talks in
Paris last month. Mr. Lellouche said that modern
and democratic Turkey in the interest of the
* The Turkish daily Yeni Safak reports that the
World Expedition Awards were given in London.
Mardan Palace, which had opened five months ago
in Turkey's southern Mediterranean City of
Antalya, won "The Most Luxurious Hotel of the
Mardan Palace constructed by Azeri descent Russian
businessman Telman Ismailov cost $1.2 billion.
Belek Adam & Eve Hotel in Antalya won "The Best
Design Hotel of the World" award also this year.
Rixos Premium in Antalya won "the Best Hotel" and
"The Best Coast Resort" awards.
Kemer Resort in Antalya won "The Best Resort
* According to the Turkish daily Hurriyet Istanbul
Chief Prosecutor Aykut Cengiz Engin has been
wiretapped along with several other judges and
prosecutors within the scope of Ergenekon probe,
it was revealed. Istanbul high criminal court gave
the permission on October 14, 2008.
"Ergenekon" is the name given to an alleged
clandestine, Kemalist ultra-nationalist
organization in Turkey with ties to members of the
country's military and security forces. The group
is accused of terrorism and plots to overthrow the
government in Turkey.
Istanbul Courthouse's telephone switchboard has
also been wiretapped and Engin was stalked for a
week while he was at his office and during public
events he attended, it was revealed.
* H1N1 flu is threatening every segment and age
group of Turkish society, reports the Turkish
Turkey's Health Ministry reported that 17 more
people died of swine flu yesterday. The death toll
increased to 75.
As of Wednesday Nov. 11 evening, 245 people have
been under treatment for swine flu at hospitals.
43 of these patients are in intensive care units,
nine are on life support.
Among the 73 dead people, 33 H1N1 victims had a
chronic disease which increase the risk, and one
woman was pregnant. However, 40 of the dead were
* The Turkish daily Turkiye reports that Graham
Fuller, former vice-chair of the U.S. National
Intelligence Council, has commented on Turkish
foreign policy and controversies over Turkey's
Mr. Fuller said Turkey established friendly ties
with Iran, Iraq and Syria and reached out beyond
the Ottoman borders. He said Turkey, rather than a
strategic partner of the West, had become a global
Mr. Fuller stated that Turkey could go to places
where Europe and the United States could not; and
could sign deals that they could not. He said the
West must see this power and think over it.
* Britain, which is a "guarantor" state in Cyprus
together with Turkey and Greece, promised to give
the half of its lands in Cyprus to encourage a
solution on the island, reported the Turkish daily
Yeni Safak. Britain has 116.5 square kilometers of
land in Cyprus, amounting to three percent of the
The island is divided between the Greek and
* Good news for the residents of Istanbul who are
living in fear of an earthquake.
According to the Turkish daily Vatan, Turkish and
French scientists have sent a robot named "BOB" to
the fault line in Marmara Sea, which has not been
broken since 1766.
BOB will detect the methane leaking from the fault
line before the earthquake and foretell the
earthquake, giving people the chance to flee
Scientists give a time from an hour to three
months after BOB's forewarning, but it is
impossible to predict the exact timing.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Serkan Hatipoglu
* Fikret Atay, a well-known Turkish artist living
in Paris, brings together the two recent works of
"Batman vs. Batman" and "Gooaall!!", reports the
Hurriyet Daily News.
"Batman vs. Batman," depicts the comical homonymy
between the southeastern Turkish city of Batman
and the superhero figure. In "Gooaall!!" he deals
with asphalt roads, which are prime symbols of
Outlet//Independent Art Space is presenting the
first Istanbul solo show of Mr. Atay.
Added to these is a selection of past highlights,
including "Spring Fever" and "Holiwuut."
Fikret Atay has had solo exhibitions at
prestigious venues such as Bonner Kunstverein in
Germany, Site Gallery in the United Kingdom,
Hammer Museum in the United States, Maison de
l'Architecture in France, Index in Sweden and Buro
Friedrich in Germany.
In his videos, Atay makes reference to "country
issues" through cultural, social and geographical
connections. His work is involved with traditional
lifestyles, which are marked by Western
influences. As a Turkish artist who has gained
worldwide acclaim at a young age, his success is
rooted in his ability to discover the universal
aspects of supposedly local concerns.
* According to the Anatolia News Agency, Turkish
Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk was the guest of a
cultural center in New York where he signed his
book "The Museum of Innocence". The book has been
translated into English and was released in the
United States on Oct. 20. Answering questions from
readers, Mr. Pamuk said his book features the
modern and traditional, and Eastern and Western
sides of Turkey without prejudice.
At the cultural center Mr. Pamuk met with a large
group and read selections from his book. As he
read, Pamuk also provided additional information
to readers and answered their questions.
"The Museum of Innocence" tells a love story
involving a young man from a rich family and deals
with the effect of love on a human life. In his
book Mr. Pamuk featured the city of Istanbul
during the time period between 1975 and 1984. He
said he endeavored to tell the story without
exaggerating love, but rather showing it as it is
in real life.
Although the leading character in the book, Kemal,
has some similarities to Pamuk, the author said,
the character was not based on himself.
Mr. Pamuk has been appointed to give the 2009-2010
Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard
University, a tradition the school has upheld
since 1925. Mr. Pamuk said he really enjoys the
classes, and that it has been a nice opportunity
for him to give lectures at Harvard. He said a
book would be printed at the end of the series of
George Andreou, the editor of Mr. Pamuk's latest
book, also delivered a speech before inviting the
author to the stage, saying he was a very good
novelist and that "The Museum of Innocence" was a
Mr. Pamuk also plans to open a museum called
Masumiyet Muzesi in Istanbul. It is expected to
create a poetic and documentary representation of
the culture of Istanbul, from the 1950s until the
present day, through various objects used in daily
life, as well as photographs, paintings and
One of Turkey's most prominent novelists, Pamuk's
works have sold more than 7 million books in over
50 languages. The author is the recipient of
numerous literary awards, including the Nobel
Prize in Literature in 2006 the first Nobel Prize
to be awarded to a Turkish citizen
* Marzena Romanowska of the Hurriyet Daily News
reports that one of the youngest film festivals in
Turkey, the Bursa International Silk Road Film
Festival started last Friday night. Now in its
fourth year, the festival brings to the audience
both a carefully selected range of entertainment
and a focus on social responsibility.
Festival director Ali CalI$Ir said the event
started in 2006 and soon became mentioned in the
same breath as some of Turkey's more famous
festivals. He said "Rather than compare the Silk
Road to the established festivals in the country,
I prefer to believe that our event automatically
fills an existing gap."
From the beginning, the festival's main aim was to
bring international films to the city. The
festival, in turn, took its strength from the city
Social responsibility is underlined in many events
taking place within the framework of the festival,
especially through the participation of the
"We want to attract talented young people to this
sector. The courses organized since the beginning
of the festival are free and we see a great demand
for them. We believe the current participants will
give courses at the festival in the future,"
It does not mean, however, that the festival is
only targeted at young people. "We would like to
embrace all groups of people, from housewives to
students, from active businessmen to the hearing
impaired," he added.
Despite its young age, the festival managed to
become a professional platform for the exchange of
ideas and networking. "Competitions include
Turkish debutants, plus participants from the
foreign cinema sector, such as directors, artists
and producers," CalI$Ir said, adding that he is
anticipating the day when top-class filmmakers
like Quentin Tarantino or Pedro Almod?var come to
Bursa to make the festival's organizers proud.
Just as Bursa was exposed to the wider world
because of its location on the historical Silk
Road, the festival's program also reflects this
fusion as it not only brings Turkish audiences
closer to international cinema, but also allows
foreign guests to become more familiar with
Turkish films, according to CalI$Ir.
"In our special sections, including Cinema and
Architecture,' Panorama,' On The Silk Road,' and
To Tell You The Truth,' we will show films from
countries like Iran, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Romania,
the United States, Venezuela, Holland, Azerbaijan,
Greece, Sweden, Taiwan, Russia, Canada and
Turkey," he said.
* The 11th International Istanbul Biennial ended
last Sunday. During the two-month event, 141
projects from 40 countries were on display at
three different venues, Antrepo No. 3, Tutun
Deposu and Ferikoy Greek School.
Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture
and Arts the Biennial was sponsored by Koc Holding
and curated by the Zagreb-based collective What,
How & for Whom under the theme "What Keeps Mankind
During the two-month event, 101,000 people visited
the three Biennial venues in Istanbul, an increase
over 91,000 visitors at the 10th Biennial and
51,000 at the 9th.
More than 25,000 college students from Istanbul
and nearby cities visited the Biennial for free as
guests of Koc Holding, which has sponsored the
event since 2007 and will continue to support it
until 2016. Some 5,000 people, mostly students,
took part in the guided tours that were organized
every day. Eighteen guides led tours in Turkish,
English, German and French as part of the
Biennial's education program.
The 11th International Istanbul Biennial also
carried contemporary art outside the main Biennial
venues through projects organized at various
locations in the city, as well as events outside
Istanbul. Biennial events were organized in the
eastern cities of Mardin and DiyarbakIr and the
northwestern city of Canakkale.
As part of the Biennial, 28 events including
panel discussions, artist presentations,
performances, book releases, video screenings and
workshops were organized with the participation
of national and international artists,
academicians and curators.
Many foreign magazine and newspaper
representatives introduced the Biennial in their
own countries. Their news from and impressions of
the event were published in many leading
publications in Europe.
A book about the 11th International Istanbul
Biennial was released by IKSV and YapI Kredi
Publishing House with contributions from the Vehbi
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----------: 52/36 Mostly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 72/59 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 59/48 Mostly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 63/48 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 59/54 Heavy Showers
Black Sea measured at Trabzon 68
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag 57
Aegean Sea measured at Izmir 64
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 75
* TURKISH SOCCER
* Results of the Games Played in the 12th Week in the Premiere League
BURSA Sp - G. BIRLIGI 1 - 2
B. $EHIR BLD. Sp - ANTALYA Sp 1 - 0
TRABZON Sp - BE$IKTA$ 0 - 2
ANKARAGUCU - KASIMPA$A 2 - 2
ESKI$EHIR Sp - DENIZLI Sp 2 - 0
MANISA Sp - G. ANTEP Sp 0 - 3
SIVAS Sp - KAYSERI Sp 2 - 4
DIYARBAKIR Sp - G. SARAY 1 - 2
* Ranking in the Premiere League as of the end of 12th week:
1 - FENERBAHCE 31
2 - G. SARAY 28
3 - BE$IKTA$ 24
4 - BURSA Sp 23
5 - KAYSERI Sp 22
6 - B. $EHIR BLD. Sp 21
7 - ESKI$EHIR Sp 20
8 - G. BIRLIGI 19
9 - TRABZON Sp 18
10 - G. ANTEP Sp 18
11 - ANTALYA Sp 16
12 - ANKARAGUCU 13
13 - MANISA Sp 13
14 - DIYARBAKIR Sp 12
15 - KASIMPA$A 9
16 - SIVAS Sp 7
17 - DENIZLI Sp 6
18 - ANKARA Sp 0
* No games in the league this weekend.
*** Mark your calendars: Necati Celik and ensemble will be performing
on December 13 in Los Gatos!
*** 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 from 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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