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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 28 December 2009

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  • Turkish Culture List
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    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2009
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      x0x Turkish News for the week ending 28 December 2009

      Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
      TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM, every Saturday from 6 PM to 8 PM on
      KUSF FM 90.3, San Francisco

      You can also listen live from a link on the web site:

      Also tune to KKUP FM 91.5, Cupertino to hear the
      ORIENT EXPRESS every Tuesday at 10 PM

      Audio archives of our radio broadcasts are at:

      Also available as podcasts for your MP3 players at:

      Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host today is Fuad Tokad.

      If you wish to subscribe to the Internet edition of this news,
      send a blank email to: TurkC-L-subscribe@yahoogroups.com



      Edited by Fuad Tokad

      * Associated Press reported Friday that Turkey
      will not open its ports and airspace to Greek
      Cyprus until there is an agreement that would
      reunite the divided island, the Turkish foreign
      affairs minister said Thursday.
      Foreign affairs minister Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu was
      responding to a renewed call by the European Union
      for an agreement on the issue, which is one of the
      reasons that talks for closer ties between Turkey
      and the European Union are frozen.
      Associated Press says that Cyprus was divided into
      a Greek Cypriot south and a Turkish Cypriot north
      in 1974 when Turkey intervened in response to a
      coup by supporters of union with Greece.
      Turkish Cypriots say that the island was already
      divided by 1974 and Turks were relegated as
      hostages to small enclaves.
      Associated Press adds that the Greek-speaking half
      is internationally recognized and entered the
      European Union in 2004. The breakaway Turkish
      north is recognized by Turkey, which also retains
      35,000 troops in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot
      Swedish foreign affairs minister Mr. Carl Bildt
      renewed the European Union's call during his visit
      aimed at discussing the country's stalled European
      Union membership bid. Sweden currently holds the
      European Union presidency.
      Turkey has been an associate member of the union
      since 1963. Turkey began talks to join the
      27-nation bloc in 2005, but has made little
      progress since. France and Germany have expressed
      opposition to its bid while negotiations over some
      policy areas such as energy talks are frozen over
      Turkey's refusal to allow ships and planes from
      Greek Cyprus to enter its ports and airspace.
      Spain expressed support for Turkey's membership on
      Thursday, promising that more negotiation chapters
      could be opened when that country takes over the
      European Union's rotating presidency in January.

      * Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said
      that his government's democratic move aimed at
      eradicating terrorism and increasing standards of
      democracy in Turkey to the highest level, reported
      the Anatolia News Agency on Friday.
      In a televised address to the nation on the eve of
      the Sacrifice Holiday holiday, Mr. Erdogan said,
      "We are determined to create a social ground in
      which no one will be discriminated because of
      their ethnic background, religious beliefs,
      lifestyle and thoughts. We believe that if we can
      create a fully democratic atmosphere, we can
      resolve all kinds of problems. We will maintain
      our fight against terrorism. And we will not make
      any concessions from Turkey's unity and
      brotherhood of our people."
      Mr. Erdogan added: "We are aware that
      anti-terrorism has several other dimensions
      besides the military one. Therefore, we are
      determined to ensure a stable environment and to
      find solutions to socioeconomic problems. We will
      end all kinds of discriminative attempts harming
      the social harmony in our country."
      Referring to economic developments, the Turkish
      prime minister said: "We are pleased to see that
      Turkish economy has begun giving positive signals
      again. The International Monetary Fund said in its
      latest report that the Turkish economy was among
      one of the few economies in the world that would
      grow in the last quarter of the year.
      "We expect Turkey to become the fifth-biggest
      economy among the G-20 member states next year. We
      also expect Turkey to become the first economy in
      the world with a growth rate of 3.7 percent in
      "I believe that employment will begin rising next
      year. Meanwhile, we expect our exports will exceed
      $100 billion at the end of the year."

      * The Anatolia News Agency reported on Friday that
      Turkish foreign affairs minister Mr. Ahmet
      Davutoglu has said Turkey attached importance to
      Iran's integration to the international community.
      "We are willing to make any contribution to that
      end. We need to get rid of the environment of
      confrontations and tensions in the region,"
      Davutoglu told reporters at a press conference
      after a Turkey-European Union Troika meeting in
      Responding to a question on possible repercussions
      of relations between Turkey and Iran on Ankara's
      ties with the United States and the European
      Union, Mr. Davutoglu said his country had
      important dialog and relations with both the
      United States and Iran.
      "We have underlined during a meeting with [Iranian
      President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad that problems
      should be resolved through diplomacy and mutual
      understanding in such a critical time. And we will
      continue to convey our messages of dialog and
      peace to the parties during a prospective visit of
      Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the U.S.
      Our goal is to prevent new problems from
      developing. We are also in contact with the
      European Union about our efforts," Mr. Davutoglu

      * Turkey is an important model for the region in
      terms of its very vital democratic institutions,
      State Department said.
      "We have a very robust and broad relationship with
      Turkey. Turkey is a valued member of NATO. We see
      Turkey as an important model for the region in
      terms of its very vital democratic institutions,"
      Ian Kelly, spokesman for the State Department,
      said at a daily press briefing on Wednesday
      reported the Anatolia News Agency.
      Kelly added that the United States had a growing
      trade relationship with Turkey.
      "We're looking forward to the visit of Prime
      Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a couple of
      weeks. That's not to say that we don't have
      disagreements with Turkey. We have disagreements
      with all of our allies, and we discuss them both
      privately and publicly. And we look forward to
      discussing the full range of our relations when
      Prime Minister Erdogan arrives," he added.


      Edited by Anita Donohoe

      * The Mevlana Museum, Turkey's third most visited
      museum after Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia,
      is located in the central province of Konya. It is
      currently undergoing its largest-ever restoration,
      reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
      The museum, also known as the Green Mausoleum or
      Green Dome, is the original lodge of the Mevlevi
      whirling dervishes, a mystical Sufi Muslim group.
      It contains the tomb and shrine of the Mevlana, or
      Jalaluddin Rumi, founder of the Sufi order.
      As part of the restoration works launched three
      months ago, the renovation of the minaret was
      completed and now dervish cells will be restored
      to their original 16th century state. Experts will
      also replace old tiles with new ones and fix
      damaged tiles on the inner part of the dome, the
      Kubbe-i Hadra, or the Green Dome, which is the
      symbol of the historical monument. Lighting
      fixtures and the museums courtyard will also be
      restored, museum officials said.
      Museum's director Yusuf Benli said that
      restoration works are expected to be completed in
      two years.
      "Usually, museums all over the world are closed
      during restoration works but we preferred to keep
      the museum open. The number of foreign visitors in
      October 2008 was 24,000 but it doubled in October
      2009, which shows us that restoration work has not
      negatively affected the number of visitors," Benli
      The museum was visited by 2 million people in 2008
      and visitors are still welcome despite ongoing
      restoration works, he added.

      * An Istanbul womens group is preparing its annual
      Christmas Bazaar, one of the citys most beloved
      holiday events for Turks and expatriates alike.
      Fast approaching its 40th year, the International
      Women of Istanbul, or IWIs, Christmas Bazaar will
      be the organizations largest charity fund-raising
      event for the year. The bazaar will be held
      Tuesday, Nov. 24, at the Hilton Hotel Convention
      The more than 70 vendors that will be represented
      at the bazaar reflect the diversity of the IWI and
      of Istanbul, including many international
      organizations and schools that bring products from
      their own countries as well as homemade items to
      sell. A mix of individuals and commercial
      companies will also display an amazing array of
      The bazaar has become known each year for its food
      court, where attendees will find a mix of homemade
      food and tastes from the menus of well-known
      restaurants. It is possible to start with a
      Brazilian appetizer, taste an Indian curry for a
      main course, sip on a glass of wine and finish up
      with a delicious cup of mint tea and a slice of
      homemade carrot cake.
      The bazaar takes the IWI board about eight months
      to organize and requires the help of an army of
      more than 100 volunteers from the group on the day
      of the event.
      For the past 40 years, the IWI has promoted
      social, cultural and intellectual exchange and
      friendship among women of all nationalities living
      in Istanbul. As a registered non-profit, and a
      non-political and self-supporting social
      organization, it brings together international
      women of all ages and cultures, boasting some 600
      members from 56 nationalities.
      The Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review will
      also be sold at the bazaar and the profits will be
      donated to the IWIs charity projects.
      Since the IWI is a nonprofit association, all net
      proceeds will be allocated to its 2009/2010
      charity projects aimed at helping children and
      women and improving the lives of many within the
      Turkish community. More information about the
      group is available at www.iwi-tr.org

      * Two Turkish space pilots enter a gravitational
      field during a routine mission and encounter
      aliens on a strange planet. Cuneyt Arkin, one of
      the two pilots, fights these unidentified aliens.
      Yesilcams (Turkish Hollywood) first science
      fiction film, Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who
      Saves the World), made in 1982, is remembered for
      these scenes, effects and aliens.
      Both Yesilcam and the special effects industry in
      Turkey have made advancements since the 1982 film
      and are now opening up to the world.
      Turkish prosthetic and latex special effects
      makeup experts, who create interesting characters
      out of their knowledge of anatomy, sculpture,
      chemistry, color and imagination, are popular not
      only in Turkish cinema but around the world.
      The fact that films are shot in countries such as
      Romania, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Tunisia and
      Australia due to low production costs has become a
      particularly new opportunity for Turkish makeup
      designers. They are preferred for their
      high-quality work and low prices, and take part in
      projects abroad with effects such as broken arms,
      severed heads or fantastical creatures.
      See more:

      * Millions of sheep and cattle were slaughtered in
      Turkey during this long weekend, writes the
      Hurriyet Daily News. And the last words they heard
      were an age-old credo: There is no deity but God
      And to God goes all praise.
      These are the days of the Feast of the Sacrifice,
      one of the two apexes of the Muslim calendar. The
      other one, which was about two months ago, marks
      the ending of the Ramadan fast.
      During the four-day feast, which is also a
      national holiday, every well-off Muslim adult is
      obliged to sacrifice a sizeable animal. This is,
      first and foremost, a form of worship. It is
      neither their meat nor their blood that reaches
      God, the Koran reminds. It is your piety that
      reaches Him. But there is also a social side of
      the practice, for the meat does reach neighbors,
      relatives and especially the poor.
      The story goes back to the beginnings of Islam.
      Most pre-Islamic Arabs were pagans, and, like many
      other ancient peoples, they honored their idols by
      sacrificing animals. The Kaabah, which was then a
      pagan pantheon, was the center for these bloody
      rituals. The Koran, which banned all sorts of
      idolatry, told Muslims to sacrifice the animals
      only for their creator, the one and only God. It
      also told them the story of Abraham and his son,
      and how the latter was saved from being sacrificed
      at the last moment, thanks to being miraculously
      replaced by a sheep.
      Since then, Muslims all around the world have been
      commemorating Abrahams dramatic story during the
      time of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to the Kaabah,
      which is this weekend this year, but moves back 11
      days every year because of the difference between
      the lunar and Gregorian calendars. The pilgrims at
      the Kaabah offer their sacrifices there, though
      others do it in their hometowns in Cairo,
      Jakarta, Istanbul, or wherever.
      See more:

      *11th New York Turkish film festival is around the
      corner. On December 2, 4 and 5 new resume films
      will be shown at the S. V. A. Theatre on 23rd
      This is festival will have numerous award winning

      -- Black Dogs Barking
      -- Autumn
      -- My Only Sunshine
      -- Pandora's box
      -- Milk and Chocolate
      -- The Last Season: Shawaks

      The festival will and with a closing party on
      December 5.
      The American Turkish Society and the New
      York-based Moon and Stars Project have
      collaborated to bring the festival.
      For more information see

      * The Turkish Coalition of America is organizing
      summer internships for Turkish-American students
      in Washington D.C., an announcement from the
      organization said last week.
      According to the Turkish Coalition of America, the
      program will provide an opportunity for students
      to live and work in Washington D.C. and learn
      about the American political process and explore
      career opportunities in public affairs.
      The deadline for applications is January 12, 2010
      and it can be made via e-mail.
      More information about the program is available at
      the organization's web site:

      * Latif Bolat, a musician and a friend of the
      Turkish broadcasts here in the Bay Area, announced
      that he is organizing cultural tours to Turkey.
      The tours will take place in May, June and
      September. Mr. Bolat says that the tours will
      take you to Western and central Anatolia on the
      Asian part of Turkey.
      For more information see http://www.LatifBolat.com

      * The American Turkish Society and the Levin
      Institute are presenting a lecture in this series
      "annual Levin Turkish Fulbright lecture".
      The lecture will take place at Binghamton
      University on December 9 at the Levin Institute.
      The speaker will be Dr. Onur Yildirim from the
      Middle East technical University in Turkey's
      capital Ankara. Dr. Yildirim is also a Fulbright
      Levin distinguished scholars in Turkish affairs.
      His lecture will be on "The 1923 Turco-Greek
      Exchange of Populations and its Relevance for


      EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.5


      High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather

      Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 55/28 Foggy
      Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 70/46 Mostly Sunny
      Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 64/46 Foggy
      Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 68/52 Partly Cloudy
      Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 59/41 Partly Cloudy

      G. ANTEP Sp - BURSA Sp 0 - 1
      BE$IKTA$ - FENERBAHCE 3 - 0
      KAYSERI Sp - DIYARBAKIR Sp 2 - 0
      G. BIRLIGI - B. $EHIR BLD. Sp 3 - 1
      DENIZLI Sp - ANTALYA Sp 1 - 1
      KASIMPA$A - TRABZON Sp 3 - 1
      G. SARAY - MANISA Sp 1 - 1

      Week 13

      1 - FENERBAHCE 31
      2 - G. SARAY 29
      3 - BE$IKTA$ 27
      4 - BURSA Sp 26
      5 - KAYSERI Sp 25
      6 - G. BIRLIGI 22
      7 - ESKI$EHIR Sp 21
      8 - B. $EHIR BLD. Sp 21
      9 - TRABZON Sp 18
      10 - G. ANTEP Sp 18
      11 - ANTALYA Sp 17
      12 - ANKARAGUCU 14
      13 - MANISA Sp 14
      14 - KASIMPA$A 12
      15 - DIYARBAKIR Sp 12
      16 - SIVAS Sp 10
      17 - DENIZLI Sp 7
      18 - ANKARA Sp 0

      Week 14 results so far:



      *** Mark your calendars: Necati Celik and ensemble will be performing
      on December 13 in Los Gatos!

      Place: 16400 Lark Ave. Suite 260
      Los Gatos CA 95032

      Make reservations by sending an e-mail to turkradio@.... Indicate
      the names of all the attendees.

      *** 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

      *** We are giving tickets away for two concerts:

      Call us and give your telephone number and e-mail to participate in a
      drawing for the tickets:

      Yore Folk Ensemble presents in SF

      MFO (Mazhar-Fuat-Ozkan )

      Friday, December 4, 2009
      9:00 - 10:30 PM Concert
      10:30 PM- 1:30 AM Post-Show Party

      FOX Theatre - Redwood City
      2215 Broadway St. Redwood City, CA 94063 / (650) 369 4119

      Ticket Sale Links:



      * Turk Neopolitan Projesi, 3 Aralik 2009, Berkeley


      Doors at 8:00 pm; Show at 8:30 pm
      $12 advance & students / $15 day of show

      It's a most unusual show, even by Ashkenaz's wide-ranging world
      dance music standards: on his first U.S. tour, the Italian singer,
      composer, and multi-instrumentalist Gerardo Balestrieri presents his
      Turkish Neapolitan Project, accompanied by members of the eclectic
      powerhouse Fishtank Ensemble. After opening sets by the virtuoso
      Fishtank crew, as well as special guests Æ from Brooklyn and Turkish
      wind ensemble MWE, Balestrieri offers his original music in a variety of
      languages and musical styles, full of humor and exquisite beauty. In
      addition to singing of love, homeland and humor in several languages,
      Balestrieri plays accordion, clarinet, and various keyboards. He is
      accompanied by Fishtank Ensemble's gypsy violinist Fabrice Martinez
      and flamenco guitarist Doug "El Douje" Smolens. They are joined
      by French bassist Roland Martinez (Fabrice's brother).

      From Naples and now living in Venice, Italy, Gerardo Balestrieri
      highlights special music from his latest recording, "Un Turco
      Napolitano," Neapolitan songs accompanied on CD by a Turkish
      ensemble. The CD won second place in the competition for best 2009 album
      in Italy. Balestrieri sings with a deep voice in such languages as
      Italian, Greek, French, Neapolitan, and English. His lyrics often use
      poetry: irony, bizarre sarcasm, Ethno-Jazz, French swing, Tzigane
      ethnicity, and Middle Orient sensual power. He loves to joke with words
      without forgetting the importance of rhythm and dance.

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