x0x Turkish News for the week ending 28 December 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
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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-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org
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.
ARTS AND CULTURE
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
"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.
* 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.
*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
-- MOMMO: THE BOGEYMAN
-- Black Dogs Barking
-- My Only Sunshine
-- Pandora's box
-- Milk and Chocolate
-- The Last Season: Shawaks
The festival will and with a closing party on
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. $EHIR BLD. Sp 3 - 1
ESKI$EHIR Sp - ANKARAGUCU 0 - 0
DENIZLI Sp - ANTALYA Sp 1 - 1
KASIMPA$A - TRABZON Sp 3 - 1
G. SARAY - MANISA Sp 1 - 1
1 - FENERBAHCE 31
2 - G. SARAY 29
3 - BE$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:
-- BURSASPOR 1 - 0 GALATASARAY A.S.
-- FENERBAHCE 1 - 3 KASIMPASA
*** 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
GERARDO BALESTRIERI WITH MEMBERS OF FISHTANK ENSEMBLE; Æ; MWE
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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