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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 02 January 2010

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      [Today's program is partially underwritteb by Chic French

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      x0x Turkish News for the week ending 02 January 2010

      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 Merter Bozkurt.

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



      * According to Turkish dailies Sabah and Aksam, in
      an address to the nation the Turkish prime
      minister said on Wednesday that Turkey has come a
      long way towards solving its chronic problems and
      becoming a more peaceful and prosperous country
      under Justice and Development Party government.

      "In 2009, when giant world economies were rocked
      by the global financial crisis, it is clear that
      Turkey made its way successfully on a firm ground
      established over the last seven years," he said.

      Prime Minister Erdogan said that though the
      government had revised economic targets, Turkey
      had not seen irreparable economic devastation.

      He also expressed his expectations of the coming
      year. "I see 2010 as a year in which the Turkish
      people will completely weather the economic
      crisis, escape its fallout, and have a rising
      vigor for growth," he said.

      Citing Turkey's average 5.8 percent growth in
      2002-2008, Erdogan said it pulled itself back from
      the brink of a disaster in 2002 to become the
      world's 17th-largest economy, rising from number

      He said that his government also brought the
      inflation to single digits.

      Touching on Turkey's European Union accession bid,
      Mr. Erdogan called on the European Union to treat
      it fairly. Stressing that Turkey has remained
      resolved to join the Union despite "unfair
      treatment," Mr. Erdogan added, "We have showed our
      commitment and sincerity by opening the twelfth
      policy chapter on the environment in the European
      Union negotiations. And now we expect the same
      from European Union members."

      * Speaking of the European Union, the Turkish
      daily Turkiye reports that on Wednesday the
      Turkish prime minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
      spoke more about Turkey's membership in the Union
      at a joint press conference with the visiting
      Belgian prime minister Yves Leterme.

      Mr. Erdogan says that Turkey's eventual European
      Union accession will help Europe contribute more
      to world peace.

      A European Union with Turkey as a member improve
      peace, stability, harmony and prosperity around
      the world, the Turkish prime minister said.

      The Belgian prime minister in turn said that
      Turkey's European Union accession negotiations are
      open ended, and that the accession process must be
      streamlined and encouraged.

      The Belgian prime minister pointed out that his
      first foreign visit was to Turkey and that this is
      no coincidence. He said that he considered Turkey
      to be a crucial country.

      Turkey has been vying for membership in the
      European Union for many decades. However, some
      European Union member countries are opposing
      Turkey's membership. These days it is France and
      Germany that are leading the opposition.

      * The Hurriyet Daily News reports that the Iraqi
      vice president Adil Abdulmahdi was in Turkey this
      week. Mr Abdulmahdi met with the Turkish
      president, prime minister and the foreign affairs

      Cooperation to fight terrorism and boost economic
      relations topped the talks, including a tripartite
      mechanism between Iraq, the US and Turkey to
      eliminate the rebel Turkish Kurds' presence in
      northern Iraq.

      The Turkish Petroleum Corporation also recently
      won an oil tender in Iraq as a part of an
      international consortium led by Russia's Gazprom.
      As Turkey is interested in more investments in the
      fields of construction, oil and gas, promising
      opportunities were discussed by Iraqi and Turkish
      delegations as part of talks in the Turkish
      capital Ankara.

      As Iraq approaches general elections next month,
      ethnic conflicts and the country's fragile
      security were also discussed. Turkey urged all
      ethnicities to be involved in politics and
      participate in the legislative process to shape
      their country's future, diplomatic sources said.

      * According to the Turkish daily Turkiye, U.S.
      ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey said that the
      US welcomes a possible restarting of
      Syrian-Israeli peace talks under Turkish

      "If both sides agree on a mediator, we will
      support it," he said, when asked about Israeli
      foreign affairs minister Mr. Avigdor Lieberman's
      recent remarks seeming to rule out such a Turkish
      role. "The US will especially welcome Turkey as a
      mediator. Until a year ago, Turkey played an
      extremely important and successful role in
      indirect peace talks between Syria and Israel."

      Asked about the rising controversy over Iran's
      nuclear program, Ambassador Jeffrey expressed hope
      that this crisis will come to an end as soon as
      possible. Praising both Prime Minister Recep
      Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet
      Davutoglu for their active promotion of a peaceful
      solution to the issue, Ambassador Jeffrey said,
      "This is a serious problem for the whole world. If
      international efforts to solve this problem
      through diplomacy fail, it will be brought to the
      UN Security Council."

      In related news, Israeli lawmakers criticized
      their foreign affairs minister Mr. Lieberman for
      bluntly rejecting Turkey as a mediator in any
      future peace talks with Syria, saying he is
      harming Israel's interests.

      Turkish-mediated indirect talks between Syria and
      Israel collapsed following Israel's operation in
      Gaza which ended early last year, leaving 1,400
      Palestinians dead.

      * According to Agence France-Presse, Turkey's
      foreign affairs minister and his host the Saudi
      Arabian foreign affairs minister called on Israel
      to halt settlements in Palestine to enable peace
      talks to move ahead.

      "There should be a freeze on the settlements in
      all the occupied territories, and especially in
      east Jerusalem," Turkish foreign affairs minister
      Mr. Davutoglu said.

      In related news, the Palestinian president Mahmoud
      Abbas will pay a formal visit to the Turkey on
      January 6-7, reported the Anatolia News Agency on

      * According to the Dogan News Agency, the Turkish
      police and protesters clashed in Istanbul's
      Dolapdere neighborhood on Saturday evening.

      Protesters, demonstrating against the recent round
      up of Kurdish public officials, were dispersed by
      the police with tear gas.

      Police trying to break up the protest was
      confronted with fireworks and Molotov cocktails by
      the crowds gathered near Serdar Omer Pasa Avenue.

      In December police arrested several former members
      of the recently outlawed Democratic Society Party
      as part of an investigation against the outlawed
      Kurdistan Workers' Party and its offshoots in
      urban centers.

      More than 100 people were charged in the
      investigation carried out in several provinces by
      the chief prosecutor's office in Diyarbakir.

      A number of protests and riots have taken place
      since then, especially in Turkey's mainly Kurdish

      * The Hurriyet Daily News, an English daily in
      Turkey, says that the free trade agreements are
      helping Turkey's economy.

      The daily says that export to the countries that
      Turkey has free trade agreements rose 10 percent
      in the first 10 months in 2009, even as Turkey's
      aggregate exports dropped 28 percent.

      The Hurriyet Daily News writes that Turkey has
      free trade agreements with 26 countries. Turkey
      is also carrying out negotiations with more
      countries for further free trade. Among these
      countries are Lebanon, the Gulf cooperation
      Council -- which includes the United Arab
      Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, and
      Mercosur countries Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay,
      Paraguay, the Faroe Islands, Ukraine, Mauritius,
      Seychelles and Libya.


      Edited by Carol Dean

      * The Hurriyet Daily News writes that Turks
      celebrated the arrival of the new year with
      enthusiasm and much festivity.

      Thousands crammed into the Taksim Square and the
      streets of Ni$antI$I in Istanbul and thousands
      more into the Republic Square in Izmir for hours
      of entertainment before counting down the last
      seconds of the first decade of the 21st century.

      In Istanbul, Turkish authorities deployed some
      2,000 police around Taksim Square to prevent
      pickpockets and the disturbers of peace that have
      marred New Year celebrations in the past. Some
      officers were under cover, disguised as street
      vendors or "even in Santa Claus costume," Istanbul
      Gov. Muammer Guler said, according to the
      Associated Press.

      * In a search for new paths that are both
      profitable and nature-friendly, as traditional
      tourism nears a possible saturation point,
      "eco-tourism" has emerged to suit then sector's
      needs and expectations, writes the Hurriyet Daily
      News of Turkey.

      Coined at the 2002 Rio Environment Summit,
      eco-tourism refers to making the best use of
      natural resources without harming the environment
      while contributing to the economic development of
      locals without affecting their cultures.

      Among the most suitable destinations for
      eco-tourism, Turkey is noteworthy especially for
      its flora, fauna and untouched natural beauty.
      Eco-tourism could be very profitable for Turkey if
      practices are put into effect in various parts of
      the country, Antalya tourism investor Kemal Ergin
      told the Hurriyet Daily News.

      "It benefits both tourists and the country," he
      said. "While tourists pay less for a holiday that
      goes hand-in-hand with nature instead of spending
      it inside the walls of a luxurious five-star
      hotel, the country gains much more from it than
      any other industry since its total costs are
      comparatively lower in ensuring a good amount of

      Stressing that eco-tourism requires lower capital
      costs and shrinks faster in terms of investments,
      Ergin said it is on the way to becoming one of the
      strongest trends in the tourism sector.

      In related news, Turkey attracted nearly 26
      million tourists in the first 11 months of last
      year. Through November, many German, Russian and
      British tourists came to Turkey, especially to the
      Mediterranean region.

      The figure is a 2.4 percent rise over last year,
      tourism officials said. The visitors came from all
      around the world including 4.2 million Germans,
      2.6 million Russians, 2.3 million British
      visitors, and tourists from Iran, Bulgaria, the
      Netherlands, Georgia, France, the US, and Italy.

      Most of the tourists entered Turkey through the
      Mediterranean province of Antalya, the
      southwestern province of Mugla, and Istanbul. The
      number of Iranian and Arab tourists also rose.
      Nearly 140,000 Iranian tourists and more than 1
      million visitors from the Middle East came to
      Turkey in the first 11 months.

      While 70.3 percent of tourists arrived in Turkey
      by plane, 21.6 percent came by land.

      * The Hurriyet Daily News reporter Muge Akgun
      writes that food writer and cook Byron Ayanoglu,
      who emigrated to Canada with his family at the age
      of 12, returned to Istanbul 51 years later.

      Mr. Ayanoglu started working in the restaurant
      business when he was short of money in Britain,
      where he went to study theater. "It was incredible
      that the son of an Istanbul family became a cook.
      Until I came to London when I was 21, I never
      entered the kitchen," he said.

      Mr. Ayanoglu has been writing about food for
      various newspapers and magazines in Canada for
      over 25 years. His book "Crete on the Half-Shell"
      was given the "Gourmand Best Mediterranean Food
      Book" award in 2003.

      Mr. Ayanoglu, who is known as the "God of Food" in
      Canada , said he wants to spend his life in Turkey
      from now on. His plan is to continue writing on
      food philosophy, novels and restaurant critiques.

      * Renowned Turkish-German director Fatih AkIn's
      latest film "Soul Kitchen" had its Turkish
      premiere Tuesday night at Kanyon Movie Theater in
      Istanbul . The film, which will be released
      throughout the country on Jan. 1, 2010, brought
      together actors Adam Bousdoukos, Pheline Roggan,
      Anna Bederke and Birol Unel.

      "Soul Kitchen" features the story of a restaurant
      run by Zinos, who is a third-generation Greek
      living in Germany . Zinos has to decide between
      moving to China with his lover to save his
      relationship, or staying in Germany and saving his
      restaurant. But while trying to do everything he
      loses it all. Asked whether the movie was a risk
      given that it was his first attempt in the comedy
      genre, AkIn said as a viewer he liked all cinema
      genres and if he has time he would like to make
      films in each one.

      He also said the Venice prize was a surprise for
      him because he did not expect a comedy film to win
      at the festival, adding that the jury told him
      they rewarded "Soul Kitchen" because of the film
      team's courage.

      Meanwhile, he said could not attend the Cannes
      Film Festival because the film was not ready on
      time. "I thank God for every award. These awards
      make us progress. I was a jury member at festivals
      like Cannes but saw that it is not a matter of a
      good film but of chance," he said, adding that
      some jury members evaluate films according to
      their mood on that day.

      AkIn uses various ethnic characters in his films.
      Asked whether he chose an ethnic angle for the
      film because of Germany 's demographics, he said:
      "I see Adam [Bousdoukos] not as a Greek but as
      Adam. I see Birol [Unel] not as a Turk but as
      Birol. I don't see the girls as Germans. This is
      the same in the U.S. and Turkey, too. This is
      globalization. I have lived with Albanians and
      Arabs since my childhood. I see them as not a
      people of any country but as humans."


      EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.49


      High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather

      Ankara, in central Turkey----------: 57/45 Showers
      Antalya, on the Mediterranean------: 70/55 Thunderstorms
      Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey---: 59/54 Showers
      Izmir, on the Aegean---------------: 66/63 Showers
      Trabzon, on the Black Sea----------: 75/54 Showers

      Snow depths at skiing locations:

      Erciyes, in Kayseri, Central Turkey 16 inches
      Ilgaz, in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey 6 inches
      Kartalkaya, in Bolu, Western Turkey 16 inches
      Palandoken, in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey 18 inches
      Saklikent, in Antalya, Southern Turkey 2 inches
      Sarikamis, in Kars, Eastern Turkey 31 inches
      Uludag, in Bursa, Western Turkey 6 inches

      * Strong wind and heavy rain affected life negatively in Turkey's coastal
      provinces on Saturday.
      Strong winds blew off the top of a minaret in Aksehir, Konya, on
      Saturday afternoon. According to the Anatolia news agency, nobody was hurt
      when the pieces fell into the mosque's tea garden.
      Sea transport came to a halt due to strong southwesterly winds in the
      Canakkale province. Meteorology experts said that storms and heavy rain
      were expected in the Mediterranean province of Antalya and the
      southwestern province of Mugla on Saturday.
      The northwestern province of Tekirdag was also affected negatively by
      southwestern winds, whose speed rose up to 30 km. Ferry trips to Karabiga
      and Erdek were cancelled.
      A total of 31 ships travelling in the Marmara Sea toward the Bosphorus
      Straits had to anchor near Tekirdag's Sark?y town due to the wind reaching
      a speed of 80 km/h.
      Meteorology experts in Tekirdag announced that southwestern wind would
      be present in the city centre today and warned the citizens to take
      All ferry trips, apart from the Karsiyaka-Konak route, were cancelled
      due to bad weather conditions in the Aegean province of Izmir.
      Ferry trips in Gulf of Izmit were also cancelled and high waves damaged
      buildings on the coast line.


      No soccer until Febrauary.


      *** 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
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      *** 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.

      Wednesdays, 7:30 PM at Stanford,
      Sundays 2 PM at San Francisco

      Please contact with Yore Folk Ensemble for the details.


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