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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 10 April 2010

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  • Turkish Culture List
    SF Turkish Radio Hour News {20100410trh.txt} x0x Turkish News for the week ending 10 April 2010 [This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 10 April 2010]
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 12 9:35 PM
      SF Turkish Radio Hour News

      {20100410trh.txt}

      x0x Turkish News for the week ending 10 April 2010

      [This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 10 April 2010]

      ****************************************************************
      Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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      NEWS

      * Turkey's chief prosecutor has criticized the constitutional amendments drafted by the ruling party and urged the government to introduce a reform package that will not politicize the judiciary.
        Planned changes to the Constitution that would affect the way top judges are chosen are "undemocratic," Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, the chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, said Friday at a conference in Ankara.
        Yalcinkaya's remarks came amid mounting speculations that the chief prosecutor is preparing to open a second closure case against the Justice and Development Party. Yalcinkaya launched a closure case against the ruling party in 2008 for violating Turkey's secular system; the Justice and Development Party narrowly escaped being shut down.
        The Justice and Development Party issued a quick response to Yalcinkaya's remarks Friday as the party's Suat Kilic told reporters that the chief prosecutor's statements resembled the criticism made by the opposition Republican People's Party.

      * Turkey's state-run Radio and Television Corporation launched a new Arabic-language channel Sunday, a move that the country's prime minister hailed as a landmark uniting the Turkish and Arab people.
        "TRT al Turkiye" will broadcast in Arabic around the clock and is expected to reach 350 million people throughout the Arab world. Most of the programs will be presented by native Arabic speakers.
        The Istanbul-based channel will also broadcast live from Cairo, Beirut, Damascus and Ankara.
        The Arabic channel will feature women and children's programs, floorshows, documentaries and news. Three satellite companies ? Turksat 3A, Arapsat and Nilsat ? will provide transmissions for TRT al Turkiye.

      * French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised Turkey's prime minister Wednesday that he would visit his country soon after France takes the helm of the G20 grouping at the start of next year, his office said.
        Sarkozy accepted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's invitation and will go there "soon after the start of the French presidency of the G20 ... in order to continue cooperation between the two countries," it said.
        Mr. Erdogan met Sarkozy for 45 minutes in the Elysee palace Wednesday and left without making any statement to the press. France opposes Turkey's hopes to join the European Union, a move which would see the mainly Muslim country become the bloc's second largest member in terms of population and the first with territory in both Europe and Asia.

      * Turkey and Greece are building mutual confidence through a series of measures as part of a strategic partnership agreement to be signed by PMs Recep Tayyip Erdogan and George Papandreou in May.
        The leaders of Turkey and Greece will sign a strategic partnership agreement in May as part of mutual confidence-building measures, according to the two countries' foreign ministers.
        "[Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan will pay a visit to Athens in mid-May to his Greek counterpart, [George] Papandreou," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a joint press conference held Thursday with Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas.
        "We hope that it will be a historic visit introducing a new vision to Turkish-Greek relations," Davutoglu told reporters after hosting a delegation meeting in Ankara to finalize preparations.
        A high-level strategic cooperation council will be formed between the two countries, composed of 10 ministers from foreign affairs, energy, the economy, European Union affairs, transport, domestic affairs, education, the environment and tourism and culture, according to Davutoglu.

      * According to the Turkish Radio and Televison news, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey has launched a new scholarship program to encourage scientists of Turkish origin to return to Turkey, an effort to reverse the brain drain..
        According to the Postdoctoral fellowship program, those who completed their doctorate studies, those who currently reside abroad and those who have at least two years of experience in their respective fields, will be granted $1840 a month by the Council, if they prefer to conduct their research in Turkey.
        Turkish citizens, who have completed their doctoral studies or specialty training in natural sciences, engineering and technology, agricultural sciences, social sciences and humanities, will be able to apply to the program.
        The Council will determine the commencement date and the duration of the funding. Funding will be available for two years. 

      * The "Mothers and Daughters at School" campaign started by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's wife, Emine Erdogan, has failed to reach its goal of placing 15 percent of illiterate mothers and daughters in schools in each province of Turkey, Turkish daily Haberturk reported on Monday.
        According to a report released by the Ministry of Education, the initial aim of the campaign was to educate 2.9 million of the 4.8 million illiterate women across Turkey, but 74 of the country's 81 provinces have been unsuccessful in reaching their 15 percent target.
        On average, 6.2 percent of mothers and daughters have been taught to read and write in each province.

      * Already-strained ties between Turkey and Israel hit a fresh snag Tuesday with harsh comments from Israel's firebrand foreign minister, who compared the Turkish prime minister to the leaders of Libya and Venezuela.
        Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is slowly turning into Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi or Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in an interview with Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. "It's his choice. The problem is not Turkey, the problem is Erdogan," Lieberman said.
        The Israeli foreign minister's remarks came as Erdogan told the French newspaper Le Figaro that Israel does not want peace in the Middle East. The Turkish prime minister also said one country in the region already possesses nuclear weapons, referring to Israel.
        Lieberman, who heads an ultranationalist party, has become known for his belligerent tone, which has earned him critics both abroad and inside Israel. He accused the Turkish leader of damaging decades of "excellent" ties.

      BUSINESS:

      * A geothermal electric power production company under the roof of Gaziantep-based MB Holding celebrates the beginning of power generation at the Dora-2 power plant located in Aydin.
        Menderes Geothermal Electric Power Production, or MEGE, celebrated the launch of its power generation at the new Dora-2 power plant over the weekend. The firm's Dora-1 geothermal power station, the first private geothermal plant in Turkey, came online in May 2006 and a capacity to generate 8.5 megawatts electric, or Mwe, of electrical power. The Dora-2 plant, with a capacity of 11.5 Mwe, is the firm's second investment and is based in the Aegean province of Aydin.

      * Turkish inflation slowed in March for the first month in five, strengthening the central bank's case for keeping interest rates at a historic low even as growth accelerates.
        The annual inflation rate fell to 9.6 percent from 10.1 percent the previous month, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on its Web site Monday. It was forecast at 9.6 percent, according to the median estimate of 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. In the month, prices rose 0.6 percent.
        Turkish Central Bank Governor Durmu$ Yilmaz on March 30 reiterated his goal of keeping interest rates at "low levels for a long time." The bank has maintained that commitment even as gross domestic product expanded an annual 6 percent in the last quarter of 2009 and inflation hit a 15-month high in February. Growth may accelerate to more than 10 percent in the first quarter, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said on Monday.

      * The Southeast Anatolian Project region is attracting a significant amount of domestic and international investment following a government detailing plans for the area. Some provinces in the region, however, do not have the capacity to host all the investments, according to data from a professional chamber in $anliurfa.
        A government statement detailing $12 billion in planned investment for the Southeast Anatolia Project, or GAP, within the next five years has precipitated heightened investor activity in the area.
        Leading Turkish firms, including the Koc Group, have already begun planning huge investments in the region. At the same time, international firms from several countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Italy and South Korea, have also announced plans for significant investments in the project. The planned investments vary from tourism and health to the agriculture sectors.
        Encompassing the provinces of Adiyaman, Batman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Kilis, Mardin, Siirt, $anliurfa and $irnak, GAP was begun in the 1970s with the stated aim of increasing the income level and living standards of the Southeast Anatolian region by minimizing the socio-economic gap with other regions.

      * Milk producers in two Turkish cities protested low milk prices in the streets, reflecting the discontent over the price companies have offered.
        Producers in Bandirma, a district in the western Anatolian city of Balikesir, distributed around 3,000 liters of milk to citizens for free, Anatolia news agency reported on Tuesday. Bringing their milk to the city center with pickup trucks, producers began distributing the milk to the crowd that gathered, in protest of low prices.
        In a similar protest, producers in Ke$an, a district of Edirne, dumped their milk in the streets, Dogan news agency reported. Producers spilled nearly 100 liters of milk on the town's streets and also said they will make cheese and yogurt from their milk and not give any to the companies that have slashed prices.

      ARTS AND CULTURE 

      By Serkan Hatipoglu

      * A four-week series of recitals commemorating the 200th birthday of composer Frederic Chopin will kick off April 11 with a recital by Muhiddin Durruoglu to be held in Istanbul at the Kadikoy Sureyya Opera House.
        The Istanbul 2010 Chopin Piano Weeks are being organized by the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture agency as part of the 2010 Year of Chopin.
        During the four-week series, five world-renowned young Turkish and four European pianists will perform works by the famed Polish composer at various concert halls in Istanbul. The event will end May 9 with a recital by Emre Elivar.
        Considered the best piano composer in the music academy, Chopin was a leading figure of the Romantic artistic experience and a major creator of countless works of original music. He left his country at the age of 20, during the struggle for the independence of Poland, and stayed in Paris for many years.

      * In a visit that could change the writing of Turkish and Chinese history, a Turkish researcher has entered the legendary "Chinese Pyramids," located roughly 100 kilometers from Xi'an, for the first time.
        Speaking to Anatolia news agency last week, Oktan Keles, a Turkish researcher who has been researching the pyramids for many years, said the ancient mausoleums were of great importance for Turkish history and could change established approaches to history.
        The scattered pyramids have also been termed the "Turkish Pyramids" or "The Great White Pyramid."
        Several symbols, statues and tablets inside the pyramids might belong to ancient Turks, he said, adding that Chinese officials told him the symbols and signs were from Uyghurs, who served as hired soldiers instead of the Chinese in early periods.
        Noting that the pyramid was established on a natural formation, Keles said they entered a crypt and saw "wolf head" figures on a rock, as well as a three-meter statue made of granite which had "crescent and star" carvings.
        "The Chinese guide told me that the statue represented ancient Turkish leader Oguz Kagan," Keles said.
        The "Chinese Pyramids," located to the northwest of Xi'an on the Qin Chuan Plains in Shaanxi Province, are ancient mausoleums and burial mounds.
        Believed to be the burial places of various emperors and generals, the pyramids range in size from relatively small to others that rival the Great pyramid of Giza, sources say.
        Interest in Chinese pyramids was greatly increased by the 1994 publication of German author Hartwig Hausdorf's book "Die Weisse Pyramide," later translated into English under the revised title "The Chinese Roswell," in which he describes his travels through China in search of the legendary great white pyramid of China.

      * Turkey's famous "Little Sparrow," pop singer and composer Sezen Aksu, continued her concert series in the U.S. on Tuesday night at New York's Carnegie Hall. With an orchestra conducted by composer Fahir Atakoglu, Aksu drew sustained applause from the crowd. Aksu, who finished her series Wednesday, was on tour in the U.S. for the first time since 2000.
        One of Turkey's biggest pop music exports, Sezen Aksu, filled New York's Carnegie Hall on Tuesday night for a night of nostalgia with almost 3,000 fans. The series began at Strathmore Concert Hall in North Bethesda, Maryland, on Sunday and drew great interest from Turks living in Maryland, New York and New Jersey, Virginia, Washington D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and even Florida, according to organizers.

      * The historical "Spice Bazaar" (Misir carsisi) in Istanbul, which is a popular tourist attraction that offers a wide range of products such as herbs, spices and plants, will be restored.
        The restoration of the 350-year-old marketplace will start once the survey and remodeling projects are approved by the cultural protection council, officials said on Friday.
        The Spice Bazaar had two big fires in history, one in 1691 and the other in 1940. After the disaster in 1940, the historical marketplace was under restoration for three years. Experts say the bazaar lost its unique layout during that period. Then the bazaar almost burned down completely in the great fire of January 1691. Located just behind the Yeni Mosque in Eminonu, the Spice Bazaar was built in 1660 by architect Kazim Aga at the behest of Sultan Turhan.
        It gains its Turkish name, "Misir carsisi" (Egyptian Bazaar), from the fact that it once received income from taxes levied on Egypt. The English name hails from the days when the bazaar specialized in the sale of herbs and spices, medicinal plants and drugs.
        While the color and aroma pervading the covered hallways may have since faded to some extent, a small number of shops continue to stock traditional products. In addition, one can find sacks and shelves groaning under the weight of dried fruits and nuts, teas and infusions, oils and essences, sweetmeats, honeycombs and aphrodisiacs.
        The Spice Bazaar is open daily except Sundays and public holidays.

      * Elif Safak's best-selling book novel 'Love", which she wrote in English and was later translated into Turkish, was released in the US in the beginning of March with the titled 'Forty Rules of Love."
        The book has become Turkish literature's best-selling novel in the shortest time by selling more than 500,000 copies. The novel was published with the title "The Forty Rules of Love" in the U.S.
        Safak toured the U.S. for two weeks after her novel hit bookshelves. Speaking about this process, she said that in the U.S. books were published in hardcover first and then the first stage of the tour started.
        Safak said she had visited Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago during the first stage of the tour. Safak's novels "The Saint of Incipient Insanities" (Araf) and "The Bastard of Istanbul" (Baba ve Pic) were previously published in the U.S. and they were among the best sellers. She said the reader profile for each of those books was very different, adding that even people in the U.S. who don't have any connection to Turkey came to the readings. "Indians, Japanese and Hispanics were among the visitors, too," she said.
        Sufism has drawn interest in the U.S. in recent years. Safak said there might be many readers buying the book because of Rumi, but ordinary people like housewives felt close to the novel, too.
        Safak said people mostly were curious about her writing process, especially when writing in two languages. "What I liked in the U.S. is that not the novelist but the novel is discussed."
        Safak, whose novels have been translated into 28 languages so far, lived in different U.S. cities including New York, Boston, Michigan and Arizona over nearly four years.

      * Turkey's 30th marina opened in the Mediterranean resort town of Alanya on Monday.
        Alanya Marina Corp.'s executive board chairman Mufit Kaptanoglu told the Anatolia news agency that the Alanya Marina is the only marina located in the east of Antalya.
        "Many claimed that yacht tourism would not be popular here because there aren't many bays," he said. "But I believe it will be an important stop for boats sailing in the Eastern Mediterranean." Kaptanoglu noted that the company was targeting to obtain $1 million of revenue annually with the marina.
        Construction of Alanya Marina cost $7 million, and it can shelter a total of 447 yachts, 287 on sea and 160 on land.
        The marina also offers maintenance and repair services. There are various facilities, such as a restaurant, coffee shop and sauna, as well as accommodation areas, shops, agencies, sport centers and tennis courts for the use of yacht owners.    

      * Some 1.15 million tourists visited Istanbul, Turkey's most populous city, in the first quarter of 2010, according to statistics announced Wednesday by a provincial tourism agency.
        The number of visitors was 1.24 million in the same period of last year. Statistics regarding the nationalities of visitors showed German tourists took first place and Russians took second. Iranians, Britons and Italians followed.
        Istanbul welcomed 7.5 million tourists during the whole of 2009 and expects an even better tourism season in 2010. Despite the recent global economic downturn, Turkey was the only country to see increasing tourist numbers among the top 10 tourist destinations in 2009. Nearly 27 million tourists visited Turkey last year, a 2.5 percent rise over 2008, although global tourism contracted 4 percent and European tourism plunged 6 percent. 

      EXCHANGE RATE

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

      WEATHER

      High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather


      Ankara, in central Turkey:
      54/36 Partly Cloudy

      Antalya, on the Mediterranean:
      72/57 Partly Cloudy

      Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey:
      59/46 Partly Cloudy

      Izmir, on the Aegean:
      68/48 Partly Cloudy

      Van, in Eastern Turkey
      48/34 Showers

      Trabzon, on the Black Sea:
      54/46 Showers

      Snow depths at skiing locations:


      Erciyes, in Kayseri, Central Turkey
      30 inches

      Ilgaz, in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey
      - inches

      Kartalkaya, in Bolu, Western Turkey
      14 inches

      Palandoken, in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey
      - inches

      Saklikent, in Antalya, Southern Turkey
      - inches

      Sarikamis, in Kars, Eastern Turkey
      - inches

      Uludag, in Bursa, Western Turkey
      57 inches

      SPORTS

      * The AA reports that The 46th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey is set to take start on Sunday with a prologue stage in Istanbul. Fifteen teams and 120 cyclists are set to compete in this year's race in 2.HC category, which is considered as the champions league of cycling.
        The tour will complete 8 stages and 1,257 kilometers and the riders will arrive in Fethiye on 15 April 2010 for stage 5 of the race after a 207km ride starting from Pamukkale near Denizli.
        The stage will take the tough mountain road from Denizli via Cameli climbing to over 1,600 metres and then descending via Uzumlu and then into Fethiye for the stage finish.
        Riders will then leave Fethiye and head south for the town of Finike before reaching to Antalya, the last stop before the finish in Alanya town.
        The tour will be broadcast live on Turkey's state-run television network, TRT and Eurosport.
        Germany's Andre Greipel, Spanin's Francisco Alberdi Ventoso and Italian cyclists Francesco Chicchi and Giovanni Visconti are among the competitors this year.
        Daryl Impey of South Africa won last year's competition ahead of Davide Malacarne of Italy and David Garcia Dapena of Spain.
        Turkish President Abdullah Gul will also attend the prize ceremony in Alanya. The event will give away a total of 160 thousand euro prize.

      * Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated his government's support for Turkey's bid to host the 2016 European Soccer Championship.
        Speaking at a reception he hosted for a UEFA committee Friday, Erdogan said Turkey is ready to do its best to be well prepared for a European Championship.
        The UEFA committee was in Turkey to review the country's bid to host the European soccer's showpiece event in 2016.
        "We are ready to do our best to lay the groundwork for a European Championship in which the best soccer countries of Europe will exhibit their best soccer," the prime minister said.
        Turkey is competing with Italy and France to win the rights to host the event. The host country will be decided by the UEFA Executive Committee on May 28.

      * Frank Rijkaard is facing pressure from the Turkish sports media before he even completes his first year as Galatasaray coach.
        The latest blow to the Dutchman came on Monday night when the Istanbul club was held to a 1-1 draw at Sivasspor with a last minute goal. Galatasaray has not won in its last three league games and has fallen seven points behind leader Bursaspor. Galatasaray will play Diyarbakirspor tomorrow.
        The failure of Galatasaray's league campaign has fired up a campaign against Rijkaard. Many pundits argue that Rijkaard has failed to deliver the expectations and should be sent home immediately.
        Despite signing names such as Jo, Giovanni Dos Santos and Lucas Neill in the winter transfer season to a squad that already had stars like Harry Kewell and Milan Baros, Galatasaray risks finishing the season with no trophies in hand. Supporters are not happy with the result, but few demand a change in the coaching staff.

      * Turkish weightlifter Nurcan Taylan broke a European record and won three gold medals in the women's 48-kilogram category at the European Weightlifting Championships in Minsk, Belarus, on Monday. Taylan lifted 90 kilograms in snatch and 118 kilograms in clean and jerk to break the record. Her third gold came from the total 208 kilograms.
        Taylan said it was her fifth European title and 13th career gold medal at the European Championships. "My target now is to be the top athlete at the world championships," she said.

      * In sports, another success story for Turkish Women: Fenerbahce Acibadem missed a chance to become the first Turkish women's volleyball team to win the European championships after losing a heartbreaking tie-breaker against Volley Bergamo of Italy on Sunday.
        The match was close throughout, but the Istanbul club lost 3-2 with sets 25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 20-25 and 15-9 in Cannes during the final of the Women's Champions League in Cannes.
        Jan de Brandt, head coach of Fenerbahce Acibadem, said experience was a big factor in losing the final. "This was perfect publicity for volleyball today. I'm also very proud of my players and my staff. They did a great job during this weekend. "
        In the bronze medal match, Racing Club de Cannes of France defeated Asystel Novara of Italy in straight sets.

      * Soccer

      * Premiere League

      * Results for week28
      Ankaragucu-Be$iKta$0 - 0
      B. $ehir Bld. Sp-Denizli Sp3 - 1
      Bursa Sp-Antalya Sp2 - 1
      Diyarbakir Sp-G. Antep Sp1 - 3
      Manisa Sp-G. Birligi0 - 0
      Eski$ehir Sp-Kasimpa$a2 - 0
      Fenerbahce-Kayseri Sp2 - 0
      Sivas Sp-G. Saray1 - 1








      In games played so far this weekend:29




      G. Antep Sp-Manisa Sp0 - 0
      Antalya Sp-B. $ehir Bld. Sp1 - 3
      Be$iKta$-Trabzon Sp0 - 0


      Standing in the league as of week ending28



      1 -Bursa Sp61
      2 -Fenerbahce58
      3 -Be$iKta$56
      4 -G. Saray54
      5 -Trabzon Sp49
      6 -Eski$ehir Sp48
      7 -Kayseri Sp46
      8 -B. $ehir Bld. Sp46
      9 -G. Birligi39
      10 -G. Antep Sp37
      11 -Antalya Sp34
      12 -Ankaragucu33
      13 -Kasimpa$a33
      14 -Manisa Sp29
      15 -Sivas Sp26
      16 -Diyarbakir Sp24
      17 -Denizli Sp18
      18 -Ankara Sp0


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      {20100410trh.txt}
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