x0x Turkish News for the week ending 30 July 2011
[To read this news with photographs and rich formatting go to
x0x Turkish News for the week ending 30 July 2011
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 30 July 2011]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM, every Saturday from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M.
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* Turkey's chief of General Staff and the commanders of the Land, Air and
Naval Forces quit their posts days before the meeting of the Supreme
Military Council, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
The mass resignations, which marked a first in the country???s history,
immediately caused a crisis.
The resignations came in the midst of an ongoing spat with the
government over the growing number of arrested generals.
The resignations came hours after a prosecutor demanded the arrest of a
top military official, Gen. Huseyin Nusret Tasdeler, the commander of the
Sources said disagreements over promotions and the arrests of numerous
generals peaked to an unacceptable level following the legal action
Tensions between the military and the government have been high in
recent years as hundreds of high-ranking officers were put behind bars in
the ongoing two coup-plot cases.
* In related news, according to the Anatolia News Agency the European
Parliament's Turkey rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten said on Friday that
Turkey was getting more democratic day by day after the commanders of
Turkish land, naval and air forces have tendered their resignation
* Turkey's European Union minister and chief negotiator Egemen Bagis paid
on Thursday a visit to the Norwegian Embassy in Ankara to offer his
condolences over last week's double attacks, reports the Anatolia News
Mr. Bagis blamed the attacks on Norway's permissiveness towards
extremists. He said when the Turkish prime minister was visiting Norway in
2005, Norwegian authorities did not offer enough protection and the
sympathizers of the Turkish Kurd rebels were able to approach the prime
minister and pelt him with eggs.
At least 76 people died and many others were wounded in last week's
double attacks in Norway's capital Oslo and the nearby island of Utoya.
Among the dead is at least one Norwegian with Turkish ancestry.
See more at http://www.turks.us/article.php?story=20050414223209140
* A 5.2 earthquake centered in the Marmara Sea scared the Istanbul
residents on Monday evening. However, the quake caused no damage.
Istanbul area, like San Francisco Bay Area, is close to major earthquake
faults. Scientists are predicting a major earthquake within the next 30
years with devastating consequences for this largest city of Turkey with a
population of around 15,000,000.
* Two elected deputies from Turkey???s main opposition will apply to the
European Court of Human Rights as they have exhausted all legal avenues
domestically to secure their release from jail, the party said Thursday,
reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
The two deputies were in jail when they were fielded as candidates from
the Republican People's Party. They were hoping to gain immunity from
prosecution when they were elected and thus released.
One of the deputies, Mustafa Balbay is a journalist and the second,
Mehmet Haberal, is a professor of medicine who was heading a new
university at the time of his arrest.
Both are in jail on charges of being part of the alleged plots to
overthrow the government that we mentioned in our first article on the
resignation of the top military commanders.
* In an editorial on Friday, the Israeli paper Ha'Aretz criticized the
foreign affairs minister of Israel for putting pressure on the government
to cancel the visas of hundreds of Turks working in Israel.
Ha'aretz writes "These laborers have been working in Israel for several
years as part of a security agreement between the Israeli and Turkish
defense ministries. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who objects to
resolving the diplomatic crisis with Turkey via an apology for last year's
flotilla events, wants to put economic and political pressure on Ankara by
opposing an extension of the workers' visas.
"This is exactly what various international companies want to do to
Israel - exert economic pressure on it by imposing boycotts and sanctions
to make it change its policy.
"Israel must be the last to dare use the boycott weapon now" Ha'aretz
article said and advocated that the visas of the Turks should be extended.
Read more at
* Police have detained more than 70 people in Istanbul???s Zeytinburnu
district, which has been the site of ethnic-fueled tension since last
week, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
Some of the detained allegedly spread stories such as ???they [Kurds]
are killing Turkish nationalists??? and ???they [Turks] have started a
fire at a Kurdish cafe??? to fuel the tension between Turks and Kurds
living in the district.
The clashes in the district erupted in the wake of the July 14 killing
of 13 soldiers by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers??? Party after supporters
of the illegal group held a small rally.
Hundreds of residents confronted those rallying and Zeytinburnu has
witnessed clashes every night since. Kurds living in the district claim
their houses and workplaces have been targeted.
* According to CNN, in a rally hundreds of people in Istanbul called on
Sunday for the Turkish government to be more proactive about protecting
women from domestic abuse.
People in the crowd carried mock coffins and wedding dresses as they
marched down one of the busiest pedestrian thoroughfares in Istanbul.
Protesters also carried signs bearing the names and faces of murdered
According to a 2009 report released by the Turkish government, 42% of
women surveyed said they had been physically or sexually abused by their
husband or partner.
Turkey has adopted several progressive laws to protect women in the past
15 years, including the 1998 Protection Order against Domestic Violence.
Reform of Turkey's Civil Code in 2001 gave women equal legal status to men
in the family. A constitutional referendum last September allowed for
affirmative action in favor of women.
But critics say the Turkish state has lapsed far behind in implementing
* Turkish Press reported that an ultranationalist youth who assassinated
and ethnic Armenian journalists in Istanbul several years ago was given
the maximum penalty of 23 years in jail.
A group sympathizing with the assassinated journalists had a rally after
the conviction and demanded that those behind the triggerman be brought to
justice as well.
At the time of the assassination the assassin was only 17 years old and
it is widely believed that he was part of a larger ring of extremists who
planned the murder.
* According to Bloomberg, the Turkish lira strengthened the most in a
month and bond yields declined after central bank chief Erdem Basci
indicated he???s ready to take steps to halt the currency???s retreat.
One dollar now stands at 1.6731. On Monday it was 1.729 per dollar and a
few months back it was around 1.40.
Although only Turkish economy is rapidly expanding, the trade deficit
has reached record levels and investors are worried about an impending
ARTS AND CULTURE
* According to the Anatolia News Agency, two adventurous young Turkish men
have created their first interactive travel documentary in India with only
$900 in their pockets, shooting the video according to the advice of their
Ali Erdinc and Umut Guven filmed their ???Sen de Kaybol??? (???You Get
Lost, Too???) video on various subjects, including Indian fabrics and
cooking, ceremonies of bathing the dead and Indian children playing under
the monsoon rain.
With the sponsorship of a tour company, they shared their experiences
via social media websites and their own site, www.sendekaybol.com.
* Turkey???s tourism minister introduced a new Museum Card and Museum Pass
Istanbul cards Wednesday, noting that the cards would help increase the
visitors to some of the renowned sites of the city, reports the Anatolia
The Museum Pass Istanbul card, designed for foreign tourists, costs
equivalent of $45 in local currency and includes entrance to:
* the Hagia Sophia,
* the Topkapi Palace (except for the Seraglio),
* the Kariye ,
* the Istanbul Archaeology,
* the Turkish and Islamic Art and
* the Istanbul Great Palace Mosaics Museums.
* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, the 18th Istanbul Jazz Festival
closed Thursday with Grammy-winner soul singer and songwriter Joss Stone,
one of the strongest voices ever to appear in the United Kingdom.
Stone was appearing on the Turkish stage for the first time.
* Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan???s latest award-wining film, "Once
Upon A Time in Anatolia", was screened Tuesday night at the 17th Sarajevo
Film Festival in the Bosnian capital, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
More than 3,000 film lovers watched Ceylan???s film at the Iskenderiya
Culture Center in Sarajevo.
Following the screening, the director and cast met with the audience and
answered questions about the film. Ceylan said the cast and crew felt at
home at the Sarajevo Film Festival as there were close cultural ties
between Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The film was a joint production of Turkey and Bosnia, Ceylan said.
???The festival???s director Mirsad Purivatra is one of the producers of
the film. This is why it has a special meaning for us to be here.???
The film is set in a small town and criticizes bureaucracy. It received
the ???Grand Jury Award??? recently at the Cannes Film Festival.
The 17th Sarajevo Film Festival continued through Saturday.
* The Anatolia News Agency reports that archaeologists under the direction
of the Italian professor Francesco D'Andrea have discovered the tomb of
St. Philip the Apostle in Turkey's southwest.
Professor D'Andria said archaeologists had been working for years to
find the tomb of the Biblical figure, and finally, they had managed to
reach the monument while working on the ruins of a newly-unearthed church
in the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis.
D'Andria said the structure of the tomb and the writings on it proved
that it belonged to St. Philip the Apostle, who is recognized as a martyr
in the history of Christianity.
Describing the discovery as a major development both for archeology and
the Christian world, D'Andria said the tomb, which had not been opened
yet, was expected to become an important Christian pilgrimage destination.
Hierapolis, whose name means "sacred city", is an ancient city located
next to the renowned Pamukkale, white Travertine terraces, in Denizli
province. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city, famous for its
historical hot springs used as a spa since the 2nd century, is a mixture
of Pagan, Roman, Jewish and early Christian influences.
Ancient tradition associates Hierapolis with St. Philip the Apostle, who
is believed to have died in the city around 80 AD. The follower, who is
known as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia, is said
to have been martyred in Hierapolis. The legend is that St. Philip was
crucified upside-down or martyred by beheading. After the apostle's death,
an octagonal tomb named "The Martryium" was erected for him where he is
believed to have been martyred.
See more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hierapolis
* According to the Anatolia News agency, the ancient city of Sagalassos in
the southern Turkey has hosted New York Gypsy All Stars.
The band charmed jazz-lovers at the concert in the ancient city in
Aglasun town of the province of Burdur.
Known as the mysterious city of emperors, Sagalassos hosted a concert
for the first time in its history.
In Roman imperial times, Sagalassos was known as the 'first city of
Pisidia'. The ancient ruins of Sagalassos cover of the Mount Akdag at an
altitude of 1450-1700 metres.
Large-scale excavations started in the city in 1990 under the direction
of Marc Waelkens of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. A number of
buildings, monuments and other archaeological remains have been exposed,
documenting the monumental aspect of the Hellenistic, Roman and early
Byzantine history of the town.
See more about the ancient city at http://www.sagalassos.be/
* Associate Professor Feristah Alanyali, a lecturer at Anadolu
University's Archeology Department, said that archaeologists found remains
of an ancient bath in the west of ancient theater in Antalya's Side
"We think that the bath dated back to Late Ancient Age and Early
Byzantine Age," Alanyali told Anatolia News Agency correspondent.
Alanyali said archaeologists could understand whether it was a public or
a private bath in coming days.
Read more at http://www.cumhuriyet.com/?hn=264204
* According to the Anatolia News Agency, Archaeologists have unearthed
remains of a church in an ancient city in the Mediterranean province of
Isparta, head of the team said on Monday.
Associate Professor Mehmet Ozhanli, the head of Suleyman Demirel
University's Archeology Department who heads excavations in the ancient
city of Pisidian Antioch, said the building was constructed as a Pagan
temple, however it was converted to a church after the spread of
"This is the fifth church we have brought to daylight in this ancient
city," Ozhanli said.
Ozhanli said this recently found church was also below the Men Temple,
and the number of churches in the area rose to six.
Pisidian Antioch was a major Roman colony that was visited by St. Paul
on his First Missionary Journey. Pisidian Antioch marked an important
turning point in Paul's ministry, as the city became the first to have a
fully Gentile Christian community.
Situated on the southern foothills of the Sultan Mountains, Pisidian
Antioch was spread over seven small hills in a manner reminiscent of Rome.
The city was founded in the early 3rd century BC by the Seleucid dynasty.
It was one of 15 different cities named "Antioch" after several members of
the family with the name Antiochus. The original settlers of the new
Hellenistic city came from Magnesia on the Meander, a town near the Aegean
Reed of the full story at http://www.cumhuriyet.com/?hn=263936
* A bi-monthly travel magazine in Spain, "Altair", has devoted its
July-August issue to Turkey, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
The Spanish magazine described Anatolia, the main Asiatic part of
Turkey, as a land of tolerance and gave information on such prominent
historic figures as Mevlana, Haci Bektas-i Veli and Yunus Emre.
* According to the Anatolia News Agency, Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora
took stage in Turkey's southern resort city of Antalya on Friday night.
47-year old Evora performed within the scope of the 1st International
Antalya Jazz Festival that took place in Aspendos ancient theater.
Nicknamed the "barefoot diva" for performing without shoes, Evora is
perhaps the best internationally known practitioner of "morna."
The "morna" is a music and dance genre from Cape Verde. Lyrics are usually in Cape Verdean Creole, and instrumentation often includes cavaquinho, clarinet, accordion, violin, piano and guitar. Morna is often compared to the blues.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.68
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey: 100/68 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean: 93/79 Mostly Sunny
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 90/77 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean: 93/77 Mostly Sunny
Van, in Eastern Turkey 90/66 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea: 93/77 Mostly Sunny
Black Sea measured at Trabzon 79
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag 81
Aegean Sea measured at Izmir 82
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 81
* According to the web site goal.com, in a friendly game in Istanbul
Turkey's Galatasaray soccer team beat Britain's Liverpool 3 to 0 on
* According to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, Five people, including two more
Fenerbahce soccer team officials, were detained Friday in Istanbul in what
was dubbed ???the third wave??? of the largest match-fixing investigation
in Turkey???s history.
So far at least 80 people were detained as part of the case while a
total of 31 club officials, players and coaches were jailed pending trial.
Fenerbahce is at the center of the allegations and team Chairman Aziz
Yildirim, Vice Chairman Sekip Mosturoglu, board member Ilhan Eksioglu and
club member Cemil Turan are under arrest.
Last season???s Spor Toto Super League champion Fenerbahce, runner-up
Trabzonspor and Ziraat Turkish Cup winner Besiktas are the three
high-profile teams involved in the case, and all risk being relegated from
the top flight for the first time in their history, while Sivasspor,
Eskisehirspor and Istanbul BB from Super League and League One sides
Giresunspor and Diyarbakirspor are also involved in the case.
In related news, BBC reported that Turkish soccer federation delayed the
start of the league due to the impending criminal investigation on the
match fixing charges.
* Hurriyet Daily News reports that Russia is leading the Youth Games
taking place in Turkey.
The games will end on Sunday and so far rush a got 19 gold medals 10
silvers and nine bronze.
Team Great Britain followed with 13 gold medals, eight silver and four
bronze. Italy won five gold medals, nine silver and nine bronze.
Host nation Turkey won only one gold medal and three bronze medals
during the games.
[Saat 18:30 and 19:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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14th Annual Turkish Art and Culture Festival
July 30-31, 2011, Sat and Sun, 11am - 6pm
Monterey Custom House Plaza/State Historic Park
[next to the Fisherman's Wharf]
Featuring many fun activities for the whole family, the two-day festival will include Live Turkish music and folk dances performances, Turkish art and crafts exhibits and vendor booths, Food (Doner kebap, Adana Kofte,...) and Drinks (Turkish Coffee/tea, Soft drinks, Turkish Raki, beer, wine) and Many special activities for children.
*** 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.
Please contact with Yore Folk Ensemble for the details.
TELL YOUR FRIENDS who might be interested joining our group.
Yore Folk Ensemble
*** Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California
Azeri Turkish classes: Check with the ACSNC center web pages for dates and times: http://acsnc.org/
All are welcome to attend and learn more about the rich and beautiful Azeri tongue.
16400 Lark Ave. Ste # 260
Los Gatos, CA 95032
*** Turkish Classical Music Chorus started practices again.
They are looking for singers and players of instruments
Join them on Friday evenings in San Jose
Please contact with Sema Oktay for the details.
Sema_Aksu_Oktay [at] yahoo [dot] com
TELL YOUR FRIENDS who might be interested joining the chorus.