x0x Turkish News for the week ending 17 September 2011
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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 17 September 2011
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 17 September 2011]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM, every Saturday from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M.
on KUSF-in-Exile: http://wfmu.org/kusf.pls
Also tune to KKUP FM 91.5, Cupertino to hear the
ORIENT EXPRESS every Tuesday at 10 P.M.
Audio archives of our radio broadcasts are at: http://www.TurkRadio.us/ar/
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Ahmet Toprak is the editor-in-chief. Your broadcast host is Murat
If you wish to subscribe to the Internet edition of this news, send a
blank email to: TurkC-Lemail@example.com
[Uzun Internet adreslerini radyoda okumayin, Su duyuruyu yapin: "Look at
the news section of our website for more details. www.Turkradio.us".]
* According to the newswires, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
on Thursday repeated his controversial call for uprising-hit Arab
countries to adopt "secular states," following Turkey?s model.
He delivered the same message earlier in the week when he was visitin
Egypt, and some of the pro-islamic groups did not like it.
"Turkey is a democratic, secular and social state of law. As for
secularism, a secular state has an equal distance to all religious groups,
including Muslim, Christian, Jewish and atheist people," Erdogan said
during a visit to Tunis, the place where the wave of pro-democracy revolts
sweeping the Middle East and North Africa began late last year.
When he arrived in Tunis, Mr. Erdogan was met by a crowd of 4000 people
waiving Turkish and Palestinian flags.
The Turkish prime minister went to Libya on Friday as part of the final
leg of his "Arab spring" tour.
* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey has warned that it will
sign a continental shelf delimitation accord with Turkish Cyprus if Greek
Cyprus proceeds with plans to start offshore drilling for oil and gas next
Such an agreement would designate areas in the eastern Mediterranean Sea
where Turkey and northern Cyprus could launch their own oil and gas
Meanwhile, Greece on Thursday said Turkey should drop threats to Cyprus
over the latter?s gas exploration plans. "Turkey is trying to escalate the
tone... this is dangerous and it needs to stop," foreign ministry
spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras said.
* A Turkish court ruled that the Turkish capital Ankara's symbol is the
Hittite sun. The symbol was first adopted in 1970s, but Mr. Gokcek who got
elected in 1994 as the new mayor and who is still the mayor, tried the
change the symbol to a drawing which included the silhouette of a mosque,
a crescent and three stars. At the time Mr. Gokcek was a member of the
ultranationalist Nationalist Action Party, and it is said that he was
trying to appease his party's base.
16 years after the controversy started, the Hurriyet Daily News reports
that the issue is still on the table. Mr. Gokcek now says he does not
recognize the ruling of the court. Mr. Gokcek is now a member of the
ruling Justice and Development Party, and it is said that he is still
promoting a symbol that includes the silhouette of a mosque, which this
time around would appease the religiously oriented party members.
* A prominent Turkish politician who held the posts of interior minister
and justice minister in the mid-1990s has been sentenced to five years in
prison on charges of establishing an armed organization to commit crime,
reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
The Ankara 11th Court for Serious Crimes on Thursday sentenced Mehmet
Agar as a part of the Susurluk trial, which deals with a scandal involving
the close relationship between the government, the security forces and
Mr. Agar, who was convicted for his actions when he held the post of
chief of police, from July 1993 to 1995. Since he was elected to the
Turkish parliament from the True Path Party right after this period,
Turkish courts could not try him until he lost his immunity after losing
his parliamentary seat. He was the latest suspect on trial in the Susurluk
case. His trial began in 2007.
The Susurluk scandal exposed links between the police, mafia and
politicians and emerged after a car accident in the town of Susurluk, in
the northwestern province of Balikesir, on Oct. 3, 1996. Huseyin Kocadag,
a former police chief, high-profile criminal Abdullah Catli and Sedat
Bucak, a Kurdish landlord and deputy from the True Path Party, were all
found in the crashed car, along with several weapons and fake identity
* Trials and detentions that take years are the norm in Turkey, says the
experts. People feel that justice delayed is justice denied. There is a
new initiative to solve this problem. According to the Hurriyet Daily
News, the main task facing the Turkish judiciary is to speed up lengthy
trials, Turkey's Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin has said, announcing a
comprehensive strategy to make the country?s judicial system more
efficient and effective.
Turkey currently has around 12,000 judges and prosecutors but needs at
least 10,000 more to deal with the heavy caseload, Mr. Ergin said. "In
addition we need between 1,300 and 1,500 judges and prosecutors for
appeals courts. We are trying to take some measures to increase these
numbers. For example, we are easing procedures for lawyers to become
judges or prosecutors," he added.
* Goksel Bozkurt of Hurriyet Daily News reports that Turkey?s leading
pro-Kurdish party could end its parliamentary boycott and return to the
legislature if the government agrees to two key pre-conditions related to
its fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers? Party.
The Peace and Democracy Party is expected to demand that the government
halt cross-border operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers? Party
in northern Iraq and "end the isolation" of its convicted leader Abdullah
Ocalan. That demands are expected to be announced when the party meets
this weekend with a number of groups for the Kurdish Conference in the
southeastern province of Diyarbakir.
The Peace and Democracy deputies have been boycotting the new parliament
and demanding that their candidates elected to the parliament while they
were incarcerated should be released and take their seats in the
* Speaking of Kurds, there are allegations that Turkey's intelligence
chief met with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party senior members, and
the Turkish government is not quite denying it.
In fact, one of the leaders of the ruling Justice and Development Party,
Mr. Cemil Cicek, who is also the Turkish Parliament Speaker, said that
Turkey is doing the same as what Britain, Spain and other countries that
suffered from terror have done in the past. Mr. Cicek's remarks are seen
as an indirect confirmation of the meetings.
The meetings allegedly took place in Oslo Norway in 2009 and 2010.
Kurdistan Workers Party is on a list of terrorist organizations both in
the U.S. and the European Union.
* Goksel Bozkurt of Hurriyet Daily News reports that Turkey's main
opposition Republican Peoples Party is trying to lure the young Turks with
A minimum 15 percent of all deputy candidates, Party Assembly members,
convention delegates and officials in the provincial administrations must
be under the age of 35, according to quotas laid out in the party?s new
* Five prisoners have died due to a fire that occurred in a prisoner
transportation vehicle on Friday, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
While Turkey's Justice Minister says that they will launch
investigations, NGO?s say the case is an abuse of Human Rights.
ARTS AND CULTURE
* Anatolia News agency reports that Turkish TV series, which are already
noted for their popularity in the Arab world, are now making inroads into
Israel after private channels Viva and Viva Platina decided to begin
airing "Menekse and Halil".
Starring heartthrob Kivanc Tatlitug and Sedef Avci, the show is aired in
prime time five days a week with Hebrew subtitles and has gained a lot of
fans since it began broadcasting two weeks ago.
Speaking to Anatolia news agency, Leora Nir, an official with Viva?s
parent company, the Dori Media Group, said they decided to purchase the
show from Turkey after watching the series.
She also said they aired all TV series in their original language since
Israel was a society of immigrants.
* UNICEF Turkey and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality have teamed up to
create the biggest and most diverse outdoor arts event in Istanbul history
with the aim of giving young school dropouts an education, reports the
Hurriyet Daily News.
"Stars of Istanbul" opened in early September and will continue until
November with the aim of creating funds for a crash-course school program
for 90,000 dropouts aged 9 to 14 so that they can attain the same
educational level as their peers.
The exhibition includes several star-shaped installations by various
artists that are displayed at prominent locations in select neighborhoods
in districts like Beyoglu, Besiktas, Bakirkoy, Kadikoy, Fatih and Sisli.
The installations will be sold at an international auction scheduled for
* The seventh Kazan International Muslim Film Festival, organized in the
capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, ended with a red carpet and award
The closing ceremony started with the red carpet event at the Pyramid
Culture Center. The festival hosted 80 movies from 20 countries. Lots of
Tatar representatives and Turkey's Council General Ahmet Akinti in Kazan
attended the ceremony.
The event started with traditional dance shows from Tataristan, while a
catwalk show also took place. Famous artists and singers from Tataristan
also performed during the night.
Chinese director Lu Yang?s movie titled "My Spectacular Theater"
received the Best Picture Award, while "Belvedere," directed by Bosnia and
Herzegovinian director Ahmet Imamovic, received the Best Script and Best
Actor awards. Turkish director Belma Bas?s first feature film "Zefir"
(Zephyr) received the Best Screen Award and the TURKSOY Exclusive Award.
The film tells the story of 11-year-old Zefir, who lives with her
grandmother and grandfather but misses her mother too much. Her mother
comes one day but not to take her; to tell her goodbye.
Actress Sibel Kekili received the Best Actress Award in Feo Aladag?s
Best Director went to Denis Rodimin for his feature "Strange Mother."
The movie tells the story of a mother who searches for her lost child in
Greek documentary "Shooting vs. Shooting" received Best Documentary
Award, while Best Short Film went to "Ambitious" from Russia.
Organized within the same festival, this year?s animation movie award
went to Syria.
* Danish artist Morten Andersen started painting walls 20 years ago. "I
have been painting for whole my life," he said. According to the Hurriyet
Daily News, Andersen was in Istanbul attending an exhibition at the Art On
the Gallery. Andersen also painted a wall in the gallery.
He started as a graffiti artist. "For ten years I have painted walls,
but later on, painting walls might be boring."
Andersen aimed to develop his technique and his material. "That?s why I
have moved to canvas paintings."
* Hurriyet Daily News reports that a jury has announced the belated
winners of the 1979 and 1980 winners of the International Antalya Golden
Orange Film Festival, over 30 years after the award shows were canceled to
due to censorship and the 1980 military coup, respectively.
The Best Film Award in the 1979 competition was shared by Yavuz Okan?s
"Highway" and Omer Avur?s "Yusuf and Kenan" while Zeki Okten?s "The Herd"
was selected as the best film of 1980.
The winners of the competition were announced Monday at a press
conference held at the Turker Inanoglu Foundation Film Theater Museum in
the southern province of Antalya.
The awards were chosen by a jury consisting of Professor Ozdemir Nutku,
Hale Soygazi, Selahattin Tonguc, Vecdi Sayar, Atilla Dorsay, Tunca Yonder,
Dogan Hizlan, Ahmet Keskin, Nurettin Tekindor, Kenan Deger and Tonguc
* Niki Gamm of Hurriyet Daily News, for the first time, the Saladin Days
project has come to Istanbul to present "Desertstorms," a play about how
history and myths have created a stereotype of the conflict between the
East and West.
"The story in the play underlines the common cultural history we share,
rather than emphasizing differences. This is important to remember today,"
the play?s director Deniz Hellberg said.
"Desertstorms" is based on the book "Camel Clouds" (translated into
Turkish and published as "Tozkoparan") by Norwegian author Thorvald Steen.
The play juxtaposes views of fundamentalism and moderation in the story
of Saladin Ayyubi, the Muslim leader, who conquered Christian-ruled
Jerusalem in 1187. Saladin did not allow his soldiers to kill any
Christian civilians, despite the numerous raids on Muslims under Christian
rule, Steen said.
The play will continue until Sept. 30.
* Istanbul?s first International Crime and Punishment Film Festival is
preparing to examine the relationship between justice and cinema through a
series of film screenings, panel discussions and workshops, reports the
Hurriyet Daily News.
The festival will be held between Sept. 23 and 30 and is being organized
by the Istanbul University Faculty of Law in collaboration with Basaksehir
Municipality. The festival will provide an opportunity to compare justice
systems and social structures of different countries and aspects of crime
and punishment with those in Turkey.
The Crime and Punishment Film Festival will screen more than 100 films
from 40 countries.
* Tuba Parlak of Hurriyet Daily News reports that young contemporary
artist Ardan Ozmenoglu is questioning the concept of "biennial artist" in
her exhibition that opened Monday at the Ekav Art Gallery just a few days
before the launch of the 12th Istanbul Biennial.
Ozmenoglu said art should not be about conceptualizations that exclude
routine and seemingly non-aesthetic daily life. On the contrary, the young
female artist said, "It should be able to communicate with ordinary people
about the ordinariness of their daily lives."
The works currently on display are the output of the artist?s last six
months of labor. Ms. Ozmenoglu employs a special technique based on paint,
spray paint and print patterns on sheets of sticky notes. She explained
why she prefers sticky notes by saying, "Because it is a very contemporary
medium. It is both a very contemporary thing and also it is about daily
life. What I wanted to do is to transform a very daily, a very mundane
item into a medium of art that focuses on the daily life in its complete
All the works in the exhibition represent details from daily Turkish
life that have become almost symbolic of Turkish culture like evil eye,
Turkish oil wrestlers, and yellow or blue-colored minibuses.
* According to the Anatolia News Agency a new cultural center has opened
in Turgutreis in the Aegean town of Bodrum following prominent businessman
Sevket Sabanci?s donation of the facility to the local municipality.
The Sevket Sabanci Culture Center covers an area of 1,200 square meters
and includes two art galleries; a culture and art library; an artisan
workshop for painting, design, traditional arts and visual arts; a
computer and photography laboratory; three music rooms and the
Mediterranean Maritime History Archive.
The building was originally purchased to establish a hotel but
construction was later abandoned, Mr. Sabanci said at the recent opening
ceremony. "My friend Vedat Turkmen later purchased the building and handed
over to me. I have now handed it over to the municipality to establish as
an art center."
Mr. Sabanci said an additional part of the center would be constructed
on a 2,200-square-meter site in a forested area next to the culture
center. "When it is completed, both parts will complement each other."
* Hatice Utkan of Hurriyet Daily News reports that Istanbul?s art scene
welcomed a new style of museum on Tuesday with the opening of the first
dual purpose "office museum."
The Borusan contemporary art collection has been gathered in Borusan?s
offices in the 100-year-old Yusuf Ziya Pasa mansion, also known as the
"Perili" (Haunted) Mansion, in the Baltalimani neighborhood in the Sariyer
district on the European coast of the Bosphorus Strait. The public opening
of the museum will be on Saturday.
Speaking during the press conference, Borusan Holding managing director
Ahmet Kocabiyik said: "Borusan contemporary has two main missions. One is
to share its contemporary art collection with the public and the other is
to increase interest in contemporary art in Turkey."
The most important part of the collection is that all of these works
belong to new media art, he said.
The collection comprises works in diverse techniques ranging from video
to photography, from painting to installation, and from light sculpture
and canvas painting, he said.
Functioning as an exhibition space with creative artworks during the
weekends and as an active office space during the weekdays, the Borusan
Contemporary Office Museum is an extraordinary model and a laboratory for
experiencing a lifestyle symbiotic with contemporary art.
* Organized by the Cankaya Municipality, 4th Anki Rock Fest will take
place from Sept. 23-25 at the Ahlatlibel Social Club, reports the Anatolia
The press conference for the festival took place at the Contemporary
Arts and Culture Center with the participation of Cankaya Mayor Bulent
This year?s festival will host local and international groups including
Orphaned Land, Hayko Cepkin, Kurban, Ogun Sanlisoy, Aylin Aslim, Babazula,
Black Tooth, and Deja vu.
Noting that between Sept. 23 and 25, Abkara will make its mark on
Turkey?s music scene, Tanik said lots of rock musicians have came out of
Ankara. The festival started in 2006, he added.
Tanik said they were working on creating a concert area at Cankaya
University. "In the future we are planning to establish a large venue for
the festival," he said.
Speaking during the press conference, Turkish rock musician Ogun
Sanlisoy said events organized by municipalities were always more fun than
others. "People who will attend the festival will have the best experience
of their lives," he said.
The festival will also host handicapped musician Utku Sener.
* The autumn art gallery season opens at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski this
week with an exhibition of works by Semiha Berksoy, the first Turkish
female opera singer, artist and film and theater actress, reports the
Hurriyet Daily News.
The exhibition, which is being put on by the hotel?s art gallery in
cooperation with the Semiha Berksoy Opera Foundation, opens Sept. 15 and
will continue until Oct. 25. Visitors will see nearly 30 of the artist?s
oil paintings, scarf paintings and videos. Some of her important works
like "Eternity?s Love-based Union," "Mother Painter Fatma Saime,"
"Salome," "Moonlight Love," and "Carnation Girl" are among those on
The Ciragan Conversations series will feature an evening on Berksoy on
Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. Speakers will include her famous thespian daughter
Zeliha Berksoy; the artist?s grandson Ogul Aktuna; artist Bedri Baykam;
theater critic and academic writer Professor Dikmen Gurun; famous
historian Professor Ilber Ortayli; and opera singer Mesut Iktu.
Ms. Berksoy was born in Istanbul in 1910 and studied painting and
singing in Istanbul. She sang in the first Turkish opera in 1934 and went
on to sing in Germany and Portugal the same year. She became known as a
Wagnerian opera singer and performed in some of Wagner?s better known
works. She retired from the Istanbul Opera in 1972 but remained active in
the theater until her death in 2004.
* Dogan News Agency reports that the World?s largest mosaic museum opened
late last week in the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep made
possible by investment of $55 million. It was visited by more than 3,000
people by the next day.
The Zeugma Mosaic Museum was visited by almost 1300 people paying about
$3.00 in local currency to enter on its first day while some 1,800 people,
including children under 18 and those above 65, visited the museum for
free. Museum officials said this number of visitors on a single day was a
record, adding that they expected some 100,000 visitors monthly with
growing interest from local and foreign tourists.
The Zeugma Mosaic Museum?s enclosed area of 30,000 square meters
displays a total of 1,700 square meters of mosaics in more than 7,000
square meters of exhibition halls. Museum officials said the dimensions
are greater than Tunisia?s Bardo Museum, which is known as the world?s
largest mosaic museum.
See more at
* Tuba Parlak of Hurriyet Daily News reports that Art Beat, Istanbul?s new
contemporary art fair, kicked off Wednesday with a focus on bringing
prominent Turkish galleries closer to local and international art buyers.
Project Coordinator Arhan Kayar said the galleries and the organizers
were already happy with the demand from the buyers and that some
collectors almost busted into the venue during the preparations to buy the
best pieces before the event kicked off.
Art Beat continues with participation from 29 galleries through Sept. 18
at the Lutfi Kirdar Convention Center in the Harbiye neighborhood. Art
Beat is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The organizers announced at a press conference that they planned to
change the event into a larger art platform in the coming years. Under the
title of Art Week, the event seeks to expand its reach in collaboration
with Middle Eastern, Asian, European and even American art organizations
in order to help bring Istanbul galleries and Turkish artists together
with their international peers. The organizers want to have a sustainable
event that takes place every September from this year on.
* The Hurriyet Daily News writes that a joint projct is exploring the tale
of two cities. Siemens Sanat?s first joint project with Germany?s
Bayerische Staatskanzlei, Cityscale, is inviting viewers to think
critically about the urban texture of Munich and Istanbul through the
works of arts on display.
The exhibition opened Wednesday and aims to help establish sustainable
collaboration between the contemporary art circles of Istanbul and Munich.
Curated by Germany?s Francoise Heitsch and Turkey?s Deniz Erbas, the
exhibition?s consultant curators are Cornelia Osswald Hoffmann and Beral
The artists participating in the exhibition include Gulcin Aksoy,
AtilKunst, Annegret Bleisteiner, Klaus vom Bruch, Carlotta Brunetti, the
Department fur offentliche Erscheinungen, Deniz Gul, Julia Lohmann, Suat
Ogut, Hulya Ozdemir, Susanne Pittroff, Michaela Rotsch, Ferhat Satici,
Robert Stumpf and Yeni Anit.
Cityscale is an effort to keep the relations and cultural exchange
established as early as the 1990s between the contemporary artists of both
cities alive. The event, which is a first of its kind, is the result of a
three-year-long collaboration between the artists.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.77
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey: 64/57 Mostly Sunny
Antalya, on the Mediterranean: 88/77 Mostly Sunny
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 86/68 Mostly Sunny
Izmir, on the Aegean: 90/72 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea: 77/66 Thunderstorms
Van, in Eastern Turkey 77/46 Mostly Sunny
Black Sea measured at Trabzon 75
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag 73
Aegean Sea measured at Izmir 77
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 82
[Saat 18:30 and 19:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
*** We are giving away free tickets with a drawing to the Yilmaz Guney films
that will be shown at Pacific Film Archive September 17 through October 9.
Please send an email to trh@... to be included in the drawing.
Anatolian Outlaw: Yilmaz Guney
September 17 - October 9
Renegade Turkish actor/filmmaker Yilmaz Guney (1931.84) created a cinema
that took key elements of Turkish and Kurdish outlaw folklore and merged
them into a hypnotic blend of Italian and Hollywood Westerns, Third World
cinema, and social realism. This series features eight of his films,
including the 1982 winner of the Palme d.Or at Cannes, Yol.
For more information: http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries/guney
The Pacific Film Archive Theater is located at 2575 Bancroft Way (between
Telegraph and Bowditch) in Berkeley. Advance tickets are available by
(510) 642-5249 or visiting http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/tickets
For more information on these and other programs, visit
*** Turkish Community School is starting on
Sunday, September 18th
The Bay Area Turkish Community School (BATCS) was founded by the
Turkish-American community living in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989. The
objectives of BATCS are:
* to improve the Turkish speaking, reading, writing and comprehension skills of children ages between 3-12
* to teach Turkish culture, values, traditions and history
The classes are also mixed with fun activities for children such as meeting
new friends, learning new games and songs, and going to field trips. Special
programs, including audio-visual presentations and Bayram potlucks,
celebrate national and religious holidays. We believe BATCS will help
develop bonding among our children by providing a sense of belonging and
To enroll your kid just go to the school on the first day of the classes!
Hillview Community Center
Rooms 14 and 16
97 Hillview Avenue
Los Altos, CA 94022
*** On line Turkish classes:
*** This program is partially underwritten by CHIC FRENCH.
Point your browsers to
for fine European goods.
*** Visit our eStore for your gifts:
for items from Turkey.
Click HERE to search our eStore!
*** 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 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.
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
*** ACSNC will be having its annual picnic on Sunday, September 25, 2011
Vasona Lake Park
in Los Gatos
Grilled chicken sandwiches, drinks, desserts and snacks will be available
for purchase There will also be various games and tournaments for adults
There will also have "Azerbaijan" logo t-shirts available for purchase in
white and denim blue colors for men, women and children.
Bring your friends and family and come enjoy a relaxing, fun day with your
community and friends.
*** 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.