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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 19 November 2011
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 19 November 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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Edited by Gulcin and Burhan Kandemir
* According to Turkish Press Review of Anadolu Agency on November 18, 2011, most Turkish
dailies covered on their Friday editions, a probe into a neo-Nazi group suspected of
killing Turks in Germany.
"It could be them," daily Vatan said of the neo-Nazi group which has been recently probed
for setting an apartment building in Ludwigshafen on fire. The fire killed nine Turks in
February 2008. Fresh evidence had pushed German prosecutors to reopen the case on the fire
after it surfaced that the group was responsible for the killing of eight Turks and a Greek
woman between 2000 and 2006.
The Turkish daily Hurriyet superimposed a surveillance footage of two masked people
originally appeared on German daily Bild. There, it said belonged to Uwe Bohnhardt and Uwe
Mundlos, two suspected members of the neo-Nazi group, as they stormed out of a bank which
they robbed just three hours before they committed suicide to escape getting caught.
* The Turkish daily Hurriyet informed that the Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip
Erdogan is on the cover of the Time magazine on its November 28 edition for Europe, Asia
and South Pacific, with the banner "Erdogan's Way".
The daily said Erdogan is the ninth Turk to appear on the cover page of the Time
* The Turkish daily Milliyet reported that the Turkish government decided to submit a draft
law that allows for monetary payment in lieu of military service for Turkish nationals over
30 years of age.
The fee will be around $14 thousand in up to four installments. Lower-income applicants
will be allowed to do public service instead.
The Turkish daily Yeni Safak reported that the government expected 75 thousand to 100
thousand applications with an estimated income of $1.6 billion.
* An unusually cold November is forcing earthquake survivors in eastern Turkey to endure
suffering beyond the initial disaster. Thousands left homeless are sheltering in tents and
having to endure unseasonably cold weather in the region.
The Anatolia news agency reported that weather officials said on Monday that temperatures
dipped as low as five degrees Fahrenheit overnight in the town of Ercis, which was worst
hit in the first quake.
Fear is spreading among the population with reports citing an increase in cases of
cold-related illnesses, especially among children. The media reported that a seven-year-old
handicapped girl living in makeshift tent died of pneumonia in Ercis on Sunday. Her father
claimed that he had not been able to obtain a more suitable tent from authorities.
People began to flee the provincial capital as aftershocks shook the city in the
aftermath of the first earthquake last month and the second earthquake last week. A third
earthquake struck Van province early Tuesday, this time at a magnitude of 5.2, but there
were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, the Anatolia news agency reported.
The quakes and aftershocks have turned the provincial capital into a virtual ghost town,
stated Van Governor Mr. Munir Karaloglu on Monday. "Almost none of the buildings are in
use," he said. Mr. Karaloglu also requested people around the country and officials to
continue to send warm clothes, blankets and food packages.
Very few state-owned buildings in the capital survived the quake, Mr. Karaloglu told
Anatolia News Agency. Many residents have fled because they fear going back into their
homes, even those that weren't damaged by the earthquake. While there has been an exodus by
many residents, other families have shunned camps for fear of leaving their homes unguarded
Many students who were studying in Van already left the city following the first quake.
Van residents with families in other provinces such as Mersin, Adana, Antalya and Istanbul
have left for those cities, fearing the approaching winter and further earthquakes.
Turkey is facing the most challenging aspect of post-quake conditions as the situation
moves beyond criticisms of the initial tent shortage, when officials were accused of
failing to provide a sufficient number of tents to those in need.
The issue is shifting to a concern that even the most durable tents by the Turkish Red
Crescent, which are the variety most wanted by locals, will not be adequate in temperatures
dipping down to 5 F. "It is impossible to live in those tents through an entire winter,"
said Mr. Huseyin Celik, a former Turkish minister of education and current deputy from the
Turkish Justice and Development Party, as quoted in the Turkish daily Vatan on Tuesday.
Mr. Celik said the government is working on a three-step plan to transfer those left
homeless by the earthquakes to various state-run hotels and leisure facilities across the
country to help people get through the oncoming winter.
A second option includes temporarily relocating people to private hotels and holiday
villages after making arrangements with the owners and operators of those facilities.
Mr. Celik also urged individuals who have vacant summer houses to consider opening their
homes to earthquake victims for the winter.
Some volunteers have already offered to take in families in need of shelter.
* The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported an investigation by the British paper
Independent. According to the investigation, the tests conducted by pharmaceutical giants
have killed 893 Turks.
Turkey is listed sixth of the countries that report the most deaths due to tests
involving medication under development. India is taking the lead with over 1,700 victims
who lost their lives during experiments run by American, British and European
The Independent's investigation revealed plenty of gruesome details including experiments
cancelled off following abuses of illiterate or uninformed people. They were in need of
either money or treatment. The total number of world deaths caused by pharmaceutical tests
runs as high as 120,000. The issue is reportedly caused by tight regulations in countries
like the United States and England, which push the pharmaceutical companies to direct their
studies to countries that have looser ethical and technical regulations. Several well known
companies conduct such experiments overseas. India's Health Minister Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad
said 10 companies had paid compensation of a comical 3,000 pounds each to the relatives of
only of 22 victims in India. A girl of 13, Sarita, was also a known victim of such tests.
The Turkish Ministry of Health, however, claimed Turkey was one of the "most regulated"
countries on issues of pharmaceutical experimentation, stating that each experiment was
overseen by authorities on grounds of ethical concerns and paying individuals was a
strictly forbidden procedure, Vatan reported.
Yet the head of the Turkish Clinical Pharmaceutics Foundation Dr. Cankat Tulunay
disagreed with the Ministry of Health. Dr. Tulunay told the Turkish daily Vatan that
supervisions and investigations were lead by people with limited knowledge and competence,
with some investigations remaining only on paper. Dr. Tulunay further warned that if things
continued as they were, Turkey might lose more citizens.
* According to news compiled from Agance France Press and Reuters by the Turkish Hurriyet
Daily News staff, drones transferred from Iraq to Turkey will provide surveillance support
in the fight against terrorism, the Pentagon said Nov. 14.
With U.S. forces set to withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year, four U.S. unmanned
aircraft will be shifted from an airfield in northern Iraq to the Incirlik air base in
Turkey, Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby told reporters.
"There is an agreement now to fly some of those ISR [intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance] assets out of Incirlik at the request of the Turkish government", Kirby
said. The drones have been flying reconnaissance missions against the outlawed Kurdistan
Workers Party from Incirlik for a couple of weeks, Kirby said.
The Kurdistan Workers Party attacks against the Turkish forces has escalated since the
summer, with Turkey launching a major operation last month in retaliation for an attack
that killed 24 military.
"The shift will help provide intelligence support to the Turkish military to deal with
the specific threat posed by the Kurdistan Workers Party there on their southern border",
Turkey had acknowledged talks with the Pentagon on redeploying the unmanned aircraft to
Incirlik. The mission for the drones would remain the same, with only a change in the
airfield used by the planes, Kirby said.
In another step designed to bolster the Turkish military in its battle with the Kurdistan
Workers Party, the Pentagon announced last month plans to sell three AH-1 Super Cobra
helicopters to Turket in a deal worth $111 million.
The Kurdistan Workers Party is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United
States and the European Union.
News on the economy:
* The Turkish daily Sabah English report that the tense relations with Syria have also
resulted in breaking ties in the business world. Investments toppling hundreds of millions
of dollars have been halted. Border commerce is also expected to come to an end. The recent
attack on the Turkish mission in Syria coupled by the Turkish flag being burned resulting
in the heating of diplomatic relations, has now also been reflected on the business world.
Firms which previously harbored intentions to invest 100 million dollars in Syria, have
now pulled the plug on Syria. A number of large and small-scale investors have also changed
their minds regarding going to Syria. The expectation is that all commerce may come to a
complete halt. The fear that events may escalate in Syria persists.
Turkish daily Sabah English also reports that the Foreign Economic Relations Board
Turkish-Syrian Business Council Chairman Ruhsar Pekcan noted that investments have stopped.
"Up until now, a number of large and small-scale investing firms, with investments spanning
from ten million dollars to 100 million dollars have put their investments on hold. There
were also a number of significant Turkish firms involved. From here on out our trade will
also be affected. There may be a significant decrease. I have also spoken with the
International Transporters Association and they have not been attacked" Pekcan added.
Turkish daily Sabah also report that Mr. Adil Konukoglu, Chairman of the Gaziantep
Chamber of Commerce which has engaged in a variety of efforts to establish cooperation
between the two nations, states that border trade may decrease to nothing. Mr. Konukoglu
says, "Nobody wants to leave. If the border trade continues to come to an end, then there
will be a 50 percent drop in our total trade."
Mr. Konukoglu mentioned that Turkish firms in Syria that had intentions to conduct
additional investments are now changing their minds. "Up until now, none of our businessmen
there have been attacked. It is also evident that there may be an escape to here from Syria
and that businessmen and capital may come from there into Turkey" Mr. Konukoglu added.
* According to the Turkish daily Sabah, "Salamworld.com", a website financed by Muslim
businessmen, has selected Istanbul as their base for operations. The website's initial
launch will be done from Turkey.
* According to the Turkish daily Sabah, on November 11th, 2011, or 11/11/11, Turkish Prime
Minister Mr. Erdogan conducted the opening of 8.3 billion worth of investments to service.
Amongst just some of the facilities opened on this unique date, 7.1 billion kilowatt hour
electricity will be produced, 721,000 decares of agricultural fields will be irrigated.
Annually, 124 million cubic meters of water will be procured and two provinces and 16
counties will be protected from over flooding.
* According to the Turkish daily Sabah, Premium chocolate brand Godiva has opened its first
store in Ankara's Panora Shopping Center.
Godiva, founded in Belgium in 1926, was purchased by Turkish Yildiz Holding, owner of the
Ulker Group, on Nov 20th, 2007.
ARTS AND CULTURE
* A painting exhibition organized by the International Turkish Culture Organization,
TURKSOY, and dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the independence of Azerbaijan,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan will open in Brussels on Nov. 29,
reports the Anatolia News Agency. It is organized in collaboration with the Yunus Emre
According to a statement made by TURKSOY, the exhibition will feature works by artists
from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Turkish Cyprus,
Altai Republic, Khakas Republic, Tatartstan, Gagauz and Moldavia.
The exhibition aims to promote Turkic art of painting and previously opened in France,
Germany, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Italy.
* The Hurriyet Daily News reports that the second International Film Festival began
Thursday in Turkey's eastern province of Malatya, presenting Turkish and foreign films
along with film competitions, talks, workshops and panel discussions with artists until Nov
The festival will play host to 120 films from Turkey and around the world over the next
Eight Turkish films, selected by a three-person jury, will compete in the festival. The
films will be evaluated in six categories, including best film, best director, best
actress, best actor, best script and best music.
The winner of the best film honor will receive the Crystal Apricot Award for Best
National Feature Film. The province produces the most apricots in the world and hence the
award is named after the fruit.
The international feature competition will include Argentinean films "Phase 7" by Nicolas
Goldbart and "The Finger" by Sergio Teubal; Romanian film "Adalbert's Dream" by Gabriel
Achim; French films "The Women on the 6th Floor" by Philippe Le Guay; Morocco's "The
Mosque" by Daoud Aoulad-Syad and "Michel G. King Of The World" by Stephane Kazandjian;
Taiwanese film "Taipei Exchanges" by Ya-chuan Hsiao, as well as U.S. film "Terri" by Azazel
Along with film screenings and competitions, the festival will also feature two legendary
figures from Turkish cinema, actress Hulya Kocyigit and actor Ediz Hun. The pair, who will
also be presented with honorary awards this year, will make speeches on their adventure in
cinema as part of the festival.
Istanbul Bilgi University lecturer and Animators Talent Camp project manager Berat Ilk
will organize a workshop for children in Malatya. Children will have the opportunity to
experiment and learn about animation during the two-day workshop; at the end of the
workshop, the young talents' work will be made in to a short documentary.
Also, editor, script writer and color specialist Bora Goksingol, who is best known for
his award-winning work on Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Three Monkeys" and "Once Upon a Time in
Anatolia," will share his dramaturgical experience in editing with participants in his
fiction film workshop.
Another workshop of the festival will be given by editor Thomas Balkenhol. The German
will explore editing techniques through raw materials.
* The Anatolia News Agency reports that an 80-meter-long nature picture drawn by 30
nature-loving research assistants and 15 professors during an ecology and environmental
education seminar held in July will be on display between Nov. 21 and Dec. 12 at Turkey's
Uludag University's Professor Mete Cengiz Culture Center.
The project officials, Professor Sami Yildirimhan and Mehmet Kovacioglu, held a press
conference Nov. 16 and said the participants in the picture had tried to explain the
language of nature during the 10-day program.
Yildirimhan said the main purpose of the project was to raise awareness about nature in
all sections of society and enable people to join environmental education initiative
* Turkish and Greek cartoonists are meeting between Nov. 18 and 29 reports the Hurriyet
The third of the Turkish-Greek neighborhood event will take place in the Turkish capital
with contributions of Turkish and Greek cartoon associations and with support of the
European Union. The event aims to boost cultural dialogue between the two countries.
Exhibitions will be opened and workshops and panel discussions will be held on the
sidelines of the event.
See more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=cartoonists-to-meet--in-ankara-2011-11-17
* The Dutch Embassy and Consulate General organized a panel discussion on freedom of speech
and expression in Istanbul on Nov. 15, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
Moderated by Turkish journalist and anchorwoman Banu Guven, participants of the panel
included Turkish journalists Nadire Mater and Faruk Mercan, as well as Dutch journalist
Wilco van Herpen.
Among the discussed issues were arrests of journalists and academics in Turkey as well as
Internet bans, women's freedom of expression and censorship.
The panelists also discussed the recent arrests of members of the Kurdish Communities
Union, which is the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party. Among the
recently arrested were political science professor Busra Ersanli and publisher Ragip
"Zarakolu and Ersanli should immediately be released," said Ms. Mater, a journalist and
an adviser for the independent web portal bianet.
Ms. Mater also said Turkey's anti-terror law and Kurdish issue should immediately be
Mr. Van Herpen stressed freedom of expression was a domestic issue and was especially an
urgent issue for women in Turkey. "Many women are killed today for speaking up," he said.
Mr. Mercan, on the other hand, said Turkey had taken major steps for better freedom of
expression, such as the establishment of TRT-6, the state-run Kurdish-language channel.
The freedom of expression debate was also held in the Turkish capital Ankara yesterday
before moving to Izmir's Nottingham Bistro. The debate will be back in Istanbul on Nov. 19.
* Akbank Art Center's Piano Art Days kicked off Nov. 17 with world-renowned pianist Denis
Kozhukhin, winner of the first prize in the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.
* The Anatolia News Agency reports that Turkish artist Esin Afsar died in Istanbul of
leukemia at the age of 75 on Nov. 14.
Ms. Esin Afsar was called "the diplomatic singer" because she was invited to foreign
countries many times.
In 1969, Ms. Afsar received the Dario Morano award with Jacques Brel in Paris. In the
same year she also performed in several TV programs for Tele Dimanche and Midi Magazine.
Accepting the invitation of Princess Grace Kelly for the 10th TV festival, she gave a
concert in Monte Carlo together with Gilbert Becaud and Josephine Baker.
In the same year she performed at the international music festival in Brashov, Romania
and received the "Critics Award." She also won the "Best Composition Award" bestowed by the
In 1970, she was selected as "The Best Singer" in Turkey and she also received the third
grand prize at the international music festival "Golden Orfe" in Bulgaria.
* The 12th Istanbul Biennial, which provided a depiction of the universality of the human
condition, ended on Nov. 13, having attracted 110,000 visitors over two months reports the
Hurriyet Daily News.
While college students visited the biennial for free, the everyday guided tours served
5,000 people during the exhibition period. The exhibition hosted more than 50 individual
presentations and more than 500 works as part of either joint or solo exhibitions.
The ninth biennial in 2005 was visited by 51,000 people, while the 10th biennial in 2007
visited by 91,000 people.
See more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=istanbul-biennial-ends-with-110000-visitors-2011-11-16
* Salt Beyoglu is hosting a new exhibition featuring the works of Hrair Sarkissian reports
the Hurriyet Daily News.
In Sarkissian's work, landscape and the urban environment become stages for the
expression of moments in history. Employing traditional documentary techniques, his
photographs express the hidden paradox existing between the beauty and constancy of the
surroundings and the potential realities they conceal.
In 2010, Sarkissian spent two months in Istanbul documenting the history sections of
various semi-private and public libraries and archives in the city, from the Archaeological
Museum and Topkapi Palace Libraries to the Ataturk Library in Taksim, the Ottoman Archives
of the Prime Ministry General Directorate of State, and the Ottoman Bank Archives and
Sarkissian studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Current
exhibitions of his work include the third Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art,
Greece, (2011) and Facing Mirrors, Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Greece (2011).
His recent exhibitions also include Out of Place at TATE Modern, London, and Darat Al
The Salt Beyoglu exhibition is being organized with the support of the Kalfayan
Galleries, Athens-Thessaloniki. The exhibition will last until the end of December.
* Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay inaugurated a Turkish cultural center
in the Romanian capital Bucharest on Nov. 14 reports the Anatolia News Agency.
Mr. Gunay said culture was the strongest bridge between different nations.
* According to the Anatolia News Agency the Istanbul Photography Museum will open in the
Kadirga Cultural Center in Fatih municipality of Istanbul. The first museum of its kind in
Turkey will also serve as a cultural center and display one permanent and two temporary
exhibitions as opening attractions.
Located on a 10,000-square-ft area allocated by Fatih Municipality at the Kadirga
Cultural Center, the museum consists of five photography galleries, a photography archive
and a library.
It will be managed by the Photography Friends' Association.
See more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=groundbreaking-photography-museum-to-open-in-istanbul-2011-11-15
* The Hurriyet Daily News reports that Istanbul is witnessing a construction boom that has
made happy those in the real estate sector but many others have been left out in the rush
to gentrify the city.
Now this feeling of alienation is providing inspiration to a number of artists seeking to
question this urbanization.
"When I think about the urbanization dynamic of Istanbul, I should speak about a city
that has been ever-developing and expanding for 2,000 years," Mr. Tayfun Serttas, a
contemporary artist, writer and researcher on urbanization issues, recently told the
Hurriyet Daily News. Mr. Serttas is an artist who is well aware of the destruction,
heritage and history of Istanbul. Because of this, he usually focuses on urbanization
issues in his art works.
In his art work "Notalgia, I left," Serttas hangs T-shirts with a clothesline between two
different apartments. "Because of gentrification, it is forbidden to hang clothing between
apartments in Istanbul," he said.
See more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=artists-take-on-istanbul8217s-urbanization-2011-11-16
* As part of the 16th Boston Turkish Culture and Arts Festival, famous Turkish painter and
academic Devrim Erbil opened on Nov. 15 an exhibition titled "Poetic Abstraction -
Istanbul" at the Boston University Howard Thurman Culture Center reports the Anatolia News
According to a statement made by festival director Erkut Gomulu, Mr. Erbil opened an
exhibition for the first time in the city. The statement said many academics from Boston
University, diplomats, NGO representatives, artists and students attended the reception
held for the opening of the exhibition.
The Boston Turkish Culture and Arts Festival, which has been organized every year since
1996, will continue until Dec. 15 around the theme of "Colors of Anatolia."
[Saat 18:30 and 19:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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