x0x Turkish News for the week ending 31 December 2011
x0x Turkish News for the week ending 31 December 2011
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 31 December 2011]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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* According to the Voice of America, Thousands of people in southeastern Turkey turned out Friday for funerals of 35 Kurds killed in a botched Turkish airstrike, and unrest has broken out in some areas.
Authorities said the bombing run was a mistake, supposedly targeting Kurdish rebel fighters but instead killing civilians - smugglers crossing the border to evade Turkish customs.
The deaths caused widespread outrage and put the spotlight on Turkey's policy toward its restive Kurdish minority.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has promised an investigation, and a state prosecutor will be looking into the incident.
In related news, the Associated Press reported that, in an email statement, the rebels called the strikes a massacre, and referred to technical and intelligence support provided by the United States, which recently deployed four Predator drones to Turkey from Iraq to aid the Turks in its fight against the rebels.
The Kurdistan Workers' Party is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, Agence France-Presse writes.
* According to Zacks Equity Research, Koc Holding, the joint venture partner of Ford Motor Co. in Kocaeli, Turkey, announced that it will invest $3.4 billion in 2012.
The investment will be focused both on Fords joint venture, Otomotiv Sanayi AS (Ford Otosan), and Tupras Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri AS, the countrys sole crude oil supply and refining company.
Ford Otosan started production in 1965, with each company holding a 41% share in the venture. It operates four facilities in Turkey, two in Kocaeli, one in Eskisehir and one in Istanbul.
Turkey is one of the most important markets for the automobile in Europe. It occupies the sixth position in the continent in terms of automobile production. The countrys light vehicles market expects to grow 11% to 882,000 units this year from 792,000 in 2010.
As a result, it attracted the attention of many global automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp. (TM), Honda Motor Co. (HMC), Opel, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and MAN AG.
* According to Bloomberg, Turkeys trade deficit narrowed from a year earlier to $7.5 billion in November, the first annual contraction in two years, as export growth outpaced imports
It was $7.8 billion in Nov. 2010.
Turkeys central bank and government are seeking to slow imports through curbs on loan growth and boost exports to tackle a current account deficit that widened to a record 10 percent of economic output. Concern about the deficit brought losses of 19 percent for the lira this year, the worst performance among emerging market currencies.
* According to the Hotel Chain News, The legendary hotel in Istanbul and one of the main attractions of the Turkish metropolis - Pera Palace - will be bought by the Jumeirah Dubai hotel group.
Pera Palace is one of the most famous hotels in the world. Here in early XX century stopped the most respectable passengers of the luxurious train of the Orient Express company.
Among the hotel guests were kings, movie stars, famous writers and artists. In the hotel stayed the Queen Elizabeth II, Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, actress Sarah Bernhardt and director Alfred Hitchcock. Agatha Christie wrote her novel "Murder on the Orient Express" in one of the hotel rooms.
* According to the Turkish daily Yeni Safak Turkey and Azerbaijan signed a memorandum of understanding on Trans Anatolia Natural Gas Pipeline that will carry Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe via Turkey.
According to Yeni Safak, the project is worth $5 billion and the pipeline is expected to carry 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year.
The paper quoted Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz as saying that Turkey had exerted the efforts that were not exerted by countries in the west that were in need of natural gas.
* According to the New York Times, the Israeli government has canceled a $141 million contract to supply Turkey with an advanced aerial intelligence system, Israeli officials confirmed on Friday.
The move appeared to reflect a profound reassessment of strategic ties with Turkey, a former ally, months after Turkey downgraded diplomatic relations with Israel.
Israeli officials are afraid that the technology can end up in countries like Iran, NY Times writes.
ARTS AND CULTURE
* According to the Hurriyet Daily News the annual Los Angeles Turkish Film Festival will take place from March 1 and 4, 2012 with the support of world renowned film schools.
Turkish Cypriot filmmaker Derviş Zaim will be the head of the jury at the festival, in which short fiction and animated films will compete.
Another Turkish jury member will be film critic and International Federation of Film Critics Deputy Chair Alin Taşçıyan.
* Turkey, a popular destination for foreign film producers in recent years, will continue to increase its popularity in 2012 with new arrangements that will make it easier for producers to film here, Anatolia News Agency reported.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Culture and Tourism Ministry General Director Mesut Cem Erkul said foreign production companies have been focusing on Turkey. Starting in February, more big Hollywood productions may be filmed in Turkey. The new James Bond is being filmed here right now and shooting for Taken 2 and Ghost Rider [the sequel] has already finished.
* Another historical building is facing demoloition in Istanbul.
According to daily Radikal's Ömer Erbil Majik Cinema, Turkeys first moive theater built in 1914 in the heart of Beyoğlu, will be destroyed and replaced by a shopping mall.
This is the latest in an ongoing struggle to preserve Istanbuls cultural heritage, Erbil writes.
In its place is coming a shopping center and office complex.
* According to the Anatolia News Agency Britains coastal town of Portsmouths Fort Nelson is home to the Royal Armories national collection of artillery, The Big Guns.
The collection exhibition also includes war accessory designs drawn by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror.
The canon called Şahi, which was designed by Sultan Mehmet, is a symbol of the relationship between Britain and Turkey. Mehmets gun also reflects the relationship between the two countries in history. He was known for his interest in guns. The weapon still bears scars of war. It has engravings and flower designs on it. The beginning of the gun has the saying, God is our helper.
The bronze canon was made in 1464. It was produced with two parts, weighs 18 tons and is 1,800 cm in length.
According to legend, the canon was first fired in the northwestern Edirne province of Turkey. In order not to make the locals frightened from the sounds of the big gun firing, the emperor sent information to the surrounding villages.
After the conquest of Istanbul, Mehmet brought Şahi to the Gallipoli Straight. The canons were in disuse for a long time. In 1807 they were used to celebrate the British Army visit to the Ottoman land. Şahi protected the Gallipoli Straight for centuries and 60 years after the British visit, the Ottoman Empire gave the famous canon as a present to Britain in 1866 through the efforts of Gen. Sir John Lafroy.
* A historical locomotive, highly desired by German and British museums, is being kept at the Çeltek Coal Enterprises in the Black Sea province of Amasya. There is also interest in the train from Istanbuls Rahmi Koç Museum and the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.
The locomotive produced in Germany in 1895 is thought to be one of only two such machines in the world.
* According to the Hurriyet Daily News reporter Hatice Utkan, Istanbul Modern Arts Museum is being accused of censorship.
on Dec. 27 a group of artists entered the museum and hung banners that read: There is censorship in this museum.
The allegations came about after the museum asked artist David Hayon to change his artwork.
Hayon says the museum first told him he can create whatever he wishes to create for a special exhibit, but whan he came up with a large seat with a bed pan in the middle of it, he was asked to come up with a different work.
On Dec. 29, the museum released a statement saying that it was not an act of censorship but rather a decision by the curators.
* Anatolia News Agency reports that Turkeys renowned pianist Tuluyhan Uğurlu performed a concert Dec. 25 as part of the 550th anniversary of Istanbuls Grand Bazaar. The concert was accompanied by the hymns of three religions and the janissary band.
The concert, organized in the largest street of the bazaar, Kalpakçılar, with contributions of the Grand Bazaar Artisans Association, was viewed by some 2,500 people. Also during the concert, the Grand Bazaar was shown with visuals by cinevision to attendees of the event.
See a video of the event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIhMUQn-wr8
* Writing and singing songs supporting protestors in Libya throughout their rebellion against Moammar Gadhafi, Libyan singer Asma Salim now says she plans to release an album with Turkish songs in gratitude for Ankaras assistance during the uprising, repports the AA.
* Sezai Karakoç, one of Turkeys most famous poets yet a known recluse, failed to attend the Presidential Grand Award for Art and Culture ceremony at Çankaya Palace yesterday to collect an honor that he was recently given, again reported the Anatolia News Agency.
Karakoç did not accept the Culture Ministry award in 2006 either and returned the money which accompanied the prize to the ministry, saying he wanted it to be spent on cultural and artistic events.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.89
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey: 36/32 Snow Antalya, on the Mediterranean: 55/48 Heavy Showers Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 46/41 Rainy Izmir, on the Aegean: 50/46 Mostly Cloudy Trabzon, on the Black Sea: 55/46 Mostly Cloudy Van, in Eastern Turkey 37/27 Mostly Cloudy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes, in Kayseri, Central Turkey 19 inches Ilgaz, in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey 16 inches Kartalkaya, in Bolu, Western Turkey 43 inches Palandoken, in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey 22 inches SaklIkent, in Antalya, Southern Turkey 10 inches SarIkamI$, in Kars, Eastern Turkey 41 inches Uludag, in Bursa, Western Turkey 31 inches
* Turkish weightlifting champion Nurcan Taylan fails doping test, faces ban from 2012 Olympic.
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