x0x Turkish News for the week ending 04 February 2012
x0x Turkish News for the week ending 04 February 2012
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 04 February 2012]
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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* The terms of the European Unions discussions with Turkey need to be reformed, according to Turkeys former Economy Minister Kemal Derviş, who said the "conditionality of accession has collapsed", reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
Mr. Derviş, who is currently the vice president of the Brookings Institution, was speaking at the first strategic event to mark the cooperation between Sabancı Universitys Istanbul Policy Center and the German think tank Stiftung Mercator.
Mr. Derviş said there could be a different type of relationship between Turkey and the European Union. "The European Union has rules, but they are not absolute, they are evolving. We could talk about a different form of integration. I am not talking about a privileged partnership outside of Europe, but a special relationship inside Europe," said Mr. Derviş, who was head of the United Nations Development Program in the second half of the 2000s.
In the same meeting, Daniel Gross, the director of the Center for European Studies, has warned that with each new entrant, the bar for membership has gone higher for future applications, adding that good governance has become much more important than economic indicators. "Greece has been a big failure for European Union, and this is becoming more apparent. The bar will go higher, as we learned that the quality of internal administration was very important," he said. "Its not enough to say that We are better than the two worse cases in European Union. Turkey needs to get up to the average of European Union," he said.
For decades Turkey has been striving to be a member of the European Union, but says it is being kept out because of anti-Turkish sentiments of some European countries.
See more at Kemal Dervis speech
* According to the British paper Guardian, Turkish prime minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the American novelists Paul Auster are fighting with words.
Earlier this week Paul Auster told the Turkish daily Hurriyet that he is not visiting Turkey because hundreds of journalists and writers are imprisoned. He further advocated that Turks get rid of Erdogan administration like Americans got rid of Bush and Cheney.
After hearing this, the Turkish prime minister said "who cares if you come or not?", then continued on to criticize Mr. Auster for visiting Israel. The prime minister also called Mr. Auster and ignorant man.
Mr. Auster's books are popular in Turkey, Guardian adds.
* According to Reuters, five Turkish engineers kidnapped last September in Sudan's troubled western region of Darfur were freed and flown to the capital Khartoum on Thursday, the state news agency SUNA and the Red Cross said. SUNA said the men had been working on a water project near the city of El-Fasher in North Darfur when they were abducted by armed men.
* According to Bloomberg, Turkish inflation rate climbed to a three year high and reached 10.6%.
An analyst at Morgan Stanley in London says that this probably represents the peak and expects the inflation rate to decline in the coming months.
* According to the Tehran Times, the Turkish Energy minister is quoted as saying that Turkey will continue buying oil from Iran despite U.S. sanctions.
The Turkish minister said the decisions made by the U.S. and the European Union "does not concern us."
In related news, the Turkish Energy minister says that Turkey referred its dispute with Iran on the price of gas to the International Arbitration Court.
* According to the Turkish daily Aksam, an analysis entitled "Turkeys defense power grows at a pace to be envied" by Yuri Mavashev and published in the English edition of the Russian daily Pravda warns Russian leaders.
The article writes about Turkeys success in weapon production, saying, "Turkey is a traditional partner, and even more traditional rival at Russia's southern borders. This 70,000,000-strong country is part of NATO, and the Turkic and Muslim people in Russia are the subject of Turkish 'courtship.'
"Russia should be concerned about the strengthened power of the Turkish army that is already one of the top ten in the world. Today, the Turkish army is the most organized, numerous and powerful state institution. Turkish army of half a million soldiers is the largest in size after the United States in the NATO military bloc."
* Speaking of the Turkey's military, according to UPI, the indictment against former chief of the general staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, was forwarded to the Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court.
The indictment charges General Basbug with "seeking to unseat the government of the Republic of Turkey by force."
* National Public Radio correspondent Peter Kenyon reported about Turkish leaders plans for Istanbul and certain segments of the public opposing these plans.
According to Peter Kenyon, rapid building in Istanbul is remaking the city, and activists are seeking to preserve historic places.
Working-class neighborhoods have been cleared of their inhabitants to make way for villas and hotels. Public schools and hospitals, some in historic buildings, are being sold to private developers. And a third bridge across the Bosporus is planned, which would bring roads and development to a large swath of forest land in the city's northern reaches, Peter Kenyon reports.
It's all part of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's drive to revamp Istanbul and make its future as glorious as its past.
Several groups have sprung up in opposition to the various projects to transform parts of the city, but they're hampered by disparate goals and small numbers, Peter Kenyon says.
See more at NPR Peter Kenyon on Istanbul
* According to Reuters, Growth of Turkish bank loans slowed to less than 28 percent year-on-year in mid-January, adding to signs of an economic slowdown after a year of unorthodox monetary policy by the central bank aimed at preventing overheating.
* Three big drug manufacturers are said to be wooing the Turkish drugmaker MN Pharmaceuticals.
GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly and Pfizer are among the companies eyeing a bid for the company, formally known as Mustafa Nevzat Ilac Sanayii, Bloomberg reports. Read more at: Turkish drugmaker wooed by GSK, Pfizer, Bloomberg says - FiercePharma
* According to the Turkish daily Aksam, US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Riccardione has been lobbying to encourage American investors to come to Turkey.
Mr. Riccardione was in the US last week asked major U.S. companies to turn to Turkey, saying that there is lot of potential there.
According to Michael Lally, the U.S. consular for commercial affairs in Turkey, as a result of the ambassador's efforts 35 companies operating in automotive, finance and energy sectors, agreed to see investment opportunity closely in Turkey.
* And a short news. We reported to you last week about Turkey's first three limb transplant operation. The Dogan News Agency reports that the patient is getting better and he was able to touch his son with his new arms.
See more at New Limbs
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Lutfi Marasli
* Turkish Armed Forces have accelerated its efforts to put a softer, less nonmilitaristic look, and as part of this effort they are looking for an artist.
The top brass announced recently that they are interested in hiring a female cellist or violonist. In addition to musical talent, the musician has to be perfect-looking, the armed forces say!
Here is the full description of an ideal candidate:
- Graduate of at least a two-year college or school of music - Minimum 5' 3" height and 110 lbs weight - Up to 25 years old
Accepting the application started on Jan 26 and will continue until Feb. 10.
A written exam will be held in the Turkish capital Ankara on Feb. 19. Applicants who pass and qualify in terms of physical appearance will go through an interview.
All this will be followed by a "practical exam" on March 5-7. Those who succeed will begin to work on August 30 as a pettyofficer.
Our correspondent Lutfi Marasli says he will follow what the Turkish Armed Forces will do on this project with amuzing requirements and keep you posted.
* Istanbul looks to become a hub for TV series, films, documentaries and commercial shoots, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
It has been already the setting for filming for many during the past two years:
The city boasted a total of 1,600 shoots for television series, films, documentaries and commercials in 2010 and 2011.
Istanbul is like an open air studio, according to Culture and Tourism Provincial Manager Ahmet Emre Bilgili.
In addition to domestic productions, Istanbul also hosted many international films and documentaries.
"That's why we can say that there is no city like Istanbul anywhere in the world," he said.
While some international teams visited Istanbul for episodes of daily or monthly broadcast programs, international commercials and films also took place in Istanbul.
Mr. Bilgili says that the production companies are required to get a permit from the Turkish government when they are using public venues such as palaces or bridges. A permit is not alwasy guaranteed, however: If the government determines that the shooting may have adverse affect on the structures involved, a permit is not granted.
See more at Istanbul as a stage
* Turkey's first "World Beauty Queen" Keriman Halis Ece Tamer passed away in Istanbul on Saturday Jan. 28, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
Ms. Tamer died of heart failure and she was 99 years old. Ms. Tamer became the "World Beauty Queen" on July 31, 1932.
A video of Ms. Tamer is available at Tamer Youtube Video
* According to the Anatolia News Agency, Turkish opera artist Orhan Yıldız, 33, has won the second place at the 49th International Francisco Vinas Singing Competition in Barcelona, Spain.
The Jan. 22 competition, organized at the Liceu Theater, did not award the first place to anyone in the category of male singers, but awarded second place to Turkish baritone Yıldız, and third place to Korean Chae Wook Lim.
Yıldız was given 5,000 euro in prize money in the competition.
* Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party started showing films at its headquarters, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
Dubbed the "Republican People's Party movie days" the event was started back in November 2011 and so far 5000 people attended the movies.
The movie days also became a platform to commemorate important events and people, deputy party chairman Gursel Tekin says. For example Human Rights Week was celebrated with the showing of Francois Truffaut's classic 1966 film, "Fahrenheit 451."
* Turkey's president Mr. Abdullah Gül visited the United Arab Emirates this week.
According to the Hurriyet Daily News, President Gül said Turkish soap operas were the focal point of the meetings with officials of the Emirates, which broadcasts Turkish soaps on TV.
"They asked me what will happen at the end of the Turkish series," Gül said, "and said their wives were always sitting in front of the televisions for the shows."
The Turkish president also met with Zayed University students. He said the students told him they all watched the Turkish series "Magnificent Century".
Magnificent Century is based on Ottoman history of the 1500s.
* The latest film by Ata Demirer "Berlin Tiger" was celebrated with a gala in Berlin on Jan. 28, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
"I have experienced many things and when I turned into 40, I decided to make them into a film. I hope you enjoyed it, too," said Demirer, the movie's writer and star.
The gala, organized at Alhambra Movie Theater in Wedding neighborhood, was attended by the film team as well as Turkish Ambassador to Berlin Hüseyin Avni Karslıoğlu, Berlin State Assembly members Emine Demirbüken-Wegner and Özcan Mutlu.
Demirer said the story told in the film was not his own. "But I have so many relatives that I grew up with this story" he said.
See excerpts from the film at Kaplan film excerpts on YouTube
* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish director Raşit Çelikezer has been presented with the special jury award at the 12th Sundance Film Festival for his film "Can."
The film, starring Selen Uçer and Serdar Orçin, previously won the Behlül Dal Jury Special Prize at the Golden Orange Film Festival organized in the southern province of Antalya.
"Can" won the prize along with the documentaries "Love Free or Die" by Macky Alston, "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" by Alison Klayman and "Searching for Sugarman" by Malik Bendjelloul.
Nearly 120 feature films, including 58 in competition, were presented this year at Sundance. The festival was founded by actor and director Robert Redford as a counterweight to big-ticket Hollywood events and is held in the U.S. state of Utah. The awards were given Jan. 28.
* Hurriyet Daily News reporter Emrah Guler wrote about how Turkish TV programmers are integrating twitter messages.
Always quick to follow the latest cultural trends in the West, TV programmers in Turkey have jumped on the bandwagon to integrate TV viewing and social media.
On-screen hashtags and live Tweets have become part of a "controlled engagement" says Emrah Guler.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.75
WEATHER* Istanbul came to a standstill after snow fell throughout the country from Thursday creating hazardous conditions. On Monday, Istanbul faced its coldest day in 33 years with temperatures reportedly falling as low as -10.4C. Citizens criticized city officials, saying they had failed to deal with the snow and icy roads. Close to 200 flights were grounded throughout the country, and several ferries and buses were shut down. Snow is expected to continue through Tuesday and Wednesday.
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes, in Kayseri, Central Turkey 49 inches Ilgaz, in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey 47 inches Kartalkaya, in Bolu, Western Turkey 110 inches Palandoken, in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey 33 inches SaklIkent, in Antalya, Southern Turkey 59 inches SarIkamI$, in Kars, Eastern Turkey 55 inches Uludag, in Bursa, Western Turkey 89 inches
Standing in the league as of week ending 25
1 - G. Saray 51
2 - Fenerbahce 48
3 - Be$iKta$ 45
[Saat 18:30 and 19:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
***Prize-winning Turkish film opens February 10 at SF Film Society CinemaOnce Upon a Time in Anatolia (Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da, Turkey/Bosnia and Herzogovina 2011), a meditative police procedural by celebrated Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan that yields a quietly poignant portrait of the human condition, opens an exclusive San Francisco premiere engagement February 10 at San Francisco Film Society Cinema (1746 Post Street)
And we are gving away tickets!
Listen to us either on KKUP or KUSF-in-Exile and learn how you can win tickets...
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*** Turkish Classical Music Chorus started practices again.