x0x Turkish News for the week ending 18 February 2012
x0x Turkish News for the week ending 18 February 2012
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 18 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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NEWSEdited by Gulcin and Burhan Kandemir
* Turkish dailies covered on their Wednesday editions the first hearing of a soccer match-fixing case.
As we reported to you last July, scores of people were detained as part of the largest match-fixing investigation in Turkey's history. BBC then reported that 19 of last season's league matches have been affected.
Turkish dailies Milliyet, Sabah and Vatan wrote that fans of Fenerbahce, one of Turkey's most prominent soccer teams, gathered outside the courthouse. They chanted slogans supporting 93 suspects including Fenerbahce soccer club president Mr. Aziz Yildirim in the match-fixing case.
Vatan daily said that 113 pages of 400-page indictment were read out in the first hearing of the case.
See more at BBC
* The Turkish dailies Vatan and Turkiye quoted Turkish Economy Minister Mr. Caglayan as saying that they are concerned over high import figures and working on the matter.
The dailies said Turkey's imports reached $241 billion in 2011. Turkey's trade deficit widened by 48 percent in 2011 reaching $106 billion.
See more at HDN
* Secretary of Defense Mr. Leon Panetta thanked Turkey for its ongoing contributions under NATO and its decision to host the early-warning NATO radar during a meeting with Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Davutoglu on Feb 13, says Mr. Panetta's spokesman Mr. George Little.
* Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday that Turkey and the United States had agreed that there should be a new humanitarian initiative to reach out to the Syrian people, as a real humanitarian tragedy was taking place in the country.
Mr. Davutoglu said that he hoped all obstacles to a humanitarian aid corridor would be removed, and that this was not a political or an intervention issue. "The issue is to allow all Syrians to receive humanitarian aid regardless of their being pro-regime or not," Mr. Davutoglu said in a press conference after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton in Washington.
After the vetoes of the U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria by Russia and China, the international community and regional partners could not adopt a "wait and see" approach on Syria, he said.
Mrs. Clinton said Syria was at the top of the list of important matters that she discussed with Mr. Davutoglu.
Mrs. Clinton also praised Turkey as being "a nation of conscience that understands the suffering of the Syrian people and serves as an example alternative to the al-Assad regime."
The Arab League initiative for the Friends of Syria group, which will hold its first meeting in Tunisia next week, was originally Turkey's idea, said Mr. Davutoglu, adding that if the U.N. Security Council had fulfilled its ethical and political responsibilities there would have been no need for a meeting in Tunisia.
Mr. Davutoglu also said the U.N. Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon had agreed to accelerate the procedures of a U.N. humanitarian aid office.
* A recent survey in Turkey revealed that the current prime minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the most admired politician.
Mr. Erdogan was liked by 41.7% of the participants in the survey, whereas the main opposition party leader Mr. Kemal Kilicdaroglu only received 9.1% of the votes. The second largest opposition party leader received a mere 4.1% of the votes.
* Turkish dailies are also reporting that Mr. Erdogan is doing fine after his surgery that we reported to you last week.
Mr. Erdogan is still confined to rest at his home.
However, Mr. Erdogan met with Bakir Izzetbegovich, the Bosniak member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency in his home at Istanbul's Uskudar neighborhood.
* We reported to you last week that a Turkish prosecutor tried to have some former intelligence officials arrested and called a number of current officials to testify at court.
The prosecutor was immediately removed from office, and the Turkish government prepared a draft law to make it difficult for intelligence officials to be summoned by courts.
According to Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, Turkish parliament passed the controversial bill in the early hours of Friday, February 17.
The new law requires the prime minister to give consent to any court cases against intelligence agents for their work on missions controlled directly by the premier.
* In related news, the Hurriyet Daily News reported Wednesday, February 15, on a speech by Mrs. Umit Boyner, the head of Turkey's top business association. The speech was in relation to the new bill.
Mrs. Boyner says Turkey has to allow for freedoms with no exceptions and prepare new laws, including ones covering courts with special powers and the anti-terror fight.
Turkey is watching with growing trepidation and horror as elements within the state, the police and judiciary on one side and the intelligence services on the other, clash over a judicial challenge to the country's intelligence service and the government's attempts to defend it, she added.
* Mrs. Boyner was speaking at a press conference about their association's 2012 program, She also said Turkey had launched a democratization initiative in the early 2000s but added that the gains it had made so far were "insignificant."
The process that started in 2008 to clean the gangs within the state has now come to a point where many question whether this process is taking place within the norms of the universal rules of law, said Mrs. Boyner.
Turkey is distancing itself from the rule of law, said Mrs. Boyner, highlighting the number of people who have been jailed on terrorism charges.
"As the phrase goes, many people, from the journalist to the civil servant, from security personnel to academics, are regarded in the eyes of many citizens as those poor souls killed in the crossfire.' Once they get into the system, it becomes nearly impossible to hear from them. The [judicial] process continues very slowly," she added.
"This lack of confidence increases polarization in society. While it is important to destroy the illegal organizations within the state, it is equally important that the Turkish justice system adopt universal legal criteria as soon as possible", said Mrs. Boyner.
"What is also equally important is that the military tutelage system comes to an end not only through civilianization but that the responsibilities and duties of the powers in the state becomes clearer and into conformity with the norms of law, transparency and accountability," she added.
Mrs. Boynr also commented on a bill that would protect the Turkish Industry & Business Association and other personnel from prosecution.
Turkish Industry & Business Association unconditionally supports the government and Parliament's right to make policy; she said but added that the new law was just a stop-gap solution and would not create a democratic state.
* According to Hurriyet Daily News of Turkey, a recent World Bank report showed that the average Turkish 15-year-old is below his or her average OECD, Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation, counterpart in reading, math and science.
According to the report, Turkey's student population has more than 12 million students, 11 million in primary education and more than 1 million in pre-primary education.
The press release of the report states that although education has significantly improved in Turkey in the last decade, the country still faces problems in terms of the "equity and quality" of the education system.
In a recent publication by UNICEF, out of ten indicators considered for assessing the quality and access standards of childhood development, Turkey met only three, ranking at the bottom of OECD countries.
Better early childhood education, more efficient teachers, better systems of financing and more accountability are all possible solutions to the challenges, the report said.
Another recent report by the OECD also showed that Turkey ranks low in rates of higher-education, exhibits gender disparities and has high unemployment rates among youth.
Accordingly, only 18 percent of Turks attend college, while the average among Economic Development and Cooperation, or OECD countries is 40 percent.
OECD includes developed countries such as United States Japan and United Kingdom on the one hand, and developing countries such as Turkey, Chile, Hungary and Mexico on the other hand.
See the full list here: OECD COUNTRIES
* According to the Turkish daily Sabah, Turkish Informatics Foundation says there are opportunities in improving the education through a recently launched government project dubbed the "Conqueror".
In a report the foundation advocates that the project should "become a mid and high level technological center, and to answer citizen needs through technology by adopting the e-state format as soon as possible."
"E-state" refer to here is a recent project that successfully launched a series a web sites for government related activities.
The report also states that both the 3G and Wi-Fi capabilities of the tablets that are being distributed make the project an excellent model for countries around Turkey.
The report emphasized the importance of transferring educational curriculum into the digital environment, such as through mobile and video education, e-books and virtual classes and adds that when doing so, it is crucial to add interactive options.
* The Hurriyet Daily News on Thursday reported that the Turkish government, backed by opposition parties, has promised to tighten regulations to protect animal rights and punish abusers.
Turkish Forestry and Waterworks Minister Mr. Veysel Eroglu said that a draft law on the issue would be sent to Parliament soon, speaking at a meeting in Parliament with a group of activists, led by Turkish pop singer Ms. Yonca Evcimik.
"Killing cats and dogs should not be left unpunished," Mr. Eroglu said, stressing instructions for amendments came directly from Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ms. Evcimik called on Turkish Parliament to remove breaches of animal rights from the "misdemeanor" category and classify them as criminal offenses.
* In related news, on Friday, CNNTurk, reported about a dog injured by elementary school students. Seven students that injured the dog were suspended from school in the Turkish capital Ankara.
The injured dog was taken to a veterinarian by the school administration.
The school principal said the children apologized for their behavior and acknowledged that what they had done was wrong. She said the school wanted to raise individuals who respect animal rights.
The parents of the suspended children said they thought the school administration's decision was correct and warned their children to be more sensitive on such matters.
* Extreme weather Turkey and the rest of Europe is experiencing is costing money: Anatolia News Agency of Turkey reported on Thursday that keeping roads open in snow cost $11 million to Turkey's Highway Authority.
* According to the press reports, Saudi Arabia's Prince Mr. Abdullah Bin Saud Al Saud's "Zad National" company has made an investgment in a Turkish company. Turkish ice-cream company MADO signed an agreement with Zad National.
Under the agreement, 20 MADO cafes will be opened in Saudi Arabia in three years. The Saudi prince visited MADO facilities in the Turkish southern province of Kahramanmaras.
See more at Saudi invests in MADO
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Colleen Clark
* A story in the New York Times Magazine by Suzy Hansen writes about the new art venue in Istanbul.
"Earlier this winter, the giant 120-year-old Ottoman bank building in Istanbul reopened as a multimillion-dollar contemporary art space called SALT" reports Ms. Hansen.
Ms. Hansen adds: "This was surprising. Turks were never big on contemporary art, and for years rich people didn't visit that part of town. When I moved to the neighborhood five years ago, it was all electrical-supply stores and abandoned buildings and men smoking. My building didn't have heat; girlfriends wouldn't visit after dark; a neighbor once attacked another neighbor with a small sword. I don't see swords in Istanbul anymore. I do see a lot more art.
"One evening in November, Turks and foreigners traipsed up the cobbled sidewalks to SALT's huge, heavy doors for the opening-night party. The headline exhibit featured thousands of old black-and-white photographs taken by a dead Armenian studio photographer and carefully assembled by the young artist Tayfun Serttas. Another exhibit was an installation by Gulsun Karamustafa, Turkey's doyenne of contemporary art. Another was about archaeology and Europeans looting the Ottoman Empire."
The complete story with a slide show is available at NY Times
* The Hurriyet Daily News reports that Turkish movie "Conquest 1453" premiered on Feb 16 in movie theaters across the Turkey at 14:53 hours, 2:53 P.M., local time.
The premiere hour was set to mimic the year of the date Istanbul was captured by Ottoman forces in 1453. Premieres usually take place during the night in Turkey.
The movie, directed by Faruk Aksoy, tells the story of Istanbul's capture by the Ottomans during the reign of Sultan Mehmed II.
The movie had angered Greek viewers after its preview was released there in January. Greek weekly To Proto Thema described the film as "conquest propaganda by the Turks.
Christian association Via Dolorosa in the German city of Cologne called for a boycott on the film. "We advise every Christian not to watch this movie," they said.
Read more at HDN
* Writing in the Hurriyet Daily News, Tuba Parlak reports that in its second year IF Istanbul Independent Film Festival's collaboration with the Sundance Institute for screenwriting workshops comes with a more elaborate program under the title of Sundance Labs.
The first event of the Sundance Labs will be a screenwriting panel with the participation of renowned independent filmmakers Audrey Wells, Athina Rachel Tsangiri and other Sundance experts.
On the third day of the program Sally El Hosaini will attend the Sundance Case Study Lab with her film "My Brother the Devil," which has also undergone the Sundance Lab process.
Speaking to the Daily News, El Hosaini said what impressed her most about the Sundance Institute Labs was the way they were structured around individual needs.
"The labs are basically a series of one-on-one meetings with creative advisors. But these advisors don't force their views upon you or hold the answers to making your script better.
"Screenwriting is too subjective for black and white answers anyway. Instead the sessions were more of an informal discussion. An opportunity for you to go deeper into yourself and to examine the reasons you wrote what you did and a chance for you to hold a mirror up to your script, yourself and your own process.
"This journey of self examination was incredibly illuminating, " El Hosaini concluded.
The complete story is at HDN
* A new project that is being undertaken thanks to an European Union - Turkey grant program is helping to protect the phonograph records of Turkey's southeastern province of Gaziantep, according to the Dogan News Agency.
The phonograph World Project will develop and protect cultural heritage, said Özgür Demirezer, the president of the TAŞEV Education Culture and Youth Foundation and the person responsible for the project.
Events to be held as part of the project will open the doors to the music industry as it was between 1870 and 1970.
"The project will reveal the musical careers of musicians such as Safiye Ayla, Hafız Burhan, Tamburi Cemil Bey, Edith Piaf and Louis Armstrong," said Demirezer. "Approximately 6,000 phonograph records will be displayed."
A center at the Millet Hanı in Gaziantep will host the exhibition of phonograph records. "The exhibition hall will become a museum in the long term," said Demirezer.
The project will also include a display of old phonograph records from the Ottoman Empire, he said. There will be also participants from Austria and Spain, he added.
The collection covers 400 phonograph records and was aided by record collector İbrahim Halil Birecikligil, who donated his entire collection to the museums.
Read the rest at HDN
* Hurriyet Daily News reports that Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay signed a financial protocol with Sabancı Holding Chairwoman Güler Sabancı yesterday, regarding the restoration of the historic Atatürk located in Istanbul's Taksim Square. Mr. Günay said the culture center would be renovated faithfully to its original form, adding that only infrastructural changes are being considered. The restoration project will be put out to tender at the end of March, and the Center is planned to come into art lovers' service in October 2013. "Our aim is to restart cultural activities there on the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic," Günay said.
"This center is a landmark for the history of the Turkish Republic; when Ertuğrul Günay came to us with an offer to renovate it with our support we could not be indifferent, we will be proud to bring stanbul's art lovers together with the new Atatürk Culture Center," Ms. Sabancı said.
"Seismic reinforcement is the most important reason for development here. The heating and cooling, lighting and sound systems will also be renovated. We will finally attain an art culture befitting Istanbul," Mr. Günay said.
Read more at HDN
* One of the oldest bibliopoles in Istanbul's historical old book bazaar, the Sahaflar Çarşısı, has a collection of around 15,000 rare books that he is hoping to preserve for posterity, reports the Anatolia News Agency. br/> "I have books from well-known politicians like İsmet İnönü, writers like Mehmet Akif, Peyami Safa and more. I also have books signed by foreign writers, as well as manuscripts and more. They are very valuable today. I have books from almost all writers. This is what being a bibliopole means, not buying and selling old books," said 73-year-old Adil Sarmusak.
The book collector said he had been interested in reading books since his childhood and added that he had lived in Germany for many years before buying a shop in the Sahaflar Çarşısı when he returned to Turkey.
"I have been here since the 1980s, I feel comfortable here and am interested in books and science. Here, I have spent all the money that I earned in Germany," he said, adding that he had bought rare books and acquired a rich collection over the years.
Noting that books should be carefully preserved, Sarmusak said he had digitally copied the 15,000 works and kept their originals. He also said roughly 1,000 books in his collection featured the signatures of either the writers or the famous people who once owned the books.
Sarmusak said he wanted the rare books to be kept in the state's archive. "Unfortunately, we can't protect our old works. Actually, everything here should be in the state library, everyone should be able to benefit from them."
Store contains many rare books. The owner complains that many books from the Ottoman era had disappeared.
Read more at HDN
* Results for week: 26
Sivas Sp - Be$iKta$ 1 - 1 Trabzon Sp - G. Antep Sp 4 - 0 G. Birligi - Mersin I Y 1 - 2 G. Saray - Kayseri Sp 1 - 0 Istanbul BBSK - Ankaragucu 3 - 0 Ordu Sp - Antalya Sp 3 - 2 Manisa Sp - Bursa Sp 1 - 3 Samsun Sp - Eski$ehir Sp 3 - 1 Karabuk Sp - Fenerbahce 2 - 1
In games played so far this weekend: 27
Mersin I Y - G. Saray 1 - 3 Ankaragucu - Samsun Sp 0 - 3 Antalya Sp - Manisa Sp 2 - 1 Fenerbahce - Sivas Sp 4 - 2 G. Antep Sp - Ordu Sp 1 - 0 Kayseri Sp - Trabzon Sp 3 - 3 Eski$ehir Sp - Karabuk Sp 1 - 2 Be$iKta$ - G. Birligi - Bursa Sp - Istanbul BBSK -
Standing in the league as of week ending 26
1 - G. Saray 57 2 - Fenerbahce 51 3 - Be$iKta$ 46 4 - Trabzon Sp 45 5 - G. Birligi 43 6 - Sivas Sp 42 7 - Eski$ehir Sp 38 8 - Istanbul BBSK 37 9 - Ordu Sp 35 10 - Bursa Sp 33 11 - Kayseri Sp 33 12 - Mersin I Y 33 13 - Antalya Sp 32 14 - Manisa Sp 29 15 - Karabuk Sp 28 16 - G. Antep Sp 26 17 - Samsun Sp 23 18 - Ankaragucu 11
[Saat 18:30 and 19:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
***International Mother Language Day and International Womens Day
On the occasion of honorary two land mark days, International Mother Language Day and International Womens Day, Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California has invited maestro Chingiz Sadykov and Dr. Simin Sabri.
February 24 at 7:00 PM
16400 Lark Ave. Ste # 260
Los Gatos, CA 95032
Dinner will be served
*** On line Turkish classes:
*** 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:
*** Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California
Check with the ACSNC center web pages for dates and times of activities: http://acsnc.org/
16400 Lark Ave. Ste # 260
Los Gatos, CA 95032
*** Turkish Classical Music Chorus started practices again.