x0x Turkish News for the week ending 31 March 2012
x0x Turkish News for the week ending 31 March 2012
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 31 March 2012]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, the Turkish parliament accepted the hotly debated education bill despite opposition objections and street protests. One protest on March 27 drew 20,000 people in the Turkish capital Ankara.
The bill, which will profoundly overhaul the education system and introduce the Quran as an elective course, caused intense debates and fistfights among lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties.
The legislation, which was submitted as a proposal by five Justice and Development Party deputies rather than a Cabinet-approved draft, extends compulsory education from eight to 12 years, while breaking down the process to three tiers of four years each.
The school-starting age is being brought down to five years, a move that would require simplifying the curriculum for first-graders.
After four years of primary education, students could choose vocational schools, among them the imam-hatip religious schools which are currently open to secondary school graduates.
The bill provides the option of home study in the third tier -- a contentious measure that critics say would encourage patriarchal families to take their daughters from school and marry them off.
Read more at Http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkradio.aspx?pageid=238&nid=17337
* The findings of a recent poll on Turkish youth have begun to ring alarm bells amid the acrimonious societal debate over the controversial education bill that will affect the learning of future generations, writes the Hurriyet Daily News reporter Barçın Yinanç.
Interpreting the results of the poll, leading Turkish sociologist Nilüfer Narli says, Turkey might have a young population, but the country's youth are largely insular and ignorant, posing problems if the nation wants to run a globally competitive, knowledge-based economy. Internet penetration is low, while many young people don't know a second language, she says.
Read an interview with the sociologist at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkradio.aspx?pageID=238&nID=17305
* Turkey is planning to begin importing oil from Libya instead of Iran as it seeks to comply with U.S. demands that countries reduce their dependence on the Islamic republic's natural resources, according to Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
Meanwhile, Iran has provided convincing assurances that its nuclear program is peaceful, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said March 29 after a visit to Tehran while also accusing the West of having a double standard because it turns a blind eye to Israel's nuclear weapons.
The main opposition Republican People's Party described Erdogan's visit to Tehran as a "fiasco," noting that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delayed his meeting with Erdogan on the grounds he was sick, but met with a delegation from Turkmenistan the dame day.
"Erdogan has returned empty-handed," the Republican People's Party's Faruk Logoglu said.
Read more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/TurkRadio.aspx?pageID=238&nID=17336
* According to the Anatolia News Agency, the European Parliament has approved Turkey's draft progress report with a majority of votes, after removing the emphasis on the "secularist role of army" following criticism on this article.
Commenting on the new constitution the Turkish parliament is working on, the report called for a democratic charter.
Read more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/TurkRadio.aspx?pageID=238&nID=17248
* A Turkish journalist who just got released from prison appeared at the European Union parliament where he sharply criticized the Turkish government.
Ahmet Sik also leashed out against the Gulenists, a religious group. He said that the community of this religious group has infiltrated the police and was trying to do the same with the military. "They are the cause of fear in society because they control the police," he said.
The Gülen community is both avenging the past and trying to destroy its political opponents by organizing within the judiciary and the police, according to Mr. Sik.
He added that he had also been targeted by the community because he asked questions about the motives of the Gulenists.
Mr. Sik's unpublished book about the Gulenist community got him arrested and charged with involvement in an organization seeking to overthrow the government.
Read more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/TurkRadio.aspx?pageID=238&nID=17136
* The House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, in a session discussing economic relations with Europe and Eurasia, has come to the conclusion that the U.S. should increase its trade ties with Turkey, especially in the area of pharmaceuticals and encourage Turkey to open up its pharmaceutical market, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
Republican Congressman Dan Burton said there are many opportunities for American exporters to trade with Turkey, given the country's strong economic growth.
He also said the upcoming construction of the third Bosporus bridge in Istanbul will require Turkey to invest tens of billions of dollars in roads and infrastructure, and this will offer a window of opportunity for Western companies who seek to invest in the country.
Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks said "It is very important for us to foster trade with Turkey and Russia given both their strategic and large markets."
U.S. Chamber of Trade for Europe and Eurasia region Vice President Peter Rashish said that trade between the U.S. and Turkey was far too low given the level of economic and political relations between the two countries.
He added that Turkey's quest to become one of the top ten economies by 2023 looked difficult, but not impossible given the growth in the Turkish economy over the past ten years. He said the U.S. could play an important role as a facilitator.
See Dan Burton's remarks at http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/112/HHRG-112-FA14-MState-B001149-20120327.pdf
* Turkey's foreign trade deficit declined by an annual 20 percent in February, strengthening the Central Bank's hand in the aim to cool down economic growth in a gradual way, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
The monthly deficit stood at $5.94 billion, while the gap in the January-February period declined by 12.6 percent to just below $13 billion.
The decline was the result of rising exports. In February alone the rise was 17%. The bright export performance owed much to the surge in precious stone and energy exports, according to Reuters.
Read more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/TurkRadio.aspx?pageID=238&nID=17292
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Lutfi Marasli,
* According to the Anatolia News Agency, the Ninth Turkish Film Week began in Paris on March 30 under the direction of a Turkish immigrants association, L'Acort (http://www.acort.org/).
The festival, which features many important and new Turkish movies, will take place at the Filmotheque du Quartier Latin movie theaters.
There will be also seminars and meetings about Turkish film and the development of Turkish film. The talks will also feature the movies on the screen.
The Paris Turkish Film Week will end on April 8.
* Turkey's Supreme Board of Radio and Television has fined a private broadcaster $35,000 for airing suggestive scenes from Oliver Stone's film "Alexander," daily Aksam reported on March 26.
* According to the Anatolia News Agency, Turkish-German director Yasemin Samdereli's film, "Welcome to Germany," was released March 24 in Spain.
The film, which depicts the identity problems of the first Turkish immigrant families in Germany using a tragicomic language, has been also sold to 20 countries, including Taiwan.
Read more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/TurkRadio.aspx?pageID=238&nID=16849
* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Madonna's latest video, directed by a team of fashion photographers including Turkish Mert Alas, was banned by YouTube for viewers under the age of 18 for being "inappropriate," the New York Post reported.
YouTube sent a message to Madonna's team to tone down the video if they wanted it to be open for general viewing on YouTube, leading the video's producers to conduct another round of editing on the "Girl Gone Wild" music video.
* Turkish soprano Selva Erdener, a soloist for the Medea Opera under Belgian composer Wim Henderickx, has been winning recognition for her performances during the Dutch and Belgian legs of her European tour, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
The Dutch and Belgian tours have been drawing big interest, said Erdener, an Ankara State Opera and Ballet musician.
* Internationally-acclaimed American jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin appeared in a performance in the Turkish capital Ankara Tuesday , reported the Anatolia News Agency.
The concert featured the 21-time Grammy Award winner vocalist's signature blend of vocal sound effects and imitation of traditional Turkish instruments "the ney," an end-blown flute, and "the kanun," a traditional Turkish string instrument.
McFerrin also held a jam session with the audience and with Turkish acapella choir Orfeon.
Among all the Turkish instruments McFerrin is amazed by the sound of ney. As he imitated the sound of ney, he had a duet with the ney artist Bilgin Canaz.
Later on, McFerrin shared the same stage with kanun artist Tahir Aydoğdu. McFerrin also had a duet with Aydoğdu. McFerrin said, it was hard for him.
In his first part of Europe, McFerrin visited Turkey. He gave two concerts in Ankara and Istanbul.
In his Ankara concert, McFerrin also played the famous traditional music of the area titled "Ankara Havası," young people also gathered at the stage to perform the traditional dance of Turkey "halay."
Later, McFerrin sang "Don't Worry Be Happy" with the audience.
At the last part of the concert, McFerrin sang music from the Black Sea region of Turkey with Orfeon Chamber Orchestra. While McFerrin sang folk songs such a "Ben Giderim Batuma" and "Karadeniz Türküsü" (Blacksea Folk Song), he also sang folk songs from Southeast region of Turkey.
* The 49 year-old Antalya Municipality Band has recently hired four women musicians for the first time in its history, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
The women artists are conservatory graduates, and will be full-time members of the band. The four are currently training for the band at Antalya Municipality's ismail Baha Sürelsan Conservatory.
Read more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/TurkRadio.aspx?pageID=238&nID=16922
* According to the Anatolia News Agency, renowned Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say performed at Vienna's Konzerthaus on March 26.
Around 2,000 guests at the Konzerthaus gave Say a standing ovation at the end of the concert. Say was accompanied by Moldovan violinist Patrica Kopatchinskaja and the Camerata-Salzburg Chamber Orchestra at the concert.
Read more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/TurkRadio.aspx?pageID=238&nID=17014
* turkey's southern city of Adana has a welcomed the 14th International Theatre Festival on March 27, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
Adana State Theater Deputy Director Hakan Elmasoglu said groups from Italy, Belgium, Spain, China and Holland will take the stage at this year's festival, in addition to 13 Turkish theater groups, and that a total of 60 plays will be staged during the 30-day festival. He also said that this year for the first time the festival will host workshops.
Read more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/TurkRadio.aspx?pageID=238&nID=15921
* According to the Dogan News Agency, Turkish actress Pinar Ögün, who is known for her role in a TV series featuring the life of late Turkish physician Türkan Saylan, is starring in famous British playwright David Edgar's play "Pentecost" in London.
Ms. Ögün, who plays the character Gabriella, performed the play during a special press event also attended by critics from famous magazines and dailies such as Time Out, The Guardian, The Independent and Stage.
Ögün's husband, actor Mehmet Ali Alabora, and the director of the play, Gavin McAlinden, also viewed the play.
Read more at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/TurkRadio.aspx?pageID=238&nID=16560
* The Iranian artist Hossein Edalatkhah is questioning the phallocentric Iranian politics and media discourse in his first solo exhibition in Istanbul, which features a selection from the artist's works made over the last three years, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
The exhibition entitled "Truth or Dare" opened March 18 at CDA Projects and includes mixed-media paintings and sculptures.
CDA Projects is a contemporary art gallery in Istanbul dedicated to provide an innovative platform for local and international artists.
"Truth or Dare" runs through April 8.
* Sine Ergün, a writer and artist, aims to promote diversity and raise the culture industry of Turkey to another level with her project maumau Art Residency, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
Ergün is now preparing to own the first "proper" art residency in Turkey, which will host artists, give them art projects, make them more involved with the art scene in Istanbul and also give them the chance to create in studios.
See more at http://www.maumauworks.com/maumau_en.html
* Turkish painter Erol Akyavaş's work "Ene'l Hak" set a new record for the highest price ever paid for a Turkish work of art when it fetched close to $1.7 million at a weekend auction in Istanbul. The previous high was $1.3 million for a Burhan Dogancay paointing.
Regarded as an iconic work of Turkish painting, "Ene'l Hak" reflects the belief of Islamic intellectual and Sufi Mansur al-Hallaj, who was executed in the 10th century A.D. for saying "Ana-al Haqq" (I am the Truth), which was interpreted as a claim to be God.
The auction also presented unseen works from significant Turkish artists such as Orhan Peker, Abidin Dino and Avni Arbaş.
* Salt Beyoğlu İstanbul is currently hosting a humorous exhibition, titled: I decided not to save the world."
The exhibition is taking place as part of a series initiative by London-based Tate Modern, and is based on a program of international collaborations involving reciprocal research and curatorial exchanges.
For the fourth exhibition in this series, the Tate has partnered with SALT.
* According to the wire dispatches, the posters for Ken Ludwig's play " A Tenor Wanted" true of the applications of 12 job seekers in turkey's black sea city of Trabzon.
Most of the job seekers admitted that they do not know what a tenor is but they said they have many skills and can do anything.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 1.78
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey: 66/34 Partly Cloudy Antalya, on the Mediterranean: 72/55 Mostly Sunny Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 64/45 Mostly Sunny Izmir, on the Aegean: 70/52 Mostly Sunny Trabzon, on the Black Sea: 55/43 Partly Cloudy Van, in Eastern Turkey: 41/19 Mostly SunnySnow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes, in Kayseri, Central Turkey: 77 inches Ilgaz, in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 98 inches Kartalkaya, in Bolu, Western Turkey: 91 inches Palandoken, in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey: 63 inches SaklIkent, in Antalya, Southern Turkey: 39 inches SarIkamI$, in Kars, Eastern Turkey: 71 inches Uludag, in Bursa, Western Turkey: 79 inches
PREMIERE SOCCER LEAGUE
* Results for week: 32
Fenerbahce - Bursa Sp 1 - 0 Ankaragucu - Antalya Sp 0 - 3 Manisa Sp - Sivas Sp 1 - 3 Karabuk Sp - Kayseri Sp 1 - 0 Ordu Sp - G. Birligi 0 - 0 Samsun Sp - Mersin I Y 2 - 0 Eski$ehir Sp - G. Antep Sp 0 - 2 G. Saray - Trabzon Sp 1 - 1 Istanbul BBSK - Be$iKta$ 2 - 2
In games played so far this weekend: 33
G. Antep Sp - Ankaragucu 1 - 0 Mersin I Y - Karabuk Sp 0 - 2 Kayseri Sp - Eski$ehir Sp 2 - 2 Sivas Sp - Istanbul BBSK 0 - 1 G. Birligi - Manisa Sp 3 - 0 G. Saray - Ordu Sp 2 - 0 Antalya Sp - Bursa Sp - Be$iKta$ - Samsun Sp - Trabzon Sp - Fenerbahce -
Standing in the league as of week ending 32
1 - G. Saray 71 2 - Fenerbahce 64 3 - Trabzon Sp 54 4 - Be$iKta$ 54 5 - Sivas Sp 47 6 - Bursa Sp 46 7 - G. Birligi 46 8 - Eski$ehir Sp 46 9 - Istanbul BBSK 44 10 - G. Antep Sp 42 11 - Mersin I Y 42 12 - Ordu Sp 41 13 - Kayseri Sp 40 14 - Karabuk Sp 40 15 - Antalya Sp 39 16 - Samsun Sp 33 17 - Manisa Sp 32 18 - Ankaragucu 11
[Saat 18:30 and 19:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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