x0x Turkish News for the week ending 12 January 2013
x0x Turkish News for the week ending 12 January 2013
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 12 January 2013]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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NEWS* We reported to you last week that the Turkish government has re-initiated peace overtures to the rebel Kurds.
This week three Kurdish women associated with the rebel organization Kurdistan Workers Party were killed execution style at the offices of a "Kurdish Information Center" in Paris.
One of the women was a founding member of the rebel organization.
French police found the doors were locked, and an Italian paper indicated that you could enter the building only after a call from the intercom or entering a code on a security keypad, indicating that the killer was known and trusted by the victims.
Analysts are saying that the murder may have been committed by a faction within the Kurds trying to sabotage the latest peace talks. However, some Kurds blame the Turkish government.
In related news, Reuters reports that Turkey asked the European Countries to boost security around its diplomatic missions.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Hurriyet Daily News reporter, the United States affirmed its support for the Turkish government's fresh attempt to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question and terrorism through dialog with Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, and encouraged Turkey to diversify its methods against terrorism.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Anatolia News Agency, members of the ultra right Greek party Golden Dawn attacked the car of the Turkish consul general to Komotini, Greece, Ilhan Sener, on Jan 09 in Kavala.
Holding Greek flags, a group of nearly 30 protestors from the party chanted slogans against Turkey outside Kavala Municipality while Sener was meeting with Kavala Mayor Kostas Simichis.* There are news reports that the new Greek administration is planning to increase its "economic zone" in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean seas, and start looking for oil and gas.
According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has warned Greece not to take unilateral steps concerning the dispute over natural resources in the Aegean, saying such steps would prompt Turkey to take counter measures.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegean_dispute* Turkish hacker group RedHack has leaked over 60,000 documents in its latest attack on Turkey's Council of Higher Education website, unraveling hundreds of corruption investigations and documented incidents, reports Erdem Gunes of the Hurriyet Daily News.
A number of the documents were confidential, according to a RedHack statement released on Jan.9.
The documents consist of bank account information, parliamentary complaints, correspondence between the Council and universities, as well as final reports of corruption investigations.
One of the most striking cables shows a private transaction between the president of Firat University and Vakiflar Bank that took place in 2009. The bank, which Firat University uses to receive tuition payments from students, agreed to pay for the full price of an Audi car for the university's president, as well as insurance expenses.
Vakiflar Bank, however, claimed that the payment was a promotional right for the president of the university.
Another portion of the bank's payment was used to fund festivities for university students.
The transaction left the university heavily indebted, an investigation revealed.
Claims of mishandled payments during the construction of a laboratory at Giresun University also surface among the cables.
The university officials were not convicted, but only accused of charging both private companies and state authorities simultaneously for trips abroad for training on new equipment.
The leaking may continue if further cases of corruption come up, RedHack has said.
Read more at >> here <<* A former chief of staff of the Turkish military denounced the proceedings in an alleged coup-plot case, calling for an end to what the ex-top soldier calls "judicial shame", reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
General Basbug has been in jail for a year now and is being accursed of belonging to a terrorist organization that wanted to overthrow the government.
In related news, in another coup-plot case, an Istanbul court refused to hear further witnesses. This particular case has been continuing for the past four years.
Along with Gen. Basbug, numerous other retired and active military officers, journalists, politicians and academics are in jail while being tried in the two cases. Some are accusing the Turkish government of silencing the opposition with these trials.
Read more at >> here << and >> here <<* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish parliament approved a bill Jan. 9 aiming to resolve applications to the European Court of Human Rights regarding complaints on lengthy trial periods by issuing financial compensation to plaintiffs.
The move is another endeavor by Turkey to decrease the huge number of applications lodged against the country at the European Court of Human Rights and to improve its dismal human rights record, the Hurriyet Daily News commented.* The Anatolia News Agency reports that Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Jan. 9 that workers' negligence is the root cause of a mining accident that killed seven miners in Zonguldak coal fields.
Turkey has the worst safety record in terms of mining accidents and explosions in Europe, and the third worst in the world, according to reports.
Read more at >> here <<* Dogan News Agency writes that Turkish politicians are famous for using their authority and links to help relatives land steady, lucrative jobs, but apparently not so Turkey's main opposition leader. Mr. Kemal Kilicdaroglu's, brother has been revealed to be a night guard at a construction site.
The brother, Mr. Kilicdaroglu, has retired from the State Water Board, but to make ends meet has gone back to work.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Anatolia News Agency, nearly one in every two foreign firms in northern Iraq, the autonomous Iraqi region, belongs to Turks, Turkey's Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazici has said in response to a parliamentary question from Peace and Democracy Party deputy Altan Tan.
Peace and Democracy party is often referred to as the "pro-Kurdish" party, and some claim it is a front for the rebel Kurdistan Workers Party.
Read more at >> here <<
ARTS AND CULTURE* According to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, two films which were partly filmed in Turkey are in the Oscars this year.
Argo, which was mostly filmed in Istanbul, is nominated for seven Oscars. Latest James Bond film Skyfall, filmed in Istanbul and southern Turkish province of Adana is nominated for five Oscars.* Archeologists working on an 8500-year-old neolithic site in Istanbul's suburbs discovered a skeleton, and numerous other objects, reports the Turkish daily Radikal.
The excavations revealed that the ancient residents placed mussel shells below their houses to provide permeability. Likewise, a waste area found in the site indicated that the ancient residents consumed a great deal of seafood, according to archaeological officials.
Read more at >> here <<* The Turkish Cabinet has authorized the Supreme Board of Radio and Television to limit the length of lovemaking scenes in Turkish TV series, daily Hurriyet reported on January 11.
The Cabinet made the decision after approving th Board's decision to fine a Turkish channel for airing a lovemaking scene between the leading characters of the soap opera "Forbidden Love" that lasted five minutes and 30 seconds.* Titled "Mom, am I barbarian?" 13th Istanbul Biennial, inspired by the book of the same name by poet Ms. Lale Muldur, will focus on the notion of the public domain as a political forum, biennial curator Ms. Fulya Erdemci announced on Jan. 9 at a press conference at Istanbul Technical University, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
Erdemci was joined by Bige Orer, Director of the Istanbul Biennial, and public program co-curator Dr. Andrea Phillips.
The biennial will be held from Sept. 14 to Nov. 10* The Van Gogh Alive Digital Arts Exhibit, which was on display in Turkey for the 100th anniversary of the pharmaceutical company Abdi Ibrahim, was visited by 215,000 people in Istanbul and Ankara, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
The exhibition uses the avant-garde display of images to redefine the audience's connection with art. The show also aims to heighten all the senses, using light, color and sound to challenge all preconceived notions about how an art exhibit should be.*According to the Anatolia News Agency, a museum, established in Turkey's Anatolian province of Kirsehir's Kaman township with support from the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry, saw 30,000 foreign and Turkish tourists, walk through its doors. Most of the visitors were Japanese.
The museum opened July 10, 2010, at a ceremony attended by Japanese Prince Tomohito Mikasa.
Excavations works have been carried out by the Japanese government in Kalehoyuk since 1986 and the region is also home to a Japanese Garden and Archeology Institute, he said.
The excavation site was occupied during the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Ottoman periods.
In 2005, metallurgical analysis by Hideo Akanuma of iron fragments found at Kaman-Kalehoyuk in 1994 and dating to c. 1800 BCE revealed that some of these fragments were in fact composed of carbon steel; these currently form the world's earliest known evidence for steel manufacture.
* The Anatolia News Agency reports that hearkening back to a time before the advent of modern heating and electricity, the cultural authorities in charge of Istanbul's Dolmabahce Palace put the palatial dwelling's old tiled stoves on display after years in storage.
Tiled stove master Halit Ucaroglu, who works for the Turkish Parliament National Palaces Department, has been restoring the stoves, which range in age from 300 to 400 years, after decades of neglect.
Read more at >> here <<
* Municipal authorities in Turkey's Mediterranean city of Antalya opened a new art gallery in honor of journalist, writer and painter Fikret Otyam.
Journalists Yalcin Bayer, Dogan Hizlan, Nebil Ozgenturk and poet Ataol Behramoglu were among the guests of the ceremony.
Otyam said he was very happy about the event. "There is something called 'loyalty' and this loyalty is today shown to make a person happy. I read the signboard, saying 'Antalya Metropolitan Municipality Demirciler Ici Fikret Otyam Art Gallery,' and I don't know how to express my gratitude."
Fikret Otyam was born in Aksaray Turkey in 1926, and worked in Istanbul, but has been living in a village 15 miles away from Antalya city.
Iskilip town from Iskilip fort* The Central Anatolian province of Corum will be home to Turkey's first door museum.
The museum will be established in the Iskilip town, which is famous for its wooden houses, centuries old fountains and historic structures.* According to Vercihan Ziflioglu of Hurriyet Daily News, world renowned Turkish poetry master Nazim Hikmet's 111th birthday is set to be celebrated with an exclusive exhibition at Istanbul's Caddebostan Culture Center.
Opening on Jan. 12, "My Homeland on The Lines of My Forehead" will continue through Feb. 7 for audiences seeking to discover Nazim Hikmet's unique artistic path.
Hikmet died in exile in the Soviet Union in 1963, stripped of his Turkish citizenship, but Turkey returned honorary citizenship to him about four years ago.
Read more at >> here <<* Turkish Nobel laureate author Orhan Pamuk's novel "Silent House", which was first published in Turkey in 1983, has been included on the shortlist of the prestigious Man Asian Literary Prize, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
The book is one of five novels on the list.
Inaugurated in 2007, the Man Asian Literary prize is awarded to the best novel by an Asian writer, either written in or translated into English.* The 29th Aydin Dogan International Cartoon Competition's award winning cartoons went on display in the southern province of Adana on Jan. 5, the city's day of liberation, reports the Dogan News Agency.
Turkey's Dogan Arslan and Iran's Javad Alizadeh were the big winners at the 29th Aydin Dogan Cartoon Competition, picking up $8,000 each at a ceremony held at Istanbul's Hilton Convention Center on Oct. 9, 2012.Winning cartoons:
Dogan Arslan's cartoon
Javad Alizadeh's cartoon
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.78
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey: 41/36 Sleet Antalya, on the Mediterranean: 59/48 Showers Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 45/39 Rainy Izmir, on the Aegean: 55/41 Mostly Cloudy Trabzon, on the Black Sea: 52/46 Rainy Van, in Eastern Turkey: 30/10 Mostly CloudySnow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes, in Kayseri, Central Turkey: 33 inches Ilgaz, in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 49 inches Kartalkaya, in Bolu, Western Turkey: 83 inches Palandoken, in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey: 28 inches SaklIkent, in Antalya, Southern Turkey: 28 inches SarIkamI$, in Kars, Eastern Turkey: 71 inches Uludag, in Bursa, Western Turkey: 65 inches
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