x0x Turkish News for the week ending 30 March 2013
x0x Turkish News for the week ending 30 March 2013
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 30 March 2013]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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NEWS* Murat Yetkin of the Hurriyet Daily News reports that the Foreign Affairs Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu sent letters to Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general; the foreign affairs ministers of the U.S., Russia, U.K., France and China, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council; Germany, the unnamed strategic partner of the U.N.-P5; and Greece, Turkey's natural partner and rival on the Cyprus problem.
Ms. Davutoglu asked for a new solution initiatives.
Cyprus is divided between the two main communities: Greeks and Turks. It was established in 1960 as a bi-communal republic, but soon after its founding numerically superior and well-armed Greeks removed the Turks from the administration of the island, and pushed them into enclaves.
When in 1974 a Greek extremist group staged a coup d'etat with the goal of uniting the island with Greece, Turkey intervened and placed all this Cypriot Turks in the north in a protected zone. Ever since then there has been various attempts to reunite the island.
In 2004 at plan drafted by the United Nations secretary Kofi Annan was put to vote in the two communities. Greek Cypriots rejected it but Turks accepted it. Despite this the Greek-run so-called Republic of Cyprus was admitted to the European Union. Some say this emboldened the Greek Cypriots to reject any unification plans that would take their dominance away.
With the recent and meltdown of the Greek Cypriot economy, Turkey seems to be seeing an opportunity to settle the Cyprus problem.
Now the Turkish foreign minister is saying that if the Greek Cypriots would take the Turkish Cypriots as their political equivalents, not minority representatives, a four-party solution could be reached, as in the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960 when Turkey, Greece and the U.K. had worked out a solution; mainly "a new state of affairs" for the island.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Reuters News Agency, after tax imposition on deposits in Greek Cypriot banks, Russian oligarchs may deposit their money in Turkey's Denizbank, which was acquired by Russian Sberbank last year, the head of Denizbank has said.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey has decided to suspend energy projects with Italian giant Eni in retaliation for the company's involvement in oil and gas drilling off the coast of Greek Cyprus, Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan stated in a U.N. meeting last year that companies cooperating with Greek Cyprus in oil exploration would enter Turkey's "black list," the energy minister added.
Turkey wants the revenues generated from drilling offshore Cyprus should be shared between the Greek Cyprus and Turkish Cyprus.
Turkey also objected to a possible Greek Cypriot plan to use oil and Gas Exploration rights around the island as collateral for an international bailout package.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Hurriyet Daily News the peace initiative started between the rebel Turkish Kurds and the government seems to be holding.
One of the conditions in the peace agreement is for the militants to leave Turkey.
On March 29, the Turkish prime minister insisted that the militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party lay down their arms before leaving.
There are an estimated 1500 to 2000 militants within Turkish territory.
When asked what those militants will do after their withdrawal, the prime minister Erdogan said it is more the problem of the country who receives them than Turkey's.
"Perhaps they will go to Iraq, perhaps to Syria, or perhaps to Europe, particularly the Scandinavian countries. I cannot know that. What's important to me is peace in my country. The thing I know is that when they go, the atmosphere of my country will change when we realize the economic boom in the east [after the withdrawal]," he said.* According to Vercihan Ziflioglu of the Hurriyet Daily News, following Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Omer Celik's call for the return of Assyrians to Turkey, the Syriac Democratic Union (SDU), a Sweden-based organization, has sent a letter to Celik, requesting the establishment of a commission to work on the practicalities of a possible return.
During his recent visit to Russia, Mr. Celik had suggested that those who had migrated from Turkey in the past could return to their ancestral homes. "Due to faults in the past, some Christians and Jews left our country. We want to tell them that they can return to their country," he said.
Read more at >> here <<* According to Reuters News Agency, the U.N. refugee agency criticized March 29 Turkey for sending home at least 130 Syrians without its scrutiny and urged it to investigate the riot which sparked the departures that some witnesses said were forced.
Turkey denied on March 28 it had rounded up and deported any refugees following unrest at the Suleymansah border camp.* The Anatolia News Agency reports that an Istanbul court has sentenced one of the suspects accused of assaulting Turkish folk icon Ibrahim Tatlises to 36 years and six months in prison. Abdullah Ucmak, one of twelve people prosecuted in the trial, was found guilty of attempted murder, causing injury and threatening and operating a criminal organization.
The attackers fired on Tatlises with assault rifles on March 14, 2011, while he was leaving a television studio, wounding him in the head.
The assault left the singer seriously injured after sustaining a head injury that prevented him from singing for several months. He returned to the stage last spring after a long period of recovery.* Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reiterated March 28 that he admires Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, and Turks in his first press conference in the Pentagon, daily Hurriyet has reported.
"He did something that was very significant that has had a very important sustaining legacy in the world. And sometimes we -- we in the West don't fully appreciate what Ataturk did." Hagel said in response to a question.* Turkey has invited global investors to take part in its $250 billion of infrastructure projects, mostly in the transportation and energy fields, set to elevate Turkey's position as an energy transfer hub in the region, reports the Anatolia News Agency
"Whether the commerce roads go from west to east or east to west, they will pass through Turkey and I invite you to invest in the center of the world," Turkish Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim said during the "Invest in Turkey's Infrastructure" conference held in London March 28, which was also attended by Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek.
Read more at >> here <<* The Hurriyet Daily News reports that Turkey's trade deficit rose by 15.2 percent last month over February 2012 to nearly $7 billion despite a bumper period for exports, according to official figures.
Turkey's economy minister Zafer Caglayan said the increase in the imports was normal, as it stemmed from an economic boom.* Turkey hopes to save millions of Turkish Liras and kilowatts of energy with an ambitious LED street light conversion project that has whet the appetite of sector players, including its leader, General Electric, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
"Currently, there is no technology to produce LEDs in Turkey but after importing the LED chips, local firms can easily undertake the task," General Electric (GE) Lighting's Turkey and Stan Countries General Manager Selcuk Mert said in an interview with Hurriyet Daily News.
The company will apply for a pilot project in the capital Ankara to prove to the Turkish government how much energy would be saved if LEDs are used.
General Electric Lighting is also in talks with the Health Ministry about using LEDs in all Turkish hospitals.* Visa exemption boosted Russian tourist visits to Turkey, reports the Anatolia News agency.
In the year 2010, when there was no visa exemption, 3.1 million Russian tourists came to Turkey. In 2012, the year after travel without visas became possible, this figure had risen to 3.6 million, according to data from Turkish Statistical Institute* Speaking of tourism, Turkey's travel and tourism sector ranked 46 among 140 industrialized and emerging economies, climbing four positions from 2011, according to The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 released by the World Economic Forum, reported the Hurriyet Daily News.
Read more at >> here <<* Standard & Poor's, one of the world's leading credit rating agencies, upgraded Turkey's credit rating from BB to BB+ March 27, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
Standard & Poor's said the resolution of the Kurdish issue would have a positive effect on Turkey's rating.
ARTS AND CULTURE* The 32nd Istanbul Film Festival will kick off March 30.
The two-week event will screen over 200 films as well as offer a program of several other dynamic events.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Anatolia News Agency, the Turkish-Azerbaijani co-production of "Mahmut and Meryem", released last week in Turkey, debuted in Berlin on March 27.
Directed by Mehmet Ada Oztekin, the film is an epic love story between Mahmut, the son of Ganja's ruler Ziyad Khan, and Meryem, the daughter of a Christian monk.
Once Meryem's father finds out about the love between his daughter and Mahmut, a Muslim man, he takes his daughter and leaves Ganja.
Mahmut follows them, facing many adventures on the road as he learns about love, life and human beings.
Read more at >> here <<* A team of documentary-makers has made a film looking at tile production in the Aegean province of Kutahya, Turkey's capital of tile, ceramic and porcelain art, to be broadcast on Chinese state television.
The team, made up of producer Mesut Coskun, presenter Feing Yao Yang and cameraman Hakan Erol, made the program in the workshop of famous tile artist Ismail Yigit.* The 16th Flying Broom Women's Films Festival will begin on May 9, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
This year's honorary award will be issued to two veteran actresses, Perihan Savas and Zeynep Aksu, who have left their mark on the history of Turkish film.
This year's Success Award will be granted to Suzan Kardes, a Yugoslavia-born hair and makeup artist who is a celebrated name behind the camera.
The Theme Award will be issued for the first time this year, with the honoree being veteran theater actress Yildiz Kenter, who has been acting since the 1940s.* The 24th Ankara International Film Festival closed March 24 with a ceremony at the State Painting and Sculpture Museum, reports the Anatolia News Agency. During the ceremony, director Emin Alper's film "Beyond the Hill" was presented the Best Film Award.
The film also scored Alper the Best Director Award.
The festival, organized by the Global Mass Communication Research Foundation, focused on the East and presented a selection of 10 lesser-known films from several Eastern countries. Ranging from the Arab Spring to migration flows, the selection of films brought a wide assortment of topics to the silver screen over the festival's 10-day duration.
The festival program also included a selection of Turkish films focusing on the east of the country, with the aim of opening a window onto the region.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, The Mountain Films Festival, organized by the Mountain Culture Association and Mineral Event, hit screens in Izmir for the third time with the theme "Get ready for adventure."
The festival's first leg took place in Istanbul between Feb. 28 and March 3, and now it hit the road in the Aegean province starting March 28 until March 30.
Turkey's first film festival about nature, adventure and discovery will screen a total of 27 films that have been chosen among over 500 films shown in world festivals.
Read more at >> here <<* The Istanbul Symphony Orchestra performed March 25 under the baton of famous Bosnian orchestra conductor Emir Nuhanovic.
The concert at Istanbul's Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall was organized to draw attention to the human tragedy in Syria and hosted Syrian violinist Ali Moraly as a soloist.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Anatolia News Agency, opera and ballet audiences in Turkey have swelled thanks to ballet work depicting the life of sultans in the Ottoman Empire such as "Harem," "Hurrem Sultan," "Muhtesem Suleyman," "4. Murat" and "5. Murat."
State Opera and Ballet General Director Rengim Gokmen said that art lovers found the depiction of the life stories of legendary figures from their own history in opera and ballet fascinating, adding,
"Such works enable us to appeal to other audiences besides the classical ballet audiences. Hurrem Sultan and Harem have been performed to a full house for many years in Istanbul, Ankara and Mersin."
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Anatolia News Agency, the Hagia Haralambos Church, which had been neglected for many years for many years, has recently been restored and reopened as a cultural center.
The church in Izmir's Cesme town , was built in 1832 as a Greek Orthodox place of worship.* The Hurriyet Daily News reports that Istancool, the international festival of art, culture and ideas aiming to enhance the reputation of Istanbul and pay tribute to Turkey's cultural heritage, will take place this year from June 6 to 9.
The festival will bring together world renowned writers, designers, artists, poets, directors and musicians in the city.
Read more at >> here <<* A group of people protested on March 22 the public program of the 13th Istanbul Biennial, titled "Mom, am I a barbarian?", reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
The program, which was held at the Istanbul Technical University Macka Campus was canceled due to the noise made by the protestors.
According to a written statement, the protesting group opposes "income" strategies relating to urban transformation. "The event is showing public domain areas -- which are a part of the economic power of urban transformation -- as places to show art, which also signifies gaining power over the 'culture industry.'"
The protestors wore t-shirts that said "Waiting for Barbarians," turning their backs to show the writing, and read C. P. Cavafy's poem "Waiting for the barbarians." The aim was to counter Lale Muldur's poem "Mom, am I a barbarian?" with another poem.* Istanbul is set to take the spotlight in an event aiming to promote the attributes of the city to Londoners, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
INN London is a new organization set up to bring the best of a particular foreign city's culture, creativity and commerce to the U.K. capital.
During a five-day event between April 11 and 15, INN Istanbul will present the best of the Turkish city, from examples of its contemporary art and architecture, to its culinary and cultural life.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Istanbul's historic libraries and their priceless archives are being renovated by the Istanbul Province Special Directorate.
The administration has so far completed 95 percent of the renovation of Turkey's first state library, the Beyazit State Library. The work, which started in 2009, will be finished with the rearrangement of the garden and square.
Read more at >> here <<
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 1.81
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey: 66/46 Mostly Cloudy Antalya, on the Mediterranean: 75/59 Partly Cloudy Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 72/52 Mostly Cloudy Izmir, on the Aegean: 72/55 Showers Trabzon, on the Black Sea: 63/55 Showers Van, in Eastern Turkey: 54/36 Mostly CloudySnow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes, in Kayseri, Central Turkey: 30 inches Ilgaz, in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 16 inches Kartalkaya, in Bolu, Western Turkey: 71 inches Palandoken, in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey: 31 inches SarIkamI$, in Kars, Eastern Turkey: 43 inches Uludag, in Bursa, Western Turkey: 63 inches
* Premiere Soccer League
* In games played so far this weekend: 27
G. Antep Sp - Eski$ehir Sp 2 - 0 Sivas Sp - Ordu Sp 3 - 2 G. Saray - Istanbul BBSK 2 - 0 Kasimpa$a - Bursa Sp 2 - 0 Trabzon Sp - Antalya Sp 2 - 0 Elazig Sp - G. Birligi 1 - 1 Fenerbahce - Akhisar Sp 2 - 0
* Results for week: 26
Eski$ehir Sp - Elazig Sp 2 - 2 Bursa Sp - Trabzon Sp 3 - 2 Istanbul BBSK - Mersin I Y 4 - 2 G. Birligi - Karabuk Sp 2 - 1 Be$iKta$ - Kasimpa$a 1 - 3 Akhisar Sp - Sivas Sp 2 - 1 Ordu Sp - G. Antep Sp 2 - 3 Kayseri Sp - G. Saray 1 - 3 Antalya Sp - Fenerbahce 1 - 2
* Standing in the league as of week ending 26
1 - G. Saray 50 2 - Fenerbahce 46 3 - Be$iKta$ 43 4 - Kasimpa$a 40 5 - Bursa Sp 40 6 - G. Birligi 37 7 - Antalya Sp 37 8 - Eski$ehir Sp 36 9 - Kayseri Sp 36 10 - Istanbul BBSK 32 11 - Sivas Sp 32 12 - G. Antep Sp 32 13 - Trabzon Sp 31 14 - Elazig Sp 31 15 - Karabuk Sp 30 16 - Ordu Sp 29 17 - Akhisar Sp 26 18 - Mersin I Y 21
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