x0x Turkish News for the week ending 27 April 2013
x0x Turkish News for the week ending 27 April 2013
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 27 April 2013]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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Edited by Fuad Tokad* Some weeks ago Turkish officials and the jailed leader of the Kurdish rebels negotiated to end the 30-year-old conflict. The resulting peace process between Turkey and the rebel Kurds is entering into a new phase.
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party's militants withdrawal from Turkey will end by autumn at the earliest, senior militant leader Murat Karayilan told a group of Turkish journalists, Turkish media reported on April 27. Karayilan, who had announced that the withdrawal of militants from Turkish soil was set to start on May 8 in a press conference two days earlier, added that the Kurdistan Workers' Party's jailed leader, Abdullah Ocalan, wanted the pullout to be completed sooner.
Karayilan also urged the government officials to let a delegation from Kurdistan Workers' Party headquarters visit Ocalan in jail on Imrali island. He said direct communication with the Kurdistan Workers' Party's jailed leader was "necessary." "To convince all the militants and overcome the difficulties, direct talks with Ocalan would be more of a problem solver. Such a meeting at the middle or the end [of the process] would facilitate [the task]," he said.
As the Kurdistan Workers' Party announced the day of the start of the withdrawal, key Turkish government officials gave confident reactions, saying that everything was going according to the plan, reported Hurriyet Daily News today.* Not only 30-year-old terrorism but also a problem extending back for longer years would end with the solution process to Kurdish issue, added Erdogan who spoke at a meeting in Istanbul on Saturday.
"Today, Turkey is entering a new phase and a new league", Erdogan said, adding that the government, which had struggled against the Kurdistan Workers' Party with a determined manner for the last ten years, was now reaching its target , reported the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.* In related news the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said April 24 that he would pay an official visit to Turkey between May 13 and 15, while also saying that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party was still on the European Unions' terrorist groups list, as the controversial Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe assessment on Turkey sparked debate by changing the terminology for describing the Kurdistan Workers' Party militants to "activists."
"During this visit I would also like to mention the negotiations between the Turkish authorities and Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party , an organization which is still included in the European Union list of terrorist groups," said Jean-Claude Mignon, the President of PACE, in a written statement yesterday, condemning all forms of terrorism.
His visit will come after Turkish politicians slammed the use of the wording "Kurdistan Workers' Party activists" in the explanatory memorandum prepared by the PACE rapporteur on Turkey Josette Durrieu. Meanwhile, elaborating on the PACE latest assessment on Turkey, Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the issue had nothing to do with removing the Kurdistan Workers' Party from the European union's list of terrorist organizations.* Dogan News Agency reported that a most-wanted Turkish drug lord searched by Interpol and the United States for 13 years was arrested in Istanbul April 26.
Cumhur Yakut, known as the "father of godfathers" and reportedly one of the four key names on the U.S. drug traffickers list, was captured following a huge police operation at his family's mansion at the Sariyer district, on the European shores of the Bosphorus, that involved special intervention units and a helicopter.
Thought to be the head of a huge trafficking ring, Yakut was wanted on several drug charges, including the seizures of 520 kilos and 316 kilos of heroin in 2000 and 2001 respectively, the latter causing Interpol to issue a red notice alert for his arrest. Security forces discovered three months ago that Yakut had recently entered Turkey and was living in Istanbul.* Anatolia News Agency reported that Turkish rural police forces have discovered two makeshift pipelines along the Iranian border in the southeastern province of Hakkari, in an operation targeting oil traffickers carried out April 26. The pipelines are thought to provide oil from Iran to the Turkish smugglers. Fifteen tons of diesel fuel being transported by mules were also seized in the operation.
"[The security forces] have intervened in a convoy of 700-800 mules entering Turkey from Iran. Four hundred mules were intercepted. The smugglers noticed the intervention and fled to the Iranian side of the border," local rural police officials stated.
Semdinli district in Hakkari lies in the mountainous region that borders both Iran and Iraq and is a major smuggling area.* Anatolia News Agency reported that Turkey signed a cooperation agreement with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the Kazakh capital of Almaty on April 26. The agreement is based on cooperation in various domains from security to transportation between Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Turkey, which is a "dialogue partner" of the organization.
Turkey's "dialogue partnership" status was determined during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in June 2012. Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the organization's secretary-general, Dmitri Mezentsev, both hailed the agreement during the signing ceremony.
"Now we declare that Turkey also shares the same fate as Shanghai Cooperation Organization countries.
We are thankful for being accepted as a member of this family," Davutoglu said. "It is the start of a long road we will walk together hand in hand. This is our point of view on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and we will move in this direction," he continued.
The foreign affairs minister said this cooperation would strengthen Turkey's ties with the organization, primarily in the domains of economy and transportation and that it would provide the opportunity to cope together with dangers that threaten the member countries.
Mezentsev, for his part, said this day was not only important for Turkey but also for the organization.
The secretary-general emphasized that from economy to security, from education to health, Turkey would make a great contribution to the organization.* Hurriyet Daily News reported that an Istanbul court accepted renowned Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say's request for the suspension of a 10-month prison sentence he received for "insulting religious beliefs," paving the way for a retrial.
Upon an appeal from Say's lawyers, the 29th Criminal Court in Istanbul annulled the decision to suspend the world-renowned pianist's prison sentence, arguing that "it was not clearly explained in the trial what the decision to suspend the punishment meant," and "the desicion to suspend the punishment was not in the suspect's best interest."
The case will now be sent back to the 19th Court, which will rule again on the charges.
Say was handed a suspended 10-month prison sentence last week for "insulting religious beliefs held by a section of the society," bringing to a close a controversial case while sparking fiery reaction in Turkey and abroad.
The punishment stirred a worldwide outcry, with a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton saying Brussels was "concerned" by the 10-month sentence, which "underlines the importance for Turkey to fully respect freedom of expression."
Prominent film critic and writer Atilla Dorsay, who recently resigned from daily Sabah over recent clashes at Emek Theater, described the ruling as "horrid."
"For whatever reason, it isn't within sanity to hand down such a punishment to a world-renowned artist," Dorsay said.* Hurriyet Daily News reported that Turkey's Biosecurity Board has decided to ban the entry of 26 genetically modified organisms into Turkey amid ongoing debates about whether genetically modified rice passed through customs. The board, which is the deciding body on the issue in the country, unanimously rejected the authorization demands for entry.
The banned products include genetically modified sugar beet and rapeseed, which are permitted in European Union countries as feeders.
Also, the demand to use 22 types of genetically modified corns as fuel was rejected unanimously on the grounds of scientific concerns about the products.
With these decisions, only 19 products were allowed to enter Turkish markets.
Corns and soy in 19 genetic types have been authorized to be imported for use as animal feed.
U.S. officials demand Turkey facilitate usage of GMOs and soften the penalties on the issue.* Dogan News Agency reported that visitors from Australia and New Zealand commemorated the 98th anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps' landing on Canakkale's Gallipoli peninsula during the First World War, with around 5,000 Anzacs attending a dawn service in Canakkale on April 25.
New Zealand Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman, Australia Veterans' Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon, Australian Ambassador to Turkey Ian Biggs, Australia Air Force Commander Gen. Mark Binskin, as well as many soldiers from Australia and New Zealand were present at the traditional dawn ceremony.
Canakkale's deputy governor Alper Faruk Bingol was also in attendance to represent Turkey.
The Battle of Gallipoli took place from April 1915 to January 1916.
Nearly 1 million soldiers fought in the trench warfare at Gallipoli. Turkish casualties were estimated at around 250,000.
Read more at >> here <<
ARTS AND CULTURE* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Istanbul Modern is hosting the Animators Festival between April 25 and 28, screening the movies of famous animators such as Nelson Shins. The festival will also offer Nazim Hikmet movies.
Also on show is "Talent Movies," which have collected more than 30 awards around the world, as well as offerings from animation from Turkey and John Halas.
Read more at >> here <<
A scene from the 'Queen of Montreuil'* Turkish capital Ankara will host the Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival between May 9 and 16, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
Centered around the theme of 'Despiteâ¦,' the festival's program comprises 15 categories.
In one of the main sections of the festival, a film selected by the International Film Critics Union jury will win the Best Film award.
Read more at >> here <<
More photographs of the village are available at http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Middle_East/Turkey/Aegean/Mugla/Marmaris/photo1170169.htm* According to the Dogan News Agency, with the ability to stand in for areas around the Mediterranean, the village of Eski Doganbey in Turkey's Aegean province of Aydin is attracting an increasing number of film directors looking to shoot a movie in a picturesque setting.
Eski Doganbey recently played host to two Turkish movies "Ecotopia" and "My Grandfather's People" and is now the setting for a new version of "Pinocchio" that is being produced by German production company FFP New Media.
"We needed a Mediterranean village in an Italian style. We searched for a place for a very long time, and finally we found Eski Doganbey village," the film's producer Anemone Muller said.
During the making of the film, the Germans are using many of the locals as extras.
Read more at >> here <<
Tuba Buyukustun* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish TV series that have gained particularly popularity in the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula are encouraging women to undergo plastic surgery so that they can resemble Turkish actresses such as Beren Saat and Tuba Buyukustun, according to doctors.
Read more at >> here <<* Internationally acclaimed Turkish musician Burhan Ocal had a concert on with one of Europe's most prestigious orchestras, the Baden-Wurttemberg Philharmonic Orchestra.
The famous rhythm artist Ocal, who has drawn attention for his unique playing technique and the speed of his fingers, has undertaken projects using a variety of styles from jazz to alaturca, and from ethnic to classical music.
He took the stage as a soloist in the concert in the city of Reutlingen and played works that he composed based on inspiration from classical Turkish music. Ocal's music was arranged by Azerbaijani pianist, composer and arranger Ilyas Mirzayef.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Istanbul is set to be the global host city of the second International Jazz Day, organized in collaboration with UNESCO, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue Herbie Hancock and the Turkish Culture and Foreign Ministries, on April 30, and the participating artists have been announced.* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Akbank Art Dance Workshop Will Be Hosting Panda van Proosdij, who provides movement and choreography training courses at many major dance festivals across Europe.
As part of this workshop, the artist will collaborate with dancers from Istanbul. The aim of the workshop is to create a dance piece which in turn will be presented to the audience at the Akbank Art Dance Workshop.* The "Fantastic Machinery" exhibition, a special selection from Renault's world-famous art collection, opened on April 18 at Istanbul Modern, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
Curated by historian and art critic Ann Hindry, the exhibition features works by world-renowned artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jean Dubuffet, Arman and Robert Doisneau, and forges closer ties between art and the industrial world.
Read more at >> here <<* Turkish-Armenian artist Sarkis is preparing to open a new solo exhibition at Galeri ManÃ¢ on May 23, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
The exhibition will be complemented by a conversation between Sarkis, Uwe Fleckner and Nico Anklam at the nearby Galata Greek Primary School on May 24 at 6 p.m.
Since the earliest stages of his artistic practice, Sarkis has searched for an aesthetic language and experience characteristic of contemporary times. A constant urge to create a new language underlies Sarkis' oeuvre, which is always reflective of the nature of the materials, media and sites he uses. Taking inspiration from autobiographical elements as well as art history, literature, music and film, he emphasizes the historicity and performativity of objects and sites. Through the physical, historical and conceptual encounters he stages, the artist brings new life to fixed and frozen depositories of memory.
The exhibition will continue until July 6.* Andrew Rogers is one of the few artists who use land in creating works. His works are visible from space, and he has 48 different land art projects in 13 different countries.
In his latest exhibition in Turkey, Rogers created an ephemeral stone labyrinth with the assistance of Istanbul locals on the Elgin museum terrace. The project is titled " Winding Path--The Search For Truth", reports the Anatolia News Agency.
"In this project the search of reality is based on an idea rather than a structure," said Rogers, who has also worked in Cappadocia, as well as different venues in Istanbul.
Read more at >> here <<* Tracing a path less ordinary in one of the most traditional Ottoman art forms, ebru (marbling) master Nedim Sonmez is departing from the standard forms of the art to depict his love for Istanbul, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
Ebru art typically consists of flowers or similar patterns, but Sonmez has branched out to now depict the city.
After graduating from college, Sonmez moved to Germany to complete a master's degree. Not long after moving to the country, Sonmez said he visited Italy, where he discovered a small shop in Rome that was full of marbling paintings.
"I saw some books with writings about marbling paintings. However, in the writings it said marbling was a French art, and there was a lot of wrong information about marbling," he said. "I said I could give them the right information and decided to open an ebru atelier. When I got back to Germany, I opened an marbling studio."
See some of the artist's works below:
Read more at >> here <<
* Turkish artist Recep Akar will be presenting his video art project "100x100=900 (100 video-artists to tell a century)," in a celebration of 50 years of video art by focusing on 100 years of history, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
Organized by Magmart, the aim is to celebrate the first creation of video art, which was started with Nam June Paik's first screening of video art in Germany.
The world premiere of the event will take place in Rome, and will feature more than 40 artists in the project from 20 countries.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Anatolia News Agency, mark April 23 Children's Day, the Ataturk Research Center (ATAM) revealed its archive photos from the War of Independence. Most of the photos in the archive have never been seen before.
The photos are preserved with special techniques for future generations and depict children, whose name and age are not known. They reveal that, as well as men and women, children also had many important missions during the war period when the Turkish nation defended the country against invaders.
A large number of children, who joined the war of the Dardanelles and Independence, impacted history with their self sacrifice both on the front and behind the front. Some schools could not produce graduates because young people at the age of 15 and 16 were martyred during the War of Independence, and were not able to return from the war area.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Anatolia News Agency, two rare Iznik bottles more than 500 years old from the golden age of the Ottoman Empire were sold at a Bonham Indian and Islamic auction on April 23 for a total of $1,158 thousand.
One of the tiles sold for $692 thousand, making it a new world record for an Iznik bottle, according to the Bonham Auction House in London. The second bottle was sold for $466 thousand.
The bottles were previously sold by antiques dealer Frank Dickinson in January 1919.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Kendirli Church, which was built in 1860 with financial support from Napoleon III, has been reopened a cultural center in Turkey's southeastern province of Gaziantep.
The building on Ataturk Boulevard, which previously served as a movie theater before becoming teachers' lodgings, has now been reopened as the Gazi Culture Center by the local metropolitan municipality.
See another photo of the church here:
Read more at >> here <<* The oldest copy of the Book of Dede Korkut, a series of epic tales narrating the life of ancient nomadic Turks and their pre-Islamic beliefs, will be showcased in Istanbul between Dec. 15 and March 15, 2014, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
The 500-year old copy, which belongs to Vatican archives, originated as a series of epics orally told and was transferred into written form over the generations. Another ancient copy of the tales is currently located in Germany.
Historian and researcher Dr. Rinaldo Marmara, the press secretary of the Vatican who led the work of displaying the copy in Turkey, gave the Hurriyet Daily News further information about the transfer process. "For the first time, Turkey is to host an exhibition presenting a piece from the Vatican archives. Last year, in cooperation with Bahcesehir University and on the initiative of the University's Board of Trustees Chair Enver Yucel, we established a department entitled 'Turkey-Vatican Diplomatic Relations.'
See an electronic copy of the pages at:
Read more at >> here <<* Istanbul's Sabanci University Sakip Sabanci Museum explores the many faces of Orientalism with a new exhibition that opened on April 24.
The exhibition studies the 19th century Orientalism analyzing its effects on diverse areas such as literature, archaeology, painting, architecture, universal exhibitions, photography and fashion.
The works on display include rare books, paintings, photographs from archaeological excavation sites, universal exhibitions, examples of Ottoman architecture, interior and stage decorations, costumes, studio photographs and souvenirs. Exploring the term both as a scientific and imaginary field, the exhibition starts with the "Eastern Studies and Orientalism."
"1001 Faces of Orientalism" will remain open until August 11 and host additional activities.
Read more at >> here <<* AA, An average of 6.4 books are produced per person in Turkey, with e-book sales on the rise, recent Culture and Tourism Ministry numbers showed, while revealing the downfall of bookstores nationwide.
The total number of books published in Turkey last year was over 480 million, with 187 million distributed for free.
The book sector in Turkey is growing 13 to 15 percent every year, according to the secretary-general of the Turkish Publishers' Association, Kenan Kocaturk, who told Anatolia news agency that Turkey was the 15th in the world in the books business.
"Germany has a similar population to Turkey, but the sector in Germany is worth over 8 billion dollars, while in Turkey it totals up to 1.5 billion dollars," Kocaturk said.
E-books made the highest jump numerically, with sales seeing a 100 percent increase. A total of 1,314 e-books were published in 2011, with the number rising to over 2,900 in 2012.
Bookstores, however, are slowly disappearing with only around 300 bookstores remaining in business nationwide. The free distribution of schoolbooks laid severe blows to bookstores, with 10,000 of them shutting down soon after, Kocaturk said.* Archaeological excavations in Turkey's Aegean province of Kutahya's Kultepe tumulus have revealed that men paid bride prices, divorce money and alimony to women 4,000 years ago, just like they do in today's Anatolia, reports the AA.
"After divorce, many problems like the situation of children, division of property and alimony appeared and people needed to document it. This increased the number of divorce documents," said Professor Fikri Kulakoglu of Ankara University, noting that there were more divorce documents than marriage documents.
Excavations at the 4,000 year-old tumulus have been continuing since 1948, said the professor.* The bones of 54 types of centuries-old animals that were unearthed in Istanbul's Yenikapi area during the Metro construction project are set to put on display at Istanbul's Osteoarchaeology Museum, reports the AA.
Some of the bones disovered date back to 8500 years ago to the Neolithic era.
Read more at >> here <<* According to the AA, young diplomats from all over the world have visited the ancient city of Catalhoyuk as part of Tourism Week events, which were organized as part of a new initiative to attract tourists to Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Konya.
Diplomats took information from guides while attending a reception for the week.
Catalhoyuk is a city that was established 9500 years ago. It is one of the earliest cities in the world, and one of the largest and best preserved.
Read more at >> here <<
* Premiere Soccer League
* Results for week: 30
G. Saray - Elazig Sp 3 - 1 Ordu Sp - Kasimpa$a 0 - 2 Akhisar Sp - Be$iKta$ 4 - 1 Karabuk Sp - Mersin I Y 1 - 0 Istanbul BBSK - G. Antep Sp 1 - 3 Kayseri Sp - Sivas Sp 1 - 1 G. Birligi - Fenerbahce 2 - 0 Antalya Sp - Bursa Sp 0 - 1 Eski$ehir Sp - Trabzon Sp 0 - 1
* In games played so far this weekend: 31
Mersin I Y - Antalya Sp 1 - 1 Elazig Sp - Karabuk Sp 1 - 0 Bursa Sp - Akhisar Sp 1 - 1 Be$iKta$ - Ordu Sp 2 - 0 Sivas Sp - Istanbul BBSK 4 - 1 Trabzon Sp - G. Birligi 2 - 0
* Standing in the league as of week ending 30
1 - G. Saray 62 2 - Fenerbahce 55 3 - Be$iKta$ 49 4 - Bursa Sp 49 5 - Kasimpa$a 46 6 - G. Birligi 43 7 - Kayseri Sp 43 8 - Trabzon Sp 40 9 - Antalya Sp 40 10 - Eski$ehir Sp 39 11 - G. Antep Sp 39 12 - Sivas Sp 37 13 - Karabuk Sp 37 14 - Akhisar Sp 35 15 - Elazig Sp 35 16 - Istanbul BBSK 33 17 - Ordu Sp 29 18 - Mersin I Y 21* FenerbahÃ§e has made an important step toward the first European final in its history, defeating their Portuguese rivals Benfica 1-0 in the Europa League semifinal first-leg game in front of their fans at the ÅÃ¼krÃ¼ SaraÃ§oÄlu stadium in Istanbul.BASKETBALL:
Euroleague:* Anadolu Efes lost to Olympiacos 82-72 in Piraeus Greece in the fifth Euroleague playoff game April 26. The Turkish team was thus eliminated from the games.CYLING
* Turkish rider Mustafa Sayar is poised to win the Presidential Cycling Tour with a stunning sixth stage victory on April 26. The Konya Torku Åeker Spor rider claimed the turquoise jersey with only two stages to go in the 49th of the Tour of Turkey.
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