x0x Turkish News for the week ending 20 July 2013
x0x Turkish News for the week ending 20 July 2013
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 20 July 2013]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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Edited by Gulcin and Burhan Kandemir* Journal of Turkish Weekly reported on Monday that Turkish foreign affairs minister Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu denied that Israel used its base to attack Syria.
Earlier in the week a report mentioned that a Turkish military base had been used to launch a July 5 air strike on a Syrian arms depot in the port city of Latakia.
Russia Today quoted Mr. Davutoglu as saying on Monday that the reports were "absolutely wrong," saying the spreading of such stories is an "act of betrayal."
The Turkish foreign affairs minister said that "Turkey will neither be a part nor a partner of such 'attacks.' The ones who claim this want to damage Turkey's power and reputation."* On Tuesday Turkish police launched raids at over 100 locations in Istanbul as part of the ongoing operations on Gezi Park supporters, including student dormitories, detaining at least 30 people.
People detained are accused of violent behavior against merchants and police officers during protests.
Turkish Youth Union Istanbul provincial head and some members were among the detainees, most of whom are college students. Those detained were taken to the counter-terrorism security branch.
Police conducted searches in all apartments in a building, since no apartment number was specified in the search warrants. In addition, lawyer Mr. Erdem told the Turkish daily Hurriyet that there were several irregularities in the searches conducted.
Mr. Erdem added that police forces told lawyers that they lacked proper equipment to copy the confiscated digital evidence, which the law requires to be handed to lawyers as well to prevent any risk of tampering with the evidence. The officers also confiscated all books and movies that included words like "strike" or "resistance", Mr. Erdem told daily Hurriyet.
There are high school students among the detainees as well, daily Hurriyet reported.* Turkey should readjust its legal framework regarding the use of tear gas grenades to prevent further risk of death and injury, according to a European Court of Human Rights decision, reported the Hurriyet Daily News on Tuesday.
The decision came as a result of the court's proceedings on the case of an incident, which occurred in 2006.
Turkish police's use of tear gas became a subject of debate after its excessive use during the Gezi Park protests, causing severe injuries to several protesters.* In related news, Human Rights Watch on July 17 urged the Turkish government to end incorrect and unlawful use of tear gas.
The organization said that Turkish police fired Â teargas canisters directly at protesters during the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul, turning them into dangerous projectiles that caused serious injuries.
It said that it has documented 10 cases in which people were seriously injured, including loss of an eye, when police fired teargas canisters directly at them, often at close range.Â
The Turkish authorities should immediately issue improved guidelines on when and how teargas may be used that include a prohibition on firing teargas canisters in confined areas or directly at people. The authorities should strictly enforce the policy and hold accountable police officers who do not comply with the guidelines.
Read more at >> here <<* On Wednesday, the Hurriyet Daily News reported that Egypt's interim government voiced "strong resentment" on Tuesday at comments by Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan backing ousted Islamist president Mr. Mohamed Morsi.
The Egyptian Foreign affairs ministry spokesman Mr. Badr Abdelatty said had these represent a clear intervention in the internal affairs of Egypt.
Mr. Erdogan said on Sunday that democratically-elected Morsi, who was ousted in a popularly-backed military coup on July 3, was Egypt's only legitimate president.
Mr. Abdelatty called on Turkish officials to put "the historic relationship and shared interests" of their two countries above any "narrow party interests".
A spokesman for Egypt's interim president also criticized the Turkish leader's remarks, calling them "inappropriate" and an "intervention" in Egypt's domestic affairs.
On the same day, Turkish Foreign affairs minister Mr. Davutoglu rejected the claims and said that the views expressed by Turkey are a "sign of trust to the Egyptian people".* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, their recent global Pew research center survey conducted in 39 nations found that public opinion think that balance of power is shifting from US to China.
However, 63% of the respondents had favorable opinion of the U.S. compared to 50% for China.
In Turkey, however, only 21% of the Turks had a favorable image of the U.S. This is still an improvement compared to last year's 15%.
Read more at >> here <<
ECONOMY* According to the Hurriyet Daily News, on Wednesday the Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Erdogan has suggested citizens to stop using credit cards, publicly slamming banks for collecting a lot of money from the "poor".
But, analysts are warning against the consequences of picking on banks at a time of foreign capital outflow risks.
"Those credit cards: Don't have them. If everybody spends as much as they [banks] want, they would not even be able to earn that income. They could never be satiated," Mr. Erdogan said during a fast-breaking dinner in Ankara July 16.* In related news, on Friday July 19, Turkey's deputy prime minister Mr. Ali Babacan said that a bill which was approved by the Turkish parliament recently will enable the central bank to put limits on commercial credit cards.
Minister of Customs and Trade Hayati Yazici said on July 18 that there were 56 million credit and 95 million debit cards registered in Turkey in May. Yazici stated that 23 percent of bank loans were made to the consumers.
He said credit cards accounted for the major part of consumer loans, adding that their cost was high.Â
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Serkan Hatipoglu* Players in Turkey's movie sector have set themselves the ambitious target of producing 100 Turkish films next year as part of a plan to mark the 100th anniversary of the industry in the country.
Preparations for the celebration have already begun, with Turkish directors such as Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ugur Yucel, Mahsun Kirmizigul, Ozcan Deniz and Cagan Irmak expected to make productions in time of the centenary.
The first recorded movie in Turkish history is Fuat Uzkinay's documentary, "The Destruction of the Russian Monument in Ayastefanos", which was produced in 1915.
Some 91 Turkish films are on screen this year. In contrast, only 60 were produced in 2012, while only 75 hit theaters in 2011.
Turkish movies increased its audience and box office numbers during the first half of the year. In the first six months of last year, 54 percent of moviegoers opted for Turkish films, while in the first half of 2013, this number increased to 64 percent. Income from the Turkish movies has also increased 38 percent to $75 million this year.
During the first half of the year, many Turkish productions attracted more viewers than foreign productions, according to figures.
With its newfound strength, Turkish films are increasingly becoming visible at international festivals, as evidenced by the 2013 Shanghai Film Festival's recent decision to name Turkey the guest of honor. Among the films screened last month in Shanghai were "The Taste of Poetry"directed by Savas Baykal, which competed for a Golden Goblet award, as well as Omer Can's movie "King of the Cotton".
Orhan Kocak, who worked on "King of the Cotton" in terms of visuals, said the Chinese market was very important because it was third largest in the world after that of US and India.* This year, the International Performance Association's festival is returning to Istanbul with more artists for 13 days of workshops and events. The festival, which will be organized with the support of the Koza Visual Culture and Arts Association, aims to attract more young artists to Istanbul and spread the popularity of performance art in Turkey.
Many experienced teachers, as well as performance artists, will be at the festival to teach participants. The workshops start Aug. 11 and will continue until the end of the festival on Aug. 22.
This year, the workshop teachers and the festival artists will include Agnes Nedregard (Norway), Verena Stenke (Germany), Andrea Pagnes (Italy) and Jurgen Fritz (Germany).
The festival is also being supported this year by Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council and the Dutch Consulate in Istanbul. The venue sponsors are Mixer, maumau, MSGSU Tophane-i Amire KSM and Siemens Art venue.* The 13th Istanbul Biennial, titled "Mom, am I Barbarian?", curated by Fulya Erdemci and focusing on the theme of public space as a political forum, will be free of charge, according to the press release sent by the biennial team. The dates of the 13th Istanbul Biennial have also changed, and the exhibition is now set to be held between Sept. 14 and Oct. 20, 2013.
The Biennial underscores the relationship between poetry, literature, poetics, and art. The term "barbarian" also signifies the novel and yet unknown languages we are to learn or discover in order to understand "the other" and construe "the world to come."
Focusing on the theme of public space as a political forum, the exhibition will include works that question forms of contemporary democracy; challenge current spatio-economic politics; problematize notions of civilization and barbarity, and explore the role of art in this context through innovative and unorthodox languages.* Leyla Erbil, one of Turkey's most creative writers, with a talent matching her discretion, has passed away.
Erbil, 82, was the first Turkish female writer to be nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature by PEN International in 2002. She also won the association's prestigious short story prize this year.
A virtuoso of the Turkish language, Erbil's art was a constant rebellion against grammatical constraints. She worked her sentences like a handicraft artisan, forging a new syntax if what she wanted to express required so.
Her first story (Cotton fluffier) came out in 1961. Her first novel (An odd woman), published in 1971, became a masterpiece. Casting a resolute female gaze over a male world and penned with an innovative language, the book's critical success earned Erbil comparisons with Virginia Woolf.
"The remaining", published in 2011, related the tragedy of Istanbul's multicultural communities through the eyes of its cosmopolitan and rebellious female protagonist Lahzen.
Erbil momentarily abandoned the exploration of women for odd men in "An Odd Man" published in 2013. Perhaps closing a circle, Erbil said in an interview that the novel intended to explore how one man could impersonate many others for obviously different reasons than a woman.
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