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x0x Turkish news for week ending 31 March 2002
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A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:
TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM
Saturdays at 5:00 P.M.
KUSF FM 90.3, San Francisco
Also tune to
Tuesdays at 10:00 P.M.
KKUP FM 91.5, CUPERTINO
Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host today is Fuad Tokad.
For a subscription to the Internet edition of this news,
send a blank email to:
Edited for the Turkish Radio Hour by Mathilde Agoustari
* Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer supported on Wednesday a proposal
to decrease the term of Turkey's presidents from seven years to five,
reported the daily Turkiye.
However, he expressed opposition to a proposal that would allow
presidents to serve two consecutive terms, saying that such an arrangement
would "violate neutrality."
In addition, regarding the view that certain bills should be issued
without the president's approval, Mr. Sezer said he opposed it.
* Turkey's prime minister Mr. Bulent Ecevit attended the NATO Candidate
Countries Heads of State and Government Summit in Bucharest, Romania this
Mr. Ecevit stated in his speech that the European Security and Defense
Policy could not be an alternative to NATO, reported the daily Hurriyet.
Turkey is in favor of including Romania and Bulgaria in NATO's
enlargement, Mr. Ecevit added.
He also met with the Assistant Secretary of State Mr. Richard Armitage
and told reporters that Turkey was opposed to a military operation against
Iraq and instead favored the problem being solved at the United Nations
* On Monday, the True Path Party leader Ms. Tansu Ciller attended a
conference entitled The Turkish Economy After the September 11 Attacks.
At the conference , Ms. Ciller said that Iraq's territorial integrity was
important for Turkey, reported the daily Turkiye.
On the other hand, she added that Turkey has little interest in seeing
Iraq's current regime stay in power. With this in mind, she thinks that
Turkey should get ready for an operation.
* Speaking to CNN on Sunday, former CIA Director Mr. James Woolsey said
that Turkey's support would be vitally important for any military
operation against Iraq, reported the Hurriyet.
Saying that the United States would not need the support of any country
besides Turkey for such an operation, he added that to get this support,
the United States needs to have serious consultations with Turkey.
In the same program, Mr. Woolsey also asserted that Iraq had connections
that lay behind last September's attacks on the United States.
* Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus president Mr. Rauf Denktash harshly
criticized European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Mr. Gunther
Verheugen's on Monday regarding his recent statement that no one could
prevent Cyprus' full European Union membership, reported the daily
"We are asking for a partnership under conditions of equality", Mr.
Denktas said. He met again with Greek Cypriot leader Mr. Glafcos Clerides
on Tuesday as part of the direct talks, which began on January to find a
settlement to the Cyprus issue.
The Hurriyet reported that Mr. Denktas also said on Tuesday that the
model exemplified by the Balkan states of Serbia and Montenegro could work
in Cyprus. "Montenegro and Serbia's relationship is close to what we
want", he added, "recognizing each other while still having a unifying
effect". But one spokesman for the Cypriot Greek administration rejected
this model on the grounds that it lay outside the guidelines set down by
the United Nations.
On Thursday, United Nation's Special Envoy for Cyprus Mr. Alvaro de Soto
briefed Turkish officials about the process of the direct talks, reports
Mr. de Soto met with Turkish foreign affairs minister Mr. Ismail Cem and
undersecretary Mr. Ugur Ziyal and remarked that he believed a permanent
solution would absolutely be reached on the island. He added that the
island's two leaders had made significant progress.
* The Turkish parliament passed the Borrowing Law this week. The law is
one of the pre-conditions for the International Monetary Fund to grant 1.1
billion dollars in additional loans to Turkey in April.
International Monetary Fund foreign felations director Mr. Tom Dawson
stated on Thursday that Turkey has made a good start in implementing its
new economic program, reported the Cumhuriyet.
On the other hand, Turkish Businessmen and Industrialists Association
president, Mr Turncay Ozilhan said that despite some improvements,
Turkey's economy was still on a knife's edge, reported the Star. The
business leader added that in such a situation, just one mistake could put
Turkey in danger of becoming another Argentina.
* To help Turkey's entry into the European Union, the Turkish parliament
passed several other laws.
Under the new laws, the banning of political parties was made more
difficult. Instead of immediate closure, the courts can now cut off their
state funding as a first step.
Also, criminal suspects will have greater access to defense lawyers,
while police and security services who are found to have tortured suspects
will be held financially liable for some of the damages.
Other laws passed will ease restrictions on freedom of speech, but
Kurdish and human rights campaigners claim the measures are inadequate.
There is no change to the ban on broadcasting and education in Kurdish, a
key demand of the European Union.
The death penalty also remains in force until further decisions are
* Speaking at an East-West Institute meeting organized by the Eurasia
Strategy Group last week, Turkey's foreign affairs minister Mr. Ismail Cem
said that Turkey had two goals:
- to obtain European Union membership and,
- to become a center in Eurasia, reported the Hurriyet.
Mr. Cem also said, "I believe that as long as Turkey has good relations
with the European Union, this will positively affect Turkey's relations
with the Balkans and Eurasia."
He added that while Turkey maintains good relations with the Middle East
and Eurasia, Turkey's image in the European Union would improve.
* Greece and Turkey signed a historic gas pipeline deal on Thursday. Once
the pipeline is built, Turkey will supply Greece with five hundred
thousand cubic meters of natural gas a day.
Two hundred kilometers of the pipeline will be within Turkey and
eighty-five kilometers on Greek soil. The pipeline has symbolic
importance-a physical link bringing the two countries together.
The pipeline may also help Turkey in becoming a regional energy hub
drawing oil and gas from central Asia and distributing it to Europe and
* Speaking at the Forum Istanbul conference on Wednesday Prime Minister
Mr. Bulent Ecevit called on the international community to bring an end to
the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The forum theme's is "Marching Towards 2003."
Mr. Ecevit also said that Turkey was keeping in constant contact with
both sides in order to bring them together.
In addition, Mr. Ecevit spoke about the government's efforts to bring
about an economic recovery and emphasized that the tripartite government
coalition was not acting in a "politics as usual" manner.
Pointing back a few years to the economic crises in Asia and Russia,
Turkey's devastating earthquakes and last September's terrorist attacks,
Mr. Ecevit stated that the Turkish government had steadfastly continued to
pursue its policies in the face of these events and that finally, it had
begun to get positive results.
Mr. Ecevit also commented on the fact that inflation and interest rates
had begun to fall while the value of the Turkish lira and export revenue
ARTS AND CULTURE NEWS
* Anatolian News Agency reports that Turkey's culture minister Mr.
Istemihan Talay left early on Friday for Belgium to attend opening of
painting exhibition of Professor Dr. Ergin Inan in Brussels.
* Anatolian News Agency says that a painting which is believed to be by
famous Spanish artist Salvador Dali was found in Aksaray in central Turkey
* AA A total of 294,596 tourists visited the sunny Mediterranean province
of Antalya since the beginning of this year, Antalya Governor Ertugrul
Dokuzoglu announced on Monday, Anatolian Agency says.
Last year a total 4.1 million people visited Antalya, making the most
sought after destination in Turkey
* Fourth World Turkish Businessmen Convention will be held in Istanbul
between April 25-27 by World Turkish Businessmen's Foundation and Turkish
Foreign Trade Foundation (TDV) with the cooperation of Foreign Ministry
and Foreign Trade Undersecretariat
* The 21st Istanbul film Festival will take place between 13 through 28
In this year's competition part of the Festival twelve films will be
competing in the category of "art and artist".
Some of the other competition and noncompetition categories are:
- Arts and the Film
- Film Looks at Film
- Film in Literature
- Erotic Stories IV
- Nazim Hikmet Is 100 Years Old
- Music in the Films
- Remembering the Masters
- The Young Stars of the World Film
- From the World Festivals
- The Mirror of Our Age: Human Rights
- Turkish Film 2001-2002
* Ms. Esmeray, one of the few black singers of Turkey, has passed away
this week. Ms. Esmeray was suffering from cancer of the brain.
Ms. Esmeray was 52 years old.
There was a ceremony in her honor in the AKM Great Hall attended by her
colleagues in the art world.
Her burial services took place in Istanbul's Levent mosque. Civilians
and Turkish military personnel carried her coffin to the hearse.
The chief of staff all the Turkish armed forces general Huseyin
Kivrikoglu were among the people who sent flowers to her funeral.
* The Fourth International Theater Festival has started on March 27 is
The Festival is featuring plays enacted by 12 theater companies. Four of
these companies are from outside of Turkey.
Among the countries represented are: Bulgaria, Greece, France and
The Festival will end on April 27.
* The town of Side on the Mediterranean coast is getting a new museum.
The director of the Side Museum Ms. Melek Yildiz Turan says that the
10,000 artifacts they have are beyond the capacity of the current museum
of about 175.
Side's history goes back thousands of years.
See the following for photographs of Side:
* Kubaba archeological documentary film festival has started in Antalya on
March 29, and will end on Sunday.
Festival will feature 33 films from France, England, Germany, Greece,
Italy, Spain, a chipped, Iran and Turkey.
The Suna Kirac Mediterranean Cultures Research Center will host the
films. The public will be able to view them without charge.
The goal of the film festival is to share the historical richnesses that
constitute the common heritage of all mankind.
Exchange rate for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras:
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees C (Degrees F), Weather
Istanbul (Marmara Region)--------: 11/5 (52/41) Partially cloudy
Izmir (Aegean Region)------------: 17/7 (63/45) Partially cloudy
Antalya (Mediterranean Region)---: 17/9 (63/48) Showers
Ankara (Central Anatolian Region): 12/1 (54/34) Partially cloudy
Snow heights at skiing resorts:
Uludag (Bursa, Western Turkey) 79 inches
Kartalkaya (Bolu, Western Turkey) 59 inches
Palandoken (Erzurum, Eastern Turkey) 13 inches
Ilgaz (Kastamonu, North Central Turkey) 59 inches
Erciyes (Kayseri, Central Turkey) 33 inches
Sarikami$ (Kars, Eastern Turkey) 37 inches
(Bu duyurulari saat 17:30 da ve 18:30'da iki kez yayinlayin.)
(Duyurularda giri$ ucreti soz ediliyorsa, radyoda bunlari atlayin.)
*** Turkish American Association of California has partially
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charitable organization established to promote better
understanding between Americans and Turks.
If you have any questions about Turks and Turkey,
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or e-mail them at
*** Turkish American Association of California
Annual Membership Meeting & Spring Picnic
- Date: April 7, 2002
- Time: Picnic 12:30pm
- Time: Membership Meeting 3:00pm
- Place: Las Palmas Park
- Address: 850 Russet Dr.
- Address: Sunnyvale, CA
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