x0x Turkish news for week ending 27 April 2002
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 27 April 2002
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Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host today is Fuad Tokad
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Edited for the Turkish radio hour by Sevtap Schreff
* According to the Anatolian Agency Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister
Ismail Cem returned to the Turkish capital Ankara late on Thursday after
wrapping up his two-day visit to the Middle East together with his Greek
counterpart George Papandreou.
Palestinian Ambassador to Turkey Fouad Yaseen and Israeli Ambassador to
Turkey David Sultan welcomed Mr. Cem at Ankara's Esenboga Airport.
During their visits to Jerusalem, Ramallah and Tel Aviv, Mr. Cem and Mr.
Papandreou met Palestinian Head of State Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres and
Arafat's Chief Negotiator Saib Erakat and many Israeli and Palestinian
Also during the visit, the two foreign affairs Ministers called on
Israel to stop military incursions into Palestinian territories, and asked
Palestinians to strongly condemn and curb the violence against Israelis.
The daily Hurriyet says that the two foreign affairs ministers also
recommend that Israelis and Palestinians should convene an international
peace conference and work in coordination with the US on a proposal to
establish a Mideast peacekeeping force.
While meeting the Israeli prime minister Mr. Sharon, he told them "We
are ready to make difficult concessions, adding, I hope that one day we
can visit your countries together with the Palestinians."
* One headline in the Turkish daily Hurriyet on Friday said that "Cem and
Papandreou bring Aegean spirit of reconciliation to Mideast." However, the
picture between neighboring Greece and Turkey may not be that rosy.
Although the Turkish and Greek foreign affairs minister's wanted to make
a point with their visits to Israel and Palestine that the two countries
are finding ways to cooperate rather fight, the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet
wrote on Friday that the Turkish intelligence reports are still pointing
to significant Greek support for the rebel Turkish Kurds.
Also, in an interview with the publication Defense Weekly, the defense
minister of Greece said that Turkey is still the biggest threat to its
country, and that Greece will arm itself to fend off a Turkish aggression.
The Turkish defense minister said that he will respond to his Greek
counterparts remarks in due time.
* The Turkish Daily News reports that the Turkish Parliament has passed an
amendment for a prison amnesty law that could lead to the release of Mr.
Mehmet Ali Agca.
The Italian authorities convicted Mr. Agca of the attempted murder of
Pope John Paul II in 1981. He served 19 years in jail in Italy and was
pardoned in 2000.
He is currently serving sentences in Turkey for killing a journalist and
Nearly 20,000 Turkish prisoners were freed by an amnesty in December
2000. The amendment, which passed late on April 25, 2002 was followed by
complaints that the previous amnesty unfairly discriminated between
A court ruled at the time that Agca, who shot Pope John Paul II in St.
Peter's Square in the Vatican in 1981, could not benefit from that amnesty
but he and many other prisoners said they would appeal that decision.
Writing on the amendment, the banner of the Turkish daily newspaper
Milliyet read "We are ashamed".
It called on the Turkish president to veto any law that could free Mr.
Agca and Mr. Haluk Kirci, a right-wing hitman accused of murdering seven
The amnesty in 2000 was part of a major overhaul of Turkey's overcrowded
prison system as the country seeks to improve human rights in order to
qualify for European Union membership.
We just learned late Saturday that the Turkish president vetoed the
* According to the Turkish Daily News, a recent opinion poll conducted by
the research company Sonar shows that the pro-Islamist Justice and
Development Party is the leading party in Turkey. The center-left
Republican People's and center-right True Path parties closely follow the
Justice and Development Party
Surveying 1,562 people in 10 provinces of Turkey, the poll revealed that
the Justice and Development Party would receive 18.17 percent of the total
votes, while the Republican People's Party would get 16.84 percent and the
True Path Party would obtain 14.45 percent if the elections were held
The three coalition partners, the Motherland, the Nationalist Action
and the Democratic Left parties are seen below the 10 percent national
threshold in the poll.
Mr. Besim Tibuk's center-right Liberal Democratic Party showed a
significant rise in terms of votes by 7 percent in the poll.
Pro-Islamist Contentment Party has been the least desired party with
3.01 percent share of the vote. The poll revealed that Mehmet Ali Bayar,
who will be the new leader of the center-right Democratic Turkey Party in
the following days, is not recognized by Turkish people.
Some 62 percent of those surveyed do not know Bayar. Those who believe
that Bayar would be successful are 24 percent, while those who confides in
him are 5 percent.
* The public opinion polls may look good for the Justice and Development
Party but the legal arena seems to be full of impediments for its rise to
power in Turkey, at least under the leadership of Mr. Erdogan.
As we reported last week, Turkey's Constitutional court recently ruled
that Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not eligible to lead the Justice and
The private Turkish television news channel NTV reported more bad news
for Mr. Erdogan this week: The chief prosecutor of the Ankara State
Security Court has opened a second investigation on Mr. Recep Tayyip
Erdogan, for allegedly insulting the Turkish Armed Forces.
State Security Court prosecutor Mr. Nuh Mete Yuksel is inquiring into
whether comments made by Mr. Erdogan in a speech given in Germany nine
years ago constitute an offense.
On April 25th, Mr. Erdogan made a statement to the State Security Court
Prosecutor's office in which he denied insulting the military. However,
after making his statement, Chief Prosecutor Mr. Nuh Mete Yuksel applied
to the court to have Mr. Erdogan detained, saying his comments were not
mere political criticism and the insults made in the tape were
The State Security Court rejected Mr. Yuksel's request. The prosecutor
has said that he will appeal the decision within a week.
Also, Turkey's Interior Ministry has started an investigation into a
1992 speech not Mr. Erdogan delivered in the Black Sea city of Rize. The
inquiry is looking into who recorded the tape of the speech and why no
investigation was conducted at the time.
* The European Committee to Prevent Torture has released a report on April
25th, dealing with its visits to Turkish prisons in early September last
year, including to Imrali Island where the rebel Kurdish separatist leader
Mr. Abdullah Ocalan is being held, reports Turkey's private NTV channel.
The European Committee to Prevent Torture report said that there had
been positive and important developments made by the Turkish government
and that cooperation with the European Committee to Prevent Torture had
Despite the positive steps made towards giving more transparency in
prisons in Turkey, the report said that the problems in new high security
F-type prisons had not ended.
The group called for authorities to allow prisoners access to libraries
in groups of nine for at least one and half-hours every day. It also said
that there were allegations of mistreatment in some F-type prisons.
The report praised the recently legislated amendments to the Turkish
Constitutional dealing with conditions of persons detained or arrested by
security forces and said there had been very positive developments in
* According to NTV news, Turkey's Prime Minister Mr. Bulent Ecevit during
his speech on April 23rd at a reception to mark National Sovereignty and
Children's Day said "I have no early election on my agenda. But do not
know about others".
Mr. Ecevit added that there was also little possibility of reducing the
numbers of ministers in the cabinet and stressed that Turkey was going
through a sensitive economic time where such a move would rock political
The Turkish Premier stated that his Democratic Left Party and the junior
coalition partner the Motherland Party had always been against capital
"This has nothing to do with Abdullah Ocalan or some one else, this is
an issue of principle," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Devlet Bahceli, also attending the reception,
stated that Turkey had done its homework in order to meet the road map set
out by the European Union for Turkey to gain membership, and said that no
on should claim otherwise.
He slammed the European Commission for funding the production of
brochures where outlawed extremist organizations with a violent track
records such as the Revolutionary People's Liberation Front and the Maoist
Marxist Leninist Turkish Communist party were presented as legitimate
political parties in Turkey.
* News reports are indicating some discord between the three Turkish
parties in the ruling government coalition. According to an NTV report, in
a promotional video entitled "Reflections of coherent and responsible
politics" produced by the Nationalist Action Party, the far right accused
its coalition partners the Democratic Left and Motherland parties of
altering legislative amendments after they had been approved by the three
coalition party leaders.
The tape in particular criticizes the junior coalition partner
Motherland Party on the alterations made to the notorious article 312 of
the Turkish Penal Code where the draft was changed in the general assembly
debates. Article 312 deals with cases relating to persons or organizations
inciting hatred based on differences of class, race or religion.
The Nationalist Action Party video also claimed that, under the banner
of bringing Turkey's laws in line with those of the European Union, Cyprus
was being sacrificed.
As part of its bid to gain membership of the European Union, Turkey is
required to adopt similar legal standard to those of the bloc.
However, the tape stressed that Nationalist Action Party had put its
signature to every law passed in relation to Turkey's candidacy to the
* The Turkish daily Hurriyet reports that more than ten thousand
Australians and New Zealanders, joined by hundreds of Turks, gathered
before dawn to honor those who fell in the eight months of the Gallipoli
Campaign of World War One.
The Australian Governor General Peter Hollingsworth, spoke of the
friendship that has developed between the one-time enemies, Australia and
Turkey, stemming from the respect that the soldiers of the two countries
had gained for each other on the battlefield.
An officer of the Turkish Armed Forces read an address written in 1934
by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the then President of Turkey, saying that the
soldiers of the many foreign countries who were killed while serving
during the campaign and who are buried on the peninsula are now lying in a
The Gallipoli Campaign, or Canakkale Savasi as it is known in Turkey,
was the effort of the Allied forces to drive the Ottoman Empire out of the
At dawn on 25 April, 1915, the first waves of Allied troops, men of the
Australian Imperial Force, landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula at Ari Burnu.
They were soon followed ashore by thousands of New Zealand soldiers. Soon
after dawn, at the toe of the peninsula, British troops conducted another
series of landings.
Though advancing rapidly against strong Ottoman opposition, the
Australian landing was thwarted by a 34-year-old Turkish officer, Mustafa
Kemal Ataturk. Further south, the British troops were also halted by the
After a series of bloody battles, the allied forces evacuated the
Peninsula, the Australian and New Zealand troops withdrawing on the night
of December 19-20 and the British on January 8-9.
* The Anatolian Agency reports that Turkey's state minister responsible
for economy Mr. Kemal Dervis who is currently in the United States met
late on Thursday with U.S. Federal Reserve Board chairman Mr. Alan
The state minister earlier stated that it was important for him to have
prominent economist Mr. Greenspan listen to his opinions about the
economic situation in the World.
Mr. Dervis who had his first meeting with Mr. Greenspan since he was
appointed as Turkey's state minister for economy met also with
International Monetary Fund managing director Mr. Horst Koehler and the
World Bank president Mr. James Wolfensohn.
Exchange rate for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras:
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees C (Degrees F), Weather
Istanbul (Marmara Region)--------: 20/9 (68/48) Partially cloudy
Izmir (Aegean Region)------------: 23/12 (73/54) Clear
Antalya (Mediterranean Region)---: 23/12 (73/54) Clear
Ankara (Central Anatolian Region): 20/6 (68/43) Clear
Snow heights at skiing resorts:
Uludag (Bursa, Western Turkey) 4 inches
Kartalkaya (Bolu, Western Turkey) 0 inches
Ilgaz (Kastamonu, North Central Turkey) 10 inches
Erciyes (Kayseri, Central Turkey) 6 inches
Sarikami$ (Kars, Eastern Turkey) 30 inches
ARTS AND CULTURE
* The April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day was celebrated
throughout the Turkey and in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as
well as at Turkey's foreign missions with a wide variety of ceremonies.
Also, a reception was held to commemorate the 82nd anniversary of the
opening of the Turkish Grand National Assembly in the Turkish capital
* The daily Aksam reports that Dr. Ahmet Vekif Alp, an advisor to Prime
Minister Bulent Ecevit of Turkey, has been elected Eastern European
director for the American Institute of Architects, the American Institute
of Architects announced this week.
Dr. Alp will assume the post at a ceremony in Amsterdam next month. The
American Institute of Architects is one of the most prominent and
internationally active organizations in the field of architecture.
* This years Turkish Theater Festival, the fifth staging of the annual
event, is slated for May 1-12 in Amsterdam, reports the daily Cumhuriyet.
The festival is organized through the joint efforts of the Dutch Culture
Ministry, the Turkish-Dutch Theater Foundation and the Amsterdam
Municipality with the aim of promoting bilateral cultural relations.
* Organizers of the 55th annual Cannes Film Festival have announced the
official selection of films for this year. The Turkish daily Cumhuriyet
says that the Turkish director Zeki Demirkubuz's Confession will be
screened under the category "Un Certain Regard".
In addition, La Mort en Exil, a film by Turkish director Ayten Mutlu
Saray, will be screened under the category Cinefondation in which more
than a dozen short and mini-feature films from film schools will compete.
See http://www.festival-cannes.org/index.php?langue=6002#lmgs for more.
* The Anatolian News agency reports that Mr. Filiz Otyam, a leading
Turkish artist, will participate in the First Artemision Weaving
Exhibition in Germany with one of her authentic weavings entitled
Edited for the Turkish radio hour by Mark Nowak
* Turkish Futbol - Premier Division
Week 32 Matches:
G.Birligi 1-1 Besiktas
Denizlispor 1-1 Istanbulspor
Malatyaspor 2-1 Bursaspor
G.Antep 4-0 Göztepe
Galatasaray 1-0 Ankaragucu
Rizespor 0-1 Samsunspor
Antalyaspor 0-0 Diyarbakirspor
Fenerbahce 3-0 Trabzonspor
Kocaelispor 4-3 Yozgatspor
Week 33 Matches:
Bursaspor - Fenerbahce
Istanbulspor - Rizespor
Yozgatspor - G.Antep
Kocaelispor - Galatasaray
Besiktas - Göztepe
Trabzonspor - G.Birligi
Diyarbakirspor - Malatyaspor
Samsunspor - Antalyaspor
Ankaragucu - Denizlispor
Standings in the league
1. Galatasaray 68
2. Fenerbahce 66
3. Besiktas 68
4. Ankaragucu 69
5. Denizlispor 60
6. Bursaspor 46
7. Kocaelispor 45
8. G.Antep 54
9. G.Birligi 44
10. Istanbulspor 30
11. Diyarbakirspor 40
12. Trabzonspor 47
13. GÃ¶ztepe 3
14. Malatyaspor 33
15. Rizespor 39
16. Samsunspor 29
17. Antalyaspor 44
18. Yozgatspor 45
* Turkish men's basketball league:
1 Efes Pilsen 42
2 Ülker 42
3 Darüssafaka 39
4 Türk Telekom 35
5 Oyak Renault 34
6 Karsiyaka 33
7 Besiktas 32
8 Galatasaray 32
9 Fenerbahçe 29
10 ITÜ 28
11 TED Kolej 26
12 Büyük Kolej 24
ITU tied the playoff series at 2-2 after a home victory over Besiktas in
Game 2: ITU 96-92 Besiktas
Fenerbahce took the lead in playoffs with a 2-1 over Galatasaray.
Game 3: Galatasaray 87-100 Fenerbahce
Turkish Cup Final: Efes Pilsen won their 2nd game in a row with a 78-74
victory over Darussafaka. Efes Pilsen won the cup for the 6th time in
their history. The key of the game was Efes Pilsen's foul shots, they
were huge from the foul line: (32/35) while Dacka only scored 19 points
from the line.
* Men's European League
Group F G W L PF PA Pts
Kinder Bologna 6 4 2 460 432 10
Efes Pilsen 6 3 3 506 482 9
Real Madrid 6 3 3 500 528 9
Ural Great 6 2 4 516 541 8
Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv 6 4 2 410 370 10
Tau 6 4 2 496 472 10
CSKA 6 3 3 486 485 9
Ülkerspor 6 1 5 395 460 7
* Men's National Basketball - European Championship
W L PF PA Pts
Litvanya 5 4 1 475 353 9
Türkiye 5 4 1 385 372 9
Bulgaristan 5 3 2 454 438 8
Ukrayna 5 3 2 395 401 8
Isviçre 5 1 4 326 384 6
Hollanda 5 - 5 358 440 5
Italy Turkey 79-72
* NBA Playoffs
Sacramento Kings-Utah Jazz: Series tied 1-1
1: Sacremento Kings - Utah Jazz: 89-86
In 14 minutes, Hidayet Turkoglu had 7 points, 1 rebound and 0
2: Sacremento Kings - Utah Jazz: 86-93
In 15 minutes, Hidayet Turkoglu had 2 points, 4 rebounds and 0
* Turkish weightlifter Aylin Tasdelen, 53 kg, broke European records by
lifting 92.5, 112.5 and 205 kilograms in the snatch, clean-and-jerk and
overall categories respectively, during the 15th European Women's
Weightlifting Championship held in Antalya.
(Bu duyurulari saat 17:30 da ve 18:30'da iki kez yayinlayin.)
(Duyurularda giri$ ucreti soz ediliyorsa, radyoda bunlari atlayin.)
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