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x0x Turkish news for week ending 08 June 2002

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  • Turkish Radio Hour
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      x0x Turkish news for week ending 08 June 2002

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      A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:

      Saturdays at 5:00 P.M.
      KUSF FM 90.3, San Francisco

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      Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host today is Senem Ozer.

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      Edited for the Turkish Radio Hour by Sevda Kupoglu Aleckson

      * The private Turkish channel NTV reported that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and
      the main opposition leader Tansu Ciller did not attend Friday's summit held at
      the Presidential Palace to discuss Turkey?s candidacy for the European Union.
      After the three-hour long summit, the advisor to President Ahmet Necdet
      Sezer, Tacan Ildem, made a statement stressing that it had been a very
      constructive meeting with the leaders of most of Turkey?s political parties
      represented in the parliament.
      Mr. Ildem reported that Turkey is committed to gaining full membership of the
      European Union and that this membership was the common goal of all of the party
      leaders who attended the summit. Secretary General of the Democratic Left Party
      Hasan Gulay represented Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, still recovering from a
      series of illnesses. The leaders of the Nationalist Movement Party, Motherland
      Party, opposition Justice and Development Party, and Prosperity Party were
      present at the summit.
      Mr. Ildem said that a consensus had been reached over the rapid completion of
      the parliament work for the Constitutional and legislative changes required for
      the European Human Rights Convention and other European regulations. He also
      said that parliamentary committees and bodies working on EU related amendments
      should speed up work and bring them before the parliament.

      * The Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli spoke at a press
      conference after the summit in Ankara and confirmed earlier reports that his
      Nationalist Movement Party would not support changes to legislation sanctioning
      the abolishment of the death penalty or of allowing education or broadcasting in
      languages other than Turkish.

      * According to daily Milliyet, Turkey's president Mr. Ahmet Necdet Sezer is
      scheduled to pay an official visit to Iran during June 17 and 18. President
      Sezer will meet with the Iranian President Mohammad Khatami in Tehran. During
      the meeting, Sezer is expected to ask Khatami to ensure that no Iranian logistic
      support goes to the rebel Kurdish Workers Party militants.

      * All Turkish papers report that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is currently
      resting and carrying out his work at his office in Oran, Ankara. Mr. Ecevit
      said, his health condition is getting better and that he thanks his doctors' for
      their great efforts in getting him to recover.

      * According to Daily Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Motherland Party leader
      Mesut Yilmaz responded to Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli's recent harsh
      criticisms that no single party or person had an exclusive claim on patriotism.
      Mr. Yilmaz presented his views on Turkey's ongoing European Union membership
      discussions and stated that "today, Turkey is closer to European Union
      membership than it has ever been in all its history."
      He further stated that all our politicians and political leaders should think
      very hard to prevent Turkey from falling short of this target. Turkey must
      follow two guiding compasses to lead its way to the future. According to Mr.
      Yilmaz, one of these compasses is the European Union National Program and the
      other is the economic program that Turkey has been implementing.

      * The daily Cumhuriyet reported that Chief of General Staff General Huseyin
      Kivrikoglu met with his Russian counterpart officials in Moscow on Wednesday to
      discuss bilateral military and technical cooperation and the recent
      rapprochement between Russia and NATO.
      General Kivrikoglu and the Russian officials exchanged their views on
      cooperating in the fight against terrorism and against a number of
      organizations, which are currently carrying out activities in Turkey to support
      militants in Chechnya.

      * According to the daily Cumhuriyet, U.S. Special Representative to the United
      Nations Ambassador John Negroponte met with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and
      other high-level officials and discussed a number of significant issues such as
      the threat of international terrorism, Iraq, Cyprus, Afghanistan and the Middle
      Speaking to journalists after his meetings, Mr. Negroponte expressed the
      continued U.S. support for United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's efforts
      to help the peace talks on Cyprus and stressed the necessity for reaching
      permanent peace and stability on the island.

      * In a press conference in Brussels, the commissioner responsible for the
      European Union expansion called on the Union candidate countries to boost their
      efforts on administrative and judicial reforms, reported the daily Cumhuriyet.
      He stressed that the candidate countries should expedite their work to fulfill
      the Union requirements.
      The European Union is planning to announce the countries, which can start
      their accession negotiations at the Copenhagen summit to be held at the end of
      this year.

      * According to the daily Cumhuriyet, U.S. Special Coordinator to Cyprus Tom
      Weston criticized the Greek Cypriot side for its recent purchase of Russian
      attack helicopters. Mr. Weston called the Greek Cypriots' recent move "a
      mistake" especially in the light of the ongoing peace talks.
      Weston stated that he is planning to visit Turkey and Greece and he still
      believes that the sides can reach an agreement on some basic issues by the end
      of June. He further added, "no matter what the results are at that time, the
      peace talks must continue.?

      * Star reported that Justice and Development Party leader Mr. Tayyip Erdogan
      spoke at his party's group meeting yesterday, said that the his party would give
      support to Turkey's European Union membership.
      Ahead of Friday's European Union government summit, Mr. Erdogan also said that
      the death penalty should be abolished. "We would also support if the death
      penalty issue is opened to signature for a constitutional amendment," he added.

      * Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Huseyin Dirioz said that Turkey is
      speeding up it plans to rebuild the Ottoman-era Ecyad Castle in Saudi Arabia,
      writes the daily Aksam.
      The historic castle was built in 1782 by the Ottomans to protect sacred sites
      for pilgrims in Mecca. However, early this year, the Saudi Arabian government
      had it demolished.
      As a result, Turkey launched new initiatives in league with U.N. agency UNESCO
      to help prevent the destruction of Turkey's international cultural heritage.

      * European aircraft production giant Airbus announced that it would soon begin
      manufacturing airplane parts in Izmir, reports the daily Sabah. The Airbus
      marketing director Mr. Schubert indicated that this production would be done
      under a new industrial partnership agreement within Izmir's Free Trade Zone.
      Mr. Schubert also said that Turkish Airlines had been one of the first users
      of Airbus' A-340 model and that Airbus plans to give THY an "excellence in
      management" award for its administration of the A-340.
      Airbus has nearly a 30% market share in Turkey.

      * Milliyet reports that state-owned Turk Telekom wants to expand abroad. Turk
      Telekom Director General Ibrahim Hakki Alpturk stated that Turk Telekom would
      bid jointly with Koc Information Group on stakes in the state Bulgarian Telecom
      Company and that they would be interested in the telecom companies of other
      The partnerships Turk Telekom will establish abroad will positively affect its
      own privatization and contribute to its own value.

      * A recent Business Week article writes about the accomplishments of Mr. Kemal
      Dervis since his appointment as the minister responsible for Turkey?s economy in
      February 2001.
      It states that his independence has helped him push through Turkey's deepest
      overhaul of its economy ever. He made sweeping bank reforms to ensure that
      state banks are no longer financial grab bags for Turkish politicians. Mr.
      Dervis also made sure that the central bank is finally independent.
      His reputation and top-level contacts in the U.S. and European financial
      community have helped nail down $16 billion in new loans from the International
      Monetary Fund.
      While Mr. Dervis is enjoying stellar popularity ratings, he may go down in
      history as the Ataturk of Turkish economics.


      Exchange rate for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras:



      * A penalty kick in the 86th minute of Turkey's World Cup Group C opener
      yesterday resulted in the national team losing 2-1 to Brazil, a country which
      has won the World Cup four times.
      Speaking to reporters after the match, Turkish National Team Coach Senol Gunes
      refused to criticize the referee but described the penalty kick decision as "an
      Turkey will next face Costa Rica on Sunday's World Cup play.


      * Excavations in one of the oldest settlements will resume at the end of June,
      reports NTV.
      The site is in central Turkey in a locality called Catalhoyuk, and Stanford
      University's Dr. Ian Hodder are headeding the excavations. Dr. Ian Hodder will
      be leading a team of 60 people.
      According to Dr. Hodder excavations at the site started in 1958 but then there
      was a long recess from 1960s until 1996.
      Last year Dr. Hodder and his team focused on the many buildings that were
      adapted to changes throughout history, working their way through the layers of
      construction. The team also unearthed in the ground level of buildings some
      seventy graves last year.
      Catalhoyuk, a Neolithic Age Tumulus, has revealed samples of the world's first
      structured house, unique architecture, sacred traditions and buildings and
      historical firsts in fabric making, agriculture and animal breeding.
      Scientists are estimating that the settlement dates back to 9000 years ago.

      * Turkish police have detained six persons in relation to the smuggling and
      attempted sale of another painting by the Spanish master Pablo Picasso, in this
      case believed to be authentic.
      Turkish security forces have seized more than 10 works reputedly by Picasso
      over the last 18 months, though many have proved to be forgeries and evaluations
      are still being carried out on the others.
      The flood of painting coming into Turkey is supposedly to have originated in
      Iraq, which reputedly looted large numbers of art works from Kuwait when it
      invaded that country in 1990.

      * As we reported last week, the Topkapi Palace Museum received a substantial
      award from the Koc Foundation.
      The director of the museum is saying that they will spend the money to
      earthquake proof the museum's two depots, and renovate the air-conditioning

      * Turkey's ministry of culture is participating in two international book fairs.
      One of the fairs is taking place in Seoul, Korea between June 7-12 and the
      other one is in St. Petersburg, Russia between June 19-22.
      Turkey will be participating in these fairs for the first time. The Turkish
      display will have 250 books covering culture, arts, history and tourism.

      * A German crew is arriving in Turkey next week to make a documentary film about
      Turkey's historical and natural sites in and around Cappadocia and the Aegean
      The film will cost one million Euros and the viewers of VOX, one of Germany's
      most popular channels, will see it during this summer.
      A Turkish-owned travel agency in Germany is sponsoring the making of the film.

      * Turkey's prime ministry's archives are displaying some of its rare historical
      holdings for the first time in history.
      The Anatolian News Agency is reporting that among the items to the displayed
      is an edict by one of Islam's first four caliphs ordering the protection of
      Christians in Jerusalem.
      Caliph Omar's edict is dated 699.

      * Turkey's Cinema and Audiovisual Culture Endowment has put together the Sixth
      International Environmental Film Festival.
      The festival has started on June 5th and will continue through June 13th.
      More than 50 films from many countries of the World are participating in the
      The festival is sponsored by the Garanti Bank of Turkey. Turkey's ministry of
      culture and the World Wildlife Fund have endorsed the festival.

      * The 30th International Istanbul Music Festival has started on Friday. The
      festival will continue until July 1st.
      There will be 23 performances during the festival featuring numerous renowned
      orchestras and musicians.
      If you are heading to Turkey this year, be sure to include some of the
      performances in your itinerary.


      (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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      understanding between Americans and Turks.

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