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x0x Turkish news for week ending 29 June 2002

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  • Turkish Radio Hour
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      x0x Turkish news for week ending 29 June 2002

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      A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:

      TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM
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      Ahmet Toprak edited today's news. Your host today is Kutay Kugay.
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      NEWS BRIEFS

      * President Bush sent a letter to the Turkish prime minister Mr. Bulent
      Ecevit, expressing U.S. appreciation for Turkey's assuming the command of
      the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, reports the
      Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
      President Bush added that Turkey's support for the U.S. war against
      terrorism reinforced good bilateral relations between the two countries.
      President Bush also said that Turkey constituted a good role model for
      the Islamic World.

      * Although shadowed by the Turks' preoccupation with the World Cup, debate
      on Turkey's potential membership in the European Union was still in the
      headlines of the Turkish papers last week.
      The results of a poll released on Thursday on European Union membership
      and the Copenhagen criteria fueled the debate further. The Turkish
      Economic and Social Studies Foundation had conducted the poll.
      The Foundation asked Turks whether they would like to see Turkey become
      a European union member country. 64 percent of the respondents answered
      "yes".
      However, 76 percent of the Turks did not know what the Copenhagen
      Criteria were.
      The Copenhagen Criteria include a set of guidelines and rules that
      countries have to adhere to to become a member of the European Union. In
      the words of the European Union officials these are:
      - Political: stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of
      law, human rights and respect for minorities;
      - Economic: a functioning market economy;
      - Incorporation of the Community acquis: adherence to the various
      political, economic and monetary aims of the European Union.
      Some of the political leaders in Turkey, even some in the ruling
      coalition government, object to adopting some of the criteria. For
      example, abolishment of the death penalty is being constantly debated on.
      The opinion poll was conducted in 17 provinces and 25 townships with
      face-to-face interviews polling 3,060 Turks

      * Turkish papers report that the Turkish prime minister Mr. Bulent Ecevit
      attended his party's parliamentary group meeting for the first time in two
      months. For the past two months, Mr. Bulent Ecevit has been ill and
      confined to home rest.
      Regarding the recent disputes between coalition partners concerning some
      of the Copenhagen criteria, the prime minister said:
      "I regret those disputes and the tension they have caused. Up to now,
      the coalition government has exhibited a harmony not seen in any other
      country in the world. The continuation of this is vital for Turkey. I
      request that my friends both from the Motherland Party and the Nationalist
      Action Party reestablish the harmony among us. "
      Responding to calls by opposition parties, Mr. Ecevit also said that he
      is opposed to early elections.

      * Mr. Ecevit may be opposed to early elections, however, the opposition
      parties keep asking him to step down and call for early elections.
      Speaking at her party's parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Turkey's
      main opposition True Path Party leader Mrs. Tansu Ciller said that it was
      time for Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to resign.
      Mrs. Ciller stated that Ecevit's political life was at an end and that
      3-way coalition government was unable to carry out its duties as a whole.

      * In his speech at a conference organized by the Turkish Economic and
      Social Studies Foundation, Armenia's Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Vartan
      Oskanyan called for Turkey to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia,
      reports the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
      Stating that Armenia was ready to improve its diplomatic relations with
      Turkey without putting forward any preconditions, Mr. Oskanyan said that
      Turkey and Armenia were the two countries which could greatly contribute
      to peace and stability in their region.
      Mr. Oskanyan was in Istanbul, Turkey to attend the Black Sea Economic
      Cooperation summit meeting.
      Turkey is backing Azerbaijan in its dispute with Armenia, and is
      blockading trade and transportation to the landlocked nation.
      Armenia has backed the separatist Armenia minority in Azerbaijan's Upper
      Karabakh region. The separatists and the sporting Armenia army have
      defeated Azeri forces several years ago, and invaded one-third of
      Azerbaijan's territory.
      Turkish officials are saying that any normalization of relations with
      Armenia would come after Armenia and the Armenian separatists of Upper
      Karabakh withdraw from Azerbaijan's territory.

      * Although at odds on several bilateral issues, Greeks and Turks are
      making progress in cooperating in certain fields.
      The daily Hurriyet reported on Friday that a second Turkish data
      processing company found a Greek partner.
      The Meteksan Systems, the leader in its field, signed an agreement on
      Thursday with Greece's Intracom and its Turkish subsidiary Gantek
      Technologies.
      Under the deal, Intracom will invest $20 million in Meteksan.

      * The daily Cumhuriyet reports that the state-owned Turkish company BOTAS
      Petroleum signed an agreement with Bulgarian and Romanian companies to
      export natural gas to these countries.
      Turkey will be receiving the natural gas from Russia, Iran and countries
      around the Caspian basin.
      Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Mr. Zeki Cakan said that
      Turkey is planning to apply to the European Union to receive financial
      assistance for the project.

      * Stating that Turkey had implemented deep structural reforms after being
      hit by an economic crisis last year, state minister responsible for the
      economy Mr. Kemal Dervis said on Wednesday that the implementation of
      these reforms, which were too difficult to be made during periods of
      stability, were the crisis silver lining.
      The Turkish daily Sabah reports that Mr. Dervis was speaking at the
      meeting on International Financial Reforms during the eighth Montreal
      Conference.
      Mr. Dervis argued in his speech that problems in Turkey's financial and
      banking sectors were major contributing factors behind the economic
      crisis. Mr. Dervis added, "In trying to solve these problems, we first
      worked to improve the situation of our public banks".

      * Mr. Kemal Dervis's view on the Turkish economy is shared by Schroder
      Salomon Smith Barney , according to the Turkish daily Aksam.
      On Monday Schroder Salomon Smith Barney released a report on the Turkish
      economy. The report says that the macroeconomic structure of the Turkish
      economy was good in spite of the market's sensitivities to political
      developments.
      In its analysis of Turkey's economy, Schroder Salomon Smith Barney is
      saying that it is possible for Turkey to reach its inflation target out 35
      percent this year and yet achieve a three percent targeted growth. The
      analysis says that the inflation rate may even be lower than 35 percent.

      * Speaking of Turkish banks, the Associated Press says that, prosecutors
      on Friday demanded a record 4,727 years in prison for former Turkish
      president Mr. Suleyman Demirel's nephew, accusing him of embezzling money
      from his bank before it collapsed.
      Mr. Murat Demirel has been in jail since October awaiting trial for
      allegedly forming a gang to embezzle money from his collapsing Egebank.
      The bank collapse and allegations of corruption contributed to a deep
      financial crisis last year.

      EXCHANGE RATE

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

      1,585,000

      WEATHER

      High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather

      Istanbul (Marmara Region)--------: 81/68 Showers
      Izmir (Aegean Region)------------: 97/73 Clear
      Antalya (Mediterranean Region)---: 93/77 Clear
      Ankara (Central Anatolian Region): 90/59 Partially cloudy

      Trabzon (Black Sea) 61
      Kumkoy (Marmara Sea) 73
      Bodrum (Aegean Sea) 73
      Alanya (Mediterranean Sea) 79

      ARTS AND CULTURE

      * The daily Hurriyet reports that The 19th Aydin Dogan International
      Cartoon Competition ended on Thursday. This year the competition had
      terrorism as its theme to commemorate last September's terrorist attacks.
      1,360 artists from 90 countries participated in the competitions with
      about 3100 cartoons. The competitions Preliminary Council presented 386
      cartoons by 330 artists to the jury.
      The jury, chaired by Czech artist Miroslav Bartak in Antalya, then made
      its evaluation and announced the results.
      The jury rewarded the first prize to Turkish cartoonist Mehmet Ates
      Gulcugil, the second prize to Icelandic artist Eythor Stefansson, and the
      third prize to Cuban artist Alberto Morales Ajubel.
      A selection of winning and distinguished cartoons will be exhibited at
      Antalyas Falez Hotel through July 5. The winning artists will receive
      their awards at a ceremony at the Ankara State Painting and Sculpture
      Museum on November 5.

      * A gold jewelry ensemble designed by Turkish artist Ms. Meltem Kurtalan
      was named among the top 34 designs at the prestigious Gold Virtuosi 2002
      Jewelry Design and Craftsmanship competition in Vicenza, Italy on Tuesday.
      According to the Turkish daily Star, the competition, organized by the
      World Gold Council, is considered the Oscar of gold jewelry design
      contests.
      Ms. Kurtalan's design had previously left behind 5,100 other contenders
      to take home first prize at Turkey's Gold Trends 2002 competition.

      * The winners of Spain's 17th Valencia International Young Cinema Festival
      were announced this week. Photograph, a movie by Turkish director Kazim
      Oz, received the festival's Special Jury Prize, reports the daily
      Cumhuriyet.

      * The daily Cumhuriyet also reported that works by two Turkish painters,
      Fikret Mualla and Tahsin, were up for sale at a recent international art
      auction in Paris.
      One of Tahsin's paintings, Yeni Cami (New Mosque), was considered the
      most expensive item on the auction block. In addition, eight paintings by
      Mualla were bid on at the art scale.

      * Very soon you will be able to say that you have stayed on the Noah's
      Arc.
      Turkey's minister of tourism Mr. Mustafa Tasar announced on Sunday that
      a replica of the biblical Noah's arc would be constructed in Agri, near
      Mt. Ararat where scripture says the ship came to rest, in Turkey' s east.
      The arc project will include facilities for tourist such as a museum, a
      restaurant, a conference hall and a library. With 500 beds, the facilities
      will also be able to house overnight visitors.

      * The World Federation of Travel Writers and Journalists has awarded its
      "Golden Apple" award to Turkey's Mt. Nemrut statues. The Federation
      decided on the award in its recent meeting in Moscow Russia.
      The Federation will present the award to Turkish officials in a ceremony
      scheduled for next year.
      The 2000-year-old statues have been included recently in UNESCO's World
      Heritage List.
      The list includes six other ancient ruins in Turkey.
      The governor of the province that the statues are located in says that
      they are unique in the World in combining eastern and Western cultures.
      The statues were built by the Kommagene kings who ruled the area 2000
      years ago.
      For more information about these incredible statues visit the pages
      maintained by the international Nemrud Foundation: http://www.nemrud.nl/ .

      SPORTS

      Edited for the Turkish Radio Hour by Mark Nowak

      * World Cup

      Turkey 1 - 0 Senegal Ilhan Mansiz (94')

      Turkey 0 - 1 Brazil Ronaldo (49')

      * There was no disgrace in defeat, with the Turks fighting the game out to
      the last moment. While there was no disgrace there was more than a degree
      of bewilderment as Turkish coach Senol Günes, persisted in fielding
      striker Hakan Sükür, who went the entire tournament scoreless and was more
      of a hindrance than a help to the Turkish cause. Günes defended his much
      criticized decision to persist with fielding Sükür rather than playing

      Ilhan Mansiz, scorer of the goal against Senegal that put Turkey into the
      semi-final. ?They are both very good players,? he said. ?This time I
      selected Sükür in the first half and we tried to control the game, in the
      second half we tried to score. Maybe I could have started both of them, it
      doesn?t matter to me.? The coach acknowledged that the inexperience of
      his players in big matches, but said that the expectations of home fans
      had added to the pressure on the team. ?Yes, there is a little bit of
      inexperience, but also there are the effects of the tension back home in
      Turkey. They are expecting a lot from us and this created a little bit of
      pressure on my players - this led to mistakes on the field.?

      * And in today's game against Korea, Turkish team prevailed with a score
      of three to two.
      The news agency's reported the first goal being the fastest in the
      history of the World Cup, occurring only 11 seconds into the game.

      * Celebrations erupted in both Seoul and Istanbul after Saturday's World
      Cup third-place game, with Korean fans celebrating their team's remarkable
      progress and Turkish fans joyously marking their nation's victory.
      In Seoul, fireworks illuminated the night sky as fans of the "Red
      Devils" crowded into the downtown area. An estimated two million fans
      waved flags, danced, sang the Korean national anthem and waved glowing
      neon sticks.
      No Asian team had reached the semifinals in the 72-year history of the
      World Cup. South Korea had not won a game in five previous appearances in
      the tournament.
      The Associated Press reports that at the end, players from both teams
      wrapped arms and ran around the field as the fans stood and cheered.
      Several Korean fans even waved Turkish flags, and the Korean players threw
      Hiddink in the air several times.

      * EuroCup 2004

      Draw:

      Group 7: Turkey, England, Slovakia, Macedonia, Liechtenstein

      * Turkey won two gold medals and a silver at the World Universities
      Freestyle Wrestling Championship in Edmonton, Canada. Fahrettin Ozata (19
      Mayis University) won the 74 kg-division and Fatih Cakiroglu (Marmara
      University) was the champion at 120 kg. At 96 kg, Osman Ozgun (19 Mayis)
      finished runner-up. In the overall team classification, Turkey was third
      behind Iran and the USA.

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      {29jun02.txt}
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