x0x Turkish news for week ending 13 July 2002
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x0x Turkish news for week ending 13 July 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 Senem Ozer
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send a blank email to:
Edited for the Turkish Radio Hour by Sevda Küpoglu Aleckson
* The political turmoil in Turkey that we have been reporting to you for
the past few weeks came to a head last week with mass resignations from
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's Democratic Left Party, the largest party in
the coalition government.
The resignations started after Mr. Bulent Ecevit fired Mr. Husamettin
Ozkan, his longtime trusted right-hand man from his post in the cabinet.
After the firing, Mr. Ozkan immediately resigned from his party. Several
ministers joined him in resigning from their posts and the Democratic Left
Among the notables was Turkey's foreign affairs minister Mr. Ismail Cem.
Resignations from the senior Democratic Left Party have now reached 46,
including seven ministers. The number of Democratic Left Party deputies
in the Turkish parliament fell to 82.
* According to the daily Turkiye, Mr. Kemal Dervis, the state minister
responsible for the Turkish economy, resigned from his cabinet position on
Thursday, as well. He made his decision to resign after a 20-minute
meeting with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. However, upon President Ahmet
Sezer's request, he withdrew his resignation. President Sezer convinced
him that Turkey needs him at a critical period for the economy. Mr. Kemal
Dervis is not a member of any political party.
Earlier on Friday, former Foreign Affairs Minister Ismail Cem, who
resigned from the cabinet and the Democratic Left Party, announced that
Mr. Kemal Dervis, former Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan and he
would be establishing a new social democratic party.
* While his party is disintegrating, and his coalition partners are
joining the opposition in calling for early elections, Turkey's Prime
Minister Bulent Ecevit is trying to hold on to power.
In an exclusive interview on a Turkish channel, Mr. Ecevit said that
he was trying to convince his coalition partner Mr. Devlet Bahçeli not to
push for early elections.
Mr. Ecevit claimed that the program of reforms the government has been
enacting would be endangered if the country went to the polls.
"If elections were to be held in November no one would think about
issues such as reforms. Turkey would lose a lot of time," Mr. Ecevit said.
Referring to the mass exodus of deputies from the Democratic Left Party,
Mr. Ecevit said he might consider standing down if the resignations were
Under normal conditions, Mr. Ecevit said he should have resigned after
the loss of so many seats but explained that the Nationalist Action Party,
now the largest bloc in the parliament, wanted him to stay on and he was
going to remain at his post to prevent a government crisis.
* Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit filled in the vacant posts in his
cabinet immediately. Turkey's President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has approved
the new appointments, reports the daily Turkiye.
The Democratic Left Party deputy Mr. Necdet Tekin became education
minister, while Ms. Melda Bayer and Mr. Mehmet Kocabatmaz were made state
ministers of the cabinet.
Ms. Melda Bayer became the first female minister in the current
Mr. Sükrü Sina Gürel has been appointed to the position of DeputyPrime
Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister.
* According to the daily Milliyet, the Nationalist Action Party leader
Mr. Devlet Bahceli met with Turkey's Supreme Board of Elections chairman
Mr. Tufan Algan. The Nationalist Action Party is one of the coalition
partners in the Turkish government.
At the meeting, Mr. Bahceli said that his party wanted early elections
to be held in November but Chairman Algan stated that two months would not
be adequate to prepare for the elections.
Mr. Bahceli stated that the Supreme Board of Elections needed a budget
of TL 35 billion before infrastructure services for early elections could
* The daily Cumhuriyet reports that the political turmoil resulting from
the recent wave of resignations and defections from the Democratic Left
Party is affecting Turkey's foreign relations as well. After foreign
affairs minister Mr. Ismail Cem's resignation, the President of the
European Commission Romano Prodi announced that he postponed his visit to
Turkey scheduled for next week.
Mr. Prodi is worried that the political gap opened by Mr. Ismail Cem's
resignation could not be filled.
Mr. Prodi is closely monitoring the latest developments in Turkey.
Mr. Prodi has conveyed to the Turkish officials that despite the recent
political uncertainty, the Turkish government was expected to continue its
reforms without deviating from the country's objectives regarding its
relations with the European Union.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz is also considering
delaying his three-day visit to Turkey scheduled to begin next week.
* According to Sabah, International Monetary Fund Turkey Desk chief Juha
Kahkonen met with State Minister for the economy Mr. Kemal Dervis and
Treasury Undersecretary Faik Oztrak.
Mr. Kahkonen made a statement that the current political uncertainty was
an internal Turkish problem and that the International Monetary Fund would
not intervene in internal affairs.
Mr. Kahkonen added that the International Monetary Fund would not
deviate from the economic program.
* The State Department Spokesman Phil Reeker stated that the US was
closely following recent political developments in Turkey, reports the
Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
"Turkey is one of the most important allies of the US as well as the
only Muslim country within NATO ", he said.
"This is why we place great importance on Turkey's domestic politics."
He added that the Turkish government was successful in implementing its
"The US will keep an eye on Turkey since we place high importance on
our relations with Turkey. " Mr. Reeker concluded.
* Daily Milliyet reports that the Turkish Industrialists and
Businessmen's Association chairman Mr. Tuncay Ozilhan met with Prime
Minister Bulent Ecevit and conveyed his worries on issues such as Turkey's
European Union accession process and the current economic program.
He told Mr. Ecevit that elections should be held as soon as feasible to
end the political uncertainty. Mr.Tuncay Ozilhan said that otherwise, the
Turkish economy will be hurt.
* According to the daily Turkiye, an Investment Consultation Council
Meeting to be held in Istanbul next Thursday has been canceled due to
recent political developments.
The meeting is of great importance for foreign investors in Turkey says
the daily Turkiye.
The meeting was organized on the initiative of the World Bank President
International Monetary Fund Executive Board Director Horst Kohler and
the heads of large international companies were invited to attend.
* The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus president Mr. Rauf Denktas
declared that if the international community maintained its biased
attitude towards the Cyprus issue, the problem will remain unresolved,
reported the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
Mr. Denktas was responding to a UN Security Council meeting evaluating
the direct talks process between Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos
Mr. Denktas charged that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and UN Envoy
Cyprus Alvaro de Soto continued to deny that no solution for the island
could be reached before an honest diagnosis is made of the issue.
* The daily Star reports that one of Turkey's deputy prime ministers and
Motherland Party leader Mr. Mesut Yilmaz spoke to the reporters before
his visit to Brussels to attend a meeting of the Convention for Europe's
Future and stated that Turkey was going through a time of political
crisis, but Motherland Party is doing its best to protect Turkey's
Mr. Yilmaz also said that he would meet with the leaders of political
parties next month in order to request the Turkish parliament for an
emergency meeting to discuss laws concerning the European Union.
* Daily Aksam reported that the chairman of the European Apparel and
Textile Organization announced the group' s support for Turkey's European
Union membership bid at a press conference in Istanbul.
The chairman said that the Turkish textile and ready-wear clothes
industry was important for European Apparel and Textile Organization and
the European Union members.
A letter from The European Apparel and Textile Organization this month
to the European Union Commission asked that Turkey's European Union bid be
* According to Daily Aksam, a final accord was signed yesterday for the
Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline Project.
The project is planning to transport crude oil from the Caspian Sea to
Ceyhan in Turkey through Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The parties signed the pipeline assurance bidding agreement of the
project. This will make Turkey a crossroads of international energy
corridors, Aksam said.
The agreement will now be sent to oil producer BP Amoco, which is acting
on behalf of the Main Export Pipeline Company .
* The private Turkish channel NTV reported that the decision of Mr. Kemal
Dervis not to resign until an election and his promise to keep the economy
recovery program in place appears to have calmed market jitters in Turkey:
Foreign currency rates have not reacted as expected to the current
volatile political developments.
The Istanbul Stock Exchange has not experienced any dramatic movement
this week. However, experts warn that high interest rates are an issue of
The dollar rate is standing at the TL 1,665,000 and the Istanbul Stock
Exchange has staged a slight recovery over yesterday's closing figure to
be 26 points up, standing at 8,773 points in the second session of trading
* President Clinton visited Turkey this week. He was guest of the
Turkish-American Businessmen's Association.
President Clinton gave a speech on Turkish-European-US relations
vis-a-vis the European Union at Istanbul's Ciragan Palace.
Saying that Turkey should do its utmost to join the European Union,
President Clinton stated that the Turkish nation should not allow the
recent political instability to make it pessimistic.
Underlining that there were a number of important issues before Turkey,
such as abolishing the death penalty, advancing human rights and granting
minorities greater freedom, the former president said:
"The European Union needs Turkey, just as Turkey needs it. Turkey must
also immediately address its problems. The world of the 21st century also
needs a modern Turkey as one of the most important protectors of
secularism and democratic values. "
Last time Mr. Clinton visited Turkey was right after the massive
earthquakes in 1999. Welcoming Clinton, deputy prime minister Mr. Mesut
Yilmaz joked that this time he had arrived in the midst of a political
* According to the daily Aksam, at a ceremony at the Pentagon, Turkey has
officially entered the Joint Strike Fighter project.
The Joint Strike Fighter program is planning to develop the warplane of
Speaking at the ceremony, the US deputy defense secretary Peter Aldridge
said, "this is a great day in terms of both Turkish-US relations and the
Joint Strike Fighter program."
Turkey joins Great Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway,
and Italy in this program.
Exchange rate for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras:
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Istanbul (Marmara Region)--------: 90/73 Clear
Izmir (Aegean Region)------------: 99/77 Clear
Antalya (Mediterranean Region)---: 95/75 Clear
Ankara (Central Anatolian Region): 86/63 Clear
SEA WATER TEMPERATURES
Trabzon (Black Sea) 70
Kumkoy (Marmara Sea) 72
Bodrum (Aegean Sea) 73
Alanya (Mediterranean Sea) 82
ARTS AND CULTURE
* The daily Cumhuriyet reports that young Turkish artists are
participating in "Manifesta 4", The European Biennial for Modern Arts, in
Among the Turkish artists are Halil Altindere with his movie "I Don't
Like Long Goodbyes," Esra Ersen with her film "This Is Disney World" and
Erden Kosova with his presentation "Istanbul, Not Constantinople".
The arts event runs through Aug. 25.
* Turkish authorities are accelerating their efforts to save the ancients
relics in the ruins of the antique city of Allianoi.
A nearby dam construction will inundate the ruins soon.
The ancient city was a major health center from about 6 B.C. to 11 A.D.
the accelerated excavations work is being done by 17 students of
archeology and 68 workers. The director of the nearby Pergamon Museum is
saying that soon there will be 120 workers.
The excavations already uncovered many priceless statues. See
Edited for the Turkish Radio Hour by Mark Nowak
* Galatasaray defeated Scotland's Dundee 3-1 at their Austrian training
* The Italian soccer team Inter Milan is prepared to offer cash plus
midfielder Okan Buruk for Hasan and Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad is willing
to pay $28 million for him.
* UEFA is overhauling the Champions league. The European soccer union is
scrapping the second group phase of the Champions League from the 2003-04
season in a bid to ease fixture congestion, UEFA president Lennart
Johansson said after a two-day meeting of its executive committee.
The second phase involving 16 teams will become a straight two-legged
knockout competition with home and away matches.
* Darussafaka, third in the Turkish League last season, has finalized its
entry in the new Union of European Basketball League's Cup.
* Turkey's Mehmet Okur was the top scorer for the Detroit Pistons as they
beat the Milwaukee Bucks 69-67 in the second match of their summer league
campaign. Mehmet finished with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks.
for more on Mehmet.
(Bu duyurulari saat 17:30 da ve 18:30'da iki kez yayinlayin.)
(Duyurularda giri$ ucreti soz ediliyorsa, radyoda bunlari atlayin.)
*** The Monterey Bay Chapter of TAAC,Turkish American Association of
5th Annual California Turkish Arts and Culture Festival
August 3-4, 2002, Sat & Sun, 11 am 6 pm
Monterey Custom House Plaza next to the Fisherman's Wharf
Featuring many fun activities for the whole family, the two-day festival
will include Turkish music, movies, and folk dances, Turkish arts and
crafts exhibits and vendor booths, food and drinks and many special
activities for children.
This year, a very fun and competitive event for the kids will take place
in our children tent. The organization committee will pick the best three
drawings of the kids and give small presents to the winners. Additionally,
the first-place winning drawing will be used as the flyer pattern for the
next years festival.
As always, we rely on your support to be able to organize a successful
festival. Please be a volunteer and/or a sponsor of the festival to make
this festival happen.
For more information, please contact Ilge Ozersen, the executive director
of the festival, at (831) 648-9350.
We are looking forward to seeing you with your families and friends at the
*** Turkish American Association of California has partially
underwritten today's program. TAAC is a non-profit
charitable organization established to promote better
understanding between Americans and Turks.
If you have any questions about Turks and Turkey,
give them a call:
or e-mail them at
*** Azeri Picnic in Saratoga, 14 July
Azeri Society of Northern California
Cordially invites you to a picnic
Date: July 14 2002
Time: 11 AM to sundown
Place: Saratoga Springs Park
Menu: Doner kebab, Azeri tea, Azeri desert "Letife"
Lots of activities!
*** AEGEAN FRIENDS
Arkadas * Filoi
is a social-cultural group of Greeks,
Turks, Cypriots, and other peoples of good will,
coming together to
celebrate their rich heritage, explore common roots,
and promote peace in the Aegean region.
Share music, food, and conversation.
Dance. Create art.
Discover the generosity of the heart.
For more information contact
San Francisco, CA 94114-0022
or e-mail: aegfriends@...
Our website is at: http://members.aol.com/aegfriends
*** Planning to go to Turkey? Take a look at our Web pages that is full of
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