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x0x Turkish news for week ending 25 January 2003

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  • Turkish Radio Hour
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      x0x Turkish news for week ending 25 January 2003

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      A service of the TURKISH RADIO HOUR, producer of:

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      KUSF FM 90.3, San Francisco

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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

      * Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party leader Recep Tayyip
      Erdogan was formally restored as head of his party on Thursday, less than
      24 hours after the Turkey's top court ruled him disqualified.
      The Justice and Development Party leadership met on Thursday morning,
      hours before Mr. Erdogan left for a world economic forum in Davos,
      Switzerland, and formally re-elected him to the chairmanship,
      constitutional procedures this time duly observed.
      The Constitutional Court on Wednesday said Mr. Erdogan could not lead
      the party but said if he were re-elected he could assume the post again
      with full powers.
      Mr. Erdogan led his party to a landslide victory at the November
      elections. Mr. Erdogan was convicted in 1999 for inciting religious hatred
      and barred from politics but the law under which he was sentenced was
      amended after the November polls.
      In October, a lower court ordered Mr. Erdogan to step down as party
      chief because he violated laws by founding the party despite his
      conviction. Mr. Erdogan refused to step down but did resign as a founding
      member as the court requested.

      * Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is accusing the U.S. of double standards, says
      the private Turkish channel NTV.
      "It is hypocritical of the United States and other countries to demand
      Iraq get rid of its weapons of mass destruction while at the same time
      retaining arsenals of similar weapons themselves", the chairman of
      Turkey's governing party on Friday.
      Mr. Erdogan said that Turkey will wait for the United Nations Security
      Council to rule on Iraq before committing itself to backing and military
      strike against Baghdad.

      * While Mr. Erdogan was criticizing the U.S., on Thursday his close
      associate the Turkish prime minister was presiding over a "peace summit"
      attended by five other Middle Eastern countries.
      The summit was looking for peaceful solutions to the Iraqi crisis.
      At the end of the summit, the foreign ministers of six countries laid
      most of the responsibility on their neighbor. The ministers told Iraq to
      be more active in working with the United Nations weapons inspectors and
      comply with all U.N. resolutions.
      A statement read by the Turkish foreign affairs minister said:
      "The Iraqi people have suffered most from two consecutive wars and the
      entire region remains plagued by the resultant political uncertainties and
      economic contractions ensuing from these wars for over two decades.
      "We therefore solemnly call on the Iraqi leadership to move irreversibly
      and sincerely towards assuming their responsibilities in restoring peace
      and stability in the region."
      While not directly mentioning the U.S., the declaration at the end of
      the summit said that the war should not be an option.
      Before the summit took place, there was speculation that the ministers
      were going to ask the Iraqi leader Mr. Saddam Hussein to go into exile.
      However, a proposal of this nature did not come out of the summit.

      * According to the Turkish Daily News, the Turkish parliament adopted a
      draft law paving the way for the retrial of imprisoned former pro-Kurdish
      Democracy Party deputies, including Ms. Leyla Zana as part of a second
      reform package aiming to change the Turkish laws to conform to that of the
      European Union countries.
      Supported by the ruling the Justice and Development Party and the
      opposition Republican People's Party, the law enables former pro-Kurdish
      Democracy Party deputies who received "renewal of trial" verdicts from the
      European Court will have the right to apply to Turkish courts for retrial
      in a year's time.

      * Turkey's minister of justice Mr. Cemil Cicek said that there were some
      4,820 lawsuits against Turkey in the European Court to date. According to
      Mr. Cicek, 2,250 of the lawsuits are by Greek Cypriots.
      Mr. Cicek informed that the European Court delivered 286 verdicts
      against Turkey and 12 verdicts in favor of the country. He said that there
      were also only 513 verdicts, which can be described as friendly solutions.
      Mr. Cicek added that European Court rejected 107 other applications.
      Mr. Cicek noted that Turkey paid $425 thousand compensation to date, and
      there is still another $15 million compensation date is being asked to

      * The Turkish Daily News reports that Turkish Industrialists and
      Businessmen Association renewed warnings that the government should take
      timely action for fulfilling the conditions of the economic program and
      avoid populist policies.
      Delivering speeches at the association's general assembly in Istanbul
      this week, top Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association
      officials argued that it was their mission to sound warnings against the
      wrongs of the government, after tensions escalated between the group and
      the Justice and Development Party administration in recent weeks when
      Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association chairman Tuncay Ozilhan
      criticized them harshly for faulty economic and foreign affairs moves.
      He had particularly criticized the government for not pursuing an
      active policy on Iraq alongside the U.S.
      In response he was called and cautioned by Prime Minister Abdullah Gul.

      * Turkey's prime minister Mr. Abdullah Gul reiterated a government
      commitment to bring Turkey nearer to its long-standing objective of
      joining the European Union, which he anticipated would win Turkey a date
      for starting membership negotiations before 2004, reported the Turkish
      Daily News.
      Addressing the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association
      general assembly in Istanbul, Mr. Gul said the government would do
      whatever it takes to get closer to the European Union.
      "All we wish is to fulfill the Copenhagen political criteria and
      Maastricht economic criteria. Once we do that I am confident we will have
      a positive outcome. If we maintain this understanding we can start
      negotiations before 2004," Mr. Gul said.
      The European Council agreed at its Copenhagen summit last December to
      review Turkey's progress at the end of 2004 and decide whether or not to
      start membership talks.

      * U.S. ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson, speaking in a live interview
      with the private Turkish channel NTV, denied reports that US officials
      have had talks with militants of the banned organization Kurdish Workers
      "It is disgusting and a great lie that has no true in it," Ambassador
      Pearson said of a Turkish paper's report.
      Commenting on the peace summit that Turkey arranged to find a peaceful
      solution to the Iraqi crisis, Washington was backing Turkey's peace summit
      and was in fact aiming for a peaceful solution to the stand off with Iraq
      as well, he said
      Ambassador Pearson added that this summit showed Turkey was a leading
      and prestigious country in the region.

      * The Turkish private channel NTV reports that American General James
      Jones, newly appointed as the NATO chief in Europe, has paid what has been
      described as a courtesy visit to Ankara. He met with General Hilmi Ozkok,
      the Chief of the Turkish General Staff on Friday morning.
      Officials have said that the trip has no connection with the recent
      series of visits to Turkey by senior military and political leaders to
      discuss Turkey's support for a possible military strike against Iraq over
      its alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction.
      The visit came a day after the Britain's Chief of the Defense Staff,
      Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, came to Ankara.

      * The peoples of Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and perhaps even the
      Middle East and Europe are in danger of a nuclear accident similar to that
      of Chernobyl.
      Professor Hayrettin Kilic of the Ferrara University, Italy stated that
      the Metzamor nuclear power plant in Armenia poses a great threat to
      Turkey. The Turkish Daily News reported that Dr. Kilic warned that any
      leakage in the power plant constructed with outdated technology used also
      in Chernobyl might cause the deaths of millions of people in neighboring
      countries. Dr. Kilic underlined that the nuclear power plant should be
      Dr. Kilic, an expert on nuclear power plant waste pollution and
      security, spoke at a conference jointly organized by Kars Kafkas
      University and Kars City Council. Kars is a province of Turkey directly
      across the border from where the nuclear power plant is located.
      According to Dr. Kilic, in the rating of nuclear power plants of the
      World, this particular power plant in Armenia and three in Bulgaria are
      listed among the worst power plants in terms of reliability and
      "These four power plants were blacklisted and the European Union put
      pressure on these countries to close down these facilities immediately.
      Armenia opened its closed power plant in 1995 following an energy crisis,"
      said Kilic.
      Noting that the nuclear power plant is located on a fault line, Dr.
      Kilic said that even if the nuclear power plant were meeting Western
      standards, it would still have an adverse effect on the environment.

      * Reuters reports that interest rates on key Turkish debt are expected to
      fall nearly 20 percentage points by the end of the year from yields now
      hovering around 58 percent. The figures are based on a Turkish central
      bank survey on Thursday.
      Reuters says that Turkey's domestic debt is $92 billion, and the
      reduction of interest rates will help the government lower its expenditure
      for debt servicing.
      Among other predictions that the Reuters article carried are:
      - 20 percent consumer inflation rate as opposed to the 29 percent last year,
      - 4.4 percent growth in economy, and
      - 2 million Turkish Liras to a U.S. dollar as the exchange rate.


      $1 = 1,664,000 Turkish Liras


      Antalya in southern Turkey on the Mediterranean coast 49...63 F Mostly Cloudy
      Istanbul in northwestern Turkey 44...51 F Freezing Rain
      Izmir in western Turkey on the Aegean coast 47...60 F Sunny
      Trabzon in northern Turkey on the Black Sea coast 44...53 F Cloudy


      Uludag (Bursa, Western Turkey) 9
      Kartalkaya (Bolu, Western Turkey) 24
      Saklikent (Antalya, Southern Turkey) -
      Palandoken (Erzurum, Eastern Turkey) 17
      Ilgaz (Kastamonu, North Central Turkey) 30
      Erciyes (Kayseri, Central Turkey) 14
      Sarikami$ (Kars, Eastern Turkey) 26


      * Mayor Yusuf Namoglu of Besiktas municipality, Istanbul inaugurated The
      "Peace Wall" on Thursday with a ceremony.
      Commissioned by the Besiktas municipality, the design of the "Peace
      Wall" belongs to painter Mr. Ihsan Ardal. Mr. Ardal finished the project
      in 8 months.
      According to the Cihan News Agency, the Peace Wall, is 6000 square feet
      and located on Ortakoy Muallim Naci Street.
      While the Peace Wall was being inaugurated, Turkey and five other Middle
      Eastern countries were having a summit to find a peaceful solution to the
      Iraqi crisis.
      Mayor Namoglu said during the opening ceremony that it was a coincidence
      that the opening of the wall and the Peace Summit were on the same day.
      Mr. Namoglu said peace is very important for the future of the World.
      "In the last 1,500 years there have been 15,000 wars killing 3 billion
      people" he added.

      * The Turkish capital Ankara is having a Chinese arts and culture
      As part of the festival, Ankara's municipal government will host Chinese
      folklore and art groups for three days, starting January 28.
      The groups will perform Chinese classical dances, folk dances, Mongolian
      folk dances and magic shows.
      The performances and attendance to the festival will be free of charge.

      * Istanbul will be hosting the third of the International Baroque Music
      Days starting on January 28.
      The music performances will be taking place at the Cemal Resit Ret
      concert hall. Among the music groups taking part are:

      - Chamber Collegium of Italy,
      - Azerbaijan State Chamber Orchestra,
      - Luc de Bernardi & Stefano Intrieri,
      - Ensemble Barocco Italiano,
      - Istanbul Authentic Turkish Music Ensemble
      - Istanbul State Opera and Ballet

      The music days will end on February 2.

      * A Turkish percussionist is aiming to enter the Guinness Book World of
      Records by playing the drums for at least 44 hours.
      Mr. Oktay Kizilkaya has already played longer then previous record
      holder Kurt Adams of the Netherlands. Mr. Adams' record was 36 hours of
      continuous playing.
      Mr. Kizilkaya is practicing everyday in Sisli, Istanbul at the municipal
      hall until 11 AM.

      * The World-renowned Turkish flutist Ms. Sefika Kutluer has performed
      popular tangos for a new CD.
      The CD titled "Tango Goes Symphony" was prepared in collaboration with
      the renowned musician Peter Breiner. Mr. Breiner is best known for his
      album titled "Beatles Go Baroque".
      This is the first recording Ms. Kutluer has performed in a non-classical
      music genre. The Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra accompanied her for the

      * Three Turkish musicians have participated in the International Kanun
      Rendezvous in Lebanon on January 17-18.
      Professor . Erol Deran 12 Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music
      School, Ruhi Ayangil and Halil Karaduman flew to Lebanon at the imitation
      of the Lebanese National Conservatory and Cultural Organization.
      In addition to Lebanese and Turkish kanunists, musicians from Jordan,
      Tunisia, Syria, and Greece participated in the event.
      Kanun is a Middle Eastern harp played on the lap or on a table. Its
      origins are obscure but ancient Egyptians played an instrument similar to

      See http://www.kultur.gov.tr/portal/kultur_en.asp?belgeno=5899 for more
      on the instrument.

      * The chairman of the Publishers Union of Turkey says that 40 percent of
      the $60 million publishing market in Turkey is stolen by pirated
      The chairman says that publishers are running into problems in the
      implementation of the intellectual and artistic works law and the
      operation of the supervisory commissions.
      He says that the pirated works not only stunts the growth of the
      publishing industry but also lowers the tax revenues of the government.
      The chairman claims that if appropriate reforms are carried out sales of
      pirated intellectual property could be stopped within a few months.

      * A first for Turkey, perhaps even for the whole World: A theater group
      from a minimum security prison in Turkey's Canakkale province will be
      staging a play in Istanbul.
      The chief warden for the prison says that the inmates who have no
      experience as actors have done an excellent job in 3 1/2 months of
      The prison theater group will be performing the renowned Turkish writer
      Orhan Kemal's "72nd Ward" play.

      * Turkey's sunny Mediterranean problems of Antalya had 2 million domestic
      and foreign visitors in its museums and archeological sites, reports the
      Anatolian News agency.
      The Turkish visitors to the province preferred to visit the castle of
      Alanya, whereas foreign visitors visited most the ruins of the ancient
      city of Myra, home of St. Nicholas.
      The visitors to the ancient sites and museums fill the coffers of the
      province with almost $5 million.
      The Antalya province is literally dotted with thousands of ancient sites
      and structures. In the ancient times the province was home to Lydians.

      * The Anatolian News agency is saying that a possible attack on in Iraq
      would be devastating for the ancient structures in the country.
      Into a addition to structures from the centuries of Arabic rule, Iraq is
      also home to at least 500 ancient buildings dating back to the rule of the
      Seljuk and Ottoman Turks.
      One of the buildings that may get hit by bombs is the buildings on the
      Iraqi Defense ministry which was built in the 16th century by the Ottoman
      Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent as a palace and army barracks.

      See HTTP://come.to/sunholiday


      Edited for the Turkish Radio Hour by Mark Nowak

      * Turkish Premier Soccer League Standings:

      Team Pts
      1. Besiktas 41
      2. Galatasaray 39
      3. G.Birligi 37
      4. Fenerbahce 35
      5. G.Antep 30
      16. Elazigspor 15
      17. Göztepe 15
      18. Kocaelispor 13

      * European Basketball Championship 2003

      * Turkey is guaranteed its place at the finals of the European Basketball 2003 Championship after crushing Holland by 40 points in their match in Istanbul.

      Grup A P
      Litvanya 17
      Türkiye 16
      Ukrayna 15
      Bulgaristan 14
      Isviçre 10
      Hollanda 9

      * Turkish Mens' Basketball

      Team Pts
      1 Efes Pilsen 25
      2 Ülker 25
      3 Galatasaray 22
      4 Türk Telekom 21
      5 Oyak Renault 21
      6 Karsiyaka 21
      7 Darüssafaka 19
      8 Fenerbahçe 19
      9 Tekelspor 19
      10 Besiktas 18
      11 Büyük Kolej 16
      12 ITÜ 16
      13 Göztepe 15
      14 TED Kolej 15

      * Turkish Womens' Basketball

      Team Pts
      1 Erdemirspor 23
      2 Fenerbahçe 22
      3 Migrosspor 21
      4 Çankaya Ari Kolji 20
      5 Botas 20
      6 Besiktas 18
      7 I.U.S.B.K. 18
      8 Et Balik 17
      9 Galatasaray 16
      10 Kocaelispor 14
      11 Güre Bld. 14
      12 Yildirim Bosna 13

      * NBA

      Sacremento 104 - 98 Memphis Turkoglu 19 min, 6 pts
      Sacremento 109 - 102 New Jersey DID NOT PLAY
      Sacremento 102 - 80 Golden State 25 12

      Philadelphia 92 - 83 Detroit Okur 10 min, 0 pts
      Indiana 78 - 88 Detroit 13 6
      Detroit 86 - 88 Indiana 19 4

      (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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