x0x Turkish news for week ending 25 January 2003
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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:
TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM
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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
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
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,"
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
ARTS AND CULTURE
* 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
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
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 $5 million.
The Antalya province is literally dotted with thousands of ancient sites
and structures. In the ancient times the province was home to Lydians.
* The Anatolian News agency is saying that a possible attack on in Iraq
would be devastating for the ancient structures in the country.
Into a addition to structures from the centuries of Arabic rule, Iraq is
also home to at least 500 ancient buildings dating back to the rule of the
Seljuk and Ottoman Turks.
One of the buildings that may get hit by bombs is the buildings on the
Iraqi Defense ministry which was built in the 16th century by the Ottoman
Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent as a palace and army barracks.
Edited for the Turkish Radio Hour by Mark Nowak
* Turkish Premier Soccer League Standings:
1. Besiktas 41
2. Galatasaray 39
3. G.Birligi 37
4. Fenerbahce 35
5. G.Antep 30
16. Elazigspor 15
17. Göztepe 15
18. Kocaelispor 13
* European Basketball Championship 2003
* Turkey is guaranteed its place at the finals of the European Basketball 2003 Championship after crushing Holland by 40 points in their match in Istanbul.
Grup A P
* Turkish Mens' Basketball
1 Efes Pilsen 25
2 Ülker 25
3 Galatasaray 22
4 Türk Telekom 21
5 Oyak Renault 21
6 Karsiyaka 21
7 Darüssafaka 19
8 Fenerbahçe 19
9 Tekelspor 19
10 Besiktas 18
11 Büyük Kolej 16
12 ITÜ 16
13 Göztepe 15
14 TED Kolej 15
* Turkish Womens' Basketball
1 Erdemirspor 23
2 Fenerbahçe 22
3 Migrosspor 21
4 Çankaya Ari Kolji 20
5 Botas 20
6 Besiktas 18
7 I.U.S.B.K. 18
8 Et Balik 17
9 Galatasaray 16
10 Kocaelispor 14
11 Güre Bld. 14
12 Yildirim Bosna 13
Sacremento 104 - 98 Memphis Turkoglu 19 min, 6 pts
Sacremento 109 - 102 New Jersey DID NOT PLAY
Sacremento 102 - 80 Golden State 25 12
Philadelphia 92 - 83 Detroit Okur 10 min, 0 pts
Indiana 78 - 88 Detroit 13 6
Detroit 86 - 88 Indiana 19 4
(Bu duyurulari saat 17:30 da ve 18:30'da iki kez yayinlayin.)
(Duyurularda giri$ ucreti soz ediliyorsa, radyoda bunlari atlayin.)
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