Emre inherited something besides soccer skills from Hagi page 27
Yo u r Way o f U n d e r s t a n d ý n g Tu r k e y
Turkish hearts beat for Erzurum
Sarkozy reiterates opposition to Turkey’s EU membership at nomination for presidency ECONOMY KÜRÞAT BAYHAN
26 Turkey Ponders
Babacan, writing for Today’s Zaman, says macroeconomic targets have been fulfilled
TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2007 WWW.TODAYSZAMAN.COM YTL 1.50
ABORTED ELECTRICITY PRIVATIZATION SHORT-CIRCUITS GOV’T POLICY NEWS ANALYSIS
The ruling AK Party seeks a special parliamentary session next week on security threats stemming from Iraq, namely the PKK and Kirkuk issues BY ERCAN YAVUZ ALÝ ASLAN KILIÇ, ANKARA Disappointed by unfulfilled US promises of a stepped-up fight against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and worried over the fate of Iraq's disputed city of Kirkuk, Turkey is working out a pro-active security strategy that sources say may involve a cross-border operation in spring. State Minister Abdüllatif Þener, speaking after a regular Cabinet meeting yesterday, said the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AK Party, was to later in the day request a special session in Parliament -which could occur as early as this week --to discuss developments in Iraq. "We think it would be useful for Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül to come forward and inform the Parliament," Þener said. "Kirkuk would be one of the issues that would be raised." The government, which insists that a referendum on the fate of oil-rich Kirkuk in northern Iraq slated for 2007 should be postponed, has recently signaled involvement if its concerns are not addressed. Recently,
TODAY’S ZAMAN Turkey's Energy Ministry is likely to come under renewed pressure to reverse last week's decision to suspend privatization of the country's electricity distribution grid. Industry insiders have already expressed dismay at a move they say is likely to put up the cost of energy in the long run and to jeopardize growth in a sector that is estimated to require up to $30 billion in new investment over the coming decade. TÜSÝAD, the country's largest business confederation, issued an official broadside, describing the delay as casting “serious doubts” on the government's economic strategy for 2007. CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
main opposition leader Deniz Baykal backed the government's pro-active line on security challenges stemming from Iraq, calling for a cross-border operation against the PKK if necessary. Foreign Minister Gül, who last week warned against a "fait accompli" in Kirkuk, and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaþar Büyükanýt will pay separate visits to Washington next month, and Iraq is expected to top the agenda in their talks. The recent shift in Ankara's strategy on Iraq triggered military activities in the region, as Turkey began reinforcing its military presence inside northern Iraq. Fifteen more heavily armed tanks were transported to a northern Iraqi base in a strip along the border with Turkey. Combat forces in the border towns of Beyttüþþebap and Çukurca were deployed at ground zero. CONTINUED ON PAGE 06
BÜLENT KENEÞ EDITOR IN CHIEF
A NEW BEGINNING
By Kerim Balcý
TODAY’S ZAMAN ON PAGE 21
TWO SADDAM AIDES HANGED, CAUSING OUTCRY Two of Saddam Hussein's aides were hanged before dawn on Monday, the Iraqi government said. But despite its efforts to avoid the uproar that marred the execution of the former president two weeks ago, news that the noose ripped the head from
By Andrew Finkel
Saddam's cancer-stricken half-brother as he plunged from the gallows appalled critics of the process and fuelled fury among Saddam's fellow Sunni Arabs. The Shiite-led government insisted there was no violation of procedure during the executions. STORY ON PAGE 24
John Ash, the doyen of contemporary Ýstanbul poets, arrived the city in 1996 after 11 years in New York.
Poets of Ýstanbul
With its opulent layers of history, an East that overlaps with the West and an intimate kaleidoscope of life filling its cities, Turkey has always inspired its own poets. Now the country is seeing one more benefit from opening itself up to the outside world in recent decades. Book after book of excellent poetry about Turkey is being published by English-speaking poets, many of them, like John Ash, living in and writing about Istanbul. BY HUGH POPE, PAGE 17
Every beginning presents new hope. Every beginning contains excitement. Every beginning comes with anticipation about the future as well as surprises. Every beginning requires perseverance. Every beginning is accompanied by the kind of pride felt with the accomplishment of a task. Every beginning is also a very warm and sincere “hello” to a new friend. And I want to say a warm “HELLO/MERHABA” to my new friends, to you, our readers. CONTINUED ON PAGE 03
02 TODAY’S ZAMAN
F OOD FOR THOUGHT
Q UOTE OF THE DAY
"We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the US people a huge debt of gratitude." US President George Bush
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W ORDS OF WISDOM
"The government must appeal to the parliament to plan cross-border operations in Iraq. We will give any help they need." CHP leader Deniz Baykal
To understand the heart of a person, look not at what he has achieved, but at what he aspires.
ERDAL ÞAFAK, SABAH
press roundup FATMA DÝÞLÝ
Crýtýcýsm of Bush's Strategy ýn Iraq Contýnues to Grow US President George W. Bush is facing strong opposition from within the US and abroad over his decision to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq. Whether new US troops will help the situation or add fuel to the fire of violence and sectarian conflict is debatable. One thing is certain, opposition is vocal and the commonly held view is that Bush' new plan to save Iraq will not be a remedy for the current situation. Vatan's Ruþen Çakýr thinks that Bush's latest plan presents no original solutions to the problems in Iraq, stressing that the US failure in Iraq is evident. He accuses Bush of distracting the US public and trying to hand over this troublesome issue to his successor (possibly a Democrat). Çakýr feels that Bush, who has proven to be a liar, poorintentioned and clumsy, will instigate more conflict and destroy the last hopes in Iraq. He says that Bush wants the US public to believe that a US withdrawal from Iraq would be a complete disaster. He urges that Bush might seem right at first, insofar as sectarian conflict will increase in Iraq, some of Iraq's neighbors including Turkey might attempt to intervene, the al-Qaeda terror organization might find a new and secure base of operations, and the Shiites might strengthen under Iranian leadership. Çakýr says we can count as many disaster scenarios as possible. According to him, the US will eventually have to withdraw from Iraq and the actual disaster will erupt then. Çakýr concludes that the US should immediately withdraw from Iraq before more damage is done. Milliyet's Yasemin Çongar discusses whether Bush will decide to withdraw from Iraq if his latest strategy comes to naught. Looking at the people who are close to Bush, she says he will not withdraw from Iraq even if his plan fails. She talks about two scenarios. According to one, the sectarian conflict will continue in the central regions; this is the bad scenario. The second is Baghdad will be pacified and partial tranquility will be maintained with a Sunni-Shiite agreement for a share of the oil resources and power. Çongar says that both scenarios are based on downsizing the number of US soldiers to at least half the present numbers and maintaining the borders. Yeni Þafak's Taha Kývanç does not think that Bush will decide to withdraw his troops from Iraq to end the conflict anytime soon. Referring to Bush's latest statements in which he admitted his mistakes in Iraq, Kývanç comments that Bush is bouncing back with unnecessary vengeance. Interestingly, Kývanç points to some information about Bush's thinking in reference to his mother Barbara Bush who talked about her son's angry behavior when defeated in a golf match. Kývanç says that Bush is doing the same thing today and instead of taking constructive steps, he just continues to make more mistakes. "Rejection of defeat, this is Bush's problem. He is forcing his chances of winning and he hopes to win the game that he plays over US corpses by extending time," Kývanç asserts. Zaman's Ali Aslan agrees with Kývanç in that Bush is bouncing back with unnecessary vengeance. He thinks that Bush does not want to be recorded in history as the defeated commander-in-chief of the Iraq war. He says Bush did not listen to the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group but once again followed his own vision, with predictable results. Aslan comments that Bush could not even achieve his own ambitions and has even lost support from neocon backers who assert that Bush's chances of winning decreased since he could not fully apply their recommendations.
The coming era will mark the beginning of the war to end rising Shiite power and then repel them. The first targets are already defined: the outer circles Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice clarified her country's message: "We are loosening the purse strings for you to drive away Hamas." The second front is Iraq: Saudi King Abdullah will soon host Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to tell him: "Break your alliance with the Shiites." Moreover, pro-Tehran Jalal Talabani has been cautioned against inviting anyone from Iran again. Then it will be Syria and Iran's turn. To us, Erdogan's second meeting last august with Iraqi Vice President Tarik Hashimi was another indicator of this secret plan to open a front - recalling the discussions of the Gulf Cooperation Council with Egypt and Jordan - to ward off the Iran threat. Some suggest that a "30Year War" is brewing in the Middle-East, a reference to the wars of religion between Catholics and Protestants in 17th century Europe.
Baykal's cheap game OKAY GÖNENSÝN, VATAN It is impossible for a military intervention in northern Iraq an intervention that would be justified by the persistent presence of the separatist Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), who are recognized by the US and the European Union as a terrorist organization, and the still-unresolved Kirkuk problem - to find support from the international community. In the event of such a military intervention, Turkey, at best, will obviously appear to have "attacked" a neighboring country bearing in mind today's conditions. Those now clamoring for intervention will dismiss the consequences to our foreign relations, and to particularly our economic relations, that such an intervention would carry and will try to hide them from the public eye. Then will follow the Turkish cliché declaring, "The entire world is our enemy!"
US President George W. Bush is determined to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq despite a huge opposition. Some experts say the current US troop level is insufficient to fight the insurgency.
Minister of Public Works and Settlement Faruk Nafiz Özak said that the ministry was planning many projects in 2007, one of the most important of these being the construction of the third bridge on the Bosphorus. Özak explained that they would open a tender for the construction of the third bridge after they fix an appropriate place for the bridge. He noted that they would consider the environmental and physical factors while the determining the right place for the bridge.
Turkish Foreign Trade Minister Kürþad Tüzmen said that Turkey earned more than $1 billion in exports in 2006. He said that the three biggest destinations for exports were Germany, the UK and Italy. Tüzmen remarked it was a very important development: "The fact that Turkey gets a share from the markets of developed countries is an indicator of its quality."
It has been reported that regular consumption of olive oil helps reduce the amount of fat in the blood by 10-15 percent. Adnan Menderes University Associate Professor Tarkan Tekten said that people who consume two spoons of olive oil daily have lower levels of cholesterol. "Olive oil is unsaturated oil,
it is not like butter. It is an important product for the people with high cholesterol and blood pressure."
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan said that there were some circles who want to damage the upcoming elections process in Turkey. Speaking at the 125th anniversary of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO), Erdoðan said the government would not implement an economic policy according to the elections period, stressing that it would go on with the current economic program. Erdoðan also made some evaluations about the EU. "If those who say that we are successful are still blocking our way, this can only be a political action. We see this in the Cyprus issue. They constantly ask us to solve the Cyprus issue and then continue. This is not honesty," Erdoðan admitted.
Approximately 1,000 refugees from Ethiopia and Somalia - two countries trapped in ongoing violence - who escaped their countries live together in peace in Turkey. The refugees were settled in different cities in Turkey and they are happy to be living together. One of the refugees, Meryem Ali, said they had to leave their country because of the fear of war, violence and death.
Internatýonal Herald Trýbune
EC head wants Turkey-EU talks to continue breakaway Turkish Cyprus, located on the northern part of the island, the IHT said. Turkey has declared that it will work intensively on other reforms. Prodi and Barroso met hours before they were scheduled to celebrate with other EU leaders to Slovenia's entry into the euro zone. The euro is the only currency accepted in Slovenia starting on Monday. But people will be able to exchange the tolar, their old currency, at banks free of charge until March 1, or exchange them at the country's central bank, the daily said.
Iraq, Kurdistan and Kirkuk MEHMET METÝNER, BUGÜN Was Iraq of any good to Turkey when ruled under the "iron fist" of Saddam? No, just the opposite. Not only did Saddam persecute Shiites and Kurds as a tyrannical dictator, he also massacred Turkmen. He deported them from their homeland. Could Turkey protect the rights of the Turkmen at that time? Did Turkey take any steps to protect their rights? No. This means Iraq's territorial and political integrity do not serve Turkey's interests. I think a divided, federal Iraq presents more meaningful opportunities for Turkey. The lines drawn in the sand by Turkey stem from Turkey's inability to take advantage of historic opportunities. Our traditional fears of Kurdish independence lead us to this. A Kurdistan in such a situation might strengthen Turkey's hand in the region.
US insincerity displayed in Erbil raid SEMÝH ÝDÝZ, MÝLLÝYET
turkey ýn the foreýgn press
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso agreed with Italian Premier Romano Prodi at a joint news conference on Monday that EU membership negotiations with Turkey should continue despite last month's partial freeze in talks, the IHT reported. Barroso reiterated that to gain membership Ankara must comply with "all conditions and criteria" imposed by the EU, with which Prodi agreed. Turkey's stance is that it insists on only opening its ports and airports after steps are taken to end the international isolation on the
30-year war against Shiites?
Turkey launches legislative onslaught Turkey has pledged to mount a "do-it-yourself" legislative onslaught to prepare for EU membership, even though significant parts of the accession talks were suspended last month, The Financial Times reports. Volkan Bozkir, Turkey's EU ambassador, said Ankara would respond to last month's setback by "accelerating" reforms, so that it was ready to join the EU when the political climate changed. Bozkir said legislative plans for the years up until 2013 would be submitted by the end of January and would then be prioritized. The plan would cover 32
outstanding subject areas of the membership negotiations, including the eight frozen last month. But Bozkir said there would be no amendments to the controversial Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which criminalizes the insulting of "Turkishness, " before this year's elections. Olli Rehn, EU enlargement commissioner, welcomed Turkey's decision. Bozkir said Ankara expected the EU to show goodwill in return by opening negotiations on several subject areas - or chapters during the German presidency of the EU.
The fact that US forces raided an office in Erbil where Iranians work and took them into custody on the grounds they were supporting terror activities is being interpreted by Ankara as a sign of American insincerity. This and other developments make it clear why Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan accuses the US of being insincere about fighting against the separatist terrorist organization the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Just like the Süleymaniye raid, which went down as the "sack incident" in Turkish history, the Erbil raid shows that the US army can easily act whenever it wants, despite claiming their hands are tied. The Erbil raid also disproves the argument that the US does not take action against the PKK in order to not infuriate the local Kurdish administration because the Kurds, who insist that Baghdad was informed about the Iranians who were taken into custody, are angry because of this raid.
TODAY’S ZAMAN 03
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Fund-raýsýng teacher makes a dýfference PHOTO
MEHMET KURU, EMİR YILDIZ ESKÝÞEHÝR
Semra Kartbol purchased educational equipment including computers and projectors.
A primary school teacher has managed to modernize her classroom and spark students’ interest in mathematics through donations she herself collected from local retailers. Semra Kartbol, a teacher for 28 years in the central Anatolian city of Eskiþehir, said she had personally visited local merchants in order to give her students a better learning environment, adding that they would continue to modernize the other classrooms in the school as well. Kartbol, of Eskiþehir Ahmet Necdet Sezer Primary School, modernized her students’
learning environment with her after-hours efforts. She asked for donations from 10 retailers and received a positive response from five. Kartbol prepared a list of necessities, gave it to the retailers and received donations totaling $5,500. She had the classroom redesigned and painted and bought curtains with the funds she collected. She also purchased educational equipment including computers and projectors. Following her six-week effort, her math classroom was almost flawless. Eight grades now attend math courses taught in this classroom, the modernization of which has increased the students’ success and interest in the subject: Exam scores are up 40
percent. Kartbol says her goal is to educate the students well and contribute to their success. She spends her spare time on her students instead of sitting at home. “My goal was to create a good learning environment for my students. I’m happy because I’ve been successful in this endeavor,” Kartbol says. She aims to make other classrooms in the school as modern as her own and adds that they are waiting for more donations from retailers. “Let us support our children. Let us do our best to enable them to receive an education under better conditions. They are our future,” Kartbol said. School principal Talip Bilgin said they welcomed Kartbol’s initiative.
BÜLENT KENEÞ email@example.com
A new begýnnýng contýnued from page 1 I want to tell you the story of Today’s Zaman, which has come out for the first time today with the contribution of many distinguished writers. The idea of publishing an English-language daily within the Zaman media group dates back many years ago. It is necessary to view Today’s Zaman as a postponed project due to a lack of adequate infrastructure, financial difficulties and the inappropriate circumstances of the time. But today both an improved infrastructure and a healthier financial situation have enabled this dream of many years to come into being along with the rapidly changing democratic environment in Turkey. Undoubtedly, Feza Publishing’s CEO Ekrem Dumanlý has played a major role in this dream coming true. I have enjoyed the encouraging and visionary support of Mr. Dumanlý from the beginning of the intellectual journey of this paper to its publication. Without Mr. Dumanlý it would not have been be possible for Today’s Zaman to be presented to its readers as a newspaper embracing international standards. This paper is the product of four months of intensive work followed by a long period of intellectual preparation. Today’s Zaman launched its preparations by first searching for the concept it would adopt. We had intensive brainstorming sessions during the process with diplomats, businessmen and foreigners resident in Turkey, and with academics and local and foreign colleagues. None of the suggestions that were put forward during the brainstorming process were neglected; almost all were considered and became the foundation of this paper. The design phase was preceded by the brainstorming stage, which was in line with the concept that had been developed for the paper. Zaman media group’s design team, which has won numerous international awards, launched studies under the leadership of Art Director Fevzi Yazýcý. The design team worked on three different and original designs for months, all based on the same concept, and in the end decided on the best of these. I am grateful to the entire design team, who turned this paper into a visual triumph without impairing its functionality. The layout design of the paper went hand-in-hand with the search for a concept. Some changes were made in the paper’s concept after considering the opinions of editorial team members Yonca Poyraz Doðan, Okan Udo Bassey, Fatma Demirelli, Yavuz Güllük, Ýbrahim Türkmen and Evrim Gürel. Finally, a paper has been produced with a wealth of original pages and columns. Among these, the Cross-reader article on the Press Review page, which gathers together different opinions on a specific subject, the functional columns on the Expat Zone page such as the Cultural Corner, Expats’ Voice and Legal Corner, and the Tips and Cross-Cultural Calendar on the Leisure page can be mentioned along with numerous other features. A strong editorial staff has been put together in Ýstanbul along with a talented news crew including news reporters who can write with ease in English. For the copy editing team, Helen P. Betts, the most professional name in this field, came from Washington, D.C., to lead the department. Today’s Zaman has established a partnership with the prestigious British daily The Times, which has a 300-year history. Famous journalist Andrew Finkel has come from London to work with Today’s Zaman. Similarly, well-known foreign correspondents who for years have been working in Turkey for influential media organizations and publications, such as Hugh Pope, Nicole Pope, Suzanne Swan and Michael Kuser, and talented writers, including Kathy Hamilton, Jennifer Eaton, Charlotte McPherson, Pat Yale, Yigal Schleifer, Monica Yýldýrým and Marion James, have been included in the staff. Today’s Zaman, which will be a reliable source of news, has a strong team of approximately 40 writers including those who are in favor of change and development rather than status quo and those nourished by hope and encouragement as opposed to fear and paranoia. Today’s Zaman has a strong Opinion page, where you will be able to read the views of Turkish writers on all subjects related to Turkey as well as those of foreign writers. Turkish intellectuals will share their views on current global and regional issues with the world public from the pages of this paper. We will hold Turkey in our vision and the world on our horizon. Today’s Zaman will not be a newspaper reporting news only from Ankara, unlike its counterparts. Certainly, there will be extensive coverage on diplomacy, politics and economy, but its perspective will be much broader. It will include elements that will facilitate the lives of foreigners living in Turkey and elements about city life. All the cultures of Turkey will appear in this paper with all their diversity and colors, along with information on all regions. In short, Today’s Zaman will present a concise and clear picture of Turkey. I hope our esteemed readers will accompany us on this long journey we have just begun...
04 TODAY’S ZAMAN
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PHOTO BAHAR MANDAN
Turkýsh sýgn-maker wýns grand prýze ýn Japan’s largest cartoon contest YUSUF ÜNAL ÝSTANBUL
The 28th international cartoon award given by Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun has gone to Turkish cartoon artist Mehmet Arslan (44), who earns his livelihood painting signs in Istanbul. Arslan will receive the contest’s top award and prize money worth 2 million yen (approximately $18,000) at an awards ceremony to be held at the newspaper’s head office in Tokyo on Jan. 31. Another Turkish cartoon artist, Muharrem Kotbaþ, was also awarded a special prize. This year’s contest attracted 6,598 entries from 70 countries. The Yomiuri Shimbun has organized an international cartoon contest every year since 1979 to discover unique new work and talent worldwide, coming to be known as the “Olympics of Humor.” Contest officials said this is the first time the grand prize has gone to a Turkish cartoonist. This year’s prizewinning cartoons will be on display at Kawasaki City Museum in February, and a book of the selected collection of entries will be published soon. Arslan, the champion of “Olympics of humor,” runs a small sign-making workshop in the Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul, where he also lives with his wife and two children. He has drawn cartoons for nearly 20 years and said this was his largest prize ever. “It is a great big surprise for me
that my work was recognized in such an important international contest,” said Arslan. “I’m very encouraged for the sake of my future work. My efforts have eventually borne fruit. I will leave this award and my published cartoons to my children. This is more important to me then the money,” he said. In his award-winning cartoon, Arslan satirized the excessive focus on America in the international community. He drew the national flags of some countries turning into American flags in the shape of a chameleon. “Nations are all becoming the same, absorbed by America,” he says. “My cartoon critiques U.S. hegemony and caricatures the fact that many countries are losing their originality and beliefs by following the United States,” added Arslan. Remembering last year’s cartoon crisis involving Denmark, Arslan said artists should freely criticize anything in life but that they should remain within the boundaries of respect towards others. Arslan complains that he has to do other jobs -- such as making commercial signs - to provide for his family. He hopes that one day drawing cartoons will be enough for him to survive so he can focus on cartoons as art. “Anything in daily life can inspire me,” says Arslan. “I’m always thinking about the next cartoon, so I observe daily life. Political and social matters are great sources for me. I make notes of inspiring ideas and do quick rough drawings, even while I’m working,” he said.
Mehmet Arslan with his award-wining cartoon satirized American hegemony in international politics.
With an ax and one good leg, a Bursan fights unemployment On a white winter day in the lush city of Bursa, the sunny but cold weather of January is chilling Rýfat Çabuk and Kadir Mehmet Güler to the bone. The two old men are cutting wood to make a living while passers-by in the Soðanlý Mahrukatçýlar Bazaar keep their hands deep in their pockets to protect themselves from the cold. Çabuk and Güler start their day at eight in the morning and only have breaks for their five daily prayers. Sixty-five-year-old Çabuk, who was born with a deformed leg, has been making a living from wood-cutting for 27 years. Natural gas has hampered their sales. He and his wife live their life by the ton of wood, which sells for YTL 10 ($7). He cuts three tons per day. Çabuk, who chops by balancing himself on a wooden leg he made himself, has a lot to say to those who complain about the lack of jobs: "I am surprised when young people say there is no job to do. If you can be satisfied with little, you can find job and food. We should not have thieves and purse-snatchers; there is no excuse for laziness. Young people should not be lazy or withdraw soon after they start. I am healthy because I work And I'll be working as long as I can." Sixty-eight-year-old Kadir Mehmet Güler is in no better a situation. He has been cutting wood for 25 years and can only work eight to 10 days per month due to his health. He can only cut between half a ton and one ton per day. He also has two sons who contribute a little to him. "Thank God I can make a living for myself. But I advise young people to work in jobs providing them with insurance," Güler said. According to Turkstat, the unemployment rate in Turkey at the end of September 2006 was 9.1 percent, a 0.6 percent decline from the same month in 2005. Unemployment remained higher in Turkey's cities, with the rate standing at 11.6 percent while in rural regions this amounted to 5.5 percent of the population. The minimum wage is YTL 403.03, and unemployment insurance is a new practice in Turkey. Adem Elitok, Bursa Cihan
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Turkey’s ýntellýgence-gatherýng dýlemma LALE SARIÝBRAHÝMOÐLU firstname.lastname@example.org
"Nobody was listening to me, so I made this public statement to voice my concerns," said Emre Taner, the undersecretary of the Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MÝT). Taner was allegedly telling one of his former close associates the reasons for his rather unusual public statements concerning Turkey and what its future role should be in a world where nation-states have been under threat due to globalization. Taner released a statement on Jan. 5, the anniversary of the establishment of MÝT 80 years ago. His statement went beyond simply reminding the public of the amount of time that has passed since its founding. At the time of its establishment, MÝT outlined a road map for a predominantly Muslim but secular country in which there has been an ongoing power struggle between the staunchly secularist and the conservatives, who are sometimes accused of wanting to bring Islamic law to the nation. Despite EU reforms to reduce MIT's political power, any statement it makes becomes a powerful tool for evaluation during the power struggle taking place between the elected political authority and the appointed secular elite led by the country's still-powerful military. This is because in general it challenges the views of those in Turkey who are resisting changes and striving to retain the status quo. Taner, the undersecretary of MÝT for almost one-and-ahalf years, while falling short of writing any prescriptions, outlined the following points in his famous statement. As we go through the first quarter of the 21st century, there have been radical changes in the fields of international relations and security. Some nations in the future will fall victim to technological revolutions and the rivalry of global economies, losing their national sovereignty to a large extent; The security-focused environment of this century has increased the importance of intelligence gathering and its effectiveness more than ever; We do not have the luxury of pursuing a "wait-and-see" policy, and Turkey should take a more proactive stance against rapidly evolving developments; and MÝT has rapidly been reorganizing itself to meet current and future challenges. It is also worth mentioning the AK Party government's
efforts to bring the nation's intelligence-gathering mechanism under one umbrella under the Prime Ministry as practiced in other democracies; however, these efforts have faced serious challenges from within the system. These challenges come from the secular elite led by the military, which does not have any trust in the AK Party in particular and any other elected power in general. Consequently, intelligence gathering in the country has long been in the hands of different parties, causing weaknesses in the governance of the nation. For example, the Turkish Armed Forces has its own intelligence-gathering mechanism, the Gendarmerie General Command has another and lastly MÝT and the police have separate information-gathering mechanisms. Such practices would not necessarily abnormal if all the information gathered were compiled under one umbrella, i.e., under the Prime Minister's Office. A former senior MÝT official who does not want to be named tells me that this has not been the case in Turkey in the past, nor is it now. This same official, who I had interviewed a long time ago, told me during our recent meeting that nothing much changed since our conversation, when he was complaining about the disorganized state of the country's intelligencegathering mechanism. Still, he told me that every organization in charge of intelligence gathering compiles information and keeps that information secret from the others. As far as I can remember, this is the first time in recent history that an MÝT undersecretary has shared his organization's views with the public through a public statement. One other incident occurred back in 2002, when former MÝT chief Þenkal Atasagun held a press conference as part of efforts to introduce a relative transparency to this highly secret organization, which had been associated with some acts of organized crime, casting a shadow over its credibility. In fact, it was Atasagun who told Turkish parliamentarians back in March 2002 of the organization's readiness to become accountable to Parliament, as intelligence-gathering units are in democratic countries. The current government's efforts to bring intelligence gathering under the single umbrella of the political authority has so far failed, along with facilitating parliamentary oversight of MÝT. What may have prompted Taner to share MÝT views with the public could have been his uneasiness over the current disorganized status of the intelligence organizations and the negative repercussions of this on the governance of the nation. One thing is for sure: Taner managed to kill two birds with one stone by ensuring that his views were heard not only by the public but also by the decision makers, whom he implicitly blamed for not taking MÝT's warnings into account.
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Ankara determýned to take matters ýnto own hands and fýght terror With the growing chaos in Iraq, Turkey is talking about intervention. It will ask the US and Iraqi administrations to take concrete steps and accelerate efforts to revise their foreign policy contýnued from page 1
At a meeting sponsored by the Global Strategy Institute in Ankara, representatives from 12 Iraqi groups urged the world to stop the bloodshed in Iraq. However, A Kurdish group denounced a conference on the future of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, accusing the organizers on Monday of bias for inviting Arab and Turkmen but not Kurdish groups to take part in the discussions over Kirkuk’s future. «We, the Kurds, believe that Kirkuk is a city of Kurdistan,»
Bahros Galali, the Ankara representative for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, said in a statement. Regarding Kirkuk’s demographic structure, Iraqi Dialogue Front Deputy Chairman Hamit alMutlaq said the only plausible demographic structure for the city of Kirkuk was the one recorded in 2003. Ethnically mixed Kirkuk is at the center of a struggle for power among Arabs, ethnic Turkmen and the region’s Kurds.
Turkish foreign policy expert Associate Proffessor Ali Tekin from Bilkent University, while agreeing that Turkey has recently changed its Iraq policy, asserts that the US will not consider Turkey's warnings and determination to address the issue. Meanwhile, the PKK does not expect a cross-border military operation. Inside reports indicate that while pursuing a general strategy change, the PKK does not consider leaving the camps in Northern Iraq because of a prospective Turkish military operation. Even before United States President George W. Bush announced his new Iraq strategy, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan issued hints at a change in his Iraqi policy. The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, was the first to be informed of Erdoðan’s change. “Kirkuk is an Iraqi internal matter. Foreign powers should not intervene,” Khalilzad said. But Erdogan replied saying the United States itself was intervening in Iraq. The new Turkish policy comes after four years of watching from the sidelines. The United States has remained reluctant to approve Turkey’s efforts to launch an operation against the PKK, leading Turkey to doubt the US government’s sincerity about its fight against terror. When the US told Turkey that there was nothing it could do about the extradition of PKK leader Murat Karayýlan and Cemil Bayýk, Turkey decided to take matters into its own hands. Days before Erdoðan revealed his new plan, the National Intelligence Organization (MÝT) Undersecretary Emre Taner warned that the recent developments in Iraq posed a strong danger to the Turkish state. Taner’s announcement and Erdoðan’s change of plan were not independent decisions. Ankara’s change had been referred to in the MÝT’s 2006 report entitled: “Iraq, terror, Kirkuk and PKK”. A previous report (2002) says that PKK military activities increased each year, especially during the months of June and July. According to the MÝT, the PKK committed 1,927 terrorist acts in 2002, mostly between June and July. In the first half of 2006, it committed 1,946 acts of terrorism. The MÝT warns that the figures show the PKK’s increasing power, and it poses a great danger to the Turkish nation. The PKK spends the winter season in camps in Northern Iraq and launches activities in spring, the report says. It seems odd that EU diplomats usually bring up the PKK issue during the winter season, when the PKK is hibernating and there are no imminent signs of danger. Ankara is aware of the situation and is stepping up efforts to review EU policies. Ankara has already communicated to the US that if necessary it would take matters into its own hands and launch an operation to prevent the PKK from using Northern Iraq as a base or for logistic support. The referendum to be held in Kirkuk has created extreme concern in Turkey. The Turkish government would like the referendum to be postponed. Since the US intervention in Iraq, in order to change the demographic characteristics of the city Kurds have started to burn deed registries and birth certificates in Kirkuk. Despite warnings from Turkey regarding the status of Kirkuk, Northern
Iraq’s Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani told the London-based Dar-ul Hayat newspaper that Kirkuk belonged to Kurdistan. His statements infuriated Ankara. Before the US intervention in Iraq, the Turkish government declared that some sensitive political issues should be regarded as priorities, so as not to cross over Ankara’s “red lines.” These were: protecting Iraq’s unity, leaving control of all natural resources to the Iraqi federal government, and ensuring equal representation of all groups. According to Ankara, the US has failed to honor these guidelines and Ankara has the right to protect its own interests, even if it means a cross-border operation in Iraq against the PKK. The US distanced itself from Turkey’s efforts to launch an operation in Iraq because of Talabani’s and Barzani’s opposition to such a move by Turkey. However, last week the US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson said, “Every country has the right to protect itself, as long as there is cooperation,” hinting that the Bush administration had softened its stance on a cross border operation. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Matt Bryza also affirmed US support for Turkey by saying, “We need to do more to eliminate the PKK presence in Iraq.” When US President George Bush announced his new strategy for Iraq, he also said his administration would help the Turkish and Iraqi governments resolve the problems at their borders. The shift in the US strategy by the new US Defense Minister Robert Gates was interpreted as an acknowledgment that if the new Iraqi strategy was not successful, Turkey would eventually intervene and instigate more chaos in the country, widening the gap between Turks and Kurds. Ankara interpreted this as a green light for a cross border operation to prevent more chaos in the future. Turkey has been waiting to launch a cross border operation for four years and is keeping its brigades ready at Silopi. The Kayseri Air Brigadiers and Bolu, Eðridir and Foca commandos are ready to go. Experts question whether stationing soldiers before an operation is launched is logical and whether Turkey will push 30 to 60 kilometers beyond its border as it did during the Saddam period. While PKK militants initially built camps at the border, in the last four years they have carried their camps into the very heart of Iraq. According to Turkish intelligence, the PKK has over 5,000 militants in over a dozen camps in Iraq. Turkey launched the 1992 “Harkur,” 1994 “Zeli,” 1995 “Steel,” 1997 “Hammer,” and 1999 “Sandwich” operations, all with the support of Washington, as well as Talabani and Barzani. Today, Iraqi President Barzani and all the Kurdish groups are strictly against a Turkish operation in the region. They would consider such an action a cause for war. According to the Global Strategy Research Institute, a hawkish Turkish foreign policy thinktank based in Ankara, Turkey has undertaken most of its cross border operations in the spring or fall. To date, Turkey has carried out only one operation in January and four during the summer. This would seem to suggest that Turkey will not launch an operation during the winter, but it might be possible in the spring.
08 TODAY’S ZAMAN
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“I want a Europe in which Turkey has no place,” said Nicolas Sarkozy, freshly nominated candidate of France’s ruling party, the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). Summing up his vision of Europe on a French TV station was not such a surprising move for France’s popular interior minister, who is opposed to Turkey’s EU membership, arguing that Turkey is not “European.” At his nomination during the UMP convention in Paris, Sasrkozy reiterated his opposition to Turkey in front of 80,000 people, declaring: “Europe must have frontiers. Not all countries have a vocation to enter the European Union, starting with Turkey. With endless enlargements, we take the risk of destroying the political European Union,
and that I will not accept.” Sarkozy’s firm stance on Turkey is not a sudden phenomenon, considering the fact that most of his political allies in the presidential race also advocate against Turkey’s EU bid. Turkey seems to be one of the hot topics in the coming French presidential and legislative campaigns; likewise, the results of the French elections in spring 2007 are of great importance to Ankara, in light of the fact that Paris will assume the presidency of the EU in July 2008. As the only person to put himself forward, Sarkozy was easily elected the official UMP candidate for the Elysee Palace by an overwhelming majority. Sarkozy now has to face his main contender on the left, Socialist Segolene Royal. Regarding Turkey’s EU membership, Royal has avoided adopting a clear position, saying, “My opinion is that of the French people.” No stranger to
Turks, Royal came to Ankara in 1994 to support Leyla Zana, a Kurdish dissident. She also defended Zana at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg against Turkey. In his acceptance speech, Sarkozy addressed almost every segment of French society but failed to mention a single word on the 5 million French Muslims in the nation, saying: “My France is the France of St. Louis and of Carnot, of the Crusades and of Valmy, of cathedrals and the encyclopaedia.” Muslims and Islam which have long been a reality of French society, are absent in the France of Sarkozy. He even insinuated that Muslim immigrants do not want to integrate into French society. In his model Republican école “girls do not wear headscarves,” he said. Sarkozy comes from a Hungarian-Christian immigrant family, and he has Jewish origins on his mother’s side from Salonika.
ALİ İHSAN AYDIN PARIS
Turkey looms over French presýdentýal campaýgn
Sarkozy failed to mention a single word on the 5 million French Muslims
Call for cease-fire The Ankara conference, titled “Turkey Is Searching for Its Peace,” urged a “permanent cease-fire” between the separatist terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkish security forces. The conference proposed far-reaching political, economic, social and cultural measures. Organized by intellectuals and politicians mainly from the left, the two-day conference declared that a search for peace can only be successful if the current cease-fire becomes permanent and the non-violent atmosphere persists. The PKK had declared a unilateral cease-fire in October of last year. Among the proposals are: the 10 percent threshold in the Turkish electoral system should be reduced to ensure representation of Kurdish parties in Parliament; a political amnesty should be declared; land mines should be cleared in southeastern Anatolia; multi-language official services should be the norm in the Southeast; economic development programs stipulating positive results for Kurdishpopulated areas should be implemented.
Turkey - Sudan
Turkish Parliament Speaker Bülent Arýnç arrived in Sudan on Monday at the invitation of Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Tahir, speaker of the Sudanese National Assembly. Arýnç and Al-Tahir will sign an agreement during the visit to boost the current cooperation between the two countries. Arýnç will also meet with Turkish citizens and businessmen living in Sudan. The speaker of the Turkish parliament will attend the opening of a Turkish school and inspect the activities of Turkish companies operating in Sudan. He will also inaugurate the newly restored tombs of Ahmed Eve Vidan Pasha and Musa Hamdi Pasha, who served as governors in Sudan during the 19th century. During the three-day visit, Arýnç will be accompanied by deputies from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the True Path Party (DYP) along with deputies from his Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Arýnç had said at a press conference on Monday that Turkey has good relations with Sudan in many fields such as security, economy, health, agriculture and education.
Cem is Ailing
Former Turkish Foreign Minister Ýsmail Cem has been hospitalized for a lung infection in his ongoing battle with cancer. As speculation mounts about Cem’s condition, his daughter Ýpek Cem Taha publicly asked for prayers for his quick recovery, adding that her father’s state is not critical. In a statement from the Istanbul Cerrahi Hospital, where her father is being treated, Taha said: “My father is conscious. His chemotherapy treatment is continuing under the supervision of his doctor. He is not in the intensive care unit.” Cem’s children, Ýhsan Kerim Cem and Ýpek Cem Taha, felt the need to make a statement after rumors began circulating about the seriousness of Cem’s condition. Ýsmail Cem has been undergoing chemotherapy since December of 2006. “My father is receiving antibiotics for a lung infection. Oncology doctor Sualp Tansan thought it would be better for him to be treated at the hospital since chemotherapy weakens the body, which explains his hospitalization,” Cem’s daughter explained. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül reportedly called Cem; however, the former minister was unavailable. Today’s Zaman with wire dispatches
TODAY’S ZAMAN 09
T U E S D AY, J A N U A R Y 1 6 , 2 0 0 7
Nick Baird, the UK ambassador to Turkey, is proud of his Scottish origins and loves the movie ‘Braveheart.’ He is very keen on environmental issues. His motto is ‘stay positive.’ ‘I want to see greater understanding in Europe on how important it is to have Turkey in the EU’
His wife, Caroline Baird, a teacher and a mother of three, also develops projects on environmental issues and for special care students. Her motto is 'stay busy,' and she thinks that 'Braveheart' mostly consisted of Mel Gibson wandering around in his kilt
UK Ambassador Baird: fluent in ‘imperative Turkish’ PHOTOS
‘Green audit’ at the embassy He points out that he used to cycle to his office when he was in London. But here in Ankara, his office is just two minutes away. He adds that the embassy is conducting what they call a “green audit.” They are paying attention to every aspect of the physical management of the embassy and the properties they rent and how they use energy in these properties as well as how to deal with waste and how to use transport. He turns to his wife, the mother of a 17-yearold boy, and two daughters, aged 15 and 14. She was also a teacher in London. “Let Caroline add something at this moment. Caroline has some projects in the garden.” She smiles at us and begins to talk about her recycling project for the embassy and for developing environmental projects with the British Study Group in Ankara. While she talks about their children who are in boarding school in the UK and their environmental consciousness, and also later in the interview when she speaks of her involvement with the education of children with special needs, she becomes more relaxed. Instead of an official attitude, we see a witty, humble teacher who misses her class and her students. Her inhibitions gradually disappear, and she tells us about her efforts to learn and understand a different culture. “When I made one of my trips out of Ankara to Gaziantep, I gave a speech at the university there on environment and climate change. There was a lot of interest. I rather surprised them by giving a speech in Turkish!” her husband says, expressing pride with a laughter filling the furthest edges of the big hall. The ambassador, who also knows Arabic, had four months of Turkish lessons in London. He also
going around in his kilt. But it is romantic and terribly cute.” Then she gets serious and tries to explain why Turks may have liked the movie so much. She thinks that the English and the Turks people have a similar sense of humor: “English and Turkish people think in similar ways. Something that can appeal to an English audience can appeal to a Turkish audience and vice versa.” Kerim Balcý, Today’s Zaman Ankara representative, joins us a little late. Poor Kerim fails to see the scene of Victorian England and speaks rather freely, as he might with anyone else. He believes that Turks liked the movie because they liked seeing the English army defeated, and says so. The ambassador and his wife laugh at his frankness but diplomatically refrain from comment. The ambassador’s motto, as he tells us later, is “stay positive.” He thinks that diplomacy concerns itself with conflicts and that in order to solve them, a diplomat must be positive. When the Bairds are asked what interests them most about Turkey, Mrs. Baird talks about viewing “The Turks” exhibition at the Royal Academy in London two years ago and reminds her husband that when they saw it, they talked about serving in Turkey. She thinks the culture here is fascinating. “What really strikes one about Turkey is how quickly it is modernizing and growing economically as well,” says the ambassador.
‘I support Galatasaray, Beþiktaþ and Fenerbahçe’
The ambassador's wife, Mrs. Caroline Baird, says, “When you go to a foreign country, you want to engage the local culture, but sometimes you don't know how.”
spent some time in Ýstanbul and Ýzmir with a Turkish-Russian family to practice the language. “I can read newspapers pretty well, I understand most of the things. Since I started my job here, I haven’t found the time for the lessons. But that is a New Year’s resolution for me, to find the time.” Mrs. Baird underscores that her husband learned “imperative” Turkish because the family in Ýzmir has a little daughter who instructed him in curt but polite Turkish: “Gel, git, bak [come, go, look]! I am very good on that,” he says. Mrs. Baird tells us she is not a linguistic person but that she has already started to read some Turkish writers in English, such as Orhan Pamuk. Suddenly she stands up from the chair and starts to walk with small but quick steps, just as Elizabeth might, to bring the book she
is reading now, “Haberci Çocuk Cinayetleri” [The Messenger Boy Murders] by Perihan Maðden. Ambassador Baird defines himself as half Scottish, a quarter Welsh and a quarter English. “The only English element I lack is Northern Irish, but I have lots of Irish friends,” he says when asked whether he felt adequate to represent the UK as a Brit of Scottish origin. When he speaks proudly about being a member of a Scottish clan, his back becomes even straighter, giving the impression that he might at any time stand up and perform a traditional Scottish dance. After all, he is already famous for wearing a kilt on several occasions. Mr. Baird served previously in Kuwait and Oman. We think this might have helped him understand eastern culture, in which traditional relations are much stronger. Mrs. Baird agrees about the Arab world but thinks Turkey is distinctly different.
“I agree with you,” says the ambassador. How nice to see the couple in agreement. “Turkey has such a diverse, dynamic society. Modernizing, changing so quickly. These days clans are historical and sentimental things.” Once history comes to the agenda, we ask the ambassador about the movie “Braveheart,” reminding him that this particular movie was for a long time in theaters in Turkey, actually longer than anywhere else. He reveals that he loves the movie. He also thinks he knows why Turks also loved it. “It’s about simple heroism and love. I think whatever culture you come from, simple values are enormously popular and respected by people. What do you think, Caroline?” Mrs. Baird has a rather interesting ability to speak while laughing: “I have to say that, well… I know the history. I don’t think the movie is historically accurate. Mostly consisted of Mel Gibson
‘I wish we had more Turkish restaurants in the UK’ We ask the ambassadorial couple: If you were to fill in the blanks of this sentence, what you would say? “I wish there was _____ in the UK, just like they have in Turkey.” Mrs. Baird says: “I wish there were more restaurants in the UK like we’ve dined in here.” Ambassador Baird responds: “In Turkey what I hope for is a continuing understanding of the importance of the EU, how beneficial it will be for Turkey to join. At the same time I really want to see greater understanding in Europe, how important it will be to have Turkey in the EU.”
TA S T E
Approaching the large, classically designed residence of the British ambassador in Ankara gives me the impression that I might suddenly encounter the character Elizabeth (from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”) stepping out of a black coach. The tall doors of the home are opened slowly by a doorman wearing a black suit -- but, contrary to the popular image among many Turks about British gentlemen-servants, he wasn’t wearing white gloves and his name wasn’t Sebastian. He takes us in and shows us the way to the first floor, and the elegant decor -- the broad wooden stairs, the huge carpets -- all intensify my expectation that I might run into the puffy-skirted Elizabeth. “Hello, welcome” says Nick Baird, the UK ambassador to Turkey, who then introduces his wife, Mrs. Caroline Baird. She isn’t wearing a frock coat, but she does have on a very nice black necklace, just like Elizabeth might. While the photographer tries to rearrange the seats in the living room, I sit on the most comfortable sofa I’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting on. Tea is served, which completes my mental image of being in the 19th century. But our conversation brings me back to reality as we begin by speaking about environmental problems, an unfortunate aspect of the modern world, and our dependence on industry. “You are correct,” says Ambassador Baird pleasantly when we ask whether it is true that, upon his appointment here, he requested a special diplomat to work on environmental issues. It is obvious from the light in his eyes and the smile on his face that the environment is one of his favorite subjects. While the huge fireplace is warming up the living room, the ambassador continues: “He will arrive on the 3rd of February. The job will cover both environmental and energyrelated issues. On the environmental side the idea is to strengthen the partnership we already have with the Turkish government in terms of working together to tackle the problems around climate change. Turkey is becoming an energy hub. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline makes it very clear that Turkey now is a major player in the energy market. This means that we need to work together, develop our partnership in this area and look for new opportunities to work together, and to really understand and stay alongside the Turkish government.”
AYŞE KARABAT ANKARA
While we are discussing the British community’s integration into Turkish society, the ambassador reminds us that every year there are 2 million visitors from his country to Turkey. He adds that in the past there were some “very ugly developments, we had some problems because people come for a holiday and they would get drunk and cause offense. I notice that many more people in Turkey may be getting more used to traveling. Gradually people will get used to each other’s cultures. These kinds of issues can raise issues of integration. It is very important for people when they enter, that they respect local cultures and operate within the local norms.” Perhaps people should travel more, but what if they need a visa? Ambassador Baird describes the new visa system that the embassy is implementing: “We are very keen on encouraging Turks to come to England. All visa systems have to be balanced between proper immigration control, trying to keep bad guys out and a very efficient process for (letting) the good guys in.” But when it comes to Brits, aren’t many living in their own enclaves? “I think the situation varies. In certain places of the Mediterranean coast you have got little places emerging which are kind of British enclaves. Istanbul and Ankara are very different. In these cities, the British community is very integrated and mixed with the Turkish and international communities. These things are natural when people are away from their own countries; they are tempted to look at familiar things. You have to encourage greater communication with the local culture. It is a slow process. It’s not a sign of fear but is familiarity.” His wife continues: “Sometimes when you go to a foreign country you want access to local culture, but you don’t know quite how to do it. That is a process that takes time.” Mrs. Baird recalls with fondness their brief visit to Ýstanbul and Ýzmir before taking up their diplomatic duties, without security guards, an unfortunate necessity. She says the food was very nice. This reminds her husband of the taste of fish they had in Ýzmir. “Balýk,” he says, “was wonderful there,” with a satisfied smile. Talking about food brings to mind another favorite subject in Turkey: football. “In Turkey I discovered it is very diplomatic not to say which team you support. I support Galatasaray, Beþiktaþ and Fenerbahçe,” says the ambassador. After the interview, our photographer asks Mrs. Baird to kindly sit on a regally backed chair and the ambassador to stand next to her. While the couple poses, my mind again conjures up an image of them as friends of Elizabeth. Ambassador Baird walks with us downstairs. The doorman, whose name wasn’t Sebastian, opens the door again. There’s no coach outside but rather a huge jeep and the impact of climate change.
10 TODAY’S ZAMAN
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T U E S D AY, J A N U A R Y 1 6 , 2 0 0 7
The World Economy Quadrýgae “For the past five years the global economy has been the exact opposite of a perfect storm - perhaps a perfect lull - the happy coincidence of the Blessed Trinity of low long-term real interest rates, low credit risk spreads and high real growth,” says Willem Buiter of LSE in a recent Financial Times debate. In early 1990s, I was a student of Buiter at Yale where he was one of the legendary old school macroeconomists. Taking Buiter’s metaphor one step further, the world economy since 2001 looks more like a quadrigae at full speed: high growth, low interest rates, low risk perception and low inflation. In my inagural article in this first issue of Today’s Zaman, it is worthwhile to briefly look into the broad lines of the world economic trends as they define the external perimeters of the Turkish economy. Two important questions may help us direct the argument here: What has caused the quadrigae proceed at full speed for more than five years? And, how long can these factors last? These two questions are important for developing countries, including Turkey, as they define the international economic environment with which these economies interact. Let’s start with the first question and underline the main reasons behind the quadrigae’s full speed. One of the prime reasons for the coincidence of the four happy results is a general return of “responsible” macroeco-
MURAT YÜLEK email@example.com
nomic policies in almost every country in the world, developing or developed. Make sure to underline the word “general” above and that “responsible” does not mean “contractionary.” For significant periods of time during the last five years, monetary policy in the US, Japan, or even in Turkey can best be described as expansionary in the classical sense of the word. Add to that the record fiscal deficits that Japan has been running to save itself from recession and the government’s fiscal lavishness that hopefully is coming to an end now. Another major reason, probably the most important reason, is that the impact of China’s massive and accumulated integration process into the world economy is now starting to be seen in a larger scale, added to the impact of efficiency-improving technologies. All those gadgets are being made available to the world population, from Ýstanbul to New York to Cotonou, at low prices. Low prices mean that a cement factory worker in Cotonou, Benin can afford to buy more international goods than before
with the same salary he had been making. A bureaucrat in Ankara with a limited salary can now afford not one, but two cars (Nevermind that he is able to finance the second car because Turkish banks are pumping consumer credit). In addition, before we will get anywhere close to seeing the ocean of Chinese workers being fully employed, India is integrating with the world economy, although more cautiously and from a different angle. The democratic India is integrating with services rather than manufacturing goods like the iron-fisted China. When one thinks of the other Asian tigers - and elephants emerging nowadays, it is likely that the international market will be flushed with low-cost gadgets for many decades to come. That means low inflation and high consumption for a long time offsetting the effects of rising natural resource prices. The third major reason is a capital glut. It is not a suprise that after a few centuries of private savings in the West added to the newborn wealth of natural resource-rich countries, capital is flooding the world financial and real markets when new rules and rapid technological breakthroughs make large movements of capital fast and easy. Under free capital movements, that glut lead many local currencies to appreciate, further easing inflationary pressure and making local stock exchanges thrive and local real estate markets soar, accelerating local merger and acquistion markets. It’s a happy story so far. The question is how long can all this last?
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EXCHANGE RATES Central Bank* Exchange rates
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NEWS ANALYSIS By Andrew Finkel
Aborted electricity privatization short-circuits gov’t economic policy CÝHAN
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Ask 29,60 -
contýnued from page 1 The confederation expressed additional concern that an apparent reason for the postponement -- which affects bidding on three of the largest power distribution companies - appears driven by a desire to keep voters' electricity bills from rising during an election year. "The government will still come under pressure in 2007 to raise the cost of electricity. Stopping privatization is not a cure," said Erkut Yücaoðlu, a former chairman of TÜSÝAD. Some of the market pressure to raise prices comes from private electricity generating companies which in Turkey produce just under half of the country's needs. Most of this is produced in gas-fired stations and under current legislation must be earmarked for industrial, not domestic, use. These producers have seen profits squeezed by rising energy costs in contrast to government facilities, run largely on coal or hydro power, where costs have been relatively stable. However, experts agree that if the government wants to keep electricity prices down, it has other means at its disposal well short of jettisoning a key plank in its economic program. Any newly privatized distribution company would have no leeway in what it charges end-users. That figure is fixed according to a formula based on the price at which they buy electricity from the wholesale company, TETAÞ. If the government wishes to subsidize the price of electricity, it already has the means through TETAÞ which remains in state-owned hands. Privatization of the distribution grid may draw unwanted attention to a covert system of regional subsidies, according to Murat Üçer, an Istanbul-based consultant and former IMF employee. An abnormally high 17.8 percent of Turkey's electricity output is wasted due to loss or theft. These figures are higher outside the main urban areas. The first distribution scheduled for privatization included the Asian side of Istanbul, Ankara and environs, and Sakarya. Even after privatization, these companies are not allowed by the regulator to deviate from the national tariff. This may explain the reasons offered for the postponement offered by the minister for energy, Hilmi Güler: that major infrastructure work should precede privatization. It is not an argument that attracts much sympathy in the electricity industry. "In that case why did they ask for bids in the first place?" said one energy executive speaking on condition of anonymity. The privatization issue requires a successful bidder to invest in infrastructure in any case. The gathering row between the state and private sector threatens a consensus on the future of Turkey; confirmed only last November at a two-day summit of government officials and industry stakeholders held at a resort hotel in Sapanca. One of the outcomes of that meeting was the establishment of a working group to coordinate energy sector policy. The first meeting of that group in February is expected to be more than lively. The key question now is what will come first -- the cart or the horse. Up until last week, government policy insisted that privatization of the distribution grid was a necessary pre-condition to the much larger privatization of electricity generation. The logic behind this is that distribution companies can issue firm orders that would allow a new generation of private power generation companies to raise the huge investment sums required from the banks. Analysts are now warning of a two-year delay in meeting Turkey's electricity demand, said to be growing at an average of 8 percent per annum. This could mean real shortages by 2008. The dangers of supply bottlenecks were foreshadowed last summer when a surge in demand caused a series of blackouts throughout the grid. One explanation for the postponement is the residual mistrust the state sector has with economic liberalization. Previous governments have had frustrating records of
Energy Minister Hilmi Güler’s declaration of postponement ignited debates on both necessity and duration of privatization "on-again, off-again" privatization projects with tenders failing through obstructive bureaucrats or political shenanigans. In some cases, legal challenges were justified because laws that handed over monopolies to private companies were badly designed. The current AK Party leadership, however, has been more aggressive in seeing privatization issues through, motivated in part by the need for revenues to meet its ambitious budgetary targets. Applying the brakes to a key element of their privatization program and for reasons everyone guesses at but no one quite understands is bound to have market repercussions. "It's just poor governance," said Ýzak Atiyas, an economist at Istanbul's Sabanci University and a specialist in electricity regulatory issues. With a Treasury still carrying a huge financing burden, the government has been forced to listen to the market. But it has also made mistakes. If it decides to press ahead with privatization of
the grid in a few months' time, this would not be the first occasion on which it has been forced to eat its words. Last spring the government withdrew its nominee for governor of the central bank, suffering a loss of prestige not because the candidate's experience was in Islamic interest-free banking but because of the furtive way it tried to push the nomination through. More recently, ministers were forced to abandon a withholding tax on nonresidents investing in Treasury bonds. The prime minister also withdrew a proposal to outlaw adultery in 2004 under pressure that this would get in the way of Turkey's application to the European Union. The government may find itself with similar problems this time. "By creating more uncertainty, the government is giving the private sector more bargaining power -- not less. The more they hurt their own credibility, the more costly it is going to be to attract private investment," Professor Atiyas said.
TODAYâ€™S ZAMAN 11
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Asian leaders agree to promote biofuels AP PHOTO
Leaders from 16 countries of Southeast Asia, including Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, China and South Korea, signed an agreement Monday to help reduce their dependence on conventional fuels in favor of biofuels. The Cebu Declaration on East Asian Energy Security, signed after a half-day meeting that followed the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit talks in the central Philippine city of Cebu, lists a set of goals seeking to provide the region spanning Australia to India with "reliable, adequate and affordable" energy supplies essential for sustaining growth and competitiveness. The energy accord commits countries to reducing reliance on fossil fuels, opening up energy markets and trying to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The leaders were also expected to issue a statement on North Korea, amid a growing effort in the region to bring Pyongyang to account after it carried out its first nuclear weapons test in October. They also were to urge the World Trade Organization to get global trade talks back on track and agreed to consider ways to coordinate regional efforts on bird flu and natural disasters, according to a draft of the final statement. Leaders including Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also heard calls to create a vast free-trade zone that would account for around half the world's population. While Asia has recovered well from the regional financial crisis of a decade ago, nations need to do more to fight poverty and free up trade to ensure that growth continues, Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda said. "Asia is home to 12 of the world's 15 tallest buildings -- a testament to its ability to rapidly generate wealth. But it is also home to the world's largest slums," he told the closed-door gathering. Working toward freer trade was a priority throughout the three days of summit talks. ASEAN agreed on Saturday to create a single market by 2015, five years earlier than previously planned. The bloc -- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam -also signed its first convention on fighting terrorism. Member states also agreed to forge a
Unemployment figures released The government had something to feel good about as recently released general unemployment statistics displayed positive trends. According to data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK), the number of unemployed persons in October 2006 dropped by 143,000 to 2,334,000 compared to the same period the previous year. The data comes from the October 2006 household labor survey and covers the September-October-November 2006 period. According to the report, the total number of employed persons rose by 608,000 compared to October 2005, reaching 22,805,000. The sectors are broken down as follows: 26.8 percent in agriculture, 20.1 percent in industry, 6.2 percent in construction and 46.9 percent in services. The rate of unemployment in urban areas has dropped to 11.3 percent after registering a 1.1 percent decline and 6.4 percent in rural areas after a 0.2 percent decrease. Ankara Today's Zaman
Oil prices cling above $53 a barrel Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, center, South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun, left, and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe shake hands prior to their "trilateral" meeting. charter, which would transform ASEAN into more of a rules-based organization along the lines of the European Union, later this year.
$2 billion aid from Japan Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a $2 billion aid package on Monday to help Asian nations develop energy-saving technology and ease the region's dependence on oil. Abe unveiled the offer at a half-day summit of Asian leaders aimed at improving energy security and looking at alternatives to costly fossil fuels,
including nuclear power and biofuels. "Japan has improved energy efficiency at a rate of 37 percent in the past three decades since the oil shock. ... For the purpose of contributing to Asia's energy-saving efforts, we would like to share our experience," Abe said. Tokyo's aid package includes accepting 1,500 engineers and researchers from other nations as trainees and setting up an energy-saving center in Asia based on Japanese technology. Japan also pledged an extra $67 million in aid for Southeast Asia's battle against bird flu, Philippine President Gloria Arroyo said at a
regional summit. Tokyo contributed $150 million for the multinational effort to control avian influenza last year but that money had already been spent, Arroyo added. Four bird flu deaths in Indonesia and a spate of new poultry outbreaks in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia have sparked concern that the virus could make a resurgence this winter. Local authorities in southwestern Japan meanwhile said they would begin incinerating 12,000 dead chickens on a farm later Monday as part of efforts to stop the spread of a recent outbreak. Today's Zaman with wire dispatches
Oil prices rose above $53 a barrel Monday amid reports that OPEC may hold an emergency meeting to try to reverse the 13 percent plunge in oil prices this year. Light, sweet crude for February delivery gained 26 cents to $53.25 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange mid-afternoon in Singapore. OPEC members have not decided on whether to hold an emergency meeting to decide on the slide in crude oil prices, an Iranian Oil Ministry official told Dow Jones Newswires Sunday. Analysts expected trading volume to be thin Monday, and gains to be limited by the prevailing bearish sentiment. The market is eyeing $50.00 a barrel, according to Masaki Suematsu, a broker at Himawari CX in Tokyo. Derrick Ho Singapore AP
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When somethýng new ýs about to evolve As a Texan who has been in Turkey for 26 years, I love New Year and new starts. When something new is about to evolve, it indicates change, improvement and a new direction. Resolutions are similar. Recently some of us may have made a few, as I did. The top resolutions are familiar to all of us: Resolving to eat less, exercise more, turn off the TV, save money or the like. We may have good intentions to keep our resolutions, but not all of us do! When a new initiative is launched, like a successful resolution the best rely on the personal qualities, and the will and effort of the one making the initiative. On Dec. 18 Zaman newspaper announced that it would be launching a new newspaper, an English edition that intends to cover all the pertinent issues which foreigners living in Turkey grapple with. I am delighted to have been asked to write a column which aims to take us into the mind and soul of the nation. I intend to explore together with you essential cultural insights from daily life. We will question and discuss issues
such as the ancient traditions which confront a contemporary society, and explore many cultural issues. Some which affect our lives daily: Turkish perspectives and values,Customs and traditions, Dos, don’ts and taboos, Body language, Hospitality, food and drink,Giving and receiving gifts,Language and communication.Briefly, let’s consider language. Turkish is a member of the Ural-Altaic language family. This means that Turkish is distantly related to both Finnish and Hungarian as well as a number of the nomadic languages which spread as
far as Siberia. Turkish has a very rich language with many expressions to use in different circumstances. Turkish society is rich in context and , both rural and urban. Traditions and customs vary from region and neighborhood. Also socioeconomic class and education are influencing factors. Don’t be surprised if a practice or expression may be true for one Turkish setting but not necessararily for another one. For the most part, the following expressions are common when you want to express congratulations: when someone has just opened a new office, say “Bol kazanç olsun!” (Earn a lot!) ; when a new school year has opened, say “Baþarýlý bir yýl dilerim” (I wish you a successful year!); when a new house has been bought, say “Yeni evinizde güle, güle oturmanýz dilerim!” (Enjoy your new home!); when a new job is started, say “Hayýrlý olsun! Baþarýlar olsun!” (May it be blessed and be successful!); when a new newspaper is launched, what does one say? .Do we say something different from
above? How do we know what to say? I asked a few Turks and here are some of the suggestions they gave: “Yayýn yaþamýnýzdan baþarýlar dilerim!” (I wish you success in your new publishing venture!) “Ötekilerin birbirini anlamasýna yönelik adýmýnýzý kutlarým!” (I congratulate you on your effort to enable people to understand each other better!)Or maybe, just a simple “Hoþ geldiniz!” (Welcome!) is sufficient.Just like the New Year resolution, we want this new initiative to be successful for everyone. Together! Comments and questions from you, our Today’s Zaman readers, can make this possible. Let’s share experiences and enable one another to understand the culture of this land which has become our home -- temporarily or indefinitely - and fully enjoy our experience here. NOTE: For advice on cultural and social situations and for help in developing friendships in Turkey, e-mail Charlotte at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The web of Turkey’s fýctýve kýnshýp TURGUT ENGÝN
Every innocuous transaction is an opportunity for a relationship. In the 12 years I’ve called Turkey my home, I’ve seen few Turks pass up the chance to engage another person, to move past the role of stranger into the desired role of friend, no matter how fleeting or finite the interaction
Welcome to the legal corner Turkish law prohibits attorneys-at-law from advertising their services. Within this legal framework, I would like to introduce myself briefly to the readers of Today’s Zaman.I am a 1997 law school graduate and a licensed and practicing attorney-at-law, registered with the Istanbul Bar Association. I have also served as the Turkish representative for AIJA (L’Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats), or the International Association of Young Lawyers. I write a legal column for OPP magazine (Overseas Property Professionals).
What will the content of this column be?
Merchants often show hospitality by creating rapport and a degree of intimacy with their customers before rushing into business. To rush a sale is to imply the customer is not worth knowing. JENNIFER EATON GÖKMEN ÝSTANBUL
What is it about Istanbul’s historic Eminönü district that makes me want to head out each weekend into its congested crowds, elbowing my way through the shoulder-to-shoulder throngs of people crowding the narrow cobbled streets between its centuries-old buildings? From the fragrant Egyptian Spice Bazaar to the old Grand Bazaar with its vaulted ceilings and four thousand shops, I find myself spending Saturdays exhaustively hunting spices, gadgets, scarves or trinkets that I really don’t need. There’s little appeal in the street peddlers loudly hawking their wares -- anything from the current fruit in season to cheap plastic wind-up toys to ballpoint pens. And the charm of the Spice Bazaar’s polyglot sales boys quickly wears thin as they incessantly bait each passerby (tourist and local) with flippant comments in a host of different languages. Why do I bother? For me, these minor irritations are endurable because it was in Eminönü that I learned the essence of Turkish hospitality: Every innocuous transaction is an opportunity for a relationship. And it’s in the hopes of reliving this lesson that I search for more proof of the theory. In the 12 years I’ve called Turkey my home, I’ve seen few Turks pass up the chance to engage another person, to move past the role of stranger into the desired role of friend, no matter how fleeting or finite the interaction. In trade, that translates to merchants showing the necessary hospitality of creating rapport, and more importantly a degree of
intimacy with their customers before rushing into business. To rush a sale is to imply that the customer isn’t worth knowing.
Tea for two A well-known Turkish proverb claims that “a cup of coffee is remembered for 40 years.” Such is the ease and permanence with which bonding often occurs between strangers in this Mediterranean land, even in the jaded tourist district of Istanbul. Though Eminönü’s persistent and vociferous vendors can annoy, there are many more friendly shopkeepers with whom relationships are instant and enduring. It was first in Eminönü’s Grand Bazaar that I learned the reality of this caffeinated proverb when a transaction with a random shopkeeper turned into a retelling of his heart-rending life story over the course of two hours and countless glasses of tea. It is still customary -- especially in places like the Grand Bazaar or Spice Bazaar-- for shopkeepers to entreat customers to have cups of tea and leisurely conversation. It’s even been my experience that the social act of relaxed parley is sometimes more highly valued than the actual sale. That shopkeeper who told me his life story later gifted me double the amount of rare coins I’d paid for -- just for the pleasure of some earnest interaction. Such experiences are not uncommon since Turkish commercial culture strongly echoes the Turks’ communal social culture -- perhaps a legacy of their tribal ancestors of the past two millennia or just the easygoing friendliness and brotherly affection that seems to become second nature to most of these warm-hearted Mediterraneans. How can such hospitality not become characteristic when even the Turkish language conspires to bring people to-
gether? Inherent in the Turkish language are clues that this once tribal society still functions within a web of assumed consanguinity. Fictive kinship is automatically conferred upon even the most casual of strangers by the terms we use to address them. When asking directions from any random person on the street, we most often address our Good Samaritan as “my teacher,” “my brother,” “my son,” “uncle,” and even “father” (hocam, abi/kardeþim, oðlum, amca, baba). If they are women, they become our “daughter,” “sister” or “aunt” (kýzým, abla, teyze). In Turkey, rarely have I entered into any interpersonal event where the social implication of the required greeting would deny a familial or other innate bond with the person I was addressing. Having bestowed kinship upon indiscriminate passersby, we then necessarily -- underscore the depth of our truly intimate relationships with exquisitely hyperbolic oaths, regularly referring to loved ones as “my life” and “my soul” (hayatým, caným). Commonplace use of these exalted sentiments isn’t usually found in the linguistic tradition of Western cultures, much less this assumed intimacy between strangers, but for those of us fortunate enough to live in this beguiling country, by the mere nature of the vernacular, we’ve instantly become the adopted relatives of every Turk on the street! When considered in that light, it’s not unusual at all for me to want to brave the crowds and commotion of the Spice Bazaar. What better way to spend a sunny Saturday than down in Eminönü having glass after glass of tea with my new and growing “extended family”? Guest writer Jennifer Eaton Gökmen is co-editor of the international bestselling anthology “Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey” (www.expatharem.com)
NOTE: Today's Zaman intends to provide a lively forum for expatriates living in Turkey. We encourage you to contact us at email@example.com and share your experiences, questions and problems in all walks of life in for publication in Today's Zaman.
Expatriates living in Turkey, whether for business or pleasure and regardless of country of origin, will be subject to Turkish law, which will govern almost all aspects of their daily life, from buying coffee to establishing a company. Fortunately, Turkish law is not significantly more complicated than the laws of other European countries. Basically, Turkey is a country governed by civil law. The legal system was adapted from the European legal codes of the 1920s. For instance, the Turkish Civil Code was adapted from the Swiss Civil Code with only slight differences. I shall focus on those legal issues that pertain to expatriates. Rather than getting into detail, I will give a bird’s eye view of the Turkish legal system, to give an idea of how to manage the legal side of life. Your questions are welcomed, and as my audience, your questions will also be my guide in writing this column. We will respond to all reasonable questions. Don’t forget that your legal problems may be a common denominator with many other expatriates. The topics of the legal column will cover a wide range, from family law to corporate law. The basic steps of daily life will be covered by the legal column. The first week’s articles will cover the following issues: how and where to get a residence permit, how and where to get a work permit, what are the penalties for working without a permit, how to renew licenses and permits The real estate investments of foreigners, residential and commercial, in Turkey are significantly increasing, and real estate law will be one of the areas upon which we will be focusing. I believe there will be several hot topics in the real estate area. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of legal crises involving foreigners with relation to their real estate investments in Turkey. Not being familiar with Turkish law, foreigners run the risk of running afoul of it. By the same token and due to their ignorance of Turkish law, expatriates are sometimes cheated. I will give some tips and hints that may be very handy for expatriates carrying out their daily transactions to avoid any violations against them. Turkish company law will also be an interesting topic for expatriates. The commercial law system in Turkey is similar to the European system, with some differences that could affect the entire course of a business. The first article about company law will be about liability for the board members or directors of a Turkish company. Labor law issues will also be covered in this column. Turkish labor law has recently been modified and amended, granting more rights to employees. Social security law and regulations governing residence permits and work permits are important areas to be highlighted. Specific information will also be provided regarding labor law, such as that some professions are not open to foreigners, including but not limited to medical doctor, dentist, pharmacist, optician, attorney and notary public. The first topic on labor law will be: “What are the essentials of an employment contract under Turkish law?”I will be updating the readers of the legal column about new legislation and regulations that may be of interest to expatriates. The language of the column will be plain English for two reasons: There is a plain English campaign being waged across the English-speaking world (even in England) to make legal texts understandable for everybody; and, not all readers of this column are native English speakers. Please do not hesitate to ask me questions via email or facsimile. You can reach me through the e-mail address under the byline. NOTE: Attorney-at-law Berk Çektir is available to answer questions on the legal aspects of living in Turkey. Send enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
D ENİZ BAYKAL Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Even though it is an English-language newspaper, it will also be followed by people who speak Turkish. From a journalistic point of view, the distinction between foreign and domestic politics has disappeared. This newspaper is important for Turkey to explain itself in a better way in the process of integration with the world. Today's Zaman will come into prominence as a part of progress in Turkey and will be followed with interest. With its way of understanding, On behalf of Turkish politics and the media, I greet Today's Zaman with pleasure. I also congratulate its team and wish them success.
M EHMET AĞAR
E RKAN MUMCU
True Path Party (DYP) Chairman
Zaman has always played a pivotal role in bridging cultures, defusing the clash between civilizations, and bringing to light humanity's inherent values. I would like to congratulate Zaman, one of the most read and sold newspapers in the nation, on its initiative to launch an English paper. An English paper is a valuable tool for making our voices heard around the world. With the values it possesses, Zaman will no doubt perform a superb job. I would like to congratulate the Zaman family and its latest member, Today's Zaman.
Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) Chairman
Going through a fast and dynamic process of change, Turkey was indeed in need of an important project like Today's Zaman. Setting out to meet this need, Today's Zaman is a well-thought and well-planned project of great importance. Besides, we really needed a welldesigned English newspaper that would tell the world about us through our eyes. I believe that Turkey's process of integration into the world will gain speed with the contribution of this project. I give much importance to the launch of this newspaper and celebrate those behind it. I wish a successful publication life.
M UHSİN YAZICIOĞLU Grand Unity Party (BBP) Chairman I congratulate the Zaman media family for realizing this marvelous project. Zaman is a highly reputable media outlet in Turkey, and their attempt to fill a gap with this Englishlanguage newspaper is admirable. This is a significant step in many respects. First of all, this newspaper attempts to serve as a window that opens Turkey to the outside world. Additionally, it is vital for our communication with expatriates both in Turkey and abroad. I congratulate everyone involved with this project. I wish it will be successful.
H. E. R O S S W I L S O N
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Today’s Zaman welcomed at reception in Ankara
Ambassador of the United States
Congratulations on the launching of Today’s Zaman. I look forward to this paper being a good addition to the English language news providers and to the vibrant media environment of Turkey.
H. E. E C K A R T C U N T Z
German Ambassador to Turkey
For the new English edition of Today´s Zaman I would like to wish success. It can offer an excellent opportunity to inform people in Turkey and abroad about life in Turkey and the important issues which shape a society and be an additional forum for public debate. Therefore I hope that this project will be fruitful.
H. E. SYED IFTIKHAR HUSSAİN SHAH
Ambassador of Pakistan
I offer my good wishes for the launching of Today's Zaman. This paper will enable newsreaders, especially the diplomatic corps, to grasp a better picture of events. This newly launched paper will have to provide sufficient material to the readers for independent analysis. I received a warm response from the public of Turkey and from whichever door I knocked upon. The language, dress and culture of eastern Turkey share many similarities with Pakistan, and we hope these similarities will find a place in the newly launched paper. I hope this paper will put more focus on cultural and social activities.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, flanked by Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlý (L) and Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bülent Keneþ, holds up a copy of the first edition of Today’s Zaman during the reception at Ankara’s Sheraton Hotel on Monday evening.
H. E. KIM JORGENSEN Danish Ambassador to Turkey We are living in a globalized world where countries and peoples are interdependent. As an ambassador in Ankara it is very important to be up to date on a large variety of issues, from Turkish foreign and domestic politics to economic and cultural issues. I sincerely welcome the establishment of the new English-language newspaper, Today's Zaman, in Turkey. Today's Zaman will no doubt contribute to enhanced knowledge on these issues among foreigners in Turkey. I congratulate the publishers and editorial team for preparing such a good newspaper.
H. E. NADA JANKOVIC
Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina
My experience up until today tells me that diplomats need good analysis, and I believe we will read them in Today's Zaman. We, as diplomats, need to see the general picture in the countries we serve in. We need to follow the agenda. English dailies are very helpful in this sense, especially for the smaller missions. I hope Today's Zaman will write not only what is happening but also what will happen in the coming days. It can be a good idea to publish a special section like an intercultural calendar. I congratulate the people behind this newspaper and hope Today's Zaman will be successful.
Today's Zaman marked its first day with an elaborate reception at Ankara's Sheraton Hotel yesterday night. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, as well as a number of key Cabinet ministers, including Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül, State Minister Kürþad Tüzmen, Education Minister Hüseyin Çelik and Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker, were present at the reception to wish Today's Zaman success. The newspaper's Editor-in-Chief Bülent Keneþ also played host to ambassadors of a number of countries, including the United States, Turkmenistan, India, Israel, Japan, Palestine, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen, as well as other senior diplomats based in Ankara. Also present was the editor-in-chief of Zaman daily, Ekrem Dumanlý.
H. E. NABIL MAAROUF
Ambassador of Palestine
In the coming period there will be critical developments in the Middle East. It is also going to be a very difficult period in the region. Every day we are receiving pessimistic news about the situation. Under these conditions, Turkey should be involved in Middle East politics even more. So I think and hope that Today's Zaman is going to be a conduit for Turkey to the region. Here in Turkey we have quite a few Palestinians, either as Turkish-Palestinian families or as students. Community news will better help Turkish society and Palestinians living here understand each other.
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MEET THE TEAM
PHOTO KÜRÞAT BAYHAN
Today’s Zaman Team 1) Fatma Demirelli, Managing Editor; 2) Helen P. Betts, Chief Copy Editor; 3) Bülent Keneþ, Editor-inChief; 4) Okan Udo Bassey, Managing Editor; 5) Yonca Poyraz-Doðan, Diplomatic News Editor; 6) Nurettin Aslantaþ, Chief Graphic Designer; 7) Bülent Ilgaz, Page Designer; 8) Evrim Gürel, Culture&Arts Editor; 9) Ýbrahim Kaplan, Page Designer; 10) Ýbrahim Zengin, Page Designer; 11) Fahrija Bilcevic, Reporter; 12) Pýnar Vurucu, Reporter; 13) Þemsi Açýkgöz, Layout Director; 14) Mustafa Saðlam, Design Director; 15) Fevzi Yazýcý, Art Director; 16) Sacha Güney, Copy Editor; 17) Ýsmail Kocabýyýk, Reporter; 18) Yavuz Güllük, News Coordinator; 19) Selim Þimþiroðlu, Layout Advisor; 20) Fatma Diþli, Reporter; 21) Ömer Çolakoðlu, Reporter; 22) David Helleman, Copy Editor; 23) Faruk Can, Reporter; 24) Nicole Özturan, Copy Editor; 25) Ýbrahim Türkmen, Business News Editor; 26) Adnan Demir, Reporter; 27) Hamdi Ali Serdar, Reporter; 28) Gülnur Kýlýçoðlu, Reporter; 29) Ayþegül Güvenilir, Page Designer; 30) Fethullah Akpýnar, Page Designer; 31) Scott Michael Rank, Copy Editor; 32) Ýsmail Özcan, Page Designer.
Providing a better understanding of Turkey Today’s Zaman will be a bridge between Turkey and the rest of the world, and between Turks and foreigners living in Turkey. Today’s Zaman will have extensive and objective news coverage with original commentaries that will speak to the facts of Turkey, both in Turkey and on the international platform small but significant step for a Turkey-based international English daily. As a matter of fact, Today’s Zaman’s editorial staff and writers both Turks and foreign journalists -- were gathered together to address the needs of international journalism. You will have an opportunity to learn more about this exceptional group, which includes 40 unique pens from around the world, in our introductory pages. Today’s Zaman, which aims to give a clear picture of Turkey, will first be published in Turkey in hard copy. Later on, we intend to publish in various regions and countries around the glove that either speak or can communicate in English. TODAY’S ZAMAN’S CONTENT: The paper will be published six days a week in color. On Sundays, Today’s Zaman will be replaced by Sunday’s Zaman -- again 20 pages in full color. Today’s Zaman will mainly handle hot news while Sunday’s Zaman has been designed like a weekly paper including features, analyses and articles about issues concerning Turkey and Turks. Sunday’s Zaman will be published in coordination with British daily, The Times, with both logos appearing on the front page. Today’s Zaman, with a wide-ranging, varied and rich content prepared by our strong news crew in Ankara and experienced editorial staff in Ýstanbul, will have special pages addressing diplomats and expatriates living in Turkey as well as local and foreign professionals from the business world. However, Today’s Zaman will address not only diplomatic topics but all kinds of issues affecting Turkey and the rest of the world. There will be extensive commentaries and analyses along with economy, politics, culture/arts, sports and newsreel that will meet the news needs of foreigners in Turkey. Well-known foreign correspondents who for years have been working in Turkey for influential media organizations and publications such as CNN, Le Monde, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph and the Los Angeles Times, including Andrew Finkel, Hugh Pope, Nicole Pope and Suzanne Swan, will also make an important contribution to Today’s Zaman. The news crews of Zaman and the Cihan News Agency in Turkey and abroad will contribute special news to Today’s Zaman. It is better to finish here and let you meet our editorial staff and authors on these two pages.
The pillars of Today’s Zaman Emrah Ülker, Managing Editor
After covering for several years in his journalistic career a great range of issues from diplomacy to health, politics to sports, Ülker will soon join Today’s Zaman team from New York as a managing editor. He worked for years in Ankara as a political correspondent and for seven years as the bureau chief of Zaman in New York. Evrim Gürel, Culture & Arts Editor
After working as an editor, writer, copywriter, scriptwriter and creative director for several years, Gürel is now the arts and culture editor at Today’s Zaman. She has also worked for Eurosport Turkey as live broadcast sports commentator and for CNN Türk as an announcer for the "SinemaSinema" TV program. Fatma Demirelli, Managing Editor
She has covered Turkish foreign policy issues on a day-to-day basis for the Turkish Daily News as an Ankara-based diplomatic correspondent and editor since the late 1990s. She is now a managing editor at Today’s Zaman,
focusing mostly, but not necessarily solely, on politics and diplomacy. Helen P. Betts, Chief Copy Editor
She has worked as a copy editing chief for the past 10 years in Turkey, Japan and the United States. A seven-year resident of Ankara but currently residing in Washington, D.C., she has also written numerous articles on life, culture and travel in Turkey and around the region and will be an occasional contributor to various pages of Today’s Zaman.
foreign and sports editor for 22 years at the Turkish Daily News, will be sharing his insight with Today’s Zaman readers as the managing editor in charge of foreign news and sports. Yavuz Güllük, News Coordinator
A vibrant and versatile journalist who spent several years in daily Zaman’s foreign news section as an assistant editor, Güllük manages the flow of daily news items as the news coordinator at Today’s Zaman. He is also in charge of the domestic news and features sections of the newspaper.
Ýbrahim Türkmen, Business Editor
Türkmen is a former Treasury specialist at Kuwait Turk Bank. He was an assistant economy editor at Zaman newspaper just before joining the Today’s Zaman team and is now in charge of the newspaper’s business pages. Okan Udo Bassey, Managing Editor
He is actually the former Udo Steven Bassey, a familiar name in Turkish and international media circles for over two decades. Okan, the
Yonca Poyraz Doðan, Diplomatic and Political News Editor
For six years at Voice of America in Washington, D.C., she was an international broadcaster covering a range of issues from diplomacy and politics to environment and civil society for Turkish and English audiences. A graduate in mass communication, she also has a master’s degree in communication from Texas Tech University.
ALÝ ÜNAL PHOTO
The first edition of Today’s Zaman has come out, debuting with lofty ideals and a broad vision, aware of the responsibility it has undertaken both for the Turkish public and for Turkey. Today’s Zaman, the product of an intellectual journey of long years, has come into being after four months of intensive work. It is our responsibility to introduce you, our esteemed readers, to our paper in all its aspects, including its mission and vision. TODAY’S ZAMAN’S MISSION: Today, a lack of sufficient communication plays a major role in tension and conflicts worldwide as well as in the formation of prejudices people and nations have about one another. Although this era is called the age of communication or the information age, it is obvious that this is not reflected in people’s minds. The Internet helps us send information to another person or place or find the information we need in seconds. Thanks to air travel, it is possible to reach a remote location in hours, a trip that earlier took months to make. Then why are people so distant from one another? What can explain a lack of communication in this age of communication? We sometimes witness Turkey, the Turkish people or Turkish culture being perceived unfairly by the world community. Certainly, it would be irrational to explain this with a single reason, but the fact that we cannot express ourselves clearly in English, the common language of communication around the world, is among the reasons. Our failure to express ourselves clearly and clarify the reality of our country paves the way for some circles that are often not well intentioned to take advantage of this. So we feel that Today’s Zaman will be a bridge between the world and Turkey and between Turks and foreigners living in Turkey. Today’s Zaman will have extensive and objective news coverage and original commentaries that will speak to the facts of Turkey both in Turkey and on the international platform. Today’s Zaman will not be merely a collection of commentaries and diplomacy-based issues; it will also be full of analyses and interviews that will reflect life in Turkey with all its colors. That’s why we’ve adapted the expression "Your way of understanding Turkey" as our motto. TODAY’S ZAMAN’S VISION: The paper that we are proud to present to you today is a
Ankara team: Ready for the challenge Today’s Zaman’s Ankara bureau is energetically committed to providing a deeper understanding of Turkish politics and foreign policy for Today’s Zaman readers. Ankara Representative and columnist Kerim Balcý (R) will head a strong team of senior journalists: Lale Sarýibrahimoðlu (not seen in the photo) will chase news stories and offer valuable, in-depth analyses on defense and diplomacy issues in addition to writing regular columns; Ayþe Karabat (second R) will pen both a Sunday column and story news and features on life in Turkey; Ali Aslan Kýlýç (L), a senior correspondent on politics and international relations, will offer analyses and interviews on parliamentary politics and diplomacy; and senior parliamentary correspondent Ercan Yavuz (second L) will report on issues of domestic politics.
MEET THE COLUMNISTS
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in his regular column on Muslim and West relations, the EU, Turkish and Muslim diasporas, British politics, Middle East and Turkish society. Kerim Balcý, an expert on Middle East and Israeli politics and author of several academic articles and editor of Kimin Savaþý? [Whose War?] on the recent invasion of Iraq, writes weekly columns at Zaman daily. Balcý is the Ankara representative of Today's Zaman and will contribute with columns on domestic and international politics. Lale Sarýibrahimoðlu, an expert on
defense and diplomacy, will be writing columns twice a week as well as news articles for Today's Zaman. She is also working for the UK-based Jane's Defence Weekly as Turkey correspondent. Her 1997 book on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline received a national journalistic award, and another book on Turkish defense procurement was published in 1999. M. Nedim Hazar, who in the past has been a correspondent, a culture and arts editor and an editor-in-chief for several publications, is currently a columnist at Zaman newspaper and a movie critic at Aksiyon weekly. Today's Zaman readers will look for his Saturday columns on cinema and culture. Mehmet Kamýþ has worked in the past for Zaman newspaper and Aksiyon weekly in his 20-year professional career as a journalist. Kamýþ still continues to write columns for Zaman. In Today's Zaman, he will write about domestic political issues, the Balkans, the Middle East, history and minorities. Mehmet Öðütçü, a London-based senior multinational business executive, a former diplomat and OECD director, will share his forward-looking perspectives and policy recommendations on a wide range of global economic and geopolitical issues. Öðütçü will communicate early warning signals for Turkey and its neighborhood from global current and futuristic trends.
Page designers and editors have worked together to make Today's Zaman a visual triumph without impairing its functionality with regards to news coverage.
Abdülhamit Bilici, a journalist with 14
years' experience in reporting, editing and news management in print media and currently the deputy editor in chief of daily Zaman, will write on Turkish foreign policy, world politics, EU affairs and other issues for Today's Zaman readers. Ali Halit Aslan has worked for Zaman newspaper since 1989. A former deputy managing editor, Aslan is now the correspondent in Washington of the same newspaper. He will give in-depth analyses of key foreign policy issues, most notably Turkish-American relations in an era of challenges. A m a n d a A k ç a k o c a , an analyst at the
respected, Brussels-based think tank European Policy Center, will shed light in her columns at Today's Zaman on Turkey-European Union relations and provide in-depth analyses of frequent ups and downs in Turkey's bid to join the bloc. Ali Bulaç, well-known for his extensive
studies on issues such as the contemporary Islamic world and social change, will enlighten Today's Zaman readers on Middle East issues, internal and foreign politics, non-Western modernization and the current process that Muslim societies are going through. Andrew Finkel, an experienced observer
of Turkish life and politics, has been a correspondent in the past for The Economist, TIME magazine, The Times and CNN International. Finkel, well known among the Turkish audiences for his frequent appearances on television and his columns in Sabah and Milliyet dailies, will meet Today's Zaman readers in his weekly columns. Asým Erdilek, professor of economics at
the Weatherhead School of Management of Case Western Reserve University in the United States, specializes in international economics and business in his teaching and research. He will provide in his columns analyses of primarily international economic and business issues focusing on their implications for the Turkish economy.
thus providing legal guidance on all aspects of life, from buying coffee to establishing a company. B ü l e n t K e n e þ heads the Today's Zaman
team of professionals as editor in chief of the paper. He was a news coordinator at the Zaman and Turkish Daily News newspapers in the 1990s and early 2000s before joining the semi-official Anatolia news agency as New York representative in 2004. He was most recently the editor-in-chief of daily Bugün.
Hugh Pope, a leading expert on Turkey and author most recently of "Sons of the Conquerors: the Rise of the Turkic World," will share his experiences with Today's Zaman readers through features, analysis and a humorous focus on house-building in his weekly column on the Home&Garden Page.
Bülent Korucu, a journalist by profession, worked for several years at daily Zaman. Since 2004, he has been the director-general of the private Cihan news agency. Korucu will shed light in his columns on structural problems in politics and the implications of these problems on particular issues.
Hüseyin Gülerce, a graduate of science
and mathematics, later built his career in journalism. He is now a Zaman columnist and a producer at Samanyolu television. Gülerce will enlighten Today's Zaman readers on politics, education and intercultural dialogue.
Murat Yülek, an associate professor of economics, has worked in the past for the International Monetary Fund and the Islamic Development Bank. He has also been a consultant at the World Bank and is now warming his pen to write in-depth analyses and commentaries for Today's Zaman readers in his regular column on the economy pages.
Ýbrahim Kalýn focuses in his academic
Nicole Pope, a correspondent for 15 years
Turkish origin who is also a member of the European Parliament, will be writing for Today's Zaman readers on issues regarding European politics and Turkey's drive to join the European Union. Özdemir is a member of the European Parliament for Alliance '90/The Greens, part of the European Greens.
studies on medieval Islamic and Western philosophy, Islamic intellectual tradition and the relations between Islam and the West. In Today's Zaman, he will write about Turkish culture and society, Turkish-U.S. relations, the long-term implications of Turkey's EU membership process, Turkish and other Muslims in Europe and the United States.
C h a r l o t t e M c P h e r s o n , an American
Ýbrahim Öztürk, an associate professor
who has lived in Turkey since 1979, will provide in her column essential insights and information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior in Turkey. Through her own life experience she will help Today's Zaman readers become more aware of basic manners, common courtesies and sensitive issues.
of economics at Marmara University who has carried out extensive research on Asian economies, Japanese economy, transition economies and the Turkish economy, will concentrate in his columns on macroeconomics, development issues, and current economic policies of the government.
Ekrem Dumanlý, the versatile editorin-chief of Zaman newspaper, will also meet Today's Zaman readers in his regular columns. Dumanlý, who has studied communications and is the author of numerous stage plays, will write mostly about media, Turkish politics and foreign policy issues in Today's Zaman.
Ýhsan Daðý, a professor in the Department
of International Relations at Middle East Technical University, teaches and writes on the global politics of human rights, Turkish politics and foreign policy and the Middle East. He will focus on Turkish politics, global politics and the interaction between the two in his columns.
F i k r e t E r t a n , a regular columnist for Turkish daily Zaman for almost 20 years, has been writing on international affairs. His journalistic career has included various editorial and administrative posts in the past. He will
Ýhsan Yýlmaz, a legal and political sociologist who in Britain has been researching and teaching socio-legal and socio-political issues relating to Turkish politics, ethnic minorities and Turks and Muslims in the West, will write
C e m Ö z d e m i r , a German politician of
A t a A t u n , a Turkish Cypriot who has built an extensive career on academic studies as well as politics, promises to provide independent, crystal-clear facts about Cyprus, the political history of Cyprus, EU-Turkey membership negotiations and realities behind the curtains of Cyprus-Brussels-Ankara triangle.
for Le Monde newspaper as well as other publications, will write mainly on society, women's issues and civil society for Today's Zaman readers in her articles and regular columns. Pope, who has been based in Ýstanbul since 1987, is co-author, with Hugh Pope, of "Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey." Ö m e r T a þ p ý n a r , the director of the Turkey Program at the Brookings Institution's Center on the United States and Europe, focuses in his studies on TurkishAmerican relations, transatlantic ties, Muslims in Europe and Islamic radicalism. His columns at Today's Zaman will offer analyses on his other areas of expertise: the EU, Kurdish nationalism and the Middle East. Selçuk Gültaþlý, a veteran journalist with deep insight into Turkey-European Union relations who is now Zaman's representative in Brussels, will contribute to Today's Zaman with regular columns in which he will focus on Turkey's EU bid as it is seen from Brussels and analyze zigzags in this long and winding road to membership.
PHOTO KÜRÞAT BAYHAN
Ayþe Karabat, a journalist of immense experience on the Middle East, diplomacy and intimacies of Ankara politics, worked for several Turkish newspapers and television stations and was a correspondent for foreign radio stations. In Today's Zaman, she will write a Sunday column as well as story news and features on life in Turkey, focusing on women\s issues.
S u a t K ý n ý k l ý o ð l u , director of the Ankara Office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, will contribute to Today's Zaman with regular columns on foreign policy issues, including Turkey's EU drive, Turkish-U.S. ties and Turkish policies in the Caucasus and the Middle East as well as aspects of domestic politics that have an impact on Turkey's foreign and security policy. Þahin Alpay, a renowned journalist and academic, teaches at Boðaziçi University and is currently a columnist for Zaman newspaper. Today's Zaman readers will enjoy his columns on philosophy and politics and his unique blend of leftist and liberal ideas that he has come to be known for in Turkey and abroad. T a m e r K o r k m a z , whose regular columns will enlighten Today's Zaman readers on different aspects of Turkish politics, is a former parliamentary correspondent for Zaman newspaper and currently a columnist for he same daily. He was recognized by the Turkish Writers' Association for his work in 2000.
Beril Dedeoðlu, a professor of international relations at Galatasaray University and writer of books and several articles on the European Union, the Middle East, international security and international politics, will offer analyses on Turkish foreign policy and international developments in her columns.
Yavuz Baydar, known for his scrutiny of
Berk Çektir, an independent lawyer and
part-time legal column writer for Overseas Property Professionals magazine, will offer his expertise on the Turkish law for expatriates living in Turkey in his frequent columns for Today's Zaman,
Mümtaz'er Türköne, who teaches at the International Relations Department of Ankara's Gazi University, is the author of several books on Turkish modernization and Turkish political history. A long-time columnist for Zaman newspaper, Türköne will offer political analyses and commentaries in a broad area where national and global politics intersect.
contribute to Today's Zaman once a week on international affairs, focusing mainly on Eurasian, military, security and energy issues.
Today’s Zaman reporters busy at work at the company’s ultra-modern facilities in Ýstanbul.
the Turkish press and his monitoring of ethical issues, rightfully deserves fame for having introduced the concept of ombudsmanship in the Turkish press. He is now into 7+ years as readers' representative, writing weekly columns in daily Sabah, and will meet Today's Zaman readers in his regular columns.
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PHOTO BURAK SOYSAL
A Lİ BABACAN
R İFAT HİSARCIKLIOĞLU Turkish Union of Chambers & Commodities Exchanges Chairman
Economy Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU Talks
This is what I see in EU member states: While monitoring Turkey, opinion leaders and political leaders either use non-Turkish agents or translated materials from Turkish publications and broadcasts. They have limited sources to inform them on Turkey in a Western language. It is very important to increase and diversify those sources. In this regard, I believe Today's Zaman will widen and improve the field and I wish the staff success.
The Turkish daily Zaman has kept growing and increasing its prestige through its principled news reporting ever since it was established 20 years ago. I believe that each of your employees -from upper management to those in services -- will continue to work with the awareness of their occupational responsibility. I celebrate your determination to become a global media company with your new investment in the Turkish press and wish you a successful publication life. May Today's Zaman benefit your publication group and the entire Turkish press.
R IZANUR MERAL
U ĞUR TERZİOĞLU
Confederation of Turkish Industrialists (TUSKON) Chairman As Turkey has been developing very rapidly in recent years, the absence of a good English-language paper is badly felt. We follow what is happening in Korea from English-language newspapers such as the Korean Herald. Turkey is dominating the world agenda nowadays, and so foreigners are looking for sources in a language they can understand. I am sure that Today's Zaman will be an important source for them. You are kicking off under the umbrella of a very serious and experienced media company, hence your expertise in publishing is unquestionable.
Z EYNEL ABİDİN ERDEM
President, Erdem Holding Board of Directors
I hope Today's Zaman respects all segments of society, all opinions, all beliefs and different ethnic groups in the same manner as Zaman and Samanyolu Televizyonu (STV) have done so far. I believe this new daily will give its readers unbiased and accurate information. Economywise, it should cover news from all over the world. I am sure it will maintain a sensitive attitude on political issues. On social issues, its policy should be in line with Turkey's traditions and values.
Today’s Zaman is printed at Feza Gazetecilik’s modern printing plant, giving it a high-resolution, full-color layout.
H AKAN FİDAN
M URAT SARAYLI
A newspaper not only gives information, it also has a message for its readers. The only way to satisfy the readers is to provide them both information and analysis. I hope Today's Zaman delivers our message to the world while it presents the whole picture on Turkey. This newspaper is also crucial for the Turkic republics of Central Asia and the whole Islamic world. An Englishlanguage newspaper would be read in Sudan and in Ethiopia as well. Intellectuals in Central Asia would follow it. I wish success to the Today's Zaman team on this tough road.
Young Businessmen's Association of Turkey (TUGİAD) Chairman
The goal of this newspaper is of paramount national importance. Turkey is a country under the microscope -- analyzed, probed and diagnosed. It is a country everyone is trying to fully understand, and recently it has drawn much attention because of recent developments it is undergoing. That being the case, there is a dire need for accurate information, and the source of this information is the press. Today, the Internet offers a great opportunity, but hard copy newspapers will always remain valuable.
Today, as I was waiting for my plane to take off, I saw a young deputy governor reading an English-language daily. When I asked why he was reading it instead of the pile of Turkish newspapers lying beside him, he said, "I'm curious how issues concerning our country are being discussed and perceived by foreigners." The answer carries meaning. Turkey needs this newspaper. Those who have taken Zaman daily to new heights will definitely make Today's Zaman Turkey's voice in the international community.
S İNAN AYGÜN
Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) Chairman
Turkey is a country with a rich past where civilizations meet. However, it has long been suffering from the inability to accurately express itself to the world. Turkey is mostly presented to the world by settled expatriates through their own filters. In this regard, it is very important that Turkey will now have a new English daily paper. The ability of the public to express its own views in its own words will greatly help Turkey be understood by the world. Today's Zaman will fill a longstanding gap in Turkey for its voice in the world. I celebrate the staff preparing Today's Zaman and wish it a long life.
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The poets of Ýstanbul Book after book of excellent poetry about Turkey is being published by English-speaking poets, many of them living in and writing about Ýstanbul. This is not the first time that Ýstanbul has inspired an outpouring of poetry by English-speaking foreigners, either resident or passing through. Has University, as John Ash does, and lives in a high walk-up flat overlooking the Golden Horn. Reflecting the growing interest in Turkey, Kenne and another expatriate poet, Jeffrey Kahrs, edited a supplement on Turkish and expatriate poetry last year in the Atlanta Review, a mid-sized U.S. poetry magazine. A new publication bringing together poets in Turkey with others in the region is the Near East Review, started at Ankara's Bilkent University by George Messo. The 38-year-old English teacher, married to a Turk, often writes about Trabzon and the Black Sea Coast. In one he murmurs to himself, lying on his back waiting in vain for a lone fig to fall “through seven centuries” into his mouth in an Ottoman sultan’s garden:
“Ferries now glide in and out Of blinding fog with two lights, grim, Ablaze on each black, dreaming mast.” Soul here sails the what-has-been … Sidney Wade, American poet HUGH POPE ÝSTANBUL
With its opulent layers of history, an east that overlaps with the west and an intimate kaleidoscope of life filling its cities, Turkey has always inspired its own poets. Now the country is seeing one more benefit from opening itself up to the outside world in recent decades. Book after book of excellent poetry about Turkey is being published by English-speaking poets, many of them living in and writing about Ýstanbul. The genie of John Ash conjures up secret longings from dead Byzantine emperors and lessons in love from a fruitless wait for a carpenter. There is the delectable fluidity of Sidney Wade, the wry melancholy of Mel Kenne and James Wilde's punching savagery of war. Just some other full-length publications include the theatre of the streets observed with Daniel Pendergrass, gay odes from Edward Foster and monastic meditations by George Messo. This is not the first time that Ýstanbul has inspired an outpouring of poetry by English-speaking foreigners, either resident or passing through. A similar flourishing accompanied a period of liberalization in the 1960s, stimulated by the interaction of expatriate and Turkish intellectuals who congregated at Robert College, then an American-run university. It found its expression in The Golden Horn, an annual literary review that stayed in print throughout that decade. “Two of our poets, Richard Eberhart and Richard Wilbur, won both the Bollingen and Pullitzer prizes,” says American John Freely, who was the editor of The Golden Horn. He went on to become a prolific author of histories and Englishspeaking Ýstanbul's grand old man of letters. Freely's favorite poet is the late James Lovett, whose work evokes the smells and street cries of the city's premass migration era. Lovett writes, for instance, of an equinox when the autumn run of lüfer, or blue fish, from the Black Sea down the Bosporus was so bounteous that the fish took a wrong turn and boiled up in a silvery churning under the Galata Bridge. Ýstanbul workers pulled lines and fishhooks out of their “hungry wallets” -- there were almost no rods before the 1990s -- snagged their harvest and took it home wrapped in newsprint
While their housewives huddled in negligés, Peering down from sunless balconies, Wait till the coals in their red-hot braziers Also turn a little blue. “Lovett evokes an Ýstanbul that's now lost for ever,” says Freely, the father of Maureen Freely, translator of Nobel Prize-winning Orhan Pamuk and one of several new non-Turkish fiction writers who are also experimenting with Turkish themes. “The foreign poets knew the Turkish poets and the Turkish poets knew them. They wrote for each other,” he adds. “The city is too big for that now. But what's been written, then and now, is a rich and unmined seam.” **** John Ash, the doyen of today’s Ýstanbul poets, arrived in 1996 after 11 years in New York and teaching assignments elsewhere in the United States. From the English city of Manchester, his mind is as sharp and unforgiving as a razor. Now 58, he has quietly won numerous awards from a steady stream
But your shoes are soaked and your overcoat smells of dog. History will not let you in.
His next project is a book-length poem about life in an Ankara apartment block. “Turkish cities are so in-your-face ... I don't think I'd have ever felt able to write about an English city in this way,” he says. “Ankara has a reputation for ugliness, and as a poet I find that enormously liberating.” Daniel Pendergrass, now living in Dubai, learned of the new interest in Turkey in the Arab world when he sent a few verses to an Algerian-owned magazine. The publisher requested the full manuscript and printed the volume forthwith. Less surefooted than professionals like Ash and Wade, the Alabama-born English teacher has a keen eye nevertheless. A fist-waving anti-American demonstration suddenly unfolds in front of the secret agents, pigeons and himself on Beyazit Square. Just as quickly, though, the crowd rounds on a new “usurper,” a police helicopter, and Pendergrass joins in. I clipped the wings of my lofty indifference And warmed to the crime of outrageous happiness. ****
1) When Mel Kenne arrived in 1993, he plunged into Turkish poetry. 2) George Messo. 3) Everyday scenes in Ýstanbul also inspire Sidney Wade. She feels Ýstanbul is the center of the world. 4) John Ash, the doyen of today’s Ýstanbul poets, arrived in 1996. 5) Galata Tower. 6) Maiden Tower. 7) Daniel Pendergrass.
of work. Ash was described in 2004 by a reviewer in the leading U.S. magazine Poetry as someone who “could be the best English poet of his generation.” Ash writes in his flat in a backstreet 19th century building not far from the Galata Tower, spinning out poems his spider-web long-hand. Ancient ruins angrily protest at being dug out, patched up and stared at by ignorant crowds. Byzantine emperors have their brains dashed out by soap dishes. A neighbor's Ramadan fast is recorded in metal shutters crashing to the pavement at dusk and soft footfalls from the floor above before dawn. As for fixing leaks: O Plumbers of Asia, it is your lyrical and improvisatory compositions that most delight me, filled with the sadness of flooded basements. Everyday scenes also inspire Sidney Wade, a professor of English at Florida University. She lived in Ýstanbul for two years a decade ago and now re-
turns at least one week a year because the she feels it is the center of the world. “It offers material for new discovery, but provides a comfortable base for these discoveries,¨ the 55-year-old poet says. “It's schizophrenic. It's many layered. There are tensions about its place in the world, east or west, it has never been anchored. That's what we poets like.” When Mel Kenne arrived in 1993, he plunged into Turkish poetry. He was jealous of and inspired by the sweeping flexibility of the Turkish language compared to the black-and-white rigors of English. “When I came here I found my writing took off with a new energy, a new direction,” he says. He now feels liberated, no longer culture-bound, no longer even an American poet:
I can't write about my dead father's cardigan (he never owned one.) Or the family's Thanksgiving get-together. Thanks, though. The burly 60-year-old Texan now teaches at Kadir 7
Who knows if these books will achieve recognition as an “Ýstanbul School,” or whether their verses will simply merge with the work of Turkish poets. The poetry often reflects its common origin in the history and life of Ýstanbul, and some of the poets meet and edit each other's work. Most juggle work teaching English -- in two cases in the Persian Gulf -- or copywriting. One at least regularly runs out of money, forcing him to shut off his heating and to take loans from friends. Others are independently wealthy, and one lives in a house that is in itself a rich museum of eastern art. Helping hands are rare. A couple of poets were lucky to find the patronage of a literary-minded Turkish banker, who helped to find publishers and informal scholarships - generous advances in cash passed over restaurant tables in white envelopes, like purses of gold from a benevolent mediaeval prince. Still, the number of poets is growing as Turkey's booming private education sector sucks in more and more young English teachers with a literary bent. At the same time, Tony Frazer, editor of poetry publishers Shearsman Books in England, senses a new global literary interest in Turkey. More and more foreigners are visiting and becoming fascinated with Ýstanbul, he notes, along with Turkish exhibitions abroad, new non-fiction books on the country, the debate about Turkey's possible place in the European Union, and an increased sensitivity to the Islamic world in general. Not everything in his post box fills him with delight, of course. “There's far too much of the what-I-did-on my-holidays kind of poem, and not enough real insight,” he says. “But there is something in the air. And poets have always been good at sniffing such things out.”
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Despite the strength of the currency, exports have more than doubled during the last four years and are projected to continue to increase, indicating the continuing competitiveness of the economy.
Turkey’s macroeconomic targets have been met The average real GDP growth during AK Party governance has exceeded 7 percent, putting Turkey among the fastest growing economies in the world. More importantly, growth has been driven by total factor productivity on the supply side and by private fixed investment on the demand side ALİ BABACAN TURKISH ECONOMY MINISTER AND CHIEF NEGOTIATOR FOR EU TALKS
The macroeconomic environment has improved significantly since our government took office in 2002. The main factor behind this success is the comprehensive macroeconomic program that we announced before the 2002 elections. One can observe that today almost all the macroeconomic targets have been met; hence, we have achieved what we promised. In response to determined macroeconomic policy implementations based on tight fiscal and monetary policy, significant results have been achieved in production, with continuously growing real GDP throughout the past four years. The average real GDP growth during that period exceeded 7 percent, putting Turkey among the fastest growing economies in the world. More importantly, growth has been driven by total factor productivity on the supply side and by private fixed investment on the demand side. High inflation had been an acute and chronic problem of the Turkish economy for several decades. Before we took office, the average rate of inflation of the preceding 10 years was above 70 percent. Combating high and persistent inflation was a top priority in our government's agenda. Towards this end, we were aware of the critical importance of the credibility of the central bank along with the implementation of tight fiscal and monetary policies, and completion of the structural transformation of the economy. Thus, having attributed the utmost importance to the central bank's independence from the beginning, we have supported the central bank's operational and management independence. Currently, the inflation target has been jointly settled upon by the central bank and the government, and the central bank is totally independent in terms of choosing the means
of implementing monetary policy and employing the necessary tools to reduce inflation. Moreover, fiscal discipline, together with concordant monetary policy, has also contributed to the development of confidence and a breakdown of inflation inertia in the economy. The reflection of policies to fight inflation has been impressive on the inflation outcome. The annual rate of inflation dropped to single digits in 2005 and hit 9.65 percent in 2006. This is important progress, especially taking into account the fact that it was achieved against a background of strong growth and a record high level of energy prices. Price stability is still an important policy priority for us, and we are determined to implement the necessary policies to achieve lower levels of inflation. Policy coordination among the different parts of economic policy management is extremely critical for the success of any economic policy. We believe that we have managed to create a good environment for successful fiscal and monetary policy coordination. With this understanding, we prepare and execute the economic program together with the central bank and focus on the same targets. This cooperation and coordination has proven to be very successful as can be seen from the striking improvement of the Turkish economy.Has improved. The share of FX-denominated debt has declined, and the share of YTL-denominated fixed rate debt has increased over the last four years, making debt stock more resilient to exchange rate and interest rate shocks. The sustainability of the current account deficit has been the subject of recent policy discussions. The current account deficit has been on an upward trend over the last three years, and it is expected to be around 8.5 percent of GNP in 2006. At this point, I would like to draw your attention to a few points on the dynamics of the current account deficit and its financing. First of all, it is noteworthy that the deficit has not been driven by fiscal expan-
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BÜLENT KENEÞ Managing Editors OKAN UDO BASSEY FATMA DEMÝRELLÝ EMRAH ÜLKER Art Director FEVZÝ YAZICI Design Director MUSTAFA SAÐLAM News Coordinator YAVUZ GÜLLÜK Ankara Representative KERÝM BALCI Diplomatic News Editor YONCA POYRAZ DOÐAN Business News Editor ÝBRAHÝM TÜRKMEN Art & Culture Editor EVRÝM GÜREL Chief Copy Editor HELEN P. BETTS General Manager FARUK KARDIÇ Advertising Manager YAKUP ÞÝMÞEK Responsible Manager and Representative of the Owner ALÝ ODABAÞI Public Relations Contact Information: Phone: 0212 454 84 54, Publication Type: Periodical, Daily Headquarters: Today’s Zaman, 34194 Yenibosna, ISTANBUL. Phone Number: +90 212 454 1 444 Fax: 0212 454 14 97, Web Address: http://www.todayszaman.com, Printed at: Feza Gazetecilik A.Þ. Tesisleri. Advertisement Phone: +90 212 454 82 47, Fax: +90 212 454 86 33. Today's Zaman abides by the rules of press ethics.
sion or monetary loosening. Rather, it has been the result of high energy prices, productivity and private sector-led growth, high investment goods imports and the strength of the currency, which has been supported by the increased confidence of domestic and foreign investors for the YTL. Second, the current account deficit has not been growing due to a weak exports performance. As a matter of fact, despite the strength of the currency, exports have more than doubled during the last four years, indicating the continuing competitiveness of our economy. We believe that income policies implemented in line with inflation and productivity gains have been major supportive factors in maintaining this competitiveness. This encouraging performance is projected to continue with the support of new investment in our competitive sectors. The main driving force behind the widening current account deficit has been the boost in imports, especially that of intermediary goods, which has been driven by economic growth. We observe that a substantial part of the surge in intermediary goods imports can be tied to energy imports, which mounted due to soaring energy prices. A back of the envelope calculation showed us that the current account deficit as a percentage of GNP would have been 4 percent lower in 2006 than the actual figure if energy prices had stayed at the 2002 level. On the other hand, the briskness of capital goods imports, which in turn bolsters growth and exports, has been the other factor driving imports up. On the financing side, we see that the quality of external financing is radically improving. Foreign direct investment inflows, which averaged around $1 billion in the past increased to $18.1 billion as of November of last year thanks to progress in privatization and acquisitions. We expect that this increasing trend will continue in coming years as we foster efforts to improve the investment
environment. The share of long-term borrowing by the nonbank private sector has also been increasing. The main reason for this borrowing is to finance investment and trade activities, which in turn increase the repayment capacity of our economy. Finally, the floating exchange rate regime, Turkey's commitment to sound policies and structural reforms, and the increased credit ratings of both the public and private sectors are comforting factors with regard to Turkey's ability to tackle the high current account deficit in the medium term. The improved soundness of the financial sector, evidenced by high capital adequacy ratios and very low open foreign exchange positions, also provide further comfort. Having said all this, we agree that we should pay increased attention to the current account deficit. The main part of our policy response to the current account deficit is the continuation of the tight fiscal policy implementation since we have announced the achievement of a primary surplus of at least 6.5 percent of GNP in 2007. We believe this will help prevent the domestic savings gap from further expansion as well as relieve the pressures on monetary policy. We are aware of the fact that achieving a sustainable growth path, acquiring price stability and a sound fiscal stance and improving the competitiveness of the economy require going beyond the macroeconomic policy response and calls for widening the scope of the structural reforms as well as deepening the ongoing efforts. In this context: Substantial progress has been achieved regarding the rehabilitation and restructuring of the financial sector. Both private banks and public banks are adequately capitalized and have become less risk prone. These reforms contributed to the banking sector having a healthier balance sheet structure with a higher capital adequacy ratio and a lower non-performing loan ratio. We aim to further our reforms in the financial sector by strengthening the institutional capacity for effective enforcement of our new banking act, bringing the regulatory and supervisory framework for the non-bank financial sector more in line with best international practice and speeding up the privatization of the state banks. We have also initiated a comprehensive social security reform aimed at reducing the pension deficit to less than 1 percent of GDP over the long term. The social security administrative reform law, which will unify the governance structure of pensions and health and social assistance programs, will improve the cost effectiveness of the system. The envisaged savings in the social security system is important in creating room for more active labor policies. Going forward, our reform efforts will focus on increasing the flexibility of the labor market and improving the skills of the labor force in the most-needed areas. During the last couple of years, we have also introduced several structural changes in the fiscal area. To help streamline the operation of public financial management and budgeting procedures, a new Public Financial Management and Control Law was adopted. The new public procurement system and the rationalization of public investment and employment in SEEs were also introduced in the same vein. We are also working on civil service and good governance reforms to further enhance the quality of our fiscal adjustment as well as laying down medium-term spending priorities and ways of attaining efficiency gains in public expenditures. We believe these reforms should allay concerns over the sustainability of the fiscal adjustment and reliability of the budget to deliver on fiscal targets. We have made further progress in the area of tax policy reform, with the stage set for important changes that will simplify the tax structure, broaden the tax base and align the tax policy more closely with EU practices. We have adapted legislative changes to unify the schedules for wage and non-wage income and reduce the number of tax brackets. Corporate income tax rate was reduced from 33 percent to 20 percent. We have also made substantial progress in strengthening tax administration. There have been remarkable efforts on a legal basis to promote foreign direct investment. As a part of these efforts, the Foreign Capital Law of 1954 was replaced by a new law on June 17, 2003 that reflects Turkey's equal and liberal approach to international investors and serves as a legal guide to international investors with informative messages regarding their rights and obligations. Moreover, the "Turkey Investment Portal" which aims to guide foreign entrepreneurs, was founded in 2006. (www.investinturkey.gov.tr <http://www.investinturkey.gov.tr>). A successful privatization program has been implemented to reduce the public sector's role in the production of goods and services. To ensure the proper functioning of the market, independent regulatory and supervisory agencies have been established. In this respect, many sectors in the economy have been liberalized to enhance the role of private sector and create a strong private sectorled market economy. As a result of accelerated privatization efforts in recent years, privatization revenues have increased significantly. Privatization revenue, which totaled $9.5 billion in the 19862004 period, has reached over $16 billion in the last two years, mainly with the privatization of Turk Telecom, Tupras (Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation), Erdemir (iron and steel company), and insurance and pension companies. CONTINUED ON PAGE 21
TODAY’S ZAMAN 19
T U E S D AY, J A N U A R Y 1 6 , 2 0 0 7
The Obvýous I have never met journalists who were fired for laboring the obvious -- even if they do so in a roundabout way. So let me begin this tale in 1990, when I was working for a newly relaunched Turkish-language newspaper, Güneþ. One of my daily chores was to send a translation of our day’s headlines to CNN International, which, at that time, carried a summary of the world press. My editor was anxious to boost our reputation by seeing our paper’s take on the news posted in the company of established international newspapers like El Pais, Le Monde and La Repubblica. This seemed an obvious strategy at the time, although not one that had occurred to any of our competitors -- and I remember being surprised by the utter astonishment of my colleagues on the odd days when it was our turn to win the lottery and it was the logo of our paper that was splashed across the television screen. In retrospect I realize that we were helping to break a curious taboo -- and in so doing, I believe, helping to raise standards of the ways news was being reported. Let me explain. Again, it seems obvious to say, but Turkish newspapers are in Turkish and certainly in those days were not really
ANDREW FINKEL email@example.com
designed to be read by people from other nations. “Turkey for the Turks” is the motto that still appears on the front page of the country’s most profitable newspaper, and while this may be a fine statement of patriotic intent, it is not a concept that translates well. Imagine discovering “Deutschland für die Deutschen” on the cover of the Frankfurter Allgemeine or the warning “Don’t bother to read this if you’re not English” beneath the famous logo of The Times. If non-Turks are often astonished by the contents of a Turkish front page, then the implicit reply is that they are eavesdropping on a conversation they are really not meant to hear. So in those days, advertising our view on CNN of the day’s most important story, translating it into
another language -- well, yes we were trying to make ourselves look important -- we were also sticking our heads out of the sand. We were waving our own flag but also inviting criticism. There is large and complex literature on the role of the press as a key component of nationalism. Historically, newspapers have been one of the key means through which individuals imagine a world outside their own immediate experience. Through the media we understand that our lives are interdependent with people we will never meet and we imagine a community of like-minded people who read the same headlines as we do as they gobble breakfast on the way to work. The press encourages us to be citizens of a nation and to be interested in the world. Yet while newspapers chide their readers to “think outside the box,” they also remind them that the “box” exits. The press can be a tool for drawing walls around nations and even within nations marking boundaries between “us” and “them.” Newspapers can be part of our “branding” as much our wristwatch or shoes. So where does that leave
NICOLE POPE firstname.lastname@example.org
More women ýn polýtýcs
A paradoxýcal sýtuatýon How should we evaluate the current situation in Iraq? A critical analysis of the situation is necessary. The United States had attacked Iraq on the pretext of the existence of “weapons of mass destruction” in the country as well as that “Saddam had links with international terror organizations.” The United States found proof for neither, something that has been mentioned by many in that country, though mainly in the media. The second pretext of the United States for Iraq invasion was “launching a democratization process in Iraq that will later spread over the region.” The “Greater Middle East Project” has been advanced with this objective in mind, but the ways and means of this utopian vision remain unclear as of today. For instance, we can ask whether Iraq has adopted democracy, or not -- as of the end of 2006, some important steps have been taken in the region for the preservation of basic rights and liberties, by the Arab countries in particular, even if not toward full democratization. For example, thousands of people who had been under arrest in Egypt for years were set free. Programs have been launched to soothe the wounds in Syrian society that originated in 1982 with the war in Lebanon and the slaughter in Hama. Countries from Saudi Arabia to Yemen, from the Gulf to North Africa, have made declarations to realize reforms in governance. All these have been significant, if symbolic, developments in the name of democracy. We’ll just settle for mentioning these steps because the process is about to turn the opposite way around. While the reform decisions remain on paper, there has been in practice a systematic withdrawal from the direction of reform. There are strong signals in many Middle Eastern countries that they entering a new era of suppression. Mass arrests of protestors and civil rights advocates have started in some countries, and such events are gradually increasing. Today there are more restrictions on the freedom of speech than there were two years ago. All these developments have been directly related to events in Iraq. An interesting shift, which can seem paradoxical, is that the Middle Eastern administrations are slowly returning to their former situation as the possibility of U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in the near future increases. If the United States had won a victory in Iraq -- that is, if the insurgency could have been contained and Iraq could have adopted democracy, or in other words, if the U.S. plan had worked -- the autocratic regimes would have been compelled to take faster steps toward democratization due to the indirect pressure they would have felt on themselves. However the U.S. failure is seen as sufficient reason to continue with the status quo. The picture that emerges is as follows: The United States and regional countries have fallen into a tragic dilemma. The only original excuse remaining for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which was the democratization of the region, is now serving for just the opposite function. The American failure brings with it a new flow of repression to Iraq, and the same dilemma goes for the regional countries as well: the Arab public simultaneously has a strong desire for democratization on the one hand, while it sympathizes, or supports, albeit indirectly, the insurgency calling for the immediate end of the occupation, which is strongly anti-democratic in ideology. The success of the U.S. occupation is theoretically the guarantee of the region’s democratization, whereas the success of the insurgency, which would mean the failure of the United States, would mean the Balkanization of the region. This is the current scenario, but there is another picture now emerging, though it is as of yet unclear. Although the United States may increase its number of troops in Iraq in the next two years, in the medium-term it will be compelled to leave the country, and the countries in the region will have entered an irreversible process of democratization. It is possible to say that both the United States and regional autocratic administrations have read some of the signs incorrectly. What should have be done, without calling for invasion, was to use America’s “soft power” to influence the natural and fundamental dynamics of the region towards democratization.
Today’s Zaman and why does it even exist? One answer is that it is a corporate bijou, a prestige project designed to make our parent newspaper Zaman look good. If so, it’s motive is likely to backfire as there is no easier way to make yourself look foolish than when trying to impress. And I don’t think that’s the reason why a group of writers and journalists for whom I have great respect have lent so much enthusiasm to this venture. Turkey is a nation that has declared itself engaged in a process of reform. It is redefining many of its values. It is re-examining the cherished notion of sovereignty as it negotiates with Brussels. It is rethinking international priorities as it eyes troubles in the Middle East. It is looking harder at the received wisdom about its history and traditions. At the ballot box, in the workplace or in meetings with teachers after school, it is redefining the individual’s relationship to the community and the state. This is not a time for “us” and “them,” for one set of truths for home and one set for abroad. So let me finish with the obvious. Today’s Zaman is an Istanbul-based Turkish newspaper in English. What this means may not be so obvious after all.
Engage Turkey’s Muslým Democrats SUAT KINIKLIOÐLU email@example.com
Since the Baker-Hamilton report has been published, a good amount of debate focused on engaging Iraq's neighbors, such as Iran and Syria. The difficulties are obvious in such an endeavor, although making Syria part of a solution in Iraq appears to be much easier than engaging Iran. That said, the real focus should be on how to engage Turkey. Despite the Turkish parliament's refusal to allow US troops to invade northern Iraq via the Turkish border in 2003, Turkey remains a key NATO ally, a longtime friend and one of the few security-producing countries in the region. Furthermore, Turkey's ruling Muslim Democrats (AK Party) have a keen interest in the Middle East. This interest is not only due to the instability spiraling from Iraq, but also has its origins in Turkey's new ruling elite's outlook to its immediate neighborhood, including the Middle East. Turkey's new regional outlook signifies a paradigmatic shift in Turkish foreign and security policy thinking. Turkey's unique position as an impartial actor in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its willingness to contribute forces to the UN Intermim Force in Lebanon( UNIFIL), its leadership in the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and its critical role in convincing the Sunni Arabs to take part in the Iraqi elections in 2005 constitute some reflections of Ankara's new pro-activism. Contrary to Turkey's traditional reticence vis-à-vis the Middle East, Turkey's Muslim Democrats have both the intellectual and political legitimacy needed to become a meaningful actor in the Middle East. In order to win the backing of the Turks and work together in the reconfiguring of the Iraqi polity there are two issues which would have to be addressed. The first issue is the con-
tinuing presence of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorist organization in northern Iraq. The second issue is the future status of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. The first step to move in the right direction is to either encourage Iraqi Kurds to move on the PKK or convince them to stay aside when Turkish special forces will take care of the menace. The US and Turkey must put an end to PKK safe havens in northern Iraq and bring an end to this relentless wound in Turkish-American relations. The next step should be to postpone the referendum in Kirkuk and seek consensus on a special status for this strategic city and its rich energy resources. The Baker-Hamilton report rightly acknowledges the time bomb at hand and proposes a postponement to the Kirkuk referendum. It is in American, Turkish and Iraqi interest to postpone the Kirkuk referendum and work toward a special status in Kirkuk. Involving Turkey in a constructive manner will undoubtedly mean that Washington will have to adjust its position vis-à-vis the Kurds. Turks recognize that this is not easy for the US. However, skilful diplomacy and enlightened leadership by the Kurds can facilitate an adjustment where all three parties may emerge as winners. Unfortunately, Iraqi Kurds have too fast forgotten about Operation Poised Hammer and how critical Turkey was in achieving the freedom they have come to enjoy in northern Iraq. Some realism will inevitably have to set in and the Iraqi Kurds will understand that their future well-being very much depends on the quality of the relationship they will have with Turkey. Turkey's Muslim Democrats enjoy a healthy degree of respect and have a new sense of purpose in the region. This is a development that should be welcomed rather than viewed with suspicion. The US should seize the opportunity to work with this new Turkey. As the celebrated Turkish philosopher Mevlana Rumi said: whatever was said yesterday, stayed behind with yesterday my dear; now is the time to say new things.
You know that a country has entered an electoral period when attacks against politicians start becoming more personal. In recent weeks in Turkey, it was the turn of party leaders’ wives to be caught in the political crossfire. The debate either centered on the headscarf worn by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan’s wife or on the rare public appearances of opposition leader Deniz Baykal’s wife. In both cases, the ladies were used as weapons against their husbands. It was almost as if women could only be seen in a political framework as politician’s spouses. With important elections -- presidential in the spring, legislative in the autumn -- due to take place this year in Turkey, it would be more productive to shift the debate away from party leaders’ wives and focus instead on what women could bring to the country as individuals in their own right and as political candidates. Let’s look at a few facts: for a country that prides itself on having given women the right to vote (1930) and to be elected (1934) earlier than European countries such as France, Italy or Greece, Turkey still lags far behind most states in terms of gender equality, and particularly political representation. Many Turkish women have achieved important positions in the private or public sector but they still represent a minority in the overall picture. In the Gender Gap Report 2006 published last November by the World Economic Forum, Turkey actually ranked 105th among 115 countries in terms of gender empowerment, behind countries such as Ethiopia, India or Cameroon. The number of female deputies in the Turkish Parliament, which currently stands at 24, only represents 4.4 percent of the seats. When women first entered Parliament in 1935, they held a higher percentage of the seats (4.6 percent). It is not lack of interest, but rather limited opportunities that keep Turkish women away from politics. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan acknowledged last year that “male hegemony in politics” was standing in their way. Yet a report published by TESEV in 2004 showed widespread recognition in the general population, even among 69 percent of men, that women were under-represented in politics. Involving women in the political life of a country and giving them opportunities to enter public life is not just about satisfying feminists’ demands. As Kofi Annan, the former U.N. secretary-general, pointed out, “gender equality is the most effective development tool” needed to sustain a country’s economic and social growth. It is about ensuring that the views of the entire population, not just half of it, are heard. But before women can hope to shape the political debate in Turkey, they must reach a critical mass in Parliament. It is unrealistic to expect a few female deputies, isolated in a boys’ club, to be in a position to challenge the status quo effectively. Nongovernmental organizations such as KaDer have been working actively for years, struggling with limited resources, to train potential candidates and encourage more women to venture into politics. In the conservative city of Urfa, a local NGO is currently collecting signatures to put pressure on parties to involve more women in the political process. Will their call be heard as political parties prepare their electoral lists? This early in the year, it is still reasonable to hope that 2007 will be remembered as the year when scores of Turkish women entered Parliament.
20 TODAY’S ZAMAN
T U E S D AY, J A N U A R Y 1 6 , 2 0 0 7
Gregorian Calendar: 16 January 2007 C.E firstname.lastname@example.org
Hijri Calendar: 27 Zu'l-Hijja 1427 A.H. Hebrew Calendar: 26 Tevet 5767
Globalization is widely described as the process of the world turning into a "small village," thanks to revolutionary changes in transportation and communication technologies. Yet ignorance also globalizes. The fact that we are unaware of the cultural, national or religious days and festivals of our "covillagers" poses a problem of intellectual and spiritual "ghettoization," though we are materially interconnected. One way of creating awareness about the inner world of the neighboring other is to keep a crosscultural calendar. This will also nourish the soul, as Leo Tolstoy hoped with his first-ever-written Calendar of Wisdom, a selection of daily passages from the world's sacred texts. Turkish Sufi master Rumi claims that even love necessitates prior knowledge. Today's Zaman hopes to promote knowledge, tolerance and love among different cultures, religions and ethnicities through creating a higher awareness of the "Days of our Lives."
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MASKELÝ BESLER IRAK/THE MASKED BANDITS 2: 11.00, 13.00, 15.00, 17.15, 18.30, 19.30, 20.45, 21:45 KÜÇÜK KAHRAMAN/EVERYONE'S HERO: 11.00, 12.45, 14.30, 16.15, 18.00 ARTHUR ÝLE MÝNÝMOYLAR/ARTHUR AND THE MINIMOYS: 11.15, 13.30 EVE GÝDEN YOL/THE ROAD HOME: 14.45, 16.45, 21.45 DONDURMAM KAYMAK/ ICE CREAM AND I SCREAM: 19.45
A calendar of wisdom
The people of Benin, a narrow country between Nigeria and Togo on the west coast of Africa, celebrate Martyrs' Day today to commemorate the fallen of a mercenary attack on Cotonou Airport on Jan. 16, 1977. Also on this day, in 1919, the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, died. On the very day Roosevelt died, 36 American
03:00 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Live from Los Angeles) 07:30 First Page - economy 08:00 Columnists 17:45 Avatar 18:15 Married with children 18:55 The 4400 20:00 Malcolm in the middle 20:30 Family guy 21:00 Desperate housewives 22:00 Golden Globe Awards 00:00 Malcolm in the middle 00:30 Family guy
states ratified the Eighteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibiting the production and marketing of "intoxicating liquors." Some Americans prefer to remember the Twenty-First Amendment of Dec. 5, 1933, the one that repealed the Eighteenth and once again allowed people say "Cheers!" In 2002 U.S. George W. Bush proclaimed this day Religious Freedom Day. The president's move was also motivated by a need to counterbalance the apparent constraints the war on terror imposed on religious practices, especially for Muslims and Sikhs. There have been suggestions that the president also had in mind the Bahai-sponsored World Religion Day promoting religious freedom and tolerance, observed on the third Sunday of every year, this year, on Jan. 21. Would it be too vain to add that today is also special for us, the Today's Zaman family? Today is our birthday, and we hope we will be with you for a long time to come. Happy Birthday, Today's Zaman! By Kerim Balcı
hallmark 07:30 The house of Angelo 09:15 Eric Segal's only love 11:00 Mcleod's daughters 12:00 Adventures of William Tell 13:45 The family plan 15:15 The incident 17:00 Eric Segal's only love 18:45 Mcleod's daughters 19:45 The house of Angelo 21:30 External Affairs 23:15 On the beach 01:00 Mind games
Beyoðlu AFM Fitaþ 212 251 20 20
MASKELÝ BESLER IRAK/THE MASKED BANDITS 2: 11.10, 13.50, 16.30, 19.15, 21.50 DEJA VU: 10.45, 13.35, 16.20, 19.10, 22.00 TUTKU OYUNLARI/LITTLE CHILDREN: 11.00, 13.55, 16.40, 19.30, 22.20 IBERIA: 10.50, 13.15 TATÝL/HOLIDAY: 11.35, 14.40, 17.45, 20.50 KÜÇÜK KIYAMET/SMALL APOCALYPSE: 11.30, 14.00, 16.35, 19.00, 21.30 BEYNELMINEL/INTERNATIONAL: 11.40, 14.20, 17.00, 19.40, 22.10 PRESTÝJ/THE PRESTIGE: 13.30, 19.05 ACEMÝ ÖÐRENCÝ AVCI ÖÐRETMEN/SCHOOL OF SCOUNDLERS: 11.00, 16.35 YILIN BAÞKANI/MAN OF THE YEAR: 10.40, 13.25, 16.10, 18.55, 21.40
It’s cool! It’s the Lush Hip Hotel! PHOTO RIDVAN YAVUZ
PAT YALE ÝSTANBUL
The “hip hotel” was the brainchild of Herbert J.M. Ympa, who noticed how the trendiest hotels were suddenly about cutting-edge style and fashion. Out had gone chintz wallpapers and frilly curtains, their place taken by color-saturated walls and artworks artfully displayed. More controversially, where comfort was once the be-and-end-all of the hotel experience, now the hotel itself had become part of the whole celebrity, seeing-and-being-seen culture. So what makes the Lush Hip Hotel so hip? If location, location, location is the mantra of the in-crowd, then the hotel's position, at the top of Sýraselviler Caddesi, near Ýstanbul's trendy Taksim Square, could hardly be bettered. Then there's the look. The building itself may be ancient - a 19th-century Beyoðlu apartment block -- but finding new uses for old is very much of the moment. Besides, it has been a given a very 21st-century makeover, with a soaring plateglass window inserted into the ground floor so that passersby can peep in at the hyper-cool basement café with its sea of greenery behind the bar and its aproned waiters dispensing hot pomegranate juice to a discerning clientele. The rooms, too, are very much of today, all cool, clean lines and super-duper bathrooms. Sometimes the self-conscious hipness goes one step too far -- after all, how many hotel guests really want to sleep in bunk beds that remind them of their penny-pinching, youth-hostel-using days? But that's only one room and elsewhere the hotel's thematically decorated bedrooms cater for every taste. Best of all is the Ottoman Room, which abandons the familiar maroon and gold decor in favor of cooler turquoise. On Tuesday nights the room doubles as a tiny private theater. And you can't get much hipper than that. Tel: (0212) 243 9595;
Kanyon 212 353 08 53 MASKELÝ BESLER IRAK/THE MASKED BANDITS 2: 11.45, 14.15, 16.45, 19.15, 21.45 KÜÇÜK KAHRAMAN/EVERYONE'S HERO: 11.15, 13.15, 15.15, 17.15, 19.15 21.15 YILIN BAÞKANI/MAN OF THE YEAR: 12.00, 14.30, 17.00, 19.30, 22.00 TUTKU OYUNLARI/LITTLE CHILDREN: 12.30, 15.30, 18.30, 21.30 DEJA VU: 11.00, 13.30, 16.15,19.00, 21.45 PRESTÝJ/THE PRESTIGE: 13.15, 18.30, 21.30 MÜZEDE BÝR GECE/NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: 11.00, 16.15 BEYNELMINEL/INTERNATIONAL: 13.45, 18.45, 21.15 IBERIA: 11.15, 16.15 ACEMÝ ÖÐRENCÝ AVCI ÖÐRETMEN/SCHOOL OF SCOUNDLERS: 17.00, 19.15, 21.45 ÇILGIN DOSTLAR/OPEN SEASON: 11.00, 13.00, 15.00 TATÝL/HOLIDAY: 12.30, 15:30, 18.30, 21.30
08:45 Noose for a gunman 10:00 Liebestraum 11:50 Birdman of Alcatraz 14:25 The trials Of Oscar Wilde 16:35 Kings go forth 18:30 Shadow of the wolf 20:45 Return to paradise 22:20 The crook 00:25 Kiss me, stupid 02:30 Thunder road 04:05 The trials of Oscar Wilde 06:15 Shadow of the wolf
e2 12:00 Ellen show 13:00 Married with children 14:00 Rachael Ray show 16:00 Ellen show 19:00 Desperate housewives 20:00 Two and a half man 20:30 It's a man's world 21:00 CSI:NY 22:00 Footballers wives 23:00 Lucky Louie 24:00 Poker royale 01:00 CSI:NY
movýemax 1 08:30 Christmas with the Kranks 10:40 Man of the house 12:25 Edmond 13:55 Adventures of shark boy and lava girl 15:40 Epk saw 16:05 Saw 17:55 Moviemagazine 18:20 Matador 20:30 The honeymooners 22:10 Cinderella man 00:45 Monster's ball 02:40 Raiders of the damned
movýemax 2 09:20 Basic instinct 2 11:20 Madison 13:10 Fat Albert 14:50 Hide and seek 16:35 Moviemagazine 16:55 Santa’s slay 18:25 Mindhunters 20:20 Into the sun 22:30 Mary 00:05 Lords of Dogtown 02:00 Christmas with the Kranks 03:45 Mindhunters
Fax: (0212) 292 1566; www.lushhiphotel.com; Sýraselviler Caddesi 12, Taksim, Beyoðlu 34433 Ýstanbul
5 2 5
09:30 Wait until dark 11:20 Marrying man 13:20 Watcher in the woods 14:45 Blazing saddles 16:20 Wrestling Ernest Hemingway 18:25 Point of no return 20:15 An officer and a gentleman 22:25 Wuthering heights 00:15 The phantom 02:00 The sunshine boys 03:50 The Chinese 05:30 An officer and a gentleman
5 1 2
© NI Syndication
1 It was felt to provide cover for du Maurier's heroine (6) 4 Location of something nasty discarded by golf club? (8) 10 In lacking guidance, English composer is ill-educated (9) 11 Finally learn a poem about an antelope (5) 12 Japanese drama award given to close relative? No way (3,2,4,5) 14 Living in the past one's dismissed for a phoney (5) 16 Small local office under overhanging part of tree (3-6) 18 The Spanish formerly possessed that French way with words (9) 20 Sign right in centre of Spanish port (5) 21 Light sauce? It's the spin doctor's speciality (6-8) 25 Here in France a monarch is comparatively aloof (5) 26 Book beginning of month in cathedral (9) 27 Recluse crossing river is a British citizen (8) 28 Virtuous person carrying long bag (6)
DOWN 1 Journey north quite freely, being the bleeding controller! (10) 2 Detached territory named after Langerhans? (5) 3 1950s youth caught breaking out of prison with hammer (7) 5 One may be tall if demanding firm discipline (5) 6 Entertainer's daughter has solution? Not with university intervening (7) 7 Command vessel, being at top of 24 (9) 8 Swan-upping? It's so dull (4) 9 Free soul? None freer (8) 13 Reportedly rejected from start to finish (10) 15 Wilberforce achieved it, changing oil in boat (9) 17 Worker of abstemious habit keeping animal in plant (8) 19 Suffer subject to influence of crack (7) 20 Old way Sister gets involved covering church organs (7) 22 It may cause division in the club (5) 23 Woman with husband like Wexford (5) 24 The fellow one settles with in America? (4)
travelers’ s.o.s HOW TO PLAY? : The objective of the game is to fill all the blank squares in a game with the correct numbers. There are three very simple constraints to follow. In a 9 by 9 square Sudoku game: Every row of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order Every column of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order Every 3 by 3 subsection of the 9 by 9 square must include all digits 1 through 9
Ambulance: 112 Fire: 110171 Police:155 156 Maritime: 158 Unknown numbers: 118 Turkish Airlines: 444 0 849, U.S. Embassy: 0312 455 5555 U.S. Consulate: 0212 2513602-3-4 Russian Embassy: 0312 439 2122 Russian Consulate: 0212 244 1693-2610 British Embassy: 0312 455 3344 British Consulate: 0212 293 7540 German Embassy. 0312 455 5100 German Consulate: 0212 251 5404-05 French Embassy: 0312 455 4545 French Consulate: 0212 292 4810-11 Indian Embassy: 0312 438 2195 Pakistani Embassy: 0312 427 1410 Austrian Embassy: 0312 419 0431-33 Austrian Consulate: 0212 262 9315 Belgian Embassy: 0312 446 8247 Belgian Consulate: 0212 243 3300 Egyptian Embassy: 0312 426 1026 Egyptian Consulate: 0212 263 6038 Israeli Embassy: 0312 446 3605
09:55 Ernest scared stupid 11:30 Wait until dark 13:20 Marrying man 15:20 Watcher in the woods 16:45 Blazing saddles 18:05 Wrestling Ernes Hemingway 20:25 Point of no return 22:15 An officer and a gentleman 00:25 Wuthering heights 02:15 The phantom 04:00 The sunshine boys 05:50 The Chinese
comedymax 19:00 Reba 19:30 Yes dear 20:00 Frasier 20:30 The nanny 21:00 Son and daughters 21:30 Less than perfect 22:00 Freddie 23:00 E.L. Raymond 00:00 Rodney 00:30 Frasier 01:00 The nanny 03:00 For your love 03:30 Becker
actýonmax 06:45 Young hercules 08:15 Bronco Billy 10:10 Curfew 11:35 Murder so sweet 13:10 Maharaja's daughter 15:25 Ransom 18:30 Pair of aces 20:10 Murder at 1600 22:00 Poltergeist II: The other side 23:35 Lethal weapon 4 01:40 L.A. task force 03:05 Black thunder 04:35 Enterprise series 3
Turkey abandons ‘hands-off’ policy on Iraq
Babacan: Turkey’s macroeconomic targets have been met contýnued from page 18
NEWS ANALYSIS By Kerim Balcý
TODAY’S ZAMAN of terrorist Abdullah Öcalan. Turkey’s determined moves paid off so well then that the vocabulary of international politics gained the phrase “speaking Turkish.” The Israeli right was fond of this term and continuously urged their government to “speak Turkish” with Syria and Lebanon. Ankara had forgotten to “speak Turkish” for some time. Double rejection of the resolutions on deploying U.S. soldiers within Turkish territories cannot be regarded as “speaking.” On the contrary, Turkey has always been good in rejecting or foot-dragging. In that sense, the current
The list of Turkish foreign policy principles is headed by “Peace at home, peace in the world” and closes with “Don’t interfere with inter-Arab struggles.” In practice, these principles have been translated into a “wait-and-see pacifism” and a bizarre equation of “doing nothing” with “being peaceful.” Issues with a Greek accent were exceptional in that sense. Turkish diplomats do not like to use the Latin term “casus belli” save for perceived threats related to the territorial unity of the country. This pacifist foreign policy understanding has been in a constant but slow metamorphosis for the last quarter of a century, thanks to the Özal era, which changed the Turks into what some people call “neo-Ottomans.” A striking example of deviation from pacifism was Turkey’s iron-fist policy towards Syria’s sheltering
In the insurance sector, the Private Pension System, complementing the public social security system, was introduced on Oct. 27, 2003. The objective of this system is to increase the level of welfare through additional income for retired people. On the other hand, foreign capital inflows to the insurance sector increased in 2006, reflecting the confidence of international investors in the sector. Macroeconomic policies, social policies and the promotion of job creation in underdeveloped regions helped in the improvement of income distribution, as can be observed in the declining Gini coefficients, from 0.44 in 2002 to 0.38 in 2005. The economic program that forms the basis of our policies was also reinforced by a stand-by arrangement with the IMF. The stand-by arrangement -- apart from its financial aspect -- marks the international credibility of our economic program and policies. We are pursuing and will continue to pursue policies that we believe will create a favorable environment for sustained growth. One distinction to note about the current stand-by arrangement is that preceding arrangements were made in support of programs aiming to resolve a crisis situation. However, the current arrangement aims to sustain the economic progress we have made to date and to further strengthen the fundamentals of the Turkish economy. Looking at the financial aspect of this arrangement, it can clearly be seen that Turkey has been a net re-payer to the IMF and that it will continue to be until the program expires. Therefore, financing is not the primary aspect of our relations with the IMF. It should be reiterated that the Turkish economy has witnessed a remarkable and multifaceted transformation in all sectors of the economy since 2002 as a result of the substantial structural reform implemented by decisive policy actions at the backdrop of political stability. All the prominent macro and structural achievements in this period suggest that the Turkish economy exhibited superior performance. Turkey has become more integrated with the world economy over the time, as evidenced by increasing foreign trade figures and increasing capital flows. Our government is committed to carrying on the structural reforms in the coming period. We believe the completion of the structural reforms will further boost productivity and help to sustain the low inflation/stable strong growth environment in the years to come.
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Prime Minister Erdoðan is not content with the US support for Turkey’s fight with PKK.
activism in Ankara with regard to issues related to Iraq in general and Kirkuk in particular has been extraordinary. This activism does not appear to be accidental as Ankara embarks on a new strategy on international relations. As Emre Taner, the undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization (MÝT), calls on the government to abandon its “wait-and-see” policies, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül formulates a proactive foreign policy with regard to Turkey’s EU membership and the prime minister openly makes remarks about a possible military operation within Iraq’s borders. And all this, in a double-election year. Just as Mr. Erdoðan is not content with the Americans promising support for Turkey’s fight with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorism, Ankara’s proactive words are to be tested in the face of real action. Ankara has received a green light from U.S. authorities for a limited crossborder operation in northern Iraq, limited in both senses: that it should be within a short time, and for a short time. This time a military operation in the north of Iraq will be supported neither by the local Kurdish authorities there nor by the central government in Baghdad. And it is snowing! A proactive Turkish policy toward Cyprus is bound to die early because of the increasing nationalist sentiments among the Turkish public and the approaching general elections, and the situation on the EU front has never been worse than it is. External conditions favor a classical pacifist foreign policy, and the Turkish government is doing the unexpected. This is a great challenge, indeed, and we as journalists need to adapt a “wait-andsee” policy to face this challenge. We’ll wait and see whether the government will be able to “speak Turkish” once again.
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Condoleezza Rice has been pressing Ehud Olmert to take steps that could help bolster Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah in his power struggle with Hamas
A man went on trial Monday on charges of posing as a Roman Catholic priest as part of a scam to get close to elderly Austrian women and their savings. Prosecutors in the northern city of Linz, 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Vienna, said the 39year-old defendant -- whose name was not released in line with Austrian privacy laws -- was suspected of bilking at least five people of cash. Police said he scammed up to 750 euros at a time from his victims. Authorities allege the man claimed to his older female victims that he was in love with them, was leaving the priesthood and needed to borrow some money, promising to repay the loans quickly because he was in line for an inheritance. They said that on one occasion, the bogus priest told a 65-year-old woman to wait for him in her hot tub, then robbed her apartment with help from a friend, according to court documents. If convicted of aggravated theft and fraud, the man could face up to 7½ years in prison. Linz, Austria, AP
Rýce, Olmert plan three-way summýt wýth Presýdent Abbas PHOTO
Trial opens for Austrian man who was charged with posing as priest
Fears of disease rise after floods sweep southern Malaysia Fears of disease gripped Malaysia's flood-devastated south on Monday and more than 100,000 evacuees were crammed into emergency shelters. Two people have died from leptospirosis, caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of animals such as rats, bringing the death toll from the worst floods in nearly 40 years to 15. Health workers planned to step up inoculations against typhoid and fumigate mosquito-prone areas to guard against diseases such as dengue fever and malaria. Warnings have also been issued about cholera. Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told the Sun mobile phone news service that 106 schools in the hardest-hit state of Johor had been shut and would be used as relief centers. More than 40 schools were already inundated, the report added. Seri Medan, Reuters
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talking with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem on Monday.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed on Monday to hold a threeway summit with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on reviving peace talks, Israeli media reported. The reports did not say when the summit would take place or where. Rice met Olmert in Jerusalem one day after the top US diplomat, meeting with Abbas, promised a bigger American push towards establishing a Palestinian state. Rice has been pressing Olmert to take steps that could help bolster Abbas of Fatah in his power struggle with Hamas Islamists who control the government. But just as Rice's meeting with Olmert was getting under way, Israel's Housing Ministry said it was building 44 new residential units in Maale Adumim, Israel's largest settlement in the occupied West Bank, near Jerusalem. The USbacked road map peace plan calls for halting such construction on land Palestinians seek for a state. Washington has criticised such construction in the past. Israel asserts it is part of natural growth. Ahmed Abdel-Rahman, a political adviser to Abbas, said the moderate president has yet to be informed about a threeway summit but added: We welcome American participation in any
Palestinian-Israeli meeting. Under US pressure, Olmert held his first formal meeting with Abbas on Dec. 23. During Rice's meeting with Olmert, she was expected to press the Israeli leader to fulfil pledges made at that meeting to remove roadblocks in the West Bank and release $100 million in withheld Palestinian tax funds to Abbas. Olmert has promised to take more sweeping steps if the Palestinian government, led by Hamas since March, agreed to recognise Israel, renounce violence and abide by interim peace deals. Israeli and Palestinian officials said Rice's visit, her eighth to the region during her two years as secretary of state, was meant to test the waters for a more concerted peace push in the coming months. Rice, who held talks on Sunday with Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah, promised to deepen US involvement in the peace process, which collapsed in 2001. But Rice offered no details in public about her future plans. She has shied away from high-speed Middle East diplomacy in the past. Israeli officials said Washington was exploring several options including the creation of a Palestinian state with temporary borders, an idea proposed in a USbacked peace plan known as the road map but repeatedly rejected by Abbas. JERUSALEM, REUTERS
Russia approves arrest over Kozlov murder A Russian court on Monday formally approved the arrest of a former private bank boss who prosecutors suspect of ordering the 2006 assassination of deputy central banker Andrei Kozlov. Police detained Alexei Frenkel, 35, Andrei Kozlov on Thursday. He was head of a private bank Kozlov had closed down three months before he was shot dead in a parking lot in September. Frenkel has protested his innocence. On Jan. 17, Frenkel will be officially charged and after that we will be able to read the official documents, Frenkel's lawyer Igor Trunov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies. Kozlov was well respected in financial circles for his fight against crime inside Russia's banking system. Moscow Reuters
EU urged to beef up migration patrols The European Union's 27 states must urgently give helicopters and boats to the bloc's border agency to be ready to stop massive migration flows this summer, the EU's top migration official said on Monday. More than 25,000 subSaharan migrants reached Spain's Canary Islands last year, in unprecedented flows. Malta and Italy were faced with similar problems. Thousands of would-be migrants are believed to die during the perilous journey. The EU's fledging border agency Frontex struggled for months last year to get just a few boats and aircraft for two patrols in the Canaries and near Malta. Dresden Reuters
Radioactive water leaks at Japan reactor Four workers came into contact with radioactive coolant water at a Japanese nuclear power plant, but the operator said on Monday that there had been no effect on their health or on the environment from the leak. The incident at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Takahama plant in the western prefecture of Fukui took place on Sunday afternoon during a regular inspection while the unit was shut, the company said. Just last week, Kansai Electric restarted the No. 3 nuclear power generation unit at its Mihama plant for commercial operations after a shutdown following Japan's worst-ever nuclear power plant accident more than two years ago. Tokyo Reuters
Greek doctors begin weeklong strike Services at public hospitals around the Greek capital will be disrupted this week as doctors begin a five-day strike in protest against their working conditions, state media reported Monday. The strike will affect all state-run hospitals in Athens and Piraeus, which will be treating only emergency cases through Friday, officials said, according to state television. The physicians want stricter limitations on their working hours, which they claim to be excessive and a risk to public health. They also want the state to hire additional medical personnel and to channel more funds toward the public health service. On Thursday and Friday, doctors outside Attica will join the strike action. Athens AP
Pakistanis protest Afghan border control About 2,000 ethnic Pashtun tribesmen rallied in the Pakistani border town of Chaman near Afghanistan on Monday to condemn Pakistan's government for new border control measures. Chanting anti-Pakistan slogans, the protesters also asked the government to abandon its plan to plant mines and build a fence along parts of its frontier with Afghanistan -- measures that could divide Pashtun families living on both sides of the rugged, ill-defined border. "These measures are not meant to stop Taliban from entering into Pakistan. These steps are aimed at dividing Pashtuns, who live on both sides of the border," said Sardar Gillani, a leader the nationalist Awami National Party. Chaman AP
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Is it right for a single woman to send a nation’s sons to war? US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was confronted during a hostile Senate hearing the previous week by Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat Senator, who said that the Republican secretary of state had paid no personal price in Iraq because she had never married and had no children TIM REID WASHINGTON
The suggestion that Condoleezza Rice is incapable of understanding the anguish caused by American losses in Iraq because she has never had children has triggered a feminist firestorm. Dr. Rice was confronted during a hostile Senate hearing the previous week by Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, who said that the Secretary of State had paid no personal price in Iraq because she had never married. Asked about the accusation at a weekend press conference in Jerusalem, Dr. Rice sighed
theatrically before saying: “I think that being a single woman does not in any way make me incapable of understanding not just those sacrifices [of bereaved families] but also that nothing of value is ever won without sacrifice.” Earlier, in an interview with Fox News, Dr. Rice said: “Gee, I thought single women had come further than that.” Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio host, was rather more outspoken. Referring to Ms. Boxer, he said: “Here you have a rich white chick with a huge, big mouth, trying to lynch this, an African-American woman, right before Martin Luther King Day, hitting below the ovaries here.”
The accusation also ignited the blogosphere, with one blog calling the clash “Womb Wars.” Ms. Boxer's comments came as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee questioned Dr. Rice about Mr. Bush's Iraqi surge plan. “Who pays the price?” Ms. Boxer asked Dr. Rice. “I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, within immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families.” Ms. Boxer said her comments were being misconstrued, and that she had been trying to
find common ground with Dr. Rice. “I spoke the truth at the committee hearing, which is that neither Secretary Rice nor I have family members that will pay the price for this escalation,” she said. Dr. Rice is an only child and her parents are dead. “My point was to focus attention on our military families who continue to sacrifice because this Administration has not developed a political solution to the situation in Iraq.” Even the White House weighed in. “I don't know if she [Senator Boxer] was being intentionally tacky,” Tony Snow. Mr. Bush's spokesman, said. “It's a great leap backward for feminism.” © The Times, London
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Saddam Husseýn aýdes hanged Despite Iraq's efforts to avoid the uproar that marred the execution of the former president two weeks ago, news that the noose ripped the head from Saddam's cancer-stricken half-brother as he plunged from the gallows has appalled international critics of the process and fuelled fury among Saddam's fellow Sunni Arabs Two of Saddam Hussein's aides were hanged before dawn on Monday, the Iraqi government said. But despite its efforts to avoid the uproar that marred the execution of the former president two weeks ago, news that the noose ripped the head from Saddam's cancer-stricken half-brother as he plunged from the gallows appalled international critics of the process and fuelled fury among Saddam's fellow Sunni Arabs. On the defensive after Shiite sectarian taunts were heard in illicit film of Saddam's execution, a spokesman for the Shiite-led government insisted there was no violation of procedure during the executions of his half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and former judge Awad Hamed al-Bander. But defense lawyers and politicians from the once dominant Sunni Arab minority expressed anger at the fate of Barzan, Saddam's once feared intelligence chief, and there was also skepticism and condemnation of Iraq's Shiite-dominated leadership across the mostly Sunni-ruled Arab world. Government officials showed journalists film of the two men standing side by side in orange jumpsuits on the scaffold, looking fearful before they were hooded and the nooses placed around their necks. There was no disturbance in the execution chamber -apparently the same one where Saddam died on Dec. 30. Bander muttered the prayer: There is no god but God. Barzan, 55, a vocal presence during the year-long trial for crimes against humanity, appeared to tremble quietly. As the bodies plunged through the traps, Barzan's hooded head flew off and came to rest beside his body in a pool of blood below the empty noose under the gallows. Bander swung dead on his rope. Officials said they would not release the film publicly. Government adviser Bassam alHusseini said the damage to the body was an act of God. During his trial for crimes against
Iran has asked Saudi Arabia to help ease tensions between the Islamic Republic and the United States in a letter delivered by Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator to the Saudi King, a Saudi official said on Monday. The letter, from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, comes at a time of rising tension over Iran's role in Iraq and Tehran's nuclear program. It also follows growing criticism in Iran of Ahmadinejad's approach of railing against the West which more moderate politicians blame for stoking fears abroad. Saudi newspapers carried pictures of Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani, who has often visited key US ally and leading Sunni Muslim nation Saudi Arabia over the past year, in what looked like friendly conversation with King Abdullah on Sunday evening. Moderate conserMahmoud vatives, like Ahmadinejad's Ahmadinejad rival Larijani, may be gaining a bigger say in Iranian policy-making after the president's supporters were trounced in December elections to municipal councils and a clerical body, Iranian analysts say. A Saudi official said Iran wanted Saudi leaders to relay a goodwill message to Washington. Iran would like Saudi Arabia to help bring opinions together between Iran and the United States, the official said, but gave no more details. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to arrive for talks in Riyadh later on Monday. Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter and a bastion of Sunni Islam, shares US worries over Iran's nuclear program and is also angry over Shiite Iran's influence in Iraq where sectarian violence is threatening a civil war. US President George W. Bush this month vowed action to stop what he said was Iran's role in fomenting violence in Iraq. As tension mounts, Iran's more pragmatic politicians from the liberal and moderate conservative camps have urged a more cautious Iranian approach and, heartened by the December polls, have criticized Ahmadinejad for provoking confrontation. Ahmadinejad does not have the final say in the Islamic Republic, where ultimate authority lies with Khamenei, but analysts say the president he has encouraged a tougher line with the West since he came to office in 2005. Riyadh, Reuters
Iran asks Saudi Arabia to ease tension with US
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The Iraqi government admitted that the head of Saddam’s half-brother Barzan Ibrahim alTikriti was ripped from his body during the execution before dawn in Baghdad on Monday. humanity over the killings of 148 Shiites from Dujail, a witness said Barzan's agents put people in a meat grinder. Hangmen gauge the length of rope needed to snap the neck of the condemned but not to create enough force to sever the head. Saleem al-Jibouri, a senior Sunni Arab lawmaker, said Barzan may have been weakened by the cancer he was suffering. Barzan's son-in-law hurled a sectarian insult at
the government on pan-Arab Al Jazeera television: As for ripping off his head, this is the grudge of the Safavids, he said -- a historical term referring to Shiite ties to non-Arab Iran. They have only came to Iraq for revenge, Azzam Salih Abdullah said from Yemen. May God curse this democracy. The hangings took place at 3 a.m. (0000 GMT) at the same former secret police base
where Saddam was hanged on Dec. 30, an adviser to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said. Officials tried to impose a media blackout for some hours but word leaked out. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq said the executions were an entirely Iraqi affair with little U.S. involvement. Asked about the hangings, Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters: It was an Iraqi process. It was an Iraqi decision, an Iraqi execution. After Saddam was hanged, the United Nations urged Iraq to reconsider death sentences and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, an opponent of capital punishment, said last week he thought there should be a delay in executing the other two condemned men. Talabani left the country on Sunday to visit Syria. The video showing Saddam being taunted, angered Sunni Arabs, embarrassed the government and the U.S. administration and raised sectarian tensions in a nation on the brink of civil war. Shiites again celebrated in the streets of Baghdad's Sadr City slum, a bastion of the cleric and militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr. His name was heard being chanted at Saddam on the gallows. An unnamed guard faces legal proceedings following a government inquiry into the circumstances of Saddam's execution. After Barzan's hanging, Moussa Jabor in Sadr City said: This is the least he should get. He should have been handed over to the people. Execution is a blessing for him. Barzan was a feared figure in Iraq at the head of the intelligence service in the 1980s, at a time when the Shiite majority was harshly oppressed, some like those from Dujail due to suspected links to Shiite Iran, then at war with Iraq. Bander presided over the Revolutionary Court which sentenced 148 Shiite men and youths to death after an assassination attempt on Saddam in the town in 1982. With Saddam, they were convicted on Nov. 5 and their appeals rejected on Dec. 26. Baghdad, Reuters
Goydos all smiles after ending barren run Nicknamed Sunshine on the PGA Tour because of his stone-faced demeanor, American Paul Goydos had plenty to smile about after winning the Sony Open by a shot on Sunday. The 42-year-old Californian clinched his second title on the world’s most lucrative circuit.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2007
Violence fails to cloud Federer win
Howard lifts high-flying Mavs past Raptors
Fighting flares for the first time at a grand slam event as spectators exchange insults during the match between Croatian Mario Ancic and Japan’s Go Soeda. Police say no arrests were made AP
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who had barely registered on the tennis radar until his trip to Melbourne Park. So low is his ranking, that he does not even merit an entry in the ATP handbook.
Roger Federer and Amelie Mauresmo led a parade of champions into the second round of the Australian Open on Monday while police ejected about 150 tennis fans from the grounds after Croatian and Serbian fans clashed. Fighting flared for the first time at a grand slam event after spectators exchanged insults during the match between Croatian Mario Ancic and Japan’s Go Soeda. Police said no arrests were made. They were mostly Serbians ejected as they were upsetting the Croatians, Victoria state police spokeswoman Katherine Jess said. Police are now meeting with Tennis Australia officials to work out the next move. The clashes failed to overshadow the on court action on the opening day of the Open, with Croatian fourth seed Ivan Ljubicic becoming the most notable casualty. Ljubicic’s 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 battering by Mardy Fish was his second successive opening-round flop in grand slams. Mauresmo was the first to take center stage in her defense of the women’s crown, brandishing winners from all angles to consign American Shenay Perry to a 6-3, 6-4 defeat. Men’s champion Federer overcame a wobbly first set before gliding to a 7-5, 6-0, 6-4 victory over Bjorn Phau as he began his pursuit of a 10th grand slam title. They were joined in the last 64 by former winners Serena Williams and Thomas Johansson, with 2005 champion Marat Safin completing the party. A tortured and tormented Andy Roddick provided the early drama. The American staggered into round two after dousing the fireworks produced by little-known Frenchman
Netted error However, the 212th-ranked wildcard was unable to sustain his heroics and despite being a set and 5-2 up he went down fighting 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-3, much to the relief of the sixth-seeded American. Roddick was reduced to swatting the ball on bended knees during the first set tiebreak, which eclipsed the 1816 tussle between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe in the 1980 Wimbledon final. I was thinking if we were ever going to finish the tiebreaker, grinned the 2003 U.S. Open champion. The American cannot afford such lapses again as he is heading for a third-round collision with Safin. The moody Russian, sulked, screamed, smashed a racket and then finally kissed the net en-route to a thrilling 5-7, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Open debutant Benjamin Becker in an electric late-night bout. Serena Williams, on a comeback trail after a four-month injury layoff, lit up the night session with an even louder version of Perry’s ensemble. She shook off the rust from her game to win 6-2, 6-1 against Italy’s Mara Santangelo. Third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova led a sextet of Russian women into the second round. She was joined by fifth seed Nadia Petrova, seventh seed Elena Dementieva, Maria Kirilenko, Elena Vesnina. Olga Poutchkova earned the unenviable task of taking on Mauresmo following a 6-2, 6-4 win over Poland’s Marta Domachowska. MELBOURNE Reuters
Josh Howard sank a lay-up with less than a second remaining to complete the Dallas Mavericks's 97-96 come-from-behind victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. The Raptors led by as many as 16 points at one stage but the Mavericks fought back behind the hot shooting of Dirk Nowitzki to win for the 17th time in 18 games. Elsewhere, Allen Iverson scored 32 points and had nine assists as the Denver Nuggets won for just the second time in their past nine games, downing the Portland Trail Blazers 109-93. Steve Blake added 25 points for the Nuggets (18-17), who are just 5-8 without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, who was suspended for 15 games. Sergio Rodriguez led the Trail Blazers (15-24) with 23 points and 10 assists. Toronto Reuters
PSG appoints Le Guen after Lacombe sacked
Croatian and Serbian fans clash at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Monday. The fight failed to overshadow the victory of number one seed Roger Federer (insert).
Crisis-hit Paris St Germain appointed former Olympique Lyon and Rangers manager Paul Le Guen as coach after sacking Bernard Lacombe on Monday. From today, Guy Lacombe is not in charge of coaching the professional team. The role is handed to Paul Le Guen and his assistant Yves Collieu, the Ligue 1 club said in a statement. Le Guen, who played for seven seasons with PSG in the 1990s, led Lyon to three successive Ligue 1 titles from 2003 to 2005. He joined Rangers at the start of the season but left by mutual consent on Jan. 4 after a disappointing spell in Glasgow. Paris Reuters
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Turkish hearts beat for Erzurum MAHÝR ÝNANÇ
Winter tourism could be a boon for the people of eastern Anatolia and Turkey in general. And if Erzurum is awarded Winter Universiade 2011 today, it would be a major boost
Turkish tennis queen Ýpek Þenoðlu, alias “Ýpeko,” met with her fans at the TED College facilities in Ýstanbul. Signing autogaraphs for her young supporters, Ýpek set her goals: “I want to be in the top 100 in the world rankings and play at Wimbledon and other Grand Slam tournaments.” She said 2007 would be a very busy year for her. She plans to go to the United States and take part in different doubles competitions with her partner Meryana Jugic Salkic, the Bosnian with whom she won the Cumhuriyet Kupasý (Republican Cup) in Turkey. Currently placed 220th, Ýpek said will not rest on her laurels until she accomplishes her aims.
Tough fitness tests for referees in Antalya Turkcell Super League and Türk Telekom League A (second division) referees and assistant referees were subjected to rigorous fitness tests in Antalya. Under the watchful eyes of Central Refereeing Board (MHK) chief Mustafa Çulcu, board member Lale Orta and general secretary Ali Kunak, the referees ran the 40 meters six times, 50 meters 20 times and the 150 meters 50 times. Çulcu, speaking after the races, said the aim was “to make the refs fit as a fiddle” before the second half of the season. Refereeing error is epidemic in Turkish soccer, and the situation has been no better this season.
Alex ready for real talks with Fenerbahçe
Huge winter sports potential “Turkey has limitless potential for winter sports and tourism, but it is using less than 10 percent of this potential at the moment. Sixty-two percent of Turkey is mountainous, and a majority of these areas are higher than 2,000-3,000 meters; however, we do not know how to utilize this potential,” said Ayýk. In the interview with Today's Zaman, he also dwelled on the latest developments in Turkey and the country's future prospects in winter sports and tourism. According to the skiing supremo, the concept of “winter sports” is quite new for Turks and
‘Ýpeko' meets young fans, sets her goals
Erzurum and Maribor vying to host Games
“Erzurum, where cultures and civilizations meet, offers the best ski trails to the best sportsmen of the world with the easiest access opportunities,” reads Erzurum's official promotional Internet site to charm International University Sports Federation (FISU) authorities. Yes, Erzurum is locking horns with Slovenia's Maribor in the bid to host the Winter Universiade in 2011, and all Turkish hearts are beating as Turks await the announcement of the host city by FISU in the Italian city of Turin this afternoon. Speaking in an exclusive interview to Today's Zaman, Skiing Federation President Özer Ayýk said he and the whole of Turkey are optimistic because “Erzurum is more than qualified. With nearly 400,000 inhabitants, Erzurum is the leading mountain resort in eastern Anatolia and has efficient road, rail and public transportation systems,” Ayýk said. He added that Erzurum Governor Celalettin Güvenç, Erzurum Mayor Ahmet Küçükler and Erzurum Atatürk University Rector Yaþar Sütbeyaz, with the support of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, have been working for several years to bring the 25th Universiade to Erzurum. Ayýk also said that International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian Franco Kasper had met with Erdogan and also with Deputy Prime Minister and Sports Minister Mehmet Ali Þahin within this framework. The prime minister and his deputy gave guarantees they would provide whatever assistance is necessary to enable Erzurum win the bid. Since the city of Erzurum is located at an altitude of 1,800 meters with mountains as high as 3,200 meters, it has the potential to become a future destination for summer and winter sport tourists as well as athletes who seek a high-altitude environment for pre-competition preparation. Ayýk said hosting this event would be a boon for eastern Anatolia, and Erzurum in particular, adding: “A skiing facility first has to be a sports center and then a winter tourism center.”
İSMAİL KOCABIYIK ÝSTANBUL
Erzurum-Palandöken: This center is 6 kilometers from Erzurum, sitting at an altitude of 2,200 to 3,100 meters with some of the longest and most difficult courses and best snow conditions in Turkey.
one of the main reasons could be that Turkey is a Mediterranean country, famous only for its sunny beaches and historic sites. But even if Turkey has been a little bit too late in recognizing the importance of winter sports and winter tourism, it has nevertheless made giant strides in these areas. Turks are great soccer and wrestling fans and have only recently begun to appreciate basketball. And a surprising number of women are also diehard sports lovers. Perhaps tennis is now destined to join these ranks since Venus Williams came to Turkey to take part in the Istanbul Tennis Cup. Horse racing is avidly followed by those addicted to the sport, and there is growing interest in Bodrum camel wrestling. Most recently yacht races have joined the calendar in Istanbul and elsewhere. And don't forget volleyball, weightlifting, motor racing and kickboxing. Now we can also add skiing to this lot. Ayýk also said that Turkey has the potential to build 40-50 more facilities in the short run in addition to existing ones. “We will turn Sarýkamýþ into a modern skiing facility as soon as possible. The Bercelan Plateau in Hakkari is also very important for us as there is snow there 10 months a year. In June 2006, we organized a skiing competition on this plateau, and there was about 10 meters of snow,” he stated. The federation boss asserted
that when the Hakkari facility is completed, Turkish skiing teams will no longer have to travel to other countries to train in summer. He also said some facilities had opened recently, such as the skiing courses in Nemrut and Alanya. Ayýk said Turkey has hosted a number of important sporting events in recent years, including the World Basketball Championship, the Summer Universiade, the Formula One races and the Champions League final. It has proven beyond doubt that it is sports country and has also demonstrated that it has the potential and ability to host the Summer Olympic Games. He also said they are urging the private sector to capitalize on existing opportunities: “Winter tourism is more profitable than summer tourism, so we want to encourage tourism investors to invest in this sector and will provide them with everything they need except money.” Winter tourism could be a boon for the people
Speaking in an exclusive interview to Today's Zaman, Skiing Federation President Özer Ayýk said he and the whole of Turkey are optimistic because ‘Erzurum is more than qualified to the host Winter Universiade in 2011.’
of eastern Anatolia and Turkey in general. And if Erzurum is awarded Winter Universiade 2011 today, it would be a major boost. The following ski centers are easily accessible by road or by Turkish Airlines domestic flights: Bursa-Uludað, Antalya-Saklýkent, ErzurumPalandöken, Erzincan-Bolkar, Erzincan-Bolkar, Kars-Sarýkamýþ, Aðrý-Bubi, AnkaraElmadað, llgaz Daðý, Kayseri-Erciyes, Bingöl-Kurucadag, ZiganaGümüþhane.
YUNUS EMRE HATUNOÐLU
Fenerbahçe's Brazilian playmaker Alex De Souza stated that he will start real talks with his club this week. At a press in the southern city of Antalya where the team is camping, the diminutive Brazilian said he will do his best to stay at Fener but nevertheless added, “If we cannot come to terms, as a professional player it is incumbent upon me to continue my soccer career elsewhere -- either in Turkey or abroad.” But he also stressed that staying at Fenerbahçe was his priority. “I'm quite happy here, and this is my third year. We want the championship badly this season -- the club's centenary year.”
Fenerbahçe Canaries clinch Antalya Cup The Yellow Canaries took home the Antalya Cup, beating German Bundesliga side FC Energie Cottbus 4-3 on penalties in a dreary final on at the Atatürk Stadium on Sunday. The score at full time was 0-0. Mehmet Yozgatlý, Tuncay Sanlý, Brazilians Edu and Deivid coverted their spot-kicks fort he Yellow Canaries but Stephen Appiah missed. On the Energie Cottbuss side, Shao, Baumgart and Kioyo scored, but Mitreski and Kuntzel both shot wide.
Kaðýtspor acquires young Tanzanian Baha
Jaglar takes Türk Telekom to TBL top
Kocaeli Municipality's Kaðýtspor has acquired Tanzanian long-distance runner Phauistin Baha. Head coach Barbaros Fýral said they acquired Baha so that he can represent Turkey at the upcoming European Champion Clubs Cup competition in Ýstanbul next month. Fýral also said they had the right to sign one foreign athlete and used this right in bringing the Tanzanian to the team, adding, “Baha will be racing in the 10,000 meters in the junior men's category.”
A scene from the Fenerbahçe Ülker-Türk Telekom basketball league match in Ýstanbul
Jan Hendrik Jagla's three-pointer with 0.7 seconds on the clock lifted Ankara's Türk Telekom to first place in the Turkish Basketball League (TBL) with a 74-71 road victory over Fenerbahçe Ulker. The win saw Telekom improve to 14-1 in the standings -- one victory more than second-placed Fenerbahçe and Efes Pilsen, which eased past Tofas 52-84 on Sunday. Erwin Dudley scored a game-high 27 points and had 11 rebounds to lead Turk Telekom, while Will Solomon carried Fener with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Meanwhile, Kerem Gönlüm
was the big man for Efes Pilsen with a double double of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Beþiktaþ Cola Turka edged Banvit of Bandirma 82-79 with Jamel Thomas and Aubrey Reese combining for 45 points. Gerald Fitch scored 19 to lead Galatasaray Cafe Crown past Oyak Renault 77-64. Darusþafaka scored a surprising 7282 road win at CASA TED Kolejliler thanks to Henry Dobie's 20 points. In other games, Mutlu Aku Selçuk University edged Beyköz 61-59, Pinar Karsýyaka topped Alpella 82-75 and Mersin Municipality downed Tekel 85-79. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman
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T U E S D AY, J A N U A R Y 1 6 , 2 0 0 7
OTHER SIDE OF ATLANTIC
Leftýe Emre Hagý’s pupýl
It was all Keaton… FEYZULLAH EĞRİBOYUN
Emre Belozoðlu's left foot has been compared to his Galatasaray mentor Gheorghe Hagi. Like Hagi, Emre is short but powerful enough to hold his own in midfield. He has an instinctive eye for goal and also a very bad temper. At just 20, Emre was heralded by former Inter and Galatasaray boss Mircea Lucescu. Romanian legend Gheorghe Hagi described him as a genius. Nerrazurri midfielder Gigi Di Biagio called him 'Diego' -likening the little Turk to a certain Argentine who arguably became the world's greatest footballer. Small but not stocky, balanced and able to play with either foot, Emre has a combative, aggressive attitude as well as an excellent technique and dribbling ability. Emre is the living embodiment of the great 'Turkish Miracle' of the late '90s which first saw the Galatasaray Lions themselves win the UEFA Cup in 2000, the European Super Cup that same year and climaxed in the summer of 2002 with the national team's run to the semifinals of the World Cup. Emre was selected by Pele as one of the FIFA 100 top players, along with goalkeeper Rüþtü Reçber, who currently plays at Fenerbahçe. As we mentioned earlier, Emre served out a useful apprenticeship at Galatasaray under the enigmatic genius of soccer maestro Hagi. Despite his relative youth, he had already won four Turkish titles, two Turkish cups, the UEFA Cup and Super Cup before moving to Italian Serie A's Inter Milan in 2001. But Emre inherited something besides soccer skills from Hagi: his temper. Aggressive as a midfielder, Emre has found himself on the wrong side of referees many times in the past. A sending-off against Leeds United in the UEFA Cup semifinals forced Emre to sit out Galatasaray's victory over Arsenal in the 2000 final, and injury ruled him out of Euro 2000. He was suspended in the second-round match against
We are almost halfway through NBA's 20062007 season, and the way I see it, it is all the “usual suspects” posing as contenders. Then I look at the Turkcell Super League and check out the English Barclays Premier League, and I see the similar picture: The “elite” are right there on top, fighting each other for the ultimate prize. This is neither new nor is surprising: These have never been leagues that generated a new champion each year. In fact, I am not aware of any sports league that has done that. That is fine. NBA, TSL and EPL, like any other league, are all for creating dynasties and invincibles, and we all know why. People like dynasties. They want heroic stories to tell to their grandchildren, and they would love to say, “I was there.” I know that firsthand. Being in the stands for three consecutive years in early '90s, when Beþiktaþ won three consecutive titles with its legendary “Metin, Ali, Feyyaz” squad, is one of the best memories I have so far. Imagine how many Bostonians grew up with the memories of the Celtics team of the '60s, the one that took home nine out of 10 ring sets. Consider the joy of Liverpool fans that captured 10 of the 15 league titles from 1975 to 1990. These were the teams that deserved and gained the respect of even their opponents. One might think they made it boring, but they did not. In fact, it was just the opposite. It was interesting simply because these very opponents tried really
OKAN UDO BASSEY ISTANBUL
Emre Belozoðlu (in red shirt) has inherited something beside soccer skills from Romanian maestro Gheorghe Hagi: his temper. Japan at the 2002 World Cup. Emre had far greater anguish when drove his car into a hotel worker in Istanbul on Oct. 29, 2000. It was 5:30 a.m. and he was on the way to the mosque for morning prayer. He carried the man into his car and drove him to hospital but he was dead on arrival. Although Emre was acquitted because the man was trying to cross a road forbidden to pedestrians, it remains, as he says, “the worst day of my life.” He was hoping to avoid another anticlimactic moment when he moved from Inter to Newcastle in 2005. But the 28-yearold's temperament has not been less
volatile of late. He is already serving a fourmatch suspension from the national team as punishment meted out by FIFA for his involvement in the brawl after the World Cup playoff against Switzerland at Istanbul in November 2005. Emre is currently in a controversy of another kind -- alleged racist slurs. The Newcastle midfielder was charged on Jan. 12 by the English Football Association (FA) with using racially aggravated abusive and/or insulting words. The charge relates to an incident in Newcastle's 3-0 Premier League defeat at Everton on Dec. 30. Several Everton players were
reportedly the target of the alleged abuse during a player melee after a penalty award for Newcastle. Emre has until Jan. 29 to reply to the charge, the FA said. Emre's response to the allegations from Sabah daily: “These two Everton players are close friends of my teammate Martins. There was tension but I have not uttered any racist words. Am I nuts? In England there are heavy penalties for racist insults. Would I do something that stupid to jeopardize my career?” he said. Whether Emre is right or wrong in this case is irrelevant. The issue is why he hasn't learned his lesson after all these years.
hard to beat the invincibles and reserve a place in history just for that. To me, that is a reality of the sports. As long as there is fair game, as long as there are no offthe-field deals, and hence the accounts are settled on the pitch, I learned to be at peace with one or two teams dominating a sport for an extended period. I believe that in the long run, the “invisible hand” will do its thing and every team will get what it deserves. Abramovich cannot be a singleton in the world, there will be others, or he will go back to being one of the others. The idealist will say, “But why not make moves and distribute the wealth to create more serious contenders for the good of the sports?” Realistically, and probably unfortunately, it cannot be done. It will always be very difficult for the Sacramento Kings of the world to beat Los Angeles Lakers of the universe, even if they play the most enjoyable and free flowing basketball as they did in 2001-2002 season. Yes, I have come to accept that over the years. I was going to write about the “usual suspects” of the NBA. I was going to confess as to how I had picked Phoenix Suns to cruise through the regular season with 60+ wins, how I had “revised” my estimate after they started with a 1-5 record, and how they got back in track after winning 27 of their last 30 games. I was also going to write about the emergence of Utah and Orlando in their respective divisions, a development that makes us happy here because of Memo's and Hedo's involvement. New York
Top Bollywood stars engaged Two of India's biggest cinema stars -- Abhishek Bachchan and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai -- got engaged at a private ceremony, ending fevered speculation about their relationship, their families said on Monday WWW.TODAYSZAMAN.COM TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2007
Sýmpson book ‘seemýng confessýon’
Motorist crashes on satnav command A 46-year-old German motorist driving along a busy road suddenly veered to the left and ended up stuck on a railway track, because his satellite navigation system told him to, police said. The motorist was heading into the German city Bremen when the voice from his satnav told him to turn left, a spokesman said. He did what he was ordered to do and turned his Audi left up over the curb and onto the track of a local streetcar line. He tried to back up off the track but got completely stuck. The police spokesman said about a dozen trams were held up until a tow truck arrived to clear the car off the track. Berlin Reuters
Newsweek magazine said on Sunday it obtained the crucial chapter in the scrapped O.J. Simpson book in which he told how he might have killed his ex-wife if he were the murderer, including arguing with her and finding himself holding a bloody knife. Newsweek said it obtained from a source who asked not to be identified the chapter in "If I Did It," in which the former football star makes a seeming confession about the murder of his ex-wife and a friend. In a 1995 criminal trial, Simpson was found innocent of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman. In the chapter Newsweek obtained, the magazine said Simpson tells of arguing with his ex-wife outside her home, of her falling and hitting her head and of finding himself holding a bloody knife with both her and her friend dead. Newsweek assistant managing editor Mark Miller said the chapter seems like a confession because it closely meshes with evidence in the case. The book was to have been published late last year by Regan Books, an imprint of HarperCollins which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. But it was dropped amid public outcry at the crassness of the project. Murdoch apologized, and all 400,000 copies of the book were recalled and destroyed. Judith Regan, the publisher of Regan books, was later fired. Miller, in this week's Newsweek, said,
“What is striking about the chapter I read ... is how closely it tracks with the evidence in the case -- and how clearly Simpson invokes the classic language of a wife abuser. In his crude, expletive-laced account, Simpson suggests Nicole all but drove him to kill her,” he said. Miller said that Simpson tells how he drove to his ex-wife's home with a friend called Charlie and encountered her and Goldman. But Simpson stops short of describing their stabbings. Miller said Simpson wrote that his ex-wife came at him like a banshee. He added, “She loses her balance and falls hard, her head cracking against the ground. Goldman assumes a karate stance, further angering Simpson. He dares the younger man to fight. Then, in the book, Simpson pulls back. He writes, 'Then something went horribly wrong, and I know what happened, but I can't tell you exactly how.” Miller said Simpson wrote that when he regained control of himself, he realized he was holding a bloody knife and was drenched in blood. His ex-wife and Goldman were dead. Simpson has always denied committing the murders and said this was a hypothetical account written for a large sum of money and not meant to be taken as truth. Although acquitted of murder charges, Simpson was found liable for their deaths in a civil trial brought by the families of his former wife and Goldman. San Francisco Reuters
Convicted Australian conman Peter Foster, once a confidante of British prime minister's wife Cherie Blair, is back behind bars after a bizarre South Pacific island police chase which saw him stow away on an old navy minesweeper. Foster, once known as a flamboyant playboy, was forced to wade ashore from the minesweeper on a remote beach in Vanuatu clutching his personal belongings in a plastic bag, said police. Foster appeared in a Vanuatu court on Monday charged with entering the country illegally. He was remanded to reappear on Thursday. Wanted on fraud charges in Fiji, Foster has led South Pacific island police on a series of bizarre chases. Sydney Reuters
In a 1995 criminal trial, Simpson was found innocent of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman. Although acquitted of murder charges, Simpson was found liable for their deaths in a civil trial brought by the families of his former wife and Goldman PHOTO
Hopping Australian conman behind bars
Simpson’s controversial book, “If I Did it,” caused outrage in the United States and was withdrawn.