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10 TODAY’S ZAMAN

W E D N E S D AY, M AY 2 1 , 2 0 0 8

VIOLENCE

Iraqi forces storm al-Sadr’s Baghdad bastion

Israel strikes kill two Palestinians in Gaza

Iraq's army moved on Tuesday to take control of Baghdad's Sadr City, power base of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, in another step to stamp government authority over areas previously outside its control. A spokesman for Iraqi security forces in Baghdad, Maj.-Gen. Qassim Moussawi, said soldiers had launched "Operation Peace" in the sprawling eastern Baghdad slum early on Tuesday. Iraqi soldiers, who previously controlled only the outer perimeter of Sadr City, advanced deep into the poor suburb, home to 2 million people, without meeting any opposition, he said. "We are taking control of three-quarters of the city. What is left is the final quarter," he said, referring to an area where Iraqi security forces had previously ventured only rarely. The Iraqi army's goals were to arrest wanted men, disarm insurgents and provide basic services

Israeli air strikes in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Tuesday killed a Palestinian youth and a farmer, medical workers said. An Israeli military spokeswoman said one air strike in the northern Gaza Strip hit a rocket launching crew that had just fired at the southern Israeli town of Sderot. Palestinian medical workers said militants had fled the area just before the air attack and that a youth was killed. A second strike in the central Gaza Strip killed a farmer and wounded two other Palestinians, hospital officials said. The military spokeswoman said militants planting explosives near the fence that Israel has erected along its Gaza border were hit in the attack. Egypt has been trying to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas to end Gaza border violence. Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have killed two Israeli civilians this month in agricultural communities close to the frontier. Israel frequently carries out raids and air strikes in the territory as part of what it describes as efforts to curb cross-border rocket fire. Gaza Reuters

to residents, he said. The army also aimed to set up permanent checkpoints to maintain security, he said. Checkpoints would make it hard for militia members to move around. Sadr City is the main stronghold of Sadr's Mahdi Army, a militia estimated to number tens of thousands that the U.S. military once called the greatest threat to peace in Iraq. The Mahdi Army staged two uprisings against U.S. forces in 2004. It has been battling Iraqi and U.S. forces in Sadr City since late March, when a government offensive against its operations in the oil port of Basra touched off a wave of retaliatory attacks in Baghdad and other cities. Iraq's ruling Shiite alliance and Sadr's opposition movement in parliament reached an agreement this month to end the fighting in Sadr City, in which hundreds have died. The agreement called on gunmen loy-

al to Sadr to lay down their arms, and on the government to restore control over Sadr City. Sporadic clashes between Shiite militiamen and security forces in the area persisted, however. Zaineb Kareem, a legislator from the Sadr movement, welcomed the army operation. "We supported the agreement from the beginning. All the citizens and Sadrists are ready to welcome the Iraqi forces and their entry, but with no violation against people or their honour." She said people who previously feared the Iraqi security forces were starting to trust them. "Today they entered the city. Let us wait and see what will happen but, if God wills, things will be as the two sides want," she said. U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Stover said no American troops were involved in the operation, which he said was Iraqi-planned and -executed. The operation -- on the second anniversary of

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's swearing-in -marks the latest step by the government to extend control over areas of Iraq that were under the sway of Shiite militias or Sunni Arab insurgents. Maliki personally oversaw the offensive against Shiite militias in Basra, which is now under Iraqi army control, and earlier this month he flew to Mosul in the north as his forces launched a push against the Sunni al-Qaeda. Residents said the Iraqi army had moved into Sadr City in the early hours. "I saw more than 40 Iraqi Humvees (army vehicles) in the major street in my district," said 53-yearold Hamza Hashim. Iraqi soldiers took over a disused police station in his district, while others moved into high buildings and deployed snipers, he said. A health official resident in Sadr City, who asked not to be named, said no one had fired at the army and the district was quiet. Shops and schools were closed, residents said. Baghdad Reuters

Report says Iran's neighbors looking at nuclear power

Heavy fighting erupted between Sudan's army and southern Sudanese forces in the disputed oil-rich town of Abyei on Tuesday, aid workers said. The fighting, which first erupted last week after a local dispute, is the latest of a series of clashes in the tense central Abyei region claimed by both Khartoum and semi-autonomous South Sudan. More than three years after a 2005 north-south peace deal to end decades of civil war, the sides have not agreed on borders or a government for the region. Gunfire broke out at 4 a.m. local time (0200 GMT), and clashes continued for at least four hours, said humanitarian staff, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The fighting was heavy," said one aid worker. "It was between SAF (Sudan's Armed Forces) and the SPLA (the southern Sudan People's Liberation Army). "We think it was a counter-attack by the SPLA. We are doing everything we can to calm the situation." UN spokesman Kouider Zerouk confirmed fighting had broken out again in the town, but said staff were still getting full details of the attack. Khartoum Reuters

South Afrýca moves to quell xenophobýc

attacks

UNREST

Violence erupts in Mexico's drugs heartland Violence has exploded in Mexico's drug smuggling heartland in a three-way battle between rival gangs and security forces, the biggest challenge yet to President Felipe Calderon's war against the cartels. About 300 people have died in drug murders so far this year in Sinaloa, an arid western state that serves as the home turf of one of Mexico's main drug gangs and where traffickers worship a bandit as their own patron saint. The killing spilled over to Mexico City this month when assassins hired by Sinaloan smugglers shot dead one of Mexico's top federal policemen at his home, in a direct challenge to the government. Calderon has staked his reputation on weakening the cartels, and responded to the murder by sending an extra 2,700 soldiers to Sinaloa to try to tame the state. But Sinaloa's hitmen, known for their swagger, were undaunted. A gang threw grenades at a police station and machine-gunned three houses just hours after the troop deployment, killing one person in the town of Guamuchil. Culiacan Reuters

ANGER

French strike to disrupt planes, trains on Thursday

PHOTO

AP

At least 24 people have been killed in over a week of violent attacks on African migrant workers who are accused by many in South Africa's poor townships of stealing jobs and fueling a wave of violent crime.

CM Y K

South Africa's police and the ruling ANC Party (ANC) intensified efforts on Tuesday to quell deadly violence against foreigners and a government minister said the unrest could damage the key tourism sector. At least 24 people have been killed in over a week of violent attacks on African migrant workers who are accused by many in South Africa's poor townships of stealing jobs and fuelling a wave of violent crime. South Africa's tourism minister said the violence could hurt the sector, which contributes around 8 percent of Gross Domestic Product to Africa's biggest economy, employs a million people and attracted 8.4 million visitors last year. "Africans increasingly travel to South Africa as a holiday destination and these attacks have the potential to certainly impact negatively on that market if this is what people see on their screens and hear on their radios," Marthinus van Schalkwyk told reporters. Thousands of foreigners have fled into refugee shelters since the violence began on May 11 in Alexandra township. Several foreigners have been burned to death, women raped and scores of shops and homes looted. More than 200 people have been arrested. Criminal gangs are believed to be involved in the violence. The Sowetan newspaper said a mob killed a construction company owner and burned down his house in Actonville, east of Johannesburg on Monday because they said he did not employ South Africans. The report could not immediately be confirmed. The ruling African National Congress said the situation was coming under control after it sent officials into townships to appeal for an end to the attacks. Police also increased their deployment to trouble spots. "The situation is being managed. Many ANC people are on the ground ... and things are quietening down," ANC spokeswoman Jesse Duarte told 702 Talk Radio.

Political instability The unrest threatens to increase political instability at a time of electricity shortages, rising inflation and disaffection among the poor over President Thabo Mbeki's pro-business policies. Mbeki has faced strong criticism, especially from ANC left wingers, for not spreading the benefits of black rule to millions of poor people. South Africa, with a population of 50 million, is home to an estimated 5 million immigrants. Foreigners have been lured from poorer neighbors by work in mines, farms and homes and by one of the world's most liberal immigration and refugee policies. The biggest group -- an estimated 3 million -- are from Zimbabwe. They have fled economic collapse at home and the violent political standoff since disputed March 29 elections. Mbeki's critics say his softly, softly approach has done too little to end the crisis or stem the flow of migrants. Mbeki and ANC leader Jacob Zuma have called for an end to the attacks, which have dented South Africa's reputation for tolerance and threaten its hopes of luring an estimated half million foreign visitors to the 2010 soccer World Cup. Johannesburg Reuters

Growing interest in atomic power among Iran's neighbors could spiral into a nuclear arms race in the volatile Middle East unless preventive measures are taken, a leading think-tank said on Tuesday. In a report, the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies said Iran's nuclear program had prompted other states in the oil-rich region to consider acquiring nuclear technology. "In the span of 11 months between February 2006 and January 2007, at least 13 countries in the Middle East announced new or revived plans to pursue or explore civilian nuclear energy," said the report, entitled "Nuclear Programs in the Middle East In the Shadow of Iran." "This upsurge of interest is remarkable given both the abundance of traditional energy sources in the region and the low standing to date of nuclear energy there." Iran's plans to open a Russian-built nuclear power station at Bushehr would make it the first country in the region to develop nuclear power. Although Tehran says its program is solely for peaceful power generation, Western powers and Middle East states say they fear Iran is trying to make a nuclear bomb. London Reuters

AP

Heavy fighting erupts in Sudan oil town

PHOTO

STRIFE

A nationwide strike in France on Thursday against President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reform plans will disrupt some train lines, flights and access to airports, transport officials said. Most Paris metro lines should, however, be running normally, as should high-speed rail links to Britain and Belgium. Trade unions have called a national day of action on Thursday to protest against government plans to make people work for 41 years before being able to draw a full pension, compared with 40 years now. Public sector workers including train drivers, teachers and civil servants are expected to join the oneday protest. A spokeswoman for state rail operator SNCF said most disruption would occur on regional train services and "very little disturbance" was expected on intercity services and high-speed TGV links. Paris transport operator RATP said a normal or virtually normal service was expected on underground lines, with the exception of the north-south RER B suburban rail service, which links the city center to both main airports. Just one in two RER B trains would be running, RATP said. Travelers who did make it to the airport on time could then still face delays to their flights, France's civil aviation authority warned in a statement. Paris Reuters

WORLD

Javier Solana

Tehran okays Solana's nuclear trip, no date set Iran said on Tuesday it had agreed to a visit by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana to submit an upgraded package of incentives aimed at coaxing the country into halting uranium enrichment, a news agency reported. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said no date had been yet been set for Solana's trip. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia -- and Germany, known as the P5+1, offered a package to Iran in 2006 that also required Iran to halt enrichment. Tehran rejected those proposals in 2006 and the latest package is an enhanced version of that earlier offer. Solana has asked to visit Iran to deliver the P5+1 nuclear incentives package. We have accepted his request, Mottaki told reporters, the students news agency ISNA said. European diplomats have also told Reuters that Solana was still waiting for Iran to set a time for the handover. Tehran has so far rejected accepting the main Western demand for a suspension of uranium enrichment, which the West says is a cover to build weapons. Iran has also handed over what it says is its proposed package for constructive negotiations which -- besides Iran's vision on how to settle global problems such as an effective fight against terrorism -- includes the nuclear row. Tehran Reuters


WORLD

TODAY’S ZAMAN 11

W E D N E S D AY, M AY 2 1 , 2 0 0 8

OSMAN EROL,CÝHAN

MEDIATION

Today set as deadline for Lebanon crisis talks

PHOTO

Qatari-led mediators gave rival Lebanese leaders one more day on Tuesday to reach a deal aimed at ending a political crisis which brought their country to the brink of civil war. Qatar's minister of state for foreign affairs Ahmad Abdullah alMahmood said the mediators had put forward two proposals to try to break the deadlock between the US-supported ruling coalition and the Hezbollahbacked opposition. "We hope that the two sides agree on one of these proposals," Mahmood told reporters, reading from a statement. "One of the sides asked for one extra day to respond to these proposals ... and the committee agreed to give a one day deadline till tomorrow [today]. The negotiations in Doha, which aim to prevent Lebanon sliding back into sectarian strife, follow the Arab League's intervention last week to end the country's worst domestic fighting since the 1975-1990 civil war. The two sides are trying to agree a new elections law and the sharing of cabinet seats in a unity government. The opposition has demanded effective veto power in the new cabinet. Agreement on those two issues would pave the way for parliament to elect army commander General Michel Suleiman as president, a post that has been vacant since November. Doha Reuters

CASE

Myanmar opens door to Asia for aid Myanmar began three days of mourning Tuesday for some 78,000 cyclone victims after its ruling junta appeared to relent to foreign pressure to let in more outside help. But most foreign aid workers were still banned from the storm-devastated area and the United Nations said only 20 percent of the survivors had received some form of international assistance. Flags at government offices, schools and large hotels were lowered to half-staff, but there was no period of silence. Shops were open as usual and many people in Yangon said they had little idea of what the government-announced mourning entailed. Others were angry. “I don’t think flying flags at half-mast is going to help. If they are sincere, they should welcome help from everyone,” said Zin Moe, 32, who sells clothes. “They are not letting in aid quickly enough and people are angry.” The military-led regime said Monday it would allow its Asian neighbors to oversee distribution of foreign relief to survivors of Cyclone Nargis, which battered the country May 2-3. It also approved a visit by UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon and prepared to host a meeting of aid donors, while claiming losses from the disaster exceeded US$10 billion (6.4 billion euros). Yangon AP

PHOTO

AP

Iraqi court resumes trial of Tariq Aziz An Iraqi court on Tuesday resumed hearing the case against Tariq Aziz, one of Saddam Hussein's best-known lieutenants, and seven other former regime officials in the 1992 execution of dozens of merchants. Aziz, 72, the former deputy prime minister, and ailing co-defendant "Chemical Ali" Hassan al-Majid both leaned on canes as they walked into the court room. The trial's opening session on April 29 was adjourned because al-Majid was too ill to attend, but the US military, which has custody of the defendants, said Monday he had been cleared to attend the proceedings. Al-Majid, who became known as Chemical Ali for chemical attacks against the Kurds in the 1980s, has already been sentenced to death in another case. Tuesday's case involves the execution of 42 merchants accused by Saddam's government of being behind a sharp increase in food prices when the country was under strict UN sanctions. The merchants were rounded up over two days in July 1992 from Baghdad's wholesale markets and charged with manipulating food supplies to drive up prices at a time when many Iraqis were suffering economically. All 42 were executed hours later after a quick trial. In outlining his case, chief prosecutor Adnan Ali asked the court "to issue the suitable punishment that will ease the hearts of widows and oppressed ones." He called the merchants' executions "a systematic campaign planned under the cover of darkness" and said the defendants were responsible because they were members of the Revolutionary Command Council, a rubber stamp group that approved the dictator's decisions. Baghdad AP

Ma Yuanjiang was saved on Tuesday from the debris of the Yingxiu Bay Hydropower Plant where he worked as a director after a 30-hour rescue.

Chinese gov’t says over 70,000 dead or missing Xinhua reports a 60-year-old woman was rescued in Pengzhou, more than 196 hours after the May 12 quake struck. It said she survived on rainwater. In Wenchuan county, epicenter of the quake in mountainous Sichuan province, Ma Yuanjiang, 31, was found alive China raised the number of dead or missing from a devastating earthquake to more than 70,000 on Tuesday, as rescuers found more survivors eight days after the huge tremor hit. A government statement said the number killed had now topped 40,000, and state news agency Xinhua reported that a further 32,000 were missing. Authorities had previously said they expected the final death toll to exceed 50,000. More than 247,000 were injured. Anger was building among bereaved parents in Sichuan over the way many school buildings had collapsed, burying whole classrooms full of children. In one town, in a rare public protest, hundreds demanded punishment for anyone guilty of shoddy construction. Xinhua reported a 60-year-old woman was rescued in Pengzhou, more than 196 hours after the May 12 quake struck. It said she had survived on rainwater. In Wenchuan county, epicenter of the quake in mountainous Sichuan province, Ma Yuanjiang, 31, was found alive. His body was as fragile as that of a newborn baby , Chongqing Xinqiao hospital president Wang Weidong said, according to Xinhua. Rescuers also pulled about 10 people off a mountain near Shifang town where they

HONOR

Ex-President Chirac wins top Russian award

American, Frenchman accept 2008 math honors An American and a French citizen accepted the 6 million kroner (US$1.2 million, 756,000 euros) Abel Prize for mathematics on Tuesday at a ceremony praising their achievements. Norway’s King Harald V gave the awards to John Griggs Thompson 75, who teaches at the University of Florida, and Belgian-born Jacques Tits, 77, a professor emeritus at College de France in Paris who became a French citizen in 1974. Abel Committee Chairman Kristian Seip said they shared the prize “for their outstanding achievements in algebra and especially for their shaping of modern group theory.” The theory -- also called the science of symmetries -- can solve such everyday challenges such as a Rubik’s Cube, or be used in physics, computer science and geometry. Oslo AP

ALÝ ÜNAL

PRIZE

landslides. The quake warning also prompted panic in neighboring Chongqing municipality and Guizhou province. But there was no sign of panic, just quiet resignation that more aftershocks were inevitable as darkness fell over Chengdu. “Last night the predicted aftershock didn’t happen,” said Wang Jun, as she set up a tent in the city. “Anyway it’s nicer outside, it’s better for your health.” The most lamented victims of the quake have been the thousands of children who died when school buildings collapsed. In Juyuan town, hundreds of grieving parents demanded an annual memorial day for their children, punishment of officials or builders responsible for shoddy schools and compensation. “How come all the houses didn’t fall down, but the school did? And how come that happened in so many places?” demanded Zhao, whose two daughters were crushed to death. “We want a memorial day for the children, but we also want criminal prosecution of those responsible, no matter who they are.” As China’s ruling Communist Party seeks to maintain a staunch front of unity and stability after the quake, the incipient protests by parents could be troublesome, for many of them blame official graft and laxity, more than nature, for the deaths. Chengdu Reuters

Kimse Yok Mu? starts aid campaign for Chinese quake victims

PHOTO

Former French President Jacques Chirac has won a Russian state award for his humanitarian activities, the Kremlin announced on Tuesday. Chirac, honored for his "outstanding achievements in the humanitarian sphere," will be the only foreigner among nine prominent figures to receive the State Award at a Kremlin ceremony on June 12, according to a presidential decree. "This is a man who is a brilliant example of how to combine being a statesman and a cultural figure," Russian media quoted Mikhail Piotrovsky, deputy head of the presidential culture and arts council, as saying. "This is a man who has done a lot for Russian culture as a whole," he added, pointing to Chirac's good command of Russian and the fact that as a young man he translated Russian poet Alexander Pushkin's novel in verses "Eugene Onegin" into French. Yuri Osipov, the head of Russia's Academy of Science, said Chirac had also developed scientific contacts between Russia and France. Winners of the State Award receive a 5 million rouble ($210,800) cash prize. Moscow Reuters

had been building an electricity generation station when the quake struck. Li Tengchang, 38, said 40 of his colleagues had been killed by falling boulders, and that others were still alive on the mountain. “When the wait wore on, we thought no one would come save us and we would probably die,” said Li, who was being treated for kidney damage. I survived purely on my will. “I told myself I had to live and I had to survive. I have a 60-year-old mother, a wife and two young children.” Meanwhile, nearly 9,000 people were evacuated from the base of Shiziliang Mountain near Guangyuan city over concerns about huge cracks on its slopes. And Beichuan, one the of the worst hit towns, was closed off after official warnings of fresh tremors. In the provincial capital of Chengdu, tens of thousands of people were preparing to sleep another night in the open, despite pleas by authorities for calm after a television prediction of another powerful earthquake. That report, along with fresh aftershocks and forecast heavy rain, compounded the difficulties for military, government and private workers trying to ensure millions of homeless are fed and housed. Hundreds of aftershocks have been felt over the past week, bringing down more buildings and causing

Kimse Yok Mu? Aid Organization has launched comprehensive aid campaigns after major disasters all over the world.

CM Y K

The Kimse Yok Mu? foundation yesterday launched an aid campaign to help Chinese earthquake victims, with Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen the first person to make a donation, in the amount of $15,000. Kimse Yok Mu? board of directors head Mehmet Özkara said Chinese officials are grateful for the contributions. “Turkey knows the importance of such aid because we had the Marmara earthquake [in 1999]. Our people are quite sensitive to earthquakes,” Özkara said. People can contribute through the organization’s Web site at www.kimseyokmu.org.tr. It is also possible to send donations of YTL 5 through invoiced Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea cell phone lines by sending a text message to 5777 with the word “ÇÝN.” A number of banks are also accepting contributions, including Bank Asya, Türkiye Finans, Kuveyt Türk, Albaraka Türk, Vakýfbank, Ýþ Bankasý, Ziraat Bankasý, Yapýkredi Bankasý, Akbank and Halkbank. Another option is to visit the nearest post office and donate there. Nurullah Kaya Ýstanbul

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou.

Taiwan’s new president offers China dialogue Taiwan’s new president took office on Tuesday with a historic offer to reopen dialogue with China, which claims the island as its territory, but pledged to maintain Taipei’s existing self-rule and separate international profile. Ma Ying-jeou, 57, the Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate and a former Taipei mayor, took over from Chen Shui-bian of the rival Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), beginning a four-year term after his landslide win in March. Chen and Ma shook hands and walked, smiling, through a hallway lined with military officials to hand over power in the presidential office, where the Taiwan flag and a portrait of Sun Yat-sen, founder of modern China, hung in the background. China has claimed Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Communists won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kaishek’s KMT Party fled to the island. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its control, by force if necessary, if it declares independence. The two sides have not talked since the 1990s. “The normalization of economic and cultural relations is the first step to a win-win solution,” Ma said in his inaugural speech in a Taipei arena packed with 15,000 people, including 540 foreign dignitaries. “Accordingly, we are ready to resume consultations.” But in his speech, absent from Chinese state-run TV but aired on Phoenix TV, which is available to many urban viewers in China, Ma pledged to maintain the status quo by neither declaring independence nor seeking unification with China. “Taiwan doesn’t just want security and prosperity,” he said. “It wants dignity. Only when Taiwan is no longer being isolated in the international arena can cross-Strait relations move forward with confidence.” China opposes Taiwan membership in the United Nations and other bodies that require statehood to join. Ma said he would strengthen ties with major ally the United States and “cherish” relations with its existing 23 diplomatic allies, which Taiwan uses to push its agenda in international organizations dominated by China and its roughly 170 partners. Taiwan’s ties with Washington and Beijing frayed under Chen’s hardline pro-independence policies since 2000. “Ma Ying-jeou has a mandate to improve relations with China,” said Alexander Huang, professor of strategic studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan. Taipei Reuters


12 TODAY’S ZAMAN

W E D N E S D AY, M AY 2 1 , 2 0 0 8

EXPAT ZONE

New dýscoverýes In response to my column on May 2 about saving face, I had a number of Today’s Zaman readers drop me notes to tell me about their funny “personal maintenance” experiences. Here are a couple, enjoy! Kudret from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam shares with us his visit to the local barber. Just a wrong tone can make a big difference! Dear Charlotte, Thanks for your articles in the Today’s Zaman newspaper. I have been living here in Vietnam for four years. We have discovered it is so easy to be misunderstood. The Vietnamese language has six tones! (By the way, Chinese has only four) When you say ma, it might mean ghost, mother or but. Kudret informed me that when he goes to the barber it is best to say nothing. He says that he just prefers to sit down and let the barber cut. Sounds brave to me! Kudret writes: “When one of my friends went to have his hair cut, he told the barber ‘truc truc,’ which apparently could mean a number of things in Vietnamese. When the barber was finished my friend was shocked. But it was too late to complain or argue. He just had to accept it. As they say, ‘Let bygones be bygones.’ We find Vietnamese almost impossible to learn, but body language comes in handy.” In another letter from a Today’s Zaman reader, Katharine M. from the US said she was delighted to discover that others have had similar

experiences to hers. She shares that she lived in Rome for nearly two years and writes: “I could well relate to your story! I had many similar experiences, the most embarrassing of which was going to get my legs waxed and getting a full Brazilian wax before I knew what was happening. My difficulty with speaking Italian certainly played a part, as did my lack of Italian vocabulary necessary to discuss waxing just the legs or more!” She adds, “Thanks for bringing a smile to my day through a similar experience dealing with embarrassment and passing the point of no return when you are too late to speak up in a different culture.” I wrote Katharine back, as I do every person who takes the time to drop me a note, and asked her if she had ever visited Turkey and, if so, what her impressions were. Katharine’s reply reveals how Turkey is changing. Turkey used to be known as the place to go for a great, cheap holiday, but sadly, those times are changing! Hi Charlotte, I did visit Ýstanbul in late 2007, but just for a weekend. Mostly I was shocked by how expensive everything was and how good looking and well dressed the women were (men also, but not to the same extent). And that’s compared to Rome, which I already considered very expensive and where everyone seems to be dressed up with full makeup from the second they wake up in the morning until they go to bed (including walking in stilettos on cobblestones!). I thought it was a beautiful city

CULTURAL CORNER

CHARLOTTE McPHERSON full of contrasts -- deeply religious with gorgeous mosques and parties all night with people having a seemingly endless amount of money to spend on $20 cocktails. I was in heaven with the diversity of food. While I love (and deeply miss) Italian food, in Rome there simply weren’t a lot of options other than Italian, whereas in Turkey I could eat whatever kind of food I could think of. I was overwhelmed in the markets by the sheer number of people and “things” but that is to be expected. I loved the city and would love to go back someday, but not until I make a bit more money so I don’t feel sticker-shock all weekend long. Cheers, Katharine Katherine your observations are right on! A few foreign women will chuckle when they read your thoughts on the importance of appearance where you wrote that everyone seems to be dressed up with full makeup from the second they wake up in the morning until they go to

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{{ STARTING UP IN TURKEY {{

bed (including walking in stilettos on cobblestones!). I think Maria Fontaine, in her Oasiscreation calendar full of quotes, sums it in just a few words: “Want a face lift? Wear a smile.” In regard to my article “Rent a week,” some readers have commented that they agree and others have shared about their negative experiences. Today’s Zaman readers Frank and June, from Arizona, share about their holiday and give us a tip about cheap vacations in America: “My wife and I have had two vacations overseas. We stayed in a villa in Greece and in Turkey and thoroughly enjoyed them both. There are many Web sites you can explore to find the one for you. If you plan to have a vacation in America renting a time-share may be the way to go. We have done this a number of times and found that it can cost less than hotels. Ours has always had two or more bedrooms, kitchen, pool access and other extras. There are lots of places to discover. We look forward to another vacation in Turkey soon!” Everyone, and every place, has potential; it just needs to be discovered. Note: Charlotte McPherson is the author of “Culture Smart: Turkey, 2005.” Please keep your questions and observations coming: I want to ensure this column is a help to you, Today’s Zaman’s readers. Email: c.mcpherson@todayszaman.com

LEGAL CORNER

BERK ÇEKTiR

Consumer rýghts ýn Turkey

Turkish sellers are for the most part keen on maintaining good customer relations, but it’s always important to ask for a receipt and be aware of your customer rights.

Shoppýng and consumer protectýon KRISTINA KAMP ÝSTANBUL

For some expatriates Turkey is an irresistible shopping spot. Plenty of bazaars offer a wide range of carpets, ceramics, crafts and jewelry, and mushrooming shopping malls offer the latest luxury clothes and high-tech products. With a comparatively low consumer price index and the additional plus of bargaining, Turkey indeed seems to be a paradise for international shoppers -- a good reason to inform you about the subject of consumer rights in Turkey. Under Turkish law, consumer rights are mainly protected by “Law No. 4077 on the Protection of Consumers,” enacted on Feb. 23, 1995 and published in the Official Gazette on March 8, 1995. The law was heavily amended in 2003 in order to ensure a higher level of protection for consumers and to harmonize Turkish legislation with that of the European Union. The amended version can be downloaded in full in English from the Web site of the Turkish Banks Association (TBB) at www.tbb.org.tr. However, to help you navigate the jungle of paragraphs, Today’s Zaman has already pre-packaged the most essential information for you. An article written by Hergüner Bilgen Özeke is especially helpful in understanding the law framework. It can be accessed through www.mondaq.com, an electronic database comprising the knowledge and expertise of professionals on many international legal, regulatory and financial issues. The detailed purpose of the Consumer

Protection Law can be found at the sites above, as well as in today’s “Legal Corner” by Berk Çektir, though in brief this law covers all consumer-related transactions in the goods and services markets to which a consumer is a party as well as defining the different classifications of consumer. Accordingly, and as explained by Özeke, the wording of the article about consumers (the description of consumers as both real persons and legal entities) may be interpreted so as to mean that even a joint stock corporation can be entitled to benefit from the rights granted to the consumer. However, Özeke says that taking into consideration the first paragraph of Article 21 of the Turkish Commercial Code, which stipulates that all obligations of a merchant are commercial, that the exception to this general rule is only for real person merchants. “Any other commercial entity, of whatever nature, is unable to enter into agreements with a consumer-based character,” she says.

What to do with defective goods? The second section of the Consumer Protection Law defines how a consumer is to be protected and informed and lays down the legal status as well as rights and obligations of both parties with respect to defective goods and services. A defective service or good is thereby defined as “containing material, legal or economic deficiencies that influence the quality or the quantity that affects the quality specified in the

advertisements or announcements made by the supplier, or are established in the standards or technical regulations, or decrease or eliminate its value or the benefits expected from such service by the consumer.” Well then, let’s consider a particular case which is common and which might be useful for you to know about: What do you have to do if a purchased good is defective? First and foremost, contact the seller as soon as possible. The problem often solves itself at this point because Turkish sellers are usually keen on maintaining good customer relations and do their best to care about their customers’ problems. In case the seller does not remember you, it is always better to bring the product’s receipt along with you so you can prove that it was really sold by the store in question. It is strongly recommended that you keep all the papers and receipts (especially guarantee cards) you receive when buying a product. If you have lost the receipt, you can start by asking the seller for a copy as he should usually have one. In case you agree that there is something wrong with the product you bought and that you want amends, there remain several avenues to pursue. According to the law, you have the right to return the item and to receive a refund. Alternatively, you can exchange the item for a non-defective one or you may get a partial refund to cover losses arising from the defect. The details for these three kinds of solutions are further elaborated in the law itself. Generally they are related to what is promised on the guarantee certificates

supplied with the product you purchased. The law also allows for the buyer and the seller to come to a mutual agreement, but if problems arise and you cannot mutually agree, let the seller know you are aware of your rights as a consumer in Turkey. Even if this is not the full truth, it may help get things straightened out. However, if nothing works, you may want to consider taking the next step: contact an NGO that deals with Turkish consumer rights. The Consumer Rights Center (TÜMER), with offices all over Turkey, is the first place to turn to. You can find their contact information below. They can review your particular case and let you know what you should do next and also let you know when you should refer the case to a Turkish consumer court. If getting the courts involved becomes really necessary one day, don’t worry as consumer rights are usually not disregarded in Turkey. In the latest study carried out in 2005 by the Turkish Central Bank and the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) on consumer confidence, Turkey performed well and Turkish consumer confidence was found to be “reliable and resistant.”

A useful address! The Consumer’s Rights Center (TÜ-MER) Mimarsinan Mah. Davutpaþa Cad. No: 1 Büro: 9 Esenler/ÝSTANBUL Tel: (212) 611 10 00 Fax: (212) 616 41 00 http://www.tumer.org/

NOTE: Today's Zaman intends to provide a lively forum for expatriates living in Turkey. We encourage you to contact us at voice@todayszaman.com and share your experiences, questions and problems in all walks of life for publication in Today's Zaman.

CM Y K

In my last two articles I wrote about insurance company-related problems and recommended that my readers seek assistance through the consumer rights act and other judicial actions. Today I would like to write more about consumer rights. Under Turkish law, the legal status of all consumer-related transactions is governed by the Consumer Protection Law. This legislation is the main protection for consumer rights along with additional supplementary legislation. The Consumer Protection Law, officially known as Law No. 4077, was enacted on Feb. 23, 1995 and came into force after it was published in the Official Gazette on March 8, 1995. In 2003 the law underwent amendments to increase protection and harmonize it with European Union legislation. The purpose and the scope of the Consumer Protection Law is stated in Article 1: "…to take measures aimed at protecting the health, safety and economic interests of consumers in line with the public good, building consumer awareness, indemnifying losses incurred by consumers and protecting them against environmental hazards; to promote consumer initiatives aimed at protecting consumer interests and to encourage volunteer organizations aimed at devising consumer-related policies." Are you a consumer? In order to be protected by this law, you should be a consumer as defined by this law. The definition of a consumer is outlined in Article 3 of the Consumer Protection Law. According to this definition, the consumer can either be a real person or a legal entity purchasing, using or benefiting from goods or services without having any professional or commercial purpose. If the business dealing with the good or service generates money for the user, then the user is not considered within the scope of the law. Joint stock corporations are also entitled to benefit from the rights granted to the consumer. However, the Turkish Supreme Court of Appeals has ruled that considering the first paragraph of Article 21 of the Turkish Commercial Code, a joint stock corporation, a limited liability partnership and any other commercial entity of whatever nature are unable to enter into agreements that have a consumer-based character, cannot be protected by the Consumer Protection Law and are therefore unable to benefit from the rights granted to consumers by this law. Therefore, "legal entities" referred to in Article 3 of the Consumer Protection Law are deemed to be charitable foundations and associations that are not entitled to carry out any commercial activities. What is the scope of the law? The second section of the Consumer Protection Law covers matters related to rights and obligations of sellers and buyers in respect to defective goods and/or services or unfair terms for the consumer in the sales agreement. The scope of the law is quite significant in that it also covers issues such as time-share vacations, packaged tours, campaign sales, door-to-door sales, distance contracts, consumer credit, credit cards, subscription contracts for periodicals, warranties, user manuals, post sales services, commercials, etc. How can I contact a consumer protection council or the court? To contact the consumer protection council, visit your local administration (kaymakamlýk). There are councils in all of Turkey's 81 provinces. To contact consumer courts, visit the nearest courthouse. Some courthouses do not have a separate consumer court, so an ordinary court serves the purpose. Is there a statute of limitations for consumer rights cases? Yes. The statute of limitations is tied to the value of the good sold. This limit was around $600 in 2007. If your claim is lower than this limit, consult the consumer protection council; if your claim is above this value, turn to the consumer court for your claim. In case the seller does not fulfill the order of the council, seek redress with the consumer court because a decision by the court will be enforceable by legal authorities. In case the decision of the council is not in your favor, you can appeal to the consumer court within 15 days and the decision of the court shall be final. NOTE: Berk Çektir is a licensed attorney at law and available to answer questions on the legal aspects of living in Turkey. Send enquiries to b.cektir@todayszaman.com. The names of the readers are disclosed only upon written approval of the sender. DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is intended to give basic legal information. You should get legal assistance from a licensed attorney at law while conducting legal transactions and not just rely on the information in this corner.


CULTURE&ARTS

Mideast set for strong showing at Altýn Koza

TODAY’S ZAMAN 13

W E D N E S D AY, M AY 2 1 , 2 0 0 8

CENK ERDEM ÝSTANBUL

Movies from the Middle East and Arab countries will get a special showcase at this year's Altýn Koza International Film Festival, scheduled to run from June 2-8 in the Mediterranean province of Adana, the festival organizers announced this week. The 15th edition of the festival will screen four movies by directors from the Middle East in the section called "Fellow Breezes: Medscreen Films" -- a program aimed at highlighting and promoting the movie industries of the eastern Mediterranean and Arab countries. Among the four films in the lineup is Lebanese director Philippe Aractingi's 2007 thriller "Sous Les Bombes" (Under the Bombs). The film, shot 10 days after the actual 2006 Israeli bombing in Lebanon, follows a woman who hires a taxi driver daring enough to drive her into the bombed area of southern Lebanon and help find her missing son. The second movie on the list is Tunisian filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche's "La Graine et le Mulet" (The Secret of the Grain), an international award-winning film that follows a 61-year-old immigrant shipyard worker who dreams of opening his own restaurant. Egyptian director Ibrahim El-Batout's "Ein Shams" (The Eye of the Sun), which depicts the sadness and magic that surrounds everyday life in Egypt through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl, and Algerian director Amor Hakkar's 2007 drama "La Maison Jaune" (The Yellow House) are the other movies on the bill. The Altýn Koza festival has increasingly offered a wider range of cinema from across the world. The organizers earlier this month announced that this year's festival will commemorate Romy Schneider with a special section dedicated to the Austrian-German actress, featuring four of her films. Also screened in the festival's World Cinema section will be Belgian filmmaker Nic Balthazar's latest film "Ben X," young Iranian director Hana Makhmalbaf's award winning debut feature "Buda as sharm foru rikht" (Buddha Collapsed out of Shame), and Polish director Dorota Kedzierzawska's 2007 feature "Pora umierac" (Time to Die). Ýstanbul Today's Zaman

"If the destiny of the hawk is to fly the highest wind, then our destiny is to dance together" is the motto of Los Vivancos, the acclaimed seven-member all-male Spanish flamenco ensemble formed by seven brothers. As brothers, they have been together since birth, and since 2004 they have shared their artistic achievements on world stages as a dance company. With their rich educational backgrounds, stretching from Spain to the UK and the Netherlands, Los Vivancos has earned deserved fame for their original shows, which they have presented in countries from Canada to Germany and from France to Israel. The seven Vivancos -- Elias, Josue, Josua, Cristo, Aaron, Israel and Judah -- are in Turkey for two rare performances this weekend, in Ýstanbul and Mersin. Their first stop is Ýstanbul, with a performance on Friday night at the Ýþ Sanat Arts and Culture Center in what will be this season's closing performance at the center. On Sunday they will perform at the Mersin Culture Center as part of the Seventh Mersin International Music Festival. Ahead of their Turkey visit, Josua Vivancos spoke to Today's Zaman about their story and their passion for flamenco. Los Vivancos is made up of brothers born into the same family. Was dancing a childhood dream of yours? And who was your inspiration? Our one and only idol has always been our father. Our father, Pedro, used to be a dancer, and he is not only a father for us -he's our mentor. He taught us how to fight, through the martial arts, as well as how to dance, through flamenco. Since you're brothers, you have always been together. Have you ever had times that one of you felt like a misfit? We always get along well; we used to play and dance all together when we were little kids. Now, it feels great to be on the stage, all together, dancing for our own dance company. You received education in dance, music and the martial arts. How do martial arts help the way you dance? It gives a kind of manly energy on stage. When we dance, it gives a kind of masculine attitude. When we are on stage, I guess the audiences sense this energy, too. During your teenage years you performed in many countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK and France. How did you deal with your issues of adolescence in those times? We have always been more than brothers, like very close friends. Being in different countries and meeting with different people from different cultures made us more open minded in a way. We had more experience than we were supposed to have at that age. If we had grown up in the same city for a long time, we wouldn't have that much experience. In February 2005 you performed a spectacular debut on international television show "Le Plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde," on Magic TV in Paris. Can we say that it was your breakthrough? We had a lot of work with many different dance companies beforehand. We had to improve ourselves independently. We had so many experiences and completed our educa-

Indiana star Ford says he won't read reviews Good or bad, actor Harrison Ford will not be reading reviews of the new Indiana Jones movie, which divided the Cannes Film Festival's notoriously picky critics. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" had its world premiere at the festival on Sunday, and initial reaction was positive. But with a little more time to reflect on a blockbuster that cost an estimated $185 million to make, reviews have become decidedly more mixed. "I suppose it would be interesting, but I don't read reviews," Ford told Reuters in an interview to promote the film. "I don't want to believe the bad stuff and I don't want to believe the good stuff. It doesn't really matter," added Ford, who reprises probably his most famous on-screen role as the whip-wielding archaeologist at the age of 65. Reviews appearing on the Internet within minutes of the end of the press screening in Cannes were largely positive. Several, though, have since questioned the wisdom of resurrecting a successful franchise which last hit the screens 19 years ago. Cannes, which is a major showcase of independent filmmaking but thrives also on the star power Hollywood brings, has a fearsome reputation among actors and directors. "They can kick your butt here and will if they're not happy with the movie, so I think we got a pretty good reception," Ford said, referring to the world premiere screening. For Ford, the cinema-goer, not the critic, matters most. "It's the people who pay to get in, and whether they are getting satisfaction for their dollars spent," he said. Cannes Reuters

Los Vivancos brings flamenco fire to Turkey tion. After coming together as Los Vivancos, it was like our first breakthrough together. After graduating from the dance conservatory in Barcelona, you all decided to go your own separate ways. Did you know you would get together again? That was the plan. We had to experience different styles with different companies in Spain and in different countries. And we had so many experiences, from the Scottish ballet to French dance companies. For instance, Israel and I worked with Joaquin Cortes, and that was such a wonderful experience as well. You formed Los Vivancos toward

the end of 2004. You are all grown up now. What has changed in the way you express yourselves as dancers in all these years you worked separately? The same energy, but more mature. We had so many experiences on stage that we can cope better through our live performances -but we still have the same energy and passion about dance as we did when we were kids. You have been touring the world with your show "Los Vivancos: 7 Hermanos" since June 2007, and when you performed in Barcelona, critics billed you as "The Magnificent Seven."

What is the story in your show? Our show is what we are; it's part of our life. We are telling the story of our own lives, of discovering dance and flamenco, trying different styles. We tell about street jazz, rock, all types of dance and flamenco. It's how we find a way to express ourselves and how we realize ourselves in flamenco. You also studied in many art schools throughout the world. After all the experiences you have been through, which schools fascinated you as a dancer in terms of their facilities? We are graduates of the Barcelona Dance Conser-vatory, and it's one of the best schools in terms of its facilities. In the Netherlands, the Amsterdam Dance Theater is also a great school for dance students. What traits should a flamenco dancer have, apart from talent? Charisma. Flamenco is all about expression. Your body is your instrument. So we go to the gym and we work out, we take good care of ourselves. Flamenco also strikes audiences when the dancers are beautiful in shape -- do you think that your physical appearance as seven handsome brothers dancing on the stage may overshadow your performance? You're going to realize that this isn't the case in the show. The show is so powerful. We have a very strong image as dancers on stage. Can we call you successors of Joaquin Cortes in terms of his stage persona? Our style is so different than Joaquin Cortes' but when it comes to the fact that he is the most famous Spanish dancer in the world touring around, I can say we are the next. When it comes to artistic inspiration, who are your idols in flamenco? We respect everybody, it's not right to talk about one single person as an idol, but Joaquin Cortes is one of the flamenco dancers we appreciate the most. You are going to perform two shows in Turkey, on May 23 and 25. Is this your first visit to Turkey? I came to Ýstanbul three years ago with the Spain-based [Patrick de Bana's] dance company Nafas, represented in Turkey by [artist management company] Pasion Turca for a live performance. I can easily say that I've traveled around the world, from Russia to China, but Ýstanbul is so beautiful. Its history and multicultural structure are magnificent. We are coming again for our debut in Ýstanbul at Ýþ Sanat and this time we are going to hang around with our friends from Pasion Turca. Do you think being brothers is an advantage in group discipline? Who oversees the company as a leader? We discuss everything and come up with a resolution. There's no natural leader or anything, but we are just like friends. Are there any surprises on the stage on your show? I'd rather not talk about our surprises for the show. What is next for Los Vivancos? Any upcoming projects for the stage or the big screen? We keep on touring the world, but we are also in the preparation process for a big musical production. It's about the seven deadly sins, and it's going to be really striking.

Napster opens world's biggest MP3 store

REUTERS

Critics laud dark films as Cannes hits halfway PHOTO

Napster Inc., the digital music service, on Tuesday opened the world's biggest MP3 download store with more than 6 million songs in a direct challenge to Apple Inc's iTunes store. The new Web-based music store will have digital songs from all major music labels as well as thousands of independent labels. The MP3-format songs will be compatible with the vast majority of digital media devices and mobile phones including Apple's popular iPod as well as its iPhone. Before now Napster has focused on selling allyou-can-eat monthly streaming music subscription packages but has struggled to win over the majority of fans who want to be able to transfer songs they like on to a portable device such as iPod. The new Napster service tries to take on Apple's dominance in digital music by offering fans more songs without copy protection or digital rights management (DRM). Most of the six million songs on the iTunes Music store are available with Fairplay DRM, which prevents the songs from being played on most portable players other than the iPod. Most songs on the service will be available for 99 cents each and $9.95 an album. New York Reuters

Nuri Bilge Ceylan

An animated documentary about Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and a courageous portrayal of the Naples mafia are among the frontrunners at the halfway stage of the Cannes Film Festival. Film goers are generally impressed with the quality of 11 competition movies screened so far and critics have also highlighted several discoveries outside the main lineup. "Usually at this stage we would have seen more absolute stinkers," said film critic and author Mark Cousins, who is covering his 18th Cannes festival. "For me it's a rather high standard, though we don't know what's coming, obviously." Among his favorites for the Palme d'Or, which goes to the jury's choice of best film, is "Waltz With Bashir," director Ari Folman's attempt to piece together buried memories of the 1982 massacre of Palestinians in Beirut's Sabra and Shatila camps. Folman uses animation to recreate interviews with fellow Israeli soldiers serving with him at the time. "Folman's nearly monochromatic palette allows you to absorb the

CM Y K

horror of atrocities without any pornographic fixation on gore," wrote Kirk Honeycutt of the Hollywood Reporter. Italy's "Gomorra" was hailed for its bravery in depicting the brutal world of the Camorra crime network in Naples. It is based on the best-selling account of the group by journalist Roberto Saviano, who has been living under police protection for the past two years. Both entries are regarded as political which may give them an edge if jury president Sean Penn wishes to highlight topicality alongside cinematic craft at the prize ceremony on Sunday.

Turkey, France, Belgium impress "Three Monkeys," a Turkish film that tells a bleak story of family secrets and is directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, rates top of an informal poll of critics appearing daily in the Screen International publication in Cannes. Domestic critics are also supporting French family drama "A Christmas Tale," starring Mathieu Amalric, while Belgian

brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are aiming to win a third Golden Palm with their popular "Lorna's Silence." South America is represented by four pictures in the main competition, three of which have been screened already. Opening film "Blindness," an English-language adaptation of Jose Saramago's novel of the same name about a plague of blindness sweeping the world, scored poorly with critics. But the region's two subsequent entries impressed more -- prison drama "Leonera" from Argentina and "Linha de Passe" ("Line of Passage") set in the slums of Sao Paulo. "I haven't seen a South American film here that I think is good enough to win the Palme d'Or," Cousins said. Hundreds more films are unveiled out of competition and critics thought "Hunger," a powerful portrayal of Northern Irish militant Bobby Sands' fatal hunger strike, one of the best. British director Terence Davies also impressed with his documentary about Liverpool "Of Time and the City. Cannes Reuters


14 TODAY’S ZAMAN

WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2008

Turkýsh socýety’s perceptýon of Chrýstýanýty (2)

Coexýstence not as hard as ýt seems

Is the West a Christian civilization? Another question given to the participants is whether they see the West as a Christian civilization. The purpose of this question was to figure out whether participants have different perspectives about the West and Christianity. As might be expected, the participants were divided on this question. According to

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In addition to questions about their overall perceptions of Christianity, participants were also asked about issues that were closely related to their families and immediate environment. They were asked how they would feel if they had Christian neighbors or if there was a church in their neighborhood and their neighbors attended this church's services. The findings from these questions overlap with the answers from the questions about overall perceptions of Christianity. A large majority of participants stated that they would not be bothered by Christian neighbors or the existence of a church in their neighborhood. Of the study's participants, only five respondents said they would feel uneasy having a Christian neighbor. These participants said they were worried such a neighbor might "set a bad example for their children." Given the fact that polls in Western countries tend to list Muslims as the most unwanted neighbors, it is noteworthy that the number of participants categorically opposed to having Christian neighbors is extremely low. Another question designed to test the general perception of Christianity at a more concrete level is whether a Christian can be a good human being and enter heaven. While it may not seem very meaningful, the answers to the question of whether a Christian can be good person are considerably important in terms of analyzing whether the participants have prejudices about Christians. Any finding that would hint at such prejudices would be important as this will show the nature of these prejudices. None of the over 90 participants -- as some interviews were conducted with multiple participants in the form of group focus -said "no" to the question, "Can a Christian be a good person?" All of the participants concurred, though with different reasons or without any reason, that a Christian can be a good person. This is undoubtedly an important finding given the fact that participants ranged from illiterate people to lecturers in terms of education level, from young people to the elderly in terms of age groups and from the rich to the very poor in terms of income levels. This answer implies that Turkish society does not have negative prejudices about Christians and does not regard "good people" as only those from its religion or its race. This finding also implies that Turkish society has strong self-confidence. The second question was about whether, being a good person, a Christian can enter heaven, and the answers to this question can be categorized into three groups: a good Christian can enter heaven; they cannot enter heaven because of religious reasons; and this question should be asked to the competent authorities.

REUTERS

KUDRET BÜLBÜL*

the first group, "the West is a Christian civilization." The majority of the population in the West is Christian. As put by Selma from Ýzmir: "The West is a Christian society. Over time, these two concepts have been unified. They remind me of each other. That is, the West equals a Christian civilization, in my opinion." Although they regard the West as a Christian civilization, the participants stated that they do not think Westerners comply fully with Christianity. A frequently made argument is that religious life in the West is not as intensely observed as it is in Turkey. The second group argued that "the West is not a Christian civilization." This is, they said, because not only Christians live in the West; there are also Muslims, Jews and atheists living in the West. Therefore, one cannot argue that the West is exclusively a Christian civilization, according to this group. Ahmet, an unemployed person, and Hamdi, a tradesman

from Diyarbakýr, Didem, a pharmacist, Galip Bey, a restaurant owner, and Akif Bey, a worker from Ýzmir, are some of the participants who supported this argument. Some participants maintained that the West is not a Christian civilization but for completely different reasons. These participants said Western civilization is a civilization that has developed despite the destructive impact of Christianity. As Melahat, a primary school teacher from Konya, put it: "As far as I can remember from my history courses, the formation of Western civilization occurred in the Enlightenment. In other words, after freeing itself from the grip of the Church, the West made this progress." A third group of participants suggested that "the West cannot be a Christian civilization." They tended to have a much more positive view of Christianity as a religion. They noted that colonialism, imperialism and expansionism of the West cannot be

REMÝ KANAZI*

Free speech is not without consequence. In the United States, for example, criticism of Israel is tantamount to heresy. Former US President Jimmy Carter felt a societal backlash last year after the release of his book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which condemned Israel's apartheid-style policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. Consequently, and without foundation, Carter was branded by many in the American press as a one-sided, anti-Semitic propagandist. Similarly, Harvard Professor Stephen Walt and University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer were lambasted for a paper the two co-authored that discussed the power of the Israel lobby and its adverse effect on American policy. Additionally, Norman Finkelstein, an esteemed professor at Depaul University and author of the bestselling book "The Holocaust Industry," witnessed a McCarthyite-style campaign mounted against him when he came up for tenure. Finkelstein, the son of Holocaust survivors, has been an outspoken critic of Israel's human rights abuses and of pro-Israel apologist and Harvard professor, Alan Dershowitz. Predictably, it was Dershowitz who led the anti-tenure campaign against him; ultimately, Finkelstein was not only denied tenure, but he lost his job at Depaul. The attacks against Carter, Finkelstein, Walt and Mearsheimer serve as a few well-known examples of the consequences writers and intellectuals face when they breach the line and criticize Israel. Furthermore, the condemnation writers and intellectuals of Arab descent face are invariably higher than Jews of conscience, former presidents and highly regarded academics. As a result, many writers often acquiesce to the demands of the mainstream. Their selfcensorship usually appears in the form of "toning down the message," be it to please editors or critics -- essentially to conform to the reality of purported pragmatism. Yet, this "pragmatism" is a euphemism for acceptance of a repressive status quo and is analogous to the "necessary" practical thinking that silenced a multitude of commentators during the Oslo years -- the supposed time of peace. Unsurprisingly, untold Palestinian suffering followed as a result of increased settlement expansion, land confiscation, checkpoints and seizures, and the ultimate failure of Camp David 2000. Shying away from perceived controversial matters may help to protect a mainstream career, but the intent of a political analyst should not be to produce works of fiction. The vast majority of Americans weren't open to criticism of US policy during the run-up to the war on Iraq, mainly due to the media's complicity in promoting the war, but criticism was still the appropriate course of action based on the facts, and Americans would have been better off for it today. A man who combined principle, activism and human appeal quite masterfully was distinguished educator and commentator Edward Said. In the realm of academia and Middle East analysis, Said was by no means viewed as the quintessential radical. Nonetheless, his positions were radical when juxtaposed with "conventional wisdom": he was a proponent of the one-state solution, an unwavering critic of the Israeli government and an ardent supporter of the ostensibly controversial right of return. Said was still heavily criticized throughout his career and endured incessant attacks by his detractors, yet his accessible personality and articulate message kept him relevant. Sadly, Said's relative acceptance has been the exception rather than the rule. In recent years, there has been increased emphasis on putative pragmatic dialogue. However, this accentuation on so-called rational and balanced thinking has proven to be little more than a sinister means to pressure the oppressed to accept the position of the oppressor. The greatest leaders of the last hundred years didn't shy away from controversy; they remained persistent, and saw their visions brought to fruition, be they Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi. Nevertheless, one cannot overlook that even paramount figures have been castigated for "overstepping" their boundaries, namely Martin Luther King, who was chided for speaking out against the war in Vietnam, imperialism and social injustices that plagued the US. This week, Palestinians across the US commemorated 60 years of displacement. Yet, the lens the Palestinian people are expected to look through under the pragmatist vision is one that sees a dispossessed people as necessary victims for a righteous state to take form. Unfortunately, waves of writers and commentators continue to adopt this line in fear of retribution, in exchange for nicer houses and comfortable living, or a combination of both. That is their free will. Free speech is not without consequence; nonetheless, losing peace of mind is the only repercussion a writer should fear. * Remi Kanazi is the editor of the forthcoming anthology of poetry, "Poets For Palestine," which can be pre-ordered at www.PoetsForPalestine.com. Remi can be contacted at remroum@gmail.com.

dagistancetinkaya@todayszaman.com.tr

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* Dr. Kudret Bülbül is an instructor at Kýrýkkale University.

When free speech doesn’t come free

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explained by Christianity. If the West was a truly Christian civilization, it should have refrained from engaging in these activities. This approach was most strikingly voiced by Ramazan, a retired worker from Malatya, who said, "One is related to heart while the other to money." For Ahmet, a lawyer from Ýzmir, Westernism is a political phenomenon and Christianity is a form of faith. Western countries are part of a colonial system while colonialism is not acceptable in religions. To Ahmet, the West does not live according to the principles of Christianity. "If they lived according to Christianity, they would not implement today's destructive and damaging policies," he stated. Has the frequent coverage in the media of anti-Islamist events that increased particularly after Sept. 11 in the West, the cartoon crisis with Denmark and the pope's address in Germany triggered antiChristian sentiment in Turkish society? The study did not find any indication that the post-Sept. 11 developments had a negative impact on the participants' perceptions of Christianity and Christians. While they were aware of the recent developments, the participants tended to focus their criticism on the international policies implemented by the West, not on Christianity. The most important finding of the study is that the participants tended to use a very reverent language regarding Christianity. This veneration seemed to prompt some of the participants to differentiate the West from Christianity due to the imperialist practices of the West. All but one of the respondents refrained from mentioning the Crusades in connection with Christianity. This positive attitude toward Christianity was also observed in responses to questions related to more practical aspects of life, such as living next to a Christian neighbor or the presence of a church in the neighborhood. The fact that only five of the participants stated that they would prefer not to have a Christian neighbor and that all participants noted that a Christian can be a good person implies that there are no anti-Christian sentiments or prejudices about Christianity in Turkey. The significance of these findings can be better understood when interpreted in the context of recent developments in the West, particularly certain polls showing that Muslims and homosexuals are the least wanted neighbors in the West. The activities of Christian missionaries represent the only area the participants expressed negative reactions in the context of Christianity. While the participants were not very concerned by the efforts of the missionaries to disseminate their religion, the majority of them thought that missionaries have a secret agenda "to take advantage of people who are experiencing financial difficulties," "to urge people to convert to Christianity by using economic incentives" and "to divide or weaken Turkey." Nevertheless, the existence of positive perceptions about Christianity is meaningful and offers hope for both coexistence in Turkey and world peace. Hopefully, this study is followed by others that will increase the voices supporting peace among civilizations.

OPINION

ABDULLAH BOZKURT OKAN UDO BASSEY FATMA DEMÝRELLÝ EMRAH ÜLKER KERÝM BALCI YONCA POYRAZ DOÐAN ÝBRAHÝM TÜRKMEN YASEMÝN GÜRKAN PINAR VURUCU HELEN P. BETTS FARUK KARDIÇ YAKUP ÞÝMÞEK BEYTULLAH DEMÝR HAYDAR DURUSOY ALÝ ODABAÞI

Public Relations Contact Information: 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.

CM Y K


COLUMNS

TODAY’S ZAMAN 15

W E D N E S D AY, M AY 2 1 , 2 0 0 8

Iran and the US ýn the Iraqý confusýon Iraq is a battleground in which various internal and external forces are fighting for different interests but one common aim: power and control. This power struggle is affecting the entire Middle East region. The United States is not only fighting in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan. There is also a chance of the covert conflict with Iran erupting into an open one as evinced by the rhetoric of the present US administration. Looking at what Hillary Clinton says (to "totally obliterate" Iran if it attacks Israel) as a Democratic presidential hopeful, this conflict may be inescapable in the post-Republican era as well. The risk of a US-Iranian confrontation is growing, in part because Saudi Arabia and other smaller Arab states that seek US protection in the Middle East are very eager to curb Iran's threatening power and influence in their region. With this support and encouragement, the US feels legitimized to strike Iranian training camps where Iraqi Shiite militia are groomed and supply lines that carry all sorts of arms and explosives into Iraq Tehran systematically rejected the pleas of the US administration and Baghdad to stop supplying and training Shiite militias in Iraq or run the risk of retaliation. In recent weeks conflict has intensified, with Iraqi and

YAVUZ BAYDAR

DOÐU ERGÝL d.ergil@todayszaman.com

American forces fighting together against assorted Shiite militias and "other armed groups" said to be linked to Iran. Fighting first erupted in Basra, the main port city of the south, and now continues in the Shiite district of Baghdad called Sadr City, home to some 2 million Shiites and a bastion of support for a populist Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr is commands a fierce militia group known as the Mahdi Army. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, himself a Shiite, continuously emphasizes that the aim of the military campaign he ordered with the backing of American and British forces in March was to impose the rule of law - and not just on any specific group, certainly not just the Mahdi Army. Indeed Mr. alMaliki is making every effort to realize a safe environment for the provincial elections to take place in the autumn. The militias have to be disarmed to avoid any non-political influence

on the peoples' choice ahead of the elections. His policy to disarm and to dismantle these armed groups has won Mr. al-Maliki rare support from most of the main political parties in Iraq. Except the Sadrists, Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite groups have lent support to the campaign of Mr. al-Maliki, who not too long ago had been accused of being a wimp and sectarian. They are all concerned about the fact that prolonged internal fighting may drag Iran and America more deeply into a conflict that may spill over to the Iranian side of the border. In the meantime, there is a peculiar trend surfacing that confounds Western analysts with limited knowledge of regional forces. Only two weeks ago, a group of proIranian politicians from Iraq's ruling Shiite alliance took on the mission of going to Tehran to request the Iranian government stop training and aiding Shiite militia in Iraq. In their bag there was basic evidence of Iranian involvement in recent armed conflict in Iraq. For those who thought Iraqi Shiites were the fifth column of Iran, this is odd, especially given the fact that these freelance diplomats were refused an audience by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They came back empty-handed.

No Comment

AFGHANISTAN, REUTERS

y.baydar@todayszaman.com

AMANDA AKÇAKOCA a.akcakoca@todayszaman.com

Wýll Cyprus pay the prýce for Turkey’s troubles?

Capýtal letters It's bargaining time, folks. After the waves of shock, which gradually subsided to anger and sadness after passing through helplessness, we have come to the time for reckoning. There are ambiguous messages flying about in the public domain indicating that behind closed doors the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and "the establishment" are seeking a way out. One could say the indictment for the closure of the ruling party came as a reflex, without a thorough calculation about its labyrinth of consequences. While an anonymous AK Party minister reflects upon the air of pessimism regarding what is seen as the inevitable closure of his party, Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan has now taken the lead, speaking about a "third way." What that really means, nobody knows. My colleague, Eyüp Can, the editor of the Referans daily, reported yesterday, after visiting Constitutional Court President Haþim Kýlýç, that few people, if anyone at all, know where things are heading in Turkey and that the top court's judges are being unfairly strained by having to make such a heavy decision. Although his chat with Kýlýç was entirely off the record, Can quotes the top judge as saying the following: "Believe me that, whatever the verdict, it will help strengthen democracy, secularism and the rule of law. And believe me also that these words are not wishful thinking." You may draw whichever conclusion out you would like from that. The entire mess has transformed Ankara into a snake pit, that is for certain. The indictment is not only causing a slowly spreading political paralysis, but it has also let all the cats out of the bag. I could certainly confirm Can's observations from the capital that zillions of scenarios are being produced on daily basis. The issue is not whether they are realistic or not. It is the very fact that whoever is behind them is serving selfish interests. Meanwhile, the energy necessary to go further in reforms and other moves forward is wasted through hearsay and "eyebrow raising" effects. You cannot write the name of Ankara with capital letters these days. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan is almost certainly going to await the decision of the top court out, without making a democratic counterstrike. Depending on the nature of the verdict, the AK Party will proceed to exit A or exit B -- or maybe somewhere else entirely. Is it a risk that AK Party is "choosing not to gallop" in order to perhaps avert a crisis that would expand to the economy and other domains? It may be. What if the inevitable reaction of the EU -- since it has to react proportionately and not pretend as though Turkish democracy has not been forcibly anesthetized -- extends to a suspension of accession negotiations? What would the consequences of such an act be on domestic politics? Would Turkey, then, start to lose its "anchor"? Those who favor a principled stand for the AK Party -meaning a final showdown in the name of preserving democracy -- feel that the current bargaining attempts will not only harm Turkey's chances for full EU membership, but will also lead back to a regime with "tamed" political parties. Those who do justify bargaining "a la Turque," or attempts within "realpolitik," say that a sharp defense conducted out of pride might give a new chance to take democratization further. They refer to the steady support of voter's for continued AK Party policies. Since we do know almost for certain that the AK Party has chosen not to blow up dust by galloping, we will have to ask: "Bargaining for what?" In an op-ed piece yesterday, Julian Chryssavgis, the editor of The Bowdoin Forum, Journal of International Affairs, concludes with the following: "Over time, both the ultra-secularist and Islamist camps in Turkish society may realize that their respective causes are destined neither for final triumph nor for ignominious defeat. Instead, their aspirations will be moderated by the compromises and tradeoffs that go with day-to-day politics. That is the outcome that many middle-of-the-road Turks would like to see. It should also be the hope of people in other countries who want to see a stable, increasingly European Turkey, living in peace with its neighbors." "Compromises and tradeoffs…" Bargaining on what? To keep the AK Party in power without power? Has the latest mess, ignited by a legitimate constitutional amendment to provide more freedom for women who wear the headscarf, not shown us all where the strict limitation on compromises would be? The huge fuss over a brand new constitution also proved that "the system" is not at all comfortable with leaving behind the legacy of military-guided legislation and regulations. How about the Kurds? What about tradeoffs on illegal coup activities? How can Turkish society boldly take the bull by the horns as long as a non-political judiciary sets the red lines? How can a civilian society flourish under these frightening conditions? Responses to these questions will certainly make or break Turkey.

Another confounding development is a different reading of the behavior of radical Shiite cleric al-Sadr. Until recently, Western sources believed he was Iran's man in Iraq. So, did the Iranian authorities also believe this, until his erratic behavior changed their minds? Initially the Iranians had hoped to groom Mr. al-Sadr to extend their political clout in Iraq. During his long stay in Iran last year, Mr. al-Sadr must have changed his mind and decided to act more like Hassan Nasrallah, the charismatic head of Lebanon's Hezbullah. Being an independent leader in his own right must seem more attractive and honorable than being an agent of Iran in his own country. Now that Mr. al-Sadr and his followers appear to have taken a more nationalistic approach (Iraqi-oriented and Arab) and don't appear to be volunteering to expand Iran's influence in the region, Iraqi policies concerning them must be revised. They are equally opposed to American and Iranian domination of Iraq. Does this further complicate matters, or provide a window of opportunity to build a new Iraqi entity that belongs to and is run by Iraqis who can prove to be conciliatory among themselves by overcoming past grudges and injustices?

France, agaýn… BERÝL DEDEOÐLU b.dedeoglu@todayszaman.com

Turkey's relationship with France has been under stress for quite some time. The tension became apparent after Nicolas Sarkozy's entry to French political life and has reached a peak during his presidency. France's leader believes the French people are scared of Turks, or in general of all Muslims, so he gave the assurance that he will not let "them come into our houses," that is to say, the EU. It's not certain that French people believe everything Sarkozy tells them, but it is known that Sarkozy pursues an anti-Turkey policy. During the EU Troika meeting, France, which will lead the EU Council starting in July, gave some assurances to Turkey. It promised not to invent new obstacles during the negotiation process. In fact, there is no need for new obstacles as five of the negotiation chapters have already been blocked by Sarkozy. The reason for his vetoes was that these chapters would lead Turkey to full membership. Instead, the chapter on the environment is continuously mentioned as the next one to be opened. In Turkey's case, this chapter is so complex that its negotiation alone could take some 20 years. Yet no one asks why Turkey should bother with this complicated process if there is no membership to be had in the end. France is likely doing this on purpose so that Turkey throws in the towel. If Turkey manages to reach the end of the process despite all the obstacles, another measure recently designed by France will await it. Turkey will be the only EU candidate country whose membership will be a referendum matter. France's concept of equality is wonderful. It's not easy to guess which year this referendum will be organized or

who will shape French public opinion then. Is there anybody who has considered what if the referendum's result favors Turkey's membership? France's anti-Turkey stance is not that disturbing for the moment in the eyes of Turkey. First of all, France's objections are not logical. Sarkozy keeps saying that Turkey is in Asia, but did he ever check where Cyprus is on the map? Turkey is too heavily populated according to him, as if France or Germany were not. He insists that Turkey's culture is too different; he courteously wants to say Turkey is Muslim, as if there were no Muslims in Europe. Moreover, we wonder how one can imagine that Turkey will be a close partner of the EU, and especially of France, if it is rejected. Do they think that France will be able to take part in defense industry contracts or that French investments in Turkey will be encouraged. And at the same time, France wants to be a global power and the captain of the EU. There are many EU member countries that oppose France's perception and even the European Commission is very eager to win Turkey back. To the same extent that Sarkozy sees Turkey as an obstacle to France's European and global policies, other players raise their voices with the opposing opinion. Turkey prefers to hear those who want to design the new EU and the world with Turkey's contribution. That's why ordinary Turks simply smile when they see Sarkozy on TV. Sarkozy's anti-Turkey policies put our French colleagues, friends and acquaintances living in Turkey in a very awkward position. It appears that Britain is the happiest actor because of this situation. Sarkozy may veto Blair's EU presidency; meanwhile the UK supports everything Sarkozy rejects. We can be sure that Prince Charles and later his mother, Elizabeth II, didn't come to Turkey just to buy carpets. Maybe it would be better for France to face its own problems directly, instead of doing this through Turkey.

CM Y K

Now that the euphoria over the demise of Tassos Papadopoulos' presidency has died down it is becoming clear that even with the new pro-solution Greek Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias in charge there is not going to be a quick solution to the Cyprus issue. Though Christofias and his counterpart in the north, Mehmet Ali Talat, have friendly relations, this is no guarantee they will find a way out of this decades-old problem that goes right to the heart of the two communities. With a painful history, deep distrust and a hazy common vision for the future, it is difficult to see a bright end to this sad story. Mustering the required levels of political will and moving away from playing the blame game is no easy task and requires everybody to really want a future beyond the past. Unfortunately, it also seems that what fresh optimism there is may be quashed by the political crisis in Turkey. Turkish Cypriot's unfortunate dependency on Turkey and the unorthodox role the Turkish military has in northern Cyprus means that decisions regarding the terms of a settlement have to pass through Ankara. Even during the current working group and committee talks, which are being held to prepare the ground for direct talks between Talat and Christofias, the Turkish Cypriots have to defer to Ankara on numerous issues. It is little wonder that the Greek Cypriots continue to suggest it would be easier to hold direct talks with Ankara. This must be humiliating for the Turkish Cypriots because it is clear proof that they are not in charge of their own destiny. With the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) facing likely closure and many of its senior figures on the brink of being banned, Prime Minister Erdoðan's hands are increasingly tied on both foreign and domestic issues, and he will be in no position to take meaningful steps on Cyprus. As Erdoðan fights these vicious elements he will not want to provoke any of the anti-AK Party circles further, in particular the military and the judiciary. This is unfortunate as back in 2003-2004 during the last round of peace talks Erdoðan was in a strong position with a majority in Parliament after decades of weak coalition governments. It was also during the "romance" period with the EU that Turkey pulled out all the stops to have accession talks opened. This gave the government a strong mandate that enabled the prime minister to make some very bold moves and ignore resistance from the military, the nationalists and others who were happy with the status quo. Nowadays things could not be more different. Erdoðan is in a weak position and will be focusing on saving the party, and himself -- by one way or another. With the 2009 March municipal elections on the horizon, the AK Party or its reincarnation, in the event that it is banned, needs to concentrate on getting a strong result. Turkey will probably therefore be unwilling to move very far from the boundaries of the 2004 Annan plan, even if the Turkish Cypriots are ready to do so given that Talat will be keen to get a deal in the bag before the Turkish Cypriot parliamentary elections next May, which may alter the political set-up in the north. This will cause difficulties because Turkey needs to be able to take a flexible approach on a number of issues including security, guarantorship, property, settlers, etc. Unless Erdoðan decides to throw caution to the wind and take brave new steps on Cyprus it is unlikely there will be a solution soon. The only other way forward could be if the EU were to give some very concrete promises to Turkey in the form of a much clearer membership perspective, which would give Erdoðan some political meat. But this is not likely to happen. Of course the Turkish Cypriots could also get up, take to the streets and make it abundantly clear that they do not want to remain a hostage to Turkey or the current stalemate. But this would take a lot of courage and I am not sure they are ready -- particularly with 35,000 soldiers on their doorstep. But let's be clear on what will eventually happen if there is no solution due to Turkish/Turkish Cypriot intransigence: more and more Turkish Cypriots will obtain Republic of Cyprus passports and will leave the island -- after all there are only a certain number of people the tourism industry can employ. There will be no land left to build on so the construction industry and retail boom will fizzle out; the property dispute with the south will escalate and Turkey will end up having to pay billions in compensation; the Turkish Cypriots will find less sympathy from the international community and the Greek Cypriots will once again become the victims. The majority of the population will probably be Turkish mainlanders, British and the Turkish military. The only real Turkish Cypriots left will be the donkeys and mountain goats.


 

 





 

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CONTINUATION

TODAY’S ZAMAN 17

W E D N E S D AY, M AY 2 1 , 2 0 0 8

Commission to ensure bills pass human rights test

Shipyard fatalities put industry under fire

Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Accidents resulting in death 1 5 3 5 8 10 12 13

· As of 20 May 2008 per Union statistics

ALÝ ASLAN KILIÇ ANKARA AA

A bill that changes the powers and authorities of the parliamentary Human Rights Commission and which will require that legislation pass a human rights test before enactment is expected to soon be submitted to Parliament. The bill restructures the commission to ensure that the latter identifies what Turkey must do to ensure greater compliance of its Constitution and laws with international conventions on human rights. Thus, the commission will determine what measures should be taken and what changes should be made to legislation and will draw up proposals in this regard. The bill also authorizes the commission "to examine the bills and decrees submitted to Parliament in terms of compliance with fundamental human rights and freedoms and make recommendations to the relevant commissions." The restructured commission will have easier access to information and documents. Thus, the commission will be able to request information or documents from ministries, universities, banks, associations and real and corporate entities, and to conduct inspections of these places. In return, these institutions or persons will be obliged to provide the commission with the required information or documents. The commission will be able to cooperate with public institutions, universities, associations, foundations and other nongovernmental organizations that operate in the field of human rights. The commission may conduct its activities or hold its meetings in other cities or abroad.

PHOTO

contýnued from page 1 A subcontracting system that was set up to help the industry develop further and become competitive has now turned into a major headache for the government as it tries to implement stringent occupational safety regulations within the industry. Over 90 percent of orders are being completed today through the subcontracting system, which works very much in favor of ship owners and continues to be the major source of negligence and violations. Unions argue that ship owners and builders try to evade accountability by delegating responsibility to small and medium-sized contractors. The Geneva-based International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF) says the shipbuilding industry will continue to see increased demand in the foreseeable future. Speaking to Today's Zaman, IMF Steel Director Rob Johnson predicts a strong order book for new ships until at least 2012 with solid demand from China, India, Russia and Brazil. He said, "From a health and safety point of view, conditions in the industry seem to be declining," adding that "the increased use of migrant labor and contract workers by employers without regulation has been a major contributor to this situation." Johnson laments the fact that the International Labour Organization (ILO) has not followed other industries in developing a code of practice for shipbuilding. However, he adds that "many of the ILO conventions on health and safety should apply" to the industry as well. He argues that "the ILO standards should be seen as a minimum and the government, the industry and the unions can all make a contribution to implement and improve on these." Johnson's suggestion seems to have been taken under consideration in a debate in Turkey. Public outrage at a death toll that has climbed to 13 over the last five months alone at the Tuzla shipyards seems to have brought two odd bedfellows together for a common cause. Two civic organizations, one representing the workers and the other representing the builders, called the other day for an autonomous regulatory committee that will work independently to ensure safety and security in work areas. Speaking to Today's Zaman, Harbor, Shipyard and Ship Construction and Repair Workers' Union (Limter-Ýþ) President Cem Dinç said the union is willing to accept such a committee. Turkish Shipbuilders Association (GÝSBÝR) President Murat Bayrak echoed the same sentiments and endorsed the idea of establishing an independent safety committee. Though many questions remain as to the form and capacity of such a committee, the willingness on either side of the parties to work together is considered a positive development, industry observers argue. All political parties seem to have a unified position on the issue as well.

Appeals to the commission

Numbers Look Grim for Workers, Rosy for Industry There are two main reasons driving the growth in the shipbuilding industry today. Increasing trade volume in the world relies heavily on cargo transported by ship, standing at almost 95 percent of the total. New regulations adopted by the International Maritime Association (IMO) have also pushed the industry to build more vessels with greater tonnage. Two years ago the IMO did away with ships more than 15 years old in maritime transportation and called for double-walled containers for all ships by 2015. Turkey, with a low cost of labor and a relatively high-tech and large-tonnage building capacity, has become a major player in the world today. The industry provides a sizable contribution to the Turkish economy, totaling over $2.5 billion in foreign currency, offers employment opportunities to 30,000 people directly and over 70,000 people through parts and related sectors. Industry estimates project a 300,000-strong labor force in total by 2013. According to a report submitted to Parliament, Turkey, along with Japan, ranks third in terms of fatalities with three deaths per 10,000 accidents occurring

Parliament's Human Rights Investigation Commission has established a subcommittee to examine the topic and investigate accidents involving fatalities. The Human Rights Association (ÝHD) Ýstanbul chapter filed a petition yesterday with the prosecutor's office, alleging grave negligence in Tuzla by contractors, ship owners, the government and business groups representing the interests of builders. A petition submitted by Gülseren Yoleri, the chapter's president, is asking for the prosecutor to investigate the negligence and determine who is responsible for the deaths at Tuzla. Under mounting pressure from the public, the Turkish government has started to project its regulatory power on the industry to make sure ship owners and builders comply with the law. The government has introduced new safety regulations in line with European Union standards and started to implement safety inspections. The latest onsite inspections found 588 infractions and safety violations and resulted in six companies being shut down and 41 being fined a total of $158,000. The ministry also added a new requirement through recently passed legislation requiring that only skilled workers be employed in high-risk, heavy-duty jobs. To meet the growing need for skilled labor, the government is considering establishing two maritime high schools in Tuzla and Yalova. Compared with a multibillion-dollar industry, fines imposed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security do not discourage violators, said

The bill also expands the scope the applications that are handled by the commission. Formerly, the commission could only examine the cases sent by Parliament; now, it will be able to investigate the appeals filed by ordinary citizens through e-mail. The appeals filed with the commission will be recorded in a register. In the appeals sent by ordinary mail or e-mail, the date on which they are received by the commission will be deemed the application date. The bill also gives a more active role to the Prime Ministry Human Rights Department, provincial and district human rights boards, and prison monitoring boards. The commission will inform the applicant of the outcome of their appeal within 60 days of the application date.

each year. The UK and Sweden come first with one per 10,000 and the US follows with two. Singapore, Taiwan and China score worse with 10 deaths per 10,000 accidents. The worst performer is Malaysia with 12 deaths per 10,000. The number of shipyards is increasing rapidly in Turkey. Only 37 in 2002, the number climbed to 84 as of April 2008. With the completion of 65 projects currently under way, operating shipyards will total 140 by 2013. The Tuzla shipyards are home to 44 shipbuilders and currently account for 80 percent of export and 70 percent of the sector's employment. With 265 new ship orders, Turkey is fourth in the global shipbuilding market. China leads the pack with 3,186 ships, while South Korea, with 2,277, and Japan, with 1,411, trail behind. Shipyards in Turkey have one of greatest floating docks in the world; 80 meters wide, 355 meters long, they have a 300,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage) floating capacity. A total of 10 million DWT can be utilized for repair and maintenance and 1 million DWT for new ship building.

the president of Limter-Ýþ, a trade union with 1,360 members. He also criticized pre-announced inspections as not effective and called for spot checks and unannounced visits of work sites. Dinç also blamed contractors for sloppy work and hiring practices. He said business owners continue to blatantly disregard regulations and find new ways to bypass and circumvent laws just to finish projects on time. The result, he said, is the loss of human life, leaving broken families in need of financial help. His union has shied away from collective bargaining as it does not have enough members in the sector. He also noted that a systematic campaign against union workers was at work at all times and that it sometimes results in the termination of workers. Bayrak knew he would incur the wrath of ship owners and builders when he said, "You can't set up a business on death." Speaking to Today's Zaman at his office on the top floor of the GÝSBÝR hospital, which is long overdue for opening, Bayrak said, "Unfortunately our ship owners are cutting corners in labor safety." He added, "The safety committees should be independent and autonomous so as to ensure compliance." Bayrak admitted that "safety remained only in the dictionary" of this sector. He also lamented the fact that a lack of planning in the initial stages had exacerbated the crowded situation at the Tuzla shipyards and blamed the government. "We were not consulted when the government decided to move shipbuilders from

Erdoðan files lawsuit against Saðlar over blackmail claims against army chief

Haliç to Tuzla a decade ago. Now we have too many builders in a tight stretch of land, and this setup is obviously very prone to accidents," he noted. Bayrak said an unskilled and uneducated workforce plays a role in the accident-prone sector, but Dinç disagrees, saying, "It does not make any sense to me to claim that these workers do not have the intellectual capacity to comply with safety regulations while they were entrusted with performing difficult technical assignments by contractors." Tahsin Kaplan, 26, is out of a job after working for four years in the shipyards. "I started as a construction worker erecting scaffolding around the ships and then moved to the welding department." He said: "Our supervisors constantly pressure us to finish the job because they are trying to meet deadlines. Safety concerns are often disregarded, and we are forced to work long hours." Kaplan also notes that the equipment was substandard. "Some of our hardhats are cracked, and safety gear, like gloves and steel toe shoes, are not readily available." In addition to safety, the workers' welfare is also a major concern. Mustafa Karaoðlan, 39, has worked at the Tuzla shipyards since 2001. His complaint centers on salary and social security. "They do not regularly pay our social security taxes, and when they do, they base it on the minimum wage rather than on actual earnings," he notes. "Employers do not pay social insurance premiums in full. This deprives us and our families of social protection."

the queen during her visit had received the president of Turkey in a British warship in the waters of Turkey, a sovereign state. He said it was "thought provoking" that such developments were occurring at a time when European Union officials were "insolently intervening in our national problems, issuing orders and trying to denigrate the Turkish judicial system, our political tradition and our national sensitivities under the guise of sharing their opinions." The MHP leader also talked about the closure case against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which faces charges of undermining secularism. He claimed that during the process, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, who also faces a political ban in the same case, is losing his calm and composure. "The negative signals of this abnormal state of mind have started making themselves known in all aspects of society," he said. He said the AK Party had called all opposition parties and state agencies coup supporters, deemed everyone who criticizes the government their collaborators and labeled

everyone who mentions economic hardship enemies of stability. The MHP leader stated that the prime minister is dragging Turkey into a new conflict every day. Bahçeli also accused the prime minister of harming people's confidence in the judiciary by referring to the closure case as a "coup d'état of the judiciary." He claimed that the AK Party, which came to power promising more transparency of the state, was increasingly becoming a secretive, covert and suspicious organization. He accused the AK Party of seeing the public as a threat. The MHP leader also talked about the problems Turkish youths face today. He stated that with growing unemployment figures, the younger population of Turkey is becoming increasingly dependent on TV music contests, lotteries, betting and games of luck. He said a young population combined with unemployment brings with it social and criminal problems and an increased tendency for violence while creating a young generation that believes problems can only be solved through violence. Ankara Today's Zaman

CM Y K

PHOTO

Turkey is rapidly being dragged into a totalitarian regime, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli stated on Monday. Bahçeli was speaking to his party's parliamentary group when he recalled Constitutional Court Deputy President Ali Osman Paksüt's claims last week that he had been followed by mysterious cars and had uncovered attempts to listen in on his private conversations. Referring to these claims, Bahçeli accused the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) of trying to establish a "dictatorship of fear" and working to control constitutional and democratic freedoms. He said suspicions over violations of the right to privacy and the freedom of communication have been increasing. He claimed that Turkey is turning into a totalitarian regime where even one's private life is monitored by the state. In yesterday's meeting, the MHP leader also criticized the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Turkey last week, which came shortly before the 89th anniversary of Turkey's War of Independence. He said it was curious that

AA

Turkey being dragged into totalitarianism, says Bahçeli

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan has filed a $50,000 lawsuit against columnist Fikri Saðlar, who alleged that the prime minister had threatened to blackmail Gen. Yaþar Büyükanýt during a private meeting in Ýstanbul on May 5, 2007. Saðlar, a former deputy and currently a columnist for leftwing newspaper Birgün, claimed in his column last Thursday that Büyükanýt, the chief of general staff, avoided making harsh statements against Erdoðan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) because Erdoðan had showed him a file documenting the expenses of the general's wife and implied that Büyükanýt might see a fate similar to that of Ýlhami Erdil, a retired admiral who was sentenced to 18 months in prison for embezzling from a state compensation fund. Both the Prime Ministry and the General Staff released statements on Saturday strongly denying all of the accusations in Saðlar's column. The Prime Ministry described Saðlar's accusations as "shameless lies, a most contemptible slander." The statement also noted a press release dated May 11, 2007 that explained that Erdoðan and Büyükanýt had discussed state matters on May 5 and that the content of their discussion was accordingly withheld from the public. Officials also said nobody could have the slightest idea about the topics discussed at the meeting. "These publications are the products of a dark defamation campaign," the Prime Ministry statement said. A similar but briefer statement was issued by the Office of the General Staff, referring to the allegations as "immoral" and saying the General Staff would also press charges against Saðlar. On Sunday, Saðlar responded to the criticism, saying, "These reactions only increase the existing suspicions." He added that there was nothing immoral about relaying information to the public and vowed legal action. Erdoðan and the top general met at Ýstanbul's Dolmabahçe Palace in May of last year within days of the military's April 27 e-memorandum cautioning the government over "anti-secularist" activities. The Anatolia news agency reported Erdoðan's lawyers, Fatih Þahin and Muammer Cemaloðlu, as saying in the lawsuit petition: "Fikri Saðlar is an experienced legal professional, an experienced politician and he has been writing a column in a national newspaper. Such a professional person would not utter such words based on rumors. It is obvious that his goal is to harm Erdoðan." Erdoðan also filed a $20,000 lawsuit against Vatan daily and its correspondent Þebnem Hoþgör who wrote about Saðlar's allegations. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with wires

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MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli accused the prime minister of damaging the nation's confidence and trust in the judiciary, during his party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday.

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18 TODAY’S ZAMAN

W E D N E S D AY, M AY 2 1 , 2 0 0 8

TODAY’S LEARNING TIME

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.” George Santayana

OSMAN TURHAN

elementary READING

A talented family

ILLUSTRATIONS

David Jones is 15 years old. He is at school, but it isn't a normal school. In the morning, the boys and girls at this school must do four subjects. David has got English, Math, Science and History. His favorite subjects are Math and Science. But in the afternoon the students can choose their subjects. On the timetable there are music lessons, orchestra practice and singing classes. There are also dance classes and art classes. David can play the piano, the guitar, the violin, and he is good at art, too. On one afternoon all the students have sports. David's favorite sport is basketball. What is special about this school? It's called The Manchester School of Arts. All the students here are good at art and music, or dance. Other people in David's family are good at art and music, too. David's mother is an art teacher, so she can play the piano. His father is an art teacher, too. His brother Jamie plays the guitar in a famous pop group. His sister Jane is only four, so she isn't at school, but she can play two musical instruments! She can play the flute and the piano. What a talented family!

Activity: Use Your English

PART 1: Reading Comprehension Answer the questions according to the information given in the text.

Fill in the blanks by using the words below

1. Do all the students study the same subjects?____________________________. 2. When are subjects like History, Math, and Science on the timetable?______________.

anything - born - was - caught - behind

3. How many instruments can David play?__________________________________. 1. George Washington…………..the first President of the United States.

4. Have all the students got sport every day?________________________________.

advanced READING

Destination weddings Barney finally gets the nerve to propose to his beau, Jennifer. Jennifer accepts the proposal, but on one condition. She doesn't want to have a traditional wedding. As the big day approaches, poor Barney is in a quandary. What else is there besides a traditional wedding? Eloping is out of the question. A quickie in Las Vegas wouldn't make anyone happy. A friend mentions destination weddings. Barney has never heard of them before. What in the heck is a destination wedding? A destination wedding is a variation of an elopement. Elopements are done on the spur of the moment and don't involve friends or relatives. Destination weddings, however, are planned events which frequently include family and friends. This type of wedding is perfect for Barney. Why? Well, it is certainly different from a traditional affair. It is also cheaper, and Barney will be able to avoid the family squabbles and planning details. Not only will their wedding be at a beautiful site, but it may also involve some of the local traditions and customs. So what does Barney have to do to get started. First, he needs to choose a location. The web and wed-

ding magazines are great sources for info on this type of wedding. Even Barney's travel agent may be able to help. Las Vegas and Disneyworld are two popular locations in the US. European weddings are also fashionable. Jennifer would probably love to get married in an ancient castle in Germany or perhaps in a vineyard in Spain. Many couples are opting for places which are only a short distance from where they want to honeymoon. Once Barney and Jennifer have picked a location, what is next? It's essential to find a good coordinator. This person will be their link to everything else, and will ensure them that the wedding will be perfect. The coordinator will secure the right music, flowers, photographer and more while keeping Barney's budget in mind. He/ she will also obtain the necessary license. The coordinator will allow Barney and Jennifer to see the sights at their chosen location, and not worry about arrangements. Barney should look around for the right person. Ultimately, he needs to find someone who has good references, and will listen to him. Have a great wedding, Barney and Jennifer!

5. What is David's favorite sport?___________________________________.

2. My grandfather will be ninety next year. He was …………. in 1904.

6. What are all the students good at?________________________________. 3. You can't see the yard from the street because it's ……….. the house.

7. What are David's parents' jobs?_________________________________. 8. Who plays in a famous pop group?_________________________________.

4. I've spent all my money. I can't buy …………..

9. How many children have David's parents got?________________________________. 5. He went out in the rain and ……………a nasty cold.

10. Why isn't David's sister at school?___________________________________.

ýntermedýate READING

The results of high energy costs Butter prices are up 31%. Certain cheese prices are up 65%. Dry milk prices are up 119%. Chicken is up 17.5% Beef is up 12.5 %. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Families today are finding it increasingly difficult to purchase food with the skyrocketing prices. What is driving the price increases? Greedy merchants and growers? Fewer chickens and cows? The answers may surprise you. - The ethanol explosion. This has driven corn prices up 70% in one year. It has also the primary reason for rapid price increases in wheat, oats and barley. Exorbitant corn

prices mean you will also pay more for the meat of animals that eat it pigs, cows and chickens. - Higher energy costs. It costs more to process food, and move it to the market.

- World demand. Food exports have grown as economies in China and India have grown. This is great for the economy, but not for food prices. - Less land available and more mouths to feed. As the world's population increases, agricultural areas decrease. So what can one do? Here is some helpful advice. - Buy food in bulk from warehouse clubs and discount grocers. - Substitute generic brands for your regular products. - Don't eat so much. If you have children, tell them "when it's gone, it's gone". Buy groceries once a week to encourage conservation of food. Inflation has expanded into everyday food needs. This may not be as big a problem as originally perceived if you keep your eyes open, observe prices and shop accordingly.

Activity: RESPONSES!! Choose the correct response. 1. Carl: I like anything to do with sports. ......... (a) Have you?

PART 1: Vocabulary Exercise

(b) Did you?

Fill in the blanks with the correct letters. 1. to get the nerve to _____ a. to find the courage to do something b. to worry about a minor thing c. to steal something valuable d. to refuse a proposal 2. beau _____ a. enemy b. relative c. girlfriend d. mother 3. in a quandary _____ a. looking for jewels b. divorcing c. arguing d. confused 4. to elope _____ a. to marry in a different country b. to marry a person older than you c. to marry secretly d. to separate 5. on the spur of the moment _____ a. impulsively b. slowly c. uselessly d. as a last resort 6. squabble _____ a. problem b. argument c. interference d. a kind of vegetable 7. vineyard _____ A place for growing: a. apples b. grapes c. peaches d. cucumbers 8. to opt for _____ a. to disregard b. to move to c. to select d. to have a favorable opinion for 9. ultimately _____ a. in the meantime b. in the end c. however d. nevertheless

(c) Do you? (d) Are you? 2. Carl: We went to Paris last summer. Jane: ......... (a) I never go there too. (b) I never went there. (c) I never did there. (d) I've never been there. 3. Carl: She always goes to work on a bike. Jane: ......... (a) She is very healthy. (b) She must be very healthy. (c) She can be very healthy. (d) She might be very healthy.

PART 1: Vocabulary Exercise

4. Carl: They went on strike last

Fill in the blanks with the correct letters.

Sunday. Jane: .........

1. tip of the iceberg

(a) What on earth for?

Activity: Fun with Prasal Verbs!

(b) Are they on earth?

Choose the correct words to complete the sentences. 1. Some people become managers because they like to tell other people what to do. This makes them feel good to __________someone_________. a. drag on b. boss around c. make up d. think over 2. Michael was going to ask Mary out on a date, but he ______ ____. He needs a little more courage. a. paid off b. chickened out c. wiped off d. filled up 3. Please ________the table _________. It seems a bit dirty. a. wipe off b. fill up c. drag on d. kick out 4. Someday I will __________all my bills and move to Miami. I will live a life of sun and relaxation. a. drag on b. pay off c. rip off d. wipe off 5. Before making a big decision, you should ______ _______. a. boss around b. think over c. fill up d. pay off

a. a small part of something much bigger

b. an oceanic danger

c. a large freezer

d. hidden meaning

2. to skyrocket

a. to decrease

b. to burst in the sky

c. to increase rapidly

d. to increase slowly

3. greedy

a. hungry

b. thirsty

c. tired

d. bored

4. exorbitant

a. slight

b. medium

c. rare

d. extreme

5. in bulk

a. in small quantities

b. for free

c. for food

d. in large quantities

6. warehouse

A building for: a. animals

b. storing products

c. recreation

d. art

(a) You must be ridiculous!

a. to replace

b. to withhold

c. to buy

d. to fill

(b) You must be laughing!

8. to perceive

a. to purchase

b. to understand

c. to misunderstand

d. to confuse

(c) You must be smiling!

9. accordingly

a. later

b. nevertheless

c. in agreement with

d. in a cheap manner

(d) You must be joking!

7. to substitute

(d) Why on earth to? 5. Carl: More people die from eating fatty food than from smoking. Jane: .........

VOCABULARY Specialized Vocabulary Textiles: Espadrille (noun) is a shoe with a canvas upper and rope sole. Kate bought a new pair of red espadrilles for her summer holiday.

Idiom of the Day To knock one's socks off

Tourism: bilingual (adjective) means fluent in speaking two languages. Anna is bilingual. She speaks fluent French and English. Agriculture: beehive (noun) is an enclosed structure in which some species of honey bees live. Mr. Brown is a beekeeper. He checks his beehives every morning and evening. Ecology: Mammals (noun) is a class of vertebrate animals characterized by the presence of sweat glands. There are about 4260 named species of mammals in the world. Sports: Equestrian (adjective) refers to the skill of riding or driving horses. Equestrian events were included in the Olympic Games for the first time in 1900 and then in 1912.

(c) Do they live on earth?

MEANING: to excite or surprise someone EXAMPLE: The end of the play knocked the audience's socks off.

Phrasal Verbs Look after meaning: take care example: He's looking after the children. Do up meaning: improve example: I spent a month doing up the flat and I think it's quite nice now.

YESTERDAY’S ANSWER KEY:

ELEMENTARY: (Part 1) 1. London 2. London 3. three hundred fifty thousand people 4. it rains just about every other day 5. printing or publishing (Part 2) 1.d 2.e 3.b 4.a 5.c (Activity) 1.b 2.c 3.c 4.d 5.c INTERMEDIATE: (Part 1) 1.a 2.b 3.c 4.c 5.c (Part 2) 1.F 2.F 3.T 4.F 5.F (Activity) 1.d 2.d 3.b 4.a 5.d ADVANCED: (Part 1) 1.c 2.a 3.b 4.d 5.a 6.a 7.c 8.d 9.b 10.c (Activity) 1.a 2.i 3.j 4.e 5.c 6.b 7.d 8.g 9.h 10.f

Slang: dynamite meaning: fantastic example: This drink is really dynamite. Confusing Words In English personal vs. personnel personal is an adjective which means individual or private - a letter that is only to be opened by the person it is addressed to may be marked 'personal'. For example: She left the room to take a personal phone call. personnel is a noun which means employees or staff For example: The personnel department looked after 100 employees.

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In cooperation with English Time


SPORTS

Gatlin fighting to save his athletics career Justin Gatlin is gearing up for his last ditch-attempt to save his athletics career. The embattled sprinter will go before sport's highest court on May 28-29 in New York. Gatlin wants a further reduction in a four-year doping ban to give him a chance to defend his Olympic 100-meter title at the Beijing Games. The US Olympic athletics trials are set for June 27-July 6 in Eugene, Oregon. Los Angeles AP

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SOCCER

Injured Romanian star Petre to miss Euro 2008

UEFA Champýons League fýnal today

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Fatih Terim

REUTERS

SOCCER

Live on Star TV 21:45 Chelsea vs. Man United

PHOTO

Gattuso decides to stay at AC Milan Gennaro Gattuso will stay at AC Milan following talks with chief executive Adriano Galliani, the Italy midfielder said. The 30-year-old had been considering his future and was strongly linked with Bayern Munich, while he had also spoken fondly of the English Premier League having previously played for Rangers in Scotland. The arrival of Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini at Milan had also increased speculation that Gattuso was on his way out. However, he has decided to remain at the San Siro despite Milan finishing fifth in Serie A and missing out on the Champions League next term. “I am not going away because all my doubts have been cleared up. I want to make clear I have never talked about money,” he told a news conference. Milan Reuters

WEIGHTLIFTING

Greek prosecutor charges 25 in scandal A Greek prosecutor on Tuesday filed misdemeanor charges against 25 people in a doping scandal involving the country's weightlifting team. Eleven of the team's 14 weightlifters tested positive for a banned substance during a spot doping check in March, and the results were announced in April. The scandal has made it unlikely that the Greek team will participate in the Beijing Olympics. Prosecutor Andreas Karaflos ended his investigation into the scandal on Tuesday, bringing nine misdemeanor charges against those involved, including the 11 athletes and their coaching and medical team. Former head coach Christos Iakovou faces five charges, the most serious of which is administering a banned substance to the athletes. If convicted of all counts, he could face a maximum of 10 years in prison. Athens AP

Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic (R) and Chelsea's Didier Drogba fight for the ball during one of their recent encounters. Manchester United go into today's Champions League final against Chelsea with the psychological advantage of having pushed the London club into runners-up spot in the Premier League. For the second successive season, United face Chelsea in a cup final as newly-crowned English champions and they will do all they can to ensure Chelsea do not mug them again. Almost exactly a year after Chelsea shattered United's domestic double hopes by beating them in the first FA Cup final at the new Wembley Stadium, England's top two teams clash for the far bigger prize of the European Cup. What a global television audience desperately needs to pray for though is that the match at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium bears no relation to last year's tedious Wembley game in which little of note happened until Didier Drogba scored the only goal four minutes from the end of extra time. A year on and there is still little to chose between the two teams and an equally close game is in prospect with both defences tough to break down. Although United are capable of playing the more expansive and open football and have scored 109 goals in all competi-

ICE HOCKEY

Detroit Red Wings reach Stanley Cup finals The Detroit Red Wings advanced to the Stanley Cup finals with a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars in Game Six of the Western Conference championship series on Monday. Detroit, who will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the finals, got goals from Kris Draper, Pavel Datsyuk, Dallas Drake and Henrik Zetterberg, while Stephane Robidas scored for the Stars. Chris Osgood made 28 saves for the Wings, who took a 4-0 lead into the third period in Dallas.The Wings, who won the President's Trophy as the league's top team in the regular season, will be looking for their fourth title in the last 11 seasons. New York Reuters

tions this season, a tight, evenly-balanced match looks likely. Chelsea prefer a more patient build-up with an incisive, daggerlike pass splitting open the opposition.

Outstanding talents All that, of course, could be changed by an early goal or by a touch of genius from any of the outstanding talents on display. Cristiano Ronaldo has spearheaded United's assault on the Premier League and Champions League this season with 41 goals in all matches. Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez scored 57 of United's 80 league goals between them and have contributed 78 of the overall total. No-one has been as prolific for Chelsea with Frank Lampard topping their scoring charts this season with 19 goals while Drogba had a relatively tame season with 15. United will not under-estimate Chelsea's midfield threat, though, as Joe Cole and Michael Ballack, who

could prove to be a key player in the game, are always capable of scoring. Ballack, after a low-key first 18 months at the Bridge, has started to play superbly, as he proved against United three weeks ago when he scored both goals, one from the penalty spot, in their 2-1 home league victory. United can provide goals from midfield too of course as Barcelona can testify after Paul Scholes's 25-metre screamer that decided their semi-final tie at Old Trafford last month. The contrast between the teams is not confined to their styles of play; there could hardly be a greater contrast between the coaches. Alex Ferguson has been in charge at United for nearly 22 years and has overseen 151 Champions League matches with them plus another 12 in the old European Cup with Aberdeen. He has already won 28 trophies with United and first tasted European success with Aberdeen 25 years ago. London Reuters

Coach Terim optimistic Turkey will make quarters Fatih Terim, the coach of the Turkish national soccer team, which is preparing in the German town of Marienfeld for the European Championship in June, has stated that they will qualify for the quarterfinals if they don’t lose the first game. Noting that two wins or one win and one draw would be enough to qualify out of the group, Terim said: “We have nothing to do with mathematical calculations. We just desire to win all the games. If we don’t lose the first game, I believe we will qualify out of the group.” He also stressed that they would be following the performance of all their opponents closely. “I will have Hamit Altýntop and Servet Çetin in the starting 11 in the Ukraine game on Sunday. Their situations will be clearer after the game. Gökhan Gönül’s condition is unknown, even if his injury persists, we will not send him back. Goalkeeper Volkan Demirel is convalescing, but we don’t want to get him into any risky situations,” noted the coach. Terim said he believed the large Turkish communities abroad would be giving them support during the games. In response to criticisms about some players not included in the national team, he said: “The national team is a mirror of Turkey. It’s the national team of all of us. We shouldn’t exaggerate the debates. Those who are not on the team today were given chances in the past. We don’t discriminate against anybody. These debates affect the players in a negative way.” Following the press conference by Terim, the national team had a training session with the participation of all the players. The first 15 minutes of the training were open to the press. The team played a warmup game against Slovakia this evening. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman

Türk Telekom and Cola Turka clash in game 3 today Host Türk Telekom beat Beþiktaþ Cola Turka 79-74 in game 2 of their men’s Beko Basketball League semifinal playoffs series at Ankara’s Atatürk Sports Arena on Monday night to take a 2-1 lead. Telekom started the series with a 1-0 advantage having won at home and on the road when the two teams met during the regular season. Game three of the best-of-three series takes place at the same venue today at 7:30 p.m. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman

Live on NTVSPOR 19:30 Türk Telekom vs. Beþiktaþ Cola Turka

BASEBALL

Left-hander Lester pitches no-hitter AP

Petrova ousts Osterloh in Ýstanbul Cup PHOTO

Left-hander Jon Lester, who survived cancer to pitch the clincher of Boston's 2007 World Series victory, shut down Kansas City 7-0 Monday for the first no-hitter in the majors this season. The 24-year-old Lester (3-2) allowed just two baserunners, walking Billy Butler in the second inning and Esteban German to open the ninth. He struck out nine, including Alberto Callaspo to end the game. Other American League results: Minnesota 7, Texas 6, 12 innings Tampa Bay 7, Oakland 6, 13 innings. In the national League it was: Chicago Cubs 7, Houston 2; Washington 4, Philadelphia 0; Colorado 4, San Francisco 3; St. Louis 8, San Diego 2; LA Dodgers 6, Cincinnati 5. Boston AP

PHOTO

Man Unýted wary of beýng mugged by Chelsea agaýn

Romania midfielder Ovidiu Petre is injured and will miss the European Championship finals in Austria and Switzerland next month, the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) said. The FRF's official site (www.frf.ro) said a last-minute medical check showed the Steaua Bucharest player had suffered right knee ligament damage during a short holiday in Turkey. Coach Victor Piturca, who named a provisional 26-player squad earlier this month, might call up another midfielder to replace Petre, one of his key players in the qualifiers. Bucharest Reuters

Nadia Petrova

Third-seeded Nadia Petrova beat Lilia Osterloh 6-1, 6-2 on Tuesday in the first round of the WTA Ýstanbul Cup. The 25th-ranked Russian will play Marta Domachowska of Poland in the second round of the clay court tournament, a warmup event for the French Open. Domachowska ousted Marina Erakovic of New Zealand on Monday. Also, Sorana Cirstea defeated Masa-Zec Peskiric of Slovenia 6-3, 6-4 to set up a meeting with second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round. In other Ýstanbul Cup action on Tuesday, sixth seed Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan beat Martina Mueller of Germany 6-4, 6-1 and eighth-seed Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria defeated Polona Hercog of Slovenia 6-4, 7-5. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman

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M.BURAK BÜRKÜK

WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2008

Spurs in conference final The San Antonio Spurs booked their place in the Western Conference final with a 91-82 Game Seven win over the Hornets in New Orleans on Monday. The defending NBA champions will play the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference final, with Game One in LA today. The Spurs held a commanding 71-56 lead going into the fourth quarter but the Hornets cut that deficit to 83-80 on Jannero Pargo's three-pointer with 90 seconds re-

maining. San Antonio pulled away again and held on to clinch the bestof-seven series 4-3, after the previous six games had all gone the way of the home team. Argentine Manu Ginobili led the way for the Spurs with 26 points, five rebounds and five assists while point guard Tony Parker contributed 17 points and Tim Duncan 16. David West top-scored with 20 points for the Hornets, who posted a franchise-record 56 victories in the regular season. New York Reuters


Green tea can shield brain from sleep apnea effects Compounds found in green tea may help ward off the neurological damage that can come with the breathing disorder sleep apnea. Researchers found that when they added green tea antioxidants to rats' drinking water, it appeared to protect the animals' brains during bouts of oxygen deprivation. NY, Reuters WWW.TODAYSZAMAN.COM WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2008

Flu bugs growing resistant to drugs, latest studies show

non-communicable diseases will rise significantly," it said. By 2030, deaths due to cancer, cardiovascular diseases and traffic accidents will together account for about 30 percent of all deaths, it said. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, in a speech to the WHO's annual assembly on Monday, voiced concern at the growing toll of chronic noncommunicable diseases. "Diabetes and asthma are on the rise everywhere. Even low-income countries are seeing shocking increases in obesity, especially in urban areas and often starting in childhood," Chan said. Tobacco use is the single largest cause of preventable death worldwide, killing "a third to a half of all those who use it," according to the WHO. It contributes to deaths from ischaemic heart disease, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which numbered 5.4 million in 2004. More than 80 percent of the 8.3 million tobacco-attributable deaths projected to occur in 2030 will be in developing countries, it says. Geneva Reuters

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Chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke, often associated with a Western lifestyle, have become the chief causes of death globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. The shift from infectious diseases including tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria -- traditionally the biggest killers -- to non-communicable diseases is set to continue to 2030, the UN agency said in a report. "In more and more countries, the chief causes of deaths are non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and stroke," Ties Boerma, director of the WHO department of health statistics and informatics, said in a statement. The annual report, World Health Statistics 2008, is based on data collected from the WHO's 193 member states. It documents levels of mortality in children and adults, patterns of disease, and the prevalence of risk factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption. "As populations age in middle- and low-income countries over the next 25 years, the proportion of deaths due to

AP

WHO: Chronýc dýseases top causes of deaths

China's Margaret Chan, left, Director-General of the World Health Organization talks during the 61st WHO assembly at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday.

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Seasonal flu viruses are developing the ability to evade influenza drugs globally, but how and why this is happening is not clear, experts told a conference on Monday. Europe is the worst-affected by strains of influenza that resist the effects of antiviral drugs, but the resistance is growing globally, they told a meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. "A significant proportion of resistant viruses were observed in Europe this winter," Dr. Bruno Lina of Claude Bernard University in Lyons, France, told the meeting. The resistance also varies by strain, with a quarter of H1N1 flu viruses resistant in Europe and about 11 percent of H1N1 in the United States, but far fewer cases of H3N2 and influenza B viruses. Their findings show that flu viruses -- already known to mutate speedily -- may be even more unpredictable than anyone thought. Experts fear drugs may become quickly useless to fight an unusually severe flu season or the emergence of a new strain of flu that may cause a pandemic. They have been stressing the need to develop new flu drugs and also quicker and better ways to make vaccines. The World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been collecting samples of the annual flu viruses to check them against the four available flu drugs: amantadine and rimantadine, and the newer drugs Tamiflu and Relenza. The viruses changed rapidly over the past 2007-2008 flu season, Lina said. "We started with something like 10 percent in Europe," Lina said. By April of this year, 25 percent of the viruses tested were resistant to Tamiflu. Washington Reuters


www.todayszaman.com, May 21, 2008