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Alternative rock band Mor ve Ötesi joins 24 other finalists at rift-healing Eurovision Song Contest tonight



Countdown to 7th Celebrity Tournament


Mediocre performances by Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana in ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’

Yo u r Way o f U n d e r s t a n d ý n g Tu r k e y


page05 President plans to talk to leaders to ease tension THREE TURKISH MINISTRIES PREPARE ACTION PLAN AGAINST KILLER TICKS


Gov’t declares war against ticks ERCAN YAVUZ, ANKARA

Dengir Mir Mehmet Fýrat

Three Turkish ministries have devised an action plan to combat the spread by ticks of CrimeanCongo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) as the weather warms up and people head outdoors, increasing their vulnerability to sometimes deadly tick bites. The first step of the action plan -- developed in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry -- involves the spraying of animal feeding grounds and areas where they seek shelter with pesticides. The second step involves combating environmental conditions conducive to ticks. Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker

said that tons of spraying equipment and pesticide had been sent to the regions at highest risk for tick overpopulation. He also said they had imported a liquid repellent, marketed under the name "Ken-Kov" in Turkey. Eker said the repellent can be applied topically to the skin and is not harmful to humans, recommending that agricultural workers in particular make use of the product. He added that the repellent has been used in Europe and the United States, and also by soldiers in the field. The ministry has started a pesticide spraying campaign at all tick breeding grounds. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said the most important factor increasing the tick population in Turkey was an overpopulation of wild pigs, which are the biggest carriers of ticks, and has asked the Ministry




Everyone has to respect national will, says AK Party's Fýrat

of Environment to bring the situation under control. Environment and Forestry Ministry officials say wolves will be used to balance out the population of wild pigs -- which has reached 300,000 -- while birds will be used in efforts to control the tick population. To that end, the ministry has begun to release wolves into areas where an abundance of wild pigs have been seen. Officials noted a decrease in the bird population following several cases of bird flu, and have been trying to breed birds that feed on ticks. To direct these birds to tick feeding grounds, officials have already installed 375 artificial forest lakes where animals graze. CONTINUED ON PAGE 17

Deputy leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Dengir Mir Mehmet Fýrat on Friday stated that everyone has to respect the will of the nation, in what appeared to be criticism of a statement released by Turkey's top judges on Wednesday that was said by some to have been politically motivated. Fýrat, speaking yesterday to the AK Party's Provincial Presidents Convention, said, "No barrier, no obstruction or obstacle will ever have the power to stop the Republic of Turkey from moving forward on its democratic path." The statement came two days after a row was sparked between the AK Party government and the judiciary over a statement issued by top members of the latter. On Wednesday the Supreme Court of Appeals issued a statement harshly criticizing the government, claiming that it was exerting systematic pressure on the judiciary at a time when it had crucial rulings to make. CONTINUED ON PAGE 05

Foreign Minister Ali Babacan urged the European Union not to water down its commitment to Turkey's eventual membership and suggested he might shun a key meeting with the 27-nation bloc next week if EU officials scrap terms underlining the membership perspective in a document for the upcoming gathering. Babacan, speaking after talks with his Croatian counterpart, Gordan Jandrokovic in Ankara, said he would decide whether to attend the Association Council meeting after EU officials finalize the document for the gathering on Monday night. The meeting of the Association Council, the most prominent institution to have been established between Turkey and the EU, is scheduled to take place on Tuesday. Last year's meeting was canceled amid a political crisis in Turkey. CONTINUED ON PAGE 04


Sergeant's arrest places Þemdinli back under spotlight The arrest of a military sergeant with suspected links to the 2005 bombing of a bookstore in the city of Þemdinli has brought the notorious incident under the spotlight once again. According to a statement released by the Isparta Police Department yesterday, Sgt. Tanju Çavuþ was sent to Isparta's E-type prison on Thursday along with two other defendants in connection with the disappearance of Sali Uçar, a construction worker who had traveled to Isparta on March 26 to complete the necessary paperwork to sell his car to Caner Altan. The victim's brother, Ýbrahim Uçar, reported Uçar missing to the Isparta Police on March 31. Following Uçar's inquiry, the police located the vehicle and detained Altan and Filiz Yamaç, who were driving the car. Based on the two suspects' testimonies, Çavuþ was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, according to the statement, which did not elaborate on the charges. CONTINUED ON PAGE 17

Babacan warns EU against watering down promises

Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat (L) and Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias shake hands after their meeting in Nicosia.

Cyprus reunýfýcatýon process remaýns on track, for now Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders met yesterday with the hope of clearing up disagreements that have strained efforts to reunify the ethnically divided island, but could only come up with an agreement to meet again in June to review progress in the stalled process. In their joint statement, read by UN special representative to Cyprus Taye-Brook Zerihoun,

Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias "reaffirmed their commitment to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality." They also reaffirmed that they were still committed to the new reunification process that began with a historic meeting of the two in March. When they met in March, the two leaders

agreed to have face-to-face reunification talks in late June after three months of preparatory talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities on issues of contention. Progress has been limited in the committees' work so far, and the Greek Cypriot side has recently complained that given the stalemate, there was no point in holding the leaders' talks in late June as scheduled. CONTINUED ON PAGE 04

Featuring news and articles from

EPDK called on to take action to protect consumers ÝSMAÝL ALTUNSOY, ANKARA Although empowered by the Oil Markets Law to regulate fuel prices, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) has avoided getting involved in such an action as the price of crude oil rises to record highs, an Energy Ministry official has said. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Today's Zaman yesterday that the EPDK exerting its authority is of vital importance now as oil prices continue to climb to unaffordable levels for the economy. The official also criticized the EPDK for its reluctance to act. The law gives the EPDK the power to control prices, a power seen as necessary to curb antitrust cases, and in times of major supply concerns in the domestic market. CONTINUED ON PAGE 07




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I am not commenting on vice presidential matters because I have not won this nomination. US presidential hopeful Barack Obama






No barrier, no obstacle, no imposition will be able to halt the democratic march of the Turkish Republic.

AK Party Deputy Chairman Dengir Mir Mehmet Fýrat

Home is not where you live but where they understand you.

Judicial system's trial by fire...or justice HASAN BÜLENT KARAMAN, SABAH

Christian Morgenstern

press roundup PHOTO


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Dýd top court’s statement aým to ýnfluence closure case? Reactions are mounting in opposition to a statement released by the Supreme Court of Appeals Board of Chairmen. The statement, released on Wednesday, contained severe criticism of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, including accusations of bringing the judiciary under its control. Commenting on the court's statement, many jurists and commentators said it represented a violation of the principle of separation of powers; that the court was trying to influence politics. They add that the court had attempted to influence the Constitutional Court, which is about to hear a closure case filed against the AK Party, and insulted the public and Parliament by criticizing the laws Parliament worked on -- as well as casting a shadow over Turkish democracy. Bugün's Gülay Göktürk, while acknowledging that it is quite clear the court committed many offenses in issuing this statement, asks who will demand that the court give an account of what it has done. "While we must give an account of every line we write, where do the members of the Supreme Court of Appeals get the right to insult Parliament and threaten the government whenever they wish? Isn't there a mechanism in a state of law that will prevent the top courts from intimidating the public?" she asks. The reason certain power centers in Turkey feel so free to release a statement against the democratic regime almost every month, in her view, is that no unlawful intervention in democracy has been punished. Another Bugün columnist, Mehmet Metiner, says the top court's statement stands as concrete evidence that Turkey is undergoing a "judicial coup" process with the closure case filed against the ruling AK Party. He argues that the Supreme Court of Appeals' May 21 statement is equivalent to the military's April 27 statement of last year, which the latter directed against the AK Party government ahead of the presidential elections. "Both of them are memoranda and they both target the AK Party government," acknowledges Metiner. In his view, the court's statement does not only influence the course of the AK Party closure case but also leaves a shadow over Turkish democracy by supporting the concept of a "government of judges." Milliyet's Hasan Cemal states that the top court has taken not a legal but a political stance with this statement and has taken a side on an issue (the AK Party closure case) on which it is supposed to remain neutral. In other words, Cemal says, the top court lost its impartiality with this statement. Referring to Article 138 of the Constitution, which concerns the impartiality of the courts, he recalls that it is in violation of the Constitution for courts to make advisory statements. Cemal also supports the view that the court's statement is unacceptable within the boundaries of democracy. "The Supreme Court of Appeals Board of Chairman has received a bad mark in the lesson of democracy with this statement. A red card should be given for this statement on behalf of a democratic state of law. Regardless of how hard you try to explain otherwise, this statement does not fit within the limits of a democratic state. Such a statement can only be seen in a state that is described as a state of judges or a judicial oligarchy," contends Cemal. Yeni Þafak's Ali Bayramoðlu also terms the court's statement a completely political one and says it is unacceptable. He thinks the statement's purpose is to influence the Constitutional Court on the AK Party closure case. "It is quite evident that the Supreme Court of Appeals has undertaken the duty of inciting tension in the country. But, what it has done will not serve to do anything other than damage the judiciary and awaken the public once again about what is really going on," says Bayramoðlu.

We keep living and re-living the same truths, over and over again. The Turkish justice system, acting along the lines of its own beliefs, is engaged in ideological maneuvering. This is a critical detail: The Turkish justice system is facing off against the ruling party using laws that already exist. But of course the real question is not the implementation of these laws. What is more important than this is the interpretation of these laws, or more aptly, the interpretation of the original will present in the formation of these laws. According to this, the list of allegations prepared by the Supreme Court of Appeal's chief prosecutor interpreted a basic principle of the Turkish Constitution and then turned to the seat of justice above him to ask whether or not this interpretation was correct. This is the real meaning of the case to close down the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). And this is then, in its essence, an inarguably ideological stance to be taking.

What did the top court do in Þemdinli? MEHMET ALTAN, STAR

Parents hold photos of their dead children as they walk through the ruins of the Fuxin No. 2 Primary School in Wufu, in China's southwest Sichuan province. Parents of the 200 children who died when the school collapsed in an earthquake on May 12 are demanding an investigation of the standard of the school's construction.

We have become so very accustomed to the politicization of our justice system that we even try, through the lens of political conjecture, to understand developments that shouldn't ever even occur in a state of justice... What we find ourselves debating is not the situation that could destroy the legal health of the state and society, but the chesslike political situation at hand. I never heard any negative reactions from the high courts and justice system in Turkey at any point during the entire Feb. 28 process. And now, I also recall that when political forces darkened the life of the Van prosecutor who prepared the list of allegations in the Þemdinli events, there also didn't seem to be any negative reactions from the high courts. Are those who find this current list of allegations the same ones who want to see the AK Party forced to close down? We are the world nation that has been tried and found guilty most within the system of the European Court of Human Rights. Why? Because our justice system functions very far from the principles of "universal justice."

Solution lies in separation of powers ÝSMET BERKAN, RADÝKAL


"Çankaya at work to defuse tension in the judiciary," read the front-page headline in the daily yesterday. President Abdullah Gül said he would intervene to defuse tension between the judiciary and the government after the Supreme Court of Appeals released a stern statement targeting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on Wednesday. Gül is expected to invite Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, Chief Justice Haþim Kýlýç and the heads of Supreme Court of Appeals and Council of State to Çankaya Palace to discuss the ways to come over the recent tension, Zaman reported.

influence the Turkish judiciary, the report noted.


"Please, remain silent from now on," read the daily's headline yesterday, referring to the harsh statements from top judicial organs targeting the AK Party in recent days. The daily said the "no comment can be made about an ongoing judicial case" principle remained in word alone as judicial institutions have became embroiled in the AK Party closure case by releasing statements. The daily noted that the ruling the Constitutional Court will make on the AK Party closure case became more controversial still in the wake of attempts to influence the court.


The Council of State backed a controversial statement released by the Supreme Court of Appeals Board of Chairmen on Wednesday against the AK Party government, reported Radikal yesterday. Releasing a statement on Thursday, the Council of State argued that there was no problem with judicial organs voicing their views about issues related to the judiciary. It also said that it agreed with the Supreme Court of Appeals that the government should express objections to international circles' attempts to


The daily claimed a single cause lay behind the statements released by the Supreme Court of Appeals and Council of State against the AK Party this week: the draft of a judicial reform. The judicial reform package the government is working on applies standards of ethics to judges and prosecutors and foresees imposing sanctions if they violate these standards. The reform package upset members of the judiciary, the Star report argued.

A democracy needs to be able to lead and to guide; it needs to have systematic preventive action taken against broken mechanisms and "innerpalace" games. A democratic leadership system needs open to some outside controls and should be able to account for itself. Just as the executive wing of power is an indivisible unit, the legislative branch, which has the right to oversee and question the executive branch, needs to be independent in its legislative powers, while the justice system, in order to be considered legitimate, must also absolutely be independent. What this all teaches us is that there is a deep and abiding need for the principle of separation of powers to be enacted and put into operation flawlessly. We don't really need to rediscover America to do this, though. The model that works most harmoniously with Turkey is the one that calls for the separation of the significant powers.

Difference between EU and our leadership AHMET TAÞGETÝREN, BUGÜN

turkey ýn the foreýgn press Deutsche Welle

The Economýst

Turkey's nuclear power plans draw outrage Plans to build several new nuclear power plants have come up against hefty protest in Turkey, which is still suffering the effects of the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown. Turkey's nuclear authority has lost its credibility. This spring, Turkey's energy ministry called for bids for the construction of the country's first nuclear power plant, to be built in Akkuyu near Mersin on the Mediterranean Sea. Plans for a second plant in Sinop, on the Black Sea, are already in the works. The project is facing

considerable resistance in both places. Many in Turkey are afraid of a meltdown similar to what happened in Chernobyl in April 1986. Turkey's Black Sea coast was completely contaminated by the fallout from the Ukrainian nuclear reactor. The Turkish authorities' lax approach to the radioactive danger only exacerbated the damage. After having been personally affected by the Chernobyl disaster, many Turks don't ever want to have anything to do with nuclear power.

A Caucasian cheese circle There are hopeful signs that Turkey and Armenia may make up. Turkey's president, Abdullah Gül, was among the first to congratulate Serzh Sarkisian, who became Armenia's president in a tainted election in February. Unofficial talks to establish diplomatic ties could resume at any time. Indeed, there is a whiff of desperation in the air. Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is under threat of closure by the constitutional court for allegedly wanting


to bring in sharia law. AK Party's overtures to Armenia may be aimed at garnering some Western support. Sarkisian's government is heading for trouble when gas prices double this winter. An end to Turkey's blockade could temper popular unrest. But hawks in Turkey and Armenia can still count on Azerbaijan. Allegations that Armenia is sheltering members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have stirred anger in Turkey.

The failure of the Turkish justice system to remain impartial is being considered. Europe says: This is not how we run things here. If we were to approach the people of our nations like this, the people would trample us. Ria Oomen Ruijten, who presented the report on Turkey to the European Parliament, used this ironic tone: "The independence of your chief prosecutor is such that the likes of it does not exist in a single one of our countries!" She adds, "The mission undertaken by your justice system has no place in any of our democratic criteria." And, "The problem with your justice system has more to do with impartiality than with independence." Can there be any heavier criticism for a justice system of any nation than that expressed above? Doesn't it make you want to ask "How can a justice system whose impartiality is being questioned even be considered a justice system?"




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Energy needs spark resumption of mound excavation in Kütahya

World’s oldest ceramic workshop Bilgen said archaeologists had so far discovered layers from five different cultures at the mound. According to their findings, the top stratum belonged to the Romans and included a temple


lion kilowatts of electricity will be produced." Bilgen noted that they planned to finish unearthing all the historical artifacts and cultural strata of the mound at the end of an intense fiveyear period of work, adding that all the artifacts discovered would be given to museums. Also emphasizing that they would determine to which cultural strata the archeological findings that formed the mound belonged, he said: "We are making drawings of the archeological structure in the mound for the benefit of the world of science and Anatolia. All our efforts are being exerted to that end. We have also established a new archeology department at the university. There is a team of 40 people consisting of experts, archeologists, lecturers and students working on site. Including the workers, we are a team of 100 people who work for six months out of the year. We are trying to contribute to the history of Kütahya in a fast and lasting way," he said.


The urgent need for coal buried beneath an ancient mound, in the Aegean city of Kütahya has forced the resumption of excavation at the site after 10 years. In a statement to the Anatolia news agency, Professor A. Nejat Bilgen from the Dumlupýnar University (DPÜ) archeology department said they had located a 15-million-ton coal reserve under the protected archeological site of the Seyitömer mound, which is 30 meters high and 200 meters wide. "Upon the demand and initiative of the Turkish Coal Enterprises [TKÝ] in an effort to make use of this coal reserve, the Eskiþehir Archeological Museum began excavation in 1989, subsequently taken over by the Afyonkarahisar Museum, which continued the project until 1995. Then there was a long interval of 10 years [with little or no excavation taking place]. After a protocol was signed between our university and Seyitömer Lignite Enterprises as a result of the TKÝ's efforts, they resumed excavations in 2006. The market value of this huge reserve is YTL 500 million, and it can meet the energy needs of the Tunçbilek thermal power station [near Kütahya]. With the utilization of the reserve under the protected mound, about a total of 10 bil-

Seyitömer mound excavations

and sacrificial altar. "The excavation has so far revealed that the mound is about 5,000 years old. We have found that the site was densely inhabited during the Bronze Age and during Phrygian and Roman times. We have also found ceramic moulds that suggest there was a ceramic workshop around 3,000 B.C. in addition to some other uniquely important artifacts. The ceramic moulds have proven to be one of



Turkey will employ foreign doctors, health minister says

Health Minister Recep Akdað said Turkey will allow foreign doctors to work in Turkish hospitals. The health minister has stated that his ministry will allow foreign doctors to work in Turkey to augment the inadequate pool of domestic medical staff. "We will enable foreign doctors to work in Turkey also," Health Minister Recep Akdað said at a press conference in Ýstanbul, while talking about solutions to the ongoing workforce problem faced by the Turkish health system. The minister said the controversies over this issue were artificial. "Some people object to this as their interests will be affected by this development," he stated. Akdað said the next 15-20 years present a great risk for Turkey in terms of having a sufficient number of doctors and nurses, adding that even though a lot of students want to go to medical school they are unable to because of the low student quotas of these schools. "I am thankful that the Higher Education Board (YÖK) president increased the annual capacity of medical schools from 4,500 to 6,000. If we have 13-14,000 doctors graduating each year, the number of doctors will reach a sufficient level," he noted.

Didim's British residents support smoking ban

Turkish doctors can easily work in other countries, especially in the US and Canada, Akdað said, adding that Turkey will demand basic Turkish from foreign doctors -- along with certification from YÖK of their degrees. Akdað noted that another measure to solve the workforce issue of state hospitals is a bill concerning the working hours and rights of doctors. "If their social rights and financial conditions are good enough, doctors will not need to work for private hospitals as part-time employees," he added. Currently, 70 percent of doctors in Turkey work full-time in state hospitals -this figure is 60 percent in Ýstanbul. Akdað said there is already a tendency to work full time at state hospitals, adding, "Now it is time for a new law requiring full time work at state hospitals." The health minister also noted that 80 percent of the ambulances in Ýstanbul, known for its heavy traffic, reach their destinations in 10 minutes, adding that he would like to see this increased to 90 percent. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with wires


the world's oldest ceramic workshops," he said. Bilgen went on to say that containers, pitchers, earthenware pots, ceramic moulds, lamps, seals and other artifacts they found during the excavations were already on display at the Kütahya Archeology Museum. "By the envisaged end of excavation, we will have found enough artifacts to fill three or four museums." Eskiþehir Today's Zaman with wires

British citizens living in the coastal town of Didim largely support a new law prohibiting smoking in all public places in Turkey, saying it will significantly benefit young people. Most shops have posted "no smoking" signs in front of their businesses in Didim, where there are around 10,000 British citizens living in the summer, with 6,000 residing there year-round. John Commons, a Briton living in Didim, noted that smoking had long been banned indoors in Britain and that he welcomed the ban in Turkey. He also said that Britain's cold and rainy climate most of the year made life harder for smokers who have to light up outside, a contrast to the conditions in Didim. "In Didim, the sun shines most of the year. Adjusting to the ban for smokers wouldn't be hard. They would be able to continue smoking outdoors without a problem. The law may not deter addicts from smoking, but could prevent young people from beginning to smoke," he told the Anatolia news agency yesterday. Another Briton, George Soolsby, said he smoked two packs a day when in Britain but kicked the habit after he began to enjoy Didim's clear weather and climate. Carole Fascione, who owns a cafe in Didim, said her customers have to go up to the terrace to smoke. "I think people should give up smoking -- not because of the ban, but to protect their own health. The law is long overdue, but I think it will succeed in reducing smoking, in time," she said. A law expanding a smoking ban in Turkey to include most enclosed areas, including taxis, ferries and shopping malls, went into effect on May 19. Outdoor smoking was also prohibited in locations such as stadiums and playgrounds. A ban on lighting up in bars, restaurants and coffeehouses will be implemented next year. Smoking was already prohibited on buses, airplanes and in larger offices as part of an attempt to reduce smoking and the effects of secondhand smoke in the country. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with wires




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Israel and Syria to resume peace talks shortly in Turkey Israel and Syria will shortly resume indirect peace talks mediated by Turkey, Turkish and Israeli government officials said on Friday. Israel and Syria on Wednesday announced they had begun an open dialogue with the aim of a comprehensive peace, the first confirmation of negotiations between the long-time enemies in eight years. "The two parties agreed to meet regularly. The next round will be in Ýstanbul in a week or in 10 days," said a Turkish government official, who declined to be named. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev also confirmed he expected another round in Turkey shortly. Turkey, which has good ties with both Israel

and Syria, hosted three days of talks in Ýstanbul earlier this week. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said on Thursday the two sides were satisfied after the talks earlier this week as the meetings produced a "shared ground." The two sides will continue to meet with Turkish mediation periodically, and Ýstanbul is likely to remain the venue, he said. Turkish mediation has been continuing for a year, both Syria and Israel confirmed. Representatives from the two countries had met in different places before the Ýstanbul meeting. Israel set terms for concluding a peace deal with Syria on Thursday, closing ranks with Washington in demanding that Damascus distance itself from Iran and stop sup-

porting Palestinian and Lebanese militants. The United States, in its initial public reaction to IsraeliSyrian contacts, said it did not object to talks but repeated its criticism of Syria's support for terrorism. Turkish newspaper Sabah reported on Friday that Syrian and Israeli delegations communicated via written statements and did not meet each other during this week's talks, although they were staying at the same hotel. Syria is demanding the return of the Golan Heights, a plateau overlooking Damascus on one side and the Sea of Galilee on another, which Israel captured in 1967 in the Six Day War. Olmert has spoken of "difficult concessions" Israel would have to make in any land-for-peace accord

with Syria. But he has not said publicly that Israel would give up all of the area. A television poll found 70 percent of Israelis oppose returning the Golan Heights to Syria, and a majority also believes Olmert was using the talks to detract attention from a criminal investigation that could force him from office. Many analysts say US hostility to Damascus, and to its Iranian and Lebanese Hezbullah allies, makes a Syrian-Israel deal unlikely before President George W. Bush leaves office in January. Israel and Syria last had peace talks in the United States in 2000, but they collapsed after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on the fate of the Golan Heights. Ankara Reuters with Today's Zaman

Babacan warns EU agaýnst waterýng down promýses PHOTO


contýnued from page 1 France, which opposes Turkey's full membership in the EU, saying it culturally and geographically does not belong to Europe, says the word "accession" should not be included in any official text on Turkey-EU relations, including the EU common position paper prepared for the Association Council. The current text of the 17-page document, titled "46th Meeting of the EC-Turkey Association Council: Position of the European Union," includes the word "accession" despite earlier French attempts to delete it. Babacan said the current version of the text shows "problems have been removed to a certain extent," adding that the meeting would take place on Tuesday as scheduled unless an "extraordinary development" takes place at the meeting of EU foreign ministers scheduled for Monday, at which the final text of the document will be endorsed. "There might be some member states trying to undermine Turkey's membership prospects. But it is a fact that Turkey's accession negotiations with the EU began after a consensus among all member states that these negotiations are aimed at membership," Babacan said. "It is not a pleasant development that we are now having these debates. This is not in line with the EU principle of keeping promises." Babacan said there were contacts between Ankara and several EU countries in which the Turkish government noted its objection to a possible removal of the word "accession" in the document. He said he also had contacts with his counterparts from some countries. News reports this week suggested that the word "accession" has been deleted from the text in line with the French position, but a recent copy of the text seen by Today's Zaman on Wednesday does include the word and EU officials in Brussels also repeated on Friday that the word remains in the text. The document is categorized as an "A point" item, meaning that it will be approved at the ministerial gathering without debate unless a member state raises last-minute objections, EU diplomats said. French diplomats also told Today's Zaman that Paris was not planning to raise any objections at the Monday meeting because the document was categorized as an "A point." Since the election of conservative Nicolas Sarkozy as president last year, France has been at the top of the list of countries opposing Turkey's EU membership. The issue might turn into an acute problem in Turkey-EU ties when Paris takes over the rotating presidency of the EU for six months in July. The French parliament began discussions on a constitutional reform plan that could make a referendum on Turkey's eventual membership compulsory even if Ankara fulfills all entry require-

Foreign Minister Ali Babacan (R) speaks at a joint press conference with his Croatian counterpart, Gordan Jandrokovic (C), after their meeting in Ankara. ments in the next 10 to 15 years. In a provision that appears to be specifically introduced for Turkey and Ukraine, the reform package calls for referenda on accession into the EU of those countries whose population exceeds 5 percent of the EU's population, currently about 500 million people. After the debates on the constitutional reform proposal and its amendments in the French Assembly, the text will be brought before the French Senate and a final decision is to be taken by a three-fifths majority of the two bodies gathered for a Congressional meeting in July.

Boycotting 'Club Med'? Babacan also said Turkey may refuse to take part in a France-led project to create a "Mediterranean Union" after examining EU documents on what the proposed union will exactly be about.

The EU and Mediterranean countries are due to inaugurate the union at a summit in Paris on July 13. Turkey is the only country that has so far declined to confirm attendance at the upcoming event. Asked whether there will be Turkish participation at the summit, Babacan said a more basic question was to whether to take part in the related projects. "We have not yet made a decision on this. Our assessments are continuing. … We want to see a clear picture. We have to see what the Mediterranean Union is about," he said. In a set of proposals on how the union should work, the European Commission said earlier this week that it should work on regional cooperation projects and suggested that Turkey's bid to become a member of the EU will not be affected by the new initiative. Babacan said the evaluations were being

made with a "positive perspective" and added that Turkey would attend the July 13 summit if an eventual decision is made to take part in the union for the Mediterranean. "If we say we are out of this business, then there will be no participation at the summit, either," he said. He said Ankara wanted good ties with France and added that existing problems could be resolved if France also shares the same desire. "What is important is that both sides have the political will," he said. Turkey opened accession talks with the EU in 2005, but there has been slow progress since then amid disagreements over Cyprus and French objections to membership. Croatia, which began accession talks at the same time as Turkey, is far ahead, and Croatian Foreign Minister Jandrokovic has said his country is expected to complete accession talks by the end of 2009. Ankara Today's Zaman

Cyprus reunification process remains on track, for now contýnued from page 1 News reports said the Greek Cypriot side was seeking a postponement of at least a month. Talat, on the other hand, has said that direct talks will begin in June regardless of whether the groups have made any headway, unless one side backs out. Talat and Christofias, who met in the island's UN-controlled buffer zone to review preparations for starting direct talks on reunification, said after their meeting that they differed on when they should begin face-to-face negotiations. "We have different views on this, and we continue to have those views," Talat said. The two leaders issued a joint statement saying they will meet again in the second half of June to review further progress. Neither elaborated on what their differences on timing were.

Talat said recently that his side wanted face-toface talks by the end of next month, while the Greek Cypriot government has said it wants more preparations before the meeting is held. Greek Cypriot officials have said better preparation could avert a potential deadlock if the two leaders fail to agree on certain issues. While Friday's meeting did not settle on when direct negotiations will begin, it did manage to allay some Greek Cypriot concerns by reaffirming that the two sides remained committed to a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation. The Greek Cypriot administration had been worried that the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey could be aiming for a twostate settlement that would formally split the island. Such fears among Greek Cypriots stem from an April 24 statement by Turkey's National Security

Council (MGK) referring to a solution "based on the realities on the island and on the existence of two separate peoples and two democracies." "The National Security Council of Turkey a few days ago came out with a statement that Turkey wants a solution of two states and speaks about the necessity of a new cooperation between the two states -- of the Greek Cypriot state and the Turkish Cypriot state as they say -- and this is the idea of the 'virgin birth' of a new state," Greek Cypriot government spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said. "For us this is a very dangerous position because if we agree, if we accept the idea of a virgin birth, that means we eliminate the idea of the Cyprus Republic and the history of the Cyprus Republic, which is a member of the United Nations and of the European Union," he said in remarks this week.


On Thursday Talat's spokesman, Hasan Erçakýca, said "it would be wrong" to claim that no progress has been made. Another major sticking point so far has been whether any new peace deal would be modeled on a UN reunification plan that Turkish Cypriots accepted but Greek Cypriots rejected in 2004. While the two Cypriot leaders met in the island, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer had talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gül on Thursday and Friday in Ankara. Soyer, accompanied by his foreign minister, Turgay Avcý, and Finance Minister Ahmet Uzun, met with President Gül and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Çiçek during his two-day trip to discuss financial aid from Turkey to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC). Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with wires



No court ruling on Turk arrested in S. Arabia Officials from the Turkish Embassy in Riyadh have made it clear that there has been no judicial decision regarding a Turkish citizen currently under arrest on charges of "insulting Prophet Mohammed." Ersin Taze, owner of a barber shop in Saudi Arabia but originally from the south Anatolian province of Hatay, was arrested by Saudi authorities about 20 days ago. Both the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Turkish Embassy in Saudi Arabia launched initiatives to get information about his situation from the very day of his arrest, embassy officials said yesterday. Ambassador Naci Koru sent letters to several senior officials, and the embassy is trying to resolve the issue before it gets as far as court, the same officials said. Sabri Boðday, another Turkish barber working in Saudi Arabia, was recently sentenced to the execution on grounds of blasphemy after an argument with a Saudi client and an Egyptian neighbor. An appeals court recently upheld the death sentence against Boðday, who worked in Jeddah for 11 years as a barber. The sentence can be still reversed by a higher legal body or by a royal pardon. Saudi Arabia has long practiced a harsh form of Shariah rule under which murderers and drug smugglers may be executed, thieves lose their hands and adulterers are stoned to death. Nazif Eriþik Riyadh


Ankara to host Tunisian foreign minister Tunisian Foreign Minister Abdelwaheb Abdallah is scheduled to arrive in Turkey tomorrow for a four-day visit at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, the Foreign Ministry announced yesterday. Announcing the visit in a brief statement, the ministry noted that Abdallah will also meet with President Abdullah Gül, Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan. The visiting minister will deliver opening remarks at a meeting of the Turkey-Tunisia Business Forum, to be held in Ýstanbul on Tuesday. The Turkish capital has been the venue for intensified visits from foreign countries since the beginning of this year. The packed schedule is considered to be closely related to the fact that Ankara has been running for one of the non-permanent seats allocated to the Western European and Others Group on the UN Security Council for the 2009-2010 term. Turkey, which has undertaken many UN missions in the 62 years since it became a founding UN member, has already gained support from at least two-thirds of the UN General Assembly's members for the elections that will be held during the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly late in 2008. Ankara believes that becoming a temporary member of the UN Security Council will place Turkey in a better position to inform the international community regarding its stance on many controversial issues, particularly its position on the divided island of Cyprus. Ankara Today's Zaman


Gül to pay official visit to Japan next month President Abdullah Gül will pay an official visit to Japan, the Japanese Foreign Ministry announced yesterday. The president's spouse, Hayrünnisa Gül, will accompany him during the visit, scheduled for June 4 to 8. "The Government of Japan sincerely welcomes the visit of the President and Mrs. Hayrunnisa Gül, which will be the first bilateral official visit by the Turkish President and further strengthen the friendly relations between Japan and the Republic of Turkey," the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its Web page. During their stay in Japan, the president and his wife will make a state call on Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, who will host a luncheon for the visiting couple, the statement said. The Turkey-Japan Business Forum will be held in Tokyo during Gül's visit to Japan. The president will also meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. Meanwhile, Hayrünnisa Gül will separately visit Kushimoto in Wakayama Prefecture, home to the Turkish Memorial and Museum, a site symbolizing "the friendly relationship between Japan and Turkey," the statement said. Turkey and Japan have traditionally had good relations dating back to the 19th century. The Ottoman frigate Ertuðrul sunk off the coast of Wakayama on Sept. 16, 1890. On the orders of the Japanese emperor, the surviving 69 of an original 600-strong crew were sent back to Ýstanbul in two Japanese navy vessels. From this tragedy was born a mutual understanding and friendly relations between the two nations that continues to the present day. Following the founding of modern Turkey, diplomatic relations were established in 1924 and Turkey and Japan opened embassies in Tokyo and Ankara respectively in 1925. Ankara Today's Zaman

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President plans to talk to leaders to ease tension President Abdullah Gül has announced that he might take the initiative in putting an end to mounting tension between the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the high judiciary. Since the Board of Chairmen of the Supreme Court of Appeals released a statement on Wednesday accusing the AK Party government of trying to manipulate judicial legislation to form a pro-executive judiciary, tension between the government and the judges has been running high. In an attempt to ease the tension, the president has plans to invite leaders of all political parties represented in Parliament next week to the presidential palace to discuss what can be done to resolve the conflict. However, Gül is first taking the pulse of political party leaders to find out how they view being a part of the solution in the judiciary-government row. Gül’s decision, which he announced yesterday at a press conference for an unrelated meeting with the leader of northern Cyprus, came a day after leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli appealed to him to step in and do something about the increasingly fierce row between the judiciary and the government. In response to a question from the press on Bahçeli’s comments on Thursday, Gül said yesterday he was considering giving a response to the MHP leader’s appeal. The tension was triggered when the Supreme Court of Appeals issued a statement harshly criticizing the government, claiming that it was exerting systematic pressure on the judiciary at a time when it had crucial rulings to make. The court accused the government of attempting to create a pro-executive judiciary and of undermining the Turkish Republic’s founding values. The judges accused the AK Party government of trying to influence the course of a closure case against it filed at the Constitutional Court. In an equally harsh tone, various members of the government accused the judiciary of violating the principle of judicial impartiality. Also on Thursday, the Board of Chairmen of the Council of State stepped into the row in support of the Supreme Court of Appeals. At the heart of the conflict lies an indictment against the AK Party that was filed with the Constitutional Court on March 14 by the chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals on the grounds that the party had become a “focal point of anti-secular activity.” The prosecutor’s indictment also calls for a fiveyear political ban on 71 politicians, including 33 AK Party deputies, President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Erdoðan. Ercan Yavuz Ankara


S AT U R D AY, M AY 2 4 , 2 0 0 8

Turkey court sees headscarf case hearing early June ALÝ ÜNAL




Chief Justice Haþim Kýlýç

Turkey’s Constitutional Court may discuss in the first week of June a challenge to a government reform that allows female university students to wear the headscarf, the court chairman said on Friday. The country’s financial markets are closely watching the case for clues to the outcome of a separate court bid to close the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on charges of anti-secular activities. “We may discuss it in the first week of June,” Chairman Haþim Kýlýç told reporters when asked

about the timing of the headscarf court case. A rapporteur for the court was reported as saying last week the challenge to the headscarf reform should be rejected. His report, which has been presented to the Constitutional Court, is not binding, but has to be given to judges before the case can proceed. The ruling party’s move to lift the headscarf ban in universities was seen as a catalyst for the party closure case, in which the indictment is packed with references to the headscarf. The AK Party rejects the charges of anti-secular activities

Speaking at an AK Party convention, deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Fýrat criticizes a statement targeting the government released on Wednesday by the Supreme Court of Appeals contýnued from page 1

EU says well-functioning judiciary is of crucial importance While the European Union wants to stay away from heated debates surrounding a “memorandum” issued this week by the Turkish judiciary, Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn underlined the importance of a well-functioning justice system and the need to create “an impartial, independent and efficient” judiciary. Sources close to Rehn said they did not want to get involved in the debate directly but insist that reform of the judiciary is a priority. Despite the direct reference to the enlargement commissioner in the Supreme Court of Appeals memorandum, EU diplomats emphasize the urgent need of reform. “A well-functioning judiciary is of crucial importance for all candidate countries aspiring to join the EU. It is needed to guarantee the rule of law, fundamental rights, the functioning of a market economy and a proper enforcement of EU legislation,” said a statement from Rehn’s office. Stressing that the EU Commission has no intention of dictating concrete steps for candidate countries, the statement said: “The Turkish authorities have developed a draft judiciary reform strategy. Commissioner Rehn received a copy of this draft and requested the commission’s services to do all they can to assist the Turkish government in its development and implementation. It is important to strengthen the judiciary’s impartiality, independence and efficiency. “We understand that this draft strategy is the subject of discussions this week with representatives of the judiciary. This is very positive. All efforts should be made to develop a wide dialogue and consensus on the measures to be adopted. We encourage the Turkish authorities to continue dialogue with representatives of the judiciary and of the civil society at large.” Selçuk Gültaþlý Brussels

and says the case is politically motivated. Turkey’s secularist establishment, made up of the army, professors and large parts of the judiciary, sees the headscarf as a threat to Turkey’s secular state and a symbol of political Islam. The AK Party defends the headscarf’s use in universities as a matter of religious and personal freedom and says some two-thirds of Turkish women cover their heads. The court challenge to the headscarf amendment was filed by the secularist opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). Ankara Reuters

Everyone has to respect national will, says AK Party’s Fýrat MEHMET KAMAN




AK Party deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Fýrat on Friday called on everybody to respect the will of the nation in the wake of a strong statement against the government issued earlier in the week by a high court.

The court accused the AK Party of attempting to create a proexecutive judiciary and of undermining the Turkish Republic’s founding values. The judges also accused the government of trying to influence the course of a closure case against it filed at the Constitutional Court. The government, however, believes it is undemocratic for the judiciary to criticize the executive, the legislature or other state entities. At the beginning of his address yesterday, he expressed his wish for AK Party leader and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, who is coping with an eye infection, to recover soon. Fýrat then greeted the leaders of the AK Party’s provincial branches, saying that they are the “most powerful political cadres in Turkey.” Fýrat also briefly explained the opinion that the political structure that came about with Turkey’s process of modernization and the political culture around that structure have made the concept of a “custodian” democracy a constant in the country, adding that there will always be a guardian or a custodian of the regime other than the nation. He said the real question in today’s Turkey is “Who is to rule the country?” “So will the will of the nation decide who the ruler will be or will political power based on the will of the nation function under a custodian? This is the most crucial question put forth by those who doubt that the nation has ‘come of age.’ Unfortunately, this question has evolved to be even more dominant in the political process in Turkey since 1950. Coups, overt or covert, staged against democracy create a portrait of Turkey that the country does not at all deserve,” he stated.

Closure case document raises questions over YARSAV agenda ÖMER ÞAHÝN ANKARA

A document found in the file of a closure case against Turkey’s ruling party has raised new questions about the political agendas of the judges and prosecutors serving the nation’s highest judicial bodies. Among the 17 binders of documents that the Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalçýnkaya included in his mid-March indictment, accusing the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) of anti-secularism is a photocopied news item from Cumhuriyet daily. The document itself has been photocopied onto the reverse of another document, a communiqué from the Judges and Prosecutors Association (YARSAV), a professional organization of the judicial bureaucracy. YARSAV, led by a Supreme Court

of Appeals prosecutor, has been the subject of criticism that it violates the limits outlined in its statute, which describes the organization as a civil professional entity with no political attachment or agenda. Speaking during a program on television channel Kanal 24, Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Þahin recently recommended that measures be taken to fill the current 4,115 vacancies for judges and prosecutors. However he added that the government had been stymied in its attempts to do so by the judiciary itself. “We prepared exams, but the Council of State has thrown them out. … YARSAV can go to the Council of State and obtain a judgment within a day because most of the Council of State prosecutors and judges are its members. The union’s members preside over cases brought up by YASAV


itself,” he said. The criticism mainly focuses on the position and personality of YARSAV Chairman Ömer Faruk Eminaðaoðlu. Critics note that Eminaðaoðlu makes statements as YARSAV chairman wherein he strongly criticizes Parliament and even the president, and attends rallies in protest of the headscarf. Before the Constitutional Court announced admission of the closure case against the AK Party, Eminaðaoðlu spoke to Cumhuriyet to assert that President Abdullah Gül might be prosecuted under the closure case. Former Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek has asked the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office for the dissolution of YARSAV on grounds that “acting judges and prosecutors cannot not establish an association and cannot be members of any associations.”

“The Republic of Turkey will never return to its days of crisis and chaos. Nobody can risk making Turkey pay such a high price. Our foremost motto as the AK Party has been ‘Sovereignty belongs to the people.’ The AK Party will continue its steps in this direction,” he said. Fýrat noted that the attempts of Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and his friends’ anti-democratic efforts were in vain. “Turkey has set out for a destination from which no return is possible. That destination is democracy, liberty, growth, welfare and development. Fears, worries and paranoia can no longer darken the future of Turkey. Political crises that trigger economic crises, that feed poverty and damage the country’s international reputation, should no longer be the fate of the country,” he said, adding, “Everybody has to submit to the will of the nation.”

‘Using our energy not against but for each other’ The AK Party has opened up the paths of economic growth, Fýrat said, noting that the recent history of Turkey proved that economic growth, development and welfare were strongly correlated with political stability. He said since the AK Party came to power for the first time in 2001, the national income of the country has grown. “We have to work with great effort to keep our country from returning to those dark tunnels and those days of crisis and instability,” he said. “We should use our strength, energy, intelligence and conscience without testing and exhausting each other. Those doing the opposite will cause harm to the country.”

Rights group files complaint against high court members A Turkish human rights group on Friday announced that it had filed a criminal complaint with the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office against the members of the Board of Chairmen of the Supreme Court of Appeals over a statement the board released on Wednesday criticizing the government for some if its actions. Emrullah Beytar, the deputy chairman of the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER), stated that some of the expressions the judges of the Supreme Court used contained “elements of crime.” He said the statement itself was a violation of the Law on the Supreme Court of Appeals. “The singular task of the Supreme Court of Appeals and its Board of Chairmen is to preserve law and justice. It is obvious that the messages contained in the press statement and the language it employs violate the law, which clearly specifies the purpose and functions of the court,” the complaint noted. The complaint noted that the judges’ statement included comments about two court cases that have not yet been concluded, referring to the Constitutional Court cases concerning the possible closure of the ruling AK Party over charges of antisecularism and a constitutional amendment that lifts a ban on the headscarf at Turkish universities. “The suspects have tried to influence the course of the fair trial process at the Constitutional Court,” MAZLUM-DER’s petition stated. Ankara Today’s Zaman




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S AT U R D AY, M AY 2 4 , 2 0 0 8

Mardýn’s Bakok Mountaýn draws Syrýac dýaspora back home Reforestation efforts bring back Gallipoli’s green image Efforts to reforest a fire-stricken area on the Gallipoli Peninsula have proven fruitful as trees have begun growing successfully on 90 percent of the affected area. Fourteen years have passed since a forest fire in the Gallipoli Historical National Park on the Gallipoli Peninsula on July 25, 1994 that devastated the forest. The fire was only brought under control after 57 hours of heroic efforts on the part of firefighters. As noted by officials from the Çanakkale Forest Directorate, Gallipoli Historical National Park, located along the European side of the Dardanelles, not only contains traces of the tragic Battle of Gallipoli, but also hosts a number of plant and animal species. In 1973, 33,000 hectares of the peninsula were set aside as a national park area by the Forestry Ministry. But the forest fire in 1994 destroyed the 4,049 hectares of the forest area. The forest fire, which was reportedly sparked by a fire started by a shepherd to cook corn, was especially tragic because Çanakkale Forestry Director Talat Göktepe, who was personally directing the firefighting efforts, died while saving five fire fighters. Following the fire, Ýstanbul University’s Forestry Faculty launched a project in 1994 to reforest the fire-devastated area. Under the project, about 3.7 million saplings were planted across an area measuring 3,632 hectares. These dedicated efforts have helped the region regain its former green beauty. The Gallipoli Peninsula is visited by hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens and foreign tourists every year as it contains historical war sites as well as the natural beauties of the Gulf of Saros. Çanakkale Today’s Zaman


The re-establishment of peace in Mardin and the wind of change blowing through the town have kindled the fire of hope for those who abandoned this beautiful southeastern province years ago because of the twin scourges of terrorism and unemployment. Today, many former Mardin residents, most of whom are Syriac Christians, are returning to the town of their birth after decades spent as émigrés. Recently 14 Syriac families quit their new homes in Europe for good and moved into newly constructed houses in villages of Mardin province. One such village is Elbeðendi. When the unpredictable atmosphere that had prevailed in the region, preventing people from making long-term decisions, started to dissipate four years ago, a group of former fellow townsmen made a return to the Midyat district village -- long abandoned because of frequent Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attacks and in a state of utter dilapidation -- and laid the foundation of 32 triplex luxury villas. The construction of over half of these villas, in what has become a “dream village” on the skirts of Bakok Mountain, once teeming with PKK terrorists, is complete as are facilities including a swimming pool and sports center. The damaged church has been repaired and the new buildings are equipped with all manner of technological devices, including Internet access. When the dream village project sees completion, it will have cost a total of 5 million euros. The price of a villa is nearly 250,000 euros, and so far 14 Syriac families have moved in. Since the launch of this project in 2004, many other people from nearby villages have been inspired to realize similar schemes to replace and renovate the typical old village houses with brand-new developments. Ultimately an estimated 5,000 Syriacs currently living across Europe are expected to return to Turkey and settle down over the next two years. At present regular tours to Elbeðendi are held for Syriacs, allowing them to see the villas for themselves and thus assist them in similar projects in their own villages scattered throughout Mardin. The province holds the largest Syriac population in the country. Yakup Demir, president of the Elbeðendi Development and Rejuvenation Association, said that he was very happy to return to his hometown after living in Germany for 30 years. Noting


Trees have begun growing successfully on 90 percent of the area in the Gallipoli Peninsula devastated by a fire in 1994.


Many Syriac Christians are returning home to villages in the area around Mardin after decades abroad, and new buildings are springing up from the ruins of once-abandoned houses. Ultimately, an estimated 5,000 Syriacs are expected to return to Turkey over the next two years

The construction of 32 triplex luxury villas on the skirts of Bakok Mountain is now more than half complete, as are facilities including a swimming pool and sports center. that they will hopefully live the rest of their lives in Elbeðendi, Demir said: “In 2004, I began constructing a triplex villa on the foundation of my old house. It finished this year and I have moved in with all the members of my family. We are now leading a very happy life here. The villages have been designed to have many qualities such as that each villa has an indoor swimming pool. We are now planning to build a house for the infirm and create job opportunities for the young.” Side Demir, a 75-year-old mother of six, is among those who have made a permanent return. She lived in Switzerland for years and said: “I lost my husband in Europe, so I have taken all my kids and returned to my village. Now I want to live the rest of my life here. This is my homeland and soil.” Aziz Özdemir first came to Elbeðendi out of curiosity. “But I want to have a similar villa built in my village for my family. I have lived and worked in



Turkish Language Olympics begin in Ankara today ÝBRAHÝM ASALIOÐLU ANKARA

The official opening ceremony of the 6th International Turkish Language Olympics will take place today at 11 a.m. with a cultural exhibition by the contestants at Ankara’s Altýnpark. Hundreds of contestants from Ghana to Greece and from Azerbaijan to Canada will say “merhaba” (hello) to 4,000 residents of Ankara during the opening ceremony. There will be many colorful performances at the cultural exhibition, which Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek

Hundreds of contestants traveled to Turkey to attend the 6th International Turkish Language Olympics.

and former Education Minister and current Parliamentary National Education Commission Chairman Mehmet Saðlam plan to attend. There will also be a world costumes competition among the contestants of the Turkish Language Olympics -- which is sponsored by scarf producer Aker -- during the cultural exhibition, and the winner will be awarded YTL 1,000; the person who takes second will receive YTL 750 and third place will win YTL 500. The students, who are staying at the Asya Thermal Hotel in the town of Kýzýlcahaman, participated in the preliminary trials for the event earlier in the week. A welcome party was thrown for the students on Monday morning at the hotel and the preliminary trials were held in the afternoon. Ankara locals in attendance were touched by the Turkish poems recited by students from around the world. The finals of the song contest will take place at the Anadolu Exhibition Center in Ankara on Sunday at 6 p.m. with the theme “The Stars of Turkish Language,” and the finals for the poetry contest will take place in Bursa on Wednesday evening. The awards ceremony will be held on June 1 at the Ýstanbul Exhibition and Congress Center. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan and Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan will both attend the ceremony.


Germany for 40 years, and I think it’s now time to come back,” the 54-year-old pensioner said. Yahko Demir, the architect of the project, lives in Switzerland and is a manager at a Mövenpick hotel. He said that Syriacs have been granted special permission to return to Turkey and that the villas have been constructed in line with this permission. Inhabitants of Yemiþli village, who left their village decades ago, are also returning after seeing the villas built in Elbeðendi. The Muslim mukhtar (village head), Þehmus Bilgiç, stated that former residents started to move back to the village three years ago and built luxury villas.

Governor Kýlýçlar: All are equal, regardless of language and race Mardin Governor Mehmet Kýlýçlar stated that they were providing all the support they could for the Syriacs willing to come back and that they

were doing their best to serve everybody regardless of language, race or faith. He asserted that the villas built in Elbeðendi were of so high a quality that they could be an example for the entire world. “After this village, seven other [projects] were begun in the vicinity of Bakok, building similar houses. This shows the level of peace and security our region has achieved,” he said. Yusuf Beðtaþ, a representative from the Syriac Turabdin Church in Midyat, said the region was one of the most interesting places in the world, with a social, cultural and historic wealth. Beðtaþ noted that plans are also under way for the rejuvenation of the cultural aspects of the region with the aim of becoming a major tourist attraction. However, he added, “Syriacs have one aim, and that is being reunited with the land in which they were born.”




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SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2008

South Korean giants have faith in Turkey for investments Representatives of South Korean multinationals Hyundai Rotem and the SK Group have said they have confidence in the Turkish economy and will proceed with their planned investments in the country despite fluctuations in the market. Turkish State Railways (TCDD) General Manager Süleyman Karaman met with Hyundai Rotem CEO Yeo Sung Lee during his visit to Seoul to see the first diesel locomotives that TCDD had ordered from Hyundai Rotem. The latter produces railway vehicles, defense products and plant equipment. Karaman said they were going to increase the

production capacity of EUROTEM, the joint venture of TCDD and Hyundai Rotem for highspeed train production in Turkey. He noted that Hyundai Rotem had to make overseas investments to access the Middle Eastern, European and West Asian markets and that the company had chosen Turkey as one of these investments, which had presented a great opportunity for both the TCDD and Hyundai Rotem. Lee stated that Turkey is important for his company and that Hyundai Rotem had chosen Turkey as the second overseas investment base after the US. "In the end we invested in America and Europe; EUROTEM will not just serve the Turkish

market," he said, adding that trains will be exported to Turkey's neighboring countries. Lee said currently the main difficulty is the uncertainty over raw material prices; however, he noted, Hyundai Rotem has been in the business for 50 years and has the necessary experience to endure fluctuations in the market. "Railway investments are long-term investments and that's why the fluctuations will not affect our investment plans in Turkey," he emphasized. Karaman also visited the telecommunications, energy and construction conglomerate SK Group. Group Vice President Seok Jae Seo said the group is interested in transportation projects in Turkey and is

Industrial sector down, banks turning record profits

planning to make investments in this area. Seo noted that the SK Group is planning to participate with a Turkish partner in a tender for a second underwater tunnel spanning the Bosporus. The Transportation Ministry will accept bids for new motor vehicle crossing on June 30. He said the group is also interested in a Gulf of Ýzmit bridge project and a Gebze-Ýzmir toll road project. In response to a question over whether he had concerns over the condition of the Turkish economy, Seo told reporters the group does not see a risk in Turkey, adding that their studies in Turkey had determined that the investment environment would meet their expectations. Seoul Today's Zaman with wires


contýnued from page 1 As the price of crude oil soars to record levels on concerns over supply, speculation and a weak dollar, this uncontrollable hike is upsetting domestic markets and in particular the industrial sector, already under pressure stemming from political and economic uncertainty. Because oil is either the raw material or one of the basic requirements for production in almost all industries, any increase in its price directly drives the prices of almost all goods, thus creating inflationary pressure. Naturally, the immediate impact of the hike in oil prices is seen in gas prices, leaving many motorists concerned. A liter of unleaded gas sold for YTL 3.49 yesterday in Ýstanbul, an increase of nearly YKr 7 overnight. Some international oil market experts predict the prices will increase further in the coming period. In midsummer, they will climb to $150 per barrel and in October to $200 per barrel, they estimate. The Energy Ministry official pointed to the proximity of the prices of various gas distributing companies, saying this indicates a lack of enough competition in favor of consumers. Instead, these companies act like oligopolies in setting high prices, he claimed, adding that this situation requires the EPDK to get involved in the issue and use the regulatory capacity granted it by law. Bülent Deniz, a legal expert on consumer rights, also draws attention to the same point, urging the EPDK to act immediately. The official recalled that the Oil Markets Law, passed by Parliament in January 2005, had removed the fuel market from the control of the ministry as a step to liberalize it. But the EPDK retained this power as an autonomous body, independent of the government. In response to a question from Today's Zaman, the EPDK said in a written statement yesterday that preconditions to resort to price control measures had not yet come about. "We have not yet applied price limits as outlined by Article 10," the statement said. The EPDK is closely monitoring gas prices of dealers, distributors and refineries, it added. Article 10 of the Oil Markets Law clearly endows the EPDK with the power to intervene in prices in cases of acts harming pure competition. The EPDK may apply price limits on the regional and national level alike, and these limits will remain valid for two months at most with each decision, the law states. Figures issued periodically by the EPDK reveal that the profit margins of gas distributing companies are rising, as are crude oil prices. In January 2005 the profit margins of these companies in the prices excluding taxes and including transportation costs varied between 6 and 23 percent for various gas products, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Today, these figures are between 13 and 31 percent. Under the Oil Markets Law, distribution companies have to inform the EPDK of their highest sales prices, which the authority regularly publishes on its Web site. However, some experts claim distributors are advising their dealers to set high prices through special arrangements aiming to boost profit margins at the expense of customers. The value-added tax (KDV/VAT) and the special consumption tax constitute 60 percent of the price of a liter of gas. The balance of the price is determined by costs during refining operations, the refinery's profit, transportation, the distributors' profits and, finally, the dealers' profits. The government has almost no responsibility and role in the determination of end-user gas prices in the domestic market since this was left to the private sector, except through tax rates. The Finance Ministry is responsible for amending the tax rates but is not eager to take that step. The special consumption tax is an excise duty and does not increase parallel to oil prices. In the end, prices are rising because of skyrocketing crude oil prices and distributors seeking higher profits. This situation, though, is causing the demand for gas to decrease as motorists opt for cheaper alternatives such as LPG, bio-diesel and hybrid cars. Turkey's oil import bill has also been affected by the hike in oil prices. According to the latest Finance Ministry figures, an increase in crude oil prices by $1 adds $530 million to Turkey's import bill. If prices continue to rise to $150-200 levels as expected, Turkey may have to pay $50-60 billion to import oil for one year, a figure almost twice as high as its total oil purchases for last year.


EPDK urged to protect consumers from rising oil prices


Turkish banks keep growing despite banking giants in the US and Europe announcing huge losses and write-downs amid a global financial crisis. Turkish banks' profits increase more than 30 percent in 2007 over the preceding year, although the Turkish economy faced a slowdown. The total profits of the banking sector last year hit YTL 15 billion, and banks dominated Turkey's corporate tax champions list. The number of banks in the top 10 was seven last year, while there were six banks among the top-10 taxpayers in 2006. In 2007 Türk Telekom topped the list with YTL 820 million in corporate taxes, and two banks got the second and third spots. Not so many years ago, industrial companies dominated the corporate tax rankings. But the industrial sector was only represented in the top 10 last year by a single company, the Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation (TÜPRAÞ). There were 12 banks among the 25 highest corporate taxpayers. Industrialists say they have been working hard just to survive amidst fierce competition and that they have not been able to earn as easily as banks. The banks in the top 25, in descending order, were Ziraat Bank, Akbank, Garanti Bank, Ýþ Bank, Halkbank, Vakýfbank, Yapý Kredi Bank, Finansbank, HSBC, Fortis Bank, Denizbank, Turkish Economy Bank (TEB). Moreover, there are 23 banks among the top 100 taxpayers. Of the highest 100 corporate taxpayers in Turkey, 66 companies were located in Ýstanbul. Ýstanbul was followed by Ankara, hosting 18 corporations. Kocaeli got the third spot with four firms, while Ýzmir hosted two tax giants. Bursa, Adana, Konya, Denizli, Erzurum, Kastamonu, Ordu, Zonguldak, Rize and Mersin had one firm each in the top 100 list.

Bank employees near 160,000 With the sector having increased in profit by more than 30 percent, bank branches and employees have also increased. The total number of branches of consumer banks, development banks and investment banks increased by 769 to 7,618 last year. The number of employees in banks increased by 10.8 percent in the same period and hit 158,559.

Tüzmen to visit Baghdad with business delegation Foreign Trade Minister Kürþad Tüzmen has plans to visit Iraq's capital city with a delegation of businessmen to boost trade relations between the two countries. Tüzmen told the Anatolia news agency that he had met with Iraq Trade Minister Abd al-Falah al-Sudani, Minister of Water Resources Abdul Latif Jamal Rashid and Minister of Construction and Housing Byan Dizayee at the third International Iraq Fair launched on Thursday in Gaziantep. He said they discussed how they would develop a strategy for a potential regional development program covering Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. Tüzmen noted that the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat has new projects lined up. "We will hit the road again," he said, adding that they are planning to make a business trip to Baghdad and that the talks between the foreign affairs ministries were on track. The trade minister said his Iraqi counterparts had concerns about security and thus had requested that he limit the size of the delegation. "We are ready to go there at any time, but the visit was delayed until now for security reasons," he noted. Tüzmen stated that the bilateral trade volume is at $3 billion, which, he said, is fairly low, but that the two countries aim to increase this figure to at least $5 billion. In response to a question about the Iraqi government allocating $17-20 billion to construction projects, Tüzmen said the projects undertaken by Turkish firms in Iraq and their investments had reached $7 billion. Gaziantep Today's Zaman with wires

Turkey surpassing Europe in outlet investments

Oil hovering below $135, eyeing higher targets Oil rallied towards $133 a barrel on Friday on a weaker dollar and as nagging concerns about stagnating production in Russia and other countries outside the OPEC group continued. Oil prices fell more than 3 percent on Thursday after hitting a record high above $135 a barrel. US light crude for July delivery was up $2.15 at $132.96 a barrel by 1119 GMT. It surged to $135.09 on Thursday before slumping to settle at $130.81, the first time in five sessions that it settled lower. Oil prices have climbed by around a third since the start of the year, driven upwards by worries about supply from non-OPEC producers and the weakening dollar which prompted investors to use oil as a hedge against the falling currency. The dollar looked set on Friday for its steepest weekly fall against a basket of major currencies in two months, hit by the

strong oil market and concerns the US could be entering a toxic phase of slowing growth and rising inflation. Oil production from countries outside OPEC is stagnating and forecast to remain below 50 million barrels per day this year, at 49.56 million bpd, lower than earlier forecast, a Reuters survey of 12 analysts showed on Thursday. "The severity of non-OPEC suppy weakness stands out as a primary factor behind the strong run-up in prices through the year so far," said Barclays Capital in a research note. An unexpected fall in Russian oil production was one of the main factors prompting forecasters to revise downwards projections of nonOPEC supply, the bank said. The failure of non-OPEC producers to increase output significantly has also sent long-term prices even higher, at close to


$150 a barrel, as concerns mount that supplies will not be enough to meet demand from developing countries. OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah alBadri on Thursday repeated the group's stance that it can do nothing to lower oil prices in a crazy market, blaming record prices on factors such as geopolitical tensions, speculation and the weak dollar. High oil prices may be set to dent demand as major Asian consuming countries review costly fuel subsidies that cushion drivers from higher costs. Indonesia is to raise consumer fuel prices as the cost of its subsidies soars. India is also set to raise gasoline and diesel prices. "In many ways you are starting to see a demand response," said Lawrence Eagles of the International Energy Agency, London Reuters

Turkey is rapidly surpassing European countries in its investments in outlet stores, which sell out-ofseason products at discounted prices. Turkey is second in Europe in terms of leasable outlet area, with 382,781 square meters in 19 outlet malls. It follows England, which has 471,881 square meters of leasable outlet area in 29 outlet malls. Italy follows Turkey with 12 outlet malls. France comes next with 11 outlet malls. There are a total of 133 outlet malls in Europe, with 3.02 million square meters of leasable outlet area, while in America there are 222 outlet malls, with 5.57 million square meters. Parallel to increasing numbers of outlet malls, the outlet investments of famous brands are also rising. Onethird of the stores run by Mudo, a concept clothing and home accessory brand, are outlet stores. Another clothing chain, Boyner, is planning to open three new outlet stores this year. Murat Ýzci, the general manager of Ýstanbul's major outlet mall, Olivium, said 11.12 million people visit his mall annually and that the total annual turnover in the mall is around $125 million, value added tax excluded. Ýzci said Olivium had no store vacancies and that there were around 400 brands in line to open stores in the mall. Ýzci said they were planning to open a new outlet mall in Ümraniye, on the Anatolian side of Ýstanbul, on a 35,000 square meter site. The planned investment for the mall, which is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2010, is $60 million. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman




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S AT U R D AY, M AY 2 4 , 2 0 0 8


African Development Bank: bright future for African coal gy supplies around the globe," said Kamara. Coal has recently come back into fashion due to three advantages over oil and gas: lower prices per energy unit, higher reserves-to-production ratio, and a different geopolitical distribution of reserves, he said in a written response to questions from Reuters. Kamara said South Africa, which holds most of the continent's coal reserves, will drive Africa's increased production by raising output to around 276 million tons by 2011 from an estimated 270 million tons in 2009. Ingwe Collieries, Anglo Coal, Sasol, Eyesizwe and Kumba, which account for 85 percent of South Africa's saleable coal production, were expected to drive the increase, he said.

Coal production in Africa will increase at an average of three percent a year to 2011, on rising demand especially from Asia, a senior African Development Bank official forecast on Friday. A sharp increase in oil prices, which touched a record high of $135 a barrel this week, coupled with rising gas prices, have given coal a new lease of life, despite concerns of its impact on climate change, said Abdul Kamara, manager at the Tunis-based continental lender's research division. "The current sharp increases in oil and gas prices... coupled with rising energy demand particularly from ... China and India, have boosted concerns about the security, diversity, affordability and reliability of ener-

known as CVRD, would see the southern African country significantly boost output. "Mozambique is expected to become the second-ranked coal producer in Africa with the development of the Moatize Project in 2010," Kamara said. Neighboring Botswana was poised to become the third-ranked producer with the expansion of its Morupule Colliery in 2008 and the start of production at the Mmamabula East project in 2011. Kamara said a shortage of power in southern Africa, particularly in South Africa, left Botswana with an opportunity to increase its coal exports to China and India, as well as to Zambia and Zimbabwe. Cape Town Reuters

"Proven reserves are plentiful and production has been matched over the years by the development of new deposits," Kamara said of South Africa, a major global exporter of high-quality steam coal. "The outlook for African coal production is bright. Production is expected to increase by an average of three percent per year up to 2011," he added. Mozambique, with extensive coal reserves, was predicted to spend $30 billion on the development of coal and power projects over the next decade. Kamara said the June 2007 Moatize coalfields deal between the Mozambican government and Brazilian mining giant Vale, the world's largest iron ore producer, formerly

Euro zone economy slowýng sharply, ýnflatýon remaýns PHOTO


Euro zone economic growth looks set for a sharp slowdown in the second quarter after a strong performance at the start of the year, data showed on Friday, but rocketing inflation will keep interest rates on hold. A closely-watched index of the euro zone services economy showed a steep slide in May as a strong euro and surging oil prices tore into companies' margins and hinted at weaker growth round the corner. The RBS/NTC Flash Eurozone Purchasing Managers Index for services companies, ranging from hotels to banks, fell to 50.6 in May from 52.0 in April, matching a 4-1/2 year low reached in January, and well below the 51.7 forecast by economists. The index is now only just above the 50.0 mark that separates growth from contraction. At the same time, growth in prices charged by services companies accelerated. Separate data showed the Italian economy grew by 0.4 percent in the first quarter, better than the 0.2 percent expected by economists, after contracting in the previous three months. But it remained way behind the strong 1.5 percent seen in Germany.

Bukenya (R) visited main production facilities of Nazlý Gýda in Ýstanbul and its Chairman Ethem Kurt.


Ugandan vice president invites Nazlý Gýda to invest in his country Ugandan Vice President Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya has invited Nazlý Gýda -- a leading snack and beverage company in Turkey -- to invest in his country while visiting the company's main production facilities in Ýstanbul. During the visit, Bukenya provided details on business opportunities in his country and encouraged the company to invest in Uganda. He emphasized that Uganda is a country rich in resources that has many different agricultural products and that there is a significant need for factories to process these. Company officials gave the president information about the factory, production process and products. Nazlý Gýda Chairman Ethem Kurt said his company is ready to support Uganda in terms of know-how and in developing a factory with high-tech infrastructure similar to that used at Nazlý's factories in Turkey. Kurt noted that Nazlý Gýda will evaluate the opportunities in Uganda and will get back to the vice president regarding his offer. Bukenya had traveled to Turkey to attend the 3rd Turkey-Africa Trade Bridge summit, organized by the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) earlier in the month. Nazlý Gýda, established in 1997, is a leading company in fruit drink mixes in Turkey with a production level of 600 million units a year. The company's product range includes coffee, salep (a hot drink made with dried orchid root, milk and cinnamon), fruit drink mixes, mixed fruit-milk beverages and chips. Nazlý Gýda complies with international standards, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 22000, which signify the quality level of production. Zeki Gülen Ýstanbul


Number of tourists up by 12.4 percent in April

Weak expectations for Q2 Yet a strong start to the year despite the restrictions of the global credit crunch does not look like it held on, and there are now significant differences in the pace of growth among the top four euro zone economies. "The numbers are suggesting that the second quarter will be pretty weak. We are looking at growth pretty close to stagnation if this continues," said Dario Perkins at ABN Amro. French consumer spending fell 0.8 percent last month as shoppers shunned car purchases and new clothes, underscoring the view that growth has slowed down sharply from the first quarter. Economists had expected a 0.7 percent rise in spending. "The second quarter isn't looking good at all," said Societe Generale economist Olivier Gasnier. But with oil close to a record high of

Flash data for Germany released earlier on Friday also showed a slowdown across both its manufacturing and services sectors, though holding at robust levels, while corresponding French data showed levels closer to contraction. $135 dollar a barrel inflation will probably remain high through the summer, preventing the European Central Bank from even contemplating an interest rate cut. Economists are gradually scratching out the cuts they had forecast from the ECB since the start of the year and coming round to the idea that rates on hold at 4.0 percent seems likely for now. "The dilemma for the ECB is that inflation is getting worse certainly in the near-term,"

French data showed levels closer to contraction. Italy's better than expected performance in the first three months of this year followed a 0.4 percent contraction in the fourth quarter of 2007 and recent business surveys there are pointing to stagnation or contraction. "The Q1 result is a little bit better than expected but it comes after a big contraction, so it doesn't significantly change the picture," said Deutsche Bank economist Susana Garcia. London Reuters

said Mark Wall at Deutsche Bank. Euro zone inflation is set to climb back towards its recent record high this month, likely to hit 3.5 percent when figures are released next week, compared with the current 3.3 percent. This is well above the ECB's 2.0 percent ceiling. The other major concern is diverging growth. Flash data for Germany released earlier on Friday also showed a slowdown across both its manufacturing and services sectors, though holding at robust levels, while corresponding

The number of tourists visiting Turkey in the first four months of 2008 increased by 12.37 percent over the same period last year, reaching 4.63 million. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism yesterday announced the tourism statistics for April, noting that the number of visitors last month increased by 8.35 percent to 1.65 million compared to the same month last year. As for country of origin of the visitors, Germany ranked first with 270,349 tourists, taking a 16.42 percent share of total tourism in April. Holland got the second spot with 110,140 visitors with a 6.68 percent share. Russia followed Holland with 109,044 visitors and a 6.62 percent share. Bulgaria, England, France, Iran, Georgia, Greece and Israel followed in descending order in April. The number of Turkish citizens returning to Turkey from abroad increased by 12.56 percent to 773,072 in April compared to the same period last year, while the number of citizens leaving the country increased by 7.96 percent to 739,645. Ankara Today's Zaman


Russia and China to sign $1 bln uranium plant deal Yearly Change (%)

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P/E: Share price divided by earnings per share is a measure of the price paid for a share relative to the income or profit earned by the firm per share. EV/EBITDA: Enterprise value divided by earnings before interest, tax and amortization; “t” stands for trailer and means the data over the last four quarters. (*) Yesterday's closing (**) Updated at 6 p.m. by GMT+2 Disclaimer: The information in this report has been prepared by BMD, Bizim Securities from sources believed to be reliable. All the information, interpretations and recommendations covered herein relating to investment actions are not within the scope of investment consultancy. Therefore investment decisions based only on the information covered herein may not bring expected results.

Russia is to build and supply a $1 billion uranium enrichment plant in China, Russia's nuclear chief said on Friday. The deal will be signed during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's state visit to Beijing which begins on Friday, said Sergei Kiriyenko, the chief of the Rosatom state nuclear corporation. "The value of the contract which will be signed today is more than $1 billion," Kiriyenko said. "The Chinese market is very attractive and we are trying to enter it in two ways, not only by supplying fuel but also investing in local production," said Kiriyenko. Russia has created a giant, state-controlled nuclear company called Atomenergoprom that encompasses the full spectrum of nuclear energy, from research to mining to enrichment to power output. It also builds nuclear facilities abroad. A member of the Russian delegation travelling with Medvedev said the agreement was designed to facilitate further investment in China, already an importer of enriched Russian uranium. "Today we are signing an agreement which will be followed by a series of commercial contracts within two to three months," said the delegation member. "We are ready to help China to develop its own production of the fuel, but we do not want it to influence supplies from Russia," he said. Beijing Reuters




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SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2008

‘The Other Boleyn Girl’: off with her head

Actor Eric Bana plays a neurotic King Henry VIII in director Justin Chadwick’s "The Other Boleyn Girl," in which Natalie Portman portrays Anne Boleyn, and Scarlett Johansson is Mary Boleyn.


Why on earth have American actresses been frequently asked to play the most quintessential British roles for the past 10 years? Take for example, Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones, Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, Gwyneth Paltrow as Jane Austen's Emma, and now we must be subjected to Hollywood's favorite debutantes, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, as the infamous Boleyn sisters who shook the court of Henry VIII. The bright young things are so consumed with nailing their accents that they almost forget to act. Is Britain lacking in female acting talent? I think not. Adapted from Philippa Gregory's quasi-historic romantic bestseller and directed by veteran BBC TV director Justin Chadwick, "The Other Boleyn Girl" merely exploits the English court as an expendable background in order to present a squalid love triangle that could have been written for an episode of any daytime soap opera. Dressed in Oscar winner Sandy Powell's lavish costumes and prancing around the never-ending

halls of the royal palace, Portman portrays the vicious yet seductive Anne Boleyn, Johansson is the younger sibling Mary Boleyn (historians presume she was the older sister) who could have been the inspiration for Sister Maria in the "Sound of Music," and Australian beefcake Eric Bana is a neurotic and inept King Henry VIII whose life would have been a lot easier if his alchemist knew how to generate Prozac. In a nutshell, the noble by birth yet poor Boleyn family, headed by feeble father Sir Thomas Boleyn and cunning uncle Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk, come to the understanding that they must guarantee their political position in the unstable English court. This means getting in the grace of King Henry Tudor, and what better way than to offer him the younger ladies of the family, Anne and/or Mary. The king is married to his late brother's wife, Catherine of Aragon, however she cannot produce a male heir, so most of the noble families are willing to take chances that their daughters gain the mistress title in hope of future matrimony. In a time when women are exchanged like

cattle, shy and fragile Mary becomes first in line for Henry's affections. However when tempestuous Anne returns from "exile" in the French court Henry is immediately blown off his feet and consequentially deserts Mary and their illegitimate baby. The jealousy and rivalry between the sisters heightens until Anne finally becomes Henry's second wife after separation with Rome, the famous divorce from Catherine and eventually the formation of the Church of England. Of course plotting will never end in the royal entourage, and Queen Anne is eventually beheaded for incest and treason. The reign of the Tudors has always constituted the juiciest and most popular slice of English history, thanks to the six wives of Henry and Henry's charismatic female successor Elizabeth I. "The Other Boleyn Girl" relies heavily on the juice and forsakes historic accuracy along with historic events of any value. Although the rise and fall of the Boleyn sisters does create a fascinating story, it is not remarkable enough to carry the ambitions of this film. Chadwick's directing is at best mediocre, his

framing is dull and uninventive while his acting ensemble seems to have watched too many episodes of Showtime's series "The Tudors" as they could be carbon copies of their counterparts. The most alluring character in this film is not in fact any of the Boleyn girls but the matriarch of the family, Lady Elizabeth Boleyn, portrayed by Kristin Scott Thomas. Scott Thomas presents a blend of serenity, frustration and nobility that neither Portman nor Johansson possesses. No-one except Scott Thomas could pleasantly pull off a line as humdrum as "This is not a request, we were summoned!" And as for Henry VIII, the film chooses to forget that beyond his bedtime stories with Anne Boleyn and countless other women, governing a country was actually his real job. You can't really blame Bana if most of his scenes are set at the foot of a massive bed. "The Other Boleyn Girl" is no more than trashy entertainment in the form of costume drama. If you're looking for a visualized mini-history lesson or analysis, I suggest you go to the library instead.

This week in theaters

‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ Indiana Jones' (Harrison Ford) newest adventure begins in the desert Southwest in 1957 -- the height of the Cold War. Indy and his sidekick Mac (Ray Winstone) have barely escaped a close scrape with nefarious Soviet agents on a remote airfield. Now, Professor Jones has returned home to Marshall College -- only to find things have gone from bad to worse. His close friend and dean of the college (Jim Broadbent) explains that Indy's recent activities have made him the object of suspicion, and that the government has put pressure on the university to fire him. On his way out of town, Indiana meets rebellious young Mutt (Shia LaBeouf), who carries both a grudge and a proposition for the adventurous archaeologist: If he'll help Mutt on a mission with deeply personal stakes, Indy could very well make one of the most spectacular archaeological finds in history -- the Crystal Skull of Akator, a legendary object of fascination, superstition and fear. But as Indy and Mutt set out for the most remote corners of Peru -- a land of ancient tombs, forgotten explorers and a rumored city of gold -- they quickly realize they are not alone in their search. The Soviet agents are also hot on the trail of the Crystal Skull. Chief among them is the icy cold, devastatingly beautiful Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), whose elite military unit is scouring the globe for the eerie Crystal Skull, which they believe can help the Soviets dominate the world -- if they can unlock its secrets. Indy and Mutt must find a way to evade the ruthless Soviets, follow an impenetrable trail of mystery, grapple with enemies and friends of questionable motives, and, above all, stop the powerful Crystal Skull from falling into the deadliest of hands. Directed by: Steven Spielberg Genre: Action Cast: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent

MOVIE GUIDE INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL Ýstanbul: Akatlar AFM Mayadrom: 11:00 12:20 13:45 15:10 16:30 17:50 19:10 20:30 21:50 Fri/Sat: 23:15 Ataköy Galleria Prestige: (Tr) 11:00 12:15 13:30 15:00 16:15 17:45 19:00 20:30 21:45 Fri/Sat: 23:15 24:15 Bakýrköy Cinebonus Capacity: 11:00 12:15 13:45 15:00 16:30 17:45 19:15 20:30 22:00 Fri/Sat: 23:15 24:45 Etiler AFM Akmerkez: 10:45 13:35 15:00 16:25 17:50 19:15 20:40 22:00 Fri/Sat: 23:30 Ýstinye AFM Park: 10:50 12:25 13:55 15:30 16:55 18:30 19:55 21:30 Fri/Sat: 23:00 Levent Cinebonus Kanyon: 11:00 11:30 13:30 14:00 16:15 16:45 19:00 19:30 21:45 22:15 Fri/Sat: 24:30 Maçka Cinebonus G-mall: 11:00 12:15 13:30 15:00 16:15 17:45 19:00 20:30 21:45 Fri/Sat: 23:15 24:30 Mecidiyeköy AFM Profilo: 11:10 13:50 15:10 16:30 18:00 19:20 20:40 22:00 Fri/Sat: 23:30 Niþantaþý Citylife: 11:00 12:15 13:30 14:45 16:15 17:30 19:00 20:15 21:45 Fri/Sat: 23:00 24:30 Þiþli Megaplex Cevahir: 11:00 13:30 16:15 19:00 21:30 Altunizade Capitol Spectrum: 11:30 13:00 14:30 16:00 17:30 19:00 20:30 22:00 Fri/Sat: 23:30 Caddebostan AFM: 10:30 11:55 13:20 14:45 16:10 17:35 19:05 20:30 21:50 Fri/Sat: 23:15 Kadýköy Cinebonus Nautilus: 11:00 12:15 13:45 15:00 16:30 17:45 19:15 20:30 22:00 Fri/Sat: 23:15 Kadýköy Rexx: 11:00 12:15 13:30 14:45 16:00 17:15 18:30 19:45 21:00 Kozyataðý Bonus Premium Cinecity Trio: 11:15 13:45 16:30 19:15 22:00 Fri/Sat: 24:30 Ümraniye Cinebonus Meydan: 11:00 12:30 13:45 15:15 16:30 18:00 19:15 20:45 22:00 Fri/Sat: 23:45 Ankara: Ankamall: 11:30 13:15 14:40 16:05 17:30 19:00 20:30 22:00 Fri/Sat: 23:30 Bahçelievler Büyülü Fener: 11:30 12:45 14:00 15:15 16:30 17:45 19:00 20:15 21:30 Cinebonus Bilkent: 11:00 12:15 13:20 14:40 16:05 17:25 18:50 20:10 21:40 Fri/Sat: 23:00 24:15 Ata On Tower: 12:00 13:15 14:30 15:45 17:00 18:15 19:30 20:45 22:00 Fri/Sat: 23:15 Kýzýlay Büyülü Fener: 11:30 12:45 14:00 15:15 16:30 17:45 19:00 20:15 21:30 Cinebonus Panora: 11:00 12:20 13:40 15:00 16:20 17:45 19:05 20:30 21:50 Fri/Sat: 23:15 24:15 AFM Cepa: 10:30 11:55 13:20 14:45 16:10 17:35 19:00 20:25 21:50

Cinebonus Arcadium: 11:00 12:15 13:15 15:00 16:00 17:45 18:45 20:30 21:30 Fri/Sat: 23:15 24:15 Minasera: 11:00 12:15 13:30 14:45 16:00 17:15 18:30 19:45 21:00 Ýzmir: Agora Balçova: 11:00 13:30 16:15 19:00 21:45 Cinebonus Balçova Kipa: 10:30 11:45 13:15 14:30 16:00 17:15 18:45 20:00 21:30 Fri/Sat: 22:45 24:15 AFM Bornova Forum: 12:00 15:00 16:30 18:00 19:30 21:00 Fri/Sat: 23:00 Çiðli Cinecity Kipa: 11:15 12:30 13:45 15:00 16:30 17:45 19:15 20:30 22:00 Fri/Sat: 23:15 24:30 Gaziemir Kipa Hollywood: (Tr) 11:00 13:15 14:30 15:45 17:00 18:15 19:30 20:45 Cinebonus Konak Pier: 10:30 11:45 13:15 14:30 16:00 17:15 18:45 20:00 21:30 Fri/Sat: 23:00 24:15 AFM Maviþehir Ege Park: 10:45 12:15 13:45 15:15 16:45 18:15 19:45 21:15 Cinebonus YKM: (Tr) 10:30 11:45 13:15 16:00 18:45 21:30

Antalya: Lara Prestige: 12:15 14:45 17:15 19:45 21:00 22:15 Cinebonus Migros: 11:15 12:30 13:45 15:15 16:30 18:00 19:15 20:45 22:00 Fri/Sat: 23:45 AFM Laura: 11:00 12:15 13:30 15:00 16:15 17:45 19:00 20:30 21:45

THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL Ýstanbul: Ataköy Galleria Prestige: 12:00 14:15 16:30 18:45 21:00 Fri/Sat: 23:15 Bakýrköy Cinebonus Capacity: 14:00 16:30 19:00 21:30 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Beyoðlu Alkazar: 12:00 14:15 16:30 19:00 21:15 Beyoðlu Emek: 11:30 14:00 16:30 18:45 21:30 Etiler AFM Akmerkez: 11:10 13:50 16:40 19:20 22:00 Ýstinye AFM Park: 11:00 13:45 16:30 19:15 22:00 Fri/Sat: 23:30 Levent Cinebonus Kanyon: 11:00 13:30 16:15 19:00 21:45 Fri/Sat: 23:30 24:30 Maçka Cinebonus G-mall: 11:00 11:45 13:45 16:30 18:30

19:15 21:15 22:00 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Mecidiyeköy AFM Profilo: 10:55 13:30 16:10 18:40 21:10 Niþantaþý Citylife: 11:30 14:00 16:30 19:00 21:30 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Þiþli Megaplex Cevahir: 11:00 13:10 15:20 17:30 19:40 22:00 Altunizade Capitol Spectrum: 11:15 13:50 16:30 19:00 21:30 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Caddebostan AFM: 10:30 13:10 15:45 18:20 21:00 Fri/Sat: 23:30 Kadýköy Cinebonus Nautilus: 11:30 14:00 16:30 19:00 21:30 Fri/Sat: 24:15 Kadýköy Cinema Moda: 11:30 14:00 16:30 19:00 21:30 Þaþkýnbakkal Megaplex M&S: 11:00 13:10 15:20 17:35 19:45 22:00 Kozyataðý Bonus Premium Cinecity Trio: 11:15 13:45 16:15 18:45 21:15 Fri/Sat: 23:45 Ümraniye Cinebonus Meydan: 11:00 12:00 14:30 17:00 19:30 20:45 22:00 Fri/Sat: 23:30

Bahçelievler Büyülü Fener: 11:40 14:10 16:40 19:10 21:35 Cinebonus Bilkent: 11:00 13:30 16:15 19:00 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Ata On Tower: 12:30 14:45 17:15 19:45 22:00 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Kýzýlay Büyülü Fener: 11:40 14:10 16:40 19:10 21:35 Kýzýlýrmak: 12:00 14:15 16:30 19:00 21:15 Cinebonus Panora: 11:00 12:15 13:30 15:00 16:15 17:40 19:00 20:25 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Armada: 11:15 13:45 16:15 18:45 21:15 Fri/Sat: 23:45 AFM Cepa: 11:10 13:55 16:40 19:30 22:15 Ýzmir: Alsancak Ýzmir: 12:15 14:30 16:45 19:00 21:15 Karaca: 12:00 14:15 16:30 18:45 21:00 Çiðli Cinecity Kipa: 11:30 14:00 16:30 19:00 21:30 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Konak AFM Passtel: 11:15 13:45 16:15 19:00 21:30 Cinebonus Konak Pier: 10:45 13:30 16:15 19:00 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:30

Ankara: Ankamall: 11:30 14:00 16:35 19:10 21:40


W I C K E R PA R K Ýstanbul: Ataköy Galleria Prestige: 12:00 14:15 16:30 18:45 21:00 Fri/Sat: 23:15 Beyoðlu Atlas: 12:00 14:15 16:30 19:00 21:30 Þiþli Megaplex Cevahir: 11:00 13:30 16:00 18:30 21:00 Þiþli Movieplex: 11:30 14:00 16:30 19:00 21:30 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Altunizade Capitol Spectrum: 17:00 19:30 22:00 Kadýköy Atlantis: 11:00 13:30 16:00 18:30 21:15 Suadiye Movieplex: 11:45 14:15 16:45 19:15 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Ümraniye Cinebonus Meydan: 13:45 16:15 18:45 21:15 Fri/Sat: 23:45 Ankara: Cinebonus Bilkent: 14:15 16:45 19:15 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:15 Kýzýlay Büyülü Fener: 11:40 14:10 16:40 19:10 21:35 Metropol: 11:15 13:45 16:15 18:45 21:15 Cinebonus Panora: 16:50 19:20 21:50 Armada: 11:00 13:30 16:00 18:30 21:00 Fri/Sat: 23:30 Ýzmir: Agora Balçova: 15:30 17:45 20:00 22:15 Cinebonus Balçova Kipa: 16:30 19:00 21:30 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Çiðli Cinecity Kipa: 13:30 15:00 21:15 Antalya: Cinebonus Migros: 12:00 16:45 21:30

Ýstanbul: Ataköy Atrium: 11:30 14:00 16:15 18:30 21:15 Ataköy Galleria Prestige: 11:15 13:45 16:15 18:45 21:15 Fri/Sat: 23:45 Bakýrköy Cinebonus Capacity: 11:15 13:45 16:15 18:45 21:15 Fri/Sat: 24:30 Ýstinye AFM Park: 11:00 13:30 16:45 19:15 21:50 Levent Cinebonus Kanyon: 11:00 13:30 16:15 19:00 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:30 Niþantaþý Citylife: 11:30 14:00 16:30 19:15 22:00 Þiþli Megaplex Cevahir: 11:15 13:20 15:30 17:40 19:50 22:00 Altunizade Capitol Spectrum: 11:30 14:00 16:40 19:30 21:50 Fri/Sat: 24:10 Kadýköy Atlantis: 11:00 13:30 16:00 18:30 21:15 Kadýköy Cinebonus Nautilus: 11:00 13:30 16:00 18:30 21:00 Fri/Sat: 23:30 Kavacýk Boðaziçi: 12:00 14:15 16:45 19:15 21:15 Ankara: Kýzýlay Büyülü Fener: 12:00 14:20 16:40 19:00 21:20 Armada: 11:45 14:15 16:45 19:15 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:15 AFM Cepa: 11:00 13:40 16:20 19:00 21:45 Cinebonus Arcadium: 11:50 14:20 16:50 19:20 21:50 Fri/Sat: 24:10 Ýzmir: Agora Balçova: 11:30 14:00 16:30 19:00 21:30 Konak AFM Passtel: 12:00 14:30 17:00 19:30 21:50 Antalya: Lara Prestige: 12:00 14:15 16:30 18:45 21:00

DECEPTION Ýstanbul: Ataköy Galleria Prestige: 11:15 13:45 16:15 18:45 21:15 Fri/Sat: 23:45 Bakýrköy Cinebonus Capacity: 11:45 14:15 16:45 19:15 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:15 Etiler AFM Akmerkez: 11:00 13:30 16:10 18:50 21:40 Ýstinye AFM Park: 12:00 14:30 17:00 19:30 22:00 Levent Cinebonus Kanyon: 11:15 13:45 16:15 18:45 21:30 Fri/Sat: 24:15 Mecidiyeköy AFM Profilo: 11:50 14:20 16:50 19:30 21:50 Niþantaþý Citylife: 11:15 13:45 16:15 18:45 21:15 Fri/Sat: 23:45 Þiþli Megaplex Cevahir: 11:45 14:00 16:30 19:00 21:30 Altunizade Capitol Spectrum 14: 11:00 13:30 16:15 18:45 21:15 Fri/Sat: 23:40 Caddebostan AFM: 10:45 13:15 15:45 18:15 21:00 Kadýköy Cinebonus Nautilus: 11:15 13:30 16:15 18:45 21:15 Fri/Sat: 23:45 Kadýköy Rexx: 11:15 13:45 16:15 18:45 21:00 Kozyataðý Bonus Premium Cinecity Trio: 12:15 14:30 17:00 19:30 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:15 Kozyataðý Cinepol: 11:15 13:45 16:15 18:45 21:15 Suadiye Movieplex: 11:00 13:00 15:15 17:30 19:45 22:00 Fri/Sat: 24:15 Ümraniye Cinebonus Meydan: 11:45 14:00 16:15 18:45 21:15 Fri/Sat: 23:30 Ankara: Ankamall: 11:10 13:45 16:20 18:50 21:30 Ata On Tower: 12:00 14:15 16:45 19:15 21:45 Kýzýlay Büyülü Fener: 12:00 14:15 16:30 18:45 21:00 Metropol: 12:00 14:15 16:30 18:45 21:00 Cinebonus Panora: 11:00 12:50 15:00 17:15 19:30 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Armada: 12:00 14:15 16:30 18:45 21:00 Fri/Sat: 23:15 AFM Cepa: 11:30 14:05 16:35 19:05 21:35 Ýzmir: Agora Balçova: 11:30 14:00 16:30 19:00 21:30 Cinebonus Balçova Kipa: 11:30 14:00 16:30 19:00 21:30 Fri/Sat: 24:00 AFM Bornova Forum: 11:00 13:20 15:45 18:20 21:10 Çiðli Cinecity Kipa: 11:00 13:30 16:15 18:45 21:15 Fri/Sat: 23:45 Konak AFM Passtel: 11:30 14:00 16:20 18:45 21:30 Cinebonus Konak Pier: 10:30 12:45 15:00 17:15 19:30 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:00 AFM Maviþehir Ege Park: 11:00 13:30 16:10 18:40 21:10 Antalya: Altýnova Deepo: 12:30 14:45 17:00 19:15 21:30 AFM Laura: 11:00 13:00 15:45 18:30 21:15


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S AT U R DAY, M AY 2 4 , 2 0 0 8


China says earthquake rebuild to take three years


Armed men ambush, disarm peacekeepers in Darfur Up to 60 heavily armed men ambushed a patrol of UN/African Union peacekeepers in Darfur, in a new attack on international forces in Sudan's strife-torn west, the UN said on Friday. The raiders, wearing uniforms and armed with AK-47 rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, managed to take weapons from the Nigerian troops from the joint UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), an official added. It was at least the fifth serious confrontation between armed groups and UNAMID troops since they took over from a beleaguered African Union force at the beginning of the year. The attack happened close to the capital of West Darfur El Geneina on Wednesday -- the same day another 45 Nigerian peacekeepers were killed in a road accident in northern Nigeria, after returning from a tour of duty in Darfur. UNAMID spokesman Noureddine Mezni said the force had decided not to release details immediately after the assault as they were still trying to identify the attackers. "We have bandits and we have armed groups and we have the (rebel) factions. With our very limited number of troops, it is not an easy job," Mezni told Reuters. Khartoum Reuters


McCain's health good, no cancer recurrence Republican presidential candidate John McCain is in good health and has had no recent recurrence of skin cancer, according to medical records released on Friday. The Arizona senator, who turns 72 in August and would be the oldest elected first-term president if he wins the November election, "enjoys excellent health and displays extraordinary energy," said his physician, Dr. John Eckstein. "I can find no medical reason or problems that would preclude Sen. McCain from fulfilling all the duties and obligations of president of the United States," he said in a statement. McCain's health records were made available to be viewed by a small group of reporters in Arizona in an effort to put to rest lingering questions about his health and ability to handle the rigors of the presidency. He had major surgery on his face in 2000 for melanoma, a potentially lethal form of skin cancer. The surgery left a noticeable scar and bulge down the left side of his face. One source of concern about McCain for many Americans is his age, and McCain has sought to address any questions by pursuing a vigorous campaign, but until now has not released detailed information about his health. Fountain Hills, Ariz. Reuters


Israeli jets rush to intercept Blair plane Israeli fighter jets scrambled to intercept a plane carrying Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair this week after his pilots failed to identify themselves, an Israeli security source said on Friday. The former British prime minister, who has been charged by the international community with helping the Palestinians on their way to statehood, was en route to Jerusalem from the World Economic Forum in Egypt with other delegates on Wednesday and was unaware of the incident, his spokeswoman said. "They were unaware there was any problem with the flight and there was no follow-up," the spokeswoman, who is based in Jerusalem, said. "They didn't hear about it until it was in the media afterwards." The security source, who declined to be named, said the jets were called back to base after pilots flying the plane carrying Blair identified themselves. As a guard against possible attacks, Israel requires all planes entering its airspace to provide an identification code and the source said it was standard procedure to intercept those who failed to do so. Jerusalem Reuters


Al-Qaeda video berates Saudi Arabian monarch An al-Qaeda leader has accused Saudi Arabia in an Internet video of giving in to Islam's Western enemies by calling for moderation and a dialogue with Jews and Christians. The message from Abu Yahya al-Libi came as Saudi Arabia was reported to be planning a conference of senior world Muslim clerics this year to promote moderation and fight extremism, after King Abdullah called in March for an inter-faith dialogue. "He who is called the defender of monotheism by sycophantic clerics is raising the flag of brotherhood between religions ... and thinks he has found the wisdom to stop wars and prevent the causes of enmity between religions and peoples," Libi said, in a clear reference to King Abdullah. "By God, if you don't resist heroically against this wanton tyrant ... the day will come when church bells will ring in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula. And the case of Qatar is not far away from you," Libi said. He was referring to Qatar's decision in March to allow the opening of the first church in the US-allied Gulf Arab state. Neighboring Saudi Arabia, which follows a strict school of Islam, still bans followers of other faiths from building public houses of worship in the birthplace of Islam. The video was posted on Thursday on Islamist websites often used by al-Qaeda and its supporters. Dubai Reuters


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, meets with Myanmar Senior Gen. Than Shwe, right, in Naypyitaw.

Myanmar agrees to ‘let ýn all cyclone aýd workers’ Myanmar's military government has until now refused to allow an unimpeded influx of foreign aid and experts to reach survivors of the May 2-3 Cyclone Nargis UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon, on a mission to open up Myanmar to international disaster assistance, said the ruling junta agreed on Friday to allow "all aid workers" into the country to help cyclone survivors. Ban's comments came after a crucial two-hour meeting Friday with the junta leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe, the country's most powerful figure. When asked if he thought the agreement was a breakthrough, Ban told reporters, "I think so." One foreign aid official called it a "significant step forward." A senior UN official present at the meeting said Than Shwe also gave the green light for foreigners to work in the hardest-hit region, the Irrawaddy delta, which has been virtually off-limits to them. "The general said he saw no reason why that should not happen as long as they were genuine humanitarian workers and it was clear what they were going to do," said the official, who requested anonymity for reasons of protocol. The official said government author-

ities had earlier not been able to give this assurance of access because they needed a "green light from the top." Myanmar's military government has until now refused to allow an unimpeded influx of foreign aid and experts to reach survivors of the May 2-3 Cyclone Nargis. While granting an increasing number of visas to foreign staffers, the regime barred all but a handful of them from the delta. At least 78,000 people were killed and another 56,000 are missing while some 2.5 million survivors are at risk from disease, starvation and exposure to monsoon rains. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization warned Friday that hundreds of thousands of people in remote areas of the delta have insufficient food, and said prices for rice, cooking oil and other basics had doubled throughout the country. Only a "very narrow window of opportunity" remains to provide seeds and other material to farmers before the rice planting season upon which millions depend begins in a few weeks, the agency said. It said that

half the cattle and buffaloes in 10 townships surveyed had perished during the storms. "I had a very good meeting with Senior General Than Shwe and particularly on the aid workers. He has agreed to allow all the aid workers (into Myanmar), regardless of nationality," Ban said. "I urged him that it would be crucially important for him to allow aid workers as swiftly as possible and all these aid relief items also be delivered to the needy people as soon as possible," Ban said. Than Shwe, he said, had also agreed to make Yangon the logistics hub of the aid operation, which Ban called "an important development." "This is a significant step forward, and could be a turning point in the aid response," said Brian Agland, who heads the US-based aid group CARE in Myanmar. "We welcome the agreement that has been reached between the UN secretary-general and government authorities in Myanmar that will facilitate the immediate entry of emergency response experts." Naypyitaw AP

China will need to rebuild whole towns and villages from scratch to rehouse the millions displaced by last week's earthquake, a task which could take three years, a top provincial official said on Friday. Eleven days after the 7.9 magnitude quake shook the mountainous province of Sichuan, hundreds of thousands of soldiers, relief workers and ordinary residents are now focused on reconstruction. Some towns in the earthquake zone in southwestern China will need to be relocated altogether because the terrain is not safe, officials have said. The known death toll from the quake already exceeds 55,000, but more bodies are expected to be found as the debris from the dozens of flattened cities, towns and villages is cleared. With the rainy season due within weeks, there is urgency to their work. The government's main concern is that aftershocks and heavy rain could cause secondary disasters such as flashfloods and landslides. "The rebuilding work faces a lot of difficulty in the region, where the mountains have been shaken loose in the earthquake and there have been more than 7,000 aftershocks," Li Chengyun, vice governor of Sichuan, told a news conference in Beijing. Relief workers are also concerned that poor hygiene could cause disease outbreaks. Li said this was a "peak period for outbreaks of diseases", describing the situation as very grim. China has pleaded with the international community to provide millions of tents for the homeless. It is also sending tons of heavier building equipment and supplies into the area. "We will strive to provide safe, economical and convenient temporary housing for 98 percent of the residents within the next month," Li said. "The priority work in the reconstruction is to find proper locations for rural residents to build houses. We will strive to make such village houses ready for them before winter comes." In Chengdu, some volunteer relief convoys reported being held up by hungry residents, one at gunpoint. There were reports of two people being beheaded by helicopter blades, one at the Wolong panda reserve, sources in Sichuan and local reporters said. Chengdu Reuters AP




A Chinese woman cries as she returns to find her home in a pile of rubble, in the quake devastated town of BeiChuan, southwestern China's Sichuan province on Monday.

Spain’s opposition Popular Party in turmoil over Basque nationalists

UK opposition Conservatives win seat, boost their general election chances

move as betrayal and say that the nationalists Spain's conservative opposition Popular want to take the Basque Country out of Spain. Party was in turmoil on Friday with mo"Our leadership is handling things very, very mentum growing to oust leader Mariano Rajoy badly," said the head of Madrid's regional govover his softer line toward Basque nationalists. ernment, Esperanza Aguirre, widely understood Opponents of Rajoy, who led the party to its to be a leading right-wing candisecond consecutive defeat in date to displace Rajoy before the March's election, were planning next election due in 2012. a demonstration outside the parConservative media such as ty's headquarters in Madrid later newspaper El Mundo are also in the day The protest comes afcalling for Rajoy's head. A forter two leading Popular Party mer interior minister during the figures quit this week over government of Jose Maria Rajoy's decision to be more open Aznar, Rajoy has tried to move to talks with the moderate nathe Popular Party to the centre tionalists who govern the Basque since March's election defeat to Country regional government. Mariano Rajoy the Socialists. Madrid Reuters Right-wing critics see Rajoy's

as prime minister from Tony Blair. Brown's popuBritain's opposition Conservative Party larity ratings have collapsed since October after he gained a mid-term parliamentary seat from backed away from calling an early election. Some the ruling Labour Party on Friday, a new setback Labour members are asking whether he is the to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's fading political fortunes. The Conservatives' win in the northern best man to lead them into a parliamentary town of Crewe was the party's election due by 2010. The first gain from Labour in a midConservatives believe victory in term election since 1978, the year this Labour heartland would signal before Margaret Thatcher seized that the political wind has turned victory and condemned the party in their favour, putting them on to 18 years in the political wildertrack to unseat Brown. More reness. The election, triggered by cently, Labour suffered a drubbing the death of the constituency's in May 1 local council elections Labour member of parliament, is and is struggling to restore public being closely watched as an indiconfidence after a botched tax recator of Brown's diminishing apform left many of the poorest Gordon Brown peal 11 months after he took over worse off. Crewe, England Reuters


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S AT U R D AY, M AY 2 4 , 2 0 0 8

South African gov’t says right-wingers fan violence

Lebanon's army chief, who is poised to become the country's new president, urged for national unity after feuding politicians agreed to end 18 months of conflict, a newspaper reported on Friday. "I cannot save the country alone. This mission requires the efforts of all," Gen. Michel Suleiman told as-Safir newspaper. Parliament is set to confirm Suleiman as head of state on Sunday, filling a post left vacant since November because of a political conflict which triggered the worst civil strife since the 1975-90 war. The conflict between the US-backed ruling coalition and the Hizbollah-led opposition was brought to an end by a deal mediated in Qatar this week. The agreement paved the way for Suleiman's election and the formation of a new government. The new president will chair talks among the rivals on issues at the heart of the conflict, including Hizbullah's arms. The crisis has undermined stability, which has also suffered from assassinations, bomb attacks, a war between Hizbullah and Israel in 2006 and a militant Islamist insurrection in 2007. "Security is not achieved with muscles, but joint political will," Suleiman said. "We have to fortify ourselves politically and in terms of security through internal unity," he said. Beirut Reuters


Israeli police quiz Olmert again in bribery case Minister Ehud Olmert was questioned by police for an hour on Friday, the second time this month that investigators have quizzed him over allegations he took bribes from an American businessman. "Investigators from the National Fraud Unit turned up early for a previously arranged appointment at Olmert's official residence in Jerusalem. They questioned him for about an hour," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The scandal, which police and judicial sources say involves hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable cash payments over a decade from the early 1990s, broke three weeks ago when detectives moved at short notice to question Olmert on May 2. The prime minister has faced a handful of inquiries recently into his past financial affairs as mayor of Jerusalem for 10 years until 2003 and subsequently as a cabinet minister until he succeeded the ailing Ariel Sharon as premier in early 2006. He has withstood all those challenges and said he did nothing wrong in his dealings with New York Jewish fundraiser Morris Talansky. He has promised to step down if prosecutors can produce enough evidence to indict him. The mass-selling Israeli daily Maariv said on Friday that police were trying to determine whether Olmert helped Talansky advance business ventures in South America. Jerusalem Reuters


Georgia sees chance to ease Russia tension Georgia said on Friday it saw a window of opportunity to ease tensions with Russia if leaders of the two nations are able to meet at a forum in St. Petersburg next month. Russia said on Wednesday it was considering a request from Georgia for the meeting between Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the June 6-8 St. Petersburg economic forum of CIS countries. Georgian Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili said after meeting EU officials in Brussels that she was also seeking a meeting there with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. "We see a window of opportunity there and we will see how it develops," she told a news briefing. "We on our side will make all efforts to bring to a positive, dynamic dialogue between our two countries." It has never been a policy of Georgia to fight with Russia or to be in a tense situation with Russia. Russia is our biggest neighbor. "We don't see any logic in our being in bad relations with Russia. We would very much welcome a change to this situation." Russia is at odds with its Caucasus neighbor over Georgia's pro-Western leanings, in particular its plan to join NATO. It also supports Georgia's rebel South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions, where it has a military presence. Brussels Reuters


Lebanon's Suleiman urges unity after deal



Police check the scene of a burning shack in the Reiger Park informal South African settlement outside Johannesburg.

South Africa’s security chief on Friday accused right-wingers linked to the former apartheid government of fanning xenophobic violence that has spread to Cape Town, the second largest city and tourist center. At least 42 people have been killed and more than 25,000 driven from their homes in 12 days of attacks by mobs accusing migrants from other parts of Africa of taking jobs and fueling crime. The South African government has come under strong criticism for its slow reaction to the violence, which started in a Johannesburg township on May 11, and for not adequately addressing poverty widely blamed for the bloodshed. But Manala Manzini, head of the National Intelligence Agency, told

Reuters people linked to former apartheid security forces were stoking the violence. “Definitely there is a third hand involved. There is a deliberate effort, orchestrated, well-planned,” he said. “We have information to the effect that elements that were involved in the pre1994 election violence are in fact the same elements that have re-started contacts with people that they used in the past.” Manzini said some of the violence emanated from worker hostels where Zulu migrants traditionally live. Much of the township bloodshed in the final years of apartheid involved brutal clashes between supporters of the Zulu-based Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the African National Congress, which has been in power since the end of white rule. IFP fighters were widely believed to be

Clinton demands role for wife, Hillary, as Obama looks for a running mate Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing on Friday.

Obama, aware that he risks further alienating Mrs. Clinton’s supporters if he acts as though he has already beaten her, says: ‘I am not commenting on vice presidential matters because I have not won this nomination’ TIM REID WASHINGTON

Barack Obama has set up a small team of trusted advisers to begin the search for a vice-presidential running mate, amid reports that Bill Clinton is pushing hard for his wife to be given the role. Mr. Obama has asked Jim Johnson, the former head of the government-run mortgage lending giant Fannie Mae, to begin the vetting process, and has sworn a group of his closest advisers to secrecy as a shortlist is drawn up. Mr. Johnson handled the same assignment for John Kerry in 2004 and Walter Mondale in 1984. The move comes as John McCain, the Republican nominee-elect, has invited three possible running mates to his Arizona ranch this weekend: Mitt Romney, a former Republican rival for the White House nomination; Charlie Crist, the popular Republican Governor of Florida, and Bobby Jindal, 36, the newly-elected Louisiana Governor and a rising star in the party. Mr. Obama, aware that he risks alienating Mrs. Clinton’s supporters further if he acts as though he has already beaten

her, said: “I am not commenting on vicepresidential matters because I have not won this nomination.” Yet with the prize now within his reach, sources inside the Obama camp said that some members of the Clinton campaign were lobbying for the former First Lady to be Mr. Obama’s running mate. According to one report yesterday (Thursday), Mr. Clinton believes that his wife has earned the vice-presidential slot, and “is pushing real hard for this to happen”. It is unclear what Mrs. Clinton thinks, and even less certain that Mr. Obama would offer her the position. Although many Democratic voters see it as the “dream ticket” that would unify the party, having her as his running mate would run counter to his message of generational change. Mr. Clinton was also promoting another member of his family yesterday (Thursday) as a possible presidential contender: their daughter, Chelsea. It was a sign that after five months campaigning for her mother, Ms. Clinton -- who until recently stated an aversion to politics -- had been inducted into the family business. The former president, asked in an in-

Russia and China condemn US missile plan

terview with People magazine if his daughter would run for office, said: “If you asked me before Iowa, I would have said, ‘No way. She is too allergic to anything we do’. But she is really good at it.” He called his daughter’s “emergence” one of the best things of the campaign. With “Chelsea for 2016” badges being sold at her mother’s rallies, Ms Clinton was asked in Oregon if she would run. “No, no, no,” she replied. “I’m not thinking about running at all. I’m just trying to help my mum.” Mr. Obama continued lavishing attention on Florida, to heal a rift that could cost him the state in November. Along with Michigan, it was stripped of its delegates for flouting party rules by holding its primary too early. Mrs. Clinton, who won both disputed contests, will push at a critical meeting of the Democratic Party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee next week to have both states’ delegates added to the total. Mr. Obama said that he would agree to half the delegates being counted. Mrs. Clinton hinted on Wednesday that she might take the dispute all the way to nominating convention in August. © The Times, London


Suicide attack kills 4 Afghan soldiers, child A suicide bomber on foot blew himself up as an Afghan army convoy slowed to pass a pothole-riddled section of road Friday in eastern Afghanistan, killing four soldiers and a child, an official said. Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack, about 8 miles (12 kilometers) west of Khost city, said Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi. Suicide bombers frequently target military convoys, but civilian passers-by are often killed in such attacks. Insurgency-related violence has killed more than 1,200 people -- mostly militants -- so far this year, according to an Associated Press tally of figures from Western and Afghan officials. In eastern Kunar province, meanwhile, deputy police chief Abdul Sabor Allayer said a rocket hit a schoolyard Wednesday in Asmor district, killing one student and wounding four others. Kabul AP

clandestinely sponsored by the apartheid government. “We don’t want to blame the IFP for this...but some of their people might be used,” Manzini said. Police said mobs attacked Somalis and Zimbabweans overnight in Cape Town and looted their homes and shops. More shops were looted in Lwandle township near Strand, north of Cape Town, and Knysna, a resort town on the southwest coast. Hundreds of migrants were evacuated from a squatter camp near Cape Town, hub of the prized tourist industry. “We don’t know the exact number of shops looted and burnt, but it’s a lot,” said Billy Jones, senior superintendent with the Western Cape provincial police. He added that a Somali died but it was unclear whether this was linked to the attacks. Cape Town Reuters









Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband, former US President Bill Clinton, attend a church service in Waterloo, Iowa.


China and Russia signed a US$1 billion (670 million euro) nuclear cooperation deal Friday and stood together in firm opposition to U.S. missile defense plans during new Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s first overseas trip. Chinese President Hu Jintao also thanked Russia for offering speedy aid after last week’s powerful earthquake in central China, part of the growing relations between the countries forged as a counterbalance to American dominance. The nuclear deal strengthens Russia’s role as a supplier to China’s fast-growing nuclear power industry, and calls for Russia to build a US$500 million (335 million euro) nuclear fuel enrichment plant and supply semi-enriched uranium worth at least US$500 million (335 million euros). Russia is looking to China as an important market for civilian nuclear technology as Beijing builds more nuclear power plants in an effort to curb rapid growth in use of fossil fuels. The two leaders also signed a joint statement saying a U.S. plan to create and deploy a global missile defense system “does not help to maintain strategic balance and stability or strengthen international efforts to control nonproliferation.” Beijing AP

Israelis kill 5 Palestinians in Gaza Strip Israeli troops killed five Palestinians on Friday during raids into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, medical workers and a militant group said. The violence comes as Egypt tries to mediate a truce between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. An Israeli air strike on gunmen east of Gaza’s southern city of Rafah killed three Hamas militants, medical workers said. An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed a strike had been carried out against militants who had fired an anti-tank missile at troops, moderately wounding a soldier. Separately, the Islamic Jihad militant group said two of its fighters were killed by Israeli soldiers in the central Gaza Strip. An Israeli army spokeswoman said soldiers fired at a group of gunmen who had tried to plant a bomb near Israel’s border fence with the Gaza Strip. Heavy clashes erupted before dawn when Israeli troops entered an area known as Sufa in the southeastern part of the coastal enclave. An Israeli army spokesman said troops had been operating in the area since Thursday evening and clashed with militants but he had no information about Palestinian casualties. Medical workers said soldiers arrested about 30 Palestinians during the raid. The army said it was checking the report. Gaza Reuters




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The greatest wealth ýs health Some people simply do not like going to the doctor. My father never went to the doctor, but he died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 54. My aunt, who is still alive, only went to the doctor in the latter years of her life; she turned 101 in February! You never know. The other day I heard about a machine that can prevent you from being hospitalized. A friend told me about someone who has cystic fibrosis in Britain and receives daily medical consultations through software loaded on her cell phone that allows doctors to keep track of her condition. Technology is changing our lives. Do you avoid going to the doctor? Do you think you understand your body and take notice of symptoms? When you feel a little ill, do you keep going? With the unpredictable weather this past month, typical for Ýstanbul in March and April, many of you may have gone to the pharmacist to self-prescribe some medicine for your symptoms. It is actually very easy to buy a wide variety of medicine in Turkey that may only be bought with a prescription in your home country. Many of my Turkish friends go to the pharmacy and purchase medicine for their symptoms. They even expect the pharmacist to give them advice on what to take to feel better. In Turkey, every person working at the pharmacy may not be trained and cannot,


Clandestine laboratory produced drugs run the risk of being contaminated or poor to being outright toxic. Some Asian countries have serious problems with medicine sold by people or places that are not authorized to do so. If you have not been hospitalized in Turkey, here are some tips for you: Turkish hospitals vary greatly. New, private hospitals in major urban centers have modern facilities, high-tech equipment, numerous US-trained specialists and international accreditation. Nursing care and diagnostic testing (including mammograms) meet American standards at specific institutions in the larger cities. Some private hospitals in Ankara and Ýstanbul offer obstetric care considered to meet Western standards. Healthcare standards are lower in Turkey’s smaller cities. “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” -- An Irish proverb.

therefore, give the best advice for medicinal drugs. I ask my friends why they do this and their main reason is to save on doctor’s fees. I asked them if it did and they said, “Sometimes it does, but other times it ends up costing you more.” I think it could cost you more in more ways than one. I recently noticed that every pharmaceutical window has a very official-looking sign written in Turkish, warning the general public to be careful about where they purchase their medicine. Westerners may find this warning rather comical since anyone can walk in and purchase what would be considered prescription medicine in the US without a prescription. Purchasing prescription drugs through illegal means has become a serious problem in Turkey. Such drugs are usually sourced either from stolen or partly divided prescriptions sold by medical practices and occasionally from Internet sales.


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:







How are you feeling today? Health problems in Turkey are often related to quality of life measures and poverty. Air pollution and smog certainly affect many of us living in Ýstanbul. People often complain of suffering from breathing disorders and eye ailments. You probably know someone who has had laser eye surgery so that they can stop wearing contacts and quit worrying about an infection that may arise from dust falling into their eyes. Just this week as I was driving around Kozyataðý I noticed three new medical facilities. They seem to be springing up everywhere and there are probably a few hundred hospitals and clinics already out there, being a mixture of state-run and private facilities. Private hospitals are definitely preferred by the middle and upper classes. Private healthcare continues to increase, offering short lines and personal service. On the other hand, due to limited funding, Turkey’s state hospitals are known to have poor sanitary conditions. They are always full of patients who wait in endless lines and are tended to by insufficient staff. This is a situation where it helps if you know someone who knows someone (tanýdýk). University hospitals have some of the most well-known and respected doctors on staff and it helps to have a contact -- someone in the medical profession -- among your family or friends who can facilitate your hospital visit.

One of the most noticeable traits of Turkish people is their hospitality. Great effort is always made to feed guests and make them feel comfortable.

If you are a foreýgner ýn Turkey IRENE SOTNICHENKO ÝSTANBUL

True to say, everyone has a slight dread of starting something new, especially abroad. Even through the person knows everything about the country -- including the language, of course -- where s/he is going to live, it is not easy to break away from the usual life, friends, habitual food and customs and start something new. Questions like, “Are you really not afraid of life abroad?” throw your mind into confusion and cause you to think good and hard again and again. But when the suitcases are packed and you are sitting on the plane, all fears usually disappear on their own and you are ready for a new life in a new home. Even if you are not a newcomer to Turkey you will discover nuances about this country all the time. I would like to devote this article to Turkish hospitality -- something very telling about Turkish culture. Traditional Middle Eastern hospitality is known all over the world. Guests are more important than family members, relatives and friends. When you are here in Turkey, you are not only the guest of your friends but the guest of the

whole nation, the entire country. A newcomer will feel it from the first steps in Turkish territory, at the airport. A traditional “hoþgeldiniz” (welcome) with a sincere smile at the customs office lets you know that you are in Turkey now. It seems to me that these people notice someone’s trouble before the person themselves understands that s/he is in a trouble. When my cousin burst into tears after a quarrel with her older brother at the Galata Bridge, more than three people went up to her, asking what had happened to the “küçük hanýmefendi” (little lady) and offered help to her. One of them guessed that maybe her money had been stolen, and began stuffing money into her pocket; someone proposed that perhaps she was lost in the city, and started looking for the police to help the crying lady. A few minutes later, the problem was solved, her brother was put to shame and all these people started preaching to them about the importance of peaceful familial coexistence. My lovely cousin said at that moment she felt that all of them were like a big family for her: They were worried about her and cared, as if she was their little sister. Some of my students got lost in Ankara dur-

ing their first days here. They only remembered that their hostel was near the Migros market. A man they asked for help found a taxi for them and paid the bill, having asked the taxi driver to take them as far as the market. When they happily returned home and explained the situation to me, they were really excited, and of course they did not expect such sympathy from this man. “Why do they do that?” a second-year student asked me. It is really hard to explain, but as far as I understand the soul of the Turks, they are born with a sense of hospitality. This need to display hospitality and help people is sincere and they do not expect any reward in return. The feeling of humaneness, lost in the big cities, is still alive here and is the nation’s greatest tradition. When I was studying at Ankara University’s Turkish and Foreign Languages Research and Application Center (TÖMER), one night I wasn’t able to find the street my house was on; it was one of my first days in the country. I asked a man nearby who was talking on a cell phone for help. As I later found out, he was in the gendarmerie. Without hesitation, he began trying to help me find the street and my home,

and then took my phone number, “Because you a foreigner here and maybe you will need help.” Every week I’ve received calls from Hakan Bey, checking up to see if my group -we were five students -- needed any help. The readiness to help foreigners, students and travelers here sometimes makes you feel more comfortable than even your home country. In Denizli, policemen invited my brother to drink tea with them when he was in a prison cell waiting for the passport he had forgotten at the hotel. Moreover, they made friends within 10 minutes and one of the policeman even let him hold his gun for a while, out of friendship and traditional hospitality, as it was explained later. Once, on a wet, rainy October day in Ýstanbul, I was looking for the Ministry of Education. In one official governmental office, where I asked for help at first, I was offered a cup of hot Turkish tea. The daily bureaucracy halted for a bit, the rain stopped and the warm autumn sun lit up the city of Ýstanbul. It’s not so bad being a foreigner here in Turkey, I thought again. The Ministry of Education was found in several minutes, and now I have good acquaintances on Ankara Avenue, whom I certainly greet when walking by their office.

Multilingual police officers for foreigners in Manavgat ABDURRAHMAN BÜYÜKKESKÝN MANAVGAT

The police department in the town of Manavgat in Antalya province is now well prepared to assist tourists and foreign residents now that it has hired 10 police officers who are fluent in English and German. The new officers are the Manavgat Police

Department’s new face for visiting tourists and foreign residents. The town attracts many foreign visitors and is home to a number of foreign residents. Manavgat Police Chief Hakan Kýrca said all of the new policemen were university graduates, adding that they have already contributed greatly to the police department’s relations with tourists and foreign residents living in the region.

Kýrca said Manavgat has become one of Turkey’s leading tourism centers, adding: “Millions of tourists come to this lovely town every summer, so we needed policemen who can speak foreign languages in order to communicate better with these tourists.” In a telephone conversation with Today’s Zaman, Ali Genç, a police chief in charge of

staffing at the Manavgat Police Department, said that when tourists need help, they prefer to speak with a police officer. Thus, he said, police officers in tourist sites like Manavgat need to speak foreign languages, such as English and German. Genç said they have posted these new policemen on the streets of Manavgat where they can help tourists most efficiently.

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



The gýft of books I suspect that my son, Ali Adem, sometimes thinks that one of my main goals in life is to embarrass him in front of his friends. And I have to admit that there are occasions on which he may have a point. There was recently such an incident. One of his classmates had a birthday last week. At his school the class is allowed to have a small, quick party for the birthday boy or girl. The routine is always the same: Parents will bring a cake, juice and all the necessary paper plates, cups and utensils. In the afternoon the teacher oversees the short break in the day’s planned educational activities for the celebration. The children bring in small, inexpensive gifts, which are opened with a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm. It seems that the vast majority of parents tend to send toys to give as presents. This is where my son and I disagree on our definition of what a birthday gift should be. He knows what toys his friends like and want for their special day, and he usually gives me a list of which ones that he knows each particular student would enjoy. Much to his chagrin, I ignore his instructions and, instead, always wrap up books for him to take as his present for his classmates. At our house, books play a very important role. Ali Adem and I read together every night before he goes to sleep. First he will read to me in either Turkish or English, and then I will read a book in English to him. Afterwards we make up a story together based on adventures that he would like to have. When I was growing up I looked forward to my trips with my mother and older brother to the public library every two weeks. Each of us was allowed to check out four books at a time on each visit, and my choices were carefully thought out in advance. My mother had been an elementary school teacher for many years and our house was filled with books. As a result, I grew up eager for the chance to read whenever I could. That habit still continues today and I suspect it had a great influence on my decision to become a writer later in life. I still read whenever I can grab a few moments, and it has been a part of my evening routine since childhood to read before turning in for the night. Since books are such an important part of my life, I hope to pass that passion on to Ali Adem. I feel that we have made a good start, even though it would be better if we had a public library nearby to go and check out books from. But, since that is not possible at the moment here, we instead plan trips to local bookstores. As a result of our excursions he now has an entire six-foot-high bookcase in his room filled with his own books to choose from. While each visit to a bookstore makes a dent in my bank account due to the relatively high price of children’s books in Turkey, I consider it money well spent. I keep an assortment of age-appropriate books for both boys and girls on hand at home to have ready to wrap when one of his classmates has a birthday. The children themselves may not see the importance of books and quite probably prefer to receive toys, but I feel that books are valuable tools to open up other worlds to them. I usually give two books in Turkish each time there is a party at the school. I try to balance the subjects by including one book of Turkish folk tales or history and another book about another culture or part of the world. The children may not be too enthused at first when they open the present and find books, but I hope that later on they will read them with their parents and enjoy them. The teacher has expressed her surprise and joy at having a parent who gives books to the students. Apparently not too many of the other parents have many, if any, books on hand at home for their children, so she finds it refreshing to have a parent who sees the importance of reading and who incorporates it into their everyday home life. So, even though Ali Adem would prefer that I give toys as birthday presents, I will continue to hand out books to his classmates. And we will continue our tradition of reading to each other at bedtime. I think that in the long run Ali Adem will forgive me for giving the gift of words to his friends rather than toys. Send comments and questions to




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Avaze Women’s Orchestra of Turkish Classical Music FULYA ÖZLEM ÝSTANBUL

The Avaze Women's Orchestra of Turkish Classical Music is a Turkish classical music band comprised of highly educated and talented female musicians. Avaze is made up of professors, students and graduates of the State Conservatory of Turkish Classical Music at Ýstanbul Technical University. The band was formed in 2005 to perform the most elegant pieces of Turkish classical music, some of which were at risk of being lost. Their art director is Professor Nevzad Atlýð, one of the most prominent names in Turkish classical music. He conducted the State Choir of Turkish Music of Ýstanbul for years and was the head assistant to Mesut Cemil at Ýstanbul State Radio. Atlýð's detailed archival studies now form a database of carefully written sheet music in many musical modes, which are very important for this area as there is much controversy concerning the

original melodies of pieces. His studies reveal what could be the closest to the original versions of these musical pieces dating back centuries, when there was no tradition of sheet music. It is through Atlýð's artistic direction and repertory advice that Avaze gets its inspiration and throughout each concert blends the excellence of performance with a wondrous sense of humor and elegance. Everyone leaves the concert hall with a big smile on their faces due to the atmosphere these women create and the beauty of the classical songs. Avaze mainly chooses its repertory from songs by women composers of the 19th and 20th century. The last concert of Avaze that I had the chance to attend was devoted exclusively to pieces by republican era composers -- that is, after the 1920s. I really appreciated the Neveser Kökdeþ songs most, thinking that Cemil was somehow right in calling Kökdeþ's music "Neveser Musikisi" (Music of New Song).

Neveser, this 20th century composer's real name, literally means new piece or new work of art, and her compositions are mostly in waltz rhythm (semai in Turkish music). Her easily remembered, bright, melodic patterns make her a fine composer of the era, and she did add something new in her approach to Turkish classical music. Kökdeþ, Melahat Pars, as well as male composers such as Saadettin Kaynak and Refik Fersan were among the composers whose pieces Avaze performed at the Republican Era Composers Concert two months ago in Ýstanbul. Since Avaze knows the repertory inside out after years of teaching this music at the conservatory and since they, as academics, know all the interesting musicological bits about the composers and the periods, it is very easy for them to come up with concerts that take up a different theme each time. They organize their concerts in the traditional fasýl order, in which a taksim (instrumental

opening improvisation by an instrumentalist) and a peþrev (instrumental, composed piece comprised of three sections and a recurring musical theme in between each section) are followed by slower to faster songs, with the liveliest instrumental pieces at the end. The orchestra members of Avaze are Nermin Kaygusuz on kemençe, Serap Çaðlayan on kanun (zither), Þule Çakar on viola, Eylem Erdemir on oud, Zeynep Ayþa Hatipoðlu on cello and Pelin Demircioðlu on tanbur. The choir singers and soloists of Avaze are Nilgün Doðrusöz Diþiaçýk, Þerife Güvençoðlu, Nesibe Özgül Özbilen, Sinem Özdemir, Ayþegül Yüzgeç, Filiz Yýldýzbaþoðlu, Oya Ýþboða and Aybige Demir. Avaze is the best example of how women musicians throughout the history of Turkish classical music have never ceased to be a fundamental part of Turkish music, both shaping its character and uplifting its essence.

Eurovision soft diplomacy heals rifts, builds pride

Music has always had close links to cultural identity and nationalism. When nation states started emerging in the 19th century, composers created national music by merging the folk heritage of their people into panEuropean classical forms. "In Eurovision this local flavor has now been sacrificed in favor of mass appeal, most

Turkish alternative rock band Mor ve Ötesi, under frontman Harun Tekin, will perform their song “Deli” (Crazy) at tonight’s Eurovision Song Contest finals.

songs are in English, you can't tell which country is which," said musicologist Paris Konstantinidis. "It's not about music but about winning, like a football game, but as women are also interested the audience is double." The link to national identity, however, is no less emotive. In Western Europe the event is treated firmly tongue in cheek but for smaller or newer European nations it's a national issue. "Countries from the Eastern bloc are interested in the contest out of insecurity," Konstantinidis said. "They are unsure of their place in Europe and feel the need not only to take part but do well, be a force to be reckoned with." Petar Popovic, Serbia's most famous music critic, said that for a country with a troubled recent history like Serbia, Eurovision was a great chance to promote the nation's positive qualities: hospitality and a fun-loving spirit. The country was an isolated pariah in the 1990s for its role in the Yugoslav wars. Nationalist autocrat Slobodan Milosevic fell in 2000 but Serbia still has a lovehate relationship with the West and a lingering reputation for defiant nationalism. "Visitors will see us in a new light as friendly, nice people, something much in contrast to Serbia's image now," said Popovic. "This will help defuse our paranoia, show Serbs the rest of Europe is not against us, the world does not hate us." Kruno Vidic, a journalist for Croatian state radio, said the event was helping repair Serbia's image even among neighbors it was at war with only 15 years ago. "Pop culture is the best kind of diplomacy, light notes are something we all understand," Vidic said. "It's a bridge, helps people put aside the hard politics." Between musings on the politics, choreography and singers' sex appeal, few pause on the artistic value of the songs. "Maybe an anthropologist would say any expression is art, including Eurovision," Konstantinidis said. "It's subjective, but most songs don't stand the test of time. It's more a soundtrack written for the main attraction, the show." Belgrade Reuters

Madonna’s film in Traverse City


Pride and prejudices



Jansen and BSO open Mersin Music Festival

Lithuanian company to stage ‘Faust' at festival

Dutch violin virtuoso Janine Jansen opened this year's Mersin International Music Festival with a concert at the Mersin Culture Center, where she was accompanied by the Ankara-based Bilkent Symphony Orchestra (BSO) under the baton of Emil Tabakov. Jansen and BSO presented a repertoire of pieces by Tchaikovsky, Bruch and Dvorak at the concert, which marked the opening of Merfest's seventh edition, scheduled to run until June 2.

The Lithuanian theater company Meno Fortas on Sunday will present its rendition of Johann Wolfgang Goethe's "Faust" at the Atatürk Culture Center (AKM) in Taksim as part of the ongoing Ýstanbul International Theater Festival. The awardwinning staging, under world-renowned stage director Eimuntas Nekrosius, will be performed in Russian with surtitles in Turkish. The 240-minute, four-act play starts at 7 p.m. Ticket price: YTL 25-40


Retired photojournalist puts his career on display

The Islamic Science and Technology Historical Museum opens today at the historic Gülhane Park in Ýstanbul's Eminönü district, giving the city another museum to take pride in. The museum, founded by Professor Fuat Sezgin, who made small models of important inventions from Islamic history, is housed in the Has Ahýrlar (Imperial Stables) complex in the park, which used to serve as the outer garden for Topkapý Palace during the days of the Ottoman Empire. The museum, which will display samples of technological and scientific works by Islamic scholars, is a joint endeavor by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBÝTAK), the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA), the Ýstanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Frankfurt Goethe University, the municipality said in a written statement this week. Spread throughout a three-building complex, the museum covers an area of 3,550 square meters, the statement said, adding that the Library of History of Science is also located on the museum's premises. The initial number of items on display at the museum is 140, the statement said, adding that the museum's inventory will gradually be expanded as the replicas are completed, and the total number of items is expected to reach 800. Among the objects in the museum are replicas of inventions and discoveries by Muslim scientists dating to the period between the eighth and 16th centuries, ranging from items used in the fields of astronomy, geography, chemistry and geometrics to optics, medicine, architecture, physics and war technologies. The replicas were based on information found in manuscripts by the scientists who invented them and most of these manuscripts are now housed in the Frankfurt Goethe University, the Anatolia news agency reported. The first of its kind, the museum is the fruit of extensive studies by Sezgin, who, in 1982, founded the Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies under Frankfurt Goethe University. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman


Some 100 million Europeans will tune in tonight for the annual giddy, big-hair-andglitter Eurovision Song Contest that delights in stretching the limits of good taste, of what is music, and who is European. Traveling from Iceland's Atlantic shores to Russia's Pacific coast, Turkey and Israel at Europe's southern fringes, most acts feature novelty costumes, outlandish arrangements and choreography, and nonsensical lyrics in a mishmash of languages. "It's a cult thing," said sociologist Steve Aldred, who noted Eurovision brought people together for a big night in, much like the Super Bowl in the United States. "The awfulness of it is part of the pleasure." Merit aside, Eurovision commands a loyal following of fans who paid thousands to get to Belgrade, a city that was bombed by the West only nine years ago. The Serbian capital hosts the event's 53rd incarnation, the biggest so far with 43 countries. The wacky good cheer is rubbing off: Belgraders talk odds and plan dining menus for the final, while hardened journalists wave flags and squeal like schoolgirls in news conferences. One gave the Latvian entrants some "lucky underwear" as a gift. The artists also take it very seriously: a photo opportunity for Georgia's Diana Gurtskaya had her releasing doves from a cage, singing her "Peace Will Come" as she set the birds free. "It takes a tremendous amount of courage to be an artist in this contest, honestly," said Poland's Isis Gee after qualifying to the final. "I feel like God is really watching over me." Philip Bohlman, professor of Music at the University of Chicago, said individuals and nations are attracted to the aspects of national and nationalist expression in Eurovision. "Sometimes national means sounding like folk music, at other times projecting something more political, even aesthetic, like Lordi's victory in 2006 for Finland, a country with an extremely sophisticated metal culture," Bohlman said. "The massive television audience for the finale is probably the single event in which the largest number of Europeans gather to witness the complexities and differences in their common identity."

Ýstanbul gets museum on Islamic technology

Retired photojournalist Selahattin Ýnanç, a photographer of 23 years who lost his sight to illness in 2002, displays his work in a retrospective exhibition at Ankara's Anatolia News Agency Art Gallery. A selection of Ýnanç's photographs depicting cornerstones in the near history of Turkey as well as pieces portraying ballet performances, chosen from an extensive collection of around 30,000 snapshots, will be on display until May 28 at the gallery.

Invention connects New York with London


Domeniconi to perform at Akbank Guitar Days Italian guitarist and composer Carlo Domeniconi, a concert artist who performs in the genres of classical music and jazz, is slated to take stage at Ýstanbul's Akbank Art Center in Beyoðlu on May 27, performing the second to last concert of the center's Guitar Days. Domeniconi, best known for his 1985 piece "Koyunbaba" ("Sheep-father" or "Shepherd"), inspired by the rites of Turkish villagers, will take to the stage at 8 p.m. Ticket price: YTL 10


Madonna's new film on the impoverished nation of Malawi has wowed another maker of documentaries: Michael Moore. Moore announced Thursday that Madonna, like himself a Michigan native, will appear for a screening of "I Am Because We Are" during the Traverse City Film Festival on Aug. 2. "She's sort of entered my realm," Moore said. "When I saw it, I thought, ‘Wow, it's like she's been making these films for years'." Madonna produced and narrated the documentary after traveling to Malawi, where she met the toddler David Banda. She and husband Guy Ritchie are adopting the child. "I Am Because We Are" illustrates the poverty that children of the southern African country face, how the AIDS crisis is claiming lives, and the conditions that cause disease and other misery there. "She takes the viewer through a very personal journey and tries to connect us, living here in the US, giving us a window into the way it is for other people in the world," Moore said. Moore said he saw an early version of the film in London while shooting scenes for "Sicko." After watching the finished product about a month ago, he asked Madonna for permission to screen it during the festival in Traverse City. Moore established the festival in 2005 with author Doug Stanton and photographer John Robert Williams. Traverse City AP

New Yorkers could see their English cousins across the pond Thursday without benefit of cable TV or video conferencing, courtesy of an unusual live optical hookup created by a conceptual artist. An optical device called a “telectroscope” was placed at the Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn and another one on the Thames River in London on Thursday. Spectators stepped up to the machine on both sides of the Atlantic and waved and wrote greetings to each other in real time on wipe-off message boards. The contraption is the invention of Paul St George, a London artist known for his replicas of monumental pieces of art. Publicists say only that it uses fiberoptic communication. St George prefers to stick to his story that the machine was started by his great-grandfather in Victorian times and transmits images via a tunnel under the ocean. The telectroscopic spectacle will be in operation on both sides of the Atlantic until June 15. New York AP




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SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2008

Judýcýary’s polýtýcal war Professor Sami Selçuk is a former chairman the Supreme Court of Appeals, which has become a party to current discussions. Under Turkish judicial traditions, former chairmen and chief prosecutors are given the title "honorary chairman" or "honorary chief prosecutor." In addition to having this title, Selçuk is a good writer and intellectual. He contributed a great deal to the development of legal understanding and awareness in Turkey. When the Supreme Court of Appeals Board of Chairmen issued a declaration that incited yet another political crisis, a statement frequently repeated in Selçuk's writings should have been reiterated: "Judges speak through their decisions." This statement should be stressed once more for the recent declaration by the Board of Chairmen. The declaration by the Council of State that followed this declaration shows that the case is just the reverse. The judges are speaking. In addition, they rely on a very political language. As the discussion grows, the judiciary and the judges are hurt.

Judiciary hierarchy

clear boundaries on an imagined constitution, a contract that should be made by the society -- not the judges -will undermine the judiciary's impartiality.

Judicial independence and impartiality The irreparable damage that this declaration may cause will strongly undermine the image and prestige of the judiciary. Judicial independence is a principle that needs to be observed not only vis-à-vis external actors but also judicial institutions. The said declaration implies partiality and preference in relation to two cases currently under review by the Constitutional Court. The declaration openly raises objections to constitutional amendments targeting articles 10 and 42. Article 138 of the Constitution prohibits external intervention in courts; intervention constitutes a grave offense. Secondly, in the AK Party closure case under review by the Constitutional Court, the declaration praises and defends the indictment filed by Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalçýnkaya, further violating the principle of a just and impartial trial. The declaration, which describes the criticisms vis-à-vis the indictment as contrary to logic, reason and law, exerts pressure on the Constitutional Court. The office of the prosecutor is a party to a given issue, but the judges' tendency to support the prosecutors implies no possibility of holding impartial and fair trials remains. Deliberations in the European Parliament have stressed that the judicial problem in Turkey concerned impartiality rather than the judiciary's independence. This actually summarizes the existing judicial problem in the country. The judiciary is independent, but it relies on this independence as a tool in the war for power instead of impartiality. In the end, independence turns into a power that secures impartiality. The judiciary is waging a war against the legislative and executive bodies. The Supreme Court of Appeals' declaration confirmed that the closure case filed against the AK Party was actually a war for political power. On the other hand, the declaration also showed that it is impossible to talk about judicial impartiality in Turkey, and that there is no problem with regard to the independence of the judiciary in the country. Who can the point that the judiciary is impartial be made to? Are the executive and legislative branches not the two organizations being addressed here? Is this total war, which proves to be a political one and is waged by the actors of the judiciary, not evidence showing that the judiciary is already independent? Would

it be possible for the judiciary to carry out this war if it were not independent? The declaration could be a good case study for researchers focusing on Turkish legal history. Law students may examine this case in regards to the lack of connection between judicial independence and judicial impartiality. The Turkish judiciary is independent. It is so independent that it is able to stage a war against the political administration. The declaration itself is evidence for this independence. The Turkish judiciary relies on this independence to consolidate its sphere of influence rather than to preserve its impartiality. The situation of the case in relation to the principle of secularism in Turkey is also related to this war. Secularism is being used by bureaucratic actors against democratic administrations. The declaration notes that the reason for the issuance of this declaration was the "judicial reform strategy paper" referred by the Justice Ministry to the EU. The Supreme Court of Appeals regards preparation of this document without consultation with the judicial institutions and organs as an unforgivable mistake. This complaint is actually understandable. It could be argued that the framework of this strategy paper was already publicized; yet it is also possible to argue that the court's criticism is about the method alone. Because this issue closely concerns the judiciary, the Supreme Court of Appeals' objection may be considered proper and understandable. However, attempting to make its view clear in relation to a case under review by the Constitutional Court should not be a way followed by a judicial institution. The Supreme Court of Appeals, confirming the allegations by the chief prosecutor, takes a position against the AK Party. In its entirety, the declaration implies that the Supreme Court of Appeals Board of Chairmen asserts its influence and power. In an attempt to support this declaration, the Council of State, in another declaration issued more recently, makes mention of the duty to protect the fundamental principles of the republic. This task is referred to as the reason for the partiality of the judiciary. This is exactly what makes the judicial institutions party to the ongoing discussions. But the judiciary does not have such political obligations or tasks. Protection of the republic is a task for all; it is not the preserve of some privileged groups. What the judiciary is supposed to do is implement the legal rules -- not assume political tasks. No one expects a fair decision in relation to the closure case against the AK Party after judicial impartiality has become so controversial. This is actually a paradox. Reinstitution of legal impartiality depends on a decision that acquits the AK Party. Turkish judges take their profession seriously, therefore only one option remains: The AK Party will not be closed down.



Even though the signatories hold the title supreme judges, the said declaration is not a verdict. Above all, its content is political. The polemic between the government and the Supreme Court of Appeals continues. The declaration was obviously prepared by one and signed by all. Texts that bear more than one signatures are natural when they are issued in representation of a lobby group or a political entity, because they serve the interests being promoted. But in this case we are talking about judges who agreed on a political statement and view while they were supposed to remain impartial vis-à-vis political issues. The reasons for their existence and collective action should have been reliance on law in accordance with their conscience; however, it is simply impossible for judges to agree on the political views in this declaration in their entirety. In other words, there should have been at least some minor disagreements between the signatories. The Supreme Court of Appeals is not a hierarchical institution. The declaration is similar to the declarations issued in the past by the military in terms of logic and method. In hierarchical institutions, higher-ups may represent the entire institution, but just how did the judges who serve as members in a judicial institution undersign a declaration controversial in political terms? Is it possible accusing someone of systematic assaults on the principle of the rule of law could be a generally endorsed view held by all members? Last year, the discussions over a new constitution became popular. The AK Party took action to make a new constitution. However, the lawsuit filed with the Constitutional Court to close down the party effectively removed this discussion from the agenda. In such an environment, attempts to make a new constitution by a party facing closure will make the discussions even more controversial. In this case, these attempts would have been seen as attempts to save the party from closure. For this reason, plans for the new constitution were deliberately removed from the agenda. The declaration makes reference to the new constitution. Being party to the discussion on a new constitution which is virtually nonexistent raises serious doubts. Not only that, but attempting to impose



As Turkey was trying to recover from the shock brought about by an indictment seeking to close the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the Supreme Court of Appeals shook Ankara once more with a memorandum-like statement on Wednesday which targeted the government without openly naming it. Although I was personally convinced that Turkey is a place where anything could happen, the establishment caught me off guard yet again because the series of developments we have witnessed since April 27, 2007 were already incomprehensible for anyone that adheres to the principles of a "normal" democratic country. The judicial establishment's latest intervention not only proved that the judiciary -- unfortunately -- has become an agent of opposition, but has also eroded the trust in the rule of law with its memorandum's highly political and contradictory nature.

Oligarchy challenges political will Given the basic principle of the separation of powers, the statement's internal contradictions are almost self-evident to any observer with an open mind. Yet it might be useful to go over the document to see why this latest judicial interruption in politics is baseless. In the statement, the judges address the nation while adding that they take pride in making decisions on its behalf. However, they overlook the fact that although they are authorized to make judicial decisions, they are not allowed to voice a political statement on behalf of the nation as a whole. They complain about debates that have taken place in the society over the last year, begun after a series of events, including the unequivocally contentious, if not politicized, 367 criterion, a decision by the Constitutional Court that requires a quorum of 367 deputies during all rounds of the presidential election. However, what they call "systematic attacks not compatible with the rule of law" are the democratic reflexes in the face of a muchpoliticized judiciary and the baseless decisions that hurt public opinion. Indeed, the very statement of the judges damages the basic principles of a democratic, social and secular state as no branch of the state is superior to another, the judiciary cannot dictate legislation and the executive cannot decide what to do and what not to do -- at least not in a democracy where the will of the people matters. The judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals further complain about the waste of time caused by these "sustained acts" while they point out that these debates only delay discussion of the society's "real agenda." It is impossible to disagree with the judges on this point as it is true that Turkey's time has once again been wasted. Ironically, though, the responsibility of the very political ambiguity they complain about belongs to the judicial oligarchy because of their intervention in politics. Immediately after the judges issued their statement, the ruling party's spokesperson, Cemil Çiçek, made an

equally harsh statement -- a déjà vu, if you will -- as it was almost identical to what we witnessed in the aftermath of an e-memorandum published on April 27 in which the military voiced its discontent with then-AK Party member Abdullah Gül being nominated for the presidential post. Çiçek termed the statement very unfortunate in terms of democracy and law after stating clearly that Supreme Court of Appeals judges have no such prerogative and are consequently violating Article 138 of the Constitution. He called the statement political and illegitimate in terms of both democracy and law and thus unacceptable. According to the government, as Çiçek stated, by taking an approach that turns the indictment into a holy text beyond criticism, the judges have become a party to the closure case against the AK Party. Turkey's recent history has made evident the general attitude of the establishment, which has granted itself immunity as a natural right in addition to sanctifying the indictment. As repeatedly analyzed, such a desire for immunity on the part of the establishment stems from the self-perception of guardianship of the county and the regime. This is why not only insulting "Turkishness," but also any official of the state was considered a crime. In response to the judges' criticism that "judicial independence has not been fully understood," the government's counter-statement reminded the judges to do their job independent of their personal political views and ideology. The European Union's reaction was no different. "Nowhere in Europe do top prosecutors enjoy such freedom," said Ria Oomen-Ruijten, the European Parliament's rapporteur on Turkey.

Elected vs. appointed The increasing judicial interventions of the establishment demonstrate a political vacuum in the country due to a lack of a formidable opposition party. Turkey deserves much better opposition parties, ones that have a real intention to come to power, develop alternate policies and assure skeptics that in the event of a "real" threat, the regime is under the surveillance of political and elected actors. With such a politicized statement the judges cannot be speaking in the name of the people, but as the voice of the opposition. It is therefore not surprising that the Republican People's Party (CHP) supported the statement. The struggle between the judicial opposition and the government boils down to clashing perspectives on the meaning of secularism and democracy. Unfortunately, the establishment lags behind the modern liberal understanding of secularism and democracy. As long as judges and the establishment at large do not stop considering themselves the rightful representatives of the state and the appointed perceiving itself superior to the elected, the judges will not be speaking by their verdict only as they should be. * Sevgi Akarçeþme is a political analyst and consultant in Ankara.

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Attack on Iran scenarýo It seems Turkey is missing the chance to observe critical developments amid debates over controversial statements issued by the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Council of State in which they took sides in the closure case brought against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Perhaps the most ominous development of this week was a news story that ran in The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. US President George W. Bush may attack Iran before his tenure ends, the story, based on reports by Israeli Army Radio, said. According to a statement a top-level source in Jerusalem made to Army Radio, a high-ranking official who accompanied Bush on his visit to Israel had said that the military operation option was discussed behind closed doors. The same official further added that the military operation option had not been implemented because of drawbacks expressed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It was further noted that the military operation possibility grows stronger as Hezbullah gains de facto control of Lebanon. The Tehran administration saw the increased visits by Bush, Cheney and Rice to the region from this perspective. Indeed, Cheney visited the region once, President Bush twice and Rice 15 times during the last six months. While speaking at the Israeli Knesset during his second visit to the region in



the last four months, Bush said, "The president of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle East. … America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions. … For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon." In his address to the World Economic Forum meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Bush called on Middle Eastern countries to isolate Iran and Syria. He also said, "Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror [Iran] to possess the world's deadliest weapons would be an unforgivable betrayal for future generations." The White House quickly refuted the Army Radio news story. Spokesman Dana Perino described The Jerusalem Post's news story as "rumor unworthy of publication." However, these words do not imply that the idea of attacking Iran has been abandoned by Washington. As a matter of fact, in his essay published in yesterday's issue of Gulf News, Patrick Seale, a journalist and Middle East affairs

expert, wrote that Bush might have decided to attack Iran during the last six months of his term. Noting that the circles that paved the way for the Iraq war have for some time been urging Bush to attack Iran, Seale pointed out that the US is trying to mobilize the Gulf countries against Iran instead of trying to defuse the tension between them. Days before The Jerusalem Post's news story was published, I met some officials in Washington who shared my doubts. I was quite bothered by the publication of this piece of news. An important official in Washington said the possibility of an attack on Iran is higher than one year ago. While noting that there remain many uncertainties, this source in Washington indicated that a US attack on Iran may be justified not by Iran's nuclear efforts, but its support of armed groups in Iraq. According to this plan, efforts of the Tehran administration that risk the lives of US soldiers in Iraq would give the US the right to conduct hot pursuit and public opinion could be persuaded. Despite this plan, voiced by this important source, I thought that it would be irrational for Bush to launch such an attack while the end of his term draws near. In particular, this was what was advocated by US Vice President Dick Cheney and his supporters from the start. But the US Department of State, the Pentagon and even intelligence units were cold to such an endeavor. But, I talked to another official, who confirmed the same plan and my doubts doubled. Moreover, this official further

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based his statements on a source from Bush's Republican Party. This rumor confirmed the Israeli newspaper's claim. It was rumored that Bush said to the Republican senator who accompanied him on his trip, "Even if it is my last day in the White House, I will order an attack on Iran." Returning from Washington, I watched Robert Redford's film "Lions for Lambs" on the plane, which further confirmed this nightmarish scenario as this film evidenced that Hollywood has already given a start to the public opinion manipulation campaign for an attack on Iran. The film discussed Bush's Middle East adventure from the perspective of a senator, a journalist, an academic and several university students, presenting Iran as the source of all evil. Iran not only supported the resistance in Iraq but also helped Sunni militants going to Afghanistan. During the briefing, the Republican senator said that contrary to what is believed, the Sunni and Shiite groups were cooperating against the US. What's more, when I learned that Michael Rubin, who is close to Cheney, was invited to the War Academy to give a speech, I said to myself that this was the last piece in the puzzle. We should not forget that external developments have considerable effects on internal affairs. Who knows, there may be a correlation between the weak reactions voiced by Washington against the closure trial against the AK Party and Cheney's Iran plans and Rubin's talk.



Benefýts of Turkýsh famýly lýfe

The essence of the closure case

Let me share some personal observations with you before commenting on the wider political scene. Columnists should direct their readers to topics of interest, always making use of facts. A purely personal evaluation must be clearly marked as being exactly as what it is. Today I will make two such observations. First, my personal observation with regards to Turkish family life. For the last 10 days or so I had the pleasure of taking care of my wife's grandparents. My wife and daughter went to the coast to prepare our nice, but modest, summer place for this year's annual trip south. Our grandparents are lovely folks. However, everyday matters have become a bit troublesome for them lately and support is required. Most importantly, they need meals in regular intervals, fresh fruit and comfortable surroundings. All this is based on a key ingredient: personal stability, the knowledge that when they wake up, breakfast will be in the making. They need to feel assured that when something is required late at night, someone will be there to help out and that there will be a helping hand for them when they need to open the balcony door that can't be unlocked that easily. Families, above all else, need stability; kids, parents and grandparents alike. This personal wellbeing is based on another component: financial stability. A successful family is a microcosm in itself. No stability, no peace of mind. No economic stability, difficult future. I am not talking about being or getting rich; I am talking about mid-range, happy families. It definitely takes time to fully understand the strong ties Turkish families have, but ultimately you come to appreciate them. If observed from far away, all seems to be in perfect shape. One would argue: stable families, stable democracy, next topic please. Well, not all is as it seems... Hence, my second personal observation -- although having incorporated recent "factual" developments in the Turkish political landscape -- is based on my own strong belief that stable families form the backbone of any given democratic society. Furthermore, individual freedoms are the baseline from which we must depart. Freedom of choice. The freedom to set up your own company and become a successful entrepreneur. I could name many more such personal freedoms. They are universal standards. As I have written about this topic before, I will not elaborate further. I will simply restate that Turkey should develop a much stronger middle class based on individual economic activity. How is it that after a period of drives for immense reform early in this new millennium, a few years into the process politicians seem to be dragging their feet when it comes to pushing forward change? Is everyone prepared to watch an accident in slow motion? Why do the majority of citizens not get involved more proactively in the making of their own future? Let's restart the reform process, using the Copenhagen criteria or even the Ankara criteria. The present governing party should gather each and every friend and the people (I mean all, not just those who voted for them) around them to make certain the progress achieved so far will not be reversed. Strong leadership is required. Which reforms come next? What about the Constitution? What about the next lobbying tour to all the EU's capital cities? What about safeguarding the environment at home? How can fatal work accidents be prevented? This applies to leaders in general -- government or opposition. I am not writing a political party manifesto! Turkey deserves the best, including becoming a full member of the European Union. Obstacles are there to be removed. Thresholds are there to be lowered. Take a closer look at the Turkish family system -- a recipe that works. And do not get me wrong, I have witnessed immense change within that system. Yes, the ties remain strong, but the younger generation has different values and alternative ideas and, of course, it will have more diverse, technology-based jobs. Most importantly: They will live and work all over Europe, including Turkey! The Internet revolution is a case in point, the English language, used in Turkey and by now accepted as global means of communication, is another. If the base of Turkish society, the "family," has been able to adapt to modern times, politicians and the democratic system should be able to do the same. The Turkish family is, after all, the foundation for the emerging Turkish civil society.

Turkey's destiny is presumably in the hands of 11 judges. Regardless of what the result turns out to be, the aftershocks caused by the proposed ban of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) keep coming. If the judiciary decides to close the governing party and ban its leading personalities, including the prime minister and many ministers, from politics, it's easy to see that a serious political crisis will follow. No one knows who will replace the actual government. No one would even know how to explain a possible closure verdict in the context of a democracy. If it is shut down, the AK Party may choose to reorganize itself, putting different political figures in the forefront. If 28 of its deputies lose their seats, early general elections will be necessary. Thus, the people will be consulted. The main theme of this consultation will be the AK Party's victimization and the people will -likely for a lack of any alternative -- vote massively in favor of this political movement's candidates. That will transform the AK Party into a party that cannot be banned despite a court verdict. In that case, those who absolutely want to get rid of them may start to use other methods, possibly including violence. Those who think that this trial will ruin the AK Party completely and that its popular support will disappear may be wrong, because the public surveys indicate the contrary. If the AK Party and its members do really disappear from politics, who will manage domestic and foreign policy? There are ongoing relationships and standing promises related to the EU accession process, the Cyprus issue, Armenia, Iraq, northern Iraq and the US. No one can predict what will happen to these issues. Moreover, the Constitutional Court will be accused of causing all this turmoil, and the judiciary's power, which is of critical importance for a democracy, will be damaged. On the other hand, let's imagine that the AK Party is not banned and that most of the 71 people on the chief prosecutor's list are acquitted. The Constitutional Court will still be damaged, because there will then be people who will accuse its eleven judges of backing the anti-secular forces up. This means the judiciary will be accused of either causing instability or supporting Islamism. A not-guilty verdict would be an obstacle even for the AK Party right now, as its every move is planned as if a negative verdict was ahead. Besides, those who represent the conservative wing of this party will get the opportunity to speak out more than the democratic wing, and when that happens the AK Party will lose its international support. As they say in Turkey: If one madman throws a stone into a well, 40 wise men can't get it out. The present situation cannot be summarized better. However, there are other important details to address. It's certain that some circles have figured out what may happen when the verdict, whether it be guilty or not guilty, comes. We can understand their objectives if we look what they had managed to dynamite. This case comes at a time when Turkey needs to reshape its relationship with the EU, the US, its neighbors and the Islamic world. In the old times, we could have said that the unrest was the result of the struggle between pro-Western and pro-Soviet circles. But the current circumstances cannot be explained like that. Nevertheless, there are still some people who perceive the world through this lens. This trial is nothing less than a test of Turkey's Westernization and Europeanization or, more clearly, "EU-ization." That's why all this turbulence can be summarized as a democratization problem. Those who are eager for political bans and those who risk being banned should make their calculations accordingly.


The processes of trial and punishment have been around since the creation of man and will most probably remain with mankind forever. A fair trial stands out as a significant matter, whose availability is necessary for the survival of countries and the sound operation of an institutional framework. As long as man lives on this planet, it will remain a significant matter and continue to have enormous impact. Therefore the human sense of justice is still an important issue that should be paid attention and meticulously preserved. Judicial institutions will become more legitimate as long as they remain committed to the realization and fulfillment of justice. The judiciary will become more prestigious as long as it remains impartial and neutral. Its legitimacy will be undermined when it becomes partisan. A mechanism of justice consistent with universal principles and popular demands is a sine qua non for a modern country. Laws are made in consideration of the popular will and demands in democratic and modern countries; people are not shaped by the law. In other words, making the laws first and then attempting to force the people to observe these laws is not a popular method in democratic states. No country where the state and the people are in conflict has been able to improve its standards. In advanced countries, consistency and harmony between the state and the people is visible and draws attention. However this is not the case in Turkey. The greatest problem in Turkey is disharmony between the state and the people.


The greatest danger for the people is distrust of the judiciary. Holding that a trial was not just and fair and losing faith in the judicial system will undermine the entire social system. The European Parliament's Turkey rapporteur, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, says that the Turkish judiciary is independent but not impartial, recalling that it interferes with the executive branch's actions and that this inflicts great harm on the Turkish people and state. I think these observations made by an outsider are of great importance. These remarks underline that the greatest strength of the judiciary -- that it is impartial and fair -- is under threat. Undoubtedly, the most significant strength of the judiciary is the belief that it is impartial and fair. It is pretty wrong for the heads of legal institutions to take controversial actions that undermine the judiciary's prestige, for the sake of temporary victory. In other words, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is temporary; even the present legal system may be changed significantly in the future, depending on conditions. However, the right to a fair trial should remain effective and influential forever and be observed very carefully. That the Supreme Court of Appeals, the Council of State and the Constitutional Court act as if they are political parties and seem to have waged a war against the AK Party is dangerous. The democratic history of advanced countries shows that the supreme judicial institutions have played the greatest roles in expanding the sphere of liberties, and acted to make universal standards of fundamental rights and freedoms effective. However the judiciary in Turkey takes a rather opposite position, creating obstacles before the enjoyment of rights and freedoms. Not only this, the judicial institutions have also become parties to political disputes and controversies. A judicial verdict does not end a political discussion. The verdict should be endorsed by the popular mind and sentiment. Everybody should take this into consideration.




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SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2008


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Gregorian Calendar: 24 May 2008 C.E. Hijri Calendar: 19 Jumada al-Awwal 1429 A.H. Hebrew Calendar: 19 Iyyar 5768 guages by the brothers. In several Eastern European countries, including Russia, this day is celebrated as Slavic Literature and Culture Day. Today is Bermuda Day. The holiday began back in 1902 as a celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday. Over the years it has changed its name numerous times -- first becoming Empire Day, then Commonwealth Day. It was only in the 1970s that it was renamed Bermuda Day, following the race riots that blighted the island at that time. This day is also regarded as the first day of summer in Bermuda,

Today is Aldersgate Day for Methodists. May 24 commemorates the day in 1738 when John Wesley underwent his conversion in a meeting room on Aldersgate Street, London. Today is Saints Cyril and Methodius Day in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. This day commemorates the creation of the Slavic Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets by the brothers Cyril and Methodius. The celebration also commemorates the introduction of literacy and the preaching of the gospels in the Slavic lan-

Greenpeace report says video game consoles are ‘toxic’




Cannes crýtýcs cool as competýtýon nears end

A Greenpeace report has called video game consoles a “toxic menace,” saying they contain chemicals that could affect memory and sexual development. The environmental pressure group said it had tested Sony’s PlayStation 3, Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 consoles and found they all contained hazardous chemicals and materials such as polyvinyl chloride, phthalates, beryllium and bromine. “The technology is already available for manufacturers to design out harmful toxics and produce cleaner game consoles now,” Greenpeace ( said in a report this week. “A greener, cleaner game console is possible. There’s no excuse for playing dirty.” Greenpeace said the consoles also contributed to e-waste, ending up in unsafe recycling dumps in developing countries. All three companies defended their products, saying they complied with environmental standards. “In line with these standards, Sony ensures globally consistent management of chemical substances in parts and materials,” said a statement issued by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “We are taking steps wherever possible to reduce and substitute these substances.” A Nintendo spokesman said the company was in no position to comment on the Greenpeace tests, but added: “What we can say is that we only sell products that have cleared each nation’s strict standards.” A Microsoft statement said the company’s products “exceed guidelines and regulations which aim to reduce the environmental impact of consumer electronics.” The multi-billion dollar video game industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. Singapore Reuters


A lack of memorable movies mean the 2008 Cannes Film Festival is unlikely to live long in the minds of many critics, who argue that after a solid start the main competition faded. Star power was sustained, however, with the red carpet attracting big names like Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Clint Eastwood, Penelope Cruz, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford and sports stars Mike Tyson and Diego Maradona. With four out of 22 films in the main competition this year yet to screen, critics and journalists who have been through 10 grueling days of screenings, press conferences, interviews and parties struggled to come up with many highlights. The competition closes on Sunday evening when the nine-member jury headed by Sean Penn hands out the awards, culminating in the coveted Palme d’Or for best picture. “Even before the halfway mark, the general mood has been one of disappointment,” said Jay Weissberg, a critic with trade publication Variety. “Coming off another weak Berlin festival, there is a sense that 2008 is not going to be the best year for films.” He and several others highlighted “Waltz With Bashir” as a potential winner of the top prize. The animated documentary was seen as an innovative way of exploring an Israeli draftee’s memories of the 1982 massacre of Palestinians living in Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila camps. Other leading contenders included Hollywood veteran Clint Eastwood and Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, underlining how Cannes seeks to unite mainstream cinema with smaller-budget, independent filmmaking. Eastwood’s “The Exchange,” originally titled “The Changeling,” features Angelina Jolie as a 1920s mother who loses her son and comes up against a corrupt Los Angeles police force and a serial child killer as she goes in search of the truth. Probably more than any other movie in Cannes it has sparked early Oscar buzz, although many critics were underwhelmed.


Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan (c) and his wife, Ebru (2nd r), pose with cast members Ercan Kesal (l), Hatice Aslan (3rd l) and Ahmet Rýfat Sungar (r) before the screening of "Üç Maymun" at the 61st Cannes Film Festival. pregnant woman jailed for murder whose life is transformed by her son, and “Line of Passage” from Brazil is a compelling drama set in the slums of Sao Paulo. Steven Soderbergh’s double bill “Che,” about the life and death of Argentine revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, was deemed by some as too long at over four hours, although it is likely to be released in cinemas as two films. “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” marked the return of the whip-wielding archaeologist played by Ford, and although Cannes’ notoriously picky audience found fault with the Spielberg movie, they were expecting a box office smash hit. Cannes Reuters

Ceylan’s “Üç Maymun” (The Three Monkeys), a brooding family tragedy, leads Screen International’s informal poll of critics, while another family drama, “A Christmas Tale” by France’s Arnaud Desplechin, is a firm favorite among domestic critics. Italian entry “Gomorrah” was lauded for its brave depiction of the brutal world of the Naples mafia in a drama based on a bestseller by Italian author Roberto Saviano. Two-time Palme d’Or winners Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne from Belgium are seen as contenders with “Lorna’s Silence,” while two of four South American entries drew praise. In “Lion’s Den” from Argentina, Martina Gusman gives a compelling performance as a

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1 Restrain impudent journalist transposing leaders (4,4) 5 Son nibbles tiny amounts (6) 10 Woman not entirely hooked on narcotics (5) 11 For instance, old Cheshire plan incorporates a network of routes (9) 12 House calls frequently made here (5,4) 13 Female will attack with bombs (5) 14 Northern county briefly accommodating Queen’s regiment (7) 16 Teacher finds modern technology an advantage (6) 18 We’re told the kids made the tea (6) 20 Pasta sauce and little fettuccine for starters served by cook again (7)






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HOW TO PLAY? : The objective of the game is to fill all the blank squares in a game with the correct numbers. There are three very simple constraints to follow. In a 9 by 9 square Sudoku game: Every row of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order Every column of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order Every 3 by 3 subsection of the 9 by 9 square must include all digits 1 through 9







travelers’ s.o.s



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Yesterday’s Solution

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Hallmark 07:45 Frankie and Hazel 09:30 In a Class of His Own 11:15 Vanished 13:00 Frankie and Hazel 14:45 In a Class of His Own 16:30 Vanished 18:15 Love’s Abiding Joy 19:45 Miss Marple: By the Pricking of My Thumbs 21:30 Ruby’s Bucket of Blood 23:30 Deadlocked: Escape from Zone 14 01:15 Sea Patrol 02:30 Deadlocked: Escape from Zone 14

Comedymax 08:00 The Game 08:30 American Dad 10:00 What I Like About You 11:00 Ugly Betty 12:00 The Knights of Prosperity 12:30 Still Standing 13:30 Cavemen 14:00 Reba 15:00 The Game 15:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 16:30 30 Rock 17:00 Ugly Betty 18:00 Til Death 18:30 Samantha Who 19:00 What I Like About You 20:00 Two Guys and a Girl 21:00 Rules of Engagement 21:30 30 Rock 22:00 Ugly Betty 23:00 Curb Your Enthusiasm 23:30 Just for Laughs Variety 00:00 Til Death

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07:20 The Goodbye Girl 09:05 Pan’s Labyrinth 11:05 Aeon Flux 12:45 The Venice Conspiracy 14:35 We Own the Night 16:40 The Thing About My Folks 18:30 Wild Hogs 20:30 Trade - Welcome to America 22:45 Bordertown 00:45 The Dying Gaul 02:20 We Own the Night

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08:00 Dora the Explorer 08:30 Go, Diego! Go! 09:00 The Fairly OddParents 09:30 Jimmy Neutron 10:00 Avatar 11:00 SpongeBob SquarePants 12:00 Back at the Barnyard 12:30 The Simpsons 13:00 My Name is Earl 13:30 The King of Queens 14:00 Chuck 15:00 24 17:00 Cold Case 18:00 CSI: NY 19:00 How I Met Your Mother 19:30 Scrubs 20:00 ER 21:00 Desperate Housewives 22:00 The Closer 23:00 Dexter 24:00 Ghost Whisperer 01:00 Family Guy 01:30 Masters of Horror 02:30 Desperate Housewives

07:40 Alien Resurrection 08:00 Captain Ron 09:40 The Rich Man's Wife 11:15 Delivering Milo 12:45 Arthur 2: On the Rocks 14:35 Oh, God! You Devil 16:15 Hide and Seek 18:00 Hope Floats 20:00 Stuck on You 22:10 The Gift 00:00 Freddy's Nightmares: Photo Finish 00:50 The Rocky Horror Picture Show 02:35 Hope Floats

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08:00 Cheers 09:00 How I Met Your Mother 09:30 My Name is Earl 10:00 Rachael Ray Show 12:00 The Martha Stewart Show 14:00 Ellen DeGeneres Show 16:00 Hollyoaks 18:00 Late Night with Conan O’Brien 19:00 American Idol 20:00 Two and a Half Men 20:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:00 Comedy Night / Richard Jeni 22:00 Big Shots 23:00 Late Night with Conan O’Brien 24:00 South Park 01:00 Dexter 02:00 The Tudors

the first day that local residents will go into the sea. Today is the Liberation Day of Eritrea. Eritrea was under Ethiopian communist dictator Mengistu Hailemariam’s occupation up until this day in 1991. Both Eritrean and Ethiopian rebels fought against Hailemariam. The new Ethiopian government conceded to Eritrea’s demands to have an internationally (UN) supervised referendum held in Eritrea, which ended in April 1993 with an overwhelming vote by Eritreans for independence, which was declared on May 24, 1993. By Kerim Balcý






22 Expect a delay (5) 23 Eatery providing top grub as ordered (9) 25 Bring up form of punishment for discussion, and cause trouble (5,4) 26 Not a single person shows energy at midday (2-3) 27 Easy to control, like parts of the south-east, do you say? (6) 28 Woman repulsed by bloodthirsty story (8)

Down 1 Staying in country house, Bill and Jack were greatly entertained (3,1,4) 2 Soviet leader made advances in no time (5) 3 Badly beaten sides won’t despair (2,2,4,4,3)

4 Is it needed by company to mark route through mountains? (7) 6 Inclination to collar extremely serious politician in media gathering (5,10) 7 After mass, priest has to carry out English nun (9) 8 Provide drink at work (6) 9 Stop going up and down (4,2) 15 Make usual trouble for sailormen (9) 17 About end of funeral adjusted my robes in gloomy fashion (8) 19 Fold clothes after party (3-3) 20 Weaponry artillery men lifted over tracks going north (7) 21 Cart used by street vendor in northern town (6) 24 Still dangerous, jumping into river (5)



Ambulance: 112 Fire: 110 171 Police: 155 156 Maritime: 158 Unknown numbers: 118 Turkish Airlines: 444 0 849, U.S. Embassy: 0312 455 5555 U.S. Consulate: 0212 2513602-3-4 Russian Embassy: 0312 439 2122 Russian Consulate: 0212 244 1693-2610 British Embassy: 0312 455 3344 British Consulate: 0212 293 7540 German Embassy. 0312 455 5100 German Consulate: 0212 334 61 00 French Embassy: 0312 455 4545 French Consulate: 0212 292 4810-11 Indian Embassy: 0312 438 2195 Pakistani Embassy: 0312 427 1410 Austrian Embassy: 0312 419 0431-33 Austrian Consulate: 0212 262 9315 Belgian Embassy: 0312 446 8247 Belgian Consulate: 0212 243 3300 Egyptian Embassy: 0312 426 1026 Egyptian Consulate: 0212 263 6038 Israeli Embassy: 0312 446 3605


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S AT U R DAY, M AY 2 4 , 2 0 0 8

Government drafts action plan to combat deadly ticks contýnued from page 1 The provinces posing the highest risk of CCHF infection are Tokat, Çorum, Yozgat, Samsun, Amasya and Sivas. Tick-bite cases are mostly seen in May and June but are still a serious risk until the end of October, officials said. In Yozgat, health officials have been distributing a tick repellent spray to the public, targeting three high-risk areas in particular. Provincial Health Director Mustafa Uyanýk said they had distributed spray to 841 homes and explained its use to families: The repellent should be sprayed on clothing and left to dry for two hours before wearing. The protection lasts up to three weeks. Numerous wild and domesticated animals, such as cattle, goats, sheep and hares, can serve as hosts for the virus. Transmission to humans occurs through contact with infected animal blood or ticks. Last week, a woman from the Central Anatolian province of Yozgat died at an Ankara hospital, where she was being treated for CCHF. The woman contracted the disease from a tick bite she received while grazing her cattle. The woman's death is the sixth fatal case of CCCHF in the country this year.

Also last weekend, more than 500 Ýstanbulites who picnicked in rural areas over the holiday weekend filled hospitals on Monday with complaints of tick bites. According to the Anatolia news agency, many of those who had picnicked in Ýstanbul's Kemerburgaz, Arnavutköy, Sarýyer and Çekmeköy districts noticed upon returning home that ticks were attached to their bodies. Sixty of the individuals were children, Anatolia reported. Following the increase in the number of tick bite incidents over the weekend, workers from the Ýstanbul Metropolitan Municipality expedited their task of spraying pesticides in popular picnic areas. A statement released by the municipality on May 19 said 250 municipal workers were conducting pesticide spraying in green areas and parks across the city where people typically relax. The statement also noted that the spraying aimed to prevent the emergence of diseases carried by ticks and could also be carried out in other places as requested by the public. In early May, another woman, from the Central Anatolian province of Sivas, died at an Ankara hospital where she was being treated for CCHF. A male victim of CCHF from Çorum, also

in Central Anatolia, died in early May after being bitten by a tick while tending his livestock.

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever cost 94 lives in Turkey In the past five years 94 people have died of CCHF in Turkey. In documented outbreaks, the fatality rates for patients hospitalized for CCHF have ranged from 9 percent to as high as 50 percent of those afflicted. People who have come into contact with a tick should be monitored for 10 days following contact and seek professional medical care if symptoms of fever, headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea present themselves. Treatment for CCHF is primarily symptomatic and supportive, as there is no established course of treatment. The onset of CCHF is sudden, with initial signs and symptoms including headache, high fever, back pain, joint pain, stomach pain and vomiting. Red eyes, a flushed face, a red throat and red spots on the palate are common. Symptoms may also include jaundice and in severe cases, changes in mood and sensory perception. As the illness progresses, large areas of

severe bruising, severe nosebleeds and uncontrolled bleeding at injection sites can be seen, beginning on about the fourth day of illness and lasting for about two weeks. CCHF can be transmitted from one infected human to another by contact with infected blood or body fluids. Documented spread of CCHF has also occurred in hospitals due to improper sterilization of medical equipment, reuse of injection needles and contamination of medical supplies. An infection with a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) in the family Bunyaviridae causes CCHF. The disease was first identified in the Crimea in 1944 and given the name Crimean hemorrhagic fever. It was then later recognized in 1969 as the cause of illness in the Congo, thus resulting in the current name of the disease. The first Turkish case of CCHF was reported in 2002. Officials said the disease reached Turkey from Crimea through wild pigs that fled the conflict region at the time. It is found in Eastern Europe, particularly in the former Soviet Union. It is also distributed throughout the Mediterranean, in northwestern China, central Asia, southern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.


Turkish crisis puts ‘post-Islamist’ reform on hold ANALYSIS


Tom Heneghan TODAY’S ZAMAN Turkey's moves toward greater religious freedom, which some saw as the sign of an evolving moderate Muslim society, have been put on hold by a political crisis that could outlaw the post-Islamist ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, whose bid to lift a ban on Islamic headscarves at universities triggered the crisis, would probably not champion further religious reform even if he won the court case against his party, Turkish analysts say. This stalemate hits not only the majority Muslims, many of whom find Turkey's official state secularism limiting, but also the tiny Christian community that had been hoping that tight limits on their freedoms would be eased. "They have depleted their reformist arsenal. This is as far as they can go," Ankara University sociologist Doðu Ergil said. "Religious reform has been put on ice. They will keep it frozen for some time to come," Cengiz Aktar, a political scientist at Ýstanbul's Bahçeþehir University, said. Turkey's Constitutional Court is considering whether to ban the AK Party, which has its roots in political Islam, for challenging the official policy that shuts faith out of public life and keeps tight state control over mosques and imams. Islam experts call the AK Party postIslamist because it dropped the dream of some kind of an Islamic republic about a decade ago for a modern democracy whose basic rights would bring in their wake more religious freedom than Turkey now allows.

Erdoðan's big mistake Erdoðan and his supporters have also been dubbed "Muslim democrats," a term borrowed

The government's bid to lift a ban on Islamic headscarves at universities triggered the current political crisis in Turkey, which could lead to closure of the ruling AK Party. from the conservative Christian Democrats of post-war Western Europe. Once jailed as an Islamic radical, Erdoðan scored a major victory in 2003 by becoming prime minister despite fierce opposition from the secularist elite rooted in Turkey's army, judiciary, intelligentsia and nationalist political movements. His gradual approach, stressing the economy and a bid to join the European Union, established his bloc of business interests from the more religious countryside as partners in the power structure dominated by the secularist urban elite. For five years, Erdoðan delayed any overt religious reforms while stressing overall democratic

rights. His caution was seen as a model for Muslims who want to combine Islam and democracy. But after the AK Party's solid victories in the 2007 parliamentary and presidential elections, Erdoðan moved to end the university headscarf ban, a deeply symbolic issue that triggered the legal suit by a chief prosecutor to close down the AK Party. "They thought they could do whatever they liked," Aktar said. "That was their big mistake."

Ideological tools The fading of hope for religious reform fits into a larger picture of the ruling party's fading interest in the democratic reforms needed if Turkey

is ever to become an EU member. "They only wanted a place in the power system. Once they got it, they stopped," said Ergil. Ruþen Çakýr, author of several books on Islam and politics in Turkey, said political power rather than religion was always key to the AK Party's confrontation with the secularist elite. "It's kind of a class struggle, and each side has its ideological tool, secularism or religion," he said. Senior AK Party sources told Reuters last week that the party was preparing for a ban, as well as a ban for Erdoðan from politics for five years. A successor party could be formed and might continue governing, but with more modest goals. "This did not mean the post-Islamist project had ended," Çakýr said. "The process is going on. It's not finished yet." The reform drive linked to Ankara's EU membership bid also raised hopes among Turkey's Christians, whose properties have been confiscated and rights curtailed in the name of secularism. The Orthodox Church put great hopes in EU pressure to get back its only seminary, which Turkey shut down in 1971. But with less interest in EU membership, that pressure has abated. "The minorities were a hot issue for a while, but in the past two years, there has been no movement at all," said an official at the Ýstanbul headquarters of Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual head of all Orthodox Christians. "In fact, a monastery church was recently confiscated by the state," he said, adding: "We are very disappointed." The Roman Catholic Church is hoping to get permission to turn a museum in Tarsus back into a church in time for its Year of Saint Paul starting on June 21. Paul was born in Tarsus. But one senior churchman said that did not mean an overall improvement for religious minorities. "I still have to travel with a bodyguard," he said. Reuters

Turkey's financial sector being modeled on Saudi Arabia, Rubin claims ABDULLAH BOZKURT ÝSTANBUL

Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has claimed that some groups in Turkey are trying to model the country's modern financial system on Saudi Arabia. Speaking at the 10th Global Leadership Forum organized by Bahçeþehir University in Ýstanbul yesterday, Rubin said Turkey's financial sector was increasingly becoming similar to that of Saudi Arabia, in an apparent reference to the growing share of the financial sector being held by participation banks, which offer loans that are in compliance with Islamic law. Rubin also claimed that the recent sale of the assets of the Sabah newspaper and the ATV television station was "questionable." He said, "The Sabah- ATV transfer was done through

political pressure," adding that he believed the transaction would be revisited in the near future. Rubin argued that representatives of the EU were too keen to support the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). "The EU should not be endorsing any political party," he said. Offering his opinion of an indictment filed against the AK Party by a state prosecutor with the Constitutional Court over allegations of anti-secularism, Rubin said it was "hypocritical" of the AK Party and its supporters in the press to refer to the case as a "judicial coup." He said the prime minister stands accused of 13 counts of corruption and that similar allegations have been directed at other Cabinet members. Speaking about US-Turkey relations, he said the two countries had a great deal of work to do over the next five years. "Turkey and the United States do best when they formulate policies behind closed doors

and outside of the view of the media," he noted. He also said Turkey will need to choose sides between the US and Iran and between Syria and Lebanon if it becomes a member of the UN Security Council. "Turkey is going to need to put its cards on the table," he stated, adding that Turkey should not try to be all things to all people. Rubin also urged the US Embassy in Ankara to be proactive. Rubin -- whom some see as a very controversial figure representing the ideas of a Republican conservative group called neocons in the US -claimed that Iran is trying to export a revolution to neighboring countries. He suggested that Turkey review its trade with Iran. He listed Iran's nuclear program as a threat to Turkey regardless of whether the program is for peaceful energy purposes or otherwise. Rubin also suggested that Iran is moving beyond soft power in exporting a revolution and had started to express this in vio-


Insect repellent apparel provides relief from ticks, mosquitoes An Ýzmir-based company has started to manufacture clothing that contains an insect repellant shielding the human body from various insects, including the tick, the carrier of a deadly disease that has recently killed several people in Turkey. Speaking to the Anatolia news agency yesterday, Tolga Narbay, a board member of Narkon Textiles Inc., said his company is using insect repellant materials for the first time in Turkey for everyday clothing. The materials are widely used around the world for clothing intended for active outdoor use. The company makes use of nanotechnology in its manufacturing, Narbay said. "The product erects an insect shield around the wearer's body through the use of an agent unperceivable to the human sense of smell. Our insect repellent provides effective protection against mosquitoes and mosquito bites, ticks, ants, flies and more," he said, adding that the repellant dramatically reduces the number of insects that approach a person wearing the clothes. The insect repellant agent used in the clothing has been approved by Oeko-Tex, an independent association that certifies products that meet health and environmental standards, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO). Narbay noted that the repellant is long lasting and that demand is high for his company's products, particularly in coastal regions, where mosquitoes are more prevalent. The company produces T-shirts, shorts and pants for both adults and children, with plans to diversify their selection in the near future. He also says recent cases of tick bites that resulted in CrimeanCongo hemorrhagic fever, from which several individuals died in Turkey, are likely to increase demand for the apparel. In the future, functional apparel will dominate the textile industry, Narbay says. "For many years, we have been manufacturing clothes for leading European brands. A brand we currently supply is the market leader in Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. This is why we decided to manufacture these functional products. It is something that we normally do for our European consumers." Ýzmir Today's Zaman

Sergeant's arrest places Þemdinli back under spotlight contýnued from page 1 In 2006 Çavuþ was arrested and subsequently released pending trial in connection with the November 2005 Þemdinli bombing, in which noncommissioned officers Ali Kaya and Özcan Ýldeniz, and a Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) informant, Veysel Ateþ, were caught bombing a bookstore owned by a former member of the terrorist PKK. Çavuþ had been arrested on suspicion of opening fire on a prosecutor during the investigation following the incident. The prosecutor was not harmed during the shooting, but a bystander was killed. Çavuþ has yet to stand trial on the charges. The trial of Kaya, Özcan and Ateþ began from scratch earlier this year after two years of hearings. The suspects had not been arrested in the Þemdinli Public Prosecutor's Office initial investigation. The prosecutor referred the case to the Van Public Prosecutor's office, ruling it outside its jurisdiction. The Van prosecutor, Ferhat Sarýkaya, ordered the arrests of the suspects, who were later indicted and tried in a Van court for "staging acts targeting the unity of the state and the integrity of the country, murder, attempted murder and causing physical injury." Sarýkaya also started a number of investigations into top army commanders, including Gen. Yaþar Büyükanýt, the thenland forces commander who has since been promoted to chief of general staff. In the ensuing debate, Sarýkaya was disbarred by the Supreme Board of Prosecutors and Judges (HSYK). At the end of the court process, the three suspects were sentenced to approximately 40 years in jail each for "conspiring to commit a crime, murder, attempted murder and causing physical injury." The case was appealed by the defendants' lawyers at the Supreme Court of Appeals, which overruled the decision on grounds of "violation of jurisdiction" and "inadequate investigation." In November 2007, the Van court issued a ruling that partially obeyed the Supreme Court of Appeals' decision and decided to expand the investigation; however, it objected to sending the case to a military court, arguing that it should be under the jurisdiction of a civilian court. However, the Supreme Court of Appeals confirmed its final ruling on jurisdiction, ultimately referring the case to the Van Gendarmerie Security Command Military Court, where the entire legal process has started from scratch. The case is seen as a major test for Turkey as a full and thorough investigation could reveal a network of illegal relations between members of the military, informants and criminals, as well as illegal formations and groups inside the military. Istanbul Today's Zaman

lent ways that are meant to destabilize the region.

Criticism to EU statements about closure Rubin is known in Turkey for his controversial remarks and drew negative reactions in the past when he lashed out against the Turkish government by accusing the AK Party of having a hidden agenda of staging an Islamic revolution in Turkey. Rubin, known for his staunch opposition to the AK Party and its leader, praised the pending closure case in the Constitutional Court against the party. In an article he wrote for National Review magazine last month, Rubin however admitted that "the prosecutor's legal brief is shoddily written and poorly argued." But he still claimed that "despite its faults, however, the underlying legal issues are real." He was most criticized by Turkish intellectuals when he compared respected religious scholar Fethullah Gülen to Iran's late Ayatollah Khomeini.

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Yao Ming ready to return to training in June China's Yao Ming is set to join his national teammates for full Olympic training next month as the center continues his recovery from foot surgery, local media reported on Friday. The 7ft-6in Houston Rockets All-Star, who had an operation on a fractured foot in February, had started running at about “three quarters of his full power,” the Beijing Youth Daily said, citing Chinese basketball officials. Beijing, Reuters



The Detroit Pistons dealt the Boston Celtics their first home loss of the postseason with a 103-97 victory on Thursday that tied their best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals at 1-1. Playing an expansive game, the Pistons led by seven points at halftime, by nine after three quarters and had an 86-75 lead in the fourth quarter before they withstood a Celtics rally. Boston, winners of all nine previous playoff games on their home court and boosted by a return to form by Ray Allen, ran off eight points in a row to make it 86-83 and narrowed the gap to just two points before the Pistons steadied themselves. Richard Hamilton led Detroit with 25 points and Chauncey Billups, held to nine points in the series opener, added 19. The Celtics relied on their big three -- Paul Pierce had 26 points, Allen 25 and Kevin Garnett contributed 24. The series shifts to Detroit for the next two games, with Game Three today. “Tonight we just wanted to be aggressive and get the ball to the basket, and we did a good job of doing that,” Hamilton told reporters. “Just keep attacking.” The Pistons and Celtics had almost identical shooting percentages of nearly 50 percent from the floor, but Detroit's assertiveness earned them six more points from the free-throw line, which matched the winning margin. Detroit shot 28-of-32 from the stripe, to 22-of-25 for Boston as the Pistons won for the fourth time away from home this post-season.


Price, Dupree lead Chicago Sky to victory Armintie Price scored a career-high 22 points and the Chicago Sky won their home opener, 87-77 over the Sacramento Monarchs on Thursday. Price, who received her 2007 Rookie of the Year award before the game, added four assists and three steals. Candice Dupree had 22 points, four assists and three steals for Chicago (1-1). In New York, Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld each scored 17 points and New York downed Washington 79-60. New York (1-1) had runs of 14-0 and 9-1 in the first half to take a 21-point lead at the break. In Phoenix, Lauren Jackson scored 30 points to rally Seattle from a 20-point deficit to beat Phoenix 87-83. Seattle (3-0) trailed 20 by in the first half, 15 at intermission and six going into the final period, then had to weather a final Phoenix possession to win its third straight. Chicago AP

Johnson Wagner

Wagner sets pace at blustery Colonial American Johnson Wagner, seeking his second PGA Tour title, defied strong, gusting winds to charge two shots clear in the Colonial Invitational first round on Thursday. Striking the ball superbly in difficult conditions at Colonial Country Club, Johnson birdied five of the last eight holes to set the pace with a sparkling seven-under-par 63. World number two Phil Mickelson, the 2000 winner, opened with a 65 to share second place with long-hitting Brett Wetterich, one stroke in front of fellow American Glen Day. PGA Tour veteran Corey Pavin, champion here in 1985 and 1996, returned a 67 to lie a further shot adrift among a group of eight players. Wagner, who made his Tour breakthrough with a maiden victory at last month's Houston Open, rolled in a 12-footer at the last to register his ninth birdie of the round. "It was a great day and I'd take hitting the ball like this every day of my life," the 28-year-old Texan told reporters. "I had a lot of chances -- a couple of them I missed but I made the majority of them." Wagner, who qualified for his first Masters by winning wire-to-wire in Houston, birdied four of the first seven holes before bogeying the eighth for an outward nine of three-under 32. Although he dropped another shot at the par-four 10th, the American surged ahead of the field with his strong finish in gusting winds. "Any time I play in Texas it means a lot to me and winning in Houston is going to help me tremendously, especially having led there wire-to-wire," Wagner said. "Hopefully, I will be in a similar situation all week this week and maybe it will be more comfortable this time." American world number five Jim Furyk and title holder Rory Sabatini of South Africa opened with 71s while eighth-ranked K.J. Choi of South Korea carded a 73. Fort Worth, Texas Reuters

‘Knucked down’ Billups, rusty in the opener in returning from a hamstring injury, made a critical lay-up off on an inbounds pass with three seconds on the shot clock and 18.7 seconds left in the game to give Detroit a 100-94 lead for some breathing room. “ It's a big win,” Hamilton said. “I thought our guys really knuckled down, hit first, played with intensity to get a win.” Boston coach Doc Rivers credited Detroit's effort but said fatigue might have caught up with his team, who were extended to seven games by LeBron James and the Cavaliers, while Detroit rested about a week after dismissing Orlando in five. To me it's always about defense and we didn't have a good defensive night, Rivers said. We lost the game because we gave up too many points. “I didn't think fatigue would catch up to us in Game One because the adrenalin of Game Seven (against Cleveland) would carry over,” he said. “I was worried about this one. “We were a step slow in our rotations,” Pierce said about the Celtics' defense. “Garnett said in crucial moments of the fourth quarter, it was like we were running in sand. When we needed stops, we didn't get them,” he added. The Celtics have yet to win a road game in the playoffs, but now they must if the team with the best regular season record in the NBA is to reach the championship finals. Boston Reuters


Federer to play Querrey, Nadal faces qualifier Top-ranked Roger Federer will face American Sam Querrey at the French Open, beginning the lastest bid for the only Grand Slam title missing from his collection. Second-ranked Rafael Nadal will play a qualifier in the first round as he attempts to win a record-equaling fourth straight title on the red clay of Roland Garros. Maria Sharapova is the top seed following the retirement of four-time champion Justine Henin. Sharapova, who has won all three other Grand Slam titles, will face fellow Russian Evgeniya Rodina in the first round. Friday's draw left No. 3 Novak Djokovic in the same half with Nadal, giving Federer a clearer path to the final. Djokovic, winner of the Australian Open, will open against Denis Gremelmayr of Germany. The tournament begins on Sunday and ends June 8. Federer has won 12 Grand Slam titles, but has never triumphed in Paris, losing to Nadal in the past two finals. Paris AP


Detroýt Pýstons wýn ýn Boston to level East Conference fýnals

Red Wings vs. Pens in blue collar Stanley Cup Motor City meets Steeltown today when the Detroit Red Wings face the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game One of the Stanley Cup finals. In one of the most eagerly awaited finals in recent memory, teams from the two blue-collar cities just 285 miles apart clash in a classic storyline of youth versus experience. Detroit hosts Game One of the best-of-seven series at Joe Louis Arena. Known as Hockeytown USA, the Red Wings are a charter member of the NHL, an Original Six franchise that has reached the playoffs 17 consecutive seasons, the longest run of post-season success in North American professional sport. They have appeared in 23 Stanley Cup finals and won three since 1997. The Penguins won back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992 but their recent history has been one of trouble more than triumph. Detroit Reuters


SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2008

Richard Hamilton


Beko playoff final series schedule The schedule for the 2007-2008 final series matches between Fenerbahçe Ülker and Türk Telekom has been determined. The series will start on Sunday in Ýstanbul in order to determine this year’s men’s Beko Turkish Basketball League champion. Game two will be on Tuesday, also at Abdi Ýpekçi Hall, game three will be at Ankara’s Atatürk Hall on May 30 and game four will be on June 1 at the same venue. If necessary game five will be at Fenerbahçe Ülker’s home, Ýstanbul Abdi Ýpekçi Hall, on June 4, game sixth at Türk Telekom’s home, Ankara Atatürk Hall, on June 7 and game 7 at Abdi Ýpekçi on June 10. The series will begin at 0-0 and the team that wins four games will be this year’s champion. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman

Radwanska and Dementieva in final

Live on TV today NTV: 22:00 Inter-Roma NTV SPOR: 22:10 River-Huracan CNN TÜRK: 14:50 Monaco GP practice session (motor racing) Note: Soccer unless otherwise stated

Olympique Lyon look to wrap up a remarkable season with their first domestic double when they face Paris St. Germain in the French Cup final today. Lyon bagged a record seventh-consecutive league title last weekend while PSG escaped relegation in the last round of matches with a 2-1 win at Sochaux. Lyon have not won the Cup since 1973 and will be eager to emulate AJ Auxerre as the last team to clinch both the league title and Cup in 1996. Before Auxerre, only Girondins Bordeaux (1987) and Olympique Marseille (1989) had clinched the double since 1980. "A double is something you cannot forget in your

life," full back Francois Clerc told Reuters. However, he said PSG would be dangerous opponents and likely to play with more freedom that they had in the relegation battle. "In a way, the Parisians have experienced the same kind of season than us -- with a lot of stress and a happy ending," he added. "They won't have this ‘ball and chain' they've had throughout the season." Lyon should be at full strength with center-back Jean-Alain Boumsong recovering quickly from a groin strain and after striker Abdulkader Keita returned to training on Thursday after being out of the squad due to stomach problems. Paris Reuters



Lyon set to cap season with double PHOTO

Second-seeded Agnieska Radwanska defeated Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-1 on Friday to advance to the Istanbul Cup final. The 15th-ranked Pole will play top-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia, who beat sixth-seeded Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan 6-2, 6-4, in today's final. The clay-court tournament is a warmup event for the French Open. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman

Turkish U-19s start on winning note Turkey made a winning start to the UEFA European Under-19 Championship Elite round Group 7 with victory against mini-tournament host Armenia 2-1 at the Abovyan Stadium on Thursday. Sercan Yýldýrým put Turkey ahead in 10 minutes and although Tigran Voskanyan equalized just before halftime, Erhan Sentürk struck just past the hour to settle the score. Today Turkey takes on reigning champion Spain, which on Thursday defeated Armenia's next opponent Ukraine 3-1. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman



Page 1


S AT U R D AY, M AY 2 4 , 2 0 0 8

Final countdown




Van Hooijdonk



to seventh Celebrity




Trabzonspor has clinched the coveted trophy three times, Galatasaray twice and Fenerbahçe once. Beþiktaþ has made two final appearances but has not yet won a championship



Aykut Kocaman





Sports Minister Murat Baþesgioðlu, Public Works and Settlement Minister Faruk Özak, Roman Kosecki, Fani Madida, Pascal Nouma, Brian Nielsen, Pierre Van Hooijdonk, Fadýl Vokri, Tanju Çolak, Hami Mandýralý, Aykut Kocaman, Tolunay Kafkas, Cüneyt Tanman, Mehmet Özdilek, Recep Çetin, Ali Gültiken, Hamza Yerlikaya, Nazmi Avluca, Bahri Tanrýkulu, Ýbrahim Kutluay, Harun Erdenay, Kenan Sofuoðlu, Arif Erdem, Bülent Korkmaz, Mehmet Özdilek and Frank Pingel.

Ýbrahim Kutluay






Mehmet Özdilek

Expected participants at a glance


Fani Madida

Works and Settlement Minister Faruk Özak, Youth and Sports General Director Mehmet Atalay, taekwondo champion Bahri Tanrýkulu, wrestler Nazmi Avluca, legendary basketball players Harun Erdenay and Ýbrahim Kutluay. You will also see famous coaches such as Trabzonspor's Urbain Breams, Galatasaray's Mustafa Denizli and Beþiktaþ's Rýza Çalýmbay. Trabzonspor has clinched the coveted trophy three times, Galatasaray twice and Fenerbahçe once. Beþiktaþ has made two final appearances but has not yet won a championship.


Pascal Nouma

The Celebrity Tournament organized annually by Zaman will be held at Ýnönü Stadium on Sunday. This will be the seventh edition of the event, which started in 2002, and as usual, celebrities from the sports world, such as Tanju Çolak, Rýdvan Dilmen, Aykut Kocaman, Hami Mandýralý, Mehmet Özdilek and Ali Gültiken, will be taking part. Some famous foreign players who once thrilled crowds in topflight Turkish soccer will also be present. The superstar in last year's tournament was Dutch striker Pierre Van Hooijdonk, a favorite player of the Fenerbahçe fans. This year, in addition to Van Hooijdonk, the Beþiktaþ Black Eagles' legendary players Fani Madida and Pascal Nouma, as well as Galatasaray Lions' unforgettable Roman Koseçki, now a member of parliament, will also be attending the event. In this magnificent event, celebrities from the political arena as well as amateur sportsmen will also attend. These celebrities will include Sports Minister Murat Baþesgioðlu, Public







Tolunay Kafkas

Tanju Çolak

Hami Mandýralý

Galatasaray won the Zaman-sponsored Celebrity Tournament crown in 2006.

Kenan Sofuoðlu



Celtic crowned 2007-08 Scottish Premier League champion

The Celtic team celebrates after winning the Scottish Premier League championship.

Celtic edged Rangers to win the Scottish Premier League on Thursday night, securing the championship with a 1-0 win at Dundee United. Celtic and Rangers were tied on 86 points heading into the final day of the season. But in the end, Celtic's win didn't matter as Rangers lost 2-0 at Aberdeen. Celtic secured its third straight league title and 42nd overall when Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink headed in a corner from Paul Hartley in the 72nd minute. Gordon Strachan is only the third Celtic manager to win three league titles in a row, joining Willie Maley and Jock Stein. “I'm with a bunch of guys who believed in me and I believed in them,” Strachan said. “I really do believe this is one the most satisfying nights of my life -- not for me really but to see the players who have come under a lot of pressure during the season.” Celtic endured an emotional week, with the death of popular coach Tommy Burns from skin cancer on


May 15 at the age of 51 and his funeral on Tuesday. The club said it would dedicate the league win to Burns, who was also part of the Scotland coaching setup. “We loved him,” Celtic striker Scott McDonald said. “He was just a gentleman at heart. God rest his soul. We did this for you Tommy -- God bless.” McDonald denied Celtic the league title in 2005 when his two late goals for former club Motherwell against Celtic handed the trophy to Rangers, which has 51 Scottish titles. “After three years ago, it's great to put that right and I'm certainly going to enjoy this,” McDonald said. Rangers lost to Aberdeen goals in the 63rd minute from Lee Miller and from Darren Mackie in the 77th. The Gers finished with 10 men when striker Nacho Novo was sent off for a foul on Stuart Duff. It was its third match in six days, and Rangers manager Walter Smith blamed the Scottish Premier League for not helping the club by not extending the season further than four days.

“Overall, a failure to balance a set of circumstances which were unusual for a team to have to deal with has led to us falling down as much as anything else,” Smith said. Last week, Rangers was in contention for an unprecedented four trophies, including the league title. But after losing to Zenit St. Petersburg 2-0 in the final of the UEFA Cup last Wednesday and conceding the league title to Celtic, Rangers can clinch only the cup double. Rangers plays Queen of the South on Saturday in the Scottish Cup final, bidding to add to the Scottish League Cup won last month. “We don't have time to feel sorry for ourselves,” Rangers defender Christian Dailly said. The win capped a remarkable comeback for Celtic, which clawed itself back into league contention while Rangers was backlogged with league matches postponed because of its cup runs. Rangers has little time off -- its preseason starts on June 23 in preparation for Champions League qualifying in late July. Glasgow AP




Page 1

Ono scores in feud over rare Lennon footage John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, has made big strides in a legal feud over footage of the former Beatle smoking pot, writing songs and discussing putting the hallucinogenic drug LSD in President Richard Nixon's tea. US District Court Judge Rya Zobel in Boston ruled in favor of Ono. Boston, Reuters WWW.TODAYSZAMAN.COM SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2008

Wesley Snýpes gets baýl pendýng appeal ýn tax case PHOTO

A man who claimed that he became depressed, anxious and phobic after finding a dead fly in a bottle of water will no longer get the judgment he won against a bottling company, Canada's top court ruled on Thursday. Martin Mustapha will have to shell out thousands in court costs, instead of collecting the more than $345,000 he won in an Ontario court three years ago. The Supreme Court of Canada agreed in a 9-0 judgment that Mustapha suffered real psychological harm, but Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said his reaction was so "unusual or extreme" that bottling company Culligan of Canada Ltd., should not have to pay compensation. McLachlin said the legal test for damages is whether a person of "ordinary fortitude" would suffer psychological harm. In Mustapha's case, she concluded, the reaction was so unique that Culligan could not reasonably have foreseen the consequences and should not be held liable. Mustapha insisted that he had been treated unfairly and said finding the dead fly in an unopened bottle of water in 2001 devastated him. He became obsessed with thoughts of dead flies, could not sleep and was constantly on edge. Ottawa AP


Canadian judge overturns man's dead fly-in-water damage claim

Wild boars help German police capture car theft suspect A herd of wild boars has thwarted a suspected car thief's getaway in northern Germany. Police in Schwerin say the 18-year-old abandoned a stolen SUV he was driving Thursday after failing to shake off a chasing patrol car by driving into a field. Police nabbed his passenger immediately. But they say the driver initially got away by running into nearby woods. Officers then heard the fugitive shouting for help -- he had run into a herd of angry wild boars that were keen to protect their young. Police freed the man from the boars and took him into custody. Wild boars are a common sight in forested areas of northern Germany. They often make themselves at home in residential neighborhoods, too, uprooting gardens and annoying homeowners. Berlin AP

Snipes gestures as he leaves the court after he was sentenced to three years in prison for willful failure to file a tax return in April.


Actor Wesley Snipes was granted bail on Thursday pending an appeal of his conviction and sentencing last month to three years in prison for failing to file income tax returns for 1999 through 2001. Snipes' lawyers and court officials in Ocala, Florida, said a judge had granted a request by the star of the "Blade" movie series to remain free on bond while he tries to overturn his federal tax convictions. Snipes had been set to surrender to federal prison authorities during the first week of June to begin serving his sentence, and prosecutors had earlier vowed to oppose any request to allow him to remain free pending an appeal. US District Judge William Terrell Hodges wrote that he was "dubious" of Snipes appeal arguments. But Hodges agreed to bail, noting that Snipes otherwise could easily serve his entire sentence before a decision could be reached on his appeal. Snipes, who had been indicted on felony tax fraud charges, was convicted only of three misdemeanors. At his sentencing in April, prosecutors said the actor had earned more than $38 million since 1999, but had filed no tax returns or paid any taxes. The day of Snipes' sentencing, his lawyers brought checks totaling $5 million, which they gave to Internal Revenue Service agents during a recess. In arguments for bail, his lawyers wrote that Snipes was "actively engaged in resolving his liabilities with the IRS civilly" and a meeting with the agency was scheduled for next week. Orlando, Florida Reuters, May 24, 2008  

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