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Constitutional Court President Haþim Kýlýç says it is impossible to set a date for AK Party verdict

THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 2008 WWW.TODAYSZAMAN.COM YTL 1.50

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Turkey keeper Volkan banned for two games

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Italian opera singer Radano to bring Neapolitan spirit to Northern Cyprus with festival appearance

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

ALÝ ÜNAL

page17 Police fear fan violence after Turkey-Croatia match GOV’T, BUSINESS LEADERS SIGNAL CONFIDENCE IN TURKISH ECONOMY DESPITE CRISES

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‘Economic reforms on track’ Having seen a record $22 billion in foreign direct investment last year, top Turkish political and economic leaders assured foreign investors yesterday that Turkey is right on track in terms of its reform process. In separate meetings held yesterday in Ýstanbul, both government and central bank heads vowed to keep the tight fiscal and monetary policies intact despite external pressures from rising oil and food prices. Separate remarks also signaled that there is strong agreement between the government and the independent central bank, disproving claims that a rift has recently developed between the two centers of economic policy.

Investors are worried that the subprime mortgage crisis in the US, coupled with soaring oil and food prices, has grown to a level that threatens economic stability on a global scale. They are concerned that these negative developments may have an adverse impact on the Turkish economy and curtail growth expectations. Though the FDI inflow to Turkey declined last month, Turkey's medium and long-term outlook is as promising as it was in the last decade, many agree. Speaking at the fifth annual meeting of Turkey's Investment Advisory Council (YDK), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan said his government would keep working to reach its goals despite global and domestic uncertainties. He stressed that Turkey has

reached a place where it can properly implement decisive and disciplined policies for long-term targets. He also said the Turkish economy had grown at an average annual rate of 6.7 percent over the past five years and that its total export expectations for the year had exceeded $120 billion as of the end of last month. He vowed that his government would continue to implement tight monetary policies and structural reforms. This year's YDK meeting brought together toplevel executives from 18 multinational companies with combined revenue of approximately $755 billion as of 2007, in addition to high-ranking officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Giving a presentation at the meeting, Turkish

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TURGUT ENGÝN

Refugees in Turkey mark World Refugee Day with many difficulties AYÞE KARABAT, ANKARA As World Refugee Day, marked on June 20, approaches, refugees in Turkey are faced with many difficulties. In Turkey, asylum seekers have to wait four years on average to begin a new life in a third country and, during these four years, they don't have the means to integrate into Turkish society or find work. In theory, they are not allowed to travel within Turkey. Meanwhile, for their residence permits they have to pay YTL 370 every six months, and usually they don't have means to do this. According to statistics from the Turkey office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of registered asylum seekers who are waiting in Turkey to be placed with a third country was 19,594 at the end of May of this year. Nearly 5,800 of them are women. During the first four months of this year the UNHCR was able to find a third country for just 2,667 refugees. CONTINUED ON PAGE 17

Advent of summer carries forest fires back to agenda With the arrival of sweltering summer weather, forest fires have once more started to occupy the national agenda. The fire season began in the Menemen district of western Ýzmir Tuesday afternoon after a farmer set fire to an area to clear it of weeds and the blaze burgeoned out of control. The fire scorched nearly 200 hectares and was fully extinguished on Wednesday with the efforts of 300 forest rangers, five air tankers and six helicopters. Difficult terrain and winds helped the fire spread over a wide area in just a brief time. According to the Anatolia news agency, three people who were trying to extinguish the fire were hospitalized for smoke inhalation and the farmer was taken into custody for questioning. Soon after the fire in Menemen was extinguished, another one broke out yesterday afternoon in the tourist resort of southern Antalya's Göynük area. CONTINUED ON PAGE 17

It is estimated that more than 6,000 business meetings were held at the two-day TUSKON meeting in Ýstanbul.

Spectacular TUSKON forum boosts trade wýth Asýa-Pacýfýc regýon ESRA MADEN, ÝSTANBUL A forum organized by the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) to bringing together businessmen from Asia-Pacific countries and Turkey is helping boost partnerships and business relationships between Turkey and the region. TUSKON is currently hosting its second

summit seeking to improve trade ties with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, which have an average annual growth rate of 7 percent. Yesterday was the second day of TUSKON's one-week Turkey-Asia Pacific Foreign Trade Bridge II at Ýstanbul's WOW Convention Center where 465 businessmen from 20 countries of the Asia Pacific region found the opportunity to discuss joint business projects. The target of the fo-

rum is to have participants set up new business ties worth $550 million, TUSKON organizers say. One of the companies seeking to set up trade ties with Turkey that joined this year's forum is Hikari Trading Co. Ltd., a Japanese construction company which introduced its smell-proof net system at the summit yesterday. These special nets, which cost $200 per square meter, allow for air to pass through, but not odor. CONTINUED ON PAGE 08

Featuring news and articles from

Economy Minister Mehmet Þimþek said, "Turkey's growth rate has been better than that of Hungary, Poland, Spain, Portugal and Italy since last year." He also said that the rate of inflation had dropped to an average of 13.9 percent annually between 2002 and 2007 and stood at 10.7 percent as of May 2008 despite soaring energy prices. Þimþek said energy imports reached $33.7 billion last year, but that this would stand at $12.6 billion when calculated with 2002 prices. This figure was $9.1 billion in 2002. He added that foreign direct investment in Turkey had increased to $22 billion last year and that this figure had reached $ 17.2 billion in the first four months of this year. CONTINUED ON PAGE 07

Process to replace 21 university rectors starts in earnest KERÝM BALCI / ERCAN YAVUZ, ANKARA The elections process to decide on candidates for the rectorships of 21 Turkish universities began yesterday. The six names per post that win the most votes will then be reduced to three by the Higher Education Council (YÖK). These names will be submitted to President Abdullah Gül no later than July 1, 2008, so that he may choose who to appoint as the university rector. The president does not need to consider the number of votes each candidate received, nor does he need to provide any explanation for his choices. This procedure, which gives the president an upper hand in a process that begins with democratic elections, has in the past been criticized, particularly during the presidency of Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who made ideologically driven appointments with no regard to the number of votes each candidate garnered. CONTINUED ON PAGE 17

OYAK Group causes consternation in Brussels The Irish vote against the Lisbon treaty has cast a pall on Turkish European Union accession talks in Brussels, which restarted on Tuesday. Turkish negotiators fear that a Turkophobic French presidency of the EU will shunt the process into a siding -and rows over civil liberties are not helping. The Turks are focusing on technical compliance with EU law. The talks are broaching two new chapters: company law and intellectual property. The Turks hope to avoid too much discussion of noisy rows at home over the ban on headscarves in schools and mounting conflict between Tayyip Erdoðan, the prime minister, and the secular military establishment. A threat from Turkey's highest court to shut down the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is raising new questions about Turkey's cultural affinity with Europe. CONTINUED ON PAGE 08


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02 TODAY’S ZAMAN

F OOD FOR THOUGHT

Q UOTE OF THE DAY

When people can move freely between Syria, Israel, Palestine... a great change will take place. The impact of peace will be bliss for the entire region. Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad

CROSS READER

FATMA DÝÞLÝ

PRESS REVIEW

columns

W ORDS OF WISDOM

There are huge expectations internationally that Cyprus will make it this time... to reach a UN-brokered agreement. UN official B. Lynn Pascoe

A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

We need to see clearly now

Benjamin Franklin

If we attempt to make a levelheaded analysis of the events that have taken place in Turkey over the past decade, we can see certain things quite clearly. As was so widely observed in the most recent football match between Turkey and Czech Republic, Turkey is not a nation whose actions are easily predictable. While some of our colleagues in the Turkish press may characterize this nation's general unpredictability as an "endearing" trait of sorts, the fact is, when you view this situation from a long-term perspective, this "unpredictability" that characterizes Turkey is actually a kind of instability. And connected to this instability is a series of disasters that could befall the nation. If what we really want is to see Turkey become a freer and more prosperous country, then what we need to do is pull this geography back into some acceptable, basic outlines of predictability.

ESER KARAKAÞ, STAR

press roundup ALÝ ÜNAL

f.disli@todayszaman.com

T H U R S D AY, J U N E 1 9 , 2 0 0 8

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How to wrýte an ýndýctment

ENJOY TODAY’S ZAMAN AT THESE TOP HOTELS

In an attempt to disperse the clouds of ambiguity hovering over Turkey's future, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), without waiting for the deadline, submitted its defense to the Constitutional Court on Monday, so that the closure case filed against it on charges of anti-secularism could be concluded as soon as possible. In its defense statement, the party criticized the indictment against it, saying that the evidence in it had been put together through Internet searches. "The prosecutor has found most of the news clips and commentaries used as evidence in the indictment through keyword searches on Google," the statement said. The AK Party's description of the indictment has sparked debate about the reliability of the evidence in the prosecutor's arguments and the validity of the case. Zaman's Mustafa Ünal, affirming that Google makes life easier by letting Internet users effortlessly access the information they are looking, talks about the risks of information gathered through Google searches. "Not all the information provided by Google is reliable, because they undergo no factchecking, they sometimes mislead people and most of the statements posted on the Internet need to be confirmed. Thus, it is very risky to use information solely provided by Google in important official documents," he explains. Thus, he says Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalçýnkaya, who prepared the AK Party closure indictment, could certainly make use of the media and Internet sources while preparing his indictment, but that a problematic picture emerges when he bases all his arguments on newspaper articles and Internet documents. "There should be more serious evidence, because he has the right to have access to all state documents. The state, with all of its institutions, is at his service," Ünal explains. He further states that the evidence of a case that is expected to produce large political consequences for the country should be accepted not just by the court, but also by the public. "Undoubtedly, the court will make the final ruling, but the reflections of this in the public conscious are also important. There is a strong suspicion among the public about the reliability of the prosecutor's indictment. No matter what perspective you are looking from, the AK Party closure case is a very serious one, and the collection of evidence and documents should be conducted seriously, as well," he argues. Bugün's Nuh Gönültaþ disagrees with Ünal, asserting that it is wrong for the AK Party to try to degrade the prosecutor's indictment by terming it a "Google case." He suggests that the AK Party should not have even submitted a defense. "Perhaps Google has never been insulted so deeply since it was established," says Gönültaþ. In his opinion, the AK Party is making a defense in vain, because the result of the case was decided long ago. "Hence, while trying to undermine the prosecutor's indictment, using the name of a giant world company in an insulting way will not do any good for the AK Party," he says. Star's Þamil Tayyar argues that the prosecutor intensified his studies to prepare the indictment in October and November of 2007 and in February 2008, which is why the AK Party chose to term it a "Google case." "Why OctoberNovember 2007? Why February 2008?" asks Tayyar, explaining that during the first period, the drafting of a new, democratic constitution, which was initiated by the AK Party, was being heatedly discussed in society, while the second period coincides with the AK Party's abolishment of the headscarf ban at universities. "It seems that the civilian constitution irked the status quo and that the recent headscarf amendments became the final straw," Tayyar maintains.

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Are 11 players or 11 judges more effective? MEHMET BARLAS, SABAH You are surrounded by the global economic crisis. And, as though the side effects of the situation wrought by America in Iraq weren't enough, there is also the Iran crisis waiting on the sidelines. In the meantime, your relations with the European Union continue to just limp along, while you have also turned over the fate of your political scene and the economy to the 11 judges sitting on the Constitutional Court. The legal decision they will render "in the name of the people of the nation" will either completely discount or acknowledge the political decision rendered previously by the "national will." If you are, in the meantime, watching more closely to see what the 11 players of the Turkish national football team are going to do, rather than waiting to see what the 11 judges of the Constitutional Court are going do, this is, of course, your own choice. If, in the run-up to the upcoming Turkish match against Croatia, the national football team's director, Fatih Terim, were removed and then banned from his post, what would your "national reaction" to this be? Which is more of a "national" matter, as far as you are concerned, the stability of Turkey or the upcoming results of the Turkey-Croatia match?

Following his ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) group meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan met with a group of disabled students from the western province of Denizli in Parliament on Tuesday.

taraf:

"Final ruling in late July," read Taraf 's top headline yesterday, referring to an article penned by Yasemin Çongar. In her column Çongar, referring to a meeting between a member of the Constitutional Court and a European diplomat, wrote that the Constitutional Court would make its final ruling about the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) closure case at the end of July. When the European diplomat asked the Constitutional Court member about the time of the final decision, he gave a clear answer that surprised even the diplomat, "In late July or early August." Çongar said everybody knows the schedule of the "judicial coup" to a great extent and that the timing of the AK Party's moves support this.

star:

Yesterday the Star's top story covered remarks from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, who spoke to his party's parliamentary group yesterday. "Our national team has proved something: In order to achieve success, 90 minutes is not sufficient in a football

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CM Y K

My first conclusion was this: The Turkish national football team finally became a real team in the final 15 minutes of the match against Czech Republic, and that is how they achieved their victory. Here is my second conclusion: the Turkish national football team understood in the second half of the match against Czech Republic that this was a fateful game, and they embraced victory. There are some realities to face here: Everyone knows that the Turkish national team contains players of quality who could be playing on any great football team in the world. But some of the players, when they enter into a team situation, are unable to achieve collective success. As a nation, we in Turkey have a difficult time creating a team of players who can play together. Beyond being unable to play together as a team, we also have a host of bad habits, such as tripping each other up.

milliyet:

RIXOS PREMIUM BELEK

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AHMET TAÞGETÝREN, BUGÜN

The EU changed its stance on the closure case, read the headline of the Milliyet's lead story yesterday, reporting that EU term-president Slovenia's Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel had called the AK Party closure case a domestic problem and said that it will not have an influence on Turkey's accession to the EU. Rupel's remarks came at an intergovernmental conference held in Luxembourg on Tuesday. Another EU official, Olli Rehn, had previously said the EU might need to review the negotiations process with Turkey if the AK Party was closed, the daily noted.

HOTEL DOÐA

RIXOS BODRUM

National team, national agenda

match; you have to struggle until your last breath. If the nation is behind you, success is inevitable," he said, in remarks that indicated he wanted to inspire the members of his party, which faces a closure case, with the victory of the Turkish national soccer team against Czech Republic on Sunday night. Turkey had scored three goals in the last 15 minutes of the match.

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Phone: +90 332 221 50 00 Ýstanbul Yolu Selçuklu 42250 Konya www.rixos.com


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NATIONAL

TODAY’S ZAMAN 03

T H U R S D AY, J U N E 1 9 , 2 0 0 8

ÝSTANBUL ANKARA ÝZMÝR ANTALYA ADANA ERZURUM EDÝRNE TRABZON KAYSERÝ

32° 32° 37° 36° 34° 23° 35° 24° 29°

KONYA ÇANAKKALE DÝYARBAKIR SAMSUN BURSA GAZÝANTEP ESKÝÞEHÝR MALATYA KOCAELÝ

31° 35° 36° 25° 36° 36° 34° 32° 37°

12 gýant men

The desert monitor was photographed in its natural habitat for the first time by Turan Çetin.

Desert monitor photographed for first time in Þanlýurfa MEHMET ALÝ YILMAZ ÞANLIURFA

The desert monitor (Varanus griseus griseus), which mainly lives in arid and semi-arid climates, has been photographed for the first time in the southeastern Turkish province of Þanlýurfa. The lizard was found by members of the Nature Association, which has been endeavoring to save the reptile from extinction through a project known as Urfa's Steppes, launched as part of the campaign Target Zero Extinction. Although some locals claimed to have seen it many times, the desert monitor had never been photographed before in Turkey as they are able to quickly escape observers. Growing over a meter in length, this desert monitor is Turkey's largest lizard species. Also known as the giant lizard among locals since most have never seen a reptile of such size before, the desert monitor was photographed in its natural habitat for the first time by Turan Çetin from the Nature Association. Çetin's achievement raised the morale of the team, which still holds out hope for preserving many steppe animals that face extinction in the Southeast because of the rapid loss of their habitat. While the average size of a desert monitor is one meter, they may grow as long as one-and-a-half meters. The association first located the spots

where the lizard was reported to have been seen by villagers, who, in most cases, try to kill this type of lizard as they greatly fear its rather daunting appearance. After the association started holding information sessions with the villagers, they became more aware of its characteristics and made efforts to protect the species. "We have even played games with school kids to teach them more about this lizard and spoke with as many villagers as we could. Ahmet Demir, who is a volunteer member of our association, has been exploring the region for two years and making a record of all the places where the animal was seen. We managed to photograph and film it with the voluntary help of the villagers for the most part," Güven Eken, the director general of the association, stated. Eken noted that the association's Urfa team had been working for a long time to make people aware of the beauty and richness of the region's steppes. "The filming of very rare animals such as the desert monitor is a very important development in terms of reminding Turkey that nature doesn't consist of only 'blue and green.' The species that have a special place in our culture are all steppe animals such as gazelles and cranes," he said, adding that the association would continue doing its utmost to raise the bar of awareness and protect the animal life in the steppes.

The burden of securing the future of Turkey's democracy is left on the shoulders of "12 giant men": 11 members of the Constitutional Court and the rapporteur. Theirs is exactly the same condition of the "12 giant men" of basketball: They play the game, and they have to endure the psychological stress imposed upon them by the supporters of both teams. They win or lose, but the supporters feel that they are the ones who have won or lost. I am watching the ecstatic Turkish fans of the Turkish national soccer team; the television ads made portraying the players as giant, robotic power icons, reflections of the national will, 70 million people embodied in one man and so on. Is this healthy? Surely not for the players themselves. As the national team rose to the quarterfinals after a hard-won game with the Czech team, Arda Turan, a young winger on the Turkish team, was asked by an over-the-clouds television speaker: "Are we going to the third siege of Vienna?" The question was referring to the fact that the next game would be with the Croat team in Vienna and the fact that Vienna survived two unsuccessful Ottoman sieges in the past. There was, in this question, a cynical connotation on the fate of Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Paþa, the commander of the second siege, who was executed by hanging in Belgrade due to his failure. "Leave us to play football!" was Arda's reply. While studying the psychologies of Palestinian suicide bombers, I came across an interesting and eye-opening theory by Professor Ahmet Davudoðlu, now chief advisor to the prime minister on foreign policy issues. Davudoðlu claimed that this suicidal psychology was, among other reasons, a result of the inconsistency between the potential of the Palestinian people and the expectations of them from the Muslim world. On the one hand they are deprived of all means of resistance, and on the other, they are expected to reclaim the historical Palestine with Jerusalem its capital. This inconsistency, this disproportionateness between capacities and expectancies, was one of the instigators of the suicidal psyche, according to Davudoðlu. Let us turn back to the Constitutional Court. The burden of "correcting the wrong of the parliamentarians" is ascribed to the court. But the burden of "correcting the wrongs of the regime" is too heavy for "12 giant men." Especially in the current situation, wherein nobody -- literally nobody -- helps them to do so. On the contrary, not only are they left on their own, but they are even pushed to

Desert monitor (Varanus griseus griseus) Varanus griseus griseus is a predator. Its teeth are acute and compressed. Its snout is depressed at the end, as long as the distance from the anterior border of the orbit to the anterior border of the ear. Its nostrils are an oblique slit, about four times as distant from the end of the snout as from the orbit. The digits are rather short. Its tail is round or slightly compressed. The scales of the head, including the supra-oculars, are very small and granular. The scales on the upper surface are small, smooth or feebly keeled; those on the sides of the neck are generally conical in adult specimens. The abdominal scales are smooth, in 110 to 125 transverse series (counted from collar-fold to groin). Its caudal scales are more or less distinctly keeled with no caudal crest. It is grayish yellow, sometimes with more or less distinct brown cross bars on the back and tail, and brown streaks along the sides of the neck. The young have round yellow spots and dark brown cross bars and temporal and cervical streaks with a few brown lines across the snout and short vertical brown lines on the lower lip. The female can lay up to 12 eggs at a time. They are terrestrial as well as arboreal and dig burrows. This species lives in North Africa and the Middle East, including the Turkish towns of Ceylanpýnar, Þýrnak and Silopi as well as the steppes of Þanlýurfa.

Shipyard shut down for a month The Ýstanbul Directorate of the Labor and Social Security Ministry has ordered the temporary closure of one of the shipyards in the Tuzla area, where 98 workers have died in work-related incidents in the past seven years. Inspectors from the directorate yesterday announced that the Nur Ýstanbul Shipyard in Tuzla would be shut down for a month, stating in their report that the shipyard did not have any occupational safety measures in place to prevent serious accidents among its workers. Shipbuilders union Dok Gemi-Ýþ President Necip

Nalbantoðlu recalled that not a single death had occurred in Nur Ýstanbul and praised the decision, saying, "What is important is taking the precautions before something happens." He further noted that if the inspectors are not satisfied with the work safety measures the shipyard establishes, the shipyard will be shut down again, this time for three months. If the administrators of the Nur Ýstanbul Shipyard manage to ensure safe working conditions before the month is over, they have the right to apply to the ministry earlier and request a second inspection. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman

CM Y K

KERÝM BALCI k.balci@todayszaman.com

the edge; cursed, prejudged, the subject of attempts to exert influence, threatened by the "old guard" and disregarded by the "newcomers." One symptom of this disproportional assignment is apparently unprovoked, and to a certain extent paranoid: the perception of being "chased" or "eavesdropped" upon. The "12 giant men" are not happy about this assignment, either. The Constitutional Court president made this clear last Friday: "In principle, while it is more convenient for the democratic parliamentary process to look for solutions to the important political problems concerning society via relevant and authorized organs in a democratic milieu, the fact that the judicial organs are forces to solve them is an option not at all desirable in a modern world," he said. This seems to be a long sentence formulated in a way that reflects President Haþim Kýlýç's willingness to not be understood, so that he won't be misunderstood. As I understood it, Kýlýç was trying to say that they would prefer not having the closure case against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) before them. I am sure that, having been assigned to settle the account, the 12 giant men would prefer to "play the game" in front of empty tribunes. The fact that the "old guard" keeps an eye (a sword, actually, and not that of Damocles) on the members of the court and that they feel besieged and regard the court as the "inner castle" is not making the 12 men's job any easier. The Constitutional Court is not only responsible for securing concordance of the laws with the Constitution; it is also responsible, as the highest court, to maintain faith in the judiciary. It has already damaged the image of the "judges and prosecutors" with the questionable decision on the headscarf ban. A similar mistake on the closure case, though understandable under the current tense situation, would be suicide for the judiciary's image. Let them play the game. It is not easy to be a judge, you know!


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04 TODAY’S ZAMAN

T H U R S D AY, J U N E 1 9 , 2 0 0 8

Sarkozy hopes to steal show in Middle East peace campaign France hopes to host a face-to-face meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Syrian President Bashar Assad next month to bring ongoing peace efforts between the two enemy states mediated by Turkey to the next level, according to a French official. The last direct talks -- between then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara -- stalled in 2000 in a dispute over how much of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in a 1967 war, should go back to Syria. Peace efforts restarted a year ago under Turkish auspices, both countries confirmed last month. Syria and Israel have thanked Turkey for its peace role, and major international actors, including countries like the United States and Russia, have praised Ankara's mediation. But in a sign that the peace talks could change venues, Israeli officials attending the latest round of the Turkish-mediated talks on Sunday and Monday in Turkey reportedly proposed a direct meeting between Olmert and Assad in Paris on July 13 on the

sidelines of a summit of European and Mediterranean countries. Israeli and Syrian leaders could meet on the sidelines of the summit, a senior aide to French President Nicolas Sarkozy said yesterday. "We see now that Mr. Olmert is suggesting that the summit on the 13th could be an opportunity for direct contacts," Sarkozy's chief of staff, Claude Gueant, told Europe 1 radio. "I don't know if that will be the case, but in any case there is much at stake, and it is France's role as a peacemaker to try to ensure that it works," he said. Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said yesterday that Israel and Syria would hold new rounds of peace talks and that dates for the talks had already been set. Turkey has so far hosted two rounds of indirect talks between Israeli and Syrian delegations, the latest taking place on Sunday and Monday. Babacan, speaking in Uganda on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said Turkey's mediation had been welcomed in many parts of the world. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with Reuters

LALE SARIÝBRAHÝMOÐLU

French PM objects to anti-Turkey plan France's Prime Minister François Fillon yesterday voiced opposition to a planned constitutional amendment that would require a referendum on the eventual accession of Turkey to the EU, with the amendment being described by Ankara as a product of "a discriminative approach" to Turkey by certain French politicians. Late last month, the French National Assembly, the lower house of the French parliament, passed a package of constitutional amendments including a provision to make a referendum obligatory for accepting new EU member countries with populations of over 5 percent the bloc's total population, which currently stands at about

loglu@todayszaman.com

500 million. With its population of 70 million, EU candidate Turkey appears to be the specific target of the clause. A French senator had already said last week that a significant number of senators from the French ruling party were opposed to the amendment. "Is this the time for making this kind of an amendment? A considerable majority of you are objecting to this. My view is also close to yours," Fillon was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency during a plenary session on the package held at the Senate. Despite not openly mentioning the particular article concerning an obligatory referendum, Fillon referred to it via these remarks, Anatolia noted. Ankara Today's Zaman with wires

Soft coup already under way, hard coup possýble

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CUMALÝ ÖNAL

Babacan unlýkely to attend key PACE meetýng on Turkey Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has signaled he is not planning to attend an urgent meeting of parliamentarians at Europe's human rights watchdog later this month, when members of the Council of Europe will discuss an ongoing closure case against Turkey's ruling party. The reason behind Babacan's choice not to participate in the critical gathering, which observers fear could result in a decision to put Turkey back on a list of countries that require monitoring of their democratic practices, is an upcoming meeting of the influential National Security Council (MGK), which gathers top political and military leaders of the country at bimonthly meetings presided over by the president, officials told Today's Zaman on Wednesday. On June 10 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) announced that it had invited Babacan to the urgent meeting, scheduled to take place on June 26, the same day the MGK meeting is due to be held. The proposal to hold an urgent meeting came after a state prosecutor asked the Constitutional Court in March to close down the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on charges of becoming a "focal point for anti-secular activities." In Kampala, Uganda, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a foreign ministerial meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Babacan yesterday declined to give a clear answer on whether he would travel to Strasbourg for the key meeting, signaling, however, that it would be difficult to do so due to the MGK meeting, the Anatolia news agency reported. As of Tuesday, when the same question was directed in Luxembourg, where he was participating in an intergovernmental conference of Turkey and the European Union, Babacan said that "Strasbourg was once labeled Stress-bourg in Turkey," because of violations of fundamental rights, human rights and the democratic functioning of institutions. "We hope that those days do not return. We hope that there will be no turning back from democracy. Otherwise, it would be a clear mishap for Turkey," the minister added. Turkey has already gained almost full support from the 57-member OIC for its

Foreign Minister Ali Babacan attended a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference foreign ministers in Uganda on Wednesday. bid for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council for 2009-2010, Babacan also said yesterday in Kampala. "Fifty-five of the 57 countries have lent their support to Turkey at the moment. We are continuing on the other two countries," Babacan was quoted as saying by Anatolia. 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. Austria and Iceland have declared that they are also running for the same seat. Turkey, which has undertaken many UN missions in the 62 years since it became a founding member of the body, has already gained support from at least two-thirds of the UN General Assembly's

192 members for the elections on Oct. 7 during the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly. Ankara believes that becoming a temporary member of the UN Security Council will position Turkey to better inform the international community of its stance on many controversial issues, particularly its position on the divided island of Cyprus. Babacan also emphasized that the Cyprus issue and the situation of the Turkish minority living in Western Thrace were on agenda of the OIC meeting in Kampala and noted that it was importance that these issues also find place in the final declaration of the meeting. Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Turgay Avcý was in Kampala as well. He told reporters

that the OIC has been planning to hold a conference on tourism in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) next year. The OIC has repeatedly and strongly called for easing the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people. In May OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ýhsanoðlu paid an official visit to the island, his second time in the KKTC in his capacity as the OIC chief. Before Ýhsanoðlu's first visit in February 2007, only a high-level OIC delegation had visited the KKTC. The OIC supports a just solution of the Cyprus issue via United Nations initiatives provided that this solution is based on the political equality of the two sides and the principle of bi-zonality, Ýhsanoðlu said during his latest visit. Ankara Today's Zaman

Obama reaffirms commitment to ‘genocide’ recognition US Democratic presidential presumptive nominee Barack Obama has once again voiced commitment to the official recognition of an alleged genocide of Armenians in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. In a letter sent to an influential lobbying group of the Armenian diaspora, Obama said he shared the group's view that Washington "must recognize the events of 1915 to 1923, carried out by the Ottoman Empire, as genocide." "We must recognize this tragic reality. The Bush administration's refusal to do so is inexcusable, and I will continue to speak out in an effort to move the administration to change its posi-

tion," Obama said in the letter, addressed to Ken Hachikian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA.) The letter was published on ANCA's Web page on Tuesday. "I was deeply disturbed two years ago when the US ambassador to Armenia was fired after he used the term 'genocide' to describe the mass slaughter of Armenians. In a letter to the Department of State, I called for Secretary Rice to closely examine what I believe is an untenable position taken by the US government. A copy of that letter is enclosed for your review," Obama also said, referring to the fact that back in 2006, then-US Ambassador to Armenia John Evan re-

portedly had his tour of duty in Armenia cut short by the administration because, in a social setting, he referred to the killings as "genocide." In August the White House withdrew its nomination of a career diplomat, Richard Hoagland, after Democratic Senator Robert Menendez held up confirmation hearings because of his refusal to call World War I-era killings of Armenians a genocide. Late in March, President George W. Bush nominated another career diplomat, Marie Yovanovitch, who is currently ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, to be US ambassador to Armenia.

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"The ANCA has spoken to committee members about the value of carefully questioning Ambassador Yovanovitch on the many issues she will face as the US envoy in Yerevan, among them the recognition of the Armenian genocide, Turkey and Azerbaijan's ongoing blockades of Armenia, and the need for a balanced US role in helping forge a democratic and peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," ANCA said in its report on Tuesday. Yovanovitch's confirmation hearing before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to take place on Thursday. Ankara Today's Zaman

What has happened since the Turkish military released a memo on April 27, 2007 as a warning to the government, since followed by the Constitutional Court's controversial and political 367 decision, which prevented the first round of the presidential election last year, has already signaled the start of a post-modern, or soft, coup in the country, orchestrated by the military-led, staunchly secular elite. If both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and other political parties in Parliament do not behave responsibly in finding a common ground and compromise -- for the sake of preventing further interventions in the political process by non-political actors -- we may face a hard coup in a few months' time. This, in fact, will spell real chaos, taking into consideration the nature of military coups that have removed four governments from power so far, and inflict serious damage on the country's development in all spheres. But I am still optimistic that just as the Turkish national soccer team, which defeated the Czech team during the Euro 2008 match, scoring 3-2 in the last 15 minutes of the game and thereby qualifying to play in the quarterfinals, Turkish political actors will also make a last-minute move and save the country from going through the effects of another devastating military coup. A soft coup, or what its architects (one of them was then-Turkish General Staff Secretary-General retired Gen. Erol Özkasnak) have described as a post-modern coup, took place back in 1996, culminating with the forced resignation of then coalition government, led by the now-defunct pro-Islamic Welfare Party (RP) in 1997. The 1997 post-modern coup became possible with an overt campaign orchestrated by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) through briefings given at General Staff headquarters in Ankara to the top judiciary, academics and journalists, culminating with the dispatch of tanks to the streets of the capital's Sincan district, a stronghold of proIslamists. I strongly support that Turkey, overwhelmingly Muslim but secular by Constitution, adhere to the democratic principles rather than moving towards a pro-Islamic lifestyle. However, I am also among those who strongly believe that military coups and fear-based politics should not be the way to rule a nation. Rather, the nation should be governed and ruled by civilians elected by the people, and the political leadership's sole task should be to pursue policies furthering democracy. This also means freedoms should be expanded. Neither hard coups nor post-modern coups have helped open the way for the expansion of democracy in Turkey as coups by nature do not have any such role to play. Coups only strengthen their undertakers through the preservation of the status quo. Unfortunately, we have been going through a process of a soft military coup -- this time more covertly as the judiciary has been used as a cover. The April 27 memo failed in the sense that it did not prevent the AK Party's second rise to power of the AK Party -- this time with a landslide victory in the July 22 elections of last year. The judiciary then came on the scene to continue the coup games but failed to prevent the election of then-Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül as president by the newly formed Parliament. It is also true that the AK Party has made serious strategic mistakes by bowing to the pressure of the staunchly secular establishment, which I describe as a selfish elite, thus neglecting political and economic reforms required for the well-being of the citizens. The 47 percent of the votes that the AK Party received during the July 22 elections was strong enough of a mandate given to the political leadership by the people for it to continue its historic military and civil reforms that began during its first term after its election in November 2002. The AK Party, however, failed to benefit from the 47 percent mandate by doing almost nothing to continue economic and political reforms required for furthering democracy. The result has been the AK Party being trapped by the judiciary, which has sought its closure and a ban on 70 of its members, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, as well as President Abdullah Gül from engaging in politics. The Constitutional Court will issue its ruling on the AK Party closure case in the coming months. If the court decides on closure, the party has enough members to set up a new party -- one that can be called the son of the AK Party -- and stay in power. But a new party does not have the same luxury of making the same strategic mistakes that the AK Party has made. First and foremost, any new party to be formed should re-establish its links with the Turkish liberals that gave their strong backing to the AK Party during its first term, while taking steps to convince the public that it is adhering to EU reforms more strongly than ever. The Turkish team's last-minute miracle in Geneva last week was also the result of a sudden realization of the team's potential to succeed. Similarly, Turkish political actors should also realize that they have the same potential to succeed and that the establishment should not prevent them from exploring their potential through intimidation. Last-minute maneuvers could avoid a hard coup.


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A number of Turkish doctors from a private association have returned from a trip that began last month to the Gaza Strip, where they had provided medical care to those unable to leave due to the Israeli blockade of the area. Dr. Kerem Kýnýk, the coordinator of the Association of Earth Doctors, spoke to the Anatolia news agency, saying that they had been kept waiting for more than five hours at the Erez crossing on the northern Gaza-Israel border by Israeli soldiers while trying to get into Gaza. Kýnýk noted that directly after entering Gaza they headed straight to area hospitals, where many patients were desperately awaiting treatment because of the lack of specialists. “Palestinians formed long queues to be examined by Turkish doctors,” he said, adding that the doctors from the association performed consecutive surgical operations late into the night during their stay. Kýnýk stated that Ýsmail Haniye, the prime minister of the de facto Hamas government, greeted the Earth Doctors team in his office and that he conveyed his salutations and thanks to the Turkish people. Noting that they were briefed by Haniye on the latest situation in Palestine and that they informed him of their voluntary work, Kýnýk said they also met with Palestinian Health Minister Besim Naim Muhammad.

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‘Earth Doctors’ return from volunteer mission to Gaza

Last month the Association of Earth Doctors provided medical care to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who were unable to leave due to an Israeli blockade of the area. In addition to Hamas officials, the directors of health institutions located in Gaza thanked Turkey for the continuous aid it provided and presented the Turkish group with various gifts and plaques to be conveyed to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip

Erdoðan on behalf of the Turkish nation. A member of the group, dentist Süleyman Gündüz, also a former Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Sakarya deputy, recounted that they were greeted by the Gazans in an outpouring of excitement for their

voluntary work. Emphasizing his great happiness to have been a member of the group, Gündüz noted that the Palestinian people live under extremely difficult conditions because of the Israeli occupation of the town. “There are thousands of patients whose transfer paperwork has been completed for receiving treatment abroad, yet they have been unable to leave the country for a year because of the siege,” he said. The neurosurgeon of the team, Dr. Saffet Tüzgen, said they had successfully operated on many disabled patients who had sustained injuries to their heads and spines during Israeli attacks. “Many seemingly hopeless patients have shown remarkable recovery after the operations while some have completely recuperated,” Tüzgen said, adding that a bedridden patient who could not use his legs for 17 days because of a shrapnel wound to his spine started walking again after a six-hour operation. Orthopedist Dr. Halil Rýfat Çanakçý noted that he had joined the team from the southeastern Turkish district of Cizre. “It is greatly uplifting to be standing by the Palestinian nation during their insufferable plight,” he said, while Dr. Saim Berçin, a general surgeon, noted that the Earth Doctors would continue helping Palestine. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman with wires

are expected to be issues pertaining to property, security arrangements for both communities and power sharing. “The process has gone faster and better ... than I would have thought might have been possible,” Pascoe said. But he cautioned there would be disagreements along the way. “Of course there’s going to be bumps in the road, and there’s going to be ups and downs ... But my strong sense is that the overall direction is a very positive one,” Pascoe said. The UN official also played down suggestions that the ongoing crisis in Turkey over attempts to ban the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on charges of anti-secular activities will scuttle Cyprus peace talks. As of Tuesday initial plans for an informal threeway dinner hosted by Pascoe were cancelled after Talat said he would not attend. Yet Pascoe did dine with Christofias at UN chief of mission Taye-Brook Zerihoun’s residence inside the UN-patrolled buffer zone in the divided capital of Nicosia. A joint pact recently signed between Greek Cyprus and Britain and the wording of last Friday’s UN Security Council resolution on Cyprus were the main reasons behind Talat’s declination to attend the dinner. Talat hosted Pascoe before the dinner, and the two had tea together at Talat’s presidential residence with Zerihoun and Talat’s senior aide, Özdil Nami, accompanying them. There is no negativity or progress which could be attributed to his talks with Pascoe earlier in the day, Talat said, after having tea with Pascoe in the evening. “Anyhow, we have to come together in the shortest time. We will come together and talk. Whatever the problems are, we have to overcome them,” Talat also said, expressing eagerness over meeting with Christofias on a date to be announced by the UN. Ankara Today’s Zaman with wires

Court adjourns Atabeyler trial due to non-delivery of Ergenekon file The Ankara 11th High Criminal Court adjourned the trial of 10 members of an organized crime group known as Atabeyler as a requested file on the Ergenekon gang, a criminal network believed to have been carrying out preparations to overthrow the government, was not submitted to the court, the Anatolia news agency reported yesterday. The court had requested the file on Ergenekon in April from the Ýstanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office to examine possible links between the two groups. The trial was adjourned yesterday as the requested file was not yet submitted; Anatolia did not state until when the trial was adjourned. The Atabeyler gang was uncovered in a police operation in the Eryaman district of Ankara in 2005.

Five of the 10 suspected members of the gang, namely Murat Eren, Yakup Yayla, Erkut Taþ, Yasin Yaman and Yunis Akkaya, may be sentenced to prison terms of between seven and 24 years for “cooperating with the aim of preventing the Republic of Turkey from fulfilling its duties.” Four other suspects, Mustafa Raþit Çavdar, Cemal Hasan Özdeþ, Ýsmail Bilici and Mehmet Karatepe, may face prison terms of between three and 12 years in accordance with Article 416 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) on membership in a criminal gang that plans to distort the constitutional order of the country, while the last suspect, Suat Kýy, may be sentenced to six years of prison for contributing to the establishment of a criminal organization. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman with wires

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The UN is confident that a revived peace process will conclude in a deal that has so far proven elusive to reunify the ethnically divided island of Cyprus, a senior UN official said Wednesday. UN Undersecretary for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe said there are “huge expectations” internationally that “Cyprus will make it this time” after 34 years of repeated failures to reach a UN-brokered agreement. “This is a very hot issue internationally,” Pascoe told a news conference in Nicosia at the end of a two-day visit to the island. “People do think that this is the moment that we can make it and I honestly believe that if the people of Cyprus think that, we can get there this time,” he said. Pascoe said UN support for reunification talks between Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will not be “wasted this time” because the desire to see the process succeed is “huge.” “You have the full backing of the international community,” said Pascoe. “We want to make it work, and the sooner the better.” The island’s Greek and Turkish Cypriots have lived divided since 1974, when Turkey militarily intervened in the north of the island in response to a brief Greek-inspired coup. Christofias and Talat broke a four-year stalemate on talks in March when they agreed to start face-to-face negotiations after a preparation period of several months. The two are expected to meet next week to set a date for the start of those talks. In the meantime, groups of experts from both communities will continue meeting to pinpoint issues that need to be discussed, said Pascoe. “I remain quite optimistic that the process is moving forward, and I think we’ll get into substantive talks in the not too distant future,” he said. Major sticking points for the direct negotiations

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UN confident Cyprus peace process will achieve reunification

B. Lynn Pascoe, the UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, talks to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat (L) after their meeting in Lefkoþa on Tuesday.

Impossible to set date for AK Party verdict, says top court justice Haþim Kýlýç, the president of the Constitutional Court, which is currently hearing a closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), said on Wednesday that it was impossible to determine an exact date on which the top court would issue its verdict on the case. Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalçýnkaya in March of this year filed charges with the Constitutional Court against the AK Party, accusing it of having become a “focal point of anti-secularist activity.” The AK Party turned in its final defense statement on Monday. The Constitutional Court announced shortly after the party submitted its statement that it has scheduled July 1, next Tuesday, as the date on

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which it will hear the prosecution’s verbal testimony. The AK Party will testify on July 3; however, it was silent on when the final ruling would be issued. “First the chief prosecutor and then the party will give their verbal defense statements. After their testimonies, the court rapporteur will prepare a report and we will gather as a panel of judges only after he finishes his work. It is impossible to set a specific date for the verdict,” Kýlýç said. Meanwhile, the court has also scheduled a date to hear the defense of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), which is facing closure on charges of promoting ethnic separatism. The prosecutor will reiterate the charges on June 24 and the DTP will submit its verbal defense on June 26. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman with wires

FEHMÝ KORU f.koru@todayszaman.com

Talk of the town After spending almost a quarter of a century observing politics in Ankara, the city has had an indelible influence on me. Whenever I go back to recharge my political batteries, our capital city fills me with new insights and understandings. I love Ýstanbul as a joyful city, and every corner of it gives me great pleasure, but I respect Ankara for its eagerness to nourish a suspecting soul. It is time for commencements in Turkey. My youngest son’s graduation from high school and the ceremony the school held was the most opportune reason for me to go to Ankara to clear my mind. Do the priorities of a country differ from one city to another? Yes, especially if the cities in question are Ýstanbul and Ankara. When in Ýstanbul you care very little for the calendar of the Constitutional Court or who is going to replace whom in the high echelons of the military in the next Supreme Military Council (YAÞ) meeting, but in Ankara everybody seems to go over every minute detail of these issues. A veteran journalist friend of mine claims that almost all new and mostly negative developments in politics, from the party closure case to economic turmoil, stem from uncertainties surrounding the military appointments. There are those who feel that the government would like to use its weight in YAÞ to ensure that the successor to Gen. Yaþar Büyükanýt as chief of general staff will not be Gen. Ýlker Baþbuð, the chief of the Land Forces, as expected. In theory this is possible. The chairman of YAÞ is the prime minister, and the decisions are put into practice after approval by the president. When the prime minister and president come into agreement, they can easily choose somebody else for Gen. Büyükanýt’s position. This has happened twice in our recent history. In 1977 Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel, in collusion with President Fahri Korutürk, sacked Gen. Namýk Kemal Ersun. In 1987, taking the approval of President Kenan Evren, Prime Minister Turgut Özal sent Gen. Necdet Öztorun into early retirement. They both expected to become chief of general staff. There is no doubt in my mind if and when the two -- President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoðan -- decide on an issue they would do it without spending too much time focused on their decision’s repercussions. They would opt for somebody else without thinking twice if they felt it necessary. This is in theory. In reality, I would never hesitate to bet on just the opposite. The YAÞ meeting, which will be convened in the first week of August, will go smoothly and end without any surprising result. Even a long sojourn in Ankara hasn’t given me the same authoritative idea about the calendar and outcome of the party closure case. Since I am not as sure as my veteran journalist friend who claims every single political problem is related to uncertainties surrounding the YAÞ meeting, I cannot say with confidence anything about the case other than the obvious: The justices are as divided as ever, and they would like to see this case come to an end as soon as possible. The case for Democratic Society Party (DTP) will come to the court’s agenda in the second half of July, and the case for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will be handled by the court right after it and most likely be decided in early August. The only factor that would change this calendar is the chief prosecutor’s possible demand for additional time for preparation, and very few in Ankara expect this to happen. When the president of the Constitutional Court, Haþim Kýlýç, on behalf of all the members of the court, made an announcement to criticize the press for its lack of regard over the privacy and integrity of the members of the court, he also attempted to clarify a very important point. In the communiqué of the Constitutional Court the justices showed a disinclination to take over cases with political cloud and asked that politicians solve those kinds of problems between themselves as is the case in democratic countries. That sentence shines out of a long text as evidence of the unhappiness of the court to tackle the party closure cases. Unpleasant it may be, yet the court will take up the party closure issue nevertheless and do so as soon as possible. We may have the decision by early August. What will the decision be? Will the court decide to close the party and ban some leaders from politics, or would it issue a softer verdict, depriving the AK Party of state funds, or issue a warning to ask that it remain within the boundaries of the secular setup? The most likely scenario is still the one that envisions the end of the AK Party. There are those who claim that the re-establishment of the AK Party under a different name would be very difficult under the present circumstances. Deniz Baykal, leader of Republican People’s Party (CHP) even hints at bringing Tayyip Erdoðan to civil courts for trial, since he will be deprived of his immunity after the possible ban on his political rights. Many sources in Ankara would not go that far, and what I gathered in this visit is that the expectation of the harshest verdict has somehow diminished. Many put their bets on a more lenient decision. I went to Ankara to clear my mind; yet I returned even more confused.


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President Gül cautions parties against escalating tension

Turkey exerts pressures on YouTube YouTube, being the world’s largest and most popular audio and video sharing Web site, has become a symbol as access to it has frequently been prohibited by Turkish courts. The Ankara’s Prosecutor’s Office has sought to expand the scope of this ban by having a worldwide access ban placed on videos deemed offensive by Turkish authorities. Indeed, a person living in Turkey can access censured sites by changing their computer’s proxy settings. Turkish prosecutors also want

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Long-standýng YouTube ban lýfted only for several hours A court order blocking access to popular video-sharing Web site YouTube that has been in place for one-and-a-half months was rescinded on Tuesday night; however, the Web site remained open only for several hours as it was banned again around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning. Turkey’s frequent YouTube bans, often caused by videos deemed insulting to the nation’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, uploaded by angry Greek users, places the country alongside China, Pakistan and Thailand, the only three countries in the world that have banned YouTube so far. Meanwhile, since January of this year, hundreds of Web sites have been blocked by court order. Luckily, owners of these sites, bureaucrats from the Telecommunications Department, the judiciary and the Justice Ministry yesterday convened a twoday meeting in Abant, in the northwestern province of Bolu, to discuss a possible solution for Turkey’s practice of censuring Web sites it deems offensive. Turkish courts have recently issued several verdicts blocking access to “offensive” Web sites, a move that has brought with it heated debates throughout the country. Banned Web sites include YouTube, Google Groups, Alibaba.com, Yahoo! GeoCities and others. By mid April, 321 Web sites were banned under the Internet Publications Law and another 102 under other laws. However, the YouTube bans have been the most frequent. The current law, passed in May 2007, allows courts to block access to Web sites that fall within nine categories, including child pornography and insulting Atatürk, among others. Access to such Web sites can be blocked by the Telecommunications Department following a court order or on its own initiative. A court may ban access to offending Web sites under other laws as well, such as if a Web site violates the Intellectual and Artistic Works Law or contains statements considered insults under civil law.

Amid growing political tension in Ankara following the opening of a closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), President Abdullah Gül has once more issued a statement urging political actors to act with restraint. “It is in the interest of all parties to preserve our national unity and integrity and to maintain economic and political stability,” he told reporters after receiving foreign trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region at the Çankaya Presidential Palace yesterday. Gül referenced a statement he made on May 26 and also noted he was closely monitoring the ongoing debates. “Certain manners, procedures and levels should be preserved in all these debates,” he said, adding: “It is in the interest of all parties to preserve our national unity and integrity and to maintain economic and political stability. For this reason, I consider it important to respect these points in all our debates.” He further stressed that these guiding principles were applicable to everyone today as well as in the past, referring to his previous written statement.

What did he said on May 26?

videos considered insulting to Atatürk to be erased altogether. In order to do this, they want YouTube to open a representative office in Turkey, obtain a security and authorization certificate, all required licenses and become a taxpayer under Turkish law. YouTube officials have no intention of opening such a branch. They say YouTube was not established in Turkey and is not subject to Turkish law. The officials also note that removing videos upon a request by Turkish courts is not a solution as what is requested by Turkey today may be demanded by Pakistan or Thailand in the future, leading to a vicious cycle.

A possible solution at Abant? A meeting convened yesterday in Abant, sponsored by turk.internet.com and the Ankara Bar Association. Parties involved tried to reach agreement over a possible solution to the Web site censure issue.

Officials from the Justice Ministry, the Supreme Court of Appeals, the Telecommunications Department, judges, prosecutors and representatives from nongovernmental organizations attended the meeting. The following topics were tackled at the Abant meeting: ISS and storage providers should block IP addresses, not entire Web sites. Decisions to ban access to a specific site should be given by specialized courts or specific courts designated by the Justice Ministry. This is because while one court may refuse to give such a decision, another court may be quick to give it. The current practice began upon demands by the Turkish Union of Music Producers (MÜYAP) and has become established. Owners of affected Web sites are given no right to rectify the situation if their sites are censured under laws other than the Internet Publications Law. In other words, access to Web sites can be banned without giving time to owners of the sites in question to remove the offen-

sive content or allowing them to defend their case. Censuring Web sites is a frequently and easily implemented measure although it should be regarded as a last resort. “As the Ankara Bar Association, we will discuss this issue with the implementers and try to find a solution,” said lawyer Özgür Eralp, the head of the data processing center at the Ankara Bar Association ahead of the meeting. Füsun Sarp Nebil, the founder of turk.internet.com, noted that the practice of censuring Web sites started after MÜYAP’s 2005 initiatives. MÜYAP sought to ensure no access to Web sites providing illegal music downloads, Nebil said. “Banned sites are given no right to defend themselves. Also, instead of only blocking access to the problematic page, the entire site may be banned. All these issues should be discussed and the sites should be allowed to defend themselves. We hope this meeting will be an important starting point.” Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman with wires

Gül had issued a warning on May 26 to the parties in a row between the judiciary and the government, saying: “It is the duty of all individuals and agencies with a sense of responsibility to show the utmost care to keep these arguments from reaching a level where they run the risk of damaging the fundamental principles of our Constitution, our national interest and reputation, solidarity, unity and economic and political stability, and to assume the attitude, manner and sophistication the situation calls for.” The president’s statement had further asserted that the wrong and right parties in the discussion would ultimately be decided by the public’s common sense.

Another warning on June 12 On June 12 Gül had also warned over escalating tensions in Turkey, during a visit to Croatia. Calling on all parties involved to refer to democracy and the rule of law as the remedy for all problems, Gül said: “Everyone should calculate the costs, as we are passing through a critical time. The developments around the world are obvious. Oil prices have jumped to $140, and no one can say, ‘I don’t care,’ or, ‘Even if interest rates have risen, it doesn’t bother me.’ Turkey should be a powerful country; otherwise, all of us will pay the price.” In March Gül convened political party leaders and representatives of several NGOs at the Çankaya Presidential Palace while he met Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan at a National Sovereignty and Children’s Day festival on April 23. He had told leaders to “reclaim democracy and stability.” However, Deniz Baykal, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), did not attend the meeting. Ankara Today’s Zaman

Publisher sentenced over book on Armenian killings

Tick-borne disease claims four lives in two days Despite the warnings of officials and measures taken to prevent the spread of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), which is transmitted by tick bites and can be fatal, the disease continues to claim lives -- killing four people in Turkey in the last two days. A 53-year-old woman who was transferred to the Ýzmir Atatürk Research Hospital from her hometown of Çanakkale with a suspected case of CCHF died on Tuesday. Meanwhile, M.D., a mother of two and a farmer in a village in Ayvacýk district, was bitten by a tick three weeks ago. She reportedly tried to pull the tick off her skin on her own and soon started having terrible abdomen aches. M.D. turned to the Ayvacýk State Hospital and was then transferred to Ýzmir two days ago for more treatment. She also died on Tuesday. Another woman receiving treatment for CCHF in Sivas also died. H.A., 84, was taken to Cumhuriyet University’s School of Medicine Hospital four days ago after being bitten by a tick. Her condition rapidly deteriorated due to her advanced age and she died yesterday despite the best efforts of doctors. Another tick-related CCHF case that ended in tragedy happened this time in Ankara. M.B., a 15-year-old shepherd, picked a tick off his dog and squashed the tick while grazing his sheep in Çorum’s Sungurlu district. M.B. did not wash his hands after killing the tick and had a fever two days after, when he was sent to Sungurlu State Hospital. M.B. was sent to the Ankara Numune Hospital on Monday

NATIONAL

A Turkish publisher has been sentenced to five months in prison for publishing a book by a British author about a mass killing of Armenians in 1915. Ragýp Zarakolu was found guilty of “insulting the institutions of the Turkish Republic” under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) on Tuesday. The controversial article was recently amended under pressure from the EU to ensure freedom of speech in Turkey. This is the first high-profile verdict to be handed down since then. Zarakolu’s sentence Ragýp Zarakolu seems to confirm campaigners’ fears that changes to the law were merely cosmetic. In April it became a crime to insult the Turkish nation, rather than Turkishness. But insulting the Turkish nation is still punishable by up to two years in jail. Zarakolu was brought to trial for publishing a book by British author George Jerjian on the mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Turkey denies the killings were genocide, saying both Turks and Armenians were killed, and the issue remains highly sensitive. Reading the verdict, the judge told Zarakolu he had insulted the Turkish republic and its founders. His own defense -- that he had the right to criticize -- was rejected. Zarakolu’s case was not referred to the Ministry of Justice, as required under the reforms, and he has said he will appeal against the verdict. His sentence will not be imposed until the appeals process is complete. Standing outside the court, Zarakolu said such rulings had silenced many writers in Turkey but that he would continue to challenge the restrictions. “I was partly expecting this result. But it is a struggle for the truth and it will go on. I do not consider myself convicted. This is a conviction for official history and for denial,” he said. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman with wires

after being diagnosed with CCHF and died on Wednesday evening. Dr. Fikret Purtul, the health director of Çorum, a town in Central Anatolia which has seen most of the CCHF cases in recent years, noted that awareness campaigns carried out in rural and urban areas about CCHF have been effective. “School directors were trained in Çorum and fliers have been distributed. Teams of medical professionals have traveled to villages to raise awareness about CCHF. We have also distributed anti-tick repellants, an initiative funded by the Health Ministry, to villagers. Locals have been advised to visit a hospital if they have been bitten by a tick. Patients that have contacted hospitals will be monitored. Once their lab and test results have been reviewed, treatment will be tailored to them. When necessary, patients will be transferred to better-equipped hospitals,” he added. Diyarbakýr Health Director Namýk Kemal Kubat said 10 people are being quarantined after four of them, including a doctor and a janitor, tested positive for CCHF. Six of them are suspected of carrying the virus. Assistant Professor Mahmut Koç, the head physician of Ankara Numune Hospital, said the condition of three doctors and a healthcare worker who were treated for CCHF was fairly well and that they would be discharged by Friday. Koç recalled that the three doctors and the healthcare worker had contracted the disease while treating a bleeding CCHF patient. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman with wires

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BUSINESS

TODAY’S ZAMAN 07

T H U R S D AY, J U N E 1 9 , 2 0 0 8

LEGAL

Despýte polýtýcal stalemate, fýscal dýscýplýne stýll on track ÝBRAHÝM ÖZTÜRK i.ozturk@todayszaman.com

Unlike the past, when even minor turbulence in the world economy and/or domestic political chaos led to a drastic economic crisis such as those of 1994, 1999 and 2001, Turkey’s economy has been successfully resistant to the serious global economic meltdown and the tragedy of the regime crisis in Turkey. In this resistance, the government’s high sense of responsibility in preserving the supremacy of democracy and sovereignty of Parliament over the antidemocratic attempts of oligarchs who are resisting change and reform toward EU standards, the dedication of the government to economic reforms and other priorities of stability, the high level of trust among the public in the ruling single-party government and finally, sound management and the resulting robust figures in the public and financial sector balances have been quite decisive. Today I want to discuss recent developments in the public sector from the viewpoint of fiscal discipline. As a reminder, since 2004-2005, fiscal discipline has almost been accomplished in the sense that (1) the budget deficit to gross domestic product (GDP) has declined to below 3 percent since 2005; (2) the public sector debt burden to GDP has been below 60 percent since 2004. Fiscal sector improvements in public sector debt continued in 2007 and by the end of the year, the debt/GDP ratio fell below 38 percent; (3) Public sector borrowing requirements realized

-0.3 in 2005, -2 in 2006 and 0 in 2007; (4) The share of interest expenditures in total government revenue declined to almost 32 percent in 2007 from 97 percent in 2002; and (5) its share in GDP declined to nearly 5.5 percent in 2007 from almost 20 percent at the end of 2001. It is apparent that the government has been quite successful in maintaining fiscal discipline even after the post-International Monetary Fund (IMF) program in 2008. As is known, Turkey had implemented a stabilization program with the IMF since 1999, a program that led to a dramatic crisis in 2001, and after a couple of changes to the major architecture Turkey continued with the same program. In fact, this program should be considered a success story in the post-crisis era thanks to the contribution of many factors, such as the single-party government’s dedication to reform measures, the EU membership agenda as an anchor, the positive economic outlook in the global economic environment, a surge in productivity in almost all categories and foreign direct investment. By the end of the latest (19th) stabilization program, the government decided to put an end to Turkey’s long-standing relationship with the IMF and to pursue its own program. This, however, does not mean that the government will definitely deviate from fiscal discipline. As a matter of fact, the government has already announced a medium-term fiscal framework in which long term-oriented targets are fixed in order to create and keep positive expectations in the long term. In this plan, despite the fact the government decreased the rate of primary surplus to GDP to 3.5 percent in 2008, the budget deficit to GDP has been targeted at 1.4 percent (below that of 2007) and an even lower public debt burden to GDP. When we consider the budget implementations for the first five

months of 2008 (see table), we can see that the results are quite positive as we compare the government’s initial targets and the same period in 2007. To clarify my position, despite slow economic growth in 2008, a situation in which tax revenues are expected to decline, revenues rose by around 5 percent, while expenditures rose only 3 percent. In such an environment, interest expenditures, as one of the major problems in the Turkish public sector balances, continued declining dramatically. The rate of decline was more than 17 percent. Despite all of this, the government budget deficit remained around YTL 2 billion, a 38.2 percent improvement compared to the same period in 2007. The year-end budget deficit target is YTL 18 billion. It seems that under current conditions, the year-end budget deficit will be less than YTL 15 billion. Obviously, this would be a big success in a period of such slow economic growth in both the domestic and external arenas and during a deep political crisis, leading to big uncertainties among economic agents and their decisions.

Budget results in 2008 (January-May) Billion YTL Expenditures Exp. excl. Interest payments Interest expenditures Revenues Tax revenues Budget balance Primary balance

2007 83.4 59.8 23.6 80.1 59.2 -3.3 20.2

2008 86.0 66.4 19.5 83.9 70.0 -2 17.5

Change (%) 3 11 -17.2 4.8 18.3 38.4 -13.7

Exporter unions to have a say under new law The government on Friday sent a bill to Parliament concerning the establishment and duties of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TÝM) and other exporter unions, at the initiative of TIM and the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat. The proposed law is expected to be passed by Parliament by the end of 2008 and will regulate the responsibilities and structure of exporter unions, which currently operate under Cabinet decrees and bylaws. The new law also foresees sanctions and punishments for exporters that do not fulfill their responsibilities to their customers. The government felt it needed to take action in order to solve issues raised by exporting companies in Turkey. Customs bureaus will seek the approval of exporter unions before approving bills of entry -- the listing of goods received at Customs Houses as imports or for export. If there is more than one union for a particular product the exporters will only be able subscribe to one of those unions. Under the new bill the exporter unions plan to penalize those exporters that do not behave in accordance with the rules of the unions, which do not fulfill their responsibilities to their domestic and international customers, which do not fulfill their financial obligations on time and that do not obey the rules put forward by authorized organs of the exporter unions. Ercan Yavuz Ankara

VENTURE

Ayaydýn partners with Italian Miroglio

Turkish leaders signal strong confidence in economy PHOTO

TODAY’S ZAMAN

contýnued from page 1 Reflecting the same determination, Turkish Central Bank Governor Durmuþ Yýlmaz said the bank will stick to its target of price stability despite the challenges ahead. Speaking at the Euromoney Turkey Finance and Investment Forum in Ýstanbul, Yýlmaz stressed, "Economic indicators show that the Turkish economy's resistance to fluctuations in global markets has increased substantially compared to previous episodes of turbulence." He explained that "the current relative resilience is an outcome of the macroeconomic policies successfully and decisively implemented since 2001, together with comprehensive structural reforms," adding, "Still, we are facing challenges now." Ersin Özince, the general manager of Ýþ Bank and the chairman of the Turkish Banks Association (TBB), told reporters yesterday that the general outlook of the Turkish economy is positive in the long term. He said economic management and coordination is not easy and that the responsibility does not fall only on the central bank, but also on the government and the private sector. Noting that developed and emerging countries alike have been suffering from higher inflation and lower growth rates for some time now, Yýlmaz argued that Turkey has several advantages compared to many of its counterparts that will allow it to support high growth rates in the medium term. "The first one is the demographic structure," he said, explaining that Turkey has a young and skilled population, which is one of the most important ingredients of economic growth. Yýlmaz also suggested that Turkey's ongoing EU accession process is another advantage that will keep fueling growth in Turkey. "Steps taken during the negotiation process will undoubtedly

TENDER

3G tender to take place in November 2008

Top Turkish political and economic leaders assured foreign investors yesterday that Turkey is right on track in terms of its reform process. increase Turkey's momentum and help unlock the growth potential of the country. EU accession is our medium-term anchor, and all parties in Turkey should adhere to this aim decisively," Yýlmaz said. Turkish Foreign Trade Minister Kürsad Tüzmen also said on Tuesday that Turkey's foreign trade volume would reach $325 billion by the end of 2008 and that exports would constitute

$120 billion of that figure. Speaking at the TurkeyAsia Pacific Foreign Trade Bridge II, organized by the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), Tüzmen said his government will focus on bilateral trade relations to attract investment and streamline legal processes to enhance trade potential. Trade chambers and business interest

groups across the country are also endorsing EU accession and reforms undertaken to bring legislation in line with the EU system. Adana Chamber of Commerce President Þanan Baþ asked that the reform process be kept active on the road to EU membership. In a written statement issued yesterday, he said, "The European Union is an anchor for the Turkish economy."

Banks worried over exchange rates, loan repayments ERCAN BAYSAL ANKARA

Global economic fluctuations and political tension continue to take a heavy toll on the Turkish economy. The bill the country will pay for interest payments has increased to YTL 4 billion, and the alarm bells for the banking sector have begun to toll. The country’s banking sector is expected to make $10 billion in syndicated loan repayments by the end of this year, and banks are uneasily watching the rise in the foreign exchange rates. The sum a bank is required to repay for the loan it received in terms of a foreign currency will rise in terms of YTL parallel to the increase in the value of that foreign currency against the YTL. For instance, if a bank has obtained a $1 billion loan, then it will repay YTL 1 billion when $1 equals YTL 1 -- but if there is a 10 percent increase in the exchange rate, the sum

The Ayaydýn Group, a leading ready-to-wear apparel company in Turkey, has signed a partnership agreement with Italian firm Miroglio. In a written statement, the Ayaydýn Group said it had signed a 50-50 partnership agreement with Miroglio, noting that it aims to take in 230 million euros in a consolidated turnover with 320 stores by the end of 2012. The Ayaydýn Group owns popular ready-to-wear brands Ýpekyol, Twist and Machka. Ayaydýn Group Executive Board President Yalçýn Ayaydýn stated that the company wanted a partner that would share the risks as well as experience and information and that would further strengthen the company. He noted that the first target is to open 100 stores in six countries, including Turkey, this year. Miroglio, established in 1947 by Guiseppe Miroglio in Alba, Italy, is known as one of the largest and most influential groups in world fashion. With an annual business volume of 1 billion euros, the company is among Italy's top 10 textile firms. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with wires

the bank must repay increases to YTL 1.1 million. Banks will repay their syndicated loans mostly in July, September and December. In July $1.407 million will be repaid, with the biggest payment from Vakýfbank, at $700,000. In September, $2.335 million will be repaid by three banks. Ýþbank and Yapý Kredi Bank will repay $800,000 each. December will be the busiest month in terms of repayment of syndicated loans, as eight banks will pay back a total of $2.695 million, with the biggest sum being paid by Yapý Kredi Bank, with $700,000.

Problematic loans amount to YTL 16.6 billion in Turkey

According to a study by leading global consulting company Ernst and Young, the sale of problematic loans, which represent a significant market in Europe, has considerable potential in Turkey as well. Ernst & Young corporate finance department executive partner Müge Öner says that after years of silence the private banks in Turkey have started to act in connection with the sale of delinquent loans. “In order to rectify their ratios and prepare for the nearing Basel II practices, the banks are reviewing their balance sheets.

The nonperforming loans (NPL) in the Turkish banking sector were worth about YTL 9 billion as of June 2007, with 87 percent belonging to the country's 10 biggest banks. When the protocols that are controlled by the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) are taken into consideration, this figure rises to YTL 16.6 billion. In its report about European NPL for 2008, Ernst & Young notes that big transactions are seen in the NPL market in Turkey, Germany, Italy, Russia, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Greece and Czech Republic.

CM Y K

Largest repayments Period Feb 08 Apr 08 May 08 July 08

Aug 08 Sept 08

Nov 08

Bank Sum (in USD) Bank Pozitif 59,250 Eximbank 330,963 Anadolubank 150,000 TID Bank 195,000 Garanti Bank 877,661 Oyakbank 150,000 Textile Bank 128,100 Textile Bank 159,498 Vakýflar Bank 700,000 Turkland Bank 100,000 Þekerbank 169,500 Akbank 735,746 Ýþbank 800,000 Yapý Kredi 800,000 Akbank 735,746 TEB 353,183 Finansbank 425,000

Turkey will bid on third-generation mobile phone licenses, known as 3G, in November, Transportation and Communications Minister Binali Yýldýrým said on Tuesday. He said his ministry was waiting for mobile operators to finish their infrastructure and network expansion projects. Turkey held a 3G tender last year, but only Turkcell submitted a bid and so the license was cancelled. Turkcell competes in Turkey with Avea, jointly owned by Turk Telekom and Vodafone. Yýldýrým also noted that legislation aimed at curbing Internet crime was in the works at Parliament and stressed the need to update the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) to address the challenges posed by telecommunication technology. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman

SPENDING

Turks shell out nearly half billion for Father’s Day Turks charged $428 million for Father’s Day gifts this year, up 17.63 percent compared to last year. According to the Interbank Card Center (BKM), there were 6,643,842 credit card transactions between June 14 and 16 in Turkey. Most of the credit card transactions took place in Istanbul, followed by the provinces of Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Bursa, Adana, Içel, Konya, Kocaeli and Gaziantep. The majority of transactions were made for clothing items. The data does not include cash and other types of payment for Father’s Day gifts. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman

PARTNERSHIP

Italian firm buys 30 pct of Turkish cement company Italian Cementerie Aldo Barbetti signed a partnership agreement with Turkish cement and concrete producer Cimko on Wednesday. Barbetti bought 30 percent of Cimko, which is valued at 1.3 billion USD. Cimko, a venture of Turkish conglomerate Sanko Holding, owns two cement plants in the southeastern provinces of Kahramanmaras and Adiyaman. Istanbul Today’s Zaman with wires


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08 TODAY’S ZAMAN

T H U R S D AY, J U N E 1 9 , 2 0 0 8

BUSINESS

Kral TV channel acquired by Doðuþ for $95 mln

ity, having removed four governments from power. Mr. Ulusoy insists that Oyak is a purely commercial organisation, interested only in returns for its members, who happen to be army officers. It has independent auditors and makes full disclosure of its activities. But the army connection is a sore point and, given Oyak's ambition to expand abroad, the fund is anxious to eliminate any suspicion that it is a sovereign wealth fund. Oyak is a curious beast and suspicions may be aroused further because it looks more like a strategic vehicle than a passive portfolio investor. Indeed, Mr. Ulusoy is proud of Oyak's difference, suggesting that it is a new model, a pension fund that conducts its business in the manner of a private equity firm. It has stakes, often majority holdings, in more than 30 companies, such as Erdemir. It has a bias towards infrastructure, such as Oyak Cement, which controls 15 percent of the Turkish cement market, and it has a 49 percent stake in Evonik, a power generator owned jointly with Steag, of Germany, which has 7 percent of the Turkish electricity market. Even if Oyak isn't an army front, there is something of the military about Oyak's deliberate and disciplined strategy of taking big positions and holding its ground with grit and determination, rather than dabbling in shares like a typical fund manager. Indeed, Mr. Ulusoy used to teach military strategy before he was hired to help sort out Ziraat Bank, a state-owned lender. Oyak's strategy is being expanded beyond Turkey's borders. Oyak is big and needs to diversify beyond the domestic economy to reduce risk and widen opportunity. It will stick to basic industries and resources. The fund is also on the lookout for minerals, iron ore and coal, to supply Erdemir. Mr. Ulusoy says that he is hoping to spend about $2 billion, but could go higher; the fund has more than $3 billion in cash. Another reason to expand abroad is uncertainty over the Turkish economy, again under threat from rampant inflation, which recently headed back into double digits. In response, the Turkish central bank raised interest rates by half a percentage point to 16.25 percent. The Turkish lira rallied strongly, encouraged by signs that economic policy had not been derailed by the turmoil over Turkish civil rights.Meanwhile, the EU dithers and fusses over its own constitution. Perhaps the Irish have given the Turks a signal of how best to deal with the EU. It's another opportunity, but it doesn't stop you from going your own way. © The Times, London

PHOTO

contýnued from page 1 If there is little agreement in Brussels about where Turkey sits on the political and cultural map, there is little doubt among investors of its growing economic power. This week, ArcelorMittal showed its determination to own a piece of Turkey's infrastructure, almost doubling its stake in Erdemir, the country's biggest steelmaker, to just under 25 percent. Erdemir is a prize -- a big producer of flat steel products for Turkey's thriving automotive industry and long products for the construction sector. It has invested $3 billion (1.5 billion pounds) over the past two years to increase its output from 7 million to 9 million tonnes. ArcelorMittal wants it badly and Mittal and Arcelor, prior to their merger, made competing bids for Erdemir when the Turkish government sold its controlling stake in late 2005. They were chased off by Oyak Group, a Turkish pension fund. which bid an aggressive $3 billion for 53 percent of Erdemir. The high bid, said to be have been made after encouragement from the Turkish government, has certainly paid off. After ArcelorMittal's purchase of an extra 13 percent of Erdemir stock, the Turkish steel company was valued at almost $9 billion. Oyak has done well and not for the first time. In the midst of Turkey's financial crisis in 2001, it bought a bust bank for $36,000, "the price of my Jeep," Coskun Ulusoy, Oyak's chief executive, has joked. The fund invested $750 million and sold Oyak Bank last year to ING for $2.7 billion. Oyak had net income last year of $2.3 billion and cash reserves of $3.5 billion. Flush with funds, Mr. Ulusoy wants to go shopping in Europe and America, not for shares to pad the portfolio but for big stakes in infrastructure companies. This causes trepidation for some people in Brussels because Oyak is no ordinary pension fund. It exists for the benefit of Turkey's army establishment. Created in 1961, it provides a supplementary pension for officers in the armed forces and some civilian military personnel, over and above the state pension. It has 230,000 members and funds under management total about dollars 8billion. In Turkey, Oyak Group is a financial force to be reckoned with, but some EU parliamentarians complain that Oyak Group is an unacceptable extension of the power of the Turkish military. The army is probably the most powerful and permanent force in Turkish society, but, arguably, is a force for instabil-

AP

Army’s OYAK Group causes consternatýon ýn Brussels

China and Japan reach deal on gas exploration China and Japan announced an agreement on Wednesday on how to develop oil and gas in disputed waters, defusing a volatile row and becoming the latest sign of improving ties between the neighbours and former foes. The long-running dispute centres on where the boundary between the two countries' exclusive maritime economic zones falls, and has come to embody the sometimes bitter rivalry over influence and sovereignty. Estimated known reserves in the disputed fields are a modest 92 million barrels of oil equivalent -around three weeks of energy demand in Japan -- but both countries have pursued the issue as there may be a lot more yet to be found. China and Japan, through consultations on an equal footing, reached principled consensus on the East China Sea issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement issued by the official Xinhua news agency. The agency released details of the agreement, which will open the way for joint exploration and development of energy. But Beijing is also seeking to defuse a potential nationalist backlash about compromise with Tokyo, and in her statement spokeswoman Jiang said the agreement did not harm the respective legal stances of both sides . China and Japan, seeking to ease years of antagonism, much of it springing from Japan's brutal 1931-45 invasion and occupation of parts of China, announced at a May summit that they were close to resolving the gas dispute. On Wednesday, a small group of protesters -- watched over by dozens of police -- gathered outside Japan's embassy in Beijing to denounce the deal, which they said could betray national interests. Beijing Reuters

TUSKON forum boosts trade with Asia-Pacific region name of the company and a ship the company bought as a result of a business deal with Turkish companies. Company officials visited Marmaris, located on the western coast of Turkey, and Bodrum, located on the southern coast, a few years ago and decided to purchase a ship and decorate it in a "Turkish style." The ship served Turkish cuisine prepared by Turkish chefs while the rooms were decorated with Turkish motifs. If the ship, acquired at a cost of YTL 1 billion, proves successful in Japan, the company plans to purchase another one. Bangladeshi Lusaka Textile Company is another firm looking for business partners at the TUSKON event. The company heard about the summit through the Turkey-Bangladesh Chamber of Trade and Industry. Noting that they have been selling textile products to European countries for 20 years,

contýnued from page 1 Hikari President Kenichi Maeshima and his partners have decided to establish Japanese gardens and villages in western Turkey's Kütahya province for Japanese visitors. The Simav, Gediz and Þaphane districts of Kütahya have been chosen for the construction of these villages. Once the project is complete, the first Japanese village in Turkey will have been built. The project aims to bring Japanese people seeking alternative treatments to Turkey. The villages will be built around thermal springs. "The Japanese do not like sea sides and beaches; instead, they prefer hot springs, mountains and villages," Dr. Kadir Demircan, a spokesman of the Japanese company, said while speaking with Today's Zaman. Gület Japan, another Japanese company, has chosen a Turkish name for itself. Gület is both the

Daily Monthly Change (%) Change (%)

Close

CALENDAR

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June 20 prior uncement Time Anno tual ac forecasts pectation - (TCMB) Ex Survey of

Yearly Change (%)

YTD Change (%)

Director Md. Kawsar Zaman Sarker said they are also willing to get into the Turkish market by both exporting their products and importing from Turkey. "It is great to be in Turkey. It is my first time here and our meetings are going well. We have spoken with a couple of local textile companies and, Godwilling, our relations will develop soon." Turkish companies were also present at the event in the hopes of finding trade partners from the Asia-Pacific region. Young Turks Co., a leather product company, was representing both Turkey and Singapore, with offices in both countries. "We are a family company established in Turkey. Opening an office in Singapore was not in our plans at first, but it happened after we visited Singapore as tourists," said Naci Genç, the manager of the company's Turkey branch. "We sell shoes to Turkish and

MCAP (million YTL)

1-Y Av.Volum

Country

Change (%)

İMKB-100

38.137

-1,5%

-10,3%

-17,8%

-31,3%

196.370

1.299

Hang Seng

H.Kong

1,16

23.325,8

46.287

-1,7%

-11,8%

-19,4%

-34,3%

139.944

997

Nikkei 225

Japan

0,73

14.452,8

İMKB-IND

34.535

-2,1%

-8,9%

-8,7%

-14,9%

69.366

353

Cac 40

France

-1,65

4.609,1

İMKB-BANK

68.177

-1,5%

-16,0%

-25,6%

-43,2%

72.865

702

DAX

Germany

-1,10

DJIMT

10,90

-2,2%

-6,4%

-1,4%

-8,0%

109

0,55

FTSE 100

US$/JP¥ EU€/JP¥

46.375 1,234

-1,90

5.750,7

USA

-1,04

12.047,0

NASDAQ

USA

-1,42

1.944,8

USA

-1,09

1.336,2

Brasil

-1,57

67.365,0

BOVESPA

70.39 57.32

51.2 42.68 29.61

21,5 7.1

9

Native

Foreign

Number of Shares

Native

M.cap

Daily Close Change (%)

Foreign

Number of Shares

Monthly Change (%)

Yearly Change (%)

M.cap

Ticker

Price

Daily Change (%)

Ticker

Volumes

US$/JP¥

107,9

ANHYT

3,04

6,29%

TATKS

3,02

-6,21%

GARAN

195,2

3,2

-48,90

YTL / €

1,888

-0,5%

-0,5%

8,6%

EU/JP¥

167,35

BAGFS

166,00

5,06%

TUDDF

5,80

-5,69%

ISCTR

44,7

4,8

-32,01

YTL / $

1,219

-0,5%

-0,5%

-6,1%

EU/US$

1,5508

Ticker

Price (YTL) Daily Change (%)

Price (YTL) Yearly Change (%)

DOHOL

1,68

3,70%

EREGL

9,70

-4,90%

TCELL

40,4

8,4

-32,30

PTOFS

4,94

3,35%

ENKAI

14,80

-4,52%

AKBNK

32,7

5,1

-39,49

YAZIC

7,35

2,80%

TEKST

1,74

-4,40%

DOHOL

32,1

1,7

-24,32

ÝMKB 30

ÝMKB IND

P.CHEM.

TUPRS

PTOFS

PETKM

AYGAZ

--

--

10.561,4

5.600,3

2.229,8

1.041,8

763,2

12,2x

12,0x

11,4x

7,1x

8,3x

11,8x

21,9x

2,6x

8,5x

10,8x

10,6x

5,0x

6,1x

8,6x

11,4x

1,3x

EV/EBITDA 2006/12

8,0x 7,9x

8,2x 8,0x

8,4x 7,5x

5,4x 6,0x

6,2x 6,5x

8,1x 5,0x

11,5x 5,8x

1,3x 4,7x

EV/EBITDA 2007/03t

7,3x

7,3x

6,7x

5,5x

5,5x

4,8x

4,3x

5,1x

EV/EBITDA 2007/06t

8,1x

6,8x

6,7x

5,6x

5,7x

4,8x

4,6x

5,5x

ÝMKB 100 Mcap YTL

--

P/E 2006/12 P/E 2007/06t P/E 2007/09t

CM Y K

Turkish Enka Ýnþaat to build gas plant in Russia Turkish company Enka Inþaat has signed a 329 million euro contract for the construction of a 400-megawatt natural gas conversion plant in Perm, Russia. Enka "will cover all the engineering, the procurement of equipment and materials, the construction phase and commissioning activities," a company announcement reads, according economics Web site Reporternet.com. The construction of the plant is envisaged to be completed in 2011. Enka Inþaat is one of the largest Turkish construction firms, with projects in Turkey and in Russia. The company is also active in the energy sector. Enka Inþaat along Korean Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) has expressed non-binding interest in a tender to build and operate Turkey's first nuclear power plant. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with wires

Peru's economy grows 13 percent in April

6.721,5

UK

Dow S&P

-1,54% -0,20%

European companies and produce leather jacket for large companies like Zara and Mango of Spain," added Selami Genç, the manager of the company's Singapore branch and chairman of the SingaporeTurkey Business Association. Another Turkish company at the meetings was Bafra Eriþ, which produces white flour. Foreign Trade Manager Aynur Tiryaki said her company first analyzes the country they hope to export to and matches its needs. "In the Far East, people do not consume white flour as much as in Turkey. Instead, the rich segment of their society consumes it. We sell our products to the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka," she said. The manager also noted that they do not sell their products in large volumes without first researching the quality of their customers' companies.

Level

İMKB-30

TurkDEX

The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) has sold entertainment station Kral TV and music station Kral FM to Doðuþ Holding for $95 million. The Kral TV and radio stations had been seized by the TMSF from the Uzan Group against its debts. The TMSF had set an estimated price of $85 million for the stations. The sale will not be final until it is approved by the seven-member TMSF management and then by the Competition Board. Doðuþ Media Group operates four TV stations, four radio stations, seven periodicals and an Internet portal in the Turkish media sector. The most prominent are NTV news and CNBC-e. With the acquisition of the Kral TV and radio stations Doquþ will have a strong presence in entertainment and music broadcasting in Turkey. Doðuþ Holding is one of the three largest private sector conglomerates in Turkey, with a portfolio of 25 companies in a variety of industries, including one of Turkey's largest banks, Garanti Bank, as well as Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen dealerships, retail and food stores, construction companies and media and tourism businesses. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with wires

Price ($) Light C. Oil Gold Copper

134,10 887,30 3,75

Way

Change (%) 0,07 0,34 2,67

High 135,28 888,00 3,75

Low 133,16 886,90 3,65

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.

Peru's economy grew more than 13 percent in April compared to April 2007 -- the largest monthly increase in 13 years, the government said. Peru has now had sustained economic growth for 82 consecutive months, according to the National Statistics and Information Institute, which released April's results on Monday. The economy grew 10.5 percent in the first four months of the year, compared with the same period in 2007, the institute said. The institute attributed April's strong growth to positive performances in the construction, fishing and manufacturing industries, while also noting that the month had more work days than April 2007, which included the Holy Week holidays. Construction was the sector that marked the most growth -- 33.9 percent -while fishing, aided by the lifting of an anchovy-fishing ban, grew by 28.8 percent, and the manufacturing sector grew by 16.5 percent. The government had predicted year-on-year growth for the month of April at 12.1 percent, while the average prediction of banks and consulting agencies was 11.1 percent. Banco BBVA's Economics Studies Service said Tuesday that April's numbers will boost the government's economic-growth predictions for the whole year, now at 8 percent. Lima AP


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10 TODAY’S ZAMAN

T H U R S D AY JUNE 1 9 , 2 0 0 8

WORLD

S. Korean President Lee to apologize to nation

Israel confýrms truce wýth Hamas to begýn today

South Korea’s president will apologize to the nation today over his handling of a deal to resume US beef imports, his office said, as he struggles to restore public confidence in his fledgling administration. It would be President Lee Myung-bak’s second apology in less than a month over the beef debacle that has sparked daily anti-government protests and forced all of his top aides and the entire Cabinet to offer to resign. Lee plans to replace his chief of staff and other top aides this week, while determining the fate of the Cabinet later, said Blue House spokesman Lee Dong-kwan. President Lee’s latest apology comes as South Korea delicately negotiates with Washington to place restrictions on American beef imports in an effort to ease public fears that the April 18 deal would expose South Koreans to a greater risk of mad cow disease. South Korea is seeking to import beef only from cattle less than 30 months old, considered less at risk of the illness, although the April pact allows the United States to export beef to the country without any age restrictions. Presidential spokesman Lee suggested there could be progress in upcoming talks scheduled for later Wednesday in Washington between Seoul’s Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon and US Trade Representative Susan Schwab. Seoul AP

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said, 'We in Hamas are committed to what we have declared.' The group, which has tight control of power in Gaza, has said all the area's militant groups would abide by the truce Israel officially confirmed on Wednesday that a cease-fire with the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip will begin this week in an effort to end a year of fighting that has killed more than 400 Palestinians and seven Israelis. The cease-fire is slated to begin today and would be followed next week by an Israeli easing of its blockade of Gaza, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said. Talks to release an Israeli soldier held by Hamas will then intensify, Regev said. Egypt, which brokered the talks, announced a six-month agreement on Tuesday, saying it would begin today at 6 a.m. (0300 GMT). Hamas confirmed the deal shortly afterward. But there was no official confirmation from Israel until Wednesday. "Thursday [today] will be the beginning we hope of a new reality where Israeli citizens in the south will no longer be on the receiving end of continuous

MEDIATION

rocket attacks," Regev said. "Israel is giving a serious chance to this Egyptian initiative and we want it to succeed." Egypt has committed as part of the deal to stop the smuggling of arms and weapons from its territory into Gaza, Israeli defense officials said. A US military engineering corps is to aid the Egyptian efforts, the officials said. If Israel determines that Egyptian antismuggling efforts are serious, Hamas, Egypt and European officials will begin talks on opening Gaza's main gateway, the Rafah crossing into Egypt, Israeli defense officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the sensitive talks were still in progress. In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said, "We in Hamas are committed to what we have declared." The group, which has tight control of power in Gaza, has said all the area's militant group's would abide by the truce. The Israeli envoy to the talks, Amos

Gilad, said that Israel would hold Hamas responsible for any attacks out of Gaza. "This is not a peace agreement ... A calm means that there is no type of terror, there is no difference if it comes from `a' or `b,"' Gilad told Army Radio. "It's clear that if there won't be attacks on us, the army activity will be in accordance." Illustrating the fragile situation, minor violence continued on Wednesday. Six rockets and mortars were fired toward Israel early Wednesday, the army said. A greenhouse was damaged but no injuries were reported. Palestinian militants also shot at crews working along the northern section of the Gaza border fence, but no one was injured, the army said. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, saying it was avenging Israeli airstrikes that have killed 10 militants in the previous two days. Four Islamic Jihad members were among the dead. Jerusalem AP

PHOTO

AP

Mbeki to meet Mugabe in Zimbabwe ahead of vote South African President Thabo Mbeki will meet Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe on Wednesday for talks ahead of next week’s presidential election runoff, Mbeki’s spokesman said. South African ruling party leader Jacob Zuma, using his bluntest language to date over Zimbabwe’s election, said he was not expecting a fair vote. “I think we’ll be lucky if we have a free election,” Zuma told Reuters. When asked if he thought the vote would be fair,”Zuma replied, “I don’t think so.” Mbeki has led regional mediation efforts in Zimbabwe’s increasingly violent crisis and has drawn criticism for his diplomatic approach to Mugabe, who faces opposition challenger Morgan Tsvangirai in the June 27 vote. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF is accused by the opposition, Western countries and human rights groups of orchestrating a campaign of violence ahead of the vote. The opposition says at least 66 people have been killed. Mugabe blames his opponents. Mbeki’s spokesman, Mukoni Ratshitanga, told Reuters that Mbeki would meet Mugabe on Wednesday. He said he did not know what would be discussed at the meeting in Zimbabwe’s second-biggest city Bulawayo. Harare Reuters

SWAP

Israel and Hezbollah close to prisoner exchange

John McCain

McCain pushes energy conservation and oil exploration Republican presidential candidate John McCain has called for energy conservation and an end to a ban on US oil and natural gas exploration to help curb the nation’s “dangerous” dependence on foreign oil. Rising oil and gasoline prices have put energy concerns at the center of the contest between McCain and presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama to succeed President George W. Bush in the November election. McCain has proposed temporarily lifting a tax on gasoline over the summer, but other than that, neither candidate has a quick fix for bringing fuel prices down. The Arizona senator promised to lay out a specific plan for reaching energy independence in the coming days. “The straightest, swiftest path to energy security is to produce more, use less, and find new sources of power,” McCain said to applause from an enthusiastic crowd in Texas. One component of a long-term plan will be efficiency. Cutting back on energy usage -- a key strategy of Europe’s efforts to fight global warming -was critical in the United States, McCain said. “In the face of climate change and other serious challenges, energy conservation is no longer just a moral luxury or a personal virtue,” he said. “Conservation serves a critical national goal.” In a proposal that critics say clashes with his environmental credentials, McCain said the United States should tap some 21 billion barrels of proven oil reserves which are left untouched because of a federal moratorium on exploration and production. Houston Reuters

Oklahoma executes convicted killer Short

Lebanon's Hezbullah and Israel are putting the final touches to an agreement to exchange prisoners, a Lebanese political source said on Wednesday. The deal, mediated by a UN-appointed German negotiator, would see Hezbullah returning two Israeli soldiers captured in 2006 for four Lebanese prisoners and the bodies of about 10 Hezbollah fighters. It is not clear whether either of the Israelis is still alive. "The two sides are putting the final touches on the swap deal," the source said. "There are some minor details that must be completed and afterwards logistical preparations would be needed." The source, who requested anonymity, said it would take at least 10 days before the swap happens. He gave no further details. Asked earlier about possible progress on a swap, German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said: “Due to the nature of the topic I cannot make any comment.” Hezbullah guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border attack in July 2006 to exchange for Lebanese and Arab prisoners held by Israel. Israel waged a 34-day offensive in Lebanon after the two army reservists -- Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev -- were snatched, but then entered indirect talks on retrieving them. Beirut - Reuters

CASE

Russia charges 3 men in Politkovskaya murder Russian prosecutors on Wednesday charged three men with a role in the 2006 killing of the staunchly antiKremlin journalist Anna Politkovskaya. A gunman shot Politkovskaya in her central Moscow apartment block in October 2006, a murder which shocked the West but barely resonated in Russia outside a small band of intelligentsia who read her reports in the newspaper. "Three figures are accused in the murder of the journalist," the Russian Prosecutor-General's office said in a statement. Prosecutors named the men as: Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, Dzhabrail Makhmudov and Ibragim Makhmudov. Last month Russian prosecutors named a different man, who they say shot Politkovskaya, as Rustam Makhmudov. They said on Wednesday their investigation against him was ongoing. A staunch Kremlin critic, Politkovskaya was well known in the West for her campaigning human rights reporting in Chechnya, where Russian forces had fought rebels in two wars since 1994. Her books were translated into English and sold widely across the world, though not all were published in Russia. A posthumous collection of her writing, titled "For what?" was published in Russia and sold well on its release last year. Moscow Reuters

PHOTO

AP

REMORSE

Israeli soldiers rest near a tank after returning from an army operation in Gaza at the army base in Kissufim near the Israel-Gaza border.

Oklahoma put a convicted killer to death by lethal injection on Tuesday, becoming the sixth US state to resume executions since the Supreme Court lifted a temporary moratorium on capital punishment in April. Terry Short, 47, was condemned in 1997 for the death of Ken Yamamoto, a Japanese exchange student. Yamamoto had been an inadvertent victim of Short’s rage. According to court documents Short firebombed the apartment of an ex-girlfriend. She escaped but the flames spread to Yamamoto’s apartment and he died from his burns. Prison spokesman Jerry Massie said Short declined to give a last statement in the state’s death chamber in McAlester. For his last meal he requested 10 pieces of fried chicken. Oklahoma became the sixth state to resume executions since the US Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the three-drug cocktail used in most executions for the past 30 years. In April, it rejected the challenge by two Kentucky death row inmates who argued the current lethal injection method inflicts needless pain and suffering in violation of a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Executions have since been carried out in Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, South Carolina and Texas. Short was the seventh convict put to death in America this year. Oklahoma City Reuters

Death of toddler twins from starvation shocks Australians Australians were warned on Wednesday to recover a lost sense of care and community after the apparent death from starvation of two 18month-old twins that has shocked the nation. The decomposing and emaciated bodies of the boy and girl were found in their cots by their 11-year-old sister in the family’s suburban home in the tropical city of Brisbane. The pair had been dead for up to a week, police said. The 28-year-old father and 30-year-old mother of the two were detained and charged with failing to provide necessities of life after

their mother told police she may have neglected the twins and not fed them enough. “It is a very a very important thing to realize that we should be looking after the next door neighbor’s kids, or the kids down the street, and keeping an eye on them,” Abused Child Trust co-founder and Chairman David Wood told local radio. “That’s what would have happened years ago. It’s hard to comprehend that that can occur in our society, in a reasonably normal Brisbane suburb,” Wood said. Both twins, named in media only as Lily and

CM Y K

Zaide, weighed around 4 kgs (8.8 lb) when they died, around the weight of a normal newborn baby. Since the discovery on Monday, the deaths have received prominent newspaper coverage and have dominated television and radio reports. A post-mortem examination was to be completed later on Wednesday and, depending on the outcome, prosecutors said charges against the parents could be upgraded to manslaughter or murder. The sister who found the two twins after noticing a strong smell coming from their room turned to her mother and said: “I know why

you’ve been crying now,” newspapers said. The lawyer for the estranged father told a Brisbane court on Tuesday that his client was not responsible for the care of the twins, as he was rarely at home and the relationship with his childhood sweetheart had broken down six months previously. “He hasn’t had any contact with the children,” lawyer Michael Cridland said. But police prosecutors countered that the man, a construction manager, still lived at the house and passed the room every day while going to work and taking four older children to school and childcare. Canberra Reuters


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TODAY’S ZAMAN 11

T H U R S D AY, J U N E 1 9 , 2 0 0 8

VOTE REUTERS

European Union leaders must press ahead with ambitious policies on climate change and energy to counter surging oil prices and help overcome the political setback of Ireland's No to the EU reform treaty, the European Commission chief said on Wednesday. Addressing the European Parliament on the eve of a two-day summit, Jose Manuel Barroso said the 27-nation bloc should not fall into institutional navel-gazing over last week's Irish referendum result. The EU should keep on ratifying the text while pursuing a policy agenda that responds to citizens' needs. "The important task for the European Council (summit) is to show that the 'No' vote regarding the Lisbon treaty is not an excuse for inaction. "We should not have paralysis'," he told the EU legislature in Strasbourg. Barroso was heckled by a handful of Euroskeptical lawmakers, mostly from Britain, who wore green T-shirts with the logo "Respect the Irish vote." EU president Slovenia said leaders would make every effort to agree on a timeline for resolving the problem caused by Ireland's "No" vote to a treaty which requires unanimous approval to enter into force. "The presidency is convinced a solution can be found together with Ireland, and that the EU is not going to face a situation similar to the one in 2005," Janusz Lenarcic, Slovenia's secretary of state for Europe, told the debate. Brussels Reuters

Afghan, NATO forces start anti-Taliban offensive Helicopter gunships and troops with small and heavy arms blasted a valley in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday as local and NATO forces launched a huge offensive against hundreds of Taliban insurgents, many of whom broke out of jail last week. The Defense Ministry in Kabul said 20 Taliban guerrillas were killed in a NATO air strike and two Afghan army officers also died in the operation, in Arghandab district. The ministry said three Taliban group leaders were killed further south. Some 600 Taliban fighters on Monday took over villages in Arghandab, on the northern outskirts of Kandahar city, days after freeing hundreds of inmates in an attack on the city’s main jail, according to the Taliban and an Afghan official. Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf said militants had set their sights on Kandahar itself, the movement’s birthplace, which lies about 20 km (12 miles) from Arghandab. After massing troops, Afghan army and NA-

PHOTO

EU urged to be bold after treaty setback

US blames Shýýte mýlýtýa group for Baghdad bomb

AGREEMENT

EU lawmakers back migrant detention rules

set three buildings ablaze and destroyed a marketplace, police said. The US military said it believed the bombers used a truck loaded with 200 to 300 lbs (90 to 135 kg) of explosives. The attack, which came just weeks after the US military announced violence in Iraq had dropped to a four-year low, shattered a period of relative calm in the Iraqi capital. Trucks and diggers were busy on Wednesday removing rubble from the bomb site. Smoke hung in the air. The marketplace was full of people, some still searching for missing relatives among the debris and garbage. Koranic verses were broadcast from loudspeakers in memory of the dead. US officials have blamed al Qaeda insurgents for scores of major bombings that have killed thousands of people in Iraq in the last few years, but US forces said they did not believe the Sunni Arab insurgents

were to blame for Tuesday’s blast. “Our intelligence, corroborated through multiple sources, is this atrocity was committed by a special groups cell,” a US military statement said.

Sectarian violence The military said it believed the attack was ordered to incite Shiite violence against Sunni Arabs and specifically to disrupt resettlement of Sunni Arabs in the al-Hurriya area. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blamed the attack on a suicide bomber and said the intent was to promote sectarian strife. “This crime will not affect our will and our determination to defeat the terrorists and to maintain the security gains achieved by our security forces,” he said in a statement. The US military said the group it blamed for the bombing was led by Haydar Mahdi Khadum, who it said was linked to a

number of roadside bomb attacks against Iraqi and US forces. The commander of US forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, told the US Congress in April that special groups, if unchecked, posed “the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a democratic Iraq.” Maliki, himself a Shiite, has been applying intense pressure on Sadr in recent months, sending Iraqi forces into his strongholds in the southern oil city of Basra and into the teeming Sadr City district of Baghdad. Iraqi and US forces have also cracked down on al Qaeda in the northern city of Mosul. Iraqi forces moved deeper into the southern city of Amara on Wednesday in preparation for the latest crackdown Maliki has promised against Shiite militias. Tuesday’s attack was the worst in Baghdad since 68 people were killed in coordinated bombings in a packed shopping area in the capital in March. Baghdad Reuters

AP

US forces blamed a rogue Shiite militia group seeking to stir up sectarian violence on Wednesday for a devastating truck bombing that killed 63 people in Baghdad. The US military said intelligence information showed the attack on Tuesday in a predominantly Shiite district, the deadliest in the Iraqi capital in more than three months, was carried out by a “special groups cell.” That is military jargon for rogue elements of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. The US military says the special groups receive weapons, training and funding from neighboring Iran, a charge Tehran denies. Iraqi police said another 75 people were wounded in Tuesday’s bombing in a crowded market area of northwestern Baghdad. Four children and five women were among the dead. The blast in the al-Hurriya neighborhood

PHOTO

European Union lawmakers agreed on Wednesday that illegal immigrants can be detained for up to 18 months and face a re-entry ban of up to five years, a move campaigners say will undermine human rights. After nearly three years of debate, European Union interior ministers approved the measure earlier this month. Lawmakers in the European Parliament backed the new migration law by a large majority, with 369 voting for, 197 against and 106 abstaining. The 18-month detention limit is longer than the current maximum period in two-thirds of the 27 EU states. Although EU states can keep a lower limit if they want, rights groups say it will encourage authorities to lock up more illegal migrants. "We believe that the text approved today by the European Parliament does not guarantee the return of irregular migrants in safety and dignity," Amnesty International said in a statement. "It sets an extremely bad example." The European Commission estimates there are up to 8 million illegal migrants in the European Union. More than 200,000 were arrested in the EU in the first half of 2007 with less than 90,000 expelled. Strasbourg Reuters

TO-led forces have now started an offensive to flush out the Taliban from the villages, while stepping up security in Kandahar city and imposing a night curfew. The developments in Kandahar come amid rising violence in the past two years, the bloodiest period since Taliban’s removal from power in 2001 in Afghanistan. On Wednesday, four Afghan police were killed when a remote controlled bomb hit their vehicle in the southeastern province of Khost, a provincial official said. Later, an abortive suicide attack aimed at a NATO convoy in the western province of Farah, killed two Afghan civilians and wounded ten others. And on Tuesday, four British soldiers from NATO-led force were killed after a roadside bomb struck their vehicle in Helmand, bordering Kandahar, the bloodiest single incident in one day against the British soldiers in Afghanistan. One of the soldiers is believed to be a woman. Arghandab Reuters

DELAY

Meeting on India-US nuclear deal postponed A meeting between India's government and its communist allies to break a deadlock over a nuclear deal with the United States was postponed on Wednesday, clouding the fate of a pact that is badly running out of time. Indian shares fell 1 percent on the news of the postponement, but several analysts saw it as indication that the government was still trying to salvage the deal, as far as possible with communist support. "Obviously, behind-the-scene talks are going on between the left and the government," political analyst Kuldip Nayar said. It means the government is still trying to persuade the left to let them go ahead, and there seems to be some hope because the meeting has only been postponed. A communist leader said the next meeting was scheduled for June 25, but the Congress-led coalition has yet to confirm this. The communists oppose the deal, saying it compromises India's sovereignty and security and have threatened to withdraw vital support from the ruling coalition if the government moves ahead with it.The agreement is the centerpiece of a new strategic relationship between New Delhi and Washington, and seen as crucial to ending India's isolation in international nuclear trade after it conducted a nuclear test in 1998. New Delhi Reuters

A man kisses his two-year-old son, Akeel Faisal Ghazi, killed by a car bombing in Baghdad. The bomb ripped through a busy commercial street in a Shiite area of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 63 people.

WOES

China rushes to fix dams, 9,000 sq miles flooded China has posted hundreds of police and rescue officials to shore up dams threatening to burst under torrential rain that has already flooded thousands of square miles of crops and homes. The rain and floods, concentrated in the southern industrial hub of Guangdong, have killed at least 171 people and left 52 missing since the start of the annual flood season and forecasters have warned of more downpours in coming days. More than 750 government officials and police had been sent to conduct rescue work for six reservoirs in "danger of bursting in southern Guangxi region, Xinhua news agency said. Some 3,000 people had already been evacuated downstream from a reservoir with a capacity of 1.8 million cubic metres, the agency said. Fengkou Reuters

Mississippi River levee breaks, swallows up more farmlands as corn prices to rise The swollen Mississippi River ran over the top of a levee near Meyer, Illinois, on Wednesday as floodwaters swallowed up more farmland and sent corn prices to a record high. The US Army Corps of Engineers said the latest levee break brought the total number of compromised levees to 11 on the most important US inland waterway. The river overtopped the levee at 1 a.m. CDT (0600 GMT), said spokesman Ron Fournier. "We basically have about three dozen levee systems we're concerned about overtopping as the river continues to rise," he said. The slowrolling disaster, the worst US Midwest floods for 15 years, has flooded vast sections of the US farm

belt. Estimates are that 5 million acres have been ruined and will not produce a crop this year. That has sent US grain and livestock soaring, along with food price inflation worries. The Army Corps of Engineers, which operates US river locks and dams, on Tuesday identified 26 levees protecting about 285,000 acres of prime cropland were already under high water or were at high risk of flooding. Another 7 were seen as potential risks. "Those levees were designed for a storm not the size that that has hit for now," US Army Corps Brigadier General Michael Walsh told NBC's "Today " show.Fort Madison, Iowa Reuters

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Thatcher son, Mark, part of Equatorial Guinea plot four years ago, court told Accused British mercenary Simon Mann told a court on Wednesday that Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was part of the “management team” of a 2004 coup plot in Equatorial Guinea. Mann, an Eton-educated former special forces officer, was giving testimony at his trial in Malabo about his role in the failed plot to overthrow President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in the small, oil-rich West African nation. He told the court that Mark Thatcher, who has denied knowing about the conspiracy, was not just an investor. “He came on board completely and became part of the management

team,” Mann said, adding that a London-based millionaire, Eli Calil, was “the boss” of the plot. Answering questions from both the prosecution and defense, Mann also said the governments of Spain and South Africa knew about the conspiracy. “By January 2004, the operation was like an official operation because the Spanish government and the South African government were both giving the green light,” he said. “Their involvement was clandestine and they will never admit it,” he added. Equatorial Guinea’s Public Prosecutor Jose Olo Obono told Reuters the next step for the West African state’s authorities would be to seek the extradition of Thatcher and Calil. Malabo Reuters


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12 TODAY’S ZAMAN

T H U R S D AY, J U N E 1 9 , 2 0 0 8

EXPAT ZONE

AA

T12-19-06-08.qxd

Mizue Imai's passion for Turkish needle lace has led her to establish an association in Japan, an experience that came after learning how to do needle lace while on vacation in Turkey and writing two books about it. Thirty-one-year-old Imai, a university student at Taisho University's department of history, said the story behind her interest in Turkish needle lace began when she received a piece of needle lace as a present seven years ago. It was after this that she began learning how to make needle lace and came to Turkey periodically. Traveling to Turkey's Antalya, Konya, Bursa, Mersin, Adana, Mardin, Uþak, Diyarbakýr and Trabzon provinces, Imai collected needle lace from different regions. She published her first book in

2006 with the aim of introducing Turkish needle lace to Japan and her second book early this year on how to make needle lace as interest in the subject rose. In an interview with the Anatolia news agency, Imai said she has collected almost 500 old pieces and that she has begun to teach needle lace courses in various cultural centers of Tokyo. Many Japanese cities have asked Imai to offer her courses online so more people can be exposed to the art, which she has done, in addition to establishing an association with a friend of hers. The association, Oya No Kai, is the first Japanese institution on needle lace and aims to introduce Turkish needle lace to a wider audience. It has 50 members so far and is in contact with municipalities in the

Çamlýyayla district of Mersin province, the Gönen district of Balýkesir province, the Ödemiþ district of Ýzmir province and the Nallýhan district of Ankara. Emphasizing that they have no commercial aims, Imai said: "I want Japanese people to learn this handcraft, which requires patience, skill and great effort. I have been unable to find a book written on needle lace either in Turkey or in Japan. With help from Turkish friends, my goal is to introduce Turkish needle lace to Japan, to open lace exhibitions in Japan and to open another exhibition in Turkey consisting of needle laces made by Japanese women. We are in contact with the authorities of regions where needle lace is prominent and we hope to promote Turkey better with their help." Antalya Today’s Zaman

PHOTO

Turkish needle lace association established in Japan

Mizue Imai (R), whose interest in Turkish needle lace began seven years ago, shows examples of her needle lace work.

CAVE LIFE

Buck up Turkýsh moaners

PAT YALE

Despite the repeated mantra that Turkey is going to the dogs, that in five years Turkey will be in economic ruins, that all women will be wearing Islamic head coverings and that we will be suffering even more than we do now, there is plenty of reason to believe that a huge and exciting Turkey with a promising young population is emerging

PHOTO

HÜSEYÝN SARI

Due to Pat Yale’s travels, the Cave Life column will not be published today.

Scandinavian visitors top Side visitors list ABDURRAHMAN BÜYÜKKESKÝN MANAVGAT

global economy, where the only country that has a positive trade balance is China. Lighten up people, America's trade gap is much larger and from 1750 to 1914 there was not a single year in which Britain ran a trade surplus, but that's when Britain ruled the world. It's all fair and well to complain about imported agricultural products, but I've yet to meet anyone willing to sacrifice the livelihood of the twenty percent of the population who still run subsistence farms so that they can be turned into massive agro-businesses. I wonder whether this is some sort of Ottoman psychological legacy? Turks were once well on top of every sort of person from any denomination and now they live in a much less important country with a smaller global role. Perhaps it is an expectation-versus-realization problem; Turkish people seem to expect jobs and security as forgone conclusions. After all, in the old days, they say, no one went hungry. The automatic survival of your family no longer being guaranteed seems to have created a long green streak of disappointment. It seems that uncertainty is unwelcome and steady and safe is better. But I see a huge and exciting Turkey developing. The people of inner Anatolia were condemned to be an economic and cultural backwater that always took second place to Ýstanbul and Ýzmir, but in the new Turkey they are self-propelled Anatolian tigers leaping out of the backwoods and challenging Atatürkist cultural norms. But also in the new Turkey, village girls can chew gum and wear jeans and go to university and have boyfriends while they're there. People like my husband and

Fikri, who works opposite our office, (one is an estate agent and the other has opened a European delicatessen selling imported foods) can set up small businesses to capitalize on new markets that develop as Turkey becomes integrated into the world economy. Not every country can be the wealthiest or the most powerful in the world and there would be a lot less hand wringing and chest thumping if this was simply acknowledged. Take pride in the fact that, while you have all the elements of first-world modernity, you can also choose to live a village life and have two cows, 10 sheep and 15 chickens and support yourself and your family, because all over the Western world you can't do that anymore. Be reflective when you see shanty towns outside big cities and congratulate Turkey on the new mobility of its workforce. Look at these people trying to grasp opportunity with two hands instead of tub thumping about Eastern Turks coming west and urban poverty. When political challenges arise, such as the one the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is facing, don't just complain about judicial arrogance; study the fact that, although it's not perfect, it's also not a military coup. If a lady in a black chador passes you on the street, remember that one of my neighbors regularly dresses up in drag and goes out drinking and no one says a word to him other than "Hi Duckie." Don't be like Sour Sinan and waste your life and breath bemoaning every circumstance that changes. This is a complicated country, but it's vibrating with life; the very earth thrums with active evolution. Roll with it, people, not against it.

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

CM Y K

CÝHAN

Doug's next door neighbor, "Sour Sinan," is an unbearable misanthrope. A teacher posted to Dalyan, he spends his free time maligning our town (the people are unfriendly, he whines, you can't trust them he moans, it's too hot, too dusty, there are too many mosquitoes) and the country in general (it's not a real democracy, civil servants are getting poorer, Islamists are getting the upper hand, soon Turkey will resemble Iran, etc.). And "Sour" wonders why he has no friends. Sinan may be in an extreme state of discontent, but he is merely an exaggerated version of what I hear from so many Turks; the tide of negative thinking threatens to wash away all optimistic resistance. At lunch on Thursday with Yusuf and Kezban -- bright, well-spoken thirty somethings who own their own house, new car and have a 5-year-old son and another on the way -- repeated the mantra that the country is going to the dogs, that in five years Turkey will be in economic ruins, that all women will be wearing Islamic head coverings and that we will be suffering even more than we do now. Yusuf even resented our little Migros supermarket as a sign of growing commercialization and globalism; he claimed that the money we spent there was sucked out of Dalyan at tornado-like speed and then fled Turkey's borders never to be seen again. He blamed the woes of small holdings on imported Dutch powdered milk (rather than on the lack of land reform) and insisted that the way forward for Turkey was to go back to the seventies and

close borders to imports or tax them so much that local produce becomes financially more attractive. When I asked how is it that I see signs of more wealth and better living standards Kezban pronounced firmly that this was all due to credit cards which were in their turn destroying the lives of those who used them. Another friend complaining about Turkey's hard times responded to my pointing to six years of year-on-year economic growth by telling me I was brainwashed by the IMF and that Turkey was the slave of international finance and a pawn of the Americans. What about the fact that Turkey refused to allow the US bases to bomb Iraq and that the Turkish army recently carried out their own operations in northern Iraq in direct contravention of US apprehension. Apparently I am too naive to realize this is all part of the secret American plan that Turkish politicians have sold their soul to. It may be true that some people can't manage their finances responsibly enough to understand the limitations of a credit card, but 10 years ago they wouldn't even have had the option to try. At least now that inflation doesn't double prices every six months interest rates are manageable enough to offer credit cards, bank loans, mortgages and small business resources. There are those who grumble about foreigners buying land, but if they didn't, most people wouldn't have the money to help their children buy an apartment or build a house. "The balance of trade is rubbish," moan people who know nothing about economics; Turkey imports more than she exports, well boo-hoo, welcome to the

PHOTO

FAZÝLE ZAHÝR MUÐLA

Cultural Tourism Travel Agency Director Erdinç Ekim has said Scandinavian tourists from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland show great interest in his agency's cultural tours. Side, a town in Antalya's Manavgat district, has opened its doors to cultural and archeological tourism for the new season. Ekim says visitors from Central Europe, Russia and Scandinavia exhibit a heightened interest in the area. "Side wants to host the 150,000 Europeans who are in love with culture and archeology," he noted. Scandinavian tourists tend to visit the Side Antik Kent and, after taking a photo by the Apollo Temple, they move on to shopping. In 2007 travel agencies brought 100,000 Scandinavian tourists alone to Side and 95 percent of the agencies are fully booked for June, July and August. "The common interest of tourists who come to our country is history, culture, art, archeology and nature. Most of our tourists are wealthy, which is why they don't hold back from spending money," Ekim added. Muharrem Köken, an Astral Tourism Travel Agency tour guide, said the Side Antik Kent plays an important role in attracting cultural tourism from Scandinavia. "The average cost for a vacation here is 1,500 euros. People from Norway, Sweden and Denmark are really friendly and congenial. Since the tourists are educated and come to experience the culture, salesmen should be polite with them when selling. They don't like to bargain while shopping. If they are fully interested in something, they will buy it without hesitation and ignore the price." said Köken. David Gabriele, an attorney from Norway, said it was his first time in Turkey and that he found Turks very friendly and hospitable.


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14 TODAY’S ZAMAN

PHOTO

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THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 2008

OPINION

Preservýng protectýon ýn a world on the move ANTONIO GUTERRES*

Protesters carry a mock coffin covered with signs saying "Another worker dies in Tuzla." Ninety-eight shipyard workers have died in work-related incidents in Tuzla in the past seven years.

To make the effort, to dýe wýthout effort ÖZLEM TÜRKÖNE*

Working signifies a junction in one's life. One study has shown that approximately 90 percent of people employed in Turkey choose to work in order to get rid of the pain. The presence of all the things that are better, more comfortable or more prosperous but don't belong to us, gives us pain. The lease that cannot be paid is a reason for pain. A society that always questions your income, your savings and the things that you cannot save produces this "pain" and grants you status according to its own definitions. Then the man decides to get rid of his pain and chooses to work. This is an inevitable choice and a compulsory one. However, working is not only composed of a distraction that makes the pain endurable. Working receives its true and final meaning when it is not chosen just because life conditions require it.

Working is a type of happiness Happiness for a politician who can only rest during meeting breaks, happiness for a printer who works overnight in his workshop, happiness also for the shipyard workers who construct huge ships. Let's remember that being healthy does not just mean the absence of illness, which is the most common definition, but also means that one lives in a condition of holistic wellness, including the physical, mental and social aspects. Therefore, the happiness that working gives a man can be considered one part of being healthy. Well, then, what must it feel like to fear dying while one works or to witness one's friends die when they are working? How much work when piled together constitutes a man's life? A shiny, million-dollar cargo boat is not more valuable than a man's life. Those who die cause us great sorrow, but what about those who continue to live? As I frequently ask myself these questions, I worry over whether those who continue to work at the Tuzla shipyards are able to preserve their mental health after the depressing developments. I attach importance to this detail and I wonder about it all the time. Because as the parties who take the responsibility of

helping people overcome social traumas, our aim should be beyond mourning for our citizens who die in these incidents and at the least creating conditions in which more will not die. Our aim should be to create the working conditions that will enable them to work more productively and that will give them a life above the minimal standards rather than one that causes strife. This is not a requirement for a shipyard or a trade union or of policy but rather is a requirement of "state socialism." According to 2006 official records, 24,823 workers were employed in the shipyards in Turkey. If 28 of them die in 19 months, the remaining 24,795 also begin to fear that they will die while working. Yes, the ship construction industry provides a unique field of employment for Turkey, which suffers from unemployment as a chronic disease. The private sector shipyards in the Tuzla area, where 44 shipyards are still active, constitute approximately 70 percent of the employment in the ship industry of our country and also make 80 percent of the exports. That our shipyards continue to rank fourth in the world for item-based orders for new ship construction, with an increase in total orders from 83 to 265 in the period of May 2002 to May 2008, gives a good idea of their significance. Since 2000, the demand of the external market has increased for ship construction and repair. There was an attempt to make up for the lack of qualified workers by using unqualified workers. The subcontractor companies that were founded by qualified workers in the shipyards have played a significant role in filling this worker gap. The main business in the Tuzla shipyards was transferred to large and small subcontractor companies in an illegal manner, with some companies contracting out close to 90 percent of their work. Most of the workers who died in Tuzla were employed by these subcontractors. However, Article 2 of Labor Law no. 4857 states: "The employer shall not offer the main business to subcontracting companies. However, the temporary business that requires technology and expertise can be subcontracted." The corrupted system of subcontractors

in the shipyards returns to the workers in the form of low salaries, insurance premiums which are not fully paid or not paid at all and undefined working hours. Along with these unfortunate results have come the deaths of workers, which have steadily increased in recent years. Thus, the fatal work accidents increased after the 2001 financial crisis, when the sector started to develop in parallel with the global production level of the ship construction industry. The ship construction sector has become synonymous with fatal work accidents because occupational safety measures have not been put in place to fit this higher level of workers and production. A shipyard cannot be given the choice ad the luxury to have insufficient infrastructure, to employ numerous unqualified workers, to be dangerously located in an area packed with too many workplaces. The ship construction industry is a dangerous sector by nature, as are the working conditions for both employers and employees. The risks of shipbuilding present a special set of difficulties. A shipyard worker may worry that he will fall from a ship scaffold during working hours or be exposed to electric shocks or toxic chemicals. If the employer does not invest in occupational safety and thereby minimize the risk perception of the worker, the worker has every right to worry. Neither the workers by themselves nor the employer alone are responsible for problems such as a simple operational defect or a fatal accident in the workplace. There must be dialogue between the employee and the employer over the former's concerns. Any obstacles to such communication must be done away with or there is the risk of a total breakdown in communication. The inspectors from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in February examined 43 workplaces in Tuzla, where the deaths have increased over the past several months. After their inspections they prepared a report, which notes that 14 of the 43 workplaces don't even have a tax office number. This minor example also gives us significant clues about who has a share in the responsibility for the accidents. If our goal is to prevent the fatal accidents

occurring constantly at the Tuzla shipyards, first there must be cooperation among the parties who share the role of employer; second, there must be communication and cooperation between the employers and the employees; third, there must be coordination and compromise among the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the union representatives of the employers and employees in the ship construction sector and among all the relevant national and international institutions. Only after such broad cooperation can unregistered employment be eradicated and the articles of the Law on Worker Health and Safety and serious sanctions be applied. Only with the efforts of all the parties will it be possible to create an education program fitted to the workers in the sector. The regular inspections for the prevention of work accidents should also be continued. But these will not be enough to make the conditions better. When the employers, workers and all the relevant parties give priority to occupational health and safety and take a preventive approach, the conditions will improve. If we made a list of targets for the Turkish ship industry, the share of our country in this sector in the next 20 years and the determination of target products would naturally be included. However, it goes without saying that the first item would be ensuring worker safety in all the steps of production and the institutionalization of an occupational safety culture in the shipyards. Beyond all the laws and contracts, a healthy life is a fundamental right for all people. Working is like a gift given to man to make full use of this right. Working can make a man much healthier, but definitely cannot give life back to a dead body. If working is health and happiness, a happy man will feel as if he is part of the product he created, not part of the labor. When the Turkish ship industry offers the right to choose between the above-mentioned choices, the labels and the marks that our country bears will receive their real meaning. * Özlem Türköne is a deputy of parliament and member of the Tuzla shipyards Inspection Commission.

After a half-decade decline in overall refugee numbers, global forced displacement is again on the rise. For the second straight year, the numbers of refugees and conflict-generated internally displaced people grew to a total of 37.4 million in 2007 -- some 11.4 million refugees outside their homelands and 26 million people forcibly displaced within their own countries. And there are ominous signs that we are likely to see even more people forced to flee in the future. The warning signs are evident here on the KenyaSomalia border, where nearly 200,000 Somalis have sought refuge in the sprawling Dadaab Refugee Camp complex after fleeing the seemingly endless civil strife in their shattered homeland. And they continue to come -- 20,000 since January alone. Others have risked their lives to reach Ethiopia, Djibouti, Yemen and beyond, many saying they see no future at home. In the last three months alone, violence in Mogadishu has forced 50,000 more Somalis to flee, bringing the total who have fled the devastated capital since February 2007 to a staggering 850,000. Inside Somalia, more than 1 million people are now internally displaced, often beyond the reach of aid agencies. Unfortunately, Somalia is but one of several epicenters of human displacement, which in today's world -- with population flows propelled by a multiplicity of inter-related factors - is a far more complex phenomenon than it was in 1951, when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was founded. Today many of the barriers to human mobility have fallen and new patterns of movement have emerged, including forms of forced displacement that were not envisaged by the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. Conflict today may be motivated by politics, but at a deeper level, it can also be about economic mismanagement, bad governance and a host of other factors, including climate-induced environmental degradation leading to competition for water and other resources. The current downturn in the world economy and structural changes in global markets are having a huge impact on rising food and fuel prices. These in turn have an immediate and dramatic effect on the poor, including refugees and the displaced. Extreme price increases are generating instability and conflict in many places, with the potential of triggering more displacement. Extreme poverty is itself a trigger of conflict. Neat classifications of who is a refugee deserving protection and who is not are becoming increasingly blurred. This makes it all the more urgent that the international community finds ways to address the increasingly complex root causes of displacement in a coordinated and comprehensive manner. The best solution is prevention. We need to better understand the triggers of displacement, including the nature of failed and failing states such as Somalia that are unable or unwilling to provide citizens with physical, material or legal security. Policy frameworks must be found to ensure that the international community deploys all the tools at its disposal -- aid, trade, diplomacy, security and relief -- to help guide countries from failure toward sustainable stability. This could go a long way toward ensuring that people would not have to flee in the first place, or at least that refugees could soon go home to begin rebuilding when circumstances permit. Meanwhile, ensuring access to an effective asylum process and the fair treatment of asylum seekers and refugees remain crucial. But it is becoming increasingly difficult in many countries, including those whose efforts to control illegal migration are failing to make a proper distinction between people who choose to move and those who are forced to flee. All too often, refugees seeking safety are being turned away at borders in direct contravention of the 1951 Refugee Convention. While governments have a right to control their borders, such controls should be sensitive to protection concerns and the rights of refugees. Refugees show incredible courage and perseverance in overcoming enormous odds to rebuild their lives. Ensuring that they get the protection they deserve helps all of us because refugee rights are human rights -- rights that belong to everyone. *António Guterres is the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

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CM Y K


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16 TODAY’S ZAMAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 2008

LEISURE

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Gregorian Calendar: 19 June 2008 C.E. Hijri Calendar: 15 Jumada al-Thani 1429 A.H.Hebrew Calendar: 16 Sivan 5768 calendar@todayszaman.com

E2

FRONTIER(S) ÝSTANBUL: Maçka G-mall: 11:00 13:30 16:00 18:30 21:00 Fri/Sat: 23:30 Suadiye Movieplex: 12:00 14:30 17:00 19:30 22:00 Fri/Sat: 24:15 ANKARA: Panora: 11:45 14:15 16:45 19:15 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:15 ÝZMÝR: Konak AFM Passtel: 11:30 13:45 16:00 18:30 21:00

THE SECOND WIND ÝSTANBUL: Þiþli Megaplex Cevahir: 11:45 18:00 18:15 21:45 Caddebostan AFM: 10:40 13:50 17:00 20:10 Fri/Sat: 23:20

21 ÝSTANBUL: Maçka G-mall: 11:00 13:30 16:15 19:00 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:00 Kadýköy Nautilus: 11:30 14:00 16:30 19:00 21:30 Fri/Sat: 24:00 ANKARA: Ata On Tower: 11:15 13:45 16:30 19:15 22:00 Fri/Sat: 24:00 ÝZMÝR: Konak Passtel: 10:45 13:30 16:15 19:00 21:45 ANTALYA: Migros: 11:15 13:45 16:30 19:15 22:00 Fri/Sat: 24:00

SUPERHERO MOVIE ÝSTANBUL: Astoria: 11:15 13:15 15:15 17:15 19:15 21:15 Fri/Sat: 23:15 Kadýköy Nautilus: 11:15 13:15 15:15 17:15 19:15 21:15 Fri/Sat: 23:30 ANKARA: Panora: 11:45 13:45 15:45 17:45 19:45 21:45 Fri/Sat: 23:45

Crossword

Goldmax 08:25 Bad Girls 10:05 Hamlet (1996) 14:00 Oh, God! You Devil 15:40 Moulin Rouge! 17:45 Shining Through 20:00 Everybody’s All - American 22:10 Head Over Heels 23:40 Predator 01:25 Friday the 13th Part 3 03:00 Road to Perdition 03:25 Bullitt

‘Snow Whýte,’ ‘Oz,’ ‘Godfather’ among AFI’s top-10 wýnners Snow White, Dorothy Gale, the HAL 9000 computer, Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp and Marlon Brando’s Godfather share top billing among the American Film Institute’s best genre movies. Films featuring those characters were among the No. 1 picks Tuesday on the AFI’s top-10 lists of the finest flicks in 10 genres, including mystery, Westerns, sports tales and courtroom dramas. The winners included “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” for animation; “The Wizard of Oz” for fantasy; “2001: A Space Odyssey” for science fiction; Chaplin’s “City Lights” for romantic comedy; and Brando’s “The Godfather” for gangster flicks. The other No. 1 movies: Westerns, “The Searchers”; sports, “Raging Bull”; courtroom drama, “To Kill a Mockingbird”; epics, “Lawrence of Arabia”; and mysteries, “Vertigo.” Not surprisingly, Alfred Hitchcock dominated the mystery category. Besides “Vertigo,” he landed three others on that top-10 list: “Rear Window” at No. 3, “North By Northwest” at No. 7 and “Dial M for Murder” at No. 9. Chaplin’s “City Lights” from 1931, one of only two silent films to make the genre lists, was a surprise, beating such popular

A scene from "The Wizard of Oz," one of the American Film Institute's best genre movies. modern romances as “Annie Hall” (No. 2), “When Harry Met Sally...” (No. 6) and “Sleepless in Seattle” (No. 10). “This is why these shows are so important. They keep these films in the cultural conversation,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI president. “When ‘City Lights’ is honored as the No. 1 romantic comedy, millions of people will go back and watch it again.” The best genre movies were announced in the CBS special “AFI’s 10 Top 10,” the latest in the

institute’s annual best-of shows. The winners were chosen by actors, filmmakers, critics and others in Hollywood from ballots that included 50 nominees in each genre. Past AFI lists have included rankings of the top-100 American films, comedies, love stories, screen stars and movie quotes. Walt Disney ruled the animation category. Trailing 1937’s “Snow White,” the first feature-length animated film, in the top five were the Disney tales “Pinocchio,”

Movýemax 08:40 The Magic Roundabout Doogal 10:10 Devil’s Diary 11:50 Je m’appelle Elisabeth 13:25 Silk 15:20 The Butterfly Effect 2 16:50 Goal II: Living the Dream 18:55 Inside the Actors Studio 20:00 The Departed 22:45 The Architect 00:20 Dear Wendy 02:10 Bloody Mary 03:45 Road to Perdition

“Bambi,” “The Lion King” and “Fantasia.” Two Disney-Pixar computer-animated comedies made the list, “Toy Story” at No. 6 and “Finding Nemo” at No. 10. Some filmmakers were confined to their best-known specialties, such as Hitchcock in mysteries and “The Searchers” director John Ford in Westerns. Others landed films in several genres. Steven Spielberg had Nos. 3 and 8 among epics with “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan” and No. 3 among sci-fi movies with “E.T. the ExtraTerrestrial.” Besides “2001,” Stanley Kubrick had the No. 4 sci-fi tale with “A Clockwork Orange” and the No. 5 epic with “Spartacus.” Along with “Raging Bull” in sports, Martin Scorsese was on the gangster list with “Goodfellas” at No. 2. Major movie franchises were snubbed as “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Spider-Man 2,” “Batman” and “Superman” failed to make the cut. Gazzale said part of the fun of the film lists is the debate they prompt over which movies are included and omitted. “These countdowns are a collective opinion of leaders from across the film community. Any surprise about an omission would be entirely subjective,” Gazzale said. Los Angeles AP

Cnbc-e 18:10 The King of Queens 18:50 The Simpsons 20:00 Scrubs 20:30 My Name is Earl 21:00 The Closer 22:00 Battlestar Galactica 24:00 Scrubs 00:30 My Name is Earl 01:00 The Closer 02:00 Battlestar Galactica

Hallmark 07:30 Desolation Canyon 09:15 McLeod’s Daughters 10:00 A Child’s Cry for Help 11:45 Our House 13:30 Desolation Canyon 15:15 McLeod’s Daughters 16:15 A Child’s Cry for Help 18:00 Our House 20:00 Break-In 21:30 Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows 23:15 Hard Time 01:00 Break-In 02:30 Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows

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Mr. DýploMAT!

c.kiziltug@todayszaman.com 497

ÝSTANBUL: Levent Kanyon: 12:00 14:30 17:00 19:30 22:00 Fri/Sat: 24:30 Kadýköy Nautilus: 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:15 19:30 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:15 ANKARA: Ata On Tower: 11:30 13:00 15:30 17:45 20:00 22:00 Fri/Sat: 24:00 ÝZMÝR: Konak Pier: 10:30 12:45 15:00 17:15 19:30 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:00 ANTALYA: Migros: 11:45 13:45 15:45 17:45 19:45 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:15

AP

THE HAPPENING

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ÝSTANBUL: Niþantaþý Citylife: 11:45 14:15 15:30 16:45 18:00 19:15 20:30 21:45 Fri/Sat: 23:00 24:15 Caddebostan AFM: 10:30 12:00 13:30 15:00 16:30 18:00 19:30 21:00 22:20 Fri/Sat: 23:45 ANKARA: Ata On Tower: 11:45 14:15 16:45 19:15 21:45 Fri/Sat: 24:00 ÝZMÝR: Konak Pier: 10:30 13:15 16:00 18:45 21:30 Fri/Sat: 24:15 ANTALYA: Migros: 13:45 16:30 19:15 22:00 Fri/Sat: 24:15

08:00 Rachael Ray Show 09:00 The Martha Stewart Show 10:00 Ellen DeGeneres Show 11:00 Desperate Housewives 12:00 Rachael Ray Show 13:00 The Martha Stewart Show 14:00 Ellen DeGeneres Show 15:00 The O.C. 16:00 Rachael Ray Show 17:00 The Martha Stewart Show 18:00 Ellen DeGeneres Show 19:00 The O.C. 20:00 Desperate Housewives 21:00 Dirt 22:15 The Sopranos 23:00 Late Night with Conan O’Brien 24:00 South Park 00:30 The Sopranos 01:30 World Series Poker 02:30 Dirt 03:30 South Park

Record for being the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip. With movies, theater plays and cartoons produced after him, one can assuredly speak of a Garfield industry. Today is Labor Day in Trinidad and Tobago. This public holiday marks the labor uprising on June 19, 1937, generally recognized as the start of the modern trade union movement in Trinidad and Tobago. On this day Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), a French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher accredited with many innovations, including Pascal’s Triangle, which demonstrates many mathematical properties in addition to showing binomial coefficients, was born. Pascal made significant contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum. By Kerim Balcý

Boumédiènne’s rule was not more democratic, but the country underwent a massive industrialization and nationalization of oil extraction facilities. Today is Independence Day in Kuwait. On this day in 1961 Kuwait declared its independence, becoming the first of the Persian Gulf-Arab states to do so. Iraq challenged this declaration, claiming Kuwait was part of its territory. Threatening to invade, Iraq was deterred by the British military and recognized Kuwait in 1963. Today is the birthday of Garfield, America’s favorite lasagna-loving lazy cat. Created by Jim Davis, Garfield debuted on June 19, 1978, which is considered to be the character Garfield’s birthday as well, hence he will be 30 this year. Garfield has been syndicated in roughly 3,000 newspapers and journals so far and currently holds the Guinness World

08:00 Rules of Engagement 08:30 Frasier 09:00 For Your Love 09:30 Everybody Hates Chris 10:00 Two Guys and a Girl 10:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 11:00 What I Like About You 12:00 America’s Funniest Home Videos 12:30 Third Rock from the Sun 13:00 Still Standing 13:30 American Dad 14:00 Rules of Engagement 14:30 Frasier 15:00 For Your Love 15:30 Everybody Hates Chris 16:00 Two Guys and a Girl 16:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:00 What I Like About You 18:00 America’s Funniest Home Videos 18:30 Third Rock from the Sun 19:00 Still Standing 19:30 American Dad 20:00 Rules of Engagement 20:30 Frasier 21:00 Two Guys and a Girl 21:30 Everybody Hates Chris 22:00 What I Like About You 23:00 Curb Your Enthusiasm 23:30 American Dad 00:00 Rules of Engagement

radýo guýde TRT Tourýsm Radýo

Sudoku 8 3

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THE INCREDIBLE HULK

HARD

‘The Second Wind’

Today is Artigas Day in Uruguay. This day celebrates the birthday of Gen. José Gervasio Artigas (1764-1850), “the father of Uruguayan independence.” It is an ironic turn of events because Artigas never sought the absolute independence of Uruguay as a separate state but rather the forging of a Federation of Provinces that would include his country, the ���Oriental Province,” as it was known at the time. Today is Memorial Day in Cambodia. This day commemorates the 1951 establishment of the revolutionary forces of Cambodia. Celebrations are done through parades in Phnom Penh. Today is the anniversary of the revolution of 1965 in Algeria. On this day the socialist and dictatorial government of Ahmed Ben Bella was overthrown by his former ally and defense minister, Houari Boumédiènne.

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00:00 Identification and Programming 00:25 Music 07:25 Identification and Programming 07:30 Music 08:30 News (English, French, German) 08:40 Live Broadcast (English, German, Russian) 10:30 News (English, French, German, Greek, Russian) 10:45 Live Broadcast (English, German, Russian) 12:30 News (English, French, German, Greek, Russian) 12.45 Live Broadcast (English, German, Russian) 15:00 News (English, French, German, Greek, Russian) 15:15 Live Broadcast (English, German, Russian) 18:30 News (English, French, German, Greek, Russian) 18:45 Live Broadcast (English, French) 21:30 News (English, French, German, Greek, Russian) 21:45 Live Broadcast (English, Greek) 23:58 Identification

Broadcast Areas: 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:

travelers’ s.o.s

movýe guýde

Every row of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order Every column of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order Every 3 by 3 subsection of the 9 by 9 square must include all digits 1 through 9

Ambulance: 112 Fire: 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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Alanya FM 94.4 Ankara FM 100.3 Antalya FM 92.1 Ayvalýk FM 101.1 Bodrum FM 97.4 Fethiye FM 103.1 Ýstanbul FM 101.6 Ýzmir FM 101.6 Kalkan FM 105.9 Kapadokya FM 103.0 Kuþadasý FM 101.9 Marmaris FM 101.0 Pamukkale FM 101.0 Trabzon FM 101.5


18.06.2008

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CONTINUATION

TODAY’S ZAMAN 17

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prior election, or if [it was determined by] a fight among university members, or even if they said the first person to enters the university gates will be the next rector, these options would still be better than the current one," he said sarcastically. AK Party Samsun deputy Cemal Yýlmaz Demir, who chaired the inquiry commission that investigated claims of corruption at Ondokuz Mayýs University in the past, told Today's Zaman the criticism of the system was healthy and necessary. "This discussion should have been had in the past, but then, the system was working into the hands of those now voicing their criticism," he said. Recalling that in the past Sezer appointed a candidate who received only one vote in the elections, Demir said that he was sure Gül would not do anything of the sort. Demir believes the system is wrong and should be changed according to more universal standards, but also reminds of the resistance of rectors and university lecturers to YÖK reform, reiterating his pessimism about a possible change in the election system in

a close future. "This should be done by YÖK and the universities, not by the politicians," he said. Sezer was also criticized for his "labeling investigations" into the ideological and religious orientations of the candidates. Though past supporters of the system now fear Gül will follow a similar policy, a certain media group has already undertaken the duty of labeling the candidates, publishing lists of the names of candidates who in the past were general election candidates from the AK Party, and even those who worked with the group that prepared a draft for a new constitution. The elections that began at 21 Turkish universities yesterday will continue today. A total 17, 329 lecturers and professors will be able to vote in the elections, and they may cast a vote only for one name. The rectors of the Ankara, Atatürk, Dicle, Dokuz Eylül, Ege, Ondokuz Mayýs, Middle East Technical and Uludað universities have already served two terms and are not eligible for candidacy, so at the very least these eight rectors will change. The new rector terms begin Aug. 7.

President Abdullah Gül yesterday received new Romanian Ambassador to Turkey Ion Pascu. MEHMET KAMAN

cized yesterday by several chambers and unions not directly related to universities. In Bursa, chambers of physicians, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, accountants and the city bar issued a joint declaration asserting that the current election system barely worked at all. Since in most of Turkish universities the number of the candidates is no more than six and the YÖK has the authority to send three out of these six names to the president without any consideration of votes taken -- and because the president is also not required to consider votes while making his choice -- the election does not contain any semblance of democratic participation, the declaration claimed. A former YÖK member speaking under condition of anonymity told Today's Zaman the Turkish system was designed by the military-made 1982 Constitution and aimed to control the universities. "The election campaign harms the scientific atmosphere. Whoever is elected turns around and punishes the other candidates and their supporters. This is the worst possible system in the world. If the president appointed the rectors without a

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contýnued from page 1 When the power to appoint rectors changed hands to Gül, this criticism also adopted a new direction, with some academicians and faculty associations who did not criticize Sezer's past appointments voicing concerns over favoritism. Some have expressed fears that Gül will feel obliged to appoint names close to the traditional elitist line to divert criticism. The University Lecturers Association, which never criticized the system in the past, declared yesterday that it was concerned about ideological favoritism on Gül's behalf. The association said the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) had a policy of filling the bureaucracy with people close to its own line and that the AK Party was always in conflict with the universities, claiming that since Gül was an actor in these policies in the past, they were concerned about the appointments he would make. The association also criticized the election system and suggested YÖK should be turned into an institution of coordination and planning only. The current rector election system was also criti-

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Process to replace 21 university rectors starts in earnest

President Gül also received new Somali Ambassador Muhammed Aden on Tuesday.

Athens to appeal ECHR ruling in favor of Turkish minority Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stated at a press conference that Greece would appeal an April ruling of the European Court of Human Rights that convicted it as a result of two lawsuits filed by members of the Turkish minority in Greece upon the closure of their Turkish associations in Western Thrace by Greek courts. In response to questions on the issue, Bakoyannis said the decision to appeal the ruling had been made as a result of a careful scrutiny of the case and stressed that there was nothing more to discuss on the issue at this stage. Defending that the attitude of Athens toward minorities as an EU member was in harmony with European principles and values, Bakoyannis said Turkey should devise its policies toward its minorities in line with European values as an EU-member candidate country, since the attitudes toward minorities are an important part of the membership stipulations to be complied with.

European court rulings Hülya Emin and six of her friends appealed to the European court in 2005 upon the closure of the Turkish Women's Culture Association, which they founded in March 2001. In addition, Galip Galip and seven of his friends also appealed to the European court in 2005 after their two associations -- the Ýskeçe (Xanthi) Turkish Union and the University Graduates Association of the Western Thracian Turkish Minority -- were shut down in the Gümülcine (Komotini) region. The European court ruled in these lawsuits that Greece had violated the European Convention on Human Rights' Article 11, which regulates the right to organize. While not deeming it necessary to fine Greece in connection with Emin and her friends' lawsuit, the European court did sentence Greece to pay Galip and his friends 8,000 euros in resulting damages. The European court also emphasized that Greece had violated Article 6 of the convention on the right to a fair trial by unnecessarily extending the duration of the trial. In its legal reasoning the Strasbourg-based court stated that the work of associations to promote their own ethnic cultures on no condition constitutes a threat to a democratic society, that minorities from different cultures are a reality of history and that they should be greeted and protected with the tolerance of a democratic society in compliance with international rules of law. Greek courts that had issued the rulings had based their rulings on the associations' defining themselves as a "Turkish minority" instead of a "Muslim minority." Athens Today's Zaman with wires

Summer weather brýngs forest fýres back to agenda contýnued from page 1 Dozens of fire rangers were supported by trucks and helicopters in their efforts to control the fire. Sources said steep cliffs and undulating terrain in the mountainous area made it difficult to fight the fire. Efforts were still underway to extinguish the fire, whose cause was unknown, when Today's Zaman went to press. Tuesday and Wednesday's fires prompted officials to remind individuals about fire safety measures. Provincial Director of Forestry and Environment Ya?ar Eser called on farmers to be extra cautious while clearing their fields. "Setting areas on fire to clear them of brush damages not only the soil but also forested lands. It is quite easy for flames to jump to forested areas. With the help of strong winds, fires extend across broad areas in a very short time and result in unrecoverable damage. People should be very careful not to upset the ecologic balance," he said. Eser recalled that there was a 40 percent increase in forest fires last year. "Around 11,000 hectares were devastated in more than 2,800 forest fires all across Turkey in 2007," he stated. Prolonged periods of drought have increased the risk of destructive wildfires, as

forests are often in tinder dry conditions and thus more susceptible to more intense fires. He also noted that 45 farmers received fines totaling YTL 97,237 for causing forest fires while trying to clear their fields. "Such irresponsible acts endanger the earth's balance. We should inform our public about forest fires and call on them to be more cautious," he noted. Professor Ertuðrul Bilgili from the department of forestry of Karadeniz Technical University (KTÜ) told Anatolia that around 95 percent of forest fires are caused by humans. "Forest fires ruin thousands of hectares of forested areas. They threaten forests, which are our national wealth, and result in loss of life," he said. Bilgili, noting that Turkey has around 21.2 million hectares of forested area, stated that almost half of them are situated in zones which are susceptible to fires. "Five percent of forest fires are caused by natural factors such as lightning, and the remaining 95 percent are caused by humans. While around 12-15 percent of forest fires resulting from human action are started on purpose, such as arson, almost half of all forest fires are the result of negligence. When you

President Abdullah Gül yesterday received new Romanian Ambassador to Turkey Ion Pascu at the Çankaya Presidential Palace in the capital. Ambassador Pascu presented his letter of credence to Gül. At the end of the meeting, Gül posed for photographs with the new ambassador. Gül also received new Somali Ambassador Hilal Muhammed Aden at the presidential palace on Tuesday, when Aden presented his credentials to Gül. The Somali ambassador came to the presidential palace without his staff. Ankara Today's Zaman

examine the causes of these fires, you will find that they are related to all sorts of social, economic and cultural factors. This situation is one that is very important to understand in terms of setting up plans to prevent these fires. In this sense, the planning of forest fire prevention and protection must take place within not only areas vulnerable to forest fires, but also while keeping in mind the social, economic and cultural needs and expectations of the locals living in these areas," he said. Bilgili also praised the efforts of firefighting staff to prevent and combat forest fires in recent years. Minister of Environment and Forestry Veysel Eroðlu, on the other hand, told Today's Zaman yesterday that his ministry has taken comprehensive measures to prevent forest fires in 2008. "A team of experts will pay visits to 3,500 villages across the country to inform villagers about forest fires. Forest rangers who have been armed with the necessary equipment to combat fires will be posted at 775 observation towers to spot even the smallest fires. Our ministry has trained 20,000 forest rangers in firefighting, and they will be assisted by the army in their efforts to extinguish fires," he said. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with wires

Ersoy's trial starts for anti-military remarks

CÝHAN

Dora Bakoyanni

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AP

Romanian, Somali envoys present credentials to Gül

Police fear violence after Turkey-Croatia game

The fire season began in the Menemen district of western Ýzmir Tuesday afternoon after a farmer set fire to an area to clear it of weeds.

Refugees in Turkey mark World Refugee Day with many difficulties contýnued from page 1 Although the nationalities of the asylum seekers and refugees vary over time, at the end of April, 41 percent were Iraqis, 31 percent were Iranians, 11 percent were Somalis and 7 percent were Afghanis. Turkey grants asylum only to Europeans, but it is on the route of other asylum seekers and refugees. According to the UNCHR, it is possible for people who enter Turkey through legal or illegal was to get temporary asylum, but asy-

The trial of singer Bülent Ersoy, who is charged with having made anti-military remarks during a TV program earlier this year, started in Ýstanbul yesterday. In a TV program broadcast on Feb. 24, Ersoy, a transsexual singer, said that if she were to have a son, she would not let him fight in other people's wars, referring to the increasing number of soldiers killed fighting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists. A jail term from nine months to nearly three years was demanded for the singer at the trial, which she did not attend. Ersoy's lawyer Muhittin Yüzüak submitted a petition to the court that expressed the reasons for her absence. Bakýrköy Public Prosecutor Ali Çakýr had indicted Ersoy on grounds that her remarks were intended to "make the public detest military service," a crime under the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). The indictment states that Turks place great importance on military service and referred to the saying "Every Turk is born a soldier." After 10 citizens contacted the Bakýrköy court with complaints about the singer's comments, Public Prosecutor Ali Çakýr launched a probe against Ersoy, who now faces trial for acting against the first and second clauses of Article 318 of the TCK. The court ruled that Ersoy must appear at the next trial and indicated that force would be used to guarantee her presence if she refuses to come. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman

lum seekers who are captured after entering Turkey illegally are not as well tolerated by the Turkish government. It is also difficult for UNHCR personnel to reach possible asylum seekers if they are detained by Turkish security forces. To be registered with the UNHCR, however, brings tolerance and protection from the Turkish authorities, and those who are registered don't face the risk of being sent back to their home countries, where they may face persecution. But

they must reside in one of 30 housing units set up by Turkey for asylum seekers. These units are in rural areas far from Turkey's major cities. Because of poor living conditions, these housing units are becoming centers of unrest. Recently in northwestern Kýrklareli province there was an incident in which one refugee was killed. The children of the asylum seekers are able to go to school, and the asylum seekers are provided with basic health services, but treatment is lack-

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ing for serious illnesses. At their compulsory residences finding a job is almost impossible and, even if it is possible, they need work permits, which are usually difficult to get. Their needs are met by the UNCHR, the government, civil society organizations and municipalities. But because of the long waits for relocation, difficult living conditions and Turkey's narrow geographical restrictions on asylum, most people looking for a new life try to pass through Turkey by illegal means.

Police in the ethnically divided southern Bosnian town of Mostar are planning to ramp up security measures, fearing that clashes between Muslim and Croat soccer fans will follow the European Championship quarterfinal between Turkey and Croatia. Mostar Police Chief Himzo Djonko said Wednesday his department has information that clashes between two groups of fans "are already planned." Bosnian Croat and Muslim soccer fans in Mostar have a long history of fighting, including during the 2006 World Cup. One person was seriously hurt and at least six policemen injured when police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of young people after Croatia lost 1-0 to Brazil in the tournament. Djonko said officials are asking for police reinforcements from other towns in the region. "We will not allow conflicts and will use all means available under the law to prevent clashes," Djonko said. He added that more than 1,000 police officers will be involved in providing security during and after the Turkey-Croatia match scheduled for Friday. Muslims traditionally cheer for Turkey while Bosnian Croats regard the national squad of neighboring Croatia as their own. Mostar has been ethnically divided since the 1991-95 Bosnian war, with the Neretva River being the invisible border between the Muslims and the Croats. Mostar AP


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18 TODAY’S ZAMAN

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TODAY’S LEARNING TIME

QUOTE OF THE DAY

elementary OSMAN TURHAN

Activity: Hear or listen

ILLUSTRATIONS

Complete each sentence correctly with either hear or listen. 1) Hey John! Can you ............................. that sound? 2) ..........................! I'd like to have a word with you. 3) Do you like to ................................ to Rock music? 4) The children ………… to the teacher carefully. 5) Sorry, I wasn't really ................................................ 6) Can you speak a little louder? I can't ................. you. 7) Have you ................. of the accident in Elm Road? 8) That's good to ................. 9) ................................! There's someone at the door. 10) Can't you ....................................the baby crying?

True or False

1 Taste is one of our five senses. The others are hearing, sight, touch, and smell. You hear with your ears, you see with your eyes, and you taste things with your tongue. 2 On your tongue, you have groups of tiny taste buds. Taste buds send information about food to your brain. You have a lot of taste buds, maybe even 10,000! People don't all have the same number of them. Women often have more taste buds than men. 3 Because of your taste buds, foods like ice cream and bananas taste

READING

1. We have four senses. ____________ 2. Taste buds send information about food to your stomach. ____________ 3. Women often have more taste buds than men do. ____________ 4. The feel and temperature of food affect its taste. ____________ 5. Each sense does not affect the other. ________

Our five senses

sweet. French fries, cheese, and ocean water taste salty. Lemons have a sourtaste, and coffee is bitter. Most people know about these four main tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. But scientists now know about a fifth one, umami. We can taste this one in some kinds of cheese, meat, and mushrooms. Umami is a Japanese word. It means something like good-tasting.

4 People can lose their sense of taste. For example, a person with a cold sometimes can't breathe through, his or her nose. Different foods may all taste the same. Why does this happen? There is a close relationship between our sense of taste and our sense of smell. Each sense affects the other. 5 The feel and temperature of food also affect its taste. Tastes aren't

as strong in very hot or very cold foods. For example, very cold, hard ice cream is not as sweet as not-socold, soft ice cream. Also, sometimes a food tastes good only at the right temperature. Consider your favorite cold drink. Does it taste good hot, too? Lots of people love cold CocaCola but can't stand it hot! s Why does a sense of taste matter? For one thing, it helps people decide on safe things to eat. And of course, thanks to your sense of taste, you can enjoy all your favorite foods.

“Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

advanced READING

The 10 worst presidents in US history As the George W. Bush presidency approaches its twilight months, Americans are awaiting a long needed change in leadership. The Bush years will surely not be remembered with fondness by most. A fading economy, the War in Iraq, and escalating oil prices will all play a major role in shaping his legacy. Several historians have already declared Bush's years in office to be the worst in U.S. history. Others believe it takes decades to arbitrate a president's job performance. If Bush is placed in the "worst" category, he will join a select club of former Presidents. Here, according to a panel of noted historians, are the ten worst Presidents in US history: 1- James Buchanan (1857-1861) He refused to challenge slavery or the growing block of states threatening to leave the Union. 2- Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) Johnson was almost impeached because of his

horrible leadership. 3- Millard Fillmore (1850-1853) He encouraged the spread of slavery. 4- Warren Harding (1921-1923) Harding was an ineffective leader who cared more about playing poker than being President. 5- Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) His fervor for expanding the Union led to the addition of several slave states and the Civil War. 6- John Tyler (1841-1845) Tyler was a stalwart defender of slavery until he was elected President. 7- Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) Grant presided over an era of corruption and graft. 8- William Harrison (1841) He was President for a total of 30 days after contracting pneumonia during his inaugural. 9- Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) Hoover started trade wars which added fuel to the Great Depression. 10- Richard Nixon (1969-1974) Will always be known for Watergate and his subsequent resignation.

Vocabulary Exercise

6. to be impeached _____ a.to be forced to leave office b.to be elected c.to leave because of health reasons d.to be assassinated 7. fervor _____ a.distaste b.boredom c.amusement d.enthusiasm 8. stalwart _____ a.opinionated b.weak c.temperamental d.tough 9. graft ______ a.to lose money by gambling b.to cheat c.to use one's position to acquire money d.to blackmail 10. to contract ______ a.to spread b.to hire c.to acquire d.to fire

ýntermedýate READING

Circle the best answer.

Crime

1.This passage is about … a.police department reports b.problems of city life c.the crime problem in big cities 2.Many parts of big cities are … a.peaceful b.dangerous c.safe 3.People in big cities are… a.usually safe on the streets b.not very worried about crime c.afraid of crime 4.Money is part of the crime problem because… a.drugs are expensive b.it costs a lot to fight crime c.criminals steal money 5.In the passage, it is stated that _____ are very easy to buy. a.tanks b.aircraft c.guns 6.In many countries… a.children have guns

Crime is a serious problem in big cities and it is getting worse day by day. The rate of robberies and murders increase every year. The subways are more dangerous and so are the streets. You may not even be safe in your own home. Why is the problem so serious now? This is not an easy question to answer. There may not be a single answer. Many problems together seem to make cities so dangerous. One of the problems is money. To fight crime, a city needs police officers, cars and guns. These cost a lot of money. But right now cities do not have much extra money. So there are not enough police officers, cars and guns for the cities. Another problem is drugs. Crime studies show that many criminals use and sell drugs. After they start taking drugs, they want to have more. But drugs are very expensive. So these people may sell drugs to other people to make money. Or they may steal money to get more drugs. The laws about guns are also part

of the crime problem. It is very easy to buy a gun in many parts of the world. Anyone can have a gun. That means robbers carry guns. Many people are killed during robberies. Anyone can have a gun at home. So an angry husband may shoot his wife or children. A crazy person is even more dangerous with a gun. In general, crimes are more serious because everyone has guns. But there is an even more important cause of crime. Cities have rich and poor neighborhoods. In the poor neighborhoods, the schools are often very bad. Jobs are hard to find. Many young people don't have much hope for a better life. They only know one way to make a better living for themselves. That way is to sell drugs or steal. So, some of these young people become criminals. It is not going to be easy to change these crime problems. First, many of the laws about drugs and guns must be changed. And also, the city budgets should be adjusted and changes in neighborhoods must begin. Until then, the crime problem will not go away.

Activity: Oh Those Little Words!

South Africa. 6.This song was written ………. Madonna. 7.You can look the word …………. in a dictionary. 8.I can't come to the party. Don't wait ………….. me. 9.She had problems ………….. reading the instructions. 10.The police car chased the robbers ……………. the streets.

for, by, of, in, through, at Use the words above to complete the sentences below. Some can be used more than once. 1.I'm tired ………. waiting for you. 2.He hasn't smoked ……….. ages. 3.Nina is good ……… running. 4.I'm looking ………. my keys. Has anyone found them? 5.They dream ……….. moving to

Choose the correct idiom to complete the each sentence. 1.I guessed this time things were going to be better. Losing the contract was ........ to swallow. _____ a.bottom line b.blue collar c.a bitter pill d.back to the drawing board. 2.We've lost the contract thanks to your incompetence. You really ........ , didn't you?_______ a.bottlenecks b.bottom line c.blue collar d.blew it 3.I'd be better off stopping my legal job

Publishing: Typo (noun) typographical error in a published work, such as a misspelling or missing letter. Mavis got fired from her secretarial job because there were always typos in her letters. Technology: Hit (noun) a hit is a request made to a Web server. The website Youtube receives thousands of hits everyday from people all over the world. Architecture: High-rise (noun) is a tall building or structure. High-rise buildings became possible with the invention of the elevator (lift) and cheaper, more abundant building materials.

and doing jobs for cash. The ........ is the only way to make money these days. __ a.blow-by-blow b.back to the drawing board. c.bottlenecks d.black economy 4.The product didn't work in the States. As they say there, it really ........ . ______ a.back to the drawing board. b. bottlenecks c.bombed d.bottom line 5.However, the same product sold really well in England. As they say there, it ........ . __ a.back to the drawing board. b.went like a bomb c.bottom line d.blue collar

YESTERDAY’S ANSWER KEY:

Specialized Vocabulary

Entertainment: Talent (noun) actors or other performers. The film company employed the best talent they could find for the new feature film.

Fill in the blanks with the correct letters. 1. twilight _____ a.beginning period b.terminal period c.sunset d.sunrise 2. fondness _____ a.disgust b.jealousy c.affection d.tardiness 3. escalating _____ a.decreasing b.shrinking c.leveling off d.rising 4. to arbitrate _____ a.to function b.to evaluate c.to improve d.to read about 5. select _____ a.choose b.choice c.chosen d.poor

Activity: Idiom Practice

VOCABULARY Fashion: Couturier (noun) is someone who is involved in the haute couture business and aids in the design, manufacturing, or sales of fashionable clothing. Some famous couturiers include Christian Dior, Gabrielle Chanel and Yves Saint-Laurent.

b.only robbers have guns c.many people have guns 7.Many young people in poor neighborhoods … a.don't have much hope for the future b.move to richer neighborhoods c.work hard for a beter life 8.These young people can only make a better living… a.through hard work b.through education c.by stealing or selling drugs 9.Most of the young people in poor neighborhoods become ______________ because of the aforementioned reasons. a.police officers b.criminals c.educators 10.The crime problem will not go away… a.until there many changes are made b.if there are any changes c.in big cities

Idiom of the Day For love or money MEANING: for anything, for any price EXAMPLE: I would not want to have to do that man's job for love or money.

Phrasal Verbs: TUCK IN meaning: When you tuck in, you begin to eat eagerly: example: When ready, let it stand for a bit and then tuck in and enjoy. OR meaning: When you tuck somebody in, you make a child comfortable in bed by adjusting the blankets. example: I used to tuck her in every night with her favorite blanket.

ELEMENTARY: (Reading Passage) 1.Mount Fuji is in Japan. 2.Mount Fuji has a beautiful and unusual shape. It is symmetrical. 3.July and August are the best months to climb Mount Fuji. 4.It is very hot in the summer and it is cold at night. 5.Because there's too much snow and bad weather. 6.Because they want to arrive at the top before sunrise. (Activity) 1.they're 2.their 3.there 4.their 5.they're 6.their 7.there 8.their 9.there 10.their INTERMEDIATE: (Reading Passage) 1.j 2.g 3.f 4.i 5.h 6.b 7.e 8.d 9.c 10.a (Activity) 1.lazy 2.healthy 3.breathe 4.order 5.fat 6.exercise 7.fit 8.lift 9.several 10.meals ADVANCED: (Reading Passage) 1.b 2.a 3.d 4.a 5.c 6.d 7.c 8.c 9.a 10.b (Activity) 1.sophisticated 2.pathos 3.interrogate 4.belligerent 5.demographic

Slang: LOW-LIFE meaning: A person with bad habits or a questionable lifestyle; someone who doesn't amount to much in society. example: Don't lend Billy any money. He's a low-life and he'll never repay you. Confusing Words In English: PRICE VS PRIZE Price is a noun; it is the cost of what you pay for something. For example: The price was very cheap. Prize is a noun; it is an award For example: He won a prize as best actor.

In cooperation with English Time

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Thuram and Makelele call it quits Defender Lilian Thuram and midfielder Claude Makelele announced their international retirements after France was eliminated from Euro 2008 following Ýts 2-0 defeat by Italy. The 36-year-old Thuram, who won a record 142 caps, did not play on Tuesday. Zurich, Reuters and AP WWW.TODAYSZAMAN.COM THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 2008

Fabio Cannavaro being ruled out of the tournament and controversial offside calls going against them in a 3-0 defeat by the Dutch and 1-1 draw with Romania. It all changed, though, in the repeat of the 2006 World Cup final. France playmaker Franck Ribery looked a huge threat in the first 10 minutes before being forced off with a knee injury. Eric Abidal was then sent off, giving Italy a big advantage and

Andrea Pirlo the chance to score from the spot. Daniele De Rossi's second-half free-kick also took a hefty deflection on its way into the net while the already-qualified Dutch did their job by beating Romania 2-0 in the other game. “It is great to go through and there is a little bit of extra happiness given our difficult start and how we were criticized,” De Rossi told reporters. However, the night was not

all positive. Midfielders Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso picked up bookings and miss the Spain clash. Romania also lost 2-0 to Group C winner Netherlands as the Dutch established themselves as the classiest act in a group full of thoroughbreds and despite fielding virtually a second-string team against Romania, won at a canter with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie scoring their goals. Zurich Reuters

AP

Euro 2008 quarterfinalist Italy finally found some luck in the 2-0 win over France but it cannot get too excited given suspensions to two key players and Luca Toni's troubles in front of goal. The world champion meets Spain in the last eight in Vienna on Sunday after joining Netherlands in qualifying from Group C. Fortune had not been on Italy's side earlier in the month, with injured defender

PHOTO

Fortune fýnally favors Italy but problems loom

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce holds aloft the Larry O'Brien Trophy alongside Kevin Garnett as the Celtics celebrate their win over the Lakers.

Celtics crush Lakers to clinch NBA crown The Boston Celtics captured a record 17th NBA championship by trouncing the Los Angeles Lakers 131-92 on Tuesday to seal the best-of-seven title series 4-2. The Game Six win clinched the first championship for the Celtics since the Larry Bird era 22 years ago. Hundreds of Celtics fans jammed the street outside Boston Garden to celebrate, some smashing storefront windows before dozens of police in riot gear dispersed the crowd. Playing in the shadow of 16 championship banners hanging from the rafters, Boston took control of the game in the second quarter and stretched a fourpoint lead into a 58-35 advantage by the intermission. The Lakers never got closer than 23 points after halftime. “We challenged them before the game, for one time, let's play 48 minutes of defense, just all-out, denials, challenge shots,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “Tonight we finally put it together on the perfect night to do it, offensively and defensively. It was just perfect.” Off-season acquisitions Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen each had 26 points to lead the Celtics, Allen hitting seven-of-nine from three-point range. Paul Pierce had 17 points for the Celtics and was named the MVP of the championship series. “I'm not living under the shadows of the other greats now,” said Pierce, who averaged 21.8 points over the six games and showered Rivers with Gatorade in the game's final moments. “I'm able to make my own history with my time here. If I was going to be one of the best Celtics to ever play, I had to put up a banner. And today we did that.”

‘Where’s Kobe?’ A delirious green and white-clad crowd at the Garden roared in unison “Beat L.A.” and “Where's Kobe?” from the opening tip until the final buzzer. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant opened quickly but fizzled. The league MVP had 11 points after the opening quarter but only three free throws in the second when the Celtics took command. He finished with 22 points but hit only seven of 22 shots and committed four turnovers in the rout. “I'm upset more than anything, frustrated,” said Bryant. “But I'm proud. I'm proud of the way we performed all year.” The Celtics, with Hall of Famers Bill Russell and John Havlicek looking on, foiled the Lakers' double-team on Pierce by finding the open man along the perimeter for the shot. The Celtics' defense did its part, shutting down the Lakers' vaunted offense for much of the game and forcing 19 turnovers. The Celtics committed only seven. Boston built an 89-60 lead by the start of the fourth quarter to put the raucous crowd in a party mood. The Celtics, who celebrated their last title in 1986 when Bird was the MVP, outrebounded the Lakers at both ends of the floor. “Everybody is disappointed that we didn't make a game out of this, give ourselves a chance,” said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who lost his bid for a 10th title. “They took us out of what we like to do.” At the end of the game, Garnett, who spent 12 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves without contending for a title, hugged Russell, who won 11 championships during his 13-year career in Boston. “I got my own, I got my own,” he said in Russell's ear. Boston Reuters and AP

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