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08.08.2008

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NATIONAL

TODAY’S ZAMAN 03

S AT U R D AY, A U G U S T 9 , 2 0 0 8

ÝSTANBUL ANKARA ÝZMÝR ANTALYA ADANA ERZURUM EDÝRNE TRABZON KAYSERÝ

Two workers die in Pendik shipyards As debates continue over a series of industrial accidents and deaths at Ýstanbul's notorious Tuzla shipyards, two workers died in workrelated incidents at two other shipyards in Ýstanbul this week. Yusuf Aksungur, 45, was working Tuesday at the Ýstanbul Military Shipyards in Pendik when he tried to extinguish a small fire by stepping on it. His body was immediately engulfed in flames. He died at the Gülhane Medical Academy (GATA) Haydarpaþa Hospital, where he had been taken for treatment. His body was sent to his hometown of Sivas for burial. The death of a worker at the military shipyards, where there have been no deadly incidents since 1999, was met with surprise as officials have claimed that all measures are taken at the facilities to ensure safety. Another worker, Yaþar Recep Rumen, died Wednesday when his wrist was cut while unloading a trailer at the RO-RO port in Pendik. Rumen died at the hospital due to excessive blood loss. Although work-related deaths have been rare in these two shipyards, they are a common part of life in Tuzla, where tens of shipbuilding yards are located. The latest victim at Tuzla was Ýbrahim Çelik, 35, who was critically injured last week after a steel plate hit his head following an explosion at a Tuzla shipyard. Çelik was rushed to the nearby Tuzla State Hospital; however, doctors were unable to save him. With Çelik's death the number of workers who have died in industrial accidents at Tuzla shipyards in the past seven years has reached 101, according to officials from the Shipyard and Ship Construction and Repair Workers' Union (Limter-Ýþ). Çelik's death came only days after a parliamentary commission investigating work-related accidents at the Tuzla shipyards presented a report on the incidents and working conditions to Parliament. The 175-page report indicated that most shipyards disregard safety regulations and force their employees to work in unsafe conditions. "Shipyards that do not provide safe working conditions to their workers should be shut down and not allowed to reopen until they take the necessary measures. Regardless of the number of workers, shipyards should be obliged to employ staff responsible for workers' health and safe working conditions," noted the report. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman

Historical buildings to be safeguarded by cameras in Eminönü Historical buildings in Ýstanbul's Eminönü district, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are being protected by two cameras mounted in the minarets of famous mosques that monitor the area 24 hours a day. The cameras have been installed by the Conservation Implementation and Control Bureau (KUDEB) of the Ýstanbul Metropolitan Municipality as an initial step of a project that will involve the installation of 30 cameras, and they are expected to help prevent the smuggling of historical artifacts and arson attacks on historical houses in Eminönü. When the entire system is installed, it will enable the whole district to be monitored. "We will install three more cameras in the minarets of the Fatih and Süleymaniye mosques. There is a broad view from those minarets. The most important thing about these two mosques is that 80 percent of the entire district can be easily seen from their minarets. We will install 30 cameras eventually. Now our team is working to find out which mosque can see which parts of the city. When the project is complete, the cameras will watch the entire Eminönü district in all of its detail," KUDEB Chairman Mehmet Þimþek Deniz said. Stressing that the bureau aims to keep a nonstop eye on Eminönü, Deniz said: "Now the cameras are watching the Süleymaniye and Zeyrek quarters of Eminönü. With these cameras, we can see fires, illegal construction and the destruction of historical buildings in the area. We have been able to intervene in some fires since the system was installed. The total cost of the project is YTL 40,000, including security cameras, wireless communication and all other equipment." Yasin Kýlýç Ýstanbul

CONSUMER INFO LINE

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T06-09-08-08.qxd

08.08.2008

19:40

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06 TODAY’S ZAMAN

S AT U R D AY, A U G U S T 9 , 2 0 0 8

NATIONAL

‘The ýsland of Cyprus must be unýfýed’ HÜSEYÝN SARI

Problems between Turkey and southern Cyprus do not prevent good relationships on an individual level. Greek student Stelios Elia wholeheartedly supports the reunification of Cyprus. “We can live together; we have already proved that here,” he said, referring to his friendships with Turks on the island were here and how we got here,” he explains. Though he speaks Turkish, he does not reveal this fact to most Turkish officials because of the possibility that they may start a long conversation in Turkish.

‘Greeks can understand 50 percent of what we speak, at most’ Thinking southern Cypriots to be the same as Greeks would be a mistaken assumption. Linguistic comparisons are rather surprising for a person who does not know a lot about Cyprus. Greek Cypriots and Greeks speak the same language, but their accents differ. A Greek cannot pronounce sounds such as “ch” and “sh,” Elia explains, adding: “We have words from ancient Greek, as well as Italian, English and Turkish. When they talk, we understand them; but, when we talk, they can understand only 50 percent of it at most at first.” He also mentions that they call themselves “Greek Cypriots” and that only extreme rightists say they are Greeks. “We have different customs and national teams, for example,” he adds.

What are the historical roots of the Cyprus problem?

Stelios Elia is a 22-year-old student in the department of Turkish and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia. Cyprus were actually Turkish Cypriots. Many people who live in Cyprus are not Cypriots.” On this point, Elia consulted his friend Vasfi, a Turkish Cypriot, to learn how many people in northern Cyprus are real Cypriots. “There are around 65 percent Turkish Cypriots and almost 35 percent Turks living in the northern part of the island,” Vasfi said, agreeing with his friend about reunification. “We have contact with the Turkish Republic, but we are a separate country.” Asked about the Peace and Freedom Day celebrations in northern Cyprus commemorating the anniversary of the Turkish military intervention in 1974 to stop the ethnic cleansing against Turkish Cypriots on the island, he said international organizations regard the Turkish intervention on the island as illegal and that politicians in southern Cyprus condemn that day. All in all, Elia defends reunification of the island wholeheartedly: “We can live together, we

have already proved that here,” he said, referring to his friendships with Turks on the island. On the lack of communication between the Greek Cypriot community and Turkish community, he concludes: “If there is a problem, start evaluating it from the point of view of the other side or a third party. If you hear of problems on the island of Cyprus, first take a look at the views of Greek Cypriots or a third party.

Bureaucracy causes difficulties for Greek Cypriots entering Turkey From a typical Turkish point of view, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) is like a part of Turkey, and the island of Cyprus is not one country, but is composed of two different states. The Turkish Republic has no official agreements with southern Cyprus or the Greek Cypriots because it does not recognize the “Republic of Cyprus.” For this reason, Turkey does not have an embassy on the southern

half of the island, which forces Greek Cypriots to employ different means to get into Turkey. Elia explains what a Greek Cypriot can do to enter Turkey: “People usually first go to the Turkish Embassy in Athens and apply for a Turkish visa there. But our group came here from Budapest. Greek Cypriots can get visas to enter Turkey from anywhere that has a Turkish Embassy. But we do not need visas when we want to visit the northern part of the island. A national identity card is enough.” Elia said he did not face any big bureaucratic problems when he came to Turkey. However, he added, “If they ask a foreigner one question, they ask me two because I am from Cyprus.” “When we went to an office with other exchange students to get residence permits to stay here for a few months, they all finished what they had to do, but my Greek Cypriot friend and I had to spend more time to handle it. They asked extra questions that they had not asked the others, such as why we

The administration of the island of Cyprus is an internationally disputed issue. The story of the conflict can be traced to the arrival of the British to the island. At first it was a colonial problem between Britain and the island as a whole, because Britain was not willing to relinquish control of the island, and neither Greek nor Turkish officials could deal with the issue due to their own domestic problems. However, after the failure of Greek attempts to bring Cyprus’ sovereignty problem to the United Nations, in 1959 Turkish and Greek officials gathered to discuss the Cyprus issue, and an agreement was signed in 1960 by all parties, including Britain and both the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities, as well as Turkey and Greece, to establish the Republic of Cyprus. But, later on, Greek Cypriots attempted to take control of the whole island and initiated violence against Turkish Cypriots, which led to military action from Turkey. The military intervention of 1974 divided the island into two and caused tension in relations between Turkey and Greece. Eventually, a new state, the KKTC, which is recognized only by Turkey, was established. Turkey does not recognize the Greek Cypriot administration on the island, which is known internationally as the Republic of Cyprus. Now Turkey and Greece, as well as the UN and the EU, international organizations of which Greek Cyprus is a member, are attempting to deal with the issue.

PHOTO

PHOTO

TARIK ÖZTÜRK

KÜRÞAT BAYHAN

The eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus is known worldwide for its problems. Turkey refuses to join the international community in recognizing the Greek Cypriot administration and, thus, has no formal ties with Greek Cyprus. But despite this lack of formal relations and the ever-present political disputes, relations between individuals are not always lacking, and people from Greek Cyprus and Turkey do sometimes exchange visits as part of Europe-wide activities in the areas of sports and education. Stelios Elia is a Greek Cypriot student studying at Ýstanbul’s Boðaziçi University as part of European student exchange program Erasmus. Elia is a 22-year-old student in the department of Turkish and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia. He was enlisted in the Greek Cypriot army when he was 18 and stayed there until the age of 20. He came to Turkey for the first time as part of the Erasmus program. He returned to Cyprus at the beginning of the summer, but came back to Ýstanbul in July to study Turkish and vacation with his circle of Turkish Cypriot, Greek Cypriot and Greek friends. Elia is interested in Turkey and the Turkish language, which is why he came to Ýstanbul as an Erasmus student. He studied at Boðaziçi University during the spring semester of 2008. Many people may be curious about how he could take courses at Boðaziçi, given the fact that it is a state university and Turkey and southern Cyprus have no official agreements in any field. Nevertheless, Boðaziçi and Bilgi universities accept students from southern Cyprus. When it comes to comparing the views of Turkish and Greek Cypriots toward one another, Elia had a lot to say: “In the beginning, people overreact to each other. For example, one Turk warns another not to go to Cyprus, because if he does, the Greek Cypriots will kill him. A cousin of mine who lives in Greece does not give friendship with Turks a chance. He says he does not hate Turks, but that he wants them to stay away from him.” Elia also has strong opinions on the reunification of the island. In a referendum in 2004, a UN reunification plan drafted by former UN SecretaryGeneral Kofi Annan was approved by the Turkish Cypriots but rejected by the Greek Cypriots. He dismisses stories in the Turkish press claiming that Greek Cypriots are not willing to agree on a solution for unification: “We just said ‘no’ to a bad solution. It’s also questionable how many of those who voted ‘yes’ to the plan in northern

PHOTO

ESRA MADEN ÝSTANBUL

Ýstanbul’s cruise ship population on the rise

PM Tayyip Erdoðan and ministers attend opening ceremonies in Bingöl.

Erdoðan: We will stand united Speaking at a ceremony commemorating the 92nd anniversary of the liberation of the eastern city of Bingöl yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan said Turkey will stand united “hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder.” Erdoðan delivered a speech in the city’s Republican Square, where military units and student groups marched in a parade. Erdoðan briefly described the Battle of Bitlis between the Ottoman 16th Corps of the 2nd Army and invading Russian forces on Aug. 8, 1916 under the command of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. “The spark of our War of Independence was lit here. Bitlis was the first city to win against enemy occupation in Anatolia,” he told the crowd. He said Bitlis had turned into a monument of friendship, brotherhood, solidarity, togetherness and unity with this victory.

A considerable increase in the number of tourists visiting Ýstanbul by cruise ship has been observed this year, with 236,601 such visitors on 159 ships in just the first seven months of 2008. In comparison, 231,000 tourists came to Istanbul on 227 cruise ships in 2005, while 331,000 tourists on 282 ships visited in 2006 and 423,000 tourists visited the city on 340 ships last year, according to data provided to the Anatolia news agency by the Undersecretariat of Maritime Affairs in Ýstanbul. Due to the large number of cruise ships anchoring in Karaköy, some ships are forced to drop anchor off the coast. Sadettin Bülbül, one of the founders of Merkez Cruise & Travel Company, noted that cruise ships are like hotels afloat. He said cruise ships are a growing business not just in the region, but around the world, also noting that it does not decrease the popularity of land-based tourism. “Traveling with cruise ships is more comfortable and cheaper, and it provides the opportunity to travel to more countries,” Bülbül stated. He noted that cruise travel makes up 3 percent of all vacation types. “Nearly 900,000 passengers will be transported to Mediterranean coasts by cruise ships in 2008 and a majority of them will anchor at Turkish ports.” Bülbül also stated that Mediterranean shores are very popular for cruise tourism, adding that the Kuþadasý port of western Aydýn province is the most frequented stop in Turkey among cruise ships, followed by Karaköy in Ýstanbul. Bülbül noted that there are a few cruise itineraries that start and finish in Ýstanbul, but that Turkish coasts are mainly used as one of many stops on an itinerary. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman with wires

“Every inch of the motherland is sacred,” Erdoðan said, explaining that every city in the country was very important to the nation. “We are now struggling to distribute the resources, opportunities and wealth of our country equally to our 81 provinces. Bitlis was destroyed by occupying armies and gangs 92 years ago. Innocent people were massacred. I am sad to be saying today that Bitlis has gotten over so many negative factors, but that it has not been set on a track of development. We are working to overcome these problems and change the face of Bitlis, like the other 80 provinces of our country.” “We will stand hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder. We will never allow anyone to sow seeds of hostility among us. We will stand united, we will stand together in solidarity,” Erdoðan said. Ýstanbul Today’s Zaman with wires

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T08-09-08-08.qxd

08.08.2008

19:44

Page 1

08 TODAY’S ZAMAN

S AT U R D AY, A U G U S T 9 , 2 0 0 8

Royal Bank of Scotland posts $1.5 billion in half-year loss lion into money markets to free up lending. The bank's writedowns come on top of the 2.6 billion pounds in US subprime mortgages, leveraged loans and bond insurance that the bank wrote off last year. In preparation for these massive reductions, RBS has been busy raising new funds to shore up its reserves over the last six months. In June, the bank raised 12.3 billion pounds in Europe's largest-ever rights issue. The bank called it the largest in British banking history. But further research suggests Lloyds TSB took first prize in 1989 when it was forced to write off colossal levels of bad loans in Latin America. The Lloyds loss was 715 million pounds on a pre-tax basis, compared to Royal Bank of Scotland's 692 million-pound pretax loss. "The world has changed," RBS chairman Tom McKillop told investors at the time of the rights issue, adding that the deterioration in credit markets meant the company required more capital

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC on Friday reported a half-year loss of 802 million pounds ($1.5 billion), forced deep into the red by 5.9 billion pounds ($11.4 billion) in writedowns as the U.S. subprime credit crisis exacted more pain fully a year after it began. The loss for Britain's second largest bank compared to a fat 3.6 billion pound profit it made in January to June of 2007, the bank's best-ever half-year. It is the first time in 40 years that RBS has posted a loss. Total income also fell over the same period to 13.7 billion pounds, from 14.7 billion pounds. The Edinburgh-based bank's results were largely due to 5.9 billion pounds from losses on assets exposed to the credit crisis, which gathered force in August, 2007. Many mark its beginning in Europe as a year ago this Sunday, when the European Central Bank was forced to inject an unprecedented ¤95 bil-

Dutch bank ABN Amro's investment bank and Asian unit last October for $22 billion, the Scottish bank said first-half operating profit was 5.1 billion pounds -- almost as high as last year's record 5.3 billion pound taking. "The results we have published today demonstrate progress in a number of important areas, and it is all the more unsatisfactory, therefore, that they record a loss as a result of our credit market write-downs," said chief executive Fred Goodwin. "We are determined to ensure that the inherent strengths of the Group's diverse business model are not obscured in this way again," he said. The results were at the better end of expectations, and so stock rose by 2 percent to 238 pence ($4.59) in London trading Friday morning. Many British banks are, of course, struggling against the credit crisis. Barclays PLC, Britain's third-largest bank, had first-half writedowns of 2.8 billion pounds, it reported Thursday. London AP

than it had chosen to maintain in recent years. RBS has also been shifting noncore assets to raise cash. In June, the bank agreed to sell its European train unit, Angel Trains, to Australian investment fund Babcock & Brown for $7 billion. And, the company has put its insurance businesses up for sale. The fundraising efforts are part of RBS' new strategy -- in the wake of the credit crunch -of focusing resources on its core domestic and international banking businesses. So far, that looks like a promising strategy. Though RBS' overall first-half profits were more than wiped out by exposure to the foundering global market, its underlying banking business did relatively well in the first six months of this year, given the market difficulties. Excluding RBS' enormous credit market writedowns and profit-eating one-off purchases, like the expensive and badly timed acquisition of

Dollar surges, commodýtýes retreat REUTERS

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index edged down 0.1 percent, with Germany's DAX and London's FTSE both falling about 0.5 percent. MSCI main world equity index was down 0.8 percent. Royal Bank of Scotland posted a first half loss was 691 million pounds ($1.3 billion), which although not as bad as feared, kept the sector's woes firmly in the spotlight. The dollar surged more than 1 percent against a basket of major currencies, reaching highs last seen in late February and on track for its biggest weekly rise in 3-1/2 years, while the euro slid below $1.51 -its lowest in more than five months. According to interest rate futures, investors are no longer expecting a euro zone interest rate hike this year. "After having been bullish on European bonds for the past couple of weeks, we're turning neutral at these levels. In particular, I can't see the two-year yield going lower," said Cyril Beuzit, head of interest rate strategy at BNP Paribas. In the meantime, Chinese shares fell to their lowest level in nearly 19 months on Friday on heavy selling of airlines and other market heavyweights, as investors and analysts puzzled over why expectations of a rally linked to the Beijing Olympic games never materialized. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index sank 4.5 percent, or 122.81 points, to 2,605.16. It was its lowest close since Dec. 28, 2006, when the index finished at 2,567.59. The Shenzhen Composite Index of China's smaller, second market dropped 5.6 percent to 747.34.

Daily Monthly Change (%) Change (%)

Close 40.950

-1,6%

17,4%

İMKB-30

50.265

-2,0%

19,4%

İMKB-IND

34.747

-2,4%

8,1%

İMKB-BANK

79.587

-2,0%

29,6%

DJIMT

10,80

-1,4%

6,9%

AT A GLAN

CE

August 11 ation pacity Utiliz Turkey’s Ca Rate ina PPI of Ch er Prices of England uc Core Prod

EU€/JP¥

Yearly Change (%)

YTD Change (%)

MCAP (million YTL)

1-Y Av.Volum

-21,4%

-26,3%

216.367

1.261

Hang Seng

-22,9%

-28,7%

159.404

988

-14,4%

-14,3%

69.490

320

-26,4%

-33,7%

89.971

701

DAX

-10,0%

-8,9%

108

0,55

FTSE 100

Country

Change (%)

Level

H.Kong

-0,99

21.885,2

Nikkei 225

Japan

0,33

13.168,4

Cac 40

France

0,60

4.484,2

Germany

0,36

NASDAQ 50.850 1,200

S&P

-2,26% 2,00%

BOVESPA

Volumes

6.566,9

UK

0,32

5.494,9

USA

1,41

11.600,0

USA

1,56

USA

1,42

1.284,0

Brasil

0,22

57.143,6

Rail workers plan four-day strike

41.20 29.78

19.9 11.6

7.7

1.909,5 Native

Native

Foreign

Number of Shares

M.cap

Daily Close Change (%)

Foreign

Number of Shares

Monthly Change (%)

Yearly Change (%)

M.cap

Ticker

Price

Daily Change (%)

Ticker

US$/JP¥

110,15

2,01

3,61%

CCOLA

10,50

-7,89%

MIGRS

485,2

20,7

-6,92

YTL / €

1,779

-0,9%

-7,7%

2,9%

EU/JP¥

165,79

DGZTE

2,72

2,73%

KARSN

1,76

-7,37%

GARAN

275,0

3,6

-41,14

YTL / $

1,175

1,3%

-4,2%

-6,4%

EU/US$

1,5051

ISGYO

1,20

2,56%

EREGL

8,35

-7,22%

ISCTR

96,5

5,4

-23,20

VAKBN

2,36

2,16%

PEGYO

0,94

-6,00%

VAKBN

69,8

2,4

-41,38

IHEVA

3,82

2,14%

KRDMD

1,12

-5,88%

AKBNK

69,6

6,2

-25,71

Price (YTL) Daily Change (%)

ÝMKB 100

Price (YTL) Yearly Change (%)

ÝMKB 30

ÝMKB IND

P.CHEM.

TUPRS

PTOFS

PETKM

AYGAZ

--

--

12.440,6

6.875,5

2.901,2

947,3

757,5

13,4x

13,7x

11,4x

8,0x

9,7x

14,6x

18,9x

2,5x

P/E 2007/06t

9,4x

12,3x

10,6x

5,6x

7,2x

10,7x

9,9x

1,3x

P/E 2007/09t EV/EBITDA 2006/12

8,8x 8,0x

9,3x 8,5x

8,4x 7,5x

6,0x 6,6x

7,2x 7,6x

10,1x 6,1x

9,9x 4,9x

1,3x 4,5x

EV/EBITDA 2007/03t

7,5x

7,7x

6,7x

6,1x

6,4x

5,8x

3,7x

4,9x

EV/EBITDA 2007/06t

8,5x

7,3x

6,8x

6,3x

6,6x

5,9x

3,9x

5,3x

Mcap YTL

--

P/E 2006/12

Mortgage finance company Fannie Mae swung to a second-quarter loss that was more than triple what Wall Street expected as conditions in the housing market continued to deteriorate. The Washington-based company, the largest US buyer and backer of home loans, said Friday it lost $2.3 billion, or $2.54 a share, for the quarter that ended June 30. The loss compares with profit of $1.95 billion, or $1.86 a share, in the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected a loss of just 68 cents a share. And it appeared that more bad news is ahead. "Volatility and disruptions in the capital markets became even more pronounced in July," Daniel H. Mudd, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "In addition, credit performance has continued to deteriorate and, based on our experience in July, we anticipate further increases in our combined loss reserves." fell $1.11, or about 11 percent, to $8.84 in premarket trading. To preserve cash, Fannie Mae slashed its dividend to 5 cents a share from 35 cents a share. The move is expected to preserve $1.9 billion in capital through 2009. The company also said it would hike fees, cut operating costs by 10 percent by the end of next year and stop purchasing so-called Alt-A loans, made to borrowers with solid credit but little proof of their income, or small or no down payments. Fannie Mae and its smaller government-sponsored sibling, Freddie Mac, hold or guarantee nearly half of outstanding US mortgage debt. Washington AP

LABOR

70.22 58.80

46.9

VESTL

Ticker

Fannie Mae loses $2.3 bln in Q2 as defaults rise

Embattled Swiss bank UBS is close to buying back billions of dollars in bond debt whose value collapsed during the global financial crisis, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters. The report followed an announcement late last night from Citigroup and Merrill Lynch that they would buy back almost $20 billion such debt between them. "The rumours that they are close to a settlement are not unfounded," the source said. "Both Citigroup and Merrill Lynch announced retail programmes. The one that UBS is rumoured to announce will also cover institutional clients," the source said. The size of the buy-back would be roughly $19.4 billion, the source said. The move is likely to force UBS, Europe's biggest casualty of the markets turmoil, to make further writedowns on the value of its assets beyond the $37 billion so far. JP Morgan reckons with about $1 billion in writedowns. Others estimated that such a move could cost UBS $1.8 billion. London/Frankfurt Reuters

TurkDEX US$/JP¥

A prominent business club has publicized its view that Turkey no longer needs a stand-by agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and that post-program monitoring alone would be enough. Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (MÜSÝAD) Chairman Ömer Cihad Vardan said the last two stand-by deals, which began in 2002 and 2005, had been successfully concluded following a strict commitment shown by the government to implement them. Post-program monitoring would be enough to sustain the continuation of economic performance, he said. The government's steering of the economy so far has proven that it can maintain that performance without the support of an IMF program, he noted. The IMF believes it has to stay involved in Turkey's economy to ensure its role in supporting Turkey's efforts to cement economic stability and tackle its remaining vulnerabilities. Economy Minister Mehmet Þimþek believes the IMF programs have so far helped the nation clear economic hurdles but that no program with the IMF would be effective enough to replace a reformist government. The future course of relations between Turkey and the IMF is expected to be determined in a week. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with wires

UBS agrees to buy back stricken bond debt

Dow

CALENDAR

MÜSÝAD says stand-by deal no longer needed

FINANCIAL

Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with Reuters, AP

İMKB-100

OPINION

MORTGAGE

PHOTO

The dollar raced to a fivemonth high against the euro on Friday as worries about the euro zone economy mounted, while oil prices slid below $118 a barrel on diminishing supply concerns. European stocks were flat with automotive firms benefiting from the stronger dollar but energy companies like BP pressured by the fall in oil prices. A worse-than-expected second quarter loss from Fannie Mae, the largest US home funding source, weighed on US stock futures, which pared early gains. The stronger dollar was also a negative for commodities, knocking more than 2 percent off copper to take it to a six-month low. Oil dipped below $118 a barrel after an indication that a key oil pipeline through Turkey, still burning after an explosion, may reopen earlier than previously expected, while gold, often seen as an inflation hedge, briefly fell below $860 an ounce to an eight-week low. "The dollar is driving metals lower," said John Meyer, an analyst at Fairfax Investment Bank. Data showing Italy's economy shrank in the second quarter cast a shadow over the euro zone, and came a day after European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet highlighted risks to growth, even though he reiterated his concerns about inflation. Trichet's comments were interpreted by markets as dovish, sparking a steep fall in bond yields as markets priced out the risk of another interest rate hike this year. "There's going to be more speculation of ECB rate cuts later this year," said Gerhard Schwarz, head of global equity strategy at UniCredit in Munich.

BUSINESS

CM Y K

Price ($) Light C. Oil Gold Copper

116,66 853,30 3,31

Way

Change (%) -2,80 -2,00 -3,04

High 120,08 869,50 3,39

Low 116,10 851,70 3,31

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.

Around 12,0000 rail maintenance workers will stage a four-day strike next week in a long dispute over pay and conditions, the RMT union said on Friday. The Network Rail workers, who have already held strikes at weekends, now plan to stop work next Friday until the following Tuesday. "RMT members have shown the company how they feel by delivering two weekends of rock-solid strike action, and that is in stark contrast to the behaviour of Network Rail," said RMT General Secretary Bob Crow. Previous strike action failed to have any impact on services. Crow said talks so far with the company had made progress but that these had been "vetoed" at director level. "RMT remains ready to talk to reach a harmonisation package that is acceptable to our members, but it is down to the company to negotiate in good faith and stick to what it has agreed," he added. Network Rail said it was disappointed that the union was taking strike action while talks were going on and that it aimed to put contingency measures in place to minimise disruption. London Reuters


T09-09-08-08.qxd

08.08.2008

14:39

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12 TODAY’S ZAMAN

S AT U R D AY, A U G U S T 9 , 2 0 0 8

EXPAT ZONE

Tales of twýsters In Turkey we worry about earthquakes, but in the central part of the US the residents worry about tornadoes. Tornadoes are one of nature's most violent storms. The National Weather Service reports that in an average year, about 1,200 tornadoes are reported across the United States, resulting in 80 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries. Driving more than the speed limit down the interstate highway in Central Illinois, I was watching in my side mirrors and rear-view mirror for any funnel shapes -- tornadoes -- since one had been sighted about 30 miles west. The music program that I was listening to was interrupted with a loud, unnerving, buzzing sound to notify all listeners that it was an emergency alert announcement. In a very grave voice the weatherman explained that the thunderstorms heading into the area were capable of producing nickel-size hail and that winds could reach 80 miles per hour and cause much destruction. The news that followed reported that the roof had been ripped off the local school and a lot of debris had been scattered. Presently the winds were 54 miles per hour and the dark clouds were just behind me. With only 30 miles to go

CULTURAL CORNER

CHARLOTTE McPHERSON best-loved fantasy book for children. The film version was one of the earliest films to be deemed "culturally significant" by the US Library of Congress. The tornado scene in the story is real to life. The worst tornado that I remember hearing about when I was growing up took place April 3, 1974 -- tornadoes ripped across Kentucky, Southern Indiana, Ohio and surrounding states. Residents in Brandenburg, Kentucky, were hit the hardest -- 31 were killed -- and many properties were heavily damaged. Xenia, Ohio, lost 32 people. In 24 hours a total of 148 tornadoes ripped across the central US. The devastation can be as serious as an earthquake. As Turkey is in an earthquake zone, I know many of you can relate.

S A C R E D S I T E S {{

Keepýng summer learnýng fun

PHOTOS

Sümela Monastery: ancýent jewel at the foot of the Black Mountaýns The Black Sea province of Trabzon is known for its beautiful natural scenery, but it is also known for its centuries-old monastery complex. As you arrive at Altýndere Valley in the town of Maçka, you will likely catch a glimpse of the Sümela Monastery by gazing down into the valley from far above before you can take in the magnificent view around you: the sparkling stream, the green cloak covering the valley and the Sümela Monastery in all its glory. The monastery, also known as the Meryem Ana (Virgin Mary) among locals, is a Greek monastery complex at the foot of the Karadaðlar (Black Mountains). It is perhaps the most significant attraction of the region. Its full name is Panagia Sümela, or Theotokos Sümela, in some sources. The monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and there are several stories about the root of its name. The name Sümela is believed to have derived from the word "elas," which means "black" in ancient Greek. Some associate the name with the mountain on which it stands, and others relate it to the black color of the icon of the Virgin Mary. There is not much information about the first 1,000 years after it became a monastery complex. There are many mystifying legends about it. The pamphlet on the monastery recently prepared by the Trabzon Governorship includes the most popular of such legends. The story in the pamphlet notes that an icon of the Virgin Mary drawn on a piece of wood by one of the disciples of Jesus, St. Luke, was taken to Athens by angels. The icon then demanded to be taken to a hollow in the mountains of Maçka, and it was brought there by angels during the reign of Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius I in the fourth century. Two hermits by the name of Barnabas and Sophronius were told by the Virgin Mary in their dreams to go and find this icon and build a church there in her name. Legend also tells the story of the local people who happened to spot the icon before the two hermits arrived and failed in their attempts to destroy it. Alexios III (1349-1390) of the Kommenos dynasty is believed to be the actual founder of the complex, and he is depicted in many frescoes at the monastery. There was once a tablet over the gates of the monastery reading, "Alexios III, founder of

this place, is emperor of East and West." The tablet dates back to the 1360s and archaeological analysis also places the origins of the monastery building sometime after the 13th century. Alexios III is said to have endowed the monastery with plentiful resources and published a deed of foundation dating back to 1365 in which there are references to the administration, land and income of the monastery, as well as a warning against the danger of a possible Turkish invasion of the nearby city. Several Ottoman sultans, including the conqueror of Trabzon and Ýstanbul, Mehmet II, Bayezid II, Selim II and Suleiman the Magnificent, acknowledged the rights of the monastery with decrees, which were said to be kept at the monastery.

Green path to the monastery There are two ways to approach the monastery. Once you arrive at Altýndere Valley, you can either take the steep pathway through the forest or drive closer to the monastery and take the shorter walkway. Most people prefer the latter way, as the first takes longer, but both paths offer magnificent views. The main entrance to the monastery is up a long, narrow flight of steps. It is believed to have been designed this way due to security concerns. There is a room for the gatekeeper as you pass through the entrance. The inner courtyard is accessed via a descending flight of steps. The complex includes the Rockface Church (Anakaya Kilisesi), a kitchen, student rooms, guest rooms, a library, an aqueduct and a number of smaller chapels. The library is at the right side, while the guest and student rooms are in the part of the complex built in 1860 with a balcony extending along the front of the slope. In the 18th century, the complex underwent a major restoration effort. Magnificent decorations were added, restoration was carried out and some new parts were added in the 19th century, too. Large portions of the aqueduct were restored as well. Some parts of the monastery reflect the influence of Turkish art. Such examples can be seen in the cupboards and fireplaces in the rooms around the main courtyard. The inside and outside walls of the Rockface Church and the chapels are decorated with beautiful frescoes, mostly depicting scenes of the life of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The courtyardfacing wall of the church is said to have once been adorned with

Note: Charlotte McPherson is the author of “Culture Smart: Turkey, 2005.” Email: c.mcpherson@todayszaman.com. Please keep your questions and observations coming:

KATHY HAMILTON

A view of the ancient Sümela Monastery from the lush mountains of Maçka, Trabzon.

BÜÞRA ÝPEKÇÝ TRABZON

Either natural disaster can leave tragic memories that will remain forever vivid among many in the community. Like earthquakes, tornadoes can scare you to death. It is something that you don't forget. Such disasters especially leave lifelong impressions on children. I remember when my mom and three brothers and I had to take shelter from a tornado once. The sirens went off, and we went to the basement. The sky appeared clear in one direction but in the other suddenly turned black. We heard a noise like the sound of a train. The rumbling became louder and louder. Then suddenly it stopped, and the tornado was gone. The cleanup had yet to begin. It is not just in "The Wizard of Oz" that houses are picked up and carried a block. Seek shelter and be safe. If you have had a similar experience, write and share your story with us.

EXPAT PARENT

AA

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to reach the place where I would spend the night, I put the pedal to the metal and reached my destination just ahead of the storm. Here are some examples of how people react when a tornado warning is announced: Others were driving as fast as me or faster to get ahead of the storm. All of us were probably hoping that the police would not stop us for speeding. After I checked into my room, I went to the lobby of the hotel so I could be on the ground floor. Many other hotel guests had done the same thing. People were watching The Weather Channel on the television in the lobby. Nobody wanted to be on any of the higher floors, just in case a tornado was sighted again here. Just in case you've never been in an area prone to tornadoes, you should seek shelter indoors, preferably on the ground floor or in a basement. If you are outdoors, find a ditch and lie down in it. Contrary to what you may think, the worse place to be is under a tree or in a car. Many of you may have read the book or seen the film "The Wizard of Oz," considered by some to be America's greatest and

frescoes from the time of Alexios III, but there are no traces of them today. The frescoes in the chapel next to the church are from the 18th century according to the inscriptions. A huge apocalyptic scene was once depicted on the rock outside the chapel but, unfortunately, only a small part of it has survived to this day and other scenes are visible underneath its flaking plaster. The outer wall of the small chapel features an image of a dragon and the mounted figures of St. George and St. Demetrius. There are also two additional layers beneath this top layer. To the left of the entrance, the pointed arches of the fountain where the water of the "sacred spring" accumulates also have Turkish features. The water drops from a rock 100 meters above it. The walls of the monastery have been under protection by the Culture and Tourism Ministry since 1998. It is common to see visitors throwing money into the water in the hope that their wishes will come true. Candlesticks, gifts from Yavuz Sultan Selim, were stolen in 1877 and some other objects presented by Ottoman sultans have also been missing since the 1900s. The monastery was closed in 1923 following the Russian invasion of Trabzon between 1916 and 1918. There were roughly 100 monks at the monastery in 1910. It is said that when the political situation changed, these monks buried some significant objects from the monastery, including the icon by St. Luke, at the nearby Agia Barbara chapel, a few hundred meters away from the monastery, in 1922. These objects are believed to have been taken to a museum in Greece. Hundreds of manuscripts dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries were discovered at the complex's library. Approximately 70 of them were sent to a museum in Ankara, while 1,000 Byzantine-era manuscripts, including miniatures, are now in the Ayasofya Museum in Ýstanbul. An icon of the Virgin Mary is now part of a private collection in Oxford, and the Benaki Museum in Athens houses a silver medallion from 1436 and an embroidered altar cloth from 1438. Travel agencies provide daily tours to the monastery. Keep in mind that the complex is swamped with many domestic and foreign visitors on weekends, so weekdays are preferable for enjoying this unique site.

Like most children, my son is thrilled to have the summer off from school and its accompanying homework. His school did, however, plan ahead and sent home a summer workbook so that the students will hopefully not forget too much of what they learned during the school year. Together we sit down and puzzle through the math and language problems, giving him a much appreciated chance to help me improve my limited grasp of Turkish, while I help him keep up to date on his math skills. This summer we decided to start a new project together. We are writing a book based on a story he had written for one of his classes at school. Using the original text as the starting point, we are expanding the story further. By working together on this new joint venture, he is learning, while at the same time having fun and seeing the tangible results of his labor. Encouraging him to be creative, we have set no limits on how silly or serious the story will become. In addition, since we are writing the story both in Turkish and English, he is keeping his language skills sharp in two languages. As we work together to create the illustrations, he better understands the importance of exchanging ideas and working together to attain the final goal. Even though the book will most probably be just for our own private entertainment, he has a sense of accomplishment as we look at how far we have come with our creation. He is also learning that my work as a writer is not as easy as he once thought, and that is definitely a plus for me. Realizing that neither one of us was as fit as we should be, we also embarked on a joint exercise program so that we both get in shape. He loves to ride his bike, so in the cooler hours of the evening, he pedals as I pant alongside him, trying to keep up as we head to one of the local parks. We also do calisthenics together, counting out loud in both languages and figuring out how many more repetitions of a given exercise we need to do to reach our goal for the day. Without him being aware of it, by keeping track of how many reps we have done so far and how many more we have to go until we are finished, he is actually working on honing his math skills. Ali Adem has shown a recent interest in helping in the kitchen more, and I use this chance as a way to have him instruct me in Turkish, while I have the opportunity to help him learn about measurements. As I read the directions in English, he happily translates them into Turkish, once again helping my language skills improve, and providing him the chance to be my tutor, which is a role he loves to take on. With a little help from me when measuring out ingredients, he is working to understand sizes and dimensions. The end result is that we both have a chance to work together, learn from each other and then sit down and eat our final product. Not a bad way to teach or learn! Our summer holiday time is not all work for Ali Adem, but I want to make sure that he keeps up to date on all his skills. Finding easy ways to continue the learning process shows him that discovering new abilities or understanding how what he learned in school relates to his own world can be fun and exciting. Seeing tangible results from our efforts is important to him at this stage. When looking at the progress we have made in our book project, he takes pride in his work and is constantly thinking of new additions to the story. He has seen that since our exercise regimen began he can ride his bike longer and faster, which is a tangible plus in his eyes. He is not concerned about the cardiovascular benefits of our workouts or the fine points of increasing stamina and toning the body. As long as he sees results he wants to continue in our progress. Having an assistant in the kitchen working beside me gives us a chance to share together and talk about our day. It also gives him something more entertaining than sitting in front of the television for hours on end. While cooking alongside me he is learning about the importance of nutrition, vitamins and minerals, and is finding out about the importance of choosing the right foods for meals and snacks. Even though he is not in school, the learning process never stops. It is all a matter of making the educational process fun for both of us. I think the key is to be creative and flexible and to listen to the needs and wants of the child. In addition, make sure there is plenty of time to play together and enjoy each other's company. Send comments and questions to k.hamilton@todayszaman.com

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


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14 TODAY’S ZAMAN

SATURDAY, AUGUST 9, 2008

OPINION

PHOTO

ALÝ ÜNAL

The prophet and the commissars NINA L. KHRUSHCHEVA*

This week's appointment of rectors to 21 universities across Turkey is an event that was followed closely because rectors in Turkey hold an unusual amount of power on campuses.

Summer heat at unýversýtýes Turkish universities -- like most other universities in the world’s northern hemisphere -- are on summer break. These are the quietest days of the year on university campuses. The recent appointments of rectors for 21 universities created a storm of excitement amidst this silence. This situation is not unusual for the Turkish people, who are quite accustomed to tension following the AK Party closure case and the Ergenekon investigation. Turkey’s agenda suddenly became focused on the universities. Republican People’s Party (CHP) representatives have argued that President Abdullah Gül was taking revenge for the headscarf issue. The removal from office of university rectors who acted with determination to maintain the headscarf ban at their universities is seen as revenge. Are these assertions true? Have the university rectors who opposed the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) really been eliminated?

lack of industrialization and urbanization is seeking to fill the gap through education. Education, equipped with extraordinary meanings, occupies a central place in politics as the tool to create a nation-state and shape its citizens. In fact, politics in Turkey is based on sensitive balances between these three institutions. A small change in this sensitive balance creates a big impact in politics. The discussions about the rector appointments are related to this balance. Yet it is also possible to say, given the reflection on the public, that these discussions are still mild.

Mosques, schools and military facilities

Turkish university system

There is a triplet in political jargon. Three places are repeated as if they constitute a catchy motto and a sacred principle. “Politics does not enter the mosque, the school or the military facility.” This motto provides a rather accurate criterion for a democratic society. But it also implies a hope that is impossible to comply with. In this motto, the mosque represents religion. The relationship between religion and politics is the most complicated aspect of Turkey. In an environment where the state maintains full control over religion and forces all to believe in the religion it has described, it is very hard to keep the mosque out of politics. Turkey’s unique laicism defines religious services as a public service performed by civil servants. The most recent example is the headscarf issue; how can religion stay out of politics while such an issue of religious freedom remains unresolved? The military facility represents the military. This is a reality that nobody can hide; even the military is happy with its expression. There is an ongoing military guardianship over politics. This guardianship sometimes increases and sometimes loses its impact; but it never disappears. It will be hard to offset this guardianship as long as the military assumes the duty of protecting the regime in addition to maintaining security in the country. Therefore, perhaps it is necessary to say it in reverse; politics cannot enter the military, but the military is involved in politics. Then comes the school. Education is the most important issue in a discussion that has been going on for a long time in Turkey. The reason for this is that miraculous duties are assigned to education. A country that suffers from a

It could be said that President Abdullah Gül did not interfere with the university affairs through the recent appointments, given the arbitrary appointments made by his predecessor. There have been some interventions, but it is obvious from the reactions that these interventions are not revenge for the headscarf issue. There has been no serious reaction from the universities with the exception of some isolated reactions from the close friends of the rector candidates who were not appointed. The appointed rectors are known for their commitment to the principle of laicism, just like those not appointed. Therefore, the issue is personal. The reason for the discussion in connection with these personal considerations should be sought in the distorted university system. The Higher Education Law (no. 2547) was made by the military regime in 1982. It has been a source of debate from the beginning and it has also been subjected to dramatic amendments. Almost everyone argues that this bill should be replaced with a new one. But no administration could have ever done this. The AK Party government made some attempts to annul, but failed. The problem is that the universities have to be organized based on a centralized and hierarchical structure. This hierarchy and centrality provides easy control. To maintain this control, rectors are equipped with extraordinary authority. The rector is everything for universities with 60-70,000 students, 2-3,000 employees and enormous financial resources. For instance, a faculty member cannot become a professor without the approval of the rector. It is inevitable that such broad authorities lead to leisurely abuse.

MÜMTAZ’ER TÜRKÖNE m.turkone@todayszaman.com

Majoritarianism, not democracy The use of elections in the appointment of rectors who rule their universities like feudal lords is misleading. The faculty members of the university cast their votes and, traditionally, the rector candidate who received the highest number of votes is appointed by the Higher Education Board (YÖK) as rector. The only elimination point is the President. The former president frequently used this authority to eliminate the candidates he disliked. He even appointed a candidate who had received just two votes. The use of the election method in the universities leads to majoritarianism -- well known in the US -- not to democracy. There is no mechanism to protect the minority against the rector who came to the office with the vote of the majority. The winner takes all. The tension and polarization created by the competition between the candidates should also be recalled. In two universities where the outgoing rectors cannot be able to re-elected under the current laws, the rectors’ spouses received the highest number of votes. This proves that universities have created some sort of monarchy. For this reason, the decision of the president, who appointed names from the second spot on the list forwarded to him by YÖK should not be seen as abnormal. The argument that the president did not appoint the rectors known for their commitment to laicism is not plausible. The matter may be clarified from a reverse perspective. In some universities, there is uneasiness about the arbitrary decisions of the rectors. These rectors sought to ensure their re-election by making strong statements about the headscarf ban. The president did not consider these remarks. The proof of this is the absence of any discussion regarding the stances of the rectors appointed in place of those who were involved in political polemics. The discussions caused by the rector appointments are artificial. A statement from the chairman of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSÝAD) stressed that the problem was more related to the university system than to the appointments. This emphasis is actually the summary of the situation. The current university system provides huge authorities for the ruler. It is true that the former rulers lose power in this system. But the problem is the order and the system itself. Therefore, the AK Party government needs to introduce comprehensive university reform. School should be taken out of politics. The universities should follow scientific developments, not politics. This can be achieved by decentralizing the university system and making it competitive. The personal discussions over the rector appointments have nothing to do with the university reform agenda.

*Nina Khrushcheva teaches international affairs at The New School in New York and is the author of "Imagining Nabokov: Russia Between Art and Politics." © Project Syndicate, 2008

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USSR, or his last book, written in 2001, entitled "A Hundred Years Together" on the history of Russian-Jewish coexistence, seem backward, preachy, conservative, unenlightened, at times even antiSemitic and smack of Solzhenitsyn's own grim authoritarianism. Both Putin and Khrushchev sought to use Solzhenitsyn for their own purposes. Putin vowed to revive the moral fiber of the Russians, their glory and international respect. To achieve this goal he sought to restore high culture to a position of primacy in Russian life, and to put mass media in its (politically) subservient place. Putin held up Solzhenitsyn as a model for those who stand for the ideal of Great Russia -- "an example of genuine devotion and selfless serving of the people, fatherland, and the ideals of freedom, justice and humanism." Under Khrushchev, however, Solzhenitsyn's work was used to liberate the country from the grip of Stalinism. In choosing to allow "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" to be published, Khrushchev knew that he was undermining the entire Soviet era up to that point. But, with Khrushchev's overthrow in 1964, Leonid Brezhnev lost no time in restoring orthodoxy and purging books that threatened the Party's reputation. Solzhenitsyn was banned, driven first underground and then into exile. Yet Khrushchev, isolated and in disgrace, continued to see a bond between himself and the great author. As Solzhenitsyn wrote in his memoir "The Oak and the Calf": "As late as 1966, he [Khrushchev] sent me New Year's greetings -- which astonished me because I was on the brink of arrest. Perhaps (in his disgrace) he did not know." One lesson of the 1989 revolution in Eastern Europe is the value of having truly democratic-minded figures lead the escape from communism. Poland had Lech Welesa, Czechoslovakia Václav Havel. Both kept their countries calm during wrenching transitions. Russia, sadly, had no one with the moral authority to soothe people's passions. Only Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov came near to Walesa and Havel in terms of moral authority, but Sakharov was dead by the time communism collapsed, and Solzhenitsyn's ideas were too conservative, too tied to Russian nationalism, for him to become a symbol of democracy in a multi-national Soviet Union. The tragedy of Solzhenitsyn is that, although he played a mighty role in liberating Russia from totalitarianism, he had nothing to say to ordinary Russians after their liberation, except to chastise them. Yet perhaps one day we Russians will escape our false dreams, and when that day comes, the heroic Solzhenitsyn, the Solzhenitsyn who could never surrender or be corrupted, will be restored to us. But it is now that we need that Solzhenitsyn most. For to paraphrase Milton's "Paradise Lost" on the illumination of hell, "Solzhenitsyn's is no light, but rather darkness visible."

Daðýstan Çetinkaya

Thýnk tank cafe´ Established on January 16, 2007 NO: 0537 Saturday, August 9, 2008

Executive Editor Managing Editors

MOSCOW -- Prophets, it is said, are supposed to be without honor in their homeland. Yet Moscow has just witnessed the extraordinary sight of Alexander Solzhenitsyn - the dissident and once-exiled author of "The Gulag Archipelago" and "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" -- receiving what amounts to a state funeral, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin acting as chief mourner. So, even in death, Solzhenitsyn will, it seems, remain a force to be reckoned with. But will he be a force in keeping with the liberating vistas of his greatest works? Sadly, art in Russia is always used to reinforce the narcissism of power. Solzhenitsyn was used in this way twice. The paradox is that, in the Soviet era, his art was used, briefly, as a force for liberation, because Nikita Khrushchev allowed the publication of "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" in order to buttress his anti-Stalin thaw. In today's supposedly free and democratic Russia, however, Solzhenitsyn is idealized for his nationalism and Orthodox messianism and his contempt for the West's supposed decadence, all messages that Putin's regime proclaims loudly and daily. The old Soviet iconography has broken down completely; despite heroic efforts, not even Putin could restore Lenin, Stalin and the old Soviet pantheon. Yet the Kremlin understands that something is needed to replace them as Russia adapts to its new oil-fueled autocracy. Solzhenitsyn, one of the most famous and heroic dissidents of the Soviet era, now seems certain to become a towering figure in the iconography of Putinism. Throughout his presidency, Putin repeatedly invoked Russia as an ancient, powerful and divinely ordained state going back a thousand years, a civilization separate from the West, neither communist nor a Western liberal democracy. That message echoes Solzhenitsyn's famous commencement address at Harvard in 1978: "Any ancient deeply rooted autonomous culture, especially if it is spread on a wide part of the earth's surface, constitutes an autonomous world, full of riddles and surprises to Western thinking. For 1,000 years, Russia has belonged to such a category." For Solzhenitsyn, a survivor of the gulag system enforced by the KGB, the desire to see Russia as a great nation, its eternal spirit superior to the West's vulgar materialism, found him in old age supporting ex-KGB man Putin, who once said there is no such thing as an ex-KGB man and who sees the Soviet Union's collapse as the greatest geo-political catastrophe of modern times. Despite this, Solzhenitsyn seemed to accept Putin as a "good dictator," whose silencing of his critics enhances Russia's soul. It is a sad testament to Russia's current mindset that it is Solzhenitsyn the anti-modernist crank who is being remembered, not Solzhenitsyn the towering foe of Soviet barbarism and mendacity. Today, his writing is seen as buttressing the state, not individual freedom. Works such as "The Red Wheel" series of novels, a tedious account of the end of Imperial Russia and the creation of the

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

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CM Y K


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COLUMNS

TODAY’S ZAMAN 15

S AT U R D AY, A U G U S T 9 , 2 0 0 8

Lývýng ýn a regýon rýdden wýth crýses We were chatting with a group of Americans who came to Turkey by means of a distinguished association called the Rumi Forum -- founded to foster interfaith and intercultural dialogue and to provide a platform for education and information exchange. It was an elite group with people from various professions, including professors, theologians, peace activists and ecclesiastics of Christianity and Islam. Apart from intellectual issues, we also talked about the Turkish agenda and the latest developments in Turkey. There was a long list of subjects: the Ergenekon probe, political party closure cases, traps set against democracy, the image of the US and Western policy in the Middle East, circles which declare others to be enemies of democracy when in fact they are against democracy, etc. In talking with them about crises both inside and outside Turkey, I could not help but think how lucky they are compared to us. In fact, no common American citizen feels happy due to the trauma caused by Sept. 11, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the ongoing slump in the economy. Companies are going bankrupt one after another. Oil is getting more and more expensive. Americans are anxious about being targeted due to the world's negative image of their country. They feel this negative atmosphere in places where they meet new people. They do not count on their own media because of the biased news

KLAUS JURGENS

ABDÜLHAMÝT BÝLÝCÝ a.bilici@todayszaman.com

during the Iraq war, though in fact, it is their own media revealing big scandals such as Abu Ghraib. The policies of the Bush administration are criticized harshly on all platforms. More and more Americans are gradually looking to European media, such as Le Monde of France and The Guardian of England, as a source of information. I told them that they are still lucky because they have a democracy that allows for the discussion and correction of mistakes. I reminded them that they share borders with stable countries like Mexico and Canada, unlike us, who live in the center of a crisis-ridden region and share borders with Iran and Iraq. I do not know if my words comforted them, but they are truly lucky. The people of this country were living in an atmosphere created by a party closure case and the Ergenekon probe. Maybe most of us think: "The pressure of

these incidents has lifted; now we can go for a holiday." However, we are living in such a hot spot that now another incident may cause Russia and NATO to fly at one another's throats in Georgia. Getting over financial and political problems, Russia is very uncomfortable with the treatment shown by Europe and NATO toward it and being treated like dirt. The Russian-NATO relationship is quietly tense due both to the relationships between Ukraine, Georgia and NATO and the missile shield system that Washington wants to settle. We cannot estimate where the military action of Tbilisi against separatist South Ossetia, supported by Russia, will take the region, or what it will do to the Russia-NATO relationship. On the one hand, there is a general mobilization call from Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who also would like Georgia to be a NATO member. On the other hand, there is Russian Prime Minister (Vladimir) Putin saying, "This will not be left unanswered." All the capital cities in the world are waiting. As a country sharing a border, blood and cultural ties with the Caucasus and as a NATO member who has good relations with Russia, can we stay out of this chaos? I wish it was all about Ossetia. There is an Iran crisis right next to us. No observer following developments in the region is ignoring the probable attack that may occur five to six months after the presidential elections

No Comment

BEIJING, AA

BERÝL DEDEOÐLU b.dedeoglu@todayszaman.com

k.jurgens@todayszaman.com

The Belgýan case

Turkey needs more lawyers and economýsts Last week I finished my column writing about the urgent need for a civilian constitution. In line with this, we must take a close look at the current educational system and which parts of it need to be modified. It is not enough to simply draft and adopt a new constitution -- lawyers and, as I shall explain today, economists must be fully trained in how to implement it. If not, it will remain nothing more than a roof over an empty house. We cannot overestimate the importance of education when describing the modern nation-state. Politicians often overlook the fact that while it may be easy to change day-today issues, educational systems form part of the underlying, society-defining cleavage structure and need much longer than "one term in office" to be successfully upgraded. By upgrading I do not refer to abandoning existing structures overnight; rather, it is a gradual process similar to science itself, which is neither static nor finite, but developing. The dilemma for Turkey as a candidate country to the EU is that this gradual process has to be completed faster than is perhaps recommendable, but there is simply no alternative. Acknowledging efforts at both Galatasaray and Bahçeþehir universities, and in particular an essay written by Eser Karakaþ, professor of economics and head of Bahçeþehir University's European Union department, why not jointly develop a new Higher Education Board (YÖK) approved, post-graduate degree course bearing the title "master's in law and economics"? It would be in between a full-fledged law degree and a master's of science in economics, but would not attempt to replace either of them. It would combine aspects of both. It should be taught in both English and Turkish, with further regional as well as linguistic sub-specializations in either German or French. The Turkish legal profession is undergoing a vast adaptation process with regards to changes due to EU accession as well as an internal, self-imposed legal updating process that involves streamlining the judicial system. Whether we refer to it as Copenhagen or Ankara criteria does not matter. What matters is the fact that long before Turkey's EU accession, its legal and judicial procedures are in the spotlight and will be transformed according to universally accepted frameworks, not least with regards to those to which the Republic of Turkey is a signatory state. Recent examples show that cost-benefit analysis -- as suggested to be part of the lawmaking process and originally developed by Nobel Prize laureate K.J. Arrow -- has entered the Turkish legal system, albeit still at a negligible level and perhaps more or less by chance rather than volition. The confusing and economically damaging changes in the land ownership and registration system (tapu) -- first of all barring, then re-allowing foreigners to buy and own property in Turkey -- were finally transformed from an ill-conceived party political maneuver into an economically sound legal structure, mostly based on two things: Turkey's EU accession process and the knowledge of the fact that a large part of the Turkish current account deficit is rebalanced via tourism receipts as well as foreign direct investment (FDI), including property sales and related services. If we take a look at the roadmap for EU accession a whole new generation of graduates will be leaving Turkish universities come that date, having been fully exposed to the European legal and economic structures. Turkish lawmakers need to learn how to measure economic impact, while Turkish economists must learn about the changing the legal framework. Whereas the EU acquis is mostly nonnegotiable, before and after accession lawyers and economists "defending" Turkish interests will be in high demand. Preparing future graduates for EU accession is a monumental task, but we must start somewhere. Offering a new degree as well as the training of the trainers (both at vocational institutions and universities) can be achieved in a relatively short time. Diversifying an educational system must be based on a broad consensus. Both EU supporters and skeptics in Turkey will want to see an independent, academically and professionally best-equipped future generation. Education should not become part of only one political party's agenda -- it is by definition the basis for any emerging economy.

in the US. Some groups in Washington and other cities are mobilizing all their means and power, even opting out of vacation. The attack risk is rising since Tehran has not responded in a timely manner to international calls delivered to it. In the case of a military conflict, I do not even want to guess what will happen in countries like Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, all of which may be easily influenced by Iran. Furthermore, one of the leading actors of this crisis, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, is expected to visit Ýstanbul on Aug. 14. If you evaluate incidents in Turkey independently from the power struggles in the region, you are mistaken. Aren't there ties between the Ergenekon gang and those who accuse the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) of being Occidentalist and suggest that it is a member in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) or that it's aligned with Iran? Remember which title Aleksander Dugin used for Veli Küçük in Moscow at a press conference while talking about the Ergenekon probe. Think about where former Gendarmerie General Command Intelligence Department head Levent Ersöz fled. Remember that the only solid suggestion for how to put the global power struggle on the right track came from Moscow, from new Kremlin resident Medvedev, and let us remember other things later. I wish Turkey was a country suitable for a vacation.

Saçan’s contradýctýons; Oktay’s bombs BÜLENT KORUCU b.korucu@todayszaman.com

Former Organized Crime Unit Director Adil Serdar Saçan has an interesting life story. He first made a name for himself in operations against the mafia, and his name was included in a list of police officers who were involved in reactionary movements prepared by police chiefs at the Ankara Police Department accused of wiretapping at the Ankara Police Department. His inclusion on the list was cited as one of the pieces of evidence proving that the document was an outcome of a personal problem [between him and the police] and groundless. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Saçan was the intelligence staff member about whom the media wrote the most. He had to face a number of accusations, ranging from torture and corruption to taking secret documents out of the department. He was discharged from the department and a number of lawsuits were filed against him. The request sent by his superior, Police Chief Hasan Özdemir, to the ministry upon his being relieved of duty is of interest. Özdemir noted: "He has an unhealthy personality with psychological problems. Because he has become a focus of hostility from all in the department, we are unable to cooperate and coordinate with other units and staff." After being discharged from duty, he kept his fame alive by penning pieces for ultranationalist Web sites whose owners were arrested in connection with the Ergenekon case. He came to the agenda once more with the Ergenekon investigation. Saçan was the first person to detain and interrogate Tuncay Güney, the black box of the Ergenekon terror organization, in 2001 and who seized the documents of the organizations. The important part of the story starts here. New accusations that have been brought against him serve to hide elements of the Ergenekon investigation. He has tried to respond to these allegations in his series published by the Milliyet daily in which he blames

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the Chief Prosecutor's Office, his chiefs and other department managers in an attempt to exonerate himself. But he fails to make his words concrete and leaves the accusations vague. "I did my job, and I ensured the issuance of a subpoena by the Chief Prosecutor's Office" is the backbone of his argument. In explaining why he did not carry through to the end, Saçan writes that he referred the file to the police. Despite how vocal he was with his remarks on the reactionary formations inside the police department, Saçan speaks very little about this case. He says, "I realized the danger and did my part, but attempts were made to conceal it." However, it is proper to ask why he failed to make these attempts known to the public or to take preventative measures. Can the police force re-assingn a duty ordered by the Chief Prosecutor's Office to another unit? Saçan could have returned the assignment to the chief prosecutor and asked for a new one instead of reassigning it to another unit. When the job became concrete, he adopted a vague position. He asserts that the intelligence unit manager and his deputy at that time had no responsibility of providing their names. He argues that some police chiefs who had a disagreement with Veli Küçük -- a former general who is currently in jail, accused of being one of the leaders of Ergenekon -- wanted to give him an SUV. In response to the reactions, he announces that this person was retired Police Chief Ümit Aybek. I think Saçan's most interesting remarks are those concerning the bombs found in Ümraniye which set off the Ergenekon investigation. Saçan says: "These things are not resolved with the explosives found in retired noncommissioned officer Oktay Yýldýrým's home. I argue now that if you were to go to the homes of the police officers who served in special combat units against terrorism in the Southeast and East, you'll find more of the same materials you found in Yýldýrým's house. Why? Because these men are obsessed with this. They regard what they took from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as a gain. The army provides these things because they fight against the PKK. They hide this equipment. Their houses are like weapon depots. This is something psychological. It has become a tradition." I am curious about how he would explain the fact that these bombs were thrown at the Cumhuriyet daily. We will probably say this was also a habit. I liked this explanation; it gave me an explanation for some of the things that Saçan did.

The world has always tried unsuccessfully to deal with identity problems. Most of these problems have led to wars, massacres or ethnic cleansing, and almost every society has such stories in its history. Millions of people have been murdered and millions of others are still being murdered. It appears that humanity never learns its lesson. When the background of all these killings is studied, the killings can also be explained by political power struggles or economic interests, but they are often simply seen as battles between "different" sides. It is possible to find examples of identity struggles on every continent; however, European history in particular is rich with examples. As a matter of fact, today's Europe is the result of these gruesome and bloody experiences. However, these experiences have produced elaborate systems to prevent renewed armed conflicts, although they have not change mentalities much. It is for this reason that the risk of more conflicts remains. The law and principles of the Council of Europe and the European Union are shown as examples many other countries should follow, including Turkey. All these organizations, which represent Europe and its values, have their headquarters in Belgium, making the country an interesting one for Turkey to follow. However, recent developments in Belgium are quite surprising. The alienation between the Walloons and the Flemish has reached a level at which they even don't want to drink each other's wines or eat each other's cheeses. This souring mood has also affected the country's government. The capital in which Europe is governed, no one is able to govern Belgium. Even if the only reason of the government crisis in Belgium is not these two communities' struggle, the most apparent reason is that the Flemish and the Walloons don't want to live together or even side-by-side anymore. Recent reports say the management of an airport in the Flanders region has decided that all of its employees should speak Flemish when serving customers. If we were all obliged to speak the language of the region we were visiting, we would probably be unable to travel. Because airports in Belgium, which host several international institutions, are mostly used by non-Flemish travelers, this policy must have a reason other than to make travelers suffer. It appears that the core of the problem involves the employees. We are not sure if this policy will strengthen the Flemish identity of the airport staff, but the decision's basic aim is probably to make sure that the entire staff will be recruited from the Flemish. But even if things remain as they are, this is clear and significant discrimination. In today's world, it is not rare to observe that countries' official languages are not always the inhabitants' vernacular language. When people or institutions want to communicate with one another, they instantly find the most adequate language to do so. Additionally, in developed societies where individuals' rights are respected, states and administrations help them preserve and develop their languages; the imposition of rules to limit their use is not frequently seen. Nevertheless, it appears that in Belgium everything is designed to prevent any kind of compromise or agreement. It is quite contradictory for a country seen as the center of Europe and it is also very worrying for third parties. We should not, of course, expect any country to set an example for others, but history has granted important responsibilities to countries like Belgium. Let's hope that Belgians will find a way out without provoking separatism all around the world.


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CONTINUATION

TODAY’S ZAMAN 17

S AT U R D AY, A U G U S T 9 , 2 0 0 8

Generals discussed overthrowing gov’t, documents show contýnued from page 1

identified as "F"; Naval Forces Commander Adm. Özden Örnek as "Ö"; Land Forces Commander Gen. Fevzi Türkeri as "T"; Gen. Hurþit Tolon, currently in custody as part of the Ergenekon investigation, as "H"; Gen. Tamer Akbaþ as "A"; and Gen. Çetin Doðan as "Ç." The minutes are organized under the subtitles "Wining the People," "The General State of the Armed Forces," "Relations with the Government," "Protection of the Fundamental Characteristics of the Republic," "The Press," "The European Union and the National Security Council [MGK]," "Developments in Iraq" and "Our Relations with the US." Some of the highlights Radikal selected from the document include the following: "We are obliged to either make very radical decisions in the next one to one-and-a-half years or succumb to our fate. We should make the people have nothing to hope for from this government.

Media bosses should be taken under control." (F) "The aim here is to take over the state. We should fight in the harshest way possible, with no compromises. We need a good press." (Ö) "It is a must to insult the prime minister in private meetings. We should pay visits to the prime figures of the secular front such as the Higher Education Board [YÖK] president and the rector of Ýstanbul University." (Ç) "The issues we want to talk about should not be brought to the National Security Council's [chaired by the prime minister] agenda, but be talked over by inviting the prime minister to the General Staff headquarters." (T) In other quotes from the minutes, Gen. Fýrtýna is quoted as saying the generals don't have much time left to win over the public and that they should hurry with the process. Gen. Türkeri is quoted as saying the army should communicate in

a timely fashion with then-President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, known for his staunch secularism, to seek his support when necessary. He also expresses during this meeting the opinion that the EU and the US are constantly acting as mentors to the AK Party in the pacification of the armed forces. Other quotes from the minutes include Gen. Tolon complaining that the government has been very passive about some incidents in the international arena that were humiliating for Turkey. Gen. Akbaþ is quoted as saying, "The Turkish Armed Forces have to make their intelligence system more effective." Again in these minutes, Gen. Çetin makes the following observation: "The disruption of the fundamental characteristics of the Republic of Turkey cannot be compensated for with economic gains." Gen Türkeri says the TSK should restructure its public relations strategy and proactively address reactions coming from the press and the public. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman

PHOTO

KÜRÞAT BAYHAN

The excerpts date from 2003 and 2004 and show detailed plans of senior military officers to stage a coup against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan. No legal action was taken regarding the coup allegations, but Nokta's owner shut the journal down after police raided its offices upon an order from a state prosecutor. The minutes of the meeting, believed to have been put together by then-Land Forces Commander Aytaç Yalman, detail the conversations of the first, second and third Aegean army commanders, the NATO southeast joint commander, the War Academies commander and the Naval Forces commander. They are labeled with "the points emphasized during the meeting about the country's problems." Air Forces Commander Gen. Ýbrahim Fýrtýna is

Migrants' tragedy continues even after death The bodies of 13 illegal migrants who were found dead in a trailer in Ýstanbul's Küçükçekmece district last week as they were being illegally transported to Greece have still not been claimed by their families. The migrants' bodies are being kept at the Ýstanbul Forensic Medicine Center in Yenibosna. Ýstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Cemeteries Director Adem Avcý said because the bodies of the 200 illegal migrants who have died in Turkey during journeys to other countries this year have not been claimed, they were buried at Ýstanbul's Kilyos Cemetery, where the remains of unidentified and unclaimed bodies are interred. Avcý said if nobody claims the bodies of the 13 migrants who died last week, who were primarily of Pakistani origin, within 15 days, a letter would be sent to the Pakistani Embassy in Ankara and then they would be buried at Kilyos. He noted that people with no known family are buried in different areas in the cemetery according to their presumed religion and that their remains are given to their relatives if they claim them. "We take the request of the relatives of the dead into consideration. They can tell us where they want their relative to be buried," he said, explaining that the bodies can be claimed even after burial. The deputy director of the Ýstanbul University Forensic Medicine Institute, Associate Professor Gökhan Ersoy, said although a dead person may have no known relatives, records are kept about him so that if their relatives appear later they can transport the remains to their country. Being a major transit route for illegal migration, tragic incidents that result in the deaths of migrants are not uncommon in Turkey. Last December over 50 people aboard a boat carrying at least 85 migrants drowned when the vessel sank off Turkey's Aegean coast in Seferihisar, near Ýzmir. Arif Bayraktar Ýstanbul

PKK claims responsibility for Ýstanbul shelling

Public support for EU increases after closure case contýnued from page 1 A state prosecutor in March had filed the case for closure of the AK Party, calling also for a ban on 71 of its high-level officials from belonging to a political party for five years. In response to how they saw the ruling of the Constitutional Court, 27.6 percent of those polled said they were not pleased with the decision while 69.7 percent said they were happy with it. In response to a question on whether they thought the AK Party indeed threatens secularism in Turkey, 35 percent said yes while 60 percent said no. However, an overwhelming majority of 73.4 percent said the AK Party should change its policies in the future to avoid a similar situation, while only 22.6 percent said the party should stick to its past policies. Some critics have claimed that the Ergenekon investigation is the government's response to the closure case, since all of those detained are staunch secularists known for their criticism of the AK Party. In response to a question on whether they saw a link between the closure case and the Ergenekon investigation, 54.6 percent of those polled said no while 36.3 percent said they believed there was a link.

Ergenekon is political Of the respondents, 16.2 percent said they agreed with the statement "Ergenekon is a patriotic organization established to protect Turkey's regime," while 71.4 said they did not agree. However, 43.3 percent said they

agreed with the statement that "Ergenekon is an organization aiming to stage a coup to forcibly overthrow the government," while 45.5 percent said they disagreed. In regards to the statement "Ergenekon is a terrorist organization," 48.7 percent said they did not agree while 40.5 percent agreed. Asked whether they agreed with the statement "Ergenekon is a crime organization aiming to acquire special interests," 55 percent agreed while 35.1 percent said they did not agree. A not insignificant 41.8 percent agreed that "There is no such thing as Ergenekon and the investigation is a politically motivated process," while 45.5 percent said they disagreed. The rate of those who had no opinion on this statement was 12.6 percent, higher than in the case of any of the rest of the statements about Ergenekon. In response to what they thought of the case without asking if they believed that Ergenekon really existed, 54 percent said they believed the case was political, while 32.9 percent said they saw it as a legal case. Here too, 12.8 percent said they had no opinion. In response to the question "Are you satisfied with the Ergenekon indictment?" 59 percent said no, while 22 percent said yes. Eighteen percent said they had no idea. The 2,455 page indictment, made public last month, indicates that Ergenekon was behind a series of political assassinations over the past two decades. The group is also suspected of being behind the murder of Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist killed by a teenager in 2007. Eighty-six suspects,

47 of whom are currently under arrest, are accused of having suspicious links to the gang. Suspects will start appearing before the court on Oct. 20 and will face accusations that include "membership in an armed terrorist group," "attempting to bring down the government," "inciting people to rebel against the Republic of Turkey" and other similar crimes. When asked their opinions about the possible outcome of the case, a majority were pessimistic, with 53 percent saying they agreed with the statement that the prosecutor's claims will not be investigated and no effective results will come out of the trial. However, 35.2 percent said they agreed that the case will be the end to illegal formations within the state and that it will enhance democracy in the end.

CHP support for Ergenekon suspects questioned An overwhelming majority, 71.2 percent, said they thought the attitude of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), which has accused the prosecution of conducting the operation in retaliation for the closure case against the AK Party, was wrong. Only 19 percent of the respondents said they agreed with the CHP, while nearly 10 percent said they did not have an opinion.

Pessimism about Turkey's future However, optimism about Turkey's future was not high. In response to the question "In which direction overall do you think

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Turkey is headed?" 37.2 percent said Turkey will change for the better, while 58.2 percent said for the worse. The figures, however, mark a slight improvement from those in June, when 28.6 percent had expressed hope that things in Turkey would get better in the future and 66 percent had said they believed things would get worse. In response to a question on how the respondent would rate his or her sense of trust on a scale of 1 to 10 for various individuals and state agencies, the highest trust rating went to the military (8.7), followed by the police (7.7) , President Abdullah Gül (7.1), the judiciary (6.9), the Constitutional Court (6.7), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan (6.4), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli (4.0) and finally CHP leader Deniz Baykal (3.1). Asked who they would vote for if there was an election today, 42 percent of respondents said they would vote for the AK Party, followed by the CHP (13.9 percent), the MHP (8.4 percent) and the DTP (1.8 percent). Of the remaining respondents, 12.5 percent said they were undecided, while 7.2 percent said they would simply vote a blank ballot; 3.8 percent said they wouldn't go to the ballot box at all, while 5.4 percent said they had no opinion. The poll was conducted Aug. 4-5 by telephone among a random national sampling of 1,226 adults residing in cities, towns and villages. The margin of error for the full poll is 2.5 percentage points, at a 95 percent confidence level. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has claimed responsibility for a mortar attack in Ýstanbul's Üsküdar district that injured three civilians on Thursday. A statement posted yesterday on a Web site affiliated with the terrorist organization said the PKK was behind the explosions in Üsküdar. "The attacks in Ýstanbul on Thursday were launched by the 'Martyr Ongan Battalion' [a group within the PKK]," the statement explained. In addition to injuring three people, the attacks shattered the windows of the municipality building and damaged vehicles in a nearby parking lot. Police investigating the incident found a mortar in the nearby Karacaahmet Cemetery and concluded that the real target of the attack might have been the Selimiye military barracks. However, the explosives did not reach the barracks, creating the appearance that the shells were directed at the municipal building. The statement also said the Martyr Ongan Battalion had not been engaged in attacks in Turkey before. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman

Deputy chairman: AK Party ready for new constitution The deputy chairman of the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) said that the party is ready for a new constitution. At a conference held at the Turkish Cultural Center in New York on the "Latest Developments in Turkish Politics," Deputy Chairman Necati Çetinkaya stated: "Even the president of the Constitutional Court talked about the necessity of a new constitution in his statement regarding the court's decision on the closure case against our political party. … When the parliamentary recess ends, we will call on all political parties to work on a new constitution. We are ready for a consensus," he said. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with wires

8,000-year-old mound to shed light on Anatolian The 8,000-year-old Kanlýtaþ tumulus, marking one of the oldest settlements in central Turkey, could shed light on the ancient history of Anatolia, a professor said on Friday. Archaeologists from Anadolu University started excavations last month at Kanlýtaþ, located in the central province of Eskiþehir, and unearthed Bronze Age and Copper Age objects at the site. "We ascertained that the mound dates back to around 6000 B.C.," Professor Ali Umut Türkcan told the Anatolia news agency. "The mound is on the pathway from the Middle East to Europe. We understand that it was a heavily populated settlement," Türkcan said. "We found many bracelets at the site, which proves that there was a jewelry workshop here. We believe this place was a center of trade at that time," he explained. Türkcan said the mound was also important because it could shed light on the history of Anatolia. "We think that the Kanlýtaþ tumulus could shed light on the transition from rural to urban life in western Anatolia," he added. Ýstanbul Today's Zaman with wires


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SPORTS

Don't write off Federer, says friend Hrbaty Roger Federer will come back even stronger from his recent slump and reclaim the world number one spot, according to his close friend and fellow player Dominik Hrbaty. Swiss Federer is bidding for an Olympic medal in Beijing to make up for what, by his very high standards, has been a barren year. Beijing, Reuters

Heat and the Great Wall await cyclists

CÝHAN

Road cyclists will be the first Olympic endurance athletes to test the impact of Beijing's notorious pollution, heat and humidity when the men take to their bicycles for a 245-km (152 mile) road race today. Turkey is being represented by only one competitor in this sport -- BRISA Spor’s mountain biker Bilal Akgül. Spain's Alejandro Valverde, defending Olympic champion Paolo Bettini and Germany's Stefan Schumacher are all favorites in the distance event that winds its way from the Forbidden City in ancient Beijing out to the Great Wall. The men will ride a flat 80 km out of the city then will complete seven laps of a 24-km circuit between the Badaling and Juyongguan sections of the Great Wall. On Sunday the women follow the same route from Beijing but ride two laps of the circuit. The heat and pollution plus long, hilly portions of the circuit are expected to narrow the field down to only a few dozen cyclists by the finish. The route favors strong climbers and countries with larger teams who might be more capable of controlling the race. Like many riders he said the hot weather and pollution would likely have a big impact on the race. Luxembourg head coach Bernhard Baldinger, whose team includes Kim Kirchen and the Schleck brothers, said countries like his with less than five riders will suffer on the course. Ýstanbul/Beijing Today’s Zaman

China leaps onto world stage in style as Olympics start

SWIMMING, National Aquatics Center: 13:30 Men's 400m individual medley heats;14: 01 Women's 100m butterfly heats;14:28 Men's 400m freestyle heats; 15:21 women's 400m individual medley heats; 15:45 men's 100m breaststroke heats; 16:22 women's 4 x 100m freestyle relay heats. ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS, National Indoor Stadium: 07:00 men's qualification - subdivision one; 11:00 men's qualification -subdivision two; 15:00 men's qualification -- subdivision three.

Drums thundered, strobe lights flickered and 14,000 performers poured through the Bird's Nest stadium in a dazzling extravaganza that offered up a vision of global harmony in line with the Games’ motto ‘One World One Dream’ OSMAN EROL

Paolo Bettini

Timetable of today’s events

PHOTOS

PHOTO

REUTERS

SATURDAY, AUGUST 9, 2008

WEIGHTLIFTING, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Gymnasium: 07:00 Women's 48kg - Group A. ROWING, Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park: 08:50-06:50 Women's single sculls heats; 09:50-10:50 men's single sculls heats; 10:50-11:10 women's pair heats; 11:10-11:40 men's pair heats; 11:4012:00 women's double sculls heats; 12:00-12:30 men's double sculls heats; 12:30-13:00 men's four heats.

Record cost The Games carry a $43 billion price tag, dwarfing the previous record of $15 billion splashed out by Athens in 2004, sweeping thousands of people out of their homes to make way for a host of state-of-the art stadiums. National pride at the transformation of China has built steadily and the crowd roared its approval when high-stepping soldiers took the nation's red flag from the hands of a group of small children and hoisted it above the stadium. The Games were formally opened at 11 p.m. by the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge. They run until Aug. 24, with 10,500 athletes from a record 204 nations chasing 302 gold medals in 28 sports.

EQUESTRIAN, Hong Kong Olympic Equestrian Venue: Shatin 01:30 Team Eventing Dressage -- day one; 01:30 individual eventing -- dressage -- day one; 02:15 team eventing dressage -- day one; 02:15 individual eventing -- dressage – day one.

Games. "I call on all those engaged in hostilities to respect it." Unfortunately for the Olympic ideal of global harmony, the two Koreas failed to agree to march at the opening as a unified team even though they managed that in 2004 and 2000. US athletes chose former Sudanese refugee Lopez Lomong to carry their flag around the track. Lomong was a victim of government-sponsored Arab militias who fled Sudan aged 6 and spent 10 years in a refugee camp before settling in America. China is a major oil investor in Sudan and earlier this year Hollywood director Steven Spielberg quit as an adviser on the opening ceremony to protest at China's ties with the country. The Games are centered in Beijing, but will stretch more than 2,000-km, with equestrian events in Hong Kong, soccer dotted around the country and yachting in the eastern city of Qingdao. The sporting action gets into top gear today with competition underway in 18 disciplines, including swimming and gymnastics, and seven gold medals up for grabs. Among the early competitors is US swimmer Michael Phelps, who could become the first athlete to win eight gold medals in a single Games and the most titled Olympian ever.

FENCING, Fencing Hall of National Convention Center: 05:00 Women's individual sabre first, second, third round and quarterfinals; 14:00 women's individual sabre semifinals;14:50 women's individual sabre bronze medal match; 15:10 women's individual sabre final BEACH VOLLEYBALL, Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground: 04:00-18:00 men's/women's preliminary round -- pools A-F. BADMINTON, Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium: 04:00-17:30 men's and women's singles first round. HANDBALL, Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium: 04:00-15:45 women's preliminaries, pools A, B. VOLLEYBALL, Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium, Capital Gymnasium: 05001700 women's preliminaries --- pools A, B.

OSMAN EROL

Around 80 world leaders watched the show which celebrated imperial China, and skipped the fraught 20th century, when civil war, the Japanese invasion and hard-line Communist rule left the nation mired in poverty. "Friends have come from afar, how happy we are," an army of 2,008 drummers chanted, quoting the celebrated sage Confucius. Friday's ceremony caps seven years of work that has reshaped Beijing and sets the seal on an industrial boom that has turned the country into the world's fourth largest economy. However, the Olympic spotlight has also cast a harsh glare on the vast Asian nation, bringing the unrest in its Tibetan region to a wide audience and showing that China's leadership is not ready to brook any internal dissent. Deafening firecrackers launched Friday's ceremony before a series of giant fireworks in the form of footsteps were set off, blasting above the heart of the capital, crossing Tiananmen Square as they progressed to the steel-latticed Bird's Nest. The authorities opened the vast square, scene of a student uprising in 1989, to let people watch the pyrotechnics, prompting thousands of delighted Beijing residents to rush into the esplanade screaming "Go China!."

Locals expect Chinese athletes to underscore their country's newfound strength by heading the medals table for the first time. Friday's show, directed by local film maker Zhang Yimou, reached its climax before the athletes' parade, when a gigantic sphere representing the earth rose from the floor of the stadium, which filled with twinkling starlight. Signs flashed up warning of the dangers of global warming. The world's most populous nation has thus far resisted calls to curb its carbon emissions as it concentrates on growth, and its promise to stage a "Green Games" has been belied by the hazy pollution which has clogged Beijing in recent days. The careful choreography of the ceremony extended well beyond the stadium and 100,000 police fanned out to prevent attacks and protests, while dissidents have been kept out of sight. Though US President George W. Bush said he was coming for sport not politics, he reiterated on Friday "our belief that all people should have the freedom to say what they think and worship as they choose." UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a video appeal at the ceremony calling on warring nations to honour a traditional truce during the

PHOTO

PHOTO

Four years after amassing a record eight gold medals at Athens, poor form and a depleted team may see Japan's traditional stranglehold over judo loosened by upstart nations at the Beijing Olympics. Turkey is being represented by only one athlete in this competition, Sezer Huysuz in the 73 kg division. He too will be vying for an Olympic medal for his country. Although six of its eight Athens gold medalists will return to the tatami, the ageing team arrives with only a single reigning world champion, and a record of underachievement at recent international tournaments. Japan's judokas were humbled by China and South Korea in the medal standings at the Asian Games at Doha in 2006, and failed to make an impression at last year's world championships in Rio. The country has also bid farewell to Olympic men's champions Tadahiro Nomura and Kosei Inoue, who failed to qualify this year. The team will nonetheless turn to its veterans to defend its Olympic honor, and much of the focus will be on twice Olympic champion Ryoko Tani, who has qualified for her fifth successive Games and first since becoming Japan's most famous sporting mother in 2005. Beijing Reuters

SOCCER, Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium, Shenyang Olympic Stadium and Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium: 12:00 Women's preliminaries Groups E, F, G; 14:45 women's preliminaries -- groups E, F, G.

SAILING, Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center: 08:00 Women's Keelboat Yngling - race one and two; 08:00 Heavyweight DinghyFinn -- race one and two.

contýnued from page 1

Judo: Japan aims to reach Athens heights; Sezer vies for medal

ROAD CYCLING: 06:00 Men's road race.

BASKETBALL, Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium: 04:00-17:15 Women's preliminaries groups A, B.

Fireworks explode over the National Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest, during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in Beijing, on Friday.

Sezer Huysuz

BOXING, Beijing Workers' Gymnasium: 08:30 Men's middleweight (75kg) preliminary bouts; 10:01 men's light-heavyweight (81kg) preliminary bouts; 11:31 men's invitation place bout 1; 14:00 men's middleweight (75kg) preliminary bouts; 15:31 men's lightheavyweight (81kg) preliminary bouts: 17:01 men's invitation place bout 2.

JUDO, Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium: 07:00 women's 48kg, men's 60kg preliminaries/repechages; 13:00 women's 48kg, men's 60kg repechage, table finals; bronze medal matches, finals. ARCHERY, Beijing Olympic Green Archery Field: 07:00 women's ranking round; 10:30 men's ranking round. SHOOTING, Beijing Shooting Range:19:30: Women's 10m air rifle qualification; 20:00 Men's trap qualification; 05:30 women's 10m air rifle final; 07:00 men's 10m air pistol qualification; 10:00 men's 10m air pistol final. Note: All times Turkish.

LIVE COVERAGE ON TRT 1 and NTVSPOR Turkey's Olympic team members march during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Games.

CM Y K


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