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A guide to living in Istanbul

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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Turkish director wins award as best director in Germany

Turkish play director, Nurkan Erpulat has won an award in Germany for the best director of the year, with his play “Verrucktes Blut (Crazy Blood) also named as best theatre play of the year by Theatre Heute magazine in Germany.

Erpulat said: “I am happy for the immigrant society that lives here in Germany because from time to time in theatre society, the immigrants, such as Yugoslavs, Kurds, Arabs or Turks are treated condescendingly. That’s why I am really proud to become the best director of the year.”

Speaking of the play, Erpulat said: “The play takes place in a classroom. The teacher and the students are trying to understand a play by Schiller but they can’t analyse it because the students won’t listen to their teacher.” The play focuses on an ironic background and addresses the problems of an immigrant society.

Germany is a country that has many immigrant artists, Erpulat said: “Those artists do not have any chance to prove their success in society because they don’t receive any support.” This is a great achievement for a Turkish immigrant living abroad.

“Crazy Blood” will be featured at the annual Berlin Ballhaus Naunynstrasse Culture and Arts Association.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Turkish aid for Somalia close to 400 million Turkish Lira

The Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate has announced that Turkish aid for Somalia has now reached a total of 393.39 million Turkish Lira, around $225 million since the start of the Turkish initiative to help Somalia.

So far, Turkey has sent eight planes and four ships to Somalia containing many relief supplies as the country suffers from the worst drought to hit Africa for more than 60 years. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan even visited the country to pledge more aid and help from Turkey to Somalia.

The total collected by Turkey so far symbolises how important of an issue this is to Turkey and how much the country is doing in efforts to raise awareness and to help fund support for Somalia. The directorate has so far collected 86.5 million Turkish Lira, the Religious Affairs Directorate has so far collected 142 million Turkish Lira, and there has been 164.89 million Turkish Lira collected through several other campaigns across Turkey.

Somalia is currently in dire need of help and supplies as millions of people are suffering every day from starvation and shortage of supplies. Turkey is in a position at the moment to offer help and assistance to Somalia as Turkey is in a very strong position economically and has decided to help with aid to Somalia.

Tourism in Antalya on the rise

Recent statistics have shown that Antalya is a hot spot for tourism in Turkey with the first eight months of the year seeing an increase of 13 percent compared with last year.

According to the Tourism Ministry office in Antalya, there were approximately 7.56 million tourists who visited Antalya airports during the first eight months of the year. The Mediterranean destination is proving a popular area for tourists looking to experience the warm and vibrant culture of Turkey.

In the same period of 2010, the total number of tourists who visited Antalya was approximately 6.67 million people according to the statistics.

The rise in tourism in Turkey symbolises the current state of Turkey. Turkey is currently experiencing a sharp increase in tourism and property in Turkey sales. Turkey as a country is also currently relatively strong compared with neighbouring European countries in terms of economy and politically. Turkey has been called a model for other countries to follow and it seems as though this is being reflected by the number of tourists who are flocking to Turkey this year.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Turkish gallery comes to New York

The first Turkish gallery in New York will open on September 8 in Chelsea where some of the world’s most respectable galleries are situated.

The gallery, named: C24, will be a Turkish gallery that presents contemporary art from beyond the usual circle of US and European cities. Executive director of C24, Kristen Lynn Johnston, said: “Our mission is to bring an exciting and sometimes provocative new international perspective to the street that has the highest concentration of important art galleries in New York.”

She went on to say: “Thanks to our strong connections to burgeoning creative centres such as Istanbul, Mumbai and Sao Paulo, we have the opportunity to expand the New York art world, and perhaps even bring it a new energy.”

The first exhibition will be titled: “Double Crescent: Art from Istanbul and New Orleans.” The exhibit will feature works from established artists and also from artists that are emerging with potential.

Sabanci Holding posts 1.1 billion Lira profit

Turkey’s second biggest group of companies, Sabanci Holding, has announced that it posted a net profit of 1.104 billion Turkish Lira for the first six months of 2011.

A statement by the chief executive officer, Zafer Kurtul, said: “The group’s profits for companies excluding finance firms have increased by 60 percent in the first half of 2011 compared with the same period of last year.” While the net profit was 1.1 billion liras, the consolidated profit in total was worth 2.5 billion liras.

Sabanci also revealed that consolidated sales grew by 13 percent to more than 10 billion liras for the first half of the year, while Sabanci’s manufacturing firms grew by an unprecedented 71 percent, Sabanci’s energy companies grew by 28 percent, Sabanci’s retail firms by 17 percent, and finally Sabanci’s cement companies grew by 13 percent in the first half of 2011.

The growth of Sabanci reflects the situation as a whole in Turkey right now. Compared with other European countries, Turkey is really doing well economically speaking. The country is uniquely placed in a region that makes it a power country and one that could be a leader for other countries in the region to follow.

Turkey and China sign energy cooperation deal

Turkey and China have come to terms an agreement to cooperate together in many fields of the energy sector.

The agreement, which reads: “The parties are willing to enhance consultations in the energy sector, exchange information on energy policies, strategies, technologies and projects, and create opportunities and accommodate concrete cooperation between energy enterprises of the two countries in Turkey, in China and in third countries.” The agreement will see the two countries share information on nuclear power and boron minerals within the energy sector.

The agreement, a five year cooperation deal, has been undersigned by the Turkish Energy Ministry and will have possibilities of expanding the deal upon future agreements to be made by both countries.

Key to the cooperation will be nuclear power, boron technologies, renewable energy, thermal power, energy conservation, hydrocarbon exploration, solar energy equipment, hydroelectric power plants, and production and mining technologies. The sharing of information on these fields will see both countries benefit from the expertise of the other country and is a leading agreement for both countries.

According to the deal, there will also be options for Turkey and China to not only cooperate at the Energy Ministry Level, but also to create partnerships with related enterprises and research institutions from both countries.

The deal is a significant deal for both countries. Turkey and China are two of the world’s leading countries in terms of growth and development. The agreement will see both countries benefit from an ever expanding relationship that will continue to support growth in both countries and see both countries continue to develop.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Turkey to hold talks with South Korea and Sweden

Turkey recently held talks with officials from South Korea and Sweden to develop and expand its fleet of fighter jets.

An official said: “The companies are South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Sweden’s Saab.” Both companies have extensive experience in building and manufacturing aircraft and Turkey will consult with them to design, develop, and produce new fighter aircraft in the next decade for Turkey.

The current fleet of Turkish fighter jets are currently made up of American made aircraft, it is rumoured that Turkish officials are looking to other countries to produce aircraft in an effort to reduce the countries dependence on the US for aircraft. The official said: “Turkey wants part of its fighter aircraft fleet to remain outside the technological and other influence of the United States. It believes this scheme would better fit its national interests.”

The new aircraft, to be used by the Turkish Air Force will have specifications designed by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) which is the first time that Turkey’s developing defense industry will be fully involved in the design of a weapons system.

Turkey wants visa agreement with Ethiopia

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has stated that Turkey is currently looking to sign an agreement with Ethiopia regarding the liberalisation of the visa regime.

Speaking during a visit to Addis Ababa, Davutoglu stressed the need for more high level visits between to two countries. Davutoglu was in Addis Ababa to visit Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to discuss economic relations between Turkey and Ethiopia and to update Zenawi about the current Turkish activities in Africa.

During his visit, the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn stated that Addis Ababa would be open to investments from Turkey in Ethiopia and also agreed on Davutoglu’s statements that there should be more frequent visits between the two countries to have consultations and to discuss relations.

Turkey has recently taken a huge interest in Africa, Turkey recently announced new plans to support and provide aid for Somalia. Turkey is currently in a good position economically and politically and can provide assistance to other countries that are looking to grow.

Erdogan wants Somalia aid to top $500 million

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that Turkey aim to reach a total amount of $500 million donations in aid for Somalia.

Speaking at an iftar event on Sunday, Erdogan said: “At the Istanbul session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) last week, we secured £350 million, almost half of which was Turkey’s contribution alone. We are trying to raise it to £500 million, which is needed urgently by Somalis.”

Erdogan has recently just returned to Turkey following a visit to refugee camps in Somalia to see the situation and urge for more donations from the public. It has been estimated that Turkey has so far managed to collect $137 million through campaigns started by the Turkish Prime Ministry.

According to the United Nations, more than 3 million people are currently facing death and hunger in Somalia alone. The country is currently in the middle of the worst drought it has experienced for more than 60 years. Turkey has initiated many different strategies to send aid to Somalia and the Turkish Red Crescent is currently situated in Somalia in the process of setting up tents to accommodate people in the area.

Turkey has recently announced new plans and ideas to help Somalia in their time of need. A team of 20 volunteering Turkish doctors have recently arrived in Turkey to provide medical help while the Turkish military have also stated that they are readying a cargo ship of aid supplies to set sail for Somalia.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Turkish companies invest 2 billion USD in Caspian tourism

A recently published report from the Turkmenistan’s Committee of Tourism and Sports has found that Turkish companies have invested more than 2 billion USD in the Avaza Free Tourism Zone along the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan.

Development of first-class hotels, heath and sport facilities in accordance with international standards have boosted tourism in the area and it is estimated that 90 percent of the facilities in the region are being built by Turkish companies. In total, around 600 projects in Turkmenistan have been completed at a cost of around 20 billion USD.

The recent investment, to develop 18 facilities in the area of Avaza is to aid the development further of tourism in the area. In 2007, Turkmenistan declared Avaza region a ‘tourism zone’ and announced their intentions to develop the region as a centre of tourism. With Turkish companies being used most of the time to help the development, it seems a win-win situation for Turkey and Turkmenistan.

With the Turkish real estate and property market currently on a high, Turkish companies have a lot of experience in building infrastructure that is of high quality and it seems as though Turkmenistan realise the potential in Turkish companies and want to gain from some of the breathtaking infrastructure being built in Turkey by Turkish companies.

Turkey becomes new world champions in volleyball

The Turkish women’s team has become the first Turkish women to win the FIVB Women’s World Volleyball Championship after defeating China in the final.

In the final, Turkey defeated long term rival China 3-0, overturning the 3-1 defeat to China in the 2007 Women’s World Volleyball Championships in Mexico.

Turkey has competed in only five FIVP championships and to win the Gold medal signifies the strength and development that the Turkish women’s volleyball team has undertook the last few years.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to the chairman of the Turkey Volleyball Federation extending his congratulations to the team for their magnificent tournament. Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemit Cicek also sent letters of congratulations to the volleyball team.

Winning the championships is a great achievement for Turkey and Turkish sport. Sport in Turkey is currently somewhat hot and cold, with sport such as basketball and volleyball flourishing, football in Turkey is currently heavily scrutinised amid allegations of corruption. With Turkey looking to host the 2020 Olympics, sport in Turkey is going to need to be clean cut and successful, the women’s team winning the world championships signifies the potential for sport that Turkey possesses.

Turkish Football Federation to introduce new playoff system

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has announced new plans to change football in Turkey by introducing a new playoff system to determine the champion every season.

The new system will see the top four teams at the end of the season compete in a playoff stage to reach the final in which the league champion will be determined. The new system aims to eliminate all possibilities of match fixing in Turkey.

The playoff system, modelled after the successful Belgian league will see both finalists rewarded with a Champions League place and the third placed team will be put in the UEFA Europa League. The fourth placed team will playoff against the winner from the playoff games between the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth team to grab the last remaining spot for the Europa League.

According to the TFF, the new system is designed to increase competitiveness in the Turkish league and will reward those teams that fight to win till the last minute of the game. The new system has been met with mixed reviews throughout Turkish football with some claiming that the new system favours the big three in Turkish football: Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, and Besiktas.

The TFF is currently under a lot of pressure following the recent match fixing allegations in Turkey. Turkish football needs to be cleaned up the image of football in Turkey needs to be restored to its former greatness. This new system will go a long way to ensure that match fixing in Turkey is stamped out for good.

With Turkey recently announcing formal plans for a bid for the 2020 Olympics, sport in Turkey will be under the public eye more than ever, and football is such a prominent sport that the TFF has needed to make this decision in order for damage to the image of Turkey to be as small as possible. Should Turkey be successful in their Olympic bid and the Turkish league be cleaned up for good, sport in Turkey and infrastructure in Turkey will experience a large development that will benefit everyone in Turkey for a long time.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Turkish teams to take to European stage tonight

Turkish eyes will be on the Europa League tonight as three Turkish teams take to the field in hopes of qualifying for the group stages of the competition.

Turkish Cup winners Besiktas, Bursaspor, and Trabzonspor will all be in action in the first legs of a two legged playoffs to reach the UEFA Euro League stage.

Besiktas host Russian team Alania at the Inonu Stadium in Istanbul while Bursaspor are also at home against a more formidable opponent in Belgium’s Anderlecht. Trabzonspor face a very difficult task away in Spain against Athletic Bilbao.

Turkish football is currently in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Severe allegations of match fixing has implemented all three teams competing tonight and you wonder if that could have an effect on the concentration of the players.

All three teams have been implicated in the match fixing allegations and could face hard punishment should they be found guilty of corruption. There will be no better way to shift the image of Turkish football to a more positive image than to record a win today for all three Turkish football teams.

Dogan Holding donates 1 million USD to Somalia

In co-ordinance with the recent Turkey pledge to help with aid to Somalia, Dogan Holding has donated 1 million USD to the campaign to help Somalia.

The money will go to help with delivery of aid to Somalia, the most severe struck country in Africa with millions of people needing aid and suffering from famine. Turkey has recently sent three cargo planes sent with aid to Somalia to help in their time of need.

In further developments, Turkey is to host an international meeting between 57 countries in Istanbul today to discuss collective international efforts in bringing aid to Somalia to end the hunger in Africa. There are currently more than three million people in Somalia alone that are feeling the effects of the drought in Africa, the worst drought to hit the continent in more than 60 years.

Another Premier League player moves to Turkey

Galatasaray have announced the completion of the signing of Ivory Coast international defender Emmanuel Eboue from English Premier League giants Arsenal for a reported fee of 3.5 million euros.

A statement on the Premier League club’s website read: “Arsenal have agreed terms with Turkish side Galatasaray for the transfer of Emmanuel Eboue. Everyone at Arsenal thanks Manu for his contribution towards the club and wishes him the best of luck for the future.”

Eboue has signed a four year deal at the Turkish club worth 2.5 million euros per season for the first two seasons and 2.2 million euros for the rest of the two years.

Galatasaray have recently been looking to the English Premier League as they look to build on last season’s disappointing eighth place finish, Eboue joins former Bolton striker Johan Elmander at the Galatasaray. Brazilian International midfielder Felipe Melo also joined on loan from Italian club Juventus as Galatasaray look to buy big in order to compete next season at the top level.

Football in Turkey is currently under large scrutiny following allegations of match fixing in Turkey that has blighted teams such as Turkish league winners Fenerbahce and Turkish Cup winners Besiktas. However star players are still looking to move to Turkey to sample the lifestyle and culture of Turkey.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Jazz in Ramadan to begin after-iftar entertainment

Tonight sees the return of the Jazz in Ramadan concert series in the historical ambience of the Topkapi Palace courtyard.

Organised by Hakan Erdogan, the concerts will feature internationally known Muslim jazz musicians and will provide a great relief for fasting Turks after a long hard day of work.

Led by famed Tunisian-born oud player Anouar Brahem, the concerts debuted last year to great success with an audience of more than 10,500 people for eight concerts. Brahem has been performing jazz music since 1991 and will perform with his world famous quartet to supply the crowd with a great show of jazz music.

As the concerts will be performed during Ramadan, iftar will be provided for the concert goers as the Armada Hotel has agreed to supply the concert goers with a buffet and additional menu items.

There have been more and more music festivals in Turkey of late; the country is coming alive with music and culture. The concerts are due to start at 9pm and will be welcoming people in the doors from 7:45pm.

3,500 year old Mammoth skeleton to be exhibited

A 3,500 year old Mammoth skeleton is to be exhibited in the Kahramanmaras Museum in the south eastern Anatolian province in the upright position for the first time in 33 years.

A special frame is to be built for the Mammoth skeleton to be mounted against so that museum goers can appreciate fully the fossil. Culture and tourism director of the museum, Seydi Kucukdagli said: “We have been considering ways to get this fossil to its feet for a long time now and eventually deduced that a slow and careful approach was the best way, we hope to finish the job by the end of the year.”

Being the first ever mammoth skeleton that will be raised to its feet in an upright position and displayed in a museum in Turkey, the skeleton is expected to increase tourism to the area.
Once completed the Mammoth will stand tall at five metres high and seven metres long, providing viewers with a great insight into how big and powerful these creatures were when they roamed the earth.

With so much rich history and culture in Turkey, museums offer a real glimpse into how life used to be like in the country. Very popular amongst visitors and tourists, museums in Turkey provide a great attraction for tourism; Turkey has recently been excavating and unearthing more historical artefacts than ever before.

Turkey to build airport in Egypt

Limak Holding, a Turkish construction firm has won a bid in Egypt to modernise the Cairo Airport in a deal worth $387 million.

Involved in construction, tourism, and technology; Limak Holding won the bid for the biggest contract awarded by Egypt since the uprisings in January.

As part of the bid, the third terminal of the Cairo International Airport in Egypt will be severely renovated and modernised. Plans call for passenger capacity of the airport to be doubled and enlarging the runways of the terminal to accommodate bigger airplanes and additional facilities to improve passenger experience.

Due to take around three years to complete, construction is scheduled to start at the end of 2012.

As Turkey grows and develops further, the country is now a leader in the region and can compete with nations across the world to offer services and investment for other countries. Turkey is a prime country to invest in at the moment, and Turkish companies such as Limak Holding are seeing their international value increase and are winning international contracts, as a sign of the strength of Turkey.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Turkish-Americans open first University in US

A recently opened University in Texas is set to become the first University in the US launched by Turkish-American entrepreneurs.

North American College (NAC) will open in Houston in 2011 to students from more than 40 countries and will look to increase the number of students enrolled to more than 3,000 over the next five years of development.

The vice rector of the university, Professor John C. Topuz called on Turkish students to consider applying for the university, saying: “I want them to come not only for the good of our institution but also to prepare them to better integrate with the world at large. One of our slogans is to train students to be ready for the world.” He noted that students who come from Turkey have no difficulty in adapting to the environment at NAC.

Topuz went on to say: “It is a great pleasure to make this contribution to our people. I would like to make an open call to all Turks who are considering studying in the US; they now have a university in this country ready to host them.

The NAC currently has three departments for study: Business Administration, Computer Science, and Education. Looking to launch additional departments soon, the NAC is beginning to offer fully academic accredited bachelor degrees, something Topuz noted was a great achievement for the NAC.

This is a great development for Turkey and Turkish students. An international university where students can study and learn new cultures and skills will benefit Turkey greatly in the future.

Boston to host Turkish festival

Boston will host the 16th Turkish Arts & Culture Festival Documentary and Short Film Competition.

Set to take place during October 29th and December 15th, the deadline for applications to the competition is Wednesday 17th August.

The event is the first ever Turkish documentary and short film competition to ever be held in North America and the award-winning films are due to be screened at the Turkish Boston Film Festival in 2012.

The judges of the competition will include Harvard Film Archive Director: Haden Guest, and film critic of the renowned Boston Phoenix newspaper: Peter Keough. Those who make it through to the final will have screenings at the Museum of Fine Arts and Boston University between December 1st and December 8th.

This is a great opportunity for Turkish film makers to reach an international audience and well known film critics and gain good exposure for their work.

Friday, 12 August 2011

BBC coming to Turkey

The BBC will be coming to Turkey in September to shoot footage in the Central Anatolian province of Eskisehir.

The footage, to be part of a documentary called ‘The Crusades’ will be shot in Iznik, Antalya, Israel, and Egypt.

A professor at Eskisehir’s Anadolu University, Taciser Savas said: ““Eskisehir has importance in that the Selcuks, which lost the northwestern town of Iznik during the Crusades, came to Dorylaion in Eskisehir. The Crusaders got their first victory here. Dorylaion is the Byzantine door opening to the east.” Savas has been carrying out excavations in the Sarhoyuk for the past 30 years.

The documentary, is based on a book of the same name by Thomas Asbridge, Asbridge will also be on hand for the shooting of the documentary in Turkey. Savas said: “They will look at the walls of the castle and the artefacts that we unearthed during the excavations in Sarhoyuk. Since the stones were used in the construction of the Istanbul-Baghdad railway and Odunpazan houses, only basic parts of the castle have survived until today.”

The BBC coming to Turkey follows the recent revelation that a Hollywood director is to direct a movie in Turkey. Turkey offers a lot for people looking to shoot video, the development of Turkey in recent years has led to Turkey becoming a standout nation in the region.

Turkish Prime Minister to visit Somalia

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to famine torn Somalia next Thursday as part of his travels to stricken areas in East Africa with his family and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Erdogan’s visit to Somalia comes of the back of Turkey’s recent pledge to help supply Africa with aid, Turkey recently announced new policies to be implemented during Ramadan to help Somalia and a third supply cargo plane recently landed in Somalia with more than 50 tonnes worth of aid for the stricken country.

Somalia is currently suffering from its worst drought for more than 60 years. The United Nations have recently estimated that 187 out of every 5,000 Somali children die before the age of 5 in Somalia.

The visit of the Turkish Prime Minister shows the importance that Turkey is giving the Aid for Africa campaign. Turkey is currently enjoying a rich stable economy and the Turkish people have taken it upon themselves to help Africa at a time of need.

Turkish Football Federation to lift foreign player quota

Turkish clubs will soon be able to sign an unlimited amount of non-Turkish players as the Turkish Football Federation plan to lift the restrictions barring clubs from buying a certain amount of non-Turkish players.

Mehmet Ali Aydinlar, chairman of the TFF said that the current rule of teams only being allowed to have six non-Turkish players on the pitch at the same time, and a further two on the bench will remain, however teams will be allowed to have as many foreign players in their squads as they would like.

The Turkish football league is very cash rich, clubs have a lot of money and the lifting of this rule will allow for more foreign superstars to move to the Turkish league and experience Turkish football. Recently stars such as England International Scott Carson, Brazilian International Felipe Melo, and former Bolton Wanderers striker Johan Elmander have all moved to Turkey. The lifting of this rule will surely see more stars follow suit.

Aydinlar also stated that the TFF plan to make decisions on the current match-fixing scandal in Turkey by next week. The teams involved face relegation or could face other punishments such as fines and points deductions.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Arda Turan follows other Turkish players to Spain

Galatasaray have come to terms with Atletico Madrid to finalise the sale of midfielder Arda Turan for a reported 12 million euros.

The former Galatasaray captain joins other Turkish players Nuri Sahin and Hamit Altintop who both also moved to Madrid this summer, albeit to rivals Real Madrid.

With two years left on the player’s contract, it seems as though the time was right for Galatasaray to cash in on their talisman, who becomes the most expensive Turkish player in history following the move.

Arda also looks to escape the football turmoil in Turkey with the current match fixing allegations going on, Arda has seized the chance to join Atletico Madrid and gift Arda a chance to play in Europe.

The move to Spain looks to have come at the right time for Arda. Struggling in Turkey with personal problems and fans even questioning his commitment to the cause, Arda will be allowed to concentrate solely on football in Madrid and hopefully be able to recapture the form that made him the talisman of Galatasaray.

The move could also benefit the Turkish national team, with the national team struggling to qualify for Euro 2012; Arda will be needed in top form to ensure the national team progress to next year’s tournament.

Third Turkish cargo plane brings aid to Somalia

Turkey has sent a third cargo plane to Somalia to bring aid to Africa as part of the recent government initiative to help Africa as the continent suffers from one of the worst droughts recorded.

The Turkish Airlines cargo plane took off on Thursday carrying 40 tons of food and medical supplies donated from Turkey. The aid will be distributed by the Red Crescent representatives in Mogadishu and includes baby formula and milk powder to help the young generation in Somalia as well as medication to fight against most common diseases.

The third plane follows the first two planes that had departed on Monday to Somalia, bringing to total amount of aid that Turkey has sent to Somalia to more than 100 tons worth of food and medical supplies.

The World Food Program estimates that 10 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in Africa and Turkey has recently taken it upon themselves to send help. A new campaign has been launched to help Africa and fight against poverty in Africa.

Turkey is currently in a stronger position than most European countries economically speaking. The growth and development in Turkey has led to Turkey becoming a powerful nation in the region and a nation that is able to help out others in need.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Turkey to host wind power congress

All eyes will be on Istanbul come September 20th and 21st as the city hosts the third annual international congress of Wind Power Turkey.

Wind Power Turkey has recently become a key meeting place for the Turkish and international wind industry.

According to the chief executive officer of the European Wind Energy Association, Christian Kjaer, the potential for the Turkish wind energy production could be huge. Kjaer said: “Turkey could be among the top three producers of wind energy. Turkey has predictable and attractive market for wind energy investors.”

The event is supported by both national and international bodies and is held as part of the Turkish International Renewable Energy Congress.

With so much development in Turkey right now, the potential to invest in Turkey has reached new limits, the wind industry is just one of a number of great potential investment points in Turkey. Investing in the wind energy market in Turkey could become an important market in the future and could see some great returns on investment.

Turkish government to support Turkish theatres

The Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry has released a statement to announce that they will give 3.5 million Turkish Liras to support private theatres in Turkey during the 2011-2012 art seasons.

Culture and Tourism Ministry Fine Arts Deputy General Director Omer Bozoglu said: “We want to reach amateurs and those who do not have the chance to find support in various Anatolian cities. There are people operating theatres in villages and we want to support them. We also support Karagoz puppet theatre in Anatolia.”

Theatres who wish to benefit from this can apply to the ministry before August 15th. To apply they must fit in with one of the titles: ‘Professional’, ‘Professional Children’, ‘Amateur’, and ‘Traditional’ categories.

The goal of this is to bring theatre in Turkey to a wider audience and encourage an increase of writers and the quality of plays performed in theatres.

Bozoglu summed up by saying: “Theatres may learn conditions for applications through the website of the ministry or the Fine Arts General Directorate.”

This is a signal of real intent for improvement of theatres in Turkey. Investment in Turkey theatres will improve the performance and allow for theatres to express culture of Turkey more and more through theatre.

Hiddink to resign if Turkish match fixing allegations proved true

Turkish National team coach Guus Hiddink has said that he plans to resign if the allegations surrounding corruption in Turkish football are proved to be true.

Speaking to a Dutch newspaper, Hiddink said: “If the allegations are proven then it’s ‘case closed’ for me. Football is the world’s favourite pastime. It is a big and wonderful industry, employing countless people, but that doesn’t mean one can get involved in such things (match fixing).”

Hiddink has called on the Turkish national team to prove that Turkish football can be clean, saying: “I did not hold an hour-long speech on the scandal, just a motivating talk; I told them it is now up to them, players of the national team, to prove that Turkish football can be clean and normal.”

The Turkish national team is currently in preparation for an international friendly against Estonia followed by a key match against Austria on September 6th, a win against Austria will move Turkey into second place in group A of the qualifying stages for the 2012 European Championships.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

First ‘Crime and Punishment’ festival heads to Istanbul

Istanbul will host the first International Crime and Punishment Film Festival from September 23rd to September 30th.

Organised by the Faculty of Law from Istanbul University and Basaksehir Municipality, the festival theme for this year is ‘Coups’ and will provide audiences an opportunity to see movies that focus on social change and the justice process.

Screening over 100 films from all over the world, the festival aims to provide a great opportunity to compare the different justice systems and social structures deployed in different countries. Bringing to light to differences in approaches they undertake.

This is another first for the city of Istanbul. There have been many festivals and performances in Istanbul recently, this festival will be a great experience for those who go to witness what crime and punishment is like all over the world.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Thermal centre uncovered in Anatolia

A local Deputy Mayor, Sadettin Ozturk has said that archaeologists are to bring to light the first thermal treatment centre in Anatolia.

Ozturk stated that the archaeologists were making excavations to unearth “Basilica Therma” – the first thermal treatment centre in Anatolia, in the town of Sarikaya in the central province of Yozgat.
The thermal facility was built during the early Roman age and dates back 3,000 years, making it a real great piece of exceptional construction for Anatolia.

So far there has been five architectural pieces discovered in the excavations so far. The Deputy Mayor said: “A snake figure on the construction proves that this place was used as a treatment centre.”

Turkey is currently restoring a lot of great architecture to their former glory as the nation looks to extend some Turkish culture and show off what was there in the past.

Hiddink wants Turkish National team to lift Turkish football

Guus Hiddink has said the image of football in Turkey has been damaged by the match-fixing scandal in Turkey. He has also called on the National team to provide a lift for sport in the country and give Turkish fans something to cheer about.

Hiddink wrote in an article: “Especially in these difficult times, the Turkish international football team needs to rise above the situation in order to give the fans a better feeling. I try to have my players realize the importance of it.”

He also stated that tensions were felt during the recent World Cup draw in Brazil, he said: “During the World Cup draw in Rio de Janeiro, I experienced how the alleged bribery scandals damaged the image of Turkish football.” Hiddink also went on to say: “Although the defendants’ guilt still needs to be proved, there is much harm done.”

The match fixing scandal has embroiled several top teams in Turkey such as Fenerbahçe and Besiktas. The Turkish league has been postponed for a month while the Turkish Football Federation decides on what penalties to deploy on the guilty parties.

Turkey take on Estonia on Wednesday in a qualifier for the 2012 European Championships and there will be no better way to prove that sport in Turkey still has some hope than a resounding win for the Turkish.

PWA World Cup comes to Turkey

The Turkish Aegean resort town of Alacati is to host the Pegasus Airlines Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA) World Cup slalom races.

The World Cup, which takes place from August 8th to August 13th, will see the best windsurfers from the world come to Turkey to compete to be crowned champion in the awards ceremony on August 13th.

In the men’s competition, Bjorn Dunkerbeck of Sweden is the current leader followed by Antoine Albeau of France. The women’s competition is headed by Sarah-Quita Offringa, Alice Arutkin, Fanny Aubet, and Turkish duo: Lena Erdil and Cagla Kubat.

The competition will come to an end in Denmark where the men’s championships will be decided following the competition stage in Alacati. The World Cup officially began in February in Vietnam.
With Turkey currently fine tuning a bid for the 2020 Olympics, hosting the PWA World Cup will be a good chance for the Turkish government to show what they can do and to put on a good show to impress the selectors.

First Turkish aid plane heads to Somalia

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that the first plane carrying aid for Somalia is set to leave on Monday.

With Somalia suffering from the worst drought in 60 years, The Turkish Prime Minister said: “Turkey will send its first cargo plane to Mogadishu from Ankara on Monday, and we will continue to send aid by plane and ship.” Erdogan also said that Turkey was united in its efforts to help those in need.

On Sunday, Turkey’s European Union Minister and chief negotiator Egemen Bagis said: “In the atmosphere of abundance of the holy month of Ramadan we cannot remain indifferent to the tragedy our African friends are facing, and therefore we are mobilizing to extend a helping hand to Somalia and Africa.” This follows the announcement by Turkey of an aid campaign during Ramadan to help Africa during these tough times.

The Turkish Pharmacists Association has also decided to launch a new campaign to help Africa, sending over medical supplies, baby formula, and water to Somalia and Kenya as part of its campaign to help the victims of the drought in Africa.

The famine has forced tens of thousands of starving people to move in search of help. UN estimates have placed the death toll of children under the age of five at close to 30,000 in the last three months. Turkish people can help by sending an SMS with the word “AFRIKA” to 5601 to donate 5 Turkish Lira to Africa.

Friday, 5 August 2011

New regulations to be implemented for TV commercials

The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) have announced that new regulations regarding content, time limits, and screen design are to be implemented in Turkey.

Chairman of RTUK, Professor Davut Dursun said: “New regulations pertaining in particular to commercial communication will be enacted. Erroneous advertisement practices, most importantly in relation to product positioning, will come to an end.”

Dursun went on to say: “Time limits will be instituted for promotions of TV programs that appear on screen at the end or the beginning of advertorials. Moreover, subtitles and commercial logos that sports fans are so wary of, will be prevented from being positioned in a manner that blocks footage of athletes and sports contests while on the air.”

Dursan also revealed that plans are in place for digital terrestrial television broadcasting to completely replace all other forms of broadcasting in the next few years in Turkey.

RTUK hope that these new regulations will result in the number of complaints lowering and will please Turkish television viewers. This is a further show of Turkey developing and growing as a country.

Oprah Winfrey wants to hear from Turkish families

A statement released on the official website of American global superstar Oprah Winfrey has announced that Oprah is looking to hear from Turkish families for a chance to appear on her much coveted television show.

The statement read: “We want to know what life is like in Turkey for a typical family and how it’s different from those of us in the United States. Are you a working parent? Do both parents work? How many children do you have? What is your daily routine? What does your family typically have on their dinner table? Are there Turkish customs or traditions you follow that are unique to your family in Turkey? How do you think your life is different from typical families in the United States? Please tell us about your family, we’d love to hear from you.”

Those who wish to participate must attach a family photo and be prepared to appear on a worldwide show. The rumoured TV show about Turkish families, fronted by Oprah is not known when the show will air.

With so many differences in culture between Turkish families and American families, the TV show could be a chance for Oprah to show the American public how the Turkish family life operates and how Turkish customs and lifestyles are different to that of the USA.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Turkey to introduce new methods to stop domestic violence against women

The Ministry of Justice has revealed that there are new plans in place to adopt the policing methods used by Austria and adapt them for Turkey to control domestic violence.

Following a delegation of several high level authorities, the Austrian model was chosen as it has been highly successful in the reduction and prevention of such incidents. Under the Austrian model, offenders are often placed under an electronic tagging system to monitor them and women who are being stalked by abusive partners are given a panic button to call police at any time.

According to data from the We Will End Murders of Women Platform, it was revealed that 130 women were killed and 22 were injured in the first six months of this year by either former or current partners.

The new plans to be put in place will ensure a safer and friendlier environment for Turkish women and women in Turkey. Turkey recently announced plans to fight terrorism and is currently in a process of improving security in Turkey on all fronts, for a better Turkey.

Turkey refuse to give up on Formula One

Turkey are refusing to give up on persuading Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone to keep the Turkish Grand Prix next year.

Chairman of the Turkish Automobile Sports Federation (TOSFED), Mumtaz Tahincioglu said: “We are seeking a way to keep Formula One in Turkey and the sports minister is ready to do everything for this goal.”

Tahincioglu plans to invite Bernie Ecclestone to Turkey in order to ignite some negotiations to persuade Ecclestone that the Turkish Grand Prix deserves a place on the Formula One calendar next season.

Istanbul has hosted the Turkish leg of the Formula One season ever since 2005, but was dropped last week over disagreement over fees involved and poor attendance of the event. It was rumoured that Ecclestone is demanding $24 million to keep the Turkish race alive this year, whereas in previous years the fee had been $13 million.

Tahincioglu reflected this, saying: “There has been a loss of commercial volume due to the poor interest in the Formula One race in Turkey. The fee Mr. Ecclestone demands from Turkey would become reasonable if we could expand this commercial volume in his favour.”

With sport in Turkey currently at a cross roads with football match fixing allegations coupled with the Turkish Basketball League flourishing and linked with star names such as Kobe Bryant, and the imminent bid by Turkey to host the 2020 Olympic Games, it seems as though there could be a lot of potential for Turkish Formula One should an agreement be made.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Former National Captain testifies in match fixing scandal

Fenerbahce midfielder and Turkish national team member Emre Belozoglu has been ordered to testify in court following the match fixing scandal in Turkish football.

In June it was claimed on a national TV show that Emre had sent text messages to Kaan Soylemezoglu of Ankaragucu telling the player not to force himself a lot during the game. Fenerbahce won the fixture 6-0.

Emre testified in the Istanbul Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office before being released on Tuesday.

Fenerbahce Chairman Aziz Yildirim and Vice Chairman Sekip Mosturoglu are currently in jail pending trial for the match fixing allegations that have torn apart the Turkish football game. Fenerbahce were last season’s Spor Toto League Champions and could face relegation should they be found guilty of match fixing.

The other teams embroiled in the allegations include league runners-up Trabzonspor and Turkish Cup winners Besiktas. As a result of this, the Turkish League has been delayed until September 9th whilst the investigation continues.

With Turkey looking to put together a bid for the 2020 Olympic Games, the Turkish Football Federation will need to make an example and stamp their authority on the game, to prove that this kind of actions will not be tolerated in Turkey.

Historic exhibition comes to Istanbul

World famous photographer Steve McCurry will be bringing a photography exhibition to Istanbul Museum of Modern Art between August 3rd and September 4th.

The exhibition, titled: “The Last Roll of Kodachrome” is significant as it will display a selection of images taken by McCurry with the last roll of Kodachrome film ever made.

With the development of modern technology and the new age of widespread digital cameras, production of Kodachrome film was discontinued in 2009 following 74 years in use. The film was used by many photojournalists, favoured for its magnificent quality in pictures. This is a major coup for Turkey, to hold such a prestigious event is great for Turkish culture.

McCurry said: “Kodachrome really kept its colour. And the colours were sublime. Rich colours, not too garish. It was really the best rendition of reality. So when I realised that this was coming to an end, I wanted to have the last chapter in the book of Kodachrome.”

With more than 30 years’ experience in taking photographs with Kodachrome, McCurry contacted Kodak who accepted is request for the last film to come off the production line. Armed with a piece of photographic history, McCurry travelled 30,000 kilometres to take pictures of people in cities of different countries.

Summing up the experience, McCurry said: “When you only have six frames and you want to make each one special, you feel pressure on yourself because each picture has to count.”

The curator of the exhibition in Istanbul, Engin Ozendes, was looking forward to the exhibition greatly, saying that Kodak’s adventure began in the 19th century and would leave its mark in the 20th century for all to see.

With a piece of history coming to Istanbul, photography and modern art lovers all over the world will be desperate to witness the end of an era in film.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

World famous Symphony Orchestra to perform in Istanbul

The world famous Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela will be in Istanbul for two concerts next week.

Leading the Orchestra will be Gustavo Dudamel, a famous conductor who is world-renown for his skills in music.

The concerts are due to take place on August 8th and August 9th at the Halic Congress Center in Sutluce and will start at 8:30pm. Tickets range from 25 Turkish Liras for students, to up to 300 Turkish Liras for the best seats for the show.

There will also be more than just the concerts. Jose Antonio Abreu, the founder of El Sistema, a publicly financed music education system in Venezuela in which the conductor Dudamel studied, will also hold some debates as to give advice on how Turkey could set up a similar program to help the development of young musicians.

Istanbul recently held the successful Istanbul Jazz Festival, and the city will be hoping that the concerts prove to be a similar success to the Jazz Festival.

Turkish film tipped for Oscar nomination

An award winning film by Nuri Bilge Ceylan has been tipped to gain an Oscar nomination when it gets released in Turkish cinema.

‘Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da’ (Once Upon A time in Anatolia) is widely tipped for a nod in the Best Foreign Language Film. In order to qualify for this category, films must have been released between the dates of October 1st 2010 and September 30th 2011. The film is due to hold its premiere at the Adana Golden Boll Film Festival next month in Adana.

The movie is already celebrating internationally as a great movie having won the Grand Jury Prize at the 64th Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

A meeting in September by the cinema unions and associations will determine whether or not the film will be nominated for an Oscar in a vote.

Should the film be nominated and win an Oscar it will no doubt provide a boost to the film in Turkey industry.

Recently the European Commission released a statement to say that they would be filming a promotional film in Turkey during the period of Ramadan to capture the beautiful and breath-taking sights of Turkey.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Kurdish socialist returns to Turkey after 31 years

Kemal Burkay, a Kurdish socialist intellectual and poet has returned to Turkey more than 31 year after his exile in 1980.

Greeted by a group of supporters, Burkay arrived at Istanbul on Saturday night to a heroic welcome from both Kurdish and Turkish supporters.

Burkay’s daughter, Kaya, said that her father was coming to Turkey to contribute all he can do find a democratic settlement to the troubles between the Turkish people and the Kurdish people.

During a press conference in his hotel that evening, Burkay said that the turning point in the Kurdish question was the easing of the state’s Kurdish policy. He stated that this first move for peace and reconciliation had been overshadowed by guns and violence.

Burkay backed the recent statement the Kurdish question is the most important question in Turkey and can’t be settled by violence. He also reserved some criticism for the Kurdish movement and socialists of Turkey for not backing the government’s initiative. He said: “The strongest segments inside the Kurdish movement didn't support the initiative. They didn't even support the opening of Kurdish language television channel TRT 6. The right thing to do would be to support the government against the status quo in spite of the differences in opinion that there might be.”

The return of Burkay to Turkey after such a long absence can be seen as a big step in finding peace between the Turkish and the Kurdish people. As Turkey moves forward on all levels: economically, politically, and socially, there is a great hope for the future of Turkey.

Migrant workers to return to Turkey

More than 50 years after the labour migration started in Turkey, an increasing number of Turkish people working in western countries are returning to their homeland.

Around 5.2 million people of Turkish origin live in European Union countries and rising racism and unemployment in Europe, coupled with the growth of Turkey are some of the key factors driving Turkish workers back to Turkey.

Faruk Sen, who chairs the Turkish German Education and Scientific Researches Foundation said: “Along with these problems, the rapid growing Turkish economy is triggering a move back to the country.”

Sen has also predicted that the returning Turkish workers could help improve the Turkish economy even further. He said: “By 2008, some 260,000 Turks living in Germany bought houses there. Today the figure has fallen to 200,000 as some 60,000 sold their houses to buy new homes in Turkey.”

To capitalise on this, some real estate companies have already started to work more in the German market to focus on the people of Turkish origin.

The return of migrant workers to Turkey symbolises the fantastic growth that is occurring in Turkey right now. With the economy booming, people are realising that Turkey is the place to be, and they are selling up and returning to their homeland to seek better opportunities and better lifestyle.

Turkey face tough task to qualify for 2014 World Cup

Turkey have been drawn in Group D for the qualification round of the 2014 World Cup to be held in Brazil.

Turkey faces a tough task to qualify from an uneasy group, facing off against: Holland, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, and Andorra. National coach, Guus Hiddink, has played up the Turkish chances. He said: “Our team is in a renovation process, in a year will have more experience and we could be able to fight the Dutch for first place in the group.”

2010 World Cup finalists Holland will no doubt be favourites to top the group, but Turkey must surely face their chances of finishing second and qualifying for the World Cup via the playoffs.

With Turkish football currently in turmoil amid allegations of corruption, the Turkish FA will be desperate for Turkey to do well and qualify for the World Cup. A successful qualification campaign could go a long way to rebuild the Turkish football game.

While the economy in Turkey thrives, there is plenty of money in Turkish football. Big names and star players still find Turkey an attractive league to play in. There is huge potential for Turkish football once the corruption allegations are put to bed.

By the time the 2014 World Cup comes along, the Turkish football team might just find themselves facing an aura of expectation should the Turkish football federation clean up their league and recover from the corruption allegations.