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Basketball Star Allegedly Excluded From National Squad For Gezi Reaction

Basketball Star Allegedly Excluded From National Squad For Gezi Reaction | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

Gezi protests that rocked Turkey are mostly diminished but its spillovers are still causing controversies. Galatasaray basketball team's young star Cenk Akyol allegedly excluded from the national squad because of his reaction in support of Gezi protests right after the final game of the play-offs. The manager of Turkish national team said, on the other hand, Akyol was not invited because of his personel problems with the head coach, Bogdan Tanjevic.

 

Akyol was an important part of Galatasaray basketball team that brought the club its first Turkish League championship after 23 years. He averaged almost 10 points and 3 rebounds during the finals. Group of cameras was running back and forth on the court to interview the players after the ceremony. When they held bunch of microphones to Cenk Akyol, he picked out NTV microphone and threw it down and said to the reporters that he would not give an interview if they try to put NTV microphone back.

 

NTV was widely blamed for ignoring the Gezi protests at its initial stages. That reaction allegedly hunt down the young basketball star to National team candidacy.

 

Turkish Basketball Federation revealed the list of candidate squad that will represent the country during FIBA European Championship organization which will take place in Slovenia betweeen 4-22 September.Akyol was not among 20 people that were invited to join the team. Having a pretty good season, Akyol's dismissal was considered in the social media as a punishment for his reaction.

 

The head of Galatasaray Basketball branch, Murat Ozyer, said on his twitter account that he hopes that allegations are not true. His new teammate Sinan Guler also said on twitter "I hope the reason for not calling on Akyol to join the squad is independent from allegations."

 

Harun Erdenay, Turkish National Basketball team manager, said Gezi incidents and Akyol's reaction has nothing to do with the cuurent situation. Erdenay said Akyol had personel problems with the head coach Bogdan Tanjevic, 66 years old Serbian whose career is undeniably cery successful. Erdenay said they wanted to invite Akyol to the candidate team but Akyol said he would join if the coach change his attıtude towards him. When that request was conveyed to Tanjevic, he immidiately dismissed it and said he would not show privilage to one player over the others.

 

Akyol himslef has yet to make any comments om the issue.

 

 

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Turkey to Purchase Seven High-Speed Trains From Siemens

Turkey to Purchase Seven High-Speed Trains From Siemens | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

Turkey's investments into transportation sector continuing rapidly.Turkey will buy seven high-speed trains from German Siemens which will total to 285 million euros, Siemens assuming technical maintenance for seven years, TUrkish media reported.

 

"This means we entered the Turkish market which is planned to be invested hundreds of millions of euros in the upcoming years," Turkish daily Yeni Safak reported the head of Rail System deparment of Siemens, Jochen Eickholt, saying. Siemens Velora model high-speed trains can go up to 400 km/hr. The existing trains that Turkey has can travel at a speed of 250-300 km/hr.

 

Turkish government who a couple of years ago introduced high-speed train to Turkey and became very popular, aims to build 10 thousand kilometers of high-speed railroads until 2020. The country to order 180 high-speed trains as part of that goal, another daily Haberturk writes.

 

Turkish government has recently introduced a bill which paves the way for private sector to enter the train transportation sector, allowing them to use state railroad infrastructure. So the railroad market which has long been neglected since the founding years of the country is expected to explode soon.

 

Turkey currently has 3 working high-speed train lines from Ankara to neighbor city Konya and Eskişehir and also from Eskişehir to Konya. The high-speed rail construction between Istanbul and Ankara is near completion grand opening is on 29 October, on the 80th anniversary of founding of Turkish republic. That line will be open along with Marmaray which goes to European side of the city from asian sied via underwater tunnel and entegrated with Ankara high-speed train.

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Turkish State Oil Company and Exxon to Return Blacksea for More Drilling

Turkish State Oil Company and Exxon to Return Blacksea for More Drilling | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

"They had not found any oil in the Arctic Sea up until 35th drilling. So far, only 6 have been carried out in the Blacksea," said newly appointed, young-energetic CEO of Turkish Petroleum Corporation or TPAO, Besim Sisman, the state owned oil company of Turkey. Sisman was punctuating Turkish Petroleum's vision for the decade. He said they would not lose hope and never give up to be able to cathch up with the government's 2023 plans.

 

The CEO Sisman said they are hopeful about Blacksea and so is Exxon. He indicated that there would be new drilling attemps in Blacksea with Exxon to find hydrocarbon resources.Total of 4 billion dollars invested in drillings so far in the Blacksea for six drillings.

 

Sisman reminded that no oil was found in the arctic till the 35th dirilling and it change the destiny of Norway. Once hopeless and deserted, the arctic is proven to has one of the richest hydrocarbon beds in the world. The intrepid CEO says their aim is to meet the energy demand of Turkey by 2023 as part of the governments vision for the 100th anniversary of the founding of Turkish Republic.

 

That aim seems a bit far from realization. Despite being surrounded by oil and gas reach georaphy, Turkey's natural reserve potential is quite poor. That is why TPAO has been searching partnerships and buyouts not only in the region but also throughout the world, says Sisman. TPAO has oil fields in Central Asia, Libya and even in Colombia.

 

Turkey last year paid about 60 billion dollars to energy import and that amounts to total annual trade deficit of the country.

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New Front of Interreligious War: Muslim Fighters Enter Myammar

New Front of Interreligious War: Muslim Fighters Enter Myammar | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

Muslim fighters from Indonesia entered Myammar where masaccare against its muslim population ruthlessly being conducted with little international and domestic attention, Indonesian web site reports.

 

Undisclosed number of muslim fighters infiltrated Myammar under the command of Abu Arif and Abu Safiya, Indonesian website Arrahmah.com reported. According to the website, the commanders are asking for financial and military equipment aids as wel as more fighters.

 

Thousands of muslims have been attacked in Myammar by Budhist radicals and the government literally turned its head on the masaccare. Myammar's long time jailed political leader San Suu Kyi was released from prison with mounted pressure from the west. San made no mention of her country's ignored muuslim populations who have been subjected to deliberate action of killings when she visited White House upon her release.

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Significant Step Towards Alevi-Sunni Reconciliation by Gulen Movement

Significant Step Towards Alevi-Sunni Reconciliation by Gulen Movement | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

Since the Middle East rapidly falling into Alevi-Sunni polarization led by civil war in Syria, Gulenist movement have taken a significant step to mend the fences betwen Sunni majority and lon-neglected Alevi minority of Turkey. Newly formed by Gulenists and Alevis, two foundations are set to build two complexes that will include a mosque and a Cemevi, alevi worship place, a juxtaposition meant to symbolize Ottoman tolerance for minority.

 

Gulenist movement approached Alevi foundation about the project and Alevis supported the project, Turkish liberal daily Radikal reported. "As opposed to politicians, the foundations actually contribute the peace," said İzzettin Doğan, the head of Cem Foundations, one of the leading foundatiton of the Alevi community. Doğan pointed out the Gulen Movement financing the whole project because Alevi foundations have no means to carry out such huge project.

 

Two foundations set up bal Gulen movenment and Alevis purchased two properties in Istanbul and Ankara. The project have been drawn but Cemevi drawings to be review by the prominent members of Alevi community for betterment upgrades. The project comprise a mosque, Cemevi and a soup kitchen in the same garden. Doğan said that project is set and they are only wainting for construction permits to lay the foundations.

 

İzzettin Doğan said Prominent Alevi members would listen to his suggestions about taking part in this project unless the fake Alevi foundations esthablished by the deep state tries to impede the project.

 

Turkey's Alevis and Kurds mostly stayed out of current anti-government riots due to somewhat positive steps taken by the State mosty about eleminating Kurdish problem. The Ak Party government would have much more difficulties quelling the riots had the Kurds and alevis took part in it.

 

(Turkey has one similar project in Antalya in which there is a mosque, a church and a synagogue together in the Garden of Relgions: Picture above)

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Gezi Protests Trigger Rare Dispute in Greek Community of Turkey

Gezi Protests Trigger Rare Dispute in Greek Community of Turkey | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

The riots in Turkey caused a rare controversy amongst the small Turkish-Greek community. Dimitri Karayani’s, the head of Balikli Hospital Foundation, support for confiscation for the planned mosque in Taksim generated some criticism towards him from the prominent members of the community.

 

Thousands of Turkish people have been on the streets for over 20 days to stop the project that seeks to redevelope a park by Taksim square. A part of that project is to build a mosque in Taksim by the Greek Orthodox Agia Triada Church. Turkish PM Erdogan said the land between the planned mosque and the church would be confiscated if consensus is reached with the foundation to clear out the way between two worship places. Karayi said following PM Erdoğan’s remarks that they would support the project as long as Balikli Hospital Foundation may carry on its responsibilities. The foundation owns several shops next to the church which are the main financial source of the foundation. Karayani said if the government to replace the rent generated from those shops, he is in favor of the confiscation. That is when the other Greek foundations and prominent members of the community stepped in and criticized Karayani.

 

According to the website of Armenian foundations, other Greek foundations and members of the community objected the statement of Karayani. Lakis Vingas, the head of Minority Foundation, said he found Karayani’s statement “unfortunate” and such important confiscation decision belongs to the Greek community not just Karayani himself reported saying by the website. Vingas says he has no objection for the confiscation as long as the interests of the church protected but Karayani deciding on such important issue on its own is anti-democratic.

 

Chief editor of Apoyevmatini newspaper, Mihail Vasiliadis, on the other hand, said he is against the confiscation no matter what.

Yorgo Papalyaris, the head of Agia Triada, on the other hand, supported the publicizing of the land only if the revenue from the shops is provided to Balikli Hospital Foundation by the government.

 

Turkey's minorities have been mainly silent about the hardly-quelled Gezi protests which initially started to protect the green spot but quickly turned into anti-government riots. The relative silence of small Turkish minorities might well be because of the recent policies of AK Party. Prime Minister Erdogan and his cabinet decisively that took up the problems of long-neglected minorities and made some important betterment. Returning the confiscated properties to Greek and Armenian foundations is one of the most imported steps taken so far by the Islamist leaning AK Party.

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An AK Party Supporter at an Anti-Government Rally

An AK Party Supporter at an Anti-Government Rally | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it

I live in a predominantly Alavi and die-hard leftist neighborhood of Ankara. I actually only reside there rather than living. "Living" part of my life takes place in other sections of the city where I can feel comfortable and find more of like me. Yesterday, however, I did something for a change and decided to take a shot at living in my own neighborhood.

 

While I was being a couch potato at home, I started hearing loud chantings from outside. It was coming from the Cemevi, Alavi worship place, where the funeral of Ethem Sarisuluk was being held. He was killed during the protest of Gezi that shooked the rule of Ak Party. So the chances about the slogans downing PM Erdogan were very high.

 

The Cemevi was just a couple of hundred meters away from me but yet feels like Mountain Ararat between us. Cemevis became ubiquitous under newly taken over CHP municipality in town of Yenimahalle. As a devout muslim, I have visited many churches both in Turkey and abroad but have never been to a Cemevi just like trying to learn other languages but never paying attention to Kurdish. So I decided that it could be a good opportunity to blend into the long-neglected religious minority of Turkey and perhaps make some observations.

 

As I walked down the street, I kind of got nervous. Thousands of people were there and I was not one of them. Walking through the angry crowd, I felt like somehow everyone realized that I was not there to share their grievance but to just witness it. The beats of my heart was just getting over 100 per second. As someone who was courageous enough to watch my beloved Galatasaray amongst Trabzonspor fanatics, I think this topped the most risky moment of my life, or that is how I felt. Then, maybe I was being prejudiced, I said to myself. Thousands around me seemed to canalize their hatred to AKP government rather than the state who conducted Alavi massacare in Dersim in 1937 during one party rule of CHP. Contradictorily, Alavi loyalty to CHP is out of question. Stocholm Syndrome, I said to myself.

 

Then came the near-extinct communist parties. SDP, SDH and others whom I never heard of before, obviously hoping to capitalize on both Gezi protests and the death of Ethem. One man rebuked Turkish Communist Party members and asked them if they would leave or not but backed up when he was challenged by their leader who seemed to have not showered for months.

 

I felt like tensions were high and I should leave. When police helicopter was hovering at a carefully decided altitude, the crowd went berserk. And I sneazed... Unintentionally I said Elhamdulillah which means "Thank God" in Arabic. A clear sing of being a Sunni muslim. Pictures of myself being beaten up passed through my mind. But provoked by police helicopter, the crowd had already started chanting "shoulder to shoulder against fascism," which easily suppressed the weak sound of my elhamdulillah. I started walking towards my house at a very fast pace and bumped into a guy wearing a Trabzonspor jersey.

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Erdogan Allegedly Embarrasses Soap Star During Gezi Meeting

Erdogan Allegedly Embarrasses Soap Star During Gezi Meeting | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it

A strong leader never has the luxury to occupy his mind with one issue at a time. Being able to pull off many things at once may actually reveal if you are up for the position of world leadership or not. George Bush, for example, is one of those leaders to clearly prove that point. In the aftermath of 9-11, when he was asking the cameras to watch his swing in his ranch in Texas, he was actually making a statement: I can play golf while fighting terrorism abroad.

 

This is allegedly what happened during the meeting of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and actor Halit Ergenc who plays Suleyman the Magnificent in the highly controversial Turkish soap, Magnificent century. The series mostly focus on palace conspirations and cat fights of the Harem of Suleyman rather than conquests of one of the greatest sultans of Ottoman Empire. The story runs around survival of Hurrem-Roxelana- against her rivals. PM Erdogan strongly condemned the soap in the past and even a resolution had been submitted to Turkish Parliament which aimed to protect historic characters. It is no secret that Erdogan wants the series to be off air.

 

The meeting of the other night was the fist time Erdogan and Ergenc came face to face. Turkish PM accepted the representatives of Taksim Platform who started the initial sit-in to protect Gezi Park which later turned into a extinct communist nest and revival hope out of the ashes of the trees. Turkish online news portal T24 reports that Erdogan said to Ergenc that Suleyman the Magnificent was also tough natured referring to Ergenc's firm stance on protestors' side. Erdogan, who is known for his highly exceptional vocabulary, asked Ergenc a few Ottoman Turkish words. Ergenc said that he did not know the meanings of those words and Turkish PM replied "well, since you play Suleyman the Magnificent, you should. How could you play someone without knowing his language."

 

After allegedly embarrassing Ergenc for his poor knowledge of the character he plays, Erdogan took another blowing step and said his government should wait for the verdict of the judiciary about the future of the park. And if the outcome is in favor of the project, they would put it up for referendum to ask the opinion of the public. However, it did not seem to satisfy the protestors contradicting their discourse about the protests that caused many public assets to get damaged. As the initial purpose has been achieved, survey of Andy-Ar showed that 80 percent of the public want the protests to stop.

Editor's insight:

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Who is the Interest Rate Lobby Erdogan is Talking About

Who is the Interest Rate Lobby Erdogan is Talking About | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it

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Editor's insight:

In order to explain interest rate lobby, what first needs to be explained is what lobbying is and how effective lobbies are.

 

Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by many different types of people and organized groups, including individuals in the private sector, corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or advocacy groups.

 

In the sectors where millions or even yet billions of dollars are circulating, there has always been lobbying. Gun lobby, for example, in the United States, is one of the strongest lobbies in the world. Despite the fact that every year hundreds of innocent people or kids for that matter are killed by beserk drunkens or pyscopaths, the mighty US government has yet to manage to lift the right to bear arms.

 

Interest rate lobbies, on the other hand, try to protect the tremendous income of the richest of the world from lending to the governments around the world. Interest rate the countries pay varies from few hunderd percent to few percent, also depending on the term of the borrowing. Turkey paid a lot of interest in the past in order to be able to borrow from international financial institutions. As you may see in the picture above, during the financial crisis of 1993, that interest rate went up to as high as 152 percent.

 

The rate depens on the stability of the country and its economic outlook. For example, during tumultuous 1993 and 1994, Turkey paid 2.5 billion dollars back for every 1 billion dollar it borrowed. In other words, funds lended 1 billion to Turkey, got back 2.5 billion dollars. Good business. Who would want to lose that kind of business.

 

Since AK Party won the power in Turkey with a land-slide victory at the end of 2002, Turkey went on a fast stabilization track. Economic recovery and politic stabilization brought those rates down to under 5 percent for the first time in Turkish history. 5 percent means: For 1 billion dollar Turkey borrowed, started paying back 1 billion 500 million instead of 2.5 billion during 90's. The net lost of the lenders with this calculation is 1.45 billion dollars. Taking this information into account, thinking that there would be no lobbying activities in order to keep the interest rates up would be not near but above stupitidy. If a lobby can prevent the banning attemps of gun sale in the United States despite the massacare of elementary school students every year, another one may easliy be involved in the attemps to destabilize countries to keep the rates up. Thus, as soon as the riots in Taksim started, interest rates in Turkey went up 1.5 percent which means those who lend already started earning more.

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Election is not the Only Tool of Democracy

Election is not the Only Tool of Democracy | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it

Anti-Prime Minister riots in Turkey has turned more and more politically motivated as the time went on. However, the initial group that was trying save the park nowhere to be found. One of them said on his blog the flags of almost extinct left parties all over Gezi park. They are all taking advantage of the opportunity to revive themselves. Fight breaks out almost every night at the park to between the groups who does not want any party flag and those who want to keep them up, he says, and adds "people like me who do not want to deal with that have long headed home."

 

The rest however have been chanting for a greater democracy. Also, one of the strongest argument of the groups in Taksim, which varies from communist PKK sympathizers to so-called anti-capitalist muslims have been that "election is not the only tool of democracy." No doubt about it.

 

Referendum, for example, is one of the tools of the democracy which was used by AK Party for the first time since Turkey's late president Turgut Ozal who is hailed for paving the way for a greater democracy in Turkey. Government and civil society groups meetings are also vital part of democracy. AK Party has called on every single interest group including long-neglected minorities when preparations were on the way to start writing a new constitution.

 

However, the side tools like this in democracies have limited impact on the implementation of the governing party. The best mean of the participant democracy is the ballot box where one settles his/her content or discontent with the governing party or the opposition. Until current crisis in Turkey, first thing always demanded by the opposition is the ballot box. Because they have always thought that they could bring down the government by the ULTIMATE TOOL of the democracy. However this is not the case this time, in a country where early elections have always caused a change in power. Can that be because they know that the ultimate mean of the democracies will only rivet AK party's hold on power?

Editor's insight:

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From Hailed Mission to Veiled Mission: Difference Between Gezi and Taksim Protests

From Hailed Mission to Veiled Mission: Difference Between Gezi and Taksim Protests | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

A peaceful, enviromentalist, rightful sit-in at Taksim's Gezi Park turned into a violent anti-prime minister protest, in which there were death, many injuries and extent of vandalism.The initial protest and ensuing violence should be seperated from each other. Not doing so is deffinitely tarnishing the enviromentalist concerns and is unfair. That is why we should be calling the initial sit-in Gezi protest and the ensuing violence Taksim riots.

 

The protestors who were camping at Gezi park not just to save 15 trees but to save the whole park in no way could envisioned a such huge scale of violence would follow their their protest. One early morning, their tents were burned and they were moved out of the park by excessive police force which PM Erdoğan said to order an investigation into. The initial protestors actually achieved their goal and much more. Just when they were being forced out of the park, an Istanbul court suspended the Gezi park developement project. Also, a couple of days ago, they triumphed something much more important. A proposal in the parliament which could expose the forests and the coasts of the country to structuring was withdrawn. So the hailed mission is accomplished.

 

Then came the veiled mission. the Taksim riots. As Prime Minister puts it "some marginal groups" abused the peaceful purpose of the Gezi protestors and vandalized the streets on the name of democracy. Their mutual chanting was "Everywhere is Taksim, everwhere is resistance." So it was not about Gezi park anymore. All they were asking was resignation of democratically elected Prime Minister. And to achieve that, they did not hesitate to use every means of violence to a dreadful extent. Besides the extensive public property damage in Istanbul, one single incident scared the most. Rioters put ablaze an AK Party building in Izmir which reminded of infamous Madimak incident back in 1993 in which 35 people were burnt to death.

 

So it is vital to evaluate the two incidents seperately. Otherwise we would be underminding enviromentalists and their rightful protest.

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Who Are Those Guys?

Who Are Those Guys? | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

A small sit-in protest that aimed to preseve one of the last remaining parks in the center of Istanbul quickly turned into a violent nation wide clashes. What did bring hundreds of thousands of people out on the streets when the hope for weakening the AKP were diminishing after the announcements of the biggest tenders and projects of Turkish history? A demand for a greater democracy? No more interception of the government in life style of secular Turks? Or...

 

Now let me stipulate each of the arguments which are put forward as the evidence of authoritarianism of AKP government.

 

First, it was an announcement of the conducter in Ankara subway about acting descently while travelling. Some people protested the incident by holding a kissing rally by a subway station in the capital. When I was in university at the last years of the 20th ceuntry, I witnessed an incident in a city bus in Istanbul. Two young couple were cuddling in the seat. Then a man behind them hit the couple with rolled newspaper in front of my eyes and told them to sit straight. This happened right after the latest coup in Turkey when all the Islamist fractions were annihilated. What I am saying is Turkish people traditionally conservative. The stiuation has nothing to do with AKP rule.

 

Second, the alcohol restriction law. While heavier laws are implemented in various European coutries, it would be very hard to call that regulation an interception of Islamist inclined government. Drinking is still free all day all night. The law only prohibits the advertising of it.

 

And lastly, the Gezi Park. Although I agree the objection about building a mall at the park, Turks have never been so concerned about the enviroment. Almost none of the websites in Turkey, for example, has print-friendly version, like BCC and other foreign sites has to save paper. However, not even one out of those thousands on the street has thought to brought out such simple enviromentalist subject.

 

So one might have hard time to believe that the riots were about graeter democracy. No one I mean no one was asking for democracy anyway. Every single protestor wanted either democratically elected government its leader to resign.

 

Speaking of democracy, by the way, Turkey has witnessed so much progress in that field during the labt fw years despite the fact that there is so much to be done. AKP government addressed everysingle neglected minorities including Romans and Alevis. Also, Erdoğan government bravely stood up for religious minorities as well returning their properties which were confiscated by the state through out the years.

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A Hot Debate in Turkish Parliament Over Whether Zazas are Kurds or not

A Hot Debate in Turkish Parliament Over Whether Zazas are Kurds or not | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

So-Called peace process of Turkey ignited a hot debate in the Parliament. Are the Zazas Kurds or not? While the Pro-PKK circles claim Zazas are Kurds and their language Zazaki is just a dialect of Kurdish, Most Zazas say they are not Kurds and their language is independent of Kurdish.

 

Assistan Professor from Koç University, Şener Aktürk, informed the Solution Commission of the Parliament. During his speech, he mentioned Kurds and Zazas as seperate races. Pro-PKK BDP deputy Sebahat Tuncel objected the statement and said Zazas are Kurds and Zazaki is just a dialect of Kurdish.

 

The governing AKP deputy Metin Metiner who is also a Kurd smashed Tuncel for her statement and said if you (Tuncel) deny Zazas and develope a racist discourse as the ultra-nationalist Turks had done against Kurds for years, then you are contradicting yourself. Metiner said Zazas' ethnic identy should be recognised by the Kurds.

 

It seems that the debate will go on for some time. But what is the answer? Are the Zazas Kurds? Best way to find an answer to the problem is to ask the Zazas of course. So that is what Turkish Agenda did.

 

A Zaza who works for Turkey's 24 hour multilangual channel -generally known as Kurdish channel- TRT Şeş says she does not understand Kurdish. "It is a totally different language. I have been trying to learn it but it is almost no different than learning English," she says. Another Zaza journalist who lives in New York also says Zazas are Zazas not Kurds.

 

There are estimated 4 million Zazas in Turkey. The singer Fatih Kısaparmak and the star of Turkey's most famous TV series Valley of the Wolves, Necati Şaşmaz are also Zaza and have always been in the forefront of nationalist discourses in Turkey. PKK and BDP, on the other hand, call the Zaza nationalism a threat to its unity, staged by Turkish government.

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Is Criticizing Morsi Being Pro-Coup

Is Criticizing Morsi Being Pro-Coup | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

The most recent democracy battle of the world, Egyptian coup, stired up a hot debate in closest recent sunni ally of Cairo, Turkey. While some circles wants to name it a coup with "no buts," others refrain calling the throwing the first freely elected Arab leader out of power a military intervention. Also, there are some like Hasan Cemal, a renown Turkish columnist, sees the neccesity to have the right to crticize Morsi. Cemal asked yesterday on his column "Does criticizing Morsi make me pro-coup? Are you out of your mind!"

 

Criticizing anyone not just Morsi is or at least should be a fundamental right of everyone. That is what the Egyptian spring brought to the country. During Mobarak rule, all the opposition in Egypt were suffocated and there was merely any space to criticize the decades of rule of Mubarak. If there is any discontent at all about policies of Morsi, it should be brought up without any fear for persecution.

 

However, when an airplane is hijacked and about to hit a triple towers, it is not the best time to address flying abilities of the pilot who has been subdued by a group of armed man. Time is to rescue the plane from hijackers to stop it from hitting the skyscrappers so noone on board would die. After plane is rocovered from hijackers, if the pilot is not talented enough to fly the plane, try to help to land it on a closest airport would be the best interest of everyone.

 

Adapting this metaphor into the situation in Egypt, this is not time to criticize Morsi for his mistakes and abilities because there is a vital issue siting in the cocpit. the country, the democracy is hijacked by armed man. After Egypt is rescued from hijackers, if majority thinks that Morsi is not capable of flying, the plane could be landed to the closest airpot by holding an early elections.

 

So answering to Hasan Cemal, it does not make you pro-coup to criticize Mohammad Morsi. However, when democracy is at risk and occupied by gunman, it is not the best interest.

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The Last Step to Abolish Coups: 35th Article of Turkish armed Forces Changing

The Last Step to Abolish Coups: 35th Article of Turkish armed Forces Changing | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

Turkish government took the last step to eradicate military interventions by changing the article 35 of Turkish armed Forces (TSK) internal service law which provided legal basis for coups, occured 4 times in the past 50 years.

 

"To protect Turkish homeland and assigned by the constitution, to protect the Republic of Turkey," said the 35th article of internal service law of Turkish Armed Forces. That article has always been interpreted by the soldiers as protecting the country from enemies abroad and within. The army has always considered of itself as the sole guardian of secular system. The past four coups mainly carried out on the base of 35th article.

 

AKP government changing that article, making it clear that the army acts against external threats and leaves internal matters to the police.

 

The article 35 is changed as "The duty of Armed forces: To defend the homeland against threats comes from abroad, keeping and strengthening the military power so tha it posses deterrence, to carry out duties given by Turkish Grand assambly and to provide peace in the world." As one may see, internal threats are clearly eleminated from TSK internal law so no General attempts to carry out coup relying on it."

 

2nd and 43rd articles also to be changed by the Parliament. PM erdoğan said the amendments to be ratified after the parliaments convenes following summer.

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The Difference Between Protestor and Journalist

The Difference Between Protestor and Journalist | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

Freedom of journalism during Gezi riots in Turkey has been occupying the international media these days. Although, the footages of some journalists being kicked around by police while carrying out their duty in no way can be justified, our subject of the matter is BBC International journalist Selin Girit. Girit has been hitting the headlines with her name this time rather than her news as how supposed to be.

 

BBC Turkish service journalist Selin Girit has been actively working, sometimes taking part in the Gezi riots which has yet to be completely quelled by the government. The controversy started when the mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek, has specificaly accused her of being an agent for the British government. Girit drew the attention of not just Gokcek but also many other people when she shared the tweet "dont be a #standingman, be a stopping man. do not consume for 6 months then the government would have to listen to you."  That seems to be clearly violating the internationally accepted impartiality code of journalism.

 

Journalism has its own ethics and standarts as every other occupation that requires responsibility towards the society. While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements includes the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability. An experienced journalist such as Girit should now that she should be no part when reporting and thereby tweeting. She might and must for that matter have an personal opinion on the protest but this should not reflect on her work. That is what good journalism reqires according to the internhational standarts.

 

So in this case, the long time mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, has no right to accuse her of being a spy of any country. However, Selin Girit also should come out and apologise for violating the ethics of journalism. She should be doing this out of respect to her colleagues because no journalistin the world would want their job be tarnished by this types of controversies.

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Mali Civil War Groups to Meet in Turkey: Report

Mali Civil War Groups to Meet in Turkey: Report | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

As part of the efforts to end the decades long civil war in Mali, the leading four groups allgedely to meet in Turkey, a Turkish paper reported, citing no source for its claim.

 

The allegation has yet to be confirmed by either side, said Turkish daily Star who broke the news. According to the alleged news of the paper, Turkey will bring four main factions of civil war in Mali to Ankara in July and organize National Dialogue Summit to take shot at ending the violence in this war-torn heavily Sunni-muslim majortiy country.

 

Four main groups that have been fighting for their own agenda are Nationalist Movement for the Liberation of Anzawad, Ansaruddin Movement, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magrib, Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in west Africa. The biggest faction, Nationalist Movement for the Liberation of Anzawad aims to establish a ethnic Tuareg state.

 

Tuareg militias declared independence in the north of the country last year. As a reaction, the army took over the power which further diveded Mali. After the other groups too taken over some parts of the country, United Nations Security Council released a statement asking for military aid to Mali. French army sent troops to this rich-under ground but destitute above country. However, foreign intervention only seem to deepend the problem so far.

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Renown Turkish Journalist Disowns Twitter Account

Renown Turkish Journalist Disowns Twitter Account | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

Renown Turkish columnist and TV producer Can Dündar disowned his twitter account that has nearly 600 thousand followers from his column today. He has been actively supporting Gezi riots from that account and some of his tweets were seen as provocations by many.

 

Many Turkish actors and journalists supported Gezi protests from the day it started. However, some of them so ardently, to a point where it was more of provocating rather than supporting. One of those was actor Mehmet Ali Alabora who caused a public outcry for tweeting "come on. It is not about Gezi. Have you not gotten it yet?" Since the riots have been quelled by the government, Communication Minister Binali Yildirim stated that those who provoked through social media to be investigated and brought before the justice.

 

There have been many reports on different platforms since the statement of Yildirim over how to dodge government crackdown on provocative tweets. The first item of the list was to deny the account. This is exactly what famous Turkish columnist Can Dündar did today. In his column, he called on  "the person who has been operating a twitter account with his name" and told him that " I will sue you if you do not stop using my name." The account @cndundar has been active for a long time and has almost 600 thousand followers. Dündar, however, did not say a word during the protests when the account was actively posting provocative tweets.

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Turkey Would Post $13 Billion Trade Surplus if Energy Self-Sufficient

Turkey Would Post $13 Billion Trade Surplus if Energy Self-Sufficient | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

Turkey would post 13 billion dollars current account surplus if it became self-sufficient in energy need says Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, refering to the most fragile spot of Turkish economy.

 

"If our domestic and renewable sources step into the economy, we could keep the electrecity prices low and solve the chronic problem of our economy," said Mehmet Simsek during press conferance of handover ceremony of SeyitÖmer thermal power plant.

 

Simsek stressed that if Turkey could become self-sufficient in energy, it could post 13 billion dollars current account surplus with the last year's numbers. Turkey's energy import bill topped stagerring 60 billion dollars last year 13 percent increase comparing to 2011 according to Turkstat.

 

Turkey only produces 5 percent of its oil and gas need on its own. Being surrounded by oil and gas rich countries such as Iraq and Azerbaijan, Ankara has been playing the energy corridor role to diminish its dependence on foreign energy. Half of the electricity consumed in Turkey is produced from natural gas it imports.

 

Aside from energy corridor role, Turkish government has been trying hard to get rid of its shackles of energy dependance by hastening hydro energy efforts and nuclear power plants both of which draw quite criticism from enviromentalists. While small hydro electric power plants have prolifirated in every corner of the country, Ankara also tendered two nuclear plants and has one more on its agenda. When the projects are completed, Turkey's energy dependance to be dramaticaly reduced.

 

Analysts point out the relations between Turkey's recent efforts to become a game player in regional issues and its struggle to become energy independent.

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Shopkeepers to Sue Rioters, Claiming Millions Lost

Shopkeepers to Sue Rioters, Claiming Millions Lost | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

Unprecedented uprising in Istanbul seem to be carried on quite successfuly despite little public suport since the initial goal have well been achieved. The protests saved Gezi park but riotes have caused immense damage in this popular tourist destination of Istanbul. Unforgotten victims of that vandalsim,Shopkeepers, on Istiklal street say they will sue the rioters once everthing settles down.

 

One of the victims of the riots that rocked Taksim and other towns in Istanbul is certainly the shop owners, especially those in the epicenter of the riots. Istiklal street by Taksim square is perhaps the hottest tourist destination of not just Istanbul but Turkey. The street has literally been shot down since the vandalsits started attacking shops around the park. So the shops lost millions of dolars since the riots started. And thsoe shopkeepers vows to sue the rioters who they seem the sole responsible.

 

Hamit Duger who owns a travelling agency by Taksim says they lost around 200 thousand dolars. A caffee owner on Istiklal, Selim Disbudak, also said their income has been reduced to near zero becaause of the roots. Both businessmen vows to sue those who caused them so much money once the riots are quelled.

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Democracy Test of Gezi Protestors and the Opposition

Democracy Test of Gezi Protestors and the Opposition | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it

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Editor's insight:

It has been long time since the rightful purpose of the initial Gezi protestors disappeared into the smoke of gas canisters caused by excessive use of police against those who seek to terrorize streets of Istanbul. The park seems to be saved, at least for now. It was actually saved on the first day of the clashes, when an Istanbul court issued initial injuction of the project.

 

Turkey suffered 15 days of violence to get to the fact which was announced on the first day. Adamant behavior of both the government and the protestors lost Turkey billions in dollars and caused immense moral damage.

 

PM Erdogan said last night after meeting the representatives of the Gezi protestors that all sides should abide court decision on Gezi park. Also, Erdogan took even a further step into a greater democracy and said if the court rules in favour of the redevelopement, then they would hold referendum. This seems to be the peak of democracy. The judiciary settles the dispute and if the verdict is in favor of the project, the government goes back to the protestors again to ask for their opinion, even though the head of Council of State said no referendum can override its decision.

 

At this point, why has none of the protestors yet to leave the park. According to them, this is what they have been out on the streets for. From this point on, those who stays at the park or keep disturbing public order would have no credibility as far as the democracy is concerned. It is what the public thinks as well. According to Andy-Ar survey, 82 percent of the public do not want to protest to continue. People seem to be satisfied that the initial goal has succesfuly been achieved. However, the opposition parties CHP and MHP both opposed the referendum which they claimed is against the constitution. So the opposition of Turkey does not support the idea of taking the public opinion on a such controversial matter. This kind of shows how far Turkish opposition is from democracy.

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On Stage Practice of Gezi Park Riots: Mi Minör

On Stage Practice of Gezi Park Riots: Mi Minör | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it
Editor's insight:

Peaceful protests that quickly turned into huge anti-government riots through social media caught sociologists off guard. How did this lethargic anti-politic generation act in accordance without being organized? Well, it turned out that the uprising had been practised on stage. Actor Mehmet Ali Alabora who have been leading the field in Taksim staged an interactive play in Istanbul in which the audience participated the game through Q&A and taught how to bring down a government.

 

The play Mi Minör was staged in Istanbul from December 2012 to April 2013. Alabora taught to the audience how to revolt and how to organize through social media during this interactive game which could be attended via Ustream. The game went under radar of the government but became trending topic on twitter four times, said actress Pinar Ogun, the wife of Alabora.

 

Turkish daily Yenisafak reports that the play was financed by a British Agency. Mehmet Ali Alabora is expected give a press conferance about the allegations.

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Events That Led to Taksim Riots

Events That Led to Taksim Riots | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it

A pic from Riots

Editor's insight:

Riots that started in Taksim square and spread to not just rest of Istanbul but to many other cities as well took an anti-Prime Minister turn shortly after its initial enviromental purpose. This was the biggest street challenge to 10 year AKP rule. The incopentence of opposition were fulfilled by the youth who poured onto the streets every night. But what drove youngsters to the streets when the economy is flourished and many steps taken towards greater democracy. Here is the list:

 

1- Landslide election in 2002. Newly formed AK Party won the election at a time when Turkey was going through toughest financial crisis. The traditional center right parties were thrown out of the parliament by the angry constituents and AK Party took over the power with enough MPs to form the government on its own.The election later on dubbed Turkish Spring only achieved with democratic means.

 

2- The process started with Ergenekon investigation, a showdy clendestine network that allegedly aimed to overthrow the AKP government, brought many dark spots of the past into broad daylight followed by Sledgehammer case and February 28 case which was just accepted by a court when the riots started. Turkey faced prior to AKP rule 4 coups and during AKP rule 2 coup attempt.

 

3- Ending of IMF depth. Turkey paid its last payment to IMF and become free of IMF for the first time in 52 years. A sharp sign of increasing economic and political power and becoming regional power house.

 

4- Nuclear plants. After signing an agreement with Russia to build a nuclear plant in Mersin, AKP government agreed for two other nuclear plants too. The project would diminish the energy dependance of Turkey and would liberate its foreign policy of any shackles.

 

5-Marmaray project. 5 billion dollar project to link Asia to Europe via under water tunnel in Bosphorus which is one of the most important infstructure projects of the world.

 

6-Third birdge over Bosphorus. With its connection highways, it is a 2.5 billon dollar project. 6- Third airport of Istanbul. The airport was bidded out for 22 billion dollars excluding taxes. The eyepopping amount was hailed by business circles and showed how potent the Turkish economy is. The number is even higher than the biggest current airporte of Europe, Heathtrow.

 

Those are the some main events that led to not Gezi Protest but to Taksim riots. The group that was received by deputy PM Arinc that started initial sit-in at Gezi park asked for cancelation of the third bridge, nuclear plants and the third airport projects.

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The Real Winners of Gezi Riots

The Real Winners of Gezi Riots | Turkish Agenda | Scoop.it

"Saving the private park" might be a good idea for scriptwriters who are planing to capitalize on the 10 day riots at Istanbul's Gezi Park. While the violence turned the streets of Istanbul into battle fields and caused the economy more than 10 billion dollars, some turned out to be making not too bad for themselves. Here are the big three of the Gezi winners.

 

1- Street venders. Despite free food and masks being provided for the rioters, the venders have been making good money and they would feel kind of a bitter joy when the riots end. At the end, they have been selling 10 cent masks for 5 dollars when it is really scarce.

 

2- Twitter of course. When the founders of twitter were launching this microblogging site in a possibly multi-million dollars home in San Francisco, -the capital of homosexuals by the way- they in no way thought to aspire revolution in the Arab world. No revolution in Turkey but despite limited media coverage, it was twitter once more who organized secular Turks. The use of twitter literally exploded in Turkey past 10 days and it is a whole another study how much the big bird capitalized on Gezi. According to New York University study, 1.8 million tweets have been posted with #direngeziparkı hashtag since the riots started. Also, some 200 thousand fake twitter profile have been opened in 10 day within Turkey. That is an aspect of misinformation and provocation.

 

3- The last but not the least, freelance journalists. Last year, when I asked a foreign journo stationed in Istanbul why they were not writing anything about PKK terrorists vandalizing schools constantly. She told me about how hard it was to sell stories about Turkey and especially about chronic problems such as PKK which the whole world is tired of listening. Well so much for PKK. there have been so many stories sold not just to the west but to the whole world, freelancers in Turkey working day in and day out to meet the demand. Surely making big box out of the commune life in Gezi Park.

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The Latest White House Press Release About the Riot in Turkey

Also, I continue to refer you to the State Department spokesperson's comments on Friday. We also believe that Turkey’s long-term stability, security, and prosperity is best guaranteed by upholding the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly, and association. Peaceful public demonstrations are a part of democratic expression, and we expect that security forces will exercise restraint and that all parties will continue to work to calm the situation. White House exclusive statement to @WashingtonPoint
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