“Doğan Yayın sells Star TV to Doğuş Group for $327 million” – Today’s Zaman

In a written statement released on Monday through the Public Disclosure Forum (KAP), Doğan Yayın said the company had reached an agreement with Doğuş for the sale of Star. “We signed a deal for the sale of our shares in Star TV late on Monday with Doğuş Group,” the statement said. Doğuş will pay $151 million in cash and the remaining $176 million will be paid in 24-month installments to DYH. Doğuş takes over Star from Nov. 1.

Doğan had to pay the Finance Ministry TL 294.2 million in fines levied on the company in 2009 for alleged irregularities in its tax returns. In alleged efforts to raise funds to compensate for the tax fines it had to pay, DYH in April sold its Milliyet and Vatan dailies to the Demirören-Karacan joint venture’s DK Gazetecilik ve Yayıncılık A.Ş. for $74 million. Doğan last year said it would eventually sell all of the companies in its media business, except for the Hürriyet daily, within three months in an attempt to pay off the crippling tax fines.”

Source : Today’s Zaman

“Croissance et environnement culturel” – conférences

“L’association Diversum, sous le de patronage de l’Unesco, organise le premier forum international de l’économie mauve sur le thème Croissance et environnement culturel, du 11 au 13 octobre, à Paris.

L’économie mauve peut être présentée comme une alliance entre culture et économie. Elle prend en compte les enjeux culturels, pour faire de l’économie un vecteur de la richesse et de la diversité culturelle, mais aussi pour faire de l’environnement culturel un enjeu de croissance économique.

Deux enjeux sont au cœur de ce forum : un enjeu éthique et un enjeu économique.

Les journées s’articuleront entre séances plénières et ateliers, sur des sujets tels que les enjeux géopolitiques, l’attractivité des territoires, le tremplin du numérique…

Ce forum se tiendra à l’Espace Pierre Cardin, 1-3, avenue Gabriel, à Paris 8ème.

Cet événement est organisé par Diversum, une association apolitique créée en France en 2006 pour la prise en compte de l’environnement culturel dans les politiques de développement durable.

Contact : Association diversum, 23, rue de Beauvau, 78000 Versailles (+ 33 1 83 64 26 28 – contact@diversum.net )”

Site internet : http://www.economie-mauve.org

“Erdogan pushes for common future with Balkan states ” – SETimes.com

By Chase Winter for Southeast European Times in New York — 28/09/11

Wrapping up his visit to New York, Erdogan sends a message of universal values and pushes for a common future with Balkan states.

Speaking alongside leaders of the Balkan states at the New York Balkan Forum last week (September 22nd), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed the cultural and historical ties between Turkey and the Balkans, while calling on the region to overcome its troubled history to co-operate and integrate to form a common future.

“In the future, the Balkans’ most pressing need is to learn a lesson from its experience and start working towards prosperity, development, and peace,” he said, adding that any problems experienced in the Balkans directly reflect on Turkey because of historical ties of brotherhood.

However, the absence of Serbia and Greece at the forum due to the presence of Kosovo and Macedonia, respectively, was a clear reminder of a Balkans still divided.

Intra-Balkan economic integration and investment were key themes, while Turkey’s fast-growing economy and investments in the region provided the backdrop to the growing importance of Turkey.

Describing the Balkans as “Turkey’s door to the West”, Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) President Rizanur Meral said Turkey has undergone an economic transformation since 2002, with the world’s second fastest growing economy and a jump in exports from $35 billion to $135 billion.

Balkan countries will need to expand markets due to the small size of domestic markets, Deputy Governor of Turkey’s Central Bank Ihbrahim Turhan said, adding that countries like Turkey and Russia afford opportunities.

According to Timothy Ash, the head of emerging markets research at RBS global banking, as Europe faces financial trouble Turkey can play a role as a driver for Balkan growth. However, he warned, Balkan states will have to do more to attract FDI as European financial resources run dry.

As the largest investor in Kosovo, Turkey plays a unique role in the country due to a “common past, religion, geographic position and the big support we’ve got from the Turkish government” Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhai explained.

Pointing to the free trade agreement between Albania and Turkey, Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha said that Turkish investment in Albania increased four fold between 2005 and 2010.

Meanwhile, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov said that energy co-operation with Turkey, especially finalising Nabucco, are his country’s top priority.

“Connecting energy markets, making sure we have a southeast European energy market with a common strategy to make sure energy networks are connected,” is one area Mladenov said the Balkan states could make tangible efforts at co-operation and integration.

On the political front, Mladenov said working together to overcome the difficulties of the past is necessary for regional co-operation. “One of the very important examples over the past few years has been the role Turkey has played in pushing and helping countries strengthen their co-operation together, particularly Bosnia and Serbia,” he said.

All the states including Turkey said their future is within the EU and NATO, which will act as an anchor for regional co-operation and security.

However, Erdogan highlighted that for a common future there needs to be more than economic growth and material gain: human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are also of equal importance.

Speaking on Saturday (September 24th) at an event organised by the Turkish Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), Erdogan said the age of autocratic regimes is over and that Turkey would act according to universal principles and the will of the people.

By framing the Balkans as being the heart of Turkey and stressing universal rights, Erdogan tried to place ideology and principles to the forefront of his message.

“Sarajevo’s fate is Edirne’s fate, Skopje’s fate is Kosovo’s fate, Palestine’s fate is Istanbul’s fate, in that case the fate of humanity should become the fate of Ankara,” he said.”

Source : SES Türkiye


“Former TV watchdog chief detained in fraud case” – Hürriyet Daily News

Kanal 7 Editor-in-Chief İsmail Karahan is taken into custody by the police. Source : Hürriyet

“The former head of Turkey’s television watchdog, as well as the executives of a TV station, were detained Wednesday in an ongoing embezzlement case.

Zahid Akman, the former president of the Supreme Board of Radio and Television, or RTÜK, was detained in Ankara, while Kanal 7 Editor-in-Chief İsmail Karahan, Vice General Manager Mustafa Çelik and Finance Manger Erdoğan Kara were detained in Istanbul. Kanal 7’s chief executive officer, Zekeriya Karaman, was detained in the Black Sea province of Bartın.

Akman, the former head of the Supreme Board of Radio and Television, or RTÜK, worked at Kanal 7 as an anchorman and executive between 1993 and 2004.

The detentions came as a part of the Lighthouse e.V. case, Germany’s biggest charity scandal.(…)”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“RTÜK Reprimand for “Slang and Curses” ” – Bianet

“The Radio and Television Supreme Council issued a warning to the series “Behzat Ç.” because of “using poor Turkish and slang”. The use of alcohol in the series was criticized too. Screenwriter Serbes said that the format of the series would not change.

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) issued a warning to Star TV because of the series “Behzat Ç.”. The reprimand was reasoned by “using poor Turkish and slang”. The use of alcohol in the series was criticized as well by the council. (…)”

Source : Bianet


“Le Royaume-Uni soutient ses industries créatives ” – INA Global

“Le 23 mars 2011, le gouvernement britannique a annoncé la création duCreative Industries Council afin de dynamiser les investissements financiers dans ce domaine.

Le 23 mars 2011, George Osborne, le chancelier de l’Échiquier, a annoncé la création du Creative Industries Council (CIC), dans le cadre d’un vaste plan de relance de l’économie du pays. Les « industries créatives », telles que définies par le gouvernement britannique, rassemble au total les secteurs suivants : le cinéma, l’audiovisuel, la musique, l’édition, la presse, la radio, la mode, l’architecture, la publicité, le design, le spectacle vivant et le patrimoine. Les industries créatives représentent actuellement plus de 8 % du PIB du Royaume-Uni et 2 millions d’emplois dans le pays, et constituent la 3ème industrie exportatrice du pays[+].(…)”

Source : INA Global

“Turkish opposition challenges country’s broadcasting law ” – Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey’s main opposition party has applied to the country’s top court to annul the recently passed broadcasting law governing the Radio and Television Supreme Council, or RTÜK.

The annulment request from the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, specifically targets the clause giving the prime minister the authority to temporarily halt broadcasting. While such a measure could be required to protect national security, the authority could also be used for personal reasons, the party said.(…)

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“The Dirt, and the Soap, on the Ottoman Empire” – New York Times

“For the show’s producers, it is nothing less than a Magnificent Controversy.

“Muhtesem Yuzyil,” or “Magnificent Century,” a lavish prime time soap opera about the life of Suleiman the Magnificent and Hurrem, the slave who became his powerful wife, is as admired here as it is reviled.

Suleiman ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566 at the height of its glory and is still revered as Kanuni, or Lawgiver.

The series attracted a wave of protests from irate viewers and even government officials. Critics said it was disrespectful to the sultan because it showed him drinking alcohol — banned in Islam — and womanizing with concubines in the harem. They also complain that its scriptwriters take liberties with historical events and depictions of royal lives.

Still, despite warnings from the government media regulator, or perhaps because of them, ratings remain sky high on Wednesday nights as each colorful chapter of fictionalized history unfolds.

After receiving what it said was more than 70,000 complaints when the drama first aired in January, the Supreme Board of Radio and Television, known by the Turkish acronym RTUK, said that Show TV, the channel broadcasting the series, had wrongly exposed “the privacy of a historical person” and owed the public an apology. […]”

Source : New York Times

“RTÜK finds Turkish TV episodes twice as long as Euro shows” – Today’s Zaman

RTÜK President Davut Dursun. Source: Today's Zaman

“As discussions concerning the length of single episodes of television series continue in Turkey, research by the country’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has revealed that shows in Turkey are twice as long as their counterparts in Europe.

RTÜK President Davut Dursun told the Anatolia news agency they launched the research upon complaints of excessive episode length filed by viewers and tasked staff with investigating the length of series episodes. Responding to criticism targeting RTÜK, since it determines the maximum length of TV episodes, Dursun said they had looked into episode length and who determines it in Europe. (…)”

Source : Today’s Zaman

“Pop culture in Turkey pushes the nation’s buttons once again” – Hürriyet Daily News

The new TV series "Muhteşem Yüzyıl" (Magnificent Century) depicts the imperial life of Süleyman the Magnificent, the longest-reigning Ottoman sultan. (Source : Hürriyet)

“Pop culture continues to bring out the nation’s sensitivities, or, more likely, insecurities. Controversy is sparked by a TV series showing Sultan Süleyman courting women in the harem rather than conquering the known world, and by a comic book showing a young Atatürk beaten by his superior in the military. Both are accused of tarnishing Turkey’s history. But when it comes to the ultra-nationalistic, ultra-violent movie ‘Valley of the Wolves: Palestine,’ there’s no reaction

Turkey is the best country in the world, Turkish history is solely an epic collection of glorious victories and Turks are the greatest people to have ever graced the earth. If these are the messages in your film, TV show or comic book, you are good to go.

But if, by any chance, that same work is seen as tarnishing the image or history of Turkey, you are likely to find an army of sensitive citizens, fanatic ideologues and statesmen (and stateswomen) more than happy to lynch you.

Pop culture tested the limits of national sensitivities in January, with a TV series, a film and a comic book roiling the waters of a nation insecure, intolerant and, at times, paranoid about its identity and how it is perceived by others.

Ironically, the most violent and discriminatory of these three new releases turned out to be the one nobody really found it necessary to make a fuss about. The blockbuster “Valley of the Wolves: Palestine” did not seem to hit a nerve. Killing dozens of onscreen Palestinians and Israelis apparently isn’t much of a problem as long as it is done for the purposes of revenge on behalf of all Turks.

The “Valley of the Wolves” franchise – including, so far, three seasons of a TV series and subsequent films – has been, more than anything else, an unabashed exploitation of Turkey’s sensitivities, or, more likely, insecurities, in the new world order of a new millennium. Its leading character, a rogue nationalist hero, is above the law and establishes his own sense of justice in the name of patriotism. Short and stocky like Jack Bauer of “24,” and a troubled sociopath like Rambo, Polat Alemdar became an instant role model for many young men in Turkey. He fed on their frustrations with being stuck in a limbo between middle class and lower class, between city and rural and between modernity and tradition.

The recently released film cashes in on last year’s Israeli commando attack on the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish aid ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists to the Gaza Strip in a trip that ended with the death of eight Turks and one American of Turkish descent on board. The words “cash in” pretty much summarize the sentiments, as the Mavi Marmara-related scene at the beginning of the movie doesn’t tie with the rest of the story, giving the impression that it was tacked on to exploit the death of nine people.[…]”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“En Turquie, on ne refait pas l’histoire” – Slate.fr

“Une série télé qui décrit l’empereur ottoman Souleyman le magnifique comme un homme appréciant l’alcool et les femmes est menacée de censure.

On déplore souvent la faible culture historique de nos sociétés, qui ne cessent pourtant d’invoquer le «devoir de mémoire» pour conjurer dans le présent les erreurs du passé. Depuis plus d’un mois, c’est une véritable fièvre historique qui s’est emparée de la Turquie. Avec la diffusion d’extraits d’une série consacrée à l’empereur ottoman Souleyman le Magnifique, Le siècle magnifique, puis son lancement le 5 janvier 2011, plus de 80.000 plaintes ont été adressées au Haut conseil de l’audiovisuel turc (RTÜK) depuis cette date. (…)”

Source : Slate.fr

“Cultural Battle in Turkey ” – Qantara

Ruler during the heyday of the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century and the subject of a controversial television soap opera: Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent . Source : Qantara

“Emotions are running high in Turkey due to a new television series that supposedly paints an embarrassing picture of the private life of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I, thus tarnishing the image of the Ottoman Empire. Jürgen Gottschlich in Istanbul has the details

They came equipped with drums and dressed as Janissaries. Hundreds of demonstrators, mobilised by the Saadet Party, gathered outside the gates of the private television network Show TV and loudly demanded that a newly launched television series be taken off air. Muhtesem Yüzyil (in English “The Magnificent Century”) is currently the most hotly debated series on Turkish television.

 It tells of Suleiman the Magnificent and his harem. For Islamists, the right wing and those nostalgic for the days of the Ottoman Empire, the show represents a base betrayal of the country’s great past. After all, the 40-year reign of Suleiman Kanuni (known in Turkey not as “Suleiman the Magnificent”, but as “Suleiman the Lawgiver”) was the heyday of the Ottoman Empire.

In no other era was the empire as powerful, never was it larger than in the sixteenth century, when Suleiman’s troops first conquered Budapest and then laid siege to Vienna. This heritage is nothing to laugh about. Its critics are calling the series “inappropriate”, “disrespectful”, “impertinent”, “stupid” and, to make matters worse, “historically incorrect”, saying that it consequently has no business being broadcast on Turkish television.

This is the opinion not only of conservative demonstrators on the street, but also of Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinc, who publicly announced that he would wield his authority to try to stop the broadcasting of the harem soap opera. The state-run Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) was convened without delay. […]”

Source : Qantara

“RTÜK Draft Bill Opposes Constitution” – Bianet

“Communications lawyer İlkiz criticized the RTÜK draft bill: “The government cannot intervene against radio and television broadcasts. The provision should be lifted. It will cause illegal applications”.

Communications lawyer Fikret İlkiz declared that the “Draft Law on Radio and Television Enterprises and Broadcasting Services” was contrary to the law and the public’s right to information because it preserves the Prime Minister’s authority to interrupt broadcasts under “extraordinary circumstances”.

İlkiz pointed out that Article 25 on the “Suspension of Broadcasts” of Law No. 3984 on the Establishment of Radio and Television Enterprises and Their Broadcasts was preserved in the new draft bill. In an interview with bianet, the lawyer argued that the situation became even more complicated. (…)”

Source : Bianet


“RTÜK: “Magnificent Century” Series Clashes with “Moral Values”.” – Bianet

RTÜK issued a warning to Show TV on the grounds of the series “Magnificent Century”. The series about the life of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent went on air on 6 January. It is alleged to be “contrary to the national and moral values of the society”, RTÜK said.

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) issued a warning to the Turkish television station Show TV on the grounds of the series “Magnificent Century” (‘Muhteşem Yüzyıl’). The series about the life of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent was criticized by Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç and members of the Prosperity Party (SP).

Feelings ran high already after promotional material had been broadcasted from 11 December onwards and billboards to advertise for the series were posted. Some people demanded to cancel the series even before the first episode had been broadcasted. On 5 January, a group of protestors gathered in front of the television station in Levent/Istanbul to express their disapproval.(…)”

Source : Bianet

“Record number of complaints filed against TV show” – Today’s Zaman

“Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (A Magnificent Century). Source: Today's Zaman

“A new TV series has drawn over 90 percent of the complaints Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) received since its trailers began to be aired.

RTÜK received 64,000 complaints in nine months last year while viewers filed 75,000 complaints in 25 days against the controversial TV show “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (A Magnificent Century), the Anatolia news agency reported.

The series about the famous Ottoman Sultan Süleiman the Magnificent, also known as Kanuni Sultan Süleyman (Süleiman the Lawmaker), continues to draw criticism for the way the series depicts the empire and the life of the sultan. The repeated scenes of the sultan with women in the harem and historical inaccuracies have resulted in many people calling on RTÜK to ban the series. Trailers for the series, broadcast by Show TV, began to be aired on Dec. 11. From that date until Jan. 6, 93 percent of all complaints filed with the RTÜK concerned “Muhteşem Yüzyıl.” A total of 80,681 complaints were submitted to the council during these 25 days. Among the sum of the complaints, 38,096 of them were submitted after the show was aired on Jan. 5.(…)”

Source : Today’s Zaman

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