Highest French order awarded to Zülfü Livaneli

Zülfü Livaneli will receive the Legion d’Honneur at a ceremony on July 3.26/06/2014 (Hurriyet – Turkey): Turkish musician, composer, writer and director Zülfü Livaneli has been awarded France’s highest distinction, the Legion d’Honneur.  The award will be presented to Livaneli at a July 3 ceremony at the French Palace in Istanbul by French Ambassador Laurent Bili. Other Turkish holders of the Legion d’Honneur from the world of arts and business include Yaşar Kemal, Ekrem Akurgal, Celal Atik, Behiç Erkin, Nilüfer Göle, Hicri Fişek, Ümit Boyner, Ara Güler, Sakıp Sabancı, İnan Kıraç, Oya Eczacıbaşı and Güler Sabancı.  The Legion d’Honneur was first established by Napoleon Bonaparte as a way to recognize civilians based on merit. The order is the highest decoration in France and is divided into five various degrees: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross)…



“Pearl of Dubai” world’s largest underwater tourism site

26/06/2014 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): Reef Worlds, a Los Angeles-based reef developer, is designing the world’s largest sustainable underwater tourism site in Dubai, the company announced in a media statement today. The underwater tourism design company has recently completed designing a completely revolutionary five acre tourism site that will allow select waterfront resort development partners the ability to capture a slice of the global $3 billion dive and snorkel market. The unique site is being designed to look like an ancient Lost City. Reef Worlds entertainment team have designed for blockbuster movies like Avatar and Pirates of the Caribbean…



Sisi at African Summit: 30 June was a revolution, people were saddened from your lack of support

]26/06/2014 (Egypt Indipendent): In a speech before the African Union Summit in Equatorial Guinea, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that 30 June was a full-fledged revolution and that the armed forces sided with the will of the people. “My people were saddened when you took a different position and did not support them,” he added. “Although Egypt was absent from the African Union for some time, its concern for Africa never stopped,” he said, adding that Egypt cannot be separated from its African identity. He also said that the adoption of the Constitution earlier this year and the completion of the presidential elections will bring back Africa’s confidence in Egypt. “We are happy to see the union revising its position to support the will of the people,” he added. “The 30 June revolution spared the country a civil war and an unknown future,” he said. “The people rallied around a single goal to achieve their hopes and aspirations for a better future.” “Just as independence was a heroic epic fought by Africa for decades, the revolutions of the Egyptian people on 25 January and 30 June were common aspirations for freedom, justice and dignity,” Sisi added. “This was expressed in the Constitution, but there is still a lot to do in the way of democracy.”..

$2.5bn fund: IDB, Gates declare war on poverty

1403725160314049300.jpg26/06/2014 (Arab News – KSA): The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates plan to set up a $2.5 billion fund for the poor. The fund will start with $500 million, which would be collected as grants from donors and countries, an IDB statement said. During a meeting with the IDB, Gates emphasized his organization’s desire to establish a partnership, especially to fight malaria and polio. Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, gave a presentation on the project during his meeting with the IDB’s board of governors. Gates also told the media that IDB President Ahmed Mohammed Ali and a host of other partners in the Middle East had been hugely helpful in fighting challenges such as polio and malaria. “It’s amazing what they’ve (IDB) contributed to global development over the last 40 years and we’re proud to be a partner,” Gates remarked…



Saudi king orders measures to defend against Iraq jihadists

Saudi King Abdullah26/06/2014 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Saudi King Abdullah instructed authorities in the oil-rich kingdom Thursday to take “necessary measures” to defend the country from jihadists battling the government in neighbouring Iraq. The announcement comes days after militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized the border crossing from Iraq into Jordan, which also neighbours the kingdom, as they press an offensive in Iraq. A statement said Abdullah ordered authorities “to take all the necessary measures to protect… the kingdom’s security against actions that could be taken by terrorist or other groups. The measures were not spelled out but decided during a security cabinet meeting chaired by the king and devoted to discussing developments in Iraq and their impact on Gulf Arab monarchies…



Forthcoming delights

Egyptian National Theatre Festival 17/06/2014 (Ahram – Egypt): ‘We can contribute nothing whatsoever. We have no money to spare,’ was the shocking statement the representative of the Cultural Development Fund made to the members of the National Theatre Festival Board in their first meeting. The upgrading of the Antiquities Department, formerly part of the Ministry of Culture, to the status of an independent Ministry has robbed the Ministry of Culture of its annual 10% share of the Antiquities revenues, which had made up the budget of the Fund, allowing it finance many Creativity Centers and subsidize various annual events and activities, including the National Theatre Festival. How this will affect the monetary size of the Festival’s awards this year, not to mention the rewards of the various committees and festival functionaries remains to be seen. The only subsidy the Festival Board has been promised so far is a sum of EL. 30.000, or thereabouts, to cover the costs of a daily bulletin for the scheduled 2 weeks of the Festival. In desperation, and quite doubtful of the willingness of the Ministry of Finance with its current straitened means and seriously depleted resources to contribute anything to the festival, the members of the board are currently debating the expediency and propriety of appealing to rich, nongovernmental cultural foundations for financial help. ..




Saab and Turkey's Roketsan sign missile deal17/06/2014 (Sabah – Turkey): ANKARA Turkey’s leading missile specialist Roketsan and Sweden-based defence company Saab Dynamics AB signed a cooperation agreement whereby they will work together to develop a new system to fill the gap in the short to medium-range anti-tank missile market.The two companies signed the memorandum of understanding on Tuesday at Eurosatory arms exhibition in Paris, Roketsan said in a written statement. “We see a great potential in a future cooperation with Roketsan in the anti-tank market and look forward to further exploring the possibilities together in this partnership,” Gorgen Johansson, Saab’s vice president and head of business area dynamics, said following the signing ceremony at Roketsan’s booth at the exhibition…



Ottoman poet ‘may be buried’ in Karaman

The 17th century grave was unearthed during excavations in the garden of a mosque in Karaman. 17/06/2014 (Hurriyet – Turkey): It has been discovered that the grave of 17th century Ottoman poet Karacaoğlan might be in the central Anatolian province of Karaman. During restoration works in the garden of a mosque in the city’s Sarıveliler neighborhood, a grave and tombstone with the inscribed “Karacaoğlan’ın ruhuna Fatiha” (Fatiha to Karacaoğla’s soul) in Ottoman were found.
Restoration started some 1.5 years ago in the garden of the Hacı Salih Mosque and during which, the tombstone was unearthed a month ago. The grave was also found after cleaning the area of the tombstone. The writing on the tombstone was deciphered by Professor Mehmet Akgül. Chronological examinations on the tombstone showed it dated back to 1600’s. There is little known about the life of the famous poet, but it is known that he was born in 1606 and died in 1679 or 1689. The fact that Karacaoğlan has a poem on Barçın Tableland, which is located in the same neighborhood, supports the claims that the poet lived in this region and that it is his tombstone. ..



Iraqi forces recapture ISIL positions in Tal Afar

17/06/2014 (Anadolu Agency – Turkey): Iraqi forces backed by Turkmen vigilante groups regained control in some areas of the Turkmen-majority city of Tal Afar following violent fighting with militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants, according to a Turkmen tribal leader. “Special forces backed by local police and Turkmen tribal fighters managed to expel ISIL militants from many regions in Tal Afar,” Haydar Ali Joulaq, leader of a Turkmen tribe in the city, told Anadolu Agency.   Five ISIL militants were killed, several others were wounded while others started to withdraw from the city, according to Joulaq. “The Iraqi flag was hoisted on several police stations in the neighborhoods cleared of ISIL militants,” Joulaq added. ISIL captured the Turkmen-majority city of Tal Afar on Monday and Iraqi Army forces withdrew from Tuz Khurmatu with no appointment of replacement Peshmerga forces (Kurdish fighters) made to defend the city while ISIL forces stopped short of two kilometers outside the city…