'Turkish Oscars' celebrate 100 years of Turkish cinema22/07/2014 (Sabah): ISTANBUL The International Golden Orange Festival is a platform for Turkey’s emerging directors. Turkey’s international film festival will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in September. The International Golden Orange Festival – known as the Turkish Oscars – will be held for the 51st time in the southern city of Antalya. Mayor Menderes Türel said, “We will aim to make the festival more global this year as we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Turkish cinema.” Festival director Elif Dağdeviren added, “The Golden Orange has been perceived as a prestigious platform by young Turkish directors as well as contributing to the great forward leaps of Turkish cinema…



‘Artquake Üsküdar’ the newest biennial in Istanbul

The biennial will be hosted in Beylerbeyi Palace.22/07/2014 (Hurriyet – Turkey): The International Forum of the Arts (IFA), a prestigious art organization composed of international artists, collectors, curators and art lovers will hold the first Üsküdar Art Biennial titled “Artquake Istanbul 2014.”  The biennial will be hosted in one of the most beautiful and historical locations, Beylerbeyi Palace, which is located by the bank of the Bosphorus on the Asian side of Istanbul. For seven days, works by artists from across the world will be exhibited at the gallery of the Beylerbeyi Palace. Set in an ancient district of Istanbul, once known as “Scutari,” the event will showcase the creative talents of emerging and established artists worldwide, while also bringing together collectors, curators, art critics, art lovers and representatives of art and cultural institutions…



Iranian Speaker: World Powers Should Respect Syrian People’s Vote

Iranian Speaker: World Powers Should Respect Syrian People's Vote22/07/2014 (Fars News – Iran): TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani underlined that the world powers should respect the Syrian people’s choice for their presidency and stop supporting the terrorist groups active in the Arab country. “The world powers should accept the Syrian people’s votes and avoid confrontation with the Syrian nation,” Larijani said in a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Mohammad Jihad al-Laham in Tehran on Tuesday. He referred to the present situation in the region, and said, “Those countries which supported the terrorists in Syria are now concerned about their situation due to the spread of the conflicts to Iraq.” Larijani also appreciated the Syrian people’s resistance against the terrorists, and expressed the hope that full tranquility and peace would return to the country soon. Laham, who is in Tehran to participate in the Inter-Parliamentary Union troika meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss the dire conditions of the Palestinian people in Gaza, for his part, lauded Iran’s spiritual support for Syria, and said the Syrian army and people are close to the final victory against the terrorists and have made the western colonialists and the countries which support terrorism in the region understand their mistakes…

Saudi to open $530bn bourse to foreigners

22/07/2014 (Arabiya – UAE): The Saudi government has approved opening its stock market, the largest in the Arab world, to direct foreign investment starting sometime in the first half of 2015, the market regulator said on Tuesday. The Saudi market is capitalized at about $530 billion and is one the most waited for financial reforms in the world’s oil top exporter. The bourse would be one of the world’s last major exchanges to begin welcoming foreign money, according to Reuters. “The market will be open to eligible foreign financial institutions to invest in listed shares during the first half of 2015, with God’s permission,” the Capital Market Authority said in a statement. Following the announcement, the kingdom’s benchmark Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) surged on Tuesday by more than 3 percent, reaching its highest level in nearly seven years…



Israel pounds Gaza despite international peace efforts

Gaza22/07/2014 (Ahram Online): Israel pounded targets across the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, saying no ceasefire was near as top US and UN diplomats pursued talks on halting fighting that has claimed more than 600 Palestians and 27 Israeli soldiers. US Secretary of State John Kerry held discussions in neighbouring Egypt, while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon flew to Israel to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and meet on Wednesday with the Palestinian prime minister in the occupied West Bank. However, there was no let-up in the Israeli assault on Gaza, with plumes of black smoke spiralling into the sky, and Israeli shells raining down on the coastal Palestinian enclave. “A ceasefire is not near,” said Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, viewed as the most dovish member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s inner security cabinet. “I see no light at the end of the tunnel,” she told Israel’s Army Radio…



Court orders Culture Ministry to fund play of theater group known for vocal Gezi support

Founded in 1969 by actor Genco Erkal, Dostlar Tiyatrosu is one of the longest-running private theater troupes in Turkey. 18/07/2014 (Hurriyet – Turkey): An administrative court in Ankara has ordered the Culture Ministry to continue to fund a play staged by one of Turkey’s longest-running private theater troupes, despite its members expressing vocal support for last year’s Gezi protests. The ministry had argued that the Dostlar Tiyatrosu (Friends Theater) group’s application for public funds to stage Nikolai Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman” did not fill the defined “assessment benchmarks,” fueling accusations that the rejection was an arbitrary decision based on the group’s pro-Gezi stance. The decision had drawn public criticism, as Dostlar Tiyatrosu, founded by popular actor Genco Erkal in 1969, remains one of Turkey’s most prestigious theater groups. The court stated in its ruling on July 18 that excluding the troupe from funding was against “the principles of equality and fairness,” and argued that Dostlar Tiyatrosu had made important contributions to the development of the arts. “It is understood that the theater company that filed the lawsuit met many of the required physical and qualitative conditions,” the ruling stated….



Iran, Turkey Stress Enhancement of All-Out Ties

Iran, Turkey Stress Enhancement of All-Out Ties18/07/2014 (Fars News – Iran): TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian and Turkish officials in a meeting in Ankara vowed to do their best to pave the ground for widening and deepening their ties in all the various sectors. During the meeting in the Turkish capital on Thursday, Iranian Ambassador to Ankara Alireza Bigdeli and First deputy of Turkey’s AK Political Party Mohamed Ali Shahin explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating mutual cooperation The two sides emphasized the need for both Tehran and Ankara to utilize each and every capacity to broaden their cooperation. Iran and Turkey increased their trade transactions in the first two months of 2014 as compared with the figures of the corresponding period in the last year.The value of trade transactions between Tehran and Ankara hit $2.115bln in January and February, the trade data recently released by the Turkish government said. Iran and Turkey have in recent years increased their cooperation in all the various fields of economy, security, trade, education, energy and culture…

Dubai’s Ramadan Night Market opens

18/07/2014 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): Residents flocked to the Ramadan Night Market which opened on Thursday, July 17, at the Dubai World Trade Centre with exhibitors reporting strong sale on the first night. The exhibition was inaugurated by Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Cooperation, UAE in the presence of shoppers, senior executives from DWTC, management of Sumansa Exhibitions – the organisers of the event. The shopping fiesta will run till July 27th from 8pm to 2am every day with a free entry for all. Expecting a footfall of about 75,000 -100,000 visitors over 11 days, the annual event aims to bring together retailers from across the world under one umbrella providing visitors a great choice .There is something for everyone across 5 exquisite pavilions dedicated to fashion, health and beauty, jewellery, food and kids area alongside a Grand Arabic themed Majlis all specially designed to offer a complete family package and fun night out entertainment…



Labor market reforms cost SR15 billion

Ministry-of-labour's-board.jpg18/07/2014 (Arab News – KSA): The Labor Ministry revealed it spends SR14.9 billion annually on reforming the labor market. The ministry explained that the expenditure goes on the implementation of short and medium range strategies. On a related note, the ministry’s statistics show that Saudis are still a minority in the offices of private sector companies. The ministry collected data based on Nitaqat program that aims to encourage the employment of Saudi nationals. An estimated 389,000 Saudis are employed in companies listed under the Platinum category compared to 440,000 foreign workers. The number of Saudi workers decreases in the Green category companies to 196,000, compared to 867,000 foreigners. The ministry stated that 1.4 million Saudis work in the private sector, compared to 9.7 million expats, 3.4 million of whom work in Riyadh. The ministry’s recent statistics estimated the number of unemployed males at 261,000. The unemployment rate for males in the Kingdom ranged varied from 61 percent to 76 percent from 1999 until 2013, except the sudden 9 percent rise in years 2006 and 2007…