FABULOUS QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“THE ONLY PLACE WHERE YOUR DREAM BECOMES IMPOSSIBLE IS IN YOUR OWN THINKING.”
Topkapı Palace Opens to Visitors After Brutal Attack
Topkapı Palace in Sultanahmet, the historic heart of İstanbul, is open to visitors once again after an assailant opened fire in the palace's complex, wounding two people before eventually being killed by police. The Libyan attacker carrying a pump-action rifle on Wednesday entered the Topkapı Palace complex and opened fire, wounding a soldier and a security guard.
An eyewitness said the assailant walked into the grounds of Topkapı Palace and closed the doors at the entrance to the palace complex after shooting the soldier in the leg and the guard in the abdomen. The attacker exchanged fire with police for more than an hour before being killed.
The palace complex, one of the city's top tourist attractions, was reopened to visitors on Thursday morning. Visitors that entered the palace in the morning were able to see the bullet holes in the walls and other spots of interest in the complex.
Although the assailant's motive is unknown, witnesses said he shouted God is Great and said in Arabic that he was from Syria, raising suspicions that the incident was linked to the political tension between Turkey and Syria over President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on anti-regime protests.Fearing future attacks, the number of security guards at the palace has been increased.
There are policemen and armed soldiers at the entrance of the palace watching the area. Topkapı Palace, which was constructed between 1460 and 1478 by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople which is currently called Istanbul, served as the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for approximately 400 years (1465-1856).
It is now a major tourist attraction containing important holy relics of the Muslim world, including the Prophet Muhammad's cloak and sword. The Topkapı Palace became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
Coefficients in Turkish University Exam Lifted
Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) has ended the controversial application of different coefficients for students at university entrance exams in a move that puts graduates of vocational high schools on equalpar with others.
The YÖK has fixed an equal coefficient of 0.12 for the grade point average of all students, regardless of what faculty they apply for, effectively neutralizing its impact.
The coefficient rule, designed to confine graduates of vocational schools to divinity faculties and junior technical college, was introduced in the late 1990s after an army-led campaign forced Turkey’s Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan to resign.
Under the former practice, YÖK awarded vocational schools graduates lesser coefficients for their scores when they chose to apply to departments other than divinity and junior technical college, practically blocking their way to faculties that could propel them to prominent public posts.
The practice was valid for graduates of all vocational schools who sought to enter universities outside their field. Before yesterday’s decision, YÖK had already minimized the impact of the coefficients, keeping the punitive one at 0.12, only slightly lower than the normal coefficient of 0.15. YÖK officials reportedly rushed the decision in order to have it included in the 2012 handbook for next year’s university exam, which has to be finalized by Dec. 15.
At the same meeting, the board approved the Rize University’s decision to change its name to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University in honor of Turkey’s prime minister, who hails from the region.
EU Foreign Ministers Say Turkey's EU Accession Process Important
Eleven foreign ministers have said Turkey's European Union accession process is of vital strategic and economic importance for both the bloc and Turkey, welcoming Turkey's rise in global politics and economy. The foreign ministers said Turkey's accession process is of vital strategic and economic importance for both the EU and Turkey and that the 27-member bloc welcomes Turkey's commitment to continuing reforms to meet its European goal and offer it the EU's full support. “Together, the EU and Turkey can steer a safer path through the current global economic and political storms,” they said.
The foreign ministers said the EU is currently focused on the turmoil in the eurozone and that poses severe risks to economic growth in EU member states, noting that these tumultuous economic and political times should not lead to the EU turning its back on its neighborhood.
The foreign ministers stressed that Turkey is an important partner as a new economic powerhouse for the Single Market and a growing regional power that could contribute to EU's shared foreign policy effort.
“We believe strongly in the benefits the Turkish accession process has brought both to the EU and Turkey and in its continued importance for driving progress towards shared goals such as economic competitiveness, energy security and regional stability,” they wrote.
Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk in 60 Languages
Turkish Nobel literature laureate Orhan Pamuk’s 1990 novel “Kara Kitap” (The Black Book) is being translated into Mongolian, the author’s Turkish publisher, İletişim Publications, announced this week.
The translation of “The Black Book” into Mongolian marks the 60th language in which Pamuk’s works are available, including such major languages as English, Spanish, French and German, İletişim said in a written statement on Friday.
The first-ever translation into a foreign language of a work by Pamuk was in 1991, when his novel “Sessiz Ev” (The House of Silence) was published in France to great acclaim, winning the country’s Prix de la découverte Européene (European discovery prize) the same year.The Mongolian translation of “The Black Book” will be published by the Nepko Publishing House, İletişim said. “The Black Book” follows the story of Galip, an İstanbul-based lawyer who goes searching for his vanished wife like a private investigator. The 59-year-old Pamuk has published eight novels throughout his 30-year career as a writer. His works have collectively sold around 11 million copies around the world, İletişim said.
Do Not Go Where The Path May Lead, Go Instead Where There Is No Path And LEAVE a TRAIL
By R. Waldo Emerson