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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 21 January 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 21 January 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM, every Saturday from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M.

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Edited by Fuad Tokad

★ According to the Anatolia News Agency, Turkish lawmakers early on January 21 approved amendments to be made for a new constitution as deputies completed voting on 18 articles.

  A total of 339 MPs voted in favor of the law that will now head to a referendum that will likely be held in early April.

  The initial round of ballots on the reforms was completed after each passed with more than 340 votes.

  A second round of voting on the 18 articles began on January 18 after almost three weeks of debates in parliament.

  Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım congratulated lawmakers for passing the constitutional changes.

  The ruling Justice and Development Party, which produced majority of the "yes" votes to the amendments, got the backing of the junior opposition Nationalist Action Party.

  The main opposition Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu urged Turks to "spoil the game that was played in the parliament". Later he also called for early elections.

  On January 19 proceedings of the parliament, three lawmakers were hospitalized following a brawl between women lawmakers that erupted after independent lawmaker Ms. Aylin Nazlıaka handcuffed herself to the lectern in a protest amid the passage of four critical items in the package.

★ In related news, a Justice and Development Party MP was revealed to be behind streaming the proceedings at the Turkish parliament under a fake name, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  His identity was revealed when he accidentally turned the camera towards himself.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Ten former heads of the Idealist Clubs Educational and Cultural Foundation, a Turkish nationalist organization, which has close links with the opposition Nationalist Movement Party, have declared their opposition to proposed constitutional amendments in contrast to the party.

  Also in the news, Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahçeli has denied that his party will conduct a joint campaign with the ruling Justice and Development Party in a possible referendum process.

  His comments came after Justice and Development Party sources said their party would coordinate with the Nationalist Movement Party as the constitutional package is being supported by the two parties in parliament.

★ Joining the opposition to the new constitution are former diplomats.

  62 former Turkish diplomats have issued a statement urging the government that Turkey's qualifications as democratic, secular state based on the rule of law will be lost under proposed constitutional amendments shifting the country to an executive presidential system of governance.

  It also criticized the government for attempting to change the constitution "without obeying fundamental rules of the constitution" and at a moment when public opinion is not well informed about its content due to the ongoing state of emergency.

★ Turkey will contact the new Donald Trump administration over the weekend to focus on "intense issues" such as Syria and the upcoming meeting in Kazakhstan's capital Astana, along with bilateral relations, presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said, reports the Hürriyet Daily News correspondent Hande Fırat from the Turkish capital Ankara.

  In related news Turkey's prime minister Binali Yıldırım reiterated on January 20 key demands from the new U.S. administration, hours before the 45th president's inauguration, particularly underlining Turkey's demand for the extradition of Pennsylvania-based preacher Fethullah Gülen to Turkey, accused of masterminding a July 2016 coup attempt.

  Istanbul Technical University professors being detained

★ Speaking of Mr. Gülen, Turkish prosecutors on January 21 issued arrest warrants for more than 400 people, including military and security officers, across the country, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

  They were being sought on suspicion of using ByLock, an encrypted messaging application said to have been used by members of the movement loyal to Gülen, accused of orchestrating the attempted takeover.

  In related news, on January 20, Turkish police detained 41 professors at the Istanbul Technical University over alleged links to the Gülen Network. They were also identified as users of the ByLock app.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's largest metropolitan area Istanbul witnessed a rocket attack on January 20 evening that targeted the police headquarters and the ruling Justice and Development Party headquarters.

  On January 21, Istanbul police detained five suspects after raiding 15 addresses across the city.

  Istanbul province governor said that the outlawed Revolutionary People's Liberation Party Front is the suspect.

★ Abdülkadir Masharipov, the ISIL jihadist who attacked the Reina nightclub in Istanbul's Ortaköy neighborhood on January 1, was finally caught, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  He told the police that he does not regret his actions and said that he would do it again.

  He said got the order to stage the attack, which killed 39 people and wounded 65 others, from Raqqa, Syria, the so-called capital of the ISIL, via the Telegram smartphone app.

★ Suspects arrested over links to the Gülenist network who have become confessors to benefit from commutation are not telling the truth, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on January 18 at a meeting with members of the Association of Unity in Justice, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  "They appear as confessors. But they are not speaking the truth. While they appear as confessors, they play deceit. And this is very dangerous," Erdoğan said, adding that he had meetings with some of these individuals during his time as prime minister and the things they said now conflicted what they used to say.

★ Jailed pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş was acquitted on January 19 of charges of "carrying out terror propaganda" in a speech delivered in Turkey's southeastern province of Mardin last year amid a curfew in another southeastern town.

  The ruling is the Peoples' Democratic Party co-chairs first acquittal, but he still faces 102 summaries of proceedings against him including charges of "managing a terrorist organization," "inciting people to violence and hatred," and "praising crime and the criminal."

  Mr. Demirtas and other party members are being accused of having links to the rebel Turkish organization Kurdistan Workers Party.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The government is willing to bring the remains of the legendary poet Nazım Hikmet back to Turkey, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on January 16, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Speaking at parliament on the late Hikmet's 115th birthday, Bozdağ praised him as "one of the greatest poets that Turkey has raised," noting that they wanted to honor him by burying him in Turkey.

  Imprisoned for many years in Turkey due to political views expressed in his poems, Nazım died in exile in the Soviet Union after suffering a heart attack in 1963. His body is currently buried in the famous Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, among many other "Russian literary giants.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Brief economic headlines:

  - Turkey's Labor Ministry offered work permits to 73,584 foreigners from among 86,467 applicants in 2016, according to a data compiled by state-run Anadolu Agency.

  Syrians took the lion's share with 13,298 work permits, the data released on January 18 stated.

  - A leading Turkish retailer has said the sector has been experiencing its "most catastrophic" times due to heavy losses in the value of the Turkish Lira, which has hit purchasing power, and a number of new regulations, noting that revenue losses have hit up to 40 percent.

  He noted that many local retailers have gone out of business while a number of foreign brands have quit the Turkish market.

  - Economist Tim Ash, who has followed Turkey closely for almost two decades, has said the losses in the Turkish Lira's value are of "great concern" amid broader uncertainty, but the issue can be addressed if the Central Bank moves rapidly.

  "The foreign debts of the Turkish private sector have hit $180 billion. These need to be paid over this year. The debtors are the country's largest businesses and their liquidity is quite high. If the Central Bank takes decisive steps their profits will be slashed but there will be no credit crunch. However, if the Bank is unable to manage the interest rates and the foreign exchange rates in a rational manner, a credit crisis erupts. We do not see any Turkish company facing a failure to meet its financial obligations. But a potential credit crisis would put great pressure on the economy over the next three to five years," said Ash.

  - India's Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, a part of the $17.8 billion Mahindra Group, has announced it acquired a majority stake in Hisarlar, a farm equipment company based in Turkey, in a bid to expand into the Turkish and European markets.

  - Turkish grandmothers who look after their grandchildren while their parents are at work will be offered financial support in a pilot project, Labor Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has said.


★ Two weeks ago President Barack Obama has named 102 scientists and researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

  As part of the annual event, President Obama awarded two Turkish scientists, Nurçin Çelik of the University of Miami and Sinan Keten of Northwestern University, on January 9, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Çelik's research interests include dynamic data driven multi-scale adaptive simulations, modeling and control of complex systems, distributed federation of multi-paradigm simulations, modeling and control in emerging applications (distributed power networks; solid waste management and recycling systems).

  She graduated from Istanbul's Boğaziçi University in 2006 before receiving her Master's degree in systems and industrial engineering at the University of Arizona two years later, and completing her Ph. D. in 2010 at the same university.

  Keten's focus lies in nanostructured polymeric materials and biomolecular and bioinspired materials.

  He also graduated from Boğaziçi University before receiving his Ph. D. from MIT.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkish musical production "Animals Musical," featuring huge animal puppets integrated in human bodies along with traditional hand-made costumes, will be at Istanbul's UNİQ Hall on Jan 22 and 29. The 110-person show will also be on stage in İzmir on Feb 18 and 19, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, in celebration of its 45th anniversary this year, is launching a remarkable project with the support of its co-founder and leading sponsor Eczacıbaşı Group, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The foundation will reward 1000 university students with 250 Turkish Liras worth of Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts Culture&Art cards each, which will be valid in all events organized by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts throughout the year.

  The project, initiated by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts to boost the youth's access to cultural and artistic activities, is being supported by Eczacıbaşı Group on its 45th anniversary. The card intends to reach out to thousands of more students in the coming years and expand its scope.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's most prestigious cartographic museum is continuing to provide a fascinating look on the past with its trove of maps from Turkey and around the world, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Operated within the body of the Defense Ministry's General Command of Cartography, the Cartography Museum is home to maps from various periods and regions, as well as measuring and plotting apparatuses.

  The most comprehensive museum in its field in Turkey, the Cartography Museum displays 559 artifacts as well as the personal belongings and works of Lt.-Gen. Mehmet Şevki Ölçer, the teacher of Turkey's founding father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and the founder of General Command of Cartography.

  Hand-made relief maps, which are considered the first examples in the world and were made with sea sand, resin, wood and similar materials in the 1880s and 1890s, are among the most valuable artifacts in the museum.

  Relief maps made by Military Academy teachers and students in various sizes show the critical regions of the era such as Edirne, Thessaloniki, Ruse, Preveza, Crete and Rhodes.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Istanbul's Beşiktaş Municipality Akatlar Culture Center will be hosting İnönü University professor Necmi Karkın's exhibition titled 'Khora to Anatolia,' which can be seen between Jan 20 and 26, , reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Necmi Karkın has a Ph.D. from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A sarcophagus, which has been unearthed during archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Aigai in the western province of Manisa, was revealed to have been belonged to a school principal after its pieces were reunited, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  Yusuf Sezgin, the head of the Aigai excavations and an academic at Celal Bayar University's archaeology department, said the sarcophagus dated back to 2,200 years ago and it was the first ever one that belonged to a principal in the history of archaeology.

  Aigai in the Yunusemre district, which is one of the 12 cities founded by the people of Aioli in western Anatolia, has a history of 2,800 years. The pieces of the sarcophagus were recently unearthed in the city and reunited with the ones previously found in the same place since 2004.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Culture, Tourism and Promotional Department of the Turkish Embassy in London has announced that a 4,500-year-old jug dating back to the early Bronze Age , which was taken over to the U.K. nearly 60 years ago, has been returned to Turkey, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The artifact and featured characteristics of the ancient western Anatolian Yortan culture from 3,000 to 2,000 B.C.

  Thelma Bishop, a British citizen and a former gallery owner in Manchester, who visited the ancient city of Ephesus in western Turkey in 1960s, bought the jug as a souvenir, it added.

  "Later a British auction house found that the jug was a cultural heritage and Bishop decided to return the jug to Turkey," the statement said, adding that Bishop and the auction house official were gifted a Museum Card.

  Yortan is a prehistoric burial site in İzmir's valley of Bakırçay in western Turkey including material offerings to the dead. It was found and excavated by a French engineer Paul Gaudi nearly 80 years ago but the results have never been properly published.

  The tombs in the burial site consists mostly of pottery in the form of jugs and jars, and, less frequently bowls.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Archaeological surface survey and cleaning works in the ancient site of Kızılkoyun and the outskirts of a historic fortification in Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa's Haleplibahçe district have unearthed 133 caves and five mosaics, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  Rock tombs from the Roman and Edessa (Osrhoene) kingdoms have also been unearthed in the caves.

★ The ancient city of Antandros in Turkey's western province of Balıkesir's Edremit district, where excavations have been continuing for 16 years, will open to the world with a project titled "The Route of Aeneas," which follows the route of the Trojan hero Aeneas from Antandros to Italy. The route, expected to pass through five countries, has been planned, reports the Doğan news agency.

  The international project, backed by the European Union, is expected to become a tourist hotspot in the region.

  The "garum sauce," a fish-based sauce of the ancient world used instead of salt, has been now prepared and is kept in a jug. The sauce will be served with dishes at the international workshop in May.

  The workshop will be attended by 22 mayors from Turkey, Greece, Tunisia, Albania and Italy, Edremit Mayor Kamil Saka has said.

  "We fermented the garum sauce in a Roman villa in Antandros. It is known that the garum sauce was a very important spice in the past. The priority for Edremit is to open to the world. I believe this fermentation will help revive foreign tourism in Edremit."

  Erhan Şeker, one of the chefs who prepared the sauce, said the sauce was made with salt, fish and some spices.

  "Similar sauces like this are still used in the Far East and many other countries in the world," Şeker said.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey has entered the top 10 countries with the most items on the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List, with the addition of traditional flatbread during the 11th official meeting, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  During the meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, one national and two multi-national files were presented on behalf of Turkey.

  The "culture of making and sharing flatbread: lavash, katyrma, jupka or yufka" was presented as the multi-national file at the meeting. The decision was made unanimously after Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan appealed to UNESCO.

  Making the bread involves at least three people, often family members, with each having a role in its preparation and baking. In rural areas, neighbors participate in the process together. Traditional bakeries also make the bread, baking it using a "tandır" (an earth or stone oven in the ground), "sac" (a metal plate) or "kazan" (a cauldron).

  Read more at >> here <<


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.77


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        37/23 Mostly Sunny
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    63/45 Mostly Sunny
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 45/34 Mostly Sunny
Izmir, on the Aegean:             52/36 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        46/34 Mostly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       21/0 Mostly Sunny	
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 47 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 51 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 87 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 31 inches
SaklIkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 26 inches
SarIkamI$ in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 26 inches
Uludag in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 75 inches	


★ Premiere Soccer League
-- In games played so far this weekend:
Akhisar Sp      -      Kayseri Sp      0 - 0
Konya Sp        -      Rize Sp         2 - 1
Bursa Sp        -      Adana Sp        0 - 1
Karabük Sp      -      G. Saray        2 - 1
-- Standing in the league as of week ending 17
  1 - Başakşehir      39
  2 - Beşiktaş        38
  3 - G. Saray        36
  4 - Fenerbahçe      32
  5 - Bursa Sp        27
  6 - Osmanli Sp      26
  7 - Antalya Sp      25
  8 - Konya Sp        24
  9 - G. Birliği      22
 10 - Kasımpaşa       21
 11 - Karabük Sp      21
 12 - Trabzon Sp      21
 13 - Akhisar Sp      20
 14 - Alanya Sp       18
 15 - Rize Sp         16
 16 - Kayseri Sp      12
 17 - Adana Sp        11
 18 - G. Antep Sp     11

-- Basketball Super League
Date	   21.01.2017 
Team 1		Team 2		Score
Ranking	Team		Points	
2	EFES		26	
4	BANVİT		24	
10	TOFAŞ		21	
12	UŞAK		20	


[Saat 18:30 and 19:30 'da iki kez okuyun]


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