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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 18 February 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 18 February 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ In an article that appeared in various media outlets, Emel Parlak Dal writes that shunned by the west and menaced by Syria, Turkish foreign policy has turned south.

  Caught out by the side effects of the Syrian civil war and deteriorating relations with the and the US, Turkey now appears to be in search of South-South cooperation, adds Ms. Dal.

  In this regard, least developed countries such as Yemen, Burundi, Vanuatu and Haiti, have become more of an issue for Turkey's global governance agenda.

  In addition to its increasing development cooperation and trade with Africa and the developing diplomatic and trade relations with the Latin American countries, Turkey was also among the founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as its 11th largest partner.

  Turkey is an active member of both the established framework of the UN system and informal institutions such as the G20 and MIKTA (an informal partnership between Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Turkey and Australia) under which the Global South countries are also represented.

  Since the early 2000s, successive Turkish governments have invested greatly in a Middle East policy grounded on a common history, geography, shared destiny and civilization.

  However, the rapid internationalization of the Syrian conflict, the ethnic and political ties between the Syrian Kurds and Turkey's own Kurdish population, and the emergence of the ISIS threat have accelerated the spread of the civil war across the Turkish border, she adds.

  Emel Parlar Dal

Emel Parlar Dal is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Marmara University.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ U.S. Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford held a meeting on Feb. 17 with Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar at the İncirlik air base to discuss an offensive to capture Raqqa from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  During the meeting, General Akar informed his U.S. counterpart about the ongoing Euphrates Shield operation and said the northern Syrian town of al-Bab was largely taken under control, according to Turkish military sources.

  General Akar also highlighted the importance of the support by the U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition in the fight against terrorism.

  The two generals reiterated the consensus on the fight against the terror groups in the region, the sources said.

  Turkey hopes the new U.S. administration under Donald Trump will change its policy of cooperation with the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, calling instead for a joint operation between Turkey and the U.S. rather than using the Syrian Kurdish group to remove ISIL from its self-declared capital.

  Turkey considers YPG to be an extension of the rebel Turkish Kurds' organization Kurdistan Workers Party, which is considered to be a terrorist entity by the U.S. and the European Union.

★ According to Reuters reporter Ercan Gürses and Orhan Coşkun, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is risking losing Turkish swing voters with harsh referendum rhetoric.

  Turks are going to the polls in April to vote on a new constitution which will give a lot more power to the president. Most analysts are saying that it will be almost like a dictatorship with no checks and balances on the administration's actions.

  The president is associating people who are going to vote " no" in the referendum with terrorists and last year's failed coup.

  Recent polls suggest "yes" vote stands 50-55 percent.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ German authorities raided the flats of four Turkish imams yesterday, accusing them of spying on followers of the US-based preacher who Turkey accuses of masterminding last July's failed coup to topple Turkey's government.

  The federal prosecutors' office said the raids in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rheinland-Palatinate were carried out to collect evidence, and no arrests were made.

  The targets were suspected of spying on supporters of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen who lives in Pennsylvania.

  Prosecutors say the four men affiliated with Ditib ÔÇ" the union of Turkish-Islamic cultural organizations in Germany ÔÇö passed information to the Turkish consulate in Cologne.

  Mehmet Görmez, the chief of the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs has condemned the raids as politically motivated ahead of elections in Germany.

  However, he confirmed that some six clerics, including the four whose homes were raided, had "exceeded their authorities" and were called back to Turkey, without elaborating.

★ According to the Dutch daily Trouw, the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, Netherlands has been confiscating the passports of people it says support the Gülen movement, which Turkey holds responsible for last year's failed coup, Trouw said on Friday.

★ Gırgır, a renowned Turkish cartoon magazine was closed by its publisher and all its employees were fired. The lawyer for the publisher said that a cartoon on Moses in the recent issue of the magazine was insulting Jews and Muslims alike.

  Ivo Molinas, the general publications manager of the Shalom paper only Turkish Jewry, said that although he was saddened to see a cartoon like this published but he was also saddened that the humor magazine was closed. He said that the magazine should have been kept alive but the person who drew the cartoon should have been sanctioned.

  Analysts say that the closing of the magazine is another example of self-censoring that started in the Turkish Press after heavy pressure by the ruling Justice and Development Party on journalism.

  According to a recent report by Freedom House, Turkey's press freedom status is classified as "not free".

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Brief news on the economy:

  - The Turkish government ran a budget surplus of $3.06 billion in January amid a significant rise in revenues, the country's finance minister said Feb. 15, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Turkey's current account deficit stood at $4.27 billion in December 2016, down by $784 million compared to the same month in 2015, an official data showed on Feb. 14.

  - Turkey's unemployment rate rose to 12.1 percent in November 2016, marking the highest such rate since March 2010, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The government's "employment mobilization" campaign, which will start in early March, is planned to create 2 million new jobs, according to top officials.

  Depending on the extent to which the private sector takes part in the campaign, some decrease can be seen in the unemployment rate, analysts say.

  - Turkey and Azerbaijan have agreed to make a preferential trade deal and its technical negotiations are underway now, a top Turkish official has said, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  - GE has signed a deal with Turkey's Çalık Enerji to support Yemen's electricity infrastructure by supplying two units of its advanced TM2500 aeroderivative gas turbine generators, the company announced in a statement on Feb. 14.

  - The number of passengers carried by Turkish Airlines decreased by 12 percent to 4.1 million in January compared to the same period of 2016, mainly due to a fall in international flights, data from the company showed late on Feb. 13.

  - Turkey's poultry exports plummeted almost half in 2016 from the 2014 numbers, amid escalating risks in the Middle Eastern markets, said a top sector association.


★ According to, Cristiano Ronaldo will be appearing in a serious that will include Angelina Jolie and focuses on the Syrian refugees.

  The Turkish television series, called Hayat Köprüsü, will focus on a Syrian family fleeing the war-torn country, and cameos from celebrities like Ronaldo, Jolie and others are reportedly lined up.

  Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro is a professional soccer player from Portugal.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ This year the annual !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival will open with the theme "Things that heal us." The festival will offer ways of healing and sense-making amid challenges in Turkey and much of the world, inviting viewers to come together, through its films, musical events and public talks.

  The festival will open with "Moonlight," the winner of the best drama film at the latest Golden Globe awards.

  !f Istanbul will once again host the Turkish premieres of some of the highlights from prominent festivals around the world, from Sundance to Venice and Toronto to Cannes, as well as outstanding performers in the award season.

  !f Istanbul started the competition for activist-themed films two years ago. This year, seven films will be competing, from the U.S., Denmark, Finland, France, Israel, Egypt, Poland, Syria, and Turkey. The winner will be awarded with $10,000.

  !f Istanbul's music festival !f music will also take on the "Things that heal us" theme this year. Music-lovers will have the chance to watch, for the first time in Turkey, films about legendary musicians from The Rolling Stones to Oasis and X Japan.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Istanbul Music Festival is returning for a 45th time this year, with a program centered on the theme of "unusual" between May 29 and June 21, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The festival's program was announced at a press meeting on Feb. 15. The event will host over 600 local and international artists, including some of the world's leading ensembles such as the Russian Chamber Philharmonic St. Petersburg, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra and Ebene Quartet, remarkable soloists like Hüseyin Sermet, Fazıl Say, Alina Pogostkina and Mathias Goerne, as well as young generation artists at 15 venues in Istanbul.

  The Istanbul Music Festival has been giving commissions to local and international composers to contribute to the expansion of contemporary music repertoire and artistic production since 2011. This year, it continued these efforts by taking part in a joint commission to one of the most famous classical music composers alive, Philip Glass of the U.S. The Turkey premiere of Philip Glass' latest work, the "11th Symphony," will be held as part of the 45th Istanbul Music Festival at the Hagia Eirene Museum. The symphony will be performed by the festival's resident orchestra, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Sascha Goetzel on June 16.

  Prior to the concert, Glass will be presented with the 45th Istanbul Music Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony that will take place before the opening concert. Glass, who is unable to attend the ceremony, will deliver his prize speech with a special video.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Around 70 percent of Turkish citizens have never participated in any culture or arts event in their lives, according to a new report from the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) based on data from research firms GfK and Ipsos, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  According to the Ipsos 2016 "Understanding Turkey Guide," 49 percent of Turkish people have never been to the cinema, 66 percent have never been to a concert, theater or opera events, and 39 percent have never read a book.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Istanbul's Arter Gallery is presenting the first solo exhibition in Turkey by the British visual artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, known as the Chapmans, titled "In the Realm of the Senseless."

  Curated by Nick Hackworth, the exhibition brings together a number of works from iconic series including "Hell," "The Chapman Family Collection" and "One Day You Will No Longer Be Loved" alongside new and rarely seen works.

  Read more at >> here <<

  A Hıdırellez celebration

★ UNESCO's Turkey National Committee has been preparing for the inclusion of a whistle language, Hıdırellez, and the ancient city of Aphrodisias in Turkey's western province of Aydın to the UNESCO World Heritage List, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The head of the committee, Oğuz Öcal, said people communicate with each other with the whistle language in the Black Sea region of Turkey.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ "My black mulberry, my forked darky, my gypsy, What more will you be to me, my odd one, queer one, My smiling quince, my weeping pomegranate, My baby, my stallion, my wife."

  Turkey's best-known love poem, "My Mulberry" by Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, is at the heart of the retrospective exhibition by the poet-painter in İzmir's Folkart Gallery, reports the Hürriyet daily news correspondent Nazlan Ertan from İzmir.

  The exhibition titled "To Love is a Beautiful Profession, Chief" brings together a wide variety of his works, as well as memorabilia of the painter-poet, known to the public simply as Bedri Rahmi, who recently marked the 106th anniversary of birth. He died of pancreatic cancer in 1975.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to Agence France-Presse, a Turkish journalists won the prestigious World Press Photo Award for his image of Russian envoy's killer into Turkish Capital Ankara on December 19 2016.

  In the photo the killer is seen brandishing a gun and his face contorted with rage.

  Judges praised the courage and bravery of Burhan Özbilici, a photographer for the Associated Press, who stood his ground as 22-year-old police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş pumped nine bullets into Ambassador Andrey Karlov at the opening of an art exhibition.

  The award was criticized by many including Russian officials afterwards.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ One of the artifacts stolen from Turkey's Kocaeli Archaeology Museum in 2009 has been found at an auction in Germany, Ömer Erbil of the Hürriyet Daily News reports.

  Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry reported theft of the Roman-era color marble relief, which is valued at around 32,000 euros in the auction, to Interpol.

  Following the illegal excavations there, the Kocaeli Archaeology Museum initiated excavations in İzmit's Çukurbağ neighborhood, estimated to be the center of the ancient city of Nicomedia.

  Excavations in the field unearthed a number of Roman-era sculptures and reliefs, which were then included in the museum collection and kept in storage. But the inventory taken after two years revealed that one Roman-era bust and one color relief panel were not in the museum storage. A security guard and the museum director were fired afterwards.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Speaking of Izmit, in a nearby location, three more tombs have been unearthed in an olive grove in the northwestern province of Bursa's İznik district, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  One tomb was previously found last November in the same field, which is believed to be a necropolis from the late Roman era.

  Read more at >> here <<
Click to enlarge, will open a new window or tab
★ The new collection from House of Div, founded by Turkish architect Gülşah Surel Erdem, has won awards at the A'Design Award and Competition, which aims to highlight the world's best designs, design concepts and design-oriented products in all creative disciplines and industries.

  The collection, titled "Enchanted Caftans," was awarded in the category for jewelry, eyewear and watch design. In the collection, an enchanted bowl ring won the gold award while an enchanted necklace won the silver award.

  The collection, which was launched in February by House of Div, takes inspiration from history.

  Read about A'Design Award and Competition >> here <<

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's authentic döner kebap has evolved from being cheap fast-food, mostly preferred by Europe's migrant communities, into a "food concept" that has dominated the world in an upward trend, French food geographer Pierre Raffard has said.

  Raffard delivered a speech on the globalization of the döner kebap at the Istanbul-based History Foundation on Jan. 26, where he explained the historical foundations of the food and described how it made it to the menus of world-renowned chefs. Raffard, a native of Paris, has expertise in cuisine-geography relations and holds a thesis on Gaziantep cuisine and is currently teaching gastronomy at İzmir Economy University.

  "I am a Parisian. During 1990's, my mom would never take us to döner shops. It was believed that döner shops were selling rat meat or horse meat. Only migrant workers used to go [to döner shops]. It was cheap and selling halal food and you could get full only by eating döner. Döner was mostly the food of migrants. Then poor local consumers discovered it. I mean European workers and students. Thanks to students, their families also began eating döner. It is an upward trend. Today Michelin Chef Thierry Marx serves döner in his restaurant. Important chefs who are interested in street food have advanced the class level of döner," he said.

  Read more at >> here <<


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.63


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        50/27 Scattered clouds
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    63/46 Scattered clouds
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 52/43 Scattered clouds
Izmir, on the Aegean:             61/48 Scattered clouds
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        52/37 Scattered clouds
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       23/1  Scattered clouds
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 39 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 59 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 76 inches
Palandoken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 63 inches
SaklIkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 24 inches
SarIkamI$ in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 51 inches
Uludag in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 55 inches



Premiere League

* Results for week: 20
Karab├╝k Sp      -      Be┼čikta┼č        2 - 1
Alanya Sp       -      G. Birli─či      3 - 0
Osmanli Sp      -      Trabzon Sp      0 - 1
Bursa Sp        -      Fenerbah├že      1 - 1
Kas─▒mpa┼ča       -      Ba┼čak┼čehir      4 - 0
Akhisar Sp      -      Rize Sp         1 - 0
Konya Sp        -      Antalya Sp      1 - 1
G. Saray        -      Kayseri Sp      1 - 2
G. Antep Sp     -      Adana Sp        1 - 0
* In games played so far this weekend:
Kayseri Sp      -      Bursa Sp        2 - 0
Antalya Sp      -      Karab├╝k Sp      1 - 0
Ba┼čak┼čehir      -      G. Antep Sp     0 - 0
Rize Sp         -      G. Saray        1 - 1
* Standing in the league as of week ending 20
  1 - Be┼čikta┼č        44
  2 - Ba┼čak┼čehir      42
  3 - G. Saray        39
  4 - Fenerbah├že      36
  5 - Antalya Sp      32
  6 - Trabzon Sp      30
  7 - Konya Sp        28
  8 - Bursa Sp        28
  9 - Osmanli Sp      27
 10 - Karab├╝k Sp      27
 11 - Kas─▒mpa┼ča       24
 12 - Akhisar Sp      24
 13 - G. Birli─či      23
 14 - Alanya Sp       21
 15 - Rize Sp         19
 16 - Kayseri Sp      19
 17 - Adana Sp        17
 18 - G. Antep Sp     14


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


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