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★ Turkish police detained an employee of the U.S. consulate in Turkey's southern province of Adana on February 23 on suspicion of involvement with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, according to a police official, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
The suspect, Hamza Uluçay, had been working as a translator at the American consulate in Adana for years, the official, who wished to stay anonymous due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.
He was detained after a top Kurdistan Workers' Party figure codenamed Behzat was killed in Mardin.
Police apprehended the suspect as he left the consulate building.
The source accused the suspect of allegedly going to Mardin after the killing and inciting people in favor of the Kurdistan Workers' Party.
★ According to the Hürriyet Daily News, Gen. Joe Dunford, the Pentagon's top officer has said he is readying a "full range of options" for President Trump on the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.
"We will talk about the importance of our Turkish ally and making sure our plans are consistent in maintaining a strong alliance with Turkey. We will talk about the implications of the Kurdish challenge in the region," he added.
Gen. Dunford was speaking at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, on February 23.
★ In related news, Jamie Dettmer of the VOA reports that top Turkish officials are increasing pressure on the United States to dissolve the American military partnership with Syrian Kurds in the battle against Islamic State.
Instead Turkey is urging Washington to earmark Syrian opposition groups aligned with Turkey for the push to drive Islamic State militants from their de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria.
Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish militia to be an extension of the Turkish Kurdish rebels.
VOA writes that "it remains unclear whether the Trump administration is going to be any more successful than Barack Obama's in juggling the competing demands of Turkey and Syria's Kurds. There is deep skepticism in Washington that Turkey can assemble even a force large enough, drawn from Syria's rebel militias to attack Raqqa. In the past the militias, whose main enemy is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, have dismissed efforts by Washington to persuade them to see ISIL as a priority."
Speaking of ISIL, Turkish officials say that ISIL is completely removed from the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, 20 miles south of the Turkish border. However, on February 24 a suicide car bomber has killed at least 65 people people and wounded many others in a Syrian village near al-Bab, just one day after Turkish forces and their rebel allies took much of the strategic town. Two of the dead were Turkish soldiers.
★ According to Deutsche Welle, The campaign to win voters for the upcoming Turkish referendum on changes to the Turkish constitution is in full swing. The ruling Justice and Development Party and a junior opposition party are behind the proposed changes to make the presidency much stronger.
Turkish prime minister Binali Yıldırım traveled to Germany to woo the Turks living there. In an rally attended by 10,000 Turks in Oberhausen Mr. Yıldırım told that "Turkey is not a country that will be intimidated." While several hundred protesters demonstrated against him outside the venue, he asked the cheering crowd: "Are you for a great Turkey? A strong Turkey…then give an answer that all of Europe, all the world can hear!"
Some leaders in Germany's Turkish community, however, warned their compatriots not to be taken in by populist rhetoric.
The leader of the influential Turkish Community in Germany slammed Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım's speech, saying on Sunday that it was part of a sinister campaign to demonize opposition voices and promote autocracy.
According to estimates, there are some four million Turks living in Germany.
★ Speaking of Germany, Deutsche Welle also writes that Germany is still receiving asylum applications from Turkey over the July 2016 coup attempt, a research group of broadcasters WDR and NDR and the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" newspaper reported on Friday.
German authorities face at least 136 asylum requests from Turkish citizens bearing diplomatic passports, following the failed coup in Turkey.
There are also many Turkish military who is seeking asylum in Germany.
Germany's response might worsen the already tense relations with Turkey. Turkey wants all the diplomats to be extradited to Turkey.
Turkish Cypriot president Mustafa Akıncı
★ The unification talks for the divided island of Cyprus is not going well.
According to the Hürriyet Daily News, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı has refused to attend a scheduled leaders' meeting on February 23 on the grounds that Greek Cyprus has done nothing to repeal a recent law to permit schools to mark a vote to unify the island with Greece.
Cyprus was divided into two parts one for the Turkish Cypriots and the other for the Greeks after an intervention by Turkey in 1974. Turkey intervened after a coup by the proponents of union with Greece. To protect them from Cypriot Greek extremists, Turkish intervention gathered the Cypriot Turks from the enclaves that they were pushed into over the past decade to the Turkish zone in the north.
The island has been calm ever since the Turkish intervention.
★ Turkey's parliament has approved an omnibus law which introduced an exemption of 18 percent of value-added tax for foreigners who invest in real estate in Turkey, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.
The law, which was passed by parliament late on February 23, will also be applicable to Turks who live and work abroad for more than six months.
Turkey also vowed to grant citizenship to foreigners who buy properties worth at least $1 million and keep them for at least three years, according to a revised decree that was published in the Official Gazette on Jan. 12.
Meanwhile, property sales in Turkey surged 12.8 percent in the first month of 2017 from a year earlier, official data from the Turkish Statistical Institute revealed on February 24.
★ According to Bloomberg, Turkey's capital markets regulator has slapped punishments on three investors it identified as responsible for irregular price action in two of the country's biggest companies.
Algorithmic trading was to blame for the sudden moves in the shares of Turkcell Iletisim and Koc Holding near the close of trading earlier this week, Borsa Istanbul Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Himmet Karadag told Bloomberg on Friday, shortly before three men were identified by the Capital Markets Board for their alleged
The regulator will communicate with investment firms to prevent the individuals from engaging in any algorithm trading for three months, according to the regulatory filing.
Algorithmic trading is relatively new to Turkey and wreaked havoc in the market last year, when an unknown trader or group of traders using brokerage Yatirim Finansman dictated market moves with trades that were sometimes double the market's average volume. Local investors began referring to the mystery trader as "the Dude," and its identity was never revealed.
★ Turkey's leading defense systems producer ASELSAN has marked an increase of 273 percent in its net profit in 2016 when compared with 2015, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
ASELSAN said its orders reached $6.2 billion in 2016, making $220 million profit.
★ Turkey's foreign assets rose 2.1 percent year-on-year in December to reach $214.8 billion, the Turkish Central Bank said on February 20.
At the same time, overseas liabilities fell by 3 percent to $570.8 billion, the bank added, putting Turkey's December Net International Investment Position at -$356.1 billion, a 5.8 percent improvement compared to the same period last year, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
The Net International Investment Position is a nation's stock of foreign assets minus its foreign liabilities as well as the value of overseas assets owned by a country minus the value of foreign-owned domestic assets.
★ Turkey is studying the forex debts of its private sector and will take new macro-prudential measures in March, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek has said, adding that measures would include new forex restrictions, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.
Şimşek said the real sector was in a seriously open position in terms of foreign exchange debts.
★ Israel sees Turkey not only as a big market but also as a major economy in the region, Delek Group's Gas Pipeline Project Director Ofer Oberlander said February 23, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
Turkish and Israeli companies are currently discussing a possible gas pipeline to be built between Israel and Turkey to transport natural gas supplies from the Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel to Europe. The field holds an estimated 620 billion cubic meters of gas.
A human chain protesting coal development in Aliaga
★ According to the Climate Change News, and a Turkish Court has revoked the license of a coal power station in the western province of Izmir.
The power station opened in April 2014.
The judge cited its impact on the ancient Aeolian city of Kyme, a nearby archaeological site that has yet to be fully excavated. Three other coal power projects in the Aliaga region have been shelved or cancelled in the face of local opposition.
★ Turkey earned annual revenues exceeding $250,000 million from Turkish TV drama exports in recent years, and is now getting ready to collaborate with Latin American countries to enhance the industry, daily Hürriyet has reported.
The Foreign Economic Relations Board has been in efforts to mobilize and increase the contribution of Turkish dramas to tourism and trade.
"Projects with Latin American countries will contribute both to Turkey's promotion and create a warm environment to increase trade," said Aykut Eken, the chairman of DEİK Turkish-American Business Council.
Eken said Turkish TV dramas were among a list of key items on the agenda at a Foreign Economic Relations Board America Business Councils Chairmen Coordination meeting.
★ Bigger is better is not the adage with Necati Korkmaz; instead the artist has created an opus of 25 examples of Turkish calligraphy that take up all of one centimeter, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
Known as one of three micro-sculptors in the world, Korkmaz creates his works in the Gubari calligraphy form on lentil seeds.
"I create micro artifacts that cannot be seen with the naked eye. You need to use a microscope and a magnifying glass. I also make micro-size sculptures using the hardest spider hair. I use the hairs on a spider leg as a scraping tool," said Korkmaz, adding that he also uses fox whiskers. "I've processed the most important examples of classical Turkish art on half of a lentil seed and created a catalogue the size of one centimeter."
The art of Gubari calligraphy has some certain rules, he said, adding that the art form requires painstaking attention that includes breath control and eye-hand coordination.
"From the dye to paint and paper, you need to create your own tools. You cannot take them from Europe or anywhere else; you collect them from nature. You cannot write what I write by using an industrial brush. You must find things from nature. This art is very enjoyable. You feel special when you create something. People are amazed by your work. They can't believe, saying, 'a Turk cannot do it!' But thank God I do it," he said.
The Istanbul-based artist has been researching forgotten traditional Turkish arts and is the only representative of the art of Gubari calligraphy in Turkey.
★ The Alt Art Space is currently exhibiting "And Yet My Mask is Powerful," which is the most recent installation by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, who work collaboratively from their base in Ramallah, Palestine, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. It addresses the relationship between mythology, ecology and the resistance to colonial time, imagining new possible incomplete narratives.
Along with other young people, Abbas and Abou-Rahme have visited ruins of Palestinian villages, now overgrown with indigenous plants, nature reclaiming these spaces.
The installation consists of two parts. One is a five-channel immersive video installation, with sound and strange small objects that can be used to build or destroy a place. The content of the video is a visceral journey to the wrecks of former Palestinian towns and villages, transference of the experience of re-visiting the wrecks.
The second part is made up of a new sound work and an expanded collection of materials. The sound is conceived as a conversation between the artists about their trips to these ruins, "which are still alive, almost possessed despite a colonial logic."
★ A 100-year ginnery in the southern province of Mersin's Tarsus district has been restored and has started serving as the Gözlükule Mound Research Center for academic research and archaeological works.
The opening of the center was held on February 18 by Istanbul's Boğaziçi University at a ceremony with the participation of Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı, Development Minister Lütfi Elvan and Boğaziçi University Rector Professor Mehmed Özkan.
Avcı said the Gözlükule Mound was "very important" as one of the three areas, along with Alacahöyük and Troy, that received official permission for archaeological excavations in the Republic era.
He also referred to Hetty Goldman, the first person who started excavations in the region in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as the Günhan Danışman, an academic from Boğaziçi University's History Department, as two key names who had carried the project to the present day.
The head of the Gözlükule Mound excavations team, Professor Aslı Özyar, said they unearthed findings in the mound from the Bronze Age, the Hittites era, the Abbasid era, and the Roman era.
★ The painted friezes of a 2,500-year-old wooden burial chamber that was found 48 years ago during illegal excavations in Afyonkarahisar will soon go on display following the construction of a new museum in the inner Aegean
The burial chamber was unearthed at the Tatarlı Tumulus, located in Dinar's Tatarlı district, by illegal excavators in 1969, after which its painted wooden parts were smuggled abroad.
The Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry worked to repatriate 38 small wooden pieces and four timbers to Turkey in 2010 after Professor Latife Summerer informed authorities that the wooden segments of the burial chamber, which dates back to 525 B.C., were at the Munich Archaeology Museum in Germany.
The artwork has been restored by Turkish and German experts and was displayed at an exhibition titled "Tatarlı Tumulus: The Return of Colors" as part of the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture.
Later, the pieces were put in special boxes at the Afyonkarahisar Museum. Now they are set to be exhibited in a special section in the province's new museum.
★ Istanbul's Pera Museum is presenting "Mersad Berber: An Allegory of Bosnia," an exhibition exploring one of the leading representatives of Bosnian-Herzegovinian art in the second half of the 20th century, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.
Inspired by the masters of European fine arts from the Renaissance to Art Nouveau, Berber's work (1940-2012) infuses expressive powers and intricate talent.
The show, curated by Aida Abajich Hojich, Bosnia-Herzegovina's leading art historian, and Edward Lucie-Smith as the exhibition's advisor, showcases the artist's impressions with the likes of Velázquez, Ingres, and Klimt, as well as Yugoslavian painters Bukovac and Jurkić.
The exhibition at Pera Museum in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district can be seen through May 7.
★ Rock tombs nearly 2,000 years old, which have been unearthed in caves in Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, are to be opened to tourists after excavations are completed, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
Ancient caves were unearthed during restoration and environmental arrangement works in the city's Kale Eteği and Kızılkoyun districts, where shanty houses had been previously built. Inside the uncovered caves a total of 113 rock tombs were found.
A number of figures and four floor mosaics were discovered in the rock tomb chambers within the scope of the ongoing works, carried out in collaboration with the provincial culture and tourism directorates, museum directorates and the Şanlıurfa Municipality
★ Turkish Police in the Mediterranean province of Adana seized on February 22 an 18th century icon that has one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ embroidered on gazelle skin, reports the Doğan News Agency.
The suspects said "A person who came from Syria owed us money. He gave it to us for his debt. We did not know that it was historically valuable," the suspects said in their testimonies.
The police said they believed the suspects were trying to smuggle the icon from Syria. They were released with judicial control after being referred to court.
Officials also stated that the icon is 6 ft in height and 2.5 ft in width.
★ With a veritable treasure trove of sculptures, the Afrodisyas Museum near Turkey's Aegean coast takes visitors back more than two millennia to sample some of the most striking statues produced in the region, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
The ancient city of Aphrodisias, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary list, is located in the western province of Aydın's Karacasu district.
Excavations in the ancient city were commenced in 1904 by foreign archaeologists. Between 1961 and 1990, more comprehensive works were conducted in the city under the leadership of Professor Kenan Erim.
After Erim's death, Oxford University Professor Roland R.R. Smith headed the excavations; the statues that were found during these works are now on display at the museum.
The 300 statues on display are the work of the Aphrodisias School and draw attention to elements such as women, family and mythology.
The ancient city of Aphrodisas was established in the fifth century B.C. and prospered during the Roman Empire period, becoming a significant center of the arts, especially in sculpture.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.61
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey: 37/54 Mostly Sunny
Antalya, on the Mediterranean: 50/64 Mostly Sunny
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 46/54 Mostly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean: 54/66 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea: 50/54 Mostly Sunny
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey: 16/37 Mostly Sunny
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey : 26 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 47 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey : 71 inches
Palandoken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey : 57 inches
SaklIkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey : 20 inches
SarIkamI$ in Kars, Eastern Turkey : 47 inches
Uludag in Bursa, Western Turkey : 61 inches
★ Results for week: 21
Kayseri Sp - Bursa Sp 2 - 0
Antalya Sp - Karabük Sp 1 - 0
Başakşehir - G. Antep Sp 0 - 0
Rize Sp - G. Saray 1 - 1
G. Birliği - Konya Sp 2 - 0
Fenerbahçe - Kasımpaşa 0 - 0
Adana Sp - Osmanli Sp 1 - 5
Beşiktaş - Akhisar Sp 3 - 1
Trabzon Sp - Alanya Sp 0 - 0
In games played so far this weekend:
Rize Sp - Kayseri Sp 2 - 4
Kasımpaşa - Bursa Sp 4 - 0
Alanya Sp - Adana Sp 4 - 1
Akhisar Sp - Antalya Sp 3 - 0
Konya Sp - Samsun Sp 1 - 1
★ Standing in the league as of week ending 21
1 - Beşiktaş 47
2 - Başakşehir 43
3 - G. Saray 40
4 - Fenerbahçe 37
5 - Antalya Sp 35
6 - Trabzon Sp 31
7 - Osmanli Sp 30
8 - Konya Sp 28
9 - Bursa Sp 28
10 - Karabük Sp 27
11 - G. Birliği 26
12 - Kasımpaşa 25
13 - Akhisar Sp 24
14 - Alanya Sp 22
15 - Kayseri Sp 22
16 - Rize Sp 20
17 - Adana Sp 17
18 - G. Antep Sp 15
[Saat 18:30 and 19:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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