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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 11 March 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 11 March 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ Turkish president Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan traveled to Russia on Saturday for a high level meeting, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The summit, joined by cabinet ministers from both sides, marks the first such council meeting since relations were strained over Turkey's downing of a Russian jet in November 2015, which led to the cancelation of the subsequent meeting. It is the two leaders' fourth meeting in seven months during the normalization process since the jet crisis.

  "We are actively working to solve the most acute crises, first of all in Syria," Putin said as he greeted Erdoğan at the start of the talks.

  "I'm very pleased to note, and few seemed to expect it, that our military and special services have established such efficient and close contact."

  Mr. Erdoğan noted that cooperation in building a prospective Russian natural gas pipeline and a nuclear power plant in Turkey had also regained pace.

  The two countries brokered a cease-fire in December 2016 that helped reduce the scale of fighting between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition, and they also co-sponsored two rounds of talks this year between al-Assad's government and its foes. A third round is set for next week.

  The increasingly close cooperation on Syria between Russia and Turkey marked a sharp turnaround for the two nations, which have backed opposing sides in Syria, as Moscow has sided with al-Assad and Turkey has supported rebel groups against him since the start of the Syrian conflict six years ago.

  In related news, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Turkish Wealth Fund have signed a memorandum establishing the Russia-Turkey Investment Fund, in a bid to further increase bilateral economic ties and boost the investment flow, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

★ We reported to you last week German towns canceled permits for two referendum rallies by Turks living there. The rallies were to be attended by Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party cabinet ministers.

  The referendum will be held on April16, and Turk swill vote for a new constitution that will usher a presidential system, which some say without checks and balances.

  Netherlands joined Germany in opposing Turkish rallies on its soil. Despite Dutch opposition, Turkey's foreign affairs minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will travel to Rotterdam on March 11 for a "meeting with citizens", Sevil Erkuş of the Hürriyet Daily News reports from the Turkish capital Ankara.

  Mr. Çavuşoğlu is likely to hold the event at the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, as he did in Hamburg in Germany after permission for a hall was canceled there.

  He is also due on March 12 to go to Switzerland for a similar rally in Zurich. The Swiss Foreign Ministry stated that Mr. Çavuşoğlu's planned visit "does not currently pose a particularly high security threat" after a key regional authority expressed concerns. Çavuşoğlu may hold another rally in France after Switzerland.

  In addition, the planned meetings of Turkey's Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya in the Netherlands and Germany were also canceled March 9 due to "security reasons," notified by the authorities.

  Kaya was due to address meetings of the Turkish community in the Dutch towns of Hengelo, Enschede and Wehl, as well Germany's Cologne.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ In related news, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan provoked an angry response from Germany when he accused Berlin of "Nazi practices," reports Deutsche Welle.

  Mr. Erdoğan was referring to German government's decision to cancel planned Turkish rallies in some German cities, citing security concerns.

  Earlier German Chancellor Angele Merkel said "it's not really possible to seriously comment on such misguided statements" .

  "You certainly can't justify them - not even during the election campaign for a referendum on introducing a presidential system in Turkey" Ms. Merkel added.

  Gökay Sofuoğlu, the head of the Turkish Community in Germany, also criticized Erdoğan, describing the Turkish leader's comments as a "derailment."

  Read more at >> here <<

★ President Donald Trump was not aware that his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had worked to further the interests of the government of Turkey before appointing him, the White House said Thursday, reports the VOA.

  The comments came two days after Flynn and his firm, Flynn Intel Group Inc., filed paperwork with the Justice Department formally identifying him as a foreign agent and acknowledging that his work for a company owned by a Turkish businessman could have aided Turkey's government. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday called the action "an affirmation of the president's decision to ask General Flynn to resign."

  Read more at >> here <<
★ The United States is taking steps to try to avoid a conflict between Turkey and U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, which Turkey views as terrorists, in Syria, the top U.S. commander overseeing American troops in the Middle East said on March 9, acknowledging the risk of a clash existed. HDN.

  Asked by Senator John McCain whether he shared the view about the risk of a conflict between the two U.S. allies, Army General Joseph Votel said: "I do, Mr. Chairman. And to that end, we are trying to take actions to prevent that from occurring."

  Turkey regards the SDF as a cover for the Kurdish YPG militia, and brands it as a terrorist organization affiliated with rebel Turkish Kurd Kurdistan Workers Party.

  The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, has made two recent trips to Turkey to sort out the impasse.

  Read more at >> here <<
★ Speaking of Syria, there are over three million Syrian refugees in Turkey and Turkey is the country with the most number of refugees, about 65% of the total Syrians spread around the world.

  Enabling the refugee children and youth to continue their education has been a goal of the Turkish government.

  This week Turkey's Higher Education Board head Yekta Saraç announced that Nearly 15,000 Syrians are enrolled in Turkish colleges.

  About 3500 of these students are receiving funds from "Turkey Scholarship" program.

  1100 hundred of the students are enrolled in postgraduate , and 350 in PhD programs.

  There are also about 400 Syrian lecturers in Turkish institutions of higher learning.

  Read more at >> here <<

 [Click on photo to see a larger view in a new window]
Combo from satellite photos provided by UNOSAT shows the city of Sur in Turkey's Diyarbakir Province on June 22, 2015, top, and on July 26, 2016 bottom.

★ U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a statement on March 10 that Turkey had "contested the veracity of the very serious allegations", reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Turkey denied access for investigation.

  About 2,000 people were killed and entire neighborhoods razed in southeastern Turkey in 18 months of government security operations "characterized by massive destruction and serious human rights violations," the United Nations' human rights office said March 10.

  Almost 800 of those killed were members of the security forces, and some of the other 1,200 may have been involved in action against the state, the report said.

  The office said in a report on the period July 2015-December 2016 that up to 500,000 people had been displaced, while satellite imagery showed the "enormous scale of destruction of the housing stock by heavy weaponry."

★ Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticized Israel for the initial approval of a draft law that will silence the Muslim call to prayer at certain hours.

  His comments came after Israel's parliament, the Knesset, approved a draft law on March 8 to ban the call to prayer from loudspeakers from 11 P. M. to 7 A. M. in Israel and East Jerusalem.

★ Tens of thousands of women took to the streets in many provinces of Turkey on March 8, marching to mark International Women's Day, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Women at the marches demanded an end to violence against women and protested against the charter changes set to be voted on April 16 in a referendum, which could result in a shift in Turkey's current parliamentary system to an executive presidency.


  - Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli has said he expects Turkish economy to grow more than 4 percent this year, after 3 percent last year, while the inflation rate will close the year at around 7.5 percent. Read more at >> here <<

  - In contrast, rating agency Fitch forecast Turkey's economic growth to be at an average of 2.6 percent in 2017 and 2018, compared with an average of 7.1 percent over the last five years, ending in 2015. Read more at >> here <<

  - Turkish banks remain well-capitalized, while the country's tourism sector is expected to get a boost following reconciliation with Russia, Iraq and the northern Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government, Moody's said on March 6. Read more at >> here <<

  - More than 800 companies with total revenue of $8 billion liras have been seized by the Turkish state, mainly in probes related to the July 15 coup attempt, Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli has said, adding that "most of these companies' financials have seen a rebound since being taken over."

  "If the courts find the owners guilty [of taking part in the coup attempt], these companies will be permanently transferred to the state in lawful terms. If not, they will be given back to their owners," he added.

  - The Turkish Central Bank will closely monitor pricing behavior and implement further monetary tightening if needed, its governor said on March 8, but the lira weakened in apparent disappointment he did not give a clearer signal on rates, reports Reuters.

  - Turkey's Eximbank is set to pour $40 billion in loans and insurance into more than 100,000 companies in 2017 and to launch its own rating system to measure companies' eligibility for loans, the head of the organization has said.


★ Pera Film's "Forms and Politics of Yugoslav Experimental Film" program brings together lesser known films made by artists in socialist Yugoslavia between 1963 and 1987.

  The program will be held between March 10 and 12.

  Program curator Sezgin Boynik will also give a talk on the specific conditions of experimental film-making in socialist Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe, contextualizing the historical and social situation in which the featured films were produced.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Young rapper Norm Ender says rap music's lawless attitude is one of its features that match his character the most, writes Cenk Erdem of the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview with the musician.

  Ender's album "Aura" consists of humorous lyrics with the well-known "dissing" attacks of rap music, which not only feels lawless but also courageous.

  The lyrics are partly aggressive and partly fun. He has completely created the lyrics, music and the album itself and has been enjoying an underground fame for a long time.

  He has currently made a strong debut with his EMI - Universal Music Turkey release, hitting both music shelves and digital platforms as number 1.

  The album's debut song "Deli," which attracted a great deal of attention on all digital platforms and music markets, also hit YouTube with more than 5 million views in a short period of time.

  After the album's release on Feb. 3, he dominated the digital platform Spotify and became number 1 on iTunes' Turkey sales.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Istanbul City Theaters staged a premiere of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" on March 8 with an added twist: puppets, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The play will be on stage at the Harbiye Muhsin Ertuğrul Stage on March 11, 15, 16, 17 and 18 before moving to the Ümraniye Stage on March 30 and April 1.

  The director of the play, Ulviye Karaca, said they had provided the classical play with a different interpretation. "This is a surrealistic interpretation. It is totally different in terms of its decor, costume, makeup and acting."

  The play has eight characters, Karaca said. "I reduced a large group of artists to eight using only Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Duncan, Banquo, three witches and a messenger. We give the core of the play to the audience. There are lots of metamorphoses and symbols. We think that we had made a good work; we saw it during rehearsals that were open to the public. Later on, we will go on tours in Turkey and abroad."

  Karaca also said the original "Macbeth," which was translated into Turkish by Sabahattin Eyüboğlu, was three hours but that they had reduced their rendition to 75 minutes following two months of preparations.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ "One and the Many," an exhibition investigating the environment of production in Turkey between 1955 and 1995 through a selection of artifacts, has opened at the Çankaya Municipality Contemporary Arts Center in Ankara with expanded content, following its initial presentation at Istanbul's SALT Galata, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The exhibition frames the topic primarily via the stories of selected artifacts common to the 1980s, a period when industrial products met a voluminous consumer market for the first time.

  A series of public programs including a talk and a workshop, as well as film screenings and exhibition tours, will also take place during the exhibition that will run through April 4.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry has approved funding for the international promotion campaign of Istanbul's new art event, Istanbul Art Week, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The international promotion campaign includes all manners of local art events that will take place during Istanbul Art Week between Sept. 12 and 17.

  In its first year, the Istanbul Art Week will bring together numerous leading corporate actors of the city's cultural landscape, such as the Sabancı Museum, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Pera Museum, Borusan Contemporary, Elgiz Museum, Akbank Sanat, SALT Art Center, Arter Gallery, as well as many other outstanding galleries to create a key cultural moment in Istanbul in the second week of September.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The State Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow has opened a special exhibition project titled "The Bilge Collection" until April 2, providing a glimpse at contemporary Turkish art in the Russian capital, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The exhibition aims to provide an insight into Turkish art through the eyes of Muhsin Bilge (1944 - 2014), a renowned Turkish collector and a passionate lover and patron of art.

  Curated by Irina Batkova, the exhibition presents a selection from Muhsin Bilge's private collection and features 65 works by 28 artists. The works include famous artists such as Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, Celal Tutant, Ergin İnan, Fahrelnissa Zeid, Fikret Mualla, İbrahim Örs, Kemal Önsöy, Komet, Mehmet Güleryüz, Nejad Melih Devrim, Özdemir Altan, Sabri Berkel, Şükriye Dikmen and Zeki Faik İzer, as well as young artists such as Serkan Yüksel, Arda Yalkın, Beyza Boynudelik, Füruzan Şimşek, Haluk Akakçe, Mustafa Özel, Volkan Kızıltunç and many more.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The 22nd Turkish-German Film Festival kicked off on March 4 with a gala ceremony held at Tafalhalle in Nuremberg, with Turkey's acclaimed photographer Ara Güler receiving one of the festival's honorary awards, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  German director of photography Jürgen Jürges received the other honorary award at the festival.

  The honorary guest of the festival, Turkish musician and writer Zülfü Livaneli, gave a speech at the opening, praising Güler and Jürges for "seeing what we don't see."

  The festival will screen a total of 40 films until March 14. The award-winning films will be announced on March 11.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The doyenne of archaeology in Turkey, Halet Çambel, is among the prominent female figures depicted in a doodle prepared by Google for International Women's Day on March 8, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The slideshow doodle showcased 13 female pioneers from around the world including American journalist Ida Wells, Egypt's first female pilot Lotfia El Nadi, and Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

  Çambel, who was also the first Muslim woman ever to compete in the Olympics, featured in the sixth chapter of doodle on the right hand side, holding a torch toward an archaeological piece.

  This is not the first time that Google has paid tribute to Çambel, who died in 2014 at the age of 98. She was previously honored with a doodle for her birthday on Aug. 27, 2015.

  See the doodle here Read more at >> here <<

★ A basilica, which was unearthed 18 years ago during illegal excavations in the southeastern province of Kilis and is home to 1,600 year-old mosaics, is set to open to visitors, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Further excavations revealed historic mosaics and tombs, most of them in good condition.

  In ancient times the site hosted a Byzantine basilica.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkish scientist Bilge Demirköz has been named as one of this year's 15 female recipients of the International Rising Talent grants, awarded annually as part of the L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science program, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  An associate professor of physics at the Ankara-based Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), Demirköz has been chosen for her work on space radiation, according to a Turkish Foreign Ministry source.

  She studied at MIT, Oxford, Cambridge and CERN.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A Turkish astrophysicist professor has begun work on a new U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) project to create a powerful space telescope, Elif Ergu of the Hürriyet Daily News reports.

  Professor Feryal Özel, the only Turkish woman scientist at NASA, is already managing a project for an event horizon telescope that aims to monitor a black hole.

  Özel, who teaches at Harvard University and the University of Arizona, specializes on black holes.

★ A group of high school students in Istanbul who developed a mechanic device to rescue a puppy trapped in a well for 10 days has received an invitation from Stanford University to visit the prestigious school's Robotics Laboratory, Gülseven Özkan of the H├╝rriyet Daily News reports.

  Members of FRC Robotic Team at Bahçeşehir Science and Technology High School developed a robotic arm to rescue the puppy, who was later named "Kuyu" (Well), from a well in which he had fallen in the Beykoz district of Istanbul. After the story of Kuyu went viral, the students behind the invention that saved the life of the puppy became popular on social media for their work.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A group of Turkish scientists will travel to Antarctica in the near future to establish a Turkish base for scientific research, the head of the first Turkish polar research center has said, state-run Anatolia News Agency reported on Feb. 20.

  The team will carry out pre-feasibility studies for the base, said Burcu Özsoy, director of Istanbul Technical University Polar Research Center, also known as ITU PolReC.

  Özsoy said the scientific study was important to collect information on climate change.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Experts at a university center in Turkey's eastern province of Van are attempting to preserve the famous Van cat breed by implementing a new chip system that will facilitate the tracking and maintenance of the all-white felines, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The Van Cat Track System was initiated last year by the Yüzüncü Yıl University Van Cat Research and Application Center to ensure the cats' pedigree.

  As part of the work, chips were implanted with injectors under the cats' skin to provide information about their kittens, mothers, fathers and siblings.

  The Van cat is a distinctive land-race of domestic cat, found in the Lake Van region of eastern Turkey. The variety has been referred to as "the swimming cat", and observed to swim in Lake Van.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Cappadox, a progressive multi-disciplinary cultural festival that brings together a range of international and local contemporary art, music, nature and outdoor programs in the dramatic landscape of Cappadocia in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir, will be held between May 18 and 21, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The Cappadox 2017 Contemporary Art section sets out with the theme "Ways out from the World," through which diverse fields intersect with each other.

  During the four-day festival, participants will be able to choose from music, contemporary art, gastronomy and outdoor events to create their own program.

  The festival program was recently announced recently and includes the music artists Rhye, Emma Shapplin feat. Mercan Dede, Acid Pauli, Kaan Tangöze, the Peter Broderick and David Allred Duo, Ah! Kosmos, Kalben, Kuan, Büyük Ev Ablukada, Oceanvs orientalis vs. İlhan Erşahin, Dead Combo, Lars Danielsson Duo feat. Gregory Privat, Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan, Yasmine Hamdan, and Akın Sevgör.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Karagül ("Black rose" in Turkish), a unique rose that only grows in Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa's Halfeti district in the world, its production has stopped due to changing ecological dynamics, but is set to be produced in greenhouses and be reached out to international floral markets with a new project, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The production of karagül, which attracts many local and foreign tourists for its unique color and smell, has neared extinction because of the changing ecological balance in Halfeti, which is renowned for being left underwater thanks to the Birecik Dam.

  Read more at >> here <<



EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.73


Low and High Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        37/57 
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    55/61 
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 45/55 
Izmir, on the Aegean:             50/59 
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        55/64 
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       25/45 
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 20 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 28 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 39 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 31 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 12 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 28 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 35 inches



Ôś-- Premiere League

Ôś-- Results for week: 23
Trabzon Sp      -      Karab├╝k Sp      1 - 0
Bursa Sp        -      G. Antep Sp     2 - 1
Be┼čikta┼č        -      Rize Sp         1 - 0
Ba┼čak┼čehir      -      Alanya Sp       2 - 1
Adana Sp        -      Konya Sp        0 - 1
Kayseri Sp      -      Kas─▒mpa┼ča       2 - 2
Fenerbah├že      -      Osmanli Sp      1 - 0
G. Birli─či      -      Akhisar Sp      2 - 0
Antalya Sp      -      G. Saray        2 - 3
Ôś--Standing in the league as of week ending 23
  1 - Be┼čikta┼č        53
  2 - Ba┼čak┼čehir      49
  3 - G. Saray        43
  4 - Fenerbah├že      41
  5 - Trabzon Sp      35
  6 - Antalya Sp      35
  7 - Konya Sp        32
  8 - Bursa Sp        31
  9 - Osmanli Sp      30
 10 - Karab├╝k Sp      30
 11 - G. Birli─či      29
 12 - Kas─▒mpa┼ča       29
 13 - Akhisar Sp      27
 14 - Kayseri Sp      26
 15 - Alanya Sp       25
 16 - Rize Sp         20
 17 - Adana Sp        17
 18 - G. Antep Sp     16


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


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