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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 01 April 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 01 April 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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★ Turkish and world press was busy this week, as it has been for the past several weeks, reporting on the upcoming constitutional referendum in Turkey, fight against the followers of cleric Gülen by the Turkey's Justice and Development Party administration and Turkey's involvement in Syria and Iraq conflicts.

  On the fight against the followers of cleric Fethullah Gülen, according to Peter Pilz, an Austrian lawmaker, there is now a Turkish global surveillance network aimed at undermining organizations loyal to the cleric, reports the Associated Press.

  Mr. Pilz claims about Turkish consulates and embassies are coordinating the effort and includes a huge network consisting of associations, clubs and mosques.

  Fethullah Gülen himself lives in self imposed exile in Pennsylvania. Turkey's government led by the ruling Justice and Development Party is accusing Gülen and his followers of masterminding the 2016 July 15 coup attempt that killed 270 people.

  Read more at >> here <<

  In Turkey, 21 suspects including renowned singer Atilla Taş remained in custody for being affiliated with the Gulenist network.

  Since the suppression of the coup attempt, hundreds of thousands of people were detained by the government, hundreds and thousands of people were also sacked from their government and military positions and thousands of businesses sympathetic to Fethullah Gülen taken over by the state.

  Some claim that the government also cracked down on the opposition claiming that they are Gülenists.

★ U.S. authorities' arrested a Turkish banker from Turkey's state run Halkbank while in New York on a business trip. He has been charged with a scheme to violate sanctions against Iran.

  The U.S. authorities already have in custody Turkish-Iranian businessmen Reza Zarrab with the same chargers. The banker and Mr. Zarrab are said to have worked together.

  Turkey's foreign affairs minister described of the arrest as "political". he claimed that the US attorney ordering the arrests has ties to cleric Fethullah Gülen

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Turkey to resolve a deep dispute over the Kurdish role in the fight against the Islamic State group.

  Turks are opposing the use of Syrian Kurds fighters, saying that they are affiliated with the rebel Turkish Kurd organization Kurdistan Workers Party.

  According to the VOA, the divisions between the U.S. and Turkey remain despite Tillerson's visit.
★ In related news, Turkey is declaring an end to its 7-month-old operation in northern Syria to clear Islamic State militants and Syrian Kurds from the region along its border, reports the VOA.

  Turkey's prime minister said that the operation has been successful.

★ According to The Wall Street Journal, the Turkish economy grew faster than analysts expected in the fourth quarter as government efforts helped to boost consumer spending in the run-up to a referendum in April this year that may strengthen the president's powers.

  The growth rate on annualized basis for the fourth quarter was 3.5 percent.


★ The co-partner of Turkey's global Nusr-et chain of grill houses, Nusret Gökçe, who recently became a social media phenomenon for his meat-cutting and salt-drizzling skills, has taken role in the famous TV series Narcos, which tells the life of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Gökçe shared a photo of him with Pedro Pascal, the lead actor of the series, on his official Twitter account.

  Gökçe travelled to Colombia's capital Bogota to star as a guest actor in one episode. He played a role that is very familiar to him in the episode, in which he serves meat at a restaurant.

  He previously said Nusr-et would be opening branches in New York and London in the next few months, adding that success was possible by "telling stories and drawing people's attention."

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Long before she came to Madrid, Mersin villager Ümmiye Koçak had already made herself famous thanks to her theatrical exploits and cinematic talent, reports the Doğan News Agency. Since directing and appearing in an ad with arguably one of the most recognized people on the planet ‚Ä" Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo ‚Äď Koçak has been experiencing a new degree of stardom.

  Ko√ßak is the founder of the Arslank√∂y Women's Theater Group in the southern province of Mersin's Arslank√∂y village.

  Most recently, however, 60-year-old Koçak directed and appeared in the ad with Ronaldo for Türk Telekom.

  She ended up going to Spain for the shooting of the ad.

  Born in 1957 in a village in Turkey's southern Mediterranean province of Adana, Koçak was unable to continue her education after primary school in a family with 10 siblings. After completing primary school, she read many books for her own self-development, the first and most crucial being "The Mother" by Maxim Gorky.

  Koçak moved to the village of Arslanköy after getting married, and there she formed the "Arslanköy Women's Theater Group" in 2001 to raise awareness about the lives of women in rural areas.

  In 2006, Koçak performed the play "Flowers of Longing" at the Sabancı International Adana Theater Festival. Saving money she earned by working in the field, she wrote and directed a film, titled "Wool Doll", which was about violence against women. The premiere of the movie was held at the 49th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival. She also won the Best Eurasian Actress in Cinema Award with the movie at the New York Eurasian Film Festival.

  The mother of three children, Koçak continues to live in Arslanköy with her family.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Mezzosoprano Senem Demircioğlu and pianist İklim Tamkan's first album, produced by renowned Turkish pianist Fazıl Say, was released on March 31, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  In the album "First Atlas", Demircioğlu and Tamkan perform poems by Cemal Süreya, Edip Cansever, Metin Altıok and Behçet Aysan.

  Demircioğlu performs as a vocal in the album, while Tamkan accompanies her on the piano. Say also has two pieces on the album.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the 24th Istanbul Jazz Festival will host leading names and new discoveries from the world of jazz, as well as stars of contemporary music, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. The festival will feature more than 200 names in 20 different venues across Istanbul between July 4 and 20.

  At a press conference held on March 28, the festival's director, Pelin Opcin, and the assistant director, Harun İzer, presented the festival's program and events. At the press conference, which was also attended by well-known jazz musicians from Turkey, the 13-year-old young jazz pianist Hakan Başar performed with his trio.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Pera Museum will be presenting a performance program titled "Look Again" between March 31 and April 2 in collaboration with Performistanbul, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Inspired by the museum's collection exhibitions, the program features performances by artists AslieMk, Ekin Bernay, and Ata Doğruel.

  Curated by Simge Burhanoğlu, the founding director of Performistanbul, "Look Again" aims to celebrate the art of performance as well as visitor experience through the museum's collection exhibitions. The artists, who have been working closely with the museum's collections, will be presenting their own interpretations. The performance program hopes to facilitate a new look into the museum's collection and exhibiting practices.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's State Theaters hosted 1.5 million viewers in the first six months of the 2016-2017 art season, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  State Theaters General Director Nejat Birecik said the struggle of daily life could only be relieved by art and theater, while art could "even have the power to stop wars."

  Birecik also recalled that the Culture and Tourism Ministry organized the National Cultural Council between March 3 and 5 for the first time in 28 years.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The third İzmir Humor Festival is taking place from April 1 to 4 with the theme "humor against darkness."

  The event opened with the exhibition "Cartoons and Censorship" and continue with a presentation by the curator of the exhibition, Turgut Çeviker, on censorship and pressures on cartoons since the reign of Abdulhamid II in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Frederic Lafargue's "Fleeing from Daesh" has been chosen as the Photo of the Year 2017 by the international jury of the 3rd Istanbul Photo Awards.

  Sponsored by Turkish Airlines and Turkish Coordination and Cooperation Agency (TİKA), this year's contest saw an additional 22 photographers from 17 countries receiving awards. Around 25,000 photos had been submitted to the contest and jury members picked the winners at a special meeting in Turkey's Cappadocia, a historical region in Central Anatolia, between March 19 and 22.

  In addition to news and sports categories, the jury also determined winners in the newly-added portrait and nature/environment categories.

  For the first time in the contest's three-year history, Hosam Salem, a freelancer photojournalist in Gaza, Palestine, received the Young Photojournalist award with his photograph "Street Training in Gaza." The newly-introduced award is given to a winner under the age of 28.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The oldest olive oil press in Anatolia has been discovered in the ancient city of Lyrboton Kome in Antalya, but archaeologists have expressed special excitement at revelations that many of the olive oil facilities and the town itself was founded by a woman, Doğan News Agency.

  "We are seeing the establishment of such facilities for the first time. This is the oldest known olive oil facility in the region. It is awesome that the founders were women. Women are protective and they protected all olive trees. The inscriptions provide information about the operation of the facilities and rules. We understand that the facilities were kept for at least three generations," said Akdeniz University Archaeology Professor Nevzat Çevik, the head of the Kepez Archaeopark Project, which will encapsulate the ancient site.

  Çevik said a woman named Arete, meaning "honor," formed the settlement.

  "This woman was the owner of the settlement. She had the tower built and dedicated to the Emperor Domitian and Perge Artemis. And the most important thing is that she institutionalized production by founding olive oil facilities. The ownership and control over the facilities and the settlement started with Arete and was maintained by her daughter Kille and subsequent generations. The power of this female-dominant family showed itself in settlement and production."

  Work started on Lyrboton Kome in 2016 to unearth olive oil production shops, houses, baths and churches. When the project is done, the ancient city will be opened as a nature and history park with its Arete Tower as well as floral and geological riches.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ An ancient sarcophagus smuggled out of Turkey in the 1960s could soon be on its way home following a decision from Swiss prosecutors.

  Speaking at a press conference in the capital Ankara, Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı said the final legal objections to the ancient artifact's repatriation had been overcome.

  The sarcophagus, which depicts the Twelve Labors of Hercules and was smuggled out of southern Turkey's ancient Anatolian city of Perge in the 1960s, is expected to be back in the country shortly, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ we have some good news for you on the archaeological site that was in danger that we reported last week :

  According to Ömer Erbil of the Hürriyet Daily News, an administrative court in Turkey's Black Sea province of Ordu has ruled that a quarry cannot be operated in the vicinity of the Kurul Fort that features a unique sculpture of the mother goddess Kybele following concerns that explosions could damage the artifact.

  An earlier decision by a lower court allowing the operation of a quarry is thus reversed.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Kilims and ceramic trinkets produced by Turkish and Syrian women who attend courses in the Family Support Center in Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa's Harran district are now being sold in Europe, providing income to locals, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  The kilims are made of felt and depict the Amazon queens of the city. Women working in the workshops have also added Amazon queen figures to kilims displayed at the Şanlıurfa Archaeology and Mosaic Museum.

  The kilims produced by 90 disadvantaged women trainees are sold to many Turkish cities and European countries at prices of between 50 and 300 Turkish Liras.

  Along with felt kilims, the women produce historic Harran Kümbet houses as ceramic trinkets and contribute to their families' income.

  Read more at >> here <<


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.64


Low and HighTemperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        37/66 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    54/70 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 43/61 Mostly Sunny
Izmir, on the Aegean:             52/68 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        45/52 Mostly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       32/46 Light Showers
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 18 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 20 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 31 inches
Palandoken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 24 inches
Uludag in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 31 inches



★ Premiere League

★ In games played so far this weekend:
Akhisar Sp      -      Başakşehir      2 - 1
Alanya Sp       -      Kasımpaşa       3 - 1
Karabük Sp      -      Fenerbahçe      0 - 1
Antalya Sp      -      Kayseri Sp      2 - 1
★ Standing in the league as of week ending 25
  1 - Beşiktaş        55
  2 - Başakşehir      53
  3 - G. Saray        46
  4 - Fenerbahçe      44
  5 - Trabzon Sp      41
  6 - Antalya Sp      39
  7 - Kasımpaşa       35
  8 - Konya Sp        35
  9 - Karabük Sp      34
 10 - G. Birliği      32
 11 - Bursa Sp        32
 12 - Osmanli Sp      31
 13 - Alanya Sp       28
 14 - Kayseri Sp      27
 15 - Akhisar Sp      27
 16 - Rize Sp         20
 17 - Adana Sp        20
 18 - G. Antep Sp     19


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


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Nauryz, Navruz, Nawrouz, Nevruz, Nooruz, Novruz, Nowrouz, Nowruz

April 2, Sunnyvale

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*** For more music from Turkey and the Middle East tune to

International Cultural Program with host George Geevargis.

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Sundays at 9-10 A.M.

*** Yore dance invites you to:

Free Turkish Folkdance Classes.

Please contact with Yore Folk Ensemble for the details.

TELL YOUR FRIENDS who might be interested joining our group.

Yore Folk Ensemble

*** Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California

The local Azeri community organizes many events throughout the year. Follow their activities through their web pages, or subscribe to their e-mail list:

Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California
16400 Lark Ave., Suite 260
Los Gatos, CA 95032

*** Turkish schools in the Bay Area are starting:

There are currently two schools:
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For more information on the Berkeley school go to
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