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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 08 April 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 08 April 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ The United States informed Turkey before it attacked a Syrian base early on April 7, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters on April 7 in Turkey's southern province of Antalya, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  He called the U.S. attack "late".

  The minister also called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's immediate removal, saying a transitional government must be established.

  On April 8, at a different venue. Cavusoglu said a political solution is needed.

  Meanwhile, Turkey's defense minister said that with Syria strike Trump kept his word.

★ In related news, hundreds of protesters performed a funeral prayer in Istanbul for the victims of the Syrian regime's chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, reports the Associated Press.

  Ahmet Camurluoglu, the head of Istanbul Platform consisting of Islamic-leaning NGOs, blamed the west for the creation of chemical weapons used in Syria. "In this massacre, imperialist West, especially Russia, the U.S. and Iran are accomplices of cruel Assad," he said.

  Calling the U.S. "the great devil," Camurluoglu said the country "can't escape the curse of hundreds of martyrs with a few bombs," referring to the U.S. missile strikes.

  The protesters chanted "murderer America, get out of Syria" and "murderer Russia, get out of Syria" after the prayer.

★ A Syrian pilot who is Mig 21 jet crashed into Turkish territory was arrested by Turks as a spy after being rescued. A Syrian opposition group claimed that they shut down the plane.

★ Campaigning by all sides for the referendum that will take place on April 16 is continuing in full force in Turkey, sometimes with a violent acts.

  The referendum asks the Turks if they would like to give more authority to the president by going to a executive presidency system in the country.

  This week 250 renowned Turkish artists and writers got together in a hall and urged Turks two vote "no" in the referendum.

  A U.S. representative also took sides on the Turkish referendum: In scathing critique of the current situation in Turkey, the chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats said that changes proposed to the Turkish constitution, if passed in an upcoming referendum, represent a "dangerous step backward" and put Turkey on a "path to an authoritarian regime," quoting an opinion from the Venice Commission.

  Chairing a hearing on Wednesday titled "Turkey's Democracy Under Challenge," Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California's 48th District, said that if adopted, the new amendments to the constitution will "cement in law much of the power President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan has already seized for himself" and will combine the positions of head of state, head of government and head of the ruling party all into a single, powerful office.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Every year hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders visit Turkey to commemorate the World War 1. Their ancestors had participated in the Gallipoli Campaign against the Ottoman Empire as part of the This year Australian officials are warning their citizens of possible terrorist attacks, reports the DW.

  Australia's Veterans' Affairs Minister Dan Tehan said that Turkish authorities' are taking the threat extremely seriously. He added that the Gallipoli celebrations are as important to the Turkish authorities' and Turkish people as they are to the Australians.

★ The chemical used in an attack that killed scores of Syrian civilians was most likely the deadly nerve agent sarin, the Turkish Health Ministry said Thursday, reports the Washington Post correspondent Louisa Loveluck.

  Turkish doctors conducted autopsies on three victims in Turkey.

  Many other victims of the attack were evacuated to Turkey for medical treatment.

★ Fethullah Gülen is a cleric who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. In the earlier years of the Justice and Development Party administration rule Gülen and his supporters were allies with them. After 2013 the two groups split and started fighting. Gülen and his followers are being accused of being behind the 2016 July 15 attempted coup.

  In the fight against the followers Fethullah Gülen by Justice and Development Party government, the following took place this week.

  The government took over a baklava chain four being followers of Gülen. In the previous weeks two other baklava chains were also taken over.

  And in related news, in Germany, the interior ministry said Thursday it is questioning 20 individuals for allegedly spying on followers of Gülen. In February Germans police raided the homes of Islamic clerics affiliated with the union of Turkish-Islamic cultural organizations. They were believed to have passed information about Gülen followers in Germany to the Turkish consulate.

  NOS, the Dutch public radio and television organization, reported that as many as 100 Turkish-Dutch are currently being held in Turkey. NOS says that these people are not allowed to travel back two Netherlands for being critical of the Turkish president. The Turkish embassy says that this is inaccurate, these people they have ties to the "terrorist" Gülen movement. Read more at >> here <<

  In Belgium, the Flemish interior minister has taken action against a mosque supported by Turkey, whose imam is suspected of informing Ankara about supporters of Fethullah Gülen. The government will withdraw the recognition of the Fatih mosque in Beringen, Limburg, the country's second largest mosque. Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's Interior Ministry has released a 66-page report to justify the appointment of trustees in place of democratically elected politicians in municipalities in the east and southeast of the country, claiming that official vehicles were used to transfer weapons and militants to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, daily Habertürk reported April 6.

  The municipalities of 10 provinces, 63 districts and 12 towns run by the Peoples' Democratic Party or its sister party, the Democratic Regions Party, were taken over by the government over their alleged links to the Kurdistan workers party in the previous years.

  The report said the Kurdistan workers party "carried terror to the cities" by declaring "so-called self-governments" in certain provinces and districts after the June 7, 2015, general elections, adding that the resources provided by the state to the municipalities were used "in service of terror."

  Turkish Security forces mounted major Kurdistan workers party militants in urban areas. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced in the fighting and whole neighborhoods were destroyed.

★ George Kerevan, a Scottish MP, is raising concerns about servicing of F-35 jets in Turkey. He says Britain should have a backup plan in case there are problems with Turkey.

  The US-based joint program office handed Turkey the contract to provide "deep maintenance" and repair of engines for all F-35 aircraft based in Europe. But there will also be engine repair facilities in Australia and North America.

★ The rating agency Moody's on April 4 placed Turkey's Halkbank's ratings on review after the bank's deputy CEO was arrested in the U.S. last month. As we reported last week, the CEO was arrested for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

  Moody's action came after the bank's share prices fell by 14%.

★ According to a DW interview with Germany's Faruk Şen, Turkish Germans who have been returning in the past few decades to Turkey are now flocking back to Germany again. These highly skilled Turks have been contributing positively to the Turkish economy.

  Dr. Şen estimates that from 2006 to 2012 nearly 253,000 people went back to Turkey. Now nearly 90,000 of these people are back and Germany. After the April 16 referendum, the numbers are expected to grow.

  Dr. Şen says that the brain drain is a very dangerous for Turkey.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, the Istanbul Film Festival's 36th edition kicked off with an opening gala on April 4, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. The opening gala brought the stars and distinguished figures of Turkish movies together at TİM Show Center where Film Honorary Awards and plaques were presented.

  This year, a total of 59 films will be competing for the International and National Golden Tulip Awards, FACE Human Rights in Film Award, Seyfi Teoman Best Debut Film Award, National Documentary Competition and National Short Film Competition Awards. The International Competition Jury will be led by Reha Erdem, while the head of the National Competition Jury will be the director duo Taylan Brothers.

  The annual Film Honorary Awards of the Istanbul Film Festival were given to six distinguished figures who have long served Turkish Film . The celebrated educator of film and cinephile Mithat Alam was the first to be honored with the Outstanding Contribution to Film Award, just before his unfortunate passing away in November 2016.

  Devoting himself to film literacy, Alam was the founder of the Mithat Alam Film Center at Boğaziçi University, a place which passed on his passion for film to the next generations, inspiring many young filmmakers and film lovers. His award was presented to him a short while before his departure.

  One of the most legendary film actors, with memorable roles in "Richard III," "Gods and Monsters," "Lord of the Rings," and "X-Men" series, the guest of this year's festival, Sir Ian McKellen, received this year's last Film Honorary Award.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Seka Film Studio in Turkey's northwestern province of İzmit is hosting historical film and TV drama shootings. The studio, which is rented out to the Maya Film Studio by the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, is also drawing the interest of foreign producers, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The director of the Maya Film Studio, Alper Çetintaş, said many period dramas and films had been shot in the studio so far.

  He said the studio had many sets and accessories to assist the production of a variety of films from the 16th century to the 20th century. "We have nearly 5,000 costumes and 10,000 pieces of accessories. Those who want to make period films need to come to this studio because the İstiklal Avenue, the Ottoman streets from the 1700s and 1850s, the Galata Tower, side streets, frame houses and other structures are drawing everyone's attention. The buildings have been built just like their original," he added.

★ The 34th Ankara Music Festival, organized by the Sevda-Cenap And Music Foundation, kicked off on April 4 with a concert by the Presidential Symphony Orchestra at the MEB Şura Hall in Ankara.

  To mark the 110th birth year of late composer Ahmet Adnan Saygun, who served as an adviser to the foundation's executive board, the orchestra played his "Ayin Raksı" piece.

  The head of the foundation, Ali Başman, said the festival had been irreplaceable in Ankara for 33 years.

  The second concert at the festival will take place on April 12 by the Kyiv Soloists, one of the most important chamber music ensembles in Ukraine.

  the festival will host some 250 artists from eight countries, presenting selected examples of classical music, rock 'n' roll, flamenco and

★ A study by Istanbul University's Medical Faculty has revealed that Turkish traditional music helps reduce stress originating from daily routine, reports Mesude Erşan of the Hürriyet Daily News.

  In her study, Professor Nevin Dinççağ detected that Turkish traditional music reduced stress by a rate of 33 percent.

  Dinççağ, who is also a member of the Bahçeşehir Music Club, has long been studying whether music's relaxing effects could be proven scientifically.

  Dinççağ used her friends in the choir of a music club as a subject group for her study. Her subject group ultimately consisted of 37 male and female soloists who had an average age in excess of 56.

  Participants' saliva samples were gathered to determine the effect of music over cortisol, one of the most significant stress hormones. Saliva samples were gathered on two different days of the week from the participants ÔÇ" one of which was an ordinary day and the other was the day of the music club's meeting. The samples were subsequently analyzed at the biochemistry laboratory of Istanbul University's Medical Faculty.

  A psychological poll which was prepared by specialists was also conducted with participants.

★ The Istanbul State Opera Ballet Modern Dance Theater is celebrating its 7th anniversary with a reinterpretation of the classic ballet "Giselle." The new version of the ballet, "Jizel," is choreographed by Aysun Aslan.

  Aslan, who is a pioneer in popularizing modern dance by founding Turkey's first private dance troupe, returns to the stage after a long time away with this new ballet, adapting "Giselle" into a contemporary work of art. Characters in the original ballet such as Albrecht, Giselle, Hilarion and Myrtha have had their names changed to Alb, Jizel, Hila and Mirta in "Jizel."

  In the new adaptation of the ballet, Jizel is a young girl who works as a hairdresser with her mother Berte.

  Giselle is a romantic ballet in two acts. It was first performed by the Ballet du Theatre de l'Academie Royale de Musique at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris, France on Monday, 28 June 1841, with Italian ballerina Carlotta Grisi as Giselle.

  Original choreographers were Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. Music was by Adolphe Adam and the libretto was by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Theophile Gautier.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The nominees for the 21st Yapı Kredi Afife Theater Awards were announced on April 3, with a number of young directors and actors up for the top prizes, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The award ceremony will be held on April 24 at Istanbul's Haliç Congress Center.

★ Organized by the Sevda-Cenap And Music Foundation, Ayşe Saray's painting exhibition "Mustached Kitties" opened on April 7 at And Sanat, the foundation's new art venue in the Turkish capital Ankara.

  The exhibition features a range of abstract paintings, graphics, animations and illustrations, questioning various issues from daily life to existentialism.

  Besides oil, acrylic and water painting, the paintings are also applied to a range of different surfaces.

★ A one-day symposium titled "Translating Ahmet Ümit into Foreign Languages" was held on April 7 at Okan University's Beyoğlu campus in Istanbul. The symposium was attended by 11 translators from various countries.

  Well-known in Turkey as a detective writer, Ümit is also a respected representative of Turkish literature thanks to many of his novels that have been translated into many languages.

  Eleven translators, who have introduced Ümit's novels to their languages, came together with him in Istanbul. During the symposium, the translators also discuss the works of Turkish writers translated into their languages. They compared the fineness of Turkish with their own languages.

★ Iran's Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry has given permission for the publication of "Madonna in a Fur Coat", a 1943 work by celebrated Turkish author Sabahattin Ali, on the condition that the verb "kiss" be removed from the book, daily Hürriyet has reported.

★ Restoration work has been initiated in the 2,000-year-old Gate of Istanbul, the most magnificent part of the city walls in the northwestern city of Bursa's İznik district, Doğan News Agency.

  İznik is one of the important pilgrimage centers for the world of Christianity as the 1st and 7th Ecumenical Councils were held there in 325 and 787 A.D. and was home to the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations.

  The Gate of Istanbul, which is 16,000 ft. in total, with 12 secondary gates and 114 towers, which are 30 to 45 ft. from each other, features the delicacies of war and defense strategies of the era.

  Built in the 1st century in the northern entrance of the ancient Nicaea, the Gate of Istanbul is the most magnificent gate of the city walls as it opens to the road to Constantinople some 60 feet miles away.

  The gate has changed after undergoing many sieges, natural disasters and interventions through the centuries, but has survived until now. After the restoration process, the gate will become a unique work showing the traces of all those civilizations.

★ Istanbul's Topkapı Palace Museum is undergoing the most comprehensive restoration project in its history. The ongoing 24 projects are expected to cost $60 million in local currency, Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı has said in a statement.

  The Topkapı Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was one of the major residences of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years (1465ÔÇ"1856) of their 624-year reign.

  The restorations in the Dormitory of the Expeditionary Force (Seferli Koğuşu), the Conqueror's Kiosk (Fatih Köşkü), Cellar Quarters (Kilerli Koğuşu), Library of Ahmet III / Enderun Library, Seraglio 1,2,3 stages, Beşirağa Mosque, the Matbah-ı Amire Palace Kitchens, Gülhane hospitals, military storages and the sustaining walls behind it, as well as the Sur-i Sultani have been continuing, Mr. Avcı said, adding that the installation of security systems have been continuing, as well as the works in the courtyard and landscape works.

  The Topkapı Palace, which turned into a museum on April 3, 1924 with the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and became affiliated to the Istanbul Asar-ı Atika Museums Directorate, underwent some small restorations in the same year and some parts of it were opened to visitors.


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


Low and High Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        32/50 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    54/68 Mostly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 45/55 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean:             50/68 Mostly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        43/50 Sporadic Rain
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       25/45 Sporadic Snow
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 12 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 10 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 16 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 20 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : - inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 18 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 18 inches



★ Premiere League

* Results for week: 26
Akhisar Sp      -      Ba┼čak┼čehir      2 - 1
Alanya Sp       -      Kas─▒mpa┼ča       3 - 1
Karab├╝k Sp      -      Fenerbah├že      0 - 1
Antalya Sp      -      Kayseri Sp      2 - 1
Rize Sp         -      Trabzon Sp      0 - 1
Osmanli Sp      -      G. Antep Sp     0 - 2
Be┼čikta┼č        -      G. Birli─či      3 - 0
Konya Sp        -      Bursa Sp        2 - 0
G. Saray        -      Adana Sp        4 - 0
* In games played so far this weekend:
Bursa Sp        -      Karab├╝k Sp      3 - 0
G. Birli─či      -      Antalya Sp      1 - 1
G. Antep Sp     -      Alanya Sp       2 - 3
Samsun Sp       -      Be┼čikta┼č        3 - 4
* Standing in the league as of week ending 26
  1 - Be┼čikta┼č        58
  2 - Ba┼čak┼čehir      53
  3 - G. Saray        49
  4 - Fenerbah├že      47
  5 - Trabzon Sp      44
  6 - Antalya Sp      42
  7 - Konya Sp        38
  8 - Kas─▒mpa┼ča       35
  9 - Karab├╝k Sp      34
 10 - G. Birli─či      32
 11 - Bursa Sp        32
 12 - Osmanli Sp      31
 13 - Alanya Sp       31
 14 - Akhisar Sp      30
 15 - Kayseri Sp      27
 16 - G. Antep Sp     22
 17 - Rize Sp         20
 18 - Adana Sp        20


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


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