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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 06 May 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 06 May 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 President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been speaking about reinstating the death penalty. He says he will let the people decide on this with a referendum.

  According to Geir Moulson of the Associated Press, the German government said Friday that it wouldn't allow voting in Germany in any possible referendum on the matter.

  The German government says that its permission is required for voting in foreign elections or referendums to take place at embassies, consulates or elsewhere on its territory. It permitted polling stations for Turkish nationals in last month's Turkish constitutional referendum.

  There are about 3 million Turkish nationals living in Germany. Their votes in the referendum last month is said to have been crucial in propping up Turkish president and the ruling Justice and Development Party's position.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A Turkish court has rejected an appeal filed by Wikipedia against a ban in Turkey on its website, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority stated on April 29 that it had blocked access to Wikipedia, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.

  Separately, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has withdrawn its invitation to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to speak at "World Cities Expo Istanbul 2017" conference.

★ According to an article the French website, a Turkish government inspired political party, Justice and Equality , in France is fielding 68 candidates for the June 2017 legislative elections there.

  The Justice and Equality Party does not make any references to Turkey, but all its leaders are of Turkish origin and are dual citizens of France and Turkey, the article says.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ As part of the World Press Freedom Day on May 3, publications around the world wrote about the Turkish journalists, especially the ones in jail.

  The Huffington Post wrote: "In the wake of a failed military coup last July that threatened President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's power, his regime has waged an 'unprecedented purge' of critics, citing supposed national security concerns as a pretext for mass arrests and newspaper closures."

  "An estimated 2,500 media professionals in the country have lost their jobs, and more than 160 news outlets have been shuttered in the fallout of the attempted takeover, according to Amnesty International

  "As of December, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 81 members of the press had been jailed in Turkey in direct retaliation for their work. Dozens more have fled the country out of fear for their safety" Huffington Post added.

  The full article summarizes the fates of eight journalists.

  Read more at >> here <<

  Turkish Embassy in the Netherlands

★ In related news, Amnesty International's branch in the Netherlands has used a projector to project the names of jailed Turkish journalists onto the Turkish embassy building in The Hague, in a move to mark May 3 International Press Freedom Day. Read more at >> here <<

  Also, there are currently some 159 journalists in Turkish prisons the Turkish Journalists Association said in a statement, and asked for their immediate release.

  Turkey's Press Council High Commission held a meeting to mark the International Press Freedom Day at the Yaşar Kemal Culture Center, which is close to Istanbul's Silivri Prison, where a high number of journalists are being kept in, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. The spouses of the jailed journalists also attended the meeting.

  Two weeks ago in its annual "World Press Freedom Index", Reporters without Borders ranked Turkey 155th among 180 countries, down by four points from last year, just four ranks ahead of Brunei, Kazakhstan, Iraq and Rwanda, while lagging behind countries such as Russia, Belarus, Singapore and South Sudan.

  Over the past 12 years, Turkey's ranking slid by 56 points.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ On the Public Radio International's The World, Pinar Ersoy wrote about why more Turkish women do not participate in the workforce.

  According to Ms. Ersoy, it is the conservative president and the ruling justice and development party's pronouncements on the role of the women as stay home mothers that push women to prefer to stay home.

  Currently only one of every three women in Turkey participates in the labor force, the lowest rate among the 35 OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Associated Press, May Day in Turkey was observed without much problem, as opposed to some years in the past. However, police in Istanbul managed to detain more than 70 people who tried to defy a ban and marched to the Taksim Square.

  Taksim holds a symbolic value for Turkey's labor movement. In 1977, shots were fired into a May Day crowd from a nearby building, killing 34 people.

★ Turkey's Justice and Development Party administration's fight against the Gülenists continued this week with more arrests and purges among the government employees and security forces.

  Some of the people who are facing arrest by the Justice and Development Party Administration are seeking refuge abroad.

  Around 450 Turkish diplomats, military officers, judges and other public officers have applied for asylum in Germany in a rising trend, according to a report by Der Spiegel.

  However, in Malaysia the government is cooperating with the Turkish demands and arresting Turks and deporting them back to Turkey.

  Under Turkish pressure, the Myanmar government is trying to shut down schools thought to have links to Gülenists. The schools have been in operation in Myanmar for 17 years. Read more at >> here <<

  In Greece, an appeals court has been reviewing a request by the Turkish administration for the return of a number of Turkish military who sought refuge there. The court blocked the extradition of the eight in several deliberations since April 25. The Greek asylum office is currently reviewing the asylum application of the military.

  In the meantime, Turkey's justice minister will travel to US on May 7 to meet with his US counterpart Jeff Sessions to discuss the extradition and temporary arrest of cleric Fethullah Gülen, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. Read more at >> here <<

  The Gülenists, the followers of cleric Gülen who lives in self exile in Pennsylvania, are accused of staging the failed 2016 coup attempt.

★ Turkish Airlines early on May 6 began distributing laptops to its business class passengers to the U.S. following a ban preventing passengers from keeping large electronic devices in the cabin in flights from a number of Middle Eastern countries and Turkey to the United States and the United Kingdom, the company has stated, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Bloomberg reports that Turkey is working on legislation to allow commercial lenders to securitize and sell all of their $515 billion of outstanding loans to investors, as the government seeks to boost credit and spur economic growth.

★ According to TVDRAMA.WS Fox Networks Group Content Distribution has inked a raft of new deals from its catalog of Turkish dramas, selling more than 2600 hours across Latin America, Central Europe, Asia and Africa.


★ The 28th Ankara International Film Festival gave the best film award at the National Feature Film competition to Ali Kemal Çınar's "Genco", reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The festival, organized by the World Mass Media Research Foundation between April 20 and 30, ended with an award ceremony at Şinasi Stage, attended by well-known Turkish film artists, academics and art lovers.

  A selective committee including Onur Ünlü, Nihal Yalçın, Emrah Serbes, Hasan Akbulut and Olena Yershova Yıldız selected Çınar's "Genco" as the best film. He also won a monetary award of $14,000 in local currency.

  Mehmet Can Mertoğlu's film "Album" won the Mahmut Tali Öngören Special Award and Erkan Tunç's "Seagull" won the Onat Kutlar Special Award.

  Two leading artists of "Swaying Waterlily", Songül Öden and Tolga Tekin, won the best actress and best actor awards, respectively, for their performances in the film.

  The jury also presented Özgün Özçelik's "Inflame" with the jury special prize.

  İrem Sak won the best actress award in a supporting role for her performance in "Seagull" while Musab Ekici won the best actor award in a supporting role for his performance in "My Father's Wings".

  In the National Documentary Film competition category, Mustafa Ünlü's "Ah" won the first prize.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Istanbul is set to become home to a brand new jazz festival at Zorlu PSM to bring the genre at the forefront of the arts and culture scene of the city, looking at it from a broad perspective while adopting the polyphony of it, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The festival will also feature shades of blues, electronic, ethnic, funk, indie, classic, pop and rock music. The event will feature a line-up full of jazz legends and impeccable talents such as Chick Corea, Jan Garbarek, Trilok Gurtu, Esmerine and many others.

  The Zorlu PSM Jazz Festival will also start a new tradition in the arts and culture scene of Istanbul with parties, panels, workshops, record market, open-air free events, film and documentary screenings.

  On May 3, Michel Camilo & Tomatito was in Istanbul for a special live performance at Zorlu PSM.

  Camilo, a world-renowned pianist and composer from the Dominican Republic, won a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album and an Emmy for the Outstanding Individual Achievement in Musical Composition and Direction.

  Esmerine, a Canadian modern chamber music ensemble that produces in a variety of genres such as drone music, post-punk and Turkish folk, was at Zorlu PSM on May 4.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Galerie Michael Schultz in Berlin is hosting an exhibition by Turkish artist Ahmet Güneştekin, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Titled "Sun Road," the exhibition manifests Güneştekin's talent in a variety of mediums, from optic and dimensional paintings and patchwork quilts to his most recent forays in sculpture. It shows the way he imagines ancient elements of mythologies and religions in an acutely intricate and bright context.

  Combining mixed media items like concave mirrors and metal cages with optical illusions and color gradients, Güneştekin forges a unique space steeped in mythologies that have prevailed for centuries.

  The exhibition, which opened on April 29, will be open to visit through May 20.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The wonders of the ancient city of Perge in Turkey's Meditrranean province of Antalya have survived until the present day, but locals who make a living off of the site are facing an array of economic threats due to a drop in the number of visitors, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  The ancient city of Perge was once the capital of the Pamphylia region and one of the richest and the most beautiful cities in the past.

  The ancient city still attracts attention with its many sculptures that have been unearthed during excavations, but the number of visitors to the ancient city has seriously fallen in recent years amid a general decline in Turkey due to a number of political and economic factors.

  Perge hosted 190,000 tourists in 2014 but the number fell to 112,390 in 2015 and just 60,000 last year.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ An ancient funerary stele, unearthed last year during construction work in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Konya's Ereğli district and claimed to have been sold, was found on May 3 buried in the garden of the digging company, reports the Do─čan News Agency.

  The stele, which is similar to the relief in the İvriz Rock Monument some 12 kilometers away from the district, was delivered to the museum directorate and two people were taken under custody.

  Read more at >> here <<
Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Şahin at the Gaziantep Archaeology Museum

★ A number of sculptures unearthed during archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Zeugma located in southeastern Turkey, which are on display at the Gaziantep Archaeology Museum, have been identified to have the same style as the ones in Syria's ancient Palmyra city, which is currently on the world's agenda after it received severe damage from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The museum officials think that the Masters of Palmyra also produced the Zeugma sculptures.

  The Gaziantep Archaeology Museum, which is readying to reopen soon after a five-year restoration process, is home to ceramic pieces from the Neolithic era, various figures from the Chalcolithic and Bronze ages as well as others from the Urartian, Hittite, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, and now the funerary steles discovered at the Zeugma ancient city.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Excavations being carried out in the Zerzevan Fort in Turkey's southeastern province of Diyarbakır's Çınar district have unearthed a Mithraea, an underground temple where a pre-Christian cult gathered and performed rituals 1700 years ago, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The fort, which is located in the Demirölçek neighborhood, 13 kilometers away from the district, served as a military base in the Roman era. Excavations in the fort have been ongoing since 2014 with the contributions of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Diyarbakır Governor's Office, Çınar District Governor's Office and Dicle University.

  On an area of a 600,000 sq. ft. field lies the remains of 35 to 45-foot-high and 600-foot-long walls, 65- foot-high watch and defense tower, church, management building, residences, granary and weapon storage, underground sanctuary, shelters, rock tombs, water tunnel and 54 water cisterns.

  The archaeological excavations have so far unearthed an underground church, a 400 person-capacity underground shelter, residences and secret tunnels.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ We have been telling you about the saga of a figurine in the past two weeks. Turkish authorities are saying that the figurine was smuggled out of Turkey around the turn of the last century.

  The auction house Christie's put the figuring on auction and this week we got the news that the auction took place despite Turkish requests to return the small marble female idol, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. A buyer purchased the figurine at a price of $12.5 million. Including other costs the buyer will pay almost $15 million.

  Christie's will not be able to receive the proceedings for two months. In the meantime, Turkish authorities are pursuing legal action. Turkey's ministry of culture also took out a full-page ad in the New York Times to demand the repatriation of artifacts smuggled out of the country.

  A group of Turks, who gathered in front of the auction house, protested against the sale of the artifact.

  Reading a press release, the group asked for it to be returned to its home and displayed banners reading, "Shame on you Christie's" and "Artifacts are the shared treasure of humanity."


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.55


Ankara, in central Turkey:        68/46 Mostly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    75/61 Mostly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 77/54 Mostly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean:             79/57 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        57/54 Mostly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       59/41 Mostly Cloudy

Low and High Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Snow depths at skiing locations:



Premiere League

★ Results for week: 29
G. Antep Sp - Karabük Sp 0 - 0
Kayseri Sp - Alanya Sp 3 - 0
Trabzon Sp - G. Birliği 0 - 0
Kasımpaşa - Akhisar Sp 0 - 2
Fenerbahçe - Rize Sp 2 - 1
Adana Sp - Antalya Sp 2 - 5
Başakşehir - Beşiktaş 3 - 1
Osmanli Sp - Konya Sp 0 - 0
Bursa Sp - G. Saray 0 - 5
★ In games played so far this weekend:
Antalya Sp - Başakşehir 0 - 1
G. Birliği - Adana Sp 0 - 1
Samsun Sp - Kayseri Sp 2 - 3
G. Saray - Kasımpaşa 1 - 3
Konya Sp - Alanya Sp 2 - 3
★ Standing in the league as of week ending 29
1 - Beşiktaş 64
2 - Başakşehir 60
3 - Fenerbahçe 56
4 - G. Saray 52
5 - Trabzon Sp 48
6 - Antalya Sp 46
7 - G. Birliği 40
8 - Konya Sp 40
9 - Osmanli Sp 38
10 - Kasımpaşa 37
11 - Karabük Sp 36
12 - Akhisar Sp 36
13 - Bursa Sp 35
14 - Alanya Sp 34
15 - Kayseri Sp 30
16 - G. Antep Sp 26
17 - Rize Sp 24
18 - Adana Sp 20


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


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