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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 20 May 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 20 May 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ According to the Associated Press, in a speech to business leaders on Thursday Turkish President criticized European Union for not letting Turkey in.

  Turkey has been officially recognized as a candidate in 1987, however, countries applying for membership much later have been admitted while Turkey is kept waiting.

  Mr. Erdoğan complained about the number of "chapters" that Turkey is asked to abide by. Chapters are rules and regulations that member countries have to abide by to become a member in the European Union.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's president Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the US this week and he met with president Mr. Trump. However, his visit was not without controversy.

  According to the Voice of America, on Thursday a number of protesters outside the US Embassy in Washington DC were attacked by counter protesters and President Erdoğan's security details. The Voice of America website shows a video where men in dark suits, whom they say were armed Turkish security personnel, attacking and beating the protesters.

  Meanwhile, a second video shows Mr. Erdoğan getting out of his car across the street on the embassy grounds. He is later seen watching the melee "stonefaced".

  Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat and Sen. John McCain, a Republican expressed their disapproval in a joint letter to President Erdoğan which said:

  "The violent response of your security detail to peaceful protesters is wholly unacceptable and, unfortunately, reflective of your government's treatment of the press, ethnic minority groups and political opponents".

  "The violent response of your security detail to peaceful protesters is wholly unacceptable and, unfortunately, reflective of your government's treatment of the press, ethnic minority groups and political opponents." (See letter  >> here << )  

  However, the Voice of America says that supporters of Mr. Erdoğan back in Turkey felt the quashing of a peaceful protest justified.

  According to the NBC news, the State Department called the Turkish ambassador Serdar Kilic to meet with US under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon.

  NBC adds that to Turkish security personnel were briefly detained but let go because of their diplomatic immunity. However, to Kurdish protesters were arrested. Nine were hurt in the fight.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Associated Press and the Daily Hürriyet, the ruling Justice and Development Party administration issued warrants on Friday for four senior staff at the daily Sözcü, an opposition newspaper.

  Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party deputies slammed the detention warrants on the journalists.

  In a statement, the Turkish Press Council described the warrant as "the example of a new type of oppression."

  The Turkish Journalists' Association also released a statement on the operation, declaring "solidarity" with Sözcü's staff.

  The warrants claimed that the four staff were committing crimes on behalf of the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen without being members.

  Fethullah Gülen is being blamed for the failed coup attempt of 2016. He denies the allegations, Associated Press reports.

★ In related news, Some 123 Turkish journalists are fugitives abroad, while 159 of them were in jail as of the end of April, according to a report by the Turkish Journalists Association, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The Freedom of Expression and Press report, which was made possible by the European Union, said 46 new investigations were launched and 20 additional cases were filed against journalists in the first four months of 2017, daily Cumhuriyet reported on May 19.

  "In the past four months, Turkey continued to be the world leader with the number of journalists in jail," the report said, adding that in nearly all of the cases regarding journalists, demands for trial without arrest had been rejected.

  Speaking of daily Cumhuriyet, Turkish journalists staged protests in Istanbul and Ankara to demand the release of daily Cumhuriyet journalists, executives and employees on the 200th day of the rest on May 16.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ In contrast to the track record of the Justice and Development Party administration in trampling freedom of speech and thought, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on May 20 that Turkey would ensure that any opinion could be freely discussed at universities, as long as it did not serve terrorism, AA.

  Speaking at the opening ceremony of Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul's Haliç Congress Center, President Erdoğan said that the government's struggle is against those who openly support and speak for terrorism.

★ The constitutional changes that were adopted after a referendum in April has already started changing the landscape in Turkey's political and administrative structure.

  The president of Turkey who used to be required to be independent of any political party , but now can have a party affiliation. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rejoined his former Justice and Development Party. Recent news indicates that he will also become the leader of the Justice and Development Party. According to the Hürriyet Daily News, on May 21 an extraordinary convention of the party will approve the change in leadership. Mr. Erdoğan is also expected to announce his party's new action plan for the 2019 elections.

  Another aspect of the new constitution calls for the partisan President to appoint judges to the Board of Judges and Prosecutors. Mr. Erdoğan just appointed four members to the board. The parliament appointed another seven with the votes of the ruling Justice and Development and the opposition Nationalist Movement parties.

  Speaking of judges, on May 19 main opposition Republican People's Party chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said members of the judiciary in Turkey should be free of pressure from the government, urging them to "stop being the stick of the political authority" in the country.

  Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu made the comments in Ankara during a party gathering organized to march to "Anıtkabir," the memorial tomb of Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, to mark national Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day. His comments came after the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office stated that police had conducted an operation targeting the daily Sözcü's staff.

★ After waiting nearly five months, Turkish officials have finally announced the members of a State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission that was established to receive the complaints of tens of thousands of people who have been affected by the ongoing state of emergency, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The commission is to review the wrongful dismissal claims of civil servants, military and judiciary personnel. The ruling Justice and Development Party administration so far dismissed around 140,000 people from their jobs for allegedly being members of the Gülenist network.

  There were criticism against the makeup of the board: Main opposition Republican People's Party Istanbul lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu has pointed out that there were no women members in the commission.

★ According to news wires, Turkish security forces arrested a number of ISIL suspects in a counterterrorism operation in Istanbul. Some news wire reports put the number of arrested at five, however, some say as many as 17 were arrested.

★ Turkey's leading mobile phone operator Turkcell has renovated the technological infrastructure of a Greek high school on Turkey's northwestern island of Gökçeada and held an opening ceremony for it on May 17, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Turkcell established a technology class, an open-air sports hall, an amphitheater, as well as a recreational facility including a botanical garden for the Gökçeada Private High School and Secondary School, which was reopened in 2015 after a 40-year closure.

  Greek Patriarch Bartholomew, who was born in Gökçeada, also delivered a speech at the ceremony. "So blessed that our state institutions and Gökçeada residents are giving support to our efforts, and a big company like Turkcell established a facility in this far away village for a school under the management of the İmroz Education and Culture Association that's striving for education," he said. Patriarch Bartholomew is a Turkish citizen.

  Imroz Education and Culture Association chair Laki Vingas said there are currently 33 students in the school and their families were mostly from Thessaloniki, Crete, Istanbul and Athens.


★ On May 18 at the High Advisory Council of Turkey's main business association TUSIAD, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the state of emergency declared in Turkey in the aftermath of the failed July 2016 coup is no hurdle for business, amid concerns from top business figures, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  - Turkey's Competition Board has opened a probe into claims that recent hikes in fresh fruit and vegetable prices were caused by unfair competitive moves by a number of companies, citing extreme price increases in some products that have a significant share in the budgets of low and middle income people.

  - Turkey's Arasya Atıksu plans to produce electricity from the 1.2 million tons of industrial wastewater sludge in Turkey together with a foreign investment fund, according to a statement by the company.

  - The Turkish government ran a budget deficit of around $5 billion in January-April and around $843.5 million in April, mainly due to a rise in state incentives to prop up the economy.

  - Turkish government is working on regulations to tighten control over foreign exchange offices and "will more effectively inspect foreign exchange offices, improve their transparency, financial infrastructure and credibility", Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek has said.

  - Trade and travel restrictions left over from a diplomatic spat with Turkey over a year ago will be lifted within a week, Russia's deputy prime minister said May 17, the Anatolia News Agency has reported.

  - Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan encouraged approximately 40 international investors he met during his visit to the U.S. on May 15 and 16 to intensify investments in Turkey, a written statement from the meeting's coordinator, the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey, said on May 17.

  - Turkey's unemployment rate was at 12.6 percent in the February period, with a 1.7 percent year-on-year increase, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute showed showed on May 15.

  - Britain's Thomas Cook said a visible recovery continues in bookings for Turkey and Egypt.

  - According to Agence France-Presse, hair therapy is boosting Istanbul's receding tourism. With over 300 clinics specialized in hair transplant alone, Istanbul is becoming a growing hub in the industry, attracting patients from all over the world but mainly from the Middle East and the Gulf. According to a consultant for Turkey's Health Tourism Association, 5000 foreign patients undergo hair transplants in Turkey every month.



★ Istanbul Modern Cinema will present a selection of panoramic films about harbors in conjunction with a new exhibition about ports, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Harbors represent a haven for those coming from the sea and hope for those looking from land. Harbors have featured in films from different periods and of different genres throughout the history of cinema, often playing a leading role either in the story or the picture or functioning as a door that opens or closes in the character's life.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Oscar-winning Hollywood star Nicole Kidman came to Turkey's western town of Bodrum on May 13. The actress attended the opening of the world's first hotel of the Paramount Hotels & Resorts Group, The Bodrum, before leaving after six hours, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

★ Turkey's State Opera and Ballet General Directorate is suffering from a big financial crisis and is taking a number of measures to try to make savings and recover, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The 2017 budget of the State Opera and Ballet General Directorate is $80 million in local currency, but alarm was raised during the first meeting held to evaluate the expenditures of the first four months of the year.

  General Director Selman Ada has sent a letter to all provincial directorates across the country, ordering them to avoid using allowances except for unavoidable expenses such as utilities, cleaning and service purchases.

  The crisis has also had a negative effect on programs, with Mr. Ada stating that all provincial directorates should not stage new works or go on any tours until at least the end of this year. Meanwhile, performances of "La Boheme" and "Aida" have been removed from the 8th International Istanbul Opera Festival program.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition in Venice has been shown as the strongest national presentation by Jason Farago in his article in The New York Times, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  "While Ms. [Anne] Imhof's German pavilion was the talk of the Biennale, my vote for the strongest national presentation this year goes to the Turkish pavilion, located in the converted naval warehouse known as the Arsenale and given over to Cevdet Erek, an artist and musician from Istanbul known for tricking out industrial spaces with clattering, unnerving sounds," said Farago.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Photographer Alp Alper and pilot Mustafa Yavuz have been traveling Turkey on a two-person gyrocopter and photographing Turkey's natural and historical beauties, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The duo initiated the project a month ago in Turkey's northwestern province of Tekirdağ's Çerkezköy district and reached the Mediterranean region traveling through the Aegean coasts. They plan to continue the project in Central and Eastern Anatolia as well as the Black Sea regions.

  Alper, 49, who retired after working for Turkish Airlines for 25 years and 55-year-old geological engineer Yavuz are aviating the air vehicle, which can fly for three hours at a time, and discover Turkey's beauties with a bird's eye view.

  After the Black Sea tour, the duo will finish the project at the spot they started. The photos taken in the project are set to be collected in a book titled "Turkey from the Sky."

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A Hittite village will be established in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Çorum's Boğazkale in an effort to provide a taste of the ancient past, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  "Our goal is to show how they lived. Our guests will also be able to find accommodation here in this big Hittite village. The architecture will be the same just like in the era. There will be a lion's gate in the entrance, a king's room, prison, bake shop, blacksmith and other things," Boğazkale District Gov. Turan Soğukoluk said, noting that the village will help revive the lives of the Hittites 3,500 years ago.

  Hattusha, the capital of the Hittites who established an empire about 4000 years ago , is located near Boğazkale.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The first stage of the Adana Museum Complex, the Archaeology Museum opened on May 18 with a ceremony, reports the Anatolia News Agency. The Museum is home to archaeological and ethnographical works as well as agricultural and industrial tools and machines.

  The museum complex is being established in a century-old closed industrial plant with a total area of nearly 700,000 sq. ft. in Turkey's southern Mediterranean province of Adana.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Roman-era Perge Stadium, which has a capacity of 12,000 people, will be restored and returned to its old glorious days. Dating back to the 2nd century, the stadium in Turkey's southern province of Antalya's ancient Perge city is one of the largest ancient stadiums in Turkey, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The ancient city of Jethro in Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa doesn't get as much as attention as nearby Harran, but locals and visitors are hoping that will soon change, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  "Şanlıurfa is known as the city of prophets; there is the trace of a prophet everywhere. People find peace here but is it really neglected. Officials should clean this place," said a visitor to the town, Ali Kaya, adding that people from neighboring villages often drop by to visit.

  Locals believe that the prophet Jethro lived and met the prophet Moses in the ancient city.

  Traces of the walls of the ancient city, where many rock tombs and stone structures draw attention, can still be seen in a large field as well as many other caves and tunnels. Later, a Roman city was also built on the site.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ French astronaut Thomas Pesquet has posted a photo showing Istanbul from space on his official social media accounts, Turkey's Anatolia News Agency has reported.

  Pesquet, an astronaut with the European Space Agency, took the photo from the International Space Station on May 17.

  "Istanbul has a strategic position and controls the access to the Black Sea. Noticeably, the area teems with activity both on sea and land," he added in a description under the photo.

  Read more at >> here <<


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.57


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        68/45 Showers
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    75/63 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 68/59 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean:             77/59 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        61/52 Rainy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       59/37 Showers


★ Turkish basketball team Fenerbahce rose to the finalists in the euro league cup. Its first play will be against Russia's CSKA Moscow, reports the TRT, Turkish Radio and Television.
  Unfortunately on Friday five Greek fans of the basketball team Olympiakos were injured in clashes that broke out between Greek and Turkish fans. Olympiakos is another contender for the cup.


Premiere League

★ Results for week: 31
Kayseri Sp      -      Konya Sp        2 - 1
Kasımpaşa       -      Rize Sp         4 - 2
Başakşehir      -      G. Birliği      2 - 1
Adana Sp        -      Trabzon Sp      1 - 1
Fenerbahçe      -      Antalya Sp      0 - 1
Osmanli Sp      -      Akhisar Sp      0 - 4
Alanya Sp       -      Karabük Sp      4 - 2
G. Antep Sp     -      G. Saray        1 - 2
Bursa Sp        -      Beşiktaş        0 - 2

★ In games played so far this weekend:
G. Saray        -      Osmanli Sp      2 - 0
Rize Sp         -      G. Antep Sp     2 - 0
Kayseri Sp      -      Adana Sp        1 - 1
Antalya Sp      -      Bursa Sp        2 - 1
Beşiktaş        -      Kasımpaşa       4 - 1

★ Standing in the league as of week ending 31
  1 - Beşiktaş        68
  2 - Başakşehir      66
  3 - Fenerbahçe      57
  4 - G. Saray        55
  5 - Trabzon Sp      49
  6 - Antalya Sp      49
  7 - Kasımpaşa       43
  8 - Akhisar Sp      42
  9 - G. Birliği      40
 10 - Konya Sp        40
 11 - Alanya Sp       40
 12 - Karabük Sp      39
 13 - Osmanli Sp      38
 14 - Kayseri Sp      36
 15 - Bursa Sp        35
 16 - Rize Sp         27
 17 - G. Antep Sp     26
 18 - Adana Sp        24


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


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