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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 27 May 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 27 May 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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Edited by Fuad Tokad

★ Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed in a phone call their mutual desire for a deepening of the strategic partnership between their two countries, the Kremlin said on May 27.

  The Kremlin said the two leaders discussed agreements previously made about removing economic restrictions between Russia and Turkey, as well as questions relating to the Turkish Stream and Akkuyu energy projects.

  Ankara and Moscow have been working to normalize ties after relations soured following the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey in November 2015. However, some Russian restrictions on Turkish goods remain in place, including tomatoes, reported the Hürriyet Daily News.

★ A 5.1-magnitude earthquake hit the Saruhanlı district of the Aegean province of Manisa on May 27 at 6.53 P.M., the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) has announced, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The earthquake hit at a depth of 10 kilometers and there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, AFAD said.

  The effects were also felt in neighboring Aegean provinces, including İzmir.

  Kerem Kınık, the head of Turkey's Red Crescent relief organization, said on Twitter that the disaster coordination center was carrying out evaluations.

★ A man who had been issued arrest warrant for being a member of the Fethullahist Terror Organization was brought to Turkey from Thailand by Interpol officials on May 26, Fevzi Kızılkoyun of the Hürriyet Daily News reports.

  Security officials found that the suspect identified as Muhammet Furkan Sökmen was in Myanmar and demanded his deportation to the country.

  Sökmen was subsequently deported on May 24 via a connecting flight from Thailand but he refused to board the Turkish Airlines flight.

  Interpol officials later went to Thailand and brought Sökmen back to the country.

  It was also revealed that Sökmen was one of the managers of Gülen-linked Horizon International Schools and a partner of the Mediterranean International Education Services.

  The Washington Post wrote that the United Nations expressed grave concern over the deportation of Sökmen to Turkey. A UN statement urged authorities not the deport those deemed at risk upon their return to Turkey.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Some 4,000 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed as part of a probe against the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization since the July 15, 2016, coup attempt, Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said May 26, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Mr. Bozdağ made the comments in a ceremony addressing Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors members during which new public prosecutors will be chosen by the casting of lots.

  "The first place which started fighting the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization was the Turkish judiciary. It was the members of the organization who experienced and saw the unlawfulness, injustice and threat within their own organization," Mr. Bozdağ said.

  Mr. Bozdağ also blasted 62 members of the European Parliament who sent a letter to him on May 23 to express their concerns over the detention and then arrest of two educators, Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who have been on hunger strike for 79 days to demand they be reinstated in their posts after being dismissed by decree laws.

  "Gülmen and Özakça were arbitrarily detained after a midnight police raid at their houses on Monday. We thereby demand their immediate release," the letter read.

  "Turkey's judiciary is independent," he said. "They are demanding their immediate release. Your wish is my command! All of these are decisions of the judiciary. As a justice minister, it is out of the question for me to intervene in the judiciary. It is not possible for me to give orders. Turkey's judiciary has conducted their duty in an independent, impartial and lawful manner in accordance with conscientious manners, and they will continue to do so."

★ Turkey has become the biggest money laundering center in Europe, main opposition Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, slamming the government for allowing vast flows of illegitimate cash into the country, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  "Corruption, drugs, prostitution, money ... You can launder [money] in Turkey whenever you want. The name of these dollars is clearly 'error and omission,'" Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu said, addressing his party group at parliament on May 23.

  The Republican People's Party leader slammed government for allowing the inflow of unregistered money that paves the way for money laundering.

  Accusing the ruling Justice and Development Party administration, "you issued the laws, you brought it about. You have acquitted bribery and now Turkey is one of the biggest money laundering countries in Europe," he said.

  Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu also blasted the recent police operation against daily Sözcü and ongoing pressure on daily Cumhuriyet, two newspapers critical of the government, arguing that the prosecutors are trying to link the cases with the movement of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, an ally turned nemesis of the government.

★ In related news, Turkish opposition daily Sözcü has published a "May 19 Press Freedom Special Edition" left many pages and columns blank to protest the detentions of some staff members, reports the Associated Press.

  It was a response to the May 18 detentions of Mediha Olgun, the editor of Sözcü's website, and reporter Gökmen Ulu.

  As we reported to you last week, the ruling Justice and Development Party administration issued warrants on May 19 for four senior staff at the daily Sözcü. The administration claimed that they have links to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen who is accused of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt.

★ The foreign affairs ministers of Turkey and Germany will discuss the latest rift between the two countries over the refusal of a German delegation's visit to the İncirlik air base in the southern province of Adana, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

  On May 15, Turkey rejected a group of German lawmakers' request to visit the base on the grounds that Berlin granted asylum to former Turkish officers who allegedly took part in the July 2016 failed coup attempt. The move immediately prompted Germany to discuss whether to remove its troops stationed at the base unless the crisis is resolved, with German officials naming Jordan as one of the alternatives.

  Mr. Erdoğan said Turkey would certainly allow the German lawmakers' visit to the base on condition that the list of visitors sent by the German foreign affairs minister is seen suitable, as it was in the past. However, he also noted that sometimes there are lawmakers who "openly supported terrorists."

  "Sometimes there may be those who openly support terrorists among German lawmakers ... We expressed that some who openly support terrorists and almost act together with them will not be welcomed. Right now, our foreign affairs ministers will discuss the issue with each other and we will take steps accordingly," Mr. Erdoğan said on May 26 while returning to Turkey after meeting with top European Union officials and leaders in Brussels.


★ Turkish born German director Fatih Akın's "In the Fade," an emotional and powerful film about global terrorism, stands a strong chance at receiving a prize at the awards ceremony of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The film was viewed by the international press on the morning of May 26, with Akın answering questions from journalists after the screening.

  "In the Fade" is a family film as well as a thriller. Akın portrays a German woman whose Turkish husband and six-year-old child are killed in a terrorist attack in Hamburg. The woman decides to punish the killers, after they were set free by judges, who said the evidences were not justified. We witness her hesitation in making a decision. Which direction will she go? The director describes the emotional changes the character (wonderfully acted by Diane Kruger) undergoes in this process.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Veteran Turkish actress Perran Kutman received an honorary award at the 20th Flying Broom International Women Films Festival on May 23 at the State Opera and Ballet Hall in Ankara, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The festival's Bilge Olgaç Success Award, which is given to shed light on the successes of women working in different fields of cinema, went to the documentary maker and founder of the Documentarist Istanbul Documentary Days and Which Human Rights Film Festival Emel Çelebi. She took her award from actress Lale Mansur.

  The Flying Broom Theme Award was given to writer Aslı Erdoğan, while the Flying Broom Young Witch Award was given to young actress Ecem Uzun. Ms. Uzun was not able to attend the ceremony due to health conditions. Her award was given to director Yeşim Ustaoğlu.

  Among films from eight countries, the FIPRESCI Award winner of this year's festival was Ms. Ustaoğlu's "Clair Obscur".

  Read more at >> here <<

★ UNIQ Istanbul and Başka Sinema (Another Movie Theater) are jointly organizing a new festival this summer, the UNIQ Open-air Film Festival, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  One of the most successful films of the year, "La La Land" will be shown at the opening of the festival on June 1. The festival will close on Sept. 16 with "The Herd", which will be screened to commemorate the legendary Turkish actor Tarık Akan on the first anniversary of his death.

  The festival will screen films three days a week every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday night throughout summer at UNIQ Istanbul in the Sarıyer district. The films shown will include Oscar winners and Oscar nominees, and other films with awards from prestigious festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and Venice.

  The festival program, prepared by Başka Cinema, is rich with short films, animations, comedies, horror films and documentaries.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A Turkish pavilion opened at the 70th Cannes Film Festival has been promoting Turkey and Turkish cinema to the world as well as hosting many well-known guests, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Italian actress Claudia Cardinale, a renowned name in world cinema who is the face of this year's festival and has acted in Italian-Turkish comedy-drama film "Signora Enrica," directed by Ali İlhan in 2010, attended a reception held for her at the Turkish pavilion. She was presented with an honorary award at the reception for her contributions to Turkish and world film.

  Turkish actress Fahriye Evcen, who played a young Cardinale in the same film, was also present among other stars in the reception.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Royal Opera House screenings of Zorlu PSM in Istanbul continued with George Balanchine's ballet "Jewels" on May 26, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The three-act ballet created by George Balanchine premiered in 1967 at the New York State Theater.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkish painter Aydın Ayan, a professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, is celebrating his 45th year in art, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  As part of his latest exhibition titled "Mystery and Magical Reality " 45th Art Anniversary Retrospective," that took place between April 7 and May 10, the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts Faculty Publications published a catalog. The catalog presents a selection from the artist's works since the past.

  "Art is the most beautiful, the most competent, the most special way of communication, like love, life and nature. It can neither fit in, nor can be encompassed within boundaries; it is a magical mystery," Ayan said about art in the preface of the book.

  Ayan is a graduate of the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts. He later studied at London University Goldsmiths College and then on a Eisenhower Fellowship conducted research in the US on the role of culture and art in the development of educational systems.

  He has won 19 prizes, including one in poem and the others in painting competitions.

  His works are displayed in many venues throughout Turkey and the world.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Twelve treasure hunters have been detained in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir after attempting to sell an ancient tomb with cross motif for $4 million, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  A human skeleton was found in the Byzantine-era tomb, which will now be taken to the Eti Archaeology Museum.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Yassıtepe excavations that are ongoing at the Yeşilova Mound in the western Turkish province of İzmir have unearthed the ruins of 5,000-year-old structures, as well as "luxurious" residences at the time, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The head of the excavations, Assistant Professor Zafer Derin, said that by examining maps from 1923 they had identified the existence of an old settlement in the region .

  "This site is very similar to Troy with thin, long and metal axes and stone tools. There are also similar pots and pans," said Derin, adding that the settlement shed light on İzmir's 5,000-year-old history.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A 1,400 year-old gallery grave unearthed during archaeological works in the ancient city of Dara in Turkey's southeastern province of Mardin has been opened to visitors, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  The ancient city of Dara was one of the most important settlements of Mesopotamia. The gallery grave, unearthed seven years ago, was a place for "resurrection" ceremonies in the Roman era.

  The area, which was established in the 6th century by the Romans for resurrection ceremonies, is believed to be one of a kind and the only one in the world.

  The gallery is thought to contain the bones of 3000 people.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The ancient site of Göbeklitepe located in Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa is getting ready to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List with a new roof protection, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Located close to the Örencik neighborhood, 11 miles from Şanlıurfa's city center, Göbeklitepe was first discovered in 1963 during surface survey of researchers from Istanbul and Chicago universities. Works have been continuing in the ancient settlement for 54 years.

  Considered as the world's oldest temple dating back to 12,000 years ago, Göbeklitepe entered the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List five years ago. The site is expected to enter the permanent list next year.

  The temple is twice as old as the Stonehenge and the Pyramids.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Around 1,000 artifacts that have been unearthed during archaeological excavations in the Cultural Faith Park in the southeastern province of Mardin's Nusaybin district have been meticulously cleaned in preparation for a publication about the area, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  Archaeologists Abdullah Bilen said the number of artifacts found in the region has exceeded 10,000. Among them are ceramic, stone and glass artifacts.

  The park, which is believed to be the site of the world's first baptistery and was included on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list three years ago, is a complex that is home to the Zeynel Abidin Mosque and Mor Yakup (Saint Jacob) Church.

  The mosque dates back to 12th century and the church to 320 A.D.

  "We have unearthed candles, tear bottles, coins, metal tools, dwelling typology, architecture and the cathedral in the city," said Mardin Museum Director Nihat Erdoğan.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's southeastern city of Gaziantep, which has one of Turkey's best cuisines and has been included in the UNESCO's Creative Cities Network, now aims to acquire a Michelin Star, known as the Oscar of food, with new restaurants serving unique tastes, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  For this, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality is seeking to attract new venues to the city, including a Culinary Arts Center to feature dishes of the Gaziantep cuisine.

  Besides presentation, the center has also drawn attention for unique dinner sets depicting the promotional face of the city, thy Gypsy Girl.

  The Gypsy girl is the image of a girl found on an ancient Roman mosaic in recent archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Zeugma.

  Read more at >> here <<


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


Low and High Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        66/50 Showers
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    75/63 Showers
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 73/59 Mostly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean:             77/61 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        66/57 Mostly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       64/37 Showers

Seawater temperatures:
Black Sea measured at Trabzon         60
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag      64
Aegean Sea measured at Izmir          65
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 71



Premiere League

★ Results for week: 32
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
Konya Sp        -      Karabük Sp      3 - 0
Trabzon Sp      -      Başakşehir      0 - 0
Akhisar Sp      -      Alanya Sp       3 - 0
G. Birliği      -      Fenerbahçe      1 - 2

In games played so far this weekend:
Konya Sp        -      Akhisar Sp      0 - 3
Kasımpaşa       -      Antalya Sp      0 - 3
Başakşehir      -      Adana Sp        2 - 1
Fenerbahçe      -      Samsun Sp       1 - 1

Standing in the league as of week ending 32
1 - Beşiktaş        71
2 - Başakşehir      67
3 - Fenerbahçe      60
4 - G. Saray        58
5 - Antalya Sp      52
6 - Trabzon Sp      50
7 - Akhisar Sp      45
8 - Kasımpaşa       43
9 - Konya Sp        43
10 - G. Birliği      40
11 - Alanya Sp       40
12 - Karabük Sp      39
13 - Osmanli Sp      38
14 - Kayseri Sp      37
15 - Bursa Sp        35
16 - Rize Sp         30
17 - G. Antep Sp     26
18 - Adana Sp        25



  European basketball's top club trophy remained in Istanbul after the Turkish team Fenerbahçe beat Greek side Olympiacos 80-64 on May 21 in the championship game in Istanbul's Sinan Erdem Dome.

  Following celebrations in Istanbul and across the country on the night of May 21, Fenerbahçe players met fans on May 22 in Istanbul's Kadıköy on the city's Asian side, where the club is based. Joyous supporters accompanied the players on a double deck bus with slogans and torches.


★ Turkey will for the first time participate in the Mount Everest Marathon on May 29, Sports for Everyone Federation head Yasin Bölükbaşı said on May 8, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported. Ece Vahapoğlu, a Turkish author and journalist, will represent the country.

  "Our athlete will stay in Nepal for 21 days from May 14 to June 3. She has to stay on Mount Everest to get used to high altitude, low oxygen and low air pressure, and to reach that height by uphill walking," Bölükbaşı said in a written statement.

  He said the Turkish female athlete will participate in the half marathon category that will last six to seven hours along the 21-kilometer (13-mile) long course.

Turkish female wrestler Yasemin Adar

★ Turkish wrestler Riza Kayaalp won a gold medal, the seventh in his career, at the 2017 European Wrestling Championships in Serbia on May 6, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Kayaalp, a 27-year-old athlete from central Turkey's Yozgat province, came first in the men's 130-kilogram (286 pounds) Greco-Roman category by beating Hungary's Balint Lam.

  He had received a silver medal at the Rio Games in 2016.

  On May 5, another Turkish wrestler, Taha Akgül, had won a gold medal in the men's 125-kilogram (276 pounds) freestyle category, beating Azerbaijan's Jamaladdin Magomedov at the tournament.

  Turkish athlete Yasemin Adar had also won a gold medal in the women's 75-kilogram freestyle category in the same tournament on May 4.


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


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