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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 17 June 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 17 June 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ The Washington DC police have issued arrest warrants for 12 security details of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for attacking protesters in front of the Turkish embassy last month.

  In an editorial titled "Washington isn't Istanbul", the Wall Street Journal wrote that "apparently believing that Istanbul rules apply anywhere, the security men attacked and beat up anti-Erdoğan protesters".

  Also, two Turks who live on the East Coast were arrested.

  The New York Times reported that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lashed out at the United States on Thursday in brief but fiery remarks condemning criminal charges filed against his security personnel.

  "What kind of a rule, what kind of a law is this?" Mr. Erdoğan said, according to an account by Anatolia News Agency, a state-run news service. "If those bodyguards would not protect me, why I am bringing them with me to the U.S.?"

  The American ambassador to Turkey was also summoned by Erdoğan's government and told that the charges were "wrong, biased and lack legal basis".

  The 12 security details left the US. The only way that the arrest warrants could be fulfilled is if they were to come back to the US again.

★ Turkey's main opposition party Republican People's Party started a 265-mile march on Thursday from the Turkish capital Ankara to a prison in Istanbul where one of its lawmakers is incarcerated. The event is dubbed "march for justice".

  The Republican People's party parliamentarian Enis Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years for leaking a video in 2015 showing Turkish intelligence agency trucks with armaments destined to Islamist Syrian rebels.

  Mr. Berberoğlu gave a video to the daily Cumhuriyet. Cumhuriyet's the then editor-in-chief and Ankara representative are also on trial.

  The head of the Republican People's party Mr. Kilicdaroglu tweeted that "Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years for leaking state secrets ".

  The march is estimated to take 25 days.

  The ruling Justice and Development Party administration, Turkish president and the Junior opposition party Nationalist Movement leader criticized the march.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Speaking of the daily Cumhuriyet, an Istanbul court on June 14 set Oğuz Güven, the chief online editor of the daily, free, a month after his arrest on charges of "engaging in terror organization propaganda", reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  On May 15, the court ordered the arrest of Mr. Güven over a tweet shared on Cumhuriyet's Twitter account regarding the death of a chief public prosecutor.

  In his testimony, Mr. Güven reportedly said he did not tweet the report himself, adding that it was "shared completely by mistake" in a bid to break the news urgently.

  He also noted that the tweet in question was deleted 55 seconds after it was shared on Cumhuriyet's official Twitter account.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ An Istanbul court on June 16 issued a fresh arrest warrant for Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş's son-in-law Ömer Faruk Kavurmacı, whose swift release triggered outrage from the public.

  Mr. Kavurmacı was arrested as part of an operation against the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), which was affiliated with the Gülenist movement before being released by the Istanbul 5th Criminal Court of Peace on May 4 on the grounds that prison conditions were having a negative effect on the suspect, who was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2005.

  The Gülenists movement is accused of orchestrating the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. Their leader cleric Fethullah Gülen has been living in Pennsylvania in self exile since 1999. The Justice and Development Party administration has been asking the US for his extradition to Turkey. So far US officials say that Turkey has not given credible evidence that he was involved in the coup.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The US Consulate in Istanbul Turkey issued a security message about potential threats to US citizens.

  "U.S. authorities did not make this statement on the grounds of any concrete intelligence but ordinary measures taken by our security officials," Turkey's Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Hüseyin Müftüoğlu said in a written message on June 17.

  "Americans residing in the area should exercise heightened caution. U.S. citizens are reminded to be aware of their immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowded places when possible, especially in locations where Westerners, tourists, and expatriates are known to frequent, including but not limited to restaurants, commercial centers, places of worship, and transportation hubs," the consulate said.

★ According to the Associated Press, the waters around Istanbul have turned a striking shade of turquoise.

  A natural phenomenon called a "phytoplankton bloom" has turned the normally dark waters of the Bosporus and Golden Horn into an opaque tone of light blue. It's caused by microscopic organisms that have inundated the Black Sea, just north of Turkey's largest city.

  Berat Haznedaroglu, an environmental engineer, says it's a normal annual event.

★ As we have reported last week, Turkey has sided with Qatar when the neighboring Arab countries cut diplomatic relations and implemented an embargo on the tiny country claiming that it was aiding terrorists.

  This week, Reuters reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan denounced the isolation of Qatar as a violation of Islamic values.

  Qatar denies accusations that it supports Islamist militants and Shi'ite Iran, arch regional foe of the Sunni Gulf Arab monarchies.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A homeless man has been sentenced to house arrest for using and selling drugs in Istanbul's Kadıköy district, Doğan News Agency reported.

  Barış Alkan, 31, is not allowed to step outside the boundaries of a confined public area near a city bus station in the Söğütlüçeşme neighborhood because it is listed as his address in court records.

  Oktay Özer, the lawyer assigned by the bar to defend Alkan, said he was surprised by the sentence and appealed the ruling.

  Alkan, meanwhile, started serving his sentence in the empty area encircled with metal plates near the city bus station. With his phone being confiscated by authorities, the only way to contact Alkan is to roam around Söğütlüçeşme and ask if there's anyone who knows him.

  It is forbidden for Alkan to leave the area, which is also "home" for many drug addicts like himself. The police are patrolling the area around-the-clock to prevent him from leaving.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Speaking of drugs, 212 kilograms of cocaine were seized from a ship which was anchored in a harbor in Istanbul on June 13, the Anatolia news Agency has reported.

  Police received a tip-off three months ago about a container in Brazil that was supposed to be used to transport drugs to Turkey.

  On June 2, Turkish authorities also staged a raid on the Congo flagged ship Commander Tide and confiscated over 1000 kilograms of heroin with an estimated street value of $60 million.

★ Istanbul's Beyoğlu Municipality and the Istanbul Chamber of Taxi Drivers introduced electric taxis for the first time in the city on June 16 in Taksim square, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The cars can be charged in one hour and are produced by Renault. The charge unit is produced by Greenway Otomobil. There will be charging stations throughout Istanbul.

  Since the electric cars are expensive, there will be special financing options for taxicab drivers wishing to purchase the cars. By the end of the year the project is aiming to have 600 electric cars on the road.

  In September 2018, the cars will be introduced to the Turkish capital Ankara.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ In an article that appeared on Chatham House the Royal Institute of International Affairs website, Dr. Mina Toksoz, an associate fellow on global economy and finance, wrote that the Turkish economy is struggling with political volatility.

  She says that Turkey's current economic policy mix is untenable in the long term.

  Pointing out that since 2015, the Turkish economy has had to cope with two general elections in rapid succession, the 2016 attempted coup in July and its fraught aftermath, and multiple terrorist threats.

  Yet, according to the latest data, the Turkish economy achieved a 2.9 per cent real GDP growth in 2016. According to the government, prospects in 2017 are positive: the recovery seen at the end of 2016 from the third quarter contraction is expected to continue with stronger European Union growth supporting exports.

  However, as seen in previous years, Turkey's geography and internal tensions pose risks to this benign outlook. Externally, potential mismanagement of the Syrian crisis, a sharp break in political relations with the European Union or the unpredictable nature of the Trump administration in the US could all negatively impact the Turkish economy, Dr. Toksoz writes.

  Read the full article at: Read more at >> here <<

★ In an article that appeared on the on June 14, Cagan Koc writes that Turkish millionaires are fleeing President Erdoğan's crackdown in large numbers.

  6000 of them left Turkey in 2016, and the Turkish tech sector is lamenting the loss of workers to Amazon and Facebook elsewhere in the world.

  However, ex-pats who help their fellow Turks emigrate have increased business. Zeynel Biter, the founder of Epic Group, a consultancy based in Miami, said he's getting triple the usual number of calls from Turks seeking investment visas.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Anatolia News Agency, Turkish parliament's education committee adopted on Monday a proposal to establish a university in Istanbul, in collaboration with Japan.

  Speaking to the committee members, Turkey's education minister Mr. Ismet Yılmaz said that the Turkish-Japanese Science and Technology University will mainly cater to post-grad and doctorate students, according to Anadolu Agency.

  "However 30-40 percent students will be undergrads," he said.


★ The musical film "La La Land in Concert" will arrive at the Zorlu PSM Main Stage on Oct. 6 and 7, featuring a screening of the film and a live performance of Justin Hurwitz's Oscar-winning score, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Defined as a magnificent reflection of classic musicals, the film also received critical acclaim for its score by Hurwitz. It became an instant classic with the wonderful chemistry of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, along with its many memorable songs, most notably, "City of Stars" and "Audition."

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Istanbul Symphony Orchestra is set to go on a tour in South America, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Under the baton of chief conductor Milan Turkovic, violinists Vadim Repin and Rebecca Hartmann will accompany the orchestra.

  The orchestra will give six concerts in four countries including Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Chile.

  The orchestra will begin their concerts with famous Turkish composer Nevit Kodallı's orchestra suit "Telli Turna" and will perform works by Jan Sibelius, Antonin Dvorak and Max Bruch.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The eighth International Istanbul Opera Festival, organized by the State Opera and Ballet, kicked off on June 13 with "Abduction from the Seraglio", reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Following the performance in the garden of the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, Istanbul State Opera and Ballet Director and Art Director Suat Arıkan said art lovers had showed great interest in the festival. "Tonight was really a surprise for us; we did not expect that crowd because of possible rain. The audience is great."

  The festival will continue with the Opera Stars concert on June 17, "Macbeth" on June 20 and "Faust" on June 23 at Zorlu PSM.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey has an impressive number of ballerinas with golden medals who dance in world-famous places, according to Turkey's State Opera and Ballet General Director Selman Ada, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Ada said interest for opera and ballet is increasing every other day in Turkey, which has seen its sixth State Opera and Ballet hall establish in the northern province of Samsun nine years ago after Ankara, Istanbul, İzmir, Mersin and Antalya.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Tate Modern is presenting the United Kingdom's first retrospective of Turkish painter Fahrelnissa Zeid, a pioneering artist best-known for her large-scale colorful canvases that fused European approaches to abstract art with Byzantine, Islamic and Persian influences, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  This major exhibition, which opened on June 13, brings together paintings, drawings and sculptures spanning over 40 years from expressionist works made in Istanbul in the early 1940s, to immersive abstract canvases exhibited in London, Paris and New York in the 1950s and 1960s, finishing with her return to portraiture later in life.

  Ms. Zeid was one of the first women to receive formal training as an artist in Istanbul, continuing her studies in Paris in the late 1920s. The show reveals her breakthrough moment in the early 1940s, when she championed experimental approaches to painting and exhibited with the avant-garde D-Group in Turkey.

  The exhibition, which will continue through Oct. 8 at Tate Modern, will also travel to Deutsche Bank KunstHalle in Berlin in November 2017.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Australian sculptor Andrew Rogers' sculptures created as part of his land art project "Rhythms of Life" is seeking interest, as their location is difficult to reach for tourists, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  "Rhythms of Life" embodies the changing rhythms of life reflected in the juxtaposition of shape and line echoing life's unpredictable journey. The sculptures are located in Turkey's Cappadocia region and were created between 2007 and 2009.

  The project, encompassing 13 countries, demonstrates how art and nature can enhance each other. The sculptures reflect traces from human life and have different themes.

  The largest of Rogers' stone structures is "A Day on Earth," found in the "Time and Space" land art park in Cappadocia, which is a spectacular Fibonacci sequence of 12 basalt pillars. Among the other sculptures is the geoglyph "The Gift," derived from a 6,000 year-old rock carving signifying the important role horses played in Cappadocia in ancient times while "Grind" is derived from millstone that belonged to the elders of the town of Göreme in Cappadocia.

  Andrew Roger pages: >> here <<    Google map location:  >> here <<    Read more at  >> here <<

List of Andrew Rogers land arts in Turkey

Land Art Google Map Location
The Gift 2007 Volcanic Rock
Rhythms of Life 2007 Volcanic Rock
Grind 2009 Volcanic Rock
Sustenance 2009 Volcanic Rock
Siren 2009 Volcanic Rock
Strength 2009 Volcanic Rock
Time and Space 2009 Basalt
Yesterday Today Tomorrow 2009 Basalt
Predicting the Past 2009 Basalt
Listen 2010 Basalt
Sentinels 2010 Basalt
A Day on Earth 2011 Basalt
Presence 2011 Basalt

★ Excavation, restoration and conservation work has started in the historic Seljuk graveyard in Turkey's Eastern province of Bitlis' Ahlat, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The site is currently on UNESCO's World Heritage tentative list.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Shell Turkey is organizing free workshops for children in Turkey's Çatalhöyük Neolithic settlement between June 19 and July 26, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The excavations at the site is carried under the direction of Stanford University's Ian Hodder since 1995. Under his direction 150 archaeologists from around the world work at the site every year.

  The site has a city that dates back to 9500 years ago, one of the earliest in the world.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The archaeology museum in Turkey's southern province of Hatay, one of the richest places in Anatolia in terms of archaeology, will soon be home to the world's largest mosaic collection when its second section is finished within the next six months, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The museum director says that it has in his inventory a total of 37,000 objects, including at the graphic and archaeological artifacts, coins, tablets, seals, seal impressions and manuscripts.

  Read more at >> here <<


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.5


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        81/59 Showers
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    82/73 Showers
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 73/64 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean:             81/70 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        73/63 Mostly Sunny
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       75/45 Mostly Sunny	
See water temperatures:
Black Sea measured at Trabzon         68
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirda─č      72
Aegean Sea measured at ─░zmir          76
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 78	


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

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