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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 19 August 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 19 August 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ According to the Associated Press, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blamed Germany for escalating tensions, condemning the country's mainstream parties and urging German Turkish voters not to support them in upcoming elections.

  There are 1 million Turkish voters in Germany, their votes can be decisive in the German elections.

  German foreign affairs minister Sigmar Gabriel called Erdoğan's pronouncements as interference in Germany's internal affairs.

  On Saturday, according to the Hürriyet daily news, President Erdoğan in turn criticized Gabriel.

  "Now they have a foreign minister who does not know his limits [his place]. Who are you to talk to the President of Turkey? Talk to the Foreign Minister of Turkey. Know your limits. He is trying to teach us a lesson. What is your background in politics? How old are you?" Erdoğan said speaking at his Justice and Development Party's provincial advisory council meeting in Turkey's Aegean province of Denizli.

  As we have been reporting to you in the past few months, the relationship between Germany and Turkey is not good these days. Turkish government keeps accusing Germany of harboring "terrorists". Among these are diplomats and military officers who sought asylum after last year's failed coup in Turkey. There are also Kurdish activists that Turkey says are the Kurdistan Workers Party militants, which has being in conflict with Turkey since mid-1980s.

  Turkey has also arrested a number of Germans, among them some journalists. The Justice and development party administration in Turkey claim that they are either supporters of terrorists or spies. Germany once these people released. Analysts say that Erdoğan administration is using these Germans as bargaining chips.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ In the Front Page Magazine, Robert Ellis had an article titled "Gezi Park revisited", reviewed President Erdoğan's environmentalist claims and his impact on the rights in Turkey.

  Ellis claims that Erdoğan's party faces "a difficult period" ahead of the 2019 general elections in Turkey, and he is hitting the road for election rallies already.

  Ellis points out that Erdoğan's projects often destroy millions of trees. He also says that he cracks down on his opponents small and big, and many are in jail for criticizing him on social media.

  The article's title comes from the 2013 occupation of the Gezi Park of Istanbul by the environmentalists in Turkey occupying to protect it from being raised to make a shopping center. Their occupation resulted in weeks of unrest in Turkey that spread to 79 of the 81 provinces.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to Jamie Dettmer of the Voice of America, An influential London think tank is urging the British government to stop Britons from enlisting with a Western-backed Kurdish militia in Syria that's battling the Islamic State terror group on the ground that it, too, is a terrorist organization.

  The Henry Jackson Society warns in a study released Thursday that the militia, known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG, is a "subsidiary" of Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, a separatist movement designated a terrorist organization by both the European Union and the United States.

  Last month, Turkey's National Security Council accused the United States of allowing weapons it provided to the YPG to be passed on to the Kurdistan workers party. "This shows that both are the same organization," the council claimed.

  A spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which oversees American military operations in Syria and Iraq, told VOA after the Turkish claims that the weapons the United States has supplied the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces "will be returned to the coalition on completion of the mission" against IS.

  Shortly afterward, Turkey's state-run Anatolia news agency published the locations of nearly a dozen U.S. military bases across a 200-kilometer stretch of northern Syria. The bases listed by Anatolia are where American military advisers and special forces oversee the assault on Raqqa.

★ Here are a few more headlines from the Voice of America:

  - Iran's chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, Major General Mohammad-Hossein Baqer makes rare visit to the Turkish capital Ankara. Read more at >> here <<

  - Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party is voicing alarm its leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu could face prosecution and jail in an ongoing crackdown in Turkey, which has seen more than a dozen parliament deputies jailed. Read more at >> here <<

  - In dawn raids on August 10, Turkish police arrested 35 media workers, including journalists, in connection with last year's coup attempt. Read more at >> here <<

  -On August 8, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch has called on the Turkish government to act following a spate of abductions. Human Rights Watch said there were suspicions of state collusion. Read more at >> here <<

★ According to Reuters, German-Turkish author Doğan Akhanlı was detained in Spain on August 19 after Turkey issued an Interpol warrant for the writer, Der Spiegel magazine reported.

  Akhanlı fled Turkey in 1991 and has lived and worked in the German city of Cologne since 1995.

  Two weeks ago Spain detained another Turk who has been living in Sweden since 1985 upon Turkish requests.

★ Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on August 18 that Turkey was not pushing for an update of the Customs Union with the European Union amid an ongoing debate over recent remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggesting Germany would not pursue an update of the agreement.

  The Customs Union between Turkey and the European Union came into force on Dec. 31, 1995. It covers all industrial goods but does not address agriculture (apart from processed agricultural products), services or public procurement.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's foreign affairs minister Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has held a phone conversation with a Turkish citizen who was injured in the August 17 Barcelona attack, according to sources from the ministry.

  Turkish Consulate in Barcelona says that the Turkish citizen, Emre Eroğlu, is in good condition.

★ According to Reuters Turkey's Unit International has signed a $7 billion agreement with Russia's state-owned Zarubezhneft and Iran's Ghadir Investment Holding to drill for oil and natural gas in Iran, the company said on August 15.

  The total reserves at the three oil fields stand at 10 billion barrels, and the fields will produce 100,000 barrels per day, Unit said.

★ Turkey is a "crucial" trade partner for Russia, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on August 18.

  "Multidimensional cooperation of our countries is developing," Novak said, as quoted by state-run Anatolia News Agency.

  Addressing the 86th İzmir International Fair on its opening day, which Russia is attending as a partner country, Novak said Russia and Turkey were enhancing cooperation in several fields including industry, transport, agriculture and construction.

★ Sabancı Holding, a prominent Turkish conglomerate, saw its consolidated sales increase 11 percent to around $5.45 billion year-on-year in the first half of 2017, the business said on August 18, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. Read more at >> here <<

  Turkish conglomerate Koç Holding's second-quarter net profit rose to $402.8 million from $261 million in the same period a year earlier, it said in a statement to the Istanbul stock exchange. Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey will adjust a tax to bring down the cost of meat production and will require vegetable and fruit suppliers to conform to standards, the government's food committee stated on August 18, in a bid to tame volatile food prices, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Inflation in food prices spiked to an 8.5-year high of 11.87 percent earlier this year and economists have long said a drastic overhaul of the food supply chain is needed to contain food prices and keep inflation in check.

★ Japan's Ajinomoto has said it has acquired a further 50 percent stake in Turkey-based food firm Kükre on August 17 in a deal worth nearly 181 million Turkish Lira, Reuters has reported.

  The Japanese company has thus secured full ownership of the Turkish company, which has sold seasonings and pickles, as well as other products, for more than 100 years, with its main "Kemal Kükrer" product lineup being recognized as a premium brand throughout Turkey.

  In 2017, Ajinomoto Co. also acquired all shares of Örgen Gıda, another major food company in Turkey, which is famous with its Bizim Mutfak brand business for bouillon, powdered soups and other products.

★ The profits of nine top Turkish lenders traded on Borsa Istanbul rose by 32.9 percent in the first half of the year from the same period in 2016, according to data from the Public Disclosure Platform, reports the Anatolia news agency.

★ More than 400,000 "zombie cars," have hit the roads after bare maintenance and repair by unauthorized services despite being scrapped, creating huge risks on people's lives, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

★ The Turkish government has announced its salary hike for millions of civil servants and retired civil servants in Turkey for 2018 and 2019 as 3 percent for each six-month period, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The offer, which was announced by the Labor and Social Security Minister Jülide Sarıeroğlu on August 14, was immediately rejected by the Civil Servants' Trade Union (Memur-Sen).

  Inflation is currently around 10% in Turkey.

★ Turkey aims to cut red tape to boost investment in the country, Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ has said.

  Among the steps planned are the one-stop contact points across Turkey's provinces to provide better coordination for investors, Akdağ said on August 12 in an interview with state-run Anatolia News Agency.

  In the latest Doing Business report, published last October, Turkey ranked 69th globally for its beneficial investment environment following a program of reform.

  Akdağ also dismissed concerns about the negative impact of the state of emergency on foreign investment.

  "It has not any negative impact for investors and should not be considered an obstacle for companies that do not have any ties to terrorist groups," he said.

  Others disagree with the minister, saying that investments this year is only 50% of the pre-emergency rule.


★ The Hollywood Turkish Film Festival will be held on Sept. 20, 21 and 22 at the world famous Paramount Studios for the first time in Turkish cinema history. The event is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Tourism General Directorate of Cinema in a bid to reunite Turkish cinema with the global market, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The festival is organized by journalist Barbaros Tapan, the Doğan Media Group's Los Angeles representative and a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on behalf of Turkey, together with the Hollywood-based Turkish director Tekin Girgin.

  One of the key contributors to the organization is the Bosporus Film Festival, which will also be organized for the fifth time this year in Istanbul.

  Applications to the festival can be made through the "" and "" websites.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Semih Kaplanoğlu, the director of the popular trilogy "Honey," "Milk" and "Egg," gave the premiere of his latest film "Grain" at the 23rd Sarajevo Film Festival on August 13, attending the film program alongside the film's actors, Bosnian artists, directors and writers.

  The film, which tells the story of two people in an indefinite future world, reportedly drew great interest from audiences at the festival.

  Speaking at a press conference at the festival, Kaplanoğlu said he did not classify it as a science-fiction film.

  The English language film, shot in black and white, is a Turkey-Germany-France-Sweden-Qatar joint production and was completed in five years. It stars Jean-Marc Barr, Ermin Bravo, Grigory Dobrygin and Cristina Flutur.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Nehir Özzengin is a 12-year-old girl from Turkey's Aegean province of İzmir who has prodigious talent and has won awards in international piano competitions since the age of nine, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Her talent was discovered by her family when she was four and began playing piano with the support of her teachers.

  A seventh grade student at the Turkish-German Culture and Education Foundation Primary Schools, Özzengin won a scholarship five years ago and received classical piano education at the Yaşar University Music Academy.

  Özzengin, who has joined four international competitions and won awards in all of them, has second and third place awards from the International Mozart Academy Piano Competition.

  She recently came second at the International CesarĀ FranckĀ  Piano Competition, as well as at the International Ischia Piano Competition, in which 80 people from 26 countries competed.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Performistanbul YouTube channel will be presenting new live camera performances, documentaries, and interviews as well as videos of past performances, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The first international performance platform in Turkey to bring performance artists together, Performistanbul introduced a number of national and international artists to premiere new works in collaboration with Istanbul's leading arts.

  The venue aims to reach wider audiences in Istanbul and abroad with the YouTube channel.

  "Smile" will be the first camera performance that will stream live on the Performistanbul channel. It will be presented by performance artist Selin Kocagöncü on August 24 between 7 and 8 P.M.

  During the performance, the artist works on developing a smile to use when posing for photographs, attempting to resolve the feminist crisis caused by the clash of expectations of beauty, need for authenticity, and the overall requirements of posing.

★ Bozüyük, a village in Turkey's Western province of Mugla, came to fame in the recent years as a series of TV dramas and movies as were shot there. However recently there is no activity and the locals are wondering why, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The well-known TV series such as "Father's Hearth", "Beautiful Villager", and "Dürüye's Jars", as well as films like "Exiled Cow" and "Dabbe" have been shot in the neighborhood.

  The locals, who earned an additional income acting in the films and TV series, are now looking forward to be in front of the camera again. The additional income was a lot more than what they can regularly make in one year.

  The village also benefited from special trips that tour operators started to the village after it gained fame. The mayor of the village said that although shooting of films have stopped, tourists are still trickling in to see the location where the films are made.

  And some even purchased homes and settle there. Mayor also says that he has a long list of outsiders who are interested in purchasing land around the village. Of course, with increased demand came increased prices for homes and land, as much as 10 times the previous prices of recent years.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Pieces that have fallen from ornaments carved on big rocks 2,700 years ago in the Ayanis Fort, built by the Urartian King Rusa II on a hill overlooking the Lake Van in Eastern Turkey, are being attached to their original places with special materials, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The places of the pieces have been determined by restorers and sculptors after two years of work.

  Archeologists have been have been conducting excavations at the fort or the past 28 years. Recently a team of experts lead by Erzurum Atatürk University's archaeology department's Professor Mehmet Işıklı is leading the work.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A sarcophagus decorated with scenes of Hercules in battle is coming home to Turkey in September, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The sarcophagus was smuggled out of Turkey in 1960 and was discovered in 2010 in a warehouse in Switzerland. A Swiss court in 2015 ruled that the sarcophagus has to be returned to Turkey.

  The sarcophagus was originally found in the ancient city of Dokimion in Turkey's Mediterranean province of Antalya. It is currently on display at the Geneva University Museum of arts and history and will be delivered to Antalya Museum.

  The sarcophagus, was sculpted towards the end of the second century when the area was under Roman rule.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The remains of two tile kilns first found in 1967 is finally being excavated in Turkey's historic tile production center of Iznik, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  The kilns are thought to date back to 14th and 17th centuries.

  Antique objects produced in Iznik fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars these days. Two rare Turkish Iznik wine bottles was sold for $973,000 in 2013. Even replicas of bottles like these are also expensive, fetching $1000-$1500.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to Ömer Erbil of the Hürriyet daily news subway construction excavations is filling the gaps in Istanbul's history. Ruins believed to be dating back to 6,000 years from the Neolithic age have been unearthed during a subway line construction in Istanbul's Beşiktaş district.

  Carried out by the Istanbul Archeology Museums, the excavations reveal buried slices of life in Istanbul, a first in the strait, according to officials.

  The 19th and 20th century ruins were unearthed during the construction of the Kabataş-Beşiktaş-Mecidiyeköy-Mahmutbey subway line. The Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board said the findings did not need to be protected in their original place and ordered for their removal after scientific drawings and recordings were finished. Following the removal of the ruins, excavations have continued under the inspection of the museum.

  Circular Neolithic age structures like the ones in the Yenikapı archaeological excavations and urn-type tombs have been unearthed around these structures.

  The findings initiated excitement among archeologists as it is the first time such discoveries were being made in the Istanbul strait. Just like on the banks of the Bayrampaşa Stream in Yenikapı, there was a Neolithic age settlement around the Ihlamur Stream in Beşiktaş. Officials believe the finds will fill the historical gap between 6500 and 3000s B.C. in Istanbul.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Excavations in the Domuztepe Mound in Turkey's southern province of Kahramanmaraş, considered to be the biggest settlement in the era since the usage of the term "Near East," have unearthed vessels depicting "tree of life" motifs,.

  Led by Hacettepe University Archaeology Department academic Dr. Halil Tekin under the coordination of the Kahramanmaraş Museum Directorate, the excavations started in 2013.

  "The origin of this tree, which has become used as a Christmas tree in the Christian world, is here, namely in Mesopotamia. The earliest known example of it is in Domuztepe," Tekin said, in regards to the importance of the tree of life motifs.

  "We are talking about the period of the 7000s B.C. They are very ancient times. The oldest known example of this tree's culture or belief system is in Domuztepe. We believe it expanded from Domuztepe in various ways. The oldest example is here. It expanded to the south, to Basra and then became the most important factor in Sumerian civilization. There is also a similar tree in the Akkadians, which is known as the 'eya tree' in Hittite documents in the 3000s B.C. The pine tree symbolizes life because it is a tree that never dies. The one we have found here is a tree with thorny leaves. This is why we believe it is a symbol of life," Tekin said.

  More on tree of life: Read more at >> here <<

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Excavations at the Tayinat Mound in Turkey's southern province of Hatay have uncovered an ancient sculpture of a woman, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The sculpture, which is made up of a head and body, is thought to date back to the late Hittite period in the 9th century B.C.

  It is thought that the sculpture, which has some broken parts, belongs to the wife of the King Suppiluliuma, but more concrete results will be obtained after works. The king's statue was also found in 2012 at the site.

  Works have been continuing at the mound with a team of 20 people under the leadership of Prof. Timothy Harrison of Toronto University.

  Dr. Harrison said excavations have been continuing at the site for 13 years.

  Dr. Harrison thinks that the originals sculpture was probably 12 to 15 feet high.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Excavations in the Uğurlu-Zeytinlik Mound in the northwestern province of Çanakkale's Gökçeada (Imbros) island have unearthed a 7,000-year-old structure complex as well as 13 skeletons belonging to men, women and children in a large pit, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Excavations in the field have been conducted since 2009 by a team headed by Burçin Erdoğu, the head of Trakya University's archaeology department. Works there shed light on an unknown period on the Aegean island and western Anatolia.

  Erdoğu says that the building complex has 7 to 8 rooms. He added that there will be DNA analysis performed on the skeletons found in the pit.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Bartın University Archaeology Department in Turkey's northern province of Zonguldak started scientific research on shipwrecks dating back to between the second and 13th centuries discovered underwater in the black sea.

  The wrecks lie off the ancient city of Tieion in Zonguldak.

  An excavation official, Şahin Yıldırım, said the works at the ancient city are being carried out with five students from Florida University's archaeology department.

  The final leg of the excavations will be underwater.

  Read more at >> here <<


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.52


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        91/66 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    86/77 Showers
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 90/72 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean:             91/75 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        82/75 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       86/55 Mostly Sunny
See water temperatures:
Black Sea measured at Trabzon         80
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ      77
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir          79
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 87



Premiere League

★ Results for week: 1
Başakşehir      -      Bursa Sp        1 - 0
Akhisar Sp      -      Sivas Sp        1 - 0
G. Birliği      -      Karabük Sp      1 - 1
Alanya Sp       -      Kasımpaşa       1 - 3
Göztepe         -      Fenerbahçe      2 - 2
Malatyaspor     -      Osmanlı Sp      3 - 1
Trabzon Sp      -      Konya Sp        2 - 1
Beşiktaş        -      Antalya Sp      2 - 0
G. Saray        -      Kayseri Sp      4 - 1

★ In games played so far this weekend:
Kasımpaşa       -      Beşiktaş        2 - 2
Karabük Sp      -      Başakşehir      3 - 1
Bursa Sp        -      Alanya Sp       3 - 2
Sivas Sp        -      Malatyaspor     2 - 0
Osmanli Sp      -      G. Saray        1 - 3

Standing in the league as of week ending 1
  1 - G. Saray        3
  2 - Malatyaspor     3
  3 - Kasımpaşa       3
  4 - Beşiktaş        3
  5 - Trabzon Sp      3
  6 - Akhisar Sp      3
  7 - Başakşehir      3
  8 - Fenerbahçe      1
  9 - Göztepe         1
 10 - G. Birliği      1
 11 - Karabük Sp      1
 12 - Konya Sp        0
 13 - Bursa Sp        0
 14 - Sivas Sp        0
 15 - Alanya Sp       0
 16 - Osmanli Sp      0
 17 - Antalya Sp      0
 18 - Kayseri Sp      0


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

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