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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 26 August 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 26 August 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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Fuad Tokad

★ U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with senior Turkish officials Wednesday in the Turkish capital Ankara for talks on regional stability and security issues amid Turkey's uneasiness with US arming of a Syrian Kurdish militia which Turkey considers a terrorist organization and an extension of the rebel Kurdistan Workers Party, reports the Voice of America's Dorian Jones.

  On his one-day visit, Mattis met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after talks with Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli. Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan also took part in the meeting with the Turkish leader.

  Impressed by the YPG's success in fighting Islamic State, Washington has been supplying the YPG with armored vehicles and small arms since May. The YPG has captured large swaths of territory from the jihadists, much of it along the Turkish border, unnerving Turkey, which fears the YPG will further fuel secessionist demands from Turkey's restive Kurdish minority.

  Local Turkish media reports, citing unnamed sources, said the U.S. defense secretary, in his meetings in Ankara, emphasized the importance of maintaining the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq. In a bid to assuage Turkish concerns, Washington reaffirmed its commitment to offer assistance to fighting the Kurdistan Workers Party.

  Local media, citing diplomatic sources, said Turkey's planned purchase of a multi-billion-dollar Russian surface-to-air missile system was also a topic of discussion during Mattis' talks. Mattis has recently voiced concern over the purchase, warning of its incompatibility with NATO systems.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Speaking of Russian arms, Turkey and Russia had reached an agreement on the procurement of the S-400 missile defense system from Russia, and the final decision would be made by the executive committee of Turkey's defense industry, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım was quoted as saying on August 25, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Speaking to reporters on his return flight from Vietnam, Yıldırım also said Turkey was working in cooperation with Russia and Iran in Syria, and there should be no reason for the United States and Turkey to be on opposite sides.

  Turkey's US and other NATO partners are opposed to Turkish purchase of Russian arms. They say that they are incompatible with NATO equipment.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey has come last in the education area of the latest Regional Well-Being index calculated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD. The index compares well-being of the 362 regions of its 34 member countries on 11 topics the OECD identified as essential, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. Last year Turkey was fourth from the bottom.

  Turkey, along with Mexico, scored zero points out of 10, placing it at the bottom of the list, while the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia obtained full scores. Estonia and the U.S. followed the top three countries with 9.6 and 9.2 points respectively. Germany, the U.K. and France received 8.69, 7.73, and 7.57 scores respectively.

  Read more at >> here <<

  German foreign affairs minister Sigmar Gabriel

★ Turkey's has slammed Germany over German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel's statement that Turkey will never join the European Union as long as it is governed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  In an interview with German daily Bild, Mr. Gabriel had accused Mr. Erdoğan of failing to take accession talks with the European Union seriously.

  "It is clear that in this state, Turkey will never become a member of the European Union," he said.

  "It's not because we don't want them but because the Turkish government and Mr. Erdoğan are moving fast away from everything that Europe stands for," he added.

  Tensions between Turkey and Germany have been high for number of months, with Mr. Erdoğan angering Germany - home to 3 million Turkish -origin residents, about half of whom are eligible to vote in the election on September 24 - by accusing the German authorities of "Nazi-like behavior."

  He also urged German Turks to boycott the country's main parties in the general election.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's junior opposition Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahçeli has criticized Prime Minister Binali Yildirim over replying to his comments regarding the planned independence referendum in the Kurdish Regional Government of northern Iraq.

  Mr. Bahçeli had suggested that the vote should be deemed a "cause of war" for Ankara if necessary, prompting Mr. Yildirim to say that it doesn't amount to a "casus belli."

  "The fact that Yildirim reacted hastily and felt necessity to correct my comments on the dangers our country is facing is against political kindness and grace," Mr. Bahçeli said on August 26, as he added that those that need to be criticized and their "treacherous intentions" are in Erbil.

  "This referendum is a sneaky pre-study and a dark precursor move in order for the establishment of Kurdistan. It's a national necessity for Yildirim to see this," Mr. Bahçeli also said.

  The planned referendum in northern Iraq has been on the agenda of Turkey for a number of days, with Ankara calling on Kurdish Regional Government of Northern Iraq President Masoud Barzani to cancel the vote on Sept. 25.

★ Meral Akşener, a former Nationalist Movement Party lawmaker who later became a dissident, will stand as a presidential candidate for the 2019 elections from a party she is set to establish in October, former Nationalist Movement Party lawmaker Koray Aydın has announced.

  "Our presidential candidate for the 2019 elections will be Meral Akşener," Mr. Aydın said in an interview on private broadcaster Fox TV on August 23.

  A former Nationalist Movement Party lawmaker for Trabzon, Mr. Aydın had resigned from the party on August 22 and announced his allegiance to a group of MPs who had renegaded from the Nationalist Movement Party .

  Several Nationalist Movement Party lawmakers had resigned or were dismissed after the Nationalist Movement Party formed an alliance with the ruling Justice and Development Party for a constitutional amendment that would grant sweeping powers to the president.

  Among those names was Ms. Akşener who had been leading the dissident movement within the Nationalist Movement Party before transforming the opposition into establishing a new party.

  "We are working on officially establishing the party in late October," she said on August 20.

★ President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has marked the 946th anniversary of the Battle of Malazgirt, the victory of Seljuk Sultan Alparslan against the Byzantine Empire on August 26, 1071, in the Malazgirt district of the eastern province of Muş.

  Mr. Erdoğan gave a speech to mark the battle, which opened Anatolia to Turks, in the area that also features the 1071 Victory Monument.

  "We are proud of our ancestors who walked with glory, honor and victory until the middle of Europe after entering Anatolia from Malazgirt with the red flag on one hand and the green sanjak on the other," Mr. Erdoğan told the cheering crowds on August 26, as he added that Sultan Alparslan made Anatolia "eternal homeland" via gaining victory.

★ According to Reuters, Turkey's leading glass maker Şişecam plans to increase production capacity in several facilities at home and in Italy and India, its general manager said.

  According to company sources, Şişecam is the 3rd largest glassware, the 5th largest glass packaging and flat glass manufacturer globally.

  It has 44 production facilities in total, has manufacturing in 13 countries, employs 21,000 people and sells in 150 countries.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Turkish director Can Ulkay's feature film "Ayla" will be Turkey's Oscar entry for next year's Oscars, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  According to information made by the Artistic Events Commission, a selective committee of 17 persons, including Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry officials and film professionals, evaluated 13 films and selected "Ayla" for the 90th Academy Awards to be held on March 4, 2018.

  Çetin Tekindor, İsmail Hacıoğlu and Lee Kyung-Jin are starring in the film, which features the story of Sergeant Süleyman, who finds a five-year-old girl in 1950 in the Korean War.

  In another Oscar news, Turkish-German director Fatih Akın will represent Germany in the 90th Academy Awards with his film "Aus dem Nichts" (In the Fade).

  The film has been selected by German Films, which represents German film in the international field. It tells the story of a German woman, who loses her Kurdish husband and son during a neo-Nazi attack.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The 6th International Clarinet Festival will take place in Istanbul between Sept. 8 and 17, featuring Turkish and international musicians, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Serkan Çağrı, the festival's art director, said at a recent press conference that the clarinet is only a lead symbol for the festival, which is in fact a broader and more wide-ranging event. Serkan Çağrı himself is a renowned clarinetist.

  Arranger and producer İskender Paydaş said the festival featured great music, art and many other events, and he will join the festival with a team of some 40 people.

  As part of this year's festival, the New York Gypsy All Stars, Brenna MacCrimmon and Ara Dinkjian will all share the same stage on Sept. 11 at Zorlu PSM.

  Goran Bregovic will perform on Sept. 12 at the Bostancı Show Center, while the commemoration of late Turkish singer Müslüm Gürses will be held on Sept. 13 in the same venue.

  Algerian artist Souad Massi and Çağrı will perform at the Zorlu PSM on September 14.

  The festival will also feature a clarinet competition for young musicians.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The world-renowned British actor and radio presenter Larry Lamb and his son, radio and television presenter George Lamb, will promote Turkish history, archeology and culture on a TV show, Anatolia News Agency has reported.

  Lamb, known for his role in the BBC's TV series "Eastenders," and his son, will produce a TV show for the Travel Channel, according to a statement from the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry.

  During the production process, a 10-person TV production unit have shot across Turkey for 24 days.

  The TV show named "Turkey: A to B," will consist of six episodes and will introduce a number of iconic and touristic sites in Turkey, such as the antique city of Ephesus in Izmir province, Cleopatra pools in Pamukkale province, Phaselis antique city in Antalya province, Cappadocia hot air balloon rides and Ankara Citadel.

  The program, which is expected to boost Turkey's tourism sector, will be available for viewing in the United Kingdom, Middle East, Europe and Africa as part of an agreement between the Ministry and Travel Channel, the ministry added. The Travel Channel has 61.4 million subscribers and broadcasts programs in 22 different languages in 74 countries.

  The statement did not specify when the first episode would be aired.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Elgiz Museum is presenting a new site-specific installation on its mezzanine floor titled "Lunar" by the artist SARP as a part of the neighboring events of the 15th Istanbul Biennial, curated by Huma Kabakcı.

  With massive survey images of the moon, produced by NASA in the 1960s, the new series produced by the artist consists of these images projected on female bodies, activating the museum's space with an immersive environment.

  "Artist Talk" with the curator, Ms. Kabakcı, will take place on September 15 at 11:30 a.m. "Lunar" will be on view through Oct. 11.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Award-winning cartoons from the 33rd Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Contest are on show at an exhibition in Turkey's northwestern province of Balıkesir's Edremit district, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The opening at the historic Abdullah Efendi Mansion in the Altınoluk neighborhood brought together Edremit Mayor Kamil Saka, Aydın Doğan Foundation Exhibitions Coordinator İlhan Artar and Antandros Association President Gülçin Cömert.

  Cartoonist Ergin Gülen said the competition was first held on behalf of the founder of daily Hürriyet, Sedat Simavi, who was himself a keen cartoonist.

  The winner was Italian cartoonist Marco De Angelis for his picture depicting a refugee boat on a quilt that was causing Europeans to lose their sleep.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Works have been initiated this summer to unearth a stadium in the ancient city of Laodicea, a site on UNESCO's tentative list for World Heritage Sites, reports the Anatolia News Agency. The stadium was a venue for sports competitions and gladiator fights in ancient times and is located in Turkey's western province of Denizli. Laodicea Stadium was the biggest one in Anatolia.

  Excavations and restorations have been ongoing in the ancient city for 13 years under the leadership of Professor Celal Şimşek of the Pamukkale University Archaeology Department. Some 4,000 artifacts have been uncovered so far.

  The artifacts include figures, sculptures, agricultural tools, and household products and have been under protection. The Holy Agora, which is home to one of the seven holy churches mentioned in the Bible but which collapsed in an earthquake along with its columns in 494 A.D., has been restored and revived.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A perfumery and many perfume bottles have been unearthed in one of the oldest settlements in the world, the ancient city of Harran, in Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, reports the Anatolia News Agency. The findings are believed to date back to 1,000 years ago.

  This year's excavations have been continuing in the ancient city. Settlement had existed here without interruption since the sixth century B.C. to present times and had been the capital city of the Assyrians and the Omayyad.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A velvet wall carpet, which depicts the 12 apostles and is estimated to be 1000 years old , has been seized in the southern province of Adana after three men attempted to sell it for $860,000, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The interrogation of the suspects is continuing.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The 24th International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival, organized by the Turkish State Opera and Ballet Directorate, is being held between August 23 and September 4 at the Aspendos Ancient Theater in Turkey's southern province of Antalya, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The festival started with Verdi's opera "Aida," to be performed by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet.

  Foreign and local soloists took the stage under the directorship of Kuzman Popov.

  The Antalya State Opera and Ballet accompanied by the Mersin State Opera and Ballet in the second performance of "Aida" on August 25.

  Within the scope of the festival, the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet will perform Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty" on August 28. The closing performance of the festival will be conducted by the Moscow State Ballet on September 4.

  "Scheherazade," "Les sylphides [Chopiniana]" and "Polovtsian Dances" will be staged in the performance.

  All performances will take place at the 2000-year-old Aspendos Ancient Theater.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The temple of Apollo dating back to the second century and the time of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, has been reinforced after his columns began to show signs of aging, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The temple is a symbol of Side in Turkey's southern province of Antalya's Manavgat district.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Malatya Culture and Tourism Directorate has detected that a relief, depicting the Hittite King Maradas deer hunting on a horse cart and is on display at Louvre Museum in Paris, was removed from the Aslantepe Mound in 1891, reports the Anatolia news agency. The mound is on UNESCO's tentative list of World Heritage Sites.

  The artifact was also mentioned in a documentary on Turkey's southeastern province Malatya, prepared by state-run broadcaster TRT Haber in 1986.

  Efforts have been initiated for the return of the artifact to Turkey.

  The Aslantepe Mound in Malatya, where the first city-state was established, sheds light on history with its adobe palace, 5,500 year-old temple, swords, and spears.

  The mound was first excavated by French in 1890s. Later between 1932 to 1939 and from 1946 to 1951 French continued excavating. In 1961 Italians started leading the excavations.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Following the discovery of an underground temple, a closed secret passage and a subterranean sanctuary in the Zerzevan Fort in Turkey's southeastern province of Diyarbakır's Çınar district, archaeologist unearthed four other ancient locations from the Roman era this year in Çınar, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The fort was used as a military settlement in the Roman era. It has 45 foot-high 3700 foot-long walls, a 70 foot-high watch tower, a church, an administration building, residences, stores of grain and arms, a subterranean temple, sanctuaries, sepulchers, water channels and 54 cisterns.

  The archaeological site is attracting a lot of visitors, the district governor says . Recently 20,000 people visited the site in one week.

  With the support of the United Nations and Turkey's ministry of culture and tourism an archaeological Park is being designed for children to raise their historic and cultural awareness.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Anatolia News Agency, at the Van Cat Research and Application Center in Turkey's Yüzüncü Yıl University, Van cats are giving birth to kittens with C-sections.

  In mid August a female cat had three healthy kittens this way.

  The center is established to preserve the special Van breed. Over the past few decades their numbers have dropped significantly.

  The Van cat is a distinctive landrace of domestic cat, found in the Lake Van region of eastern Turkey. It is relatively large, has a chalky white coat, and has blue or amber eyes or is odd-eyed, having one eye of each color. The variety has been referred to as "the swimming cat", and observed to swim in Lake Van.

  Read more at >> here <<

 (L)  British foreign secretary Boris Johnson with the operator of the blue voyage tour, (R) Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud with body guards

★ Two prominent visitors vacationed in southwestern Turkey over the past two weeks, reports the Hürriyet daily news.

  Britain's foreign secretary Boris Johnson was in Göcek in Muğla province for a Gulet trip with his family. Gulets are all wooden local boats that tour the coast of southwestern Turkey with visitors living and dining on board for days at a time. The tours are sometimes called "blue voyages".

  The other prominent visitor was a Saudi prince. Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud. He was also in the same province but at a different location. He was seen with his family vacationing in Bodrum. When he walked around the town, at least 40 bodyguards also accompanied him.

  At one time he rented an entire cafe for his family and bodyguards.

  He must like bicycling: His private plane came with 300 suitcases and 30 bicycles.

  After his stay in a hotel, he was also going to go on a blue voyage in a private yacht.

  Read more at >> here <<  and >> here <<


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.44


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        82/59 Mostly Sunny
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    99/82 Mostly Sunny
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 86/72 Mostly Sunny
Izmir, on the Aegean:             95/73 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        79/72 Mostly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       84/57 Partly Cloudy	
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 85	



★ Premiere League

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

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

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

★ UEFA Cups

★ In the European league cup Turkey's Fenerbahçe was beaten by Macedonia's Vardar 2 to 0 in its own turf in Istanbul on August 24.

  On August 17 Vardar beat Fenerbahçe 2 to 0 in Macedonia.

  Fenerbahçe was thus eliminated from the cup.

  There are now only two Turkish liens are the left in the cup: Başakşehir and Konyaspor.

★ Speaking of Başakşehir, in the European champions league cup, Turkey's Başakşehir was beaten 2 to 1 by Spain's Sevilla on August 16 in Turkey. In the second game played in Spain, Başakşehir had a draw with Sevilla 2 to 2. Başakşehir is thus eliminated from the cup.


★ Yasemin Adar had a wonderful night in Paris on August 23 as she became the first ever Turkish female wrestler to win gold at a world championships " shortly before receiving a marriage proposal on the mat.

  Twenty-five-year-old Adar beat Vasilisa Marzaliuk of Belarus 5-4 in the 75-kilogram category in the final match of the games in Paris.

  As she was celebrating her gold medal, she was greeted just off the center mat by her boyfriend Erdem Yiğit, who is a coach for young wrestlers at the club where she trains.

  Yiğit kneeled down with a ring and a bouquet of roses to propose to Adar. Adar said "yes" to the proposal, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

  Another wrestler Evin Demirhan received a bronze in Women's 48 kg category.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Several Turkish male wrestler's also won medals in the world championships in Paris.

  In the Men's Greco-Roman Style Wrestling:

     130 kg: Rıza Kayaalp won the gold medal. Kayaalp is a six-time European champion.
     85 kg: Metehan Başar received the gold medal
     66 kg: Atakan Yüksel received a bronze medal

  In the Men's Freestyle Wrestling:

      74 kg: Soner Demirtaş received a bronze medal
      125 kg: Taha Akgul received a silver medal 

  Read more at >> here <<


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

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