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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 02 September 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 02 September 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ Id al-Adha, or Sacrifice Holiday as Turks call it, has started in Turkey. Combined with the August 30 Victory Day and a few additional days off, Turkish civil servants are on a 10-day holiday. The private sector workers only get five days.

  The holiday is not a very happy one for some families, the Anatolia News Agency reports that 73 people were killed and 437 injured in traffic accidents across Turkey so far.

★ Britain's The Economist carried an article titled "How Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seduces Turkish migrants in Europe" this week.

  "The Turkish diaspora numbers over 6 million, most of them in western Europe. For years Mr. Erdoğan has delivered rousing speeches to vast rallies in cities like Cologne, urging European Turks to make their way in their adopted homes but to reject attempts at assimilation--and hinting that the triumphs he has brought Turkey are theirs to share", the article writes.

  In a referendum in April 59% of diaspora Turks backed his controversial proposals to extend presidential powers, compared with just over half at home.

  The article goes on to explain Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party administration's policies at home and abroad, and how he is moving away Turkey from joining the European Union.

  The article concludes by reviewing the Turkish German relations vis-a-vis is the largest diaspora of Turks being in Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government also faces a difficult balancing act: it must stand up to Turkey's current excesses without alienating Germany's considerable pro-Erdoğan element.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Another interesting piece of news came from France: the French president Emmanuel Macron says that "Erdoğan is one reason his job is not 'cool'". The news was reported by BBC, New York Times, Bloomberg, and other major news outlets.

  The French president was being interviewed by the French Le Point magazine.

  Although most took what President Macron said about President Erdoğan negatively, Turkey's president said he did not perceive my Macron's words as negative. On the contrary, Mr. Erdoğan said, he saw his French counterpart's reference to him as positive.

  In the interview, the French president explained that his conversations with the Turkish president are not always focused on global or regional issues, but rather, they are often related to arrested French journalist in Turkey.

  Read more at >> here <<

  Erdoğan details attacking the protesters on May 16 in Washington DC

★ If you remember, when it Turkey's president Mr. Erdoğan was visiting Washington DC in May, his security details and a few pro-Erdoğan civilians attacked protesters across from the Turkish embassy, causing many to be hospitalized.

  According to Reuters, on August 29 a grand jury indicted 19 people, including 15 Turkish security officials, in connection with the brawl.

  On September 1 Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan call the indictment a "scandal".

  Turkey has told U.S. officials that security outside the ambassador's home was negligent and did not ensure the safety of Erdoğan's entourage amid protests from sympathizers of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, it claimed.

  Mr. Erdoğan said the United States had failed to provide him protection from members of the Kurdistan Workers Party during his visit, and added he would discuss the issue with President Donald Trump in his next visit.

★ A bank controlled by the Turkish government that has been implicated in a massive money laundering scheme has hired a Florida-based lobbying firm with close ties to the Trump White House, Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller reports.

  The lobbying firm, Ballard Partners, and the bank, Halkbank, signed a $125,000-a-month contract last week, according to a Foreign Agents Registration Act disclosure filed with the Justice Department.

  Deputy CEO of Halkbank is in jail in the US awaiting trial.

  Read more at >> here <<
Erdoğan and Gülen

★ According to the Voice of America, Turkey has been pressuring countries around the world to close or hand over control of schools linked to an influential Muslim cleric who was a close ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before becoming his most worrisome foe.

  Influential and polarizing, Fethullah Gülen has been accused of being behind a corruption probe of Erdoğan's government in 2013, which shattered their friendship. He also is accused of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey that left 250 people dead and 2,200 injured.

  The schools began expanding internationally in 1993, and at one point there were Gülen-linked schools, cultural centers or language programs in more than 100 countries. In the United States, it's the largest group of so-called charter schools, which receive tax funds. It has about 140 schools in 28 states, taking in more than $2.1 billion from taxpayers.

  While some schools include teaching Islam, others reportedly have no religious content. Generally focused on math and science, the schools have earned praise from some parents, often because the quality of education is better than is generally available in some poverty-wracked countries.

  But they have been accused of having a hidden agenda: instilling a sense of deep loyalty among students that is part of an alleged long-term strategy of infiltrating governments, starting with Turkey, to spread a socially conservative agenda.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Ruling Justice and Development Party spokesperson Mahir Ünal has slammed the final declaration of the recent "justice congress" organized by the main opposition Republican People's Party, claiming that it aims to "smear the Turkish government and judicial system internationally", reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  "The final declaration of the congress denies the successes of Justice and Development Party governments on the economy, justice, freedom of belief, education, guaranteeing different lifestyles and the media. It aims to counter our [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] FETÖ cases in the international arena by giving the message that 'there is no judiciary in Turkey,'" Ünal stated on August 30.

  His comments came after the final declaration of the Republican People's Party's four-day justice congress in the western province of Çanakkale included harsh criticism of Turkey's current justice record.

  "Courts are not independent or impartial. The people have given up hope in courts and politics influences the judiciary," Republican People's Party leader Kılıçdaroğlu said on August 29, reading aloud the declaration.

  "The state has transformed into a party state, the principle of separation of powers has been destroyed, a one-man regime has been established," Kılıçdaroğlu added.

★ International credit rating agency Moody's has upgraded its year-end growth forecast for Turkey in 2017 from 2.6 percent to 3.7 percent, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Turkish exports will exceed $155 billion in 2017 and the target for 2018 will be to reach $170 billion, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi said last month.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Turkish government is planning to reduce the ratio of underage as well as forced marriages in the country from five percent to one percent through an action plan regarding the issue prepared by the Family and Social Policies Ministry for 2018-2023, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.


★ The Contemporary Istanbul International Art Fair has brought together leading galleries, artists, institutions and organizations from Turkey and the world, as well as collectors and art lovers in Istanbul for 11 years, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The 12th Contemporary Istanbul will be held from September 14-17 concurrently with the 15th Istanbul Biennial and with the exhibitions of many art institutions and galleries.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The 2nd Istanbul Comics and Art Festival will be held at the Saint Joseph Association Club Quartier and Moda All Saints Church from September 8 to 10, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Featuring a rich program, the festival will bring together cartoonists, animators, illustrators and graffiti artists for alternative art performances during workshops, talks, exhibitions and autograph sessions.

  Brazilian graffiti artist Manoel Quiterio Santos will also be among the artists welcomed at the festival, during which a city-themed animation film selection will be on screen for three days.

★ The 14th International Gümüşlük Classical Music Festival, organized in Turkey's western province of Muğla's resort town of Bodrum, continued on August 31 with a concert by young flutists at Toprak Ev, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The flutists, who attended the Gümüşlük Festival Academy organized between August 26 and 31, received their certificates on the same night from the festival's art consultant, pianist Gülsin Onay. Their instructor Bülent Evcil and Italian flutist Raffaele Trevisani were also present at the ceremony.

  This year, 22 flutists aged between 14 and 23 from various schools and conservatories across Turkey, as well as four from Bulgaria and one from Zimbabwe, attended the masterclasses organized within the scope of the festival.

★ It is almost the end of the archaeological excavation season in most of Turkey, but we are still getting lots of news from the digs:

  Özgen Acar writes in an article in the Hürriyet Daily News that the dispute between German and Turkish governments is affecting the excavations in Hattusha, the capital of the Hittites. The Germans who worked at the excavation site had been spending $325,000 every year. This is in contrast to $17,000 a year that the Turkish government allocates on the average to other excavations. Read more at >> here <<

  However, due to the dispute between the two countries German support dwindled this year.

  The German Institute of Archaeology First Started Working in Hattusha in 1906.

★ Another article by the Anatolia News Agency writes that excavations at a hidden tunnel discovered in the Tokat Fort hit a snag due to encounter with water.

  The Tokat Fort is also known as the "Dungeon of Dracula" since it is believed that Dracula, Wallachian Prince Vlad III, was imprisoned there by the Ottomans.

★ The Hürriyet Daily News reports that the ongoing excavations at the ancient city of Aspendos have unearthed 2000-year-old shops and storage facilities.

  The city is widely known for its theater, which hosts every year many cultural activities. archaeologists found many small artifacts at the site.

  The city was established 3000 years ago.

★ The Doğan News Agency had some bad news: centuries old Roman era tombs that have been unearthed in Turkey's southern province of Mersin's Mezitli district are falling into ruins as a result of human factors and natural conditions.

  The tombs were unearthed in 2009. Mezitli is home to the ancient city of Soli Pompeiopolis.

★ "Yumurtalık locals asks mosaics back" was the title of another article on the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Archaeologists unearthed four important mosaics in recent years in Turkey's southern province of Adana's Yumurtalık, where the harbor of the ancient city of Aigai is located from the fourth century B.C.

  However, authorities moved the mosaics to a museum in nearby Adana. Locals in Yumurtalık say that the mosaics should be displayed in their town.

★ Scholars from Germany, United States, Spain and Switzerland have shown great interest in fossils, dating back 7 to 8 million years ago in Turkey's central Anatolian province of Kırşehir's Kaman district, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The fossils include those of vertebrate animals such as elephants, giraffes, rhino cores and cats.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Pistachio harvest in Turkey's southeastern province of Gaziantep has started. The highly desirable Turkish variety is picked through end of September.

  Aylin Öney Tan of the Hürriyet Daily News reports that yields are low this year and the prices are up.

  Most of the pistachios grown goes into making the desert baklava in Turkey. However, locals use pistachios in many other ways.

  It is said that when the first president of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, visited the Gaziantep area, he was offered everything and anything that contained pistachios in it.

  When he finally asked for a glass of water he is said to have said "please give me a glass of water, but leave out the pistachios".


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.43


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
 Ankara, in central Turkey:        93/59 Mostly Sunny
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    95/77 Mostly Sunny
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 82/64 Mostly Sunny
Izmir, on the Aegean:             93/68 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        79/66 Mostly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       86/50 Partly Cloudy
See water temperatures:
Black Sea measured at Trabzon         80
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ      76
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir          77
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 84



★ Premiere League

No games in the Premier League due to national team game.

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


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

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