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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 14 October 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 14 October 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ Last week we reported to you that Turkish security forces arrested a Turkish citizen working for Istanbul US Consulate in Istanbul on charges of associating with the followers of cleric Fethullah Gülen, who are accused of being behind the failed coup of last year.

  On Sunday, the US ambassador announced that they stopped issuing nonimmigrant visas to Turks. Right after that, the Turkish government announced that they stopped issuing visas to Americans.

  Later in the week, while visiting Serbia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed that the arrested US Consulate employee is a spy. And on Friday President Erdoğan warned that Turkey is the target of daily attacks and plots, and in a thinly veiled reference to the US added, "Those who supported terror groups such as the Fethullah Terrorist Organization and the Kurdistan Workers Party failed to corner Turkey ... [and] now are taking direct action."

  This is the second Turkish national employed by US diplomatic missions in Turkey that has been arrested. On Tuesday the State Department confirmed that Turkish authorities had summoned a third US embassy staff member over the weekend. That staff member has not been formally arrested.

  "These actions are deeply disturbing to us," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said during Tuesday's briefing.

  On Thursday, the State Department asked the Turkish government to present evidence to back up its accusations used to justify the detention of locally-employed U.S. consulate members and several American citizens, including jailed American pastor Andrew Brunson.

  The Pentagon says the diplomatic dispute between Turkey and the United States has not affected military operations or personnel out of Turkey, including efforts to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

  Relations between the US and Turkey have been troubled by disputes over U.S. support for Kurdish fighters in Syria and Turkey's unsuccessful request for the extradition of cleric Fethullah Gülen who lives in Pennsylvania.

  In related news, the diplomatic dispute brought uncertainty to the financial markets in Turkey. Turkish stocks and currency values fell on Monday before rebounding in Tuesday's trading.

★ Turkey's Main opposition Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has accused the Turkish government of pursuing "hostage policy" against the U.S. in retaliation to an ongoing probe into Iranian-born Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab in the U.S.

  "There is a case in the U.S. on Zarrab; the deputy manager of Halkbank is in prison and [Former Economy Minister] Zafer Çağlayan is also [in the case file]. Now, they [the Erdoğan administration] are trying to solve the problem with a hostage policy. The hostage policy would only deepen the problem rather than solve it," Kılıçdaroğlu said, addressing his party group in parliament on October 10.

  Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu also urged both countries to "act with common sense."

  At a later date, Mr. Kilicdaroglu claimed that the US-Turkey dispute is costing Turkey $14 billion.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey does not need the European Union, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on October 13, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  In the speech, the president claimed that the EU has been "keeping Turkey waiting for 54 years."

  He also slammed Brussels for not granting the right to visa-free travel to Turks in exchange for a deal to cut the migrant flow to Europe.

  His harsh rhetoric came one day after he blasted the U.S., saying that if it does not accept Turkey the way it is "then we do not need you."

  Calling on the US to "return to reason," Mr. Erdoğan also repeated his claim that it was U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass who prompted the current crisis.

  "The decision taken by the U.S. Consulate and the statements made after it are not related to the truth or reality. A junta within the American bureaucracy that is related to the previous administration aims to sabotage relations between the new administration and Turkey," said Mr. Erdoğan.

  The State Department earlier denied Erdoğan's claims and said that the decision to suspend visas was taken by the State Department and the current administration.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkish soldiers and armored vehicles have crossed into Syria as part of an operation Ankara says is aimed at stopping fighting in Idlib province.

  A military statement said the forces would set up observation posts to help monitor a "de-escalation zone" in line with an agreement with Russia and Iran.

  Idlib is largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist alliance linked to al-Qaeda. It also borders the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, which Turkey wants to contain.

  Turkey backs the opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and last year supported a rebel offensive against so-called Islamic State along the border in neighboring Aleppo province.

★ According to the website Turkish prisons are committing torture and disappearing citizens, Human Rights Watch said in a report Thursday.

  The report, entitled In Custody: Police Torture and Abductions in Turkey, alleges that even though Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ordered a moratorium on prisoner abuses, they still occur.

  In doing months of investigation by speaking to lawyers and survivors, Human Rights Watch estimates thousands of individuals have undergone abuses while in police custody while the government cracks down on terrorism [JURIST reports]. Many of the survivors spent weeks facing psychological and physical torture as well as sexual violence.

  Human Rights Watch is calling on the International community to pressure the Turkish legal community to enforce the international prohibitions on torture and enforced disappearances, Jurist reports.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to Al Jazeera, the Wall Street Journal has denounced a jail sentence handed to one of its reporters by a Turkish court. A Turkish court ruled that Ayla Albayrak was supporting the Kurdish rebels in Turkey in an article she wrote. She is currently in the US away from Turkish authorities.

★ Human rights group Amnesty International held events Thursday to mark 100 days since several of its Turkish staffers were detained in Istanbul.

  This week, Turkish prosecutors officially filed an indictment against 10 of the human rights activists detained in July, along with Amnesty's Turkey chairman Taner Kilic, and demanded jail sentences of up to 15 years on charges of supporting terrorist organizations. Amnesty labeled the indictment "trumped-up and absurd."

★ Turk Telekom, the main actor in Turkey's telecommunication sector and the biggest sell-off in its privatization history, is in deep trouble and may end up back in government hands. The giant company was privatized in 2005, as Ojer Telekomunikasyon A.S. (Otas) ÔÇ" a subsidiary of Oger Telecom, owned by the Lebanese Hariri family ÔÇö acquired a controlling 55% stake. The turbulence jolting the company stems from Otas' failure to repay loans in what is described as Turkey's biggest ever default.

★ A planned 40 percent rise in the tax on motorized vehicles has been slashed to 25 percent, officials from Turkey's Finance Ministry announced on October 13, after the initial hike prompted outcry among consumers.

★ Turkey's total electric and hybrid car sales increased by 805 percent to 2,763 in the first nine months of 2017, compared to 300 in the first nine months of 2016, according to Turkey's Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Association, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

★ According to a trade association, Turkish automotive production rose 13% in September, and was up 18% in the first nine months of the year. Exports climbed 24%.

★ Turkey has pushed the button to transform its outdated coal-fired power plants through the latest technologies to make them much more environmentally friendly, a process that will be completed in 2019, a top official has announced.

★ Turkey's Central Bank will maintain its tight monetary policy until the inflation outlook has shown a significant improvement, its chief stated on October 12. According to the Turkish statistical Institute Turkey's consumer prices went up by 11.2 percent in September compared with the same month last year.

★ Turkey and Israel's talks on the proposed natural gas pipeline construction to bring Israeli gas to Europe are at an "advanced stage," according to the adviser to Israel's National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Minister, reports the Anatolia News Agency. According to the adviser, the two countries are currently in talks on the price and the route of the pipeline .

★ Turkey's current account deficit reached $1.23 billion in August 2017, down by almost $171 million year-on-year, the Central Bank said on October 11. A deficit indicates that a nation is a net borrower from the rest of the world.


★ Writing in the magazine Variety, Nick Vivarelli says that Turkey's Antalya Film Festival is undergoing a revamp and raising its international profile in an effort to counter the country's current drift toward isolationism.

  For its 54th edition Turkey's most prominent film event has hired British producer and film industry expert Mike Downey as artistic director. His first move has been to merge the fest's international and national competitions with the intention of forging greater cinematic ties with the rest of the world while also raising the overall bar.

  Accordingly, Antalya this year will open with the world premiere of Turkish-Bosnian co-production "Never Leave Me," based on a true story about Syrian orphans living in a Turkish refugee camp, directed by Bosnian writer-helmer Aida Begic ("Children of Sarajevo").

  Last but not least, Antalya is taking its cue from Berlin and San Sebastian by launching a culinary cinema section called Film + Food = Fusion. After each screening the audience will be treated to a meal made by a top chef, inspired by the film.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Tomtom, in one of Istanbul's most distinct neighborhoods with its unique style, will be transformed into a festival hub with the colorful and rich world of design from October 19 to 22, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The third "Design on Tomtom Street" event will be a combination of arts, design, music and shopping.

  "Design on Tomtom Street" will also host exclusive food and beverage brands in various stands and locations with Gourmet Flavors on Tomtom Street where they will serve special flavors.

  In addition to the event venue, prominent buildings in the Tomtom neighborhood will be home to installations and art projects.

  Audi will provide shuttle services from certain locations across the city to the Tomtom neighborhood. And Lamborghini will exhibit a design car during the event, blending the historic texture of Tomtom neighborhood with modern design.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Jewelry, weapons and artifacts from 4,500 years ago have been found with skeletons during archaeological excavations in Resuloğlu, an ancient burial mound in the central Anatolian province of Çorum, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The archaeologists say that the early Bronze Age burial mound is near a settlement with a population of 300. The people of the settlement were farmers. They also knew quite a bit about mining and metallurgy. The community had ties to the ancient Caucasus and Mesopotamia.

  Among the finds are weapons in a woman's grave, staff heads, mace heads and daggers. There were also jewelry not only in women's graves but also in men's. Some skeletons the men had bangles around their feet and necklaces around their neck.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Ancient Phaselis is slowly submerging in Antalya, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Almost two meters of the ancient city have submerged in 2,000 years, indicated by studies carried out by geologists and geomorphologists in the area, said Akdeniz University Archeology Department Professor Murat Arslan.

  The ancient city is located in Turkey's southern province of Antalya's Kemer district. In ancient times, it had three ports and was an important trade center. The wealth of the ancient city is evident in its buildings and also in the writings of the ancient writers of the classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods

  Read more at >> here <<

★ One of the young representatives of contemporary art, Tuğberk Selçuk is meeting art lovers with a new exhibition, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. Titled "Conform Zone," the exhibition is an interactive one that makes the audience a part of the experience.

  Born in 1986, the Istanbul-based artist's previous works were exhibited in South Korea, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, as well as different parts of Turkey.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Galeri Işık Teşvikiye in Istanbul is presenting an exhibition featuring 35 photographs taken by Cemal Emden of Turkish contemporary architecture since 2010, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. Organized by furniture brand Nurus, the show will remain open until Oct 21 and a special exhibition book is also available.

★ Feral horses referred as "yilki" on Mount Karadağ In Turkey's Karaman Province are being tagged and some are being put up for adoption, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The population of the horses has increased from 80 to 800 in recent years, and they are in competition with the farmers stocks.

  However, the horses are drawing visitors to the region. In the past visitors would come for historical ruins, local officials say.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Eight submerged wrecks have been discovered off Istanbul's Beylikdüzü coast, said underwater cinematographer and researcher Cumhur Ayar at the launch for underwater history research held at Istanbul's West Marina on October 9, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  There is an ancient seawall and port system with a length of 3.5 kilometers underwater, Assistant Professor Denizhan Vardar said.

  The wrecks could be very old or simply be from the first world war era.

  Read more at >> here <<



EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.63


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
  Ankara, in central Turkey:        63/39 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    86/64 Mostly Sunny
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       54/30 Mostly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 68/52 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean:             75/52 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        64/57 Mostly Cloudy	
See water temperatures:
Black Sea measured at Trabzon         69
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ      67
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir          68
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 77	


★ The Turkish National Rafting Team became the champion in the World Rafting championships held in Japan between October 2 and 10. The team received 35 gold medals in the Sprint, H2H, slalom and downriver categories.

★ Turkish Amputee Soccer National Team won the European Amputee Soccer Championships. In the last game that they place against the British team they prevailed 2 to 1.

  The game was played in Istanbul and attracted a record 42,000 spectators.

Premiere League

* Results for week: 7
Akhisar Sp      -      Fenerbah├že      1 - 0
Sivas Sp        -      Antalya Sp      3 - 1
G. Saray        -      Karab├╝k Sp      3 - 2
Osmanl─▒ Sp      -      Kas─▒mpa┼ča       3 - 0
Kayseri Sp      -      Bursa Sp        3 - 1
Malatyaspor     -      Konya Sp        1 - 1
Be┼čikta┼č        -      Trabzon Sp      2 - 2
G├Âztepe         -      Ba┼čak┼čehir      1 - 2
Alanya Sp       -      G. Birli─či      4 - 1
* In games played so far this weekend:
G. Birli─či      -      Be┼čikta┼č        2 - 1
Karab├╝k Sp      -      Kayseri Sp      1 - 0
Ba┼čak┼čehir      -      Alanya Sp       2 - 1
Antalya Sp      -      G├Âztepe         1 - 3
Konya Sp        -      G. Saray        0 - 2
* Standing in the league as of week ending 7
  1 - G. Saray        19
  2 - Be┼čikta┼č        14
  3 - Kayseri Sp      14
  4 - G├Âztepe         13
  5 - Ba┼čak┼čehir      13
  6 - Akhisar Sp      13
  7 - Fenerbah├že      11
  8 - Alanya Sp       10
  9 - Trabzon Sp      9
 10 - Bursa Sp        9
 11 - Sivas Sp        9
 12 - Malatyaspor     8
 13 - Kas─▒mpa┼ča       8
 14 - Konya Sp        7
 15 - Antalya Sp      6
 16 - Karab├╝k Sp      5
 17 - Osmanl─▒ Sp      4
 18 - G. Birli─či      4


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


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*** For more music from Turkey and the Middle East tune to

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TELL YOUR FRIENDS who might be interested joining our group.

Yore Folk Ensemble

*** Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California

The local Azeri community organizes many events throughout the year. Follow their activities through their web pages, or subscribe to their e-mail list:

Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California
16400 Lark Ave., Suite 260
Los Gatos, CA 95032

*** Turkish schools in the Bay Area are starting:

There are currently two schools:
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For more information on the Berkeley school go to
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