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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 04 November 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 04 November 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ As we have been reporting to you, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party have been forcing mayors in Turkey to resign from their positions, although the mayors have been elected by popular vote.

  One of these mayors, Ahmet Edip Uğur of Balıkesir, told the Turkish opposition daily Sözcü that he was threatened by the Justice and Development Party. Mr. Uğur was also a member of the party, but resigned from the party along with the resignation from his position as the mayor.

  President Erdoğan denied that anyone has threatened the mayor.

★ A contentious legal article allowing state religious officials (Müftis) to perform and register marriages was published in Turkey's Official Gazette on November 3, formally legalizing the regulation after it was approved by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The law previously assigned state registrars in local municipalities to record all marriages. Critics of the new regulation argue that it will pave the way for "unrecorded marriages" and "child marriages."

  They also say it violates the secular principles of Turkey's civil code and will compromise the civil rights of women, including the right to divorce and inheritance.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's main opposition Republican People's party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu voiced his support for the establishment of a Palestinian state in line with the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as a capital.

  Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu expressed his views in a letter on November 2 two Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas marking the Centennial of the Balfour declaration, which paved the way for Israel's establishment in 1948.

★ Zeynep Bilgehan of the Hürriyet Daily News writes that, Britain's exit from the European Union will also have a negative effect on Turkey, according to Denis MacShane, an author and former UK minister.

  "If Britain is out of the European Union, then Turkey will lose its best friend in Europe," said Mr. MacShane, whose "Brexit, No Exit: Why in the End Britain Won't Leave Europe" was published last month.

  The anti-European British campaign involved scaring people of massive Turkish immigration to Britain, Mr. MacShane pointed out. During the Brexit campaign every household in Britain got a leaflet saying that if Britain stays in Europe 75 million Turks will arrive in London tomorrow. "That campaign was very anti--Turkish, very anti-immigrant" Mr. MacShane says.

  Mr. MacShane was speaking on the sidelines of the Global Relations Forum in Istanbul on November 1.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani's announcement that he plans to step down was greeted with jubilation in Turkey's pro-government media. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused Barzani, his once close ally, of betrayal for his decision to hold a September independence referendum, reports Dorian Jones of the Voice of America.

  But Turkey could yet pay a heavy price for Barzani's ousting. "We have lost our most important ally in the region," warned political analyst Atilla Yeşilada of Global Source Partners, a New York analysis firm. Since the late 2000s, Mr. Erdoğan developed a close political relationship with Barzani, facilitated by burgeoning trade and shared distrust of Baghdad's leadership. Mr. Erdoğan in fact exchanged heated insults with the Iraqi Prime Minister.

  But in a dramatic diplomatic reversal, Mr. Erdoğan embraced Abadi in common cause over the threat of Iraqi Kurdish independence.

  Read more at >> here <<

  Messrs. Çavuşoğlu and Gabriel

★ Turkish and German foreign affairs ministers, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Sigmar Gabriel, held talks on a number of bilateral issues in a surprise meeting on early November 4 in Turkey's southern province of Antalya amid ongoing chill in ties., reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The relationships between the two countries have long been suffering from a deep mistrust. Turkey has been accusing Germany of tolerating the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party and its activities in its territories and of granting asylum and protection to the members of the Gülen network following the failed coup attempt last year. Germany, in return, has been accusing Turkey of arresting German nationals on baseless grounds including journalists and activists. Turkey's release of German national Peter Steudtner along with seven other activists who have been arrested over terror charges and recent release of another German whose name has not been announced have been regarded positive moves in terms of mending ties between the two countries.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The trial of the opposition journalists resumed in Turkey amid global concern, VOA's Dorian Jones reports.

  The journalists from the Cumhuriyet newspaper is part of an ongoing crackdown after last year's failed coup.

  17 journalists in the case are being tried on terrorism charges. Most analysts say that it is actually President Erdoğan's attempt to silence his critics.

  The Erdoğan administration has closed 48 newspapers under emergency rule introduced after last year's failed coup.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkish police arrested scores of people suspected to be linked to the Islamic state.

  Four suspects were allegedly planning an attack last Saturday. They are Austrian citizens of Turkish origin.

  Some 155 of the suspects are also foreign born. All suspects are set to be linked to ISIL

★ Turkey is reinforcing the armored columns it started deploying last month in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, the stronghold of an increasingly fractious Al-Qaida-linked group, in what analysts describe as a phased incursion, Jamie Dettmer of the VOA reports.

  The campaign to pacify Idlib, which has been coordinated with Russia, has been accompanied by a string of assassinations of jihadist commanders who have been unwilling to collaborate with Ankara, according to analysts and Syrian rebel commanders. Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's military says eight Turkish security force members and five Kurdish militants were killed in a clash near Turkey's border with northern Iraq.

  On November 3 the Turkish military disclosed that Jets hit 36 Kurdistan Workers Party targets in northern Iraq.


★ Hamburger Recycling, a part of Austria-based Prinzhorn Group, said it has signed an agreement to purchase İzmir-based recycling company Kastaş Kağıt in a statement on November 3, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Hamburger Recycling operates 32 recycling centers in 12 countries with a total capacity of 1,350,000 tons of paper for recycling per year.

  Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 2nd left, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, 2nd right and Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, right, at the inauguration ceremony in Baku, Azerbaijan.

★ The leaders of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia launched an 500-mile rail link connecting the three countries on Monday, establishing a freight and passenger link between Europe and China that bypasses Russia, reports Reuters.

  The line will have the capacity to transport one million passengers and five million tons of freight and reduces journey time between China and Europe to around 15 days twice as fast as the sea route at less than half the price of flying.

  "Several European countries have expressed an interest in this project and Azerbaijan is in talks with them," Azerbaijan's President Aliyev said, adding Kazakhstan and other countries in Central Asia were interested in transporting their goods via the line.

  Read more at >> here <<

  A hazelnut grove in Trabzon, Turkey

★ According to Reuters, Nutella-maker Ferrero 's dependence on hazelnuts from a single major producer, Turkey, has sent it searching for new suppliers to satisfy consumer cravings, from eastern Canada to Chile and Australia.

  The farmer recruitment efforts of Ferrero, one of the world's biggest hazelnut buyers for its Nutella spread, may loosen Turkey's grip on the $2.8 billion industry, which is prone to volatile prices and tight supplies.

  Turkey produces 70% of the world's hazelnuts.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Anatolia News Agency, the Standard & Poor's (S&P) ratings agency left unchanged Turkey's credit rating on November 3, but said its outlook remains "negative".

★ Turkey's annual inflation spiked to a nine-year high of 11.9 percent in October, official data showed on November 3. The inflation rate was driven by a sharp increase in transportation, clothing and food prices, and the rise potentially puts more pressure on the Central Bank to tighten policy.

★ The cost of delivering the S-400 missile defense system to Turkey will exceed $2 billion, an official with Russia's state-run defense company Rostec said on November 2, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Turkey's NATO allies are opposed to the purchase.

★ Exports of Turkey's first indigenous assault rifle, the MPT-76, have already begun, security sources said on October 31, reports the Anatolia News Agency. Somalia has received 450 of the rifles.

  After passing 47 NATO tests, the MPT-76 rifle - named after the Turkish acronym for National Infantry Rifle and the caliber of its 7.62 millimeter NATO round - is billed as being as "effective as the G-3, as reliable as the AK-47 and as practical as the M-16."

★ Turkish manufacturing activity expanded for the eighth straight month in October, a business survey showed on November 1, driven by solid growth in new orders, output and employment, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

★ Turkey's exports rose 15.6 percent year-on-year to $13.5 billion in October, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on November 1, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

★ Turkey ranks 60th on the World Bank's latest "ease of doing business" index, up nine places from last year.

  The main reasons behind the upgrade are methodology refinements and improvements in Turkey's business regulatory environment stemming from various reforms and data revisions, the World Bank said in a separate Turkey brief on November 1, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The top three countries in the index are New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark. Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey is aiming to explore new markets in Far East countries, as part of its strategy to become a top three tourism destination, the country's culture and tourism minister said on November 2, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

★ Turkey launched a joint venture of five local industrial giants to produce its first domestically-made car on November 2, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.


★ Hundreds of historical artifacts unearthed in the 3,000-year-old ancient city of Stratonikeia in Turkey's western province of Muğla's Yatağan district are being restored in a field called "stone hospital".

  Speaking to state-run Anatolia News Agency, the head of the Stratonikeia excavations, Bilal Söğüt, said a team of experts made up of archaeologists, conservators and restorers are working hard in a field they call the stone hospital.

  The team, Söğüt said, starts working after determining the period of the artifacts.

  "The treatment of the artifacts depends on their size and the damage they have. For example, an artifact broken into 50 pieces can be restored in 10 days. Like bone fractures in a human body, if there is only one fracture in the human body, it can be treated with a single operation, but in multiple fractures this process is done in stages. What we do is like this," Söğüt said.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Speaking of stone, a group of giant Seljuk tombstones in Turkey's eastern province of Bitlis could join the permanent UNESCO World Heritage List in 2019. The 400- to 700-year-old gravestones are currently on the temporary list, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Describing the tombs as "monuments," provincial director of the Culture and Tourism Ministry Ramazan Gencan said the Seljuk Cemetery was of vital importance to the Turkish-Islamic world, second only to the proto-Turkic Orhon inscriptions in Mongolia.

  The necropolis is spread over 50 acres and includes more than 8000 tombs, with various reliefs and carvings, including ornamental, cairn and cist-type sepulchers.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Skeletons unearthed during excavations at the 9,000 year-old ancient settlement of Çatalhöyük are on display at the Archaeology Museum in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  Çatalhöyük is famous for being one of the oldest and most important cultural heritage sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list. As one of the oldest towns ever found by archaeologists, it is one of the earliest examples of the transition to a fully settled life.

  In addition to the skeletons, which are on display in special glass bells together with earth from the excavation site, there is also a skull plastered in red earth.

  Archaeologists think the skull could have been displayed somewhere before being buried. They say the skull might have belonged to the member of an notable family.

  Çatalhöyük residents buried their dead with their knees pulled up to the stomach under their houses.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Steel gates have been installed to protect mosaics, with Oceanus and Medusa images, carved on historic walls unearthed during excavations in the western side of the necropolis in the ancient city of Perge, reports the Doğan News Agency. The mosaics were unearthed in 2003.

  The authorities are afraid of looting by treasure hunters.

  Perge is in Turkey's southern Mediterranean province of Antalya.

★ British painter Ned Pamphilon opened an exhibition titled "Göbeklitepe: A jewel on the culture crown of Turkey" in Istanbul.

  The artist, known for his works themed around Istanbul and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, presents 70 oil paintings depicting Göbeklitepe, which is considered the oldest settlement in the world located in Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa.

  Speaking about the exhibition, Pamphilon said Göbeklitepe was one of the most important discoveries in the world.

  "This exhibition introduces the ancient site of Göbeklitepe. It is said that the settlement is 11,600 years old.

  Double the age of the Giza pyramids in Egypt" Pamphilon says.

  Born in 1963 in London, Pamphilon first visited Turkey in 1988. He has opened exhibitions in different regions, from Texas to Saudi Arabia to Malaysia, but Istanbul and Turkey have become central to his life.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Archaeologist discovered the remains of an unexpected structure in Turkey's western province of Denizli during restoration work on the tomb of a warrior from the 1200s, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The structure was a Seljuk era school (medrese) some 800 years ago. Further excavations revealed a fountain, a courtyard and the tomb of the person who had built the school.

  Authorities are building a museum and preparing the area for public display for next year.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The 36th International Istanbul Book Fair has started on November 4 at the TÜYAP Fair Convention and Congress Center in Istanbul's Büyükçekmece district, organized by TÜYAP Fairs in partnership with the Turkish Publishers Association, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  More than 800 Turkish and foreign publishers and nongovernmental organizations will take part in the fair with a host of events, workshops for children, lectures by authors and hundreds of autograph sessions, bringing writers together with their readers under the theme "Glad to have you, literature."

  Author Ayla Kutlu is the Writer of Honor of the fair this year. A series of panels and events will be held on the life and works of Kutlu with appearances by the author herself.

  The fair is hosting South Korea as the Guest of Honor to celebrate its 36th year. South Korea's booth can be visited in the International Hall for the first four days of the fair until Nov. 7 and will promote South Korean literature and culture. The Guest of Honor events will include interviews, panel discussions, professional meetings with publishers, and children's events. Leading South Korean authors will meet with their readers at the book fair.

  The fair will continue until November 12.

★ Turkish author Ece Temelkuran has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award for her first novel translated into English, "Women Who Blow on Knots," the story of four women on a journey from Tunisia to Lebanon, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  One of Turkey's best-known novelists and political commentators, Ms. Temelkuran has been a regular guest on BBC Radio 4 and has also appeared on Channel 4 News, while her journalistic works have been featured in Der Spiegel, the Guardian and the New York Times. She currently lives in Zagreb.

  "Women Who Blow on Knots," Ms. Temelkuran's second novel and first to be translated into English, has sold over 120,000 copies. Full of political rhetoric and strong, atypically Muslim female characters, Ms. Temelkuran has woven an empowering tale that challenges the social perceptions of politics, religion and women in the Middle East as well as the universal bonds of sister and motherhood.

★ The gala for "Sevan the Craftsman: Breathing Istanbul Into Jewels," a new documentary telling the story of Sevan Bıçakçı, a master jeweler whose skill of transforming precious metals and gems into majestic works of art, took place on November 3 at Kadir Has University's Cibali Campus in Istanbul's Balat neighborhood, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Born into an impoverished family from Istanbul's Armenian community, Bıçakçı's story begins at age 12. He was an apprentice in the city's most famous and most demanding school for artisans: The Grand Bazaar.

  Now, 33 years into his profession, he is widely considered the world's real-life lord of the rings.

  Read more at >> here <<
Ilber Ortaylı

★ This year's winners of the Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Awards have been announced in a written statement released by Turkey's Presidential Press Information Center, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. The recipients, both Turkish and foreign, were chosen by the Turkish state for their contribution to Turkish culture and arts.

  According to the statement, historian Ilber Ortaylı will receive the award not only for his valuable contributions to Turkey's history but also for popularizing his research both at home and abroad.

  The statement said that musician Göksel Baktagir, a master of the kanun (a type of zither), has popularized his inspiring style and proven himself an outstanding prodigy in various fields as a performer and composer.

  Screenwriter Yavuz Turgul, calligrapher Ali Toy and painter Selahattin Kara also received awards.

★ The 18th International Antalya Piano Festival kicked off on November 1 with a concert by Manolo Carrasco.

  The event will feature 468 musicians performing in 10 concerts until December 2 in Turkey's southern province of Antalya, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.89


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        50/39 Mostly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    70/59 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       54/32 Mostly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 63/52 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean:             66/48 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        61/52 Partly Cloudy



Premiere League

★ Results for week: 10
Kasımpaşa - Göztepe 3 - 1
Alanya Sp - Beşiktaş 1 - 2
Başakşehir - Akhisar Sp 2 - 1
G. Birliği - Malatyaspor 0 - 1
Konya Sp - Osmanlı Sp 1 - 0
Karabük Sp - Sivas Sp 0 - 1
Bursa Sp - Antalya Sp 4 - 0
Trabzon Sp - G. Saray 2 - 1
Fenerbahçe - Kayseri Sp 3 - 3
★ In games played so far this weekend:
G. Saray - G. Birliği 5 - 1
Kasımpaşa - Bursa Sp 2 - 2
Osmanlı Sp - Fenerbahçe 1 - 1
Kayseri Sp - Trabzon Sp 0 - 0
Antalya Sp - Karabük Sp 2 - 1
Akhisar Sp - Alanya Sp - - -
Göztepe - Beşiktaş - - -
Sivas Sp - Konya Sp - - -
Malatyaspor - Başakşehir - - -
★ Standing in the league as of week ending 10
1 - G. Saray 23
2 - Başakşehir 20
3 - Beşiktaş 18
4 - Kayseri Sp 18
5 - Göztepe 17
6 - Akhisar Sp 17
7 - Bursa Sp 16
8 - Fenerbahçe 16
9 - Sivas Sp 16
10 - Malatyaspor 14
11 - Trabzon Sp 12
12 - Alanya Sp 11
13 - Kasımpaşa 11
14 - Konya Sp 10
15 - Antalya Sp 9
16 - Karabük Sp 8
17 - G. Birliği 8
18 - Osmanlı Sp 7
★ In the UEFA, Union of European Soccer Associations cup UEFA: Turkey's Başakşehir had a draw with Germany's Hoffenheim 1-1 on November 2. With this result the Turkish team is at the very bottom of their group.

  In the same cup another Turkish team, Konyaspor, had a draw against Austria's Salzburg, 0-0 in Austria on November 3. With this result Konyaspor is in third place in his grouping.

  In the European Champions League: Turkey's Beşiktaş had a draw with Monaco, representing France, 1-1 in a game played in Turkey on November 1. With this result Beşiktaş is up at the top of its group.


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

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