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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 02 December 2017

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

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ The trial of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a Turkish banker started in New York this week. The news coming from the trial was headlines in the Turkish media throughout the week. The only exception was the government controlled Anatolia News Agency and the Turkish radio and television, which initially avoided the news.

  Mr. Atilla was supposed to have a codefendant, businessman Reza Zarrab, however Mr. Zarrab turned a government witness for possibly a reduced sentence.

  Throughout the week Mr. Zarrab told the court how he came up with various schemes to launder Iranian oil money. He also told how he bribed Turkish officials and used Halbank where Mr. Atilla worked.

  Mr. Zarrab said that Mr. Atilla did not receive any bribes from him, and in fact at one time he was trying to block the transactions. However Mr. Atilla was overruled by his boss, the manager of Halbank, who received large sums of bribe from Mr. Zarrab.

  Another person who received large sums of money was the then economy minister of Turkey Mr. Zafer Caglayan. Mr. Zarrab said that he paid him over $60 million.

  To garner support in Turkey , the ruling Justice and Development Party administration including the Turkish president characterized the trial an attack on Turkey. The Justice and Development Party followers seem to be towing the line and pro-government and government controlled media is blasting the trial.

★ Another corruption allegation that made headlines in Turkey came from the opposition Republican People's party. Its leader disclosed documents that showed that Turkey's President Erdoğan's relatives and close circles had accounts in the Isle of Mann.

  The president initially said that the money transferred there was actually money coming in to Turkey. But then the officials of the Justice and Development Party claimed that the documents were fake.

  As a retaliation, the relatives and acquaintances of the president opened a slander lawsuit against the opposition party leader.

★ Perhaps as a retaliation to the court proceedings in the US, the Istanbul chief public prosecutor's office on December 1 issued an arrest warrant for Graham Fuller, formerly vice chair of the National Intelligence Council. Mr. Fuller also served for 27 years as a CIA official in the past.

  The Turkish government accuses Mr. Fuller of "attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey" and "obtaining state information that must be kept secret for political and military espionage purpose".

  Mr. Fuller was in Turkey on an island attending a conference during last year's attempted coup, widely believed to be carried out by cleric Fethullah Gülen's followers.

  Newsweek carried an article on the Turkish warrant and characterized it as part of Turkey's President Erdoğan's witch hunt targeting anyone he believes to be against him, especially those he believes are connected to his nemesis Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish preacher who has lived in the United States for decades.

  Mr. Fuller wrote a letter in 2006 supporting Mr. Gülen's application for US permanent residency.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ One piece of good news: Turkish economy seems to be doing well, at least when it comes to exports.

  The exports from this January to November reached $142.7 billion, marking a 11 percent rise from the same period last year, mainly due to an ongoing surge in automotive exports, the Turkish Exporters' Assembly stated on December 1.

  There is, however, worries that the trial in New York we mentioned at the beginning of our news could result in sanctions on Turkish banks, which may damage the economy.

★ Turkey's leading e-commerce company Hepsiburada has said it sold 2 million products through more than half a million orders during "Legendary Friday," a new branding created by the company to turn Black Friday into a major celebration day in Turkey, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.


★ Ahmet Aslan, a shepherd who is originally from Şanlıurfa in southeastern Turkey, has developed his own niche collection; rocks that resemble humans and animals. His collection is now on display at the Human Rocks Museum, in a unused church in Uzunköprü in the northwestern province of Edirne.

  Aslan, 48, began collecting life-like rocks eight years ago. Over the years, he has gathered more than 150 rocks while herding animals across Turkey.

  One of his most treasured stones is one that bears a passing likeness to U.S. President Donald Trump.

  He was so delighted with the hefty find that he carried it 10 miles to add to his collection.

  Tokyo's Hall of Curious Rocks has also inspired Aslan. The Japanese attraction opened in 2016 and has more than 1,700 display items.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Reuters carried an article this week on Turkish artist Hasan Kale.

  Kale paints scenes from Istanbul on miniature objects or even food particles. He is known in Turkey as Microangelo.

  For him, no object is too small - from fig seeds to bottle caps, lentils to fishbone, Kale finds any object or food big enough to paint a scene from his hometown of Istanbul.

  Kale has been practicing his art for over 20 years and so far has painted on 350 different objects.

  Read more at >> here <<

  Click here for Kale's website: Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Associated Press, the European Union's legislature is moving to ban the phosphates used in the processed meat that is the heart of the popular street snack döner kebab. Up-in-arms kebab vendors skewer the idea.

  Döner kebab is originally from Turkey and most vendors in Europe are also from Turkey. Just alone In Germany it is a several billion dollar business sector and it outsells McDonald's hamburgers.

  The article writes that European Union is exempting some sausages that contains phosphate and the Turkish vendors are alleging discrimination.

  Kenan Koyuncu, of the German Association of Doner Kebab Producers, told Germany's Bild daily newspaper: "If the European Parliament gets its way, this would be the death sentence for the entire doner kebab industry in the European Union."

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Irish art historian Mikail Patrick Duggan, who lives in the southern province of Antalya, is working to find Turkish Islamic artifacts that have been smuggled abroad.

  The Mediterranean Civilizations Research Institute academic Duggan, 59, moved to Antalya 27 years ago as he was impressed with the city's history.

  His work focuses on revealing the earliest Islamic art in Anatolia and returning the smuggled Turkish Islamic artifacts from abroad.

  Speaking to state-run Anatolia News Agency, Duggan said he was interested in the land of Alexander the Great and Islamic geography and had visited certain cities, from Thessaloniki to Egypt and Tunisia. He had converted to Islam while studying the religion.

  Duggan said the famous İznik tiles were the most important among the smuggled artifacts and that they had been kept in museums and private collections in England as well as in Paris and New York.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The Ankara State Opera and Ballet (ADOB) will stage a brand new production of the "Murat IV" opera in Ankara after an eight-year hiatus.

  The opera tells the tale of 17th century Ottoman Sultan Murat IV, whose life has also been the subject of movies, TV series and theater plays. It will premiere on Nov. 29 under the direction of İzmir State Opera and Ballet Art Director and Deputy Director Haldun Özörten.

  Speaking to state-run Anatolia News Agency, Özörten said Murat IV was composed by orchestra conductor Okan Demiriş, with its libretto written by Turan Oflazoğlu.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Sümela Monastery located in Turkey's Eastern Black Sea province of Trabzon will reopen next year, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The monastery, located on a dramatic cliff edge in the remote mountains, has been closed for work aiming to address dangers caused by rock masses around the Karadağ Mountain, where it is located.

  Workers removed some of the rocks that created danger and after the removal of a 600-ton rock the project will be completed.

  The monastery was established in 386 A.D. during the reign of the Roman Emperor Theodosius I.

★ A team headed by Associate Professor Yasemin Yılmaz of Düzce University Archaeology Department is working on analyzing the genes of skeletons unearth in Istanbul's Yenikapı, Pendik, Sirkeci and Beşiktaş neighborhoods, Ömer Erbil of the Hürriyet Daily News reports.

  There is a 5000 year of gap between the Yenikapı and Beşiktaş skeletons. However, Dr. Yilmaz says that the cremation and normal burial methods have both continued at the two sites. The genetic analysis may reveal if the people were related, she says.

  The discovery of the older human remains push back the history of Istanbul to 8500 years ago.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Third International Gastromasa Gastronomy Conference was held in Istanbul on December 2 with 18 world renowned top chefs from around the globe speaking on the theme "The Product", reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The event had hundreds of attendees enjoying talks about the fundamentals of gastronomy and the "gifts of the soil." There will also be a section titled "Chef Chat," where audiences will have a chance to have a Q&A session with the speakers.

  The goal of Gastromasa is to promote Turkish gastronomy and encourage synergy with other cuisines, while promoting Turkey as a top destination for business and leisure.

  This year's line-up of speakers includes Mitsuharu Tsumura of Lima's Maido restaurant, recently crowned Best Restaurant in Latin America and top chefs Virgilio Martinez, Kamilla Seidler, Joan Roca, Mauro Colagreco, Hiroyasu Kawate of Tokyo's Florilege, Istanbul-born pastry chef Stelios Parliaros and Joxe Mari Aizega, head of the Basque Culinary Center.

★ The 5th International Bosporus Film Festival ended on Nov. 27, with Iranian director Parviz Shahbazi's film "Malaria" sweeping up the awards for Best Script, Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Actress at the closing ceremony, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Festival director Ogün Şanlıer said they had received more than 3,400 international applications from 102 countries for the festival, and showed 150 films from 36 countries.

  The Lifetime Achievement of the festival was presented to Hungarian director Bela Tarr at the closing ceremony.

★ Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Anavarza , located in Turkey's southern province of Adana, have unearthed a headless two-piece statue. The city became one of the most important settlement in Anatolia--the modern-day Asiatic part of Turkey-- after the second century.

  The statue is believed to have belonged to Asclepius, the daughter of the god of health, Dioscorides. Next to the statue is Eros, the god of love.

  Work to restore the hundred-foot long five-foot wide two-lane road in the ancient region will start in the coming days, officials say.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The result of the tendering process for the construction of new harbor at the UNESCO world heritage center of Ephesus in Turkey's Aegean province of Izmir's Selçuk district, has yet to be announced, even though the process was concluded over a month ago.

  The ancient city was located by the Aegean Sea 2000 years ago. However, the nearby Meander River filled the harbor with silt over time. Ephesus now is about 4 miles inland.

  The project involves opening a channel that would reach the ancient site.

★ Two towers in the ancient city of Perge, visited by thousands of tourists every year in the southern Turkish province of Antalya, have been undergoing a restoration process. The original stone blocks of the towers are now being placed in the towers. Nearly 2,000 stones have been classified by the original location in the structure for the completion of the towers, officials say.

  The ancient city of Perge has been dubbed as "Turkey's second Zeugma" for the alluring appearance of the mosaics that have been unearthed so far. The city has been excavated since 1946 and the nearby Antalya Museum has one of the richest collections of Roman sculptures from the site.

  The city was first established by Hittites in the Bronze Age. Archaeologists found a bronze plaque at the site dating back to 1235 BC, erected by Hittite King Tudhaliya IV.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The winners of the 34th Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Contest, organized by the Aydın Doğan Foundation, received their awards on Nov. 30 at a ceremony held at Osman Hamdi Bey Hall at Istanbul's Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. Before the ceremony, the award-winning cartoonists met with younger artists for a workshop.

  The 2017 contest received 2,220 cartoons from 641 artists spanning 63 countries. From these submissions the awards committee chose 261 cartoons from 187 artists spanning 40 countries.

  British cartoonist Ross Thomson, a recipient of many awards in previous years, was announced the winner of this year's contest.

  The second and third places of the contest went to Iranian cartoonist Shahram Rezai and Brazilian Raimundo Rucke Santos Souza, respectively. The runner-up and third place cartoons tackled migration and refugee issues.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Anatolia news agency, Turkey's Pamukkale University academic Yakup Kaska is directing an organization for saving the sea turtles. The Sea Turtle Research Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is the name of the organization.

  Prof. Kaska says that turtles are the gardeners of the seas, and the activity helps with fish and other sea life find nesting grounds among the sea meadows made up of seaweed.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ One British and one Turkish artist are moving into an art space usually intended for hostel guests. Two artists meets with similar processes of working - namely across drawing, performance based installation for Hush, Istanbul.

  Both artists have an interest in capturing intimate and sometimes visceral human forms in their works. Through these likenesses Rise and Dusk was created. Ece Nada made and researched her sculptural pieces in London during and after a residency at the Slade School in London. Simultaneously Duncan Boyzie recorded his subjects in Turkey over the period of one year.

  Both artists will create a joint site specific installation due to start as of December 9 2017.

  24 drawings from each artist will go on display until 10th of December. The exhibition and special opening will feature live stream video art.

  See artists site here: Read more at >> here <<

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.91


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        61/41 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    72/57 Partly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       37/18 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 66/54 Mostly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean:             70/59 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        64/50 Partly Cloudy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 21 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 9 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 13 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 15 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 6 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 15 inches


★ Turkey's national basketball team defeated Ukraine 67-60 in Kiev's City Arena late on Nov. 26.

★ Turkey defeated Latvia 85-73 in the FIBA 2019 World Cup European Qualifiers Group B match on Nov. 24 at TOFAŞ Sports Hall in the northwestern province of Bursa


★ A spectator made a marriage proposal to Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova during her TEB BNP Paribas Tennis Stars Series match against Turkey's Çağla Büyükakçay in Istanbul on Nov. 26.

  During the match at the Sinan Erdem Dome, a Turkish man shouted his proposal to Sharapova during the game, to which she responded by saying "maybe." The exchange was applauded by other spectators.

  Sharapova beat Turkish player Büyükakçay 2-0 in the match, winning the first set 7-6 and the second set 6-0.


Premiere League

★ Results for week: 13
Osmanlı Sp      -      G. Birliği      2 - 0
G. Saray        -      Alanya Sp       2 - 0
Göztepe         -      Akhisar Sp      2 - 0
Malatyaspor     -      Beşiktaş        0 - 0
Antalya Sp      -      Fenerbahçe      0 - 1
Bursa Sp        -      Karabük Sp      2 - 1
Kasımpaşa       -      Konya Sp        2 - 1
Sivas Sp        -      Trabzon Sp      1 - 2
Kayseri Sp      -      Başakşehir      1 - 1

★ In games played so far this weekend:

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

★ Standing in the league as of week ending 13

  1 - G. Saray        29
  2 - Başakşehir      27
  3 - Fenerbahçe      23
  4 - Beşiktaş        23
  5 - Kayseri Sp      23
  6 - Bursa Sp        21
  7 - Göztepe         21
  8 - Trabzon Sp      19
  9 - Sivas Sp        19
 10 - Kasımpaşa       18
 11 - Akhisar Sp      18
 12 - Alanya Sp       17
 13 - Malatyaspor     15
 14 - Antalya Sp      13
 15 - Konya Sp        11
 16 - Osmanlı Sp      11
 17 - Karabük Sp      8
 18 - G. Birliği      8


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


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