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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 20 January 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 20 January 2018]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM, every Saturday from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M.

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★ Turkey started to carry out a military operation in Afrin in northern Syria Saturday.

  "The threat level against Turkey is increasing day by day. This operation will be carried out and we will combat terrorism," Canikli said the previous day, referring to the long-anticipated operation against the Syrian Kurds' People's Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin. Turkey sees YPG as organically linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party of rebel Kurds in Turkey.

  VOA reported that Turkey's threat to intervene in Afrin came after a U.S.-led coalition said it would form a 30,000-strong Kurdish-led border security force in northern Syria.

  In the meantime, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has denied that the United States had any intention of building a Syria-Turkey border force, saying the issue has been "misportrayed and misdescribed."

  The statement came after the top U.S. diplomat met with Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Çavuşoğlu on the sidelines of the Vancouver meeting on North Korea.

  There are controversial statements coming from the U.S., said Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on January 18 regarding U.S. support for the Kurdish militia on Turkey-Syria borders.

  Also on January 18, at a news briefing, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. wanted Turkey to abstain from violence in the northwestern city of Afrin.

  Russian military police stationed in Afrin had begun withdrawing before the military operation by the Turkish army, Turkey's Anatolia News Agency has reported, in a development that comes only a day after key military and intelligence talks between the two sides in Moscow.

  Syrian government, meanwhile, threatened to shoot down any Turkish planes that may fly over Afrin. Despite the Syrian threat, 72 Turkish jets took part in the operation, all returning safely back to their bases.

  The Turkish Air Force also reportedly hit the Menagh Military Airbase in northwestern Syria, which the U.S. used for supplying weapons to YPG.

  Earlier Turkey's main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu urged for diplomacy before any military operation against Afrin.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ On January 13 The Washington Post published an opinion article by Brian Klaas titled "Want to see where Trump is taking America? Look at Turkey under Erdoğan".

  Klaas writes "In 2013, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey -- a democratically elected leader with a clearly authoritarian bent -- was facing credible allegations of corruption. A truly independent investigation could threaten Erdoğan's grip on power. As arrests mounted, it became clear that the prosecutorial net was sweeping closer to the prime minister himself."

  Erdoğan's political machine sprang into action. Despite overwhelming evidence of corruption among his close associates, Erdoğan claimed there was none. He dismissed the investigation as a "dirty plot" by law enforcement. His supporters spoke of a "witch hunt" launched by the Turkish "deep state." Erdoğan demanded that the investigation focus not on him but on his political opponent. His supporters began to agitate about the need to "clean house" in the judiciary and law enforcement. Soon thereafter, Erdoğan fired those who were investigating him.

  Klaas writes that President Trump is trying to do the same about allegations about himself and that parallels are striking.

  Brian Klaas is a fellow at the London School of Economics, a Washington Post Global Opinions contributing writer and the author of "The Despot's Apprentice: Donald Trump's Attack on Democracy."

  Read more at >> here <<

★ U.S. District Judge Richard Berman wants lawyers in a case involving Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab and Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla to detail any internal communications they had with the U.S. and Turkish governments.

  Judge Berman on January 18 directed prosecutors and defense lawyers to include the information in sentencing memos in the prosecution that resulted in the conviction of Atilla and a guilty plea by Zarrab, the Associated Press has reported.

  Atilla was found guilty on January 3 by a jury on five charges related to conspiracy and bank fraud related to violating sanctions on Iran. The Turkish government has said it "does not recognize" the U.S. court decision.

  Zarrab was arrested in the U.S. in 2016 on similar charges and pleaded guilty prior to the start of the trial before he testified for prosecutors against Atilla.

★ Metin Gurcan reports on al Monitor that preliminary boring and excavation have begun on Canal Istanbul, something Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has described as one of his "crazy projects."

  Opponents agree with that assessment.

  The massive project will connect the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, which the Bosporus Strait already does. But the new canal is designed to alleviate congestion in the strait. The waterway is expected to cost $17 billion, though some estimates run much higher. The channel will measure around 45 kilometers (28 miles) in length and 150 meters (490 feet) in width.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Afew hacking news headlines:

  - "Anonymous Greece" claims responsibility for hacking Turkish president Erdoğan's website

  - The Twitter account of the president of the World Economic Forum has been hacked.

  Borge Brende, the former minister of foreign affairs for Norway, has been targeted by people claiming to represent the Turkish cyber army Ayyıldız Tim.

  - The Twitter account of the German news magazine Spiegel editor-in-chief Klaus Brinkbaumer has been hacked and used to apologize for bad news published about Turkey.

★ Foreigners purchased over 22, thousand properties across Turkey in 2017, a 22 per cent year-on-year increase from the previous years, official data showed.

  Sales to foreigners had declined 20 per cent in 2016 compared with the previous year, dropping to 18 thousand units amid various security concerns, Turkish daily Hürriyet reported on Friday.

★ Turkish Airlines announced last week that it intends to order 20 Airbus A350-900 aircraft with the option of adding five more of the aircraft at a later date.

  The A350 XWB is the European manufacturer's latest widebody aircraft and is capable of long range flight while typically carrying approximately 300 passengers.


★ The National Public Radio broadcast a review by David Edelstein, film critic for New York magazine, of the Turkish-German director Fatih Akin's new film "In The Fade".

  In the Fade was the surprise winner in the Best Foreign Language category of this year's Golden Globe Awards." Diane Kruger plays a German woman whose Turkish husband and young son are killed in a bomb attack.

  The film opened in late December in New York and LA and goes into wider release this month.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The Lake Van basin in eastern Turkey is currently hosting white swans from Siberia and migrating flamingos, amid unseasonably warm temperatures, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  "Some birds have not returned to their countries as winter is hot this year," said Lokman Aslan, director of the Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Wild Life Protection Center.


★ The Press Museum in Istanbul charts the development of press-related technologies, taking visitors on a journey through Turkish press history and showing them portraits of well-known journalists along the way, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The museum, which is operated by the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC), occupies a historical neoclassical building in Çemberlitaş, built in 1865 by Saffet Paşa, the Education Minister at the time.

  Speaking to the Anatolia News Agency, Turkish Journalists Association Secretary General Sibel Güneş said the Press Museum was opened on May 9, 1988 in the restored building.

  A source of inspiration for media-sector professionals, the museum offers a nostalgic journey though displays of primitive tools including stone press samples, a platen machine, proof printing machines, a guillotine, old type-writers, telexes and tele-photos.

  Newspapers and magazines of various periods as well other examples of journalistic publications are shown next to objects journalists frequently use, such as press cards.

  There is also a mock-up of the first printing house established by İbrahim Müteferrika in 1726.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Blue Man Group, the phenomenal crew named after the enigmatic bald and blue characters of their own creation, will be at Istanbul's Zorlu Performing Arts Center with a series of performances starting February 13, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The origin of the Blue Man Group, which was founded by Chris Wink, Phil Stanton and Matt Goldman, lies within the character of Blue Man created by the Wink-Stanton-Goldman trio.

  The Blue Man Group show has been on stage in over 20 countries and has been seen by over 35 million people since 1991.


★ More than 10,000 injured stray animals were rehabilitated in Ankara last year, the capital city's metropolitan municipality said on January 16, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Four ambulances and five animal transport vehicles were used to help the animals in the city.

  The municipality's teams also closely followed the vaccinations of the stray animals

  Besides cats and dogs, teams sometimes receive calls to rescue different animal species, too, such as monkeys, donkeys, eagles and goats.

  Animal lovers are asked to call 153 to inform municipality teams about emergency situations related to stray animals.


★ Döner kebab, which is one of the most popular dishes in Turkish cuisine, is indispensable for those who feel hungry at night thanks to caravan kebab vendors in Australia.

  Döner has become famous in Australia with Turks and is now preparing to celebrate its 50th year in the country.

  The number of mobile kebab vendors has reached 3,000 around the country in the busiest streets. They are open during night hours, offering döner kebab until sunrise to earn their living.

  On the other hand, the gross transaction volume for the nearly 5,000 Australian döner kebab vendors is $1.6 billion.


★ Comic strips such as Zagor, Tex, Mr. No, Tommiks (Captain Miki), Tarkan, Kara Murat and Karaoğlan have reached a wide range of readers since the 1950s.

  Now their fans have formed an association, to pass on the torch to future generations, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  Established at the end of 2017 in Istanbul's Küçükçekmece neighborhood, the Comic Strip Readers Association offices has shelves full of old comic strips.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Giuseppe Verdi's first international opera 'Ernani,' which was first staged in Turkey in 1846 and returned to the Turkish stage last year, will meet art lovers again this year, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The opera opened on Jan 19 at Kadıköy Süreyya Opera.


★ The number of wild and domestic animals are increasing in the Natural Life Park in Turkey's northwestern province of Kocaeli, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  Recently, 61 animals of different species have become guests at the park.

  The park has been established on a 500-acre land.


★ A Zaza-language version of William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" will hit the Istanbul stage on January 27 at the Üsküdar Bağlarbaşı Culture Center, courtesy of the Bingöl Municipality Şehr-i Bingöl Theater group, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The aim of the play, which is directed by Yunus Çiftçi, is to support the Zaza language and preserve cultural traditions.

  The Zaza language is a Northwest Iranian language of the Indo-European family spoken primarily in eastern Turkey by the Zazas, with approximately two to three million speakers.

★ Istanbul authorities banned a planned performance on Friday of a play about a dictator, reports the Business Insider.

  "Just a Dictator" is an extended monologue delivered by the ruler of an unspecified country about his rise to power. As the dictator speaks, chants of angry protesters can be heard approaching his residence, but do little to intimidate him.

  On Friday morning police notified the theater that staging the play in any open or enclosed space within Kadıköy was banned, citing a law established under the state of emergency declared after the coup attempt in July 2016.

  "It has been evaluated that the play may affect public order and safety negatively, endanger security and well-being of the public and disturb the environment of public peace and trust," said a copy of the notice posted on Twitter by the theater.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The 22nd Aydın Doğan Award has been granted to Turkish folk singer Arif Sağ, who will be presented the award at a ceremony in April, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Born in 1945 in the eastern province of Erzurum, Sağ came to Istanbul aged 14 and became the student of Nida Tüfekçi at the Aksaray Music Society. He released his first album in 1963 and joined the Istanbul Radio team in 1965 as a bağlama artist.

  Sağ was one of the most famous names of the 45-rpm record period, which lasted about 20 years. He released some 50 records and made more than 200 compositions during those years.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The number of visitors to museums and ancient sites affiliated with the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry rose 17 percent in 2017, compared to the previous year, hitting 20.5 million, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  According to a written statement made by the ministry, this year the number of visitors are expected to increase a further 20 percent and reach 25 million.

  The Museum for Rumi, the Sufi Master and founder of the Mevlevi order in Turkey's central Anatolian province of Konya was the most visited venue last year with 2.5 million people.

  The Topkapı Palace Museum in Istanbul came second, with two million visitors. The Hagia Sophia Museum ranked third with 1.9 million visitors.

  Hierapolis in Pamukkale in the western province of Denizli ranked fourth with 1.5 million visitors and the Ephesus Ancient Site in İzmir ranked fifth with 996,800 visitors.


★ According to the Hürriyet Daily News, more than 10 million foreign tourists visited Antalya in 2017 with a 56 percent year-on-year increase, the head of a top tourism association said, adding that early reservations from Russia and Europe were fairly strong for summer 2018, and that now was the time for the province to update its room prices.

  4.7 million of these tourists were from Russia.

  In 2017, 32 million foreign tourists visited Turkey while the number of local holidaymakers came to 5.5 million.


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.81


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        48/34 Mostly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    64/52 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       34/14 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 54/45 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean:             59/52 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        57/45 Mostly Cloudy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 57 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 35 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 48 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 22 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 6 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 23 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 50 inches



The premiere league is back from the recess. This week's games played so far:
Kasımpaşa       -      Alanya Sp       3 - 2
Fenerbahçe      -      Göztepe         2 - 1
Karabük Sp      -      G. Birliği      0 - 2
Osmanlı Sp      -      Malatyaspor     0 - 0

Latest games
Date		Team 1			Team 2		Score
13.01.2018	BANVİT 		-	KARŞIYAKA	84 - 65
13.01.2018	TOFAŞ	      	-	YEŞİLGİRESUN    92 - 52
13.01.2018	BEŞİKTAŞ	-	BÜYÜKÇEKMECE	78 - 65
13.01.2018	İSTANBUL BBSK	-	FENERBAHÇE      70 - 83
14.01.2018	GAZİANTEP	-	DARÜŞŞAFAKA   	65 - 98
14.01.2018	SAKARYA		-	ESKİŞEHİR 	100 - 89
14.01.2018	UŞAK     	-	TRABZONSPOR  	100 - 71
14.01.2018	EFES       	-	GALATASARAY   	76 - 68
Ranking Team Points
2	TOFAŞ		27
6	BANVİT		24                  
8	EFES		24
15	UŞAK		18


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

*** LaLe restaurant on Irving St. in San Francisco is giving our listeners 15% off! Call them at (415) 566-8814
*** TB Mezze on Murphy Ave in Sunnyvale is giving our listeners 10% off! Call them at (408) 663-6644
*** Tasty mezes, singing, dancing and good times...

March 3, 2018
Music by Alaturca Connection...

Proceeds will go to benefit children in Turkey thru Ankara Cagdas Yasami Destekleme Dernegi (CYDD).

Big thanks to Emrah Gures, the owner of the Asteria Grill, for his support. He prepared this menu for us: Kofte, sigara boregi, dolma, acili ezme, babaganus, humus, coban salata, beyaz penir, kavun, baklava.

Drinks: Raki, wine, beer...

Childcare is available for a minimal fee per hour.

For more information please contact Nurdan Civi at (925) 818-0490 or AlaturcaConnection@yahoo.com

This event is supported by Turkish Philanthrophy Funds and sponsored by Aydin & Hulya Koc and Hakan & Nurdan Civi.

*** On line Turkish classes:



*** Turkish American Association of California

is a non-profit
charitable organization established to promote better
understanding between Americans and Turks.

if you have any questions about Turks and Turkey,
e-mail them at taac@taaca.org


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

International Cultural Program with host George Geevargis.

San Francisco World TV Channel 29
Sundays at 9-10 A.M.

*** Yore dance invites you to:

Free Turkish Folkdance Classes.

Please contact with Yore Folk Ensemble for the details.

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:
Los Altos and Berkeley
For more information on the Berkeley school go to http://www.berkeleyturkishschool.org/
Spring session starts February at new LOWER TUITION rates
For more information only in Los Altos school visit https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/batcs/info