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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 03 February 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 03 February 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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★ In its third week of operation in Syria, Turkish troops are getting closer to Afrin city, Turkey's Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on February 3.

  Turkey launched the "Operation Olive Branch" to dislodge the YPG, the military wing of the Syrian Kurds from Northwestern Syria. Turkish troops are advancing with the help of Free Syrian Army, a Syrian rebel group friendly with Turkey.

  Turkey accuses the YPG of being an extension of the rebel Turkish Kurds underground organization Kurdistan Workers Party. The Kurdistan Workers Party is considered to be a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

  Since the start of the operation, the YPG has carried out cross-border attacks on Turkey by firing rockets on civilian neighborhoods, killing at least seven civilians and injuring 107 others including children.

  In related news, on February 3 Turkey's foreign affairs minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey fully backs Syria's territorial integrity despite the launch of Afrin operation.

  About the rocket attacks carried out by the YPG militants based in Syria on Turkey, he blamed the U.S. and European countries for providing weapons to the terror group.

★ Nine members of Turkey's medical association have been detained for voicing opposition to Turkey's military incursion into Syria, Dorian Jones of the Voice of America reports. The arrests are part of a widening crackdown on dissent over the operation, Dorian Jones claims.

  The doctors' detention has drawn swift political condemnation.

  Member of parliament Selin Sayek Böke of the opposition Republican People's Party, speaking outside the headquarters of the medical association, criticized the government.

★ Dorian Jones of the Voice of America reports that tensions between Turkey and the United States are rising partly due to Washington's support for Kurdish fighters in Syria.

  Analysts warn distrust between the NATO allies is a key factor behind the rising tensions and remains the main obstacle to resolving them.

  "At the moment there is absolutely no trust between the sides," warns political columnist Semih İdiz, of Al Monitor website. "Clearly Washington doesn't trust Ankara and there is no trust in Ankara of Washington, not just because of Syria but because of a whole line of issues, since the coup attempt (in Turkey) two years ago."

  Two Turkish ministers accused Washington of being behind the 2016 coup attempt, a charge repeated last week by Yiğit Bulut, a top advisor to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Washington has repeatedly denied any involvement, but analysts warn the perception of U.S. involvement by Turkey remains an open wound in relations.

  Some Turkish scholars say that Russia's decades old goal of prying Turkey away from NATO and the West is also in action.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party is having its convention this weekend. At the convention, delegates will select the parties new management including the party assembly.

  Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is being challenged by two contenders, Yalova deputy Muharrem İnce and former Istanbul Bar Head Ümit Kocasakal.

  A last-minute update: news just coming in indicates that Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu beat his challengers and retained his posts as the party leader.

★ The Amnesty International chair in Turkey is put under detention again right after being released, the website "Relief Web" reports.

  Mr. Taner Kılıç, a lawyer and chair of the board of Amnesty International's Turkey section, has been detained since June 2017, what Amnesty International says, on trumped up charges of terrorism.

  According to the Human Rights Watch, the decision by the Turkish court on February 1, shows the politicized and arbitrary nature of the justice system in Turkey.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ A controversial TV evangelist in Turkey has gotten into a war of words with the head of Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs following his criticism by the directorate.

  According to the Hürriyet Daily News, Adnan Oktar on his TV programs surrounds himself with surgically enhanced women, who he refers to as his "kittens," while discussing religious and social issues. He has been described as the "most notorious cult leader in Turkey" and has written numerous conspiracy theory-filled books on creationism and freemasonry.

  Oktar says that the salaries of the employees of the directorate are paid with income and taxes coming from casinos and alcoholic beverage factories.

  The dispute between the directorate and Oktar erupted after Directorate head Ali Erbaş suggested that Oktar had "likely lost his mental balance."

  On Jan. 19, a court had issued a temporary restraining order against Oktar and Gülperi Koçak, the mother of two young women, after the father claimed his two daughters were "forced" to be on Oktar's program.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Turkey's foreign trade deficit soared 108.5 percent in January compared to the same month of 2017 and reached $9.06 billion mainly due to a significant rise in gold imports and energy costs, preliminary data from the Turkish Customs and Trade Ministry has shown.

★ Turkey's national flag carrier Turkish Airlines carried 4.11 million passengers across Germany in 2017, a company official has said.

★ Turkish defense companies successfully test-fired its domestically produced HİSAR-A missile on Feb. 1 in the Central Anatolian province of Aksaray. The missile is to address the needs of the Turkish land forces command in protecting military bases, ports, facilities and troops against airbase threats.



★ 19th century Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti's opera "Don Pasquale" will be staged by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet at Antalya's Haşim İşcan Culture Center on Feb 6, Feb 24 and March 1, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Gaetano Donizetti's older brother Guiseppe Donizetti was also a musician, who was the instructor general of the Imperial Ottoman music at the court of Sultan Mahmut II from 1828 onwards. He was instrumental in the introduction of European music to the Ottoman military.


★ Spanish singer Silvia Perez Cruz, who recorded her first solo album "11 Novembre" in 2012 and won the International Terenci Moix Award, will be the guest of Istanbul's İş Sanat on Feb. 20.

  Also a holder of the Goya Award, Cruz will meet her fans with her recent album "Vestida de Nit."

  The Hürriyet Daily News conducted an interview with Perez which can be found in the link below.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The Adana State Theater's play "India Bank," which was on a tour in Turkey's southeastern province of Batman, was removed from the stage after two of its scenes were deemed "obscene", of the Hürriyet Daily News reports.

  The two-act absurdist comedy premiered in February last year in the southern province of Adana. It depicts capitalism as seeking to capture the lives and moral values of individuals and impoverish them. The play toured Batman on Jan. 23-24 and Mardin on Jan. 26-27.

★ Istanbul Modern Cinema is presenting the fifth installment of "Rendezvous with Directors," a program hosting a series of meetings featuring directors who stand out for their artistic identities and unique approaches in Turkey's contemporary film culture, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  This year's guest of the series is Ümit Ünal, a director who initially entered the world of film through Yeşilçam -- Turkey's equivalent of Hollywood -- and wrote screenplays of renowned films that left their mark on the 1980s.

  As part of the "Rendezvous with Directors" program, a selection of films from Ünal's filmography will be shown along with presentations by film critics and the participation of cast members and film crews.

  On Feb. 8, there will also be a conversation held within the scope of the program that focuses on Ünal's films, his directing, and scriptwriting, including his latest film "Serial Cook."

  Read more at >> here <<



★ The walls of a cave in Turkey's western Province of Muğla's Marmaris district have been destroyed with writings, paintings and engravings, reports the Anatolia News Agency. The signboards in the cave have also been removed.

  The Nimara cave is located on the Cennet Island in the Ada Ağzı cove in northwestern Marmaris, shows signs of human activity that date back 12,000 years and is visited by thousands of tourists in the region.

  The cave was discovered in 1999 and declared an archaeological and natural site.

  In excavations, some 1,500 pieces of colored glass, cutters, blades and tips of cutting tools made of stone were found. Examinations showed that the cave served as a bead manufacturing shop until the Bronze Age.

  Hundreds of pieces of bowls, used in the Roman era, 50 terra cotta human figures and lots of coins were also discovered in the cave.


★ Over the past few decades Turkish authorities have been rigorously seeking the return of historical artifacts stolen from Turkey. As a result of their efforts two more stolen artifacts that were put up for sale in London were returned to Turkey recently.

  One of the artifacts is a manuscript stolen from a library in Turkey's central province of Konya. The manuscript was written in 1224.

  The second artifact returned to Turkey from Britain was an İznik tile. İznik tiles were produced in the town of İznik in western Anatolia from around last quarter of 15th century until the end of the 17th century.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The restoration team at the Directorate of Istanbul Central and Regional Restoration and Conservation Laboratory, work delicately like surgeons to restore and conserve artifacts from various civilizations that belong to Turkey's historical heritage, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Established in 1985 for the protection of the country's historical artifacts, the laboratory started out with a team of 25. After a law passed in 2012, nine regional laboratories were opened, making them more effective.

  The lab currently consists of a team of 84, including 62 restorers and geology, physics, environmental and metallurgy engineers. The engineers conduct analyses in the lab while the restorers work to restore artifacts.

  The director of the lab says that 32,000 artifacts had been restored out of 3.5 million registers artifacts in the museums in three years after the opening of the regional laboratories.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Miniature horse figurines, unearthed in the Gökçeseki ancient settlement, also known as Philadelphia, in Turkey's central Anatolian province of Karaman, await visitors at the Karaman museum, reports the Anatolia News Agency. The horses have attracted especial attention for their intricate craftsmanship and the light they shed on ancient daily life.

  Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Philadelphia were carried out in 2015 by Karmanaoğlu Mehmetbey University under the leadership of the Karaman Museum. Rock tombs and numerous sarcophagi were uncovered during the excavations.

  In the western part of the necropolis, called the "ancient waste field," numerous historical artifacts were found in addition to the horses. Among these artifacts were stone sculpture pieces, terracotta human and animal figurines, ceramic and glass bowls, candles, coins, pieces of jewelry such as rings, necklaces, chains, earrings, bracelets as well as various bone objects.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Özgen Acar of the Hürriyet Daily News reports that Europa Nostra, the leading European heritage organization, and the European Investment Bank Institute included the Prinkipo Greek Orthodox Orphanage in Istanbul among 12 cultural heritages, which have been nominated for the Seven Most Endangered cultural heritages list. The final seven cultural heritages will be announced on March 15.

  The Greek orphanage is considered to be the largest wooden building in Europe and the second largest in the world. The structure is located on Büyükada, the largest of the Princes' Islands off the coast of Istanbul.

  Spread across five stories, the building is comprised of 206 rooms. The building was designed by French architect Alexandre Vallaury, to be operated as a luxury hotel and casino from the time it was built in 1899.

  Damaged by a fire in 1980, today the building is continually exposed to adverse weather conditions, which is worsened by its proximity to the sea. As a result, the structural elements have been badly compromised. Sections of the roof and corner posts have already fallen and the orphanage is now at immediate risk of further collapse.

  Europa Nostra Turkey, who submitted the nomination for the list of Seven Most Endangered heritage sites 2018, has proposed that the immediate repair and maintenance of the site is needed and the first action should be to start a campaign bringing together the means and efforts of interested parties for this purpose.


★ The Barış Manço House Museum, where the personal belongings of the legendary Turkish singer, composer and television producer Barış Manço are on display, is being visited by his fans on the 19th anniversary of his death, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The artist and his family for many years lived in the house, which later turned into museum, in the Moda neighborhood of Istanbul's Kadıköy district.

★ According to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, a Chinese gastronomic cultural festival kicked off in Istanbul on Thursday evening, the first in a series of events to mark the 2018 Happy Chinese New Year celebrations in Turkey.

  In the Hanci Cafe and Restaurant, qualified chefs from China presented Turkish and Chinese guests with flavored Chinese dishes like stewed codfish meatballs in light soup, braised lamb chops, Kung Pao prawn balls and state banquet-styled fried dough sticks.

  Read more at >> here <<

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.77


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        54/45 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    66/55 Partly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       36/14 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 61/54 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean:             63/55 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        68/52 Partly Cloudy	
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 45 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 33 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 42 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 20 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 7 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 25 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 48 inches	



Premiere League

* Results for week: 19
G. Birliği      -      Konya Sp        2 - 1
Beşiktaş        -      Kasımpaşa       2 - 1
Göztepe         -      Kayseri Sp      1 - 1
Alanya Sp       -      Bursa Sp        3 - 1
G. Saray        -      Osmanlı Sp      2 - 0
Trabzon Sp      -      Fenerbahçe      1 - 1
Malatyaspor     -      Sivas Sp        1 - 0
Akhisar Sp      -      Antalya Sp      1 - 1
Başakşehir      -      G. Saray        1 - 3
* In games played so far this weekend:
Bursa Sp        -      Beşiktaş        2 - 2
Karabük Sp      -      Alanya Sp       1 - 0
Antalya Sp      -      Malatyaspor     3 - 1
Fenerbahçe      -      G. Birliği      2 - 2
Konya Sp        -      Başakşehir      - - -
Sivas Sp        -      G. Saray        - - -
Kasımpaşa       -      Akhisar Sp      - - -
Osmanlı Sp      -      Kayseri Sp      - - -
Trabzon Sp      -      Göztepe         - - -
* Standing in the league as of week ending 19
  1 - Başakşehir      42
  2 - G. Saray        41
  3 - Fenerbahçe      37
  4 - Beşiktaş        36
  5 - Trabzon Sp      31
  6 - Kayseri Sp      31
  7 - Göztepe         31
  8 - Sivas Sp        27
  9 - Malatyaspor     26
 10 - Bursa Sp        25
 11 - Kasımpaşa       22
 12 - Alanya Sp       21
 13 - Akhisar Sp      21
 14 - G. Birliği      20
 15 - Osmanlı Sp      18
 16 - Antalya Sp      18
 17 - Konya Sp        16
 18 - Karabük Sp      9

Premiere League

Last week's games
UŞAK            - GİRESUN         85-82
BEŞİKTAŞ        - TRABZONSPOR     78-74
SAKARYA         - BÜYÜKÇEKMECE    77-67
DARÜŞŞAFAKA     - TOFAŞ           54-58
BANVİT          - FENERBAHÇE      63-61

Latest games
GİRESUN         - BEŞİKTAŞ        58-82
ESKİŞEHİR       - BANVİT          80-81
TOFAŞ           - UŞAK            75-61

1 FENERBAHÇE       29
2 TOFAŞ            29
3 BEŞİKTAŞ         28
4 SAKARYA          26
5 EFES             26
6 BANVİT           26
7 ESKİŞEHİR        26
12 GİRESUN         21
13 KARŞIYAKA       21
14 UŞAK            20
16 GAZİANTEP       19


[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

*** On line Turkish classes:


*** Tasty mezes, singing, dancing and good times...

March 3, 2018


Asteria Grill
502 Ross Dr, Sunnyvale, CA

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.

*** 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