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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 17 February 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 17 February 2018]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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Secretary of State Tillerson and Foreign Affairs Minister Çavuşoğlu

★ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Turkey this week. After his meetings with the Turkish president and the foreign affairs minister, Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced on February 16 that Turkey and the United States have reached an "understanding to normalize ties" and the decision to "establish mechanisms" to solve the series of ongoing disagreements between the two NATO allies, Sevil Erkuş of the Hürriyet daily news reports.

  In his three-hour meeting with the Turkish president Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish presidential sources said Mr. Erdoğan "clearly" told Tillerson about Turkey's expectations on Syria and Iraq, as well as the fight against terror.

  Turkey basically has been asking for US military to stop its support and cooperation with the Syrian Kurds' militia YPG. Turkey considers YPG to be an extension of the rebel Turkish Kurds.

  Currently Turkey is in northern Syria, fighting with the YPG militants and aiming to take the Syrian town of Afrin from them. Afterwards Turkey says that it would like to clear the Syrian town of Manbij further towards east from YPG. However, the town also has 2000 US troops. In the latest talks, Turkey proposed to Tillerson that YPG leave the area and Turkish in US troops be stationed in Manbij together.

  During the meetings Tillerson also reportedly urged the release of Turkish citizens who have been caught up in post coup detentions.

  Turkish officials also brought up the extradition of Fethullah Gülen. Gülen, a cleric who has been living in self exile in the US since 1999, and his followers are widely seen as the people who orchestrated the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.


★ Turkey should close military bases on Turkish soil to the use of the US if it continues to support the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), main opposition Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.

  His comments came after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on February 13 that Turkey's military operation "Olive Branch" in the Syrian district of Afrin is hampering the U.S.-led coalition's efforts to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

★ An official report prepared by U.S. National Security Director Daniel Coats and presented to the US Congress on February 13 defined the People's Protection Units (YPG) as the Syrian wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), acknowledging that it is searching for autonomy, Cansu Çamlıbel of the Hürriyet daily news reports from Washington.

  Read more at >> here <<


  Yücel and wife upon his release.

★ German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel has been indicted for alleged security offenses but a court has decided to release him pending trial on February 16.

  After his release, he returned to Germany.

  Deniz Yücel was welcomed by his wife Dilek Mayatürk Yücel after he was freed from jail. The reunion of the couple melted hearts after they had been separated for a year.

  A German government spokeswoman confirmed the news, which could ease some of the tensions between the NATO allies. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel reacted with cautious relief.

  Yücel was jailed in February last year on suspicion of spreading propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting violence.

  The detention of nearly a dozen German citizens in Turkey has been a source of friction between Germany and Turkey.

  Another source of friction has been scores of Turks who sought refuge in Germany after the 2016 failed coup. Turkey has been insisting that they be returned for prosecution.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's 26th High Criminal Court in Istanbul has handed the heaviest penalty possible to six defendants, including prominent journalists Nazlı Ilıcak, Ahmet Altan and his younger brother Mehmet Altan, on charges of "trying to abolish the constitutional order of the Republic of Turkey by resorting to the use of force and violence", reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The case, referred to as being into the "media wing" of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization, also involved fugitive suspects such as Ekrem Dumanlı, editor-in-chief of the Zaman newspaper--shut down by a state of emergency decree in May 2016, as well as journalists Emre Uslu and Tuncay Opçin.

  In a separate case, the Constitutional Court had in January ruled that the rights of Mehmet Altan and fellow journalist Şahin Alpay had been violated. However, the lower court hearing the case refused to apply the ruling and subsequently overruled it, prompting deeper concerns about the rule of law in Turkey.

  "If I were being tried by the Constitutional Court itself I would have been acquitted three times," Mehmet Altan said in his defense on February 16.

★ Turkey's Constitutional Court has released statistics regarding individual applications, indicating that a majority of the decisions it has handed down regarding violations of constitutional rights relate to the right to a fair trial, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Of the 2,536 rights violation rulings, 78 percent related to violations of the applicant's right to receive a fair trial, the court stated in a report released on February 12.

  The Constitutional Court was authorized to look into individual applications as of 2012. Since then, until the end of 2017 a total of 173,479 individual applications were made to the top court, said the report.

  The court also broke down the figures according to the number of applications made per year. In 2012 it received 1,342 individual applications but it received a whopping 80,756 in 2016, a year marked by Turkey's military coup attempt. In 2017, the number of individual applications fell to 40,530.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Turkish Labor Ministry has announced that 27 workers have been killed in the construction of Istanbul's third airport since it began in May 2015, Hacer Boyacıoğlu of the Hürriyet daily news reports.

  The announcement came after a parliamentary inquiry by the opposition when reports claimed that 400 workers were killed in work accidents at the site.

  The third airport in Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, will open on Oct. 29, Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan. Turkish officials say the airport will be the biggest one in the world. It will employ 225,000 people when fully operational.

★ Iraq secured $25 billion of the $90 billion it says it needs to rebuild the country after its war with the Islamic state.

  Turkish foreign affairs minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced that Turkey will provide a credit facility of $5 billion to Iraq.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ In a surprise pronouncement from a European Union official, Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland told daily Hürriyet on February 16 that Turkey belongs to Europe, and if Turkey were ever to be pushed away from Europe, the continent would suffer "many more problems than it experiences today".

  Following meetings held with nine Turkish leaders including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül on February 15 in Turkey's capital Ankara, Jagland told daily Hürriyet that the country's European accession talks are very important for both sides.

  Jagland however also stressed that Turkey "has a very high number of violations of the European Convention," which made the road to European Union membership more difficult than for other applicants. "No country in Europe has been able to accede to European Union without first acceding to the European Convention," he noted.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Stones featuring figures of Roman soldiers on the abutments of a 2,500-year-old bridge in the 12,000-year-old ancient settlement of Hasankeyf in the southeastern province of Batman have been moved to a museum, as the historic bridge is set to disappear underwater in the wake of the controversial construction of the Ilısu Dam.

  Read more at >> here <<

  The remains of the bridge can be seen on this photo  > >> here <<

★ Built in the first decade of the 20th century as Europe's gateway to the east, Istanbul Haydarpaşa railway station stands proudly on the Asian side of the Bosporus, its gothic towers looming over the waters, reports the Agence France-Presse.

  Since 2013, the celebrated terminus has not seen any train traffic after being shut for restoration work and a major upgrade of Turkey's railway network.

  For a while there were rumors that the station would be sold off and turned into a shopping center or a hotel. However the latest news is that, after public pressure to keep it as a railway station, Turkish officials announced recently that it is being renovated once again to serve for that purpose.

  Haydarpaşa station, designed by two German architects, was inaugurated in its current form in 1909, five years before the outbreak of World War I.

  It was a symbol of the friendship between the Ottoman Empire and imperial Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm II, who yearned to expand Berlin's influence deep into the Middle East and had sealed a strong relationship with Sultan Abdülhamit II.

  Here is a video about the station >> here <<

★ The renowned Armenian-Turkish photographer Ara Güler opened and exhibition in Colombia, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Güler's legacy represents the main visual record in Turkey from the 1950s through the 1970s, particularly in Istanbul.

  Art lovers in Bogota can get a glimpse of the human and social aspects of his work in a special exhibition at the Turkish Embassy.

  "Ara Güler, Witness of a Century, Istanbul, Anatolian Civilizations and portraits of Celebrities," was inaugurated on February 12 and will run through March 10 at the Gilberto Alzate Avendano foundation, in Bogota's historic center.

  In the world of photojournalism, Güler is known as the "Eye of Istanbul," not only because it is where he studied filmography, theater and economics before finally turning to journalism, but because he managed to capture daily life in the only city in the world located on two continents.

  Currently, Güler, who will turn 90 later this year, preserves his tea-drinking tradition and still talks to patrons at a traditional coffee shop in Istanbul's correctness word Beyoğlu.


  Too Many Zooz
★ Istanbul's Zorlu PSM is preparing to kick off its second jazz festival this May, with extra effort spent to earn a prominent place in Istanbul's musical landscape as the political and diplomatic environment is hardly friendly for a newcomer, Barçın Yinanç of the Hürriyet daily news reports.

  Gregory Porter, an American singer and songwriter, for instance, did not think it was the right time to come to Turkey amid ailing relations between Turkey and the United States.

  But the festival will host American musicians like the composer and pianist Scott Bradlee; guitarist Bill Frisell together with Thomas Morgan; Too Many Zooz, a music group based in New York City, consisting of Leo Pellegrino, Matt Doe and David Parks; as well as Grails, an American band which has released six albums that combine instrumental rock, psychedelic rock and post-rock music.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Blue Man Group caught Istanbul's attention on February 12 as they performed on the city's streets ahead of their first ever show in Turkey at the Zorlu Performance Hall, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Having taken selfies with locals, the group also toured Istanbul's iconic Spice Bazaar in the Eminönü neighborhood.

  The Blue Man Group was established in 1988 with the collaboration of three close friends Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton, on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

★ The 7th Istanbul International Opus Amadeus Chamber Music Festival will kick off on February 19 with a concert by the Leipzig Quartet, considered the best string quartet in Germany.

  The festival will also host the Ars Trio di Roma, Ombre et Soleil, La Sfera Armoniosa and Johannette Zomer, Rezonans, Philia Trio, Quarter Bassoon Ensemble and Duo SeRa before closing on March 26 with a concert by the CSO Cello Quartet on March 26 at the Istanbul Naval Museum.

★ Turkish folk musician Selda Bağcan will perform at London's renowned KoKo concert hall, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The legendary artist, whose cult songs have been remixed by world-famous DJs and who has a huge number of fans around the world, will be accompanied by the Tel Aviv-based rock band Boom Pam on the stage.

  Bağcan's songs have inspired singers like Dr. Dre and Mos Def. Her album "Selda Bağcan Remix" was released in September last year and has been played in unusual places: Night clubs and parties abroad.

  "Bağcan, the icon and queen of 70's Turkish Psychedelic Sounds is one of the most important pillars of Anatolian Psychedelic Rock. She's a political activist and a legend in popular Turkish music," KoKo said on its website.

  As we also reported to you in the past weeks, Bağcan also has been invited to burning man 2018 in Nevada.

★ Horse-drawn sleighs gaining popularity again in Turkey's Kars, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Tourists arriving there with Turkey's Eastern Express from the western part of the country travel to many locations with sleighs again. One of the locations is Lake Çıldır at an altitude of 6500 feet.

  Kars province with its high altitude and distance from the seas experiences a winter with lots of snow. For centuries natives relied on sleighs for transportation during the snowy season.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in New Turkish Liras: 3.75


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        48/30 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    79/59 Partly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       36/27 Snow
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 52/39 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean:             61/43 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        52/43 Rainy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 18 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 31 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 35 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 25 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 4 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 21 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 52 inches	



Premiere League

* Results for week: 21
Malatyaspor     -      Kasımpaşa       1 - 1
Beşiktaş        -      Karabük Sp      5 - 0
Göztepe         -      Osmanlı Sp      3 - 3
G. Birliği      -      Trabzon Sp      0 - 0
Alanya Sp       -      Konya Sp        1 - 2
Başakşehir      -      Fenerbahçe      0 - 2
Akhisar Sp      -      Bursa Sp        1 - 0
Kayseri Sp      -      Sivas Sp        1 - 1
G. Saray        -      Antalya Sp      3 - 0
* In games played so far this weekend:
Konya Sp        -      Beşiktaş        1 - 1
Antalya Sp      -      Kayseri Sp      2 - 1
Sivas Sp        -      Osmanlı Sp      3 - 2
Fenerbahçe      -      Alanya Sp       3 - 0
* Standing in the league as of week ending 21
  1 - G. Saray        44
  2 - Başakşehir      43
  3 - Fenerbahçe      41
  4 - Beşiktaş        40
  5 - Kayseri Sp      35
  6 - Trabzon Sp      33
  7 - Göztepe         33
  8 - Sivas Sp        31
  9 - Malatyaspor     27
 10 - Bursa Sp        26
 11 - Kasımpaşa       26
 12 - Akhisar Sp      24
 13 - G. Birliği      22
 14 - Alanya Sp       21
 15 - Antalya Sp      21
 16 - Konya Sp        20
 17 - Osmanlı Sp      19
 18 - Karabük Sp      12

* Premiere League

* Last week's games
BANVİT          - BÜYÜKÇEKMECE    84 - 89
DARÜŞŞAFAKA     - UŞAK            89 - 76
GALATASARAY     - KARŞIYAKA       98 - 82
BEŞİKTAŞ        - TOFAŞ           59 - 60
GAZİANTEP       - FENERBAHÇE      90 - 95
SAKARYA         - GİRESUN         77 - 66
EFES            - ESKİŞEHİR       89 - 77

* Ranking
1 FENERBAHÇE       33
2 TOFAŞ            33
3 BEŞİKTAŞ         31
4 BANVİT           29
5 EFES             29
7 SAKARYA          29
8 ESKİŞEHİR        28
12 KARŞIYAKA       24
14 GİRESUN         23
15 UŞAK            22
16 GAZİANTEP       21


[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

*** 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

*** 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 and Hulya Koc and, Hakan and Nurdan Civi.

*** 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