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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 24 February 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 24 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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Edited by Fuad Tokad

★ Turkey's presidential spokesman on February 24 called on the international community to make efforts to stop the massacre in Eastern Ghouta, a besieged Damascus suburb, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  In a tweet, Ibrahim Kalın said: "The Assad regime is massacring [people] in Eastern Ghouta. Intensive initiatives of our president and related agencies are ongoing."

  Home to 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta falls within a network of de-escalation zones -- endorsed by Turkey, Russia and Iran -- in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

  In the past eight months, Assad regime forces have intensified their siege, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district, and leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment.

  According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on February 24 said a global anti-Turkey propaganda based on lies would not be successful, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  "Launching a worldwide war of propaganda, based on lies, slander and distortion, by those who cannot deal with Turkey on the ground will not work" he said.

  Erdoğan said during a provincial congress by the ruling Justice and Development Party in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Criticizing former colonialists and their "voluntary" slaves, he said eradicating terrorism was crucial to prevent a retreat to colonialism.

  A total of 1,951 YPG militants have been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's northwestern Afrin region, Erdoğan said.

  Turkish authorities generally use the term "neutralize" to signify that the targets either surrendered or were killed or captured.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ In related news the Hürriyet Daily News reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has harshly slammed the United States for "spreading fake news" about civilian casualties during the Turkish military's ongoing operation in Syria's Afrin district.

  "Our army is paying utmost attention so that no harm comes to even a single civilian. That's why our operation is a lengthy one. It would have already finished if we were not trying to distinguish civilians from terrorists," he said.

  He was speaking after Pentagon Spokesperson Adrian Galloway on February 21 said the U.S. is concerned about the effects of "Operation Olive Branch" on Afrin's civilian population. Galloway said the U.S. authorities will "do their best in their contacts with their Turkish counterparts to reduce tensions and harm to civilians."

  Turkey on Jan. 20 launched "Operation Olive Branch" along with members of the Free Syrian Army against the YPG in Afrin and is now planning to lay siege to the city center.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will pay a five-day official visit to four African countries starting February 26, the presidential office said on February 24, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  According to the statement, the Turkish president will hold talks with his counterparts in Algeria, Mauritania, Senegal and Mali in one-on-one and inter-delegation meetings.

  The leaders are expected to discuss regional and global developments, bilateral relations and cooperation.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A legislation package targeting child abuse will be submitted to the Turkish parliament within the next 10 days, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ said on February 24, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  "Our several ministries including Justice Ministry and Ministry of Family and Social Policies have been working on it. In the shortest time, within ten days, we will submit the package, including necessary legal amendments, to the parliament," Recep Akdağ told reporters in the eastern Erzurum province.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey said on February 25 a decision by the United States to open an embassy in Jerusalem in May disregarded decision by the United Nations and Organization for Islamic Cooperation and showed the United States insisted on damaging peace, the Israeli daily Ha'aretz reports.

  In a statement, Turkey's Foreign Affairs Ministry said the decision was "very worrying". The U.S. State Department said on Friday it would open an embassy in Jerusalem in May to coincide with Israel's 70th anniversary.

  In December, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted an OIC summit of more than 50 countries in Istanbul, where Muslim leaders condemned the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The U.S. is seeking cooperation with Turkey to boost Turkish air defense capabilities as an alternative to Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries, Sevil Erkuş of the Hürriyet Daily News reports from Washington DC.

  "The U.S. understands Turkey's desire to improve its air defenses. But we are concerned and have said so publicly about potential acquisition of Russian S-400 missiles, which would have implications for NATO interoperability and which would potentially expose Turkey to sanctions due to the new sanctions law recently passed by Congress," a U.S. administration official told the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Read more at >> here <<



★ "Ballet Talks," a voiced ballet performance by 110-kilogram Turkish ballet dancer Alper Kafa and his friends, is set to draw great interest in Ankara, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The world's first voiced ballet show, 'Ballet Talks," will be on stage at the Tatbikat Theater in the capital in March, April and May.


★ The Istanbul State Opera and Ballet will stage the Turkey premiere of the "Don Quixote" ballet, based on Miguel de Cervantes' 17th century novel, on Feb 24 at the Kadıköy Süreyya Opera. Performances of the ballet will continue until April 18, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.


★ "Shear Madness," one of the longest-running nonmusical plays in the world, will be on stage in Istanbul as of March 3, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. The play will also move to Ankara and İzmir between March 7 and 15.

  Directed by Nedim Saban, the interactive comedy is sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional.


★ The Ankara International Film Festival, organized by the World Mass Media Research Foundation, has announced the recipients of this year's honorary awards.

  The 29th edition of the festival will be held between April 19 and 29. The festival's honorary awards will be presented to the actors Menderes Samancılar and Rüştü Asyalı. "Film Research" magazine will be presented with the festival's Mass Communication Award, and the award ceremony will be held on the opening night of the festival at the MEB Şura Hall on April 19.

  The festival will once again feature the latest films from world cinema as well as national competitions, special screenings, workshops for children and adults and concerts.

  During the festival, a panel titled "The '68 Generation in Cinema" will be held and a poster competition exhibition will also be opened.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ "Sevan the Craftsman: Breathing Istanbul Into Jewels" is a documentary that tells the story of Sevan Bıçakçı, a master jeweler of Armenian descent who was once proclaimed the "king of rings." The film premiered at the Carnegie Institution for Science on February 19 as part of the DC Independent Films Festival in Washington.

  Produced and directed by Ümran Safter, the documentary charts the progress of Bıçakçı, from his apprenticeship at the age of 12 in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar to stardom as renowned artisan 33 years later.

  Bıçakçı's sources of inspiration were closely related to Istanbul: The Bosporus, seagulls, the Maiden's Tower, mosques and churches. He incorporates these scenes into the rings he created.

  In the feature documentary film, nearly 40 people including Bıçakçı's family, close friends, his masters in the Grand Bazaar, designers, collectors and academics speak about Bıçakçı's art.

  Read more at >> here <<

  The web pages for the film are >> here <<


★ Endangered lynxes have been photographed by wildlife photographer Hüseyin Narin in Turkey's eastern province of Tunceli's Mazgirt district. Two lynxes were seen around a stream flowing through the Şişik Forests in Hıran Valley, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  Narin said he photographed the endangered lynxes by chance when he had been hiding to shoot mountain goats.


★ The ancient site of Göbeklitepe, closed for the last 18 months, has once again opened its doors to visitors following the construction of a protective roof, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Located in the Örencik neighborhood, 11 miles from the city center in Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, the Neolithic-age settlement has been undergoing archaeological excavations since 1995 in collaboration with the Şanlıurfa Museum and the Berlin Archaeology Institute.

  Neolithic-era T-shaped stones with wild animal figures and various artifacts have so far been unearthed in the ancient site, which contains the ruins of the world's oldest temple.

  The 12,000-year-old Göbeklitepe was included in the UNESCO's World Heritage Tentative List five years ago and will be one of Turkey's nominees to enter the Permanent List during the 42nd World Heritage Committee this year.

  On Wikipedia Read more at >> here <<

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Inhabitants of Hasankeyf, a historic town that is due to be completely submerged by the floodwaters of the Ilısu Dam, which is under construction in Turkey's southeastern province of Batman, are preparing to move away from the area.

  Locals have already started to move to completely new settlements built nearby by the Housing Development Administration of Turkey.

  In addition to people, some of the ancient structures are also being moved:

  The new site of the 650-year-old Zeynel Bey Tomb, which hit headlines during its transportation a few years ago, is also being reinforced.

  The minaret of the El-Rızk Mosque, the Imam Abdullah Zaviye (a small Islamic monastery), and a Seljuk-era bath on the banks of the Tigris River are among the structures due to be moved to a "Culture Island" this year.

  The Yolgeçen Inn on the banks of the Tigris is being filled in and closed up ahead of the impending flooding. The historic inn, which is known for being cool in the summer and warm in the winter, has hosted thousands of people over the past 30 years including ministers, officials, governors and foreign guests.

  The inn, which the Hasankeyf District Governor's Office started renting out for 15,000 liras per month nearly 15 years ago, was the one and only inn used by locals to cross the Tigris after the demolition of a historic bridge 100 years ago.

  Many visitors are currently flocking to Hasankeyf to see the historical town before it is completely inundated.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ A 2,200-year-old crown and silver bowl have been seized by police in Istanbul during a hotel raid against historical artifact smugglers.

  The golden crown, which dates back to the Hellenistic era, a broken silver bowl and a golden ring were seized in a bag in the raid.

  The artifacts have been sent to the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums for further examinations.


★ 2.5 miles of a 2,300-year-old stone road, which connects the ancient cities of Alinda and Herakleia (Latmos) in Turkey's western province of Aydın's Söke district, have been destroyed by villagers to make way for their olive groves, DHA.

  The Association of Ecosystem Protection and Nature Lovers (EKODOSD) has initiated work for the registration and protection of the road by the Aydın Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board.

  An EKODOSD team has detected some parts of the road have been completely destroyed and some parts have been filled. Works have been initiated to bring the ancient road under protection.

  EKODOSD president Bahattin Sürücü said the construction of the stone road was at a great expense by the ancient city of Herakleia's founder Pleistarkhos. The road connects the ancient cities of Myus, Alinda, Alabanda, Tralleis to each other, as well as the Menderes Valley to the Marsyas Valley.

  Sürücü locals and trekking enthusiasts still use the road. He added that the ancient road should be protected for future generations.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The ancient theater in Perge, which is believed to date back to the second century and had a capacity of 13,000 people, will undergo restoration for the first time in its history, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  Located in the ancient city of Perge, which was the capital of many civilizations especially in the Pamphylia era, the ancient amphitheater in Turkey's southern province of Antalya's Aksu district is as magnificent as the theaters in Ephesus and Aspendos.

  The orchestra pit surrounded with rails shows us that gladiator shows were organized there. Reliefs featuring the life of Dionysos, the goddess of wine, are seen on the stage, which has five doors that lead to the backstage.

  Even though most of these reliefs were damaged when the stage collapsed, the parts depicting the life of Dionysos have survived until today.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The first of this year's excavations of the Ottoman frigate Ertuğrul, which sank on its way back from a goodwill voyage to Japan in 1890, kicked off on Jan. 5, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  After encountering a typhoon, the frigate broke into pieces on rocks off the island of Oshima and sank near the Japanese city of Kushimoto, causing the death of 550 Turkish sailors, including ship's captain Rear Admiral Ali Osman Pasha.

  The excavation works, which were initiated 11 years ago, have been continuing at a depth of 90-120 feet in the Pacific Ocean 200 yards away from land.

  During 120 dives undertaken jointly by Turkish and Japanese divers, the ammunition of the Ottoman frigate have so far been removed. Among them are three 52-kilogram British Palliser shells and three 30-kg cannon balls.

  The excavation works also unearthed porcelain plates and wooden and metal pieces from the frigate. The artifacts were taken to the Ertuğrul Research Center and Conservation Lab in Kushimoto for further examinations.

  Read more at >> here <<

  Location where Ertuğrul sank is  >> here <<

  Read more at Wikipedia  >> here <<

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.79


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        43/37 Sporadic Rain
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    63/52 Sporadic Rain
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       39/18 Snow
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 43/39 Sporadic Rain
Izmir, on the Aegean:             57/46 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        55/45 Mostly Cloudy
Snow depths at skiing locations:  
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 15 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 31 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 34 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 16 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 2 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 23 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 51 inches



Premiere League

* Results for week: 22
Konya Sp        -      Beşiktaş        1 - 1
Antalya Sp      -      Kayseri Sp      2 - 1
Fenerbahçe      -      Alanya Sp       3 - 0
Sivas Sp        -      Osmanlı Sp      3 - 2
Trabzon Sp      -      Başakşehir      0 - 1
Kasımpaşa       -      G. Saray        2 - 1
Karabük Sp      -      Akhisar Sp      0 - 3
Bursa Sp        -      Malatyaspor     0 - 0
G. Birliği      -      Göztepe         3 - 0
* In games played so far this weekend:
G. Saray        -      Bursa Sp        5 - 0
Akhisar Sp      -      Konya Sp        3 - 0
Alanya Sp       -      Trabzon Sp      1 - 2
Kayseri Sp      -      Kasımpaşa       3 - 2
* Standing in the league as of week ending 22
  1 - Başakşehir      46
  2 - G. Saray        44
  3 - Fenerbahçe      44
  4 - Beşiktaş        41
  5 - Kayseri Sp      35
  6 - Sivas Sp        34
  7 - Trabzon Sp      33
  8 - Göztepe         33
  9 - Kasımpaşa       29
 10 - Malatyaspor     28
 11 - Bursa Sp        27
 12 - Akhisar Sp      27
 13 - G. Birliği      25
 14 - Antalya Sp      24
 15 - Konya Sp        21
 16 - Alanya Sp       21
 17 - Osmanlı Sp      19
 18 - Karabük Sp      12

★ Turkish Airlines Euro League

  In games played on February 22, Turkish team Fenerbahçe beat Olimpia Milano 89 to 70.

  However, the other Turkish team in the league, Anadolu Efes was beaten by Zalgiris 86 to 70 on February 23.

  With these scores Fenerbahçe is in the third place in the Euro League after CSKA Moscow and Olympiakos. Anadolu Efes is in 16th place at the bottom.


[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


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.

*** 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