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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 03 March 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 03 March 2018]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ Turkey's operations in northern Syria against the Syrian Kurdish militia, YPG, are continuing. The operations dubbed the "Olive Branch" started on January 20.

  The operations are directed to the town of Afrin and its surrounding villages and towns. Turkish Prime Minister said on March 3 that Rajo town was cleared of the Kurdish militia.

  Turkish regular troops started getting support from gendarmerie and police forces. The Free Syrian Army is also working with the Turkish forces.

  According to Turkey's defense minister Mr. Nurettin Canikli some 41 Turkish military and 116 free Syrian Army militants have been killed since the start of the operation.

  The Turkish general staff reports that around 2500 militants have been neutralized.

  Turkey considers the YPG as a terror network due to its ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party which is listed as a terror organization by Turkey, its NATO ally the U.S. as well as the European Union. However, the U. S. have been collaborating with the YPG, straining ties with Turkey.

★ A Turkish court on March 2 placed two Greek soldiers under arrest on espionage charges after they illegally crossed into Turkey, in a move that risks a new flaring of tensions between Ankara and Athens, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The soldiers said they got lost because of the weather conditions.

  Greek government spokesperson Dimitris Tzanakopoulos earlier said that the case was one of "illegal entry" and said Athens expected the "imminent return" of the two Greek officers.

  The tensions between Greece and Turkey have recently escalated due to Cyprus and territorial disputes in the Aegean Sea. In addition, eight former Turkish officers have taken refuge in Greece after the July 2016 coup attempt and Turkey is seeking their extradition, but Greek courts are refusing.

  On March 3, the Greek junior foreign affairs minister said that Greece is not planning to exchange two soldiers held by Turkey after illegally entering the country with eight Turkish soldiers who seek asylum in Greece.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Some 27 percent of Turkey's population live in areas that carry the highest earthquake risk, Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ said on March 1, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Akdağ said not all buildings situated in earthquake areas were under risk. The ones built before a certain period were the main ones to watch out for.

  Akdağ reiterated that Istanbul had the highest risk.

  In November 2017, Environment and Urbanization Minister Mehmet Özhaseki warned of the danger of "mass casualties" in the event of a strong earthquake in İstanbul.

  Mr. Akdağ was speaking at a symposium on earthquakes.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Arrests of people accused of being followers of cleric Fethullah Gülen are continuing in Turkey. Cleric Gülen who lives in self exile in Pennsylvania and his followers are being accused of staging the failed 2016 coup.

  This week a bodyguard of the Turkish Commander of the Naval Forces Vice-Admiral Adnan Özbal was arrested on March 1 over alleged links to Gülen followers, state-run Anatolia News Agency reported, citing judicial sources.

  Separately, as part of an investigation in Istanbul, 41 suspects, including some on-duty military personnel, were arrested for being part of the Gülen structure in the Turkish Armed Forces and communicating with other Gülen followers using payphones, the sources said.

  Also on March 1, a suspect in Turkey's northwestern Bursa province and another one in the western Muğla province were arrested.

  Turkey accuses Gülenists of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the government through the infiltration of institutions, particularly the military, the police and the judiciary.

★ There is a new Turkish government website with genealogy data.

  According to the Internet publication "Ahval", the site is attracting enormous interest from members of the public wishing to find out about their ancestry, but also posing questions about the motives behind the decision to make the database public, according to the Independent newspaper.

  The interest was so intense when the website was opened in February the system crashed within hours.


★ According to Finance and Commerce website, Turkish shopping mall builder Torunlar is taking a dramatic measure to try and reverse poor performance after its profit dropped by more than 60 percent last year.

  The company will convert a section of the Torium mall in Istanbul's working-class district of Esenyurt to a student dormitory, Chairman Aziz Torun said at an analyst conference in Istanbul on Thursday. The move comes as Turkey's real estate sector flashes warning signs after a decade of construction-driven growth marked by a proliferation of giant shopping malls.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Turkey's steel exporters do not expect a significant impact from a U.S. decision to impose hefty tariffs on foreign steel, Turkish Steel Exporters' Association head Namık Ekinci said on March 2.

  Mr. Ekinci made the comment to Reuters in Istanbul a day after President Donald Trump said he would impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to protect U.S. producers.

  Turkey is the eighth biggest steel producer in the world and its steel exports to the United States stood at $1.1 billion in 2017, making it the sixth largest exporter to the U.S.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Turkish Treasury and the European Investment Bank have signed a loan agreement amounting to $183 million to finance an ongoing mega rail project in Istanbul, according to an official statement on March 1, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Dubbed "Marmaray", the project is a partially operational rail transportation system. It comprises a rail tunnel under the Bosporus Strait, and the modernization of existing suburban railway lines on the sea of Marmara from Halkalı. Just the rail tunnel cost $2.5 billion to build.

★ State investment in the defense industry has exceeded $35 billion in the past 15 years, Turkey's prime minister Mr. Binali Yıldırım has said, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  He added that Turkey gets over $2 billion in exports from the defense industry.

  Around 65 percent of Turkey's national defense equipment needs were procured through its own resources, up from 24 percent when the ruling Justice and Development Party first came to power in 2002, Mr. Yıldırım said.

  Read more at >> here <<



★ According to our correspondent Lisa Morrow, Turkish glass artist Felekşan Onar has a new exhibit in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany.

  The exhibition dubbed "Perched" is made up of 27 birds. Though beautiful, their small forms are static, perhaps trapped in the knowledge that home is out of reach. In the Aleppo Room -- which takes its name from the once-thriving Syrian city that civil war has reduced to rubble -- they serve as a metaphor for the millions of refugees who can't return to Syria.

  After a successful career in industrial textile design, Onar took a week of introductory lessons in glass design. Then she ordered a kiln, installed it in her garage, and within a few months, was working solo. She has taken classes at the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, but mostly she learned through trial and error. Five years teaching herself showed her that glass behaves in unpredictable ways.

  Perched continues in the Aleppo Room of the Pergamon Museum until April 9.

  Lisa's full article is available on hyperallergic.com  >> here <<


★ Bubi David Hayon, who is known in the art world as Bubi, has created works that can be defined as self-enclosed cultural metaphors of his own life and his surroundings, Hatice Utkan Özden of the Hürriyet daily news reports. The importance of these works is they reflect the cultural aspects of our lives and his own history, in relation with himself, his artistic approach and his perception of identity and belonging.

  In the exhibition titled "Bubi 6 Periods" at İş Sanat's Kibele Gallery curated by Hakan Çarmıklı, it is possible to see the artist's different approaches. Each era, the icons, the cages, stitches, patches, applique surfaces and tablets, in fact, are a reflection of his life experiences and his art. The exhibition represents an up close and personal aspect.

  "In fact, I have 24 periods, but in this exhibition, we have decided to show six periods," said Bubi, adding that he believes in the process of creating artwork and the ability of artworks to create themselves.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The 17th !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival, held between Feb. 15 and 25 in Istanbul and set to move to the capital Ankara and the Aegean province of İzmir between March 1 and 4, has announced its winners, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Bertrand Mandico's feature "Wild Boys" won the "!f Inspired" award, while a "Special Mention" was awarded to Joao Dumans' and Affonso Uchoa's "Araby."

  "The Nothing Factory" by Pedro Pinho was given the award for its work on commenting in detail on the effects of the global capitalism crisis on the working class without distracting the audience.

  Started by !f İstanbul three years ago to host activist films from around the world, the "Love and Change" competition brings together films that seek change and look at the world through soft eyes and an open heart.

  This year, seven films from 12 countries were in the competition and the winner was "Primas."

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The memory of Osman Hamdi Bey, known as the first representative of figurative painting in the late Ottoman Empire and the painter of the famous "The Tortoise Trainer," is being kept alive in a summer house in the northwestern province of Gebze, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The summer house of Osman Hamdi located in the Eskihisar district, receives around 50,000 visitors every year.

  The museum house has a painting atelier and a boathouse in its garden. It draws interest mainly from archaeology, architecture and history of art researchers and students.

  Operated by the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality since 2007 and open seven days a week for free, the house displays a number of original objects owned by Osman Hamdi and displays reproductions of some of his paintings and beeswax sculptures. Colorful flower figures made by Osman Hamdi feature on the doors of rooms on the entrance floor.

  Osman Hamdi was born in 1842 in Istanbul and his father was one of the top officials at the time, Grand Vizier Ethem Paşa. He played a significant role in the modernization and transformation process of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century and is known as a pioneer of painting in Turkey.

  "Osman Hamdi was also very famous in the field of museum management in Europe. As a painter he produced many works depicting places in Ottoman society. They almost serve as historical documents. A top official in Europe, the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph, bought one of his paintings," said Professor Fatma Ürekli, the head of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University's History Department.

  Osman Hamdi Bey is also the founder of the School of Fine Arts, which later became the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.

  Osman Hamdi died on Feb. 24, 1901 in his mansion in the Bosporus neighborhood of Kuruçeşme and was buried in Eskihisar, in line with his will.


★ An exhibition showing cartoons from the 34th Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Competition has opened at the Gallery Işık Teşvikiye in Istanbul, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The exhibition will run through March 11.


★ Celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, the Alexandrov Ensemble, the official army choir of the Russian Armed Forces, will perform at Istanbul's Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall on March 5 and 6, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

★ According to Reuters, pole dancing among women in Istanbul is becoming popular. The Reuters article claims that women find freedom in pole dancing and escape "conservative" Istanbul.

  There are many studios that popped up that cater to women. One of them, the WOW studio, started in 2013 with just eight dancers, now runs courses for more than 1000 women.

  The dancers "are seeking a secure and secluded atmosphere where they can display their female energies," instructor Özge Uraz said, adding that her dance studio was a "freedom zone... decontaminated from male existence".

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The magazine Vogue carried an article on Esra Dandin, an Istanbul native. The article covers Esra Dandin's culinary creations at the Karaköy patisserie.

  The article calls Esra the woman behind the city's most Instagrammable culinary creations.

  Before starting baking, Esra Dandin was making jewelry, the article adds.

  Read more at >> here <<


  The world map from Codex Seragliensis 57, done according to Ptolemy's 2nd projection

★ The facsimile of Claudius Ptolemy's "Manual of Geography," which was translated with the order of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror and is one of the rarest artifacts at the Topkapı Palace, was shown on March 1 in a press conference at Istanbul Technical University, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Istanbul Technical University academic Celal Şengör said the Ptolemy Atlas, which was produced in the 2nd century, got lost in the 7th century.

  He said Europe forgot about the atlas after the 7th century "but it survived in the Islamic world and Muslim geographers developed it. It is very interesting that they fixed its mistakes. It was forgotten, too, after the Islamic geography collapsed in the 11th century."

  Dr. Şengör said that the atlas was found again in the 13th century.

  "Maximus Planudes reproduced it; a few copies were written. One of these copies is today in the Vatican City and is in a very good condition. But the copy we have is more valuable than that. Because ours is the second projection printing, the edges of which is round and which was recommended by Ptolemaios. But the one in the Vatican is a conic projection," he added.

  The introduction of the book was simultaneously made at the University of Bern.

  The original atlas, known as the world's first map, includes 27 unique maps as well as the maps of the Aegean and Anatolia.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ A toucan illegally smuggled into Turkey from Iran is adjusting to its new home at the Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality Zoo in Turkey's central Anatolian province of Kayseri, reports the Anatolia News Agency. The bird's homeland are the tropical forests of South America.

  The bird, which costs $6000 on the market, and is one of the most expensive bird species in the world, was seized five days ago at a checkpoint in Erzincan's Tercan district.


★ The historic Oshk Vank Church, built in the 10th century by the descendants of Georgian King Kuropalat Adernese in the eastern province of Erzurum's Uzundere district, is set to undergo a significant restoration process this year.

  Built between 963-973 in what is today the Çamlıyamaç neighborhood of Uzundere, the church's walls, decorations and columns have gradually been damaged over time.

  Wood and steel supports have been put in place of a ruined column to prevent further damage to the church. It is visited mostly by Georgian people as well as many other local and foreign tourists every year. It draws attention for its architecture, ornaments and inscriptions with quotations from the Bible and detailed information about its construction process

  Read more at >> here <<


★ A Roman-era sarcophagus, believed to date back 2000 years, has been unearthed during a construction work in Istanbul's Kadıköy district, daily Habertürk has reported.

  Officials at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum Directorate found human bones inside the sarcophagus after conducting an examination in the area. The lid of the sarcophagus was found in a different place.

  The tomb was later taken under protection by the Kadıköy police headquarters for 24 hours.

  According to a report by the Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board, the tomb and bones inside are expected to be transferred to a museum.

  It has also been reported that archaeological excavations could start in the construction field.

  The bones inside the tomb will be examined and undergo DNA tests, officials said. The examinations will provide information about the residents of Kadıköy, now a culture hotspot in Istanbul, 2,000 years ago.


★ Archaeological excavations that have been continuing sporadically on the Giresun island since 2011 will restart soon. The island is the only inhabited island in the Eastern Black Sea region.

  The island, underwent archaeological excavations in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016. It is known for the ancient Amazon women as well as the myth that Hercules came to the island to look for the Golden Fleece.

  The examinations on the Byzantine-era tombs, walls, the ruins of a monastery and a chapel that have been unearthed during excavations show that the island served as a religious center for many years.

  Only 10% to the island has been excavated. Excavations revealed that the traces of earliest human habitation date back to 2000 BC.

★ According to Agence France-Presse, hundreds of songs were banned from Turkey's state channel TRT for either supporting terrorism or being immoral.

  By immoral, TRT said in a tweet, it meant content that shows consumption of alcohol and cigarettes.

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


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        55/46 Showers
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    66/55 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       41/28 Snow
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 55/46 Heavy Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean:             68/59 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        61/52 Showers
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 33 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 49 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 61 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 17 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 29 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 63 inches



Premiere League

* Results for week: 23
G. Saray        -      Bursa Sp        5 - 0
Akhisar Sp      -      Konya Sp        3 - 0
Alanya Sp       -      Trabzon Sp      1 - 2
Kayseri Sp      -      Kasımpaşa       3 - 2
Malatyaspor     -      Karabük Sp      3 - 1
Osmanlı Sp      -      Antalya Sp      0 - 0
Göztepe         -      Sivas Sp        1 - 0
Beşiktaş        -      Fenerbahçe      3 - 1
Başakşehir      -      G. Birliği      1 - 1
* In games played so far this weekend:
Bursa Sp        -      Kayseri Sp      1 - 0
Başakşehir      -      Göztepe         2 - 0
Kasımpaşa       -      Osmanlı Sp      1 - 1
Karabük Sp      -      G. Saray        0 - 7
* Standing in the league as of week ending 23
  1 - G. Saray        47
  2 - Başakşehir      47
  3 - Beşiktaş        44
  4 - Fenerbahçe      44
  5 - Kayseri Sp      38
  6 - Trabzon Sp      36
  7 - Göztepe         36
  8 - Sivas Sp        34
  9 - Malatyaspor     31
 10 - Akhisar Sp      30
 11 - Kasımpaşa       29
 12 - Bursa Sp        27
 13 - G. Birliği      26
 14 - Antalya Sp      25
 15 - Alanya Sp       21
 16 - Konya Sp        21
 17 - Osmanlı Sp      20
 18 - Karabük Sp      12

★ In the Turkish Airlines Euro League basketball competitions R. Madrid 83 - 86 Fenerbahçe Doğuş

  Olimpia Milano 77 - 64 Anadolu Efes

Latest games in the Basketball Premiere League
BANVİT          - BÜYÜKÇEKMECE    84 - 89
UŞAK            - BEŞİKTAŞ        65 - 75
KARŞIYAKA       - DARÜŞŞAFAKA     71 - 93
TRABZONSPOR     - BANVİT          88 - 84
BÜYÜKÇEKMECE    - EFES            63 - 77
GİRESUN         - İSTANBUL BBSK   90 - 81
ESKİŞEHİR       - GAZİANTEP       84 - 85

1 FENERBAHÇE       1368
2 TOFAŞ            1344
3 BEŞİKTAŞ         1396
4 EFES             1515
5 DARÜŞŞAFAKA      1381
6 BANVİT           1421
7 SAKARYA          1362
8 ESKİŞEHİR        1537
10 TRABZONSPOR     1710
11 GALATASARAY     1506
13 GİRESUN         1640
14 KARŞIYAKA       1586
15 GAZİANTEP       1616
16 UŞAK            1567



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


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