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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 10 March 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 10 March 2018]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ Tension between Turkey, Greek Cyprus and Greece has been rising in recent months after Greek Cyprus unilaterally accelerated its oil and gas exploration activities around the island, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım renewed the threat against unilateral exploration saying that they infringe the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. Yıldırım's pronouncements came as an Exxon Mobil vessel was reported to be heading to the area.

  There were also claims in some Greek Cypriots media outlets that the U.S. naval forces were deployed to the area to protect the Exxon Mobil operations.

  On March 8 Pentagon denied the allegations in a written statement sent to Turkey's Anatolia News Agency.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Fatma Şahin, the mayor of the southeastern province of Gaziantep, has cancelled a planned visit to Deventer, Netherlands after consultations between Turkish and Dutch diplomats, Sevil Erkuş of the Hürriyet Daily News reports. The Dutch authorities are saying that the date of the visit coincides with the anniversary of a diplomatic crisis between the two countries on March 11.

  Ms. Şahin, a former minister, was scheduled to speak at a women-only gathering at the Centrum Mosque in Deventer on March 10.

  The crisis erupted last year when Turkey's Family Affairs Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya visited Rotterdam ahead of a referendum in Turkey despite being barred by the Dutch government to enter the country for a Turkish rally. Dutch authorities expelled Sayan before addressing the Turkish community.

  Dutch authorities also canceled a visit by Turkey's foreign affairs minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu last year.

  As we also reported to you in the previous weeks, the two countries have suspended negotiations for the normalization of bilateral relations, and the Dutch government officials announced the withdrawal of its ambassador to Turkey. They also announced that they won't allow the Turkish ambassador to return to his office in the Hague.

★ Turkish forces and its local allies are still fighting the Syrian Kurdish forces in northern Syria around the town of Afrin. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says that 330 square miles of territory is cleared of the Kurdish militias, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. He said that the goal is to control 770 square miles.

  Turkey considers the Kurdish militias commonly known by the acronym YPG an extension of the rebel Turkish Kurdish organization Kurdistan Workers Party. However, YPG is a U. S. ally, and Turkish operations against them is souring the relationship between U.S. and Turkey. Turkish president also says that they will clear other northern Syrian towns at the Turkish border of the YPG. Some of these towns such as Manbij also has U.S. troops, and Turkey's operations there may confront them with the U.S. military.

★ In related news, Turkey's foreign affairs minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said the U.S. and Turkey had "reached a common understanding" on the issue of the stabilization of the city of Manbij in northern Syria and other cities east of the Euphrates River, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Mr. Çavuşoğlu said that he would meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on March 19 to discuss further details.

  "We hope the U.S. stops giving support to terror organizations" he said, referring to the YPG. He said that YPG controls 25% of Syria.

  Mr. Çavuşoğlu's comments came after a meeting of the first of three Turkey-U.S. working groups which aimed at resolving issues between the two countries concluded on March 9.

★ In the meantime, Turkey's president 16th Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Anti-American sentiments in the Turkish public have recently hit the roof because of the U.S.' support for the People's Protection Units YPG in Syria, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ An Istanbul court on March 9 has ordered the release of investigative journalist Ahmet Şık and editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu in the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet case, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The daily's chairman, Akın Atalay, however, was remanded in custody until the next hearing, scheduled for March 16.

  Speaking after his release, Sabuncu said their release was not a reason to be happy, since several journalists remained in prison.

  A total of 17 staff from Cumhuriyet face terror charges in the trial, which opened on July 24. Others have been gradually freed over the last year. It is still not clear when the final verdict will be announced.

  The terror-related charges are put as supporting three outlawed groups through their media coverage, including the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization.

  Meanwhile, rights group Amnesty International said on Twitter that the ruling was "long overdue" and called for the release of all jailed journalists in Turkey.

  Turkey was ranked as the country where the most journalists are imprisoned in the world for a second consecutive year, followed by China and Egypt, according to the latest annual report by the Committee to Protect Journalists released on Dec. 13, 2017.

★ Tens of thousands of people took part in rallies throughout Turkey to celebrate the Women's Day on March 8, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  In the capital Ankara, police broke up the rally.

  Turkey's presidential symphonic Orchestra marked the day with two special concerts in the capital.

★ Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on March 10 Turkey's target was to make pharmaceuticals required in the country locally, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  "Eighty percent of drugs consumed in Turkey were produced locally in 2017," he said in a statement issued by the prime ministry.

  He added Turkey produced drugs worth nearly $600 million in 2017. He said that Turkey would be able to save more than $1.57 billion by producing drugs locally.


★ There are 3.5 million registered Syrian refugees in Turkey. There also numerous others who are not registered, taking the total number to about 4.3 million.

  According to the Turkish Parliament's refugee subcommittee, some 311,000 babies of Syrian origin have been born in Turkey under the "stateless" status.

  The subcommittee's president Atay Uslu said the situation is a "humanitarian plight."

  "The fact that these children are stateless is a humanitarian plight. I think they should be granted citizenship immediately," Uslu said.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey is among the countries and trade organizations to condemn U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to slap punitive tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, as fears grew of a global trade war, with announcing counter-measures, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  In an interview with Nikkei in an earlier date this week, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci discussed Ankara's response to planned U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

  Turkey accounts for 5.7 percent of American steel imports, a larger share than Japan.

  "We will take countermeasures," though not in the form of retaliatory duties, Zeybekci asserted.

  Instead, he hinted at such steps as more stringent customs inspections, saying Turkish importers will be "more sensitive" regarding American products.

  Also, Turkey and the European Union decided to move together at the World Trade Organization platform against the United States' planned tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the Turkish Economy Ministry announced on March 6.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say is in the U.S. for a series of concerts this week. Two of the concerts are taking place in Naples, Florida and two will be in Washington DC.

  Fazıl Say was born in 1970. He was a child prodigy, who was able to do basic arithmetic with 4-digit numbers at the age of two. His father, having found out that he was playing the melody of a children's song on a makeshift flute with no prior training, enlisted the help of Ali Kemal Kaya, an oboe artist and a family friend. At the age of three, Say started his piano lessons under the tutelage of pianist Mithat Fenmen.

  Say composed his first piece, a piano sonata, in 1984, at the age of fourteen.


★ "Istanbul Istanbul" by Burhan Sönmez has been announced as one of the finalists of the first EBRD Literature Prize, a 20,000-euro award launched in 2017 by the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in partnership with the British Council and the London Book Fair, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The novel, translated from Turkish by Ümit Hussein and published by Telegram Books, is one of three finalists for the prize along with "All the World's a Stage" by Boris Akunin, translated from Russian by Andrew Bromfield, and "Belladonna" by Dasa Drndic, translated from Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth.


★ Former Victoria's Secret top model Adriana Lima has allegedly broken up with Metin Hara, a self-styled Turkish new age "guru," according to reports in the U.S. media.

  Lima appeared at the Oscars alone.

  Hara, 35, has written a number of books on self-improvement and positive energy. He published his debut book "Path" in 2014, which was followed by a trilogy called "Invasion of Love." The book became a bestseller within three months in Turkey and sold over 100,000 copies.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Dubai-based pan-Arab broadcaster MBC has stopped broadcasting all Turkish programs from his channels. Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has blasted the broadcaster.

  It is thought that the broadcaster was asked to stop the broadcast of Turkish programs by Dubai's officials.

  In recent years Turkeys private producers have been making quality serial dramas and soap operas and exporting them to nearly 100 countries around the world. Turkish drama exports add up to $350 million, second in the world after U. S.

  Netflix is also showing almost 20 Turkish programs, including the 2011 historical drama "the magnificent century" and the 2009 espionage thriller and Gulf smash hit "Ezel"

  Read more at >> here <<

  For an article on the success of the Turkish TV read  >> here <<


★ The 12th International Puppet Days festival, which kicked off March 1, is continuing in Turkey's western city of İzmir, featuring 50 puppet theater companies from 26 countries in 59 indoor and outdoor venues, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  There are also puppet show contests among elementary schools as part of the event, which is being hosted at the Kipa AVM mall for a fourth year running.


★ On March 8, Istanbul's DasDas Theater is courageously celebrating International Women Day with "The Suppliant Women," Aeschylus' Greek tragedy that is a reflection on free will, freedom to love, the right to asylum and the moral duty to protect the weak, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Staged for the first time in Turkey and in Turkish, the performance will feature both professional and amateur actors, some of whom are theater students and others who come from very different walks of life.

  "The Suppliant Women" tells the story of 50 women traveling from Ancient Egypt to the Ancient Greek city of Argos to ask for asylum while running away from the abuse of their own cousins. Their cousins want to marry them but they refuse to be slaves and revolt against their fate" said Elif Cansu Akbıyık, who graduated in acting last year.

  "There are more than 3.5 million refugees in Turkey. How heartbreaking it is that names and places change but these stories never change," said Akbıyık.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The musical version of one of Hollywood's most legendary romantic fantasy thrillers, "Ghost the Musical," will be staged at Istanbul's Zorlu PSM Main Theater from Oct. 19 to Nov. 4 for a total of 21 performances, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The 1990 Jerry Zucker movie "Ghost" is based on a twisted love story that features a New Yorker couple, Sam and Molly. Sam is murdered but with the help of a psychic he tries to communicate with Molly.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ An owl put up for sale on a second-hand sellers group's page on a social media platform in Turkey's northwestern province of Kocaeli has been seized by local authorities before being released to nature.

  The officials said the owl was released to the Natural Life Park in Uzuntarla.

★ Turkey could make use of drones and archaeologists at border gates to protect its antiquities, according to proposals in a draft report prepared by a special parliamentary committee, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The report also calls on the Turkish authorities to hold international symposiums on antiquities smuggling from Turkey's Antalya and Gaziantep provinces with partner countries such as China, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Greece, Italy, Afghanistan and Peru.

  A number of valuable antiquities stolen from Turkey are still being exhibited at top European museums. For example, the ancient Altar of Zeus and relics from the city of Pergamon found in the Aegean province of İzmir are currently on show in Berlin.

  A Roman marble plate showing the 12 labors of Hercules was confiscated by the Swiss authorities in 2010. It was illegally excavated in the 1960s from the Mediterranean city of Antalya.


The Nereid Monument. From Xanthos (Lycia), modern-day Antalya Province, Turkey. 390"380 BCE. Room 17, the British Museum, London

★ Speaking of smuggled artifacts, the Antalya Promotion Foundation has launched a campaign calling for the return of eight artifacts smuggled abroad out of Antalya, reports the Doğan News Agency. As part of the project, an exhibition featuring the photos of these artifacts will open at the Antalya Airport International Arrivals Terminal. A replica of the Nereid Monument will also be placed there.

  Of the smuggled artifacts, the Pergamon Thyke sculpture is on display in Belgium, the Heroon of Trysa is on display at the Vienna Museum of Art History, the Nereid Monument of Xanthos, the Tomb of Payava and the Harpy Monument are on display at the British Museum in London, the Sion Treasure is on display at the Dumbarton Oaks Museum in the U.S. and the child relief is on display at the Museum of Athens.


★ Another news from Antalya: The walls of the ancient city of Termessos, which Alexander the Great besieged in 333 BC but failed to conquer due to its strong walls and powerful defenses, are being restored to their original, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The ancient city is located 20 miles from Turkey's southern province of Antalya's Döşemealtı district.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Three rock tombs have been unearthed at a construction site in the western Turkish province of Bodrum's Bitez neighborhood, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. The tombs are believed to date back to the Hellenistic or Roman era, Bodrum Underwater Museums officials have said.


★ A 700 -square-foot mosaic unearthed nine years ago during archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Perre in the eastern province of Adıyaman is set to become a feast for the eyes of visitors, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Perre was one of the five major cities of the Commagene Kingdom, a border kingdom which existed from 162 B.C. to A.D. 72 between the Roman and Persian empires. The masterpiece will be displayed in its original place.

  In its center, the fifth century Roman-era mosaic features motifs of grape leaves, grapes, deer, roosters, chickens and cranes .

  On its sides, the mosaic is engraved with hexagonal and diamond-shaped figures along with a heart and 3D figures.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Turkish authorities will open another ancient structure for visitors, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. A recreation area, formed around the Hittite Dam, known as the first dam in Anatolia at the present-day Turkish province of Çorum's Alacahöyük site, will open .

  According to information provided by Turkey's Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, the dam was constructed by one of the world's earliest and most sophisticated and the largest civilizations, the Hittites, some 3300 years ago.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Speaking of visitors, Turkey's culture and tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has welcomed a recent thawing of ties between Turkey and Germany, saying he now expects to welcome more than 5 million German visitors this year, Anatolia News Agency has reported.

  The number of German tourists visiting Turkey dropped from 5.5 million in 2015 to 3.9 million in 2016, according to official figures. In 2017, around 3.5 million German tourists traveled to Turkey.

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


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        59/41 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    72/55 Partly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       45/27 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 57/46 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean:             72/52 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        54/45 Partly Cloudy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 39 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 41 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 40 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 23 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 28 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 58 inches	


Premiere League

* Results for week: 24
Bursa Sp        -      Kayseri Sp      1 - 0
Başakşehir      -      Göztepe         2 - 0
Kasımpaşa       -      Osmanlı Sp      1 - 1
Karabük Sp      -      G. Saray        0 - 7
Antalya Sp      -      Sivas Sp        1 - 4
Fenerbahçe      -      Akhisar Sp      2 - 3
G. Birliği      -      Alanya Sp       0 - 1
Konya Sp        -      Malatyaspor     0 - 1
Trabzon Sp      -      Beşiktaş        0 - 2
* In games played so far this weekend:
Alanya Sp       -      Başakşehir      4 - 1
Beşiktaş        -      G. Birliği      1 - 0
Osmanlı Sp      -      Bursa Sp        2 - 1
Sivas Sp        -      Kasımpaşa       2 - 2
* Standing in the league as of week ending 24
  1 - G. Saray        50
  2 - Başakşehir      50
  3 - Beşiktaş        47
  4 - Fenerbahçe      44
  5 - Kayseri Sp      38
  6 - Sivas Sp        37
  7 - Trabzon Sp      36
  8 - Göztepe         36
  9 - Malatyaspor     34
 10 - Akhisar Sp      33
 11 - Bursa Sp        30
 12 - Kasımpaşa       30
 13 - G. Birliği      26
 14 - Antalya Sp      25
 15 - Alanya Sp       24
 16 - Konya Sp        21
 17 - Osmanlı Sp      21
 18 - Karabük Sp      12
★ In the Turkish Airlines Euroleague competitions, Lithuanian Zalgiriswas beaten 78-85 by Turkey's Fenerbahçe.

  Fenerbahçe is still in third place, and the other Turkish team Anadolu Efes is still at the very bottom in 16th place.


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


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