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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 24 March 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 24 March 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

★ Syria's northern Afrin region has been taken under "complete" control as part of Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish military said on March 24.

  In a statement, Turkish General Staff said efforts are in progress to help civilians return home in a secure way.

  Turkish troops have also been continuing efforts to search and destroy hand-made explosives and mines planted by the militants around the region.

  Turkey launched "Operation Olive Branch" on Jan. 20 to clear Syria's People's Protection Units (YPG) militants from Afrin. On March 18, the Turkish armed forces and its local Syrian ally the Free Syrian Army declared full control over the city.

  Turkey considers YPG to be the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party of the rebel Turkish Kurds.

  In related news, four Turkish soldiers were killed on March 22 in eastern Turkey and Syria's northwestern district of Afrin in two separate instances involving the YPG and the Kurdistan Workers' Party, officials have said.


★ Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar said on March 22 that civilians have begun returning to areas cleared of YPG militants in Afrin in northwestern Syria, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  According to a statement from the General Staff, Akar said the main goal of the operation was to ensure the safe and peaceful return of civilians who had "faced persecution and oppression of the terror group," referring to the YPG.

  The Turkish military has been collaborating with public institutions to provide medical services and other support to the civilians, General Akar said.

  He added that 157 military personnel who were injured in Afrin voluntarily returned to the battlefield after receiving treatment in hospitals.

  The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the U.N. charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, he said.

  According to the General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as to "protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists."

  The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to not harm civilians

★ No one can design the region's future without Turkey, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said on March 24, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  "Stop at the west of Euphrates, don't cross to its east. There is no such thing. There is no east or west for terror, it's our main target until we completely get rid of it. We will do whatever is necessary. No one can design the region's future without Turkey," Yıldırım said while addressing academicians at the Hasan Kalyoncu University in Turkey's southeastern Gaziantep province.

  He said Turkish military have been conducting "successfully" the land and the air operations and that it will eliminate threats to its border security, territorial integrity, and security of life and property.

  "Wherever there is a terror threat, it is a target for us," the prime minister added.

★ Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed Turkey's ongoing operation in Afrin during a phone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, the Anatolia News Agency reported on March 23.

  Mr. Erdoğan expressed his discomfort over the criticism pouring in over the operation, according to a presidential source.

  Mr. Erdoğan vowed that operations "will not end in Afrin. Next are Idlib and Manbij" on March 23.

  In February, Mr. Macron said the a 30-day United Nations cease-fire adopted on Syria also applied to Turkey's operation in Afrin. The French leader had also warned Turkey against using the operation as an "excuse to invade Syria".

  The two leaders also discussed bilateral and regional issues, the source added.

  Speaking about the Turkey-European Union summit in Varna, Bulgaria on March 26, Mr. Erdoğan said Turkey attached great importance to its relations with the European Union and revival of the membership process.

  Mr. Erdoğan also extended his condolence to Macron over a deadly hostage standoff at a supermarket in southern France, in which a gunman was killed by security forces.

★ Some 7,000 undocumented migrants were taken into custody by the Turkish authorities in the eastern province of Erzurum in the first 75 days of 2018, according to a provincial authority, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The figure indicates a sharp increase compared with 2017, when the figure for the whole year was 5,000,

  The Erzurum Migration Management General Directorate stated that many foreign nationals had entered Turkey via the border with Iran due to a variety of problems in their own countries, hoping to travel on to European countries.

  The migrants are often abandoned on the side of roads in remote cities of eastern Anatolia by migrant smugglers and then picked up by security forces.

  The migrants there first get taken to a repatriation center in Erzurum's Aşkale district and are deported.

  However, Erzurum Governor Seyfettin said the increase in the number of undocumented migrants being brought to the Aşkale repatriation center in 2018, "well above the manageable number."

  The issue of peoples' smuggling needs to be treated as a security problem of the region and of Turkey, and measures should be taken in line with that reality, he added.

★ The Doğan News Agency reported that a Turkish Airlines flight bound for Los Angeles made an emergency landing at Ireland's Keflavik Airport on March 22 after one passenger sought medical treatment.

  The flight, which departed İstanbul at 7:30 p. m. local time, asked the Icelandic flight tower for permission to land after one passenger fell severely ill.

  The plane touched down on the runway southwest of Ireland's capital Rejkavik at 3:30 P.M., after which the passenger was rushed to hospital.

★ Turkey's Anatolia News Agency reported that "military sketches" were found on a USB carried by two Greek soldiers who crossed the border into Turkish territory on March 2.

  Two phones that belong to Lt. Aggelos Mitretodis and Sgt. Dimitros Kouklatzis, along with a cryptophone and a USB found on them, have been submitted for examination on March 22.

  The court in Edirne has ordered the pair to be charged with "attempted military espionage" and "entering forbidden military territory"

  This incident comes amid an ongoing row between the two neighbors over the extradition of Turkish military from Greece. On Jan. 23, the Greek justice minister said Greece would not extradite eight Turkish soldiers who fled there after the failed 2016 coup attempt, though an offer to try them in Athens has been left open.


★ The assembly of Turkish American associations commemorated the 103rd anniversary of the battle of Gallipoli on March 18.

  On this day allied warships were repelled by the courage and sacrifice of the Turkish gunners and foot soldiers at the Çanakkale/Gallipoli fortifications. The battle lasted two years claiming the lives of over 70 thousand British, Australian, French, New Zealand and Indian troops on one side, and over 60,000 Ottoman soldiers on the other side.

  The British invasion of Çanakkale/Gallipoli at the westernmost point of the Ottoman Empire occurred at the same time as the Russian invasion of Eastern Anatolia. Between 1915 and 1922, over three million Ottoman Muslims and Jews were killed and displaced in concurrent Greek, French, and Italian invasions of Western and Southeastern Anatolia.


★ A group of chefs in Turkey claimed a world record for the largest baklava on March 22 with a giant tray of the pastry dessert, reports Reuters.

  The giant baklava was presented at a "Gastronomy Summit" in Ankara, where dozens of visitors clamored for a piece.

  14 chefs and the head of Turkey's Mado patisserie chain prepared the dessert. The baklava weighed 518 kilos, double the previous record.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ A project, which has been prepared to bring underwater culture tourism to the historic island of Yassıada, has been delivered to the Culture and Tourism Ministry. The projects aims to make Yassıada ready for divers, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  Underwater archaeologist and diving instructor Aşkın Cambazoğlu said once the project is approved, it would be implemented in six months, adding that wealthy tourists could be hosted 12 months of the year.

  The island has been home to 12 shipwrecks since ancient times to 1994. Cambazoğlu said with the project, Bodrum would become one of the most notable places in the world for diving tourism and the project would also ease the protection of artifacts by restrictively to the producer opening the island to diving tourism in a controlled fashion.

  Read more at >> here <<



★ The restoration of the Panagia Phaneromeni Church in the northwestern Turkish province of Balıkesir's evocative Ayvalık district has been completed, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  The church, which is known for its water that is believed to be holy, will open to visitors on March 24 with a meeting of the Association of Historical Towns.

  Built in 1890 in Ayvalık's Kemal Paşa neighborhood, the Panagia Phaneromeni Church has a neoclassical architecture and is perhaps the best known and most important structures in the center of Ayvalık.

  The Balıkesir Museum carried out excavations at the church in 2011 under the leadership of Professor Ömer Özyiğit and unearthed the historic pools of the church dating back to the 1860s.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Some historical artifacts in the theater of the ancient city of Nysa in the western province of Aydın have been taken under protection and have begun being exhibited at the Aydın Archaeology Museum, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Head of excavations in the ancient city, associate professor Hakan Öztaner said there had been many thefts in the field since the beginning of the excavations in the 1960s.

  Twenty-eight frieze blocks, making up a total length of 120 feet, surround the podium on the stage of the ancient theater.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ A 2,200-year-old theater located in the ancient city of Laodicea in the Eskihisar neighborhood of the western province of Denizli will be restored with the support of the Denizli Metropolitan Municipality, Doğan News Agency.

  Despite being built in the 2nd century B.C., the theater didn't serve for Christianity when it spread across Anatolia after the 5th century. The theater completely collapsed after being hit by earthquakes over the centuries. It is now set to undergo restoration with a budget of 6 million Turkish Liras.

  The theater has 15,000 people capacity.

  Located on the west of Laodicea, where one of the seven holy churches of Asia mentioned in the Bible is located, the theater has a view of the Pamukkale travertines.

  Read more at >> here <<

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.98


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        59/41 Thunderstorms
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    66/54 Sporadic Rain
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       52/36 Sporadic Rain
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 54/41 Sporadic Rain
Izmir, on the Aegean:             66/54 Sporadic Rain
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        57/48 Sporadic Rain
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 14 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 26 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 30 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 12 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : No snow report
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 11 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 50 inches



★ Premiere League

* Turkish National Team A, coached by Mircea Lucescu, beat Republic of Ireland in the friendly match 1 to 0. The match was played at Antalya Stadium, in Turkey's southern province of Antalya grabbed the win by Mehmet Topal's strike on min.52. Premiere League There were no games played this weekend in the premiere league due to the national team match with Ireland.

* Results for week: 26
Karabük Sp      -      Osmanlı Sp      0 - 4
Kasımpaşa       -      Antalya Sp      2 - 3
G. Birliği      -      Akhisar Sp      1 - 1
Bursa Sp        -      Sivas Sp        1 - 0
Fenerbahçe      -      G. Saray        0 - 0
Alanya Sp       -      Göztepe         1 - 1
Konya Sp        -      Kayseri Sp      2 - 0
Başakşehir      -      Beşiktaş        1 - 0
Trabzon Sp      -      Malatyaspor     4 - 1
* Standing in the league as of week ending 26
  1 - G. Saray        54
  2 - Başakşehir      53
  3 - Beşiktaş        50
  4 - Fenerbahçe      48
  5 - Trabzon Sp      42
  6 - Kayseri Sp      41
  7 - Göztepe         40
  8 - Sivas Sp        38
  9 - Akhisar Sp      34
 10 - Malatyaspor     34
 11 - Bursa Sp        33
 12 - Kasımpaşa       31
 13 - Alanya Sp       28
 14 - Antalya Sp      28
 15 - Osmanlı Sp      27
 16 - G. Birliği      27
 17 - Konya Sp        24
 18 - Karabük Sp      12
Premiere League
Last week's games
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
Latest games
İZMİR           - PINAR KARŞIYAKA 103 - 98
BALIKESİR       - BANVİT          71 - 58
İSTANBUL        - İSTANBUL BBSK   56 - 69
1 FENERBAHÇE       1506
2 TOFAŞ            1600
3 BEŞİKTAŞ         1597
4 BANVİT           1652
5 EFES             1697
6 DARÜŞŞAFAKA      1524
7 SAKARYA          1577
9 ESKİŞEHİR        1693
10 GALATASARAY     1661
11 KARŞIYAKA       1824
13 TRABZONSPOR     1894
14 GİRESUN         1831
15 GAZİANTEP       1774
16 UŞAK            1804


[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:



*** 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
*** International Children's Festival
Join us for The Berkeley Turkish School's 4th International Children's Festival!

On Sunday, April 22nd 2018, The Berkeley Turkish School will host the 4th annual International Children's Festival at Jefferson Elementary School in Berkeley.

Hundreds of families and community members from across the Bay Area will celebrate peace and diversity, and Earth Day together.

The festival will feature live international music, dance performances by local school children, delicious international food, and fun activities for the whole family.

With over 400 visitors last year, the International Children's Festival was once again a tremendous success.

From the lively folk dancing and musical performances to the coffee fortune reading, delicious Turkish cuisine, and colorful arts and crafts vendors, visitors of all ages enjoyed themselves.

And this year, we are delighted to welcome families and student performances from several cultural schools throughout the Bay Area.

About our school and our festival program visit:


Jefferson Elementary School, 1400 Ada Street Berkeley, CA 94702