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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 31 March 2018
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 31 March 2018]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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★ The New York Times reports that one of Turkey's leading media groups, Doğan Media Company, was sold to Demirören Holding, a pro-government Turkish conglomerate on Wednesday, a move widely seen as likely to further limit the independence of the Turkish news media.
In 2009, the company was fined $2.5 billion for unpaid taxes, a decision widely seen as an attempt by the Turkish government to punish it for its criticism of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then the prime minister and now the president.
In 2014, in a leaked phone conversation between Erdoğan Demirören, the owner of
Demirören Holding, and Mr. Erdoğan, Mr. Demirören was heard apologizing for an article in the newspaper Milliyet.
Mr. Demirören was later heard weeping.
"The process of gathering the Turkish media industry in one hand according to the Putin model is completed," Kadri Gürsel, a veteran journalist, wrote in a Twitter post about the sale.
Read more at >> here <<
★ According to the VOA, the United States this week increased its special operations troops in the flashpoint town of Manbij in northern Syria.
Manbij, in northern Syria, has recently become another major point of disagreement between the U.S. and its NATO ally, Turkey, over the presence of the Kurdish militant group People's Protection Units, also known as the YPG.
Turkey says YPG is affiliated with the rebel Turkish Kurds organization Kurdistan Worker Party, which is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union.
A VOA reporter in northern Syria who visited the site said the U.S. troops are stationed mostly across the Sajur river area in northwest Manbij, bordering near the Turkey-backed Syrian fighters.
Read more at >> here <<
★ According to the Dorian Jones of the VOA, France's offer to mediate between Ankara and the YPG Syrian Kurdish militia has provoked outrage from the Turkish government.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the move amounted to supporting terrorism, and could make France "a target of Turkey." President Recep Tayyip
Erdoğan described Paris's move, as a "show of hostility against Turkey."
French President Emmanuel Macron made the mediation offer after meeting a delegation of the Syrian Defense Force, which included prominent members of the YPG militia and its political wing, PYD.
Read more at >> here <<
★ Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Donald Trump, discussed bilateral and regional issues in a telephone call on March 30, according to the Turkish presidency, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
The two leaders discussed the latest developments in Syria and Iraq, as well as counter-terrorism.
Erdoğan and Trump also confirmed their determination to increased cooperation and coordination as allies.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Undersecretary Ümit Yalçın met U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan in Washington on March 30 as the NATO allies asserted their commitment to address common concerns in the spirit of partnership.
Both men reviewed the current state of Turkish-American relations and agreed to continue efforts in resolving major issues affecting bilateral ties, according to information received from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
The ministry said the issue of Manbij, Syria was addressed in the scope of previous meetings and reasserted a determination to jointly advance on the matter.
The pair also discussed ways to enhance cooperation between Turkey and the U.S. in efforts to permanently eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and provide security and stability to ISIL-free regions in Syria.
★ According to the Associated Press, Turkish president Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met on Monday with European Union officials in Varna Bulgaria.
After the meeting, Mr. Erdoğan voiced hope that a difficult period in relations between Turkey and the European Union is now in the past.
He also said that European Union membership was a "strategic goal" for Turkey.
European Council president Donald Tusk said that the summit's purpose was to "continue the dialogue in really difficult circumstances".
In related news, the Hürriyet Daily News reported the Turkish Prime Minister saying "at the summit we could not see any signal that the European Union's approach to us will be based on fairground".
"We are uncomfortable that Turkey's struggle against all terrorist organizations is seen as an obstacle to our relations,"
Mr. Yıldırım said, in apparent reference to European Union's criticism of Turkey's sweeping crackdown based on supposed "anti-terror" measures.
★ The roads of Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, are the scene of an increasingly bitter confrontation between taxi drivers and drivers of the new ride-hailing service Uber,
Dorian Jones of the VOA reports. Numerous videos shot by terrified Uber passengers are circulating on the internet that show taxi drivers attacking Uber vehicles.
Local media have reported Uber drivers being called out to remote locations, where they have been attacked by unknown assailants. Accusation of violence are denied by the taxi industry.
Operating a taxi is a major investment in Turkey, with taxi plates costing nearly $385,000. For drivers it often involves investing life savings or borrowing. Although most of Istanbul's 18,000 plates are bought by wealthy investors who rent out the plates, drivers pay around $2000 a month to rent a taxi. With the high cost of gasoline in Europe, many drivers complain life was already hard, even before the emergence of Uber.
★ Other news:
- Turkey's President Erdoğan on last Saturday criticized anti-war students at a top university, calling them terrorists following a fight there. There were later 12 students detained.
- U.S.-based Human Rights Watch has strongly criticized Turkey for "large numbers" of detentions for social media postings criticizing the Turkish-led military operation into Syria against a Kurdish militia. The report claimed the "crackdown violates the right to peaceful expression." Read more at >> here <<
- The Associated Press reports that Kosovo police arrested six Turks working with a group of schools
affliated with cleric Fethullah Gülen and handed them over to Turkish authorities Thursday, officials said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blames cleric Gülen for an attempted coup two years ago Read more at >> here <<
- The volume of a loan which caters to small and medium-sized enterprises in Turkey has been raised, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on March 31.
- Turkish government has new plans to boost investment and ease doing business .
- General Electric Turkey head says that energy sector employers must recruit more women. The General Electric Turkey president and CEO is a woman.
- Prices of both domestic cattle and red meat have continued to rise in Turkey despite ongoing imports worth nearly $1.3 billion since last year. The increase is just over 20% compared to last year.
- Russia will allow tomato imports from two more Turkish firms as of March 29, Russia's agriculture safety watchdog said on March 28,
reports the Reuters News Agency. Russia imposed sanctions on Turkish imports in 2015 after Turkey downed two Russian jet fighters which
strayed into Turkish territory from Syria.
- In American commercial real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield's Manufacturing Risk Index 2018, Turkey ranked 10 in a 42-country list analyzing attractiveness in terms of manufacturing companies' perspectives. The listing says Turkey's main advantage is lower costs. It also stated, however, that recent geopolitical uncertainty decreased Turkey's attractiveness for international companies. Read more at >> here <<
- The Turkish economy surged 7.4 percent last year, official data showed on March 29, marking its fastest expansion in four years with robust growth in industry, services and construction. Read more at >> here <<
- Turkey's foreign trade deficit rose to $5.76 billion in the second month of the year with a 54.2 percent year-on-year increase, official data has shown. Read more at >> here <<
- Turkey's President Erdoğan is urging his party officials "not to talk negatively about the economy".
★ The 9th Alaçatı Herb Festival will be organized this year between April 5 and 9 in Turkey's western province of İzmir's popular coastal district of Çeşme's Alaçatı neighborhood, reports the Anatolia News Agency. The event is expected to draw more than 1 million tourists to the town.
Over 100 herb species growing with the spring rains in the region, including radicchio, wild radish, mustard, hibiscus, ivy and blessed thistle, are among the most important sources of income for the locals. As the culture of living a healthy life develops among people across the world, the number of herb festivals is on the rise, too.
10 days ahead of the festival hotel occupancy rates has risen to 80%.
★ Akbank Private Banking's new online platform "A Journal," in collaboration with ISTANBUL'74, is kicking off its publishing journey with the exhibition "The Art of Scent 1889-2012", reports the Hürriyet Daily News.
The exhibition focuses on 12 iconic scents including "Chanel N ̊ 5" by Ernest Beaux, "Jicky" by Aime Guerlain, "Aromatics Elixir" by Bernard Chant and "Light Blue" by Olivier Cresp. From these scents, it situates the history of scent within a larger aesthetic and historical context of major art mediums - from painting and sculpture to architecture and music.
The exhibition was previously displayed at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
It was opened in Istanbul on March 23 with the attendance of Chandler Burr, the curator in charge and the founder of the Department of Scent Art at the Museum of Arts and Design. It will continue to be on view until April 13.
★ Istanbul will host the International Ethno Music Festival on April 1.
The festival, organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality for the first time, will bring together artists from around the world and will run through April 3 at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall.
Among countries represented will be Ireland, UK, Greece, Iran, and France.
Turkish musicians taking part will include Bora Uymaz, Şirin Pancaroğlu, Tolga Akşit and Muhlis Berberoğlu.
Entry to all festival events will be free of charge.
★ Authorities opened an investigation against two suspects who carried out illegal excavations in
Turkey's Aegean province of İzmir's Selçuk district and attempted to sell a Roman-era tomb they found during the excavations.
Officials were informed that the suspects had attempted to sell the ancient tomb for 1.4 million euros. The tomb had been unearthed close to the ancient city of Ephesus, in Arvalya, a site designated as a first-degree archaeological site.
Inside the burial chamber where tombs are human remains, tear bottles, bowls and a marble cover were found.
Police arrested the two suspects.
★ The Yeditepe Biennial has started March 31 and will continue until May 15 in nearly 30 venues across Istanbul. The biennial will feature traditional arts. 600 artists will take place with some 3000 artworks.
★ The central Anatolian province of Konya in Turkey is host to a unique library. The library of manuscripts hosts nearly 30,000 rare manuscripts most of which date back to the Seljuk era.
Library also hosts a binding and restoration workshop to repair the manuscripts damage due to physical, chemical and biological factors.
Once repaired, the books are transferred to digital media.
The books are kept in a controlled environment to prevent further deterioration.
Read more at >> here <<
★ Istanbul's İş Sanat will host Glykeria, one of Greece's most important voices who is known as "the queen of rebetiko," on April. 3.
Known for her extraordinary voice and unique musical interpretations, the Greek diva is one of the most popular rebetiko singers in Europe and also has a following in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Israel.
Rebetiko briefly can be described as the urban popular song of the Greeks, especially the poorest, from the late 19th century to the 1950s.
Read more at >> here <<
★ Turkish theaters raised their curtains for free on March 26 to mark World Theater Day celebrated around the globe.
The Turkish State Theaters staged 30 plays free of charge at 20 different stages across the country to mark the occasion.
An estimated 8,500 people have taken part in the events across Turkey.
★ Bosnian photojournalist Damir Sagolj's striking shot of a dead boy with his eyes covered with leaves was chosen as Photo of the Year 2018 for the Istanbul Photo Awards organized by the Anatolia News Agency.
This year's contest saw 28 photographers from 22 countries around the world receiving awards. Around 37,000 photos from 125 countries were submitted to the contest. Jury members picked the winners in all categories from March 18 to March 21 in Istanbul.
Canadian photojournalist Kevin Frayer won first prize in the Story News category for the series he had done for Getty Images on the Rohingya.
Lukas Schulze, a freelance photojournalist based in Germany, got first prize in the Single Sports category with his photo "Athlete vs. Animal," while Pavel Volkov from Russia won first prize in the Story Sports category for his series taken for Russian daily Vechernyaya Moskva.
Malaysian photojournalist Muhamed Fathil Asri from The New Straits Times Press won first prize in the Single Nature & Environment category, while Marcus Yam's work for The Los Angeles Times was awarded first prize in the Story Nature & Environment category.
Andrew McConnell's series taken for London-based Panos Pictures won first prize in the Story Portrait category, while Russian photographer Sergei Stroitelev received first prize in the Story Daily Life category.
Ezra Acayan, a freelance photojournalist in the Philippines, won the Young Photographer award, presented to a winner under age 28 for the second time.
For a list of all the winners visit:
★ A library in Turkey's northern province of Karabük is catching the attention of people with its unique architecture, reports the Anatolia News Agency. The building bears resemblance to a bookshelf, with books stacked alongside each other.
The architecture of the library emulates the Kansas City Public Library in the United States.
The library, which was built at Karabük University with support from Kamil Güleç, a Turkish philanthropist, provides access to 60,000 books in print and six million digital publications.
★ A new installation by İnci Eviner will be presented at Turkey's Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia next year, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.
Curated by Zeynep Öz, the presentation will take place at the Arsenale, recently secured by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) for 20 years from 2014 to 2034.
Eviner's work usually takes drawing as a starting point and comprises a large body of multi-layered pieces ranging from paintings and video to performative and collaborative practices.
She has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions worldwide and was a winner of the Sharjah Biennial Prize (2017), and she was an artist-in-residence at Headlands Center for Art (California, 2017), Rauschenberg Foundation (Florida, 2017), SAM Art Projects (Paris, 2010), Musee d'art contemporain du Val-de-Marne (Vitry-sur-Seine, 2009), Cite internationale des Arts (Paris, 2008) and International Studio & Curatorial Program (New York, 2004-2005).
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.96
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey: 52/48 Thunderstorms
Antalya, on the Mediterranean: 70/57 Thunderstorms
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey: 57/28 Mostly Sunny
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 55/46 Thunderstorms
Izmir, on the Aegean: 66/52 Thunderstorms
Trabzon, on the Black Sea: 75/57 Showers
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey : 12 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 23 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey : 31 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey : 4 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey : 44 inches
* Results for week: 27
Sivas Sp - Karabük Sp 1 - 0
Beşiktaş - Alanya Sp 1 - 0
Malatyaspor - G. Birliği 4 - 1
Antalya Sp - Bursa Sp 2 - 0
Osmanlı Sp - Konya Sp 0 - 0
G. Saray - Trabzon Sp 2 - 1
Akhisar Sp - Başakşehir 1 - 2
Göztepe - Kasımpaşa 0 - 2
Kayseri Sp - Fenerbahçe - - -
* Standing in the league as of week ending 27
1 - G. Saray 57
2 - Başakşehir 56
3 - Beşiktaş 53
4 - Fenerbahçe 48
5 - Trabzon Sp 42
6 - Kayseri Sp 41
7 - Sivas Sp 41
8 - Göztepe 40
9 - Malatyaspor 37
10 - Kasımpaşa 34
11 - Akhisar Sp 34
12 - Bursa Sp 33
13 - Antalya Sp 31
14 - Alanya Sp 28
15 - Osmanlı Sp 28
16 - G. Birliği 27
17 - Konya Sp 25
18 - Karabük Sp 12
Last week's games
BANVİT - BÜYÜKÇEKMECE 84 - 89
UŞAK - BEŞİKTAŞ 65 - 75
KARŞIYAKA - DARÜŞŞAFAKA 71 - 93
TRABZONSPOR - BANVİT 88 - 84
FENERBAHÇE - GALATASARAY 80 - 60
BÜYÜKÇEKMECE - EFES 63 - 77
GİRESUN - İSTANBUL BBSK 90 - 81
ESKİŞEHİR - GAZİANTEP 84 - 85
1 FENERBAHÇE 43
2 TOFAŞ 41
3 BEŞİKTAŞ 39
4 EFES 38
5 BANVİT 37
6 DARÜŞŞAFAKA 37
7 SAKARYA 36
8 ESKİŞEHİR 34
9 İSTANBUL BBSK 33
10 GALATASARAY 33
11 TRABZONSPOR 32
12 GİRESUN 31
13 KARŞIYAKA 31
14 BÜYÜKÇEKMECE 30
15 GAZİANTEP 29
16 UŞAK 27
[Saat 18:30 and 19:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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*** For more music from Turkey and the Middle East tune to
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*** 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:
*** 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