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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 28 April 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 28 April 2018]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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Edited by Fuad Tokad

★ Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on April 28 the first initiative of his government after winning elections would be the construction of Canal Istanbul, an artificial sea-level waterway that will connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Once completed, it will reduce shipping traffic, particularly oil tanker traffic, passing through the Bosporus Strait.

  Addressing a large crowd at the ruling Justice and Development Party women convention in Istanbul, Erdoğan said: "We want our women to be more active, more engaged, and be represented in higher numbers in politics and the parliament."

  Speaking about the upcoming snap polls, he said Istanbul with its nearly 9.5 million voters will be a major player.

  Last week, Turkey's parliament passed a bill calling for early presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.

★ Former Turkish President Abdullah Gül on April 28 ruled out running for the presidency in June, dousing fevered speculation he would challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

  Erdoğan announced early presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 instead of November 3, 2019 and rumors were rife that Gül would run against him.

  Gül was president between 2007 and 2014 during Erdoğan's time as premier. Erdoğan and Gül founded AKP with others in 2001. After Gül stepped down in 2014, Erdoğan was elected as president.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ At least 63 suspects were detained across Turkey for their suspected links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization, according to security sources on April 28, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Istanbul Public Prosecutor's office issued an arrest warrant for 103 suspects for being part of organization's "marriage service structure", said the sources, requesting anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

  The suspects' names also appeared in match-making catalogs prepared by the terror group allegedly to help its members find spouses.

  Police conducted simultaneous operations in 36 provinces, the sources added.

  Operations are underway to arrest the remaining suspects.

  In another operation in Istanbul, Esmaül Hüsna Öksüz, niece of Adil Öksüz, who is accused of being mastermind of the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, was detained while she was trying to send organization-linked documents to the U.S. by courier, the sources said.

  Öksüz was brought to a court and remanded in custody, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The Fethullahist Terrorist Organization and its U.S.-based leader Fethullah Gülen, are widely believed to have orchestrated the coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Hürriyet Daily News reported that a total of 41 Kurdistan Workers Party militants were "neutralized" by the Turkish military in eastern and southeastern provinces of Tunceli, Siirt, Diyarbakır and Şırnak, and northern Iraq as part of counter-terror operations held on April 20-27.

  Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

  In a statement issued on April 28, the Turkish Armed Forces said 28 targets, shelters, hideouts, and weapons pits of terrorists were destroyed and arms and ammunition were seized during the operations.

  Thirteen militants were "neutralized" in Turkey and 28 across the border. One of them was a high-ranking Kurdistan Workers Party member.

  So far, 4,305 militants have been "neutralized" since the start of Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria, the statement added.

  Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 this year to clear the YPG and ISIL from Afrin.

Pompeo and Çavuşoğlu

★ Turkey and the United States have agreed to approve a road map on Syria "to avoid potential confrontation" between the two allies, Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said after meeting with the new U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels on the occasion of a NATO summit, Serkan Demirtaş of the Hürriyet daily news reports from Brussels.

  "We will implement the Manbij model in other parts of Syria, particularly east of the Euphrates. We'll therefore be taking a step with the U.S. on an issue that causes tension in our bilateral ties. If the roadmap is implemented, the [Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units] YPG will be withdrawn from Manbij. Otherwise we'll have to intervene against the terrorists just like we did in Afrin," Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said.

  The meeting between the two took place less than 24 hours after Mr. Pompeo's nomination as secretary of state was confirmed at Congress. Mr. Pompeo visited Ankara in February 2017 in his capacity as CIA director.

  Questioned about the recent campaign at the U.S. Congress to sanction Turkey over the arrest of Pastor Andrew Brunson on "terror" charges, Mr. Çavuşoğlu said this was a "legal issue and not a political one."

  Three U.S. congressmen proposed blocking the delivery of the F-35 joint strike fighters to Turkey because of the continued arrest of Brunson.

  "This is a matter of justice. Sanctions or threats should not be on our agenda," Çavuşoğlu said, vowing that any sanctions will be responded in kind.

Dunford and Akar

★ In related news, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford spoke with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar over the phone on April 27, according to the Pentagon, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  "The two leaders discussed the current security environment in Syria and the Middle East in addition to other mutual items of interest," Joint Staff Spokesperson Col. Patrick S. Ryder said in a press statement.

  "They additionally discussed ways to strengthen cooperation to address security concerns facing our nations," he said.

  Ryder also emphasized that Dunford and Akar had met multiple times as part of maintaining regular communications between NATO allies.

  The Turkish General Staff said Akar and Dunford discussed regional security issues and exchanged views on mutual cooperation, according to a statement.

★ Turkey's higher education institutions host 7.56 million Turkish and international students during the 2017-2018 academic year, the country's Council of Higher Education announced on April 27, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Some 4.24 million students attend undergraduate programs, while 2.77 million people studied in associate degree programs and 454,673 people were attempting to obtain a master's degree, and 95,100 people are working towards a PhD.

  Last year, the number of students in higher education was 7.2 million.

  Over 70 percent of 117,812 international students study at the undergraduate level.

  Turkey's higher education institutions comprises of 158,098 academics, of whom 24,640 are professors and 14,456 associate professors.

  Moreover, 3,121 foreign academics, including 209 professors, also give lectures in Turkish institutions.

  In Turkey, daytime/formal education students have not been paying fees for higher education since 2012.

  The country has 112 state and 74 foundation universities and vocational schools.



★ The Istanbul Foundation for the Education of Mentally Handicapped has started a project titled "Animals and Us" with the support of the Pink Floyd soloist Roger Waters, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  Roger Waters has given the rights of his song "another brick in the wall" to the foundation.

  The goal of the "Animals and Us" project. Is to explain that mentally handicapped individuals are simply different youth. The project has put together an exhibition with the leadership of the Sarıyer Mayor at Sarıyer City Bosporus Culture and Arts Center.

  The exhibition features photographs showing animals and humans together and expressing human emotions such as love, affection and hope.

  14 leading individuals from the music, film, theater, literature, sports and medicine have reinterpreted Waters' song "another brick in the wall" with lyrics that express messages about the mentally handicapped.

  Proceeds from the exhibition and the music clips that were produced will go towards establishing a "village" for the mentally handicapped.

★ Two Turkish artists, Devrim Erbil and Yiğit Dündar will have an exhibition at "Art New York" between May 4 and 6, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  Devrim Erbil was born in Uşak in 1937. He was enrolled in the painting department of the State Academy of Fine Arts in İstanbul in 1955. He studied first in the academy's Gallery section under Halil Dikmen and later in the studio of Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu. In 1959 he founded the "Seven Abstractionists" group. In addition to many international awards, he was awarded the title "State Artist" in 1991. Works by the artist have been selected for inclusion in a number of public and private collections in Turkey and abroad.

  Yiğit Dündar was born in Konya in 1987. He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at Yeditepe University in 2005. He pursued his Master's degree in Painting at the College of Plastic Arts of Yeditepe University and completed it in 2015. Dündar has held five solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions. He currently continues his work in Istanbul.



★ Turkish artist Emre Karayel is performing in a one-man play titled "Oxymoron", reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  The play is based on a story of a breakup and interprets relationships between men and women in an entertaining way.

  The play will be staged throughout the summer in Istanbul, Ankara and Antalya.

★ Istanbul's Yeditepe University students and their clubs are putting together a spring festival between May 2 and 4, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  The Festival will have concerts, plays, and competitions.

  The concerts will feature renowned names in Turkish music such as Sıla, Mabel Matiz, Yüksek Sadakat, Ceylan Ertem and Berkay.

★ According to the Turkish daily Sözcü, there will be a Turkish film Festival between May 5 and 17th in Barcelona, Spain.

  The Festival will show screenings from several Turkish directors in two separate movie theaters.


★ Turkish actor Savaş Özdemir is also a painter. And he will be exhibiting some of his works for the benefit of a project of the Yedikule Animal Friends Organization, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  The exhibition will continue through May 12 at Istanbul's CVK hotel lobby.

  The project is aimed at keeping leftovers collected for animals in a more hygienic condition.

★ The Canadian singer Garou will meet his fans in Turkey on December 2 in Istanbul--and the tickets are already available for sale.

  The Istanbul concert is part of Garou's worldwide tour dubbed " Garou - 20 years".


★ The historic Haydarpaşa Railway Terminal that was damaged in a fire in 2010 is being restored. The work in the two towers of the terminal building were recently completed, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  The restoration work will continue throughout the building.

  Haydarpaşa Railway Terminal was built in 1908 as the terminus of the Istanbul - Baghdad railway line.


★ Turkish rural police have confiscated a 4 foot long Roman era statute of a woman at the back of a car in Burdur province, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  The two suspects transporting the historic statue were interrogated and then released. Their car was impounded.

★ The 23rd Izmir book fair has broke a record this year. According to the fair organizers almost 484,000 people visited the fair this year, which is 9% more people than last year.

  The number of students visiting the fair reached almost 32,000, a 20% increase as compared to last year. 478 publishers and civil society organizations participated in the fair, which celebrated its 23rd year.

  The nine day fair ended on April 24.

★ Turkey's world renowned pianist and State Artist Idil Biret has compiled all of her studio recordings and concerts throughout her 60-year music career into a super album made up of 130 CDs and four DVDs, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The album includes works from studio recordings and concerts she has given since 1959. The "Super Box" will reach shelves in Turkey and abroad in May.

  Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, the pianist said she had released her first album in 1957.


★ The second of the Zorlu PSM Jazz Festival will take place from May 2 to May 13, featuring blues, electronic, world, funk, indie, classic, pop and rock under the roof of jazz, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Along with concerts, the event will also present concept parties, panel discussions, workshops and film and documentary screenings.

  Among the festival highlights are, Spanish violinist Ara Malikian.

  The most renowned singer and songwriter of Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the greatest and most popular music artists in the Balkans, Dino Merlin.

  Merlin's latest album "Hotel Nacional" (2014) was featured upon release in the top 10 of the Billboard World Albums list.

  The Australian Pink Floyd Show, which have gained their worldwide reputation by interpreting all-time favorite Pink Floyd songs.

  Also, a tribute concert to the late diva Cesaria Evora, Karsu Plays Atlantic Records special project, made for the memory of the founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegün and Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, Jack Wolf, Hug Coltman, Stacey Kent, and Kerem Görsev Quartet.


★ The Carrousel Art Shopping contemporary art fair, organized by Louvre Museum, will take place on May 25, 26 and 27 in Paris, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  This year nine Turkish artists will participate in the fair, through the organization of the Contemporary Turkish Artists Paris Association, which was founded by Nazan Aktan in 2015 to promote Turkish artists to the world.

★ "View of Constantinople in Moonlight" by famous Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky will be auctioned with an opening price of $110,000, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. The auction will be organized by Beyaz Müzayede on May 6 at Istanbul's Swissotel and will offer 234 artifacts collected from an important collection.


★ The St. Nicholas Monastery in Turkey's northwestern province of Kırklareli's Vize district has been undergoing a restoration process for some time. Officials expect many visitors to the region when the work is finished, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The monastery was built in the sixth century on carved rocks and is made up of a church, a holy spring and other sections. The culture and tourism director Necmi Asan said an expert team was working on the restoration. Mr. Asan also said that along with the restoration works, the environmental arrangement and lighting work was carried out in the historic structure.


★ Works have been initiated for the restoration of a Roman-era stadium in the ancient city of Perge in Turkey's southern province of Antalya, reports the Doğan News Agency. Along with traditional sports, gladiator performances are planned to be performed in the stadium upon completion.

  Located 10miles from Antalya city center, the ancient stadium is one of the best preserved stadiums from the ancient era.

  Currently closed to visitors, the stadium was built using local rocks of the region. Placed on 70 arches, the stadium has 11 seat rows and a capacity for 12,000 people. In the ancient era the stadium hosted wild animal and gladiator fights, while the northern part of the stadium was surrounded with protective cases.


★ Şerefiye cistern, which is thought to be 1600 years old, has been restored after an eight year work and opened to public for visits, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  The cistern was built on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II to store the waters of Bozdoğan aqueduct for the use of Istanbul city residents.

★ The ancient city of Pergamon in Turkey's Aegean region will be having a theater festival between May 10 and 13, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  The organizers of the festival are Bergama municipality and Berlin and Istanbul based art collective Kabak & Lin.

  The ancient Greek theater Asklepion, modern culture and art center BerKM, the renown Red Church, Acropolis and various squares of Bergama will be among the venues for the plays.

  Several Turkish and international theater companies will participate in the festival.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 4.04


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        81/48 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    77/72 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       64/45 Showers
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 75/57 Mostly Sunny
Izmir, on the Aegean:             86/63 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        66/55 Mostly Cloudy



Premiere League

Başakşehir      -      Kayseri Sp      3 - 1
G. Birliği      -      Osmanlı Sp      0 - 3
Trabzon Sp      -      Sivas Sp        0 - 2
Alanya Sp       -      G. Saray        2 - 3
Karabük Sp      -      Bursa Sp        1 - 4
Akhisar Sp      -      Göztepe         1 - 1
Beşiktaş        -      Malatyaspor     3 - 1
Konya Sp        -      Kasımpaşa       2 - 0
Fenerbahçe      -      Antalya Sp      4 - 1
★ In games played so far this weekend:
Göztepe         -      Karabük Sp      5 - 0
Kayseri Sp      -      Alanya Sp       1 - 2
Sivas Sp        -      G. Birliği      1 - 0
Kasımpaşa       -      Fenerbahçe      1 - 4
Antalya Sp      -      Trabzon Sp      1 - 2
★ Standing in the league as of week ending 30
  1 - G. Saray        63
  2 - Beşiktaş        62
  3 - Başakşehir      62
  4 - Fenerbahçe      60
  5 - Trabzon Sp      46
  6 - Göztepe         44
  7 - Sivas Sp        44
  8 - Kayseri Sp      44
  9 - Kasımpaşa       40
 10 - Malatyaspor     38
 11 - Bursa Sp        36
 12 - Akhisar Sp      35
 13 - Antalya Sp      35
 14 - Konya Sp        32
 15 - Alanya Sp       32
 16 - Osmanlı Sp      32
 17 - G. Birliği      30
 18 - Karabük Sp      12

Premiere League

Last week's games
GİRESUN         - FENERBAHÇE      70 - 93
ESKİŞEHİR       - GİRESUN         86 - 75
GAZİANTEP       - SAKARYA         79 - 67
EFES            - İSTANBUL BBSK   86 - 67
KARŞIYAKA       - UŞAK            78 - 74
DARÜŞŞAFAKA     - BANVİT          85 - 88
GALATASARAY     - BEŞİKTAŞ        77 - 73
Latest games
ESKİŞEHİR       - GİRESUN         86 - 75
BEŞİKTAŞ        - KARŞIYAKA       77 - 63
UŞAK            - FENERBAHÇE      81 - 90
SAKARYA         - GALATASARAY     75 - 73
1 FENERBAHÇE       47
2 TOFAŞ            45
3 EFES             42
4 BEŞİKTAŞ         42
5 BANVİT           41
7 SAKARYA          38
8 ESKİŞEHİR        38
12 KARŞIYAKA       34
14 GİRESUN         33
15 GAZİANTEP       32
16 UŞAK            30


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