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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 05 May 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 05 May 2018]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ The snap elections that the ruling Justice and Development Party called in Turkey, is heating up the political scene.

  The Turkish political parties have declared their own presidential candidates. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the current president, is the candidate from the ruling Justice and Development Party. The right-wing Nationalist Action Party is also supported him .

  Another nationalist party is declaring its leader Meral Akşener, a woman, as the candidate.

  The Republican People's Party has declared a member of parliament, Muammer Ince.

  The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic party's candidate is one of its leaders, Selahattin Demirtaş, who is currently in jail.

  Although the opposition parties are fielding separate candidates for the presidency, they are seeking alliances for the general elections which will take simultaneously with the presidential election.

  Speaking of the People's Democratic Party, The Stockholm Center for Freedom reports that an İstanbul court ruled to arrest 10 people, including İstanbul branch co-chair Cengiz Çiçek and officials from other branches.

  Read more at >> here <<

  In related news, the Voice of America corresponded Dorian Jones reports that the Kurdish vote - a fifth of the electorate - is being seen as key to the outcome of the June 24, general in presidential elections.

★ The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that an Istanbul court convicted 10 people affiliated with the shuttered Feza Media Group, best known as the publisher of the daily Zaman, on terrorism-related charges.

  Also, Turkish authorities jailed Mehmet Sıddık Damar, a former reporter for the shuttered Dicle News Agency, after an appeals court upheld his conviction on charges of "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization," and his six-month prison sentence, the online news website Gazete Karınca reported on May 1.

★ The New York Times carried an article on May 3 about the risk of "gassy earthquakes" near Istanbul.

  In a new study published Tuesday in Scientific Reports, Louis Geli from the French Research Institute for Marine Exploitation, Ifremer, and his colleagues showed that the fault shook nearby gas reservoirs - a result that could help scientists better assess earthquake risks.

  The researchers think that the earthquakes, especially the weaker ones, are due to the gas deposits under the sea.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The BBC world service reports that the plunge of the Turkey's currency lira against the dollar may be a sign of overheating of the Turkish economy.

  The BBC broadcast later evaluates what the Turkish central bank and the government can do to prop up the economy.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ In another news on the economy, the Voice of America reporter Dorian Jones writes that with snap elections in Turkey less than two months away, the government has begun investing billions of dollars in financial giveaways in an unprecedented spending spree that has sent the lira to near record lows and prompted concerns about the health of the economy.

  Along with tax and social security payment amnesties, the bulk of the spending is to be split into two payments of 1,000 lira - the equivalent of $240 - to 13 million pensioners. The payments are timed to coincide with religious holidays, with the first installment set to be paid a week before the June 24 vote.

  "Given this spending commitment can be recurring for coming years, it shows there can be more lasting damage to the fiscal balances than what the market assumed at the announcement of the election," said economist Inan Demir of Nomura Securities.

  In another sign of investor concerns, the S&P rating agency downgraded Turkey's credit rating.

  Analysts interpret the sudden spending as a declaration of intent by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party, whom polls indicate remain short of winning the vote by an absolute majority.

  While Erdoğan remains well ahead in opinion polls, most surveys indicate he remains short of the required 50 percent plus one vote to win outright. Equally, the Justice and Development Party still is not assured of victory, with the traditionally splintered opposition working hard to unite. The opposition also is targeting economic discontent.



★ After two years of absence from the recording scene, Turkish singer Kubat has a new album titled "We are Folksongs", reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  The cover of the album is a compilation of faces from all parts of Turkey photographed over 40 years of travel throughout the country by renown photographer Levent Yavuz.


★ British composer Benjamin Britten's 1954 opera "The Turn of the Screw" will be staged once again by Istanbul State Opera and ballet at Süreyya Opera house, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  The director of the opera is Aytaç Manizade, who received four awards for his staging of the opera in Armel Opera Competition Festival in Hungary in 2013. The orchestra will be led by Can Okan.


★ Immigrants from Prizren Kosovo are preparing for a traditional festival on May 13, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü. The festival is named after a traditional food "Flija". It will take place in Istanbul's Göktürk Bayrampaşa picnic area.

  In addition, the festival will have folk dance performances, live music and other entertainment.

  Organized by the Kosovo Prizren Culture Association, the food to be used for cooking will be brought on donkeys, passing through a representation of the Kosovo Bridge. The dough for the flija will be prepared by the women, and the men will cook them on fire, which will take up to four hours. After the dough is cooked it is served with honey.


★ A cartoon film named "The Colorful Fish Discovers New Worlds" by Fikrigün and Bros film companies hit the screens in Turkey on May 4.

  Directed by Burhan Gün, who also prepared the script, the film hero "Colorful" lives in an aquarium that has major heritage sites from Turkey such as Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Galata Tower, the city of Mardin and Aspendos.


★ BASE, the platform for young Turkish artists, is an organization that brings the works of the new artists under one roof. Last year the organization brought together 108 new graduates of art colleges at 31 universities with their first 116 works and got 12,000 guests visit the exhibitions.

  The second of the BASE exhibitions will take place this year between December 19 and 23, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  The organization started accepting applications for the exhibitions. Applications will be accepted through July 1. A jury with renowned names in the arts will evaluate the works submitted.

  Derya Yücel will curate the exhibition. Ms. Yücel is a curator, art writer, lecturer and member of the Board of International Association of Art CriticsTurkey.


★ An exhibition by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei that started at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Istanbul sent some of its select objects to Turkey's south eastern city of Mardin for an exhibition there, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  The Mardin exhibition was opened with the attendance of Mardin Governor, member of the Sabancı Endowment board member Dilek Sabancı, the chief priest of the Kırklar Church and art lovers from Mardin.


★ According to the Turkish daily Sözcü, santur, a forgotten instrument, is making a comeback in Turkey.

  One of the current masters of the instrument is Sedat Anar. Anar had a concert on May 3 at the Esenler Municipality, a suburb of Istanbul.

  The santur is similar to a hammered dulcimer. Similar instruments were depicted on ancient documents in Babylon some 3600 years ago. Its name means "100 strings".

  Scholars say that the instrument was carried in both westerly and easterly directions from its origin in Mesopotamia. It is the ancestor of the Chinese instrument yangqin, the harpsichord, and the American and European hammered dulcimers.


★ Turkish actress Betül Arım performed the play "There Was Nothing Outside" at Levent İş Sanat on May 2, reports Emre Çevik of the daily Sözcü.

  Ms. Arım's one-person show was for the benefit of the Alzheimer Endowment organization. Arım also is the writer of the play.

  The play has sections of the authors life incorporated into it. From time to time, the actress also interacts with the audience and asks them questions.

  The same evening the play received the "Effort and Success Jury Special Award" from the New Theater Magazine.


★ The 70th anniversary of the death of Turkish writer Sabahattin Ali was commemorated at Şişli municipality Cemil Candaş City Cultural Center, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  Theater actor Levent Üzümcü told the audience the life of Sabahattin Ali and about his poetry. He also expressed how difficult it was to be a luminary in Turkey.

  Musician Coşkun Öz and his orchestra played some songs with lyrics based on Sabahattin Ali's poetry.

  Sabahattin Ali was killed in 1948 by what is thought to be an agent of the Turkish Intelligence Agency for his political views.

  His short novel "Madonna in a Fur Coat" written in 1943 is considered one of the best novellas in Turkish literature. It's translations have recently hit the bestsellers lists around the world and sold record number of copies in Bulgaria where he was born.


★ Istanbul's Rahmi M. Koç Museum has a new photography exhibit on classic cars. The photographs are from the Royal Hungarian Automobile Club's 1912 race.

  The race was from the Hungarian capital Budapest to Istanbul, a 1250-mile distance.

  The photographs depict cars such as French DeDion-Bouton, American Packard and Italian Fiat. 19 of the 25 competitors were able to complete the race.

  Dubbed the "Let Your Road Be Open", and expression in Turkish equivalent to the French expression "Bon Voyage", the exhibition will continue until June 17.


★ One of the most renowned sopranos of the 20th century, Leyla Gencer, will be honored on the 10th anniversary of her death, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra will perform Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem for the occasion. The chorus of the orchestra has been trained by Emanuela Aymone, and the Mexican tenor Fabian Lara will be the guest soloist.

  Other soloists will be soprano Perihan Artan, mezzo-soprano Nesrin Gönüldağ, and base Suat Arıkan. The conductor will be Antonio Pirolli. The concert will take place on May 11 at 8 PM at the Hagia Irene Museum in Istanbul.


★ The 17th Mersin International Music Festival is continuing in Turkey's southern Mediterranean province.

  As part of the Festival, Hamburg Germany based Salut Salon Quartet had a performance that the audience liked very much, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü. The repertoire of the performance was made up of classical music and love songs, sprinkled with humor.

  Among the classical composers Prokofiev, Piazzolla, Bach, Vivaldi and Rachmaninoff were represented.

  The Quartet also sang songs from Marilyn Monroe, Herbert Grönemeyer and French composers.

  They also performed Argentinian composer Piazzolla's Liber Tango in the accompaniment of Turkish kanun master Ahmet Baran.

★ In a broadcast on May 2, the National Public Radio reported that according to a tweet by the country's official Twitter account, Swedish meatballs are actually originally from Turkey. Swedish King Charles XII brought the recipe from Turkey in the early 18th century.

  King Charles was defeated by the Russians when he invaded Russia in 1709 and he sought refuge in the Ottoman territories. He then went on to live in the Ottoman territories until 1714.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 4.22


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        66/55 Showers
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    73/68 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       63/43 Showers
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 70/57 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean:             75/63 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        66/61 Showers


Premiere League

* Results for week: 31
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
Osmanlı Sp      -      Başakşehir      1 - 4
G. Saray        -      Beşiktaş        2 - 0
Malatyaspor     -      Akhisar Sp      0 - 0
Bursa Sp        -      Konya Sp        2 - 1
* In games played so far this weekend:
Başakşehir      -      Sivas Sp        1 - 1
Trabzon Sp      -      Kasımpaşa       2 - 5
Alanya Sp       -      Osmanlı Sp      1 - 1
Karabük Sp      -      Konya Sp        0 - 1
* Standing in the league as of week ending 31
 1 - G. Saray        66
  2 - Başakşehir      65
  3 - Fenerbahçe      63
  4 - Beşiktaş        62
  5 - Trabzon Sp      49
  6 - Göztepe         47
  7 - Sivas Sp        47
  8 - Kayseri Sp      44
  9 - Kasımpaşa       40
 10 - Bursa Sp        39
 11 - Malatyaspor     39
 12 - Akhisar Sp      36
 13 - Alanya Sp       35
 14 - Antalya Sp      35
 15 - Konya Sp        32
 16 - Osmanlı Sp      32
 17 - G. Birliği      30
 18 - Karabük Sp      12

Premiere League

Last week's games
BEŞİKTAŞ        - KARŞIYAKA       77 - 63
UŞAK            - FENERBAHÇE      81 - 90
SAKARYA         - GALATASARAY     75 - 73
BANVİT          - EFES            82 - 90
GİRESUN         - BÜYÜKÇEKMECE    95 - 80
TOFAŞ           - ESKİŞEHİR       73 - 69

Latest games
FENERBAHÇE      - TOFAŞ           98-78
KARŞIYAKA       - SAKARYA         88-80
FENERBAHÇE      - BEŞİKTAŞ        83-60
GAZİANTEP       - BANVİT          82-63
TRABZONSPOR     - GİRESUN         100-95              


1 FENERBAHÇE       53
2 TOFAŞ            48
3 EFES             46
4 BEŞİKTAŞ         46
5 BANVİT           45
7 SAKARYA          42
8 ESKİŞEHİR        41
10 KARŞIYAKA       39
13 GİRESUN         37
14 GAZİANTEP       37
16 UŞAK            32


[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:

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Please contact with Yore Folk Ensemble for the details.

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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:
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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