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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 16 June 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 16 June 2018]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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* Snap elections for the Turkish parliament and for the Turkish presidency will take place on June 24. It seems like the ruling Justice and Development Party may have a hard time retaining its majority in the parliament, and having Mr. Erdoğan elected president again.

  According to the Christian Science Monitor staff writer Scott Peterson, the opposition is energized by a belief that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and justice and development party - after half a generation in power - may be vulnerable in the elections.

  Mr. Erdoğan called the early elections in what appears now to be a failed attempt to get ahead of an economic downturn.

  Still, he remains the most popular politician in Turkey, Peterson writes. But Erdoğan's us-versus-them style - he derides many of his foes as "terrorists" - has polarized Turkey.

  Read more at >> here <<

www.TurkRadio.us www.TurkRadio.us
Current Turkish President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Republican People's party presidential candidate Muharrem Ince

* A leaked video of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has sparked fears of possible vote-rigging ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections, reports Dorian Jones of the VOA.

  The video shows Erdoğan telling party officials to secure majorities on ballot box monitoring committees to "finish the job in Istanbul before it has even started."

  In the video, Erdoğan also comments on the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party: "I can't speak these words outside [publicly]. I am speaking them with you here. Why? Because if the Peoples' Democratic Party falls below the election threshold, it would mean that we would be in a much better place."

  The Peoples' Democratic Party is hovering around the 10 percent electoral threshold needed to enter parliament. Failure to pass the threshold would result in Peoples' Democratic Party votes being transferred to the party's chief rival in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeast, the ruling Justice and Development Party. That would give the Justice and Development Party around 60 parliamentary seats, which, analysts say, could prove decisive in the closely fought campaign.

* In related news, Dorian Jones of the VOA wrote in a dispatch that Mr. Erdoğan is seizing on the latest Turkish growth figures as a vindication of his economic policies in the face of skepticism from not only voters but international investors of the country's economic strength.

  The Turkish economy grew by 7.4% in the first quarter, meeting expectations. However, in May alone Turkish currency fell more than 10%. Since the beginning of the year it lost 20% of its value.

  Also, analyst Atilla Yeşilada of Global Source Partners says: "This is an economy that grows, but not in labor-intensive way. Employment has decreased in the second quarter, and things have become more expensive, and nobody is investing into new factories because loans have increased in excess of 22 percent".

  "And clearly the wealth is not trickling down, whatever wealth has been created is not be felt by people on the streets, so there is a lot of public discontent," Yeşilada added. The Turkish unemployment rate remains about 10%.

  Read more at >> here <<  and  >> here <<

* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced a military offensive against Kurdish separatist headquarters in Iraq, reports Dorian Jones of the VOA. The action comes as Erdoğan targets nationalist voters in elections later this month.

  Erdoğan's courting of Turkish nationalists coincides with his chief presidential rival, Muharrem Ince, reaching out for the Kurdish vote. On Monday, Ince drew tens of thousands to a rally in Diyarbakır, the main city in the predominantly Kurdish southeast.

  Ince promised a new peace process under the auspices of parliament. He also pledged support for mother tongue education, a vital Kurdish demand.

  Read more at >> here <<


  People stand in front of a closed mosque in Vienna, Austria, June 8, 2018.
* Turkey's foreign affairs ministry says it condemns Austrian politicians for "trying to achieve political interest" rather than fighting racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia after Austria's right-wing government said Friday it plans to close seven mosques and expel at least 40 imams with their families as part of a crackdown on "political Islam" and foreign financing of religious groups, reports the VOA.

  One of the seven mosques is said to be Turkish, and the remaining ones are run by "Arab Religious Community".

  Read more at >> here <<


* According to the Associated Press, the Turkish and Azerbaijani presidents on Tuesday inaugurated a key pipeline carrying natural gas from Azerbaijan's gas fields to Turkish markets and eventually to Europe, part of a wider Southern Gas Corridor project (TANAP) that aims to diversify gas supplies and reduce countries' dependence on Russia.

  The Associated Press also reports that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic also attended.

  Although it has no financial involvement, the United States has strongly supported TANAP, said Sandra Oudkirk, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy, who also attended the ceremony.

  Read more at >> here <<


* It is Sugar Holiday, the local name for Ramadan Holiday, in Turkey. The holiday will end on June 17.

  Sugar holiday is celebrated by Muslims and it follows Ramadan, the 30 days of fasting.

* Turkish musician Ayhan Sicimoğlu and Latin All Stars, took stage at Istanbul's Moda Kayıkhane on Saturday, reports the MyMerhaba website.

  The sounds of mambo, cha cha, salsa and covers of Turkish songs filled the atmosphere.

  Ayhan Sicimoğlu is a businessman and a musician. He also hosts travel programs on various TV channels.

* Pera Film is kicking off the summer season with "On the Beach", reports MyMerhaba. Presented in conjunction with Pera Museum and Istanbul Research Institute's Istanbul's Seaside Leisure: Nostalgia from Sea Baths to Beaches, an exhibition exploring a nostalgic story while also addressing the change and socialization of the norms of how Istanbulites used their free time.

  Pera Film's On the Beach journeys through the layered meanings of the beach and its representation on celluloid film.

  Pauline at the Beach, Eternity and A Day, A Summer's Tale are among the films to be shown.

  The screenings will continue until July 28 and they are free.

* Akbank Sanat, Taksim will be hosting "Nordic Film Days" on June 7-29.

  The event is being organized with the cooperation of Istanbul Swedish Consulate, Norwegian and Danish Embassies.

  It promises to be a film feast. Nine movies will be screened in their original languages with Turkish subtitles.

* Turkish web serial "Kanaga" won one more award, reports the daily Sözcü. This time the award came from Germany. One of the oldest festivals in Germany "Die Seriale" awarded the "Best Male Actor" to Mehmet Günsür.

  Mehmet Günsür is an actor in Kanaga and also the script writer along with Caterina Mongio, Kaan Yüceil and Tolga H. Yüceil.

  The serial also won awards in Berlin WebFest, Bilbao Seriesland and Sicily WebFest .

  Kanaga tells the story of Mardin who learns things that he didn't know about his father's death, after his mother also passes away. With the aid of a magical relic his father left him, he opens the doors to a universe with unknown dimensions.

* Marvel's first film featuring a woman superhero will feature the music of Turkish composer Ms. Pınar Toprak, reports the daily Sözcü.

  Ms. Toprak earlier composed music for Krypton, Justice League and for the popular video game Fortnite.

  Her scores have won to International Film Music Critics Association Awards (IFMCA): one in 2010 for the film The Lightkeepers and a second in 2011 for the documentary The Wind Gods.

  Her win for The Lightkeepers made her the first woman to win an IFMCA Award.

  Pınar was born in Istanbul and studied violin, voice, classical guitar, and composition at the Istanbul State Conservatory. In 1997, Pınar moved to Chicago and studied piano and jazz theory with many master jazz pianists. Later, she studied at Berklee College of Music and received a bachelor's degree in film scoring. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked at Media Ventures (now known as Remote Control Productions) under the composer Hans Zimmer.

  Ms. Toprak's site is at >> here <<

  See her directing an orchestra  >> here <<

* The Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra completed its 2017-2018 concert season with a concert titled "In Memory of Leyla Gencer: Donizetti and Puccini". The orchestra attained a 98% occupancy at the concerts, including its European tours.

  In 2017 the orchestra had the world premiere of "Shadow Walker". The composition was commissioned by the orchestra from the British composer Mark Anthony Turnage.

  The orchestra had 12 concerts during the season and reached over 20,000 concertgoers. During its European tour it had four concerts over six days, in Germany, Slovenia, Austria and Switzerland. These concerts had an attendance of 5,400 people.

  Among the international musicians and conductors the orchestra performed with were Vadim Repin, Daniel Hope, Andreas Ottensamer, Gabor Boldoczki, Nemanja Radulovic, Elisabeth Kulman, Zee Zee and Veriko Chumburidze .

  Borusan Holding A.Ş., a Turkish industrial group headquartered in Istanbul, funds the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra.

* A new organization, Contemporary Istanbul, art, culture and education endowment announced its creation this week in Turkey.

  The organization is aiming to support contemporary art and culture, and make it available to larger numbers of people.

  One of the projects that the organization has started working on is a fair that will take place between September 20 and 23, with the main sponsorship of Akbank. The event will bring together prominent galleries and artists from around the world.

* An organization titled the "Music Village" will be meeting for the fourth time this year in Turkey's western town of Fethiye, reports the daily Sözcü.

  The meeting will be between July 30 and August 4, and with another session between August 7 and 12. In addition to the ones from Turkey, the unique organization will have artists from Iran, Greece, Spain, France, Syria, Armenia and Germany.

* The Museum in the ancient city of Troy is about to open. The ancient city is located in Turkey's Northwestern province of Çanakkale.

  Turkey's culture and tourism ministry is moving Troy related artifacts from other museums to the new Troy Museum, reports Ömer Erbil of the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Among the artifacts are a copy of Homer's Iliad from the Topkapı Palace Museum, which was read by, among others, Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1400s. A statue of Homer from the İzmir archaeology Museum along with five gold coins will also be displayed in the new Museum.

* In the restoration works for a small mosque in Istanbul's Zeyrek neighborhood, in the basement of the msque archaeologists found a grave estimated to be 1700 years old. Archaeologists think that the grave belonged to a pagan.

  Archaeologist Murat Sav says that the mosque has two more floors reaching back to the Roman era. The very bottom floor has eight sections and used as a grave for multiple interments. In the archaeological terminology structures like this are referred to as "arcosolium" and reflect the beliefs of the pagan era.

  In one of the sections of the arcosolium an altar for letting the blood of a sacrifice to flow is located.

  In the attic of the mosque, archaeologists also found dozens of amphoras from the Byzantine era.


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 4.73


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        77/57 Thunderstorms
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    77/68 Thunderstorms
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       73/50 Thunderstorms
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 82/72 Thunderstorms
Izmir, on the Aegean:             81/70 Thunderstorms
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        79/72 Thunderstorms

Seawater temperatures:
Black Sea measured at Trabzon 71
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ 71
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir 76
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 80


* Basketball: The playoffs just ended, and Fenerbahçe is the champion and Tofaş is in second place.

* Turkey's world-champion runner Ramil Guliyev also got a gold medal in Norway in 200-m In a competition called Diamond League.


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

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*** 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


The society has just announced that their annual camping trip will be from July 6 two July 8 this year. There will be many activities throughout the camping trip for more questions and reservations email Email secretary@acsnc.org.

*** 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