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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 30 June 2018
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 30 June 2018]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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★ According to the Associated Press, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke on the phone to President Donald Trump following last Sunday's snap elections.
Turkish president's office says that President Trump congratulated President Erdoğan for his election victory and wish
In the presidential elections Mr. Erdoğan received 52.59% of the votes, his main opponent from the opposition Republican People's Party received 30.64%.
Since Erdoğan received more than 50% of the votes, a second round of voting later in the year was avoided.
Along with the presidential elections, elections for the parliament also took place. President Erdoğan's
Justice and Development party received 42.56 % of the votes. The number of seats that it held in the previous Parliament decreased from 316 to 295.
Mr. Erdoğan's party will not be able to rule by itself, but the Nationalist Movement Party was in alliance with his party going into elections, and is expected to support him.
Mr. Erdoğan has been in power, first as a Prime Minister, then as a president since 2003.
Here are the rest of the results:
Justice and Development Party
Nationalist Movement Party
Republican People's Party
★ In related news, Kemal Kirişci, writing for the Brooking Institute, a Washington think tank, said the following about the elections:
"The election followed a short but intense campaign that took place under the emergency rule, still in effect after the July 2016 coup attempt. While the outgoing prime minister proudly announced that the election was transparent enough to be a model for other countries, the atmosphere was hardly conducive to a level playing field, considering the opposition's limited access to the media and state resources.
"The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which has monitored elections in Turkey, has reported irregularities in past elections, and expressed similar concern ahead of this vote."
Mr. Kemal Kirişci is the Turkish Industry and Business Association, senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and Europe Director - The Turkey Project.
★ The elections brought additional powers to the president's office and change some of the power centers: .
- Position of Prime Minister got abolished, Parliament's role diminished.
- Complete control of the cabinet and power to appoint and dismiss ministers were granted to the president.
- Power to rule by decree and dissolve the parliament was granted to the president.
- President will now be able to have greater control over appointment of top judges.
- President will have the power to decide on the state budget.
★ While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan easily handled his presidential rivals in the June 24 election, analysts warn that economic and financial challenges may be far more formidable foes, reports Dorian Jones of the VOA.
In the past two years, Mr. Erdoğan has used massive spending programs to prime the economy, pushing the growth rate above a seven percent annual rate. Before the June election, spending was further ramped up with multi-billion dollar payments to the retired, along with other expensive commitments.
International rating agencies and the International Monetary Fund have repeatedly warned the Turkish economy is overheating, driving up inflation and risking a crash. Such concerns saw the lira plummet last month as investors fled the Turkish market. Order was only restored by emergency hikes in interest rates now among the highest in the world.
With the elections out of the way, pressure on Mr. Erdoğan to rebalance the economy with austerity measures is growing. "Such policies will be key to restoring confidence in the economy," wrote Moody's credit rating agency this month, "and provide greater assurance of Turkey's ability to obtain the requisite funding for its large current account deficit and to meet its external repayment requirements."
Turkey is borrowing more than $15 billion monthly from global markets to meet its financial obligations.
"Erdoğan has a dilemma," political analyst Atilla
Yeşilada of Global Source Partners said, "the external balance of the Turkish economy requires conventional policies, austerity packages, structural reforms. But the internal balance needs more-spending expansionary policies. Erdoğan is clearly stuck."
★ There is momentum for improving Turkey's frayed relations with the West even as it warms up to Russia, a senior Turkish government adviser told VOA on condition of anonymity, days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was re-elected, reports Dorian Jones.
However, a top U.S. State Department official warned Turkey on Tuesday that its purchase of Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets would be jeopardized if it does not drop a plan to buy S-400 missile defense systems from Russia.
If it buys the system, Turkey would also be subject to sanctions under a bill President Donald Trump signed into law last summer, Wess Mitchell, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, testified in the Senate.
That sweeping sanctions law, known as CAATSA, seeks to punish companies that do business with Russia's defense industry.
★ Istanbul's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride march will go ahead on Sunday even though the governorship of the Turkish city banned it citing security concerns, the
organizers of the event said on Friday, reports Reuters.
Gay pride parades have been banned in Istanbul for the last three years.
★ D-8 commission met in Istanbul this week. D-8, which stands for Developing Eight is the organization of eight countries: Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. It was established in 1997. Since then two of the countries, Turkey and Indonesia, got to be among the group of world's 20 biggest economies.
The meeting in Istanbul, according to the D-8 Secretary-General Dato' Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari focused on trade, agriculture, tourism, industry and transportation.
★ European Union leaders reached a deal early Friday morning on migration. European Union Council President Donald Tusk said in a tweet early Friday that the 28 European Union "leaders have agreed" on a compromise that was at the heart of their two-day summit.
Policies already enacted have helped push that number down, notably an agreement with Turkey for the Turkish government to help cut off migration routes and to accept the return of those who make the journey from Turkey to Greece.
In 2016 European Union has promised EU6 billion of aid to Turkey to finance projects for Syrian refugees. Turkish government says that it received only a fraction of the aid so far.
The new agreement between the European Union countries call for the
delivery of rest of the aid to Turkey.
Turkish foreign affairs minister Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that they hoped that the aid will be delivered without delay .
Turkey claims that they spent $30 billion so far on refugees. there are 3.5 million registered Syrian refugees in Turkey, and with the unregistered ones the number is estimated to be 4 million.
★ An exhibition of 65 Iranian artists with 72 oil paintings is taking place in Istanbul's Galeri Idil.
Nidra Art Group's Yeganeh Soltani and Mohsen Mohammadzadeh are curating the exhibition named "Give me hope".
Artists are from different cities of Iran.
★ Turkish actress Tuba Ünsal is in talks to participate in a film by writer and director Carole Giacobbi.
The film will tell the story of Mona Lisa. Ms. Ünsal is being considered for a prominent character in the film.
Ms. Tuba Ünsal started acting in 2004. Since her debut, she has acted in numerous television series, and
starred in nearly 20 movies.
Ms. Ünsal graduated from the photography and video department of Bilgi University
★ Archaeologists unearthed gruesome scenes from what is thought to be child sacrifice from a site in Turkey's Southeast.
Children as young as 11 years old were brutally stabbed to death 5000 years ago in a "show of power" by Bronze Age leaders, reports the British paper Daily Mail.
The site is located on the edge of the region that would later become Mesopotamia, which is considered by many to be the cradle of western civilization and culture.
Read more at >> here <<
★ In the ancient city of Latmos in Turkey's southwest, members of the Protection of the Ecosystem and Nature Lovers Association found a piece of ceramic with the imprint of a dog's paw.
The ancient site came to prominence when German archeologist Dr. Anneliese Peschlow discovered rock paintings in 1994.
The city is thought to have been started some 2700 years ago in an area covered with steep hills.
The piece of ceramic, estimated to be 1000 years old, will be delivered to the Aydın Archeology Museum, the members of the association say.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 4.59
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey: 84/63 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean: 84/73 Mostly Sunny
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey: 88/55 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 82/70 Thunderstorms
Izmir, on the Aegean: 88/70 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea: 82/73 Thunderstorms
Black Sea measured at Trabzon 75
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ 75
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir 77
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 75
★ In the 18th Mediterranean games taking place in Spain's Tarragona, Turkish athletes received 95 medals, 31 of them are gold.
Turkey came in 3rd after Italy and Spain in total medal count.
Here are some highlights:
In the para athletic Turkey's Zübeyde Süpürgeci received a gold medal in the ladies hundred meter T 54 category.
In women's judo, in the 78 kg + category Kayra Sait, and Başak Eraydın-İpek Öz pair received gold medals.
In bocce game, Ece Öztürk also received a gold medal.
In boxing in 56 kg Ali Ihsan Alagaş, in 69 kg Onur Şipal, and in 91 kg Burak Aksın, in Taekwondo in 80 kg Yunus Sarı received gold medals.
Anıl Yüksel - Sarp Agabigun pair received a bronze medal in the men's tennis.
Ramil Guliyev received another gold medal in the 200 m race.
In the badminton, Neslihan Yiğit beat his Spanish opponent 2 to 0 and receive the gold-medal.
In weightlifting, in the 58 kg late is category, Ayşegül Çakın, received a gold medal.
In the ladies 48 kg category. Şaziye Erdoğan received two gold medals.
Read more at >> here <<
★ Youth and Stars European Archery Championships are taking place in Greece.
Turkey's champion archer Mete Gazoz qualified for the competitions with the top points. The two other Turkish archers Erdal Meriç Dal and Oğuzhan Küçük also qualified for the championships which will take place on July 1.
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