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Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım
★ Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has indicated the end of emergency rule before it expires two weeks from now, on July 19, reports the VOA correspondent Dorian Jones.
Parliament introduced emergency rule after a July 15, 2016, coup attempt. The measure allowed the president to rule by decree and extended sweeping powers to security forces.
As a result of the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, Turkey moves to a powerful executive presidency. The role of the prime minister will end, and ministers will report directly to the president. During his campaign for re-election, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would end emergency rule.
The announcement has been cautiously welcomed by rights groups. However, Turkey's main pro-Kurdish HDP party has reservations about the impact of lifting emergency rule.
An analyst also suggested that ending emergency rule could prove to be more cosmetic than meaningful, since the new presidential system being introduced gives the president the power to rule by decree.
Under the emergency rule, about 200,000 people have been purged from their jobs, and tens of thousands of others detained.
★ According to Associated Press, Turkey's lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex activists gathered Sunday, July 1 for an LGBTI pride march in Istanbul, moving from street to street for an hour as police tried to end an event the local government had banned for the fourth year in a row.
Despite the ban, police allowed the organizers to read a press statement. "We do not recognize this ban," the group said in the statement read out loud by a volunteer, calling the prohibition imposed by Istanbul's governor "comical."
Although homosexuality and being transgender are not illegal in Turkey, LGBTI people face discrimination and hate crimes., Associated Press writes.
Turkey's foreign affairs minister Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
★ Turkey has criticized US hardline policy toward Iran, and with Turkey's cooperation seen as vital to enforcing US sanctions against Iran, analysts say a new confrontation could be looming, reports Dorian Jones of the VOA.
"The implementation of sanctions against Iran will have a negative impact on the entire region and is extremely dangerous," Turkish foreign affairs minister Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in an interview Friday with Turkey's Anatolia News Agency.
A senior adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking on condition of anonymity, said "Turkey will only enforce U.N. sanctions and no other. Turkey is not going to be used for other countries' agendas."
In related news, an alert sent by the Committee to Protect Journalists says that Turkish court handed heavy sentences to six Zaman journalists. Zaman was a Turkish paper aligned with the Gülenist movement. It was closed by the government after the 2016 coup attempt.
The committee asked the Turkish authorities to drop all charges against the six journalist, and accused the Turkish government of conducting vindictive policy against critical media. The journalist are convicted of "being a member of an armed terrorist organization". Five other journalists were acquitted of all charges.
★ According to news agencies, Turkey has reduced the width of a planned canal to be built from the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea from 400 m to 275 m to save money.
The waterway, dubbed the "Canal Istanbul", is being built to reduce congestion on the Bosporus Straits.
★ Plymouth Michigan-based Varroc Lighting Systems acquired Turkey's Sa-Ba Automotive that has a technology and manufacturing center near Istanbul, and a new plant under construction in Bulgaria, reports the wards auto website.
The Turkish firm produces plastic-based products and semi products for key industries. Varroc Lighting Systems is one of the largest car and motorcycle lighting and electrical equipment manufacturers worldwide
★ Creditor banks will extend a loan of up to $4 billion to the special purpose vehicle (SPV) they are creating to take over 55 percent of Turk Telekom as part of debt restructuring talks, two sources close to the matter told Reuters.
Oger Telecommunications, owned by Lebanon's Hariri family, current majority owners of the Turk Telekom, had used a 55 percent stake in the company as a guarantee for a loan of $4.75 billion taken out in 2013. However, it failed to repay its installments.
As a result, Akbank, Garanti Bank and Is Bank, the three biggest private banks in Turkey, are seeking the shares in compensation. BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank have also extended loans to Oger Telecom.
ARTS AND CULTURE
★ In Turkey's northwestern province of Balıkesir there is a wonderful sanctuary for birds by Lake Manyas. The Manyas Bird Sanctuary accommodates 3 million birds from 266 different species. Turks call the sanctuary Manyas Bird Haven.
According to the authorities, the birds that have arrived there from Africa and South Asia have made their homes for the spring and early summer, produced their offsprings and are getting ready back to go back to southern climes at the end of July. The young birds of the flocks will accompany the mature birds on their first migration.
Observers describe the scene as one of festivity at the bird sanctuary, when chicks appear from the eggs and a few weeks later parents start training them for flying.
One of the bird species, the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), stays at the sanctuary year round. These pelicans are threatened with extinction. To facilitate their breeding Turkey's National Parks Administration has built 50 artificial nests for them.
★ Turkish artist Müge Selçuk is exhibiting her paintings at the Karagöz Art House in Turkey's northwestern Aegean town of Ayvalık.
Müge paints scenes from nature. She tries to depict the cruelty of humans to living things and inanimate objects.
Her exhibition will start on July 10 and will be through July 17.
★ According to the organizers, when first announced Turkish singer Sıla's concerts were sold out right away. That is when she decided to extend her concerts in Istanbul to five days, reports the daily Sözcü.
The first concert will be held on July 12.
Sıla was born in Turkey's western city of Denizli in 1980. She worked first as a producer, lyricist and background singer for many Turkish artists, such as Kenan Doğulu and Emel Müftüoğlu. In 2007, she released her debut album Sıla.
She now has eight albums and over 20 videos. Three of her songs were in first place in the Turkish charts.
★ Turkish rock musician Haluk Levent sold his vest to raise funds for the purchase of new hearing aid for a four-year-old, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
The four-year-old named Reşit Polat hails from Turkey's southeastern town of Nizip. He was born deaf when the levels of oxygen got reduced while he was in the womb. He had a hearing aid, but it was stolen from him when he was playing out in the neighborhood.
Haluk Levent has sold three other vests in the past to raise funds for other causes.
Haluk Levent, born in 1968, in Adana, is a Turkish rock music singer who helped revive the long forgotten Anatolian Rock genre in 1990s.
After graduating from high school, he joined various university programs but he had to quit for economic reasons. In 1992, he released his first album, Yollarda, which sold about 600,000.
★ Electronics music festival Burn is coming to Istanbul. There will be 100 DJs performing on five stages at Istanbul's Suma Beach.
DJs from Switzerland, Germany, Australia, US, Italy, France, Britain, Sweden, Mexico and South Korea will be on the stage
★ One of the masters of the world literature, Turkish writer Aziz Nesin will be commemorated on the 23rd anniversary of his death, reports the daily Sözcü.
Aziz Nesin was born in 1924 in Istanbul. After studying in military schools he briefly served with the Turkish army, and got a dishonorable discharge, accused of misusing his office, but the real reason was probably his political beliefs.
He later started writing, and excelled in humor. He is the author of 100 books. Many of his books are available in English.
★ Istanbul's Design Biennial will be taking place September 22 - November 4. So far 700 applicants from 41 countries are being evaluated by the organizers, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
The individuals chosen from the group will have their works exhibited at five venues. The exhibitions will be free for the public.
The theme of this year's biennial is "The School of Schools", and will be used to question design and learning methods.
The curator of the biennial is Jan Boelen, who is from Belgium. He studied product design at the Media & Design Academy in Genk and is founder and artistic director of Z33 – house for contemporary art in Hasselt.
★ The Ayaş antique theater in Turkey's southern Mediterranean province of Mersin will open its curtains once again after 2000 years.
There will be a festival from August 3 - 8 that will host 500 art lovers. The people coming to the festival will be hosted in tents at a beautiful Mediterranean cove, and under eucalyptus trees.
★ Albanian origin 23-year-old singer Dua Lipa will be in Turkey for her first concert there. The concert will take place in Belek Township in Turkey's southern Mediterranean province of Antalya.
Lipa was born in 1995 to a rock musician father. She started her musical career by covering Christina Aguilar and Nelly Furtado songs on YouTube. She became the most famous British singer in 2017 after selling 8 million singles and 1/2 million albums on Spotify .
There has been 1 billion viewers of the beautiful artists clips on YouTube.
★ The 17th Kadıköy Municipality Children's Theater Festival is starting on July 11, reports the daily Sözcü. The Festival will take place over the next 15 days.
Every evening there will be a new play, and the public will be able to view them free of charge.
★ Turkey's southwestern city of Bodrum's antique theater will host Turkish singer Funda Arar
on July 14, reports the daily Sözcü. Afterwards she will sing in Istanbul's Harbiye neighborhood on July 20. Then she will be on a tour of the Turkey's southwest starting August 17. She will appear in concert in the towns of Marmaris, Datça and Kuşadası.
Funda Arar was born in 1975 in the Turkish capital Ankara. She studied at the Istanbul Technical University's Music Conservatory, specializing in the mandolin. Her first album was in 1999 and became a hit. So far she has more than 10 albums.
★ A 2000-year-old medusa mosaic decorating the Odeon in the ancient city of Kibyra in Turkey's western province of Burdur went on display, reports the Turkish daily Posta.
An Odeon is a Roman or Greek building built for singing exercises, musical shows and poetry competitions.
Medusa is a figure that in ancient times was believed to be protective of its surroundings. It was especially found in the graves during the Roman times. According to the mythology, Medusa was a monster generally described as a winged human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair.
★ In Turkey's North Eastern province of Kars, in excavations for a power line, crews found 430 Byzantine era coins.
Workers notify the rural police who took measures for the protection of the area and also notified the Kars Museum. Archaeology experts conducted surveys in the area and removed the coins for safekeeping.
The directorate of the museum started excavations in the area.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 4.57
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey: 91/64 Mostly Sunny
Antalya, on the Mediterranean: 90/79 Mostly Sunny
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey: 84/55 Thunderstorms
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 88/72 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean: 91/75 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea: 81/72 Partly Cloudy
Black Sea measured at Trabzon 72
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ 76
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir 79
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 79
★ Turkish premier soccer and volleyball leaves are in recess.
★ Turkey's world champion Tae Kwon Do click cancel Nur Tatar announced that she is retiring. Ms. Tatar is only 25 years old, but she says she has been involved in tae kwon do since she was five.
She says she has been experiencing difficulties and problems, and blame the persons for stopping her dreams and separating her from her goals.
She didn't specify the nature of her difficulties and problems.
★ In the European Youth and Stars Archery Championships that has taken place in Greece, Turkish team came in first with 12 medals. Turkish team is followed by Britain with 10 medals and Ukraine with six medals.
Here is a summary:
Compound Cadet Men Emircan Haney, Ömer Faruk Köse, Bünyamin Yankaç Silver
Compound Cadet Women Şevval Özer, Sevda Yaka, Emine Azra Yılmaz Gold
Compound Junior Women Busra Nur Gürlek, Buse Başak Haney, Begüm Topkarcı Silver
Recurve Junior Men Mete Gazoz Gold
Recurve Junior Women Gülnaz Çoşkun Gold
Recurve Junior Men Erdal Meriç Dal, Mete Gazoz, Oğuzhan Küçük Gold
Recurve Cadet Men Samet Ak, Efe Gürkan Maraş, Ulaş Berkim Tümer Silver
Recurve Junior Mixed Mete Gazoz and Yasemin Anagöz Gold
Recurve Cadet Mixed Samet Ak and Selin Şatır Gold
In the individual category Turkish archers received two gold medals, one each silver and bronze.
★ Turkey's women's national volleyball team received the second place in the Women's International Volleyball League Finals after getting defeated by the US team 3 to 2. The Chinese team got the third place.
The competitions took place in Nanjing China.
★ In the world star championships in Zagreb Croatia, Turkish Greco-Roman wrestler Hamza Bakır received the gold-medal in 110 kg category.
Hamza Bakır also received the gold-medal back in May in Scorpio Macedonia in the European Stars Championships.
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