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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 11 August 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 11 August 2018]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ There were major negative developments in the relationship between US and Turkey this week. A delegation of Turkish officials were in the US until Thursday to mend fences. However, talks with the US side ended in deadlock, according to the new sources.

  When the news of the deadlock got to Turkey, Turkish currency lira started plunging.

  On Friday, with a tweet President Trump announced doubling of tariffs on certain Turkish export to the US. In one day Turkish currency further plummeted 20%.

  One of the major issues is the detainment of an American pastor in Turkey. US officials are saying that he's being kept as a hostage by the Turkish administration of the ruling Justice and Development Party to get a Turkish cleric back to Turkey for trial, and perhaps also get a Turkish banker who is in jail in the US released.

  There were numerous comments and news articles on the events of the week. One of the comments came from analysts Atilla Yeşilada of the global source partners.

  "I would assume the Americans have now understood that they have the upper hand over Turkey," said Yeşilada "They have got Turkey where it hurts, i.e., the threat of financial sanctions."

  Other analysts say international investors were already jittery over Turkey's debt-fueled growth and rampant inflation, along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's unorthodox economic policies.

  Many sources quoted present Trump's tweet which said:

  "I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!"

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the New York Times, U.S. feud with Turkey is a rattling the economies across the globe.

  The plunge in Turkish zero raised fears that Turkey's problems could affect Asian and European banks that have invested in the region.

★ Speaking of New York Times, Turkey's President and the ruling Justice and Development Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had an opinion piece in the paper on Friday.

  Mr. Erdoğan started his article with a byline saying that unilateral actions against Turkey by the United States will undermine American interests and force Turkey to look for other friends and allies.

  Mr. Erdoğan summarized the cooperation between the United States and Turkey for the past six decades, starting with Turkey's sending of troops to Korea that fought along with the US troops, and ending with two deployments to Afghanistan to help accomplish the NATO mission there.

  He added "yet the United States has repeatedly and consistently failed to understand and respect the Turkish people's concerns". He again complained about the US refusal to extradite cleric Fethullah Gülen, who lives in Pennsylvania, and whom Turks accused of orchestrating the 2016 failed coup.

  As another point of friction between Turkey and the US, President Erdoğan also mentioned the US cooperation with the Syrian Kurdish militants, whom Turkey sees as an extension of the rebel Turkish Kurds. He said that the US used 5000 trucks and 2000 cargo planes to deliver weapons to the Syrian Kurds in recent years.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ There was one glimmer of hope in the Turkish economy: with the depreciation of Turkish through against major currencies, more Europeans are heading to Turkey for vacations.

  According to the British daily the Guardian the number of British tourists increased significantly. One of the major travel agencies that take British to Turkey, Thomas Cook, reported a 63% increase in travels to Turkey.

  According to Thomas Cook, just to Turkey's Mediterranean province of Antalya, they are sending 57 flights a week. Overall Turkey as the destination is in third place for British tourists after Spain and Greece.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ In addition to the doubling of the tariffs on steel and aluminum exports of Turkey, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced that it is reviewing the eligibility of Turkey to participate in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program based on concerns related to its compliance with the GSP market access criterion.

  Turkey has imposed additional tariffs on $1.78 billion of U.S. imports only and not to other trading partners. USTR is launching a self-initiated GSP eligibility review of Turkey based on concerns related to its compliance with the GSP market access criterion.

  The United States imported $1.66 billion in 2017 from Turkey under the GSP program, representing 17.7 percent of total U.S. imports from Turkey. The leading GSP import categories were vehicles and vehicle parts, jewelry and precious metals, and stone articles.

  Turkey, imports response to these measures, located about 1.8 billion dollars of US origin coal, paper, walnut-almond, tobacco, rice, whiskey, cars, cosmetics, machinery and equipment and petrochemical products in the same way as countermeasures to generate 266.5 million dollars in tax burden will apply.



★ According to the Doğan News Agency, the darkest place in Turkey is a high land plateau in Turkey's West Central Anatolian province of Isparta.

  A research team from the Ankara University Astronomy and Space Sciences School under the direction of the retired professor Dr. Ethem Derman spent time at the plateau, and measured how dark it is. The team first couldn't believe the results. According to the team there is no light pollution at the plateau, and it is as dark as it gets on earth.

  Dr. Derman says that they want the plateau to be reserved as a "Dark Sky Park". He says that although there are many dark sky parks around the world, there is none in Turkey yet.

  This year with the cooperation of the municipality from the nearby town of Yenişarbademli, Dr. Derman's is organizing a sky festival at the plateau. The Festival has started on August 9 and will continue through August 12. Around 1000 people are attending.


★ In Switzerland's Locarno Film Festival Turkey's Tarık Aktaş received the best director prize with his film "Dead Horse Nebula".

  The film's plot as follows:

  When Hay was seven years old, he found a dead horse in an open field and watched his father and other adults struggle to get rid of it. Unsure of this memory, he is nonetheless very influenced by this incident and, when he cuts himself during a sacrificial rite, everything comes flashing back.

  Step by step, Hay goes down an inevitable and spiritual path where he confronts the relationship between human and nature, the unity of matter and the living.


★ Turkey's internationally renowned director Nuri Bilge Ceylan received the "Sarajevo's Heart" lifelong achievement award in the 24th Sarajevo film Festival.

  Ceylan will be meeting his fans during the screening of his seven films.

  Also, an exhibit made up of Ceylan's photographs titled "Cinemascope Turkey" will be open at the Bosnia-Herzegovina Art Gallery.

  The festival is offering 206 six films from 56 countries through August 17.

  Nuri Bilge Ceylan is a Turkish film director, photographer, screenwriter and actor.

  He won the Palme d'Or, the highest prize at the Cannes Film Festival, in 2014, best director award in 2008, Grand Jury Prize in 2002; FIPRESCI awards in 1997, 2000, 2006 and 2014; Best Director Awards at the Asia Pacific Screen Award in 2008, 2011 and 2014.


★ Turkey's southwestern Aegean province of Muğla's Gümüşlük town, 15th international Gümüşlük classical music Festival is on.

  The festival started with a concert by Russian-American violinist Alexander Markov and Turkish pianist Gülsin Onay.

  On Saturday separate French pianist and composer Cyprien Katsaris had a recital.

  Katsaris performed works by Jean-Baptiste Lully, Franz Schubert, Georges Bizet, Camille Saint-Saens and Joseph Haydn.

  Bodrum, another town in Muğla, another festival in is taking place. An unusual orchestra from Holland, Ludwig Orchestra took the stage as part of the Bodrum Music Festival.

  They first put 70 chairs on the stage, but only nine musicians were present initially. Moreover there was no director.

  Afterwards as performers progressed, musicians, reflecting the summer with their colorful attire, started walking up to the stage. When the performance of a few pieces ended, finally director Ariel Zuckermann appeared on the stage.

  Alina Pogostkina accompanied with her violin the Ludwig Orchestra, performed Mendelssohn's violin Concerto Opus 64.

  In the second half of the concert the Ludwig Orchestra performed Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, mesmerizing the audience.

  Earlier in the week, Bodrum Music Festival hosted Israeli mandolin virtuoso Grammy nominee Avi Avital.

  Avital's performance was part of an Early and Baroque music group L'Arpeggiata, led by Christina Pluhar. The group's concert covered music from the Mediterranean. Soprano Celine Scheen and alto Vincenzo Capetuzzo sang. Anna Dego performed dances.


   ★A PepsiCo-led effort to fight for inequality in education dubbed "Our Girls Are Studying" is getting the support of renowned Turkish actress Meltem Cumbul.

  Ms. Cumbul is conducting a performance titled "Where to My Daughter" in support of the project. In the three-hour performance Ms. Cumbul shares with the female students hints on how to discover their own real potential by uncovering the structure of thinking freely.


★ A film festival dubbed the "Film Festival without Disabilities" will take place in three cities of Turkey in October.

  The festival is aiming to make the participation of people with disabilities in cultural life wider.

  The festival will show 40 films from Turkey and the world to the people with disabilities. The venues will be chosen will offer disability accessible places.

  In addition there will be side activities at the festival. The festival will offer discussion meetings with the guests from the films, workshops for the 9 to 12 age group, autistic friendly screenings and feature a session titled "Experiments and Virtual Reality".


★ The 55th Troy Festival held in Turkey's Northwestern province of Çanakkale has started with a recital by renowned Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say.

  The ruins of the ancient city of Troy is located in Çanakkale province's the Ezine town

  Say performed his composition "Troy Sonata". The sonata is inspired by Homer's 3000-year-old epic work.

  Afterwards Barcelona Gypsy Balkan Orchestra took the stage.

  On Saturday renowned Eleni Karaindrou Symphony Orchestra and Mehmet Erdem, on Sunday Troy Epic Opera and Resul Dindar, on Monday French musicians Dany Brilliant and Rubato with their big band will take the stage.

  The Troy Epic Opera was commissioned by the Municipality of Çanakkale for this year, which was declared the "Year of Troy". The opera was composed by Tevfik Akbaşlı, who is well known in Turkey for two operas: Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent and Kösem Sultan. The libretto of the Opera was prepared by Işık Noyan and directed by Aytaç Manizade. The performance will be the premier of the opera.

  Speaking of the "Year of Troy", as part of the activities to celebrate the year, there will be activities titled Troy World Homer Readings by the Blind to honor the bard. Homer himself was said to be blind.

  250 blind people from Turkey and from 20 other countries will participate in the events. They will be reading excerpts from Homer's Iliad on August 14 and 15.



★ Archaeologists are preparing to unearth the Pergamum amphitheater. The ancient city is located in Western Turkey.

  The amphitheater was thought to have been built in the first century of the common era. This year the arena and walls of the amphitheater was discovered by archaeologists. The excavations and erecting the walls will take approximately five years.

  The head of the excavations Prof. Dr. Felix Prison says that in terms of form and planning Pergamum city layout is a unique example of it's kind.

  Doctor Pirson says that the Romans gave utmost importance to the city and wanted to replicate what every day have in Rome or an Pergamum as well.

  The amphitheater is an example of this. It is a twin of the Rome's Coliseum.

  Archaeologist and architectural historian İhsan Yeneroğlu says that the arena of the amphitheater would be filled with water to enact mock sea battles. To achieve this the walls and the arena would be built using waterproof mortar. Read more at >> here <<

  The Pergamum antique city goes back to 7000 BC. It has many classical antique buildings such as Asklepion – the world's first psychotherapy hospital, Athena Temple, Zeus Alter and Red Church.

  In 2014 the city was entered into UNESCO World Heritage List.


★ Speaking of old stuff, maybe not as old as the archaeologists in the previous news articles are dealing with, Istanbul's Rahmi M. Koç Museum has acquired one such old object.

  A 131-year-old generator built by Thomas Edison and then given to his close friend Henry Ford in 1920s is the old object. Until 1985 the generator was in the Henry Ford Museum. Then purchased in an auction by Finley Matheson and displayed in his private collection. Matheson then gave the generator as a gift to Rahmi Koç.

  The Turkish Museum has other articles by Edison as well: an Edison phonograph, an Edison telegraph, and an Edison 78 RPM record.

  The Rahmi M. Koç Museum is a private industrial museum in Istanbul, Turkey dedicated to history of transport, industry and communications. Rahmi Koç, a member of the wealthiest dynasty in Turkey and retired boss of the Koç Group, founded the museum in 1991.

★ In excavations carried out in Vezirköprü in northern Turkey close to the Black Sea, archaeologists found a hazelnut shell dated back to 3000 years ago in a mound from the Hittite era.

  The excavations at the site started some 13 years ago under the direction of German archaeologist Rainer Czichan .

  The site is thought to be a religious center of the Hittites called "Nerik". Read more at >> here << At the site archaeologists found cuneiform tablets, seals, small containers used in religious ceremonies, graves, pits for keeping food, a tunnel, foundations for a temple, defensive walls, a gate. In the tunnel in addition to the hazelnut shell, remnants from wood cut with bronze tools.

  The hazelnut is the most important commercial crop of the Black Sea region of Turkey. Currently Turkey produces about 60% of the world total.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 6.40


[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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Please contact with Yore Folk Ensemble for the details.

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*** 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