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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 18 August 2018
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 18 August 2018]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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★ A Turkish court ordered the release of Taner Kılıç, the Amnesty International local chairman in Turkey on Wednesday.
The Amnesty International announced the release on their webpage:
"Our dear friend and Honorary Chair of Amnesty Turkey, Taner Kılıç, is now free on bail after spending over 14 months in prison. Taner is an innocent man, yet he still faces criminal charges - all because of his human rights work.
"A lawyer and human rights defender, Taner has spent decades defending the rights of refugees and other marginalized groups. He must be allowed to return to his life fully, knowing all charges against him have been dropped, because defending human rights is not a crime."
Read more at >> here <<
★ Two Greek soldiers, who were awaiting trial in Turkey after being captured on Turkish soil, are released by Turkish authorities. The two soldiers were saying that they strayed into Turkish territory by mistake.
They have been in Turkish custody since March. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras welcomed the ruling. According to the publication Greek Reporter, a Greek government jet flew the two soldiers back to Greece on Wednesday.
★ The Financial Times of London published an article that says that crisis around Pastor Brunson who is in a Turkish jail is because of the November 8 Congressional elections.
The article claims that President Trump is trying to get the votes of evangelists.
Pastor Brunson who had been living in Turkey for over two decades was arrested by Turkish authorities nearly two years ago and is awaiting trial on charges of supporting Kurdish separatists and cleric Fethullah Gülen.
U. S. has been pressuring Turkey for some time to release the pastor. However, when Turkish authorities did not make any move to meet the U. S. demand, President Trump doubled the custom duties on certain Turkish products. The Congress also blocked the sale of F 35 joint strike jet fighters to Turkey.
In related news, Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said on Thursday that the United States was prepared to levy more sanctions on Turkey if the detained pastor was not freed. Read more at >> here <<
Among the sanctions anticipated is a fine on Turkey's state owned Halkbank for helping a businessman evade U. S. sanctions on Iran. A senior executive of the bank was arrested while visiting U. S. and sentenced to 32 months in prison in May.
★ The battered Turkish currency lira gained a bit of strength in midweek when Qatar announced that they will invest $15 billion in Turkey.
★ Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been calling on Turks to exchange gold and hard currency into Turkish liras to prop up the currency.
However, newly released data indicates that in one week foreign currency deposits of the Turks rose by $1.3 billion.
In other news, the conflict between the U. S. and Turkey is resulting in interesting events. Here is a summary:
Turkey's President Erdoğan calls for a boycott of iPhones, a few Turks destroy their iPhones and post the videos online.
Another Turk posts a video of emptying a bottle of Coke to the toilet.
Turkey imposes stiffer levies on US cars, alcohol, coal and other products adding up to $533 million in new tariffs.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee says the new tariffs are regrettable and a step in the wrong direction
Syrians living in Turkey burn US dollars in support of Turkey they say. Among them is the first Syrian and Arab cosmonaut.
On Monday, Asian and European markets were rattled by the Turkish lira's record low of 7.24 to the dollar overnight
At the Turkish ambassador's request, national security adviser John Bolton met with Ambassador Serdar Kılıç of Turkey (on Monday) in the White House
★ Turkey's Treasury and Finance Ministry disclosed the results of a telephone conversation between Minister Berat Albayrak and French finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.
The ministry's statement said that the two ministers discussed economic cooperation between the countries and the U. S. sanctions on Turkey. The two ministers decided to act together against the U. S. actions.
Minister Albayrak also expressed his satisfaction for French President Emmanuel Macron and Mr. Le Maire's declarations in support of Turkey.
The two ministers agreed on accelerating the cooperation between the two countries, decided to work closer, and move the teams to move faster, and lastly to get together on August 27 in Paris.
★ Two credit rating agencies S & P and Moody's lowered the credit worthiness of Turkey, reports the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
S & P says that the outlook for the Turkish economy is stagnant and that this causes a balance risk for Turkey.
Moody's, on the other hand, says that outlook for Turkey is negative. If there is a reduction in inflation rate and current account deficit, this will positively affect the credit worthiness, Moody's noted.
★ Renowned Turkish Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's latest movie The Wild Pear Tree is being nominated for the 91st Academy Awards by a Turkish commission.
The film is about a young writer's quest to find the means to publish his book.
The film, which had its world premiere in a competition at Cannes this year, is the first Oscar submission for the director whose international acclaim includes a Palme d'Or for his movie Winter Sleep in 2014, Cannes' best director prize for Three Monkeys in 2008 and a Grand Jury Prize for Distant in 2002.
Described in The Hollywood Reporter's Cannes review as "a slow, dense look at Turkey today" that eschewed Ceylan's habitual lyricism "for a more realistic approach [that] seems linked to the film's undercurrent of contemporary events," The Wild Pear Tree is an international co-production that counts ZeynoFilm, Memento Films and Sisters and Brother Mitevski among its producers.
★ 15th Gümüşlük Classical Music Festival is continuing in Turkey's southwestern province of Muğla's Gümüşlük town.
This week Singapore's young pianist Shaun Choo performed works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ferruccio Busoni, Joseph Haydn, Claude Debussy, Nikolai Kapustin, Chopin, and one of his own compositions.
On Monday evening, pianist Konrad Richter will have a recital.
★ 19th International Antalya Piano Festival will take place between Sep. 1 and 9 this year in Turkey's Mediterranean province of Antalya.
The festival will start with the prominent Spanish Flamenco artist Laura De Los Angeles.
There will be a competition among the young pianists and the winner will perform on Sept 4 with the Antalya Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Gürer Aykal
As part of the piano festival, there will also be a painting exhibition by Gülçin Anıl titled "Rhythmic Pictures".
★ Turkey's southwestern Aegean town of Bodrum hosted 16th International Ballet festival this year.
The festival ended with a performance by Ankara State Opera and Ballet Modern Dance troupe.
The troupe staged the ballet titled "Frida" depicting Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's taking up painting after a serious traffic accident.
Arturo Marquez, Jose Pablo Moncayo, Aksel Akın wrote the music and Özgür Adam İnanç choreographed the ballet.
★ The Third Short film competition organized by Turkey's Sabancı Foundation chose Joshua Oppenheimer's film as the winner.
This year the theme of the competition was discrimination.
Joshua Lincoln Oppenheimer (born September 23, 1974) is an American-born British film director based in Copenhagen, Best known for his Oscar-nominated films The Act of Killing (2012) and The Look of Silence(2014), Oppenheimer is a 2014 recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Award and a 1997 Marshall Scholar.
[Saat 18:30 and 19:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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