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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 03 November 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 03 November 2018]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM, every Saturday from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M.

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★ The United States returns to the pre-nuclear agreement in Iran and on 5 November sanctions will be in force again, reports the daily Cumhuriyet.

  U. S. officials are stating that eight countries would be exempt from sanctions against Iran, but the names of countries were not shared yet.

  However, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Dönmez has announced that Turkey is among the countries to be exempt from sanctions and said that he is pleased with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's positive statements.

  U. S. officials say that the exemption will be short term.


  Turkish military vehicles on the outskirts of Manbij, Syria, Nov. 1, 2018

★ U. S. and Turkish forces have begun joint patrols in the area of Manbij, Syria this week, where Kurdish militia have been critical to defeating Islamic State fighters, VOA's Carla Babb reports.

  The Pentagon has said the purpose of the patrols is to support "long-term security in Manbij" and uphold its commitments to NATO ally Turkey.

  For many months Turkey objected to the presence of Kurdish fighters as it sees them as an extension of the Turkey's rebel Kurds' Kurdistan Workers Party. After raising objections with U. S. numerous times, and souring relations, U. S. and Turkey agreed on the removal of Kurdish fighters and joint patrols.

  Also, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Donald Trump discussed Syria in a phone call on Thursday.

  Earlier this week, Mr. Erdoğan increased threats to launch a major offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters near the Euphrates River.

  In fact, late news coming in indicate that Turkey started shelling the areas controlled by the Kurds.

★ According to Reuters, the United States and Turkey on Friday mutually lifted sanctions on top government officials, a sign of a thaw in relations that had been chilled by Turkey's detention of an American Christian pastor.

  The United States had imposed sanctions on Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu in August to protest the case of Andrew Brunson, an American Christian pastor who had been detained by Turkey for two years.

  Andrew Brunson had been living in Turkey for 20 years and he had been accused of helping Kurdish rebels and followers of Fethullah Gülen who are accused of staging the 2016 failed coup.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Upon the news of the lifting of some U. S. sanctions, Turkish lira gained against the U. S. dollar, although it is still much weaker from last year, reports Reuters.

  Read more at >> here <<

  However, Bloomberg warns that lira may again lose ground against the dollar if Turkey's central bank's policy rate increases to control the accelerating inflation.

  According to NASDAQ, Turkish inflation remained at its 15-year peak of 24.5% in October.

  Read more at >> here <<
★Turkey's president opened the new Istanbul Airport this week, reports the Deutsche Welle. The airport is one of the largest in the world.

  The airport is to serve 200 million passengers per year.

  The new airport is a pet project of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a symbol of Turkey's supposed status as a global economic power. Mr. Erdoğan wants Istanbul to be one of the most important air hubs connecting Europe with Asia and the Arab world.

  However, the Turkish economy is in crisis, Deutsche Welle adds. The lira has plunged in value and inflation is soaring. Nonetheless, Mr. Erdoğan insisted that the airport be ready for opening on October 29 - the 95th anniversary of the founding of the modern Turkish republic.

  Deutsche Welle also adds that just for prestige, it is a high price to pay for such an airport.

  According to media reports, Turkish farmers had their lands taken from them for the purposes of construction while environmentalists have criticized the wholesale chopping down of huge forest areas.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul weeks ago, but his body is still missing. An adviser to the Turkish President says that his body was dissolved in acid.

  In related news, Turkey's president says "highest levels" of Saudi government ordered Kashoggi's killing.


★ The Arkas collection exhibition at Istanbul's Mimarsinan University fine arts school has been visited by 55,000 people in the 49 days.

  The exhibition will end on November 6.

  Dubbed "Post Impressionism Exhibition", the collection is owned by businessman Lucien Arkas and is mostly made up of French paintings.

  After the Post Impressionism Exhibition is over, at the same venue Turkish painter Fatma Tülin's exhibition titled "The Skin of the Universe" will be on.

★ Australian conductor Natalie Murray Beale will be leading Turkey's Presidential Symphony Orchestra in the opening concert of the İş Sanat.

  In an interview with the daily Cumhuriyet, Beale says that being a woman has never been an impediment in her career.

  İş Sanat is part of Turkey's İş Bank. İş Sanat brings together local artists with world-famous masters and ensembles and hosts the most privileged stars of classical, jazz and world music, children's activities, dance performances, poetry and story recitals of great authors of Turkish literature.

★ In Kartal, a city in Istanbul province, the International Women's Poetry Festival took place, reports the daily Cumhuriyet.

  Many poets from different parts of the world attended the festival.

  The opening of the festival was attended by many including the mayor of Kartal Dr. Altınok Öz and the Republican People's party İzmir deputy Zeynep Altıok.

  Then the AGON dance troupe performed.

  Writer and poet Dilruba Nuray Erenler, writer, poet and professor Emel Koçar, teacher Elmas Kaya spoke about the problems women experience and how women are perceived.

  Students from a local high school and performers at a local theater then read poetry from poets that wrote for the festival, and introduced the poets.

  Afterwards Tezen Nur Gücüklüoğlu, a medical doctor, performed tangos with her accordion.

  FeminISTANBUL, co-organizer of the festival, distributed honorary awards to recipients.

★ Another poetry festival is taking place in Turkey's South Eastern city of Gaziantep, reports the daily Cumhuriyet.

There will be 12 poets from eight countries in the festival:   All poetry will be simultaneously translated into Turkish, English and Arabic.

  The festival is supported by Germany's Goethe Institute, Consulate Gen. of Sweden in Istanbul, the Dutch Embassy and the French culture center.


★ Renowned Turkish poet Yahya Kemal Beyatlı was commemorated at the Istanbul University this week on the 60th anniversary of his death.

  Born in Skopje Macedonia, then part of the Ottoman Empire, Beyatlı came to prominence in the early 1900s with his exquisite poetry.

  Many of his poetry were made into classical Turkish music songs and are still very popular.

  At the end of the event at the Istanbul University Turkish singer Elif Uyar Ömürlü sang some of these songs.

★Turkey's renowned pianist and composer Fazıl Say has composed a suite titled "İzmir" for the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the İzmir Municipality.

  Fazıl Say then performed the suite on October 30 at the Ahmed Adnan Saygun Arts Center.

  The suite is comprised of seven movements.: The Waves in the Bay, Brahms in İzmir, A Quite Morning by the Kordon, Chopin in İzmir, the Poem of Urla, Rahmaninov in İzmir and Zeybek.

  The last movement is a jazz piece inspired by the local Zeybek dance music.

★ A legend in Turkish rock music, Aziz Azmet passed away. He was the founder of Moğollar band in 1960s.

  He also worked with Grup Bunalım that we play on our programs on and off. Another group that he collaborated with was 3 Hürel.

  Azmet was 71.

★ Istanbul's Topkapı Palace, once the home of the mighty Ottoman emperors, and now a museum will now be governed by the Office of the Presidency.

  Up to now it was managed by Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

  Most of the other palaces from the imperial past are managed by the "National Palaces" office, which in turn reports to the Office of the Presidency.

  The name of the palace literally means "The Cannon Gate Palace" in Turkish.

  The construction of the palace was started in 1459, ordered by Mehmet the Conqueror six years after the conquest of Constantinople.

  Over the centuries there were many renovations and additions to the palace. In 1856 the Sultan at the time moved the court to a newly built palace on the Bosporus straight.

★ We told you last week about Koffie, a Dutch group that had performances in Istanbul, and their plans to have workshops for children. The first workshop took place in Istanbul Province's Şişli City Municipality Gypsy Art House in Kuştepe neighborhood.

  Gypsy kids ages 6 through 14 used percussion instruments and learned about Latin beats.

  The workshops were sponsored by the Dutch consulate in Istanbul. The consul general Bartholomeus Van Bolhuis said "the kids here are already naturally talented. We are very happy that we were able to undertake this project and contribute to this natural talent."

★ The 28th Akbank Jazz Festival took place this year between October 17-28 in Istanbul at 37 different venues with 37 concerts featuring more than 100 artists, reports the daily Cumhuriyet.

  In addition to concerts there were talks and workshops.

  There were more than 20,000 people who attended the festival related events.

★ Pera Film, part of the private Pera Museum of Istanbul, is presenting the movies of Israeli born Ronit Elkabetz, who died in 2016 from cancer at the age of 51.

  From November 7-28 the museum will show nine films of Elkabetz, who sometimes starred in them, and in some directed the film.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The political essays of Turkish writer Nedim Gürsel has been published as a book titled "Free Turkey, I'll Write Its Name" in French.

  The author wrote the book directly in French and criticizes the one man regime, and defends the freedom of thought along with the principle of rule of law.

  Sharing his longing for a more democratic and free Turkey, the book also contains his open letters to Turkey's president Erdoğan and the former French president Francois Hollande.

  Nedim Gürsel was born in southeastern Turkey in 1951 and studied at the prestigious French university Sorbonne with a degree in modern French literature. In 1979 he received a PhD in comparative literature.

  Afterwards he returned to Turkey but the unrest in 1980s in the country persuaded him to go back to France.

  His books and stories usually drew the ire of the authorities in Turkey and were banned many times.

  In 2008, his book titled "The Daughters of Allah" was not liked much by the authorities, who took him to court for insulting religion. In June 2009 a court in Istanbul acquitted him of the charges.

  Gürsel is a founding member of the International Parliament of Writers. He teaches Turkish literature at the Sorbonne, and works as a research director on Turkish Literature at the international French Science Research Center.

★ Met with great interest last season, Istanbul State Opera and Ballet has started performing the opera Falstaff again. The opera will be staged in Italian.

  Renato Bonajuto will be directing the opera, and the orchestra will be lead by Roberto Gianola and Can Okan, taking turns.

  The chorus will be lead by Paola Villa .

  The venue will be newly renovated Kadıköy Süreyya Opera House on Istanbul's Asian side in the Kadıköy city.

★ The film Sibel directed by Çağla Zencirci and Guillaume Giovanetti, took two awards in the 40th Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival, reports the daily Cumhuriyet.

  The film also recently received three awards in the Adana Film Festival in Turkey.

  25-year-old Sibel lives with her father and sister in a secluded village in the mountains of Turkey's Black Sea region. Sibel is a mute, but she communicates by using the ancestral whistled language of the area.

  Rejected by her fellow villagers, she relentlessly hunts down a wolf that is said to be prowling in the neighboring forest, sparking off fears and fantasies among the village women. There she crosses path with a fugitive. Injured, threatening and vulnerable, he is the first one to take a fresh look at her.

★ A pen the festival is taking place in Istanbul's Çırağan Palace. Aptly named "Pen Fest" has on display hundreds of pens and also the works of artists who decorate pens.

  There is also demonstrations by the artists who decorate the pens.

  In a bar called "Ink Bar", visitors will be able to try out different pens with different inks.

  There will be also talks that explain the process of conceptual designs turning into pens, and the various stages that make up the manufacturing process.

★ Turkish scriptwriter and director Soner Sert's short film "Caretaker" will be competing in the 15th Barcelona Human Rights Film Festival.

  Earlier, the film has returned with many awards from other festivals.

  The film tells the story of Anna, who has emigrated from Russia to Turkey when she was in her 20s. Anna makes her living by taking care of ill confined to bed. She decides to change careers but then runs into difficulty.

★ Artist 2018/Istanbul Art Fair will be on for the 28th time between November 10-18 in Istanbul.

  The fair will feature hundreds of artists in all types of plastic arts from different parts of the world. Last year the fair had 740,000 visitors.

★ In excavations carried out in the ancient city of Aigai in Turkey, archaeologist found this year and meat and fish market dating back to 1900 years ago.

  The market is next to the town center building called "agora", and it is a round and small structure that the Romans called "Macellum".

★ The ArkeoPera bookstore located in the Galatasaray district of Istanbul has started its fall cultural activities.

  The first activity was a talk by archaeologist Nezih Başgelen. Nezih Başgelen made a presentation on the findings in Istanbul when excavations for a metro/subway line uncovered many ancient objects, including remains of sunken ships from centuries ago.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.43


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


*** Sama Uyghur Cuisine on Decoto Rd. in Union City is giving our listeners 10% off! Call them at (510) 400-3300
*** LaLe restaurant on Irving St. in San Francisco is giving our listeners 15% off! Call them at (415) 566-8814
*** TB Mezze on Murphy Ave in Sunnyvale is giving our listeners 10% off! Call them at (408) 663-6644

*** 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

*** 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

*** Heart to Heart Anatolia
Providing scholarships and bringing people together while promoting Anatolian cultural values

Visit their pages at https://h2ha.org/

*** "Meshk" concert evening with Maestro Timuçin Çevikoglu and U.S. musicians
St. Clement's Episcopal Church
2837 Claremont Blvd., Berkeley

Sunday, Nov. 18, evening at 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm).

(Donation: $15 advance / $20 at the door)

Dr. Çevikoglu  is an artist, conductor, researcher, educator, vocal artist, and ney player.

He is visiting from Turkey.