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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 17
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 17
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★ Last weekend Turkish police detained over 1800 people in nationwide raids against, what the authorities said, terrorists organizations and narcotics traffickers. Over 68,000 police took part in the operation.
Among the terrorist organizations that the authorities said they were targeting were the Kurdistan Workers Party and the followers of the Gülen movement.
The Kurdistan Workers Party has been leading an insurgency for the past 35 years and is considered to be a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.
The Gülen movement is led by a cleric out of Pennsylvania and its followers are accused of orchestrating the failed July 2016 coup in Turkey.
★ Speaking of the Kurdistan Workers Party, the European Union Court of Justice ruled on Thursday that procedural mistakes had been made by the European Union when listing Kurdistan Workers Party as a terrorist organization between 2014 and 2017, but the organization will not be removed from the list due to a new decision adopted in 2018, reports the Deutsche Welle.
The European Union included the Kurdistan Workers Party in its terror blacklist in 2002 and froze all assets of the organization in Europe.
★ Many news outlets from NBC to CBS report that the White House is looking into ways to extradite Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's nemesis cleric Fethullah Gülen back to Turkey.
The White House is thinking that sending the cleric back to Turkey could improve the U. S. ties with its ally Turkey. It also may ease the Turkish pressure on Saudi Arabia, another key U. S. ally. Read more at >> here <<
Speaking of Saudi Arabia, The Atlantic carried an article recently saying that Turkish president Erdoğan is trying to manipulate the killing of the Saudi journalist Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to extract concessions from the U. S.
The Atlantic writes that president Erdoğan has stifled dissent in Turkey, but assumed an unusual role--that of a defender of human rights and a free press.
The magazine speculates that Turkey also wants the undermining of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and an end to the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar.
Also, another sour point in the U. S. and Turkey relations is the fate of Turkish state-owned Halkbank bank .
Turkey is voicing growing frustration over U.S. deliberations over penalties for Iranian sanction-busting by Halkbank.
The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control is set to impose a fine on Halkbank, following January's conviction of one of its senior executives, Hakan Atilla, by a New York court for violating U.S. Iranian sanctions.
With the penalty ranging from a few hundred million to billions of dollars, the fine has been viewed by investors as a potential threat to the stability of the Turkish financial market.
Read more at >> here <<
★ According to Associated Press, Turkish police have detained 13 academics, activists and journalists on Friday.
They were being questioned over their links to the Anatolia Culture Association founded by Osman Kavala, a philanthropist businessman who was arrested a year ago and accused of attempts to "abolish" the constitutional order and the government .
No indictment has been issued against Kavala.
The arrested are also being questioned over allegations that they sought to topple the government by supporting mass protests during 2013.
Read more at >> here <<
★ The plight of the Uyghur Turks have been in the news all over the world recently. The homeland of Uyghur Turks, East Turkestan, is under Chinese occupation. Turkey's government, once a supporter of the rights of the Uyghurs, is now holding back the support, perhaps to curry favor's with China.
When the Turkish foreign affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with a Chinese envoy two months ago to discuss "intensifying Turkey-China contacts at all levels", there was no mention of Uyghurs.
Moreover, Turkish authorities seem to cooperating with
China when it comes to individuals fighting or running away from the repression.
Two weeks ago Turkish authorities arrested an activist at the Istanbul airport who was in transit from the Kazakh capital Almaty to Geneva to talk about the interment camps China has set up in East Turkestan.
A month ago an outspoken critic of the Chinese interment camps who lives in Turkey has said that his wife faced a petition to China after she and his son barred from entering Turkey.
According to Kelly Hammond, a specialist in East Asian history at the University of Arkansas, it is not only Turkey but other Muslim majority countries such as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Pakistan are also all keeping quite.
★ Journalist Ümit Kardaş wrote about the Turkish Penal Code, adopted in 1926, criminalizes insulting the president of the Republic in the online publication Ahval. For the past seven years, the Turkish government has used Article 299 as a tool to inhibit political criticism and intervene in the right to free speech.
The government has used evidence in social media posts, cartoons, and newspaper editorials to investigate and prosecute these crimes.
Between 2010 and 2017, around 13,000 cases of insulting the president were filed. Of these, around 12,300 were filed under the presidency of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who assumed office in 2014.
The courts have convicted defendants in 2,099 of a total of 5,150 cases. There were an additional 660 cases in which a verdict was reached, but the court adjourned before announcing the decision. Around 900 cases resulted in acquittal.
Ümit Kardaş writes that The European Court of Human Rights does not agree with Turkey and considers this penal code illegal.
The Venice Commission, which is attached to the Council of Europe (of which Turkey is a founding member), released a report on the subject in which it called on Turkey to abolish Article 299, arguing that the law violates "European norms."
★ Turkish media is undergoing a serious and deep crisis and the readers complain about lack of diversity in the media, Kemal Öztürk, former head of Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency (AA), said in his column in pro-government Yeni Şafak daily on Thursday.
Opposition outlets say similar headlines are an indicator of Turkish government's control on media, but Öztürk said that the real reason was dependency on AA as the only source for news.
Most of the media is now controlled by pro-government conglomerates in Turkey. It looks like they find it "safe" to report from the AA newsfeeds, instead of other news agencies.
As a result other news agencies are having difficulty surviving. For example, Anka News Agency which has been in business for 46 years has just closed.
Read more at >> here <<
★ The European Court of Auditors said Turkey's government refused to provide names, ID numbers and addresses of people who benefitted from two European Union assistance programs.
The assistance which amounted to $1.2 billion was earmarked as aid for refugees and to enable Turkey to halt the flow of refugees to Europe.
The European court auditors are interested in finding out if the money has been properly spent.
The European Union has said that if the money is properly used, Turkey will receive another $3.4 billion.
★ The Turkish statistical Institute announced on Thursday that the jobless rate rose to 11.1% in August, the highest level since March last year.
Non-agricultural unemployment rose to 13.2% from 13% in July and youth unemployment increased to 20.6% from 19.9%.
Also, the Institute said on Friday that Turkish industrial production fell a calendar-adjusted 2.7 percent year-on-year in September.
Analysts say that economic activity in Turkey is slowing sharply and consumer and business confidence is also in decline, with the outlook for the job market worsening as a result.
In another sign of slowing down of the economy, Turkish sales of homes fell 5.3 percent in the third quarter compared with a year earlier according to the sector group Real Estate and Real Estate Investment Companies.
★ Other headlines on the economy:
- Reuters: Turkish banking sector loans shrink amid lira depreciation Read more at >> here <<
- Turkish technology minister announces program to reverse brain drain as migration flows from Turkey continue to soar following a government crackdown on numerous groups, including academics. Researchers will be awarded $3600 a month while experienced ones will be giving for $700 a month. Read more at >> here <<
- Turkey's budget posted a deficit of 5.4 billion liras ($994 million) in October, a 64 percent increase on a year earlier.
★ Southeastern Turkey's Göbeklitepe, the oldest known temple in the world in , has been opened to visitors, reports the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
Göbeklitepe is estimated to be 12,000 years old. It is on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.
★ The eighth international Malatya film Festival has just ended. Two Turkish films "Announcement" and "Pigeon" swept the prizes.
The international full length film award went to Serbian director Ognjen Glavonic's "The Load".
★ The eighth Crime and Punishment Film Festival just ended in Istanbul. The Best full length film award went to "Lemonade".
The jury special award went to the film "Ayka", the best short film award went to "The Wire", student jury award went to "Obey", and the Haberturk viewer award went to "12 Year Long Night".
★ Turkeys Aegean city of Buca in the Izmir province has opened the first street library with a slogan "Take It and Bring It Back".
The library is comprised of a bookshelf with a roof in an open market area. It has story, novel and fable books for all ages. The citizens are encouraged to donate books.
The only problem is that some do not heed the slogan "Take It and Bring It Back", those collecting waste paper seems to be never bringing the books back.
★ German producer and composer Hendrik Weber was the host of Istanbul's Babylon with his minimalist techno and electronic music project Pantha Du Prince on November 15.
★ The third International Guitar Festival has started in Istanbul and will continue until November 18.
Guitarists from Spain, Italy Venezuela, France, Argentina will bring Latin rhythms to the Festival.
There will also be renowned Turkish guitarist performing. Some of the performances will be accompanied by flamenco dancing.
★ Netflix has announced that the first Turkish made serial will start to be broadcast on December 14. "The Protector" is directed by Turkish director Can Evrenol and Turkey's Çağatay Ulusoy is the lead actor.
The Protector follows the epic adventure of Hakan, a young shopkeeper whose modern world gets turned upside down when he learns he's connected to a secret, ancient order, tasked with protecting Istanbul.
★ In the 32nd AFI Fest in Los Angeles, Turkish director Tarık Aktaş's first full length film "Nebula" was screened in the "New Auteurs" category.
★ International writers Union PEN to bring attention to thousands of writers who are in jail claimed November 15 as the "Writers in Jail Day", reports the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
On the occasion of the day, the Turkish branch of the PEN said "we condemn the killing of journalist in Turkey, Mexico, Malta and Russia."
★ The International Ankara Comedy Festival has started in the Turkish capital on November 13 . The festival will continue until November 15.
★ "Le Guess Who" Festival has started in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Turkeys music magazine Bant Mag has staged a number of events at the Festival.
★ A 1400-year-old church in Turkey's Eastern Turkish province of Bitlis is being used as a storage place for hay, reports the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
Although registered as a cultural asset to be protected in 1993, no action has been taken to protect the site.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.33
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey : 48/32 Light Snow
Antalya, on the Mediterranean : 66/32 Thunderstorms
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey : 37/32 Mostly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 55/32 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean : 55/32 Thunderstorms
Trabzon, on the Black Sea : 59/32 Mostly Cloudy
Black Sea measured at Trabzon : 61
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ : 58
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir : 64
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya : 71
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey : 2 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey : 14 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey : 7 inches
★ There were no soccer games in the premiere league due to the national
team's game with Sweden. Turkish team lost the game 0-1. The game was played
in central Turkish city of Konya.
★ A visually impaired Turkish weightlifter Nur Sultan Uzuğ set a world record in international blind sports championships in Egypt.
Uzuğ was competing in women's 40th program category.
★ In Greco-Roman wrestling 72 kg category Turkish wrestler Cengiz Arslan won gold in the Senior U23 World Wrestling Championships on Wednesday. The championships were being held in the Romanian capital Bucharest.
In the same championships Kerem Kamal in the 60-kg category and Fatih Cengiz in the 77 kg category won bronze medals.
[Saat 14:30 and 15:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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