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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 01 December 2018

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 01 December 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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★ A British judge has dismissed as "politically motivated" an extradition request by the Turkish government for a dispossessed media proprietor to be sent for trial in Ankara, reports the Guardian.

  Judge John Zani also refused the application on the grounds that extraditing Hamdi Akin İpek and three other Turkish nationals would put them at risk of serious mistreatment.

  İpek, whose newspapers and TV stations have been confiscated by Turkish officials for criticizing the regime of the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, appeared alongside the other men at Westminster magistrates court on Wednesday

  İpek, was the chairman of the Koza-İpek Group, which published papers and owned TV and radio stations. It had also mining and printing companies. The group was friendly with the followers of the cleric Fethullah Gülen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania. The followers and Gülen are accused of orchestrating the 2016 failed coup in Turkey. Gülen denies the charges. Turkey wants Gülen to be extradited to Turkey for trial. So far US authorities and refused to do so, and this has been a point of contention between the US and Turkey.

★ A Turkish court has rejected an appeal to release the former head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition from pre-trial detention, despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

  Turkey's official Anatolia News Agency said the court on Friday turned down the release application by Selahattin Demirtaş's lawyers. The former co-chairman of the Peoples' Democratic Party was arrested more than two years ago on terrorism charges.

  Demirtaş was sentenced to four years in prison for terror propaganda in support of outlawed Kurdish rebels and has several other trials pending.

★ Turkey to allow construction in one of Istanbul's scarce green spaces the Turkish Housing Development Association (TOKI) has decided to convert 8.4 acres of green space belonging to Turkish military in Istanbul into a residential area, Turkey's Sözcü newspaper reported on Thursday.

  While according to international surveys the amount of green land in Istanbul has fallen to 50 sq. ft. per person, according to Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality it is around 100 sq. ft. per person, still below the legal limit of 160 sq. ft.

  Land used by the Turkish Armed Forces remain as one of the main sources of green spaces in Istanbul and other cities, even though they are closed to the public.

★ The 16th International Istanbul Yarn Fair, organized by Tüyap Fair Group, is getting prepared to bring yarn manufacturers and visitors together to develop Turkey's economy and facilitate the establishment of new business relations among the firms, reports the Knitting Industry website.

  The leading yarn manufacturers from Turkey and other countries will lead the yarn trade at the event that takes place from February 28 - March 2 to display their innovative and advanced technology products. The trade fair opens its doors next year to 308 companies and company representatives from 15 different countries. The fair hosted 12,498 visitors from 84 different countries in 2018.

★ Aslı Orbay of the Forbes magazine reports that the summertime collapse of the Turkish currency lira left a raft of Turkish companies struggling under the weight of their debt. The mismatch between the currency many companies borrow in -- especially US dollars and euros -- and their lira-denominated revenues, made them exposed to local currency depreciation.

  For international investors in Emerging Markets, the potential of a Turkish corporate debt crisis, and the serious harm it could reap on the country's banking sector has been a key concern.

  In developed market jurisdictions, the go-to response for a company facing distress would be to restructure, which can involve extending repayment dates, reducing interest rates or cutting a portion of the debt stack.

  However, in Turkey, a perception among local bankers that they may face criminal liability if they seek to provision for bad assets – loans which are unlikely to be repaid in full – is potentially stunting the development of a functioning restructuring process.

  This belief stems from a specific article set out in Turkey's Banking Law, Article 160, regulating criminal liability in the event of embezzlement of bank resources. The section pertaining to banks whose permission for banking activities has been revoked or have been transferred to the Savings Deposits Insurance Fund is of particular concern, noted an Istanbul-based lawyer and a financial advisor.

★ Turkish Cypriots are set to receive aid totaling EU 34.5 million as part of a new annual action program by the European Commission, the Cyprus Mail reported.

  The aid aims to facilitate reunification on the divided island by encouraging the economic development of the community by improving contacts between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots and the European Union, it said.

★ Turkish citizens spent 3.4 billion lira ($650 million) via credit cards during "Black Friday" traditional sales season, which started on November 23, 2018, the Turkish Interbank Card Center said in a message.

  Reportedly, this amount is 38 percent more than that spent by Turkish citizens last Black Friday in 2017. In dollars however, it is slightly less more money. Last year Turks spent $624 million.


★ Visual Arts:

  - The Stone Sculpture Symposium that started in Turkey's Mediterranean city of Alanya on November 1 just ended. The symposium's theme was "The Sea and See Creatures". 10 artists from seven countries attended the symposium. The sculptors they made used a local stone. The sculptors will be moved to different areas of the city for permanent display. Read more >> here <<

  - The winners of the 35th Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Competition received their awards this week with a ceremony at Istanbul's Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. Dokhshid Ghodratipour of Iran and Jugoslav Vlahovic of Serbia shared the first place. 138 cartoonists from 42 countries submitted 177 cartoons to the competition this year. The jury was made up of people from Turkey, Romania, Brazil, Ukraine, Russia, Iran and Sweden. Here are the cartoons submitted  >> here <<

  - Turkish photographer Mahmut Turgut has published a 2019 calendar titled "Our Artists". The calendar features the photographs of Turkish artists that Turgut took over the years.

  - Turkish artist Elif Uras has a new exhibition at the Galata Greek School. Her site-specific installation opened to the public on November 23 evening with a preview to the prominent names in the arts, business, media and the society. Uras has been making art with ceramics for the past 10 years and she has linked the venue to painting with her own visual language. Her exhibition will be on through December 30. Artists page is  >> here <<

  -Armenian painter Tigran Asatryan has opened his first exhibition in Turkey. Titled "The Bridge" the exhibition will be on through December 18 in Istanbul's Galeri Selvin. See photos of some of the works  >> here <<

  - Fırat Arapoğlu and Osman Nuri İyem has organized a new exhibition titled "Infinity and Image" that brings together several artists from different disciplines. The exhibition will be on from December 4-29 at Istanbul's Evin Art Gallery.

  - The art gallery of the American Hospital in Istanbul is called "Operation Room". From December 1 to February 2 the gallery will feature an exhibition titled "Positive Area". The organizers are saying that the exhibition will decipher HIV/AIDS. The exhibition will feature video, oil painting, collage, sculpture, installation and photograph.

  - Painter Devrim Erbil has a new exhibition of his selected works at Istanbul's rh+artproject gallery. The artist calls the works displayed "Istanbul" and "Two Views". In addition to his paintings, the exhibition will feature his engravings, silkscreens, mother-of-pearl inlays and rugs. Artist's site is  >> here <<


  Alexander Rudin
★ Classical Music

  - On Thursday Russian cellist Alexander Rudin gave a concert at Istanbul's Caddebostan Culture Center on the Asian side of the metropolis. The Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra accompanied him. Australian director Daniel Smith led the orchestra. Rudin performed works by Chaykovski, Mozart and Rossini.

  - In Turkey's Black Sea city of Samsun, Con Fuoco quintet along with the Ankara State Opera and Ballet pianist Malahat Ismayilova will accompany soloist Feryal Türkoğlu (Soprano) and Ferda Yetişer (Mezzo-Soprano) with classical music from around the world.

  - Soprano Selva Erdener and orchestra director and pianist İbrahim Yazıcı had a concert in Istanbul's Pera Theater on Thursday. Dubbed "It Would Be Good to Be Pretty with You". The concert featured the music of many contemporary and 20 century Turkish composers. In some cases the music combined the Turkish bowed instrument kemenche and classical music.

  - Venezuelan pianists Gabriela Montero took the stage on November 30 in Istanbul. She was accompanied by The Scottish Ensemble. Montero performed works from Mozart to Piazzolla.

★ Pop

  - As part of the series of concerts dubbed "The Women of the Sun", on December 6 Kalben, on December 8 Nabihah Iqbal and Who Is It, on December 19 Karsu and on March 28 Nilüfer Yanya will be on the stage at Babylon in Istanbul.

  - Speaking of Kalben, she had a concert this week at the Volkswagen Arena in Istanbul as part of the project "The Best of the City". The project is for encouraging the youth to volunteer. It is established by the bank Akbank. 2600 youth from the project attended the concert. The project is cooperating with 10 other NGOs and have so far helped with 70 social projects. Kalben afterwards distributed soup to homeless in Istanbul's Taksim Square with the volunteers of another NGO.

  - One of Britain's preeminent music magazines, Mojo , included in the best albums of 2018 Turkish singer Gaye Su Akyol's album "Consistent Dreaming Is Reality".

Sena Şener
★ Jazz:

  - The municipality for the Karşıyaka city in metropolitan Izmir has organized the second Jazz Days and on Thursday Sena Şener and on Friday Burhan Öçal's &  Jazz Dream took the stage. Burhan Öçal was in Berkeley at the Zellerbach auditorium in 2001 and 2006.

  The Jazz Days will end on December 2 with a concert by Ayhan Sicimoğlu & Latin All Stars. Before the concert Ayhan Sicimoğlu 's daughter Ayşe Sicimoğlu will also perform.

★ Traditional

  - The Turksoy, International Turkish Cultural Organization, had a concert at the Paris Headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

  Turksoy represents Turkish culture not only from Turkey but also from Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

  In the concert, traditional instruments of these countries were used.

  The concert took place to commemorate the foundation of Turksoy 25 years ago.

  - A renowned folk bard Neşet Ertaş who passed away in 2012 will be commemorated at Istanbul's Anahit Stage on December 15. Turkey's first culture and art platform Sanatatak is organizing the event. Many young artists representing different genres of music will participate and will play music inspired by the master's songs. More on Neşet Ertaş is >> here <<

★ Performing Arts and Film:

  - The 22nd Istanbul theater Festival has continued throughout this week at several venues with plays from around the world.

  - The program for the 21st "Rendezvous" Istanbul International Film Festival is made public. The Festival will take place between December 8-11. This year it will focus on French film and its masters.

  Organized by the Turkish Foundation for Film and Audiovisual Culture, the festival is taking place with the contributions of Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry.

  The foundation will also give an award to "Kariyo and Ababay Foundation" for its invaluable contributions to the Turkish culture and arts life.

  - The Roaming Festival has started on November 30. Organized by the Ankara Cinephiles Association and with the contributions of the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, the festival started roaming around on November 30. The festival will visit first the Turkish capital Ankara, then the Black Sea city of Sinop and then the North Central city of Kastamonu.

  The festival will show the best films of the year from Turkey and abroad.

  - A Turkish theater actor had all his stage set stolen from his theater's truck and he wants them back. In a tweet, actor Şevket Çoruh said that they're not worth anything unless you are staging a play and asked the thief to bring them back.

  - Taldans, a dance troupe from Istanbul is performing this weekend in two different venues to the motion and music inspired by the sounds of a textile factory in Lintz, Austria. The founders of Taldans, Mustafa Kaplan and Filiz Sızanlı have come up with the concept and choreography and named the dance DO KU MA. If said together, the name of the dance would mean weaving in Turkish. The troupe has eight dancers. Read more >> here <<

  - Genco Erkal, a Turkish actor who is celebrating his 60th year in acting, will be on the stage on Saturday with a play titled "Hello" in Istanbul's Kenter Theater. It will be the premier of the play, which Erkal has adapted for the stage. He's also directing the play that has only one actor, which is Erkal himself. The play will then be staged three more times in other venues.

  - Another one-man play adapted from the renown Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet's "The Epic of National Forces" will be on in Istanbul on December 19. The director and the sole actor of the play is Yaşar Gündem.

★ The winners of the Fifth Anatolia Theater Awards given out by the "Theater Paper" received their awards on November 25. Since November 25 was the World Women Resistance Day against force, this year all the awards went to "women who resist" on stage.

  - The 1994 American drama film Shawshank Redemption has been adapted for the stage in Turkey. It will feature many renowned Turkish theater actors. The debut of the play will be on December 15.

  - 5 million Turks viewed a new Turkish film on the life of singer Müslüm Gürses, a record for 2018 viewing season in Turkey. This is also the eighth largest attendance to a movie in Turkey.

  - A new ballet on the life of Piri Reis will be on the stage in Turkey's Black Sea city of Samsun. The State Opera and Ballet of Samsun will perform the ballet, which is on the life of Ottoman admiral Piri Reis. He is known today for his maps and charts collected in a book. One of his maps dating back to 1513 is one of the oldest maps that show the New World.

  - Another play, "A Woman Is Awakening" will be on a Samsun stage on December 4. The play is based on a real life story.

  - The International Istanbul Silent Film Days Festival will be on this year from December 5 - 9. This year the festival will have a special section on the Danish actor Asta Nielsen. There will also be silent Russian films for the first time.

  - Turkish actor Tolga Savacı has moved to the U. S. saying that there is political pressure on arts in Turkey. Savaci is known as a prominent artist in the Turkish film world and TV serials. He talked about the problems that the serial movie sector faces in Turkey on the Voice of America. He has been living in the U. S. for the past 2 1/2 years.

  - The Adana State Theater in Turkey's southern Mediterranean city announced that it will be staging five new plays in December. One of the plays is for children.


  Adalet Ağaoğlu
★ Literature:

  - The Boğaziçi University in Istanbul has given an honorary doctorate degree to Adalet Ağaoğlu for her contributions to Turkey's cultural and intellectual life with her authentic and leading works in the field of Turkish novels. Adalet Ağaoğlu is 89 years old. She published her last work, a novel, in 2014.

  - Belgian writer and film director Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt won an award from a high school in Turkey that teaches in French. Schmitt's book "Mrs. Ming's 10 Children Which Never Existed" was recently translated to Turkish. Schmitt traveled to Turkey to receive his award.

  - The members of a project called "Book Hunters On the Road", aimed at getting public to read more books, was in action this week in Istanbul. 20 high school students got on public buses and read books throughout their trips. They all donned white T-shirts saying "The Book Hunters on the Road" in the front and "No Other Vehicle Would Take Us Further Away like Reading". The other passengers carefully scrutinized the youth reading their books.

★ Archeology:

- A 2000 year old rock carving of Hercules in Turkey's North Western city of İznik has been vandalized. The Vandals chipped off the beard and staff of Hercules.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.22


[Saat 14:30 and 15:30 'da iki kez okuyun]

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*** 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.

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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:
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/