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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 19 January 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 19 January 2019]

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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★ President Donald Trump wrote on his Twitter account Sunday, January 13 night, "Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. [We will] create 20 mile safe zone."

  Trump also wrote: "Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey".

  After President Trump's threatening pronouncements, President Erdoğan spoke with him on the phone on January 15, and discussed the safe zone. Mr. Erdoğan described the call as positive.

  According to Agence France-Presse, Syria's Kurds on Wednesday rejected the proposal for a "security zone" under Turkish control along the Syrian side of the two country's borders.

  In related news, Trump's threat to devastate Turkey's economy also sparked concern among investors, sending the lira down as much as 1.6 percent on Monday.

★ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with visiting U.S Senator Lindsey Graham in the Turkish capital Ankara Friday, in the latest effort to defuse bilateral tensions over Syria, reports the VOA.

  Turkish forces remain massed on the northeast Syrian border, poised to launch an offensive against the YPG Kurdish militia, a critical American ally in the war against Islamic State. Turkey deems the YPG terrorists linked to an insurgency inside Turkey.

  Ahead of his visit, Graham appeared to reach out to Turkey by addressing key Turkish concerns.

  "I have long contended that there are elements among the Syrian Kurds that represent a legitimate national security threat to Turkey. Turkey's concern regarding YPG elements must be addressed in a real way to ensure that Turkey's borders are secure and are protected from any threats," wrote Graham.

★ Turkish businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala has been imprisoned since October 18, 2017 under charges identifying him as one of the organizers of a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. Most analyst see this as a trumped up charge. There has been numerous organizations and individuals who has been calling the Turkish government led by the Justice and Development Party administration to release them.

  Another call came in last week from the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art , who published a statement this week about his incarceration.

  The organization says that Kavala is the co-founder and Executive Board Chair of Anadolu Kültür (Anatolian Culture), an organization active at the intersection of civil arts and culture that aims to facilitate a space for dialogue and peace after the severe conflicts of the 1990s in and around Kurdish areas of Turkey.

  Read the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art statement >> here <<


★ The National Review, a conservative semi monthly editorial magazine, carried a lengthy article what it termed "the Turkish government and its program of kidnappings".

  In the article, The National Review writes that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sees himself as a leader of the Islamic world at large.

  The article also writes that the Turkish government is pursuing its opponents not only in Turkey but also anywhere around the world. In fact, the article claims that there is an "Office for Human Abductions and Executions" within the Turkish intelligence organization MIT.

  The article also describes the conflict between Erdoğan regime and cleric Fethullah Gülen followers. They were allies for some years in ruling Turkey, now they are bitter enemies, the article asserts. Fethullah Gülen lives in the US, Erdoğan government accuses him and his followers of orchestrating the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

  One of the individuals who thinks that he's being pursued by the Erdoğan regime Is the NBA basketball player Enes Kanter, who openly says that he is a follower of Fethullah Gülen. He is also an outspoken critic of the Erdoğan regime, the article adds.

  This week in the news it was widely circulated that Enes Kanter decided not to go to an NBA game in London for his team the New York Knicks for fear of being arrested and sent back to Turkey. In 2017 he was almost arrested in Indonesia and Romania.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Turkish daily Sözcü, a total of 1.1 million Turkish students dropped out of college in the last five years.

  The figure was released when an opposition parliamentarian, Ednan Arslan, requested the data from Turkey's Ministry of Education.

  According to Arslan, there was a 92% increase in college dropouts in 2018 stemming from financial difficulties of the students and their families due to the economic difficulties Turkey got into during the year.

  According to the statistics of the Turkish Council of higher education, the number of students enrolled in colleges' graduate and undergraduate programs increased I 38% in the past five years reaching 7.6 million in 2008.

★ According to a recent survey by the pollster Konda, a growing number of Turks identify as atheists, reports Deutsche Welle. Konda reports that the number of nonbelievers tripled in the past 10 years.

  It also found that the share of Turks who say they adhere to Islam dropped from 55 percent to 51 percent.

  Deutsche Welle adds "That could very well have to do with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's increasingly theocratic politics, observers say."

  The Deutsche Welle article also interviewed Cemil Kılıç, a Turkish theologian, who said things that upset the Erdoğan administration.

  In Turkey, Kılıç said, the relationship between organized religion and the state endures. "Regular prayers have become a way to signal obedience toward the political leadership," he said. "And prayers in mosques increasingly reflect the political worldview of those in power."

  Kılıç said a lack of belief did not, of course, mean the lack of a moral compass. "Some atheists are more ethical and conscientious than many Muslims," he said.

  Afterwards the government fired him from his job as a teacher of religion at a high school.

★ According to Defense News, Baykar Makina, a privately owned Turkish drone maker, has won a contract to sell six Bayraktar TB2 UAVs to Ukraine for $69 million, Turkish and Ukrainian officials have announced.

  Turkish officials said the deal also involves the sale of ammunition for the armed version of the Bayraktar TB2.

  In a 2017 deal, Baykar Makina sold a batch of six TB2s to Qatar.

  The Turkish military is currently using 75 TB2 drones, mainly in its fight against Kurdish insurgents in Turkey and across Turkey's Iraqi and Syrian borders.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to news site Diken, presidential expenditures since 2014 when Recep Tayyip Erdoğan got elected increased by 550% surpassing $651 million.

  The site also claims that expenditures increased during election times most.

★ Turkish Parliament voted late Wednesday to grant emergency powers to Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to act when Turkey's financial stability is deemed to be under threat, reports Bloomberg. Read more at >> here <<


★ Turkey's Mediterranean province of Antalya has hosted the 26th FoodProduct - International Food and Beverage Specialization Fair between January 16 and 19. There were 400 participants in the fair and over 40,000 professional visitors from 81 provinces of Turkey and 20 countries from around the world.

★ According to Reuters, The European Commission's move to extend its steel import restrictions threatens to force Turkish mills, already buckling under the weight of U.S. tariffs, to cut production further or in some cases close down, sources said. Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkish companies are finding it rather difficult to access foreign credit after a currency crisis last year, said Ömer Koç, chairman of Koç Holding, the country's biggest industrial group.

★ Anadolu Isuzu, a partnership between Turkey's Anadolu Group, Isuzu Motors and Itochu, has cut factory hours due to slumping sales. The company , said on its website that it was the export champion of Turkey in 2017 for its sales of midi-buses.


★ In the online publication "10 best", Christopher Mitchell reviewed 10 of the best places to eat Turkish breakfast in Istanbul.

  Starting his article by writing "In Turkey, breakfast is a meal that's rich in flavor and steeped in tradition. A true Turkish breakfast is an art form, where restaurants need to adhere to the staple offerings, but also add their personal flair. Istanbul and its residents take it rather seriously, but it's clear that some restaurants are exceeding expectations.", Mitchell later described the main ingredients of a Turkish breakfast.

  The 10 best breakfast places Mitchell chose are: Cafe Privato, Nezih Kebap Yuvalama, Cesme Bazlama Kahvalti, Van Kahvalti Evi, Mangerie. Emirgan Sutis, Namli Gurme, Galata Konak Cafe, Pare Baklava Bar and Tarihi Bilice Borekcisi.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Historical artifacts have been unearthed during a hotel construction in a central neighborhood of Istanbul's Kadıköy district, Diken news site reported on Saturday. According to experts, the artifacts date back to 2,000 years. The construction of the 21-story hotel continued under the supervision of archaeologists An almost 6-meter wide avenue, estimated to be built during the early Byzantium period, was also brought to surface as the construction progressed, along with marble pillars. The regional directorate responsible for protecting cultural properties will decide on the future of the constructions after new discoveries, Diken said.

★ The Valens Aqueduct, a symbol of Turkey's Istanbul, will be restored by the metropolitan city's municipality water management authority, along with two other historical arches, Turkish left-wing Birgün newspaper reported on Thursday.

  The water channel was a part of a large water transportation system whose construction was started by the Roman Emperor Constantine, but completed by Valens to meet the water demand of Istanbul's old city.

  The aqueduct carrying water to the city for almost twenty centuries in the Late Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods is the oldest aqueduct of Istanbul.

  Some parts of the aqueduct previously went into restoration in 2014 and the result created an outrage as modern red bricks were used on some parts of the arch, which according to experts was a violation of restoration rules.

  Many in Turkey expressed their concerns after news broke out that that Valens Aqueduct would undergo restoration.

  Some users on Twitter voiced their despair after the news.

  "We used to run on it," one Turkish man on Twitter said. "There is nothing they have touched and left without destroying," he added referring to ruling Justice and Development Party.


★ Istanbul's Rahmi M Koç Museum is starting the new year with an interesting exhibition. The exhibition titled "Memory Assignment: Shipwrecks" will feature photographs by Stefano Benazzo of Italy.

  In addition to the photographs of shipwrecks, the exhibition will tell the story of the peoples of the sea.

★ Istanbul's Rahmi M Koç Museum is starting the new year with an interesting exhibition. The exhibition titled "Memory Assignment: Shipwrecks" will feature photographs by Stefano Benazzo of Italy.

  In addition to the photographs of shipwrecks, the exhibition will tell the story of the peoples of the sea.

★ Istanbul Modern Film in collaboration with the Other Film will be showing the foreign language films nominated for the "Best film in a foreign language" category in the 91st Academy Awards.

  There will be 15 films from countries such as China, Japan, Lebanon, Ukraine and Belgium.

★ We told you last week that Netflix will be continuing to broadcast "The Protector", a Turkish serial, in the new season.

  In addition, Netflix will have a new Turkish television show. It will be a fantasy series on the history of the ancient settlement of Göbeklitepe in the southeastern province of Urfa.

  Göbeklitepe is an ancient site dating back to 12,000 years ago, recognized as the oldest known temple in the world.

★ Turkey's Northwest and city of Tekirdağ will be hosting the "Bisanthe Fourth Chamber Music Festival" starting on January 20.

  The first concert will be featuring internationally acclaimed Turkish pianist İdil Biret and Borusan Quartet.

  Later in January Ametist Clarinet Quintet, Bozok Quartet, Bendis Trio, Bosphorus Wind Quintet, Likya Trio; Mimar Sinan Kontrbas Quartet, Bisanthe Quartet, Emre Tamer and İstanbul Kamerata Barok will take the stage. The Festival will and on February 2.


★ Turkeys renowned poet Nazım Hikmet Ran is being commemorated with different events on the 117th birthday.

  In an event organized jointly by the Kartal municipality and Hasat Art Studio, Nazım was remembered with poems and folk songs. The event started with a documentary on the life of the poet.

  In the Turkish capital Ankara a joint exhibition organized by the Russian Embassy, Turkish Russian Project Development Association and the Ankara Chamber of architects, has started to display cartoons of Nazım from 75 cartoonists from 60 countries. After going into exile from Turkey, Nazım lived in the Soviet Union, specifically in Russia until his death.

★ Sabancı Foundation's "Short Film Long Effect" competitions awarded the first place to Yahya Ozan Çalışkan's film Gülizar.

  The theme of this year's competition was "discrimination". There were 750 films submitted for the competition. The international jury was made up of Aida Begic, Rebecca O'Brien, Sergei Dvortsevoy, Derviş Zaim and Ceyda Düvenci. In addition to participants from around Turkey, there were also filmmakers from Australia, Belgium France and India.

  The event also brought together many young artists with 30 professional experts to learn about their experiences.

★ This year is the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Hilton hotels. The first Hilton Hotel outside of the US was built in Istanbul in 1950s.

  To commemorate the anniversary, Conrad Istanbul Bosporus is organizing a series of events dubbed "Conrad Talks Effects" throughout the year.

  The first event will be on January 24 titled "Astrology of Art". During this event astrologists Yasemin Boran and Osman Börüteçene will discuss the topics "will we be creative in 2019", "which famous avant-garde artist's birth maps give us a clue about their art" and "what will artist meet this year".


[Saat 14:30 and 15:30 '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/

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