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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 26 January 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 26 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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★ According to the VOA, Turkey is ready to take over security in the Kurdish-controlled Syrian city of Manbij, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday.

  Mr. Erdoğan's office says he spoke to President Donald Trump by telephone Sunday, days after an Islamic State attack in the city killed 19 people, including three U.S. service members and an American military contractor.

★ According to the Associated Press, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met Wednesday to coordinate their moves in Syria as their governments bargain over zones of influence in the war-torn country.

  The leaders share strong opposition to the U. S. military presence in Syria, seeing it as an obstacle to their clout in the country. The Kremlin meeting marked their first encounter since President Trump announced the pullout of American troops in a December 19 tweet.

  Turkey has pushed for the creation of a 20-mile "safe zone" in northeastern Syria to ensure that the Syrian Kurdish militia - The People's Protection Units, or YPG, which Turkey considers to be a "terrorist group" for its ties to outlawed Kurdish rebels inside Turkey - is kept away from the Turkish border.

  Putin and Erdoğan called each other "dear friend," hailing the close ties between their countries and their importance for regional security. They were accompanied by a retinue of security and military officials for detailed discussions on Syria.

  During a joint press conference with Putin after their meeting, "The U.S. has already expressed a positive stance. Neither do we have problems [concerning the safe zone] with Russia," said Erdoğan.

  Read more >> here <<

★ According to BBC, Kurdish protesters stormed a Turkish military camp in Iraq. At least one person has died and 10 have been injured.

  Residents set light to vehicles and buildings in protest against Turkish airstrikes in the area, which are said to have killed several people.

  Turkey conducts frequent raids against the militant group, the Kurdistan Workers Party, which is based on the Iraqi side of the border.

  It accuses insurgents of disguising as civilians to fuel conflict in the area.

  The Kurdish government in Erbil in northern Iraq condemned Saturday's incident, accusing "saboteurs" of instigating the attack on the Turkish camp. Turkish defense ministry said the attack happened as a result of "provocation by the rebel Kurdistan Workers Party terrorist organization".

★ According to the Associated Press, Turkish prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for a local employee of the United States consulate in Istanbul accused of attempting to overthrow the government and espionage.

  The indictment said Topuz, who worked as a translator and fixer for the Drug Enforcement Agency in the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, told authorities he had been in touch with several police officers with alleged links to Gülen for narcotic investigations.

  Read more >> here <<

★ You may have heard in the news that U.S. and some of its western allies are no longer recognizing the Venezuelan president Nicolas Madura.

  However, VOA's Dorian Jones reports that Turkish president Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is telling his embattled Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, to "stand tall" in the face of national and international calls to step down amid a political crisis.

  Mr. Erdoğan said Thursday he was shocked at President Trump's decision to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president.

  "I thank Russia, China, Turkey, and other governments and people of the world for their strong support of the legitimately established government of Venezuela," Mr. Maduro said in a Twitter post. "Venezuela is not alone!" he added.

  Despite the religiously conservative Erdoğan and the left-wing Maduro coming from opposite ends of the political spectrum, the two leaders have built a strong relationship.


★ A Turkish court on Friday ordered the supervised release of a detained lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party who is seriously ill as a result of her 11-week hunger strike, reports France 24 web site.

  Leyla Güven, 55, launched a hunger strike on November 8 in protest at the prison conditions for Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and her deteriorating health has sparked concerns and rallies to support her cause.

★ A fire on Jan 22 near Crimea killed 14 crew on two Turkish-owned vessel, Russian authorities said. 6 are missing.

  Both vessels were on a U.S. sanctions list since 2015 for fuel deliveries to Syria, making any company that deals with them subject to penalties.

★ Amid a political controversy over allegations of nepotism, Turkey's top tank factory has been transferred to a Turkish-Qatari private venture, reports the Defense News.

  The factory, established in 1975 and located in the Sakarya province of northwest Turkey, was transferred by a presidential decree to BMC, a joint Turkish-Qatari venture that manufactures armored vehicles.

  BMC's Turkish partner, Ethem Sancak, is a senior member of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party, where he serves on the president's executive board. He is also known to be one of Erdoğan's closest confidants.

  Read more >> here <<

★ Headlines on the economy:

  - Microsoft has acquired the Turkish open-source software firm Citus Data for an undisclosed sum.

  - Barron's reports that Turkey's Troubled Economy Still Offers Opportunity. It also says that the current troubles were the making of President Erdoğan

  - Non-resident investors bought $711.8 million worth of Turkish equities in the week ending January 18, data from the Central Bank showed on January 24.

  - After a dismal 2018, Turkish stocks are enjoying their strongest start to a new year since 2013 as investors scoop up battered shares, reports Bloomberg.

  - Turkey has raised 1.25 billion euros from bonds due March 2025, the Treasury and Finance Ministry announced on January 25.

  - Turkish manufacturers' capacity utilization increased to 74.4 percent in January after hitting the lowest level in more than three years with 74.1 percent.

  - Turkey's economic growth has softened but government moves to cut tax and accelerate the transfer of billions of lira to the Treasury mean Turkey currently sees no recession or negative growth, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said. In the last quarter of last year growth was only 1.6%

  - Turkish consumers' confidence in the country's economy dropped this month to 58.2, Turkey's statistical authority said on January 23.


★ Music


  Fazıl Say and President Erdoğan

★ Turkeys internationally acclaimed pianist and composer Fazıl Say was not getting along with the ruling Justice and Development Party administration officials for some time.

  However, with the attendance of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Fazıl Say's concert in the Turkish capital Ankara on January 18, there has been a rapprochement between Say and the Justice and Development Party. President Erdoğan also brought visiting American senator Lindsey Graham to the concert, who was in Turkey to reduce the tensions between the U.S. and Turkey.

  After the concert, Fazıl Say got some push-back from the hardliners in the opposition, who criticized Say from inviting the president in the first place, to appearing on the stage with him together after the concert.

  Yet some praised the emergence of some respite from the ever increasing polarization in Turkey.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ In related news, Mr. Say got married to pianist Ece Dağıstan in Milan Italy on January 24.


★ The quintet Anatolian Wind had a concert on Thursday evening in Turkey's Black Sea city of Samsun.

  The quintet performs Turkey's traditional music with Western wind instruments, but this time around they performed tangos.

  A performance of Turkey's blind troubadour Veysel Şatıroğlu's "Black Earth":


★ Spanish pianist and composer Ariadna Castellanos was in Istanbul on January 25. She performed at İş Sanat.

  Castellanos is a graduate of Britain's Guildhall School of Music and Berklee College of Music. She combines in her music flamenco and jazz.

  A Castellanos concert is  >> here <<


★ Istanbul-based musical group Cafe Aman will be bringing Turkish and Istanbul Greek songs to the Istanbulites on January 28 at CRR concert center.

  Cafe Aman will perform Istanbul and Tatavla kasabikos, Zaharyan's slow semai, Talat's Devri Kamerde and instrumental semais, and songs from Istanbul.


★ As part of their European tour, the group Nes had a concert in Istanbul at Akbank Sanat. The group is made up of three musicians that met in Valencia Spain: Spanish percussionist David Gadea, French cellist Matthieu Saglio and French Algerian singer and cellist Nesrine Belmokh.

  Their music at the concert had melodies from jazz to classical, soul to traditional Arabic.

  The group had their first album "Ahlam " published in September 2018 and had her first concert at Berlin Philharmonic. "Ahlam " means dream in Arabic.

  Hear the group Nes >> here <<


★ Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra performed on January 18 a second concert in its concert series "Seven Renowned Conductors, Seven Renowned Soloists".

  The concert featured Italian conductor Alphonso Scarano and Russian violist Tatjana Masurenko.

  It started with the performance of Camille Saint-Saens'ın "Danse Macabre" . Then Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade Symphony. Both featured violinist Özgecan Günöz.

  Masurenko then played a 1756 P. Testore viola in performing William Walton's Viola Concerto and Telemann's Dolce.


★ A documentary on the Turkish opera singer Leyla Gencer, one of the best Opera artists of the 20th century, was shown for the first time in Istanbul. Titled "Leyla Gencer: La Diva Turca", the documentary was shown at the Istanbul Culture and Arts Foundation premises.

  The documentary featured singers music and also interviews with artists who knew her in person.

  The public premiere of the documentary will be in April in the 38th Istanbul film Festival.

  Leyla Gencer between 1928 and 2008.

★ Performing Arts

★ The jury for the national competition films for the 38th Istanbul film Festival has been determined.

  The head of the jury will be director and scriptwriter Ümit Ünal. The members of the jury will be actors Derya Alabora and Alican Yücesoy, director of photography Andreas Sinanos and screen writer Gaye Boralıoğlu.

  The film Festival will take place between April 5 - 16.

★ A play on the life of the renowned Turkish troubadour Mahzuni will be staged in Kadıköy, Istanbul on February 10.

  Serhad Raşa will be performing Mahzuni's folk songs during the play.

  After Kadıköy, the play will be on tour throughout Turkey. Then it will be taken to six European countries for Turkish immigrants to enjoy.

  Mahzuni lived between 1940 - 2002.


★ A play titled "Aziz Nesin Boat" was in Istanbul's Büyükçekmece district. The play is made up of a collection of writer Aziz Nesin's plays.

  The municipality of Büyükçekmece offered the play free of charge to town's residents. Mayor Dr. Hasan Akgün said that the residents of the district hold art and artists in high esteem, and he is very happy to be the mayor of such a place.

  Aziz Nesin , who lived between 1915 – 1995, was a Turkish writer, humorist and the author of more than 100 books. Born in a time when Turks did not have official surnames, he had to adopt one after the Surname Law of 1934 was passed. Although his family carried the epithet "Topalosmanoğlu", after an ancestor named "Topal Osman", he chose the surname "Nesin". In Turkish, "Nesin?" means, "What are you?". Several of his works have been published in English translation.

★ Berlinale, the Berlin film Festival will be taken place between February 7-17 this year.

  Turkish director Burak Çevik's film "Belonging" will be at the festival. The film was shot last year.

  The film is both a crime and love film. It starts with the court documents on a murder that was committed 50 years ago. Then the characters involved tells the events and venues from memory.

  Burak Çevik was in the festival last year also with his film "The Pillar of Salt".

  The festival official website is >> here << .   The Pillar of Salt teaser is  >> here <<

  In related news, the festival also organizes the "Books at Berlinale" to promote books that can be made into films. A Turkish novel was also invited to this event. Turkish author Nermin Yildirim's book "Guest" will be featured among 160 books from 30 countries.

  The Guest is the fourth book from Turkey that has been featured in the event since 2006.

★ Literature


★ Columnist Yılmaz Özdil's new book on Turkey's first president and Independence War hero Mustafa Kemal Atatürk got sold out in four hours.

  There were only 1881 copies of the book was printed. 1881 signifies the year that Mustafa Kemal was born.

  The book was manually bound and printed on special paper, and offered in a box made of special paper and leather. Total weight of the book and the box is almost six pounds. The special edition was put on sale exactly at 9:05. 9:05 signifies the time that Mustafa Kemal passed away on November 10, 1938.

  The book was offered at a price of $450 in local currency. After it got sold out, copies were offered for re-sale on the Internet for $4500.

  Joelle İmamoğlu, a specialist in book design and printing, designed the book. In printing the book, a special font designed by Argentinian Maximiliano Sproviero was used.

  The publishers site advertising the book as sold-out is >> here <<

★ Visual arts


★ A new exhibition titled "Facing the Holocaust" has started on January 24 in Turkish Jewry Museum in Istanbul.

  The exhibition features the photographs of Yusuf Tolga Ünker and is prepared by him. Ünker photographs were first exhibited in the U.S..

  At the opening reception for the exhibition pianist Renan Koen met the guests with her performance titled "Holocaust Remembrance and Before Sleep".

  The exhibition will be on through March 30.

★ Archaeology


★ One day, Turkish professor Hayal Güleç pushed the wrong button in London's Victoria and Albert Museum and ended up in a storage area. There she discovered 44 ancient tiles that have been smuggled out of Turkey from historical structures.

  When she discovered the tiles, she first asked from the museum authorities the permission to look at them. At first the permission was not granted. After returning to Turkey she wrote numerous letters to the museum and finally received the permission to see and conduct research on the tiles.

  She then prepared her thesis on these tiles.

  During her research she took the photographs of 67 tiles and upon further investigation she determined that 44 of these tiles were from structures dating back to 16th century Ottoman Empire. All the structures are currently in Turkey.

  Some of the tiles were taken abroad in 1863 by French restoration specialist Leon Parville. Parville was asked by the Ottoman statesman Ahmet Vefik Pasha to repair the Green Mosque and Mausoleum that sustained damages in an 1855 earthquake. Güleç determined this when she run across a letter in French at the museum. The letter explained the history of the pieces in the museum.

  The letter to the museum was written by Leon Parville's son, expressing his desire to sell the tiles.

  In addition to the Green Mosque tiles that Leon Parville took from the Ottoman Empire, Güleç found other tiles from Istanbul's Topkapı Palace and New Mosque, a mausoleum in Diyarbakır and four mosques dating back to 16th century, Armenian Catholic Church and Takkeci İbrahim Ağa Mosque.


★ Bekir Tatlı, a private individual, in Turkey's southern province of Mersin has received a permit from the Mersin Museum to search for a treasure that he thinks is left over from a Greek king who lived in the area 2300 years ago.

  Bekir Tatlı says that he has so far spent around $15,000 in local currency and reached a tunnel. He thinks that the tunnel leads him to the treasure chamber, but he cannot go any further since his license to excavate was limited to around an area of 1000 sq.ft.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.26



★ Extreme weather in Turkey's southern province of Antalya caused tornadoes which caused extensive damage to property and killed several people yesterday and today. Read more  >> here <<  with photos showing the tornadoes at different parts of the province.

High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 57/48 Rainy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 39/23 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 46/45 Snow
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 59/50 Sporadic Rain
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 64/54 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 32/32 Showers
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 45 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 60 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 48 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 35 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 32 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 31 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 60 inches



Premier League

* Results for week: 18
Akhisar Sp      -      Beşiktaş        0 - 3
Antalya Sp      -      Kayseri Sp      0 - 0
Erzurum Sp      -      Konya Sp        1 - 2
G. Saray        -      Ankaragücü      6 - 0
Malatyaspor     -      Göztepe         3 - 2
Trabzon Sp      -      Başakşehir      2 - 4
Alanya Sp       -      Sivas Sp        2 - 0
Bursa Sp        -      Fenerbahçe      1 - 1
Kasımpaşa       -      Rize Sp         0 - 1
* In games played so far this weekend:
Beşiktaş        -      Erzurum Sp      1 - 1
Göztepe         -      G. Saray        0 - 1
Kayseri Sp      -      Bursa Sp        1 - 1
* Standing in the league as of week ending 18
 1 - Başakşehir      38
 2 - G. Saray        32
 3 - Malatyaspor     32
 4 - Kasımpaşa       29
 5 - Trabzon Sp      29
 6 - Beşiktaş        29
 7 - Konya Sp        28
 8 - Antalya Sp      28
 9 - Sivas Sp        24
10 - Bursa Sp        22
11 - Göztepe         22
12 - Alanya Sp       21
13 - Kayseri Sp      20
14 - Ankaragücü      20
15 - Fenerbahçe      17
16 - Akhisar Sp      17
17 - Erzurum Sp      16
18 - Rize Sp         15
* Turkey Cup

22 January	
Akhisarspor	-	Kayserispor	0 - 0
23 January	
Bodrumspor	-	Malatyaspor	1 - 2
Göztepe		-	Antalyaspor	3 - 0
Balıkesirspor	-	Trabzonspor	1 - 3
24 January		
Hatayspor	-	Başakşehir	4 - 1
Kasımpaşa	-	Alanyaspor	1 - 0
Fenerbahçe	-	Ümraniyespor	0 - 1


* Euroleague

* Rankings

1	Fenerbahçe 	38
2	Real Madrid	36
3	CSKA Moskova	35
4	Efes		33
16	Darüşşafaka	23
* Latest games:


  Fenerbahçe  90-75 Olympiacos Piraeus
  Real Madrid 92-84 Efes 


  Darüşşafaka 80-75 Baskonia


[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/