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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 23 February 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 23 February 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 on last Friday signed a spending bill that blocks the transfer of the country's F-35 new generation fighter jets to Turkey.

  According to spending bill, delivery of the jets to Turkey will be blocked until the U.S. Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense submit an update to the report regarding the purchase of Turkey of the S-400 missile defense system from the Russian Federation.

  In an earlier report to the Congress, Pentagon said Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 missile systems could result in Turkey's potential expulsion from the F-35 program, as well as affecting its acquisition of other weapons including Boeing Co. 's CH-47F Chinook helicopter and Lockheed's F-16 fighter and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkish security forces carried out simultaneous raids on Friday on the homes of 295 active-duty military personnel. Among the arrested were many senior officers accused of being the followers of cleric Fethullah Gülen.

  Fethullah Gülen and his followers are widely seen as being behind the 2016 failed coup attempt. Gülen has been living in self-exile in the U.S. since 1999. At one time he was a key ally of the Justice and Development Party Administration and its leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

  Since 2016 almost 70,000 people have been jailed for being followers of Gülen. However, some of them are simply opponents of the Justice and Development Party and Erdoğan, and Mr. Erdoğan's administration has been labeling them as "Gülen followers" to silence them.

★ On Tuesday a Turkish appeals court upheld the convictions of 14 opposition journalists and staff working for the daily Cumhuriyet.

  They have been convicted of supporting Fethullah Gülen followers.

  Observers point out that Cumhuriyet's journalist suffered immensely under the Gülenist-led security forces before the 2016 coup attempt. Therefore very few believe that the convictions are based on reality and it is simply Mr. Erdoğan and his administration's way of silencing a fierce opponent of the regime.

★ Another court decision that cast a shadow on the impartiality of the judges in Turkey was made on Thursday. 27 professors were sentenced to two years in jail for signing a petition calling for an end to conflict between the Turkish state and rebel Kurdistan Workers Party.

  A group of lawyers gathered outside Istanbul's main court and protested the decision.

  The Kurdistan Workers Party is considered to be a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union.

★ Turkey's local elections will be held in March and people will choose their mayors. Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party is not as popular as it used to be. However, it is still leading the pack, thanks to control of much of the press by Erdoğan's supporters.

  In a new gimmick, to boost his party's popularity, Mr. Erdoğan proposed the building of a large canal in Ankara. He has already proposed a canal that will connect the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea.

  Economists say one of the reasons that Mr. Erdoğan's party lost its luster was because of the mismanagement of the economy, particularly spending billions of dollars on unproductive construction projects with borrowed money from international lenders. When Mr. Erdoğan talked about an Ankara canal, a former Bloomberg bureau chief in Turkey, Mark Bentley, said "Erdoğan's latest answer to Turkey's malaise: dig another hole".

Click on graph to see a larger view

★ According to Reuters, business confidence among Turkish manufacturers improved in February, but sentiment remained pessimistic, with construction sector confidence hitting an eight-year low. Read more at >> here <<

★ Istanbul hosted a two-day World Business Angels Investment Forum attracting a number of policymakers, entrepreneurs, financial institutions and representatives, and angel investors from across the globe.

  Several Balkan leaders, including Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Kadri Veseli, president of the Assembly of Kosovo, addressed the gathering.

  There were a total of 110 speakers from 42 countries and, 53 startups from more than 20 countries.

★ We reported to you last week that the Turkish government and its local political allies in Ankara and Istanbul started discount sale points for vegetables despite the frowning of economists and for-profit produce market owners, among others.

  The cost of inflation has brought down the buying power of many consumers in Turkey. However, political analysts see the move to open discount sale points not just for helping the consumers, but to win the votes of the people.

  Pres. Erdoğan also declared that there is a conspiracy involved in the rise of food prices. In fact, he claimed that there is "food terrorism".

  By Friday the sale points have sold over 3000 tons of vegetables. Analysts and businessmen, however, are warning that the government's measures are short-term, patchwork steps that do not resolve inherent structural problems in the food supply chain.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The banks will extend maturities of consumer and car loans to five years from the current three Turkish banking Association announced on Friday, reports Reuters.


★ Performing arts


★ Devrim Neval and her dance troupe will be on the stage in Istanbul performing flamenco and gypsy dances on February 27.

  The troupe will stage more than 20 dances with its 45 dancers.


★ The 69th Berlin International Film Festival ended. The Best film award went to Israeli director Nadav Lapid's "Synonyms".

  The Best First Film award went to Turkish German director Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay's film titled "Oray".

  Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay was born in 1987 in Bad Hersfeld, Hesse, Germany.

  His film is about a man named Oray, who quarrels with his wife Burcu. During the quarrel he says three times "talaq", the Islamic phrase meaning "repudiation" or simply "divorce".

  The imam informs him about the consequences: he has to divorce his wife. Now Oray is in a dilemma: Should he stay with Burcu or with the community?


★ The American serial "Dr. House" is being adapted to a Turkish serial. The director of the serial will be Taylan Biraderler, who produced the internationally successful serial "Magnificent Century" based on the life of 16th-century ruler of the Ottoman Empire Sultan Suleyman and his wife Hurrem.

  The American serial is about a Dr. House at fictional Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. Prickly genius Dr. Gregory House tackles health mysteries as would a medical Sherlock Holmes, all the while playing mind games with colleagues that include his best friend, oncologist James Wilson.


★ Turkish theater actor Ezgi Çelik performed her single-actor play "Hoşdeng" on February 19 for the benefit of the "Endowment for Children with Cancer".

  The play is about a woman named Hoşdeng who has been subjected to violence. Hoşdeng is determined to change the circle of violence and is trying to raise his son the best way. Hoşdeng has a good voice and gets strength from singing.


★ The play "The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time" staged at London's West End and New York's Broadway, and many other locations around the world have been adapted to Turkish under the name "Super Good Days". The play has won many awards.

  The play tells the story of Christopher Boone who has Asperger's syndrome and is adapted from British writer Mark Haddon's novel.

  The original play in English won Laurence Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle awards. Read more at >> here <<

  The Turkish troupe Tiyatrokare will be performing the play in March and April at various venues in Istanbul.


★ With the contributions of India's Istanbul consulate an Indian film days is taking place in Istanbul's Akbank Sanat.

  The event is featuring five select films from India: "The Queen", "Bareilly's Barfi", "Hindi Medium", "The Story" and "Manjhi the Mountain Man".


  Kadir İnanır

★ The 24th Turkish Film Festival in Germany will be taking place this year between March 9-16. The renowned Turkish actor Kadir İnanır will be the head of the jury.

  The festival will feature 38 films. Turkish actors Filiz Akın and Ediz Hun, and German director Margarethe von Trotta will receive special awards.

★ Music


★ Pianist Rudolph Buchbinder performed with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic orchestra under the direction of Sasha Goetzel. On February 13 and 14th Buchbinder performed Brahms works.

  The Austrian pianist later this week had two more concerts performing Beethoven's first and second concertos.


★ Boğaziçi University in Istanbul is continuing its classical music concerts. On February 20 a concert titled "Sad and Joyous Compositions" featured the music of Haydn, Rachmaninov, and Dvorak.

  The performers were violinist Jan Schulmeister, cellist Kamil Zvak, pianist Martina Schulmeisterova.

★ Renowned Turkish pianist Fazıl Say performed in Bremen, Germany at the Federal Presidency Concert.

  Bremen Philharmonic orchestra under the direction of Stephen Sloane accompanied Say. The performance featured works by Mozart, Bernstein, and Gershwin.

  After the concert, German president Frank Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Budenbender met with Fazıl Say and chatted with him.


★ Istanbul State Opera and ballet has premiered renowned Turkish composer and pianist Ahmet Adnan Saygun's Yunus Emre ballet Saturday.

  Choreographed by Uğur Seyrek to the music of Yunus Emre Oratorio, the ballet will be performed two more times in February and three times in March.

  Ahmet Adnan Saygun was an internationally renowned composer who lived between 1907-1991.

  His Yunus Emre Oratorio was first staged in 1946 in Turkey. It was also performed at the United Nations in 1958 by the NBC Symphony orchestra led by Leopold Stokowski.


★ Kurtalan Ekspres is a Turkish Anatolian rock band that has worked with several renowned lead singers such as Cem Karaca, Cahit Berkay, and Barış Manço. The band has been active since 1971.

  Kurtalan Ekspres has just published another album titled "Silent Scream". The album is dedicated to the eradication of violence against women and girls.


★ Turkeys Indie folk sound band "Yüzyüzeyken Konuşuruz" had a concert at Istanbul's Babylon on Thursday evening.

  The group's name translates from Turkish as "we speak when we are face-to-face". In the concert, they performed songs from their 2018 album "Acoustic Trauma".


★ Turkey's first punk rock group Rashit is celebrating its 25th year in music. The group was on stage Friday evening in Istanbul's IF Performance Hall.

  In 1996 they issued an album titled "Movements from Kadikoy" in France and became the first Turkish band to do so in Europe.


★ Composer, music theoretician, performance artist and the director of Modern Music Academy Güç Başar Gülle 's new album "Reverse Perspective" just got published under the TMC label.

  Gülle studied at the Berklee Music School and then participated in projects by BBC Symphony and the music publishing company ECM. He has been also invited to Toronto University and Berkeley Valencia and participated in select music festivals throughout the world.

  After a performance at Harvard, Gülle had been invited to Los Angeles to conduct a workshop on Turkish music at the youth incarceration facility there.

  The teaser for is new album is Read more at >> here <<


★ The legendary American heavy metal group Manowar as part of its tour "The Final Battle" is going to Turkey.

  Established in the 1980s, the group is known for lyrics based on fantasy (particularly sword and sorcery) and mythology (particularly Norse mythology and Greco-Roman mythology). The band is also known for a loud and bombastic sound.

  Manowar will be in Istanbul on July 20.

  An excerpt from a live concert by the group is Read more at >> here <<


★ Renowned trumpeter Arturo Sandoval will be performing in Turkey's Aegean city of Izmir on February 28, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality announced.

  Cuban-American Arturo Sandoval started playing the trumpet at age 12 and so far he has been awarded 10 Grammys. He is also a composer and a pianist. He was on the stage on the 61st Grammy awards ceremony along with Ricky Martin, Camilla Cabello, and J Balvin.

  Sandoval received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2013.

  Arturo Sandoval's performance of "Peanut Vendor " at the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival is Read more at >> here <<


★ When Latin music was in sway around the world in the 1940s and 50s, Turkey was no exception. Turkish composers produced many fine tangos during that era. Among one of the renowned composers was Necip Celal Andel, who unfortunately died at the age of 49 in 1957 from cancer.

  He was the first to compose tangos in Turkish.

  Now a new album titled "Necip Celal Andel-All His Tangos" just got published. The tangos were performed by Vienna, Austria based Band-O-Neon group.


★ 30-year-old folk musician Emre Dayioglu, who has been working as a music teacher in Turkey's Mediterranean province of Antalya has been working on an ambitious project.

  During his spare time, Dayioglu has been traveling from village to village through Turkey's heartland Anatolia and recording the local folk music. He has been at this for the past eight years. During this time, 40 of the people he has recorded passed away.

  After his initial contact with the people he has recorded, he never breaks his communication with them, he says.


★ Literature


★ A worrying news: according to 2018 Turkey Book Market Report, both the publishing of books and the books per person has dropped in Turkey.

  The report was disclosed in the 5th Black Sea Book Fair. The head of the Publishers Union of Turkey, Kenan Kocatürk, said that the sales tax exemption that was just brought to books and magazines will help the sector.

  The number of books published was previously 7.76 per person, now it stands at 7.08.


★Visual Arts


★ As part of the Istanbul Comics and Arts Festival, there will be an exhibition titled "Album Covers Workshop".

  In the September 2018 workshop, attendees designed album covers for Ringo Jet' s album "The Baba", In Hoodies' "Man down" and Ağaçkakan's "Two-Legged Paradox" after listening to the songs for the first time.


★ An exhibition by Kezban Arca Batıbeki titled "Un-Promised Lands" is on Istanbul's Pilevneli Mecidiyokoy until March 24.

  Batibeki has been active on different platforms on women and popular culture issues.

  This new exhibition tells the stories of immigrants from diverse lands that were made to leave their homes.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.32


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 45/32 Light Showers
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 61/46 Sporadic Rain
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 34/14 Mostly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 37/34 Snow
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 48/39 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 48/43 Mostly Cloudy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 39 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 55 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 48 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 34 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 24 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 33 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 65 inches



Premier League

* Results for week: 22
Malatyaspor     -      Beşiktaş        1 - 2
Akhisar Sp      -      Ankaragücü      0 - 0
Fenerbahçe      -      Konya Sp        1 - 1
Bursa Sp        -      Rize Sp         0 - 2
Kayseri Sp      -      Göztepe         2 - 1
Kasımpaşa       -      G. Saray        1 - 4
Erzurum Sp      -      Sivas Sp        4 - 2
Trabzon Sp      -      Alanya Sp       0 - 2
Antalya Sp      -      Başakşehir      0 - 1
* In games played so far this weekend:
Göztepe         -      Trabzon Sp      1 - 3
Rize Sp         -      Malatyaspor     3 - 0
Sivas Sp        -      Antalya Sp      1 - 2
Alanya Sp       -      Kasımpaşa       3 - 0
* Standing in the league as of week ending 22
 1 - Başakşehir      48
 2 - G. Saray        42
 3 - Beşiktaş        39
 4 - Malatyaspor     34
 5 - Konya Sp        34
 6 - Trabzon Sp      33
 7 - Sivas Sp        31
 8 - Kasımpaşa       29
 9 - Antalya Sp      29
10 - Alanya Sp       28
11 - Kayseri Sp      28
12 - Rize Sp         25
13 - Göztepe         25
14 - Bursa Sp        24
15 - Fenerbahçe      24
16 - Ankaragücü      24
17 - Erzurum Sp      21
18 - Akhisar Sp      18

* Euroleague:
Feb 21: Efes 75 - Olympiakos 65
feb 22: DarusSafaka 75 - Fenerbahce 97 
Group Regular Season	W	L	PTS+	PTS-	+/-
1. Fenerbahce 		20	3	1920	1686	234
2. CSKA Moscow 		18	5	2003	1847	156
3. Real Madrid 		18	5	1979	1763	216
4. Efes 		15	8	1953	1830	123
16. Darussafaka 	3	20	1725	1959	-234


[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
*** Van Ness Cafe & Gyros in San Francisco, is giving our listeners 10% off! Call them at (415) 589-7900

*** 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/