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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 02 March 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 02 March 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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★ White House adviser Jared Kushner and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan at a meeting Wednesday in the Turkish capital Ankara.

  Kushner has special responsibility for Israeli-Palestine policy and is touring the region to build support for what he reportedly calls "the deal of the century."

  Erdogan is a critical player in the region because of his strong backing of the Palestinian cause and Hamas.

  No official statement was released after Kushner's three-hour meeting with Erdogan. However, bilateral issues were also reportedly discussed, including Syria.

★ The U.S. made one more proposal to Turkey to sell Patriot missiles on condition that Turkey abandon a deal with Russia to buy Russian missiles.

  Turkey again rejected the offer some headlines said.

  However, according to the Turkish opposition daily Cumhuriyet Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Friday that negotiations on purchasing Patriots are continuing. He said that the reason why Turkey is buying Russian missiles is that when Turkey requested to purchase American missiles two years ago, the U.S. was not willing to sell them.

  The U.S. and other NATO allies of Turkey are wary of Russian missiles being deployed on Turkish territory. U.S. threatened sanctions and stopped the sale of new F-35 fighters last week to Turkey.

★ According to the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, the U.S. officials said that they will keep the Turkish rebel Kurds' underground organization Kurdistan Workers Party on a U.S. terrorist organization list.

  The officials said that Kurdistan Workers Party has been on the list for more than 20 years and added that during this period the U.S. and its allies have been working with Turkey against the threats of the Kurdistan Workers Party.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey is carrying out its largest naval exercises in a display of its rapidly growing navy. The show of force comes amid rising regional tensions over territorial and energy exploration rights disputes, Dorian Jones of the VOA reports.

  Dubbed "The Blue Homeland," the drills involve more than 100 ships operating across the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean. On display in the 10-day exercise are many of Turkey's newest warships, along with the use of high-tech domestically produced drones.

  "Turkey is a regional power, and this naval exercise is to show the world that Turkey is a player," said international relations professor Huseyin Bagci of Ankara's Middle East Technical University, "It is a show of strength in military terms to any country in the region."

  Analysts say Turkey's powerful display of modern naval prowess will likely unnerve both Greek Cyprus and its main ally Greece.

  Turkey has disputes with both, maritime border issues with Greece and ongoing support for the breakaway Cypriot Turks on the north of the Cyprus island.

  The island was divided into two zones in 1974 when Turkey militarily intervened to save the Cypriot Turks from anti-Turk Greek Cypriots who took the power with a coup from another Greek Cypriot faction.

  Recent oil exploration by the Greek Cypriots is also causing a new dispute with Turkey. Turkish officials say that both Turkey and the Cypriot Turks have also rights to the oil and gas discovered.

★ During the week, news reports were reporting a built up of Turkish military on the Syrian border. Saturday Turkey's Ministry of Defense Hulusi Akar announced that Turkish forces are ready for an operation in the east of the Euphrates River in Syria against what he termed "targets of terror".

  "With the direction of our president, when the time comes we will do what is necessary. Let no one doubt. We will never put the security of our country in danger" he said.

  Turkey considers the U.S. ally Syrian Kurdish militia an extension of Turkey's rebel Kurds.

★ A court in Istanbul Turkey convicted Eren Erdem, a former opposition party lawmaker, of aiding Fethullah Gülen and his followers.

  Cleric Fethullah Gülen who lives in self-imposed exile in the U.S. and his followers are widely believed to be behind the 2016 failed coup attempt in Turkey.

  However, political analysts point out that Turkish president Erdoğan and his administration usually use ties to either Gülen or Kurdish rebels to incarcerate their opponents even if they have nothing to do with either one of the groups.

  Mr. Erdem was from an opposition party that fiercely opposed Gülen and his followers in the past.


  Members of Turkish and international human rights organizations and their meeting in Istanbul on Wednesday

★ In a meeting in Istanbul, Turkish and international human rights organizations called on Turkish officials to end what they term an "orchestrated campaign of intimidation and judicial harassment of civil society," after prosecutors moved to indict 16 prominent activists.

  Among the human rights organization was Amnesty International.

★ Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to remove any mayors elected in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeastern region if they deem to be sympathetic to the rebel Kurdistan workers party.

  The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party dismisses terrorist allegations against its candidates. "If they remove any of our successful candidates, it's not that the elected mayors are terrorists but rather Erdoğan is a dictator," said Ertuğrul Kürkçü, honorary president of the party.

  Kürkçü pointed out that Turkey's Higher Election Board has validated all the People's Democratic Party mayoral candidates.

  State-appointed trustees already administer nearly all towns and cities in southeast Turkey, after the removal of over 80 pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party mayors since 2015.

  The opposition in the upcoming local elections is expected to do well. Kürkçü says that his party supporters will support the other opposition party candidates so that the opposition votes are not divided.

★ Far-right members of Italy's coalition government have firmly rejected their own government's document over its endorsement of Turkey's accession bid to the European Union, Politico reported on Thursday (February 28, 2019).

  The 227-page report on Italy's European Union policy in 2019 was submitted to parliament without controversy. But when Italian newspaper La Stampa reported a line from the document declaring Italy's policy to be "in line" with an endorsement of Turkey's status as a candidate country by European Union leaders, Italy's far-right League rushed to make statements opposing the stance.

  "Turkey is not, and will never be, Europe," League leader Matteo Salvini said at the European Parliament in 2013.

★ Turkey risks jeopardizing economic ties with China if it keeps criticizing Beijing's treatment of Uygur Muslims, China's envoy to Turkey warned, just as Chinese firms are looking to invest in Turkish energy and infrastructure mega-projects, reports Reuters.

  Last month Turkey broke a long silence over the fate of China's Uyghurs, saying more than one million people faced arbitrary arrest, torture and political brainwashing in Chinese internment camps in the country's northwestern Xinjiang region.

  Other majority-Muslim countries have been also holding back in criticizing China.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkish entertainment channel Flash TV said on Friday it would suspend broadcasting due to "unbearable" political and financial pressure from the government.

  On air since 1992, the station was one of Turkey's first private television channels. The broadcaster said the alleged government pressure included curbs on advertising.

  President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government has shut down more than 150 media outlets which it said were linked to a coup attempt in the summer of 2016.

  Free speech advocacy group Reporters Without Borders last year ranked Turkey 157 out of 180 countries in its annual report on global press freedom, and estimates about 90 percent of Turkey's newspaper coverage is pro-government.

★ Turkish Soccer Federation chairman Yildirim Demirören has resigned. He has just completed the transfer of Turkey's sports betting company Iddaa to this conglomerate.

  Demirören was widely criticized for taking part in the bidding while he was also the chairman of the Turkish Soccer Federation.

★ According to the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the manufacturing industry rose to 46.4 in February from 44.2 in January. The 50 point Mark separates expansion from contraction.

  Some analysts say that the crisis is still continuing in the manufacturing industry, some, however, say that the crisis is moderating.

★ Turkey's Finance Minister Berat Albayrak announced on Friday that a 2nd loan package of $4.68 billion in local currency for small and medium-size businesses is available.

  The Turkish banking Association said the loans will be for 36 months with no principal repayments for 6 months. The interest rate will be about 18 1/2%.

★ European Union commission VP Jyrki Katainen said on Thursday at a news conference with Turkey's economy minister that European Union will help finance the construction of a railway line connecting Istanbul to the Bulgarian border with a $314 million grant.

  Katainen was in Istanbul for the European Union-Turkey High-Level Economic Dialogue talks.

★ A Turkish government amnesty on unregistered construction work is endangering lives, engineers and architects warned after an illegally extended residential building collapsed in Istanbul and killed 21 people, reports Reuters. Read more at >> here <<


★ Performing Arts


  Lynne Ramsay

★ Istanbul Film Festival chose award-winning director Lynne Ramsay to lead the Festival's international competition jury.

  This year the Festival will carry movies telling the stories of iconic musicians. Among the films are:

  Irish photojournalist and director Seamus Murphy's movie documenting PJ Harvey's latest album. The film is named "A Dog Called Money".

  The film that documents a talk between Argentinian bandoneon virtuoso Astor Piazzolla and her daughter Diana named "Piazzolla: The Years of the Shark"

  One of the few saz players from Western Europe Petra Nachtmanova's movie on the instrument and how it has been used for centuries in the heart of many cultures titled "Saz-The Key of Trust"

  The documentary "Leyla Gencer: La Diva Turca" which tells the life story of Turkish diva and the prima donna of the Italian La Scala opera house.

  The Istanbul Film Festival will be taking place April 5-16.

★ The 51st Awards by Turkey's Film Writers Association have found their winners.

  "The Wild Pear Tree" won the Best Film Award and received 5 more awards. The film is by renowned Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

  Director Emre Erdoğdu's film won the First Full-Length Movie, Best Plot, and Best Woman Actor awards.

  The volunteers that are trying to protect the iconic old movie theater Beyoğlu Sinema and the staff of the theater won the "Effort Award".

  The films "The Side of the Road" by Andreas Sinanos, Laszlo Rajk's "Announcement", Banu Sıvacı's "Pigeon", Kıvanç Baruönü' s "Arif v 216", Umut Subaşı's "I Don't Believe You but There Is Gravity", Özcan Alper's "Among the Ruins" and Gürcan Keltek's "Meteors" also received various awards.


★ The 16th International Golden Bull Short Film Competition is accepting applications. The competition is for short films by high school students. The deadline Is May 1, 2019.

  Throughout its history, the festival has evaluated over 5000 films from Turkey and around the world.


★ Ankara international film Festival will start on April 18 this year.

  The organizers announced that so far 109 documentaries and 170 short films have applied. A committee selected 10 documentaries to compete.

★ 30 films by director Agnes Varda will be screened in Istanbul.

  Agnes Varda born in 1928, is a Belgian-born French film director. Her films, photographs, and art installations focus on documentary realism, feminist issues, and social commentary with a distinct experimental style. She has spent most of her working life in France.

  Her father was a Greek from what is now modern Turkey.

  The screening of her films was facilitated with the collaboration of French Culture Center, Municipality of Kadıköy Film House, Istanbul Modern Film, 17th International Mobile Filmmor Women Films Festival and My First Full Length Film Festival.


★ "Fables in Woman's Language" is a play that is being interpreted by Turkish actor Özden Karakışla and for which writer and director Gökhan Erarslan has acted as an art consultant. The play will be staged on March 10 in Paris at "Theatre du Gymnase Marie Bell".

  The play is being staged in Istanbul's Ortaköy neighborhood at the Pocket Theater. The theme of the play is to tell us in narrative form the fables from around the world that focus on women.

★ Visual arts

★ The Ara Güler Museum is having an exhibition of the late photography master Güler's photographs of the ancient city of Aphrodisias.

  He was the first person to take photographs of the ancient city's remains and disclosed it to the world in 1958.

  Aphrodisias is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

  The exhibition is free of charge and will be on through September 2019.


★ The 4th Short Film Collective Festival has started on February 28 at Kadıköy's Barış Manço Culture Center in Istanbul.

  There will be 64 films screened in various genres. Also, many workshops and panel discussions will be taking place. There will also be an exhibition by makeup artists.

  The Festival will end on March 22.

  The website for the festival is >> here <<

★ Music


★ C-Major Voices from the Business Chorus made up of Turkish businessman held a benefit concert for an endowment that contributes to the education of children and youth.

  In addition to the CEOs of major companies, a number of major Turkish artists participated in the concert.


★ Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra performed four works by Turkish composer Kamran İnce on February 28.

  Soloist of the concert was Evelyn Glennie, a Scottish virtuoso percussionist. Glennie has been deaf since the age of 12. She regularly plays barefoot during both live performances and studio recordings to feel the music better.

  The concert premiered a work that was commissioned by the Borusan Philharmonic, titled "Winders Slope" after a neighborhood in Ankara.

  In addition to the Winders Slope, the orchestra performed Ince's "Hot, Red, Cold, Vibrant", "Domes "and "The Fall of Constantinople".

  Kamran Ince is currently a professor at the Istanbul Technical University Center for Advanced Music Research and Memphis University here in the U.S.


★ The 3rd Süreyya Opera National Composition Competition awards were given to its winners with a ceremony that included a concert. The municipality of Kadıköy organized the competition.

  Kadıköy is a district on the Asian side of metropolitan Istanbul.

  The goal of the competition is to add authentic compositions to the world of classical music based on Turkey's songs, musical world, and musical sensitivities.

  The 1st place went to Doğaç İşbilen, 2nd place to Recep Gül, and the 3rd place to Mustafa Kemal Saydam.

  The works that won prizes will later be published as a CD.


★ Turkey's first special children's Opera "Papagenos" will be on the stage on March 3. The opera is based on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "The Magic Flute Opera".

  Tenor Caner Akın is directing the opera, Murat Cem Orhan is leading the Eurasia Chamber Orchestra.


★ Tony Allen who fuses traditional African music, jazz and funk genres had a concert in Istanbul on February 28.

  The musician is known for his unique drumming style. He is one of the primary co-founders of the genre Afrobeat music.

  Tony Oladipo Allen was born in Nigeria in 1940. He currently lives and works in Paris.


★ A series of concerts called "Roots and Sprouts" that get together the historical names in popular music and the promising artists of the new generation had its 3rd concert.

  In this concert, the cult rock group Bulutsuzluk Özlemi and the rising domestic garage band Eskiz met on February 27 at Istanbul's Babylon.

  Eskiz has so far two popular albums "Swing and Roll" and "There Is Worst to Worst".


★ Turkish art director Mehmet Mestçi has organized the first "Opus Amadeus Chamber Music Festival" in 2012. This year the festival will host ensembles from Holland, hungry, Germany and Turkey.

  The festival has already started on February 16 and will continue until March 11 in various venues in Istanbul.

  Some of the venues are chosen for their great acoustics. Among these are SurpLevon Armenian Church, St. Esprit church, and Ashkenazi Synagogue.

  According to the organizer, since its inception 8 years ago, the attendance at the festival has been constantly increasing.

★ Archaeology


As found and the replica

★ Istanbul's Rahmi M. Koç Museum has started displaying a replica of a sunken boat that dates back to 9th century. The boat was discovered during the excavations at Istanbul's Yenikapi neighborhood for an extension to the Istanbul Metro and a tunnel that would go under the Marmara Sea.

  The excavations revealed many ancient shipwrecks.

  This particular one is named Yenikapi 12 and was dated with a gold coin found in the wreck.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.37


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 48/32 Mostly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 61/52 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 36/21 Snow
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 48/39 Mostly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 61/52 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 32/18 Sporadic Rain	
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 47 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 61 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 47 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 42 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 28 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 39 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 67 inches	



★ In the Euroleague games three Turkish teams had matches this week:

28 Fenerbahçe- Efes 84-66
28 Maccabi - Darussafaka 77-58

In the standings Turkish team Fenerbahçe is leading:
	Team			Wins	Losses	PTS+	PTS-	+/-
1. Fenerbahce (qualified)	21	3	2004	1752	252
2. CSKA Moscow (qualified)	19	5	2100	1928	172
3. Real Madrid (qualified)	18	6	2049	1840	209
4. Efes 			15	9	2019	1914	105
 			...	...	...	...	...	...
16. Darussafaka 		3	21	1783	2036	-253

★ In Women's soccer, The 2018 Turkish Women's Cup, an invitational women's football tournament held annually in Turkey, is taking place. It started February 27 and will end on March 7, 2019.

  Teams from Romania, Jordan, Northern Ireland, India, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan , Uzbekistan, and France are participating.

★ In boxing, Turkish boxer Avni Yildirim was considered defeated against Anthony Dirrell in super middleweight championship.

  When Dirrell started bleeding over his left eye, the fight was stopped. Judges voted and declared Dirrell the winner.

  However, contender Avni Yildirim and promoter Ahmet Oener met with WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman on Tuesday in Mexico City in an effort to have the sanctioning organization order a rematch of Yildirim's loss in a world title fight on Saturday night.

  Read more at >> here <<


Premier League

* Standing in the league as of week ending 24
 1 - Başakşehir      54
 2 - G. Saray        46
 3 - Beşiktaş        41
 4 - Trabzon Sp      37
 5 - Konya Sp        35
 6 - Malatyaspor     34
 7 - Kayseri Sp      32
 8 - Antalya Sp      32
 9 - Sivas Sp        31
10 - Alanya Sp       31
11 - Kasımpaşa       30
12 - Ankaragücü      30
13 - Rize Sp         28
14 - Fenerbahçe      28
15 - Bursa Sp        27
16 - Göztepe         26
17 - Erzurum Sp      22
18 - Akhisar Sp      21


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

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*** 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/