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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 09 February 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 09 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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★ In Turkey, International Women's Day saw nationwide protests, with many focusing on the growing scourge of violence against women, Dorian Jones of the VOA reports. According to rights groups, hundreds of women are slain yearly in Turkey.

  Despite a heavy police presence, the Kadıköy demonstration on the Asian side of Istanbul passed without incident. But thousands of women gathered in Istanbul's main Istiklal Street area, where hundreds of riot police, backed by armored cars, used rubber bullets and tear gas to break up a procession.

  In the Aegean city of Izmir, protesters were also attacked by the police.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ We have been telling you about the tug-of-war between Turkey and its NATO allies on the impending purchase of Russian missiles by Turkey.

  The NATO countries are telling Turkey not to buy the Russian missiles but to stick with NATO produced ones, specifically the U.S. Patriot missiles.

  The U.S. has been sending delegation after delegation to Turkey to discuss the issue while the U.S. administration and Congress have been threatening sanctions. In fact, a few weeks ago, the U.S. said that they will not sell F-35 fighter jets to Turkey. Turkey is a co-producer of the advanced technology fighter.

  One more delegation from the U.S. was in Turkey this week. According to Dorian Jones of the VOA, the delegation was headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Palmer. However, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated in a TV interview that he is committed to buying the Russian system. In fact, he said rather than S-400 he is interested in the more advanced S-500 system.

  Here in the U.S. General Curtis Scaparrotti warned the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the sale poses a threat to American systems used by Turkey. The new F-35 jets are designed to elude Russian-made missile systems. Experts say any Russian-made missile system on Turkish territory could be used to figure out how F-35s are able to do it, and the Russians could use this to defeat the fighter's defenses.

  And on Friday Pentagon spokesman Charlie Summers told reporters "If Turkey takes the S-400s, there would be grave consequences in terms of our relationship, military relationship with them".

  Analysts warn the consequences for Turkey could be far-reaching than military relations. "If this purchase would go through, even beyond these military aspects, the escalation in Turkish-U.S. tensions would be significant in terms of affecting Turkey's political risk, for the economy," said Sinan Ülgen head of the Istanbul based think tank Edam.

  "It is clear that the general tendency in Washington, D.C., is to punish Turkey for perceived misconduct, which remains a significant threat to the Turkish economy," said Atilla Yeşilada of Global Securities.

  Turkey is not expected to make any concessions, though, before crucial local elections on March 31. Analysts say taking a hardline against Washington plays well among Erdogan's supporters.

  In related news, according to Reuters Turkey's currency weakened on Friday due to worries over ties getting worse with the U.S.

  Read more at >> here << and Read more at >> here <<

★ In an article that appeared in the Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, James Dorsey writes that the Turkish-Chinese spat as a result of Turkish criticism of China's crackdown on Uyghurs and Kazakhs in East Turkestan, which Chinese call Xinjiang, complicates efforts by Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states to at best deal quietly behind closed doors with the plight of their citizens and ethnic kin in the People's Republic.

  China's threat that the Turkish criticism of its massive surveillance and detention campaign, involving the alleged incarceration in re-education camps of up to one million Uyghurs and others would have economic consequences and the temporary closure of the Chinese consulate in Turkey's Mediterranean port city of Izmir serves as warnings to others in the Muslim world what could happen if they break their silence, Dorsey adds.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ First lady Melanie Trump visited an Oklahoma school operated by cleric Fethullah Gülen supporters.

  The Turkish media, which is overwhelmingly pro-government, expressed surprise that Melanie Trump would visit the school identified with the cleric.

  Although they deny it, Fethullah Gülen and his supporters are widely thought to be behind the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. Fethullah Gülen has been living in self-imposed exile since 1999 in Pennsylvania.

  Some analysts are saying that the U.S. is trying to send a message to Turkey by having the first lady visit the school.

  Turkey wants Fethullah Gülen to be extradited to Turkey to face charges there. So far the U.S. has not complied, saying that Turkey has not provided any concrete evidence that Gülen planned the failed coup of 2016.

  Read more at >> here <<

  Yuri Kim
★ Turkish prosecutors are targeting a U.S. State Department official overseeing Turkey as part of the 2013 Gezi Park investigation.

  Yuri Kim, who was at the time at the U.S. Embassy as a counselor, was intercepted talking to Turkish businessman Osman Kavala. Osman Kavala has been in jail for over a year and just got indicted. He is being accused of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government by organizing the Gezi Park protests.

  The Justice and Development Party administration says that the protests were orchestrated with support from foreign civil society organizations in an attempt to bring down the Turkish government.

  Turkish prosecutors have demanded 16 suspects - actors, lawyers, activists, and journalists - spend a total of 47,520 years in prison.

★ The German government criticized Turkey on Wednesday after the Turkish interior minister threatened to arrest "terrorists" and "traitors" from Germany arriving at Turkish airports, reports Deutsche Welle.

  The statement from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu was "not helpful in the current situation," Foreign Office spokesperson Maria Adebahr said in Berlin.

★ Rolls-Royce has reportedly scaled back attempts to join a program to build a new fighter jet for Turkey in partnership with Kale Group.

  In January 2017, the UK Prime Minister Theresa May signed a defense deal with Turkey worth more than 100m British pounds to develop the Turkish fighter jet. The deal involves BAE Systems working in partnership with Turkish companies to build the bespoke TF-X fighter jet.

  According to reports in Financial Times and Reuters, differences between Kale and Rolls-Royce surfaced last year over the sharing of intellectual property and the involvement of a Qatari-Turkish company.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The number of Turkish firms applying for bankruptcy protection fell by half in February, while 318 firms are no longer under emergency protection, Turkey's Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said in a Twitter post on Thursday.

  Due to almost 30% loss of value of the Turkish currency against major currencies in 2018 more than 3000 Turkish firms applied for bankruptcy protection. Most were not able to pay the loans that they have received in foreign currencies.

  In related news, The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is forecasting that Turkish economy will get worse in 2018, contracting as much as 1.8%. However, the organization said that, things will improve in 2020 and the growth rate will be 3.2%.

★ Sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in Turkey tumbled 47.1 percent. In January, sales had dropped 59 percent year-on-year.


★ According to the Anatolia News Agency, Turkish president Erdoğan says that they will pull down the inflation 6 to 7% range.

  Currently, Turkish inflation stands at 20%.

  In related news, Bloomberg reporter Çağan Koç writes that the Turkish government's campaign of threats, fines, and deep discounts to curtail runaway food costs has paid off with a bigger-than-forecast decline in inflation.

  However, while food inflation decelerated to an annual 29.3 percent last month, from 31 percent in January, it's still running well above the central bank's year-end forecast of 13 percent.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The U.S. removed Turkey from its list of nations that enjoyed tariff-free access to the U.S. market. The Turkish government criticized the U.S. decision and said that the move will hurt producers in both countries.

★ The treasury and finance ministry of Turkey disclosed that Treasury had a balance deficit of $4.88 billion last month.

★ According to the online publication Army Recognition, the Turkish company Armsan showcased its full range of shotguns and assault rifles at Enforce TAC 2019, the International Exhibition and Conference Law Enforcement, Security and Tactical Solutions that was held in Nuremberg, Germany from March 6 to 7, 2019.

  Armsan currently has active distributors in more than 40 countries including the United States. The company has manufacturing agreements with world-famous brands like American Mossberg, American Weatherby, and French Verney-Carron.

★ According to Reuters, Japanese financial services group Orix Corp and U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital are in talks to invest in non-performing loans at Turkish banks, three sources close to the matter said.

  Read more at >> here <<


  The coal plant was supposed to be built in Amasra

★ Turkey's highest administrative court has blocked a major coal power plant on the Black Sea coast, in a victory for campaigners.

  It was responding to a lawsuit filed by more than 2,000 local people - a record number of individual plaintiffs for an environmental court case in Turkey, according to a local news report.

★ Turkish state-owned banks have selectively loaned money in support of the ruling Justice and Development Party ahead of 2004, 2009 and 2014, local elections, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

  Turkey is to elect mayors and local councillors on March 31 in nationwide polls in which analysts say the economy is likely to prove a big factor. For the first time since the Justice and Development Party came to power in 2002, the country is facing an economic downturn, with high unemployment, inflation hovering around 20 percent and a weak lira.

  Ahead of the March 31 polls, the government has cut some import taxes, restructured credit card debt and begun selling vegetable and fruit sales directly below cost price, all measures the opposition says are aimed at getting more votes.

★ Farmers in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Yozgat, grow truss tomatoes without soil in geothermally heated greenhouses. Tomatoes produced in Yozgat's Boğazlıyan  district are consumed domestically and exported to Spain.

  The production takes place throughout the year.


Visual arts:


★ A new exhibition on the 20th-century Turkish painter Mihri is taking place in Istanbul's SALT Galata.

  Mihri lived between 1885-1954. When she was only 29 she had the first art school for women established in Istanbul.

  Researchers Özlem Gülin Dağoğlu and Gizem Tongo worked together to open the exhibition. The researchers say that since Mihri lived mostly abroad, Turkish art historians have not covered her much.

★ The 38th Istanbul Film Festival will show the award-winning films from the 69th Berlin international Film Festival.


★ The 17th International Mobile Women's Film Festival Filmmor is starting in Turkey. In addition to 74 films, there will be workshops, panel discussions, forums, and interviews.

  All screenings and events are free of charge.

  After Istanbul, the festival will travel to six other metropolitan areas throughout Turkey.

  The films shown are from all corners of the world.


★ The music group "Allegra Ensemble", made up of talented artists, performed on Thursday at the Samsun State Opera and Ballet.

  The group performed selections from different genres of music.


★ Singer and songwriter Şirin Soysal and Norwegian accordionist Frode Haltli met on stage on March 8 at Borusan Music House.

  The two shared the same stage at the Istanbul Jazz Festival in 2014. In addition to Soysal's album tracks, the duo will present surprise interpretations.


★ Izmir Metropolitan Municipality's 37th Izmir International Theater Days have just started and will continue until March 28.

  The Theater Days will stage 130 plays and there will also be exhibitions, interviews, and workshops.

  The plays staged will be made up of five international, 29 national, 42 local and 38 children works.

  The international plays will be staged by troupes from Germany, Italy, and Poland.

★ One of the important writers of Garip movement in Turkish literature Oktay Rifat's work "Rain Angst" is meeting the audience at GRI Stage. "Garip" means several things in Turkish: "Strange", "absurd", "bizarre", "odd", "needy", "lonely" are some of the meanings.

  The subject of "Rain Angst" is as follows: Arif and İnci, a married couple, start the day with normal morning breakfast. The emergence of the secret of İnci leads to the terrible revenge of Arif and the irreversible collapse of İnci. The Good and bad, love and money, the ancient and violent conflict between peace and passion find meaning in the play with the contention between the desire to live humanly and the drive for survival.


★ In the Wednesday event of the Opus Amadeus Chamber Music Festival in Yeldeğirmeni Sanat, the Hungarian ensemble Passacaglia Trio gave a concert.

  The ensemble performed pieces from the Medieval period, Bach, Feldman, Italian early Baroque works and works by famous Hungarian composers such as Bartok, Kodaly, Ligeti and also from the 14th century Istanbul Antiphony whose original is in the Topkapı Museum.

★ Bursa Regional State Symphony Orchestra took the stage for working women in Atatürk Congress and Culture Center.

  One of Turkey's important chamber music ensembles Nemeth Quartet was the guest in the March 8 International Working Women's Day-themed concert on Bursa Regional State Symphony Orchestra stage.

  The Donizetti Classical Music Award winner Quartet performed the "Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra" for the first time in the presence of Bursa music lovers. The work was composed by Utar Artun for the Quartet

  The orchestra led by Cemi-i Can Deliorman, the assistant director to the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, performed three lively symphonies from Franz Schubert and then his 4th Symphony titled "Tragic".


★ Famous Turkish choreographer and ballet dancer Uğur Seyrek brings art lovers together with his sculptors and designs that he has been making along with his dance life in an exhibition titled "You Cannot Escape from Your Shadow".

  Seyrek's exhibition at the Teşvikiye Art Gallery started on March 8 World Women's Day and will be on until April 5. The exhibition features his 20 sculptors and 28 designs made since 2016.

  Seyrek's design works are the starting points for both his choreography and sculptors. While listening to a piece of music that he will choreograph multiple times, he draws his designs. His sculptors arise from the dance movements of the works that he choreographs.

  Read more at >> here <<

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.44


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 63/36 Mostly Sunny
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 68/54 Partly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 37/12 Mostly Sunny
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 66/50 Mostly Sunny
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 72/52 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 61/46 Partly Cloudy	
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 51 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 59 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 56 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 48 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 20 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 34 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 63 inches	



Premier League

* Results for week: 24
Antalya Sp      -      Ankaragücü      2 - 4
Kayseri Sp      -      Beşiktaş        2 - 2
Bursa Sp        -      Sivas Sp        3 - 2
Fenerbahçe      -      Rize Sp         3 - 2
Malatyaspor     -      Başakşehir      0 - 2
Konya Sp        -      Göztepe         1 - 1
Erzurum Sp      -      G. Saray        1 - 1
Kasımpaşa       -      Trabzon Sp      2 - 2
Akhisar Sp      -      Alanya Sp       3 - 1
* In games played so far this weekend:
Sivas Sp        -      Malatyaspor     2 - 0
Trabzon Sp      -      Akhisar Sp      2 - 1
Başakşehir      -      Fenerbahçe      2 - 1
Ankaragücü      -      Bursa Sp        0 - 0
* 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
★ Euroleague Basketball

*  In games played this week:

Real Madrid-Fenerbahçe: 101-86
Efes-FC Barcelona: 92-70

*  In the standings:







1. Fenerbahçe






2. CSKA Moscow






3. Real Madrid






4. Efes






...................... ... ... ... ... ...

16. Darüşşafaka






★ Judo:

  According to the publication "Judo inside", the Cadet European Cup took place in Turkey's Mediterranean province of Antalya last weekend.

  Turkish home team won most of the medals, capturing 50% of all gold and 23 medals in total.

  Especially in the girls divisions, Turkey was dominating the pace.

★ Antalya Marathon-- "Runtalya" 2019

Men's winner Time(h:mm:ss) Women's winner Time (h:mm:ss)
Murat Kurtak      2:34:25  Elena Nurgalieva     2:59:02
Murat Kurtak is from Turkey and Elene Nurgaileva is from Russia.

★ Tour of Antalya bicycle race






















SAMOILAU Branislau


















[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 and Gyros in San Francisco, is giving our listeners 10% off! Call them at (415) 589-7900
*** Alpiny Design is availbale for the design of your dream home, with designers with decades of experience. Call them at (408) 431-7987

*** 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

*** Join the Nevruz Celebrations

Different Turkish communities in the Bay Area are getting together to celebrate the Arrival of Spring, and the New Year (Nevruz), together. 

Wear your national costume and join them!

Saturday  16 March  2019  1:00 PM    -  5:00 PM

Belmont Senior & Community Center - Twin Pines Ralston Avenue, Belmont, California

*** Heart to Heart Anatolia
Providing scholarships and bringing people together while promoting Anatolian cultural values

Visit their pages at https://h2ha.org/