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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 16 March 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 16 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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★ In a commentary Aryeh Neier, President Emeritus of the Open Society Foundations and a founder of Human Rights Watch said that Turkey is taking its human-rights record to a new low.

  He continued on to say: "Condemning other governments' human-rights violations does not absolve Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the gross abuses his own government continues to commit. On the contrary, the current effort to put 16 civil society activists in prison for life places Erdoğan firmly within the ranks of the leaders he decries.

  Neier was referring to last week's indictments of a Turkish court against 16 leading civil-society figures for their alleged role in the Gezi Park protests in 2013 that we reported to you last week.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to Associated Press, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has condemned the attacks on mosques he New Zealand city of Christchurch calling it the "latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia."

  According to the Turkish Embassy in New Zealand, there are no Turks among the dead. A Turkish paper said that there was one wounded Turkish national.

  Here in the U.S., the Turkish ambassador, Serdar Kılıç, told The Voice of America that the response from Western leaders to the attack had not been strong enough.

★ President Erdoğan renewed his verbal attacks against Israel, reports the Associated Press.

  During a rally in Ankara, Turkey on Thursday Erdoğan said Benjamin Netanyahu is "walking around with his stain" of corruption. Netanyahu and Erdoğan have been exchanging barbs this week, Netanyahu called Erdoğan a "dictator".

  In related news, since the relations between Israel and Turkey have deteriorated, the Israeli Air Force could no longer train in Turkish airspace, reports the VOA. As an alternative to Turkey Israel is expanding ties to former East Bloc countries. In exchange for getting to use off their airspace, Israel is offering them security technologies, weapons and intelligence.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ President Erdoğan on Sunday accused International Women's Day protesters of being led by political rivals and of "disrespect" during the Islamic call to prayer after Friday's March was broken up by police firing tear gas.

  The "March 8 Feminist March" group issued a statement on Sunday decrying the attempt to use Friday's rally as "election material" in the press and on social media. The group was referring to the upcoming local elections. The president has been holding daily rallies across the country and often slamming opposition, and accusing anybody who opposes him of being part of the opposition parties.

★ Russian and Turkish military cooperation is deepening as Turkey's relationship with the U.S. deteriorates. Recent joint naval exercises between Russia an Turkey, and increasing military cooperation in Syria come as NATO allies question Turkey's allegiance to the Western defense alliance, reports Dorian Jones of the VOA.

  A joint naval drill last Friday was part of a broader Turkish national military exercise. While the drills involved only a few ships, analysts have described its political implications as far more significant

  As we have been reporting to you in our previous news broadcasts, Turkey is intent on buying S 400 Russian missiles despite the objections of its NATO allies especially that of the U.S. The U.S. is warning of sanctions if the purchase is completed, saying the weapons threaten NATO defense systems.

★ In a nonbinding binding vote, the European Parliament has called for the suspension of accession talks with Turkey, citing violations of human rights and the rule of law. Turkey has rejected the vote as meaningless, reports the Deutsche Welle.

  European Union governments would have to vote by majority to and Turkey's European Union accession bid, which would cut some funding programs.

  Turkey's 15-year European Union accession bid has long been stalled, eve the before severe crackdown on dissent in the wake of the failed coup attempt in 2016.

  During Wednesday's vote, European lawmakers recognized Turkey's role in hosting more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees. They called for European funds to be diverted from the Turkish government to support civil society groups.


★ Turkey's unemployment rate jumped to 13.5% in the November-January period, its highest level in 9 years according to the latest data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute, reports the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.

  The economy has contracted 3% in the last quarter of the last year, again the worst performance in 9 years. The economy grew only 2.6% during 2018.

  At the end of the year, the number of employees rose 1 million to 4.3 million.

  Oyak Investments issued a note saying that they're expecting the economy to contract more during the first quarter of the 2019.

  In related news, the high employment rate is adding to President Erdoğan's woes and may not help his party in the March 31 local elections, reports Dorian Jones of the VOA.

  In the past, the Turkish president used to make economic prosperity the centerpiece of his campaign strategy. Seventeen years of nearly unbroken growth is widely acknowledged as a critical factor for his political success.

  Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party, with its deep financial pockets and the resources of the Turkish State at its disposal along with control of mainstream media, still has considerable advantages over its opponents.

  However analysts point out, the Justice and Development Party is facing growing anger in the country over rising prices and unemployment.



    Şükrü Erbaş

★ Turkish poet  Şükrü Erbaş , who has been in the literature endeavor for 40 years, has been invited to the U.S. . for the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival organized by the American Turkish Association of North Carolina.

Nazım Hikmet is a renown Turkish poet who died in exile in the Soviet Union in 1963. He was repeatedly arrested for his political beliefs and spent much of his adult life in prison or in exile. His poetry has been translated into more than 50 languages.

  As for   Şükrü Erbaş , his poetry has been translated into English recently.

  In this year's Poetry Festival, a jury made up of Carl Dennis, Tarfia Faizullah, Andrea Gibson, Jaki Shelton Green, and Analicia Sotelo chose Bahamian poet Bernard Ferguson as the winner among 330 applicants from 44 states and 19 countries. American poet Maria Rouphail came in second and another American poet Tara Ballard was 3rd. Lebanese American poet Philipe AbiYouness was awarded the honorable mention.

  This year the Festival will take place on March 24.


★ Turkish painter Mehmet Güleryüz's exhibition titled "Le Jardin des Plaintes" has started in Paris. The artist had another exhibition in 2018 with his oil paintings of France when he stayed there.

  Güleryüz's new exhibition takes its name from his 1970s exhibition.

  Güleryüz says his experience in the 1970s in a conflict with Paris police and students at the Luxembourg Garden, and the 2013 Gezi Park protests are reflected in his paintings.

  The exhibition will be on until April 6.


★ Renowned Turkish author, composer and singer Zülfü Livaneli was the guest of the Nürnberg Turkish film Festival on Thursday. As part of the festival Livaneli had a talk on stage with one of Germany's most liked politician Nürnberg mayor Dr. Ulrich Maly.

  In a panel discussion on his book "Restlessness", the moderator was Alexander Jungkunz, the editor-in-chief of Nürnberger Nachrichten, one of Germany's most important dailies.

  In the panel Livaneli said that European politicians are also responsible for the chaos Turkey is in. Later in the panel Dr. Maly said that the West should view Turkey not with arrogance but with a perspective that wants the good of a brother country.

★ On March 13, at Istanbul's Boğaziçi University, Russian viola player Tatjana Masurenko and Russian pianist Boris Kusnezow had a performance titled "Duets in Viola and Piano".

  The duo performed, works by Schumann, Brahms, Glasuno and Glinka. Masurenko also played the great composer Terzakis' work "Songs without Words" for the first time. This was also the premiere of the work in Turkey.

  The concert ended with Korsakov's "Indian Guest" from the opera Sadko, and Mussorgsky's "Hopak".

★ PEN Turkish Writers Association, gave its PEN 2019 poetry award to Süreyya Berfe. The ceremony for the award will be taking place in TÜYAP İzmir Book Fair on April 6.the

  Berfe has been writing poetry since 1960s. His first 42 was published in 1962. Then he became famous with his 1966 poetry "Town".

  PEN originally stood for poets essays and novelists, a worldwide association of writers founded in London in 1921. The association has autonomous International PEN centers in over 100 countries.


★ Turkish painter Bedri Baykam is getting an award from Azerbaijan for his contributions to the cultural relations and friendship between Azerbaijan and Turkey.

  The president of the Dede Korkut Foundation Eldar Ismayilov will be giving "The Son of the Motherland" award on the World Art Day week in Istanbul. Azerbaijan's Dede Korkut International Foundation and Azerbaijan World Magazine have established the award.

  Bedri Baykam was born in Ankara, Turkey. He claims that he started painting at age two and had exhibitions at age six in Bern, Geneva, New York, Washington, London, Rome, Munich and Stockholm. He studied in Sorbonne in Paris. He lived in California from 1980 to 1987 and studied painting and film making at California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.

  He is currently the world president of UNESCO-International Association of artists.

★ Turkish ballerina Yasemin Çaynak, only 14 years old, has been accepted to three of the best ballet schools in the world: Dutch National Ballet Academy (Netherlands), Staatliche Ballet Schule (Berlin) and Royal Ballet School (London).

  Six years ago Çaynak was thinking of taking up a career in medicine like his mother and father who are both physicians. When asked where she wants to study, Çaynak says that she will probably go to the Royal ballet school in London.

★ The eighth Istanbul International Opus Amadeus Chamber Music Festival ended on Monday evening with the performance of Silva Quartet in the Ashkenazi Synagogue.

  The synagogue offered beautiful acoustics to the music of Mozart and Grieg that the Quartet performed. In addition, the Quartet also performed music by Bozza, Hugues, Provinciali and Rubtsov.

★ The 17th International Mobile Filmmor Women's Films Festival has continued with get-togethers with women in Istanbul's Barış Manço Culture Center. On Wednesday a ceremony took place for the opening of the festival.

  The Festival will screen a movie titled "A Country Shaped by Women". The film is made by world snowboard champion Anne-Flore Marxer, and she also talked at the Festival. Marxer is from Switzerland but she has gone to Iceland to do sports because there is gender equality there. She added that she made the movie to thank the Icelanders.

  Spanish director Clara Santaolaya also talked at the Festival and said that she made her movie "The Streets are Ours" to oppose male domination and strengthen sisterhood.

  The opening film of the festival was Turkish director Şen's 2013 short film "The Cornea Duo". After the film a discussion named "Be a Donor, Find a Donor" took place with the participation of the director.

Click on photograph to see the magazine online

★ The Foundation for Underwater Archaeology of Turkey published its 10th issue of its magazine.

  Edited by Mehmet Bezdan and professor Çiler Çilingiroğlu of the Aegean University Department of Archaeology, the magazine contains original articles by qualified experts in the field.

  The new issue has continued to investigate the Neolithic people of the region. It concentrated on the maritime activities of these people.

  The magazine is being distributed free of charge to all universities, museums and archaeology institutes in Turkey. Its English edition is also being distributed to major universities, museums and institutes around the world.

  The photography editor of the magazine is Donald Frey and Levent Konuk, both are some of the renowned underwater photographers of for the world.


★ Istanbul's Borusan Contemporary is greeting the spring with three exhibitions:

  "Boomoon: Bosporus", "Overture: Selections from the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection" and "It Is Talked about and They All Remain Unfinished All Loves on Earth".

  Boomoon is a Korean photographer born in 1955. He was invited to Turkey in 2018 to take the photographs of the Bosporus straight. The exhibition features these photographs.


★ Istanbul Lisztomanias Festival has started on March 13. It will take place in Istanbul's Notre Dame de Sion French High School. The festival is about Franz Liszt and his era.

  The Istanbul Festival will be collaborating with the French Chateauroux Lisztomanias Festival. The Festival will have an exhibition, international colloquium, four concerts and a show.

  The exhibition will be about the five weeks that Liszt spent in 1847 in Istanbul. Among the items that will be exhibited is a medal that Sultan Abdülmecit gave to Liszt and Liszt gifts to the Sultan.

  The Festival will continue through May 10.


★ A 10-year-old Turkish pianist Çınara Manaflı won that the third place in the "Viva Il Piano international piano competitions".

  She will now appear on stage in Carnegie Hall with the other award winners.

★ Turkeys internationally renowned pianist Idil Biret gave the awards of the winners of the "Istanbul Philharmonic Association Faruk Erengül 2019 International Piano Competitions".

  Biret was also the head of the jury.

  Salih Haşim Aktaş and Emir İlgen received the first prize, second place went to Özgür Deniz Akalın and the third-place to Ali Darmar .

  The competitions were supported by Faruk Erengül who was born in 1926.



★ Euroleague Basketball
Rank Team Games Wins Losses Points








Real Madrid






CSKA Moscow

















* An news that arrived at our news desk a bit late, Turkish fencer Nisanur Erbil won a gold medal in the European stars and youth fencing championships that took place in Italy February 22-March 4. When she returned to Turkey she was met with flowers at the airport and a ceremony.

Dilara Narin

* In the World Youth Weightlifting Championships that took place btween March 8 and 15 in Las Vegas, Turkish women and men teams both came in second.

In the 40-kg category Cansu Oguz and in the 76-kg category Dilara Narin both got three medals. Dilara Narin also broke a world record.

Detailed results are >> here <<



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

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*** Turkish American Association of California

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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/