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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 13 April 2019
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 13 April 2019]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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Lawyers march in Istanbul on January 24, 2019 Day of the Endangered Lawyer. The banner reads: "To silence the lawyer's voice is to deprive the citizen of breath."
© 2019 Istanbul Bar Association
★ The Human Rights Watch released a report on April 10 about the arbitrary jailing of hundreds of lawyers and putting them on trial in Turkey.
The report says that the jailing started after the failed military coup in July 2016.
The 56-page report, "Lawyers on Trial: Abusive Prosecutions and Erosion of Fair Trial Rights in Turkey," examines how since the failed coup, police and prosecutors have targeted lawyers with criminal investigations and arbitrary detentions, associating them with their clients' alleged crimes.
The government brings charges against lawyers who expose rights abuses with little or no evidence of their membership of terrorist organizations. Courts have complied with the attack on the legal profession by sentencing lawyers to lengthy prison terms for terrorism on flimsy evidence and in trials that ignore fair procedure.
The abusive prosecutions of lawyers have been accompanied by legal amendments that undermine the right to legal counsel for those arbitrarily detained on terrorism charges.
Human Rights Watch examined case files of trials involving 168 lawyers between 2016 and February 2019.
Read more at >> here <<
★ The re-counting of the votes in the March 31 local elections is continuing in some localities in Turkey after many days since the voting took place.
There were many news articles about the re-count and here are some headlines and summaries:
- Reuters, April 8, 2019: Turkey's High Election Board has rejected a request by the ruling AK Party for all votes to be recounted in 31 of Istanbul's districts, a board member said on Tuesday, in a blow to the party's goal of a total recount in the city.
President Tayyip Erdoğan, also AKP leader, said on Monday the local elections were marred by "organized crime" at ballot boxes in Istanbul, raising the possibility of re-running a March 31 vote in the city that handed a slim majority to the main opposition party.
Read more at >> here <<
-Foreign Affairs, April 12, 2019: Have Turkey's Elections Produced a Challenger to
The Islamist-rooted AKP and its ultranationalist partners still clinched a majority of the votes cast and will remain at the helm of the national government for another four years. But the decline in the AKP's support in Turkey's political and economic centers exposes cracks in its city-dwelling base. That decline also threatens the AKP's long-standing practice of awarding lucrative municipal infrastructure projects to businesses loyal to
Read more at >> here <<
- VOA, April 8, 2019: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has thrown his full political weight into efforts to reverse the defeat of his AK Party in mayoral elections for Turkey's largest city, Istanbul.
Speaking to reporters Monday before flying to Moscow, Erdoğan questioned the validity of the vote.
"We, as the political party, have detected an organized crime and some organized activities," he said.
Critics warn overturning the Istanbul vote or repeating the election could end many Turks' belief in the Turkish democratic system. Political scientist Cengiz Aktar said for
Erdoğan, that would be politically costly.
★ Abdullah Gül, a founding member of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party and the president before Recep Tayyip Erdoğan assumed the office, has spoken of his concerns over events since the March 31 local elections.
"The point it has come to is truly saddening. When we are powerful, we should not repeat against others the wrongs that were done to us in the past," Gül told Ayşe Baykal, a journalist at Turkish news site OdaTV.
Mr. Gül also said on his personal website that Turkey should not be made a country that election results are disputed.
He pointed out that since 1950 when Turkey went into multiparty system elections were never disputed. He said that this is damaging the respectability of Turkey both at home and abroad.
He added: "The ones who rule Turkey have 4.5 years of no elections. They also have a lot of important problems to work on. "I think they should stay away from this type [meaning election disputes] of quarrels and concentrate on the future of the country."
Mr. Gül has been cited in February as joining a group of disillusioned former Justice and Development Party members in forming a new party. So far nothing has happened.
★ According to the website Paranaliz, rating agency Moody's said on Friday that Turkey's Treasury and Finance Minister Albayrak's reform package that Turkey presented this week provided little detail and was vague on a timetable for helping revive an economy plagued by inflation and recession.
★ Turkish professor Feryal Özel is one of the members of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration which on April 10 announced a milestone in astrophysics: The first-ever photo of a black hole.
"This has been our first chance to see the inner workings of black holes and to test a fundamental prediction of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. Not only the existence of a shadow that indicates a point of no return — or an event horizon — but also the size and shape of that shadow," Özel, an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona, told ABC News on April 10.
★ Writing in the Foreign Policy, Selim Sazak says that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's worst enemy is his only ally. "The real winner of Turkey's local elections is the ultranationalist Nationalist action party".
Sazak's article later analyzed the defeat of Justice and Development Party candidates in major cities and attributed to Mr. Erdoğan making the election not all local issues but a referendum on his administration's performance.
Also, Mr. Erdoğan, instead of fielding candidates from locally successful mayors, pushed his close allies as candidates. People associated some of these allies with the current malaise in the economy.
Read more at >> here <<
★ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was in Moscow where he met the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Before their meeting, Mr. Putin said they will discuss the delivery of Russia's top-of-the-line S-400 defense missile systems to Turkey, reports the Associated Press.
VOA reporter Dorian Jones wrote on April 12 that Turkey and United States remain on a collision course because of Turkish purchase of the S-400s.
"Turkey must choose -- does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history?" said David Satterfield, the U.S. nominee to be the ambassador to Turkey, speaking at a confirmation hearing Thursday before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?"
The U.S. claims the S-400 missiles will compromise U.S.-made military defense systems used by Turkey, in particular, the F-35 fighter jet.
The U.S. Congress is also warning that Turkey's procurement of Russian weapons would open the door to financial sanctions, under CAATSA — the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.
The Turkish administration is complaining that although the U.S. is asking Turkey to purchase American-made Patriot missiles instead of the Russian-made S-400s, Turkey in the past was not able to purchase these. And this time around the Congress may block the Turkish purchase.
On Friday, the Turkish currency fell sharply amid growing investor concerns about U.S.-Turkish tensions and reports of a steep fall in Turkey's foreign-currency reserves.
★ The 18th Mersin International Music Festival started this week.
The three awards of the festival found their recipients: Mersin State Opera and Ballet Art Technical Manager, Bengi Ispir, received the Art Award; "Festival City Award" went to Reyhan Bezdüz; "Nevit Kodallı Young Talent Award" went to Sofiko Tchuburidze.
In the opening concert of the festival, Maestro Rengin Gökmen lead the Mersin International Music Festival Chamber Orchestra, while renowned opera artist Teyfik Rodos sang Mozart arias.
In the second half of the concert one of the worlds most respected piano duos, Sühel and Güher Pekinel sisters, met the Mersin music enthusiasts. The duo performed Mozart's "Piano Concerto for Two".
★ The Kadıköy Movie Theater on the Asian side of Istanbul metropolitan area in Kadıköy City will be showing 21 films by three masters, Bergman, De Sica, and Wender, as part of a special program.
The program will start on April 18 and will end on May 30.
★ The newly renovated Ottoman palace of Feriye will have its first exhibition.
British artist Luke Jerram will exhibit his "Museum of the Moon" photographs between April 19-21.
The photographs have been exhibited in 26 other places around the world. The 1 to 500,000 scale photographs were taken by NASA.
★ The Samsun State Opera and Ballet performed "The Piri Reis" opera on April 11.
Can Atilla composed the music of the opera, Armağan Davran and Volkan Ersoy prepared the choreography and libretto.
The opera tells the story of Piri Reis, the commander of the Ottoman Navy in the 1500s. The commander is mostly known for his maps. One of them is one of the oldest maps of the Americas.
★ Turkish pianist Gülseren Sadak passed away in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. She was 88 years old.
She had her last recital in Bellapais Monastery in Cyprus last October.
She graduated in 1952 from Istanbul Municipality Conservatory. She later studied in Paris with Marguerite Long. She later returned to Turkey in 1959. She continued performances throughout the world and performed also with prominent orchestras in Turkey.
After the 1999 earthquake near Istanbul, she moved to Cyprus.
She considered herself to be a "Chopin pianist". She is the only Turkish pianist that had a recital at the house that Chopin was born in Poland.
Listen to an interview with her in 2014 (in Turkish) Read more at >> here <<
★ Last week as part of the 36 International Ankara Music Festival, Italian jazz pianist Giovanni Guidi had a performance.
Guidi is considered to be one of the best pianists in Italy. His performance was sponsored by the Italian Embassy and Istanbul's Italian Cultural Center.
Also at the Festival was Spain's Manolo Carrasco. With his group, he put together a flamenco show titled "Sounds from Spain".
Manolo Carrasco is a pianist and conductor. He has recorded a few albums and is also a developer and performer on tours around Japan, China, the US, Europe and Spain.
★ A Turkish group named "Ringo Jets" will be representing Turkey at the Sziget Festival in Hungry.
Ringo Jets blends blues with garage rock and is very much liked in Turkey.
The Sziget Festival is one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe. It is held every August in northern Budapest, Hungary, on
Obudai-sziget ("Old Buda Island"), a leafy 266-acre island on the Danube. More than 1,000 performances take place each year.
The week-long festival has grown from a relatively low-profile student event in 1993 to become one of the prominent European rock festivals, with about half of all visitors coming from outside Hungary, especially from Western Europe.
Many Turks also go to the Festival so much so that the Festival organization has a webpage dedicated to the Turks for ticket purchases and promotion, and organizes talent events there.
★ Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra accompanied Lara Di Lara on April 12 at Caddebostan Culture Center. Lara Dilara, her real name is Dilara Sakpınar, performed "You are in Treasures" and Tolga Taviş's "Arrangements for Orchestra".
★ Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say and singer Seranad Bağcan will be touring the U.S. The duo will have concerts in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC and New York. The first concert was in Los Angeles on April 13.
The first part of their concerts will feature Fazıl Say's Trojan Sonata and in the second part Seranad Bağcan will sing pieces from "First Songs" and "New Songs " that Say composed using poetry from renowned poets.
★ Cultural Performing Arts and the Occupation Laboratory have joined hands to bring to Istanbul Vsevolod Meyerhold's Theater Biomechanics Workshop to the aspiring actors.
The workshop will take place, April 17-27 at the K! Theater. Renowned theater educator Claudio Massimo Paterno of Italy will conduct the workshops.
Vsevolod Emilevich Meyerhold, 1874 - 1940, was a Russian and Soviet theater director, actor and theatrical producer. His provocative experiments dealing with physical being and symbolism in an unconventional theater setting made him one of the seminal forces in modern international theater.
During the Great Purge started by Stalin, Meyerhold was arrested, tortured and executed in February 1940.
Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz
★ EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL
* There were no competitions this week in the Euroleague. The games will start with playoffs next week.
* Results for week: 27
Trabzon Sp - Antalya Sp 4 - 1
Sivas Sp - Kayseri Sp 1 - 3
Alanya Sp - Bursa Sp 1 - 0
G. Saray - Malatyaspor 3 - 0
Başakşehir - Konya Sp 2 - 0
Kasımpaşa - Erzurum Sp 2 - 1
Göztepe - Akhisar Sp 0 - 1
Ankaragücü - Fenerbahçe 1 - 1
Rize Sp - Beşiktaş 2 - 7
* In games played so far this weekend:
Bursa Sp - Trabzon Sp 0 - 1
Rize Sp - Göztepe 1 - 0
Beşiktaş - Başakşehir 2 - 1
Konya Sp - Sivas Sp 1 - 1
★ OTHER SPORTS
* In the European wrestling championships in the 130 Greco-Roman wrestling Turkey's Rıza Kayaalp won a gold medal.
* In the freestyle competitions in the same championships Turkish wrestlers got three gold medals:
57 kg Süleyman Atli
70 kg Mustafa Kaya
125 kg Taha Akgül
|Kotanoglu, Muhammet Nuri||79||3|
* In the women's competitions in 76 kg Yasemin Adar won a gold medal. Three other Turkish women wrestlers also got medals championships is taking place in the Romanian capital Bucharest.
|Yesilirmak, Elif Jale||59||3|
The Turkish team got a total of seven medals so far. And is in the second place as a team.
★ In the European Weightlifting Championships taking place in Georgia, Batumi, Turkish weightlifters are getting medals:
In men's, Daniyar Ismayilov received a gold medal.
Mummer Şahin received one silver and two bronze medals,
Celil Erdoğdu received one silver.
Bünyamin Sezer two silvers and Ferdi Hardal one silver and two bronze medals.
In women's Ayşegül Çoban received a bronze.
★ In Paralympics taking place in Indianapolis Turkish swimmer Sümeyye Boyacı won a gold medal. Sümeyye Boyacı has no arms.
Read more at >> here <<
★ Turkish archer Mete Gazoz broke a world record in qualifiers in Bucharest Romania at the opening European Grand Prix of the year.
Mete Gazoz scored 698 out of a possible 720 points for the 72-arrow 70-meter ranking round .
[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
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*** Van Ness Cafe & Gyros in San Francisco, is giving our listeners 10% off! Call them at (415) 589-7900
*** Alpiny Design is available 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
TAAC Monterey chapter is having Turkish night:
Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 18:30 – 22:00
Club 9th Ave.
Corner of San Carlos, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California 93923
Join us for a fundraising evening with live music, dance, and food.
Enjoy Turkish chili and rice "kuru fasulye ve pilav" (included in admission) while listening to Turkish and International music.
Featuring Group Hadi Hadi and Friends and the Horon Junior Folk Ensemble
For more information about the event write to email@example.com, or call (831) 277-2258.
This event is organized by the Turkish American Association of California (TAAC) Monterey Bay Chapter to benefit the 22nd Annual Monterey Turkish Festival (August 3 and 4, 2019).
*** 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 these schools, drop an emalto firstname.lastname@example.org.
*** Heart to Heart Anatolia
Providing scholarships and bringing people together while promoting Anatolian cultural values
Visit their pages at
*** 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