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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 04 May 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 04 May 2019]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ A Turkish man wounded in the Christchurch attacks on mosques in New Zealand died on May 2.

  Zekeriya Tuyan was one of the three Turks who was wounded in the attack by an Australian white supremacist. His death brings the total death toll to 51.

  Tuyan was married and had two children.

★ According to the Turkish media, on Friday Turkish President's communications director Fahrettin Altun criticized the United States after the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara said on social media that it would continue to strive for freedom of expression in Turkey.

  The Embassy also hanged a banner that quoted Thomas Jefferson which said in translation "Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe".

  The communications director, tweeted: "We will continue to urge the United States to stop hiding behind press freedom.

  "Instead of pointing fingers at other nations, Washington must focus on addressing longstanding problems such as extreme poverty and racial discrimination."

  Mr. Altun's tweet is Read more at >> here <<

★ Speaking of tweets, in a tweet the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey congratulated Gözde Durmuş who set up a laboratory at the Stanford University.

  Durmuş is a Turkish scientist and geneticist. Her research focuses on nanotechnology and micro-technology applications on current world-threatening health issues, like cancer and antibiotic resistance.

★ Writing in the Washington Post, Aslı Aydıntaşbaş says that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is terrified of Istanbul's new mayor.

  The new mayor, Ekrem İmamoğlu, is from the opposition Republican People's Party.

  Aydıntaşbaş writes that he wrenched the city from 25 years of conservative Justice and Development Party rule at the end of March following a fierce campaign.

  Across Turkey, opposition candidates won all but one of Turkey's major cities despite the government's total control over media, wanton use of state resources and relentless accusations of "support for terrorism" against its critics.

  Aydintasbas writes that "İmamoğlu's election goes beyond feel-good, neighborly solidarity. It has the potential to change the political trajectory of Turkey. Istanbul has long financed the Justice and Development Party's patronage networks and election campaigns. The city is more populous than most European countries and has a budget of around $10 billion. Part of that money used to pay for stipends to Erdoğan loyalists, fund Justice and Development party-linked foundations, companies, pro-government newspapers and election campaigns. The budget will now be under someone else's control.

  "It was then that the wider ramifications of his office became apparent. If Imamoglu and other opposition mayors like him are allowed to govern, there is a chance that Turkey will finally enter a period of "normalization." Municipalities would turn into new power centers and provide a breathing space for the secular and democratic public. More importantly, dissenters among AKP ranks, like former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu or former president Abdullah Gül, who are openly critical of Erdoğan's policies, would feel emboldened to spearhead new political movements. Facing competition here and there, Erdogan would inevitably have to loosen up repressive policies."

★ The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is coming on May 6 and will and on June 4 this year. During the month Muslims are supposed to fast from dawn to dusk. As Turkey is being pushed to be more religious by the ruling Justice and Development party and its president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, recent statistics suggest that religiosity is actually decreasing.

  As part of the month of Ramadan, more colleges announced that they will close their cafeterias. According to the Turkish daily Birgün, some Turkish students are protesting the decision on social media.

  In large cities, there are options to eat out for students. However, in small cities restaurants also close and students may not be able to eat during the day at all.


★ According to the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, Ukraine has sent back 38 tons of tomatoes to Turkey. The Ukrainian consumer protection agency claimed that the tomatoes had South American moth, a pest that destroys tomatoes. Last month Ukraine did the same with 15 tons of tomatoes from Turkey.

  The head of the Antalya Commerce Market Ali Çandır said the moth has been a problem in the past and will continue to be one this year as well. Antalya is a province of Turkey on the Mediterranean coast which grows early vegetables for the Turkish and export market.


  Consumer Price Index Graph

★ According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, Turkey's consumer inflation slowed in April in a sign that weak domestic demand is taking its toll on prices. Consumer prices rose 19.5% in April from a year earlier compared with an increase of 19.7% in March the Turkish Statistical Institute reported.

  According to the Institute domestic producer price index increased by 2.98% on a monthly basis and by 30.12% compared to the same month of the previous year.


★ According to "Interesting Engineering" web pages, Turkish innovation week is taking place this weekend in Istanbul.

  The event is organized by the Turkish Exporters Assembly under the coordination of the Trade Ministry.

  The event has been taking place since 2012, it includes innovation not only from Turkey but also from around the world.

  Thousands of visitors including entrepreneurs, investors, academics, students, and media representatives are attending.

  The Turkish Exporters Assembly represents 61 Exporter Associations, 27 exporter sectors, and 85,000 exporters that carry on business in the regional and sectoral base at both national and international levels.

  Among the notables that will be at the event are:

  Gibson Bidle, former Vice President of Product Management of Netflix, and Chief Product Officer of Chegg

  Refik Anadol, Media Artist and Director currently based in Los Angeles, California who has received numerous awards including Microsoft Research Best Vision Award and Google's Art and Machine Intelligence Artist Residency Award.

  Kevin J. Debruin, NASA former Rocket Scientist is going to be giving his keynote on Saturday followed by a panel discussion integrated by Halit Mirahmetoğlu, TRC & Space Agenda founder and Dr. Umut Yıldız, an astrophysicist.

  Former President of Estonia (2006-2016) Toomas Hendrik Ilves who will open the event speaking about Building a Digital Country. Estonia is said to be one of the most digital countries in the world.

  Chris Barton, Co-Founder and former Board Director of Shazam, will bring his expertise in mobile applications to the stage.

  The webpages of the event are Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Jane's Defense Weekly, the 14th International Defense Industry Fair was held in Istanbul between April 30 and May 3.

  The Turkish Armed Forces Foundation organized the fair. It is the biggest defense industry fair in the Eurasian region and one of the top four in the world with an increasing trend in terms of the number of participating countries, delegations and companies.

  Nearly 1100 companies from more than 50 countries attended the fair this year. The number of visitors is around 70,000, and they come from over 100 countries.

  More information on the fair is Read more at >> here <<



★ The Istanbul State Opera and Ballet celebrated the April 29 World Dance Day with special performances.

  The first performance was on April 26 and featured the world premiere of two ballet performances: "Spring" and "Nox", and another dance based on Vivaldi's "Four Seasons". The troupe repeated the performances on April 27.

  On April 30, Kiev Balet troupe joined the celebrations and staged a special dance performance titled "From Kiev to Istanbul". Also, the performance of Spring and Nox took place again.

  German-born Okan Dann, who is a graduate of the Hamburg Dance School, is the choreographer of Spring. He created this neoclassical ballet for the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, based on Sergei Rahmaninov's music.


★ A musical group named "No Land" made up of Azeri, Iranian and Turkish musicians have reached 1 million listeners on Spotify with two songs from their first albums published in 2016.

  The group has a new album this year titled "The Ones Who Lost Their Compass".


★ The seventh SANSEV, the Solidarity and Culture Association for Artists and Art Lovers, Istanbul international Polyphonic Chorus Festival is taking place.

  116 choruses comprised of over 4000 singers from 25 different cities will be singing at Istanbul's Maltepe district's Türkan Saylan Culture Center.

  The performances will be free of charge to the public.

★ The new mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan area, Ekrem İmamoğlu, promised to renovate the derelict Muammer Karaca Theater.

  The theater building is owned by Istanbul Metropolitan city, but the former leadership of the city left it abandoned.

  In a tweet, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said that after renovation the theater will be available for culture and art events.


★ The new Istanbul airport is featuring a 1300 sq.ft.- space for a modern art exhibition.

  The exhibition titled "Selections from the Istanbul Modern Art Museum Collection" features important pieces from the museum.

  It has 38 works of 16 artists, ranging from the landscape tradition of the beginning of the 20th century to 1950s East-West abstract synthesis.

★ The 14th International Labor Film Festival started in Istanbul's Şişli Cemil Candaş Culture Center.

  On the opening day of the festival workers who resisted the labor conditions with protests at various worksites including that of the new Istanbul airport and the facility for DHL took to the stage.

  The workers received a bouquet of flowers from the Republican People's party parliamentarian Ali Şeker.

  Özgür Karabulut, the head of a labor union who was arrested for leading protest at the new Istanbul airport construction site, made a speech. He said "wherever there is oppression, resistance is a right, and there is resistance. The resistance was an action against the slave-like working conditions among the workers of the airport construction."

  At the opening Şebnem Korur Fincancı, who is the head of the Turkish Human Rights Foundation, and also a forensic expert, received a plaque.

  The Festival will cover the resistance, struggle for life, happiness and sadness of the workers from all corners of the world, the organizers say.


★ Turkish director Cenk Ertürk's "Noah Land" received two awards at New York's Tribeca Film Festival.

  The director received the "Best Script" and Ali Atay "The Best Male Performer" awards.

  Noah Land is the story of a son who strives to honor his terminally ill father's last wish to be buried under a tree he planted as a child, but clashes with villagers who claim the tree is, in fact, a holy relic planted by Noah after the Great Flood.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ IFSAK, the Istanbul Amateur Photography and Film Society, is having its 25th International Short Film Festival.

  In addition to films from Turkey, there are many from other lands. The special focus this year is the Romanian short films.

  There will be an awards ceremony on May 5.

  All the screenings during the Festival will be without charge.


★ The 30th Ankara International Film Festival had its awards ceremony on April 28.

  The best film award went to director Osman Nail Doğan's "Pigeon Thieves".

  The film "It Has Been Seen" starring Berkay Ateş ve Saadet Işıl Aksoy won four awards.

  The Best Director Award went to Ali Vatansever.

  In the Best International Documentary Film competition, Rena Lusin Bitmez's "Mama, Does God Love Migrant Children?" won the award.

  In the International Short Film Festival, the best film award went to Tuna Kaptan's "Do You Hear It, Mommy?".


★ Turkey's South Eastern city of Gaziantep's Medusa Glass Works Museum is closing due to financial difficulties.

  The museum was established some 15 years ago by an art enthusiast based on his collection. The museum hosts some glass objects dating back to 3000 years ago.

  The total number of objects approaches 6000. 2000 of the objects have been turned over to the State Archaeology Museum.

  When opened, the museum was the first private one in Turkey.


★ A portrait of the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent sold for 5.3 million pounds (about $7 million) at auction in London.

  Italian painter Gentile Bellini is thought to have made the portrait in 1520, based on the descriptions of the Western diplomats who were able to enter the Ottoman court.

  Before the auction, the auction house Sotheby's thought that the portrait would fetch 250 to 350,000 pounds.


★ Photographs from the ancient city of Mardin are now on exhibition at the Sakip Sabanci marketing city Museum until September 15.

  The photographs are taken by 17 talented youth under the direction of photography artists Murat Germen and Ahmet Elhan. They were first exhibited in an exhibition that ended March 31.

  It took five months of work to prepare the photographs for an exhibition.

  Mardin is a city in southeastern Turkey built on a hill. Its history goes back to the Late Bronze Age. Some of the structures in the old town date back to the Middle Ages.

  The Museum webpage is Read more at >> here <<


  Mardin main post office.clcik photo for a larger view.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.95


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz


Premier League

* In games played so far this weekend:
Sivas Sp        -      Başakşehir      0 - 0
Ankaragücü      -      Rize Sp         2 - 2
Erzurum Sp      -      Bursa Sp        2 - 0
Kasımpaşa       -      Fenerbahçe      1 - 3
G. Saray        -      Beşiktaş        2 - 0
Göztepe         -      Antalya Sp      4 - 1
Akhisar Sp      -      Malatyaspor     0 - 2
Alanya Sp       -      Konya Sp        2 - 4
Trabzon Sp      -      Kayseri Sp      4 - 2
* Standing in the league as of week ending 30
 1 - G. Saray        63
 2 - Başakşehir      63
 3 - Beşiktaş        59
 4 - Trabzon Sp      56
 5 - Malatyaspor     44
 6 - Alanya Sp       42
 7 - Antalya Sp      42
 8 - Konya Sp        41
 9 - Rize Sp         40
10 - Kasımpaşa       38
11 - Sivas Sp        37
12 - Fenerbahçe      37
13 - Kayseri Sp      37
14 - Ankaragücü      37
15 - Göztepe         33
16 - Erzurum Sp      32
17 - Bursa Sp        30
18 - Akhisar Sp      25
★ According to the Fox News, NBA, the National Basketball Association, is terminating its relationship with a social media vendor after the league's official Turkish account omitted Enes Kanter, a Turkish national who is critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, from social media posts.

  The 26-year-old Portland Trail Blazers center is a supporter of the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of a failed 2016 coup attempt. Kanter has since been largely scrubbed from Turkish media, and when he's mentioned, he's called a terrorist and traitor, the Fox News writes.
★ In the Modern Pentathlon World Cup, Turkish athlete İlke Özyüksel won a silver medal.

  The competitions were taken place in Szekesfeherver, Hungary.
★ Turkish athlete Ramil Guliyev came in first in the first race of the season with a time under 20 seconds in the 200 m.

  The race was part of International Athletics Federation Union competitions taking place in Doha, Qatar.

  With this Guliyev also qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
★ In the international Mesopotamia Bicycle Tour, the third stage has started. This stage is 118 km and is between Turkey's southeastern cities of Kilis-Gaziantep. 52 athletes from around the world are competing in this stage.
★ In the Paralympic European Archery Championships, Turkey's men and women teams both got gold medals.

  The men's team made up of Erdoğan Aygan, Bülent Korkmaz and Murat Turan beat Italy 218-217 and received the gold medal.
★ The unbeatable legendary Gaziantep Police Force Women Hockey Team, beat Bolu Municipal Sports Women Team and became the champions for 2018-2019 season.
★ National Mind and Intelligence Games Tournament has started in Turkey's Black Sea city of Samsun.

  The tournament is part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the landing of Mustafa Kemal on May 19, 1999 on a rickety boat to start the Turkish independence war.

  Five years later, the Turkish troops were victorious, driving the invaders out, and the Turkish national assembly chose Mustafa Kemal as the first president of Turkey.


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

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The local Azeri community organizes many events throughout the year. Follow their activities through their web pages, or subscribe to their e-mail list:



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