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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 18 May 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 18 May 2019]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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  The Justice and Development Party posters around Istanbul saying "For us Istanbul is a love story".

★ Ekrem İmamoğlu caused a political earthquake in recent local elections in Turkey when he won the Istanbul mayorship, ending 25 years of domination by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reports Dorian Jones of the VOA.

  However, in a controversial move, Turkey's election board annulled the March vote and ordered a re-run. Now the ousted mayor is at the center of a political storm.

  Istanbul accounts for around a quarter of Turkey's population and a third of country's economy, making it Turkey's most important political prize.

  "Istanbul presents so many patronage opportunities," said international relations professor Soli Özel of Istanbul's Kadir Has University. "It greases the wheels of politics of those who control it, and the Justice and Development Party has truly mastered it."

  Perhaps because of what Dr. Özel says, Dorian Jones writes "Erdoğan fights to keep control of Istanbul".

  Read more at >> here <<


  An exchange office in Istanbul

★ According to Reuters, Turkey needs to put a comprehensive and credible economic plan in place if it is to avoid another cut to sovereign credit rating, a senior Moody's sovereign analyst said on Thursday.

  New analysis from the rating agency shows Turkey's recession, the slump in the lira, upcoming refinancing pressures and dwindling reserves have pushed it to right near the top of its worldwide external vulnerability index.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Seyed Abbas Araghchi, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister, said that his country may consider Afghan refugees to leave Iran if the United States continues to put economic pressure on his country. There are around three million refugees from Afghanistan in Iran.

  According to Murat Erdoğan, the director of the migration and Integration Research Center at Turkish-German University in Istanbul, Afghan refugees would then prefer to seek refuge in Turkey instead of going back to Afghanistan.

  Murat Erdoğan adds that this would cause a greater risk for Turkey since these refugees won't return and stay permanently in Turkey.

  Turkey is already hosting 3.5 million registered Syrian refugees, with the unregistered ones the numbers are said to be close to 4.5 million, putting a major burden on the Turkish budget. Turkish officials say that they have spent billions of dollars for the refugees, and the money promised by the European Union did not arrive.

  Speaking of Afghan refugees in Turkey, the France 24 TV channel reports that some Afghan refugee entrepreneurs are thriving in Turkey. They give the example of Haji Yakup Burhan, who settled in Istanbul after trying Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Dubai first. In Istanbul, he started a restaurant and now employs 15 people.

  Afghan refugee entrepreneurs appear to be increasingly finding success in Turkey, where they bring to the local economy, not only their savings but sought-after know-how, whether in restaurants, commerce or skilled crafts and specialties.

  In turn, Turkey offers refugees simplified administrative procedures for setting up a new business.

  There are currently 145,000 Afghan refugees in Turkey. Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Associated Press, Yavuz Selim Demirağ, a journalist critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government and its nationalist allies was hospitalized after being attacked outside his home, his newspaper the Yenicağ said last Saturday.

  Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party, visited Demirağ in the hospital and condemned the attack.

  In an editorial titled "Erdoğan's expanding dictatorship is steering Turkey toward a dead end", the Washington Post said:

  "The beating of Mr. Demirağ was clearly intended as a warning to other journalists not to speak out. Such topics as the coup attempt, conflict with the Kurds and Mr. Erdoğan's family wealth have been put off-limits by the president. Now he evidently has added the mayoral election to the taboo list". Read more at >> here <<

  According to the Reporters Without Borders, the Turkish police apprehended the assailants, but the prosecutors quickly granted them a conditional release on the grounds that "the victim's life is not in danger".

  Reporters Without Borders adds that Turkey ranks 157th out of 180 countries in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Read more at >> here <<

★ The Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu says a Turkish citizen was killed Sunday along with a Somali engineer following an explosion near the city's busy K-4 junction. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the targeted blast.

  The Turkish government and Turkish private-sector companies have a major interest in Somalia. Turkish Embassy in Somalia is one of the largest in the world among the Turkish embassies occupying an area of 110,000 sq. ft. There is also a Turkish base in Somalia, the largest outside of Turkey. Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Turkish daily Sözcü, U.S. charge d'affaires Jeffrey Hovenier has called for the trial of Metin Topuz, a Turkish employee of the U.S. Consulate, on espionage charges to be resolved "swiftly, transparently and fairly." Topuz was arrested in 2017.

  Topuz was in court on Wednesday, and the judge denied his release. Metin Topuz, Istanbul-based liaison with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, tearfully denied the charges against him in court, the newspaper said.

  The Justice and Development Party Administration is accusing Topuz of being a follower of cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom they accuse of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government in 2016.

  Most analysts believe that the Turkish government is holding Topuz as a bargaining chip for its demands from the U.S.

  The next hearing of Topuz will be on June 28.

★ The Turkish navy on Monday launched one of its largest naval exercises to date, in the Mediterranean, Aegean and the Black Sea, state-run Anatolia News Agency said.

  The exercise will have 131 warships, 57 fighter Jets and 33 helicopters and will run until May 25.

  The exercise come at a time of heightened tension between Turkey and its neighbors Greece and Cyprus over territorial disputes in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean.

  With Cyprus, there is also the dispute on oil and gas exploration rights off Cyprus. Cyprus is currently divided between a Turkish and Greek sector. The internationally recognized administration on the Greek side of the island has recently licensed several offshore exploration rights to foreign governments. Turkey opposes the Greek Cypriot exploration efforts and calls for an agreement on sharing the proceeds of any finds.

  Turkey has also dispatched drilling vessels to the waters around Cyprus in February.

  According to the VOA, former senior Turkish diplomat Aydin Selcen, suggests that beyond the harsh rhetoric, Turkey has a legitimate case and a compromise needs to be found. "Yet more and more we see that the U.S. coordinates Israel, Egypt, the Greek administration on Cyprus and Greece, apparently to put more pressure on Turkey."



★ A series of concerts titled Big Burn Night is bringing to the Turkish audience the best-loved names of the electronic music.

  On May 17, at club RX producer Patrice Baumel will entertain with a style of music that he terms "techno music for adults".

  Patrice Baumel is a DJ and producer currently living in Amsterdam. He is a former resident DJ at the now-closed Trouw club.

  He was born in the small East German town of Freital, amidst the restrictive political situation of Eastern Bloc communism. With his father working as a music journalist, there was music around the house all the time. From free jazz, Frank Zappa, Nick Cave, Laurie Anderson right through to rock and punk.
  Read his biography  >> here <<


★ Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra performed Carl Maria von Weber's Bassoon Concerto and Johan Sebastian Bach's Matthew's Passion on May 10. The audience applauded the musicians vigorously.

  German director Raoul Grüne has led the orchestra. The soloists were bassoonist Cavit Karakoç and mezzo-soprano Asude Karayavuz.


★ Istanbul Modern has held a new exhibition for the photographs of Yıldız Moran, Turkey's first professional photographer and the first person in Turkey to receive an academic education on the subject.

  On May 16, at Istanbul Modern movie theater there was a talk about Yıldız Moran's artistic career. The curator of the exhibition Merih Akoğul, Moran's son Olgun Arun, general director of Istanbul Modern Levent Çalıkoğlu and the director of the Istanbul Modern Photography Department Demet Yıldız talked about the artist.

  The exhibition ended on May 19.


★ Turkish pop musician Tarkan gave a concert to his Russian fans in Moscow this week. Many Turks living in Moscow also attended.

  Tarkan started his concert with his song "Yolla" from his latest album "10". He then proceeded to play is popular fast and slow songs from his older albums.

  Tarkan was on the stage for two hours and told his audience that he missed his Russian fans since he hasn't been in Moscow for a very long time.

  Tarkan is quite popular in Russia, many Russian musicians cover his songs for the Russian audience.

★ Vefa Zat has died. He was a member of the honorary board of the International Bartenders' Club and the Bartenders Association.

  Zat started his life at the age of 15 in Istanbul Hilton Hotel as a bar boy and retired from there as a bar supervisor. He later worked as an educator for Turkish Airlines. He also taught at the Private Tourism and Hotel High School a course titled "Drink Making Technology".

  He served from Turkish presidents İnönü to Bayar, Queen Elizabeth to Charles De Gaulle and Shah Reza Pahlavi.

  He also had several books, one of them titled "The Art of Cocktail" published in 2003.


★ Istanbul's Şişli Municipality Nazım Hikmet Culture Center has an exhibition of painter Jak Ihmalyan's works. Ihmalyan was born 1922 in Istanbul And died in exile in 1978 in Moscow.

  Due to his political views, Ihmalyan was persecuted and he went to self-exile in 1949. While in exile he met the Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet.

  His paintings and drawings show his longing for Istanbul and the life he left behind. In addition to his paintings, the exhibition includes photographs, documents and books.

  His son Vache Ihmalyan brought the items from Moscow where he lives. He will leave the documents, photographs and books to the Nazım Hikmet Museum.

  Vache says that his father took painting lessons from renowned Turkish artists Abidin Dino and Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu. He says his father died while longing to be able to go back to Istanbul.

Schneidertemple Art Center

★ In Istanbul's Schneidertemple Art Center a permanent exhibition on the Ashkenazi Jewry of Istanbul is about to start.

  The exhibition will feature historical objects that shed light on the Ashkenazi community in Istanbul and their history. In addition to the exhibition, the curators have prepared a companion book and an internet site.

  The Ashkenazi have been in Istanbul for centuries and they trace their roots to the Jewry of Europe.


★ Renowned Turkish actor Haluk Bilginer is now in the cast of the Alex Rider serial. The play is the stage adaptation of British writer Anthony Horovitz's spy novels with the same name.

  Haluk Bilginer will be playing Dr. Hugo Grief character in the serial. The shooting of the serial is taking place in Romania.

★ Boğaziçi Performing Arts Troupe has staged a play titled "You Now have a Trial". The play is based on Franz Kafka's work titled "The Trial".

  The first performance took place on the European side of Istanbul in Taksim neighborhood, and the second on the Asian side of Istanbul in Moda.

★ Musician Volkan İncüvez will introduce his new album "Kün" with a concert on May 24. The album is the first solo album of the artist.

  According to the artist, the name of the album "Kün" means Big Bang, the big explosion that took place 13.8 billion years ago and created the universe.

  İncüvez concert will take place at Istanbul's historic Crimean Church, built between 1858 to 1868 in memory of British soldiers of the Crimean War.


★ Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra has closed the season with a special concert honoring the 10th anniversary of Sasha Goetzel's presence as a conductor with the orchestra.

  The concert took place on May 16 Thursday and the solo violinist was Nemanja Radulovic. During the performance of the soloist, founder of the Circo de Yakuza. There is a

  The orchestra performed selections from Chaikovski's Violin Concerto Opus 35, Ravel's Bolero, Ippolitov-Ivanov's Caucasian Sketches, Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Dukas The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 6.05


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz

★ Euroleague Basketball

Two Turkish that are in the finals played against each other and Efes won:

Fenerbahçe - Efes 73-92  


Premier League

* Results for week: 32
Antalya Sp      -      Bursa Sp        0 - 1
Rize Sp         -      G. Saray        2 - 3
Fenerbahçe      -      Akhisar Sp      2 - 1
Göztepe         -      Sivas Sp        3 - 3
Başakşehir      -      Ankaragücü      2 - 1
Kayseri Sp      -      Kasımpaşa       2 - 1
Konya Sp        -      Trabzon Sp      2 - 2
Malatyaspor     -      Erzurum Sp      3 - 1
Beşiktaş        -      Alanya Sp       2 - 1
* In games played so far this weekend:
Kasımpaşa       -      Konya Sp        1 - 1
Antalya Sp      -      Malatyaspor     3 - 0
Trabzon Sp      -      Beşiktaş        2 - 1
* Standing in the league as of week ending 32
 1 - G. Saray        66
 2 - Başakşehir      66
 3 - Beşiktaş        62
 4 - Trabzon Sp      57
 5 - Malatyaspor     47
 6 - Konya Sp        42
 7 - Alanya Sp       42
 8 - Antalya Sp      42
 9 - Rize Sp         40
10 - Fenerbahçe      40
11 - Kayseri Sp      40
12 - Sivas Sp        38
13 - Kasımpaşa       38
14 - Ankaragücü      37
15 - Göztepe         34
16 - Bursa Sp        33
17 - Erzurum Sp      32
18 - Akhisar Sp      25

Turkish Cup:  G. Saray- Aksihar 3-1   G. Saraygot the cup

★ Taekwondo:  

At the European Championships, Taekwondo team from Turkey's Amasya province received medals.

★ In the May 19 Youth and Sports Day Sailing Cup that just ended with the following results: In addition to boats from Turkey, there were also 44 boats from Russia, Belarus, Britain, the U.S., Ukraine, Germany, the Netherlands, and Romania. The total number of sailors was 275. There were six separate races. The races took place in Turkey's southwestern shores in Gulfs of Fethiye and Göcek .


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

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