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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 25 May 2019
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 25 May 2019]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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★ Turkey's Supreme Electoral Council finally published its decision to annul the Istanbul Metropolitan area mayoralty election.
The 250 -page document is released two weeks after the defeat of the ruling Justice and Development Party candidate with a slim margin.
The decision document says that there were irregularities that undermined the election credibility.
One of the irregularities cited was that some members of the polling station supervisory committees were not civil servant officials as required by law.
The Turks critical of the annulment point out that from the same envelope there were ballots for local municipality officials and local mayors. However, the elections for these were not canceled.
They also point out that local election boards and then finally the Supreme Electoral Council reviewed and approved polling station supervisory committees prior to the elections.
★ Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party Istanbul deputy Erdoğan Toprak on May 22 has proposed a parliamentary inquiry into the siphoning off of public resources to fund the pro-government media, Zülfikar Doğan reports for the online publication Ahval.
The proposal will be debated on May 28.
Regardless of the debates and discussion, the parliamentary inquiry will probably reveal details of how Erdoğan and his political elites took control of Turkey's media, using public resources and manipulating public opinion for his circle's political and financial gain.
President Erdoğan made his most significant move to seize the media in March 2018, when Turkey's largest and most influential media group, Doğan Media Holding, was sold to a pro-government Turkish conglomerate Demirören Group for $1 billion.
In addition to daily newspapers Hürriyet and Posta, television channels CNN Turk and Kanal D as well as the digital broadcasting platform D Smart, and many magazines and radio stations were transferred to Yıldırım Demirören, a devoted Erdoğan supporter. Previously, Demirören also bought two newspapers of the Doğan Group, Milliyet and Vatan which were reporting on a social-democratic line.
Demirören's purchase swiftly spelled the end for any independence in the editorial line of these outlets, just as his previous purchases of newspapers Milliyet and Vatan had turned the newspapers from social democratic to pro-Justice and Development Party government vehicles almost overnight.
★ Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party has applied to the IRS to disclose the sources of donations made to Turken Foundation, Yılmaz Polat, a columnist for the opposition news site ABC said on Friday. The board of directors of the Turken includes the Turkish president's daughter Esra Albayrak.
Turken Foundation was established in 2014 in the United States by Turkey's Ensar Foundation and TURGEV, both foundations with close ties to the Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party. The foundation nearly doubled its financial assets to $44 million in 2017 from $22 million in 2016.
A 2016 article on the foundation from Huffington is >> here <<
The IRS filings for the foundation is >> here <<
★ Speaking of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists wrote on May 24 that an unidentified gunman shot Turkish journalist Hakan Denizli in the leg, according to reports.
Denizli, founder of the local daily Egemen, was taken to a hospital and the police are looking for his attacker.
The shooting took place outside the journalist's home in the city of Adana.
"This brutal attack against Hakan Denizli--the fourth assault on a journalist in two weeks--appears to signal an alarming cycle of violence against critical voices in Turkey" Committee to Protect Journalists Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Gulnoza Said said, in New York.
Read more at >> here <<
★ Ilan Berman, senior vice president at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC., wrote on "The Hill" that "US-Turkish ties won't get better".
"The relationship between the United States and Turkey, which has deteriorated precipitously in recent years over an array of strategic and political disagreements poised to become significantly worse in the days ahead.
"Taken from Turkey's perspective, two principal factors have driven a wedge into its once-robust relationship with the United States. The first is the so-called "Kurdish question." Turkey has long opposed any move by the region's Kurds toward autonomy, worried over the practical and political consequences that an independent Kurdish state could have on the country, and on the broader region. These worries have been sharpened in recent years by the leading role that Kurdish militias have played in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group, and the international recognition they have garnered as a result.
"Turkey's second bone of contention revolves around America's attitudes toward the Fethullah Gülen movement, which Turks broadly blame for the failed summer 2016 coup against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
"For nearly three years, his government has actively pressured the U.S. to extradite the movement's reclusive leader, Fethullah Gülen, from his residence-in-exile in Pennsylvania's Poconos mountains. So far, the U.S. government has resisted this pressure -- something that has bred significant resentment not only among regime loyalists but nationalist Turks as well.
Read more at >> here <<
★ Turkey cannot be penalized under a U.S. sanction law over purchasing Russian S-400 system as the deal between Turkey and Russia was struck before the creation of the law, according to a senior Turkish official, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The U.S., which is concerned that the S-400s could collect data on NATO military operations, reportedly gave Turkey until the end of the first week in June to cancel its acquisition of Russian missile system. Otherwise, Turkey will risk expulsion from the F-35 fighter jet program, U.S. sanctions and possible blowback from NATO.
★ According to Bloomberg, Turkish stocks entered a bear market, with banking shares proving the biggest drag on the benchmark index, as the lira continues to lose ground and political woes keep dominating headlines.
Since February, the Borsa Istanbul 100 index dropped more than 20%.
★ According to Reuters, a Turkish official said on Wednesday that Turkey stopped buying Iranian oil as of May to comply with the U.S. sanctions.
Turkey was one of the countries that the U.S. granted an exemption back in 2018 November but that exemption was stopped on May 1.
According to tracking data, no tankers loaded in Iran arrived at Turkish ports so far in May.
Read more at >> here <<
★ The Turkish Treasury and Finance Ministry has accused Reuters of intentionally trying to weaken trust in the Turkish economy after the news agency published an error in its report on a $4.9 billion financing package for struggling Turkish companies.
Reuters has published a correction for its May 23 headline and first paragraph, which stated that the funding package was designed to boost importers. The package is directed at exporting companies.
★ Turkish security forces conducted an operation in Turkey's Western province of Izmir's Gaziemir town and confiscated a 1500-year-old Torah from an antiquities smuggler.
The Torah has leather leaves and is written in Hebrew.
★ Turkish director Olgun Özdemir's movie "You Smell like My Daughter" will be taken part in the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival.
The head of the jury of the festival is another Turkish director with wide acclaim Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
Özdemir's film was produced in Turkey, U.S. and France. Screening of the movie will start in October.
★ Turkey's 22nd Flying Broom International Women Film Festival ended and recipients received their awards.
Film and theater artists Ayla Algan, 81, and Sumru Yavrucuk, 58, received the honorary awards of the festival.
Bilge Olgaç Accomplishment Award went to film and documentary director Pelin Esmer and actor Meltem Cumbul.
The Young Witch Award went to actor Gözde Çığacı for acting in the movie "Trust".
★ In the cartoon competitions held in Turkey's Western city of Milas, Iranian cartoonist Soma Torabi won the first place. The second place also went to an Iranian cartoonist by the name of Javad Takjoo. The third place went to Turkish cartoonist Muhittin Köroğlu.
The Municipality of Milas organized the competitions to honor the late Turkish cartoonist Turhan Selçuk who was originally from Milas. Turhan Selçuk worked for the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
★ Turkish rap musician Ezhel got into New York Times "15 European euro pop artists that we need to know" list.
Ezhel was born in 1990 in the Turkish capital Ankara. His music blends rap, hip-hop and reggae.
Read more at >> here <<
★ After four years of restoration work, Turkey's Eastern Black Sea monastery of Sumela opened to visitors again.
Built on an almost vertical cliff, the monastery was in danger from falling rocks from above and also had water damage. One of the rocks threatening the structures weighed 600 tons.
The monastery opened in 386 A.D.
★ Turks around the world celebrated the May 19 Youth and Sports Day. In Chicago in a concert titled "May 19 First Step 100th Anniversary" renowned Turkish pianist Gülsin Onay performed at Chicago's Roosevelt University's Gantz Hall.
Gülsin Onay had been touring the U.S. and Canada and performing to celebrate the May 19 Youth and Sports Day.
Gülsin Onay started her concert in Chicago with Mozart's Turkish March. In addition to the music of the European composers, she included works by renowned Turkish composers such as Saygun in her concert.
In related news, British painter Ned Pamphilon painted a special painting to honor the 100th anniversary of the May 19 Youth and Sports Day.
On May 19, 1919, Turkey's independence war hero Mustafa Kemal landed on the Black Sea city of Samsun to start the independence struggle of the Turks against the invaders in the aftermath of the First World War.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 6.08
Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz
* Results for week: 33
Kasımpaşa - Konya Sp 1 - 1
Antalya Sp - Malatyaspor 3 - 0
Trabzon Sp - Beşiktaş 2 - 1
Akhisar Sp - Kayseri Sp 2 - 2
Bursa Sp - Göztepe 0 - 0
Alanya Sp - Rize Sp 1 - 1
G. Saray - Başakşehir 2 - 1
Erzurum Sp - Fenerbahçe 0 - 1
Ankaragücü - Sivas Sp 3 - 1
* In games played so far this weekend:
Başakşehir - Alanya Sp 1 - 1
Beşiktaş - Kasımpaşa 3 - 2
Rize Sp - Trabzon Sp 2 - 3
Sivas Sp - G. Saray 4 - 3
Konya Sp - Akhisar Sp 0 - 0
Göztepe - Ankaragücü - - -
* Standing in the league as of week ending 33
1 - G. Saray 69
2 - Başakşehir 66
3 - Beşiktaş 62
4 - Trabzon Sp 60
5 - Malatyaspor 47
6 - Antalya Sp 45
7 - Konya Sp 43
8 - Fenerbahçe 43
9 - Alanya Sp 43
10 - Rize Sp 41
11 - Kayseri Sp 41
12 - Ankaragücü 40
13 - Kasımpaşa 39
14 - Sivas Sp 38
15 - Göztepe 35
16 - Bursa Sp 34
17 - Erzurum Sp 32
18 - Akhisar Sp 26
★ Euroleague basketball championships:
In the final games played at the Fernando Buesa Arena, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque
country, Spain both Turkish teams in the finals lost to their rivals:
- Anadolu - CSK Moscow 83-91
- Fenerbahçe - Real Madrid 75 - 94
★ Sümeyya Boyacı paralympic swimmer with no arms received a gold medal in Singapore in 50 meters backstroke in the World Series. There were 172 athletes from 26 countries.
★ In the World Tae Kwon Do Championships held in the UK, Turkey's Irem Yaman received the gold medal in women's 62-kg category.
In the same competitions Turkey's Nur Tatar came in second in 67 kg women's category.
Two other Turkish women competitors, Rukiye Yıldırım and Nafia Kuş came in third in their categories.
★ In Italy's Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial wrestling championships, Turkish wrestlers received 3 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals, and became champions as a team.
[Saat 14:30 and 15:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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