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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 01 June 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 01 June 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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S-400 missiles

★ Turkey's currency surged Thursday on rising speculation a looming crisis could be averted between Turkey and the U.S. The revived optimism follows a telephone conversation between President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.

  The Wednesday call came as the U.S. threatens to impose sanctions on its NATO ally over Turkey's procurement of the Russian S-400 missile system.

  The U.S. says the missiles threaten to compromise NATO defense systems, especially the United States' latest F-35 fighter jets. In talks with Trump, Erdoğan sought to allay such concerns.

  "The [Turkish] President has reiterated an earlier offer for the formation of a joint working group on Turkey's plan to procure the S-400 defense system from the Russian Federation," tweeted Fahrettin Altun, Turkey's presidential communications director.

★ The Iraqi Central Court of Investigation Wednesday handed over 188 children of Islamic State Turkish citizens to Turkish authorities in a process to repatriate dozens of Islamic State fighters, as well as their children and wives, held in Iraqi prisons, VOA reports.

  According to the Soufan Center, a nonprofit global security organization, nearly 1,500 Turkish citizens have crossed into Iraq and Syria to fight for Islamic State since 2014.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Turkey has equipped an array of mainstream Syrian rebels it backs with fresh supplies of weaponry to help them try to repel a major Russian-backed assault, senior opposition officials and rebel sources said Saturday, Reuters reports.

  Turkey stepped up supplies in recent days after failing to persuade Russia in recent meetings of a joint working group to end its escalation to avert a major influx of refugees pouring into Turkey, two senior opposition figures said.

  A Western intelligence source said the U.S. had given a "green light" for the Turkey-backed mainstream rebels to use the TOW missiles, which had been in storage in the latest campaign.

★ Thousands of prisoners in Turkish jails have ended a 200-day-long hunger strike after jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan was allowed to see his lawyer for the first time in eight years, reports VOA.

  "Comrades who have committed themselves to hunger strikes and death fasts, I expect you to end your protest," Öcalan said in an appeal to his supporters Sunday. He has been allowed to see his attorney twice in the past week.

  A number of Kurdish lawmakers had joined the 3,000 prisoners and others in refusing solid food unless Öcalan was allowed to consult with his lawyer on Imrali Island prison.

★ A European Union Commission report has said membership talks with Turkey are at a "standstill", reports the Deutsche Welle.

  In its annual report on Turkey's membership talks with the European Union, the European Commission on Wednesday said Turkey was "seriously backsliding" on implementing the Commission's recommendations regarding human rights, the rule of law and economic policy.

  Turkey has called the assessment inaccurate.

  Last year, the European Union agreed that Turkey's accession talks should remain on hold. The 2019 report noted that the "underlying facts" leading to this assessment had not changed. European Union governments are set to approve the report in June. Turkey has been holding membership talks with the European Union since 2005.

★ The U.S. State Department announced Wednesday that Serkan Gölge, who Turkish prosecutors claimed belonged to a terrorist organization, has been released from prison.

  Gölge's nearly three-year detention -- along with that of several other US citizens -- has soured relations between Turkey and the U.S. Gölge was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison in 2018, despite State Department objections that he was convicted without any credible evidence.

  As part of the evidence against him, prosecutors had claimed to present links to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. These included the presence of a U. S. $1 bill in his apartment, the fact that he had an account at a bank linked with the Gülen movement and that he had studied at a university linked to the Gülen movement.

  It is widely believed that the Gülen movement initiated the failed coup attempt of 2016.

★ Writing on the online publication Al-Monitor, Ayla Jean Yackley reports that opinion polls show opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu pulling ahead of his rival from Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party in the repeat of the local elections in Istanbul.

  İmamoğlu held his office briefly, however, the pressure applied by the Justice and Development Party on Turkey's Supreme Election Council resulted in the cancellation of the election results, what analysts say on trumped up reasons.

  Polls show him to be two points ahead of the former Justice and Development Party Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

★ According to Bloomberg, Uber suspended its luxury service to clients in Istanbul. The company was the subject of physical and legal battles with Turkish taxicab drivers and authorities.

  The decision follows criticism of the company by Turkey's president Erdoğan.

  Uber will continue its traditional services.

★ Turkey made a tentative exit from recession in the first quarter with a 1.3% growth in the first quarter official data revealed on Friday, reports France 24. Economic output, though, contracted 2.6% year-on-year.

  Analysts warned that the recovery may be short-lived.

  The Turkish economy fell into recession for the first time since 2009 when it suffered two straight quarters of contraction to finish last year, after months of turmoil caused by the weakening lira and tensions with the United States.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ One bright side of the economic problems in Turkey is that it is very inexpensive there now. And this is bringing a lot of tourists. The number of foreign visitors who traveled to Turkey in April jumped up by 24% from a year ago, Turkey's Ministry of tourism reported on Friday.


★ The Istanbul State Opera and Ballet is performing "Man of La Mancha" musical. The gala of the musical was on May 24.

  Güngör Dilmen translated the lyrics to Turkish, Murat Göksu is the stage director, he is using the original production team and Concord Theatricals.

  "Man of La Mancha" is a 1965 musical with a book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion, and music by Mitch Leigh. It is adapted from Wasserman's non-musical 1959 teleplay "I, Don Quixote", which was in turn inspired by Miguel de Cervantes and his 17th-century novel "Don Quixote".


★ A series of concerts dubbed "Chopin Evening with Gülsin Onay" started the 33rd International Izmir Festival.

  Gülsin Onay is an internationally acclaimed Turkish pianist who holds a badge from the Polish government as the "Best Interpreter of Chopin".

  The 33rd International Izmir Festival continued on Tuesday with a performance by Jazz Orchestra of Concertgebouw from the Netherlands.

  Izmir Culture Arts and Education Foundation, Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Izmir Advancement Agency, Eczacıbaşı Holding are the main sponsors of the festival. The festival is also cooperating with the Portuguese Embassy, Izmir Goethe Institute and Izmir Italian Consulate.

  The 33rd international Izmir Festival will end on July 1.

  The Festival pages are Read more at >> here <<


★ In a concert called "The Road-Hymn-Woman" three women artist performed Alevi hymns on May 27 in Istanbul's Şişli city.

  The three women artists, Mercan Erzincan, Nilüfer Sarıtaş and Özge Çam, performed hymns from Harabi, Pir Sultan, Hatayi, Derviş Kemal, Kul Himmet, Mahzuni, and Muhlis Akarsu.

  In addition to their own bağlamas, an ensemble made up of bağlama, reed and percussion instruments accompanied the artists.

  Throughout the concert, the philosophy of Alevis on women and unity was explained and illustrated with related hymns.


★ The Istanbul Symphony Orchestra closed the season on May 25 under the direction of Alexander Rahbari. Rahbari was the director of the orchestra 11 years ago.

  Young Mexican soprano Karen Gardeazabal and Turkey's bass-baritone Burak Bilgili were the soloists of the concert.

  The concert started with French composer Leo Delibes' "Coppelia Waltz" and continued with works by other renowned composers.

  Ali Alexander Rahbari, born in 1948, is an Iranian composer and conductor who has worked with more than 120 European orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

www.TurkRadio.us www.TurkRadio.us

★ The Istanbul Jazz Festival will be taking place for the 26th time this year. A section of the festival is dedicated to young jazz musicians. On May 26, the festival organizers evaluated a group of young jazz artists and determined the participants to the Festival.

  The organizers chose Bilge Günaydın Trio, Bluemonk, Document1, Kazım Quintet, Mines Two and Standart Mafyası.

  As part of the festival, these young musicians will perform in a series of events called "Jazz at the Parks".

  The Festival pages are Read more at >> here <<

★ Alan Parsons met his Turkish fans as part of "Alan Parsons Live Project" in Istanbul's Zorlu PSM on May 31 as part of its jazz festival.

  Alan Parsons brought to the audience his most loved music at the concert.


★ UNIQ Istanbul and The Other Movie are collaborating this year to bring the Fifth Open-Air Theater Film Festival between June 12 - September 15.

  The Festival will start with the movie "Bohemian Rhapsody" which tells the story of Freddie Mercury. The film won four Oscars.

  The Festival will feature 50 long and 10 short films.


★ Istanbul's Pera Museum is featuring films from Berlin Film and Television Museum from May 29 through July 3.

  The program is called "Berlin - A City That Is Called Home" and is displaying the multi-faceted city's 90 years of history.

  The program will have nine films.


★ Award-winning Turkish director Kıvanç Sezer's new film "The Little Things" will be competing in the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival this year.

  The film tells the story of Onur and Bahar couple who live in a luxurious suburb of Istanbul. Then Onur loses his job.

  The film sheds light on modern Turkey's new middle-class and white-collar lives.

  The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is a film festival held annually in July in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. The Karlovy Vary Festival is one of the oldest in the world and has become Central and Eastern Europe's leading film event.

Click to see a larger view

★ An Istanbul exhibition to publicize the ancient city of Sagalassos in Turkey's Burdur province is featuring photographs from the city.

  The exhibition is taken place at Bozlu Art Project Mongeri building and is named "For Sagalassos".

  Sagalassos is an archaeological site in southwestern Turkey, about 60 miles north of the Mediterranean province of Antalya, and 20 miles from Burdur and İsparta cities. The ancient ruins of Sagalassos are on Mount Akdağ, in the Western Taurus mountains range, at an altitude ranging from 4700 to 5500 ft.

  The first settlements in the area date back to 8000 BCE. Alexander the Great conquered it in 333 BCE on his way to Persia. After an earthquake devastated the city it was abandoned in 640 CE.

  Marc Waelkens of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium has been leading excavations there since 1990.


★ As Part of the 47th Istanbul Music Festival, the festival organizers are publishing a children's book titled "Fanfare: An Istanbul Fable with Music". The Bernard Van Lear foundation of Netherlands, which funds and shares knowledge about work in early childhood development, is contributing to the book.

  The book has many interesting stories, a pictorial dictionary describing musical instruments, sections with hands-on work and striking illustrations. The festival also prepared an accompanying music site for the children. On this site, the children will be able to discover the works of classical music composers from different eras.

  Throughout the Festival, people interested will be able to get the book free of charge from Festival venues, also from select bookstores and from the lower level of the Istanbul Culture Arts Foundation building.

  The 47th Istanbul Music Festival will be taking place between June 11 and June 30 this year.


★ Istanbul University State Conservatory Ballet School had its year and performance on Tuesday, May 28 at Kadıköy City's Süreyya Opera House on the Asian side of Istanbul.

  The head of the school Oral Yazıcı and instructors Zehra T. Özbal, Christoph Paluch, Ayfer Zeren, Murat Kurtulmuş, Gizem Tokgöz, Tan Temel, Hüma İşsever, Melodi S. Olataş and Georgian state artists Natela Arobelidze and Sergo Tereshenko prepared the staging of the performances.

  The sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth class students and students from the graduate classes of first, second and third performed sections from important ballets such as "Sleeping Beauty", "Corsair", and "Swan Lake". The performance of the undergraduate students of the ballet "Paquita" concluded the program.


★ Su Baloğlu and Merve Bozcu directed a new documentary titled "Her First" telling the experience of the women filmmakers in Turkey making their first films.

  The film also tells the story of the two young directors themselves while making this documentary.

  The documentary opened the International Adana Film Festival, competed in the Istanbul Film Festival's National Documentary Competition as a finalist and opened the Houston Turkish Film Festival.

  Turkish movie theaters started screening "Her First" on May 31.


★ Excavations at a construction site for a new building on Istanbul's Üsküdar city on the Asian side revealed remains of ancient structures. The excavation and construction were stopped until archaeologists investigate the ruins.

  At the end of the investigation, the archaeologist may permanently ban any construction at the site and put it under protection as a historical area.


★ Aydın Doğan Foundation and The Association for Creative Children organized the 12th cartoon competitions this year in seven cities of Turkey at 143 schools. 563 students with 644 cartoons participated in the competitions.

  There were five separate categories starting with elementary school third grade, going up to 12th grade.

  At Istanbul's Trump Culture and Performance Center an exhibition of the cartoons started on May 28, and the winners of the competition received their prizes with a ceremony.

★ Istanbul's Ataşehir City Municipality's Culture and Social Works Directorate has initiated project dubbed "Art Education Is Coming to Your Neighborhood". As part of the project, children and adults trained in the project staged ballet, folk dancing, dance, guitar, violin, piano, bağlama, percussion instruments, drama and theater performances on May 29.

  An exhibition titled "Magical Colors" also open featuring the pictures that the children have made throughout the past year.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.83


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 90/63 Thunderstorms
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 81/72 Mostly Sunny
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 77/45 Thunderstorms
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 81/66 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 84/68 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 77/64 Partly Cloudy
Seawater temperatures:
Black Sea measured at Trabzon         : 66
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ      : 73
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir          : 72
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya : 77	


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz


★ The University of Maine signed up a Turkish basketball player for the next season. Ata Turgut of Ankara, Turkey will also be studying there. He is 6 foot 9 and 220 pounds.


★ One of the best-known rallies in the world, Europe Orient friendship and peace rally, Turkish stage has started in Istanbul's Sultan Ahmet square and will go to in southeastern Turkey at the renown Göbeklitepe ancient site. And them will end in Gaziantep.

  The rally started in Germany, and passed through Austria, Italy, Slovenia, hungry, Croatia, Romania, Macedonia and Serbia and entered Turkey on May 15.

★ In the 11th Aerobic Gymnastics European Championships taking place in Baku Azerbaijan

  A Turkish couple received the second place. Ayşe Begüm Onbaşı and Mehmet Ercoş.

★ Turkish gymnast Yunus Emre Gündoğdu won bronze medal in World Challenge Cup 2019 held in Osijek, Croatia in men's rings final, at Men's Artistic Gymnastics category.

  The event was being held by the International Gymnastics Federation between May 23-26, which is the oldest established international federation of an Olympic sport, according the official website of the federation.


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

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