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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 08 June 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 08 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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★ According to the Foreign Policy magazine, acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan sent a letter to Turkey's defense minister Hulusi Akar.

  Shanahan told Mr. Akar that 42 Turkish students attending F-35 jet fighter training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and Eglin Air Force Base in Florida will be required to depart by July 31.

  This is part of the steps that U.S. is taking toward cutting Turkey out of the F-35 fighter jet program over concerns about Turkey's plans to purchase a Russian missile system.

  The Foreign Policy magazine says that it reviewed a detailed list of actions attached to the letter stipulating the steps the United States is planning to take if Turkey moves forward with purchasing the S-400, which U.S. officials say poses a threat to the F-35 and NATO air defenses.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Writing in the online publication Al-Monitor, Amberin Zaman says that at least 27 former Turkish diplomats, including one woman, have been arrested as suspects in an alleged conspiracy amid mounting evidence that many of them were tortured and threatened with rape.

  The arrests follow the mass detention on May 20 of around 110 former diplomats accused of cheating on the Foreign Affairs Ministry's entrance exams with help from an Islamic fraternity that used to be allied with the government and is now classified as a terror organization known as the "Fethullah Gülen Terror Organization" or FETO.

  The group, led by the Pennsylvania-based Sunni cleric Fethullah Gülen, is accused of plotting the July 2016 coup attempt to bloodily overthrow Turkish president Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

  The timing of the former diplomats' arrests has raised questions about the Turkish government's motives and there is speculation that the real target may be former Turkish prime minister Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu.

  Ahmet Davutoğlu is often mentioned among the former Justice and Development Party hierarchy who is aspiring to form a new party, challenging president Erdoğan.

  One of the former diplomats who was among those freed agrees that erecting a conspiracy case against the diplomats could conceivably allow authorities to implicate Davutoğlu as its mastermind, and by extension, a FETO operative, thus nipping his party plans in the bud.

  Ahmet Davutoğlu was once an ally of President Erdoğan and served as prime minister until his relations with Mr. Erdoğan deteriorated.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Speaking of a new party, The Economist also reported that Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu and former Turkish president Mr. Abdullah Gül will be setting up a new party to rival the ruling Justice and Development Party. Both are currently members of the Justice and Development Party. However, they are not satisfied with its current policies.

  The speculations spiked after both separately criticized the Justice and Development Party's efforts to annul the Istanbul vote when the opposition's mayoral candidate won the elections. Read more at >> here <<

★ If you live in the Washington DC area, here is a quick way of making $350 for you:

  Turkey's Ministry of Justice Mr. Abdulhamit Gül is scheduled to visit Washington DC next week for a series of meetings. He will also be talking as the guests of the Turkish Heritage Organization and will be explaining the new justice reform initiative in Turkey.

  Apparently, a lobbyist affiliated with the Turkish Heritage Organization is offering $350 for people to attend the event since the interest in the event has not seemed to be materializing.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ The Turkish economy is contracting again after borrowing costs rose on the international markets for Turkey's heavily indebted firms, hurting business profits and consumer demand, Fitch Solutions said in a report published late on Monday.

  Turkish economy is expected to contract 1.9 percent in 2019, it said.

  At the same time, a surge in credit growth seen in the first quarter is reversing.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to Reuters, Standard & Poor's senior director Frank Gill said that the value of the lira has allowed exports to perform really well, including service exports. He also said that the Turkish currency is fundamentally undervalued.

  Since 2018 the Turkish currency lira lost almost 30% of its value against the U.S. dollar.

★ Writing on the online publication Ahval, Eser Karakaş argues that Turkey's economic crisis is not a foreign plot, as Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and development party officials claim.

  He argues on the contrary the top companies in the world's leading economies actually want countries like Turkey to develop so that they can sell their services and goods.

  He points out that these top new companies are different from those which dominated the economies in the 1970s. Major energy companies and manufacturers are no longer in the top 10, however, Apple, Amazon, Google and other Internet and high-tech companies are.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ Turkey's veteran theater actor Genco Erkal will be staging his one-person play "Hello" in Frankfurt, Germany on June 16.

  Adapted from works of Shakespeare, Bertolt Brecht, Can Yücel, Aziz Nesin, and Nazım Hikmet, Erkal is both the director and the actor of the play.

  Genco Erkal is 81 years old. He started acting in 1959.

★ The Istanbul Music Festival will take place this year between June 11-30. There will be two special concerts within the Festival's "Chamber Music with the Stars" section.

  On June 16, the first concert in this series will bring together distinguished Beethoven interpreters Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras and Alexander Melnikov. Their performances will be a prelude to the 2020 Beethoven Year activities.

  A recording of Faust and Melnikov have been nominated for a Grammy award and received a Gramophone Classical Music Award.

  In the second concert on June 18, Russian musicians Alexander Kniazev and Boris Berezovsky will take the stage. Kniazev is considered to be one of the most important cellists of the 20th century. As for Berezovsky, he is the winner of the 1990 Chaykovski awards, and since then has been performing throughout the world.


★ On June 14, Korean pianist Jeung Beum Sohn will take the stage in Istanbul's Sakıp Sabancı Museum.

  This is the last in the series titled "Istanbul Recitals" that the Museum has organized for this season.

  Sohn is the first prize winner in the ARD international music competitions in 2017.

  In his Istanbul concert, Sohn will perform works by Bach, Chaykovski, Beethoven, Liszt and Scriabin.


★ One other concert in the Istanbul Music Festival will take place on June 12 at the historic Hagia Irini church Museum and will feature Berlin Early Music Academy and Berlin RIAS chamber chorus. They will perform works by Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.

★ Istanbul's Harbiye neighborhood will have open-air concerts starting on June 20. The concerts will feature renowned musicians starting with MFO, Teoman, Yildiz Tilbe, Edis, Kenan Dogulu and Nilüfer.

★ Esenyurt, another neighborhood in Istanbul, will be having activities celebrating the establishment of the "Shadow Theater Troupe" nine years ago.

  On June 13 and 14, the troupe will stage a play titled "Picnic and the Zoo" in their own theater.

  Then on June 15, at the Esenyurt culture center the troupe will have a big concert featuring Selçuk Balcı, and Metin and Kemal Kahraman.


★ On Turkey's Mediterranean coast, the Antalya Cultural Arts screened "Finding Mother 2" film on June 7.

  The film is a co-production of Kyrgyz, Kazakh and Turkish artists and filmmakers. (Trailer is >> here <<)

  A second film directed by Sabri Kuşkonmaz and Sema Ali Erol titled "We Did Not Break off from a Rock" will be screened on June 9.

  Screening of both films is free of charge.

★ Two simultaneous exhibitions titled "Independence" in Istanbul and Ankara to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the starting of the Turkish independence struggle in 1919 has received significant attention.

  In Istanbul on the second day of the religious holiday being observed, İş Bank Museum received over 10,000 visitors, a record in the history of its 12-year existence.

  Both exhibitions are featuring photographs of the independence war hero and Turkey's first president Mustafa Kemal and his friends, documents, films and objects.

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 Mostly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 84/70 Partly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 82/48 Mostly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 82/68 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 95/73 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 79/70 Thunderstorms


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz

Turkish national soccer team beat its French rival 2-0 in a game played in Konya, Turkey.

This is the first time the Turkish national team was able to beat France.

The game is part of the 2020 European Soccer Championship preliminaries.

A video summary of the game is >> here << .


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