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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 20 July 2019
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 20 July 2019]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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★ Turkey commemorated a three-year-old failed military coup Monday, as the fallout over the botched takeover deepens political divisions within the country and strains ties with its Western allies.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended events in the capital Ankara, to mark the anniversary of the coup attempt on July 15, 2016. He visited armed forces headquarters, the scene of bloody fighting.
In the evening, Erdoğan addressed a rally of thousands at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport.
"On the right of July 15, they (coup plotters) wanted to bury Turkey into darkness, but failed," he said. "Allah ruined their traps."
Erdoğan's arrival at the airport on the night of the failed coup was widely seen as a turning point where he was able to rally support. On the day of the failed coup, he was vacationing at a Turkish resort and narrowly escaped capture by rogue military forces.
The parliament building and presidential palace were bombed. More than 250 people died, and thousands more were injured. Most of the casualties were unarmed civilians resisting the takeover.
Observers say Erdoğan will try to use the commemorations to consolidate his base amid growing discontent and recent electoral setbacks.
Turkey alleges that U.S-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen orchestrated the attempted coup through his network of followers.
Gülen strongly denies any involvement.
Turkish efforts to extradite Gülen have so far failed, with Washington saying Ankara has not provided sufficient evidence. The dispute continues to poison bilateral ties.
Western diplomats speaking anonymously often voice skepticism over
Gülen's involvement, suggesting Erdoğan himself organized the coup attempt as a pretext to crack down on opponents.
Seeking to exploit the rift between Turkey and its Western allies in the aftermath of the failed coup, analysts point out that Putin continues to deepen ties with Erdoğan.
"A lot of think tanks and diplomats in the West hold that view, which is adding salt to the wound," said
This month, a survey by Kadir Has University found 81% of Turks saw the United States as a threat. Facing growing public dissent over a slowing economy, Erdoğan is playing the nationalist card by ramping up his anti-American rhetoric.
★ In a court case that could further strain U.S. relations with Turkey and weigh on the sentencing of former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn, a criminal trial began on Monday involving a former Iranian-American business partner of Flynn, Reuters reports.
Bijan Rafiekian's trial in the Eastern District of Virginia turns on whether he conspired with Flynn and others to lobby on Turkey's behalf to try to persuade the U.S. government to extradite cleric Fethullah
Gülen, blamed by Turkey for a failed coup.
★ The United States is officially removing Turkey from its F-35 stealth fighter jet program after
Turkey accepted the Russian delivery of its S-400 missile defense system.
"Unfortunately, Turkey's decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible," the White House said in a statement Wednesday. "The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities."
U.S. officials believe NATO ally Turkey's decision to use Russian advanced radar technology could compromise the alliance's military systems in the country. The S-400 could potentially be used to target NATO jets in Turkey, including the U.S.-made F-35, which is NATO's newest stealth fighter jet.
★ President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next secretary of defense has slammed Turkey's acceptance of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system, parts of which were delivered last week, as "wrong."
"Their [Turkey's] decision on the S-400 is the wrong one, and it's disappointing," Secretary of the Army Mark Esper told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing Tuesday on his nomination to lead the Defense Department.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday that the Russian S-400 missile defense system, parts of which have been delivered to Turkey over the past four days, would be fully deployed in April 2020.
★ President Donald Trump said Thursday that he was not considering sanctions against Turkey for purchasing Russian air defense systems, one day after the U.S. retaliated by removing Turkey from its F-35 stealth fighter jet program.
★ President Donald Trump's decision to block the sale of the advanced F-35 jet to Turkey means
Turkey may look elsewhere to replace its aging air force, VOA's Dorian Jones
Trump's veto in response to Turkey's acquisition of Russian missiles could prompt
Turkey to turn to Moscow again.
In related news, the Newsweek reported that Russia has offered to sell its SU-35 fighter jets to Turkey after the U.S. canceled the sale of F-35s.
★ Online news site Ahval carried an article penned by Ilhan Tanir titled "Why would Turkey's Erdoğan ask for U.S. sanctions?" The article wrote the opinion of
political scientist Burak Bilgehan Özpek. He told Ahval on Monday that Turkish
president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan needs a constant state of emergency to hold onto power.
The article adds that Erdoğan appears to be goading the United States to carry out those threats by reiterating at every opportunity his goal of increasing cooperation with Russia.
★ On Monday European Union foreign affairs ministers turned up the pressure on Turkey after approving an initial batch of sanctions against the country over its drilling for gas in waters where
European Union member Cyprus has exclusive economic rights.
The ministers said in a statement that in light of Turkey's "continued and new illegal drilling activities,'' they were suspending talks on an air transport agreement and would call on the European Investment Bank to "review'' it's lending to the country.
They also backed a proposal by the European Union's executive branch to reduce financial assistance to Turkey for next year. The ministers warned that additional "targeted measures'' were being worked on to penalize Turkey, which started negotiations to join the
European Union in 2005.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu issued his own warning last week that his country would step up drilling activities off Cyprus if the
European Union moved ahead with sanctions.
Two Turkish vessels escorted by warships are drilling for gas on either end of ethnically divided Cyprus.
★ In an article published on July 18 in the Washington Post, Yunus Orhan and Ora John Wright that Turkey's ruling party is splintering. Then they explained the reason why.
The authors first write that in April, two prominent members of the party have disclosed that they would like to set up a new party.
The authors later assert that "Arguably the most significant threat that autocrats face comes not from the masses but from their elite allies. When such allies defect, the regime loses the skills, followers and resources that they command. High-level defectors often help rally the masses against the regime. If they run for office, they can peel away the regime's voters."
They further write that recent research has identified the conditions that make defections more likely.
First, studies show economic recessions make defections more likely. A weakening economy gives a dissenter a reason to criticize the regime and makes it more likely that potential defectors will find support outside the party. In Turkey, Davutoğlu and Babacan have explicitly cited
the economic decline in their criticisms of the Justice and Development
Second, when the regime starts to lose voter support, elites are more likely to defect. It's no coincidence that these defections follow the
Justice and Development Party's losses in Istanbul and Ankara.
★ An article in the British daily The Times published on July 17, writes that Russia's president
Putin "skillfully" drawn Turks into its fold.
The article says that a downed fighter jet and at tomato boycott was what Russia used.
The Russian boycott of agricultural goods from Turkey came after Turkey downed a Russian jet in November 2015 which strayed into his territory. Russia also stopped sending its citizens to Turkey, which add up to almost 4 million on an annual basis.
The lengthy article goes into many other aspects of the Turkish-West and Turkish-Russia relations.
★ Another article, an opinion piece, by Simon A. Waldman, titled "Turkey and Russian S-400s: Erdoğan Just Made a Strategic Blunder of Epic Proportions" was published in the Israeli paper Ha'aretz.
Erdoğan's insistence on delivery of the Russian-made missiles, a $2.5 billion waste of money, has invited severe U.S. retaliation - and turned Turkey from an ally of NATO into its antagonist, Waldman writes.
★ Stratfor, an American geopolitical intelligence platform and publisher, in an article said that Turkey's president Erdoğan "appears willing to trade economic risk for political gain".
The article writes: "A number of converging events recently have increased the risks to economic and political stability in Turkey. Even so, [...] the Turkish government will maneuver among its numerous domestic and external problems, calculating that it can withstand the pressure from both its own constituency and foreign powers."
"With Erdoğan's political popularity in danger, he has apparently made the calculation that his need to solidify support among his political base by pursuing strongman policies in the Eastern Mediterranean, with the United States and at home is worth the economic risks. Former Justice and Development Party loyalists are now openly discussing a splinter party that could threaten Erdoğan's hold on parliament, giving this strategy to staunch the bleed of domestic political capital a new urgency. Turkey's rate of inflation has improved somewhat in recent months after the country entered a recession in the last quarter of 2018"
the article adds.
★ A deputy general consul with Turkey's consulate in the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Irbil was killed Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a restaurant, Turkey's Foreign Ministry has confirmed.
★ Pirates have attacked a ship off the coast of Nigeria and abducted 10 sailors from the Turkish cargo vessel, VOA reported on Jul 16.
Shipping company Kadıoğlu Denizcilik said Paksoy-1 was sailing without any freight from Cameroon to the Ivory Coast when it was attacked in the Gulf of Guinea.
★ According to Feyzullah Yetgin, the head of the Real Estate and Real Estate Investment Trusts Association, Turkish construction companies have two years of stocks in their hands.
After the recent economic crisis started, sale of homes virtually came to a standstill. Yetgin says that it will take much effort to sell the excess inventory. First,
high interest rates have to come down, Yetgin says. Instead of investing in homes, people are depositing their money into high-interest bank accounts.
★ Turkish marimba player and virtuoso of percussion instruments Lerzan Tuncer and a performance on Friday in Zürich Switzerland.
Tuncer was the first Turkish performer of marimba in Switzerland. Her repertoire included works of Ney Rosaura and Johan Sebastian Bach.
Tuncer also performed Azeri musician İlyas Mirzayev's music composed for her. This was the premiere of the composition in Europe.
The performance was part of a series of concerts titled "Solo at Noon".
★ The Filmmor Women's Cooperative is seeking to expand in Turkey the campaign for gender equality in the film sector by 2020.
The cooperative had a conference last October on gender equality, which compared the Swedish and Turkish experiences on gender equality.
They called for all film Festival in Turkey to sign the agreement penned to achieve this equality. The agreement has already been signed by 35 international film festivals, among these are Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto Locarno and London festivals.
They also are asking the festivals to disclose the proportion of sexes in their teams and programs, eradicate existing gender inequality and, stop discrimination.
The cooperative sent an email to the board of the Adana Golden
Ball film Festival that will take place in September and asked them also to
sign the agreement.
Cooperative is also asking for a document listing the gender distribution of all the films that are competing from festivals that have signed the agreement.
The campaign for gender equality in the film sector calls itself "5050x2020".
The Filmmor Women's Cooperative is renowned for its women's film
festival that has been taking place for more than 15 years in Turkey.
★ Turkish director Emin Alper's film titled "A Tale of Three Sisters" that had its premiere at this year's Berlin Film Festival will be competing in Bosnia next.
The organizers of the Sarajevo Film Festival have selected the film to participate in the International Competition section.
The film tells the story of three young girls who are taking from a poor village in central Anatolia and given to affluent foster families.
The film won the Best Film, Best Director, Best Woman Actor, Best Music and FIPRESCI awards at the 38th Istanbul Film Festival that took place in April.
★ Istanbul's Open Space Contemporary has started a curatorial residency program back in February.
The program is a two-month residency taking place in Istanbul between August 3 and September 30.
It is aimed at giving one emerging curator, with one to three years of professional experience, the unique opportunity to spend eight weeks in Istanbul, working with artists, curators and art organizations including the Huma Kabakci Collection to develop a new project that will be presented in Istanbul and London in Autumn 2019.
After applications which closed on May 2, the International Jury of the 2019 Open Space Curatorial Residency consisting of:
- Bige Örer (Director, Istanbul Biennial and Visual Arts Projects, IKSV),
- Alessio Antoniolli (Director, Gasworks & Triangle Network),
- Julie Lomax (CEO, a-n Artist Information Company & Chair of The Showroom),
- Kathy Noble (Curator and Manager of Curatorial Affairs, Performa) and
- Huma Kabakci (Founding Director, Open Space)
chose Rita Aktay to the residency.
Aktay will travel to Istanbul between 3 August - 30 September 2019, where she will develop a project in collaboration with arts institutions based in the city. Her final project will then be presented in both Istanbul in September and London in November 2019.
In her curatorial residency proposal, Aktay references the post-modernist theorist Frederic Jameson's call for
"Cognitive mapping" within the visual cultural practice. His theory puts forward the idea that, in a globalized economy, it is increasingly difficult for people to effectively understand the conditions that shape their experiences in relation to their everyday environment, and that aesthetic projects can help people to bridge this gap.
In her own exploration of this theoretical framework, Aktay will question how contemporary art can provide residents of Istanbul with an understanding of the roles that globalization, migration and urbanization play on their lives and, in turn, give them the agency to affect political action and change.
Aktay will work in collaboration with Istanbul based artists that she encounters during the residency to create an exhibition of their work, alongside pieces from the Huma Kabakci Collection that explore the changing visual history of Istanbul.
★ Istanbul's "One Love Festival" took place last weekend in two venues on five stages.
Among the bands at the festival this year, were The Blaze and Years
Read more at >> here <<
★ Bodrum Classical Music Association has organized the 16th International Gümüşlük classical music Festival this year. This weekend as part of the festival a group of young musicians who took part in the Cello Master Class gave a concert titled "Cello on the Sand".
The five young musicians ranging in age 15 to 20 are from Spain and Turkey.
Also in the festival on July 17, Escarteen Sisters of Spain took the stage with their violin, cello and vocals. The two sisters perform folk, balsa, funk and many other styles of music.
★ The Beylikdüzü district in Istanbul province is having its Fifth Classical Music Days. "Steps of Waltz in the Valley" concert featuring Turkey's violin virtuoso Cihat Aşkın and his ensemble had a concert on July 16.
Later in the week Turkey's internationally acclaimed pianist Gülsin Onay took the stage.
All of the activities of the Classical Music Days are receiving intense interest from the residents of the district.
Beylikdüzü 's previous mayor is currently the mayor of the Metropolitan Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu.
★ Another Festival is just starting on the Asian side of Istanbul in the Kadıköy district. Titled "KADFEST International Kadıköy Festival" it will feature a broad spectrum of art activities and will bring together different art forms together.
The festival will bring together the previous film, book, drawing and jazz festivals
that have been taking place in the district.
Read more at >> here <<
★ One of the renown bands of the heavy metal genre, Manowar, was in Istanbul as part of their "The Final Battle" tour.
The organizers said that this was the last concert that the band had in Istanbul, and no more concerts are planned for the future.
★ Another musical Festival just ended this week and on the shores of Kilyos on the black sea coast of Istanbul province.
Dubbed the "Million Fest" the Festival featured 40 musicians on two stages.
Among the musicians were: Teoman, Duman, Emre Aydın, Pentagram, Bulutsuzluk Özlemi,
Mor ve Ötesi, Selda Bağcan, Ceza, Şebnem Ferah, MFÖ, Cem Adrian, Moğollar. All are among the who-is-who of Turkish music .
★ An interesting exhibition is taken place at Istanbul Modern. The exhibition is titled "The Event of a Thread: Global Narratives in Textiles" is bringing together 25 international contemporary artists, who use textile to create aesthetic and cultural narratives through objects, installations and video works.
"The Event of a Thread", an exhibition of Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, made in collaboration with Istanbul Modern, features artists whose works link personal and aesthetic narratives with the social and economic configuration of a globalized world. A variety of stories and opportunities provided by textiles as a multifaceted tool of expression come into view, ranging from Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu's revival and adoption of the fading tradition of yazma (originally used for hand-painted kerchief) to Burhan Doğançay's tapestries created at the Aubusson workshops.
The artist that will be participating in the exhibition are:
Belkıs Balpınar, Hussein Chalayan, Burhan Doğançay, Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, Şakir Gökçebağ, Gözde İlkin, Gülsün Karamustafa, Servet Koçyiğit, İrfan Önürmen, Sabire Susuz
Harald Schmidt Archive
The exhibition will be on through August 18.
Read more at >> here <<
★ The Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of Turkey, established with the leadership of the Sabancı Endowment, are having concerts on July 21-22 at Istanbul's İş Sanat.
This is the first leg of the tour that the orchestra will be on. The tour comes after 20 days of a "camp" that the youth had.
Renowned Turkish conductor Cem Mansur will be leading the orchestra. He is also the founder of the orchestra.
The orchestra has received many national and international awards in numerous competitions.
In this year's concert, the orchestra will feature works by Wagner, Beethoven,
Chaykovski, Rahmaninov, Prokofiev and Weber.
Also, the orchestra will perform Turkish composer Füsun Köksal's work "Silent Echoes II".
Read more at >> here <<
★ The British daily Guardian published an interview with the Turkish singer and songwriter Gaye Su Akyol.
The Guardian's Robin Denselow conducted the interview. He started with Akyol's latest album "Consistent Life Is a Reality", and then emphasized the political aspect of the young artist.
The title of the interview was "Make war against fascists!' Gaye Su Akyol, Turkey's psychpop powerhouse".
Denselow wrote that article is one of the most interesting psych-folk-rock musician of Turkey and a courageous one.
Read more at >> here <<
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.66
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey : 84/59 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean : 102/77 Mostly Sunny
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey : 90/57 Mostly Sunny
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 86/72 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean : 95/75 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea : 81/72 Showers
Black Sea measured at Trabzon : 75
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ : 77
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir : 75
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya : 82
Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz
★ In the European U-16 Youth Women's Volleyball championships, the Turkish national team is leading its group.
So far the Turkish team had no defeats, and now are in the finals.
★ We just received the news that turkeys 600-year-old oil wrestling competitions ended on July 7. This year's champion is Ali Gürbüz.
The competitions take place at a venue called Kirkpinar, in Turkey's Edirne province. The wrestler soak their bodies in oil to make it difficult to have their opponents hold them.
on the Olive Oil Times <<
★ In the U 20 European Athletics championships for youth under 20 being held in Boras Sweden, the Turkish youth received two silver medals so far. Özlem Becerek came in second in women discus throw competition, and Alperen Karahan also came in second in men's shot put competiton.
★ In the world youth sailing championships Turkey's Yiğit Yalçın Çitak won a gold medal. The championships took place in Poland's Gdynia city. There were 57 athletes competing in his category. There were about 300 sailors in the competitons.
The competions ended on July 20.
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