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★ In an article in The National Interest David Axe wrote that "Turkey's 'mini' aircraft carrier armed with F-35's could be in big trouble".
When Turkey decided to acquire Russian S-400 air defense system, the U.S. decided not to deliver the 100 F-35 stealth fighters Turkey ordered. A new assault ship the Turkish Navy is building now likely will lack fixed-wing airplanes, at least in the short term, David Axe added.
In addition to not being able to purchase F-35's from the U.S., Turkish firms manufacturing an array of components for the F-35s were removed from the program.
According to the U.S. government, in theory, the Russian S-400 missile system could gather sensitive data on the F-35's radar signature, David Axe wrote.
★ According to VOA's Begüm Ersöz, the Russian-financed Sputnik news service in Turkey canceled a radio program after the show's three Turkish journalists Yavuz Oghan, Akif Beki and Ismail Saymaz, interviewed a prominent critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The July 19 interview with former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu covered his effort to launch a new party to challenge Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party, among other topics.
"Good work never goes unpunished in Turkey," Oghan later said on Twitter.
Mahir Boztepe, the chief editor of Sputnik Turkish, dismissed concerns about censorship.
"We, under our editorial policy, do not attach importance to a political figure like Davutoğlu, and we don't want to provide a platform for his views. We don't believe that he is newsworthy," Boztepe said.
★ According to newswires, Turkey is massing troops at the Syrian border for assault
on Syrian Kurds. Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish militia an extension of Turkey's rebel Kurds' organization Kurdistan Workers Party, which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, U.S and the European Union.
Despite Turkish objection, during the war on ISIS, the U.S. forces collaborated with the Syrian Kurdish militia. It is reported that last week U.S. general Kenneth McKenzie visited Syria for talks with Kurdish military officials while U.S. envoy for Syria James Jeffrey was in the Turkish capital Ankara for talks with the Turkish officials to help diffuse the tensions.
★ Turkey's foreign affairs minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Tuesday, July 30 that
a Turkish delegation will visit Eastern Turkestan which Chinese call Xinjiang, to observe the situation of the Uyghur Turks.
News coming out of the region indicate that at least one million Uyghurs and some Kazakh, native to the region, have been rounded up by the Chinese officials in the past few years and are being kept in concentration camps.
Earlier in July, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the internment of China's Muslim minority the "stain of the century," describing their treatment as "one of the worst human rights crises of our time."
★ New York-based Human Rights Watch, an international human rights group, is accusing Turkey of forcibly deporting Syrians to their war-torn country. Turkey denies the accusation but is defending its ongoing crackdown on unregistered refugees.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu maintains that all returning refugees have done so "voluntarily."
Soylu is vigorously defending the ongoing crackdown, launched this month on unregistered Syrians living in Istanbul. Since the start of the civil war, local media report as many as one million Syrians have sought sanctuary in Turkey's largest city. Officially 500,000 are permitted to live in the city.
Turkey officially hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees, of which the overwhelming majority live in towns and cities across the country. Since the start of the civil war, Turkey has had an "open door" policy regarding the refugees.
According to the Turkish president, Turkey spent as much as $30 billion to host the refugees.
Turkey hosts the most Syrian refugees in the world and spends the most to host them, analysts say.
★ Rating agency S&P disclosed the creditworthiness of Turkey stable at B+. It said that security risks, the possibility of worsening relations with the U.S. and the European Union and other geopolitical risks are continuing.
It added, there are signs that the economy will achieve stability. However, it said that high growth rates of recent years should not be expected.
★ According to Turkey's central bank, The consumer prices will increase by 1.2 points due to
recent price hikes to natural gas and electricity, and many other products.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Zuhal Olcay sentenced to prison for insulting Turkish President Erdoğan in a song
★ Artists and creative professionals are increasingly being targeted by authorities in Turkey, reports the Deutsche Welle. Insults against the president and "terror propaganda" are the most frequent accusations. Even big-name stars are not spared.
The number of investigations and charges against citizens for crimes such as "insulting the president" and "terrorist propaganda" has skyrocketed.
The most recent case was that of Zuhal Olcay, a famous singer and
actress who has won numerous awards in Turkey and has a huge fan base. In
July, the Court of Appeals sentenced the 62-year-old to 11 months and 20 days in prison. Olcay had rewritten the verse of one of her songs to reference Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and sang it during a concert. Her message: His time will be over. The line was seen as an insult to the president, and after an informer in the audience called the police, the wheels were set in motion.
Many critics see the increase in investigations as an attempt by the government to intimidate dissenters. Self-censorship is widespread, especially in the media and art world.
According to Human Rights Watch, 20,539 people were charged with insulting the president in 2017 and 6,033 were indicted. By comparison, when Erdoğan was elected president in 2014, there were only 132 new investigations. While only 40 people accused were convicted in 2014, in 2017, 2,099 were convicted.
In related news, Turkey's Publishers Union issued a commentary. It said that negative comments
made in social media have increased assault on books, writers, publishers and booksellers dramatically.
It said that most of the campaigns to smear the publishing industry is devoid of concrete facts and evidence. Thus extrajudicial punishment is taking place.
★ Since 2017 the Turkish subsidiary of SOCAR, The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, is sponsoring a program through Istanbul jazz Festival to promote contemporary Turkish music abroad and facilitate collaboration with world music professionals. The program is called "Window: Turkey's Contemporary Music Get-Together".
This year the program awarded €5000 two bands from Turkey for their tours abroad.
The bands are No Land and Tolgahan Çoğulu & Sinan Ayyıldız.
★ Istanbul's Toy Museum is remembering Sadako Sasaki on the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb to Hiroshima.
Sadako Sasaki was a Japanese girl who was two years old when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, near her home next to the Misasa Bridge but survived.
She is remembered through the story of the one thousand origami cranes she folded before her death and is to this day a symbol of the innocent victims of nuclear warfare. She died at the age of 12 from radiation-induced leukemia.
Dedicated to Sasaki, people all over Japan celebrate August 6 as the annual peace day.
★ Istanbul's Akmerkez Triangular Terrace is hosting a series of free concerts titled "Meeting of the Stars with Group Gündoğarken".
The first musician that the Group Gündoğarken will be accompanying on Friday, August 6 evening is pop star Fatma Turgut.
In addition to singing, the soloists of Group Gündoğarken will talk with the guests.
İlhan Şeşen established the Group Gündoğarken in 1983 with his two nephews. Although the group disbanded in 1994, they still get together and play from time to time and even had several albums.
Click on photos to see larger versions
★ The excavations near Istanbul's historic Haydarpaşa Railway Terminal on the Asian side of the metropolis are revealing a treasure trove of artifacts and human remains.
So far archaeologists have identified the ruins of a church from the fifth century, mass graves, other architectural remains and about 6000 bronze coins.
The director of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum Rahmi Asal says that with the excavations the real and tangible archaeology and history of the Kadıköy district is coming to daylight. Up to these excavations, he says, all they knew about the region was from what the historians wrote based on sources from the antiquity.
The excavations have been continuing for more than a year after works for a new railway line unearthed parts of the ruins of the ancient structures.
400 workers, 17 archaeologist and three museum specialists are participating in the excavations taking place in five different areas.
The oldest ruins are estimated to go back to the Hellenistic era to fourth century BCE.
★ The American band Barakka based in Philadelphia was in Turkey. They say that they are planning to come to Turkey more often.
The group is made up of guitarists Barış Kaya, oudist Roger Mgrdichian, percussionist Joe Tayoun and on the keyboard Billy Tayoun. Their first album titled "From Far Away" was published in 2012.
They are working on a new folk-rock style album titled "The Roads Wait". The album will be a synthesis of Eastern and Western instruments and musical styles.
★ The ENKA open-air theater will be hosting two interesting plays. The first one is titled "Catch-22" and will be on the stage on August 6. On August 8, "Can Art be Eaten at the Dinner?" will be performed.
The Catch-22 tells the comical story of Yossaryan during the Second World War by American writer Joseph Heller. Yossaryan is a soldier who was caught in the middle of the war but is struggling not to be part of the war.
★ Another set of theater events took place last week at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum. Titled "Stage at the Museum - Performing Arts Days".
The last event featured veteran Turkish actor Genco Erkal with the play "About Life - Letters from Bursa Prison" on last Sunday evening.
Genco Erkal is 81 years old.
★ The 16th International Gümüşlük Classical Music Festival is continuing in Turkey's southwestern Bodrum Peninsula. This week at the festival Cypriot Turkish pianist Eser Öktem was the guest of
Dibeklihan Culture and Art Village on Thursday, August 1.
Öktem played works by Bach, Chopin, Debussy and Liszt.
On Friday the festival also hosted German pianists Konstanze Eickhorst at the Zefirya Culture and Arts Center. She performed works by Bach, Clara Schumann, Mendelssohn and Brahms.
★ American novelist and short story writer Lauren Groff's third novel "Fates and Furies" has just been translated to Turkish.
The novel was released in the U.S. in September 2015. It became a New York Times and Book Sense best-seller. Fates and Furies is a portrait of a 24-year marriage from two points of view, first
that of the husband's and then of the wife's.
In 2017, Granta Magazine named Groff as one of the Best of Young American Novelist of her generation.
★ The legendary name of Latin music Omara Portuondo sang this evening in Istanbul Lifepark as part of her tour titled "Omara Es Cuba - The Last Kiss". Portuondo is 89 years old and after this tour, she will be retiring.
Portuondo is known as the diva of the renowned Cuban ensemble Buena Vista Social Club.
Asked about what she likes about Turkey most, she said "I like Turkish culture, music which is beautiful and vast. Also, Turkish dishes are very delicious." She said that she has been interested in visiting Turkey for longer periods but so far she has not had the opportunity due to being on the road for her concerts around the world.
Portuondo says that one of her wishes is to be able to sing a song with a Turkish singer.
★ Last week a four-day musical event took place in Turkey's southern province of Hatay's Arsuz district. Dubbed "MilyonFest Arsuz" the event featured renowned Turkish singer Şebnem Ferah on its third day.
On the fourth and the last day renown Turkish musician Selda Bağcan took the stage with the band Duman.
Ferah sang some of her older songs and also two songs from her latest album. The 30,000-strong crowd accompanied her in some of her songs.
★ Gazapizm, a renowned name in the Turkish rap, published an album. The album is made up of four songs he sang with the Tepecik Philharmonic orchestra on March 23 in Turkey's Aegean city of Izmir.
The album is available under the Universal Music Turkey label.
★ The Izmir Film Festival just ended and the awards for the winners announced.
"Müslüm" was chosen as the Best Film. 4 million voters from 110 countries around the globe
determined the winners.
The film also received nine other awards. The film "The Insane: the Edict of Fatih" received the Best Actor award in addition to five other awards.
★ KADEST International Kadıköy Festival has hosted Tunisian director Selma Baccar in its section titled "Film under the Stars".
During the festival her film "The Women's Ward" was screened. She also talked on the stage and told the audience how she got involved in politics after the 2011 Tunisian revolution. She says she learned politics by making movies. She was in the commission to write a new constitution and worked in the Rights and Freedom Commission.
Her films deal with women's issues and rights in Tunisia.
The Film under the Stars started on July 22 with the screening of Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid" with the accompaniment of an orchestra. The venue is an open air theater at a park.
★ Turkish director Ömür Atay's film "Brothers" returned from Iceland's "Close Up Reykjavík Film Festival" with the Best Film award.
The film had its debut in the 53rd Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic last June.
The film previously received five awards at the Nürnberg Turkish German Film Festival.
★ Turkey's only crime fiction literary festival "Black Week Istanbul" is organizing a special competition for young authors.
The competition is open to authors under 30 years old. The last day of submissions for a crime story is September 1, 2019.
The jury for the competition is made up of prominent Turkish writers. The jury will select nine stories and then put them into a book. The winners will receive their awards on November 21 in a ceremony held at Pera Palace Hotel.
Agatha Christie wrote her 1934 novel "Murder on the Orient Express" in the Pera Palace Hotel. The hotel maintains Christie's room as a memorial to the author.
Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz
★ In a private game between Turkey's Galatasaray and Greece's Panathinaikos Galatasaray prevailed 2-1. The game took place in Istanbul Turkey.
★ In the Under-18 Men's Basketball Championships Turkish national team beat Slovenia 72 -64 and rose to the finals. The championships are being held in Greece.
★ In the Olympics qualifiers for volleyball, Turkish women's team beat Germany and Czech Republic teams. The games are being held in China.
★ In the CEMAS World Underwater Federation Youth's Men World Finswimming Championships Turkey received a silver and a bronze medal. The games were being held in Egypt.
★ Turkey's Yalçın Çıtak became the world champion second time in the Laser Radial World Youth Sailing Championships being held in Canada. He rose to the top from among 208 youth.
★ In the World Paralympic Games held in Switzerland, Turkey's Muhsine Gezer became the world champion in 400 meters race.
Eda Yıldırım received a gold medal in shotput in the same games.
Havva Elmalı received a gold medal in 1500 m race.
★ In the European World Down Syndrome Athletics Championships Turkey's Münevvere Yılmaz received a total of four gold medals in shotput.
She received the second places in 1500 m race and then in
javelin, and took the third-place in 800 m race.
Ali Topaloğlu became the world champion in shotput and also broke the world record.
[Saat 14:30 and 15:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
*** Turkish American Association of California (TAAC)
In cooperation with the TAAC Monterey Bay Chapter and
Horon Turkish Folk Ensemble proudly presents...
22nd Annual Turkish Art and Culture Festival in Monterey
Aug 3-4, Sat & Sun, 11am - 7pm
Location: Monterey Custom House Plaza, next to the Fisherman’s Wharf
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