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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 21 September 2019
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 21 September 2019]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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★ According to Dorian Jones of the VOA, Senior U.S. military officers claim "impressive" progress in cooperation with NATO ally Turkey in northeast Syria. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is warning of unilateral action against the U.S.'s critical Syrian ally if Turkish security demands aren't met by the end of the month.
A Combined Joint Operation Center is set up in Turkey's Şanlıurfa province, which borders Syria. The command center was established under an August agreement between U.S. and Turkish generals to create what Washington calls a "security mechanism," and what Turkey refers to a "safe zone," in northeast Syria.
Turkey claims the zone is necessary to protect its border from the Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG, which it considers terrorists linked to an insurgency inside Turkey. The YPG is also a key ally in the U.S.-led war against Islamic State.
★ In an article in the Arab Weekly, Sabahat Khan, a senior analyst at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, writes that Turkey's growing ties with Russia are a break from the past. Turkey and Russia fought numerous wars as imperialist powers through the 1700s and 1800s that were to set the tone for the century ahead. When Turkey joined NATO in 1952, the Cold War between the Western world and the Soviet Union was pressing ahead at full power and Turkey took a front-line role.
Today, as Turkey takes delivery of the Russia-made S-400 ballistic missile defense system and finds itself at loggerheads with its traditional ally, the United States, over the purchase, Turkey is telling counterparts in Russia of its desire to broaden defense industrial cooperation.
Since May, the United States has effectively suspended Turkey from the F-35 program over the S-400 purchase and a "final decision" is expected on Turkey's expulsion from the program shortly. Turkish pilots have had their F-35 training halted and Turkish industry producing components for the aircraft remain in limbo about as to where the dispute ends.
The United States said the only way back into the F-35 program for Turkey is the removal of the S-400 systems, for which Turkey has agreed to pay $2 billion.
The U.S. says the S-400, which is incompatible with NATO systems, poses severe risks to the F-35s but there are reports that the Russians are pitching additional S-400 systems to Turkey, which is no longer able to purchase the US-made Patriot systems alternative.
Now the Turkish president is considering purchasing Russian planes in place of the F-35's.
The risks for Turkey are high. Purchasing Russian fighter aircraft would involve a massive and high-cost reorganization of its air force, doctrines, training and supply network.
Turkey's NATO membership could also be on the line if it reorients towards a defense strategy that while prioritizing self-reliance re-balances with Russian and Chinese technologies because of the broader strategic realignment that would entail.
Turkey also may find itself facing more U.S. sanctions.
★ On September 15, National Public Radio's Morning Edition carried a report by Joanna Kakissis from Istanbul. The report covers the violence against women in Turkey and the current uproar by the public against it.
Although the ruling Justice and Development Party officials look to the other side, some Turkish leaders are noticing. After the killing of a woman in August, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu blamed "male violence" for her death. A popular soccer team observed a moment of silence in her memory. Finally Turkey's president Erdoğan even hinted at reinstating the death penalty for men who kill their wives.
Fidan Ataselim of We Will Stop Femicide says Erdoğan's tough talk misses the point.
"High-ranking members of this government say things like women should not laugh too loudly, as if this encourages men to attack us," she says. "Domestic violence never happens because there's a problem with the woman. The men are killing. They are the problem."
Read more at >> here <<
★ The Deutsche Welle carried an article on the influence and extent of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate.
The article reports that Turkey's highest religious authority is sometimes called a holding company since it brings in huge profits with its extensive ownership of properties.
The government just turned over a vacated historic brewery over to the directorate. Despite opposition by people who are interested in conserving historic structures, the directorate is planning to demolish the brewery and build dormitories in its place.
The article says that this is one of the examples of the way that the directorate operates. There are literally hundreds of similar projects in Turkey and abroad.
The budget of the directorate exceeds the budgets of most ministries, and its website declares it to be $908 million. However, the Turkish Statistics Institute believes that the actual figure is almost double this amount.
★ Another Deutsche Welle article writes that in Turkey, rapid urbanization and poor pollution control are impacting public health, according to researchers.
And the government is punishing experts who try to warn the public about it.
Bülent Şık is a Turkish food engineer who is on trial, facing up to 12 years in prison on charges of procuring and disclosing prohibited information after he publicized data about health risks in a number of Turkish provinces, including Kocaeli, where a highly polluted town Dilovası is located.
Professor Onur Hamzaoğlu spent years researching public-health issues in Dilovası, where he found high levels of heavy metals in the breast milk of local mothers and in the first feces of their newborn babies. After he released these findings in 2011, local officials filed a complaint against him, accusing him of trying to cause panic among the public.
The former university department head described a pattern of harassment that affected not only him but also his colleagues.
That case against Hamzaoğlu was ultimately dropped, but pressure on academics in Turkey has only increased since then.
Read more at >> here <<
★ Turkey's state media watchdog is ignoring a ruling by the country's highest legal body against a broadcast ban on reports about corruption by former ministers of the ruling party, Turkish news site İleri Haber reported on Friday.
Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled this week that a broadcast ban placed on reports on a December 2013 corruption probe that implicated four ministers of the ruling Justice and Development Party breached press freedom and freedom of expression laws.
The ruling related to a parliamentary commission set up to investigate the claims that high-ranking Justice and Development Party officials had received bribes and were involved in other corrupt activities.
Four Justice and Development Party ministers resigned as a result of the investigation. Yet the Justice and Development Party says the investigations were a "coup attempt" launched by police and prosecutors who were members of the Gülen movement, a now-banned religious group that had been allied to the Justice and Development Party before the investigations.
★ Hümeyra Pamuk of Reuters reports that a Turkish official said on Wednesday that President Donald Trump has become more understanding about why Turkey has purchased a Russian missile defense system and he is not expected to impose U.S. sanctions on Turkey over the issue.
Read more at >> here <<
★ A blast caused by a fire at a chemical factory in Istanbul sent a metal tank flying into the air and injured two firefighters on Sep 19, BBC reports.
Several people were affected by fumes, but there were no reported fatalities.
Read more at >> here <<
★ The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has granted a $17.6 million loan to the Turkish processor Işık Organic to expand its organic hazelnut and dried fruit processing capacity, reports Jose Gutierrez of the Foodnews.
Turkey produces 70% of the world's hazelnut followed by Italy at 13%. The US produces only 3%.
★ According to Reuters, three Turkish banks said on Thursday they had mandated Morgan Stanley as financial adviser for the sale of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that holds a 55% stake in Turk Telekom, sending the company's shares up.
★ Turkey's consumer confidence index fell to 55.8 points in September, having risen to 58.3 points in August, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute showed on Friday.
★ Turkish Airlines was named a "2020 Five Star Global Airline" by APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association), one of the world's most trusted and prominent aviation organizations.
Turkish Airlines flies to 126 countries around the world.
★ Agence France-Presse has carried an article on the travails of the Turkish cartoonist Musa Kart. In our news last week, we told you that Kart was just released from prison, where he was serving with several of his colleagues from the Turkish opposition daily Cumhuriyet. They were accused of collaborating with terrorists, which most analysts say were trumped-up charges.
Kart told Agence France-Presse that for the past 15 years prisons and courthouses have become a second home to
Kart was recognized last year by the Swiss Foundation Cartooning for Peace.
"I have spent almost the same amount of time in court corridors as I spent in the paper. It is very unfortunate," he told Agence France-Presse.
Kart has been in and out of trouble since Erdoğan took power in 2003.
His first lawsuit came in 2005 over a cartoon portraying Erdoğan, then prime minister, as a cat entangled in a ball of wool.
Read more at >> here <<
★ Turkish rapper Şehinşah reported on his Twitter account that he had been detained by police on Friday over lyrics in one of his songs.
Ufuk Yıldırmaz, better known by his stage name Şehinşah, told his 270,000 Twitter followers that he had been taken in for questioning on Friday over the lyrics.
The rapper thanked the security officers for doing their best to process his case quickly so that he could make his concert in Bursa on Friday night.
Several rap artists have faced jail time since last year over accusations that their lyrics encouraged drug use.
Rap music made a deep political impact this month with the release of two protest songs that voiced rising discontent against aspects of the Justice and Development Party government's rule.
The songs racked up millions of hits on YouTube within hours of their release on Sept. 6. Pro-government media said they were a "joint production" by outlawed organizations.
★ Curated by İpek Yeğinsü, Anna Laudel art gallery in Istanbul is presenting a group exhibition titled "Intergalactic", showcasing selected artworks of 12 contemporary artists including Beyza Boynudelik, Şafak Çatalbaş, Alper Derinboğaz, Emin Mete Erdoğan, Horasan, Ekin Su Koç, Ali Miharbi, Ali İbrahim Öcal, Özcan Saraç, Meltem Sırtıkara, Merve Şendil and İrem Tok.
On until October 20, 2019, the exhibition departs from the question of what the future will be like if we manage to bring and sustain our civilization beyond the confines of our planet.
★ Sinem Dişli has a new exhibition at the Ara Güler Museum titled "Mounds: A look at Göbeklitepe". In addition to her videos, paintings and installations, Ara Güler and Dişli's photographs of Göbeklitepe will be part of the exhibition.
Dişli has been successful in recent years with her photography and since 2007 she has been spending time in and around Göbeklitepe.
The exhibition will continue through January 15, 2020. Simultaneously with the exhibition, a book by the same name and has been published with the contributions of Dr. Christopher Lightfoot, Dr. Wendy Shaw, Dr. Ahmet Ersoy and İpek Ulusoy Akgül on Sinem Dişli's works.
Göbeklitepe is an archaeological site in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey approximately 7 miles northeast of the city of Şanlıurfa. The mound includes what is believed to be of a social or ritual nature, dating back to 12,000 years ago. The German Archaeological Institute has been conducting excavations at the site since 1996, but large parts remain unexcavated. In 2018, UNESCO designated Göbeklitepe a World Heritage Site.
★ Istanbul's Mixer gallery is hosting Nazlı Erdemirel's first solo exhibition until October 12th, 2019.
Nazlı Erdemirel focuses on photography and she develops a response to the limited structure of the two-dimensional manner of this medium. Erdemirel concentrates on the continuity of the image with video by going beyond the limits of photography and aims to create a new visual style and an additional layer using different materials.
The artist's new series, focusing on the human body, aims to make the invisible visible and meanwhile invites the audience to experience this process by being a part of it.
★ Cleon Peterson is having a solo exhibition titled "Cleon Peterson: Stare into the Sun" at Istanbul's Pilevneli Gallery in Mecidiyeköy.
Cleon Peterson was born in 1973 in Seattle, Washington and he is currently based in Los Angeles.
With an aesthetic rooted in graphic design and a style reminiscent of Greco-Roman vases, Cleon Peterson's art depicts a world in which deviance is the norm and violence, sex, and drugs bring a hollow pleasure. A former drug addict who initially struggled to recover, Peterson does not rely on symbolism or allusion, as many other artists do; instead, he depicts a chaotic and chilling reality—police brutality, stabbings, and strangulation. Influenced by Leon Golub, Paul McCarthy, and Mike Kelley, Peterson portrays a world in which hostility and violence are rendered senseless and without context.
Peterson's exhibition will be on through October 27
Read more at >> here <<
★ Pilevneli is also hosting the works of Erdoğan Zümrütoğlu until October 27.
Erdoğan Zümrütoğlu was born in Konya in 1970. In 1996, he graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir. He went to France, Belgium and Holland for two years, and studied European paintings.
Zümrütoğlu had his first solo exhibition "In the Memory of Antoin Artaud" at the Izmir Art and Sculpture Museum in 2001.
He held his exhibition "A Poet, A Painter" at the Culture Art Center in Istanbul while showing his works at the 12th Istanbul Art Fair among his peers.
Zümrütoğlu has continued to exhibit his works regularly in various galleries in Turkey and abroad. He had participated in the TÜYAP Contemporary Art Fair in 2008.
Zümrütoğlu currently lives and works in Istanbul and Berlin.
İrem Tok, Meydan Larousse Open Air Museum, 2019
★ Istanbul art gallery Pilot is hosting İrem Tok's third solo exhibition entitled "Close Up" until October 13, 2019.
In her exhibition, İrem Tok focuses on the conflicts between scientific knowledge and subjective experience and seeks knowledge of nature and human beings in the world of microorganisms and small habitats.
Artist proposes to take a closer look at the universe and to produce knowledge of tiny things.
Read more at >> here <<
★ Istanbul's Sabancı Museum is inviting artists from Turkey for an exhibition in February 2020 that will last three months at the Museum in Istanbul.
Artists can be performing in all forms of art.
The deadline is September 22.
For more information see the Sabancı Museum web pages.
Left: Adnan Çoker, 1927 Globes VI, 1996 Acrylic on canvas
Right: Ramazan Bayrakoğlu, 1966, Fire, 2010, Acrylic on Plexiglas
★ Istanbul Modern has a new collection exhibition "In Pursuit of the Present".
The exhibition is focusing on human conditions in today's world and it features works that explore the relationship between humans and cities, nature, and between their own selves and their physical environment in historical, social and personal contexts.
Moreover, the exhibition holds a mirror to how human emotions are influenced by the new visual and aural stimuli that have emerged in the world today.
Curatorial Staff: Öykü Özsoy, Deniz Pehlivaner, Ümit Mesci
Murat Akagündüz, Rasim Aksan, Alaettin Aksoy, Deniz Aktaş, Peter Anders, Mehtap Baydu,
Ramazan Bayrakoğlu, Sabri Berkel, Taner Ceylan, Adnan Çoker, Burhan Doğançay, İpek Duben, Olafur Eliasson,
İnci Eviner, Mehmet Güleryüz, Balkan Naci İslimyeli, Hüsamettin Koçan, Azade Köker,
Maro Michalakakos, Sarah Morris, Hans Op de Beeck, Angel Otero, Kemal Önsoy, İrfan Önürmen,
Necla Rüzgar, Sarkis, Güneş Terkol, Canan Tolon, TUNCA, Ömer Uluç, Zhan Wang, Nil Yalter, Jerome Zonder.
★ Istanbul's SALT has the most comprehensive exhibition to date of Nur Koçak, one of Turkey's first photorealist painters.
The exhibition is titled after one of her works, "Our Blissful Souvenirs" comprises a selection of early drawings and photographic series, produced between the 1960s and 2010s.
The exhibition offers an in-depth view of Koçak's critically narrative practice, which examines the spread of popular culture from women's magazines and Hollywood movies through to its repercussions in Turkey. "Our Blissful Souvenirs" was programmed by art historian Ahu Antmen together with Amira Akbıyıkoğlu from SALT and it will be until December 29.
Maffy Falay in 1972 and now
★ Turkish trumpet player Maffy Falay turned 89, reports the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet. Falay has been living in Sweden since 1964.
He played with many renowned jazz musicians over the decades. One of his admirers was Dizzy Gillespie. Gillespie first listened to him in the Turkish capital Ankara in 1956 and compares Falay to other renowned trumpeters such as Miles Davis and Roy Eldridge.
The Kuşadası town on the Aegean Sea has a statue of him since he learned how to play the trumpet there.
He has played in orchestras led by Benny Bailey, Ake Persson, Phil Woods, Sixten Eriksson, and Quincy Jones.
In 1970 he started playing in the Dizzy Gillespie Reunion Orchestra. He has also played with Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, and Elvin Jones.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.74
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey : 66/43 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean : 86/70 Mostly Sunny
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey : 64/37 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 72/57 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean : 81/57 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea : 66/57 Showers
Black Sea measured at Trabzon : 70
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ : 71
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir : 70
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya : 83
Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz
* In games played so far
this week (5)
Göztepe - Konya Sp 1 - 0
Fenerbahçe - Ankaragücü 2 - 1
Kayseri Sp - Denizli Sp 1 - 1
Kasımpaşa - Antalya Sp 3 - 0
G. Birliği - Alanya Sp 1 - 1
Malatya Sp. - G. Saray 1 - 1
Rize Sp - G. Antep Sp 1 - 2
Beşiktaş - Başakşehir 1 - 1
Sivas Sp - Trabzon Sp 2 - 1
* Standing in the league as of week ending 5
1 - Alanya Sp 13
2 - Fenerbahçe 10
3 - G. Antep Sp 10
4 - Sivas Sp 8
5 - Denizli Sp 8
6 - Rize Sp 8
7 - G. Saray 8
8 - Malatya Sp. 7
9 - Trabzon Sp 6
10 - Konya Sp 6
11 - Beşiktaş 5
12 - Başakşehir 5
13 - Göztepe 5
14 - Antalya Sp 5
15 - Ankaragücü 5
16 - Kasımpaşa 4
17 - Kayseri Sp 3
18 - G. Birliği 2
[Saat 14:30 and 15:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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*** Republic Day Ball
When: Saturday, November 2, 2019, 6:00 PM until 11:30 PM
Where: Hilton Embassy Suites
150 Anza Blvd
Burlingame, CA 94010
Contact(s): Orgül Eroğlu, Nalan Özışık
>> here <<
Overnight guests are welcome to special rates on rooms with breakfast over the waterfront at Hilton Embassy Suites
Live music by
Mert Özel - Ester Benabanaste
Monterey Bayanlar Korosu
Hadi Hadi Music Group
The Bay Area Turkish Youth Folk Dance Group