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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 26 October 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 26 October 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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★ An agreement reached Tuesday by Russia and Turkey to have a 19-mile deep zone along much of the northeastern border in Syria.

  The Kurdish fighters aligned with the U.S. were asked to leave the zone.

  Then Russia and Turkey are to begin joint patrols along a narrower strip directly on the Turkish-Syrian border.

  "The outcome of the Putin-Erdoğan meeting in Sochi indicates that Erdoğan has become a master of leveraging the U.S. and Russia against each other to maximize Turkey's gains," Soner Çağaptay, an analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a U.S.-based think tank, said in a tweet.

  Other analysts say that it was another successful move by Russia to pull Turkey, a NATO member, deeper into Russia's diplomatic orbit.

  According to a French official, the deal between Russia and Turkey may cause a shift in the balance of international power, and that it will force the European Union to change its geopolitical strategy.

  France is calling for a meeting of NATO members Turkey, the UK, and Germany.

★ According to Dorian Jones of the VOA, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan escalated his rhetoric against his Western allies just before his meeting with Vladimir Putin this week.

  "The West sided with terrorists, and all of them attacked us. These include NATO countries, as well as European Union countries. Weren't you against terrorism? Since when have you been acting with them?" Mr. Erdoğan said in an address Monday.

  By terrorists, Mr. Erdoğan was referring to the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG. Turkey sees YPG as an extension of Turkey's rebel Kurds' Kurdistan Workers Party.


★ The Anatolia News Agency of Turkey reports that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan filed a criminal complaint Friday against a French magazine over a cover accusing him of "ethnic cleansing".

  Prosecutors alleged the cover constituted an insult to the president, a crime under Turkish law commonly used to target journalists in Turkey, according to Emma Sinclair-Webb, Turkey director for Human Rights Watch, an international NGO that conducts research and advocacy for human rights.

  "The charge, in general, is one that's been in the penal code for years. But it was not until Erdoğan became president that there's been a huge escalation in the use of that charge to prosecute people who are critical of the president," Sinclair-Webb said.

  Turkish reporters are frequent targets of Erdoğan, but increasingly foreign journalists based in Turkey are also facing legal action, said Nate Schenkkan, director for special research at Freedom House, an independent think tank that covers issues related to democracy and human rights.

★ On October 23, President Trump said there is "big success" on the Turkey-Syria border following the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from northeast Syria and the end of a Turkish offensive against them.

  "Big success on the Turkey/Syria border. Safe Zone created! Ceasefire has held and combat missions have ended. Kurds are safe and have worked very nicely with us. Captured ISIS prisoners secured. I will be making a statement at 11:00 A.M. from the White House. Thank you!." Trump said on Twitter.

  Turkey on Tuesday said there is "no need" to resume its military offensive against Syrian Kurds, saying the U.S. has told it that the Kurdish withdrawal from the northern Syrian border is complete.

  Turkey made its announcement hours after the five-day-long cease-fire expired in the Turkish military incursion into what had been a Kurdish safe zone in northern Syria.

★ In related news, while President Trump had positive words about Turkey and its incursion into northern Syria, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says Turkey's offensive against Kurds in northeastern Syria was "unwarranted" and Ankara is "heading in the wrong direction" after its agreement with Russia to jointly patrol a "safe zone" in the region.

  "Turkey put us in a very terrible situation," Esper said at the German Marshall Fund ahead of a NATO meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

★ Opinion polls conducted in Turkey in 2014 and 2019 show a shift in public opinion against Syrian refugees living in the country and in favor of cross-border military actions, according to an article by the Washington Post.

  Over 80 percent of Turks want to send back the 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Washington Post said citing a July 2019 poll. In 2014 only 34% of the Turks wanted Syrians resettled in northern Syria.

  One of the objectives of the recent Turkish incursion into northern Syria was to settle some of the Syrians in Turkey in northern Syria. However, analysts say with the Russian and Syrian involvement in the area, this will be more difficult to achieve now.

★ Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, argued in an article that the U.S. is tied to an untenable alliance with Turkey.

  Hanson's article acknowledges that Turkey is working at cross purposes with the U.S. in almost every area but due to U.S. strategic interests Washington is not going to break with its NATO ally.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Economy

★ According to the Associated Press, Turkey's economy minister has announced that Hakan Atilla, a Turkish banker convicted in the United States of helping Iran evade economic sanctions, has been appointed the head of Turkey's stock exchange.

  Hakan Atilla was convicted in the U.S. in 2018, after his release in July he was deported to Turkey.

  Speaking of Atilla, his former Halkbank is indicted in the U.S. for violating sanctions on Iran.

★ The Turkish government is planning to increase taxes on foreign-exchange sales 100% to support the Turkish lira.

  The tax currently stands at 0.1% and a bill in the parliament will increase it to 0.2%. The bill also gives the right to the Turkish president to increase the withholding tax over the interest revenue of foreign currency deposits. The withholding tax is currently 15%.

★ Turkey's central bank reduced its policy rate from 16.5% to 14%.

  The 250-basis-point cut was larger than most economists expected from the central bank, which had already slashed its benchmark lending rate by 750 basis points to 16.5 percent since July.

  Economist Atilla Yeşilada says that Turkish currency will depreciate and bond yields will go up. It will drive Turks to foreign currency savings.



★ According to the Anatolia News Agency, archaeologist have discovered a tomb of a female doctor in Turkey's northwestern province of Çanakkale.

  The remains were found in the ruins of the ancient city of Parion. The establishment of the city dates back to 2700 years ago.

  A marble block on a bath near the tomb has a motif belonging to Hygiea, the ancient Greek goddess of health, cleanliness, and sanitation. The archaeologists say that this indicates that the woman was a doctor.


★ Ahmed Gallab, London-born Sudanese-American singer, songwriter and musician who produces in a wide spectrum from afro-beat to funk, pop to jazz, will be performing on October 31 at Istanbul's Salon IKSV.

  Ahmed Gallab, stage name Sinkane, was born to college professors in London. His parents moved to Sudan where he would live till he was five years old, then moved to the U.S. Having traveled to so many different places in a brief period reflected on his musical identity that began to form at an early age.


★ On November 1, Salon IKSV will host the Turkish band "Lalalar". The group's music has Electronic beats with references to psychedelia and Anatolia

  Lalalar drew nation-wide as well as international attention with their first EP "İsyanlar" ("rebellions") that was released last February.

Los Altos restaurant, Istanbul

★ The traditional Mexican holiday Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) will be celebrated in Istanbul's Los Altos restaurant on Friday, November 1.

  The same day there will be a Halloween costume party titled "Drag Me to Hell". The party will be held at 360 İstanbul Taksim, located in the heart of İstiklal Street.

  There will be a saxophone show of Sofia during the night.


★ On November 2, Swiss musician and actor Thomas Kuratli will perform electronic music at Salon IKSV.

  Thomas is a graduate of the Zürich Film Academy. After his graduation from the Academy, he settled in Paris.


★ The next day on November 3, Salon IKSV will host musician Roberto Carlos Lange with Ecuadorian roots.

  Lange grew up in Florida and the music he heard there influenced him immensely. He uses Latin, folk, jazz and electronic elements.

  He is visiting Istanbul from New York where he now lives.


★ Fabrizio Paterlini is an Italian musician and contemporary classical music composer who describes piano as the "instrument he can best express his inner world".

  He will be performing on November 6 at Salon IKSV.


★ On November 15 Mix Festival will start in Istanbul's Zorlu PSM.

  The festival will bring together: are some of the exciting first names announced from the highly anticipated line-up.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.78


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 68/46 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 82/68 Mostly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 59/36 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 70/59 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 73/57 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 66/61 Showers
Seawater temperatures:
Black Sea measured at Trabzon         : 67
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ      : 66
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir          : 70
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya : 77


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz

★ Premier Soccer League

  Rankings in the league:

Alanya Sp.
Trabzon Sp.
Malatya  Sp.


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

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