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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 09 November 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 09 November 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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★ On Friday the National Public Radio had an interview with Steven Pifer, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and a nuclear arms expert.

  Steven Pifer says that there are 50 American nuclear weapons in Turkey, and 100 in the rest of Europe. Mr. Pifer argues that these weapons should be taken out of Turkey. He says that strained relations with Turkey are the main reason. If these weapons are taken out of Turkey, he says that Turkey still can be protected with weapons asked were in Europe.

  Turkey and the U.S. are both NATO allies. The next year weapons were first deployed in Turkey in the 1950s.

★ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is accusing Moscow and Washington of reneging on commitments to enforce the withdrawal of a Syrian Kurdish militia YPG from Turkey's border, and he is warning of a resumption of military operations in Syria, Dorian Jones of the VOA reports.

  Mr. Erdoğan struck two separate deals in October, with Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, with both agreeing the YPG would withdraw at least 30 kilometers from the Turkish border.

  In return, Turkey agreed to pause its military offensive into Syria against the YPG.

  Mr. Erdoğan, speaking before leaving for Budapest, Hungary, claimed at least 11 Syrian National Army members, which is allied to Turkish forces in Syria, had been killed Thursday by the YPG.

  Turkey says the YPG is linked to an insurgency being waged inside Turkey by the Kurdish rebel group Kurdistan Workers Party.

  When the US forces left the area, Turkish forces moved in. But then Russia has filled in some of the vacuum and Turkey started cooperating with the Russian forces and started joint patrols on November 1 that halted the Turkish intrusion.

  Mr. Erdoğan also criticized the U.S. for dealing with the YPG leader Mazloum Kobani. He said that there is no difference between Kobani and al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader killed last month.

  Mr. Erdoğan will be in Washington to talk to President Trump on November 13.

★ Mr. Erdoğan also asked the U.S. to lift its embargo on the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey. U.S. initiated the embargo when Turkey purchased S-400 missile defense system from Russia. U.S. claimed that the Russian missile system would compromise NATO weapon systems, especially the F-35's stealth technology.

  Mr. Erdoğan says if the embargo is not lifted Turkey will deepen its military ties with Russia.


  Sen. Mitch McConnell

★ In related news, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell asked the White House to lay out its position on placing sanctions on Turkey, according to the Democratic cosponsor of one of the proposals on the Capitol Hill, reports the Government Executive website.

★ According to the Associated Press, the European Union is preparing to pay Turkey tens of millions of euros to help bolster its coast guard to be able to better curb migrants crossing over from Turkey to Europe.

★ Turkey's president Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Wednesday that Turkish forces have captured a wife of the slain former Islamic state leader al-Baghdadi.

  On November 4 Turkish officials also claimed that they captured a sister of al-Baghdadi, sister's husband and daughter.

James Jeffrey

★ The State Department's special representative to Syria James Jeffrey arrived in Turkey on Friday to meet with senior government officials and members of the Syrian opposition as the Turkish-led military offensive in Northeast Syria continuous despite several cease-fire agreements.

  Mr. Jeffrey will discuss the current situation in Syria and continued efforts to ensure an enduring defeat of the Islamic State, the State Department said.


  Ahmet Altan and Nazli Ilıcak
★ A Turkish court has ordered the release under supervision of Ahmet Altan and Nazli Ilıcak, two prominent journalists jailed over alleged links to the failed 2016 coup in the country, reports Agence France-Presse.

  They had been serving a sentence of 10 and a half years and eight years and nine months respectively, for "helping a terrorist group", meaning the followers of Fethullah Gülen, a cleric who lives in the U.S.

  Both Altan and Ilıcak have denied any involvement in the failed coup, calling such accusations "grotesque". They were accused of sending "subliminal messages" that an overthrow of the government was imminent during a televised panel hosted by Ilicak.

  Read more at >> here <<


  Christian Wulff and Ekrem İmamoğlu
★ Greater metropolitan Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu received an award in Germany from the German Turkish friendship Federation. Germany's former federal president Christian Wulff gave the award to İmamoğlu at a ceremony held in Berlin.

  President Wulff said that he saw the spirit of the Berlin wall coming down in İmamoğlu's win twice in the elections. "I saw you bringing people together. This was a new thing. You surprised everybody. Turkish German relationship will improve also with this", added the former German president.

  While in Berlin, Mayor İmamoğlu had a meeting with German finance minister Olaf Scholz. He also met with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Ms. Merkel congratulated Mr. İmamoğlu.

  In related news, Turkey's interior minister Süleyman Soylu called Mayor İmamoğlu a "fool" due to his recent criticism of the Turkish government at a Council of Europe event in Strasburg. Mr. Soylu threatened Mayor İmamoğlu and added that he will pay the price for what he did.

  Mr. İmamoğlu delivered a speech at the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe on October 30 in which he spoke about a repeat of the March 31 local election in İstanbul although he was the winner because he said the Justice and Development Party manipulated the results and had the election canceled by the election authority. In the repeat elections on June 23, Mr. İmamoğlu won again with an even greater margin.

★ In a new Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study, Turkey ranked at the bottom in the healthcare spending index.

  "Germany, France, Sweden, and Japan all spent close to 11% of GDP, while a few countries spent less than 6% of their GDP on health care, including Mexico, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Turkey at 4.2%," the report said.

  The ruling Justice and Development Party promised cheap, comprehensive and practical services. However, Turkey is struggling with many healthcare problems, made worse by an economic crisis after the significant depreciation of the Turkish lira against major currencies.

  The healthcare system is fraught with inefficient funding of healthcare facilities, medical supply shortages, staff shortages, long waiting times for appointments, and discontinuing the import of drugs at high prices.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ According to economist Atilla Yeşilada, Turkey's account deficit has started again. In the past year, the current account deficit of $50 billion turned into a $5 billion surplus.

  According to Dr. Yeşilada, this was mostly due to a demand slump. However, in September and October, export growth ground to a halt and imports began to recover. He is predicting a rising trade deficit next year.

★ The Center for Commercialization of Knowledge established by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce received an award from UBI Global for being the "most promising program of the world".

  The award ceremony took place in Qatar.

  UBI Global was founded in 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden to identify where all the innovation hubs are located worldwide and to learn and share what makes them successful.

  The organization has a "World Benchmark Study" to find common traits and identify best practices, to help business incubators and accelerators, to improve their programs, become more attractive to startups, and increase their overall efficiency -- and ultimately, their ability to attract investment.

★ According to the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, the World Bank did not change its forecast for the growth of the Turkish economy for this year and announced that it still foresees 0% growth. Next year, however, the banks say that the Turkish economy may achieve 3% growth, led by a recovering private consumption and investment, accelerating further to 4% in 2021.

  The slowdown in European economies is likely to offset Turkey's exports, but accommodative global monetary conditions may support faster recovery, the World Bank report writes.


★ Turkish theater actor Levent Üzümcü's play "The Story Is Your Story" has been banned to appear at a middle school in Turkey's Hopa town in the Black Sea Region by the town administrator.

  The administrator first asked for the text of the play. The actor says when the administrator could not find anything wrong with the plot, he said that the play could not be on stage at a public building.

  Levent Üzümcü says that he will put the play on stage at a wedding hall.

★ A 2400-year-old grave that was found 55 years ago during excavations for new equipment at a lubricant production plant is saved and rebuilt by the owners and has been protected for decades.

  The management of the plant says that they will keep protecting the grave.

  The grave is in Gemlik town in Bursa province.

★ Prof. Özdemir Nutku passed away at the age of 88 on Friday in Izmir, Turkey. In addition to being a theater artist, Dr. Nutku was also a writer.

  He is considered to be one of the greatest scholars on Turkish theater.

★ Carnegie Hall hosted a Turkish musical event on November 2. The New York Atatürk Chorus and Fine Instruments Group took the stage performing Turkish classical and folk music in the first part of the event.

  In the second part, The Fine Instruments Group performed in the accompaniment of the traditional and Western instruments.

★ The Turkish Publishers Union gave its 2019 Freedom of Thought and Expression awards on November 7 at the 38th Book Fair in Istanbul.

  Barış Terkoğlu and Barış Pehlivan's book "Metastasis " received the Best Author award.

  The publisher award went to Avesta Publishing house for being able to survive for 25 years despite struggling with censorship and publishing bans.

  The Bookstore Effort award went to "Poem Art House" that has managed to survive for 32 years in the small Marmara town of Bandırma.

★ Başar Sabuncu's musical titled "Sparrow of the Sidewalks" on the life of the iconic French musician Edith Piaf will debut at the IKSV Theater Film Festival on November 23, with a second performance on the next day.

  Edith Piaf was a French singer-songwriter, cabaret performer and film actress noted as France's national chanteuse and one of the country's most widely known international stars.

  She lived between 1915-1963. Her last name was a nickname meaning sparrow.

★ The 20th Izmir Short Film Festival has started. The Festival will feature national and international films in the animation, documentary, experimental and fiction categories. The films will compete for the Golden Cat award.

  More than 300 films are participating in the festival and they were screened free of charge to the public on November 7 and 8.

★ Ece Ülgentürk, Deniz Aynur and Eda Güçhan, three students from Istanbul's Saint Michel French High school established a "Student Solidarity Group" to help elementary school students who do not have the means to get involved with music.

  The group established a music room in a rural elementary school in the Afyonkarahisar province with funds raised. Their next stop is another rural middle school in the Manisa province, where they will again establish a music room.

★ Istanbul's SALT contemporary art institution's program "Is this our last chance?" is in its fifth year. The program encourages people to question and evaluate the urgency of climate change at both personal and global levels.

  As part of the program this year there will be presentations on December 3 and 4 in Istanbul, and then on 18 and 20 in the Turkish capital Ankara.

  SALT had announced that it will not take any financial support for the program from oil, coal and gas companies.

★ 78-year-old Turkish archeologist Aykut Çınaroğlu passed away. He was an expert on the ancient Hittite civilization and was the director of the Alacahöyük excavation, the site of the Hittite capital in Turkey's north-central Çorum province.

  He will be buried at the excavation site where he spent 20 years.

  Hittites established an empire 3800 years ago what is now central Turkey that lasted over a millennium. They were the adversaries of ancient Egyptians.

★ Nisan Ak, composer and conductor of the Aiken Symphony, premiered an original composition inspired by original musical manuscripts, in conjunction with Smithsonian Libraries on November 5 at the Nicholas F. and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music.

  Nisan Ak is a rising female conductor from Istanbul. Currently, a doctoral candidate at the University of South Carolina, Ms. Ak has conducted concerts in various halls in Vienna including the Wiener Konzerthaus and Palais Eschenbach, as well as various music festivals around the world in cities such as Pärnu, Vienna, Luzern, Istanbul, and the United States.

★ British fiction, commentary and history writer Dame Marina Warner will be the guest of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University's Women's Studies and Research Center, and Women's Works Library between November 15 and 24 as part of the "Women's Writing Festival".

★ She will part of the program named "Women's Force in Culture" organized for the Festival by the British Council. She will give two talks titled with the theme "woman".

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.77


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 70/43 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 81/64 Mostly Sunny
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 59/28 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 73/57 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 77/63 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 72/57 Partly Cloudy


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz


Premier League

* Results for week: 10
G. Saray        -      Rize Sp         2 - 0
Alanya Sp       -      Başakşehir      0 - 0
Konya Sp        -      G. Birliği      1 - 1
Antalya Sp      -      Beşiktaş        1 - 2
Trabzon Sp      -      Göztepe         0 - 1
Kasımpaşa       -      Malatya Sp      2 - 2
Denizli Sp      -      Sivas Sp        0 - 2
Kayseri Sp      -      Fenerbahçe      1 - 0
Ankaragücü      -      G. Antep Sp     1 - 2
* In games played so far this weekend:
Fenerbahçe      -      Kasımpaşa       3 - 2
G. Birliği      -      Kayseri Sp      2 - 1
Rize Sp         -      Antalya Sp      1 - 0
G. Antep Sp     -      G. Saray        0 - 2
Sivas Sp        -      Konya Sp        2 - 0
* Standing in the league as of week ending 10
 1 - Alanya Sp       19
 2 - Sivas Sp        18
 3 - Malatya Sp      17
 4 - Fenerbahçe      17
 5 - Trabzon Sp      16
 6 - Başakşehir      16
 7 - G. Saray        16
 8 - Beşiktaş        15
 9 - G. Antep Sp     15
10 - Konya Sp        13
11 - Kasımpaşa       12
12 - Göztepe         12
13 - Denizli Sp      11
14 - Antalya Sp      11
15 - Rize Sp         11
16 - Ankaragücü      9
17 - G. Birliği      7
18 - Kayseri Sp      7


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

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