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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 14 December 2019

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 14 December 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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★ According to the Voice of America, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a measure Wednesday that would impose sanctions on Turkey following its military offensive in northern Syria and plans to buy a Russian missile system.

  The bill, designed to pressure President Donald Trump to adopt a more hardline stance against Turkey, now goes to the full Senate for a vote.

  The committee passed the legislation as Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu warned that Turkey may impose restrictions on the U.S. military's use of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey near Syria.

  The Voice of America writes that the base has been a longstanding symbol of U.S.-Turkish cooperation since the height of the Cold War.


★ According to Bianet, police attacked the women who were protesting male violence in Turkey's capital Ankara on December 12.

  Women wanted to gather in Güvenpark in Kızılay to protest with the Las Tesis dance performance that has originated from the women of Chile and gradually spread to other countries around the world.

  As the police closed the Güvenpark, women came together in front of the nearby Kızılay Shopping Mall. Attacking the women there, the police have taken almost 10 women into custody.

  On Sunday, December 8, the police attacked also women protesting in Istanbul's Kadıköy city.

  In both instances please arrested several women.

  The women are facing charges of "violating the Law 2911 on Meetings and Demonstrations, insulting the President and degrading the State of the Republic of Turkey and Institutions and Bodies of the State as per the Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code."


★ The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday told Turkey to release philanthropist and human rights activist Osman Kavala.

  The 62-year-old was arrested in November 2017 and accused of organizing anti-government protests in Istanbul's Gezi Park four years earlier.

  The ECHR cited a "lack of reasonable suspicion that the applicant had committed an offense" in its ruling.

  Human rights groups said the accusation was baseless and aimed at silencing civil society activists. The charge carries a potential life prison sentence.

  Turkey's president Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan has personally attacked Kavala, calling him the agent in Turkey of US financier George Soros.

  The court said Turkey must now "take every measure to put an end to the applicant's detention and to secure his immediate release."

★ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says that, if asked, he would deploy Turkish troops to Libya to help the embattled Libyan government.

★ Former Germany international footballer Mesut Özil expressed support for Uighurs in East Turkestan which Chinese call Xinjiang, on Friday and criticized Muslim countries for their unwillingness to speak out on the poor treatment faced by the Uighur people, a Muslim minority group, reports the Deutsche Welle.

  "The Muslims are silent. Their voice is not heard," he wrote on a background of a blue field with a white crescent moon, the flag of what Uighur's homeland East Turkestan.

  Deutsche Welle writes that Beijing has received international condemnation for creating a series of camps in East Turkestan in Northwestern China aimed at homogenizing the Muslim group to reflect China's majority Han culture.

  It added that over a million Uighurs and people of other mostly Muslim minorities have been rounded up in the camps in the tightly controlled region, according to human rights organizations and other experts.

  China described the camps as educational centers aimed at combating potential terrorism.

★ According to Google, the Istanbul mayoral election, which saw an opposition candidate claim victory, topped the lists of events most searched for online in Turkey in 2019, and Emine Bulut, a woman whose brutal slaying by her ex-husband sparked nationwide protests, was the most-searched-for person.

★ Details for more than 460,000 Turkish payment cards are currently being sold online in what is the biggest dump of Turkish payment card details recorded in recent years, ZDNet said it learned on December 11.

  The cards are estimated to net hackers more than $500,000 when sold.

  The card dump included both debit and credit cards, and the cards originated from a broad spectrum of Turkish banks.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Turkish daily Sözcü, TEMSA, a leading Turkish vehicle maker, halted production until December 23 due to financial problems.

  TEMSA has 20,000 employees. It can produce 4000 buses and 7500 light trucks annually and sells them in 70 countries.

  The True Value Capital Partners of laws and Switzerland purchase the company this spring from Turkey's Sabancı Holding. Sabancı Holding is one of the largest Turkish conglomerates with 60,000 employees in many sectors from banking to retail, insurance to manufacturing.

★ Another larger Turkish company, Yörsan has applied to the Turkish courts for final bankruptcy. The company was valued at around $300 million in 2014.

  Yörsan is a major dairy firm, currently owned by Abraaj capital of Dubai.

★ Timothy Ash, a senior strategist at London-based BlueBay Asset Management, says that the monetary policy in Turkey is worrying them. He adds that it's difficult to make investments where you cannot trust the monetary policy.

  Mr. Ash says that the 2018 crisis in Turkey arose from major mistakes in the monetary policy. "The policymakers in Turkey should ask themselves what went wrong in 2018.

  "Why did the monetary unit collapsed? Why did the increased rates had to increase to very high levels? I'm afraid that nothing was learned from the 2018 experience.

  "There will be the same mistakes made again in the future. They Turkish policymakers consider only high growth important. In the next two years, we will see a repeat of the 2018 events" he added.

  Read more at >> here <<


★ St. Petersburg, Russia Kunstkamera Museum has started a new exhibition on Turkey and Russia. The exhibition features the photographs of Russian photographer Alfred Ederling from 1898 and 1899. Ederling took the photographs in Istanbul and sent to Petersburg.

  In addition to the photographs, the equipment that Ederling used is on display.

★ Istanbul State Opera and ballet staged "Sleeping Beauty" ballet at Süreyya Opera house in Kadıköy, Istanbul on Wednesday.

  The venue, Süreyya Opera, is a historic building constructed in 1924. It features architectural styles from French and German theaters of the 1920s era.

  There was great interest from the Istanbulites in Chaikovski's ballet.

★ A new exhibition titled "My Life Aliye, My Soul Filiz" featuring the Turkish author Sabahattin Ali's photographs at the Yapi Kredi Bomontiada ALT. the exhibition is part of events to celebrate the establishment of the Yapi Kredi Bank's 75th anniversary.

  In addition to being an author and poet, Sabahattin Ali was a good photographer. His photographs in the exhibition show how he conducted his relationship with his wife Aliye and daughter Filiz.

  The photographs date back to the 1930s.

  Sabahattin Ali was born in the Ottoman Empire in what is now Bulgaria. He was killed at the Bulgarian border in 1948 when he was only 41 years old. It is speculated that his killer was the Turkish national security service. He was just released from jail. Throughout his life, he was in and out of jail because of his political views.

★ Another news item that relates to Sabahattin Ali: Turkish singer Ferhat Göçer was approached to prepare an album based on music with lyrics from Sabahattin Ali's poetry. Instead of an album, Göçer prepared a play featuring Sabahattin Ali's poetry and his songs.

  The play went on to stage at Istanbul's Uniq Hall on Wednesday. In the play, Göçer depicts Sabahattin Ali and brings to the audience fragments from the author's life.

★ German women composer Clara Schumann's 200th birthday is being celebrated with a concert at Istanbul's Cemal Reşit Rey concert hall with two different programs.

  The first event will be an installation at the foyer of the concert hall on December 19 evening. It will feature the music of three women composers from different geographies and different generations: Violeta Dinescu, Annette Schlünz, and Beste Özçelebi.

  Soprano Lisa Fornhammar, pianist Mediha Khan and violist Cenk Erbiner will accompany the musicians.

  Turkish conductor Cem Mansur will be leading the orchestra with a concert titled "A Life with Music" on December 22. Renowned theater actor Tilbeh Saran and pianist Lucy Parham will be sharing the stage

★ The Turkish film "Passed" won two awards at the 32nd European Film Panorama Festival that took place in Athens, Greece.

  The first was a FIPRESCI award and the second Panorama Award. The film won many other awards since it has been released earlier in 2019.

  The film's director is Serhat Karaaslan. In the main roles are Berkay Ateş and Saadet Işıl Aksoy.

  In the heart of Istanbul's prison, Zakir controls the letters prisoners receive. His average day is spent between the censorship office, his colleagues and his evening writing class. For a writing assignment, he steals a photo from one of the letters, in which appears Selma, an inmate's wife. More than an inspiration, she becomes an obsession for Zakir. He observes her, makes up stories, and imagines the worst to the extent that he puts himself at great risk.

★ On December 9, at Kadıköy, Istanbul's Süreyya Opera house Leonora piano trio made up of Benjamin Nabarra (violin), Gemma Rosefield (cello) and Tim Horton (piano) performed.

  The performance features works of Haydn and Parry and Ludwig Van Beethoven.

★ For the past few decades, Turkey has become a major exporter of serialized TV dramas to the rest of the world.

  Turkish daily Cumhuriyet's correspondent Öznur Oğraş Çolak interviewed the CEO of Inter Medya Can Okan. Inter Medya is one of the companies that export Turkish serials.

  Mr. Okan says that there is some stagnation in the exports but it's not decreasing. His company has an exporting for the past 11 years to 144 countries around the world.

★ Today is the anniversary of the death of Turkish American music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun. His friend Peter Brown wrote an article that the Turkish Coalition of America published. Here is an excerpt from the article:

  "December 14 marks the seventh anniversary of the death of Ahmet Ertegun, a dear friend who left a remarkable imprint on the world. The whole idea of Ahmet-son of a Turkish diplomat, race relations pioneer, rock-and-roll impresario (he did manage to get Led Zeppelin to reunite in tribute to him, albeit posthumously)-is so unlikely it can be said he could only have happened in America.

  "Ahmet arrived on America's shores nearly 80 years ago. As a young man growing up in the rarified world of Washington diplomacy, his worldview was shaped not by politics but by the exciting new music humming from the black neighborhoods of his heavily segregated new home city. To African-American musicians of the era-from Duke Ellington to Count Basie-Washington's Howard Theatre and the rest of "Black Broadway" was ground zero for the emergence of the uniquely American idea of jazz as well as its glorious offspring-rhythm and blues and, later, rock-and-roll.

  "As I think back on his life, Ahmet's legacy is simply not measurable. There is the wondrous music he heard and loved and shared. There is the unbreakable bridge he built between races and faiths. There is the dynamism of his being a Turkish immigrant who reflected his old country's democratic ideals as well as an all-American entrepreneur and salesman who cheered and rallied a new art form into existence. Ahmet's legacy is not a monument. It is a living thing that still strengthens all of us."

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.81


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 64/54 Thunderstorms
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 37/30 Snow
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 59/48 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 66/52 Thunderstorms
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 66/57 Partly Cloudy


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz


  Aleyna Kaymaz and family at arrival in Antalya Airport

★ In the Stars and under 15 weightlifting competitions taking place in Israel's Eilat city, Aleyna Kaymaz of Turkey became the European champion in 81 kg category. She also broke a European record.

  In the same competitions, Esma Alper also became a champion.

  Also, 16-year-old Cansu Bektaş broke the previous record and became the European champion. Bektaş was encouraged to switch to weightlifting when her gymnastics trainer discovered that she has really strong arms and can walk on her hands.


★ In the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics qualifiers, Turkey's National ice hockey team lost 8 to 3 to Serbia. This was the first game of the Turkish team


★ In the Masters' competitions taking place in Qingdao, China Turkish judoka Vedat Albayrak received a bronze medal.


★ Ayetullah Aslanhan, a young athlete from Turkey's eastern province of Bitlis, came in second in the European cross country championships.

  102 athletes from 47 countries were participating in the competitions that took place in Portugal.


★ Eczacıbaşı VitrA women's volleyball team received the silver medal in 2019 FIVB World Club Championships that took place in China.

  Eczacıbaşı VitrA was the champion last year.

★ Turkeys Youth and Sports Ministry and the Forbes magazine collaborated for awards that were given to 30 individuals under 30 years old who excelled in sports, arts, education, entrepreneurship, media, finance, law, and music.

  Minister Muharrem Kasapoğlu gave the awards to the recipients of the program dubbed "30 Under 30" at a ceremony that took place this week.


★ Anatoly Karpov, a living legend in the chess world, was in Turkey's southern province of Mersin where the Mersin Chess Festival was taking place.

  The seven-time world champion Grand Master Karpov played chess against 10 youth at the Festival. He also talked about his experience in the chess world.


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

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