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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 18 January 2020

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 18 January 2020]

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 National, a private English-language daily published in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Clarke Cooper, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, said the United States inches closer to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of Russian S-400 air missile systems and Ankara runs out of time to address the issue.

  Turkey risks U.S. sanctions over S-400 purchase under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which aims to deter third parties from defense partnership with Russia.

  U.S. and NATO allies of Turkey say that the Russian system is incompatible with the NATO systems, and can also be used to spy on the newly developed F-35 Stealth fighter, posing a danger to the plane.

  Read more  >> here <<

★ Turkish authorities have opened access to Wikipedia after a Turkish Constitutional Court verdict ordering to lift an almost three-year ban was published in the Official Gazette on Wednesday.

  Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority had banned access to Wikipedia in April 2017 due to entries that accused Turkey of having links to terrorist organizations.

  In related news, to increase Turks' participation in editing the Turkish version of Wikipedia, an event took place in London, John Lubbock, the current location coordinator of Wikimedia UK, told us.

  "The Turkish version of Wikipedia currently has 338,666 articles, compared to almost 6 million on the English version. That is almost 5.7 million subjects that English speakers can learn about which do not exist in Turkish," John Lubbock adds.

★ A Turkish court has revoked a warrant for the arrest of Burak Akbay, the owner of the secularist Sözcü newspaper, on the grounds that Akbay has a right to a fair trial, Sözcü newspaper reported on Wednesday.

  Akbay is facing and 30 year jail sentence for supporting terrorism, a catchword that the government use, analysts say, to stifle opposition.

  As we reported to you previously, six journalists from the daily Sözcü received prison sentences last month for aiding the Gülen movement. Gülen movement, headed by Pennsylvania resident Fethullah Gülen, is widely believed to be behind the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. Again, observers say that the justice and development party administration usually uses affiliation with the Gülen movement to suppress any type of opposition in the press.

★ The number of migrants entering Europe from Turkey went up 46 percent last year, despite a deal between the European Union and Turkey to curb migrant influx into the bloc, the head of the European Union's border agency said on Friday.

  "This was mainly due to the situation in Syria, but also instability in Afghanistan, and changing policies towards Afghan nationals by Iranian and Pakistani authorities,'' Deutsche Welle quoted Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri as saying to reporters.

  Read more  >> here <<

★ Sir Michael Moritz has made a $25 million investment through his charitable foundation Crankstart in Getir, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

  Sir Michael Moritz is one of Silicon Valley's top venture capitalists.

  Getir is a Turkish online retailer that delivers more than 1,000 everyday items, as well as hot meals,

  "Getir's approach to the complexities presented by grocery and food delivery is a Turkish delight prepared with a fresh recipe and unexpected ingredients," Moritz said in a written statement.

  Getir, whose name means "bring" in Turkish, allows users to order products from ice cream to iPhone chargers, cat food to condoms at a moment's notice, with only a small mark-up on supermarket prices, the Financial Times said.

  Read more  >> here <<  and  >> here <<

★ According to the Foreign Policy magazine, after the purges of the Fethullah Gülen followers following the 2016 coup attempt from the ranks of the government other Islamic sects have filled the vacuum.

  In addition to purges, the Justice and Development Party administration arrested many Gülenist suspects, confiscated their business and personal properties.

  When it came to power in 2002, the Justice and Development Party led by the current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Gülen movement were allies.

  Among the sects that the Foreign Policy thinks is filling the vacuum is the Menzil group. The Turkish journalists following the developments say that this shadowy group has been infiltrating the police force.

  After the establishment of the Turkish Republic, the then president and the independence war hero Mustafa Kemal Atatürk banned the religious orders in 1925.

  Read more  >> here <<


★ 60% of the Turks are happy with the performance of the Ankara mayor Mansur Yavaş, according to a survey conducted by Turkey's Kadir Has University.

  Mansur Yavaş defeated the ruling party candidate for the Ankara Metropolitan area mayorship in elections held in 2019.

  The ruling Justice and Development Party also lost the Istanbul Metropolitan area mayorship. Five large metropolitan areas in Turkey all elected mayors from the opposition, delivering a major blow to the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

  In related news, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the most popular politician in Turkey, with 50.2 percent of the voters approving, followed by Istanbul's mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu with 48.6 percent, according to a December 2019 survey by the leading pollster MetroPoll.

  Read more  >> here <<
★ India is planning to cut some imports from Turkey and widen curbs on palm oil from Malaysia as a response to two countries' criticism against India's Kashmir policy, Reuters reported.

  Among the imports to be cut from Turkey are oil and steel products.

  The volume of trade between Turkey and India was over $8 billion in 2018, $7.5 billion of it is from India.

  Read more  >> here <<

★ We told you last week about the slump in auto sales in Turkey to about 50% of the levels in 2017.

  Another bad news about the sector came this week from Hyundai: the South Korean company is suspending production in Turkey for one month, the economy paper Dunya reported on Wednesday.

★ Turkey's central bank reduced its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points, beating most economists' forecasts and risking a possible sell-off in the lira.

  The one-week lending rate now stands at 11.25% from an earlier 12%. The main interest rate in Turkey when inflation of 11.8% is subtracted, is now negative.

  Contrary to what economists say, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan thinks that higher interest rates cause higher inflation rates. Economists are warning that lowering the interest rates too fast could lead to fresh volatility for the Turkish currency.

★ According to the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, Turkey's civil aviation authority is limiting flights from Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen airport to increase the use of the new Istanbul airport.

  Authorities are also delaying the construction of a second runway at the airport, perhaps deliberately, to stifle growth.

  The Asia Pacific Aviation Center, one of the world's leading aviation organizations, selected Sabiha Gökçen International Airport as the "Best Airport of the Year" last month.

★ According to Deutsche Welle, the European Union has decided to cut pre-accession aid to Turkey by 75 percent.

  European Union commissioner Josep Borrell said they decided on the cut in response to Turkey's decision to stage a military operation in northeastern Syria in October last year and escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean due to Turkey's stepped-up efforts for gas drilling near Cyprus.

  Turkey will now only receive $188 million.

  Read more  >> here <<


★ Mark Eliyahu, the kamanche master from Israel, will have a concert at the Zorlu Performance Arts Center on January 24. Kamanche is a bowed instrument, which means little violin. However, it does not resemble the violin.

  In his music, Mark combines ancient instruments such as kamanche and tar with modern and futuristic electronics. He fuses the East, with the West and takes his music one step forward into a deep journey of sound. Mark Eliyahu, was raised in a household where music was everything: work, passion, learning, and joy.

  Mark was born in Dagestan ASSR in the Soviet Union to a musician and composer father. When he was seven his family emigrated to Israel.

  He was inspired by Habil Aliyev, a prominent kamanche player from Azerbaijan, so much so that he moved to Baku, Azerbaijan to learn how to play the kamanche.

  In the Istanbul concert, his father will accompany him with his tar, a plucked instrument of the Caucasus.


★ At another hall, Zorlu PSM will also host Anıl Piyancı. Anıl Piyancı is a Turkish hip-hop, rap, and dance artist.

  The name of Anıl's concert is Thug Life.

  Be ready to dance with the beats of Anıl's music.

★ January 24 seems to be a popular day for concerts: Andrew Weatherall will be performing at Istanbul's Babylon. In his concert, Andrew Weatherall will be collaborating with Partapart.

  Andrew is not only a DJ but also a writer. He gained fame in the early 90s with his remixes of songs from bands such as Happy Mondays, New Order, My Bloody Valentine, and Primal Scream.

  Andrew was born in 1963 in Windsor, Berkshire, England.


★ The alternative band Hedonutopia, which built its music on warm guitar tunes and attracted worldwide attention with its recent album, and the band Jakuzi will perform at Zorlu PSM on January 25.

  Fırat Külçek and Kerem Feyzi established the band Hedonutopia in 2008 in Turkey's Aegean city of İzmir.

  Hedonutopia's name is a contraction of the words "Hedonism Utopia", which was also the name of its latest album.

  With Külçek on the guitar and vocals and Feyzi on synth and samples, it bases their music on electronic rhythms, flying melodies, and deep vocals.

  Jakuzi, one of the best representatives of dark wave, new wave and krautrock in Turkey, was established in 2016 in Istanbul. When the band released its first album Fantasy Music, it made a splash in the alternative music scene with its original and fresh music. In 2017 the album was re-released with the Berlin-based City Slang label with additional new songs and attracted the attention of publications such as The Quietus and The Guardian.

  The Bandcamp, online music streaming service and store from across the San Francisco Bay in Oakland, included the album Fantasy Music in its 2017 Best Albums list.

★ On January 28 and 29, there will be an unusual concert at Zorlu PSM titled "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

  The event will include live symphonic music of Nicolas Hooper and projection of Harry Potter soaring across the big screen in high definition.


★ Stand up comedian Leslie lived in San Francisco, New York, and Barcelona for 18 years. She studied design, multimedia, and animation at San Francisco between 1994 and 1998.

  On January 28, she will have a performance at the Zorlu PSM titled "Stand up with Lesli: 002."


  Flapper Swing
★ At the Touche at Zorlu PSM on January 29, there is one more event that will feature the music of "Flapper Swing."

  Flapper Swing is a quintet following in the footsteps of famous French jazz musician Django Reinhardt and New Orleans' expatriate Sidney Bechet.

  The five musicians that make up the band were brought together by their passion for taunting acoustic sounds of gypsy swing. Flapper Swing's music is a sweet blend of gypsy guitars, the tone of a wild soprano saxophone, sensitive silklike vocals, supported by the deep woody hum of a double bass.

★ From time to time I play for you music from a favorite album of mine by the band Manouche A La Turca, established by guitar virtuoso Bilal Karaman. On January 30, the band will be on stage at Istanbul's Babylon.

  Bilal Karaman's music sounds like Django Reinhardt's jazz music. However, Bilal deftly weaves Turkish elements, sometimes a whole traditional melody into his music.

★ Istanbul Modern has a few new exhibitions.

  One of the exhibitions is titled "In Pursuit of the Present." The exhibition has works from the collection of the museum. It focuses on the human condition in today's world.

  The exhibition features works that explore the relationships between humans, cities, and nature, and between themselves and their physical environment in historical, social and personal contexts.

  Moreover, the exhibition holds a mirror to how the new visual and aural stimuli that have emerged in the world recently influence human emotions.

  The works are by nearly 50 artists, both Turkish and foreign.

★ Another exhibition at the Istanbul Modern features Lütfi Özkök's portrait photographs.

  Lütfi Özkök lived between 1923 and 2017 and was an internationally renowned photographer for his portraits of authors and artists.

  Özkök spent most of his life in Stockholm, Sweden, and the photographs are from his archives there. The exhibition features the artist's photographs of 80 figures in art and literature, starting from the 1950s, inviting viewers to witness a period while contemplating the various meanings of portrait photography.

  The photographs in the exhibition start in the 1950s, when Özkök began to take photographs for his articles in literary magazines, and continue through the 1990s. They include 89 portraits of leading artistic and literary figures from the post-World War II era. Among them are 24 Nobel laureates, and present an overview of a highly transformative time.

  Özkök exhibition will be on until May 3..

★ Another prominent venue for art in Istanbul is Arter. Arter just moved to a new location and to celebrate the move they have six simultaneous exhibitions:

  The first exhibition is titled "What Time is It"? featuring 33 artists. It brings together works that invite viewers to contemplate the concepts of time, space, and memory. It will be on through March 22.

  The second exhibition is titled "Words Are Very Unnecessary" featuring 42 artists. Revolving around the themes of gesture, remains and trace, this exhibition brings together works from the Arter Collection, featuring artists from Turkey and other countries worldwide.

  The third exhibition is dedicated to the works of Altan Gürman who lived between 1935 and 1976. It features works and archival betrayal of the artist preserved by his wife Bilge. Both later were added to Arter's collection.

  Gürman's place in the history of contemporary art in Turkey was not appreciated until long after his demise; it was only in the 2000s that he has gained recognition as one of its pioneering and founding figures. This retrospective exhibition brings together his artistic production spanning 11 years, along with selected pieces from his archive.

  The fourth exhibition at Arter is titled "Whitish" which brings together the creative output of Ayşe Erkmen since the 1970s, chosen with a retrospective approach, with new works conceived and produced especially for this exhibition.

  It is the first institutional solo exhibition in Turkey of the artist spanning more than 50 years.

  The fifth is actually not an exhibition, but a screening of three-part film series titled "The Hidden Conference". Rosa Barba shot the film series at different Museum storage facilities. The series is a continuation of Barba's investigation of cultural storage areas and archives which she had started when she was invited to curate the exhibition A Curated Conference: On the Future of Collective Strength within an Archive where she brought together 43 works dated from 1926 to 2009, from the collection of the Museo Reina SofĂ­a in Madrid in 2010.

  All three films evoke the discussions one can imagine artworks in the museum storage spaces might have with one another.

  The screenings will end on February 2.

  The sixth exhibition is titled "She Waited for A While" and is a spatial arrangement composed of drawings, video performances, and objects. As a starting point to the exhibition, İnci Furni takes the specific qualities of the gallery space and her process of settling into it and focuses on the ways in which people relate to spaces, objects, and images. Composed around coincidences, everyday gestures and rhythms, chance encounters and momentary decisions, the installation invokes the potential for the emergence of unexpected meanings and associations.

  The exhibition will end on February 23.


★ Istanbul's Salon IKSV is holding three concerts:

  On Saturday, January 18, Kabus Kerim with hip-hop music.

  Friday, January 24, Ozbi with rap.

  Saturday, January 25, Multitap will perform.

  Sunday, January 26, Büyük Ev Ablukada with Turkish rock music.


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz


★ The 33rd international Ahmet Cömert box tournament ended on Saturday.

  160 men and women boxers from 19 countries have participated in the tournament held at Istanbul's Ahmet Cömert Sports Hall.

  In the finals, eight boxers took to the ring. Turkish national team won four gold, five silver, and seven bronze medals.

★ The Turkish women's volleyball team beat Germany 3- 0 and qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

★ The 2020 Turkey Golf Tournament started in the Mediterranean province of Antalya's Belek resort area.

  A total of 21 golfers, nine of them women, will be competing. The tournament will end on January 20.

  The second leg of the tournament will take place at Belek between January 31-February 2.

★ Turkey's champion swimmer Bora Uzunkaya has under his belt nearly 200 medals in the past five years. But he is only 14 years old! Among his accomplishments are two Turkish records.

  He says that he has taken Michael Phelps as his role model and is hoping to participate in the 2024 Olympics.

★ Turkish tennis player Cem İlkel defeated Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis at the Qatar Exxon-Mobil open tournament. The win was one of the major accomplishments of İlkel's tennis career.

  İlkel is 24 years old and the third Turkish tennis player that won in the ATP singles.

  In the second leg of the tournament, İlkel will be playing against Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.

★ Turkish women tennis player Başak Eraydın in the first grand slam tournament of the season in the Australian opens lost to American Varvara Lepchenko 2 to 0 and got eliminated.

  The tournament was taken place in Melbourne.

★ According to the head of the Turkish Weightlifting Federation Tamer Taşpınar, in 2019 Turkish weightlifters won a total of 225, 68 gold, 74 silver, and 83 bronze medals.

  Taşpınar said that since 2013 the number of medal counts increased steadily.

  He added that two women and two men weightlifters would be representing Turkey in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

★ In the 48th Yaşar Doğu Wrestling Championships, Turkish wrestlers received four gold, nine silver, and 13 bronze medals, adding up to a total of 26 medals. In the women's championships, Turkey became the champion as a team and in the men's took second place.

  The head of the Turkish wrestling Federation Musa Aydın said that there were 250 wrestlers from 19 countries that participated in the championships. He added that their goal was to participate in the upcoming Olympics with 12 wrestlers.


★ In the International Matteo Pellicone Wrestling Championships that took place in Rome, Italy, Turkish wrestlers were able to receive eight medals.

  In the Greco-Roman competitions, Turkish wrestlers received one gold, three silver, and four bronze medals.



  Dilşat Yıldız

★ Turkey's Women Curling National Team defeated Norway and Finland on the fourth day of the world championships qualifiers.

  The scores in the two games were:

  Turkey 9-Norway 3

  Turkey 11-Finland 4

  The competitions were taken place in Lohja, Finland.

  However, In the last game of the qualifiers, as stony and team defeated the Turkish women 7-4.

★ Izmir Greater Municipality ice skating team in the 13th Skate Helena European Championships came in second.

  The competitions were taken place in Belgrade, Serbia.

  The Turkish athletes won four gold, one silver, and one bronze medals. There were 295 skaters from 67 countries in the competitions.


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