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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 01 February 2020

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 01 February 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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  Osman Kavala
★ The Turkey Program Coordinator at the Project on Middle East Democracy Merve Tahiroğlu wrote on January 28 about the ongoing trials of activists that participated in the Gezi Park protests of summer 2013.

  "It has been nearly a year since a Turkish prosecutor handed down an epic 657-page indictment against 16 civic activists, absurdly and baselessly charging them with plotting a violent government overthrow," she said. The charge carries a possible life sentence without parole.

  She also characterized the trial "unjust and politically motivated."

  "At the trial's fifth hearing on January 28, the Istanbul court once again refused to release the main defendant prominent philanthropist Osman Kavala from 819 days of unjust imprisonment, defying for the second time the December 10 ruling of the European Court of Human Rights that Kavala must be freed immediately," she added.

  Gezi Park protests were a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Turkey that began on May 28, 2013, initially to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park.

  Subsequently, supporting protests and strikes took place across Turkey, protesting a wide range of concerns at the core of which were issues of freedom of the press, of expression, assembly, and the government's encroachment on Turkey's secularism.

  3.5 million people out of Turkey's population of 80 million are estimated to have taken an active part in almost 5,000 demonstrations across Turkey connected with the original Gezi Park protest. Security forces killed twenty-two people and injured more than 8,000, many critically.

  The website of the organization writes that "The Project on Middle East Democracy is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to examining how genuine democracies can develop in the Middle East and how the U.S. can best support that process. Through dialogue, research, and advocacy, we work to strengthen the constituency for U.S. policies that peacefully support democratic reform in the Middle East."

  Read more >> here <<

★ The Turkish intervention of 1974 partitioned the island of Cyprus into two zones.

  The intervention started after a coup by the Greek Cypriot nationalist backed up by the Greek military junta. Turkey announced that it is going to protect the Turkish Cypriots.

  The Greek Cypriots rule the south of the island. The world recognizes their government as the official Cypriot government.

  As you have heard in our news within the past few months, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are challenging the Greek Cypriot government's search for oil and gas around the island. Turks are saying that the two communities should conduct the explorations jointly and any income generated should benefit both communities. For the time being, the Greek Cypriot government seems to have the backing of the U.S., the European Union and some of the countries in the Middle East.

  This week there was an interesting article that appeared in the Cyprus Mail, a daily that's published in the Greek Cyprus. The author Makarios Drousiotis was at one time a special assistant to Greek Cypriot president Mr. Nicos Anastasiades.

  Mr. Drousiotis blame the Greek Cypriot government for the troubles between Cyprus and Turkey.

  He wrote:

  "Speaking on CyBC radio, [Greek Cypriot] Foreign [Affairs] Minister Nicos Christodoulides said Turkey is escalating the crisis because it 'wishes to change the basis for a settlement of the Cyprus problem'. But Christodoulides knows full well that it was our side which changed the basis of the peace talks. Could it be that the causes of the current crisis lie elsewhere and that those who are in charge of our fortunes are incapable of comprehending them?"

  To read the full article click Read more >> here <<

★ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a rare warning to Moscow to rein in the Syrian government's Idlib offensive, reports Dorian Jones of the VOA. The capture of a critical town Wednesday by regime forces is stoking fears in Turkey of a new exodus of refugees into Turkey.

  Mr. Erdoğan, returning from a three-day tour of Africa, accused Moscow of reneging on agreements on Syria and issued an ultimatum, Dorian Jones adds.

★ According to the Anatolia News Agency, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized President Trump's new peace plan for Israel and Palestinians.

  He also criticized the Arab countries' silence over the plan.

★ According to Begüm Dönmez Ersöz and Pete Cobus of the VOA, members of Turkey's largest journalism trade union rallied outside Turkish capital Ankara's Communications Directorate on Monday to protest the government's mass cancellation of state-issued press credentials.

  According to the Journalist's Union of Turkey, known by its Turkish acronym TGS, and international press advocacy groups, such as the International Federation of Journalists, up to 1,400 press cards have been canceled in recent months.

  Most of the journalists targeted for cancellation, observers say, report for independent news outlets or publications critical of the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.


★ One aftershock after another has been hitting Turkey, after two major earthquakes.

  One of the earthquakes was in Elazığ on January 24. It was a 6.8-magnitude one and killed 41 and wounded 1600 people. The other one was in Western Turkey in Manisa and measured 5.4 in strength, fortunately with no casualties.

  In related news, in the wake of the deadly earthquake, Turkish experts have said they explicitly told the government it must act to prevent deaths but were rebuffed. Now the ruling Justice and Development Party administration is going after people criticizing its disaster response.

  According to Turkey's state-run Anatolia News Agency, the prosecutor general in the Turkish capital Ankara has launched investigations against 50 individuals for making "provocative comments" on social media regarding the earthquake.


★ According to the Turkish ambassador in Beijing, Turkey is planning to evacuate 32 of its citizens from Wuhan, China, reports the Turkish daily Sözcü.

  Ambassador Emin Önen said that none of them have contracted the Coronavirus. He added that Turkey will soon be sending a medical first aid jet.

  According to the latest news, the Turkish plane belonging to the Turkish Air Force arrived in Wuhan late on Friday. Dr. Fahrettin Koca, Turkey's Ministry of health, tweeted that in addition to Turkish citizens the plane will bring back several citizens of Azerbaijan, Albania, and Georgia.

★ According to Deutsche Welle, French President Emmanuel Macron has accused Turkey of violating the agreement established at a Berlin summit to rein in the Libya conflict by halting foreign interference, saying Turkish warships and Syrian fighters arrived in the North African country.

  The Turkish government's actions are entirely contradictory to what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had committed to at the Berlin summit earlier this month, Macron asserted.

  In response to Macron's accusations, Turkey blamed France for the instability in Libya. "The main [actor] responsible for the problems in Libya since the crisis started in 2011 in France," said Turkey's Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy in a statement.


  Turken Foundation administration and students receiving aid with the visiting Turkish president and his entourage on September 24, 2019 in New York

★ Turks are discussing these days why the Turkish red Crescent--the equivalent of Red Cross--turned over some of the donations that it received to a religious foundation.

  Authorities confirmed that the Red Crescent gave $8 million to Ensar Foundation, which provides dorms and education for children. However, the foundation was involved in a major child abuse scandal.

  According to the Turkish daily Sözcü, Başkentgaz, Turkey's second-largest gas distribution network was the source of the money. Başkentgaz donated to the Turkish Red Crescent in December 2017 with the caveat that the money to be turned over to Ensar Foundation.

  The ruling Justice and Development Party backs the Ensar Foundation, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family are deeply involved with it.

  The head of the foundation is a high school classmate of President Erdoğan's son Bilal Erdoğan.

  Ensar Foundation disclosed on Thursday that it later transferred the money to Turken, a foundation in the U.S., ostensibly to build housing and scholarships for students and organize cultural activities.

  The Turken foundation in the U.S. is building a 21-story dormitory in Manhattan.

  Last year the Turkish opposition Republican peoples party asked U.S. authorities to disclose the sources of donations to the Turken Foundation. The documents obtained show no record of the $7.9 million.


★ The Habibi band from Germany had a performance at AnahitSahne in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district today. The performance included a collection covering the funky and diverse period of the Arab world in the 60s, 70s, and 80s from Sudanese jazz-funk and Tunisian disco bands to Arabic Zouk, Algerian coladera and Lebanese groove.

  Local DJs Ece özel and Pelintakis were also in the program.

★ Deniz Kurdoğlu and Mert Kutluğ will share the stage and fascinate with their music on a Post Romantic Bassoon & Piano Night at 100% Studio in a 360º concert layout.

  They will demonstrate the harmony of piano and bassoon with a unique concert experience. The duo will interpret the post-romantic era along with works from composers such as Saint-Saens and Chopin.

  The concert will be on February 5.


  ★On February 5, Ayhan Sicimoğlu will be also performing at the Zorlu PSM. His Latin All Stars band will be bringing jazz and Latin music to the audience.

  Ayhan Sicimoğlu was born in the central Turkish city of Nigde in 1950. He studied economics during his college years but his heart was in arts. After finishing college he went to Britain to study photography and film and then lived in Rome where he made his living as a fashion photographer. In 1981 he settled in New York. Throughout his life, he also performed with bands as a drummer.

★ Yüzyüzeyken Konuşur will be performing at Zorlu PSM on February 7. The style of the band is described as indie folk.

  The band started as a project of a young songwriter recording his songs with a camera and sharing them. Later on, with the increasing interest of people, especially on the internet, the founder Kaan Boşnak grew the band and collaborated with other musicians.

★ On February 7 there will be a birthday party for Bob Marley at the Zorlu PSM. The Turkish reggae group Bosphoroots will be performing.

  The band is made up of the following musicians:
  Happy 75th birthday Bob Marley!


★ Sonar Festival will be taking place for the fourth time in Istanbul on March 6 and 7. Ben Klock, Denis Sulta, Max Cooper, Paula Temple, Steffi, Red Axes, Skee Mask, Umfang, Tzusing, DJ Python, Catnapp will be on stage.

  The venue will be Zorlu PSM.

★ Tunisian oud master and singer Dhafer Youssef will perform at the Zorlu PSM Turkcell stage on February 8.

  Renowned musicians Hüsnü Şenlendirici, Eivind Aarset, and Adriana Dos Santos will accompany him

  Youssef was born in 1967 in a small village in Tunisia. His father was a muezzin, a person who calls the public to prayer from a minaret. At an early age, he developed an interest in jazz while listening to the radio secretly. He left Tunisia to start a jazz career and has lived in Europe since 1990.


★ There is a new exhibition titled "They are Uttered and Unfinished, All the Loves in the World" at Istanbul's Borusan contemporary.

  The new collection exhibition at Borusan Contemporary is based on these lines by the poet Turgut Uyar, bringing together different tendencies of international contemporary art to questions of aesthetic research triggered by the conditions of today.

  The current rapidly changing economic, political and social developments have a profound impact on the creative processes of artwork. Borusan's Contemporary Art Collection brings together the experimental works of artists working in different cultural geographies across the world. This makes it possible to closely trace the effects of global developments on art.

  The new visuality that contemporary art presents to the audience by using digital expression techniques is both participatory and experimental.

  One of the main features of the exhibition is this experimentation, and it wants to make this more visible.

  The exhibition will end on March 8.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 5.98


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 50/32 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 64/46 Mostly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 32/10 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 55/45 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 64/48 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 54/43 Rainy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 59 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 42 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 70 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 22 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 15 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 24 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 45 inches


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz


Premier League

* Results for week: 19
G. Birliği      -      G. Antep Sp     1 - 0
Fenerbahçe      -      Başakşehir      2 - 0
Kayseri Sp      -      Ankaragücü      1 - 1
Kasımpaşa       -      Alanya Sp       1 - 2
Denizli Sp      -      Antalya Sp      0 - 3
Göztepe         -      Beşiktaş        2 - 1
Konya Sp        -      G. Saray        0 - 3
Sivas Sp        -      Rize Sp         1 - 1
Malatya Sp      -      Trabzon Sp      Postponed due to an earthquake
* In games played so far this weekend:
Başakşehir      -      G. Birliği      3 - 1
Antalya Sp      -      Konya Sp        0 - 0
Rize Sp         -      Beşiktaş        1 - 2
* Standing in the league as of week ending 19
 1 - Sivas Sp        41
 2 - Fenerbahçe      37
 3 - Başakşehir      36
 4 - Trabzon Sp      35
 5 - Alanya Sp       35
 6 - G. Saray        33
 7 - Beşiktaş        30
 8 - Göztepe         29
 9 - Malatya Sp      24
10 - G. Antep Sp     24
11 - Rize Sp         24
12 - Denizli Sp      22
13 - G. Birliği      21
14 - Konya Sp        18
15 - Antalya Sp      17
16 - Kasımpaşa       15
17 - Ankaragücü      13
18 - Kayseri Sp      11

Other sports:

★ Turkish Grand Master Mustafa Yılmaz was in the Gibraltar Open chess tournament where he had a draw against his Russian opponent David Paravyan, receiving 7.5 points and attaining the same points as the champion. Yılmaz started the last leg of the tournament with a seven point lead, he completed with the same points as his Russian, Chinese and check opponents. He attained the same points as the champion, however, due to the rules of the chess when points are equal, he came in seventh at the end.

★ The Track and Field Internet site listed recently the best athletes of 10 years. Among them are athletes from Turkey:

  Ramil Guliyev, 200 m world champion, found himself in the third place after Jamaican Usain bolt and American Noah Lyles.

  Yasmani Copello, who came in second in 400 m race, found himself in eighth place in his category

★ In the Tennis Europe Les Petits As , Turkey's Atakan Karahan has eliminated his Ukrainian, Bulgarian and American opponents and then in the quarterfinals his Croatian opponent.

  Atakan Karahan is the favorite in his age category.

★ Turkish tennis player Cem İlkel rose to the top four in Open Quimper Bratagne Occidentale ATP Challenger tournament taking place in France.

  The prize for the winner is $46,000.

★ In the Nuri Özaltın Memorial Golf Trophy competitions that took place in Turkey's Mediterranean province of Antalya, Turkey's Ramazan Üçdan became the champion.

  Approximately 200 golfers from nine countries participated in the tournament.

  Üçdan received his trophy from the late Nuri Özaltın 's wife in an evening gala held at Gloria Hotels & Resorts.


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

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*** Turkish American Association of California

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charitable organization established to promote better
understanding between Americans and Turks.

if you have any questions about Turks and Turkey,
e-mail them at taac@taaca.org


*** Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California

Organizes many events throughout the year. Follow their activities through their web pages, or subscribe to their e-mail list by sending an email to:



Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California
16400 Lark Ave., Suite 260
Los Gatos, CA 95032

*** Turkish schools in the Bay Area are starting:

There are currently three schools:
Los Altos, San Ramon and Berkeley
For more information on these schools, drop an email to trh@turkradio.us.

*** Turkish Folk Dancing with TUFOD in the South Bay

Join TUFOD as a family! For more information on the venue and hours drop us an email, we'll put you in touch with them: trh@turkradio.us

Or visit their web pages at https://www.tufod.org/

*** Heart to Heart Anatolia
Providing scholarships and bringing people together while promoting Anatolian cultural values

Visit their pages at h2ha.org/

*** Ismail Lumanovski, the Macedonian Turkish clarinetist and Kafana Balkan

will be on the stage on Feb 8th
San Francisco's Rickshaw Stop at 9 P.M.

We are giving away tickets for the event, send an email to TRH@turkradio.us with your name and your cell phone number.

Don't miss it!