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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 15 February 2020

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 15 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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★ Turkeys president Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a two-day visit to Pakistan starting Thursday, where he met with the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Imran Khan and other officials, reports the Voice of America.

  On Friday, Mr. Erdoğan addressed a special joint session of the Pakistani Parliament and denounced President Trump's recent Middle East peace initiative as an "occupation project."

  According to the Voice of America, the peace plan, announced two weeks ago, calls for Israel to keep control of all of Jerusalem, with its Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites. It would allow Israel to immediately annex large parts of the occupied West Bank, including Jewish settlements that are considered illegal by the Palestinians and most of the international community. Palestinians have reacted angrily to the proposal.

  President Erdoğan had senior Turkish officials and businessmen in his entourage. He oversaw the signing of around a dozen agreements aimed at enhancing Turkish-Pakistani relationship in a number of areas, including the economic, science and technology, culture and tourism.

  Mr. Erdoğan also talked about the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan. Echoing the Pakistani view, he said that the problem cannot be solved by conflict or oppression but based on justice and equality.

  Read more >> here <<

★ Five more Turkish soldiers were killed by Syrian forces on Monday in Syria. The next day Turkish president Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to escalate fighting against Syrian government forces. Syria's backer Russia called for restraint.

  "We have given the necessary response and retaliated in kind, but this is not enough," Erdoğan said Tuesday. The Turkish military claimed to have hit more than 100 targets of Syrian forces Monday, reports the VOA.

  Mr. Erdoğan also said that Turkey is trying to prevent Syrian President Bashar Al Assad from killing 4 million innocent people in Idlib with barrel bombs.

  Read more >> here <<

  In related news, a Russian delegation that visited Turkey to seek a solution to the war northwestern Syrian region of Idlib left after the talks ended in a deadlock. Next week a Turkish delegation will visit Moscow for more talks.

  While tensions between Russia and Turkey escalate, the U.S. has been quick to offer support to its NATO ally. "My condolences to the families of the soldiers killed in yesterday's [Monday's] attack in Idlib. The ongoing assaults by the Assad regime and Russia must stop," tweeted U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "I've sent Jim Jeffrey to Ankara to coordinate steps to respond to this destabilizing attack. We stand by our NATO Ally Turkey," he added.

  On Friday, in an article in the pro-government daily Sabah, Burhanettin Duran, the head of a pro-government Turkish think tank, called for U.S. strikes on the Syrian government forces.

  Duran wrote that the wrong policies of the U.S. in Syria led Turkey to work closer with Russia. However, the U.S. could lead to improved relations with Turkey, if it uses its influence in Syria, he added.


★ According to Deutsche Welle, a Turkish court in Istanbul on Friday acquitted Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan of terrorism charges. She was facing up to nine years and four months in jail if she had been found guilty.

  She was arrested on August 2016. When she was released from jail she was barred from leaving Turkey until 2017. She has lived in self-imposed exile since then.

  Ms. Erdoğan says that "justice has become a weapon to silence the opposition" in Turkey.

  Read more >> here <<

★ Deniz Yücel, a German-Turkish journalist, could face up to 16 years imprisonment, reports Deutsche Welle. A Turkish public prosecutor has accused him of spreading rebel Kurdistan Workers Party propaganda and provoking hate, but some think the charges are "absurd."

  Yücel is also facing charges over claims that he insulted the Turkish president in an article that he wrote in 2016. The prosecutor also says that he was in contact with cleric Fethullah Gülen. Turkish president Mr. Erdoğan and his administration say Gülen and his followers were behind the unsuccessful 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

  Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled last year that Yücel's detention was unlawful and that his rights were violated, along with the freedom of the press. However, the lower courts keep bringing up charges like Yücel's to silence the opposition and criticism of Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and development party administration, observers say.

★ The Justice and Development Party administration is also putting pressure on a band of left us folk musicians with trumped-up terror charges, reports Deutsche Welle.

  The band Grup Yorum members will go on trial soon. Some of their members are already in jail and a few of them are on hunger strike.

  The Justice and Development Party administration claimed that the band members belong to the militant Marxists DHKP-C group, who have been behind many politically motivated murders in Turkey. In addition to Turkey, most European countries consider the DHKP-C a terrorist organization.

  Read more >> here <<

★ According to the pro-government paper Yeni Şafak, Turkey's Minister of Health, Dr. Fahrettin Koca, has announced that Turkey will export coronavirus detection kits to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

  The minister has said that the Turkish kits give results in 90 to 120 minutes, whereas the ones from Germany take three hours.

  In related news, Turkish authorities have released from quarantine the 42 people Turkey had evacuated from China after showing no signs of infection.

★ According to Turkey's Haber Turk, demand for natural gas has fallen 11% in 2019 in Turkey, but the Russian suppliers demand payments up to the agreed delivery amounts from the Turkish distributors. This is putting the Turkish gas companies in financial difficulty.

  Turkey imports almost all of its natural gas.

  The demand for natural gas has fallen mainly due to the economic crisis, and to a certain degree with the rise of hydroelectric power generation.

★ According to the Turkish news agency DNA, Turkey's competition authority fined Google $16 million for anti-competitive behavior.

  The competition authority said Google created disadvantages for competitors in e-commerce and asked Google to draw up a three-month plan that maps its actions to eliminate the violations.

★ The Turkish airline AtlasGlobal declared bankruptcy and stopped flying. The airline has been having difficulties due to the move to the new Istanbul airport.

★ According to a report by the Dutch bank ING, Turkey's ailing economy is recovering at a fast pace.

  Here is an excerpt from the report:

  "The Turkish economy has rebounded at a much higher pace than expected from the 2018 currency shock, thanks to the supportive fiscal stance, strong net exports, and credit policies.

  Recent high-frequency data suggest the recovery will continue this year with ongoing acceleration in lending thanks to the changes in the reserve requirement framework and deep rate-cutting cycle since mid-2019."

  Read more >> here <<

★ According to an announcement by Business Wire, on February 12, Turkey's Arçelik filed a lawsuit against LG Electronics and its subsidiaries in Germany and France for patent infringement concerning the company's direct-drive technology used in LG Electronics' "6 Motion" washing machines.

  Arçelik subsidiaries have a major market share in the European countries. The company makes 70% of its revenue from its international markets.


★ Tomorrow on February 16, they will be a movie screening with a interview with the director in Istanbul's CineMajestic, movie theater.

  The movie is titled "The Sin of Being a Woman," and the director is Ümran Safter.

  "The Sin of Being a Woman" is the story of Nezihe Muhidin, a headstrong suffragette, who challenged the status quo when the Republic of Turkey was just at its founding stage. History has forgotten her. This film shows why and how.


★ Also on February 16, Grammy Award Winner Maluma 11:11 World tour is coming to Istanbul for a live performance on stage at Ülker Sports Arena.

  Juan Luis Londoño Arias, known professionally as Maluma, is a Colombian singer, songwriter, and actor signed to Sony Music Colombia, Sony Latin and Fox Music.


★ Another Grammy award-winning group, the legendary Gypsy Kings, will be on stage also on February 16 in Istanbul at Zorlu PSM.

  Gipsy Kings contributed timeless songs like "Bamboléo" and "Volare" to music history. Throughout their careers, Gipsy Kings blended Latin rhythms with the pop of the West and combined them with flamenco style, producing irresistible melodies, along with reaching to millions of listeners.

★ Istanbul's Babylon will be hosting songwriter, composer, saxophonist and producer Korhan Futacı on February 20th.


★ Zorlu PSM will host on February 20 a Kurt Cobain birthday celebration.

  Praised as the world's best Nirvana tribute performance numerous time, Nirvana Tribute Band will be at %100 Studio to commemorate Kurt Cobain, legendary frontman of Nirvana.

★ Performing alongside Robbie Williams, Sinead O'Connor and Paul McCartney, saxophone virtuoso Gilad Atzmon will be at the Touché Stage accompanied by one of Turkey's most talented jazz guitarist Sarp Maden on February 20th.

★ On February 21, Teoman, one of the most successful singer-songwriters of Turkish rock music will be at Zorlu PSM with the contributions of Istanbul Blue Night.

  Having started his music career with the band called Mirage in 1986, Teoman worked in bands such as Mavi Sakal, Indians, Black Rose and Işığın Yansıması until his solo career began in 1996.


★ On February 21, Zorlu PSM will also host Lalalar, the fresh psychedelic trio from Istanbul.


★ On February 22, Charlie Cunningham will be on stage in Istanbul's Salon IKSV. Cunningham is a British singer and songwriter who is likely to be listed the eight wonder of the world with his voice and guitar.


★ Brehbe ensemble will be on the stage in the Turkish capital Ankara on February 16.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 6.05


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 50/36 Mostly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 66/50 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 27/10 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 52/45 Mostly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 59/46 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 52/39 Partly Cloudy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 65 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 52 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 90 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 33 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 6 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 28 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 65 inches


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz


Premier League

* Results for week: 21
Malatya Sp      -      Ankaragücü      0 - 1
G. Birliği      -      Trabzon Sp      0 - 2
Beşiktaş        -      G. Antep Sp     3 - 0
Fenerbahçe      -      Alanya Sp       1 - 1
Konya Sp        -      Denizli Sp      0 - 0
Kasımpaşa       -      G. Saray        0 - 3
Kayseri Sp      -      Antalya Sp      2 - 2
Sivas Sp        -      Başakşehir      1 - 1
Göztepe         -      Rize Sp         - - -
* In games played so far this weekend:
Başakşehir      -      Beşiktaş        1 - 0
Konya Sp        -      Göztepe         1 - 3
Ankaragücü      -      Fenerbahçe      2 - 1
Denizli Sp      -      Kayseri Sp      0 - 1
* Standing in the league as of week ending 21
 1 - Sivas Sp        42
 2 - Trabzon Sp      41
 3 - Başakşehir      40
 4 - Alanya Sp       39
 5 - G. Saray        39
 6 - Fenerbahçe      38
 7 - Beşiktaş        36
 8 - Göztepe         30
 9 - G. Antep Sp     27
10 - Malatya Sp      24
11 - Denizli Sp      24
12 - Rize Sp         24
13 - G. Birliği      21
14 - Konya Sp        20
15 - Antalya Sp      19
16 - Ankaragücü      17
17 - Kasımpaşa       16
18 - Kayseri Sp      12
★ In the 2020 European Wrestling Championships, Turkish wrestlers received the following medals:

  Süleyman Atlı, silver, men's 57 kg freestyle.

  Hadar Yavuz, bronze, men's 70 kg freestyle

  Yasemin Adar, silver, 76 kg freestyle. Previously she was the four time European champion.

  Kerem Kamal, silver, 60 kg Grecoroman.

  Cem ildem, bronze, 97 kg Grecoroman.

  Selçuk Can, bronze, 72 kg Grecoroman.

  Read more >> here <<

★ In weight lifting tournament taking place in Uzbekistan, Turkey's Danyar Ismailov received three gold medals in 73 kg.

  In the women's 60 kg category Berfin Altun received a silver, two golds.

  In men's 67 kg Ferdi Hardal three silver medals.

★ In BoxSkai Championships taking place in Hungary, Turkish boxers received one gold and two bronze medals.

★ In the handball European Challenge Cup taking place in Istanbul, Turkey's Beykoz Municipality Men's Team lost the Iceland's Valur 26-25 on Saturday.

★ In the 25th Balkan Indoors Athletics Championships, Turkey's Mizgin Ay received a silver medal in 60 m.

  The championships are taking place in Istanbul.

★ In the European Teams Badminton Championships taking place in France, Turkey's Women's National Team lost to Denmark in the quarterfinals and got eliminated.


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