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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 25 April 2020

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 25 April 2020]


Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM, every Saturday from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M.

on KXSF:  kxsf.fm/ or FM 102.5 in San Francisco

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Ahmet Toprak is the editor-in-chief.

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NEWS



★ Coronavirus pandemic news:

  - According to Reuters, President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan agreed in a phone call on Sunday to work together to counter the threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak, Turkey's presidency said.

  - Turkey's method of reporting coronavirus deaths might cause the official death toll to be lower than actual numbers, according to a statement by the Turkish Medical Association.

  Turkey's Ministry of Health does not use the codes suggested by the World Health Organization to report the deaths, the Turkish Medical Association says.

  - For weeks President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has presented Turkey's performance in handling the coronavirus as one of the world's most successful, as he maintained strict control over information about the outbreak. Istanbul death toll hints Turkey is hiding a wider coronavirus ... But data compiled by The New York Times from records of deaths in Istanbul indicate that Turkey is grappling with a far bigger calamity from the coronavirus.

  However:

  - Turkey's Ministry of Health said on Friday that the coronavirus outbreak in Istanbul is now under control, reports the New York Times. He compared the city to China's Wuhan that the outbreak was controlled with strict measures. Read more >> here <<

  - Turkey may begin normalization as early as mid-June according to a report by the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey.

  The report expects the coronavirus outbreak to reach the plateau on May 3 (between April 28 and May 8) with 100,900 cases. If this happens, measures may be gradually loosened in early June and normalization may begin in mid-June.

  - The Turkish president seems to be using the coronavirus crisis as a pretext to get rid of the few critical media outlets left in his country, reports the Deutsche Welle. Opposition politicians and journalists fear a new spate of censorship.

  Just a week ago, Turkish media reports cited the president as saying after a Cabinet meeting that the country had to be rescued not only from the coronavirus but from "all media and political viruses, too," referring to journalists and critics from opposition parties.


★ A Turkish Airlines plane flew over the country Thursday making the shape of the country's flag with its flight path to mark centennial celebrations for the founding of Turkey's parliament, reports the Associated Press.

  The day is known as the National Sovereignty and Children's Day. Before the pandemic schoolchildren marched in parades. They were all canceled this year.

  Instead the celebrations included Turks singing the national anthem from the safety of their windows and balconies in their neighborhoods.

  Some officials made it to the mausoleum of the first president of Turkey and independence war hero Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in masks to pay their respects.

  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, called for an election amid the war of independence after the Ottoman Empire's defeat in World War I. On April 23, 1920, the Grand National Assembly held its first session. A referendum in 2017 changed Turkey's system of governance from parliamentary to an executive presidency, giving Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wider powers, the Associated Press points out.

  Read more >> here <<


★ According to the Voice of America, Turkey has been flying F-16 fighter jets over the Libyan coast as it steps up its intervention in the country's civil war. It also has sent a vessel to drill for oil off the coast of Cyprus, angering the island republic and its sister state, Greece.

  The Greek controlled Republic of Cyprus has been drilling around the island, Turkish Cypriots and Turkey have been asking the wealth to be shared.

  Read more >> here <<


★ Economy:

  - Turkey's economy faces growing risks as it enters a downturn with dwindling reserves and a fragile lira, financial markets signaled on Friday, as data showed factories slowing due to the coronavirus outbreak, reports Reuters.

  For the first time since the worst day of a currency crisis in 2018, the Turkish lira on Wednesday briefly breached seven versus the dollar after the central bank slashed rates twice as much as expected.

  Turkey faces the combination of high external debt of some $170 billion this year, an inability so far to secure a foreign funding source, and the rising costs of girding the economy for the fallout from the pandemic.

  Turkey can spend more to absorb shocks in the economy, David Hauner at Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote in a note.

  Business confidence among Turkish manufacturers tumbled to 66.8 points in April from 99.7 a month earlier. Consumer confidence declined to its lowest on record this month.

  Read more >> here <<

 


www.TurkRadio.us


★ Turkey has emerged as a key player in the international wheat market in recent years as imports increased to record levels. This is on the back of lower production, higher domestic consumption, increased government imports to stabilize domestic prices and an explosion in the export of wheat-based products, an article published on http://www.graincentral.com/ says.

  Russia is the leading supplier of milling wheat to Turkey with 4.8Mt imported so far this marketing year. Turkey surpasses Egypt as Russia's biggest wheat export customer so far in the 2020/21 season.

  Ukraine has been the other major supplier of milling wheat this season at just under 1Mt. Turkey has also imported more than 1.3Mt of durum wheat to the end of February, with Canada, Mexico and Spain the three main suppliers.

  The country has increased its flour exports twofold and pasta exports more than sixfold in the past decade. It is now the world's largest flour, semolina and cracked wheat exporter and second-largest pasta exporter.


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