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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 08 August 2020

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 08 August 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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★ As we have been reporting to you, Turkey is supporting the internationally recognized Libyan government against the rebel general Khalifa Haftar. Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and several Gulf countries are supporting the general.

  This week Turkey's foreign affairs minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu criticized Germany on enforcing the European Union arms embargo to Libya, reports Deutsche Welle.

  The Turkish official says that the embargo benefits rebel leader Khalifa Haftar. Until Turkey's involvement, Haftar was winning against the officially recognized government.

  Germany sent a frigate Tuesday carrying 250 soldiers to participate in the European Union's supervising an international weapon's embargo on Libya.

  Read more >> here <<


★ Istanbul's Hagia Sophia is now a mosque after being a Museum for eight decades. As we reported to you it open with a big prayer that turned into a big pro-justice and development party government support demonstration.

  Over 350,000 people attended the Friday prayer on July 24.

  Dr. Sarp Üner, a professor of public health from Turkish capital Ankara's Hacettepe University, says that the be gathering will spike coronavirus infections in Istanbul by as much as 2 to 3000, Turkey's ANKA news agency reported on Friday.

  Read more >> here <<

  In related news, according to AFP, The Turkish authorities are stepping up checks on the wearing of protective masks in Istanbul. Police officers have carried out operations in several places, including the famous Istiklal Avenue.

★ Turkey on Aug. 3 denounced U.S.-based company Delta Crescent Energy LLC for signing a deal with the YPG-led Syrian Defense Forces to extract, process, and produce oil in northeastern Syria, reports online new site Duvar.

  "The natural resources of Syria belong to the Syrian people," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

  YPG is an organization of the Syrian Kurds, which Turkey says is an offshoot of the rebel Turkish Kurds organization Kurdistan Workers Party. The Kurdistan Workers Party has been leading an uprising in Turkey since the 1980s.

  Over 40,000 people died in the conflict.

  Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union consider the Kurdistan Workers Party a terrorist organization.


★ The British paper The Times Istanbul reporter Louise Callaghan wrote August 2 about the increased violence against women in Turkey.

  His article had the title "'They are hunted like birds here': killings of women soar in Turkey". Callaghan wrote about the killing of a recent college graduate by his ex-boyfriend, and the ensuing protests by women throughout Turkey. The security forces sometimes violently suppressed the protests.

  "It has also cast light on efforts by the conservative Turkish government to repeal legislation designed to protect women. This week the ruling Justice and Development Party was supposed to decide whether to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, a 2011 Council of Europe framework formed to support victims of gender-based violence, which they once hailed as a centerpiece of their progressive social policy", Callaghan added.

  In related news, Turkey's parliamentary speaker MustafaŞentop told on Thursday that it was not necessary to withdraw from the Istanbul convention.

  Also, the conservative Women and Democracy Organization, a pro-ruling justice and development party organization, whose vice president is president's daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan, support at the convention with a statement published on its website on August 1.

  Another conservative women's organization, The Family and Social Studies Platform, also lend its support to the Istanbul convention on Thursday.

  The Women and Democracy Organization website: Read more >> here <<

  The Times article Read more >> here <<

  Read more >> here <<

★ According to a recent poll by Turkey's polling agency MetroPOLL 64% of the Turks are against in-person education. The government is planning to start schools on August 31.

  Even among the ruling Justice and Development Party's supporters, 53% of the respondents were against opening the schools.

  Read more >> here <<


★ According to Bianet, a recent MIT study published in the Journal of Climate projected that the Mediterranean will be getting warmer than other regions over the next decade and will receive 40 percent less precipitation even in the winter.

  An increased number of heatwaves, forest fires, droughts and loss of biodiversity, decrease in tourism revenue, loss of agricultural yields will plague the region.

  A significant portion of Turkey's landmass is in the Mediterranean region.

  Read more >> here <<




★ This week the Turkish lira slid down against the dollar and reached a historic low against the dollar and the euro. For months the Turkish state banks and the central bank had been defending the Turkish lira by selling dollars.

  Turkey's President Erdoğan's communications director Fahrettin Altun said 'Global colonial barons' are attacking Turkey's economy. He also claimed that who organize the recent attacks are very well known.

  Most economists, however, blame the roan economic policies of Mr. Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party.

  In the meantime, the opposition asked Mr. Erdogan to remove the Minister Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak. Mr. Albayrak is the president's son in law.

  In related news, President Erdoğan claimed two weeks ago that Turkey's economy is booming. He cited increased refrigerator sales as evidence.

★ John Vandesquille, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, wrote on Friday that the continuous drop of the Turkish currency on exchange markets, stemming from years of debt accumulation and the unwillingness of President Erdogan to increase interest rates, could help tourism in the region despite the uncertain times brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  The global data is forecasting a decrease in international arrivals of only 31.6% in 2020 compared to 2019.

  According to the United Nations world tourism organization, in 2018 Turkey was the sixth in the world in tourist arrivals.

  In related news, in a press release on August 7, the European Union has kept Turkey off its safe list of countries from which the bloc allows non-essential travel, essentially reducing European tourists to Turkey to a trickle.

  Turkey's Minister of Health Dr. Fahrettin Koca announced the total death so far to be 5800 on Friday. However, experts dispute the official numbers and claim that the deaths could be as much as 10 times higher. There was also a spike in the case is reported by the minister. The spike is attributed to the intermingling of people during the July 31-August 3 Sacrificed Feast Islamic holiday.

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

★ The Turkish Trade Ministry has lifted a requirement for domestic producers to obtain advance permission before exporting lemons, reports the online publication Duvar.

  The decision, published in the Official Gazette early on Aug. 7, rescinded the restriction which was initially placed amid rising domestic demand for lemons due to the coronavirus pandemic.

★ San Francisco based Zynga Inc., a global leader in interactive entertainment, announced it has agreed to acquire Istanbul-based Rollic, a mobile games developer and publisher with an exciting portfolio of popular hyper-casual games that have been downloaded more than 250 million times.

  Founded in December 2018 by Burak Vardal, Deniz Basaran, and Mehmet Can Yavuz, Rollic is a hyper-casual publisher and game developer based in Istanbul, Turkey. Eight of Rollic's games have reached #1 or #2 top free downloaded games in the U.S. App Store, and their latest releases, Go Knots 3D and Tangle Master 3D, were the top two most downloaded games in the U.S. App Store in Q2 2020.

  In May this year, Zynga purchased another Turkish company, Gram Games, for $250 million, and in November 2017 Peak Games, yet another Turkish company.

  Read more >> here <<

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 7.29


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 91/70 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 82/77 Thunderstorms
Erzurum, in eastern Turkey       : 84/59 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 88/77 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 88/75 Thunderstorms
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 84/75 Thunderstorms
Seawater temperatures:
Black Sea measured at Trabzon         : 78
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ      : 78
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir          : 77
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya : 84


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz

★ Sports and politics? It seems like that's the case in Turkish soccer premier league.

  According to Deutsche Welle, new Turkish champion Istanbul Başakşehir has shaken up the premier soccer league and asked questions of the country's traditional giants. But the club's links to President Erdoğan give the success a distinct political aftertaste.

  It had been coming. Founded in 1990 as an unfashionable municipality team, the team was promoted and renamed Istanbul Başakşehir in 2014 and slowly began to increase the pressure on the Big Three. Finally, under head coach Okan Buruk, a side that combines top Turkish talent such as midfielder Irfan Can Kahveci and foreign veterans such as Demba Ba and Gael Clichy have become only the sixth different premiere league winners since 1959.

  Among the first to convey their congratulations: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president whose image is inextricably linked to Başakşehir. His portrait hangs in the lobby at the training ground, the team plays in the orange and blue colors of Erdoğan 's Justice and Development Party, and the club president Göksel Gümüşdağ, a former Justice and Development Party official, is related to Erdoğan by marriage.

  Erdogan is well aware of Turkey's obsession with soccer. But the political potency of Turkey's national sport became most obvious to him during the Gezi Park protests in 2013. After opposition by environmental activists to plans to build yet another shopping mall on a public park escalated into massive anti-government protests, hardcore supporters of Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas put aside their rivalries to help defend protesters against the authorities.
  Read more >> here <<


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

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