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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 19 December 2020

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 19 December 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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★ Mass vaccination programs have started here in the U.S. and around the world against the coronavirus pandemic.

  Among the vaccine developers, Pfizer and its partner German company BioNTech are in the forefront.

  The founders of BioNTech are two Turkish doctors Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci.

  According to the Wall Street Journal's podcast, Dr. Uğur Şahin says that he designed the vaccine in just a few hours in January 2020.

  Food and Drug Administration has approved the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for use in the U.S.

★ An Istanbul court on December 18, 2020 rejected an appeal by philanthropist and businessman Osman Kavala and said he had to remain in pretrial detention. He has been in jail for over three years now.

  The court also ruled that the next hearing of the second trial against Kavala will occur on February 5, 2021.

  Earlier, Kavala told the court that the fresh indictments against him have no basis in reality and include the most extreme examples of unfounded and unsubstantiated illogical charges.

★ Turkey's opposition has said that the ruling Justice and Development Party is rushing to pass a draft law on countering the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The law is for mitigating the risk of being placed on the financial action task forces gray lists for flocking measures to combat money laundering.

  Opposition MPs have slammed the Justice and Development Party for using the relevant draft bill as a cover to exercises control on NGOs as the bill also includes articles that allow the government to appoint trustees to NGOs.

★ According to the Turkish daily Duvar, Turkey has evacuated seven military observation post in northwest Syria following prolonged attacks in the region by Russian backed regime forces, a Turkish source told Reuters on December 18, 2020.

  The source who requested anonymity said the last of the evacuations completed on December 17 night. The military redeployed the forces to the territory Turkey-backed forces control under an understanding reached with Russia.

★ As we reported in our news last week, the U.S. Congress sent a bill to President Trump, which included sanctions against Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has deemed CAATSA sanctions on Turkey a blatant attack on Turkey's sovereignty. He noted that the country is determined to boost its military industry to the top.

  The U.S. is sanctioning Turkey for purchasing Russian defense systems that the U.S. and its NATO allies say Russia would use to spy on NATO defenses and the new aircraft jointly built in the U.S.

  In related news, Iran's foreign affairs minister Mohammed Zarif on December 15 condemned U.S. sanctions against Turkey over Turkey's acquisition of Russian S-400 air defense systems as contempt for international.

★ The European Union may also be sanctioning Turkey. Turkish foreign affairs minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on December 14, 2020 said that Turkey would not change its position with regards to its rights in the eastern Mediterranean because of possible European sanctions or criticism.

  "It is out of the question for us to abandon our rights and interests in the eastern Mediterranean because we will face sanctions or the European Union will criticize us, Çavuşoğlu said.

★ The Turkish government's rhetoric of the beginning of a new era of economic and political reforms continued on December 16, 2020. Naci Ağbal, the newly-appointed governor of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, announced in a long-delayed presentation to journalists and economists that the central bank will not buy or sell foreign exchange to determine the level or direction of the exchange rates.

  However, the Turkish central bank chief's promises fell short of impressing experts, the news reports say.

★ Turkey's ruling alliance partner Nationalist Movement Party infuriated small business owners by distributing 50 kurus, about 1/16 of a U.S. dollar, coins, and a wealth prayer in the central Anatolian province of Kayseri.

  Main opposition Republican People's Party Kayseri Chair Ümit Özer noted that "seed money, as ridiculously inadequate as 50 kurus, is an insult to small business owners while they await aid."

★ Istanbul's cafe and bar workers staged their third silent protest against the government's pandemic management on December 18, 2020, and dedicated the demonstration to their coworker Duran Ay. The press reported Ay's suicide due to poverty on December 16, 2020.

  Turkey's service industry was perhaps the area hit the hardest by the pandemic, as employees have been effectively unemployed with no state assistance since March.



★ According to the Turkish daily Duvar, the Ankara's Chamber of Architects in the Turkish capital will sue the Çankaya District Municipality for the destructive "restoration" of the Saraçoğlu Neighborhood, the first public housing project in Turkey's history.

  German professor Paul Bonatz, who did not get along with the Nazi regime and moved to Turkey in 1943, designed the building.

  More about Prof. Bonatz >> here <<


★ A 1,700-year-old small statue of Cybele, the goddess of fertility and wealth, was transported back to its "homeland" Turkey on December 13, 2020.

  According to experts, the statue dates back to the third century. Smugglers took it abroad from Turkey in the 1970s, but experts traced it back to its Anatolian roots thanks to the marble type and sculpting techniques used in its creation.

  The statuette re-emerged in 2016 when an Israeli citizen applied to transport the artifact to the United States for an auction.

  The subsequent legal proceedings between Israel and Turkey's Tourism and Culture Ministry returned the Cybele statue to Istanbul, where it will be on display at the Archaeology Museum.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 7.68


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz

★ World wrestling championships held in Serbia just ended. Turkey came in after Russia in second place. 
  1. Russia 210
  2. Turkey 104
  3. Azerbaijan 91
  The following Turkish wrestlers received medals in the freestyle wrestling:

70 kg Haydar Yavas, Silver
74 kg Fazli Eryilmaz, Bronze
79 kg Muhammed Nuri Kotanoglu, Silver
92 kg Erhan Yaylaci, Bronze
97 kg Süleyman Karadeniz, Bronze

  In the women's competitions two Turkish wrestlers received medals:

72 kg Buse Torun, Silver
57 kg Mehlika Öztürk, Bronze

  In the Men's Greco-Roman wrestling the following Turkish wrestlers received medals:

130 kg Osman Yildirim, Silver
82 kg Salih Aydin, Silver

★ The European Women's Artistic Gymnastics Competitions just ended in Turkey's Mediterranean province of Mersin. Ukraine came in first. Here is a list of the rankings by nation:
  1. Ukraine
  2. Romania
  3. Hungry
  4. Turkey

★ In the Euroleague basketball competitions, the Turkish teams Fenerbahçe and Anadolu Efes both lost to their opponents last week.


Premier League

* Results for week: 12
Kasımpaşa       -      Denizli        3 - 2
Kayseri         -      Trabzon        0 - 0
Ankaragücü      -      Konya          4 - 3
Fenerbahçe      -      Malatya        0 - 3
Rize            -      Göztepe        3 - 2
Hatay           -      Karagümrük     3 - 1
Başakşehir      -      G. Antep       1 - 2
Erzurum         -      G. Birliği     0 - 1
Alanya          -      Beşiktaş       2 - 1
Sivas           -      Antalya        0 - 0
* In games played so far this weekend:
Karagümrük      -      G. Saray       2 - 1
Göztepe         -      Hatay          0 - 1
G. Antep        -      Fenerbahçe     3 - 1
Malatya         -      Kasımpaşa      2 - 0
Trabzon         -      Rize           2 - 1
Beşiktaş        -      Erzurum        4 - 0
Denizli         -      Alanya         1 - 0
G. Birliği      -      Ankaragücü     1 - 1
* Standing in the league as of week ending 12
 1 - Alanya          26
 2 - G. Saray        23
 3 - Fenerbahçe      23
 4 - Beşiktaş        19
 5 - Göztepe         18
 6 - G. Antep        18
 7 - Kasımpaşa       18
 8 - Hatay           18
 9 - Karagümrük      17
10 - Malatya         16
11 - Konya           15
12 - Başakşehir      15
13 - Rize            15
14 - Trabzon         14
15 - Antalya         14
16 - Sivas           11
17 - G. Birliği      11
18 - Kayseri         10
19 - Erzurum          9
20 - Ankaragücü       8
21 - Denizli          6


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

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