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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 06 February 2021

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 06 February 2021]

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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  Police detaining protesters during a rally in support of Boğaziçi University students

★ Protest against the new government president for Istanbul's Boğaziçi University have continued throughout the week.

  Students and faculty are saying that should come with an election. The Justice and Development Party administration is cracking down on the demonstrations on and off the campus.

  There have also been demonstrations abroad in solidarity with the people in Turkey. One of them will be in San Francisco tomorrow at the Crissy Field in front of the Huts Bookstore and Café at 2 P. M.

  So far, Turkish police arrested 159 students for protesting. In protests, protesters started carrying signs that display the number 159.

★ The governing leaders, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are calling the protesting students terrorists. Also, they are saying that foreign agents and LGBT activists are behind the protests. Read more >> here <<

  In criticizing the so-called gay activists, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey shouldn't "look at what these lesbians and the like say," and instead heed the mothers, who are what keeps families together. He said this in a speech given via video call to women's caucuses of his ruling party in several provinces on Friday, Sözcü newspaper reported.

  Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu was also vocal against the protesters. At one point, Twitter tagged one of his tweets for violating the rules regarding hateful conduct by Twitter when he called the protesters LGBT deviants. Mr. Soylu claimed that twitter succumbed to the pressure by the LGBT lobby.

  Deniz Yüksel of Amnesty International said the Turkish authorities' recent anti-LGBT statements were "not only a reflection of the government's homophobia but also a calculated political strategy."

  "The authorities' attacks on LGBT [individuals] are the latest frontier in a culture war launched by President Erdoğan to rally his conservative base ahead of elections scheduled for 2023, though rumors suggest they may take place earlier," she said.

  U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Wednesday that the United States was concerned about demonstrations at Boğaziçi University and strongly condemned the anti-LGBT rhetoric surrounding them.

  The U.N. human rights agency on Wednesday also condemned "homophobic and transphobic comments by [Turkish] officials" and called for a "prompt release of students and protesters arrested for participating in peaceful demonstrations."

Melih Bulu

★ Melih Bulu, the government-appointed president of the Boğaziçi University, holds a doctorate from the University in business management program. However, he has never been a full-time professor at the University. Critics also accuse him of plagiarism in his dissertation.

  Mr. Bulu has been in the politics on the Justice and Development Party side. He once ran for Parliament as a candidate from the party.

★ In related news, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a presidential order to establish 15 schools in 13 universities. One of them is a school of communication and law at the Boğaziçi University.

  The order also shut down 16 institutes and departments in seven universities.

Osman Kavala and Henri Barkey

★ A court in Istanbul has ruled for the continuation of Turkish activist, philanthropist, and businessman Osman Kavala's release on Friday, rejecting the Turkish philanthropist's demand to be released in an earlier trial, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet reported.

  Authorities arrested Osman Kavala in 2017. He is facing charges of political or military espionage and violating the constitution, together with former U.S. State Department employee and scholar Henri Barkey.

  The court also ruled to combine another case Kavala is facing trial for, the Gezi Park protests, with the case against the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

  Prosecutors accuse Kavala and Barkey of obtaining and dissipating classified information on state security and political interests. Both deny the accusation.

  The prosecution demands life in prison for both and an additional 20 years.

  Critics of the Turkish government say that the government has made up the charges. They add that the only reason for the incarceration of Mr. Kavala is because he is a vocal opponent of the Erdoğan administration.
Read more >> here <<

★ President Joseph Biden's pledge to put democracy and human rights at the center of American foreign policy faces an early test Friday in Turkey, a NATO ally that has become increasingly authoritarian over the past decade. Passing this test is crucial given that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's repressive rule poses a danger, not just for American interests, but also for American citizens, wrote Merve Tahiroğlu in an op-ed published by the NBC News.

  She further wrote:

  "President Donald Trump famously embraced Erdoğan's autocratic abuses, while President Barack Obama mostly ignored them. Unfortunately, both approaches left a permissive international environment for Erdoğan to dismantle Turkish democracy and turn Turkey into a more repressive, aggressive, and anti-Western country.

  "U.S. officials may prefer to avoid prioritizing this case in their agenda with Ankara. They might worry that raising this issue at the highest levels will only antagonize Turkey, weakening U.S. influence with a long-standing strategic partner that is increasingly straying from NATO and toward the orbit of U.S. adversaries like Russia and China. Others might argue that addressing Turkey's disruptive regional behavior, such as threatening Greece and Cyprus with its navy in the Eastern Mediterranean, should take priority."

  She recommends:

  "Turkey will act as an effective member of the transatlantic alliance only when it respects the values for which the alliance stands. Biden should make it clear to Erdoğan that respect for the rule of law and an end to state-fostered anti-Americanism are non-negotiable prerequisites for a better U.S.-Turkish relationship.

  Merve Tahiroğlu is the Turkey program coordinator for the Project on Middle East Democracy.

  Read more >> here <<

★ Freedom House recently wrote that the Turkish state's current campaign of transnational repression is remarkable for its intensity, its geographic reach, and the suddenness with which it escalated. Since the coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in July 2016, the regime has pursued its perceived enemies in at least 30 different host countries spread across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The campaign is also notable for its heavy reliance on renditions, in which the government and its intelligence agency persuade the targeted states to hand over individuals without due process, or with a slight fig leaf of legality. Freedom House cataloged 58 of these renditions since 2014. No other perpetrator state was found to have conducted such a large number of renditions, from so many host countries, during the coverage period—and the documented total is almost certainly an undercount.

  Freedom House is a U.S.-based, U.S. government-funded nonprofit non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights. Freedom House was founded in October 1941.

  Read more >> here <<



★ Turkish children's books writer and illustrator Behiç Ak is nominated for the 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award, dubbed the Nobel Prize of the genre, reports the Turkish daily Duvar.

  Awarded by the International Board on Books for Young People, the prize recognizes lifelong achievement and significant and lasting contributions to children's literature.

  Mr. Ak is also known for being an avid activist in environmental and urban issues.

  The author of over a hundred books and plays, Behiç Ak has received more than a dozen awards for his writing and drawings, both artistic and architectural.

  Read more >> here <<


★ Turkish archaeologist conducted significant work January 2021, reports the website Turkish Archaeological News.

  Archaeologists brought to light the remains of the Aphrodite Temple in the Urla-Çeşme peninsula on the Aegean coast, a small statue of Asclepius, and a bust of Serapis in Kibyra.

  Moreover, restoration work on memorial tombs of Seljuk sultans in Konya started. Also, archaeologists made a sensational discovery in Turkey's South Eastern province of Diyarbakır, where they uncovered the graves of the Seljuk Sultan Kılıç Arslan I and his daughter Saide Hatun.


★ Yazgülü Aldoğan of daily Cumhuriyet reported about a new book titled "In the Footsteps of Nazım Hikmet's Hands", published by Küçükçekmece Municipality for the 119th birthday of Nazım Hikmet.

  Yazgülü Aldoğan says that the book deserves a lot of credit.

  Aldoğan writes that 704-page work is printed only 1100 copies, numbered, collectible, and published as a prestige book. It is not only specially designed but also includes a comprehensive reference list to archive works. It is like a Nazım Hikmet bibliographic biography. On each page, one can find the cover and information of a book published in another country. It is also valuable for researchers and libraries. The editor of the book is Turgay Fişekçi. Aykut Genç made the graphic designs.

  The main contributor is Melih Güneş, a Nazım Hikmet researcher. It is the Küçükçekmece Municipality and its president, Kemal Çebi, who brought such valuable work to our cultural heritage.

&  Melih Güneş decided to write the book when he visited Vera Tulyakova in Moscow, wife of Nazım Hikmet. Vera told Güneş: Do not touch my archive for five years after I die, but then decide together with Anna Stepanova what will happen to this house.

  Anna is Vera's daughter.

  Five years had passed since Vera's death in 2001. Güneş, coincidentally, was living in Moscow at that time.

  Entering the archive and Nazım's room with Anna, they started working slowly.

  Some of these works have been turned into exhibitions, some into books. Although the life of Nazım in various cities and countries did not allow him to collect all his books and documents, Güneş moved some parts from his room in Moscow to Istanbul.

  They made transcripts of published and unpublished books and poems with Nazım's literary assistant Antonina Karlovna.

  Mehmet Perinçek, who lives in Russia, also helped by scanning libraries.

  In the end, valuable information on Nazım's works, a source for researchers, has been collected in this book.

  Güneş has reached Nazım's books published in Albania, Mexico, China, Yugoslavia.

  Yazgülü Aldoğan that her first encounter with the poems of Nazım Hikmet was with his book published in Bulgaria because for many years Nazım's books were forbidden to be published in his country!

  The cover photos and publication information for Nazım's books published in more than 40 languages ​​are all in the book.

  This book is also evidence of the existence of dozens of works that have not been included in Nazım Hikmet's corpus and a call to bring his works to our culture more fully and accurately by reviewing them carefully, Yazgülü Aldoğan adds.

  "We hope that this call will be heard because a Nazım Hikmet is not born often, it is not easy, it is important not only for us but for all humanity and cultural existence!, " Yazgülü Aldoğan concludes.


★ Film Writers Association of Turkey determined candidates in 11 categories for the 53rd Turkish Movie Awards.

  The Association nominated Two actresses of "If It Is in Our Lot, We Are Candidates" in the Best Supporting Actress category and two actors of "Noah Hill" in the Best Actor category.

  Ercan Kesal, director, scriptwriter, and lead actor of Noah Hill won three nominations in the Best Director, Best Screenwriter, and Best Actor categories.

Linda Nochlin

★ A new book titled "A Look at the History of Feminist Art: The place of women in the art" will be the topic of discussion in an upcoming online event.

  The book is orderly by American writer Linda Nochlin, and it just got translated into Turkish.

  Audiences will be able to watch artist Zeyno Pekünlü, academician and artist Necla Rüzgar, and translator, poet and academician Gonca Özmen will be able to watch on Yapı Kredi Kültür Sanat's YouTube channel .

  The book reflects the accumulation of nearly 20 years of research and interpretation.

  http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkSlBOVNKV-XdUtNRwXeQnQ on the evening of February 10 will open for discussions.


★ Focusing on the challenges faced by musicians during the pandemic, producers released the third part of the documentary series dubbed "In Turkey to be Musicians / am I not human?"

  Alper Erdinç, Mert Gider, and Gizem Ertürk prepared the six-part mini-documentary series, YouTube channel Sonki3ört will broadcast it.

  The new part examines the problems of people from different branches of the industry. It includes people from master artists to young musicians, from instrumentalists to managers. The series asks the audience the question: What would it be like without music in your life?

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 7.05


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 61/37 Mostly Sunny
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 66/54 Partly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 43/18 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 61/45 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 68/50 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 57/50 Partly Cloudy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 15 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 12 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 40 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 43 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : No snow report
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 22 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 22 inches


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz


Premier League:

* Standing in the league as of week ending 23
 1 - G. Saray        48 
 2 - Beşiktaş        48
 3 - Fenerbahçe      48
 4 - Alanya          41
 5 - Trabzon         39

★ Turkey's Alican Kaynar came in third in the Spanish Winter Sailing Lanzarote Competitions that ended January 26, 2021.

★ In the Henry Deglane Greco-Roman wrestling championships held in Nice, France Turkish male wrestlers received six gold, for silver and for bronze medals, and came in first as a team. Wrestlers from the U.S., Azerbaijan, France, Germany and Poland competed.

  In the same competitions, Turkish women's team ended up in third place.

  The competitions ended January 17, 2021.

★ In the women's boxing, Turkish boxers received two gold, two silver and one bronze medals in competitions held in Serbia that ended on January 16, 2021.



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