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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 12 June 2021
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 12 June 2021]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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★ The United Arab Emirate daily The National writes that according to an Afghan official, the Turkish government has agreed to take over responsibility for the Kabul International Airport in a $130 million deal with NATO.
The details and the exact takeover date are yet to be confirmed, the official said. A second senior source confirmed the deal.
As part of the NATO contingency, Turkey has had about 500 troops in Afghanistan since 2003. They have not participated in any combat operations.
In related news, according to VOA, the Taliban warned Saturday that it would be "unacceptable" to them and a "mistake" on the part of any nation to retain a military presence in Afghanistan to guard airports or other installations after the departure of U.S.-led NATO troops from the war-torn country.
So far, while the Taliban regularly attacked U.S. and allied troops during their nearly two-decade-long stay in Afghanistan, Turkish forces remain unharmed.
Read more >> here <<
★ President Biden will be meeting his Turkish counterpart Mr. Erdoğan on the sidelines of a NATO meeting Monday.
British daily The Times correspondent Roger Boyes wrote Tuesday an article about the upcoming meeting with the title "Biden looks to harness NATO's rogue Sultan. President Erdoğan flouts the norms of the alliance but can still
prove a useful ally against Russia."
He then said:
"Turkey's restless sultan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has everybody guessing. Is he conspiring with Russia to split Nato? Is he America's indispensable Eurasian ally? He can't be both. Or can he?
"For Joe Biden, next week's meeting with the Turkish president on the fringes of the Nato summit will be a crucial one. Biden has promised to roll back the authoritarian tide, to renew the moral core of U.S. foreign policy. An op-ed written by the American president ahead of his trip to Europe casts both the G7 and Nato summits in that light; the relatively short piece mentions democratic values 14 times. Biden's first task, then, is how to deal with a fellow Nato leader whose democratic instincts atrophied long ago.
"Now, however, Erdogan demands a degree of strategic autonomy alongside Nato membership. It is Turkey that waters down western calls to punish the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, for diverting and forcing down a Ryanair jet, that tempers criticism of Vladimir Putin. And it was Turkey that took the jaw-dropping step of negotiating the delivery of S-400 air defense systems from Moscow."
As we have covered in the past, for the purchase of the S-400 systems, U.S. removed Turkey from the F-35 program. Although some Turkish companies are still supplying components for the program, Turkey will not get any of the new fighter jets. The U.S. also imposed sanctions on some Turkish officials.
Read more >> here <<
★ We told you last week that Turkish and Polish officials signed a deal for Turkish drones to Poland. Both Poland and Turkey are members of NATO.
However, Deutsche Welle reports that the move is likely to needle Moscow, as the two NATO members are well aware. For Poland, a pivot towards Turkey is also a snub to the Biden administration after what is seen in Warsaw as Washington's renewed cozying up to Berlin over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Karol Wasilewski, a Turkey analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, finds the political aspects of the drone deal "interesting."
"It seems that by this transaction Poland is trying not only to strengthen its relationship with Turkey but also to make it more tied to the security of NATO's eastern flank, as well as to drive a wedge between Turkey and Russia, at a time when that relationship is very complicated," he told Deutsche Welle.
However, writing in the War on the Rocks, Aaron Stein explains that Russians are not too concerned about the Turkish drones. They have concluded that modern air defense can counter these types of drones.
Read more >> here <<
★ After a three-day meeting that ended on June 9, the Committee of Ministers of Council of Europe released a decision asking Turkey to implement the European Court of Human Rights judgments on Osman Kavala.
Mr. Osman Kavala is a Turkish businessman and philanthropist. The ruling Justice and Development Party administration has had him in jail without any conviction for over three years.
The Committee of Ministers referred to the European Court of Human Rights judgment said:
"The deputies recalled of the court's findings that the applicant's [Kavala's] arrest and pretrial detention took place in the absence of evidence to support a reasonable suspicion he had committed an offense and pursued an ulterior purpose, namely to silence him and dissuade other human rights defenders."
The European Court of Human Rights judgments are binding for Turkey, but the Justice and Development Party administration has not implemented them.
Read more >> here <<
★ Speaking of the European Court of Human Rights, the Turkish Constitutional Court agreed with it on a different case.
According to Bianet, examining the application of four Turkish citizens, the Constitutional Court has concluded that a local court violated the right to a fair trial of the applicants by rejecting their request for a retrial despite the ruling of a right violation handed down by the European Court of Human Rights.
Concluding the application, the Constitutional Court has said that the European Court of Human Rights judgments are binding. The countries concerned are under an obligation to comply with them. The constitutional court also noted that Turkey is obligated to guarantee fundamental rights and freedoms in the European Convention on Human Rights.
★ Marmara sea, all surrounded by Turkish territory, is in deep trouble. A substance commonly referred to as sea snot or mucilage now covers it.
According to the Turkish daily Duvar, satellite images analyzed by a Turkish university have shown that the amount of marine mucilage in the Marmara Sea has doubled in just five days.
Scientists say climate change and pollution have contributed to the proliferation of the substance, which contains a wide variety of microorganisms and can flourish when nutrient-rich sewage flows into seawater.
★ According to figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute, Turkish industrial production fell by 0.9% in April compared to the previous month. The drop represents the first decrease in a year. Despite the slight decrease, there was a 66% annualized jump in production.
★ The daily Duvar reports that the rising cost of raw materials, logistics, and heavy taxes are hitting the Turkish industry hard.
According to experts, companies with long-term international contracts, particularly those with fixed prices, face challenges.
Besides, Turkish businesses are dealing not only with global issues arising from the pandemic, but also with the burden of the depreciation of the Turkish currency.
Talha Özger, President of the Home and Kitchenware Industrialists and Businesspeople Association, says that they also have to pay 12% tax on raw materials imported to Turkey.
★ Turkish unemployment rate rose 0.9 percentage points to 13.9 percent in April, while a seasonally adjusted measure of labor underutilization rose to 27.4 percent from 25.7 percent a month earlier, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute.
Independent experts dispute these numbers. They say the unemployment rates are much higher. Trade union DISK calculated the rate in February as 28.8 percent when the Institute announced it as 12.9.
The unemployment rate for the young population (15-24 years old) was 25.6 percent, up 0.1 percentage points from the previous month.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Büşra Ekmekçi and Selin Taylak
★ With the transition to gradual pandemic normalization, archaeological excavations in 2021 will start in Turkey next week.
There will be around 600 excavations this year.
So far, Turkish and foreign scientists and Turkish museum directorates have completed the preparations for 217 archaeological excavations. The General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums and the Turkish Historical Society will support the excavations with a budget of $7.6 million in local currency.
Archaeologists will carry out the excavations and research work with distancing and other COVID-19 measures.
★ Turkey's central Anatolian region of Cappadocia is full of unusual structures called fairy chimneys by the locals. With fairy chimneys, valleys covered with natural rock formations, historical churches, and monasteries carved from rocks, Cappadocia is once again at the center of attention of tourists.
Turkish Radio and Television reports that preparations for the summer season in Cappadocia are complete. Authorities have taken the necessary measures against the pandemic. With the approach of the tourist season, 13 travel agencies from Panama also visited the region. The Panamanian agency owners, who toured the Göreme Outdoor Museum and the observation hills, plan to bring visitors to Cappadocia and other regions.
One of these agency owners explained why they preferred Turkey as follows: "I own the biggest agency in Panama. Panamanians have a great interest in Turkey. The reason for this interest is the Turkish TV serials that are very popular in South America. It is also important for us to have a direct flight from Panama to Turkey with Turkish Airlines.''
★ Bosphorus Film Festival, which Turkish Radio and Television is a corporate partner, will meet with moviegoers for the 9th time this year. Attractive Turkish and world film will meet with art lovers in the fall.
The festival will give awards in national and international categories. Films in the national category will appear before the jury for the Best National Feature Film Award.
There will also be awards in the Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing categories.
All films competing in three categories in the international section will be presented to the audience for the first time this year in Turkey.
The best film awards will be in two categories: National Short Fiction Film and National Short Documentary Film. All films in the competitive short sections of the festival will also be nominees for the Ahmet Uluçay Grand Prize.
There will also be a section for the industry-oriented event and project development of the festival. The Bosporus Film Lab is the name of this section. A project included in the Pitching Platform will receive the TRT Co-Production Award.
The festival, which brought the movie screenings together with the audience with the slogan "#EverythingRağmen" (#despite everything) last year, is to host its audience in movie theaters this year as well.
The festival will be on between October 23 and 30.
★ Concerts suspended due to the epidemic are starting again.
Among them are a series of concerts put together by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Dubbed the 2021 Summer Concerts, art lovers will have a pleasant time at venues with precautionary conditions for the pandemic or digital platforms.
The concerts will feature orchestras, folk dances, and choirs.
The ministry will be holding the concerts in June, July, and August.
During these three months, around 130 concerts will take place in many cities, archaeological sites of the ancient cities, and museums.
★ An exhibition opened with a ceremony at the Tarık Zafer Tunaya Cultural Center within the scope of the program specially prepared for the 120th anniversary of the birth of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar. Tanpınar was one of the masters of Turkish literature.
Mehmet Lütfi Şen, who is the curator of the exhibition, said in a statement, "Tanpınar is commemorated 120 years after his birth, and I think the public will always remember him. Because history rarely bestows artists like Tanpınar upon countries."
Şen reminded that Tanpınar was born in the Ottoman period and witnessed the independence struggle and the foundation of the Republic.
The exhibition offers many documents not exhibited until now to the enjoyment of art lovers. Among these are letters of Tanpınar, carefully kept in the collections of the Istanbul University Faculty of Letters and Institute of Turkic Studies, his handwritten notes on manuscripts, and his private documents
The exhibition is taking place with the contributions of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Istanbul University, Doğuş Group, Turkic Studies Institute, and many names from the world of literature.
It will be on until 6 July.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 8.39
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey : 79/55 Showers
Antalya, on the Mediterranean : 81/66 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey : 72/46 Showers
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 79/63 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean : 86/70 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea : 72/63 Showers
Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz
★ The European soccer championships:
Italy beat Turkey in Rome 0 to 3 on Friday, 6/11/2021.
★ In boxing, European qualifiers awarded 28 Tokyo Olympics quotas in Paris.
Turkish boxers Busenaz Çakıroğlu, Busenaz Sürmeneli, Esra Yıldız in women categories. So far no man from Turkey qualified.
★ In the para-athletics championships in Poland, Turkish athletes Fatma Damla Altın, Mihriban Korkmaz, Eda Yıldırım, Edanur Akın, Oğuz Alper Kılıç won medals.
★ 225 athletes from 14 provinces of Turkey and Sweden and cycling enthusiasts met in Sirnak, located in southeastern Turkey, for the Şehr-i Nuh Bicycle Festival.
Ministry of Youth and Sports organized the "Şehr-i Nuh Bicycle Festival" in Şırnak. The bike festival will last for three days.
The 225 cyclists began pedaling from Republican Square. Athletes will travel 40 kilometers every day in the 3-day festival. Athletes who will arrive in Beytüşşebap from Şırnak will return on their bikes from the same direction.
[Saat 14:30 and 15:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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