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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 03 July 2021

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 03 July 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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★ The State Department says that Turkey provided tangible support to the militants in Syria. It also claimed that Turkey recruited children for the militants and put Turkey on a list of countries using child soldiers.

  On Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey rejected the claims.


  Turkey's TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK helicopter co-developed with Italy's AgustaWestland 

★ Turkey recently has been selling arms throughout the world to get a share of the lucrative markets. However, its attempts to sell Turkish-built drones have run into difficulties securing high-tech parts from abroad. The countries selling some of these high-tech parts are holding back sales due to concerns.

  Now another high-tech armament, a helicopter built in Turkey, could be facing difficulties from the U.S. A joint venture between Honeywell and the British Rolls-Royce makes the engines for the chopper. The U.S. may put export restrictions on engine exports if Turkey tries to sell $1.5 billion worth of these helicopters to Pakistan, an analyst wrote on Friday.

★ On July 1, thousands of women took to streets across Turkish cities to protest against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's withdrawal from the Istanbul convention, reports the Turkish daily Duvar.

  The Istanbul Convention is an international treaty for combating violence against women.

  The protesters in Istanbul hold banners saying: "We are not giving up on the Istanbul convention, it is not over for us."

  Meanwhile, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on July 1 that Turkey's withdrawal from the convention is deeply disappointing and a step backward for the international effort to end violence against women.

  The protests came hours after President Erdoğan defended the withdrawal from the convention.

  According to a monitoring group, roughly one woman was killed in Turkey each day since a sharp rise five years ago.

  Many conservatives in Turkey and the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party of president Erdoğan said the pact undermines the family. Some also see the convention as promoting homosexuality through its principle of non-discrimination for sexual orientation.

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu

★ Turkey's Constitutional Court on July 1 ruled that the government violated the rights of imprisoned and dismissed pro-Kurdish Peoples Democracy Party deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu and ordered his immediate release, reports the Turkish daily Duvar.

  The file of Gergerlioğlu, who is also a physician and longtime human rights advocate, will be sent to parliament for him to regain his status.

  The ruling of the court was unanimous.

  The government accuses Gergerlioğlu of spreading terrorism propaganda based on a social media post some years ago. The daily Duvar writes that as part of a years-long crackdown on the party, the Erdoğan administration has prosecuted thousands of members of the Peoples Democracy Party. Many prominent members of the party, including its former co-leaders, are currently in jail.

★ According to Turkish daily Birgün, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed that the European countries are charging for COVID-19 vaccines. Two German papers immediately wrote that president Erdoğan was misleading the Turkish public and said that vaccines were free in Germany.

  In related news, the Turkish Ministry of Health disclosed Wednesday that only 18% of the population had received the required doses of the vaccines. Currently, the Chinese-made SionlVac and Pfizer vaccines are available in the country.

  The daily Birgün also reported on July 1 that Turkish hospitals used unapproved and risky treatments for COVID-19 on patients. The main opposition Republican Peoples Party deputy Murat Emir claimed that the administration had prioritized financial profit over patient health. He claimed that a clinical trial generated profit for a company where former Ministry of health employee Adil Mardinoğlu serves on the board.

Rudy Giuliani

★ According to Forbes magazine, former New York mayor and President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is facing a second government investigation into dealings with Turkey.

  The investigation is for his alleged push to deport a Turkish cleric to Turkey. Turkish authorities want the cleric to stand trial in Turkey for orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.

  Giuliani denies any wrongdoing.

★ According to the daily Duvar, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that prices of vegetables making up the so-called "borsch basket" have sharply increased over the last year in the country mainly due to rising import costs from warmer countries such as Turkey.

  Borsch is a traditional soup hailing from Russia and Eastern Europe.


★ According to Euronews, the Deutsche Bank of Germany denied that they would be financing President Erdoğan's pet project Kanal Istanbul. The bank said that it had not received any communication from the Turkish government.

  The canal will connect the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea, creating a parallel pathway between the two seas to the natural waterway Bosporus. Second around

  The Turkish government says that it will cost around $15 billion, but most experts believe that this figure will probably be $65 billion.

  Due to the current economic situation and environmental concerns, many experts in public in Turkey oppose the canal.

  In related news, opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that when they ascend to power, they will cancel all the loan payments to any lender and may prosecute any government official or bureaucrat who signs any deal related to the canal.

  Read more >> here <<


★ According to Reuters, Turkish e-commerce site Hepsiburada has become the first company from Turkey to list in the Nasdaq stock exchange. The company sold 56.7 million shares.

  Shares of the company rose nearly 12% on Thursday.

  The market valuation of the company reached $3.8 billion in its initial public offering.

  Founded in 2000, Hepsiburada operates online platforms on which consumers can order items ranging from groceries and essentials to airline tickets. The company launched its marketplace in 2015.

  The founders of the company were here some years ago to recruit technical talent from the Bay Area.

★ According to Bloomberg, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan approved the formation of two energy companies on Wednesday as Turkey moves some state-owned companies home against the threat of European sanctions.

  Turkey has had 14 state-run energy companies operating abroad, including in the U.S., China, Russia, and several European countries. Some European Union members have threatened to force the bloc to adopt sanctions against Turkey over its search for oil and gas in contested waters of the eastern Mediterranean.


Edited by Büşra Ekmekçi and Selin Taylak


★ Istanbul Jazz Festival is getting ready to spread jazz enthusiasm to the city in September. 2021 will be the 28th year of the festival.

  The event will transform the city into a concert venue with nearly 40 open-air concerts. It will be on between September 1-24 under the sponsorship of Garanti BBVA. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism will also support the festival.

  Among the names in the concerts are:


★ Bank of America awarded the Art Conservation Project 2021 Grant to The "Conservation Project of Thirteen Manuscripts and Illuminated Calligraphy Works from the Sadberk Hanım Museum Collection."

  The Sadberk Hanım Museum is a private museum located at the Bosporus in Büyükdere quarter of Sarıyer district in Istanbul, Turkey, established by the Vehbi Koç Foundation in memory of Sadberk Koç, businessman Vehbi Koç's wife.

  Bank of America provides funding for projects for restoring rare works with historical and cultural significance throughout the world.

  As part of the project, thirteen of the rare examples of illuminated manuscripts from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods will be restored and exhibited after a comprehensive analysis.

  The Sadberk Hanım Museum aims to preserve rare calligraphy works and instill the importance of preserving cultural heritage and works of art. For this purpose, it raises public awareness through the activities within the scope of the project.


★ Turkey's 143-year-old olive oil company Komili took part in Heritage Istanbul, the cultural heritage fair, with its project to protect the ancient olive trees, which are the natural and cultural heritage of Anatolia. The project is dubbed "We Look With Our Eyes.

  The project started in 2018 to protect the ancient olive trees that connect the past to the future.

  Komili, who is also among the event sponsors of Heritage Istanbul, attended the fair with the "Thousand-Year-Old Roots of Monumental Olive Trees panel and the "Miraculous Food Olive Oil talk.

  The "Thousand-Year-Old Roots of Ancient Olive Trees panel is based on Komili's social responsibility project "We Look With Our Eyes. Under the moderation of Bunge Gıda Turkey General Manager Turgut Yeğinağa, participants discussed the contribution of olive oil to human health and its nutritional benefits. Participants were professor Dr. Abdullah Soykan, Dr. Çetin Şenkul and Komili Ayvalık Operations & Olive Oil Tasting Manager Mehmet Cavlı.


★ Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum - Dilek Sabancı Gallery, restored and converted into a museum and art gallery following the will of Sakıp Sabancı, is featuring an exhibition titled Imagining the Future with Art and Design. The Russian Avant-garde.

  At the exhibition, Russian Avant-garde is represented by its work in painting, design, literature, film, and theater. The Costakis collection at the Thessaloniki State Contemporary Art Museum in Greece has loaned the works.

  The exhibition aims to reflect the belief of the avant-garde artists in progress. These artists turned to science with the excitement of industrialization and carried their dreams into space by crossing the world borders.


★ The award ceremony for the International Pınar Children's Painting Contest took place online. Held for the past 40 years, the Turkish dairy products company Pınar organizes the competition to develop the social skills of children and make them love the art of painting,

  Nearly 13 thousand paintings from Germany, TRNC, Azerbaijan, and Turkey participated in the competition organized with the theme of I Love My Nature, I Take Care of My Environment this year.

  The jury found 26 junior painters deemed worthy of the award. Pınar Süt's Chairman of the Board İdil Yiğitbaşı, and jury head Prof. Dr. Mümtaz Sağlam joined the Award Ceremony. You can see the junior painters who received awards and their works at the virtual exhibition at www.pinar.com.tr.


★ Istanbul's Cemal Reşit Rey Symphony Orchestra's concert series Symphonic Summer in Istanbul will be repeated free of charge in parks on both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul after the concert to be held at the Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theatre.

  Cemal Reşit Rey Symphony Orchestra continues its activities with online concerts due to the pandemic. This time it will meet with music lovers in open areas with summer concerts.

  The schedule of the concert series is as follows: 



★ Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is unique in the world with its 560-year history. Historians say that it is one of the oldest malls in history. The restoration of the roof of the Grand Bazaar, started in 2016, is continuing. However, now it opened to local and foreign tourists as of July 1.

  Tours on the roof of the Grand Bazaar will soon start. Visitors climbing to the top will enjoy a unique view.

  During the restoration, experts have been performing essential work in the Grand Bazaar. While shooting the Skyfall film series of the James Bond movie in 2012, the film crew climbed onto the roof of the Grand Bazaar on three motorcycles. This damaged many tiles. The restorers overhauled those tiles during the renovation. They used 800 thousand tiles in the restoration, reinforced and insulated the roof.

  Authorities are expecting the restoration of the Grand Bazaar to finish in 2022.


★ Afyonkarahisar is one of Turkey's Aegean region cities. The most expansive place of worship in Afyonkarahisar is the historical Grand Mosque built by Seljuk Turks, and the city is preparing it for UNESCO World Heritage List nomination.

  Afyonkarahisar Municipality announced that the Grand Mosque entered the UNESCO tentative list in 2018, will be nominated to the UNESCO World Heritage Permanent List.

  Turkey's General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums wants to introduce mosques and structures built with wood in Turkey to the whole world. For this, it carries out studies to protect them and pass them on to future generations.

  Finds from a 3400-year-old underwater wreck off Turkish coast
★ Underwater archaeologists from Turkey's Akdeniz University, continuing their work to uncover history in the depths of the Mediterranean, found 52 shipwrecks off the shores of Turkey in 2020.

  Submerged historical cities in the depths of the Mediterranean and sunk ships witnessing great wars shed light on history.

  The Mediterranean coast has hosted important trade ports throughout history. The most important of these were the ports of Patara and Olympos.

  Due to earthquakes over centuries, many port cities sunk underwater, and many ships were buried deep with their secrets.

  An underwater robot accompanies the Akdeniz University team and determines where to dive on the Mediterranean coast, where the water is deep.

  The number of shipwrecks recorded on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey is 300. The team also discovered the world's oldest merchant shipwreck off the coast of Antalya in 2018.

  Experts dive into the water when they stumble upon an archaeological image in the depths of the sea. Each dive reveals a new mystery. They then individually mark and record the debris found and objects detected.

  Archaeologists estimate that there are 50,000 shipwrecks in the Mediterranean basin with 5,000 years of commercial history. Turkey's coasts are also full of mysteries still waiting to unravel.



★ Ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Metropolis in Izmir, Turkey's third-largest city, illuminate the secrets of history.

  Metropolis history ranges from the early settlement traces of the late Neolithic near the city to the classical age, from the Hellenistic Age to the Roman and Byzantine periods, also from the principalities to the Ottoman Empire.

  Dr. Serdar Aybek of the Manisa Celal Bayar University has been directing archaeologists investigating public and religious sites. Among them are water structures and churches in the city during the excavations this year.

  The team also aims to uncover two cisterns discovered during excavations in the ancient city of Metropolis, known as the city of the Mother Goddess. The two will bring into open the water storage complex consisting of four interconnected cisterns.

  Teams will also clean up the well-preserved large mosaics found in the ancient city. After the cleaning of the mosaics, authorities will open them to visitors.

  Archaeologists have unearthed more than 11 thousand historical artifacts in the region to this day. The artifacts obtained during the excavations are at the Izmir Archaeological Museum, Izmir History, and art and Selcuk Ephesus museums.


★ Turkey's culture and tourism minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy announced that surveys revealed 11 more hills similar to Göbeklitepe on a 60-mile line around it.

  He said that the results of the survey works would be available in September.

  Göbeklitepe is an ancient ritual site that is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The stone structures containing figurines on Göbeklitepe date back to 11,000 years ago. Scholars classify them as the world's oldest known megaliths. Archaeologists have unearthed more than 200 pillars in about 20 circles so far. Each has a height of about 20 feet and weighs up to 10 tons.

  A joint survey conducted by Istanbul University and the University of Chicago in 1963 first noted the archaeological site. The German Archaeological Institute has been excavating there since 1996, but large parts remain unexcavated.


★ Rahmi M. Koç Museum is Turkey's first and only industrial museum. Recently, the museum added to its collection a 1903 model Cadillac.

  The Cadillac features a single-cylinder engine, tilting steering will, bronze headlights,andasqueezehorn.


★ Erden Eruç is a Turkish-American adventurer who became the first person in history to complete an entirely solo and entirely human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth in 2012. He set numerous Guinness World Records with it.

  He is now on a new mission. He has set out by rowboat from Crescent City, California, a few weeks ago, intending to reach Hong Kong nonstop, ETA March 2022. During this crossing, he will raise awareness about the plastics problem in our oceans in collaboration with Ocean Recovery Alliance.

  Erden will collect ambient sound data for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist Jay Barlow using a high-frequency hydrophone. The data will identify the range of Beaked Whales along his transect. It may also identify other species once the data is archived and made public.

  After reaching mainland Asia, Erden intends to continue overland to the foothills of Everest before attempting that climb in the fall of 2022.

  He is currently off the coast of the Bay Area due east of San Jose.


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