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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 14 August 2021

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 14 August 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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★ According to the Associated Press, Police in Turkey on Thursday detained 76 people in connection with attacks on homes and businesses believed to be owned by Syrians after a Turkish teenager died in a fight with a group of refugees from Syria.

  The attacks took place in the Altindag neighborhood of the Turkish capital.

  The Associated Press writes that the attack comes as sentiment against Syrian and Afghan refugees is running high in Turkey.

  Turkey has around 4 million officially registered Syrian refugees, but experts say the unofficial numbers are nearly 10 million. Turkey's population is 84 million. Since the country is in a dire economic condition with high unemployment, locals claim that refugees steal their jobs.

  In related news, the Turkish Medical Association has sent a letter to the Ministry of Health Directorate General of Public Health regarding the rights of the migrants to access health without being discriminated against, reports Bianet.

  Read more >> here <<


★ A main opposition Republican People's Party lawmaker has said that the security forces detained 18 farmers on August 10. The farmers were shouting "Justice and Development Party resign" during a protest against electricity cuts in Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, reports the Turkish daily Duvar.

  Emphasizing that everyone has a right to hold a peaceful protest without getting prior permission in line with the Constitution, Republican People's Party deputy Mahmut Tanal called for the release of farmers from detention.

  In December 2020, energy company DEDAŞ pressed charges against locals of the southeastern district of Suruç for inciting hatred and animosity against the company with an "electricity prayer," similar to the tradition of praying for rain when there is drought.

  Locals said that the prayer was an ironic protest against power outages.

★ According to Committee to Protect Journalists, an unidentified attacker shot Turkish political commentator Emre Erciş on August 12.

  The attacker wore a helmet and approached Erciş on a motorcycle. He fired one shot that scratched Erciş's foot, and another that entered his right leg below the knee, breaking a bone in his leg.

  The journalist was hospitalized following the attack. The injuries were not life-threatening.

  Erciş frequently supports the Turkish government and criticizes opposition groups and parties on Twitter, where he has about 76,000 followers, and YouTube, where he has about 6,500 followers.

  "Journalists on all sides of the political spectrum are at risk of assault in Turkey, and impunity in such cases only encourages the next potential assailant," said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martínez de la Serna.

★ Turks are confused as to whether the country has enough firefighting planes or not after Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli's puzzling remarks from three separate dates reports the Turkish daily Duvar.

  On July 30, Pakdemirli initially said that his ministry does not own any firefighting aircraft and instead rents them. "In our inventory, we do not have any firefighting plane or helicopter. This has always been the case. Upon the instructions of our presidents, we started a project to purchase planes to our inventory," he told reporters.

  The absence of a functioning national fleet of firefighting aircraft forced Turkey to wait for specialized planes to arrive from other countries, including Spain, Ukraine, and Russia.

  Many Turks have pointed out that the ruling Justice and Development Party does not refrain from undertaking extravagant spending but has not managed to buy a single firefighting aircraft all these years to put under the state inventory.

  In the face of criticism, on August 1, Mr. Pakdemirli then said that the aerial fleet of the General Director of Forestry is among the "strongest fleets" of the world.

  On August 10, another puzzling statement came from Pakdemirli as he confirmed plans to dispatch two 40-ton firefighting planes to Greece.

  With no aircraft of its own, the pledge by the Turkish government created confusion, with Turks wondering whose planes the government will send to Greece.

  In the last two weeks, the fires have wrought damage on tens of thousands of hectares of forest in Turkey's Mediterranean and Aegean provinces, killed eight people, and forced thousands of people, including tourists, to flee.

  In related news: A Russian firefighting aircraft crashed in Turkey, killing all eight people on board, Al Jazeera reports quoting Russian Defense Ministry. Five people were Russian servicemen and three Turkish citizens.

  In the meantime, the AirMed And Rescue reported that the Croatian Armed Forces' Canadair CL-515 has safely returned from supporting efforts to quell the Turkish wildfires that are now under control.

www.TurkRadio.us  www.TurkRadio.us

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★ Floods caused by heavy rainfall have ravaged Turkey's northern coast, tearing down a bridge and leaving villages without power.

  So far, more than 50 people have lost their lives, and thousands are still missing.

  In the meantime, A presidential decree signed by Erdoğan has launched a fundraising campaign to help those affected by the recent wildfires and flash floods in Turkey.

  The decree comes one week after the authorities launched a probe into the "Help Turkey" social media campaign that called for the international community to assist in the country's fight against wildfires. According to the prosecutor's office, some social media accounts and media outlets "tried to create panic, fear, and concern among the public" by using the hashtag "help Turkey."

  The main opposition Republican People's Party said that the campaign prevents the municipalities from collecting cash aid for disaster-hit victims.

  "What this campaign means is this: The municipalities have been deprived of their authority to collect and distribute cash aid. So, Erdoğan, even at the disaster-hit places, is after partisanship. Because the greed of the rulership has blindfolded him," parliamentarian Seyit Torun said on August 13.

★ According to Bloomberg, the Turkish currency lira rallied to lead gains among emerging-market peers after Turkey's central bank held its benchmark interest rate, defying President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's calls for a cut.

  The one-week repo rate is at 19% for the fifth month in a row. The inflation rate recently jumped significantly.

  Mr. Erdoğan has removed previous central bank governors for not heeding his calls. The current governor is an ally of Mr. Erdoğan, but the latest action may set him on a collision course with the president.

  Mr. Erdoğan, contrary to economic theory, thinks that higher interest rates cause inflation.

★ The Turkish Constitutional Court has ruled that a jail sentence given to an executive of the Sivas Cumhuriyet University over his online comments about the rector's assistant violated his freedom of expression.

  The top court said that although the comments by the executive were "rude," the 14 months prison sentence constituted as "non-proportional intervention" as there were "other options of intervention that are lighter in the judiciary system."

  Oğuz Demirkaya, the executive, made his comments in 2014. Demirkaya said that they were "humorous" and did not include any elements of "insult." He also said that his dismissal from public office due to the conviction violated his freedom of expression, the right to a fair trial, and respect for his private and family life.

★ According to Reuters, the German government has designated Turkey, the United States, and Israel as high-risk countries, triggering a 10-day quarantine requirement for the unvaccinated travelers, the FUNKE media group reported on August 13, citing government sources.

★ According to Bloomberg, a consortium of investors, including Metric Capital Partners and Davidson Kempner Capital Management, are planning to sell their minority stake in the Turkish drugmaker Sanovel just over a year after buying it.

  The company value reached $1 billion, up from $667 million last year, Bloomberg adds.

★ According to the Insurance Journal, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., the Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based broker, announced it purchased a majority stake in Turkish specialty broker Brokers' House.

  The company did not disclose the terms of the transaction.

★ Turkish Airlines will operate four weekly flights to Dallas in the United States from September 24, 2021. The new flight makes the 11th American and 326th worldwide destinations of the airline. Flights will operate on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the Nepali Times reports.

  San Francisco is one of the U.S. destinations of Turkey's flag carrier.

★ The British business daily Financial Times wrote an article titled "How Turkey became a daily star of European tech."

  Since last summer, Turkish companies such as e-commerce platforms Trendyol and Hepsiburada and game developers Peak Games and Dream Games were either purchased by foreign companies or had large capital infusion from abroad.

  Hepsiburada is valued at $4.4 billion after an initial public offering on NASDAQ last month. Trendyol received one half-billion-dollar funding round and is now valued at $16.5 billion. A majority owner is Ali Baba.

  Read more >> here <<


Edited by Deniz Çakmakçı, Büşra Ekmekçi, and Selin Taylak


★ Dubbed "A Summer Night Festival," a series of events organized by Kundura Cinema and Stage are inviting people to film and music on the shores of the Bosporus. At the festival, participants can also visit the exhibition "Memory of a Shoe: the world that fits into a factory" before movies. The venue is a shuttered shoe factory, and the name of the movie theater "Kundura Cinema" translates from Turkish as "Shoe Movie Theater."

  The exhibition invites visitors to look at the production history of Sümerbank Leather and Shoe Factory, with a rich history spanning the Ottoman Empire and the Republic. The exhibition showcases machinery leftover from the factory, documents, objects donated by former employees and their families, and oral history interviews that have been ongoing since 2015.


★ Yapı Kredi Bomontiada is hosting designer Lalehan Uysal's exhibition "For the Wolf, Bird, Tree… and Eye…"

  The exhibition consists of photographs of seeds that Lalehan Uysal took close-up and printed enlarged to have people notice them, the essence of the sustainability of life.

  Designer Lalehan Uysal opened her first seed photography exhibition at Oxford University at the "Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery." Following the British one, a series of others in different cities in Turkey took place with photographs of seeds unique to the different geographies.

  Among her photographs are the seeds of trees we see every day and whose shades we know but their seeds we do not know, and those of flowers we have never seen.

  During the exhibition, seed, spice, wheat, and bread workshops will also take place on weekends. Laleham Uysal will accompany the workshops and exhibition tours.

  The exhibition can be visited at Yapı Kredi Bomontiada Gallery every day until August 25.


★ As part of the "Impossible Homecoming" exhibition, Pera Museum of Istanbul has started to present online the selection titled "Our Real Home is Our Life."

  The exhibition is offering art lovers the works of artist Etel Adnan. Adnan was born in Beirut in 1925 to a multilingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural family and geography. The film program features documentaries on what the artist tells in her works, essays based on them, and conversations with her.

  The artist had personally experienced difficulties in Europe and the Middle East in the twentieth century. She tells her memories from a perspective full of human love through stories and poems written in Arabic.


★ Zorlu PSM has started meeting the audience with many activities, from concerts to stand-up shows and film screenings at after-work activities at Vestel Amfi, an open-air venue.

  The programs offered so far are:

  100% Music Presents Afterwork Party: Şener Çetin // Monday, August 9

  Housekeepers Exhibition: Back 2 Back DJ İlker Aksungar // Tuesday, August 10

  Çok Da Fifi Stand-Up: Wednesday, August 11.

  The Other Cinema Movies: Screening: Frances Ha // Thursday, August 12

  In Hoodies // Friday, August 13 //Psm Online & Vestel Amphitheater //

  DJ Party: Fatih Aylan // Saturday, August 14 // Vestel Amphitheater // 20.00.

  Most of the events are free of charge.


★ The 18th International Bodrum Ballet Festival started at Bodrum Fortress North Trench in the southwestern Aegean district of Turkey. The General Directorate of State Opera and Ballet has organized the annual event.

  Ankara State Opera and Ballet Modern Dance Ensemble brought the musical "Gangster" to the art lovers at the festival.

  Nilgün Bilsel Demireller prepared the libretto, direction, and choreography. The musical arrangement is by Bilgehan Erten, decor design by Çağda Çitkaya, costume-design by Gazal Erten, and lighting-design by Tahsin Çetin. The audience appreciated the musical very much.

  The festival will continue until August 17.


★ As part of Turkey's efforts to protect its cultural assets regardless of language, religion, and race, officials are working diligently to recover stolen ones.

  A ceremony took place at the Çanakkale Troy Museum for the 12 works recovered.

  The delivery ceremony, attended by the Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy and the Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew, was on August 10.

  The Eceabat District Gendarmerie Command seized the cultural assets in 2007.

  Stolen from the ancient churches in the Zeytinli, Eski Bademli, and Dereköy neighborhoods of Gökçeada, the Çanakkale Archeology Museum has been keeping the artifacts in its protection.


★ During excavations to determine the exact location where the Battle of Manzikert took place, the archaeologists found many arrows, spearheads, and various other war implements.

  The 1071 battle opened the gates of Anatolia to the Turks.

  The directorate of the Ahlat Museum is leading archaeologist from Muş Alparslan and Muğla Sıtkı Koçman universities in the excavations.

  Muş province and Malazgirt District governorships are supporting the project.

  Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University History Department Lecturer Dr. Adnan Çevik is the scientific advisor to the project. 35 academicians from 10 universities are participating in excavations at three points.


★ Mardin Governor Mahmut Demirtaş said that they detected 240 buildings that have spoiled the historical silhouette of the city, and they demolished two of them so far.

  They aim to remove the rest of the reinforced concrete structures that distort the historical shades and bring the city to its right architectural texture.

  Demirtaş stated that the goal was to make the historical buildings look better from every angle and reveal all the subtleties of the city.

  The locals have been building the traditional structures of the South Eastern city with cut stone. Most buildings use the beige-colored limestone rock mined for centuries in quarries around the area.

  Read more >> here <<


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

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