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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 18 September 2021
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 18 September 2021]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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★ According to Turkish daily Duvar, the Council of Europe has given Turkey its final warning for releasing political prisoners Osman Kavala and Selahattin Demirtaş.
It said that infringement proceedings against Turkey would start in November if Turkish authorities do not release Osman Kavala before then. Separately, the Committee of Ministers also reviewed the case of former pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, calling on Turkey to submit an action plan until September 30.
Osman Kavala is a businessman, philanthropist, and activist. He is also opposed to many policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party. Because of this, the Justice and Development Party administration has been keeping him in pre-trial detention for many years and bringing about trumped-up charges against him.
Read more >> here <<
★ VOA reports that Turkey is calling for collective international action to deal with the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The call comes as Turkey, already hosting the largest number of refugees globally, warns it cannot take any more.
Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, addressing a high-level United Nations meeting on Afghanistan Monday, warned that with millions of Afghans displaced and facing a humanitarian crisis, now is the time for collective action.
"A humanitarian and security crisis in Afghanistan would have direct implications across the globe. So, we should take the collective action now," he said.
Turkish leaders fear an Afghan exodus through its territory as refugees flee Afghanistan and head for Europe.
Last week, the UN High Commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, paid a four-day visit to Turkey and praised the country for receiving nearly four million refugees who fled the Syrian civil war.
Under a deal with the European Union, Turkey gets billions of dollars of aid to host the Syrians.
Some European Union leaders are already suggesting the extension of the agreement to include Afghans, claiming refugees should be hosted in locations closest to their places of origin.
But Turkey's main opposition Republican Peoples Party is strongly critical of the government's refugee policy.
"It is a record of serious mismanagement. It is simply a transactional relationship between Turkey and the European Union," said Unal Cevikoz, a Republican People's Party parliamentary deputy. "And they simply wanted to stop the flow of refugees by giving some financial assistance to Turkey.
"A majority of the Turkish population thinks that burden-sharing is not fairly distributed in the international community, and we are also scared the same mismanagement will continue in the case of Afghanistan."
Senior European Union officials visited Ankara last week to talk about the refugee deal with Turkey. Ankara insists it cannot take any more refugees and calls for the European Union to share the burden.
Some analysts say Ankara needs the money from Europe. But international relations expert Soli Özel says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will need more than monetary incentives to convince his people.
"He will have to show to the country something more than just money, and that is visa liberalization, which I don't [think] the Europeans are capable of delivering on," said Ozel.
Visa-free travel for Turks in the European Union was part of the original Syrian refugee deal, but until now has been blocked by some European Union members.
With Turkish President Erdogan's ratings languishing at record lows in opinion polls, and the same polls indicating strong public opposition to receiving Afghan refugees, analysts predict any new European Union refugee deal with Turkey will be difficult and fraught with political risk for the Turkish leader.
★ Campaigning to elect a new German leader this month is being clouded by concerns that the country will face another influx of refugees — this time those fleeing Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
"The European Union must be prepared that there will be refugees heading towards Europe. And this time, we must provide humanitarian aid to the region, to the countries of origin in time. 2015 must not repeat itself. We need an orderly protection for those who are heading towards Europe," Armin Laschet, the party leader of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, told reporters on August 16.
Laschet's rival- Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats, who are leading in the polls - also maintains that Europe must share the burden of any imminent refugee influx.
★ The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned five al-Qaida supporters for allegedly helping the militant group with financial assistance.
The department said the operatives supporting al-Qaida were working out of Turkey.
The department said Egyptian lawyer Majdi Salim, whom it described as the head facilitator, was sanctioned, along with Muhammad Nasr al-Din al-Ghazlani, an Egyptian financial courier, and Turkish citizens Nurettin Muslihan, Cebrail Güzel, and Soner Gürleyen.
★ German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier praised immigrants on Friday for helping build up Germany's economy and society. His comments came on the 60th anniversary of Germany signing a migration deal with Turkey. The agreement allowed tens of thousands of Turkish citizens to find jobs in Germany. At the time, the European country desperately needed workers to power its post-war economic reconstruction.
That deal led to a 2.7 million-strong Turkish German population, the largest ethnic minority community in the country now.
"A Germany without them is simply unimaginable." The German "economic miracle" would not have happened without Turks, Italians, Greeks, and Spaniards, the German president said.
"This country has a lot to thank you for," Steinmeier said, addressing immigrants and their descendants.
★ Young people in Turkey are part of the global fan community of Korean pop. They rank 12th in terms of the number of K-pop tweets posted.
One hashtag, in particular, is trending: #kpopyasaklanmasın — #KPopshouldnotbebanned.
Dismayed fans claim to have heard from a reliable source that authorities would ban K-pop in Turkey starting mid-September.
The origins of the rumor are vague, including an article about three girls who, inspired by a Korean movie, allegedly wanted to run away to South Korea. Later, the father of one of the girls said his daughter liked to watch Korean videos, but she never wanted to go there.
Read more >> here <<
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Büşra Ekmekçi, Deniz Çakmakçı, and Selin Aydınlı
★ The Turkish daily Dünya's arts and culture editor Faruk Şüyün visited Dr. Hüsamettin Koçan in his native village in Eastern Turkey. Dr. Koçan is a professor of art and painter. He established a unique museum where he was born.
Twenty years ago, Dr. Koçan planted the seeds of the Baksı Museum building. It opened its doors to visitors in 2010. It looks at Çoruh Valley to the east, in harmony with nature, as a continuation of the folds of surrounding Eastern Turkey's mountains, perched on a 5000-ft high hill on one of these mountains.
Today, Baksı Museum is a complex with exhibition halls, Warehouse Museum, workshops, conference hall, library, and guesthouses.
Baksı Museum is also the owner of many awards: Ministry of Culture and Tourism Special Award in the category of culture and art institution, Council of Europe Museum Award, Grand National Assembly of Turkey Honor Award are just a few of them.
★ Speaking at the meeting to introduce the book Turkish Cuisine with Centennial Recipes, First Lady Erdoğan stated that Turkish cuisine would take a leading place among the world cuisine with its healthy, traditional, and waste-free aspects.
The book includes thousands of years old traditional recipes from Anatolia, the mainland of Turkey in Asia.
The Turkish government, renowned chefs, academicians contributed to the preparation of the book.
In the advisory committee were Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Arif Bilgin, Prof. Dr. Gunay Kut, Dr. Ozge Samanci and Dr. Gönül Paksoy.
The book containing 218 healthy recipes from different parts of Turkey will be on the book store shelves in October.
★ In 2020, all dynamics changed, organizers had to postpone concerts. Among them was the Akbank Jaz Festival.
This year the Festival is back. In its 31st year, Akbank Jazz Festival celebrates will once more reunite musicians with listeners.
It will also leave a significant amount of archival material to Turkish jazz history with recordings, interviews, and documentary shoots.
Opening the jazz Festival on October 1 will be a concert featuring Elif Çağlar and Defjen Daf Ensemble, blending jazz with other genres and combining funk, jazz, and world music. The event will take place in Istanbul's Galataport Package Post Office.
The Festival will include different projects from classical and modern jazz to electronic music and world music.
The Festival will and on October 10.
★ The work for the İş Bank painting museum is accelerating, reports the daily Dunya. Restoration construction is continuing on a historical building on Istiklal Street in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district.
In addition, İş Sanat, the cultural arm of the bank, started its preparations for the museum. The founding curator of the museum is Prof. Dr. Gül İrepoğlu. She is an architect, art historian, and writer.
Working in many fields of culture and arts, İş Sanat plans to open the museum to visitors by the end of 2022. The museum will add another stop to Beyoğlu's art route.
Prof. Dr. İrepoğlu will prepare the permanent and first temporary exhibitions of the museum and will also write a comprehensive book on İşbank Painting Collection.
★ Tekfen Foundation continues its support for classical music this year with the Music Scholarship program launched in 2019. The scholarship aims to train competent musicians for orchestras in Turkey, especially the Tekfen Philharmonic.
Tekfen Foundation announced the recipients of the Tekfen Foundation Music Scholarship in the 2021-2022 academic year. As a result of the evaluation made by the jury headed by Aziz Shokhakimov, the General Artistic Director and permanent conductor of the Tekfen Philharmonic, the new recipients of the scholarship are Simay Doğultaş and Barok Bostancı.
Fortynine students applied to the music scholarship program. The scholarship provides support to students who will do their undergraduate education in classical western music instruments abroad. Sixteen applicants qualified for the second round. The jury evaluated the candidates based on six main criteria: technique, musicality, intonation, stage posture, passion, and potential.
Simay Doğultaş and Barok Bostancı continue their educational lives in Germany. Simay Gülentaş is studying bassoon and Barok Bostancı viola.
★ On September 17, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Peru are preparing to celebrate 200 years of independence. Brazil will commemorate the same occasion in 2022. The seven Latin American countries and Turkey marked the special day with a symphonic music concert in the Turkish capital Ankara, reports the Anatolia news agency.
Organized by the embassies of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Brazil in coordination with the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Turkish Presidential Symphony Orchestra (CSO), the concert took place at the CSO Concert Hall.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, prominent conductor Tulio Gagliardo Varas said: "It is an incredible occasion to make Latin American music in Turkey."
★ According to the Anatolia news agency, archaeologists unearthed the world's oldest mosaic in Turkey's central province of Yozgat.
The excavations taking place at the Uşaklı Mound revealed the mosaic dating back to 1500 BCE.
It is made up of 3147 rocks and measures 10 x 22 feet.
Archaeologists and students from many institutions are participating in the dig:
- The Universities of Florence, Pisa,
and Paris (I Pantheon-Sorbonne),
the Inter-University School of Specialisation in Archaeological Heritage (Udine-Trieste-Venezia),
the Specialisation School of Archaeological Heritage of the Sapienza, University di Roma,
topographers and geologists of the University of Siena,
Hittitologist from the University of Florence,
Anthropologists from Hacettepe University of Ankara,
and last but not least, labourers and the youths of Yozgat, Sorgun, Babalı, Şahmuratlı and Taşlık Köy.
The directors of the excavations are Read more >> here <<
- Stefania Mazzoni, director
- Anacleto D'Agostino, codirector
- Mustafa Kibaroğlu, deputy director
- Valentina Orsi, assistent director
Among the supporters of the excavations are:
German Archeological Institute
Ministry of Culture and Tourism - Republic of Turkey
British Institute at Ankara
American Research Institute
Portale Anatolistica Fiorentina
HPM - Hethitologie Portal Mainz
Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz
★ UFEA soccer games:
- GS - Italy's Lazio 1-0,
game played in Istanbul.
- BJK - Germany's Borussia Dortmund 1 - 2, game played in Istanbul.
- Germany's Eintracht Frankfurt-Fenerbahçe 1-1
Turkey and Spain booked their place at the European amputee football championship final on Saturday.
Defending champions Turkey defeated Russia 5-2 while Spain beat the host country Poland 2-1 in the semifinals in Krakow.
The final match will be at Poland's Cracovia Stadium on Sunday.
★ OTHER SPORTS
★ Turkish gymnasts advanced in the European Gymnastics Championships.
In the Adults Single Woman category, Nil Deniz Bal advanced with 20,600 points.
With 20,550 points, Nazlı Özgör and Nihatcan Gül advanced in the couples category.
In the youth Trio qualifiers, Turkey's Şimal Seyman, Okay Arsan, and Göktürk Balcı advanced with 18,700 points. The final competitions will take place Sunday.
★ Turkish tennis players are advancing in the Davis cup. On the first day in the games with the Lithuanian team, the Turkish men's team won both of the games.
Altuğ Çelikbilek defeated Robert Strombachs.
Cem İlkel defeated Ernests Gulbis.
If Turkish teams win against Lithuania in the next game, they will advance to the World Group 1 playoffs.
★ In Karate Istanbul 2021 competitions, Turkish karatekas received four gold, three silver, and seven bronze medals.
Nearly 900 karatekas from 57 countries participated in the competitions.
★ The trans-Anatolia rally ended in Turkey's eastern border province of Kars. Turkish automobile sponsors Federation and the youth and sports ministry were the supporters of the rally.
It took eight days for the participants to go over 1500 miles to reach the finish and point. 40 motorcycle, 19 automobile, four SSV, four quad, and three truck drivers from Turkey, Italy, Holland, and Britain participated.
The winners received their awards at the Kars Fortress.
Here are the first place winners:
- Motorcycle: Alberto Bertoldi (İtalya)
- Quad: Kadir Dağlı, Turkey
- Automobile: Frederico Butto, Italy
- SSV: Federico Butto/Filippo Ippolito (İtalya)
- Truck: Ramazan Yılmaz/Onur Sırımoğlu, Turkey
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