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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 02 October 2021
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 02 October 2021]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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★ Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his counterpart Vladimir Putin met this week in Sochi, Russia.
According to Reuters, Mr. Erdoğan said the two countries would find a solution for Syria's Idlib, where violence recently escalated. Idlib is the last rebel-held territory in Syria. It is currently under the rule of militia backed by Turkey, but Syria wants the area back.
★ According to VOA, media groups are voicing concern about Turkey's planned social media law. When Turkey's national assembly convenes in October, they will take up a draft law to regulate it.
One of the articles in the law concerns false news and disinformation online. The proposal will make them an offense and include prison sentences of up to five years.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has spoken against the danger of false online news and misinformation. The deputy chair of his party said in July that combating disinformation is as important as fighting terrorism.
Journalists and media groups are warning that authorities can use broadly-worded regulations to persecute critical reporting.
Turgay Olcayto, the president of the Turkish Journalist Association, speaking at a press conference Monday alongside four media unions and rights organizations, voiced their opposition to the proposed law.
"The government has a strange habit," said Olcayto, adding that it views everyone who criticizes it as "an enemy."
According to VOA, Turkey already has a poor press freedom record, ranking "not free" on the Freedom on the Net report, with a score of 34 out of 100. The annual report by Freedom House assesses countries on a series of factors related to digital rights.
Read more >> here <<
★ In an article in the Foreign Policy, Steven Cook argues that Turkish president Erdoğan might be too sick to continue leading Turkey.
Here are some excerpts from the article:
Since 2019, Turkey experts, journalists, and pollsters have been eyeing the Turkish general election scheduled for 2023. It is probably because the ruling Justice and Development Party suffered humiliating defeats of its mayoral candidates in Turkey's major population centers, including Istanbul, in the 2019 local elections.
Regular polling since those elections reveal that the Justice and Development Party's popularity is soft, even as it maintains a grip on Turkey's political institutions and the media.
Anecdotally, it seems that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has worn out his welcome, especially among young people.
Erdogan may indeed be vulnerable ahead of 2023--just not necessarily in the way most people think. There are signs he may be too ill to run for reelection at all.
Cook mentions that recent videos of Mr. Erdoğan showing him not looking well. In the videos, Mr. Erdoğan cannot climb stairs on his own, has difficulty walking, speaking with a slur, and looking gaunt. Cook also acknowledges that in some other, he looked fine.
Later in his article, Steven Cook discusses what would happen if Mr. Erdoğan were to leave power and who would succeed him. He says that elections may be foregone, and a strong man may lead Turkey. He thinks that the most likely candidate for a strong man is Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar. Mr. Akar is a retired general who would have the armies backing, Cook thinks.
Steven A. Cook is a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for the Middle East and Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Read more >> here <<
★ According to Deutsche Welle, Germany's federal prosecutor general announced Friday that the investigation resulting from a raid on a Düsseldorf hotel that saw the arrest of a Turkish man identified as Ali D. was being treated as a case of suspected espionage on behalf of the Turkish state.
Federal Prosecutor General Peter Frank said Ali D. was under investigation on suspicion of collecting information on supporters of the Gulen movement in the Cologne area.
Prosecutors believe that Ali D. was acting on behalf of and under the guidance of MIT, the Turkish intelligence service. Authorities allege messages on his cell phone suggest as much. He is currently in custody.
Fethullah Gülen, a one-time ally of President Erdoğan, and his followers are considered terrorists by Turkey. Most suspect that his followers were behind an attempted coup in Turkey in 2016. Gülen lives in Pennsylvania in self-imposed exile.
★ According to the Turkish daily Duvar, in an open letter released on September 30, ten U.S. senators expressed their concern over the Turkish government's crackdown on the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party.
The Senators urged president Biden to tell turkeys president Erdoğan that any attempt to disband the party or detain its members "will result in serious negative consequences for Turkey."
In related news, President Erdoğan claimed that they solved the Kurdish issue with all its dimensions, from rights and freedoms to development.
Read more >> here <<
★ According to Reuters, the Turkish Red Crescent is sending aid to feed displaced Afghans within Afghanistan. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees, about half a million people got displaced in Afghanistan in recent months. The Commissioner expects this number to grow.
The Turkish Red Crescent is sending food aid from Pakistan towards Kabul, which will provide food for 16,000 people a month.
Also, Turkey hosts around 300,000 Afghan refugees in addition to the officially registered 3.6 million Syrian refugees. There are also millions of other unregistered refugees from both countries in Turkey, making it the country with the most refugees in the world.
Baby boy Almahdi with the Turkish Airlines crew
★ A baby boy was born on Monday aboard a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Chicago, USA Today reported.
A doctor and the crew of the airline delivered the baby.
The doctor, Feridun Kubilay, initially thought that the woman had food poisoning or appendicitis when she mentioned abdominal pain.
★ According to Reuters, Turkey's natural gas distributor BOTAS raised natural gas prices for industrial use and electricity production by 15%.
★ Delivery Hero announced the opening of its new tech hub in Istanbul to promote global and local innovation. Germany-based Delivery Hero is a package delivery company.
★ According to the website Market Screener, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and JPMorgan have launched an advisory support program in Istanbul that provides access to know-how to selected women entrepreneurs in Istanbul.
The program chose ten high-potential micro and small companies run by female entrepreneurs.
Read more >> here <<
★ According to the website PRNewswire, China's Leading Hotel Management Conglomerate Wanda Hotels & Resorts is opening Wanda Vista Istanbul in Turkey, Its First Internationally Managed Hotel. The hotel will be close to the Istanbul airport, with 127 luxury guestrooms and 320 fully equipped service apartments.
★ According to a survey, manufacturing activity in Turkey grew in September for a fourth straight month, Reuters reports.
★ According to the daily Duvar, the Turkish presidential palace spends over $900,000 in operating costs every day.
Duvar adds that the national budget shows that the palace is not alone. Some ministries have spent billions this year on items such as fleets of luxury cars to high-tech products.
Extravagant spending is happening, the daily Duvar adds, while the Turkish economy is at a breaking point. And the government is talking about austerity measures. Ordinary Turkish citizens are also getting poorer with high inflation.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Büşra Ekmekçi, Deniz Çakmakçı, and Selin Aydınlı
★ The Akbank 39th Contemporary Artists Award Competition to encourage developments in Contemporary Art and support young artists has concluded. Akbank Sanat organized the competition in collaboration with the Painting and Sculpture Museums Association. The works selected in the "Balcony"-themed competition are at Akbank Sanat until November 20.
A jury chose 20 works of 21 artists from among approximately 600 applications.
The jury members this year included Agah Uğur, Leyla Alaton, Saruhan Doğan, Gönül Nuhoğlu, Derya Bigalı and Murat Tabanlıoğlu, who also curated the exhibition.
Some of the artists whose works will be included in the exhibition, which can be seen free of charge at Akbank Sanat, are as follows; Aslıhan Urus, Ayşe Coşkun, Ayşe Gözde Çöklü, Ayşegül Yapar, Büşra Çeğil, Ece Kibaroğlu, Egemen Tuncer – Hacer Kıroğlu, Emin Berk, Hüseyin Demirbaş.
★ For the fifth time, the BASE will bring together the works of recent graduates from painting, sculpture, photography, video, print, graphic design, glass, and ceramics, traditional Turkish arts departments of universities in Turkey.
The theme this year for the exhibition is "Resonance." At the BASE, one will meet artists at the beginning of their careers and see their original works in different disciplines together.
The exhibition received nearly 1,200 applications from 75 universities in 42 different cities of Turkey. The selection committee chose 100 works in the 2021 edition of the event.
Aiming to shed light on Turkey's new generation of artists, BASE also has the mission of helping galleries, collectors, art lovers, and creative industries discover young talents.
The BASE exhibition started on September 29 and will continue until October 3.
★ Oktoberfest Istanbul hosted by The Populist will take place for the 5th time at Yapı Kredi Bomontiada. Prepared to meet music lovers at Yapı Kredi Bomontiada between September 27 and October 3, it is the longest Oktoberfest ever organized.
In Oktoberfest Istanbul, Cihan Saldıran, Nadir Duman, DJ Daddy E, Kaan Yüceil, Berke Yavuz, Ras Memo, and Da Frogg will entertain. There will also be the Travel Band, which makes music with trumpet and accordion.
★ The "World Dolls Exhibition" opened in the Rahmi M. Koç Museum after a meticulous preparation process spanning three years. Conservator Serra Kanyak is the curator of the exhibition.
The exhibition presents different types of dolls that have entered the literature, from fashion and horror dolls to the traditional world and vending dolls.
The toys Rahmi M. Koç, the museum founder, made as a child also add a different meaning to the exhibition.
The exhibition opened with a press conference at the Rahmi M. Koç Museum on Tuesday.
At the press conference, Rahmi M. Koç Museum General Manager Mine Sofuoğlu, curator Serra Kanyak, the main sponsor of the event Zen Pırlanta, and co-sponsors Boyner Group and Ülker came together.
For more information: Read more >> here <<
★ The Marmara, one of Bodrum's legendary hotels, is home to painter Mehmet Sinan Kuran and 40 young artists.
The hotel is also a work of art in one sense. The architect is Ersen Gürsel, who has won many awards. Among them are the World Sustainable Architecture Award and the Mimar Sinan Grand Prize.
★ Contemporary Istanbul, an art fair to be held for the 16th time in Istanbul, Turkey, in October, is full of surprises this year, including a new location at Tersane Istanbul at the Golden Horn, reports TRT.
The expo will feature contemporary art galleries from Moscow and St. Petersburg under the Focus Russia project. It will also have a museums section that will showcase New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art from Moscow.
Eagerly awaited by the public, Tersane Istanbul is a new space designed by Tabanlioglu Architects. The project won the Future Projects - Leisure Led Development at the World Architecture Festival in 2019.
As the Turkish name implies, the new space was a former shipyard.
★ According to the Anatolia News Agency, archaeologists found two baby skeletons in the excavations in 7000-year-old Arslan to the mound in Eastern Turkey.
The skeletons were in large earthenware jars. Excavation Head Francesca Balossi Restelli dated the remains back to 5600 years ago.
A separate excavation zone north of the mound revealed a gold earring dating to the late Hittite Civilization, Restelli noted, adding that they placed the date around 2900 years ago.
★ According to TRT, Archaeologists have been excavating Magnesia for decades. The ancient Greek city in Turkey's Aydin province in the Aegean region is home to two temples: one dedicated to Artemis, and the other, to Zeus.
This year, Archaeologists found the entrance gate for the Zeus Temple in the ancient city. The temple dates back to the third century BCE.
Associate Professor Görkem Kökdemir of Ankara University Archaeology Department is leading the excavations in the Ortaklar neighborhood. Dr. Kökdemir has been working at the site for the past 23 years.
The first excavations at the site took place in 1891-1892 by German archaeologist Carl Humann.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 8.86
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey : 72/45 Mostly Sunny
Antalya, on the Mediterranean : 90/68 Mostly Sunny
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey : 63/43 Thunderstorms
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 70/57 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean : 82/66 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea : 68/61 Showers
Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz
★ Greek soccer team Olympiakos scored 3-0
against Fenerbahce in Istanbul on Thursday to make it two out of two in the Europa League group stage.
★ In the European League match between Olympique Marseille and Turkish champion Galatasaray Thursday three police officers were injured. The game ended 0-0. Police arrested five fans.
★ In Finland, in under 23 European Weightlifting Competitions Sera Yenigun Gold Medal. Bronze, Silver
As a team, Turks got six Gold, 13 silver, and seven bronze medals.
★ Turkeys Olympic champion Mete Gazoz came in third in the individual archery competitions on Friday in Yankton, South Dakota.
★ In the 4th World Deaf Volleyball Championships, Turkey's women's team beat Italy 3-2 in the finals and became the champion.
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