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★ According to Reuters, on October 23, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that he had ordered the foreign affairs ministry to declare ten ambassadors from Western countries "persona non grata" for calling for the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala. The ambassadors are from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, New Zealand, and the United States.
Osman Kavala has been in jail for over four years on trumped-up charges. Observers say that the Erdoğan administration is punishing him for being a vocal opposition person.
Erdoğan said earlier that these ambassadors would not release bandits, murderers, and terrorists in their own countries, equating Kavala with such.
The European Court of human rights called two years ago for the immediate release of Kavala. Turkey's higher court also ordered him released. However, the Erdoğan administration would not heed these orders and demands.
As we reported to you three weeks ago, the European Union Parliament threatened Turkey with sanctions if Kavala is not released.
In related news, Osman Kavala released a statement on Friday and said it would be meaningless for him to attend his trial as a fair hearing is impossible given President Erdoğan's comments.
★ According to the daily Duvar, in recent weeks, reports surfaced revealing the close links between the Turkey Youth Foundation and President Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party-led government.
Reporting by Halk TV journalist İsmail Saymaz revealed that while the Justice and Development Party was running the Istanbul Municipality, the foundation chairman received an 18,000 liras salary a month plus another 18,000 liras in quarterly bonuses. Three years ago, 18,000 liras equated to $3600, a very generous income in Turkey.
The Turkey Youth Foundation is a conservative organization. President Erdoğan's son Bilal Erdoğan is in the
Consultative Board of the organization.
In the 2019 local elections, opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu won the Istanbul Metropolitan Mayoralty elections, and the Justice and Development Party rule ended after nearly three decades in Istanbul.
★ In related news, on October 12, Al-Monitor also wrote about the scandal-mired organization. Al-Monitor wrote that a former employee leaked incriminating documents about the foundation.
Metin Cihan, a respected independent journalist, published lists provided to him by the former employee of the Turkish Youth Foundation on his Twitter feed. The list contained names of hundreds of people who were allegedly either given or considered for jobs at state institutions, including the military, the judiciary, and the police on the foundation's behest.
Erdoğan administration allocated over 1000 government-owned buildings as dormitories for their members at a time when Turkish students are facing acute accommodation shortages across the country, according to the unidentified whistleblower.
★ On October 17, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the U.S. might sell F-16 fighter jets to Ankara after Washington kicked Turkey off a similar scheme to buy F-35 aircraft, Deutsche Welle wrote.
The U.S. had previously blocked Turkey from buying fighter jets because the Turkish government had acquired S-400 defense air systems from Russia. President Erdoğan said that they were planning to buy more systems from Russia.
"There is the payment of $1.4 billion we have made for the F-35s and the U.S. had such a proposal in return for these payments," Mr. Erdoğan said.
Deutsche Welle adds that any deal with Turkey would face bipartisan opposition from Congress.
However, according to Bloomberg, the U.S. has not made any financing offers on Turkey's request to purchase F-16 warplanes, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on October 18. He added that the Defense Department remains in consultations with Turkey on a blocked order of F-35 warplanes.
★ According to the German daily Die Welt, as Turkey fears the European Union closing ranks over defense, Turkish President Erdoğan is looking to Boris Johnson as a post-Brexit ally, especially as Angela Merkel steps aside.
This could undermine the deal where Turkey limits refugee entry into Europe, and other dossiers, too, the German paper added.
Here are a few more points from the article:
Turkey's concerns may well prove to be justified. Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel always argued for closer collaboration with Turkey, partly because it is an important trading partner and partly because it has a direct influence on the influx of migrants from Asia and the Middle East to Europe.
Merkel consistently thwarted France's plans for a stricter approach from Brussels towards Turkey, and she never supported Emmanuel Macron's ideas about greater strategic autonomy for countries within the European Union.
But now that she is leaving office, Macron is keen to make the most of the power vacuum Merkel will leave behind. The prospect of France's growing influence is "not especially good news for Turkey," says Ian Lesser, vice president of the think tank German Marshall Fund.
After Germany, Britain is Turkey's second-largest export market.
★ Turkey's Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said that
Turkey's crackdown against the LGBT community was one of the reasons why the Financial Action Task Force
(FATF) greylisted the country, the daily Duvar reports.
The FATF, set up by the G7 group of advanced economies to protect the global financial system, said on October 21 that Turkey had failed to head off money laundering and terrorist financing.
In his comments, Mr. Soylu added: "We have blocked the LGBT so that they don't destroy our family structure or push kids into debauchery. You [the Western countries] are involved in every kind of perversion, but we do not have to get involved in that; we are a Muslim state."
Mr. Soylu's pronouncements contradict the Turkish Constitution, which says Turkey is a secular country.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Büşra Ekmekçi, Deniz Çakmakçı, and Selin Aydınlı
★ American Hospital The Bodrum Cup, the international sailing and sea festival, started on October 18 in Turkey's southwestern resort town of Bodrum. It is the 33rd year of the event.
Bringing sailors and enthusiasts from all over the world together in Bodrum, the event opened its sails in areas where big fires took place recently and would support the economically damaged businesses in the region with various activities.
The opening and drumming ceremony took place on October 18, and the races started on October 19. The cup will end on October 23 with Turkish singer Teoman's concert.
There will be many other concerts and exhibitions throughout the event, including one featuring renowned Turkish sculptor works İlhan Koman's, Turkish pop and jazz musician Müjde Kızılkan's concert, and another one by Turkish jazz pianist Kerem Görsev.
There will also be a talk featuring Özlem Güsar and Kerim Sabuncuoğlu titled "We have a message from under the water for a livable world."
★ The Gastromasa Gastronomy Conference that brings together world-famous chefs and gastronomy enthusiasts in Istanbul every year will start on November 7 this year at the Haliç Convention Center.
A meeting to launch the event took place this week. Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Fatma Şahin, Gastromasa Conference General Manager Gökmen Sözen, Metro Turkey CEO Sinem Türung, Accor Turkey Operations Vice President Uğur Talayhan, Turkish Airlines Corporate Communications President Mert Dorman, Öztiryakiler Executive Director Tahsin Öztiryaki, and Turkish Cuisine Researcher Vedat Başaran attended.
Gastromasa, with the primary sponsorship coming from Metro Turkey, will take place on November 7 at the Haliç Congress Center.
★ Tekfen Philharmonic is preparing to give a concert for the first time at the Presidential Symphony Orchestra Ada Ankara concert hall on November 13. The orchestra, led by conductor and artistic director Aziz Shokhakimov, will accompany world-famous Japanese violin player Sayaka Shoji.
Sayaka Shoji met the violin at age five and gave her first concert at age 14. She won the first prize at the Paganini International Violin Competition when just 16 years old. She was also the youngest and the first Japanese artist to receive this award.
Shoji had concerts accompanied by many renowned orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.
Shoji will perform Turkish composer Ferit Tüzün's Nasreddin Hoja Humoresque, Sergei Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.2 in G minor, and Antonin Dvorak's New World Symphony.
Turkey's Tekfen Holding, involved in engineering and construction, textile, food processing, and other industrial sectors, sponsors the Tekfen Philharmonic.
★ Monica Belluci will be at Zorlu PSM Turkcell Stage in Istanbul on the evening of December 14 with her one-person theater. She will act in a play about the life of renowned opera singer Maria Callas. Tom Wolf wrote and directed the play.
Beyond just her fame, "Maria Callas: Letters and Memories," tells about who Callas was, where she came from, how hard she earned her fame, her friendships, and her love life.
From her modest childhood in New York to the war years in Athens, from her cautious years at the opera to a career marred by scandals and personal problems, Monica Bellucci will bring to the stage the deep and touching story of the great voice of the 20th century.
Monica Bellucci is an Italian actress and model born in 1964.
★ Edict of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, dated 1462 for the endowments of the Grand Vizier Zağanos Pasha, was up for auction in London by auctioneer Plakas Auctions.
However, the auction named "Exceptional Islamic Ottoman and Indian Art Sale" took place on October 21 without the historic document. Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism applied to the auction house and said that it was stolen and wanted it returned. After this request from the Turkish officials, the auction house withdrew the item from the auction.
The foundation letter of Zağanos Pasha is in black ink in Arabic handwriting. A red fabric partially reinforces it. The signatures of those who witnessed the document are at the bottom of the text. The last line also contains the date.
The auctioneer stated that the document measures 45 inches long and 8 inches wide. The opening price was supposed to be $110,000.
★ The Adana Taste Festival just ended. The food festival was an overwhelming success. According to the Turkish daily Dünya's Faruk Süyün, 285,000 people visited the gastronomy events featuring 51 speakers, 23 chefs, and more than 100 companies.
Since all the hotels in Adana got full, guests sought accommodations in nearby towns.
The festival contributed $15 million to the local economy of the Mediterranean city.
One of the discussion topics this year was sustainability. The festival organizers made sure a minimum amount of waste went to the dumps and recycled 10 tons of items. They also sent tons of plant-based garbage to composting facilities. Local farmers will receive the compost free of charge.
★ The Spanish José Huertas flamenco troupe was in Istanbul last week, the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet writes. The dancers staged an adaptation of renowned Spanish writer Cervantes' "Don Quixote" as a flamenco dance.
The choreography included music that resembled symphonic music at times. The dancing looked like modern dance initially and then moved to flamenco.
According to Cumhuriyet, The Turkish audience loved the performance.
★ Turkish photographer Rızacan Kumaş's work titled Panoramic Portraits was on exhibition between October 14-21 at auction house Sotheby's in an exhibition titled Natively Digital,
reports the daily Cumhuriyet..
Rızacan Kumaş is the first Turkish photographer that got on to an exhibition at Sotheby's. He studied at Istanbul's Marmara University, specializing in documentary photography. He then worked as a workshop training specialist for four years in Fujifilm Turkey.
After participating in the project "Breaching The Surface: Subculture of Mannheim" at Mannheim University in Germany, he took part in their group exhibition both in Turkey and Germany.
The project involved traveling through many countries. Among them were Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, China, Viet Nam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Nepal, India, and Pakistan.
★ Authorities are restoring a historical building used as a jail from 1887 to 1999 in Turkey's Black Sea city of Sinop as a Museum, the daily Cumhuriyet reports.
The European Union is supporting the project that Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry has undertaken.
The building is part of the historical Fortress of Sinop that archaeologists estimate to be 4000 years old. They estimate that the building was used as a dungeon starting in the 14th century. There are still articles from that era on-site.
After conversion to a jail in 1887, authorities put up some renowned authors and poets there since they considered it a very secure facility, surrounded by the sea on three sides.
After the restoration of the jail building is complete, authorities will work on restoring the fortress walls.
★ Istanbul on Sunday will hold a host of events celebrating the vitality of Jewish-European culture and particularly the millennia-long presence of Jewry in the Turkish metropolis,
reports the Anatolia News Agency.
A Jewish Heritage tour on October 24 will be among the events marking the European Day of Jewish Culture.
Nisya Isman Allovi, director of the Quincentennial Foundation Museum, told Anatolia News Agency that they have been giving the tours since 2016, especially in areas of Istanbul with larger Jewish populations, such as Balat and Haskoy.
This year's events will take place both in-person and online, and can be accessed throughout the year at muze500.com, the website of Istanbul's Jewish Museum.
The museum will also have street performances by Jewish musicians, singing songs in Ladino, the language of the Turkish Jewry derived from medieval Spanish.
Turkey has had Jewish communities since ancient times. In addition, the Ottoman Empire welcomed many expelled Spanish and Portuguese Jews into the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, Anatolia News Agency adds.
★ Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra has been continuing to perform without interruption throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,
reports the daily Cumhuriyet.
Last Friday, the orchestra started another season at the Zorlu PSM with the performance of Rautavaara's work "In the Beginning." The director was Patrick Hahn. Later in the concert, pianist Alice Sara Ott performed Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand,
Then she performed Satie's Gnossiennes No 1.
Turkey's Borusan Holding sponsors the Borusan Orchestra. The holding is a company active in steel manufacturing, car distribution, energy generation, and logistics. It operates in 11 countries over three continents.
★ According to the Live Science website, archaeologists in Turkey have found evidence that ancient used an 11,000-year-old prehistoric site for a ceremonial parade through a building containing phallus-shaped pillars and a carving of a human head.
Called Karahantepe, the site is located in southern Turkey, east of Şanlıurfa, and has a series of buildings that date long before the advent of writing. Within the ruins, archaeologists found carvings of human heads, snakes, and a fox, as well as several interestingly shaped pillars.
For instance, the archaeologists discovered 11 pillars near a carving of a human head. "All pillars are erected and shaped like a phallus," Necmi Karul, a professor of prehistoric archaeology at Istanbul University, wrote in a paper recently published in the journal Türk Arkeoloji ve Etnografya Dergisi.
★ According to the Smithsonian magazine, excavations at Blaundos in Turkey's Uşak province had revealed 400 rock-cut tombs dated to 1,800 years ago, when the ancient city was under Roman control. Many of the tombs have decorations featuring vine branches, bunches of grapes, flowers, animals, and mythological figures, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
Blaundos is located atop a hill and surrounded by a canyon that offers protection from attackers. The tombs are carved into the steep sides of the canyon.
Ancients carved sarcophagi into the bedrock, Birol Can, an archaeologist at Uşak University, said. The main door of the tombs would be kept closed with a marble door and reopened during burial or ceremony times in the past.
According to Can, some of the tombs have only one chamber, while others are complex structures formed by arranging rooms one after the other.
The rock-cut necropolis is one of the largest burial sites of its kind in the world. Archaeologists have been aware of it for more than 150 years. But researchers only began systematically excavating Blaundos in 2018, the Smithsonian magazine adds.
A commander of the same name serving under Alexander the Great established Blaundos in the fourth century BCE.
The archaeological team also plans to conduct DNA and chemical analyses to determine the ancestry, age, sex, and night of those buried in the ancient city.
★ A few headlines in the arts and culture:
The 9th Bosporus Film Festival is on in Istanbul with Turkish and foreign films. It will end on October 30.
The 11th Book Fair has started in Turkey's Mediterranean city of Antalya.
The 16th Bookfair has started Friday in the Turkish capital Ankara.
The 32nd Ankara film festival will take place between November 4 - 12. the organizers already disclosed the recipients of the honorary awards given to veteran contributors to the film arts.
Istanbul Photo Awards 2021 exhibition opened in New York's Turkish Home.
In a location called "Beaded Field" in Turkey's southeastern province of Mardin, archeologists found a shrine estimated to be 12,000 years old. Over the years, people found over 100,000 beads in the field, hence the name.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 9.61
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey : 72/50 Mostly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean : 79/66 Clear
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey : 63/30 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 59/52 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean : 79/63 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea : 66/54 Mostly Cloudy
Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz
★ In Serbia, in the COMEN Mediterranean Cup Swimming Competitions that just ended Turkish swimmers received:
9 bronze medals.
★ In the Euroleague Basketball competitions sponsored by Turkish Airlines:
Spanish Real Madrid defeated Turkey's Fenerbahçe in Spain 70 go to 69
★ According to Associated Press, Chinese broadcaster and NBA partner Tencent is not showing current or archived Boston Celtics games on its platforms, in apparent response to comments that Celtics center Enes Kanter made to advocate Tibetan independence.
As part of a series of social media posts, Kanter also called Chinese President Xi Jinping a "dictator." He did not play in Boston's season-opening 138-134 loss to New York on Wednesday night. The streaming service that has not shown the game broadcasts most NBA games to millions in China.
Kanter was wearing shoes emblazoned with the words "Free Tibet" during the Wednesday game.
Kanter is from Turkey and has long been an outspoken critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish government. Kanter has said the Turkish government revoked his passport in 2017. Although he disowned him in Turkey, his father was put in jail by the Erdoğan administration.
Kanter also professes to be an ardent follower of cleric Fethullah Gülen. Observers say that the Gülen followers were behind a 2016 failed coup attempt in Turkey. Gülen has been living in self-exile in Pennsylvania since 1999. Gülen and his followers were allies of Erdoğan in the initial days of his administration and held key posts throughout the government.
* Results for week: 9
Başakşehir - Beşiktaş 3 - 2
Sivas - Antalya 2 - 2
Giresun - Malatya 0 - 2
Kasımpaşa - Göztepe 1 - 2
Trabzon - Fenerbahçe 3 - 1
G. Saray - Konya 1 - 0
Altay - Karagümrük 0 - 1
Alanya - Kayseri 6 - 3
Hatay - G. Antep 2 - 1
* In games played so far this weekend:
Malatya - Altay 2 - 1
Konya - Kayseri 2 - 0
Rize - Kasımpaşa 2 - 1
G. Antep - Giresun 1 - 1
Göztepe - Trabzon 0 - 1
Sivas - Adana -
Fenerbahçe - Alanya -
Karagümrük - Hatay -
Antalya - Başakşehir -
Beşiktaş - G. Saray -
* Standing in the league as of week ending 9
1 - Trabzon 21
2 - Hatay 19
3 - Fenerbahçe 19
4 - Beşiktaş 17
5 - Karagümrük 17
6 - G. Saray 17
7 - Alanya 17
8 - Altay 15
9 - Konya 14
10 - Adana 12
11 - Kayseri 11
12 - G. Antep 11
13 - Sivas 10
14 - Başakşehir 9
15 - Antalya 9
16 - Malatya 9
17 - Göztepe 8
18 - Giresun 8
19 - Kasımpaşa 6
20 - Rize 1
[Saat 14:30 and 15:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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