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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 06 November 2021

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 06 November 2021]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ According to Patsy Widakuswara of the VOA, Turkish and U.S. presidents met in Rome on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit on Sunday.

  White House officials say that the two presidents had very constructive talks. Turkey's foreign affairs minister and U.S. Secretary of State were also in attendance.

  The White House statement said that President Biden made clear his desire to have constructive relations with Turkey and find an effective way to manage our disagreements.

  The discussions included Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, the South Caucasus, climate, human rights, and Turkey's request to purchase U.S. F-16 fighter Jets.

  On the subject of the jets, Biden was "clear that there was a process underway that we had to go through," the White House official said. However, U.S. lawmakers are opposed to selling F-16's to Turkey.

  There are many issues between the two countries: Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 and defense system and subsequent U.S. and European sanctions on Turkey, the push by U.S. administrations on the deteriorating human rights and democracy in Turkey, U.S. support for the Syrian Kurdish militia, Turkish individuals and a Turkish banks trial in the U.S. for laundering Iranian money, and U.S.'s turning down of deportation requests of a cleric who lives in the U.S. and accused of orchestrating a coup attempt in Turkey.

★ In an article in the National Interest, Dr. Ali Demirdaş writes that Western policymakers in Washington and Brussels may need to ask: "Is it a wise decision to confront China, Russia, and Turkey simultaneously?"

  According to Dr. Demirdaş, the recent standoff between Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan and ten Western countries over whether Turkey should conform with the European Court of Human Rights decision to release Osman Kavala or whether the ambassadors of the ten countries have violated Article 41 of the Vienna Convention is mostly a technical issue obstructing the bigger picture.

  What needs to be understood here is not necessarily whether Erdoğan would expel their ambassadors but that he could issue such an unprecedented threat without consequence. Indeed, in a move seen by some as U.S. backtracking and "a huge win for Erdoğan," Washington immediately pledged that it would respect Turkey's domestic affairs in the dispute, Dr. Demirdaş adds.

  From what is now dubbed the "One Minute incident"—where Erdoğan publicly rebuked the late Israeli president Shimon Perez for Israel's Gaza Offensive—to Turkey's Peace Spring military incursion into Syria minutes after receiving an insulting letter from Donald Trump, Erdoğan has remained willing to defy the West through an autonomous foreign policy which asserts that "the world is bigger than [the] five" United Nations Security Council members.

  Dr. Demirdaş continues to say that during the last decade, a pattern has emerged: Western countries met Erdoğan's increasingly independent foreign policy with growing acquiescence. He argues that the West's overall decline has created a conducive environment for Turkey to start resolving several decades-old issues. He says that the COVID 19 pandemic has further exposed the West's vulnerabilities.

  Erdoğan has been able to turn the West's turmoil and its corresponding inability to influence world affairs to Turkey's advantage. With its ever-growing indigenous defense industry and strong leadership, Turkey scored points in Libya, West Africa, and the southern Caucasus against France; in Syria against the United States; and eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus against Greece.

  Dr. Demirdaş concludes his article by writing that Perhaps it is time for those Western policymakers to hold an honest conversation with Turkey, a NATO member, and a European Union candidate, and understand Turkey's decades-old problems. The West will only benefit from working closely with Turkey, not fighting it.

  Ali Demirdaş has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of South Carolina, is a Fulbright scholar, was a professor of international affairs at the College of Charleston from 2011—2018.

  Read more >> here <<

★ According to the Turkish news site T 24, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that he is vowing to read Turkey of the pro-Kurdish peoples Democratic Party. He called the party a puppet of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party. The U.S. and the European Union consider the Kurdistan workers party to be a terrorist organization.

  The Kurdistan Workers Party has been in armed conflict with Turkey since the 1980s, costing the lives of nearly 40,000 people.

  Mr. Erdoğan's administration, as part of a crackdown on the People's Democratic Party, removed duly elected mayors from scores of South-Eastern cities and towns since the last local elections.

★ According to Reuters, Turkish authorities detained 17 people on Wednesday for putting a hood over the head of a visiting U.S. Navy civilian employee in a protest against the United States policy in the Middle East.

  The people belonged to an organization called the Turkey Youth Union.

  The group said they would not allow the U.S. military in Turkey and criticized U.S. support for Syrian Kurdish fighters. The Turkish government considers them to be an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party.

★ According to Politico, President Biden has not invited Turkey to the upcoming summit for democracy. The virtual event is part of President Biden's foreign policy initiatives to push back against the resurgence of authoritarianism, Politico writes.

  Hungary is also excluded from the conference since its president Viktor Orban is considered undemocratic.

  The summit will be between December 9 and 10 and promote Internet freedom, more funds for media literacy programs, and enhanced export controls on dual-use technologies that governments can use for internal repression.

  The Freedom House political rights study for 2021 rated Turkey as "not free. "

★ Deutsche Welle reports that Turkish authorities have launched legal proceedings Wednesday against 30 people who used the Twitter hashtag "ölmüş," which roughly translates to "said to be dead," regarding President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

  President Erdoğan is 67 years old and faces increased speculation about his health. Deutsche Welle says that in a recent video, Mr. Erdoğan appeared unstable on his feet and had difficulty walking. In a recent speech, however, he looked well, but he had a slurred speech.

★ With a decree, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan handed over the control of Istanbul's Prince Islands to the Ministry of environment and urbanization, the new site T 24 reported.

  The island municipalities were in the hands of the opposition. The opposition mayors have been leading efforts to protect the environment on the islands.

  According to critics, Mr. Erdoğan's administration ignores environmental protection cultural heritage and starts mega construction projects. Analysts think that this may also be the beginning of similar projects on the islands.

★ According to the website Global Construction Review, The Nuclear Regulatory Council of Turkey has given the go-ahead for a fourth reactor at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Mersin Province, southeast Turkey.

  Akkuyu Nuclear, a subsidiary of Russian nuclear engineer Rosatom, will build the unit. It will be the final phase of the $20-billion project.

  The agreement to build a nuclear plant at Akkuyu, signed in May 2010, envisaged four VVER-1200 reactors with a total capacity of 4.8GW, equal to about 10% of Turkey's average demand. Work on the third unit began in March (see further reading).

  Russia is responsible for financing, designing, building, maintaining, and operating the plant. It will also decommission the reactor at the end of its 60-year service life.

★ According to the British daily Guardian, Ethiopia wants to buy armed drones from Turkey for use in the Tigray conflict. The Ethiopians already have drones from China and Iran, but they think the Turkish drones are more effective.

  The private company that produces the drones has been selling the drones to many other countries.


Edited by Büşra Ekmekçi, Deniz Çakmakçı, and Selin Aydınlı


★ The Independence Struggle exhibition "After a Century / Fronts, People and Great Victory" opened on the centennial of Turkey's independence war hero Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's arrival in Samsun, reports Faruk Şüyün of the daily Dünya. The venue is the İş Bank Museum in Eminönü, Istanbul.

  It provides the opportunity to feel this special period closely after a century with works of art. The exhibition consists of more than a thousand objects such as ammunition pieces, weapons, swords, sanitary equipment, compasses, binoculars, telegraphs, maps, and many photographs and films.

  The organizers of the exhibition also made a call to the heirs of the Medals of Independence. They asked them to lend photographs, documents, objects, and medals of the family elders. The museum borrowed more than 250 medals as well as many heirlooms. The visitors can see these in a special section.


★ Organized under the patronage of Çiğdem Simavi and sponsored by Ünlü & Co, "I-You-They: The Century of Artist Women" continues in Meşher Art Gallery.

  Curated by Deniz Artun, the exhibition includes works by women artists who lived and created in Turkey between 1850-1950. There are 232 works for 117 artists.

  "I-You-They" takes its name from a work of Şükran Aziz in the exhibition.

  The exhibition explores the conditions for the emergence of a collective "we," and the women one by one, most of whom could not become "me" and therefore not recorded by art history. At the same time, with this exhibition, Meşher invites contemporary women artists from Turkey to discover their roots.

  "I-You-They" refers to another "time" when all women and works are commemorated and narrated, apart from the straight lines drawn from one name, group, institution to another. Thus, with the exhibition, women are presented with a "century" in which they are heroes.

  The Century of Artist Women can be viewed at Meşher on Istiklal Street in Istanbul until March 27, 2022

  Read more >> here <<


★ Babylon's and IAAF Art and Antique Fair opened on November 4, for contemporary art galleries, artists, antique dealers, collectors, and art lovers.

  The fair features many works from plastic and visual arts. It started with a special event and a piano recital by pianist Gülsin Onay on Wednesday, November 3.

  The fair will be open to general visits at the Istanbul and Lütfi Kırdar Congress centers until November 7.


★ In the concert titled "Looking at the Big Picture", the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra (BIPO), performed works Ahmet Adnan Saygun, Saint-Saëns, and Tchaikovsky. The conductor will be Gürer Aykal;

  The soloist that BIPO accompanied in this concert was Pablo Ferrández. He interpreted Saint-Saëns famous 1st Cello Concerto.

  The concert also featured sections from Chaikovski's ballets "Sleeping Beauty," "Swan Lake," "The Nutcracker," and Turkish composer Ahmet Adnan Saygun's Concerto da Camera.

  The concert took place on Thursday, November 4, on the Zorlu PSM Turkcell Stage.


★ In the recent excavations in the ancient city of Aizanoi, archaeologists have found the heads of the statues of the goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite and the god of wine "Dionysus" in mythology.

  Aizanoi is in Turkey's Aegean province of Kütahya. The Kütahya Museum Directorate is carrying out the excavations in the ancient site with a 5000-year history and on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List since 2012.

  Excavation Coordinator Dumlupınar University's Archeology Department head Prof. Dr. Gökhan Coşkun said that the work in Aizanoi is continuing without interruption with 100 workers and 27 technical personnel.


★ The nominee for Turkey's 94th Academy Awards (Oscar) is the movie "Commitment Hasan" directed by Director Semih Kaplanoğlu. "Commitment Hasan" is the second film in Semih Kaplanoğlu's Commitment Trilogy.

  The film tells the story of a man who makes a living from gardening and farming on the land he inherited from his father.

  The staff of "Commitment Hasan" includes Umut Karadağ, Filiz Bozok, Gökhan Azlağ, Hakan Altıner, Mahir Günşiray, Devrim Özder Akın and Ayşe Günyüz Demirci.

  The 94th Academy Awards will find their owners at the ceremony on March 27, 2022.

  Read more on the film  >> here <<

★ According to The Economist, Turkish telenovelas are thriving in Latin America. Many viewers prefer epic love tales to gory local narco-dramas, The Economist adds.

  When the Turkish soap opera "1001 Nights," loosely based on the classic collection of Middle Eastern folktales, first aired on Chilean TV in 2014, it broke viewing records. Mega, the Chilean broadcaster that had bought the rights, was the only channel that had made a profit that year. Since then, it got the rights to 26 other Turkish shows and has remained Chile's most popular channel.

  In Brazil, although their airing by TV stations is not that popular, Brazilians follow it in large numbers through streaming it on the Internet. The Yeni Hayat novella got more attention than all locally-produced telenovelas, and "Magic Dr." is the most-watched series on HBO in Brazil.

  The U.S. Hispanic channels Telemundo and Univision also started airing the Turkish novellas during the pandemic peak last year. They had a big jump in viewership, even beating out their own Spanish Tele novellas.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 9.69


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 72/43 Mostly Sunny
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 81/61 Mostly Sunny
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 55/30 Mostly Sunny
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 66/55 Foggy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 81/63 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 64/55 Mostly Sunny


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz


Premier League

* Results for week: 11
Trabzon         -      Rize           2 - 1
Kasımpaşa       -      Malatya        2 - 0
Konya           -      Fenerbahçe     2 - 1
Altay           -      Sivas          1 - 1
Hatay           -      Beşiktaş       1 - 0
Kayseri         -      K.gümrük       2 - 1
Alanya          -      Göztepe        2 - 2
G. Saray        -      G. Antep       2 - 0
Başakşehir      -      Adana          2 - 1
Giresun         -      Antalya        1 - 2
* In games played so far this weekend:
G. Antep        -      Kasımpaşa      2 - 0
Rize            -      Alanya         2 - 0
Antalya         -      Altay          1 - 0
Sivas           -      Giresun        0 - 0
Malatya         -      Başakşehir     1 - 3
Beşiktaş        -      Trabzon        -
Göztepe         -      Konya          -
K.gümrük        -      G. Saray       -
Adana           -      Hatay          -
Fenerbahçe      -      Kayseri        -

* Standing in the league as of week ending 11
 1 - Trabzon         27
 2 - Hatay           23
 3 - Alanya          21
 4 - Beşiktaş        20
 5 - Konya           20
 6 - G. Saray        20
 7 - Fenerbahçe      19
 8 - K.gümrük        18
 9 - Altay           16
10 - Başakşehir      15
11 - Kayseri         14
12 - Adana           13
13 - Sivas           12
14 - Antalya         12
15 - G. Antep        12
16 - Malatya         12
17 - Kasımpaşa        9
18 - Göztepe          9
19 - Giresun          9
20 - Rize             4
★ Other Sports

★ In the Euroleague basketball competitions, Turkey's Fenerbahçe defeated Russia's CSKA Moscow 91 - 82 in Moscow.

  Turkey's Anadolu Efes got defeated by Russia's Zenit 79 - 90 in Istanbul.

★ In the U 23 judo European championships, Turkish judokas received three bronze medals. The games took place in Hungary's capital Budapest.

★ In the women's category, Turkey's national team came in fifth in the U-23 world wrestling championships taking place in Belgrade, Serbia. The team received three bronze medals.

  In the men's, Turkey's Cavit Acar came in third in the 65 kg freestyle category, and in 79 kg, Ramazan Sari came in second. In Greco-Roman wrestling, Kemal Kamal received a bronze medal in the 60 kg category. Ahmet Uyar came in second in the 63 kg category.

★ In the Judo Grand Slam competitions in Azerbaijan's capital Baku, Turkey's Vedat Albayrak received a gold medal in the 81 kg category.

★ In the world men's box championships, Turkey's Kerem Özmen received a silver medal in the 63.5 kg category. The games are taking place in Serbia's capital Belgrade. Kerem Özmen is 19 years old.


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