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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 11 December 2021

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 11 December 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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★ A Turkish court has rejected an appeal filed by lawyers against the ongoing imprisonment of businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala. He has been in jail for more than four years, BBC reported.

  As we reported to you last week, November 26, an Istanbul court extended Kavala's imprisonment. The lawyers then took the case to a higher court. However, the appeals court also rejected the demand for his release.

  On December 3, the Council of Europe ruled to notify Turkey of its intention to launch "infringement proceedings" over its failure to release Kavala in line with a European Court of Human Rights ruling.

  The Council said that it asked Turkey to submit its view on the case by January 19, 2022, and it will refer the issue to the European Court of Human Rights at its subsequent meeting on February 2, 2022.

★ A recent survey by pollster Metropoll has revealed that the ruling Justice and Development Party would garner 34.3 percent of the votes in a potential election today, marking an 8 percent fall compared to the 2018 elections, the daily Duvar reports.

  The Good Party, on the other hand, has soared in popularity. It would garner 14.9 percent of the votes, marking a 5 percent increase compared to 2018.

  The daily Duvar sites the mismanagement of the economy and the subsequent economic difficulties people are in for lower support to the ruling Justice and Development Party.

★ The next target of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seems to be social media. On Saturday, he said that social media is one of the sources of threat to democracy. He claimed that social media is a source of misinformation, and this is not just a Turkish national security issue, but now it is a global security issue.

  Mr. Erdoğan's message was a video viewed on the first day of the Stratcom Summit 2021. The summit is an international gathering to address compelling policies, issues, challenges, and trends in the strategic communication echo system. This year it is taking place in Istanbul, and the organizer is Turkey's Presidential Communications Directorate.

  The speakers at the 36 main sessions of the conference will include senior executives and officials from NATO, the UN, and prominent government communicators from various countries.

★ Louise Callaghan, the Middle East correspondent for the British daily The Sunday Times, wrote on Sunday, November 28, that Turkey's middle classes had abandoned Mr. Erdoğan as rising prices and repression take a toll.

  She adds that "President is branded 'out of touch' by former supporters after two decades dominating Turkish politics, but voters have few alternatives."

  "Many disgruntled Justice and Development Party voters do not necessarily dislike Erdoğan, but they do not like how the ruling party is run in this extremely personal way," said Berk Esen, assistant professor of political science at Sabanci University in Istanbul. "Many competent people have been purged, and the party no longer has the same organizational capacity that it did," Esen added.

★ Reuters correspondents Daren Butler and Birsen Altayli wrote that president Erdoğan is facing an uphill bid to woo Turkey's Alevi minority.

  Constituting 15 to 20% of Turkey's 84 million population, most Alevis are left-of-center and suspicious of the objectives of the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party after past efforts to address Alevi concerns had collapsed, the article writes.

  Alevi groups have demanded the official recognition of cemevis as houses of worship and an end to what they say is assimilation through compulsory religious education and discrimination in public life.

  The article explains that Alevis gather at cemevis and play the lute-like saz while worshippers in red sashes dance in a circle to experience union with God. The rituals are very different from the dominant Sunni customs in Turkey. It puts them at odds with the Sunni Muslims that Justice and Development Party gets most of its support.

★ During the budget discussions, a brawl started in the Turkish Parliament when an opposition parliamentarian asked the speaking interior minister Mr. Süleyman Soylu about his relations with a Turkish businessman arrested in Austria for bribery and fraud.

  Read more >> here <<

★ Metropolitan Istanbul mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has called on Turkey's Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu to get a psychological checkup. Earlier, the minister accused the municipality of hiring 557 people connected with terrorism.

  Mr. Soylu made his accusations at the budget discussions in the Turkish Parliament on December 9. He also claimed that since the 2019 local elections, the municipality hired 33,000 people. Mayor İmamoğlu says that the net addition to the workforce was only 6000.

  Mr. İmamoğlu is the first politician to defeat the ruling Justice and Development Party in the race for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in 25 years.

  Speaking of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Mr. İmamoğlu said they are working on an international bond to fund new infrastructure projects. Last year, it completed its first Eurobond issue of $580 million. The Eurobond, which has a maturity of five years and a 6.6% yield, saw demand of more than $2.4 billion.

  Mr. İmamoğlu says they are resorting to foreign borrowing since the Turkish state banks have failed to respond to repeated requests to obtain funds.

  After his election, İmamoğlu said Turkish state banks stopped extending loans to Istanbul. The municipality was run for 25 years by Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party and its Islamist predecessor.


★ According to Reuters, the Turkish currency lira is edging closer to a record low against the dollar. On Thursday, it nearly lost 1% of its value.

  The loss came after Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reaffirmed his commitment to low-interest rates and asked Turks to trust his government's new economic model.

  Since the beginning of this year, the lira lost 45% of its value against the U.S. dollar.

  On December 10, Turkey's central bank intervened in the foreign exchange markets for a third time this month, citing, again, unhealthy price formations.

★ Reuters also wrote that Turkey's new finance and treasury minister Nureddin Nebati said that he would manage the budget deficit with fiscal discipline, and it will be under 3 1/2% of GDP this year.

★ Istanbul Metropolitan mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu announced that inflation was over 50% in Istanbul. The Turkish Statistical Institute, a government agency, claims that inflation is only about 21%.

★ Speaking to the Guardian newspaper last week, actor George Clooney said he was offered $35 million for one day's work for making a commercial for an unnamed airline. However, he refused the deal after discussing it with his wife Amal Clooney, a prominent human rights lawyer.

  Journalists think that the airline was Turkish Airlines.

  Other headlines in the economy:

★ According to Reuters, Turkey's medical equipment suppliers have seen the value of their unpaid government bills soar 50% in the last three months to 658 million, and the lira meltdown is piling further pressure on the import-reliant sector, its chief said.

  According to The Financial website, Turkish tourism is seeing a strong rebound from 2020. However, this is still below pre-pandemic levels.

  The Business of Fashion: Turkey's economic crisis is battering retailers, boosting apparel exports.

  Istanbul is leading in ticket sales for the New Year's lottery with prize money of $8.8 million.



Edited by Büşra Ekmekçi, Deniz Çakmakçı, and Selin Aydınlı



★ According to Turkish Radio and Television, NASA has the mysterious dimensions of the universe and some of the remnants of space travel at an Istanbul mall.

  Starting from December 8, the exhibition is hosted at the Metropol Istanbul Mall, attracting space enthusiasts and people from diverse backgrounds. The event allows them to closely experience the mysterious dimensions of the universe and space travel.

  At the exhibition, visitors can touch a real moon rock, including replicas of the rocket in the exhibition space and full-size spacecraft models, a 10-meter-long model of the Saturn V rocket, the clothing worn by the astronauts, see menus and tasks, equipment used in the Apollo capsule, Sputnik 1 satellite, and the International Space Station models of radios.

  The exhibition also includes a prototype model of the Starship developed by Space X, owned by Elon Musk. Space X has made its first civilian passenger spaceflight with the Dragon capsule in September.

  HUPALUPA, an Istanbul-based tech company, organized the NASA Space Exhibition.


★ According to the Turkish Radio and Television, two villages in Turkey are on the Best Tourism Villages list of the United Nations, according to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

  Mustafapaşa village in central Nevşehir province and Taraklı village in northwestern Sakarya province are among the "best examples of villages embracing tourism to provide opportunity," said UNWTO on Thursday.

  "44 villages from 32 countries across the five world regions were granted recognition in 2021," it said in a statement.

  "All of them stand out for their natural and cultural resources as well as for their innovative and transformative actions, and commitment to the development of tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)."


★ Hatay was included in the "Creative Cities Network" by UNESCO in 2017 with its gastronomy, multicultural cuisine, and dishes, and became the 26th gastronomy city in the world.

  If we look at the content of Hatay cuisine, mainly fresh vegetables, olive oil, legumes, cereals, and local herbs, including 251 kinds of endemic plants grown in the Amanos Mountains, are used. One should not think of Hatay cuisine should only as appetizer cuisine. Kebabs, olive oil dishes, pastries, vegetables, desserts are also extremely delicious.

  This year, "Gastronomy Meeting" events were at the HATMEK building.

  During the event organized to promote Hatay gastronomy in and out of Turkey, the Head of the Cultural and Social Affairs Department of the Metropolitan Municipality personally took care of the guests. Etkili İşler, which earlier undertook the marketing communication project "Taste Corner of Turkey," organized the event.


★ IGART is a project of the Istanbul airports aimed to open more space for art in Turkey and support especially young artists. It organizes exhibitions of artists throughout the airports.

  Now IGART will be giving away prizes to young artists with a competition. The last day to participate is December 31.

  A jury made up of artists and professors will evaluate the works of art submitted to the competition. The winning project will receive approximately $70,000.

  The jury will announce the winning project in February 2022.


Bulutsuzluk Özlemi, a Turkish rock band

★ İş Sanat concerts at Istanbul's Maximum Uniq Hall will begin in December with "I Can't Take My Words Back" by Bulutsuzluk Özlemi, a Turkish rock band.

  The Gedik Philharmonic Orchestra New Year's concert is also among the events of December. Murat Cem Orhan will lead the concert and feature Russian soprano Olga Peretyatko and tenor Mert Süngü.

  In addition to the concerts, İş Sanat continues its online season on its YouTube channel. In December concerts, an artist will present the poetry of renowned Turkish troubadour Âşık Veysel titled "I am on a Long and Thin Road" on Monday, December 27.

  İş Sanat is the cultural arm of İş Bank of Turkey.


★ Gastromasa realized its first export as a global brand. The event, scheduled to take place in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and Istanbul, was signed by Mariana Oleskiv, President of Ukraine State Tourism Development Agency, and Gökmen Sözen, CEO of Sözen Group.

  World stars in culinary arts will meet with gastronomy enthusiasts at the conference on October 1, 2022. They will share their experiences, gastronomy perspectives, and culinary secrets.

  The International Gastromasa Gastronomy Conference, held annually since 2015, is a gastronomy event created to place Turkey among the tourism and gastronomy destinations in the world.

  The objective of Gastromasa is to integrate gastronomy and tourism by showing Turkey's natural beauty, historical sites, and its local and traditional cuisine.


★ The Gourmand Cookbook Awards give awards to the most prestigious cookbooks of the world. The competition is known as the Nobel of cookbooks. This year it took place in Paris.

  The jury gave the special award of the competition to the book "Tasty and Healthy Recipes of Our Anatolian Cuisine." Sabri Ülker Foundation Publications of Turkey published the book, and Sahrap Soysal penned it.

  In her speech, Sahrap Soysal said, "We are very happy that our book was deemed worthy of an international award. Also, we are proud that this award will promote our Turkish cuisine in the world. I thank everyone who contributed."


★ Aiming to offer technological solutions to its stakeholders on "Reducing Food Waste at Source" and "Food Recovery" under the motto of Sustainable Development Goals 12.3, Metro Turkey continues to work actively on food waste and food waste management.

  Fazla Gıda and Metro Turkey signed new cooperation to reduce food waste. The joint effort will bring the surplus food and beverages that preserve the freshness of restaurants and cafes to the consumers with a 50 percent discount. The Fazla app can be used effectively in more businesses in the food and beverage sector through Metro Turkey.

  With their cooperation, Metro Turkey and Fazla Gıda aim to create economic, environmental, and social value from excess demand products.


★ Applications have started for the 6th International Green Crescent Cartoon Contest.

  Aiming to attract attention and raise awareness against addictions with the International Green Crescent Cartoon Competition, Green Crescent is organizing the 6th edition of its international competition this year.

  General Manager Atalan said, "We are looking forward to the cartoons of both young people and amateur and professional adults with the theme of Getting Rid of addictions."

  Application for the competition is open for all professional and amateur cartoonists from Turkey and the world until January 31, 2022.

  The total amount of the prize is approximately $6500 in local currency.


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz


* Standing in the league as of week ending 15
 1 - Trabzon         39
 2 - Konya           27
 3 - Fenerbahçe      27
 4 - Hatay           26
 5 - Başakşehir      25
 6 - Alanya          24
 7 - G. Saray        23
 8 - K.gümrük        22
 9 - Beşiktaş        21
10 - Adana           20
11 - Sivas           19
12 - Giresun         19
13 - Kayseri         19
14 - Altay           18
15 - Antalya         18
16 - G. Antep        18
17 - Göztepe         14
18 - Malatya         14
19 - Kasımpaşa       11
20 - Rize            10
★ Recently, billiard and pool players were at the Regency Park Resort in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

  Turkey's master player Semih Saygıner crowned himself with the golden prize.

  The Turkish billiards star did not have an easy road to the final, but his high class emerged at last.

  Turkey's Murat Naci Coklu came in second in a different competition.

  Turkey's women player Eylül Kibaroğlu became the European champion after defeating her Dutch rival Tamara Rademakers.

  In the under 23 category, Ibrahim Vatansever of Turkey received a bronze medal.

★ Basketball – Euroleague

  Bayern Munich of Germany defeated Turkey's Anadolu Efes 83 to 71

  Russia's Zenit defeated Turkey's Fenerbahçe 80-86


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

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